Where Dreams Descend | Review // Only sparks when I wanted to be burned!

Greetings readers!

Here I go again being unfamiliar with popular culture things and still reading books based on them anyways! That’s right, I’m doing it again. To be fair though, I know the absolute bare minimum details of the two comp titles used to promote this book, so I didn’t feel as lost as other times.

And yet even if I hadn’t been exposed to The Phantom of the Opera and Moulin Rouge before reading this I would 10/10 want to know all about them afterwards!

Where Dreams Descend by Janella Angeles

Where Dreams Descend (Kingdom of Cards, #1)
via Goodreads

Pub Date: August 25th, 2020
Publisher: Wednesday Books

In a city covered in ice and ruin, a group of magicians face off in a daring game of magical feats to find the next headliner of the Conquering Circus, only to find themselves under the threat of an unseen danger striking behind the scenes.

As each act becomes more and more risky and the number of missing magicians piles up, three are forced to reckon with their secrets before the darkness comes for them next.

The Star: Kallia, a powerful showgirl out to prove she’s the best no matter the cost

The Master: Jack, the enigmatic keeper of the club, and more than one lie told

The Magician: Demarco, the brooding judge with a dark past he can no longer hide

Where Dreams Descend is the startling and romantic first book in Janella Angeles’ debut Kingdom of Cards fantasy duology where magic is both celebrated and feared, and no heart is left unscathed.

The Likes:

Kallia is *chef’s kiss* phenomenal! A powerhouse is the best description for her. She was fierce and unapologetic all the time. She had dreams and a goal and boy did she risk it all for to get what she wanted! She has been living in the cage all her life and I love that she takes her chance at freedom despite the fact that she might be headed into more danger. She got bite and she not afraid to use it!

Demarco was your broodster and I liked him well enough. He was more reserved for *reasons* He was not running from his past, but more trying to do penance for tragedy that stopped him from performing. I liked how much he overthought things. Quite opposite from our dear Kallia who went in head first and damned the consequences.

Jack is most mysterious of all the characters and I liked that we got to circle back to him every once in a while. I liked the intrigue and danger that surrounded him and his club that was in the middle of the woods. He’s not a villain per see, but I can definitely tell he is not everything that he seems!

Aaros is my favourite character. Gosh I loved him. He was charming and silly and complemented Kallia perfectly as her assistant (no toxic masculinity here), I don’t know why I always fall for the side characters, but I did and I love him! His platonic relationship with Kallia was so great! We love to see it!

The world building…oh I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but this world is quite intriguing! I raged at the patriarchal society that tries to squash Kallia, but I gotta say I loved to see her break every barrier and overcome their fragile gender ideals! That being said there is some mystery deeply engraved in this world. The dynamics between the magicians and non-magicians were interesting because the people with power were both revered and feared! Then we throw in a circus and things just get way more fabulous! I loved the Conqueror ladies and I would 10/10 read a book solely based on them! And finally put in a deceptive and dangerous forest that isolates this city and you are fully immersed in this world of wonder and magic!

Spectaculore was exciting! I’m always a sucker for competitions in books! As I said before, Kallia had to break through several hurdles set in her path because she was a female magician performing on stage as herself and not an assistant or showgirl. This competition had high stakes and always held a surprise. Personally, I loved reading about Kallia excel in this craft! I loved reading about the shows she put on and the magic she made happened.

The romance was triangular and yet…was not. I can definitely see The Phantom of the Opera influences when it comes to the romance. I liked the hate-to-love thing going on between Kallia and Demarco! It kept things interesting. I liked Jack’s secret visitations to Kallia, even though they bordered stalker creepiness! It just kept things interesting. And I hesitate to call this a true triangle because I’m not sure if Kallia can truly be interested in Jack after having kept her trapped for so long.

The ending was quite quite QUITE fascinating and cliff-hangery. I’m into it.

The Questionable

Alongside the competition plot is also this mystery that well stays a mystery XD It digs into every corner of the story and it brought some thrill which I liked, but in the end it’s just a series of bad things that happen. It hooked me in the moment, but then we quickly forgot about it so I didn’t find it all that compelling in the end. 

This story is a slow burn, it was a lot of build-up as these characters danced around revealing their secrets to each other and to the readers! I like the slow burn, but this one led to some not really jaw-dropping reveals. Like I wasn’t shocked when the revelation happens. It was a little underwhelming really. I had hoped for something more. Something big and explosive, but I felt only a little glimmer of “Oh!” I was just not that surprised or shocked by the secrets that get revealed.

The magic is just magic. I didn’t really identify any origins other than some are born magical and some acquire it. I was left with several questions of what exactly this magic is to a person, born or acquired. Like what do they feel? Is it a force they pull from within? How does magic vary from person to person? What makes one stronger than the other? It was a book full of magic, and yet I felt like it was the least explained part of the novel.

I wanted to see more of Jack and Kallia and Hellfire House’s past to feel that emotional intensity. I get that Kallia was supposed to be really attached to Jack and the house, but I just didn’t feel it. I think more time should have been spent in Hellfire House before we left for Glorian. The former had thrill and was such a big part of Kallia’s life, but we spend so little time there. Like we are told that her connections to this house are big, but we hardly spend enough time there to feel that same pull ourselves. It’s simply a place I would have liked to spend more time in, even though I understand the bigger part of the story happens in Glorian.

Overall, this book was a magical experience that sparked but didn’t catch fire. It is long and you have to be patient with the slow burn, but I think that it was pretty entertaining overall. I’m sure big fans of The Phantom of the Opera and Moulin Rouge will find little Easter eggs and nuggets to enjoy. I, myself, found this book enjoyable but not astounding. It has magic, but the mystery of the unexplained bad thing kept me from truly being swept off my feet. I think even a tiny more information about it could have helped. I think the characters and the circling perspectives were the greatest assets of the story. This book might have not met the shock I had hoped for, but I would be willing to read book two!

Rating: 3.5 / 5 Stars

Recommend: I’d say yes for the slow-burn lovers!

Let me know what you think! Have you read this? Are you looking forward to reading this? Are you fans of the musicals?

*Please Share and/or Donate = Link to a master list of how you can help/educate yourself on Black Lives Matter and other humanitarian movements across the globe*

Happy reading!

~ Rendz


Lobizona | Review // We love and appreciate a good Latinx Fantasy!!!

Greetings readers!

I’m very happy to be bringing you a review for one of my most anticipated books! If there is anything I ask the universe for, it is for more Latinx Fantasy books and lately the universe has been saying “Okay, Rendz. Here you go!”

And life just gets 10x better whenever I totally love these books!

*Many thanks to the publisher for providing me a digital ARC via Netgalley!*

Lobizona by Romina Garber

Lobizona (Wolves of No World, #1)
via Goodreads

Pub Date: Aug 4th, 2020
Publisher: Wednesday Books

Some people ARE illegal.

Lobizonas do NOT exist.

Both of these statements are false.

Manuela Azul has been crammed into an existence that feels too small for her. As an undocumented immigrant who’s on the run from her father’s Argentine crime-family, Manu is confined to a small apartment and a small life in Miami, Florida.

Until Manu’s protective bubble is shattered.

Her surrogate grandmother is attacked, lifelong lies are exposed, and her mother is arrested by ICE. Without a home, without answers, and finally without shackles, Manu investigates the only clue she has about her past–a mysterious “Z” emblem—which leads her to a secret world buried within our own. A world connected to her dead father and his criminal past. A world straight out of Argentine folklore, where the seventh consecutive daughter is born a bruja and the seventh consecutive son is a lobizón, a werewolf. A world where her unusual eyes allow her to belong.

As Manu uncovers her own story and traces her real heritage all the way back to a cursed city in Argentina, she learns it’s not just her U.S. residency that’s illegal. . . .it’s her entire existence.

The Likes

I really enjoyed Manu’s character. She was a girl unknown to the world around her being confined to the tiny apartment she shares with her mom and adoptive grandmother. I liked how honest she was about her situation, and that even though it looked dour she had hope it would change. I also liked that she took charge of her situation when she finally realized she was tired of being told what to do. And I loved that she had the strength to listen to her own thoughts when there were so many other telling her what she should do. In the end she made decisions for herself. Were they all great decisions, no, but she made them and stuck to them which was pretty admirable!

I also loved her struggle with finding ways to belong. She finds herself caught in two worlds, caught in two cultures and struggling to find her place in both! It is a theme that I think will resonate with lots of readers (although in different ways). Manu is constantly confronted with invisible barriers that prevent her from making those connections she wants and finding her place in her worlds! It was kind of sad but at the same time really interesting to read about.

Other characters…first of all the mom, despite her short appearance, is such a great character! The same goes for Perla, the grandmother! I have a big feeling that there is more to their stories than giving in this one novel (maybe we’ll get more in book 2!) Then there is this great cast of friends that I just !!!!!!!! They were such a great bunch together! From Cata’s brusqueness to Saysa’s gentleness and then the very colourful personalities of all the boys! Special shout out to Pablo for just being generally the best of them.

The Septimus world is pretty freaking magical! First of all we have a magic school where witches and werewolves study their powers and rise in the ranks of the pack-society. I loved that the school was centered around a magical tree that was an active member of the community and actually connected different worlds together! This book is chock full of Argentinian myth and folklore! I’ve heard of the myth of Lobizones before and this book was a deep dive into it  while also giving it a twist! Then there is an incredible magic system tied to the elements that just adds a whole other level to the playing field! Not to mention magical eyes that carry a uniqueness to each Septimus!!!! The actual world of Lunaris also brings in so many more creatures and magic and danger! I loved every moment we spent exploring it!

While there wasn’t much action in the plot per se, unless we are talking about the Septibol matches!, this book had a lot of suspense. We were on constant edge because the risk of discovery is real and the consequences are HUGE! There were lots of chapter cliffhangers that kept up the pace of the read and never truly left us with a dull moment. Up to the 60% mark I kind of knew what would go down, but beyond that it was new territory and we are given REVELATIONS!!!!!! There were betrayals and secrets and so much more that kept me on the edge of my seat!w

This book was full of great discussions around misogyny, gender identity, menstruation, immigration and the desire to belong. The world of Septimus is so attached to the binary of male and female and I like how Garber tackled the limits of this rigid structure. I liked that we got to see different identities pop up and defy the norms forced upon the population. I loved that we had major girl power fighting against a system that constantly kept them back from reaching for the stars! I also loved how Manu’s ties to the world of Lunaris are also tied to her menstrual cycle and the role it plays! (You just never see that in fantasy!) And of course immigration is a huge theme in this novel and what it means to label people as “illegal” and be undocumented. It was honest, heartfelt and very much a reflection of how people are treated like less than human for wanting safety and refuge. It was woven so perfectly into the novel and while I don’t think it’s a spoiler to say this ***be warned here*** the status of illegality is not something she only contends with in the US, but in the Septimus world too. ***end of a possible-not really spoiler***

The Questionable

The romance between the main characters was so obvious, there wasn’t any real yearning. A lot of it had to do with the fact that I thought Tiago had no personality. It was also very insta-lovely that I just wasn’t really into. And I just didn’t really like him. The only things I got from him were that he was indecisive, had a hero-complex and literally everyone thought he was great…except for me. And the romance took centre stage in so many places I was just over it.

I didn’t really care for any of the Harry Potter references, but they are there for a reason understandably. But if I’m being honest, the book could have done perfectly fine with just the other literary influences.

Overall, I enjoyed reading this book very much! It was a great first installment in what I think will be a duology! The world was magical, the characters–especially Manu–were brilliant. It’s magical and whimsical and suspenseful! It’s an adventure in identity and realizing that you don’t need to change to fit the world, but that the world has to change to fit you!

Rating: 4 / 5 Stars

Recommend: Absolutely! For those who have always wanted more witches and werewolves, take a shot at these brujas and lobizones!

Let me know what you think! Have you read this? Are you looking forward to reading this? Would you rather be a werewolf or witch?

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

Happy reading!

~ Rendz


A Song of Wraiths and Ruin | Review // YA Fantasy as it should be!

Greetings readers!

You know that moment when you put a book on hold at the library the day after it releases and it predicts a 26 week wait? Yeah I know the feeling. Happened with this book. But then the book gods shined down on me and it ended only being about a 3 week wait! Which was just in time to do a buddy read this with Natalie @ TheFineArtofReading!

A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown

A Song of Wraiths and Ruin (A Song of Wraiths and Ruin, #1)
via Goodreads

Pub Date: June 2nd, 2020
Publisher: Baltzer & Bray

The first in an fantasy duology inspired by West African folklore in which a grieving crown princess and a desperate refugee find themselves on a collision course to murder each other despite their growing attraction.

For Malik, the Solstasia festival is a chance to escape his war-stricken home and start a new life with his sisters in the prosperous desert city of Ziran. But when a vengeful spirit abducts Malik’s younger sister, Nadia, as payment into the city, Malik strikes a fatal deal—kill Karina, Crown Princess of Ziran, for Nadia’s freedom.

But Karina has deadly aspirations of her own. Her mother, the Sultana, has been assassinated; her court threatens mutiny; and Solstasia looms like a knife over her neck. Grief-stricken, Karina decides to resurrect her mother through ancient magic . . . requiring the beating heart of a king. And she knows just how to obtain one: by offering her hand in marriage to the victor of the Solstasia competition.

When Malik rigs his way into the contest, they are set on a course to destroy each other. But as attraction flares between them and ancient evils stir, will they be able to see their tasks to the death?

The Likes

Wow, I had a really fantastic time reading this novel. I remember reading the synopsis when I first added the book to my TBR and thinking YES this is for me. But since I am who I am, I never really reread it so I went into this a little blind and I came out with an illuminated mind!

First of all we have to talk about this epic world. Inspired by West African folklore, this book is steeped in myth and magic and lore. From the houses of gods to the griots to huge creatures that roamed the land, every single page was presented something interesting to note and discover! Brown did an amazing job of building this world and walking the reader through every new point of information. I especially loved that this story took place during a special festival that comes every few years and that it is centered around a magical competition, which always means lots of antics and fun! On top of this amazing crafted world is the deceptive world of politics that touches every character! The relationships between governments and nations is a tricky business, not so black and white as it might first appear to be. I don’t want to say too much because spoilers! but let’s just say things get real twisty and I was shooketh!

AND THESE CHARACTERS! We get to accompany two spectacular characters! First up is I-do-not-give-a-single-F Karina! She is fierce and trouble making and way too cool for you! She never wanted to rule, but when she’s thrust into the role she becomes the queen of finding loopholes because all my girl really wants is to get out! I really enjoyed Karina’s character! She was always shadowed by her sister and then she was always under so much pressure from her mother to step up and act up. Reading about her journey in dealing with all the grief and expectation was very compelling!

Then there is Malik, an absolute king. Being the definition of a cinnamon roll, you can’t help but adore this boy. He absolutely loves his family and will go to any length for them which is just such an admirable trait, but he is also very naive and it takes him a journey and a half to build up his courage (which considering the circumstances is very understandable!) But don’t let the shy-boy fool you he is also SLY af. You wouldn’t expect it but hmmmmmm he is not that innocent *in the words of Britney Spears*

The magic in this book is very interesting but very mysterious, which just brings out more high stakes and fun! There is a lot more to come in the sequel and I am super super excited for it!

If you love heart-racing stories then this book is definitely for you! The amount of twists and turns this book took, the betrayal that happens, the revelations that occur are jaw-dropping! I was seriously bug-eyed as I was reading this book! There were some points where I just couldn’t put it down. Let it be known that the stakes in this book are HIGH. There is so much to lose and death seems like a very big likelihood when you start reaching the end! There was never a dull moment to be had, it wasn’t always all action, but there was always something that was going on that kept me clinging to the book.

I also loved that this book had a large emphasis on the representation of mental health. Karina copes with reoccurring migraines and Malik is often overcome by panic attacks. They both endured trauma in their pasts that trigger these symptoms and it was very eye-opening to read about it in a fantasy novel. I liked how Brown embraced these experiences in the character’s arcs, there is one moment that was really special that I just– !!! –My heart burst when I read it! We don’t get mental health representation often in fantasy so I really enjoyed reading about it.

The questionable section really doesn’t exist for this book. I enjoyed every second of it!

Overall, this was an incredible YA debut! It was a suspenseful, twisty, magical tale full of heart and high-stakes! There is something for everyone in this book I think! And that ending is sure to leave every reader totally astounded! I for one cannot wait for book 2!

Rating: 5 / 5 Stars

Recommend: Absolutely yes!

Let me know what you think! Have you read this book yet? Are you looking forward to reading it! What are your favourite books that have themes in mental health? Bonus if they’re fantasy!

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

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

Unravel the Dusk | Review // A book literally about fighting inner demons

Greetings readers!

Today I am bringing to you a review of one of my anticipated sequels of 2020 and I am glad to say that I enjoyed it very very much!

*Many thanks to Penguin Teen CA for the ARC!*

Unravel the Dusk by Elizabeth Lim

Unravel the Dusk  (The Blood of Stars, #2)
via Goodreads

Pub Date: July 7th, 2020
Publisher: Knopf

The thrilling sequel to SPIN THE DAWN, a magical series steeped in Chinese culture.

Maia Tamarin’s journey to sew the dresses of the sun, the moon and the stars has taken a grievous toll. She returns to a kingdom on the brink of war. The boy she loves is gone, and she is forced to don the dress of the sun and assume the place of the emperor’s bride-to-be to keep the peace.

But the war raging around Maia is nothing compared to the battle within. Ever since she was touched by the demon Bandur, she has been changing . . . glancing in the mirror to see her own eyes glowing red, losing control of her magic, her body, her mind. It’s only a matter of time before Maia loses herself completely, but she will stop at nothing to find Edan, protect her family, and bring lasting peace to her country.

YA fantasy readers will love the sizzling forbidden romance, mystery, and intrigue of UNRAVEL THE DUSK.

The Likes

Maia continued to be a great MC in this book! But unlike book one which was more self-discovery, this one was definitely a self-recovery as we dived deep into her inner character. It’s a battle against forces outside and within herself as she faces the dark power growing within her. Her old self, the one with that had a heart of gold, is slowly decaying and just reading about that self-destruction she has chosen to undertake for her country is quite inspiring. I’m not sure how many of us can say we would willingly turn ourselves into demons for the sake of defeating a demonic tyrant. And I’m not sure how many of us can say we’d fight tooth and nail out of said demon clutches to restore our humanity again. Suffice to say that she goes through some stuff.

Eden was still very mysterious and a Tragic Magic Boy. AND he is a serious Tragic Magic Boy in this one let me tell you! His relationship with magic was a really important point for his development in this story. I think his POV would have been an interesting element to have in the book as well. Just to see what was running around in his thoughts when he had to face the consequences for his past actions.

Then there are other characters who just…get in the way of happiness and make things interesting. The demons, the Shansen, the emperor, they all make for a great series of antagonists that just keep coming to kill the joy. And yeah I’m saying that this is one of the things I liked because it means that the story isn’t so clean simple to barrel through. They put up some great challenges for our MCs to conquer.

While there was a heavy focus on Maia’s inner journey there was also travelling happening in the outside world too. We get to see more places and learn new magic happenings. We learn more stories about the magical creatures roaming the land. There are some epic battles fought with enemies of both the magic kind and the human kind. Maia may not be a warrior but she doesn’t have much of a choice but to take up this fight anyways. She is still a tailor who wields a wicked pair of scissors and that counts for something! That being said I like how we got to see the penalties of using magic for reasons beyond making a simple stitch and instead to fight a demon, whether it be for good or bad.

Y’all this book had the angst too! Not only in terms of the lovers destined for doom but just for the sake that Maia is literally turning into a demon and losing her memories. And then we get to this very emotional scene and I was just saying omg omg omg the whole time. So be aware that this book does come with the emotional baggage you would expect to come from a story about a girl who is fighting to not lose who she is. 

In the midst of writing this review I JUST HAD THE TITLE EPIPHANY AND OH MY GOD. I get it now and it is quite genius.  And since I’m here I might as well talk about the cover secrets because Y’ALL the cover has lots of secrets about the book and I loved flipping back to cover as I read and pointing out the things I recognized.

My biggest mistake with this series was not rereading book 1 because I had only vague memories of the final plot points! Despite not remembering everything though, Lim did a good job of jogging the memory of readers. I still think it would have benefited me to do a reread though so I could have really appreciated all the connections.

The Questionable

I feel like the solution to the political problems was a little too rash and unrealistic. I mean I question a lot about how this country will readjust and I just don’t think I quite believe it. And a lot of it has to do with the fact that I wasn’t a big fan of Lady Sarnai. I’m not sure I liked her in book 1, but this one. I don’t know. I felt bad for her at points in time, but other times she just….mmm…..no. I didn’t feel very warm things towards her.

Overall, I really enjoyed this story. It was a deep dive into one Maia’s inner turmoil as she fights to save the ones that she loves and not lose herself in the process. The writing and storytelling is still as magical as it was in book 1. Lim did an incredible job of creating such a rich world and dynamic characters to fall in love with. I personally cannot wait for her next book which is based on a legend that was told in this book AND I LOVE IT WHEN BOOKS CONNECT!

Rating: 4 / 5 Stars

Recommend: YES!

Let me know what you think! Have you read this? How beautiful is this cover? Do you enjoy reading stories about a character’s inner turmoil?

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

Happy reading!

~ Rendz


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

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.



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


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

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


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

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


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

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

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


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

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


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

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


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