Review | Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Published by: Bloomsbury

Publication Date: August 12, 2012

Genre: Fantasy

Page Count: 404

Rating: 4/5

Source: Purchase

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When magic has gone from the world, and a vicious king rules from his throne of glass, an assassin comes to the castle. She does not come to kill, but to win her freedom. If she can defeat twenty-three killers, thieves, and warriors in a competition to find the greatest assassin in the land, she will become the king’s champion and be released from prison.

Her name is Celaena Sardothien.

The Crown Prince will provoke her. The Captain of the Guard will protect her. And a princess from a foreign land will become the one thing she never thought she’d have again: a friend. But something evil dwells in the castle-and it’s there to kill. When her competitors start dying, horribly, one by one, Celaena’s fight for freedom becomes a fight for survival, and a desperate quest to root out the source of the evil before it destroys her world.


“You could rattle the stars,” she whispered. “You could do anything, if only you dared. And deep down, you know it, too. That’s what scares you most.”

A badass female lead with a hidden past, a world where magic has disappeared, a ruthless king who has slaughtered an entire country, and an intricately weaved storyline will capture readers who are looking for their next favourite series. I’m hooked. And I need more.

The hype and the fandom surrounding this debut book have kept me from it. And I regret not being a part of this fandom. For several years now, I’ve been a fan of Sarah’s second series, but I was hesitant to make the transition to TOG. So please kick me for not reading this sooner!

The characters are what make this book excel. I’ve known of what happens with select characters, but I never witnessed the story itself so I can appreciate the level of detail Sarah puts in her writing. And I must give her credit for what she has achieved in the series.

Celaena Sardothien, Adarlan’s Assassin, has survived her slavery in the Salt Mines of Endovier. But this freedom depends on her winning the King’s Tournament. Sarah entwines Calaena’s past with her present. And with each passing page, you get a glimpse of her strength and determination. How can I appreciate a character with this much complexity? I don’t know. But I love her as much as Kaz Brekker. And she deserves the respect he receives.

The secondary characters— Dorian Havilliard, Chaol Westfall, and Nehemia Ytger—do not disappoint. They have their own arc, yet they’re drawn to Celaena. And they complete this stellar novel. I loved how they interact with each other, how they depend on one another, and how they grow into better characters.

Sarah’s storytelling drags you in. You aren’t aware of the outside world until you’ve read well past midnight. The thing is that you don’t care. You want to know what happens in the next chapter, and you can’t get enough. I love her writing. And the way she builds a believable yet devastating world makes me marvel at her work. I don’t want to live in this world, but I want her characters to defend it, fight for it, and give up everything to make it better.

I was scared to commit to this series. But I stayed for everything else. I’m thrilled to be a part of the fandom. And I can’t wait to see what Sarah has in store for us.

Review | Royally Bad by Nora Flite

Royally Bad by Nora Flite

Published by: Montlake Romance

Publication Date: April 1, 2017

Genre: Romance, Contemporary

Page Count: 265

Rating: 4/5

Source: Review copy from Thomas Allen & Son

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Kain Badd looks great on paper: rich, handsome, and he’s even a prince. But after spending a few minutes together, Sammy sees the real him—arrogant, possessive, and too hot for his own good. If she hadn’t agreed to help plan his sister’s wedding, she could have avoided him. Instead, she’s waking up in his bed after an unforgettable night she definitely wants to forget. But he won’t let her.

When Sammy thinks her life can’t get any crazier, the wedding is raided by the police, and she spends her first-ever night in jail. The irresistible Kain isn’t just bad in name—his family is connected to a dangerous underworld. Now she’s mixed up in a power struggle between his family’s empire and their rivals. She has no choice but to put herself back in this filthy prince’s extremely capable hands.

Sammy must trust Kain to keep her safe. She’s just not sure she can trust herself to resist temptation.


I’ve received a copy of the book for an unbiased and honest review.

 

Kain Badd was a man who consumed whatever desired. I was ready to let him eat me whole.”

I rarely read contemporary romance. You know I’m more of a fantasy and (now) sci-fi reader. But with the Bad Boy Royals, I think I’ve been missing out all these years. I took a chance with the book, and I’m so glad I did. Nora intertwines swoon-worthy chemistry, suspense, criminal activity, high action, and hot romance to start off an incredible series.

This book is a quick, steamy burn. So dedicate some time when you crack open the cover. Royally Bad is my first playboy, millionaire romance book. I’ve been wanting to explore more genres, and I grabbed a hold of that opportunity when I requested this one.

Sure, I had a few eye rolls at scenes, but I fell for the storyline and the chemistry between Kain and Sammy. Sometimes romance may seem unrealistic, and even though this one moves fast, Nora made me love the book more because of it. And she certainly turns up the sexual tension and passion in her book!

Sammy Sage gave up her career in the big city so she can support her mom. So when a big job that may help her comes walking through the door, she thinks she’s set. But Kain Badd is just the beginning of her problems, and he doesn’t want her to forget who he is. I relate with her on a personal level. She struggles with the decision to quit her career, move back home, and be the caregiver to her ailing mother. I love her tenacity, sarcasm, and inner strength.

Kain isn’t the man who gets rejected. He’s quite used to women drooling all over him since he comes from royalty, and his family has connections to the criminal underground. But Sammy wants nothing to do with the man. And that is where this book gets tantalizing. Their banter and ultimate attraction are what makes this book shine. Even though he’s rash and arrogant, the side he shows her makes you see a complex and layered character. I connected with them instantly.

With temptation, hidden pasts, surprising love, and a hot storyline, Royally Bad is my new favourite romance. It reminds me why I should take more chances. If you’re looking for a fast, scorching romance and bad boys, this series is for you. I can’t wait to read the sequeals!

“He was bad for me . Utterly terrible. This was a man I wasn’t meant to love. And yet against all odds, I did.”

Monthly Wrap-Up | July 2018

Hey, book fam!

I feel time is playing tricks on me. Do you feel the same? I feel as if July dragged on, yet it sped up too quickly by the end. I can’t believe we’re in August right now. I’ll probably say the same next month. So who knows. 🙈😂

Let me be honest with you all. I’ve been struggling lately with replying to all your comments and connecting with everyone. But I hope I can just get past everything and be myself again! Don’t worry. I’ll bug you like hell shortly.

I honestly didn’t think I’d read these many books. I’ve been putting off reading for a while now since life has gotten in the way. But I feel that if I don’t read every day, then I’m not accomplishing anything at all. Relatable? I hope I’m not alone in this. Now, let’s get to the books!

Winter by Marissa Meyer

⭐⭐⭐⭐

I don’t want this series to end. I truly do not. But here I am, writing this. And I want nothing more than to cry. This book is bittersweet for me. I may sound cheesy since I wasn’t a part of the original fandom when the series was active, but nonetheless, I fell in love just like you have.

Winter beautifully wraps up an endearing and captivating series. It takes you on a rollercoaster of emotions and still won’t let go when you close the book.

Review to come!

 

Bruja Born by Zoraida Córdova

⭐⭐⭐⭐½

I never thought I’d love the sequel of a book I didn’t love. But look at me praising this glorious book. I had zero expectations coming into it, and yet it may be one of my favourite reads of the summer. Zoraida blends together zombies, lost love, and witches. And I simply adore this book!

 

A Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir

⭐⭐⭐⭐

I’ve been waiting too long for this book. TOO LONG. You hear me, Sabaa?! And it utterly broke me. And I’m not ready to write my book review yet. But I know I have to. I’ve been dreading this book since the ending of A Torch against the Night. And I’m still conflicted with my emotions.

But don’t worry. Sabaa is a queen at writing plot twists that will tear you apart. 🙃

 

A Gathering of Shadows by V. E. Schwab

⭐⭐⭐⭐

I’VE FINALLY READ THE SEQUEL (I should deserve a prize of some sort😂 Someone please shut me up). The ending is killing me right now. And I want to desperately read the final book, yet I don’t want the series to end (what is wrong with me?!). A Gathering of Shadows doesn’t sweep me away as much as A Darker Shade of Magic does. However, I fell in love with Kell, the hellion we call Lila, and Rhy all over again. And I want nothing more than to burn the royal family. 😶 DON’T HURT MY SMOL KELL.


Other than the books I received from a publisher, I had a pretty small haul this month. A lot of new titles didn’t grab my attention, but thankfully, I was able to grab these beauties!

I want to thank Thomas Allen & Son for sending me the last three books below. I’m excited to get to them!

 

So tell me how your month went. Did you snag your most anticipated book for July? Which books did you love? Which ones disappointed you? Let’s chat. I’d love to hear from you.

Review | Smoke in the Sun by Renée Ahdieh

Smoke in the Sun by Renée Ahdieh

Published by: G. P Putnam’s Son

Publication Date: June 5, 2018

Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Historical

Page Count: 415

Rating: 4/5

Source: Purchase

Goodreads | Indigo | Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Book Depository


The highly anticipated sequel to Flame in the Mist—an addictive, sumptuous finale that will leave readers breathless from the bestselling author of The Wrath and the Dawn.

After Okami is captured in the Jukai forest, Mariko has no choice—to rescue him, she must return to Inako and face the dangers that have been waiting for her in the Heian Castle. She tricks her brother, Kenshin, and betrothed, Raiden, into thinking she was being held by the Black Clan against her will, playing the part of the dutiful bride-to-be to infiltrate the emperor’s ranks and uncover the truth behind the betrayal that almost left her dead.

With the wedding plans already underway, Mariko pretends to be consumed with her upcoming nuptials, all the while using her royal standing to peel back the layers of lies and deception surrounding the imperial court. But each secret she unfurls gives way to the next, ensnaring Mariko and Okami in a political scheme that threatens their honor, their love and very the safety of the empire.


“Ours is a love stronger than fear and deeper than the sea”

I’ve been waiting to come back to this beautiful, rich, and detailed series. Renée combines fantasy, historical touches, and romance that will make her readers swoon. Smoke in the Sun doesn’t disappoint.

I’ve been putting off this review for awhile. Now, I’m still not sure if I can express the thoughts I feel about this book. When I started reading it, I was anticipating high action and deadly battles. And while we do see that more toward the end, Renée offers a story that creeps up on you, draws your attention, then attacks your every emotion. By the final book, I’m invested in these well fleshed out characters who I adore and who bring a different perspective to the novel.

Women who seem to play more of a background role are truly the hidden force and the backbone of the series. I’ve been craving a book where women will risk everything, even their own lives, to fight for a better world. And Renée beautifully illustrates that the power they have to offer.

The worldbuilding relies much more on court politics. And that is where Renée’s writing shines. Betrayals, deceptions, an unstable leader, and familial bonds intertwine to make a complex and layered storytelling. I wasn’t sure what to expect from one chapter to the next. And I loved living in the thrill of finding out. And I enjoyed how she spines her intricate tale. But her characters may just surpass her writing though. Each one adds to the depth of the story itself, and I can’t help but rave about them.

Mariko—who survived an assassination attempt, fell in love with the enemy, and outwitted even the Black Clan—is a well-developed main character. Along with persuading her betrothed and her brother, she must protect Okami and discover who wants her dead. I adore her development in Smoke. Sometimes, you need to read of a quiet yet forceful character who surprises you.

Okami, oh my heart, suffers so much. And yet his strength and determination are what make him an outstanding character. He doesn’t let the empire or the emperor break him. I thought I loved him in Flame, but I was wrong. I don’t always comment on secondary characters, yet I feel that they deserve at least a mention. Each one brings a new dynamic to the story.

I knew coming into this duology that I would want more sequels, more storylines, and frankly more everything. Yet Renée offers a satisfying conclusion to an already thrilling series. You need to read it.

“Our deepest truths are usually the hardest to conceal.”

Monthly Wrap-Up | June 2018

Seriously?! June is over? I cannot believe it is. I’m kind of freaking out at how fast this year is going. So I needed to take some time away from blogging. My life has been too hectic. And just for the sake of doing so, I didn’t want to publish something half ass. But you’ll be seeing me around much more though!

Let me know how your June has gone! I’d love to check up with all of you.

 

Yeah, last month, reading took a back seat. I couldn’t decide which book to read, which one to hold off on, and which one to finish. I went back and forth from one book to the next. Don’t you hate you that? I know I do. I can’t stand it when indecisiveness rules my every choice.

But with the books I did read, I enjoyed. And I was finally able to read two of my most anticipated reads of this year!

 

Legendary by Stephanie Garber

⭐⭐⭐⭐½

I need to find my fellow Dantella groupies because I need to squee about this book. Caraval is one book that snuck on me when I didn’t expect it. And I’ve been eagerly waiting to read Legendary. But like other readers, I was hesitant to read a book solely on Tella’s POV. Tella is a tricky character for me. She bothered me in Stephanie’s debut novel, but I loved her in this one. Stephanie blends magic, intrigue, and politics and creates an enchanting experience.

I cannot wait to read Finale.

 

Smoke in the Sun by Renée Ahdieh

⭐⭐⭐⭐

This book is GORGEOUS. It rivals Flame in the Mist, and I thought that book was too beautiful for words. Smoke brings on a rollercoaster of emotions for me. Going in, I knew my favourite characters, Mariko and Okami, would suffer, but I was not anticipating the need to punch a wall and scream, “don’t hurt my babies!” at 2 in the morning.

Renée beautifully crafts a historical fantasy you’ve been hoping to read. And while the book is a slow burn, it will satisfy her dedicated readers. I’m hooked.

 

Winter by Marissa Meyer

This book is BEAST. I haven’t finished it yet, but I’m enjoying it. Even though I’m late to the game, I don’t want this series to end. Finally, the entire crew joins forces to take down the evil bitch queen we call Levana (bless my swearing skills). I feel the story starts off slow and then builds off of that. I enjoy seeing how each character interacts, and I hope to finish this monster off shortly.

I cannot wait to find more sci-fi books. I don’t want to miss any great series. So shoot me some of your favourite picks! I’d love to discover more!


Give it to me to buy more books than I read for the month. Okay, I can’t put the blame on that. I had several pre-orders, so don’t judge. What am I saying?! I’m talking to fellow book nerds.

I wanted to keep my book haul short for June since I wasn’t sure if I’d read this all (I’m glad I decided ahead of time, or I’d be kicking my butt right now). But I was able to pick up books I’ve been dying to read. And hopefully, I’ll get to them soon.

Who am I kidding? I’ll just keep adding to my pile. 😂

 

So what was your most anticipated book for June? Did you get into a reading slump like me? Let me know in the comments!!

Review | Cress by Marissa Meyer

Cress by Marissa Meyer

Published by: Feiwel & Friends

Publication Date: February 4, 2014

Genre: Science Fiction

Page Count: 592

Rating: 4/5

Source: Purchase

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Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.

Their best hope lies with Cress, who has been trapped on a satellite since childhood with only her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker; unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.

When a daring rescue goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing stop her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only ones who can.


“The people of Luna don’t need a princess. They need a revolutionary.” Cinder furrowed her brow. “A revolutionary,” she repeated. She liked that a lot better than princess.”

Do you know how much I want to start my review with the word squee?! I don’t know how I can do this book justice with that. But I am in love with this adorable addition to the Lunar Chronicles. Somehow Marissa adds just enough cuteness, bromance, friendship, sci-fi, and action-package scenes and creates a stellar sequel.

Years ago, I heard about this little intergalactic gem, but then I never knew I’d love it as much as Thorne (Kai may take second place there). But here I am, gushing over it. Each sequel makes this series better and, in some way, makes me love it even more. The space gang is up to no good, and I am a giddy little reader rooting for them all the way.

Marissa surprises her readers by making this Rapunzel remake into a charming, innocent, and delightful read. I’ve always related to this character. Why? I have long hair. And I always look for the good in life even if I am a cynic. But Marissa cranks up the cuteness to an eleven. Crescent Moon, or Cress for short, is refreshing. This Lunar hacker and programmer, who is a Shell, devises a plan for the gang to rescue her from her satellite prison, which Sybil, the head thaumaturge, put her in.But chaos ensues, and they’re separated.

Cress may be naïve with love, but her insta-love reaction toward Thorne melts my heart. I don’t care about this kind of trope right now because it works. Marissa makes me like insta-love trope. Is this for real? I guess so. When I read their scenes, I wanted to smoosh their faces together and demand they kiss. I’ve been rooting for this couple since before I read Cinder. So at least I can say I’m invested in their happiness.

Marissa perfectly weaves together three stories that create a magical series. Each character adds a well-thought-out layer to an already complex universe. But I love the characters and their progression. Cinder is determined to prevent Kai from marrying Queen Levana; Scarlet is dead set to survive; Cress will prove herself, no matter the cost. And yet these three-dimensional characters amplify the storyline. This series does not let female readers down. It lifts them up, And I’m in awe of the woman empowerment Marissa offers in her writing.

But she doesn’t let her male characters wait in the shadows of the main ones. They play a vital role. And while each romance is unique, these characters stand on their own and stand with Cress, Cinder, and Scarlet. And I love that.

I don’t always give YA books the respect they deserve. And Marissa deserves every bit of it. While she injects romance into her writing and worldbuilding, she offers a platform for female readers to look up to strong and independent characters. She isn’t afraid to test the boundaries of strength. And that kind of writing is what I dream to find in books. I cannot wait for the next book.

Review: Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller

Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller

Published by: Feiwel & Friends

Publication Date: February 28, 2017

Genre: Fantasy

Page Count: 320

Rating: 4/5

Source: Purchase

Goodreads | Indigo | Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Book Depository


Sent on a mission to retrieve an ancient hidden map-the key to a legendary treasure trove-seventeen-year-old pirate captain Alosa deliberately allows herself to be captured by her enemies, giving her the perfect opportunity to search their ship.

More than a match for the ruthless pirate crew, Alosa has only one thing standing between her and the map: her captor, the unexpectedly clever and unfairly attractive first mate Riden. But not to worry, for Alosa has a few tricks up her sleeve, and no lone pirate can stop the Daughter of the Pirate King.


“I live on the cusp of two worlds, trying desperately to fit into one.”

I must admit I did not have high expectations when I bought the series. But let me tell you that I am wrong. I do not know why I could ever doubt an author who uses a Pirates of the Caribbean quote. Empowering, endearing, and lavishly charming, Daughter of the Pirate King makes you love pirates all over again. Move over Captain Jack Sparrow, Alosa has arrived.

This thrilling pirate and siren story will captivate even the most hesitant reader. Tricia brings just enough feminism, which makes this rough and rowdy series more appealing. I’ve stayed away from siren and pirate books for quite some time. I have always felt disappointed when finishing them. But now, I cannot fathom why I would overlook Tricia’s debut novel.

You can’t have pirates without schemes, badassery, and sass. And Alosa doesn’t let you down. I may have come for the pirates, but I stayed for Alosa and this ruthless crew. As her father, the pirate king, gives her the task to find a map that will lead to treasure guarded by sirens, she doesn’t lose sight of who she is. Her scheming reminds me of Kaz, and I can’t help but love her more. She almost rivals Sparrow. But almost though. I loved this character’s strength, courage, and sarcasm.

Riden, the first mate, may make you swoon. While he and his brother are suspicious of Alosa, they don’t realize that she tricked them so she can get onto their ship. And even though he’ll do anything to protect his brother and his crew, he’s drawn to her, and that is where the story gets interesting. I loved seeing how these two interact.

While I did pick up on some hints of Pirates, Tricia makes this story her own, and she skillfully creates a female character who stands out from other main characters I’ve read. Her writing quickly captures your attention, and her story sucks you into this dangerous world. I couldn’t put this book down. And how could I? But DOTPK takes it time to unravel itself, so it might throw you off if you expect a fast-paced book. But I enjoyed suspense and tension though. However, although this book focuses on the characters, I was hoping for more world building.

So if you’re looking for pirates who will gladly slit someone’s throat, well-rounded characters, and clever writing, pick up DOTPK. You’ll be glad you did.

“Oh, the ridiculous things one has to do when one is a pirate.”

Monthly Wrap-Up | May 2018

Oh, hi there.

So, did you survive May? I’m surprised I did even though I loved the month, except when I got sick. On my birthday. 😒 And of course, my bank account took a big ding. I never thought so many book releases would almost take me out. But I’m still standing. I think. What about you, dearies? Have you found some great reads?

 

Look at me tackling my TBR list, while I just add more to it. 😅 So I participated in Kathy’s Moody May challenge. Since it’s been so long from the last challenge I did, I forgot how to do this one. Even though I knew I should have read the new releases, I couldn’t resist reading the Lunar Chronicles. And yes, this is where you can totally nerd out with me. I won’t judge.

A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas

⭐⭐⭐¾

ACOTAR is, by far, one of my favourite series. And while I loved a good chunk of this novella, I was wanting more. What saves it though is Nesta. I adore her, and I’m eagerly awaiting to read her story and Cassian’s. I just hope my ship has not sunk. Sarah sunk the last two, and I’m still bloody LIVID.

 

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I AM A LUNAR FAN. (*cough* fanatic *cough*) And I need help, like a peer support group or something. 😂 I completely regret not reading this series before. I’ve had so many readers and bloggers try to get me to read the Lunar Chronicles, but I had to wait until 2018.

Cinder will always be one of my favourite characters. I adore her and Kai, who is such a little cinnamon bun.

 

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

⭐⭐⭐⭐

When you combine an alpha female, a quiet and shy love interest, and thrilling action scenes, you’ve got me hooked. I loved this sequel. I was a bit scared going into it though. I wasn’t sure what to expect, especially with some negative reviews. But Marissa does not disappoint!

 

War Storm by Victoria Aveyard

⭐⭐⭐½

I wanted to love it. I’ve been a huge Red Queen fan. My bestie and fellow blogger Dana @ Dana and the Books got me hooked on the series, so I was eagerly waiting for the finale, especially after that devastating epilogue in King’s Cage. But I feel a bit disappointed with this book’s ending. One character who made up for my disappointment is Evangeline. Surprised much? Yeah, me too. But I love her character development.

Review to come soon!

 

Cress by Marissa Meyer

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Oh my stars. (Oh God, I’m using the book’s language now.) I’ve been waiting to read about Thorne! That cocky ball of fluff is one book boyfriend I’ve been wanting to see. And Cress is more adorable than I thought she was. I want to wrap her in a blanket and protect from the world. This book made me cry, and I wanted to stab Levana more than I thought. But that ending though! I want to pick up Winter now.

Don’t miss my review, which will come shortly.


Do you know when you’ve pre-ordered so many books that you forgot you’ve ordered them? Well, that’s how May turned out for me. Even the delivery people commented on my packages. 😂 And I never knew I’d hit that kind of high (or low?) before. But here I am.

Yes, I splurged, but I deserved a nice birthday. My credit card would like to say otherwise.

So which books disappointed or surprised you last month? What are you looking for in June? Did you find your next book boyfriend or girlfriend? Let’s chat!

Review | Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Published by: Feiwel & Friends

Publication Date: February 5, 2013

Genre: Science Fiction

Page Count: 464

Rating: 4/5

Source: Purchase

Goodreads | Indigo | Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Book Depository


Cinder is back and trying to break out of prison-even though she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother, or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana.


“She did not know that the wolf was a wicked sort of animal, and she was not afraid of him.”

Did I have big expectations with this sequel? Yes. Has Marissa surpassed them? Hell yes. She gives her readers secrets, politics, alpha females, genetically modified beasties, and squeal-worthy love stories. And I can’t help myself with falling in love with this sequel.

I’ve been dreading reading Scarlet’s story. Some readers didn’t like her, while others loved her. Clearly, I’m the latter. So fight me if you think otherwise. Marissa ties together both Cinder’s storyline with Scarlet’s. I wasn’t too sure if I’d like duo arcs, but she effortlessly blends the two together, and I enjoyed how Cinder and Scarlet are connected.

Cinder escapes from jail and is on the run, yet she leaves her heart with Kai. With the help from Wolf, a mysterious street fighter, Scarlet discovers her grandmother is missing and must find her, but the woman she loves may have kept a hidden life. I was hoping for Cinder and Thorne to meet up with Scarlet and Wolf much earlier in the story. Their eventual connection seems to drag on, but the individual storylines make up for that.

Marissa creates multi-dimensional characters. Her characters are flawed yet believable. You can easily relate to their fear, pain, and determination. I did not anticipate liking Scarlet as much as Cinder. That cyborg has a small little piece of my heart, yet Scarlet slid right in there as well. These two female characters are what keep me loving YA series.

While the plot is phenomenal, I feel this sequel is more character driven. What Marissa exceeds in are her characters. You don’t get flat, uninspiring ones; you find ones who make you want to read more. Scarlet is an alpha female who, even when she’s scared, doesn’t stop fighting, and I admire that drive in her and Cinder. But they don’t let their potential love interest overshadow who they are.

One love interest I adore the most is the silence yet deadly type. And Wolf is the epitome of that. He’s dangerous, complex, yet somehow, in his own way, perfect for Scarlet. Yes, I wanted to punch him in a few scenes, but he deserves love as much as any other person. And now, I can officially swoon over Captain Carswell Thorne. I’ll always love the cocky, sarcastic male characters. I’m predictable, but I know what I love. I’ve been waiting for this book since I first heard about him, and he doesn’t disappoint. I also find Cinder and Thorne’s friendship refreshing. It’s what sealed this book for me. It had me laughing well into the night.

I don’t know how some readers rated this book lower. Scarlet offers just enough spunk, sarcasm, science fiction, and love to keep readers screaming for more. Then Marissa adds adrenaline, then heartbreaking yet thrilling scenes. I’m a Lunar fan through and through. This is one fandom I’m here to stay.

“But you’re the only one, Scarlet. You’ll always be the only one.”

Review | The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw

The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw

Published by: Simon Pulse

Publication Date: March 6, 2018

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Page Count: 320

Rating: 4/5

Source: Purchase

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Welcome to the cursed town of Sparrow…

Where, two centuries ago, three sisters were sentenced to death for witchery. Stones were tied to their ankles and they were drowned in the deep waters surrounding the town.

Now, for a brief time each summer, the sisters return, stealing the bodies of three weak-hearted girls so that they may seek their revenge, luring boys into the harbor and pulling them under.

Like many locals, seventeen-year-old Penny Talbot has accepted the fate of the town. But this year, on the eve of the sisters’ return, a boy named Bo Carter arrives; unaware of the danger he has just stumbled into.

Mistrust and lies spread quickly through the salty, rain-soaked streets. The townspeople turn against one another. Penny and Bo suspect each other of hiding secrets. And death comes swiftly to those who cannot resist the call of the sisters.

But only Penny sees what others cannot. And she will be forced to choose: save Bo, or save herself.


Love is an enchantress—devious and wild. It sneaks up behind you, soft and gentle and quiet, just before it slits your throat.

Hell has no fury than witches hell-bent on revenge. Shea Ernshaw’s debut novel The Wicked Deep is just as enchanting as it is haunting. For days to come, I’ll be mourning over this poignant and heartbreaking tale.

I will always have a penchant for witch stories. Witches have created the foundation of my love for fantasy books. Unfortunately, they’ve lost their luster over the years, but Shea will remind you why lore of witches is the backbone of a great novel. She’ll remind you why you love them.

I find writing this review hard. I’m an emotional reader even though I don’t like admitting that fact. And this beautiful and eloquent debut novel tore at me, and reading it took much longer than I thought it would. The Wicked Deep ensnares you, wraps around your heart, then rips it out, and all the while, you still have a smile on your face. I needed breaks while reading it.

Sparrow, Oregon is haunted by witches. In the 19th century, whether they’re witches or not, three sisters—Marguerite, Aurora, and Hazel Swan—who charmed the men of the town lost their lives when they were convicted of witchcraft and drowned for their crimes. And every year since, they torment the town by possessing the daughters who then, in turn, drown the sons. When an outsider, Bo Carter, wanders into town, Penny Talbot knows she must protect him even if the both of them are hiding secrets.

This town is perched on the edge of tragedy and revenge. The sisters’ death is woven throughout the fabric of the town as the residents and tourists flock to the water’s edge to celebrate the Swan season, the time when the sisters return. The Wicked Deep depends on the folklore of the town. Shea doesn’t incorporate a lot of world building, but Sparrow itself is a character that walks within this story. She injects an atmospheric tone that delivers a morbid and eerie storyline, one I haven’t seen in awhile. But what I enjoyed is the characters though.

Penny is an outcast who cares for her mother, who mourns over the disappearance of her father. She’s content with her life even if her friend wants her to leave. But Bo changes everything for her. They both complement each other. Their relationship is built on delicate layers of lies, hasty trust, and intense yet rushed attraction. But I would prefer for a better set up though. It has an insta-love feel, which leads to the story’s predictable climax. I was hoping to see more of the sisters though, but Shea does include flashbacks to the past.

I could rave about Shea’s writing for days. She’s has a wonderful talent that I hope to see more of. And I’m counting down the days to her next story. The Wicked Deep is a captivating novel steeped in whimsical lore. It will take you on an emotional journey that may surprise you. I recommend this as your next read. Sparrow will capture you just as much as it has me.

But how do you let yourself unravel in front of someone, knowing your armor is the only thing keeping you safe?