Genre: Fantasy

Review: Emily Wilde’s Map of the Otherlands

Posted January 24, 2024 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
Review: Emily Wilde’s Map of the Otherlands

It’s no secret that the first EMILY WILDE book was my favorite of 2023. I had high hopes and expectations that the same could be said about the second installment. Luckily, I ended up loving it! It took me a while to read but that’s because I ended up waiting for release week to mix in the audiobook I had preordered. I really enjoyed the first audiobook so it only felt right to keep that going! We follow Brambleby, Emily, her niece, and one of the other professors at their university in the Austrian Alps. She’s working on a map book this time and they hope to track down a lost professor of dryadology while they’re there. This story was just as whimsical and cozy as the first, with a dash of intrigue and danger where appropriate! I like that Emily has become more self-aware and able to recognize when she’s struggling to related to other people. The first book took a while for her to understand how to avoid insulting the locals. Emily was aware when she was messing things up with her niece and tried her best to fix them. We got to learn more about Brambleby’s world, which was a lot of fun. There were lots of faeries to meet and discuss along the way too. I know I’ve said this before but I was obsessed with faeries as a kid. Not the ACOTAR type but these small sprites and little mischievous ones. I don’t think this type […]

Review Roundup | The Maid, Bookshops and Bonedust, and Twilight Falls

Posted November 30, 2023 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Roundup | The Maid, Bookshops and Bonedust, and Twilight Falls

THE MAID is a book that I’ve debated reading for a while. I wasn’t sure if it would be for me but I ended up snagging a cute little paperback copy and staring at it on my shelves for a long time. I wasn’t sure what to read earlier this month and it was calling to me, so I picked it up. I won’t lie, it took me a while to get into. I wasn’t sure if I could get into Molly’s head. That ended up not being the issue but I’ll get to my thoughts in a second. This story follows Molly the maid, who stumbles upon the dead body of a frequent guest at the hotel she works at. She ends up getting mixed up in everything (a few crimes) without even knowing what’s going on. She struggles with social situations and appears to be neurodivergent (not given a name on page and everyone else seems to think she’s just quirky or “bad” at reading social cues). The book was hard to read for me in the first half. It just felt like she was getting taken advantage of over and over again by bad people, and I was really upset reading it. I don’t pick up books where people like this are being taken advantage of or bullied because honestly it’s one of those things that just hits me too hard. I contemplated DNFing multiple times because it was simply hard to read and I wasn’t sure […]

Review: Iron Flame

Posted November 13, 2023 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
Review: Iron Flame

Usually I do review round-ups at this point in my blogging life but because this book took me longer to read and I assumed I’d have more to say about it, I thought I would do an old-fashioned single book review here. It’s no secret that I did not love FOURTH WING as much as everyone else did. I ended up rating it higher than it probably deserved at 3.5 stars because of how addicting it was and how intriguing the ending was as well. I was curious to read IRON FLAME for sure and even preordered a copy to partake in the nonsense of release week with everyone else. I didn’t like the cringe-worthy romance and cheesy writing of the first book.  I really thought it was like a mash-up of every fantasy book written before. I can totally see why people read it and got similar nostalgic vibes of some early YA paranormal/fantasy books, but that didn’t make it a five-star read for me. The…interesting…writing was still very much present in this book. The conversations sounded so weird sometimes and language felt out of place. For example, she says at one point that her heart is beating like a hummingbird’s wings (or something like that). Are there hummingbirds in this world somehow? Just out there flying around with the dragons? Are there dogs and other normal animals too? The world-building here is so weird! Another moment that stuck out was when her and Rhiannon were chatting before class […]

Series Review: Once Upon a Broken Heart

Posted November 2, 2023 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
Series Review: Once Upon a Broken Heart

I was a huge fan of the CARAVAL trilogy and can’t really think of a good reason for not reading this spin-off trilogy until the same year the final book was released! I kept seeing amazing reviews where so many people read and loved this (without even reading CARAVAL). My expectations were pretty high. I decided to finally take the plunge and read all three books in October (right after another series binge by a favorite author). I didn’t remember anything from CARAVAL really but definitely found that you don’t need to. I think the backstory on Jacks and the previous trilogy as a whole were helpful in understanding the world for sure, but I can see why many people jumped right into these books. I would honestly recommend reading CARAVAL first though – that’s just my opinion! Without further ado, here are my thoughts on the ONCE UPON A BROKEN HEART trilogy. I was shocked at how quickly I read this book, considering that fantasy usually takes me a looong time to get through. I would absolutely recommend this series (as well as CARAVAL) to anyone who is curious about fantasy but nervous about understanding a new world. This is super accessible fantasy that anyone could read and enjoy IMO. Garber has a great writing style. This story follows Evangeline Fox and Jacks, the Prince of Hearts, from the first series. I really like that the synopsis doesn’t give away nearly anything in the book! You only learn that […]

TOG Review: Empire of Storms, Tower of Dawn, and Kingdom of Ash

Posted October 2, 2023 / Book Reviews / 1 Comment
TOG Review: Empire of Storms, Tower of Dawn, and Kingdom of Ash

I recently decided to reread the Throne of Glass series in order to finally finish it off and shared some thoughts on each of the first few books in the series. Now, we’re into the books I never got around to during my first read! I remember wanting to put off Empire of Storms for a few months after finishing Queen of Shadows just because I had read all of those initial books in such a short amount of time… but I just never got to it. Ever. Somehow??? I’m glad I decided to wait though because I was introduced to the concept of tandem reading for this book and Tower of Dawn. If you’re not familiar, someone realized that because Tower of Dawn and Empire of Storms take place at the same time but involve different characters in each book, you could read them at the same time and see what was happening with EVERYONE all at once. You basically read a few chapters in one book, switch and read some in the next, and keep going back and forth according to this schedule: I went through and bookmarked each section off so I knew when to switch back to the other book and its next set of chapters. I also kept this guide very handy just to be safe! I got both books in all formats (ebooks, hardcovers from the library, and audiobooks) so I could switch back and forth based on what I was doing. I had a weekend trip to Maine planned one weekend so I was […]

Series Review: Crowns of Nyaxia

Posted August 7, 2023 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
Series Review: Crowns of Nyaxia

(These titles are too long to include in the blog post title.) I surprised everyone on Threads when I put vampires last on my “fantasy creatures” ranking. Honestly it’s because I’ve basically only read TWILIGHT? I can’t think of many other vampire books I’ve actually read lol. Regardless, the hype was getting to me with this series! I read the first book on a whim a few days after I checked it out from the library, also on a whim. I wasn’t expecting to see it on the shelf! I thought it would be something I’d read on Kindle Unlimited when I did my annual “one month of KU” subscription to read a few things before cancelling. Once Jamie posted about loving it and reading it in 24 hours, I decided to just go for it. Yes, it delayed me finishing the ToG series yet again but it was worth it. I ended up also subscribing to KU so I could read it on the go, and then I figured I’d start the second book while I had the subscription. I was advised to actually read the novella (#1.5) in between the books so I went for that first, and then launched into the official second book. I’m sorry in advance for how this review is mostly built around a comparison to FOURTH WING, but hear me out. I basically heard about these books at the same time. Both were popular romantasy series getting SO much hype out of nowhere. […]

ARC Review: Something Close to Magic

Posted June 12, 2023 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
ARC Review: Something Close to Magic

I’m a huge Emma Mills fan. Every New Years Day for a few years in a row, I would hang out and read her next release that day, basically in one sitting, to start the New Year off on the right foot. I think I still have one contemporary romance from her backlist to read but I was really excited to see her foray into fantasy… especially one that sounded on the cozier side! I’ll admit that it took me a while to get into this. I think the problem was mostly having to read on my iPad because of the file type but I also just wasn’t hooked like I thought I would be. Her writing style is really different here and fantasy-oriented. I never would have guessed it was her writing without knowing. It just took a little getting used to! There are some elements of her signature clever dialogue between the characters though, so that helped! The story centers around Auralie, a baker’s apprentice in a small village, who suddenly finds herself hanging out with trolls and princes and bounty hunters. They go on a little quest at the beginning and then there’s an interlude of letter-writing (cute!) before some fun drama and action at the end. I’d definitely say this qualifies as a cozy fantasy because it’s breezy and fun to read while not having high-stakes action and worldbuilding. The second half of this book honestly REALLY took off for me. The trouble I had trying […]

Review Roundup | What Happened to Ruthy Ramirez, Fourth Wing, and The Last Word

Posted June 1, 2023 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Roundup | What Happened to Ruthy Ramirez, Fourth Wing, and The Last Word

This book was lowkey one of my most anticipated for the year. It just seemed like such an intriguing premise! Ruth Ramirez went missing after track practice when she was a kid and her family hasn’t been the same since. When one of her sisters sees “Ruthy” on a reality TV show, they are convinced that it’s really her. The synopsis reveals a bit more information that doesn’t even happen until the end of the book, so I’ll cut it off there. The story alternates between the three remaining members of the Ramirez family (with a few chapters from Ruthy’s POV sprinkled in): Jessica, Nina, and Dolores (their mom). It’s really a portrait of a grieving family and a story about where their lives went in the years since Ruthy went missing. The father of the family died soonafter and the rest had to carry on. It’s more “slice of life” despite the premise sounding a bit more meaty. I appreciated how real and raw it felt but it lacked a bit of depth. It kind of showed them going about their daily lives without going down one more level. The family’s Puerto Rican heritage was front and center throughout the story, which I definitely enjoyed reading about. The synopsis includes that it’s a “vivid family portrait, in all its shattered reality, exploring the familial bonds between women and cycles of generational violence, colonialism, race, and silence, replete with snark, resentment, tenderness, and, of course, love.” – All of these […]

Rereading & Finishing the Throne of Glass Series

Posted May 19, 2023 / Book Reviews / 5 Comments
Rereading & Finishing the Throne of Glass Series

I read and really enjoyed the first five books (this includes the prequel bind-up) in the Throne of Glass series back in the day and never got around to finishing it. Obviously it’s having a resurgence thanks to booktok and all the girlies reading SJM books, so I’ve been really tempted to get back into it. I asked my Instagram followers if I should just read a recap of the books through Queen of Shadows and then dive into the final three books OR reread the series to bang it out, and most people voted for the reread. I have to say, I’m REALLY glad I went that route! My bookish memory has always been absolute garbage and rereading it has been like reading it for the first time. I barely remember ANYTHING that happened. Like…nothing haha. I haven’t read many fantasy books over the last few years simply because they’re usually a time commitment for me – I read them very slowly. A lot of them are loooong too, especially books by SJM. I just haven’t had the ability to do it when my reading has been so bad since 2020. I’m really in a good reading rhythm now and am feeling like my old self, so it’s time to enter my fantasy era again. This has been a great way to do it! Rather than reviewing them all again after rereading, I’m including my Goodreads review screenshots with some updates and links to my original reviews here for the first few […]

Review Roundup | The Escape Room and Legends & Lattes

Posted May 11, 2023 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 2 Comments
Review Roundup | The Escape Room and Legends & Lattes

I’ve been working my way through Goldin’s books and she’s quickly become one of my favorite mystery/thriller authors. An absolute auto-read for me. (I’ve got one more backlist title to go now!) THE ESCAPE ROOM was on my radar but I never got around to it because I’ve always thought I don’t like locked room mysteries. I’m definitely curious to keep testing that theory because I think it’s wrong haha – I enjoy ones like this! It’s so intriguing to have two timelines or POVs and see what’s happening separate from the “locked room” (in this case, an elevator). This story centers around a few shitty financial/banking people who get trapped in an “escape room” elevator together. The other POV is Sara, a girl who busted her ass in the company’s graduate program and how she started rising up the ranks. Once the story gets going, there are some good twists and turns – I always found myself eager to check out what was happening in the other POV, which kept me turning the pages. I did finish this book in one day (great audiobook, btw!) but I don’t think I would classify it to other people as unputdownable. I just had the right kind of day to sit down and read or listen to the audiobook while multi-tasking all day. I do think it’s quite predictable overall – I wasn’t shocked by the ending and there was a lot of explanation and backstory when it got toward the end. […]