The Court of Miracles | Review // When the last quarter saves you

Greetings readers!

Thank you to the author for providing me with a digital copy of her book in exchange for an honest review!

The Court of Miracles by Kester Grant

The Court of Miracles (Court of Miracles, #1)
via Goodreads

Pub Date: June 2nd, 2020
Publisher: Knopf
Goodreads

In the violent urban jungle of an alternate 1828 Paris, the French Revolution has failed and the city is divided between merciless royalty and nine underworld criminal guilds, known as the Court of Miracles. Eponine (Nina) Thénardier is a talented cat burglar and member of the Thieves Guild. Nina’s life is midnight robberies, avoiding her father’s fists, and watching over her naïve adopted sister, Cosette (Ettie).

When Ettie attracts the eye of the Tiger–the ruthless lord of the Guild of Flesh–Nina is caught in a desperate race to keep the younger girl safe. Her vow takes her from the city’s dark underbelly to the glittering court of Louis XVII. And it also forces Nina to make a terrible choice–protect Ettie and set off a brutal war between the guilds, or forever lose her sister to the Tiger.

Les Misérables meets Six of Crows in this page-turning adventure as a young thief finds herself going head to head with leaders of Paris’s criminal underground in the wake of the French Revolution.


A Prelude for my lack of knowledge

I would like to start off by saying that I think I would have had a deeper and more profound appreciation of this book if I had read/watched Les Misérables and or The Jungle Book before diving into this one.

Um but not having any knowledge of these stories shouldn’t feel so…essential when reading and yet here I am feeling like I missed half the point of the story because I don’t know who Eponine is from the original story and how anything that she goes through in this book is extraordinary. sigh

Okay onto the review…

The characters were just there…

Someone, anyone please tell me if Nina had a personality because frankly I couldn’t find one. Like she seeks vengeance on the people who hurt her and I’m like yesssssssss vengeance, but there’s nothing else to her. Nothing. She was just a notorious thief and so amazing and everybody was like omg you are amazing and she’s like yes I am and I was like girl give me something! anything? Like what’s your favourite colour. Wrong question because it is obviously black since she is THE Black Cat, best thief, mastermind, can do no wrong. She trampled every obstacle! I just found nothing substantial beyond her need for vengeance. She was so distant from the story despite being the voice of the story itself. Does that make any sense!?

As for the rest of the cast. I can’t say I have a favourite. I can’t say I remember many names. Maybe the Ghost Lord just because he was so mysterious and the father-ish figure to the MCs.

The Experience in four parts…

Part one was a doozy. The first part was a bombardment of information that I was literally so lost. So lost. And by the end of it all I think I understood about half of it. There were so many names to remember. So many houses to keep track of. I know that there were guides at the beginning of the book and it’s my fault that I never referenced them again. But should I have to keep going back to remember everyone? Nonetheless, it was a lot of information to take in within the first few chapters.

I will say though that learning about The Court of Miracles was a very interesting. (I didn’t know it was an actual thing, until I googled it after reading.) It had a rich history, with so many interesting characters (that I wished we had delved into more). I liked the sense of found family found among these different guilds. I won’t lie though some-most were pretty shady, some more shady than others: you know if you know. It was a really dynamic setting, despite the fact that it took me most of the book to understand.

Then comes part two and I’m kind of like okay I sort of understand what’s going on. I was wondering about the time jump we did because the math wasn’t really making sense, but then I was able to wrap my head around it.

Then comes part three and I started getting impatient, it was time to get this show on the road. Um but I don’t remember many things happening. Just a lot of planning and planning. Basically part 2 & 3 were blurs of information. It was all build-up and build-up and could get quite tedious to get through.

Then part four came to save this book from being a one-star review. It was pretty good. Like really really good. More on that below.

The times jumps are what really messed me up. From what I remember there was no actual distinction of time, like no year or date. (Or maybe there were? Oh dear… Don’t quote me, it might be different in the finished copy) It was just so confusing because I thought she was a teen at the very beginning and it turns out she is only 9!?!? There were no real explanations for them other than the author wanting to explore this story from the very beginning instead of doing flashbacks. I can’t say it was that effective.

My slow-ass brain. I took me until part 3 to make the connection to The Tiger and honestly I’m more disappointed in myself because hello the book was literally citing The Jungle Book before every part!

We’re gonna talk romance for just a second because it is super background-ish. But y’all. There are like three dudes into her and again I question it because personality-wise Nina is just angry and again while that’s not a bad thing, there was nothing else substantial about her in my eyes. Anyways she’s got 3 dudes into and OF COURSE the one I like seems like he’s the one she might like back BUT I bet he’s the one that will a) betray her or b) die.

o-o

Anyways.

The Way the last 30% of this book saved me!!! We love to see it! 

I was worried for the longest time, friends. Nothing seemed to be really gripping me and while we were making plans and plans and plans, nothing was getting done until finally things started moving!!! I was very much into the secret planning going on. The deception was g r e a t. The aristocratic court life was a little less upfront than I had hoped, but the politics were very fun to read about!

It was super intense because all that build up from the first 70% finally came crashing down. There was so much happening, but it wasn’t confusing at all. The political intrigue was high with so many views clashing and so many needs to be met. It’s a book about the oppressed rising up and clamouring for justice. The resemblances to the modern context are not lost on me.

In the end, the choices that Nina had to make were difficult, but she was unapologetic about it. THERE WAS A REALLY GREAT TWIST. I actually didn’t see it coming and I appreciate it! She had one goal since the very beginning and she achieved it. Will it have serious repercussions for her…oh yesss and that’s what the sequel is for.


Overall, I didn’t have a great time with this book. I struggled mainly due to my lack of knowledge and I wasn’t the biggest fan of the very slow pacing and build-up of the first three quarters. The book had great promise, but it just didn’t grip my attention enough.

Rating: 2 / 5 Stars

Recommend?: Um well I wasn’t a big fan of it, but maybe fans of Les Mis or the Jungle Book will find something more substantial to the book.

Let me know what you think! Have you read this? Do you find it necessary to know background story of comp titles before diving into a new story? Has the ending of a story ever saved it from being a DNF or one-star review?

*Link to the master list of how you can help Black Lives Matter movements across the globe*

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

get-reaidng

Hunted by the Sky | Blog Tour Review // Socks? They’ve been knocked off!

Greetings readers!

Welcome to the final tour stop for Tanaz Bhathena’s newest release: HUNTED BY THE SKY! I couldn’t have been more excited for today’s post! I am very pleased to be part of the blog tour for this amazing story that I am sure will knock your socks off, like it did to me!

Many thanks to Penguin Teen Canada for sending me an ARC!

Hunted by the Sky by Tanaz Bhathena

Hunted by the Sky (Hunted by the Sky, #1)

Pub Date: June 23rd, 2020
Publisher: Penguin Random House Canada
Goodreads

Gul has spent her life running. She has a star-shaped birthmark on her arm, and in the kingdom of Ambar, girls with such birthmarks have been disappearing for years. Gul’s mark is what caused her parents’ murder at the hand of King Lohar’s ruthless soldiers and forced her into hiding to protect her own life. So when a group of rebel women called the Sisters of the Golden Lotus rescue her, take her in, and train her in warrior magic, Gul wants only one thing: revenge.

Cavas lives in the tenements, and he’s just about ready to sign his life over to the king’s army. His father is terminally ill, and Cavas will do anything to save him. But sparks fly when he meets a mysterious girl–Gul–in the capital’s bazaar, and as the chemistry between them undeniably grows, he becomes entangled in a mission of vengeance–and discovers a magic he never expected to find.

Dangerous circumstances have brought Gul and Cavas together at the king’s domain in Ambar Fort . . . a world with secrets deadlier than their own. Exploring identity, class struggles, and high-stakes romance, Hunted by the Sky is a gripping adventure set in a world inspired by medieval India.


The Likes

We have to talk about this world because I was absolutely in love with every part of it. Inspired by medieval India and Persian myth, this world had so much to offer in terms of magic and mayhem! I found the apartheid-of-sorts between the magical and non-magical folks to be really interesting. Even though it’s not a good thing, it was a great exploration of class struggle. There were myths and magical people and creatures of many kinds. There was a variety of magical powers and hierarchies. There was a sisterhood (I love sisterhoods!!). There was an evil king. There were ghosts. There was definitely some divine intervention going on there! And of course there was a PROPHECY!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was so incredibly magical! And I loved that this book explored its horizons as well. It wasn’t focused solely on the one kingdom, but stretched itself into other territories too and the politics that connected them! It was just incredible overall.

These characters were phenomenal! First we have Gul, this fiery, hot-headed and snarky heroine whose only goal is revenge! I loved that she was so passionate and dedicated to her cause. That’s not to say that she was perfect, oh no siree! Gul is very much set on this one path and not seeing the effects around her leads her into lots of trouble, on top of the fact that she doesn’t exactly think every plan through. But she was a quick-thinker, a cunning magi and an angry bean that I couldn’t help but love!

Then there is Cavas who is—huhhh—who is JUST THE SOFTEST BEAN EVER! I related a lot to him in that he was just trying to get by and avoid being threatened by the more powerful and ruthless magi! He was so incredible! I loved everything about him. He cared deeply for his family and friends (the few that they were). I liked that even though he was quiet and tried to stay under the radar he was so brave and just as determined as Gul! He had some messy family history and it was so heart-breaking, but my boy gets through it all. Gul may have been the chosen one from the prophecy, but I loved that Cavas is an integral part to the success of this story!

Other characters…oh my there were many and I loved them all. (Yes, this review will basically be me saying that I love it all) There were so many personalities to be had. From the sisterhood to the scary/creepy magi-guard to the elusive king. There was even a certain prince that I have to say got on my nerves but is hmmmm well I guess I should say he got more interesting at the end.

With regards to the magic system, I am very much in love with it. It’s not limited to a number of choices since powers are unique to the person (which is something I love to read about)! Gul had the ability to communicate with animals–which is freaking cool if I do say so myself! I also loved that we got to see her grow into her magic. She was not the most adept magi in this book, which gives us this great chance to explore a YA heroine that has to work hard to make it. And then the end comes and things gets *revealed*  and I just know that stuff is going to go down and it is going to be gooood!

The pacing of this story was great. There was bang from the start and then it is a descent into this magical adventure for vengeance! That’s not to say this is only a fast-paced adventure left right and centre, Tanaz did an amazing job of slowing down the game without losing that momentum! It was just a fun ride overall. There were some amazing twists that pop out of no where and some that you anticipate and are so excited for when you get to them!

And now we have to talk about this romance! Because !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! First of all let us take in this ship dynamic. The smol angry bean with the soft cinnamon roll boy. The way that they meet!!!!! I just–I—*I need a moment* It was just so AMAZING! They had sizzling chemistry and yet were at each others necks too because well…they both are experts at saying the wrong thing at the wrong moment. Not to mention **other factors** that get in the way of my plans for this ultimate ship! That being said, I love them and am committed to the end!

The ending. Ahh the ending. I saw it coming and yet I didn’t because it didn’t happen exactly how I thought it would, so thankfully there was still a pleasant surprise! It is cliffhangery, but also perfectly sums up the book while setting you up for the next one! Safe to say I am very much looking forward to book two and all the drama we will have to go through!


Overall, I am so in love with this story. It promises a high stakes-revenge seeking-romantic-magical-adventure and it 100% delivers. Tanaz did an amazing job of creating this incredible world with these brilliant characters that are positively going to leave you begging for more!

Rating: 5 / 5 Stars

Recommend: Oh yes, absolutely!

Be sure to buy the book and enter your receipt into Tanaz’s Summer Hunt Promotion that is running right now!

SUMMER HUNT Promotion_FBTwitter

Let me know what you think! Have you thought of picking up this book? If you could be blessed with a super power what would you choose?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

read

Curse of the Night Witch | Review // A truly magical and mythological read!

Greetings readers!

I am so happy to be bringing to you a review for one of my most anticipated reads of June! You all know–or will now know–that I am part of the Con Sabor reading challenge in which I will be reading as many Latinx books as I can. One of the categories calls for fantasy and today’s book falls into that category!

Many thanks to Raincoast Books for providing me with an ARC!

Curse of the Night Witch by Alex Aster

Curse of the Night Witch (Emblem Island, #1)

Publisher: Sourcebooks
Pub Date: June 9th, 2020
Goodreads

On Emblem Island all are born knowing their fate. Their lifelines show the course of their life and an emblem dictates how they will spend it.

Twelve-year-old Tor Luna was born with a leadership emblem, just like his mother. But he hates his mark and is determined to choose a different path for himself. So, on the annual New Year’s Eve celebration, where Emblemites throw their wishes into a bonfire in the hopes of having them granted, Tor wishes for a different power.

The next morning Tor wakes up to discover a new marking on his skin…the symbol of a curse that has shortened his lifeline, giving him only a week before an untimely death. There is only one way to break the curse, and it requires a trip to the notorious Night Witch.

With only his village’s terrifying, ancient stories as a guide, and his two friends Engle and Melda by his side, Tor must travel across unpredictable Emblem Island, filled with wicked creatures he only knows through myths, in a race against his dwindling lifeline.


The Likes

This world was truly magical. It was recognisable in some ways, with the school and such,  but it had a totally different societal structure and history that I loved to read about. I loved that we got to read about the legends that are so ingrained in the stories of the people and how the magic of the emblems developed among them. Aster did an amazing job of using whimsical imagery and Latinx legends to create such a wonderful and intriguing world.

The magic system was so interesting. I know lifelines already exist, but not like they do in this book. Here they are 10x more vivid and trusted sources of information about your future. Then there is the magical marker/tattoo, the Emblem, that tells you exactly what kind of special power you will inherit. It is a magic that is quite interested in who the person will become and to reject it becomes a test against fate and destiny which is always fun to read about.

These characters were delightful. Tor, Melda and Engle had such personality and banter that I loved watching them squabble and bicker as they get themselves into more and more danger. I loved that Tor was like any other regular 12 year old who unhappy with his predicted future and did something about it that may have not been the greatest decision. I really related to Tor’s desire for adventure and excitement in his life that was just quiet and comfortable. I don’t know if I could have gone to the extremes he did when I was 12, but I admire his effort.

The plot itself was really interesting. It’s a race against time that keeps the book moving. I Love Quest Narratives!!! The characters are fighting for their lives as they trace back legends and magical monsters which lead them into lots of danger and trouble. I can definitely see how Aster took inspiration from Latinx myths and tales which she also cites in her acknowledgements. I think tracing back the magical tales was my favourite aspect of the book because we get to see the original written tale and then interact with the tale in real time with the characters. I’m not sure that last sentence made sense, but basically what you have to know is that this story is closely tied to myth so pay attention!

I had an epiphany at the very end about Tor and wow. I really did not catch it until the last turn of the page and it made me so excited for the next book. There is always something more than meets eyes about characters and it is so thrilling when you find those tid-bits the author leaves behind.

The ending itself is quite nice. Not too cliff-hangery but definitely cliff-hangery. It sets up great intrigue for the next book and I am excited to read it.

The Questionable

Despite being a race against time, the book does take a while to get moving. It’s not very fast-paced since the characters meet so many people/myths along the way and they each have to get their moment. I think it might also be a little repetitive in the middle. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the myth-hunting very much but I could sense the pattern in the middle and eventually the story felt like it was dragging a little too slow. Nonetheless, each myth was very interesting!


Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It wins most definitely for its magical prose and charmingly realistic characters! It was exciting, whimsical and totally immersive. I think young readers and older ones alike will find something to love about this story!

Rating: 4 / 5 Stars

Recommend: Absolutely! This is a great read for fantasy lovers!

Let me know what you think! Are you looking forward to reading this book! Do you like to learn about myths from different book worlds? What is your favourite magical quest read?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

get-reaidng

Mini Reviews | The Winterborne House for Vengeance and Valor [MG] + The Vine Witch [Adult]

Greetings readers!

Today I am reviewing books on total opposite sides of the age spectrum that are both absolute delightful reads! I am slowly making my way through my ARC stack and I am happy to say that I am quite enjoying the reads past-Rendz picked out for me!

The Winterborne House for Vengeance and Valor
by Ally Carter

Winterborne Home for Vengeance and Valor
via Goodreads

Pub Date: March 3rd, 2020
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Goodreads

April didn’t mean to start the fire. She wasn’t even the one who broke the vase. 

She had absolutely no intention of becoming the only person who knows that Gabriel Winterborne, the missing-and-presumed-dead billionaire, is neither missing nor dead and is actually living in the basement of Winterborne House, sharpening his swords and looking for vengeance. 

Now that April knows Gabriel Winterborne is alive, it’s up to her to keep him that way. But there’s only so much a twelve-year-old girl can do, so April must turn to the other orphans for help. Together, they’ll have to unravel the riddle of a missing heir and a creepy legend, and find a secret key, before the only home they’ve ever known is lost to them forever. 

  • April was such a delightful character to journey with! She was spunky and mischievous and outright daring. Was she a little too adventurous sometimes? No such thing! She was over-adventurous but often threw caution out the window! which may have (always) led to trouble.
  • The other Winterborne kids were also so cute though I wish we would have gotten to know them a little more! Sadie, Colin, Violet and Tim all had such diverse and quirky personalities and the book could have been more rich if it had spent more time spent with these kids. The adults were also quite interesting characters, but let’s be honest we’re here for the kids.
  • The plot itself is a perfect kid mystery. A missing and suddenly found billionaire that is being protected by a bunch of orphans! It was funny and perfectly paced. I would have liked a bit more action, but the antics these kids get into are quite fun.
  • I loved the theme around family. April holds on to a tenuous hope that her mother will come for her and it is so heart-wrenching at times to read her despair, but I love how she slowly grows to embrace the found family around her.
  • The villain, I could smell from a mile away, was a pretty stalk character, but there are other surprises to be had when it comes to twists and turns!

Overall, this was a great kid’s read. I can’t say it is the most spectacular mystery adventure book and it is certainly slow in some areas, but it is a solid read.

Rating: 3.5 / 5 Stars

Recommend: Perfect for someone looking for a kid

The Vine Witch by Luanne G. Smith

The Vine Witch (Vine Witch, #1)
via Goodreads

Pub Date: Oct 1st, 2019
Publisher: 47North
Goodreads

A young witch emerges from a curse to find her world upended in this gripping fantasy of betrayal, vengeance, and self-discovery set in turn-of-the-century France.

For centuries, the vineyards at Château Renard have depended on the talent of their vine witches, whose spells help create the world-renowned wine of the Chanceaux Valley. Then the skill of divining harvests fell into ruin when sorcière Elena Boureanu was blindsided by a curse. Now, after breaking the spell that confined her to the shallows of a marshland and weakened her magic, Elena is struggling to return to her former life. And the vineyard she was destined to inherit is now in the possession of a handsome stranger.

Vigneron Jean-Paul Martel naively favors science over superstition, and he certainly doesn’t endorse the locals’ belief in witches. But Elena knows a hex when she sees one, and the vineyard is covered in them. To stay on and help the vines recover, she’ll have to hide her true identity, along with her plans for revenge against whoever stole seven winters of her life. And she won’t rest until she can defy the evil powers that are still a threat to herself, Jean-Paul, and the ancient vine-witch legacy in the rolling hills of the Chanceaux Valley.

  • When I picked this up I was in the mood for something earthy and dark and witch-tastic and this book absolutely delivered!!
  • I loved that it had a magic system dedicated to the cultivation of wine, hence the vine witch *get it!* It was so earthy and magical and just gave off the best witch vibes! I mean I don’t know *anything* about ageing wine, but this book made me feel like I should be sipping a glass by the fire.
  • Of course there were other kinds of witches and I’m so glad we’ll be getting other books to explore those!
  • The characters were fun, but I felt like we were lacking a little depth. Elena and Jean Paul had totally different views of the world that made them clash, but I felt like we only just hit the surface with them
  • The side characters also had quite the personality! Brother Anslem was probably my favourite. I mean a monk who knows all about witches and magic?? We love to see it XD
  • The romance was a little hasty, I felt. The few interactions we got from them were not enough to build that angst which could have made this an epic rivals to lovers story.
  • The plot itself was quite intriguing. There was deception and betrayal and mystery all wrapped up in one. It was not the fastest-paced plot in the world, but it does garner a lot of interest along the way.

Overall, it was quite a fantastical read. I don’t think it is absolutely perfect in terms of characterisation. But in what it lacks it makes up for in a superb magic system. It’s a cosy, earthy and French witch story that I think many people will enjoy!

Rating: 4 / 5 Stars

Recommend: Oh yes!


Let me know what you think! Have you read any of these? What are your favourite kid adventure books? What are some of your favourite witch books?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

read

Fireborne | Review // A Delightful Dragon Read

Greetings readers!

Lately with my romance binge, I’ve shifted away from my fantastical adventures. But with the quarantine going on it was time for me to switch it up and get back to fantasy! I received an ARC of this book months ago from Penguin Teen CA and because I am a fool I haven’t read it yet, until now obviously.

That being said, I am very excited to be sharing this review with you today because I went through some emotions with this novel!

Fireborne by Rosaria Munda

Fireborne (The Aurelian Cycle, #1)
via Goodreads

Pub Date: Oct 15th, 2019
Publisher: Putnam
Goodreads

Game of Thrones meets Red Rising in a debut young adult fantasy that’s full of rivalry, romance… and dragons.

Annie and Lee were just children when a brutal revolution changed their world, giving everyone—even the lowborn—a chance to test into the governing class of dragonriders.

Now they are both rising stars in the new regime, despite backgrounds that couldn’t be more different. Annie’s lowborn family was executed by dragonfire, while Lee’s aristocratic family was murdered by revolutionaries. Growing up in the same orphanage forged their friendship, and seven years of training have made them rivals for the top position in the dragonriding fleet.

But everything changes when survivors from the old regime surface, bent on reclaiming the city.

With war on the horizon and his relationship with Annie changing fast, Lee must choose to kill the only family he has left or to betray everything he’s come to believe in. And Annie must decide whether to protect the boy she loves . . . or step up to be the champion her city needs.

From debut author Rosaria Munda comes a gripping adventure that calls into question which matters most: the family you were born into, or the one you’ve chosen.


The Likes

These characters..well well well. This book stars a socially awkward and shy main character and I was living my best life. Annie is great at dragon riding but she is not so great at being in the spotlight and public speaking. She is considered lesser for not being able to exude confidence so easily and is constantly put down for it. And well I adore her. I truly do. And I relate to the struggle. She’s still flawed in many ways and her past is tragic on so many levels, but I really liked reading about her growth and development to making a voice for herself. Then there is Lee. The golden boy. He’s all confidence and smarts and pizzazz and he is totally being raised into the regime that slaughtered his family. Yeah, he is in a sticky situation and it is a constant push and pull with him. I liked Lee well enough although I must admit I was not his biggest fan at some points. But in the end I did like him and admired his ability to muster the courage and face the things he had to do. 

Other characters…made this story all the more fun. At first I thought Duck was a little irritable, but he pulled through in the end. Crissa was fabulous despite um being a little intrusive in my ship plans. Actually both of these last characters were. But the support that these characters have for the MCs is admirable! In addition with a few more secondary characters, I liked the sense of found family among the students. Except for Power. Oh Power. He was a dick and we loved to hate him

The family drama. Gosh wow. So much trauma and tension in one theme. I can’t even begin to explain this without spoilers, but the choices that these characters had to make!!!!!!!!!!!!!! A choice of found family between blood. A choice in which you find both sides disappointed in you in the end! I loved how the book explored the difficulty of this decision. I loved how we got to see both sides and be torn just like the characters. IT WAS SO SOUL CRUSHING!

The political mess. Let it be known that trading in one kind of extreme for another is not always righting a wrong. I could smell the corruption from a mile away, but then again I have the advantage of being the reader. That characters had to figure it out for themselves and I am quite surprised about who actually knocked some sense into Annie and Lee. The political intrigue of this story is a phenomenal. It never stops giving from beginning to end. Truly fantastic.

The dragon goodness. This book promised dragons and it delivered. These majestic creatures were important in every part of this book. From the character development to the political machinations and the history of the culture, dragons just made it more intense. The addition of a tournament with these creatures only added to the fun and suspense!

The romance was tripping me in every which way and I loved it. The synopsis promised romance and boy oh boy did I make a ship and then fear for it! I never expected a slow burn friends to rivals to lovers to questionable relationship kind of thing from this book but that’s what I got and I loved it. It made me wait and yearn and worry and we appreciate that in books.

The Questionable

I was a little confused here and there with the politics and social hierarchy. Basically we have to learn two at a time, the old regime and the new, and unfortunately the systems could get a little convoluted at times. Eventually I was able to get the difference, but it took a while and it gets more clear towards the end. That being said, a glossary or like an index of how the social order worked would have been amazing. If I had that I certainly wouldn’t have been that lost at times.

The pacing was also a bit crazy. The book is told through a dual perspective but the author would switch POVs within chapters. That would not have been a problem if the timelines matched up better. That’s not to say that the timelines were wildly different but it was just a little disorienting how we had to go back and revisit something that happened that we were told about in passing.


Overall, I really enjoyed this book. While it is not perfect, I think it is an incredible story. The dragons and the characters will have you loving every minute. The political turmoil will have you on the edge of your seat. And the tragicish-happyish ending will leave you wanting more which is exactly what makes this book so great!

Rating: 4.5 / 5 Stars

Recommend: Oh yes!

Let me know what you think! Have you read this book? What are your favourite dragon fantasy books? What are your favourite mythical creatures?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

get-reaidng

Finale | Review // A Grand Finale Buddy Read

Greetings readers!

It’s been a hot minute since the buzz of Caraval’s final book was going around and naturally I am super late to the party. Thankfully, I wasn’t alone and my lovely friend Mandy from Book Princess Reviews joined me in reading this much anticipated book almost a year after its release.

Naturally, I pushed our buddy read off for like 4 months because I struggled to get my life together. But what’s new about that?

Regardless, Mandy and I had a wonderful time reading this book together and we got some interesting results!

Finale by Stephanie Garber

Finale (Caraval, #3)
via Goodreads

Pub Date: May 7th, 2019
Publisher: Flaitron
Goodreads

A love worth fighting for. A dream worth dying for. An ending worth waiting for.

It’s been two months since the Fates were freed from a deck of cards, two months since Legend claimed the throne for his own, and two months since Tella discovered the boy she fell in love with doesn’t really exist.

With lives, empires, and hearts hanging in the balance, Tella must decide if she’s going to trust Legend or a former enemy. After uncovering a secret that upends her life, Scarlett will need to do the impossible. And Legend has a choice to make that will forever change and define him.

Caraval is over, but perhaps the greatest game of all has begun. There are no spectators this time—only those who will win, and those who will lose everything.

Welcome, welcome to Finale. All games must come to an end…


The Likes

Garber’s writing doesn’t fail to enchant the reader! If there is one think I will never forget about reading this series is the language that totally and completely wraps around me and sucks me into the story. It is the most flowery of the purpley proses out there and honestly I like it. Are some of the descriptions absolutely out there and kind of bonkers? Yes. But are they also so attractive you can’t help not thinking about them? Also yes. Seriously though, Garber does have a way of completely enchanting the reader and thus enchanting the world that these characters are in. 10/10 I would love to visit this world, as a kindly spectator because I would not win the games and setting myself up for failure is not something I like to do.

I couldn’t put this book down. Let me tell you, I had a lot of issues with this book. It is chaotic as hell, but the chaos is exactly what made me so attracted to the story! That’s not to say that the pacing was great because it was everywhere, but the need to know what happens next, the mini-cliffhangers after each chapter, the way we are clued into things but get just shy of finding out what is going on is so addictive you can’t help but keep reading. It was chaotic yes, but you’re so sucked into the chaos you can’t help but enjoy the ride!

The Questionable

This was the Tella show ft. snippets of Scarlett. As a bigger fan of the older sister than the younger one, I struggled with this. It’s not that I don’t like Tella, it’s that she is a large reason for the chaos and it gets trying to follow her after a while. I’m telling you 90% of this book was Tella and her struggle with Legend, but that is something I’ll complain about later. The other 10% was Scarlett who didn’t get much of a word in more so than a dress change. I just didn’t like the imbalance we had.

The romance was overwhelming. I love the romantic aspects of books, I honestly do! But this book was so focused on the Tella x Legend relationship that I couldn’t stand it in the end. Every other chapter was a “He loves me. He loves me not” and as I mentioned before this book is predominately Tella’s POV so you can imagine how tiring this push and pull gets. Eventually, Legend lost his appeal to me. He was neither enigmatic nor charming, I just wanted him to commit or get out. Julian and Scarlett had there moments. I mean they were already pretty established and lets just say while I wasn’t looking forward to the drama with the Count, what did end up happening with him was so underwhelming. The romance also really messed up the pacing and suspense in this book because we always had to back to the I love yous. Blah.

We were cheated of the fabulous Fates. Both Mandy and I were so upset about how minimal a role these Fates play in the book. They are not totally absent but their potential was held back and it was a complete let down. Even my precious Jacks, who I know I shouldn’t be into because he is bad but I am who I am, he was so cheated of a great character arc in order to highlight Tella. If there is another book, I do sincerely hope he is the star.

The end was kind of cheesy, I’ll be honest. I mean yes, Love is powerful…..but come on give us more than that moral!

There was the most bonkers plan that had me screaming for these characters to stop and think. Let’s just say there was the possibility of incest and I cringed sooooo hard.


Overall, I enjoyed the book for its chaos. It was flawed in many ways and chaotic in every way imaginable and YET I enjoyed myself immensely while reading this. Garber has a knack for sucking readers into her words and even though the ride is bumpy, you can’t help but have fun too!

Rating: 3 / 5 Stars

Recommend: I do recommend the series, it is fun in the moment!

Let me know what you think! Did you like this series? Were you satisfied by the ending? Are you interested in reading a next book as there is rumoured to be one?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

read

Books I Need to Reread in the Near Future | Pt.2 // Dreaming that I had the time to do this

Greetings readers!

I did a post like this two years ago and I can tell you that I got to about 3 on my list, one of them I actually reread more than twice. (Yeah, it was the Penderwicks…did I mention I’m rereading those right now?)

Anyways, I’ve been staring at my shelves and have been getting the urge to reread a new set of books. Books that I haven’t touched in ages! Some series I never even finished and I’ve been wanting to dive into the back list books that I remember very little about!

So without further ado!

The Inheritance Trilogy by N.K. Jemisin

The Inheritance Trilogy (Inheritance, #1-3.5)
via Goodreads

I read the first two books but never got around to reading the last one! I feel like I’ll have such a better appreciation for these books now that I’m older. 15 year old me just didn’t get it XD But she did now that future-Rendz would adore divine intervention books and lo and behold this series is exactly that!

The Beautiful Ones by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

The Beautiful Ones
via Goodreads

For proclaiming it as one of my favourite books, it is a shame that I haven’t read it more than once. I mean, it is still gonna be my favourite. I’ve gone back many times to read my favourite parts, but not the entire whole. And I just want to relive all the wonderful drama and love again!

The Winner’s Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski

The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1)
via Goodreads

Again, for proclaiming it as one of my top series, I’ve only ever read it once! And again, I’m sure my opinions haven’t changed because I related so hard to these characters and world! I have to prepare myself for a lot of emotional trauma again because I still get all worked up when I think about some things! Plus Marie just came out with a new book set in the same world and from what I’ve heard, I’m gonna relate majorly with the MC of that series too!

Fire and Thorns Trilogy by Rae Carson

The Girl of Fire and Thorns (Fire and Thorns, #1)
via Goodreads

There’s a new book coming, set in the same world so this is really more tied to that than anything! But again, I think I’d have a better appreciation for these books now than I did when I read them the first time. I remember liking them but stopping myself from fully immersing myself in them because I mourned a character death from book one to the end. I literally never got over it. I’m still not over it. Funny enough, I own the first book but not the second or third, so I’m debating whether to buy the sequels or not…

Dust Lands Trilogy by Moira Young

40868350. sx318
via Goodreads

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, these books bitch-slapped me. They were that good. I mean a little odd in terms of structure so that is something you have to get used to, but the story! THE STORY! THE ENDING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I still lose it today when I think about it. And I know its been a while so I’m probably forgetting some things so diving back into this series will probably sweep me off my feet again and I cannot wait to get my shit together so I can do it!


Ah man….I really just want to drop everything that I am doing right now and just read these books again. alas, I cannot and have to head back to my cave of studying. We might be social distancing, but my university is still rolling online so I have to wait!

Let me know what you think! What backlist books are on your To-Be-REread? Have you read any of these books? How many times a year do you reread?

Happy REreading!

~ Rendz

read

Tune & Title Tuesdays | Week 3 y’all this is going strong!!! (But I’m runnin’ out of songs!!!)

Greetings readers!

As you might have read in the title I struggled this week to come up with a tune I wanted to share with you all. If I’m being honest, I’m still listening to Bad Bunny’s album, but A) I wrote about that last week and B) I’m listening to the more umm smexy songs so I don’t of books to go with those…

ANYWAY. I thought I’d show a different side of me today. We are taking a 180° flip on my musical tastes. Today we are getting a little more classical. Now not that classical because I still like some pump to my tunes, but I won’t lie there are some old classical jams out there. Anyways without further ado:

Tune: Audiomachine – Remember not to Forget

I really like groups like Audiomachine that make epic instrumental music that you would hear in like a movie! (Two Steps from Hell is also a really amazing group!) Everything they put out is incredible. One song might be big and banging, while another could be soft and lulling and I love them both! Listening to it makes me feel like I am in a movie myself!

Title: The Kingdom of Back by Marie Lu

KOB

Of course I chose the book that follows the amazing Nannerl Mozart! Musical genius and creator of fantastical worlds! Lu’s latest book has taken my whole world by storm this past month! I loved everything about it and keep mentioning it every chance I get! The song, besides the title which is so complementary to the theme of the book, is quite beautiful and ethereal like the overall ambience of the book itself!


Let me know what you think! Do you listen to instrumentals? Have a favourite band? What kind of music would you want in the movie about your life?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

read

The Prediction Book Tag | I am quite the prophetess

Greetings readers!

It has been forever since I’ve done a tag so today I decided to do just that! Bring back some fun to the blog!

I won’t lie. I’ve had one or two prophetic dreams before. Just sayin’. So maybe this wonderful tag, created by the wonderful Book Princess Reviews, will really work out in my favour!

RULES

.x. pingback to the creator of the tag, @bookprincessreviews .x.
.x. tag the person who tagged you .x.
.x. find an answer to match each prompt .x.
.x. have fun! .x.

All of these prompts are your predictions for your…

Next Read

Undercover Bromance by Lyssa Kay Adams

Undercover Bromance (Bromance Book Club, #2)
via Goodreads

My library hold just got in and I cannot wait to dive into Mack’s story. He was my favourite from book one so getting to read about my son will be amazing!

Next 5 Star Read

Hunted by the Sky by Tanaz Bhathena!

I might not read this for a while so it might not be the exact next, but I loved Tanaz’s contemporary book The Beauty of the Moment so I am super excited and have lots of high hopes for her fantasy debut!

Hunted by the Sky (Hunted by the Sky, #1)
via Goodreads

Next 1 Star Read

This is a tough one because I don’t usually rate books one star! But if I have to confess what book I’m wary about reading it would be : Love Her or Lose Her by Tessa Bailey

Love Her or Lose Her (Hot & Hammered, #2)
via Goodreads

It’s not that I think it will be trash, but book one got 3 stars and I’m not totally in love with the characters in this one. Plus it is a second chance romance and hhhhmmmrrrpppphhh those haven’t worked out for me in the past.

Next Love Interest (or Character that Seems Really Cool to You)

You Had Me at Hola
via Goodreads

Stealing Mandy’s answer and noting down Ashton Suárez from You Had Me at Hola by Alexis Daria. We must stan our telenovela hunks.

Next Book You’ll Be Buying

MEXICAN GOTHIC BY SILVIA MORENO GARCIA!!

Mexican Gothic
via Goodreads

I’ve saved my Christmas gift card for this purchase, I’m just waiting for the price to dip a little bit so I can go easy on the rest of my wallet!

Next Book That Will Leave You with a Book Hangover (and Desperately Wanting a Reread or Next in Series)

Realm of Ash by Tasha Suri

roa

If this book is anything like its predecessor, Empire of Sand, I will be wanting to reread both instantly after I turn the last page! I actually do feel like rereading EoS right now even though RoA is a companion novel! I am just so excited to jump back into this world!

Tagging: Anyone for who wants to try it out!


Let me know what you think! Are you any good at predicting your next reads? Have you ever felt a certain way about a book before you even started reading it? 

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

get-reaidng

 

Tune & Title Tuesdays | A new and *hopefully* ongoing blog feature!

Greetings readers!

As part of my new year goals, I wanted to come up with a post that I could feature on this blog weekly and after months of thinking and thinking…I came up with nothing.

Then I had some very amusing talks with my sisters and Kez gave me some wonderful ideas…that I adapted into:

TUNE TUESDAYS

Every Tuesday, share a song that you’re currently listening to and a book that you think goes really well with it! It can be a profound connection or a simple one, so long as you give us all the best music and book recs!

Be sure to leave a YouTube link to the song for curious listeners!

I’m pretty sure something like this exists out there, so I am not going to claim this to be an original idea. If you guys wish to participate with me, I would love you to tag me anyways, especially if you use my graphic 😉

Tune: Medusa — Jhay Cortez, Anuel AA, J. Balvin

Look this song is….maybe not the most sentimental and profound song out there, but it has a beat and I like to rock out to it. The lyrics when you translate them are something else, y’all. You name it: drugs, money, killing, sex, it’s all in there.

What book could I possible associate with this tune?

Title: Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

0ebe6-25038510_1970163176642377_4992849767353548800_n

Here me out, this book is about Mexican vampires and narcos and yes, it does have drugs, money, killing and sex. But I chose this book because the beat and the first lyric “No hay excusa” (There is no excuse) match the cutthroat atmosphere of the book. The vampire life is tough and one of the main characters, Atl does what she has to do to survive. The song might be a little more macho-oriented, so it would be a good song for the bad buys I think, especially Nick!


Let me know what you think! Have you listened to this song? Have you read this book? What song would you associate with bloody vampire books?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

read