Book Review: A Reaper at the Gates (An Ember in the Ashes #3) by Sabaa Tahir

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Title: A Reaper at the Gates
Author: Sabaa Tahir
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: June 12th, 2018
Publisher:  Razorbill




Beyond the Martial Empire and within it, the threat of war looms ever larger.

Helene Aquilla, the Blood Shrike, is desperate to protect her sister’s life and the lives of everyone in the Empire. Yet danger lurks on all sides. Emperor Marcus, haunted by his past, grows increasingly unstable and violent, while Keris Veturia, the ruthless Commandant, capitalizes on the Emperor’s volatility to grow her own power—regardless of the carnage she leaves in her path.

Far to the east, Laia of Serra knows that the fate of the world lies not in the machinations of the Martial court, but in stopping the Nightbringer. During the hunt to bring him down, Laia faces unexpected threats from those she hoped would help her, and is drawn into a battle she never thought she’d have to fight.

And in the land between the living and the dead, Elias Veturius has given up his freedom to serve as Soul Catcher. However, in doing so, he has vowed himself to an ancient power that demands his complete surrender—even if that means abandoning the woman he loves.” (Goodreads)

Edit: I have now read this a second time and my feelings are still true when it comes to this review. I never knew I could cry again for a book I had already read. The last 100 pages were just torture to get through with my feelings! Haha.

*Spoilers* To be honest, I feel sorry for Marcus. He may have done some bad things but I think by the end he had good intentions when it came to being Emperor. I still hate Keris and I hope she gets what she deserves! *End of Spoilers*

A Reaper at the Gates begins where A Torch against the Night left off. There are threats to the Empire and Laia, Helene, and Elias will stop at nothing to do their jobs and fight against the destruction the Nightbringer is determine to bring.

Laia is as strong as ever and is doing anything in her power to save her people. She has already lost so much and yet she still fights no matter what. She has really grown from the first book and I am here for it. Her brother, Darin, hasn’t played too big of a role but I am sure that will change in the next book. As for Elias, I am still heartbroken from what happened in the second and now am even more heartbroken by the path he has taken and what he has left behind. When it comes to Helene, I didn’t really care for her in the first book and she got better in the second but she has now grown on me and I ship her and Harper!

The plot grows and there is no shortage of fighting and heartbreak. We learn more about the Nightbringer and the jinn and am curious to see how his plot plays out in the next book. He is a very curious individual and I need more of him!

When I thought the series couldn’t break me anymore, Sabaa Tahir just crushes whatever was left. I may have shed a few tears and now I am just at a loss for words and can’t wait to see what happens in the fourth book, hopefully my heart will manage. If you haven’t read the series go do it!

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Audiobook Review: Mark of the Raven by Morgan L. Busse

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Title: Mark of the Raven (The Ravenwood Saga #1)
Author: Morgan L. Busse
Genre: Fantasy / Christian Fiction
Publication Date: November 6th, 2018
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers




“Lady Selene is the heir to the Great House of Ravenwood and the secret family gift of dreamwalking. As a dreamwalker, she can enter a person’s dreams and manipulate their greatest fears or desires. For the last hundred years, the Ravenwood women have used their gift of dreaming for hire to gather information or to assassinate.

As she discovers her family’s dark secret, Selene is torn between upholding her family’s legacy–a legacy that supports her people–or seeking the true reason behind her family’s gift.

Her dilemma comes to a head when she is tasked with assassinating the one man who can bring peace to the nations, but who will also bring about the downfall of her own house.

One path holds glory and power, and will solidify her position as Lady of Ravenwood. The other path holds shame and execution. Which will she choose? And is she willing to pay the price for the path chosen? (Goodreads)

I read this for the first time as an e-arc in 2018 and really liked the story but never continued on with the series because at times I am terrible at it!

I have been trying to get better and that is why I am revisiting this series, but as audiobooks this time.

My reviewing skills back in the day were okay but I have changed a lot since then, haha. So I am also updating my review.

I still enjoy the two main point-of-views and the one from Lady Selene’s mother, but that one only happens a few times.

There is a lot of character development for Lady Selene who must decide where her loyalty lies and what she is willing to lose in the process of it all. That also includes losing herself to the darkness which clearly clings to her mother.

It’s always hard to want to please your parents but not give up on who you are as a person. I can understand the struggle well. Selene is always doing a balancing act.

I think my favorite part out of the whole book is the relationship. I mean, it’s not really a relationship but by the end she marries for convenience to another house lord and I’m excited to see where the relationship between them goes.

There is magic found within each house as well and I thought the magic system was cool and fun to learn about. Selene has dream walking and although some people would like her to use it for evil, I think that she will really let her gift shine in the next book.

Overall, I still enjoyed this book the second time around and look forward to actually continuing this series.

Old Review:

The cover and description is what drew me in but the plot and writing kept me glued. This book was so good that I read 80% of it in one day. Mark of the Ravens is filled with Assassins, murder, and twisted families. The main character, Lady Selene, is relatable as she struggles to not lose herself when the ones close to her ask for more. It also has multiple POVs which adds to any book and makes the development of the characters even better as you get to see their side. This book will leave you wanting more and I can’t wait for this series to continue! It is out now so go check it out!

Weekly Update (2/1/20)

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Hello Lovely Bookworms!

Welcome to February! I’m not read for it, ha.

January went by too quickly. I did get a lot of reading done though and I did post my wrap-up this morning.

I also managed to finish everything on my loose TBR. I haven’t been doing them lately but with wanting to finish series and arcs I have, I kind of need a guideline so I don’t go too far from what I need to do.

Hopefully February will be a good month.

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Blog Posts From This Week:

Books Finished This Week:

  • Storm from the East (Glass Alliance #2) by Joanna Hathaway (arc)
  • Breaking Dawn (Twilight #4) by Stephenie Meyer (audio book)
  • Prince Freya Vol. 1 by Keiko Ishihara (arc/manga)
  • Not Your Idol Vol 1. by Aoi Makino (arc/manga)
  • Love Me, Love Me Not Vol. 1 by Io Sakisaka (arc/manga)
  • Waiting for Spring Vol. 2 by Anashin
  • Waiting for Spring Vol. 3 by Anashin
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
  • A Girl’s Guide to the Outback by Jessica Kate

Currently Reading:

  • Hard Wired by Len Vlahos
  • Truthwitch by Susan Dennerd

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How was your week? Did you do anything fun over the weekend? Read anything good this week? Let me know in the comments!

Find me on Instagram / Goodreads

-Joanna TheGeekishBrunette (1)

Weekly Update (11/17/19)

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Hello Lovely Bookworms!

This week has been filled with more WebToon and honestly, just feeling tired. I didn’t get as much reading done as I would have liked but you know, sometimes we just have these weeks.

Hopefully I can finish up a few more arcs this week since I am back down to 5! I also was picked for my first blog tour and I am really excited about that!

Today, I plan on getting ready for the week and writing up some blog posts. All of my reviews are ready but I have to do the fun posts. I also need to take photos for my Instagram.

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Blog Posts From This Week:

Books Finished This Week:

  • To The Abandoned Sacred Beasts Vol. 1 by Maybe
  • If I Never Met You by Mhairi McFarlane
  • Havenfall by Sara Holland
  • My Dear Cold-Blooded King by LifeLight
  • What Unbreakable Looks Like by Kate McLaughlin
  • It Sounded Better in My Head by Nina Kenwood

Currently Reading:

  • Sensational by Jodie Lynn Zdrok

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How was your week? Did you do anything fun over the weekend? Read anything good this week? Let me know in the comments!

Find me on Instagram / Goodreads

 

 

Shelf Tour

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Hello Readers!

I am here with a post dedicated to my shelves. I have a lot. I also need to get another one but have been pushing it off.

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I feel exactly like this gif. I will find room, okay! (there’s no room though 😭🤣)

Only two shelves didn’t make it into this post. There is one, it’s messy and in my bedroom, haha. It’s mostly filled with my husband’s books and middle grade reads for my daughter when she gets older. There is also a shelf in my daughter’s room for all her books. To say my house is filled with books is an understatement. Yet, I still keeping adding to the mayhem. #bookwormproblems

But alas, here are my shelves!

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My photos on the wall are crooked but let’s just say it adds to the aesthetic, lol. I am terrible at hanging stuff. As you can tell, I have an abundance of books with no place to put them. It’s why I need to read what I have so I can downsize (or bite the bullet and buy a new shelf)

This sits in the corner by the big shelf. You can see my collection of rice bags too. The thing with this shelf is that it goes all the way back and there are books that can’t be seen. There are also books behind the first set of books. I’m telling you, I have an abundance.

Here are more books that were near my desk but now sit on a table. I have read half of these? There are some on here I would like to get to sooner than later like A Touch of Gold and For A Muse Of Fire.

 

This shelf is in my living room and houses all of the classics I have. There are a few middle grade and children’s books for my daughter at the bottom right. As you can see, I have ran out of room here too.

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There is my shelf tour! I have changed up how I organize my bigger shelf multiple times but I always end up going back to color coordinating. It’s pretty and is great for photos!

How do you organize your books?

Find me on Instagram / Goodreads

 

Sorcery of Thorns: Book Review

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43358884Title: Sorcery of Thorns
Author: Margaret Rogerson
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: June 4th, 2019

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Synopsis: “All sorcerers are evil. Elisabeth has known that as long as she has known anything. Raised as a foundling in one of Austermeer’s Great Libraries, Elisabeth has grown up among the tools of sorcery—magical grimoires that whisper on shelves and rattle beneath iron chains. If provoked, they transform into grotesque monsters of ink and leather. She hopes to become a warden, charged with protecting the kingdom from their power.

Then an act of sabotage releases the library’s most dangerous grimoire. Elisabeth’s desperate intervention implicates her in the crime, and she is torn from her home to face justice in the capital. With no one to turn to but her sworn enemy, the sorcerer Nathaniel Thorn, and his mysterious demonic servant, she finds herself entangled in a centuries-old conspiracy. Not only could the Great Libraries go up in flames, but the world along with them.

As her alliance with Nathaniel grows stronger, Elisabeth starts to question everything she’s been taught—about sorcerers, about the libraries she loves, even about herself. For Elisabeth has a power she has never guessed, and a future she could never have imagined.” (Goodreads)

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My Review: (minor spoilers)

I was hesitant to pick this one up because I wasn’t a fan of her first book since it just felt rushed. I figured since my library had the ebook I would just give the author a second chance and see how it went. I’m glad i made that decisions because this book was full of interesting characters and an intriguing plot!

Let’s start with the characters. Elisabeth is tall, which is quite unique and usually not many female characters in books are. I thought this was a great detail to her appearance. She is outgoing, loves books, and will do anything to save humanity even if it means going against the grain to do it. I liked for all those reasons and more.

Nathaniel is literally one of the best characters I have read about. His banter and humor is on point. Everything he said just made me smile and laugh. He really is awesome! It was mentioned that he was bi but since he had eyes for Elisabeth, nothing was said past that.

The last character I want to talk about is Silas. He has different forms, one being a cat. How can I not love that? He may be a demon that is tied to a sorcerer but he knows what he is and always reminds Elisabeth of it. Although that is the case, he has a soft spot and is really a soft teddy bear who adores his master and would do anything for him.

The plot was entertaining, suspenseful and overall just wonderful! I had no issues with the pacing and felt that it all wrapped up nicely by the end. That ending though! I am waiting to see if or when something will happen next.

The Currently Reading Book Tag

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Hello, Fellow Book Lovers!

I recently seen this book tag done by Kaleena @ Reader Voracious and decided to do it! If you aren’t following her, definitely go give her a follow because she has great content!

I have been trying to do more book tags lately because it is an easy way for my followers to get to know me and I know I love reading people’s responses.

I don’t know who actually created this tag so if you know let me know and I will credit them!

1.) How many books do you usually read at once?
I wish I could say one but that just isn’t true. Sometimes I get approved for an arc and need to read it real quick so I put my current read down. Other times, a book just isn’t clicking for me and I decide to put it on hold and find something else to read. It really just depends on my mood!

2.) How do you decide when to switch between multiple reads?
I guess the last part of the first question could be an answer for here too. I usually read so many pages in each if I am spanning out a book over a month but it really just depends on how I am feeling.

3.) Do you ever switch bookmarks partway through a book?
Can’t say I ever have! I have so many that I could but most books I read on my kindle so bookmarks don’t work for me in that case!

4.) Where do you keep the book(s) you’re currently reading?
I recently bought a fancy book cart and it is great for this purpose!

5.) What time of day do you read the most?
I read most at night since my husband works third shift and my daughter is asleep. Peace and quiet!

6.) How long do you typically read in one session?
I spend between 30 minutes to an hour in one session sometimes longer if it is my daughter’s nap time or at night.

7.) Do you read hardbacks with the dust jacket off?
I do! I like to make sure they aren’t getting bent or tattered.

8.) What position do you mainly use to read?
I am usually reclined in my recliner!

9.) Do you take your current read with you everywhere you go?
Not always, it depends on if where I am going I will have to be doing some waiting.

10.) How often do you update your Goodreads reading progress?
I try to update it as much as possible. It helps me stay accountable and finish books.

And that’s all for this tag! I am not going to tag anyone but if you would like to do this tag feel free to and tag me so I can make sure to see your answers!

Trail of Crumbs: NetGalley Review

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(Warning: includes talks of rape)
Title: Trail of Crumbs
Author: Lisa J. Lawrence
Genre: YA Contemporary
Rating: 3 stars
Publication Date: March 26th, 2019

eARC provided by publisher through NetGalley.

->Click for Synopsis<-

Trail of Crumbs by Lisa J. Lawrence is a story about a High School senior named Greta who is trying to keep herself afloat while dealing with an awful stepmother and the terrible realization of what happened to her one night at a party. Luckily, she has a twin brother, Ash, and unexpected friends to help her along the way.

Greta is such a tragic character from the beginning. It is constantly one thing after another that goes wrong and at some points she just can’t deal with it any longer. This book takes us along for a ride of heartbreak and rebuilding of oneself. She is a character of real emotion as well as her brother as they both cope with the issues they face in different ways. The book also teaches us that it is okay to ask for help and even tell others of an incident because that in itself can also help the healing process.

The writing style for this book was a little confusing because at times it would switch from the present to something that happened in the past and I would have to reread a couple sentences to understand what happened.

Overall, it was a good short read and I would give it 3/5 stars. If you like contemporaries with hard issues I would recommend this book which comes out March 26th, 2019.

 

 

What DNF Means to Me

Hello, fellow book lovers!

I wanted to take a minute and talk about DNFing. I have seen others talk about it and I think it is a good topic to discuss because everyones opinion of it is different!

In 2018, I only had to dnf four books. I’d say that is pretty good. This year I have yet to dnf any, not because I haven’t wanted to, but I have a hard time doing it.

One reason I don’t like to dnf is because sometimes books get better halfway through. Another reason is if I am already halfway through I have already spent time on it and would like to see it through to add to my books read even if it doesn’t get better.

I honestly should dnf more but for those two reasons it is hard!

How do you feel about dnfing a book?

WWW Wednesday (3/6/19)

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Hello, fellow book lovers!

This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and is now hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

It consists of answering these three questions:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

 

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Current Read: 

I am currently reading Ever Alice. I am trying to get caught up with some arcs so I have put some other reads on the back burner.

 

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Recently Finished:

I just finished The Art of Taxidermy which is a verse novel. It’s not something I would usually read but it was good!

 

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Reading Next:

I will be reading Sky Without Stars next. I am hoping it is really good!