Tempests and Slaughter Review

Tempests and Slaughter (The Numair Chronicles, #1)Tempests and Slaughter by Tamora Pierce

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Man this book took me forever to get through! It took me over a month, and I feel like that is most likely because sections of the book dragged on and just went so slowly. It felt like there was a lot of unnecessary information given, although I know most of the actual events will probably become important in the next book in the series.

With all that being said, I do really love Tamora Pierce’s writing style and the world that she has created. Her Immortals series starting with Wild Magic was one of my favorite series growing up, and all three main characters from this series are in that one as well, although they are children in school in this book. I was extremely interested in seeing how they all ended up where they were at in the other series so that was something that I was really looking forward to with this book. Of course, because this is the first book in a new series, we don’t really get much in the way of that.

I do feel a little more sympathetic towards Ozorne now, but I still can’t stand him but maybe that’s because I know how he turns out as an adult! Arram is of course still my absolute favorite, he has such a good heart and really cares about other people, which really comes through when he has to work with the gladiators/slaves, and when he has conversations about slavery with his friends. I also liked seeing Tristan and Gisa in this book as well, I wasn’t expecting them to make an appearance here.

This follows Arram in his day to day life at his magic school, and focused a lot on their character development instead of the plot. That isn’t a bad thing, because I do love these characters and it was really great seeing them grow up, but I don’t think that we needed to see every single conversation that the characters had about their bodies changing as they grew up. I know it’s something that isn’t seen in a lot of YA/middle grade books and it’s fantastic that we are starting to see people talk about puberty and what happens, but in the context of this book I don’t really think we needed that.

Trying to rate this is actually really difficult for me, because I love this world and everything but I ended up going with 3 stars because I feel like some things could’ve been cut from the book and it could’ve been at least a hundred pages shorter, but it was still really enjoyable. I really wanted this to be a 5 star read for me, but sadly it just wasn’t. I did enjoy the book and I hope to continue on with the series because I do feel an attachment to these characters!

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The Aesthetically Pleasing Book Tag

Welcome back to tag Tuesday! This week, I’ll be doing the aesthetically pleasing book tag! This tag was created by Book Syrup, and you can find the original video here.


Best color combo on a book cover

The new paperback covers of the Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo have some of the best color combinations that I can think of on a cover!


Best typography/font on a book cover

This was a really hard one for me to choose, but I’m going to have to go with the typography on the Farseer trilogy by Robin Hobb. I just love the looping script!


Best simple cover

Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel is one of the most beautiful simple book covers that I have ever owned! The books I read tend to have really busy covers, so this is really refreshing to have on my shelves.


Best endpages

The first book that comes to mind for this question is The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert. While I didn’t enjoy the book as much as I had hoped I would, It is a gorgeous book with beautiful endpapers!


Best map

Without a doubt, one of my favorite maps ever can be found in The Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames. It is so detailed and I always enjoy going back and looking at the maps in my books.


Best naked hardback

This spot goes to two books (mainly because I can’t choose between the two). The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw and Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi. Not only are the naked books beautiful, but the dust jackets are gorgeous as well!


Best back cover

This is actually a really hard one, as most books that I own don’t have pretty back covers. For this prompt, I’ll have to go with the covers of Walk on Earth a Stranger and its sequel, Like a River Glorious by Rae Carson.


Best chapter headers

Without a doubt the best chapter headers that I’ve ever seen are the chapter headers from Harry Potter. Each chapter has a different illustration that goes along with the content of that chapter and they are gorgeous!


Best illustrations

I don’t own many books that have illustrations in them, but you can find beautiful illustrations in the 20th anniversary edition of The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss.


Best spine

My pick for best spines goes to the new paperback editions of The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare. They are all gorgeously illustrated and go perfectly together!


Favorite cover on your shelves

It’s really hard to pick a favorite out of all my books, they’re all gorgeous in their own ways. So, instead of picking one favorite, I’m sharing a photo of my two main bookshelves as all of my favorite covers can be found somewhere on these shelves.

To Kill a Kingdom – Review w/ spoilers

To Kill a KingdomTo Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Just a heads up, this review has some spoilers in it! Read at your own risk!

I enjoyed most of To Kill a Kingdom, but the first half felt a little slow for me and I had some trouble getting into it at the beginning. For me, this was probably because I’ve recently finished both Daughter of the Pirate King and Daughter of the Siren Queen, so I’ve read a lot of siren/pirate things recently. If I would’ve waited a bit more before reading this, I don’t think it would’ve taken me so long to get into it.

The whole idea of the story is so intriguing, it’s kind of a retelling of The Little Mermaid, but instead of following mermaids, this follows sirens, so it’s much darker and bloodier than that. (Of course, I’m talking the Disney version of The Little Mermaid).

To Kill a Kingdom follows two perspectives. The first of these is Lira, who is the daughter of the Sea Queen. Every year, she takes the heart of a prince and has earned herself the title of Princes’ Bane. Lira is cruel and coldhearted, and we eventually learn that this is because of how her mother abuses her.

The second perspective we get is that of Elian, who is the prince of Midas. Yes, Midas, where everything is made of gold and the royalty has golden blood. Except that isn’t quite true, as we find out that it’s all a show and it’s really gold paint and the golden blood is a lie. Elian is the heir to the throne, but he doesn’t want it. He just wants to be able to sail the seas with his crew hunting down sirens.

The two first come together when the Sea Queen orders Lira to take the heart of a sailor as punishment for taking a heart before her birthday. For Lira, it is the ultimate insult to have to take the heart of someone that is not a prince, so in order to get back into her mother’s good graces, she decides to take the heart of the siren hunting prince instead.

Eventually, the Sea Queen finds out and as punishment for Lira, she is turned into a human and is ordered to take Elian’s heart as a human to prove that Lira is worthy of being the heir to the siren’s kingdom.

I loved the chemistry between Lira and Elian, their banter was enjoyable and witty. They start off as enemies: Lira is mean, hardheaded, and basically an all around pain in the ass. However, even though we are supposed to look at her like she is one of the villains of the story, it’s really hard to see her that way as you watch her struggle with knowing that her mother is just waiting for her to fail so she can punish her even more. Elian is a good contrast to Lira, despite coming off as a scheming, thieving pirate, he really cares deeply about his crew and doesn’t enjoy killing sirens, he sees it more as his duty to kill them.

One of my favorite tropes of all time is the enemies-to-lovers trope, especially when it includes witty banter and is more of a slow burn up to the point where the two characters realize that they actually love each other. I loved how they helped and protected each other throughout the book, especially in the final battle after Elian realizes that the girl that he is falling in love with is actually the siren he has sworn to kill.

Another thing that I really found enjoyable was the way that both sirens and mermaids were portrayed. While the sirens were more human like than the mermaids, they were utterly deadly, with fangs and claws and extremely powerful. Mermaids are more fish than humans, and are more grotesque. The mermen are even more deadly and serve as warriors for the Sea Queen. Mermaids even lay eggs like fish do, further showing that they are completely different from the sirens.

I especially loved the ending, and how when Lira became the Sea Queen she completely changed how sirens interact with humans and I absolutely loved her character arc and how she went from deadly siren that doesn’t care about anyone but herself, to a (still deadly) Sea Queen that wants to show the world that sirens don’t have to be feared.

To Kill a Kingdom was one of my most anticipated releases of 2018, and for the most part, it lived up to that expectation. As I said at the beginning, I had a hard time getting into it, but once I reached the final battle I really got into it and flew through the rest of the book. If I were to give any recommendations, it would be to not read this right after finishing any similar books, as it can seem super repetitive!

“Meh” Book Tag

I was perusing the Books and Writing Amino when I came across the “Meh” book tag and thought that it would be something really interesting to do! There aren’t’ usually a lot of books that I feel “meh” about, but who knows? Doing this tag I may realize that there are more of them than I thought!

Original idea by The Bookish Babbler  

Question 1: What is your “meh” book rating?

Generally, if I think a book is “meh” I’ll give it a two star rating, although I could give it a higher rating if there are aspects of the book that I really liked.

Question 2: Series that started “meh” but ended really good.

For this, I think I’m going to have to go with A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas. I enjoyed the first book, but there were some aspects of it that I didn’t really enjoy. Then when I got to the second book I was blown away and I love the series so much! Feysand is one of my favorite ships of all time, and for good reason. They build each other up instead of tearing each other down.

Question 3: Series that started good but ended “meh”.

Again, I will have to say that A Court of Thorns and Roses is my pick for this question as well. Like I mentioned above, I loved A Court of Mist and Fury, but I was actually kind of disappointed by A Court of Wings and Ruin and how it ended. I still loved the friendships and Ferye and Rhysand together, but the action/plot wasn’t what I was expecting it to be. I wanted so much more from ACOWAR and it let me down.

Question 4: Overhyped author you think is just “meh”.

I really hate saying that I think this author is “meh” based off of the two books that I’ve read of hers, but those two books just didn’t quite reach my expectations. That author is Holly Black. I’ve read The Cruel Prince and The Darkest Part of the Forest, and while I enjoyed both of them, I don’t remember the characters names from The Darkest Part of the Forest, and The Cruel Prince had some elements that I just didn’t like. I do own The Coldest Girl in Coldtown and I plan on reading The Wicked King when it comes out, so I’m still holding out that those two will change my opinions on Black.

Question 5: A book people think is “meh” but you love.

This is actually a tough one, and I’m actually going to go with a series instead of just a single book. I wouldn’t say that everyone thought this series was “meh” but I’ve definitely heard a lot of people say that they didn’t enjoy the series. That series is the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J Maas. I absolutely adore this series from start to finish and I’m eagerly anticipating the final installment, even though I am terrified to find out what happens to all of my favorite characters.

Question 6: Book so “meh” you forgot the plot.

It’s actually pretty rare for me to forget a plot, I can tell you the basics of books that I read years and years ago, so when I forget the plot of a book that I read recently, it’s usually because it was a really “meh” book. Of course, I could reuse The Darkest Part of the Forest for this question, but to keep from reusing all the same books, I’m going to go with Stardust by Neil Gaiman. I honestly don’t remember anything that happened in this book (or really any of his books that I have read) and I just don’t think that his writing style is for me.

Question 7: “Meh” character that could easily be replaced.

I know that she is the main character and all, but Alice from The Hazel Wood was definitely replaceable for me. She didn’t have any redeeming qualities, and while we are (sort of) given an explanation for her behavior, I just didn’t really care for her. It actually took me a minute or two to even remember what her name was and I just read the book a few weeks ago. And yes, I know that I have two copies of this book even though I think its “meh”, the green cover I received in an Owlcrate box.

Question 8: Amazing book with a “meh” cover.

While I would never say that a cover is horrible or anything like that because I know that the artists work hard and are proud of their work, but there are definitely covers that just aren’t my favorite. One of those would be the cover for Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson. I love the book (and I highly recommend the audiobook) but the cover just isn’t my favorite.

Question 9: A book people love but you thought was just “meh”.

Falling Kingdoms is my choice for this question. I know a ton of people love this book and series, and almost everyone that I have heard talking about this book says that it gets so much better as the series goes on, but for me the first book was just “meh”. It felt like there was hardly anything going on, and I felt that way for the first half of Rebel Spring as well. I haven’t continued on with the series yet, so I have yet to see if everyone is right in saying that it gets so much better.

 

Do you have any books that fit into these questions? Let me know!

Daughter of the Siren Queen Review

Daughter of the Siren Queen (Daughter of the Pirate King, #2)

Daughter of the Siren Queen by Tricia Levenseller

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved this just as much as I loved the first book! If you enjoyed that one, then you will definitely love the second book. It was just as fast paced, witty and badass as Daughter of the Pirate Queen.

I loved seeing and learning more about the Sirens and that side of Alosa, and her relationships with her crew members showed that she isn’t really as heartless as she makes herself seem. She truly cares for them and everything she does is for them.

I really also enjoyed her relationship with Riden, and it really evolved as they got to know each other better. The one thing I didn’t like about their relationship is when [MINOR SPOILER] Alosa finally realizes that she loves him and says something along the lines of “why didn’t I see it before?” It kinda irked me, mainly because it was so obvious and she kept saying that she knew it but didn’t want to acknowledge it.

I loved getting to see more of Alosa’s crew and how they all interact with each other, especially since it is a mostly all-female crew! There’s also a father and daughter on the crew, and it was really sweet to see how much they loved each other and served as a great contrast between Alosa and her father.

This is one of those books that just makes you smile like an idiot at the end and your heart swells from joy! I honestly did not want it to end and Tricia Levenseller is now one of my autobuy authors!

Highly recommend!

Saga ~ Starting to like comic books/graphic novels

Saga, Vol. 1 (Saga, #1)

Saga, Vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I thoroughly enjoyed this graphic novel! I’m not really that into graphic novels and this is only my second one (the first being Nimona) and I immediately had to order the next two volumes! I loved the plot and it was pretty unique, and opened with a pretty graphic birth scene. A lot of the scenes are graphic and were a little disturbing, but because the plot was so interesting I let that slide a bit.

The graphics were amazing and I loved the dry humor and sarcasm.

The reason I took off a star is because sometimes I was a little thrown by the creepiness of some of the characters (women that are just heads and legs? The Stalk?) but overall it was a great short read!

March TBR & Most Anticipated Releases

Since I tend to be a mood reader, setting up a TBR list never really works out for me because I only read half the books I say I will! So this month, I decided to keep it more to finishing up series I started.

  • Rebel Spring by Morgan Rhodes (Falling Kingdoms #2) – I’m currently about halfway through this book, so I plan on finishing it this month.
  • Roomies by Christina Lauren – I’m also about halfway through this book as well, so I’m going to finish this one as well.
  • Tempests and Slaughter by Tamora Pierce – I loved her Wild Magic series as a kid and Numair was always one of my favorite characters so I’m really excited to read more about him!
  • Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller – I’ve heard great things about this book but I haven’t read it yet, so I can’t wait to get into it!
  • The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson – I’m about 30 pages into this book so I really want to finish it this month as well!

I know that this post is going up after I’ve actually finished my first few books of March, mainly because I thought this was posted and then realized that its not. Oops.

 

I’m also really looking forward to buying some new releases this month:

 

  • The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw – This sounds like a really fun kinda spooky read. It sounds a lot like Hocus Pocus and I am so here for that!
  • To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo – sirens and royalty and assassinations? Sign me up!
  • Children of Blood and Bone by Toni Adeyemi – West-African inspired fantasy about a girl trying to save magic and it sounds fantastic and the reviews so far are all high praise!
  • Daughters of the Storm by Kim Wilkins – Five princesses band together to stop their evil step brother from taking the throne from their ill father. It sounds like it will have a lot of female empowerment and sounds so interesting!

All of these releases actually come out tomorrow, March 6th.

 

Daughter of the Pirate King ~ Fantastic!

Daughter of the Pirate King (Daughter of the Pirate King, #1)

Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I NEED the second book now!!! I absolutely loved this book, and I don’t really know how to express all my thoughts about it. It was so enjoyable and went by so quickly, so my review will be pretty short.
I don’t think I’ve ever read a book with female pirates before and it was so enjoyable. It was a whole lot of fun and I loved the banter between Alosa and pretty much all of the characters, but especially Riden! I really enjoyed the relationship that Alosa and Riden had. Alosa is so freaking brilliant and I wish I was as witty and brilliant as she is.

This book brought me out of my reading slump and I devoured it in about 3 hours. The only bad thing I think I could say about this book is I wish it was longer!

Nimona ~ Reading a Graphic Novel

NimonaNimona by Noelle Stevenson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was my first time ever reading a graphic novel and I’m really glad that I picked this as my first one! The dialogue was witty, there was adventure and magic and friendship and it was great! I really liked the graphics and the characters, I would love it if there was a sequel or something to continue following these characters because I loved them all! I liked that Blackheart was a villain, but he was a villain with morals and had a good reason for being a villain. I really really enjoyed this graphic novel and I can’t wait to try out some more!

February Wrap-up

February was a pretty good reading month for me, I read a total of 6 books, all of which were fantasy:

  • one 2 star book
  • one 3 star book
  • one 4 star book
  • three 5 star books

The one star book was The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert, it just wasn’t for me and there was just not enough background information and world building for me to really get into it. I really thought it was going to be more of a fantasy book, but it felt like it was more along the lines of magical realism which I’m not really a fan of. To see my full review, click here.

My three star book was Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes. I really enjoyed this book, but I couldn’t really connect with the characters the way I wanted to. I liked the writing style and the book flew by, and I’m currently in the middle of the second book, Rebel Spring. To check out my full review of Falling Kingdoms, click here.

My four star book was The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli. I loved the dragons and how they needed to hear the old stories to become stronger, but I did not like the main character Asha which is why this ended up being a 4 star read instead of a five star read. I’m really looking forward to the second book in this series. Check out my full review here.

My first five star book was Furyborn by Claire Legrand. This book got my heart racing and I was on the edge of my seat the entire time! I was able to get an e-galley of this book, so I wasn’t able to get the full effect of the book (such as a map, which I’m really hoping the finished copies have!) I’m planning on buying the finished copy because this is most likely going to be one of my top reads of 2018. Check out my full review here.

The next five star book I read was Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames, and it was a hilarious fantasy novel! This was my first ever fantasy novel that had a lot of humor in it, and I immediately went out and bought a whole bunch of funny fantasy novels. This was one of my favorite reads so far this year, and I’m anxiously awaiting the companion novel, Bloody Rose which is expected to be released July 10, 2018. Check out my full review here.

Last by not least, I read The Queen’s Rising by Rebecca Ross. This five star read was really unique and interesting. The descriptions in this book were beautiful, not too much, but just enough to really feel like you are there and experiencing what the characters are doing and feeling. It seemed like there were influences from Scottish and French cultures, with one land being more clan/warrior like and the other being more refined and high society. This is the first book in a new trilogy, but there are no dates or titles for the next books in the series yet. To check out my full review, click here.

 

That’s it for my February wrap up! Have you read any of these books? Did you add a few more to your TBR list? Comment and let me know!