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

30809786

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!

Advertisement

Audiobook Review: A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir

Title: A Torch Against the Night
Author: Sabaa Tahir
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: August 30th, 2016
Publisher: Razorbill




“Elias and Laia are running for their lives. After the events of the Fourth Trial, Martial soldiers hunt the two fugitives as they flee the city of Serra and undertake a perilous journey through the heart of the Empire.

Laia is determined to break into Kauf—the Empire’s most secure and dangerous prison—to save her brother, who is the key to the Scholars’ survival. And Elias is determined to help Laia succeed, even if it means giving up his last chance at freedom.

But dark forces, human and otherworldly, work against Laia and Elias. The pair must fight every step of the way to outsmart their enemies: the bloodthirsty Emperor Marcus, the merciless Commandant, the sadistic Warden of Kauf, and, most heartbreaking of all, Helene—Elias’s former friend and the Empire’s newest Blood Shrike.

Bound to Marcus’s will, Helene faces a torturous mission of her own—one that might destroy her: find the traitor Elias Veturius and the Scholar slave who helped him escape…and kill them both.” (Goodreads)

I still feel like my original review still stands true to my feelings. Just as my feelings never changed with book one, my feelings were still the same here too. It was just so good and this author knows how to write!

There are a couple things that I did like more this time and that would be Helene and the tribes. I love the loyalty and Helene took so much and gave so much too. Her story continues to be tragic but she is strong and pulls through!

It’s also been amazing to see all of the foreshadowing that has been going on.

I’m still glad that I decided to reread this series before the final book.

Old Review:

Where do I even begin with this book! It literally broke me and made me shed a few tears and honestly I don’t even know how I will ever survive!

A Torch Against the Night begins right where An Ember in the Ashes left off. Elias and Laia are escaping Blackcliff and on their to save her brother, Darin. They run into a few problems along the way as well as being tracked down by the new Blood Shrike, Helene.They will risk their lives and hope that death isn’t over the horizon.

The characters were just like I remembered them from the first book. Although, a couple I had to try and remember since it has been awhile. It didn’t take long to sweep me back into this world as her writing and world building are nothing short of perfection. My favorite character is probably Elias followed by Helene but Harper is pretty interesting and I can’t wait to see how his story flushes out since there was an interesting cliffhanger that includes him.

I am so glad I recently purchased a signed copy of Reaper at the Gates because now I don’t have to wait to continue the story!

Overall, I am deeply in love with this series and it gives me all the feels. I highly recommend you read these! You won’t regret it.

Spin the Dawn: NetGalley Review

NetGalley Review

 

36683928Title: Spin the Dawn
Author: Elizabeth Lim
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: July 30th, 2019

 

eARC provided by publisher through NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

border

Synopsis: “Maia Tamarin dreams of becoming the greatest tailor in the land, but as a girl, the best she can hope for is to marry well. When a royal messenger summons her ailing father, once a tailor of renown, to court, Maia poses as a boy and takes his place. She knows her life is forfeit if her secret is discovered, but she’ll take that risk to achieve her dream and save her family from ruin. There’s just one catch: Maia is one of twelve tailors vying for the job.

Backstabbing and lies run rampant as the tailors compete in challenges to prove their artistry and skill. Maia’s task is further complicated when she draws the attention of the court magician, Edan, whose piercing eyes seem to see straight through her disguise.

And nothing could have prepared her for the final challenge: to sew three magic gowns for the emperor’s reluctant bride-to-be, from the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon, and the blood of stars. With this impossible task before her, she embarks on a journey to the far reaches of the kingdom, seeking the sun, the moon, and the stars, and finding more than she ever could have imagined.” (Goodreads)

border

My Review:

Spin the Dawn follows a young girl named Maia who must dress like her brother to try and secure the spot of imperial tailor to the emperor. She must keep her appearance up or face being sentenced to death and some would like to see that happen. She will also face her greatest task for the emperor’s bride-to-be as she must sew three magical dresses and if she fails it might not be just her life at stake.

The plot for this story is unique in its own way as it combines fantastical myths and alluring magic. No other book, as far as I know, has a magical pair of scissors that create such enchanting clothes and even then, Maia doesn’t use it as a crutch because she takes pride in her own work and doesn’t want to rely on magic.

Maia is a hardworker and loyal. She wants to do anything that will help her family get money besides marrying off for it. I felt for her when it came to her family but there wasn’t anything that made her unique. The relationship she stumbles into felt forced and I couldn’t get behind it. Edan was a more interesting character in the beginning but as their relationship progresses my like for him fizzled. None of the characters grasped my attention as they all felt flat.

The world building was also lacking and I really wanted more.

Overall, I wanted to love this book because the cover and synopsis are wonderful but it just lacked in too many areas for me. I know others will enjoy this book and I am sure its me and not the book.

Aurora Rising: NetGalley Review

thegeekishbrunette review

30075662

Title: Aurora Rising
Author: Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Genre: YA Sci-fi
Publication Date: May 7th, 2019
Rating: 5 stars

I received a digital copy from Penguin Random House through NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

->Click for Synopsis<-

These authors have become near and dear to my heart after I fell in love with The Illuminae Files that they also wrote together. I recommend that series to everyone because it is amazing! When it was announced they were writing another book together I was so excited! This was one of my most anticipated reads of the year and even though it is getting closer to release, I am so grateful I had the opportunity to read this early. It reached above and beyond my expectations!

Welcome to Squad 312! Where the good times keep on rollin’, sarcasm is always welcomed and the banter never ends. This squad consists of Tyler, Scarlett, Cat, Kal, Finian, and Zila. Tyler may have received some recruits that were the bottom of the barrel but he will learn that they may have a lot to offer when shit hits the fan and they find themselves on a wild ride with a girl named Aurora.

One thing that I loved about the characters is that they each have a different personality and background. It is easy to relate to one or more for different reasons and even if you can’t relate they have personalities that reel you in! They make it so easy to feel like you are a part of the squad!

When it comes to relationships, there are a couple times that you think certain ones in the squad will get together and then you realize nothing is as it seems. I am not going to say anymore than that because I don’t want to give anything away. I will say that I have a new book boyfriend and his name is Kal. I am here for him, okay!

There are great references to Middle-Earth and a character Jrr Tolkien created that everyone loves. It was a surprise and a fantastic one at that! So, if you aren’t really a fan of sci-fi but you love elves you should definitely pick this book up and be introduced to space elves because they will have you dreaming about them.

Kaufman and Kristoff never disappoint when it comes to their writing. They bring their characters and worlds to life and as a reader I find myself being swept away with ease into these worlds they create!

I absolutely loved this book and if you are a fan of the authors or want a book with a daring heist, a group of hilarious misfits, and crazy twists that will make you have an emotional hangover than this book is for you! Check it out and go preorder!

WWW Wednesday (4/3/19)

Book Tag

 

img_1384-0

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?

 

36118682

 

Currently Reading:
I am 28% through Wicked Saints and I am very intrigued so far! I am glad I got it so quickly from my library and can’t wait to continue it today.

 

 

40755416

 

Recently Finished:
I recently finished How to Make Friends with the Dark and it was a very interesting and sometimes heartbreaking read. I will have a review up for it within the next couple of weeks!

 

 

41042549.jpg

 

Reading Next:
I am going to finish up Voices next. I started it but then my current read came in and since it was a most anticipated read I just needed to read it right away!

 

The Devouring Gray: NetGalley Review

36535913Title: The Devouring Gray
Author: Christine Lynn Herman
Publication Date: April 2nd, 2019
Rating: 4 stars

eARC provided by publisher through NetGalley

->Click for Synopsis<-

The Devouring Gray is about a small town called Four Paths which is surrounded by woodlands. The founders of this town have been keeping secrets and their children aim to figure out what is really happening in those woods and stop the deaths that keep happening in their town.

This book was not what I was expecting but in a good way. It is filled with a lot of secrets surrounding the founding family’s and their abilities along with what is creeping in the woods. The plot for this book leaves you wanting more and honestly I am always up for a good founding family’s story especially when there is supernatural abilities at work.

When it came to the characters, a few of them were a little flat but it didn’t keep me from taking a interest in them and they kept me engaged throughout each page. It was interesting, and sometimes surprising, to see how far certain characters would go when it came to the power struggle of the town and the drama surrounding the families. I am hoping there will be a second book because it left off on a cliffhanger and there are so many questions I have left unanswered when it comes to Isaac.

The supernatural abilities are different for each person and even family members have a different one which I thought was cool. A few of those abilities were used but I think we will see more done with them in the second book (crossing my fingers).

This book is filled with suspense, super-human abilities, and a gang of young teens trying to keep their town safe from an evil that dates back farther than their ancestors. If you are a fan of Stranger Things or like a bit of supernatural than this book is definitely for you.

 

Never-Contented Things: NetGalley Review

39863312Title: Never-Contented Things
Author: Sarah Porter
Publication Date: March 19th, 2019
Rating: 1 star

eARC provided by publisher through NetGalley

->Click for Synopsis<-

Never-Contented Things follows foster-siblings Josh and Ksenia as they become entangled with fairies and find out that their gifts come with a price.

I had a few expectations going into this book because the synopsis mentioned fairies but what I read didn’t add up to anything I could have ever imagined and it got weird quick.

The weirdest, most uncomfortable part was the relationship between Josh and Ksenia. Of course, they aren’t actually siblings but she puts herself in a caregiver role so it just doesn’t seem right. Also, the word baby in this book was used one too many times and was very cringey.

Even if their relationship was not part of the book I didn’t like any of the characters. They were flat and Josh was rather annoying. I also thought that Prince would have a much larger role in the story than he did. There was enchantments at work but he was more of a behind-the-scenes guy as were a majority of the fairies. I wanted more fairies and a fairy world but the reality they were in was basically another version of the not siblings house.

Overall, I didn’t like this book for many reasons. This is one you have to go in with no expectations and probably without reading the synopsis. I hope others have more success with liking it because there are some great concepts but the execution was not there.

Dance of Thieves: Book Review

thegeekishbrunette review

 

Dance of Thieves_FINAL 9.18Title: Dance of Thieves
Author: Mary E. Pearson
Rating: 2 stars

->Click for Synopsis<-

Dance of Thieves follows a young former thief and the leader of an outlaw dynasty as they battle it out and fight for their lives and even their hearts.

Going into this book, I had a few expectations. I had seen many good reviews and was really excited to dive in. Unfortunately, it was a big let down for me and I just didn’t enjoy it.

The first character we are introduced to is Kazi, a former thief who now works for the queen. I couldn’t connect with her no matter how hard I tried. The Other main character of the book is Jace and just like Kazi, I just didn’t like him and couldn’t connect to him. Another reason, I didn’t like the book was the romance. They hated each other and not even half way through the book they were already thinking about wanting the other and I am just not a fan of instant attraction/love.

When it came to the plot, I couldn’t get into it either. It was slow paced in the beginning and I was hoping it would pick up but there just wasn’t enough action to keep me satisfied. Most of the time I can look over the plot or characters and still like a book but both were just a let down for me.

Overall, this book just wasn’t for me. There were too many things I didn’t like. I know many that have loved this book and rave about it so don’t let my review stop you! I think I just have an unpopular opinion and that is okay!

WWW Wednesday (2/20/19)

img_1384-0

 

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?

 

24763621

 

Current Read:

I am still reading Wintersong and it has taken me longer than usual due to being away and visiting family.

 

 

 

33643994Recently Finished:

I recently finished Daughter of a Pirate King and it was okay. I will have a review up for it sometime!

 

 

 

 

40590283

 

Reading Next:

I will be starting The Warrior Maiden and hope its really good!

Book Review: Legendary (Caraval #2) by Stephanie Garber

Title: Legendary
Author: Stephanie Garber
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: May 29th, 2018
Publisher: Flatiron Books

->Click for Synopsis<-

“Once a future is foretold, that future becomes a living thing and it will fight very hard to bring itself about.”

Legendary picks up right where Caraval ended. Julian, Dante, Scarlett, and Donatella are on their way to to the empire’s capital. Donatella must play the game this time and hope the price of winning is worth the cost.

This was by far my favorite of the series. I was hesitant about the characters in the first book but I grew to love them a whole lot more in this one. It was great to see Tella be the star of this book as it was written from her PoV whereas Caraval was from Scarlett’s. She is probably my favorite of the sisters and this solidified it.

I enjoyed the writing more in this one as well and could tell it improved from the first. The world building was the same but the details she added about characters were perfect. There was more talk about their mother and new characters were introduced throughout and I know some will have big roles in the next book.

The one big complaint I had about Caraval was the romance. Although the romance continued, it felt different and I didn’t hate it. I actually loved seeing Julian and Scarlett deal with issues between them and the surprised ending that involves the two. Dante and Tella are a great pair and I love the banter!

Overall, it was a great book and made me really fall in love with this series on a whole new level. It’s going to be hard to wait for the third because I must know the answers to unanswered questions! If you haven’t read this series, definitely check it out!