Bentwhistle in A Threat from the Past Review

Greetings readers!

I finished this book a little while ago, but it isn’t until now that I can finally sit down and have some coherent thoughts about it. This book was provided to me by the author, Paul Cude. Thank you Paul for allowing me to read your work!

A Threat From The Past New Cover (Reduced)

Bentwhistle the Dragon in A Threat from the Past is an adventure story children and adults alike will love, about the present day world in which dragons disguised as humans have infiltrated the human race at almost every level, to guide and protect them. Three young dragons in their human guises become caught up in an evil plot to steal a precious commodity, vital to the dragon community. How will the reluctant hero and his friends fare against an enemy of his race from far in the past? Fascinating insights into the dragon world are interspersed throughout the book. Ever wondered how dragons travel below ground at almost the speed of sound? Or how they use magical mantras to transform their giant bodies into convincing human shapes? In an action packed adventure that features both human and dragon sports, you’ll get a dragon-like perspective on human social issues and insight into what to do if you meet a giant spider grinning at you when you’re wearing nothing but your smile! You’d be flamin’ mad to miss it.

 

Well…hmmm…what can I say? It is just not for me. The dragons disguised as humans had potential to make a great story, but I just couldn’t mesh with this story in particular. It was too juvenile for me and I never found my self truly entertained.

What I Liked

It Was Funny: I will not lie there were some parts of this book where I was laughing. It wasn’t outrageously comedic, but some of the scenes or comebacks that the characters came up with had me cracking up. This definitely made up for some of the more boring scenes in the story.

Peter Was Not Broody but Still Fun: A lot of the main characters in a lot of fantasy books, especially those who are male, are typically dark, mysterious, cunning, know-it-alls . As much as I like that type, it is also a breath of fresh air to see and MC who is not all “Follow me, peasants. I actually know what I am doing.” Peter was different, he was very soft and unsure of himself. He did have times where his anger would cause him to make unwise decisions, but that happens to all of us, so we forgive him.

The Transition from Dragon world to Earth: It was fun to read about how the dragon world worked in relation to modern earth time. It was a neat setting to explore, although I wish it could have spent a little more time there.

What I Disliked

It Dragged On!: Holy cannoli. Geez Louis. I could have been finished this book a lot sooner if there weren’t so many unnecessary scenes. There were two problems. Either a whole lot of nothing would happen and a whole week would pass in book time OR one scene would stretch on forever and ever. This book should have been shorter.

Plus the chapters were so looooooooonnnnnnnnnnnnnggggggggggg. Rendz cannot do long chapters. That is a NEGATIVE.

I Could Spot the Plot Revelations A Mile Away: I knew who the bad guy and secret hero were as soon as they walked onto the page. There was no surprise. I knew how things would go down! There was maybe one thing I didn’t see coming, but still. One is never enough.

First Chapter Fumbles: I found the whole first chapter insignificant to the rest of the story. It DOES have a connection, but that connection could have been explained in a paragraph, maybe two. Instead it got a whole chapter!

The Writing Style: It was not my favourite. He would often put something in brackets to highlight certain expressions. (Like this!!! It would literally be in the book like this!!!) I’m not even exaggerating the use of exclamation marks. The writing was very juvenile, it was choppy and just not for me, sorry. 


Overall, it was just not my cup of tea. I had to drag myself into finishing it because I felt like I had already postponed this for far too long. So yeah…I am supposed to read the next two books as well, but I don’t think that will happen any time soon….

Rating: 2.5 / 5 stars

Recommend: I can’t really recommend anything under 3 stars…

Alright, so I am currently under a lot of blog stress as I have much to do in a short amount of time! This is what I get for Net Galley binges!

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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The Crown’s Fate Review

Greetings readers!

I am still making my way through these May reviews! I think this is my last one for May? Yes…maybe not….Oh well we shall see. I’m coming to you today with a long awaited sequel that I hope you enjoy reading about. And as always it is totally spoiler free. Though I wouldn’t read the synopsis if you haven’t read the first one…just a tip!

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Goodreads Summary

Russia is on the brink of great change. Pasha’s coronation approaches, and Vika is now the Imperial Enchanter, but the role she once coveted may be more difficult—and dangerous—than she ever expected.

Pasha is grappling with his own problems—his legitimacy is in doubt, the girl he loves loathes him, and he believes his best friend is dead. When a challenger to the throne emerges—and with the magic in Russia growing rapidly—Pasha must do whatever it takes to keep his position and protect his kingdom.

For Nikolai, the ending of the Crown’s Game stung deeply. Although he just managed to escape death, Nikolai remains alone, a shadow hidden in a not-quite-real world of his own creation. But when he’s given a second chance at life—tied to a dark price—Nikolai must decide just how far he’s willing to go to return to the world.

With revolution on the rise, dangerous new magic rearing up, and a tsardom up for the taking, Vika, Nikolai, and Pasha must fight—or face the destruction of not only their world but also themselves.

After the ending of The Crown’s Game, I was in major shock and heartbreak because *certain things happen*! Anyways, this has been a book I was waiting on forever for! I didn’t get a chance to read an ARC, but I put an early hold on it at my library. I read this in two days. I read 100 pages on night one and then on night two I distinctly remember saying “Ah F*** it, I might as well just finish these last 300 pages of the book tonight.” And I did!

What I Liked:

Characters:

Vika: Fierce. Powerful. A little too hot-headed but I loved her in every way! She is an inspiration and so brave! I wouldn’t be able to go through half of the things she went through. I love her and her sense of style. A simple green dress with a yellow sash is all you need!

(pssstt….Mandy….she is totally Merida!)

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Nikolai: He takes a dark path in this novel, but he is still such a gentlemen. He goes through some major changes and struggles I just wanted to hug him all the time. There were other times when I wanted to throttle him, but I still rooted for him through and through. It wasn’t his fault, but he needed to find away to get out of the bad situation!

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Pasha: The cute adorable prince. I struggled with him a little because he had no spine for most of this novel. He had to find a way to build a backbone, to believe in his ability to become Tsar. I know it is not an easy thing to do, but what Pasha did in this novel was grow and learn to trust himself!

Renata and Yuliana were meh. I neither liked or disliked them. Sometimes Yuliana was just so mean and ugh!, but I loved her cold demeanor too!

Replace “fabulous” with intelligent, cunning and royal and you’ve got Yuliana…never mind just keep fabulous as well!

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Romanov Russia: I know nothing about the Romanovs or the history of Russia during their rule. BUT I adored the setting. It felt cold, imperial and very majestic. I thought the world was well thought out and I could imagine St. Petersburg square perfectly, despite never having actually gone there! It definitely fit the direction of the story!

Magic! Magic! Magic!: I loved the two types of magic in this series. there is Vika’s nature-y magic and Nikolai’s more technical tailored magic. There was also some heavy dark magic used  in the story and Renata’s tea leaf readings, which still amaze me!

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A Second Unofficial Crown’s Game: The original Crown’s Game is very different from the “Crown’s Game” played by the characters in this novel. It was a lot darker, sneakier and more ruthless. This book held a war, both within the characters and between the characters themselves. It was highly entertaining. There is a reason it is called The Crown’s FATE!

The Romance: Hmmm…well this one is a doozy. Since it is a triangle. And although this book doesn’t focus too much on the “love” aspect, I felt that certain characters were influenced too much by their feelings of love…or jealousy. That being said, I wouldn’t say it bothered me too much because the #2 reason (in my opinion, #1 being power) that humans enter into conflict is because of emotions. Jealousy, cowardice, anger and even love lead us to make some not-so-smart choices that can lead to some not-so-great things!

The Words “And I didn’t forget”: *heart mushes*

What I Disliked:

It Was Slow: A whole lot of nothing happened in many chapters. Many of the chapters were short and sweet, which I liked, but I never got INVESTED into the characters story line. Nikolai’s chapters in particular carried similar content. I will not disclose it, but it had a lot of dark stuff without the excitement!

The Random Addition of Folklore: If this Fish king Voyandoy or whatever was worth mentioning then why was his story never developed, or explored. Or that scene with Vika in the volcano with the fire nymph or whatever. Like hello…what was this for? I’m curious!

It Was An Ending…Yet…I Was Just Left Hanging: The ending battle scene and after-battle scenes were perfect. It game me some major TLC vibes for a particular reason, hence why I love Vika even more by the end! All was glorious and filled my heart. BUT…this darn BUT. It just was an ending…not THE ending. I needed to know more! More! More!

It Is Not Love Just A Like: I did not LOVE this sequel, I ENJOYED it IMMENSELY but it just could not grasp me. Perhaps it is the meh ending or the course that the story took. It was really dark and I was hoping for more fluff. I don’t know…it’s just I didn’t love love it and I wanted to love love it but I can’t because the events of the story do not stick to me and haunt me! It’s more of a like-love. You get me?


Yet, despite everything I really enjoyed it! I will miss these characters so much! I wish and dream and hope that Evelyn will write more stories about these characters! I am however, curious about the ALTERNATE ending that was floating about with the pre-orders. I’ve entered a contest to try and win…so here is to hoping!

If you want to read some of my favourite quotes accompanied by some funny gifs, just scroll down my twitter feed or check out #TheCrownsFate.

Rating: 4 / 5 Stars 

Recommend: Yes, if you’re in the mood for a little historical fantasy in Russia! Go for it!

That’s all for me. If you have read this book feel free to comment your thoughts below! Or tell me about your favourite historical fiction book! I love recommendations!!

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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Maz Reviews Three Dark Crowns

Greetings readers!

I’m coming to you with my sister Maz’s review for our buddy read, Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake.

Maz expressed her reaction to me through an email. It was short, but it contained a few curse words and many exclamation points, so if you want to know more about her frustration read her review below!

Also, mini-reminder that at the end of June we will have a discussion post going up about this book. We can chat characters, theories and opinions in the comments that day!

Enjoy Maz’s review below!

*Didn’t miss a review by Rendz or Kez? Fear not just click on their names for more!*


Hi there, this is Maz (I know weird pen name but Rendz has a theme going if you haven’t figured it out yet)

Anyway, keep reading for my tragic first attempt ever at writing a book review starrrring Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

 

So… where to begin… wheeeerrrrrreeee to begin…

 

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FRUSTRATED SIGH…

 

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I want to say I liked this book, I really do, but I’d be lying if I said I fell in love with it. Don’t get me wrong this story had a lot of good things going for it and that ending…

 

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Well let’s just say it has captured enough of my attention to want to read the next one. But what gets me so frustrated are some of the decisions that were made and the unnecessary existence of a somewhat love triangle. I mean is it really a love triangle, are we really going to call it that? Well, all I can say for sure is that I DID NOT APPRECIATE IT. Also, it’s going to be a long time before a certain someone’s name doesn’t get me so worked up and angry.

But let’s start at the beginning shall we. As Rendz instructed I started this book with the mindset that I had to support my designated queen a.k.a Mirabella. I mean it’s cool that there are three sisters in this book, it sounds like it would be easy to relate to, besides the fact that they are triplets and are trying to kill each other. However, I can’t say that Mirabella was my favourite of the three by the end. Instead that honor fell to the one, the only, Arsinoe.

I liked her, I really did. I liked the person she was and the way she thought. Yes, she knew that she was probably going to lose to her sisters and had no chance of surviving but that never stopped her from living a happy care-free life. Arsinoe embraced who she was; flaws and all, and I really appreciated that. What I didn’t appreciate were the results of that bear incident. And no Rendz, I don’t care if it’s shallow, I’ve got my limits and that surpassed them.

So why not one of the other two queens, might you ask? Well even though I liked Katherine, I mostly felt sorry for her. I think that out of all three sisters she was dealt the most hardships in life and grew up quite lonely. Plus, I wish we got to see more from her, I feel that her story came in third after the other two queens. That being said, what I liked most about Katherine was that despite growing up in the environment that she did she never let it corrupt her. She came across (to me at least) as a sweet soul and I just really wanted to save her. But maybe I don’t need to because her last scene really got me routing for her and in her corner.

Lastly, Mirabella. What can I say; I now understand why Rendz would yell at me while she was reading it. I liked her at the start. I appreciated her questioning her destiny and that of her sisters and thinking that bloodshed could be avoided. But then the ship started to sink or perhaps the wrong one started to set sail. I don’t blame her for everything but it got to the point of ridiculous. I mean really? WHY? JUST WHY?

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Annnddd that is all I’m going to say about it because if I keep going this review will never end. Let’s just say this is the reason why I get so angry every time I think about this book.

Now, one last thing before I end my ranting.

Jules. (*snickers*, Rendz is going to go after me)

I get it, she’s Arsinoe’s best friend, but so is Bree to Mirabella, and I don’t know about you but I don’t see Bree getting as much attention, so why give Jules such a big role. Going into this book I thought we were going to have three main protagonists, but then you have to go and throw a fourth into the mix. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I liked Jules and I hate what was done to her (read to find out what) but I was kind of surprised then annoyed that we got introduced to her before Arsinoe. In my opinion, it almost felt, and I still feel this way, as if their roles were reversed. Jules, to me, felt more like the main hero and Arsinoe was her sidekick.

(Rendz: JULES DESERVES THE WORLD!)

So what do I rate this book?…

3 out of 5 stars.

I can’t give it a four. I wish I could but one event kept overshadowing everything else from its occurrence on and even with all the excitement of finally reaching the Beltane and having all three queens in one place showing off (or not *wink wink*) their stuff; that one thing kept rearing its ugly head and ruining everything for me.


Well what did you all think? Did Maz make some good points? Feel free to ask her any questions in the comments I’ll let her know and get a response to you!

Now, I’m sure you are probably all tired of reading reviews so….be prepared for the spoiler-y discussion post! You have a couple of weeks to read this book if you haven’t already! Spread the word about the RKM Discussion as that would really be appreciated!

Until next time!

Happy reading!

~ Rendz (and Maz!)

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Kez Reviews Three Dark Crowns

Greetings readers!

Boy, oh boy are you in for a treat! I finally wrangled one of my sisters into getting their reviews done! If you didn’t know, my two sisters and I buddy read Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake and we will each have a review posted along with a spoiler-y discussion towards the end of June!

Watching Kez react to this book was one of the most hilarious things I have seen! Her anger, heartbreak and just pure rage had me rolling over and in tears of laughter! She is not one to hide her feelings!

So I bring her Spoiler Free review to you today! Enjoy reading it as much as I did 😉!

Three Dark Crowns (Three Dark Crowns, #1)

via Goodreads

When kingdom come, there will be one.

In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born—three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.

But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose…it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins.

The last queen standing gets the crown.


 

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This was me at the end of the book for lots and lots of reasons. Lord I needed help.

I have no clue where to start because my emotions are everywhere for this book but let’s start at the beginning shall we?

I was intrigued by the premise of the book. Three queens but only one winner; sounds awesome. I think I envisioned this going many different ways none of which came close to the actual story.

The beginning was slow paced (some might argue too slow) but I don’t fault Kendare Blake for it because well she had to give us the background story to three different protagonists and how they relate to one another. There was enough detail for us to build a connection with the characters and understand their decision making. The Beltane festival was also probably one of my favourite moments of the book (after figuring out what it meant) because it was the ultimate culmination of what we were waiting for: Poisons vs Elements vs Nature.

Would I have preferred a bit more action throughout,  I do love action. (Just not the action Ms. Blake chose… more on that later). 

So let’s meet the three queens.

Katharine: Oh Katy, Katy, Katy. I like you. I’m not like a super-fan but you’ve got me hooked. (Now you just gotta reel me in) I almost want to say she’s may favourite queen because by the end of the book there was so much mystery surrounding her; but I think I gotta give my crown to Arsinoe. Where does Katherine fit in now that we know about Arsinoe? How did she get out of that hole? Will she and Pietyr have a lovers quarrel? And REVENGE on who???!!??)

It was sad to read about her difficult upbringing due to the minimal amounts of affection and how she tried to stay strong. Yet, she’s resilient. I like that. I enjoyed her parts with Pietyr ( I love romance). Problem was she was kinda a flat character till the very end. I would’ve appreciated a little more spice.

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Arsinoe: This is me! And well, we kinda mesh, maybe. I like Arsinoe. I can’t lie when I say that I was a bit annoyed at how her moments were initially over shadowed by Jules but eventually you come to enjoy Jules and their friendship. Since this was my designated queen, I was always on Arsinoe’s side from beginning to end. My support for her never faded and I knew she would be kickass! She was headstrong (like me 😃) and so not shallow (oops not so like me 😝). It made me sad when she was so resolute about dying because she thought she had no chance but didn’t let it stop her from living her life.

I think my favourite part of this book was Arsinoe and Billy. ❤ I can’t give too much away because Rendz is a stickler about spoilers but I loved their banter and how it wasn’t full “I love you” proclamations but they built a relationship that was stronger than the other romantic relationships in the book. I cannot wait to read more about her after she made her final discovery which by the way I totally saw coming. (You need to read to find out what it is)

Mirabella: She can go to hell and burn. The end.

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Okay fine. I liked her at the beginning. I appreciated how she still had some memories about her sisters and did not want to kill them. She was strong and also struggled with her role. OK.

BUT when she shoved her way into someone’s relationship (not cool); tampered with his head and despite knowing that he was in relationship still got naked with him. Well I wrote her off. I forgot about her whole story line after this. She is irrelevant to my life.

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Here is my main issue with this book. I feel like some secondary characters (cough cough, Joseph) and their roles/story plots overshadowed that of the queens, specifically Katharine and Arsinoe. You became more interested in those details and I feel like that took away from being able to fully get with the characters. I am not sure why Ms. Blake did not do this with Mirab*** because I would have been okay with it. (I still don’t like her). For some reason you always had to learn about the main protagonist via the secondary characters, which makes me hope the sequel is more voiced through the queen’s perspective.

Otherwise I loved the concept of magic, low magic and how it’s a matriarchal society. Go girl power! It was fun to read about everyone’s conniving plots to win and stop the others. It was a well written book and although the messy love triangle still irks at my brain and heart; I am obviously going to read the sequel to learn how it all concludes. That being said if the sequel goes south … well my second review will probably be very short.

Conclusion: 3.5 out 5 crowns 

And Joseph the following gif is for you 😈

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Well, wasn’t that entertaining. I hope you all enjoyed Kez’s review. Please feel free to comment any thoughts, agreements or disagreements! (Kez: Um…no disagreements!) I’ll let her know so she can write back to you.

Meanwhile, stay tuned for Maz’s review tomorrow! She has some more opinions to add! And don’t forget that we will be having a spoiler-y discussion post going up at the end of June!!

Happy reading!

~ Rendz (and Kez!)
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Three Dark Crowns Review

Greetings readers!

This is the fourth book I read in May…I’m falling behind on reviews! Life has become busier and while I get reading done, finding time to write is hard! Still I have this done for you all and more coming on the way! Enjoy!

Three Dark Crowns (Three Dark Crowns, #1)

via Goodreads

Goodreads Summary

When kingdom come, there will be one.

In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born—three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.

But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose…it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins.

The last queen standing gets the crown.

I should have read this novel a long time ago! I have had it since October and only until this month did I finally pick it up! It has gotten some mixed reviews but overall I enjoyed it! It was the dark fantasy I was expecting but something was missing. Read on for more!

What I Liked:

Characters:

Arsinoe: She was ultimately my favourite queen of the three. She was fierce, funny and gave no Fs. Yes she was “weak” in the sense that she had no power to use and everybody in her Naturalist city hated her for that fact, but I loved that she lived through it anyways. She found a way to strong without magic. She had bite and snark and I just totally loved her!

Katherine: (aka ME) She is my adorable cinnamon role that I need to protect and love! Kat had a suckish life. Like her life sucked! She had it rough. She was also weak but she had been trained anyways, having to consume poison after poison. Constantly getting sick and suffering the effects, in other words…her life sucked! Yet I found her quite charming and as we got to know her she became stronger! I wish that she had been explored further because her story got cut because of other characters that lived in her city. Still I loved her and cannot wait to see her get her vengeance because let me tell you her LIFE SUCKED TO THE END!

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JULES: MY PRECIOUS CINNAMON ROLL WHO SUFFERED SO MUCH. OH MY GOD! IF I THOUGHT KAT’S LIFE SUCKED, READING HERS WAS THE ULTIMATE TORTURE! This girl could never catch a break. Never. She was not a queen, but as a Beltane Begot (a person born on the same day as the queens) she is special. She is powerful. I loved her relationship with her familiar, Camden. A mountain cat! So cool. I also loved her friendship with Arsinoe, especially when they went through their rough times! Jules was loyal, fierce, caring and brave! She deserves all the happiness in the world!!!!! GOSH KENDARE CAN SHE JUST BE HAPPY FOR ONCE!

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Billy: He is a secondary character but I found him adorable and quirky. He is SO passionate and funny, especially when he is around Arsinoe. His loyalty to Arsinoe was so precious and I loved that they have a friendship……even though I secretly hope it becomes more……

As for Mirabella, I don’t hate her…I was just never particularly too concerned with her or her story line. I found her quite petty actually and there are some things I just might never forgive her for even if she didn’t know certain other things!

Setting: Having the map really helped organize the three different power houses. It was interesting how Fennbirn worked and how each city had different traditions to celebrate the queens and Beltane. It gave off the dark mood perfectly. It was never sunny in this world to me, everything was always dark and gloomy, much like the lives of the characters!

Magic system: I thought it was really cool. The Poisoners were obviously my favourite! Hello, you cannot die after consuming poison! The other two powers, elemental and naturalist were cool. They were almost too similar but as the book went on I understood the differences and the techniques that each power system used.

The Beltane Plot: Okay so I’ll be honest it took me a while to figure out what Beltane was and then I read the summary again and realized that it is the day the Queen is chosen. Am I right? Anyways it was super interesting and super dark. It is literally the day one sister is chosen and two others are put on the chopping block. The Beltane happened rather quickly and soooooooooooooooooo many things happened. So many! It had the action, the magic and the suspense that the beginning of the book lacked.

The Short Chapters: I LOVE SHORT CHAPTERS. THAT IS WHEN THINGS START GETTING INTENSE! IT JUST MAKES THE PAGE FLIPPING EVEN MORE FUN! AND LET ME TELL YOU THESE SHORT CHAPTERS WERE KILLER!

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What I Disliked

Who are these Warrior people, I didn’t get it?: Okay so maybe I understand it now, after careful reflection of the story, but as I was reading it, I just had no clue who they were and what their purpose was! I felt like they were just thrown into the story for fun. Perhaps in the next one they will have a grander reason to be present.

Slow and Confusing Beginning: So many people were introduced, it was all too much to take in at once. There are the three major queens and they each have three or four side characters! I was confusing people many times and since the chapter headers are locations rather than names I had to take the time to figure out where we were and who was there!

Side Character Over-Shadowing: I’m sure you’ll hear more about this from my sisters, but the side characters especially in Katherine’s and Arsinoe’s stories almost take over their voices. Arsinoe gets her spotlight eventually, but I feel like Katherine was pushed back by Natalie so I never really got the chance to see good development from Kat which makes me sad because she is my queen!

It Didn’t Blow Me Away: Don’t get me wrong it was great story..it just didn’t knock off my socks. It was mellow in some areas and I was able to predict the end twist from the beginning of the story which made the ending very anti-climatic! I mean I was happy that I was right *yay theories*….but I also wanted to be wrong. XD There was a lot of information thrown in this novel but not enough time from the queens themselves. 

Doesn’t take away from the story but…:

DEAR KENDARE,
CAN JOSEPH SAUNDRIN PLEASE FALL OF A CLIFF AND INTO A BLACK HOLE IN THE SEQUEL. YOU SEEMED TO HAVE CUT THAT PART OUT OF THIS ONE!
THANK YOU,
~ RENDZ

I hate that guy and Madrigal.

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Overall it was a good book. Not exactly the mind-blowing fantasy with three queens I was hoping it would be but I did enjoy it a lot. It had me raging for quite a while, so that it always a good sign! It was definitely dark, I’ll tell you that. A lot of death. A lot of betrayal. A lot of suffering!

Rating: 4 / 5 stars ( Not a love 4 stars, but a good 4 stars! In other words I need to update my rating system so I don’t confuse myself!)

Recommend: It’s summer! Do you want something dark, cold, and magical? Then try this! 😉

So this is MY review. There will be reviews coming from my sisters in the near future once I wrangle them! If you missed the announcement I’m reading this book with my sisters! Rendz, Kez and Maz Read Three Dark Crowns is going to be three reviews (mine included) and a spoiler-y discussion post in June! If you have read the book, stay tuned for that post!

That’s all for now, let me know what the darkest book you have ever read is! Or the happiest! I’m good with either!

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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Quinsey Wolfe’s Glass Vault Review

Greetings readers!

I am slowly making my way through my NetGalley reads! I’ll get to them all, you’ll see! I decided to pick this book up over another one of my NG reads because I found out that it was released last week, so I wanted to get to it soon.

This book was actually written by a local blogger Candace Robinson over @ Literary Dust. If you are interested in learning more about her books visit her blog.

Quinsey Wolfe's Glass Vault (Glass Vault, #1)

via Goodreads

Goodreads Summary

Some see it… Some don’t…

People in the town of Deer Park, Texas are vanishing. There is a strange museum, known as Quinsey Wolfe’s Glass Vault, that appears overnight. Perrie Madeline’s best friend and ex-boyfriend are among the missing. Perrie, along with her friend August, go on a pursuit to search for them in the mysterious museum. Could the elusive Quinsey Wolfe’s Glass Vault have anything to do with their disappearances?

A book that intertwines horror elements and retellings, with humor and darkness

*I was provided a free copy via NetGalley*

Hmmmm where do I begin. Ah, I know.

Retellings.

Retellings. BUT with a twist. A DARK twist. A really dark twist. This book was sold to me with the promise of horrorish-retellings with a bit of humour and darkness. I got exactly that. I really enjoyed this novel quite a bit. Going in I didn’t know exactly what to expect other then well, retellings and horror. Now I am not a huge horror fan (since I am a wimp), but this novel did the horror aspect in a very gruesome yet Rendz-readable way.

Perrie, Maisie, August and Neven went on a grand adventure in this book. Not every turn of events was good, in fact they were all actually bad! These poor characters suffered a lot in this book and they never got a break. Perrie was a great main character, she was brave despite the situations she was put in. Maisie was the best character. So fun, loving and adventurous. Perhaps a little too adventurous so it led to a lot of trouble! Neven, although he is not very developed or present in the story, he played an important role in Perrie’s life and was the cause for many of her decisions. Then there is August. August, August, August…sweet and innocent August. Oh August!

I really liked the missing persons element to the story, it kept me on my toes. Who would go missing next, why would they go missing and where are they? It added to the spookier elements of the story as more “important” people went missing. Then there was the mysterious Glass Vault that was so elusive until the characters entered it and all the craziness began to occur. Along the way there were different clues that I picked up on, but did I infer the grand revelation at the end? NOPE! Nothing prepared me for the ending. It was awesome.

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via giphy.com

Now, I’d like to think that the horror aspects of this novel were in terms of how gruesome it could be at times. There is a lot of blood spilled, many lives lost. It was not scary-scary but it was difficult to read sometimes. It’s one of those books where you can feel the pain some of the characters are going through! It was gruesome, but fun! I enjoyed it. *I am not a blood thirsty maniac*

My absolute favourite part (which I failed to mention at the beginning of my review 😉 ) is the retelling aspect. There are retellings of fairy tales, nursery rhymes and legends! The first three retellings are based off of stories that are actually deemed scary, but the last two I would have never seen that horror aspect in them. Specifically the fourth one. Damn, that was gruesome.

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via giphy.com

Despite all the goodness there was some room for improvement. The writing style was not my favourite. Perrie, like used like in like every sentence, like it got, like annoying. It even got like, even worse when she like started using even and like together. I’m sorry, teenagers don’t always talk like that. They do, just not all the time. It was very repetitive and took away from my reading experience.

Also, I was not a fan of Perrie’s consistent flash backs and backstories. There were more important things happening in the moment that she should not have been focusing on the time when Maisie and her played in the garden or when she went to prom. There were more important things to think about!

Other than those few setbacks, I really enjoyed this novel. It was entertaining, spooky and mysterious. I absolutely ADORED the ending because it was a slap in the face and I kept thinking about it days after I had finished the novel. Candace, if you read this and you are ever willing to write me a sequel or tell me what happens after that ending. I am here!

Rating: 4 / 5 stars (After giving it an initial 3.75, I bumped it up because the ending people. The ending.)

Recommend: For those looking for a spooky, mysterious and fast read!

I know what you are all thinking “This is not how Rendz typically formats her reviews, what is up?”. I decided to give this format a try. It’s not my favourite way of writing reviews, but it’s not bad. However, I think my next review will be formatted like how I usually do!

I hope you all consider picking up Candice’s book. She is also running a Goodreads giveaway if you want to check that out here!

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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The Education of Margot Sanchez Review

Greetings readers!

For basically all of my reading life, I have been looking for books that have a little Latino flare. Why? The answer is obvious, I’m Latina. There aren’t many and if there are they are usually not fantasy which is my genre! There have been some recent fantasies like Labyrinth Lost (which I still have to get to) and The Girl of Fire and Thorns which has a little Spanish fire.

Then I stumbled upon this book. The Education by Margot Sanchez by Lilliam Rivera. We all know, contemporary is not always my favourite thing. I only like certain types of contemporaries and even then I am very, very picky. It said that this book was “Pretty in Pink” meets the Bronx, I haven’t seen that movie or ever been to the Bronx so I was a little hesitant if I would like it or not.

Luckily I did.

The Education by Margot Sanchez by Lilliam Rivera

The Education of Margot Sanchez

via Goodreads

Goodreads Summary

Pretty in Pink comes to the South Bronx in this bold and romantic coming-of-age novel about dysfunctional families, good and bad choices, and finding the courage to question everything you ever thought you wanted—from debut author Lilliam Rivera.

THINGS/PEOPLE MARGOT HATES:

Mami, for destroying my social life
Papi, for allowing Junior to become a Neanderthal
Junior, for becoming a Neanderthal
This supermarket
Everyone else

After “borrowing” her father’s credit card to finance a more stylish wardrobe, Margot
Sanchez suddenly finds herself grounded. And by grounded, she means working as an indentured servant in her family’s struggling grocery store to pay off her debts.

With each order of deli meat she slices, Margot can feel her carefully cultivated prep school reputation slipping through her fingers, and she’s willing to do anything to get out of this punishment. Lie, cheat, and maybe even steal…

Margot’s invitation to the ultimate beach party is within reach and she has no intention of letting her family’s drama or Moises—the admittedly good looking but outspoken boy from the neighborhood—keep her from her goal.

I would first like to say that this was like reading a telenovela. If you don’t know what that is, it is basically a Spanish soap opera. You have the rich people, the poor people, the drugs, the hot dudes, the family dynamic and of course the DRAMA! Telenovelas can either be a hit or miss for me. Fortunately, this novel was a major hit for me!

What I Liked:

Characters:

Margot: Margot…Margot…Margot. I had a love/hate relationship with her. There were times, especially in the beginning of the novel where I couldn’t stand her. She was petty. P.E.T.T.Y. She made some really dumb decisions and her naïveté was at sky high levels. Yet, I understood her. I understood that her need to fit in with her clique from school, her desperation to appear cool and not weird. I understood the consequences of growing up sheltered, but still. There are so many times I wanted to shake her and tell her to actually think! There were other times when I really related to her. Especially when it came to her family. I related to her curly hair dilemma. (Although she had the energy to blow it out, I never do) I related to the push she got from her parents to go to a predominantly “white school” in order to receive the best education and to avoid any career paths that were considered “useless”. We were both pushed to become doctors. So yes, I did find Margot more enjoyable as the book progressed and thankfully her decision making skills get better.

Moises: He’s not very present in the novel, but still a very important character to influence Margot. Despite having a shady and troubled past Moises was really down to earth. He didn’t let anyone’s judgement and negativity about him stop him from doing what he believed was right. He tried his best to give Margot a different perspective on life and I really appreciated him for that. He was honest, open and caring.

Oscar: Okay, so he was in the novel for literally five seconds but he is the real MVP and deserves all the hugs!

Setting: The Bronx setting was interesting. You know the rough town where all the rough people live and do even rougher things. Well this book makes you see that behind the town’s reputation there are honest people living there too. There are families just trying to make a living and be happy. I really liked how this book showed both sides to the town. The bad and good. I can really relate to this because I live in an area similar to the Bronx. It doesn’t have a great reputation, but it is full of amazing people.

Latin family dynamic: It is such a rich and beautiful culture to grow up in and I really enjoyed reading about her family’s quirks. Some of the lessons and things that Margot was taught and experiences she went through growing up in a Latino family were very similar to my own life. Not every lesson is right or supportive of gender equality but it gives insight into some of the issues of growing up in that culture. I will be honest, it is very, very patriarchal. Very male orientated, but I feel like as times change, this culture changes too. I think with books such as these that explore these issues will help people see beyond these traditional ways.

Drama: I lived for it. The final chapters had me insane. For me to love a contemporary it needs good and juicy drama. It is a NEED. This book had it. The gif below holds all three of the expressions that crossed my face when the most intense plot twist happened!

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Family flaws: Alongside the Latin family dynamic, there was just the theme of family as a whole. The Sanchez family is not perfect, like most families. They have flaws and fight, but in the end they are a family and throughout this novel they learn that in order to be a whole family they must be open to each other and not fear those you love.

Spanish Dialogue: Once again no glossary needed for me! Not a lot of the words or phrases were translated, but you understand the sayings in the context of the story. It gave an authentic feel to the environment and the type of people that surrounded Margot. There were even some bad words…but like who really remembers those!

Lessons in learning to accept yourself: We are all odd human beings with quirks and kinks. We can’t be friends with everyone, we make mistakes (some more than others….Margot!) But as the cheesy line goes, you learn from your mistakes. You have to learn to embrace your imperfections but challenge yourself to improve. You have to embrace your oddities and let no one keep you from changing your ways to fit into something else.

What I Disliked

Slow beginning: I was so annoyed of Margot and her complaints for the first five chapters. It was endless complaints about not being in the Hamptons and working in a dingy grocery shop, we get it your social life is over! Then things started to pick up as we dived deeper into the novel. But honestly those first chapters were tough to get through.

Lack of Exploration of Culture: I was hoping for more Puerto Rican culture to be explored apart from the occasional food mention, word or phrase. I really liked the use of the famous poet Julia de Burgos, but I wanted more. I wanted to know about their traditions, stories, home…but perhaps this was not the book for it.

NOT AN ENDING: Excuse me there was so much more needed to end this novel. I need closure. I need an epilogue, it would have made this perfect! This ending was too abrupt, all the good drama happened in the final chapters and not all of it was resolved as I hoped it would have been.

This does not take away from the novel, but I would like to say a big F U to Mr. Sanchez! aka Papi Pendejo. You suck.


Overall, I really enjoyed this novel. It was a great contemporary read in my opinion. It had enough drama, twists and humour. It was funny and I suffered a lot of second-hand embarrassment which I always think is great, though tough to get through! I would love to read more books by Lilliam Rivera, hopefully she has something new in the works!

Rating: 4 / 5 stars

Recommend: For those looking for a quick, summer-y, diverse read!

Has anyone else read this? What did you think? In general, how do you deal with second hand embarrassment when you are reading?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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Death and Night (ARC) Review

Greetings readers!

So last month I made a great reading decision and picked up The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Choshki. It was an incredible book, with beautiful writing and a story that will leave you breathless and aching for more.

Luckily Roshani blessed us.

She blessed us.

Death and Night by Roshani Chokshi

Death and Night (The Star-Touched Queen #0.5)

via Goodreads

Goodreads Summary

An exclusive Star-Touched novella over 100 pages long!

Before The Star-Touched Queen there was only Death and Night.

He was Lord of Death, cursed never to love. She was Night incarnate, destined to stay alone. After a chance meeting, they wonder if, perhaps, they could be meant for more. But danger crouches in their paths, and the choices they make will set them on a journey that will span lifetimes.

*I was a provided a free e-copy via NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press in exchange for an honest review, thank you so much. *

I first heard about this story before I read The Star-Touched Queen, which kind of spoiled it a little bit for me…not really. This is a prequel novel to TSTQ and it revolves around the love story of the immortals Death and Night. I will try my best to avoid spoilers about The Star-Touched Queen, but it will be difficult just because of who this book is about!

What I Liked

Characters: 

Death: I swooned as soon as he conjured himself a chair and sat on it as it magically appeared under him. I s.w.o.o.n.e.d. This is the thing about Death, despite having to deal with death, heartbreak and sorrow he also dealt with life, creation and choice. He was one of those characters that had yet to discover the good within himself when the rest of the world saw him as evil. He was broody, charming, suave, dedicated and passionate. He grew immensely in this story from learning to look beyond his curse to being compassionate. I loved reading about his transformation.

Night: LOVE HER! Gosh, she was just so amazing. She was independent, caring, imaginative and intelligent. She knew that the world saw her as something to be afraid of but she didn’t let that get to her. Instead she created stories and dreams that filled people with joy. She struggled sometimes with the fact that people found her demonic, but she continued to create anyways. I loved that she was resilient, patient and had a bite! She took no ones BS.

Gupta: BEST CHARACTER EVER! He was hilarious and the perfect side character. I loved him and his lessons in the art of love and flirtation!

The Writing: Once again, Roshani created the most beautiful phrases and passages that I lived for. Her words just elevated the magic and mischief in this story. Not to mention she created the most romantic moods and swoony moments! I think my favourite bit was her description of Night becoming night. Of her dance and transformation. ABSOLUTELY STUNNING! Her style is flowery yes, but I really enjoyed it. It was interesting, visual and magical. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. Roshani Choshki’s writing is magic!

Romance: This is a love story, and I loved every love aspect about it. I swooned in practically every chapter! There were so many cute moments. It was definitely a well paced romance. Neither Death or Night were particularly expecting to find each other but they did. And I shipped it so hard. So hard.

 beauty and the beast swoon swooning GIF

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The Declaration of Love: I would post it here, but I think it would be best for you to experience it from the book, where the mood is set and everything! It is just so perfect, I literally died and went to heaven for two seconds.

The World: This goes hand in hand with Roshani’s writing because she made me feel like I was in the Night Baazar! She made me feel the change between day and night. Correction, this world was not just a feeling, it was an experience! An experience of magic, dream fruit, death, night and love. The descriptions created so many amazing visuals in my mind that I was aching to draw and paint. *I’m hoping to very soon actually!* I want to explore the Otherworld so badly!!

What I Disliked

Nada people, it was all love!


Overall, I thought this was the perfect addition to the series. It made so many of the objects and events in the The Star-Touched Queen make sense. It was magical, romantic and out of this world. (In the Otherworld to be precise!) I want more! Is that being greedy? I need more on Death and Night!

Rating: 5 / 5 Stars

Recommend: 100%! But, I would suggest reading The Star-Touched Queen first, followed directly by this!

I cannot wait to get my hands on other works by Roshani! Starting with A Crown of Wishes, followed  by her new series Gilded Wolves which is coming out next year, I believe?  It sounds amazing and I am super excited!

So, have anyone read this yet, what did you think? What are some of your favourite prequels?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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Done Dirt Cheap Review

Greetings readers!

This is the fifth book I finished in April! I actually cannot believe it. I didn’t even plan to read this book, but I got my hold from the library so I went ahead and read it instead of Empire of Storms…hehehe. (I’m really avoiding that book!)

Done Dirt Cheap by Sarah Nicole Lemon

Done Dirt Cheap by Sarah Nicole Lemon

via Goodreads

Goodreads Summary

Tourmaline Harris’s life hit pause at fifteen, when her mom went to prison because of Tourmaline’s unintentionally damning testimony. But at eighteen, her home life is stable, and she has a strong relationship with her father, the president of a local biker club known as the Wardens.

Virginia Campbell’s life hit fast-forward at fifteen, when her mom “sold” her into the services of a local lawyer: a man for whom the law is merely a suggestion. When Hazard sets his sights on dismantling the Wardens, he sends in Virginia, who has every intention of selling out the club—and Tourmaline. But the two girls are stronger than the circumstances that brought them together, and their resilience defines the friendship at the heart of this powerful debut novel.

I went in really excited and I came out not so satisfied. I really, really wanted to love this book. I mean motorcycles, friendships and hot dudes. YES! But no. This just didn’t give me what I wanted. That is not to say I completely disliked it, there were some good times but overall it just was not as entertaining or engrossing as I thought it would be.

What I Liked

Characters

Cash: He is literally the only character who made some sense at the beginning of this book. Even though he had only appeared in the beginning of the book for two seconds, I found him intriguing. He didn’t talk in circles like all the other characters. As the only black person in a predominantly white motorcycle club, he had his struggles. He is a conscript (a soon-to-be member) and basically he is finding his rightful place in the club that his father began. Also, he was very swoony!

Tourmaline: There were times I liked her and other times where I was just annoyed of her. I liked her when she was trying to figure out her life in this club that occupied her father’s attention. I liked her when she tried to come up with ways to fix the mistakes she made in her past. I liked her when she would bond with Virginia. I liked her when she tried to fix her own bike. I didn’t like her when she would whine and mope and pity herself.

Virginia: I liked Virginia, she had a rough past life and made some big mistakes. She tried her best to find a way to fix her errors, which often led her to more trouble but at least she tried. She was snarky and calculating. She knew how to make people run circles around her, which was exciting to read about. Yet, I felt no connection to her. She was still a stranger to me by the end of the book.

Honourable mention to Jason, who is still a little vague even though we know about his past. He gets points for being broody, swoony and smart!

Friendship: The friendship development between Virginia and Tourmaline was the best aspect. They went from not trusting to trusting. They had their bumps in the road, but in the end they stuck it through. They helped each other navigate their future and forge a new path for themselves despite their rough past. They helped each other grow into the people they needed to become.

Motorcycles: I know nothing about motorcycles, but the premise of motorcycles is always intriguing. I liked how the motorcycle club in this book was not what I expected it to be. It was a family and although they did engage in rides and parties with women, their actions always had a purpose. Everybody saw them as bad guys, but were they really?

What I Disliked

Romance: It was insta-love-like. Cash and Tourmaline had met once–once–and in the next bit she was already thinking about throwing herself at him. It was the typical forbidden romance because she was daughter of the club president and he was the new-guy. They worked for me and at the same time it was a little too cliché and rushed. Jason and Virginia, although not forbidden were still too rushed. They had seen each other a couple times, spoken–mainly argued a couple times, he saved her life a couple times and then they started living together. I mean both couples were cute, but the relationships were far too rushed!

Writing: Apparently it is supposed to be lyrical and compelling. I didn’t understand the first quarter of this novel. The characters would talk circles, mentioning things that I didn’t understand, events that I didn’t know about. I was just so lost. The writing didn’t feel lyrical or compelling to me.

Anti-climatic ending: I was expecting so much more from the final chapter. It was a measly arrest. No good action (except a fist fight), no suspense (even though I suppose it was supposed to be suspenseful), it didn’t grab me. I just finished it because I was almost done. The epilogue made up for it a little bit because, it gave me some closure to other things, but it was still so vague!

Romancing things that aren’t Romantic: I’m hesitant to write about this because I’m not sure exactly how to explain it. I’m also worried that perhaps I read this bit wrong because I had trouble understanding what was going on. But I felt like this romanticized rape in a way. It might not be, but it came off in that light to me. At one point after a confrontation with Cash alone in the dark woods, Tourmaline was disappointed that he wasn’t following the rules and taking advantage of her. UMMMM…excuse me. At another point Virginia felt disappointed after her boss left her alone after caressing her head and cheek. Honey, NO. She gets over that quickly though. Unless, I read their fear/disgust as disappointment, this sorely ruined the novel for me.


Overall, I liked the book. I did enjoy a lot of the scheming and humour that was put into it. But I never really felt connected with the characters. I was interested in finding out what happened next, but I never had a desperate need to find out. It was a mellow read. I liked it, just not love.

Rating: 3.5 / 5 stars

Recommend: If you want a fast read, with a good friendship story.

I’m off to read something else now! Some questions though! Have you read this book? Do you think I read their voices wrong-ish, please let me know!

Happy reading,

~ Rendz

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Caraval Review

Greetings readers!

THE BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENT OF MY TBR HAS FINALLY BEEN ACHIEVED!

The book I had been waiting over a year to read. Has finally been read.

The book that has been staring at me since I bought it in January. Has finally been opened.

The book that everyone talks about! Has finally shown me all its secrets.

I am no longer oblivious.

I know the truth.

The hurt.

The wonder.

I finally know.

I can finally see the light.

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In other words, I finally read Caraval by Stephanie Garber!

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Goodreads Summary:

Remember, it’s only a game…

Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny island where she and her sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval—the faraway, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show—are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt-of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. Nevertheless she becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic. And whether Caraval is real or not, Scarlett must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over or a dangerous domino effect of consequences will be set off, and her beloved sister will disappear forever.

Welcome, welcome to Caraval…beware of getting swept too far away.

I DID IT! *Wooping sound of applause*

It is also the third book I have read this month! Talk about accomplishments! Anyways, after months of avoiding many reviews (due to spoiler mishaps…) I read it. Gobbled it. And savoured every turn of the page. The amount of hype around this book was crazy. People loved it! Others not so much.

And I?

Well I….

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LOVED IT!

What I Liked:

Characters:

Scarlett Dragna: She is honestly my new fave! A lot of people have complained about her naïvety and bad decision-making, but I saw her as someone else. She lived a sheltered and fearful life. Her father was abusive and controlling, most people wouldn’t come out of those kind of situations all strong and ready to fight. No, she was a girl still learning how to navigate the world and find a way to trust people again. I thought she was great! I adored her endless love for her sister and her courage against all the things that went wrong during the game. She was insecure, yes but she was also intelligent, caring and brave!

Julian: Come to me, sweetheart. My brooding and mischievous man. He honestly brought the best humour and charm to the story. He might not be the most honest and moral person, but he is a good guy. He is, as I like to say a good-bad boy. (Opposite of the bad-good boy, of course) He is also 🔥🔥🔥

Legend: Welp, I was not expecting that.

Colourful Feels: I absolutely loved the fact that Scarlett’s feelings were described in the form of colours. If she was angry or sad or worried, her emotions would take the form of colours. Like a mustard yellow or an angry red. Death is purple! I found it amazing especially because it reminded me of an old documentary where this woman could see people’s words in colour. (It was probably fake, but it was entertaining!) The colours really added to the beauty of the novel as you could associate an emotion or experience with something visual, not an expression but a colour!

Hispanic Influence: Favourite aspect of the novel, right here! There were multiple uses of Spanish words used in this novel, I was so happy! For once I didn’t have to use a glossary or stumble on how to pronounce those words because I already knew how! There wasn’t a lot of cultural influence, but I appreciated the names and people that were touched by it! *eyes Julian, who in my eyes is definitely Hispanic of some sort* EVEN WHEN YOU TRANSLATE THE WORDS IT GIVES SO MUCH INSIGHT INTO THE SECRETS OF THE STORY! See: La Serpiente, Castillo Maldito

Sense of Magic: The whole setting and writing mixed together gave off this wonderful and mystical aurora. Garber did an amazing job of creating the magic in the story that just sucked me right in and made me feel all tingly! It reminded me of the first (and only) time I went to go see a circus and going into the tent and just feeling the excitement, fun and mischief! Also, I need one of those dresses Scarlett was wearing! That is a NEED!

Mystery! Mystery! Mystery!: This book keeps you guessing. You may think you know things, but you don’t. You may think you have it all figured out, but you don’t. Well at least I didn’t! The mystery keeps you in suspense and on your toes all the time!

The Letters: I really liked the letters. 1. I think they added an authentic feel. The images of the letters showed the writing and personality of a character. It was better than just having a whole section in italics, instead it was an actual image. 2. They are misleading little buggers!, OR ARE THEY??? It depends, I guess.

Romance: 🔥🔥🔥 At first I thought it was going to be insta-lovey and while it sort of is, I did not mind it too much. Actually, my first thought was that the sisters were going to fight over the guy and love triangles were going to start popping up. Luckily, that didn’t happen. The chemistry between Scarlett and Julian, was cute and fun. He being so forward and joking and she being more closed off. Although their romance comes to be in 5 days, you could say the magic of Caraval really brought them together!

Action: It’s not a bloody, battle kind of action. It is action that involves running around, getting thrown off course by the plot twists and mysteries that pop up while others have been solved. It is an ongoing suspense that keeps you going and your mind racing!

Epilogue: 😵😵😵😵😵😵 I KNEW GARBER WOULD NOT LEAVE THAT QUESTION UNANSWERED! 😵😵😵😵😵

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What I Disliked

Honestly, I cannot think of anything other than sometimes the story dragged in places. Not long enough to stop me from reading though!


Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I was afraid the hype would damage the reading experience for me, but I’m very happy I enjoyed it. I liked the characters, the setting, I mean I don’t think I would ever actually be smart enough to win Caraval, but I’d give it a go! There are many twists and turns, some you might see coming other that you simply cannot! (Unless you have a mind like Legend’s, of course) I achingly anticipate the next instalment, there are so many things that could happen, so many possibilities!

Rating: 5 / 5 stars (It’s on my “Favourites” shelf!)

Recommend: Look people, how could you not read this book? It’s great!

If for some reason you have not read this book and after reading this you feel inspired to, I have one single piece of advice…Remember it’s only a game.

Truer words have never been spoken.

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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