Friday, 30 October 2015

Review: Pledged (Gateway #3) by Louise G. White Synopsis:
The deal was simple: Carolyn and her friends could return home after 21 days. What could happen in 3 short weeks? 
Rather a lot: Carolyn’s mother is livid about her “rescue” and Edward is being groomed for a chiefdom he doesn’t want. The Agency’s “elixir of life” has been perfected, and O.W.E. permits mean that certain humans have been authorised to work in the demon realms. 
The destroyer is about to face her greatest fear, and it has nothing to do with killing demons: 
She must decide what to do about Ethan and Note who risked everything for her and already accomplished the impossible in “Chasing the Demon”.

***I received the ARC eBook free as a review copy from the author in exchange for an honest review***

After finishing a book with a spectacular ending, be it tragic or happy, I’m high on the feels and then looking back days or weeks later I don’t understand what made me give it such a high rating. This series has once again been the exception, throwing my all my expectations out the window – a really good thing!

Louise G. White continues to surprise me with how quickly I become invested in the story each time I pick up one of her books as well as how much I care about the characters, old and new. I could read the story from any perspective and love it! Which says so much to me about how amazing each aspect of the book is.

There is something for everyone in this complex world – magic, action, adventure, fast-pace, twists, platonic relationships, humour, romance, betrayal, darkness and more. I can’t recommend the Gateway series enough.
Favourite Quotes:
“Love defied explanation, much like magic. It could be spun, shaped and moulded to take o a wonderfully beautiful shape … or the exact opposite.”

“What I do, what the team does … matters. I know how it sounds and I’m not so arrogant as to think it’s all about me, either. Ethan, Mario, even Note from a distance, they’re all a part of it – the bigger picture. I’m proud to be numbered amongst them.”

“I can’t ever be just a friend,” and he pressed his forehead against hers, feeling it as almost more intimate than a kiss. There’s no-one else for me, Carolyn. You are the centre of my universe, and there’s nothing – not the love of my people, my realm … not anything that comes close to how I feel about you.”

“Their lives held no guarantees, each carrying responsibilities that would test them, but together there was nothing they couldn’t face. Fated or not, supported or not, they were a force with which to be reckoned.”

Monday, 26 October 2015

Sunday Post (1?)

Originally created & hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer
I saw this done by Cindy over at Da Readaholic yesterday (yes I know it's Monday, I know this is late but I hadn't even planned on doing it!) and thought it was a lovely idea where you share news and recap - as of right now I have no clue whether or not this will be a weekly/monthly meme on my blog xD

My half term break has started which means I get a week off school *throws confetti* my plans consist of sleeping, reading and sleeping some more! I'm hoping to include a little blogging in there too (it would be good to plan ahead and pre-write some posts).
     In regards to my etsy shop Enchanted Bottle Craft, with Halloween almost here I have listed some new designs where you can get 10% off with coupon code 'Halloween10' for a week. There's a lot there so hopefully you might find something! If these deals are a success I might end up doing a different one every/every other week <3

These Past Week's Posts
Review: Chasing the Demon (Gateway Series #2) by Louise G. White 23/10/15
Fall Time Cozy Time Book Tag 19/10/15
Review: Warriors (The Reverians #3) by Sarah Noffke 15/10/15
ARC Review: Candidate (The Black Mage #3) by Rachel E. Carter 11/10/15
WWW Wednesday (3) 7/10/15

Books Read

Currently Reading

Book Mail
Six of Crows (Six of Crows #1) by Leigh Bardugo - I pre-ordered this to read it asap but still haven't gotten around to it 0.0
Hexed (The Witch Hunter #1) by Michelle Krys - beautiful inside and out I've heard
Revived & Rebels by Sarah Noffke - 2 of my favourite books, so it was only right to get signed copies ;)

And that's it!
How was your week? Did you do/get something nice?

Friday, 23 October 2015

Review: Chasing the Demon (Gateway Series #2) by Louise G. White Synopsis:
The system has been changing; the Agency flaunts its cruel practices, and the balance of the realms has been disrupted. Ethan's enforcers are already stretched to the limits, and things get worse when alliances are forged between the worst of the demon realms. Meanwhile, on Empustat, Carolyn has spent an entire year being "reconditioned" - her memories being wiped and replaced in order to produce a limited and vapid princess. Under the constraints of the Chief, she is no longer the feared and mythical "destroyer" Carolyn's life of privilege is marred only by the expectations held for her to marry Peter and produce heirs for the realm. Her friend, Mario, in contrast, has suffered hardship and humiliation at the hands of the Lilim guard - and a chance encounter will spur Carolyn's awakening. The disabled gateway has frustrated the team's efforts to reach Carolyn, and Ethan and Note can barely tolerate each other, but both mage and demon share the same goals. Hope by way of an unexpected source leads to the team embarking on a plan so daring that their survival hangs in the balance. With old and new friends from the realms, the fight for order continues.

***I received the eBook free as a review copy from the author in exchange for an honest review***

Whoa. I will be the first person to admit that my immediate response upon picking up a book to multiple perspectives after falling in love with one in the first book is “go away”. And I will also admit that this book completely changed my mind: I ended up loving seeing the events unfold through different eyes and how it affected them. Since the characters were spread out all over the place, it just made sense.

The introduction of new characters was also a welcome surprise that kept it interesting. My heart however remains with Carolyn, Ethan and of course Note. They’re all so unique (as you can imagine with the very original circumstances which I won’t go into for fear of spoilers) and their character development was written beautifully. Carolyn had already gone through some major changes; after all the “destroyer” and “reconditioning” stuff we start to see her coming into herself – and she is an intelligent badass!

Ethan has even grown on me, though in my eyes he still doesn’t stand a chance against Note. Ahh Note, my gorgeous-heartbroken-demon <3 he’s not had it easy losing Carolyn but the way it’s made him grow just reaffirms that he deserves so much more than living under other people’s unfair rule.

The lines between good and evil have blurred in this instalment which couldn’t be more exciting to read about. Add in constant action and brilliant plot twists around every corner and you’ve got a series perfect for any paranormal/sci-fi reader.
Favourite Quote:
“In a moment of clarity between the five, Sean could almost believe that they could take on the worst that the realms had to offer.”

Monday, 19 October 2015

Fall Time Cozy Time Book Tag

I'm sitting here under a blanket with a mug of hot chocolate, looking out the window where the trees are slowly losing their leaves and it's finally starting to feel like Autumn <3 so it seemed right to do the Fall Time Cozy Time Book Tag.
Originally created by Novels & Nonsense over on booktube I saw it done by Olivia's Catastrophe.
     And on with the tag!

CRUNCHING LEAVES: The world is full of colour. Choose a book that has reds, oranges or yellows on the cover. 
I decided to go with Unmade (The Lynburn Legacy #3) by Sarah Rees Brennan. Since I read this series on my phone I couldn't obsess over the beautiful covers so now I'm making up for it! JUMPER: It's finally cold enough to don warm, cozy clothing. What book gives you the warm fuzzies?
I've said it before and I'll say it again - I can't do a tag without mentioning this series. It is of course Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling. Reading these books has become a pick-me-up and never fails to brighten my mood and give me the warm fuzzies.

FALL STORM: The wind is howling and the rain is pounding. Choose your favourite book/genre that you like to read on a stormy day.
For some reason love to read sci-fi on days like that...

COOL CRISP AIR: Who's the coolest character you'd want to trade places with?

Never have I had an answer for this question, until I saw Olivia's which is Annabeth (we even have part of the same name!) from the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan and it was one of those smack on the head moments ahah. I'd love to be her and not only for Percy ;) though of course he plays a huge part...

HOT APPLE CIDER: What under-hyped book do you want to see become the next biggest, hottest thing?
There are so many answers for this... Recently I finished Warriors (The Reverians #3) by Sarah Noffke and if you've seen my review, you'll know I adore this author's writing. Each one of her books deserves to be a bestseller if you ask me!

COATS, SCARVES & MITTENS: The weather has turned cold and it's time to cover up. What's the most embarrassing book cover you own that you would like to keep hidden in public?
I feel like the obvious answer is most NA romances but since I don't own any of them, my second thought was Sweet Peril (The Sweet Trilogy #2) by Wendy Higgins. While  I don't have anything against this series' choice of covers, they don't showcase YA in all it's glory to me.
PUMPKIN SPICED LATTE: What's your favourite fall time comfort food or drink?
Chocolate and earl grey tea are my faves all year round <3 though I really do want to try hot chocolate with pumpkin spice (which is apparently a thing and really good!)

So that's the end of today's post :) I hope you enjoyed reading my answers, and let me know some of yours in the comments! I'd love to know

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Review: Warriors (The Reverians #3) by Sarah Noffke Synopsis:
Austin Valley appears as it always has, but Em Fuller knows that appearances aren’t what they seem. She knows under the surface, that cracks are starting to form in this seemingly well-manicured society. She’s responsible for creating these cracks and for planting a slow dissension among many of the residents of this once happy city. Broken in a way Em never thought possible, she turns into a well-calculated, strategic leader. With the help of the brightest minds in Austin Valley, Em begins building an army whose only purpose is to protect the population of Austin Valley from their President, Victor Vider. Em firmly believes the success of her army is inevitable, that is until a new blow strikes her heart and she questions whether she has the tenacity to go on. 

***I received the ARC eBook free as a review copy from the author in exchange for an honest review***

A phenomenal end to one of my favourite series. It made me laugh, it made me cry but most importantly it has left me happy and content – that’s not to say I’m not eagerly awaiting Ren’s novella and anything else Noffke will send our way (because I am).

Never again will I go into one of her books anxious about how things will play out or if characters will finally grow a pair and admit their feelings *looks meaningfully at Zack* because I couldn’t have hoped for better. As is life we don’t know the endings to everyone’s story and for that I’m glad because it will allow this series to live on in my head; though we are witness to enough that I know where my favourite characters are now.

It has been an incredible journey, with so many unexpected turns that continue through this final novel. Finding out people’s backstories and yet more secrets emphasised how complex this world and its people Noffke created are, making for a read that kept me invested throughout. And how could you not be?

I only finished a couple days back and already can’t wait to re-read sometime, feeling nostalgic thinking about the characters. Zack made a real lasting impression on me with his quiet inner strength that made a difference to so many people which complemented Em’s so well. Even though Rogue made no appearances, I loved the part he played in their beautiful story.

Overall this book was undoubtedly beautiful, not only in the way it was written, but played out and concluded.
Favourite Quotes:
“We are humans who make wrong decisions, who act in strange ways, who have freckles and ailments. We are humans who are incredible in both our capacity to love and our resistance to hate. And in our imperfections we are beautiful.” 

“Books are full of words and they are the most influential tools in the world. These seemingly innocent things strung together by letters have the power to ignite ideas, to spark a dying motivation, to fuel a passion.” 

“People fight wars for power. But those who win are motivated by love. Never lose sight of that.” 

“You’re the empire I’d protect. You’re my reason for serving. I want you above all else. You’re my freedom.” 

Sunday, 11 October 2015

ARC Review: Candidate (The Black Mage #3) by Rachel E. Carter Synopsis:
Welcome to the Candidacy. Where dreams go to die.

Twenty-year-old Ryiah is a black mage of Combat, but she is not the Black Mage. Yet. She’s had her eyes on the legendary robe for as long as she can remember, and in just one year she will have a chance at her country’s prodigious –and only- tourney for mages... Too bad she is going up against a certain non-heir. The one person she has yet to beat.

Meanwhile Ry has a year to prove herself in her new role as a war mage and the prince’s betrothed. Neither is quite what she expected and complications arise on both fronts. War is on the horizon, and with so many enemies the kingdom of Jerar’s fate is more than ever at risk.

The Candidacy finally arrives, but it’s only the beginning. Nothing can prepare her for what comes next.

***I received the eBook free as a review copy from the author in exchange for an honest review***

Wow. Rachel as done it again! Just thinking about this book makes me grin, and also want to throttle something – an unusual combination but you’ll understand once you’ve read it (which you totally should. And soon, because I need to fangirl with someone okay? Okay)

There’s so much to say about this book and so much I can’t say for fear of spoiling, so I’ll start with the fact that everything has stepped up a level. The world, the character depth, the “oh my god that did not just happen” moments all got a whole lot greater and I couldn’t be happier about it. As a reader I often go into books (particularly sequels) excited as well as nervous but I found that I was only excited (jumping up and down excited no less) because I knew that even if the author threw in hundreds of curveballs and killed off characters, I’d still thoroughly enjoy it. And she did. And I did.

One of the biggest surprises for me was the amount of time spent away from my beloved Darren (granted it’s probable that I would have wanted more scenes even if we saw him every other page…) This isn’t a “romance” series and so their relationship didn’t take centre stage, which made me treasure those moments even more; while also opening the story to many different directions.

In this instalment tensions are rising throughout the world, revealing secrets and characteristics people would prefer to be kept quiet. True colours are starting to come through… My non-spoiler low down of characters: love bad-ass female protagonist, want to marry 1 prince and kill the other, a certain king is full of ****, the kind best friend is someone everyone should have in their life, MC’s parents break my heart, the brothers… Yet to be decided.

What it comes down to is the fact that this book has everything I could have asked for, so if you’re like me and love an epic fantasy series with a kick-ass heroine, momentous plot, complex characters and enough action/romance to be satisfying, picking it up is a no-brainer.
Favourite Quotes:
“That’s the thing about enemies. You never know who they could end up being.”

“Darren wasn’t darkness, and I wasn’t his light.
I needed to show him he was fire. My fire. Something filled with light. Something good. Something just like my but wrapped up so tightly in his own barrier of darkness it could burn. Unless you knew how to unravel him.
Pressing my lips to his I shut my eyes and channelled my one single promise.
I will never give up on you.”

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

WWW Wednesday (3)

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Should be Reading where you answer three questions:
1) What are you currently reading?
2) What did you recently finish reading?
3) What do you think you'll read next? I picked up Warriors (The Reverians #3) by Sarah Noffke and let me tell you, it is awesome so far! I'm already in love with this series and don't see that changing anytime soon, even with this being the final book. If you haven't picked up any of Sarah Noffke's books yet, I definitely recommend that you do :D

I haven't actually read too much this month so far because I've been binge-watching reruns of Supernatural... (It actually inspired me to list some bottle necklaces on my etsy shop and in honour of the Season 11 premiering tonight there's a 15% OFF COUPON CODE with Supernatural15... Shameless self promotion over xD)     So the last book I finished is Candidate (The Black Mage #3) by Rachel E. Carter. And I loved every second of it. You'll be able to see more in my review that's coming in the next few days, so for now I'll just say that it had everything I could have asked for. And more. Halloween coming up I had planned to read lots of spooky thrillers etc (which I still might do) but after I've finished Warriors I am picking up Ruin and Rising (The Grisha #3) by Leigh Bardugo because after flying through the first 2 books at the end of last month I need to see what happens asap! Thoughts of the Darkling make me wonder why I'm not reading it right this second ;)

And that's the end of my post! I'd love to hear your answers to the original questions in the comments and if you've read any of these books ^^ (which I reiterate you totally should)

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Review: Strands of Bronze and Gold by Jane Nickerson Synopsis:
The Bluebeard fairy tale retold...

When seventeen-year-old Sophia Petheram’s beloved father dies, she receives an unexpected letter. An invitation—on fine ivory paper, in bold black handwriting—from the mysterious Monsieur Bernard de Cressac, her godfather. With no money and fewer options, Sophie accepts, leaving her humble childhood home for the astonishingly lavish Wyndriven Abbey, in the heart of Mississippi.

Sophie has always longed for a comfortable life, and she finds herself both attracted to and shocked by the charm and easy manners of her overgenerous guardian. But as she begins to piece together the mystery of his past, it’s as if, thread by thread, a silken net is tightening around her. And as she gathers stories and catches whispers of his former wives—all with hair as red as her own—in the forgotten corners of the abbey, Sophie knows she’s trapped in the passion and danger of de Cressac’s intoxicating world.

I found this book so underwhelming; everything that sounded great in theory (Bluebeard retelling and all that) ended up working against it and simply put – I was bored.

The historical setting was interesting but not nearly explored enough with Sophia spending all her time in the Abbey because of Bernard’s ultimate control. That meant interactions with people were limited (the few she did have were eye roll-worthy. Particularly the insta-love where I honestly looked back to check to see if I had fallen asleep for 100 pages) and it lacked any kind of action.

Only the ending held my attention because things happened. Unfortunately it was too little too late for me. To be honest I think it would have appealed more and been memorable had lots of characters died… This shows just how much love I had for them all!

Sophie is such an ignorant character, which I might have been able to move past had she not also been bland. You can understand that people don’t always want to accept what’s right in front of them, however when everything points to the person you’re staying with being a murdering psychopath, there’s a point where you need to get the hell out. And she had so many chances! The reason she stayed was a messed up martyr complex, for money no less. Just no.

That practically sums up my thoughts to Strands of Bronze and Gold – just no.
Favourite Quotes:
“Lucky Beauty. Her beast was a man in beast trappings. Far scarier is a beast in the trappings of a man.”