Newcomer

I’m Cami O’Brien, and the powers flowing through my voice are turning destructive.

To gain control of them, I must enroll at Elmwick Academy—ready or not.

Elmwick Academy is home to the town’s legacies—the six types of supernatural beings who masquerade as humans. That is, until they show their teeth during class at the Academy.

And then there are the hunters—the humans trying to uncover our secrets. I’m talking about Mason Fowler, my next-door neighbor with smoldering, brandy-colored eyes, who has taken a sudden interest in me.

In a whirlwind of magical twists, I must learn to tell friend from foe, master my abilities before I lose them, and figure out how to hide my powers from Mason. Because revealing the truth could lead to war…

No wonder they call me the harbinger of death.

Review

I recieved a free copy of this book via booksirens in eschange for an honest review.

I really enjoyed this book, it was cheesy as hell but it was fun and not read a book about banshees before. This book may change that for me, I will be reading more. It did have the cliched teen enemies attracted but there was a lot more too it to.

There were some great dynamics between the characters and many mysteries to work out, some I am looking forward to discovering in the second book.

Cami was a great MC, she new what she had to do but she also knew what she wanted, so there was a little battle inside her head, which I loved. I| love books where there are multiple fantasy creatures, which this had, I just wish we found out a little bit more about them all.

Overall I really enjoyed this book and have already got book two sitting on my kindle waiting for me.

4 out of 5 stars

Cinderella is Dead

It’s 200 years since Cinderella found her prince, but the fairytale is over.

Sophia knows the story though, off by heart. Because every girl has to recite it daily, from when she’s tiny until the night she’s sent to the royal ball for choosing. And every girl knows that she has only one chance. For the lives of those not chosen by a man at the ball . are forfeit.

But Sophia doesn’t want to be chosen – she’s in love with her best friend, Erin, and hates the idea of being traded like cattle. And when Sophia’s night at the ball goes horribly wrong, she must run for her life. Alone and terrified, she finds herself hiding in Cinderella’s tomb. And there she meets someone who will show her that she has the power to remake her world
.

It wasn’t exactly a fairytale retelling, it was what happens after if people take what happened to cinderella as their laws. I loved the idea of the ball, every toung woman getting her happily ever after. But it quickly became clear that this was not the case. Not only were women viewed as pretty objects rather than humans, but what happens if you do not fit the mould.

Sophia does not fit their mould, she wants to create her own ahppy ever after which does not include a prince. I really enjoyed this book. It was full of magic, love, friendship and mystery. I loved how I had no idea where this story was going. It was full of twists and turns. It made me question everyone, made me think “are they who they say they are?”. Which I loved.

Overall it was a fantastic read and I will be reading more from this author.

5 out of 5 stars

The Reluctant Cannibals

When a group of food-obsessed academics at Oxford University form a secret dining society, they happily devote themselves to investigating exotic and forgotten culinary treasures. Until a dish is suggested that takes them all by surprise. Professor Arthur Plantagenet has been told he has a serious heart problem and decides that his death should not be in vain. He sets out his bizarre plan in a will, that on his death, tests the loyalty of his closest friends, the remaining members of this exclusive dining society. A dead Japanese diplomat, police arrests and charges of grave robbing. These are just some of the challenges these culinary explorers must overcome in tackling gastronomy’s ultimate taboo: cannibalism.

I recieved a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, via netgalley.

This book was interesting, unlike anything I have ever read. I did find it a little slow though. But that is probably personal preference, I like faster paced books with more action and more drama. I did enjoy this though. I found it a very interesting concept. It was suitably dark and disturbing for the subject matter, it suited the setting very well.

The characters were all very different and easy to differeniate between them. I liked the eccentric characters, it’s hard to write them yet make them believable but the author dis amazingly well.

Overall a very enjoyable read.

3 out of 5 stars

Shining Sea

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28135071-shining-sea?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=WCa23Am5V1&rank=2

Falling in love shouldn’t feel like drowning.

Seventeen-year-old Arion Rush has always played the obedient sidekick to her older sister’s flashy femme fatale—until a mysterious boating accident leaves Lilah a silent, traumatized stranger. As her sister awaits medical treatment with her mother, Arion and her father head to his hometown in Maine to prepare a new life for them all. Surrounded by the vast Atlantic, she finds solace in songwriting, her only solid ground.

Unexpectedly, Arion blossoms in the tiny coastal town. Friends flock to her, and Logan Delaine, a volatile heartthrob, seems downright smitten. But it’s Bo Summers—a solitary surfer, as alluring as he is aloof—that Arion can’t shake. Meanwhile, Lilah’s worsening condition, a string of local fatalities, and Arion’s own recent brushes with death seem ominously linked…to Bo’s otherworldly family. As Arion’s feelings for Bo intensify and his affections turn possessive, she must make a choice. How will Arion learn to listen to her own voice when Bo’s siren song won’t stop ringing in her ears?

I am finding this book difficult to review, there was nothing wrong with it, just wasn’t really for me. It was a bit slow, a bit boring, I thouhgt there would be more fantasy. The pacing was a little all over the place. It jumped around a lot and I felt that it was missing some information. Books often jump time for the story, a few days here, a couple of weeks there, but here is felt disjointed.

It’s probably better suited for people who enjoy romance as the main genre, where as I prefer it as a side genre. The characters were fine, but none shone for me, they were all lacking a little for me.

Overall it was fine, but not a book I would rush back to.

3 out of 5 stars

ARC Review: Ignite the Sun

ignite the sun

Once upon a time, there was something called the sun… In a kingdom ruled by an evil witch, the sun is just part of a legend about light-filled days of old. Luckily for everybody in the kingdom, Siria Nightingale is headed to the heart of the darkness to try and restore the light–or she will lose everything trying.

Sixteen year-old Siria Nightingale has never seen the sun. The light is dangerous, according to Queen Iyzabel, an evil witch who has shrouded the kingdom in shadow.

Siria has always hated the darkness and revels in the stories of the light-filled old days that she hears from her best friend and his grandfather. Besides them, nobody else understands her fascination with the sun, especially not her strict and demanding parents. Siria’s need to please them is greater even than her fear of the dark. So she heads to the royal city–the very center of the darkness–for a chance at a place in Queen Iyzabel’s court.

But what Siria discovers at the Choosing Ball sends her on a quest toward the last vestiges of the sun with a ragtag group of rebels who could help her bring back the Light … or doom the kingdom to shadow forever.

Review

I recieved a free copy of this book via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

This book was amazing. It was full wonder, magic and love. With lots of danger, friendship, backstabbing and even a little romance. I loved Siria as a main character, she was different and learned all about magic and the sun children as the book went on. I loved how the history was revealed bit by bit.

I loved the suporting characters. They added a lot to the book, I felt as much for them as I did for Siria. The setting was amazing, it was well described and felt very real. The pacing was great and the ending was well planned and good. There was enough explanation about what happened after to leave me satisfied.

Overall it was a great fantasy book, that I would be happy to read again and again.

5 out 5 stars

ARC Review: The Rose Princess

the rose princess

In a kingdom of fairies and dragons, Talia is reassuringly normal… until she isn’t. Plucked from her quiet town and thrust into a life as heir to the throne, and betrothed to a powerful duke, she must face up to a terrifying question: what if the curse is real? What if she really is destined to be trapped in eternal sleep?

Duke Caradoc has spent his whole life dominated by his mother, the fierce Duchess of the Northern Wastes. But when he meets Talia, betrothed to him since childhood, he knows that his mother’s lust for power has gone too far. The curse must be stopped… and the answer might lie in Caradoc and Talia’s mysterious dreams.

Review

I recieved a free copy of this book booksirens in exchange for an honest review

I loved this book, for the most part. I got engrossed and read it in a couple of days (for a chef that’s quick!) It was well paced, clearly a sleeping beauty retelling but there was a lot of originality. I loved the setting, it seemed like a beautiful Queendom. I loved the powerplays and found all the politics interesting.

Talia was a great MC, she was hadn’t seen most of the kingdom so she discovered along with the reader. I did like how we got Caradoc’s POV a few times. I also love the forest, was a very interesting concept.

The ending baffled me, the final battle happened so quick, it was over in less than half a page. It felt so under whelming. The whole book was leading up to this and it was such a let down. Also the final scene with Rhys was so out of left field, Talia had never showed an ounce in evil then she did that, just felt wrong.

Overall I really enjoyed this book. I have already bought the second one in the same setting, let’s hope it’s as good.

4 out of 5 stars

ARC Review: A Curse of Ash and Embers

a curse of ash and embers

A dead witch. A bitter curse. A battle of magic.

Some people knit socks by the fire at night. Gyssha Blackbone made monsters.

But the old witch is dead now, and somehow it’s Elodie’s job to clean up the mess.

When she was hired at Black Oak Cottage, Elodie had no idea she’d find herself working for a witch; and her acid-tongued new mistress, Aleida, was not expecting a housemaid to turn up on her doorstep.

Gyssha’s final curse left Aleida practically dead on her feet, and now, with huge monsters roaming the woods, a demonic tree lurking in the orchard and an angry warlock demanding repayment of a debt, Aleida needs Elodie’s help, whether she likes it or not.

And no matter what the old witch throws at her, to Elodie it’s still better than going back home.

Review

I recieved a free copy of this book vie edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

I love any book that has a curse in it, so the title grabbed me straight away and I couldn’t wait to read it. It did not disappoint. It was fun, lots of magic and curses, with friendship and mystery thrown in for free. Dee was a great main character, her instincts served her well, she didn’t let poeple cloud her judgements, she made her own mind up.

I loved the idea of the witches, the way we learned about Gyssha was very unique and clever. I would have liked a little more on her, but you never know there might be more in the next book, which I have already bought and cannot wait to read. There were a couple of characters at the start that I would to be reintroduced to, I feel like they were to big to only appear for a chapter then never again.

If you like books with magic and wonder then this book is for you, the pacing is good and there is always something excting going on.

4 out of 5 stars

ARC Review: The Relic Spell

the relic spell

Magic rolls through Orion Tamura’s history classroom like a tidal wave of golden light that only he can see. The spell is deadly, and Orion has no idea who cast it or what they want.

Answers are scarce—all of Port Monica’s sorcerers vanished fourteen years before, including Orion’s father. Armed with his limited knowledge of magic, Orion is the only one left in the city who is strong enough to investigate the origins of the spell.

But the city’s leaders will stop at nothing to censor and sabotage anyone who gets close to the truth. Invisible otherworlders watch every move Orion and his friends make, and a mysterious sorcerer who knows the answers haunts Orion’s dreams.

Review

I recieved a free copy of this book via booksirens in exchange for an honest review.

This was a very good book based on magic. I liked the way it unfolded but at times I felt a little confused. It just seemed odd that no-one but a binch of kids was doing anything (although that ofen happens in these kinds of books). I loved the characters and that there was a lot of diversity, it was great to see, especially in a YA book.

I enjoyed the setting, it felt like a lovely place (except all the demons etc). I did struggle to get through this book a bit, once I put it down I found it very difficult to pick up again, but I cannot say why, and that’s the toughest bit for me, is it just because I have a lot or is it because something wasn’t clicking for me.

I would recommend this book for magic lovers but I will not be continuing with the series myself.

3 stars out 5 stars

ARC Review: The Seeds of Power

the seeds of power

Her unique skills keep her safe. Until her greatest strength becomes her fatal weakness.

Princess Christal of Larrochar learned long ago that to marry was to risk her life. At twenty-eight she’s resolutely unwed, trusted assistant to the King’s Cultivator and an expert in rare plants.

Then, to her horror, she receives a marriage proposal she can’t refuse. All Prince Daire of Caldermor cares about is elan—the mysterious golden beans that bring his family untold wealth and power. If Daire wants Christal, elan must be at the root of his interest.

Christal’s father would sacrifice her to discover elan’s secrets. The Calderrans would kill to keep them secure. To save herself Christal will need every kernel of knowledge she’s ever gleaned. And the support of Kiran Randsen, elite soldier turned Calderran bodyguard, who may be something even rarer than elan—a man she’d trust with her life.

The Seeds of Power is the first book in the Elan Intrigues fantasy romance series. If you like strong heroines, chivalrous heroes, natural magic, and life-or-death stakes, then you’ll love this powerful historical fantasy by award-winning author Jilly Wood.

Review

I received a free copy of this bookvia booksirens in exchange for an honest review.

I thought this book would be more fantasy based, so if you go into looking for magic, and a book full of fantasy you will be disappointed. But if you looking for a book that a historical feel, that has great characters and lots of court intrique, you will be pleased.

It was an intriquing take on a plot that seems to be quite common these days. A princess who is set to marry off for advantage, yet she doesn’t want to. I liked that this did not follow the normal set of rules, although I had worked out early on what was going to happen. It did not stop me enjoying it any though.

Christal was a great main character, she let her past get in her way sometimes but it gave her depth. I want to know more about the Elan plant/ seed, that is the part I was really interested in.I am guessing it will be explained more in the next book, although I do not think I will be reading it. I found that for me ending was good enough.

This book is heavy on romance and lots of love for family. There was a little bit of friendship but Chrital didn’t seem to have any friends, which I didn’t find odd until now, it wasn’t like it was because she was a princess, it was just never mentioned in any context.

Overall a slow paced book full of interesting characters.

4 out of 5 stars

Queen of the Warrior Bees

queen of the warrior bees

One misfit girl and 50,000 bees. Together they must change the world. As the Mages of the Citadel fight amongst themselves and prepare for war against the Forest, Mielitta, a despised servant, has her own battle to face. Bastien and Jannlou, the boys who terrorised her as a child, have grown into their status as Mages and she cannot escape them forever.

In desperation, she flees to the forbidden Forest and its dangerous attractions. Her scent angers thousands of bees and, although she survives their attack, she has changed. A strange bee symbol glows on her thigh and her senses are altered. She learns that her connection with bees enables her to summon their aid and gives her the power to shift shape.

This new-found bond works both ways and the bees need Mielitta’s help as the rift widens between Forest and Citadel. Can one girl and a colony of bees reunite Man and Nature, or is the split irreversible?

Block Nature out and she’ll force a way in.

Review

I recieved a free copy of this book via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

First of all. the cover is amazing. I foudn this book very good to begin with but was soon quite confused and feeling like I didn’t understand what was going on fully. It was very all over the place. Explantions needed expanding. But other than that I quite enjoyed it, was fun and full of wonder. I did find the scene with bee sex very odd, it wasn’t needed in my opinion.

The allegiences changing happeded too quickly. I was getting whiplash. I do not think I will be continueing with the series.

3 out of 5 stars