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review 2019-01-12 19:22
Crown of Thunder - Karissa Laurel

While I'm saddened to see this fantastical adventure come to an end, what a way to go! Crown of Thunder gives us the end of a magical journey, but also a hopeful beginning of sorts that is just as important.



One of the things I found most enchanting about this addition might not be what you would expect. Can we please take a minute to talk about the storyline between Evie and Jackie Faercourt? I never in a million years could have envisioned their inevitable culmination to play out the way it did. Absolutely brilliant! I'm at war with myself a little where this is concerned because the ultimate reconciliation was EPIC, but there's also a part of me that really would have LOVED even more Jackie. That's really a testament to just how well written a character he was and also how he surprisingly added more depth to Evie as well. I was not prepared for him to rise to these all new heights in this book. I thought I knew him. I thought I knew how things would go when their paths crossed again. I thought wrong. At one point I thought PLEASE LET THIS BE A SET UP FOR A SPINOFF ANTIHERO STORY. He ultimately became one of the most interesting characters to me, and although I do not see any antihero redemption stories in his future, the way that things played out was really quite perfect. Evie suddenly becomes all of us, confused by the warring emotions swirling around inside of her and unexpectedly battered by this sadness that was so unexpectedly powerful where Jackie is concerned.





I was so glad to see just how much Evie had grown as a person in this one. Her wild adventure to find her way back home took a young, sheltered, naive girl and helped shape her into a fierce, compassionate, prudent queen. She found herself out on the road, (air and sea too!) and she found her people and her purpose.




I also found that I enjoyed the few quiet moments, in between the chaos. The moments where she strolled with a friend and they reminisced on their childhoods and let themselves think of the homes they desperately missed in a way they haven't in so long. Or stolen moments with her heart's desire that even in a war they took the few moments to remind each other what else they were fighting for.



I just love this whole world, so full of magic and mayhem, so vibrant and full of the most colorful people. I would be enamored by any one of their tales, I'm sure of it! I'm sad to say goodbye to it, but a girl can always dream that maybe instead it is, until we meet again one day.


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review 2017-06-25 03:48
Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things - Martina McAtee

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best friends



This book was AMAZING! I rarely give a first book in a series 5 stars, but if I could give this book a million stars I would!



all the stars



The world building was TOP NOTCH. I kept telling my friend this was Ilona Andrews level world building. For those that don't know, that is like the be all end all of world building, in my book at least. It was so vast I kept thinking I could stay in this world forever. I can see where there would be no shortage of stories to be told in this world that McAtee has created. There was a supernatural POWERHOUSE in this book, with plenty of beings that are familiar, shifters, witches, demons, necromancers etc. and some new and fascinating beings I haven't read about before! I enjoyed the fact that Ember was new to this supernatural world too so you got to learn everything about this new mesmerizing place and all its colorful inhabitants side by side with her.




The characters were so diverse and plentiful. There were a lot of people in this story, and there wasn't one that didn't have me completely engrossed in their life. I could not get enough of them! We get a few different POVs in this story, and they are perfectly executed. I am so particular about multiple POVs. If they aren't clearly recognized each time, rather by each voice being distinguishable and unique enough to stand on their own obviously, or by marking it at the chapter changes, I tend to be disappointed. I had no problem with that here. I was honestly kind of blown away how seamlessly the shift was made each time, and even more impressively, how loveable each person was! I was always happy to spend time seeing things through any of their eyes and that is no easy task!



I love YOU!



It also needs to be said that this cover is stunning as well! I really can't even do this book enough justice with a review. I loved everything about it, plain and simple. And if any of this sounds even remotely like something you may enjoy, pick this book up because I have a feeling you are going to fall in love with it too.

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review 2015-02-04 01:52
The Shadow Garden - Allen Houston



     The Shadow Garden is the second installment in the Nightfall Gardens series. You can see our review for the first book, Nightfall Gardens here....


  Everything that I loved about the first book, was still present in this addition. The setting is really the most intriguing thing about this story to me! I love this dangerous, magical place that Houston has created. And I really enjoyed getting to see further into it, the Shadow Garden is a terrifying place, but I couldn't look away! In Lily traveling there we also got to see some huge character development with her. The most frightening thing about the Shadow Garden  might have been it's way of looking deep into a person's soul and using every desire, fear, hope and worry against you.


"Every lie, every sin, every foul or petty thought preys on a person's mind. It grows and spreads like a cancer that consumes the soul."


It was quite a journey Lily went through there, and I've grown to really like her, I couldn't help but to root for her to pull through and come out of this situation stronger than ever.


 I also enjoyed Silas's journey into the mist! We got to meet a few new friends, as well as a few new chilling adversaries. As you know so far, the night itself is something to be feared in Nightfall Gardens, and we get up close and personal with some of it's worst inhabitants in this book. I was glad to see some glimpses of hope and light amidst the seemingly all encompassing dark of the night. It was nice to be reminded that goodness has a strong power too, which is something easily forgotten in this bleak place.


The alternating POV's between Lily and Silas are perfect for this story. Each of them have equally interesting voices, and stories to tell. I was happy to see the character depth that I was hoping for in this addition. It was just what I wanted, and it took this story overall up a notch in my opinion, because I now feel emotionally invested in these characters and their outcomes. I really look forward to seeing what the next book, The Labyrinth, has to bring!


       I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review

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review 2014-08-16 20:06
Magic Breaks - Ilona Andrews



    Well here we are at the end of book 7 in the Kate Daniels series, and just like by the end of book 1,

Ilona Andrews is all...



  And I'm just here like...



    Magic Breaks is what we have all been waiting for, finally coming face to face with Roland. Everything has been leading us here this whole time. I was so pleasantly surprised with the way everything went down. All I'm really going to say about it here though is that, everything we have learned of him thus far did not fully prepare me for this first meeting. He is maybe even more a mystery to me than he was before! And I have a feeling I'm going to love figuring him out.




  The way Kate handled him was a true testament to just how far she has grown throughout this series. She has found herself having to deal with certain things in different ways now that she isn't alone anymore. We've seen that for a few books now, but the way she handled finally seeing her father, the one person most of her life was centered around destroying at any cost, that was the true test of just how far she has come. I was impressed.




    This book has the same sarcastic humor that we love and expect from this series. There wasn't as much Curran in this one, but it was ok. It made sense that Kate go through some of these things on her own, just knowing he would be there was enough. Also, when Curran was there, HOLLY HELL did things get interesting. I was completely shocked at the end with his big announcement!



  That's what I love about this series, and the construction of it. This somehow caught me off guard, I wasn't expecting this at all, but it totally made sense once it happened. I could go back 3-4 books and see the seeds of this decision being planted. There were quite a few things that happened spanning over multiple books in this series that lead to this huge thing. It's glorious. These authors know how to lay down some serious ground work. I've come to see just how much even all the seemingly little things all mean something here. They are all working towards something big.


   I really look forward to seeing what happens next. I honestly have no idea what to expect. So many big changes in this addition to the series, if you haven't picked it up yet, do yourself a favor and get on that! You won't be disappointed. 


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review 2014-08-12 19:21
Magic Rises - Ilona Andrews


    Yep. That's me today. Hungover, and playing the highlight reel in my head to remind myself that it was totally worth it.  I just want to start out by saying that the construction of each of these books is just incredible. I kind of imagine it being something like putting together a 500 piece jigsaw puzzle without having glanced at the big finished picture first, and this epic writing duo is there helping you to piece it all together.



Sometimes it starts out feeling a little intimidating, so many little pieces, friends, enemies, power players and acquaintances (new and old) to keep track of, and after having constructed 5 previous puzzles like this, you just know that there will be more than one mystery shape to solve, and you are going to most likely make some false predictions along the way. It happens. Sometimes even though two pieces appear to go together, appearances can be deceiving, and you are surprised to find that they don't fit there at all. Being a Kate Daniels puzzle, it will almost definitely kick you in the ass a few times, no worries though, you'll kind of like it by the end, and you'll also laugh a whole lot along the way.



 So don't get discouraged, you still have your super authors here to help you out! They will be there the whole time, giving you encouragement and helping to piece together some of the smaller things first. And before you know it you are finally seeing the bigger picture and you are racing to get it all put together at last. Finally when it all comes together you can just sit back and marvel at the beauty of the journey, and the outcome alike.



   Yeah.... this book rocked my socks. I liked the new things brought to the table in this addition to the series. I enjoyed the change of scenery and the forebodingness that came along with it. You knew from the get-go things weren't going to pleasant or easy in this place, and that only helped to amp up the other dominating and adverse emotions going on with all our beloved characters. Magic Rises made you question a lot of things, things that you thought you knew for sure to be true. We said hello to some new characters and beasties, and goodbye to others.



    This book will take you on a rollercoaster ride of emotions. Honestly warring emotions might have just been the main monster of this book! It was a little different to see some extremes from Kate that we have not seen in this excess before. There was a lot she had to hold back, all of our characters did in the situation they were in. It was hard to see them put up with as much as they did at times, but it also went to show just how far Kate in particular has come since the first book. She's done a lot of growing up, and it shows a lot. On the flip side, you get a brief glimpse at what Kate is capable of when she doesn't hold back, she definitely tests some new boundaries. Lots of progression in the series by the end. It was a don't miss book. Although I consider them all don't miss books in this series! I can't wait to see what happens next!






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