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Review: Soul in Darkness

Title: Soul in Darkness

Author: Wendy Higgins

Date of Publication: February 12th, 2019

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Goodreads Summary:

People travel from afar to the small isle in the Aegean Sea hoping for a single glimpse of Princess Psyche. Their adoration for the mortal woman is so all-consuming that citizens begin to shower her with the very gifts and offerings they once left at the alter of Venus, goddess of love and beauty.

But gods are known for their jealousy.

Cupid, the god of love, takes pleasure in causing strife and mischief in the lives of humans. He uses love as a weapon, humoring in the weakness of people at the whims of their feelings. When his mother Venus approaches him about punishing the human girl who dares to steal her offerings and affections from the people, Cupid gladly accepts.

Psyche’s punishment is to be given to a mysterious creature who only comes to her in the dark of night under the pact that she will never lay eyes on him. She is terrified of this stranger, who the oracle described as a serpent. Her mate, however, is masterful in his dealings with his bride. He takes his time, morphing her fears into different sensations completely.

Based on the Roman/Greek mythology of Cupid and Psyche by Lucius Apuleius, New York Times bestseller Wendy Higgins brings the tale to life, weaving layers that show exactly how a sacrificial lamb can be enchanted by an unseen monster.

My Review:

I’ve read all of Wendy Higgins’ books, and the one thing she always knows how to do well is write romance! And this book did not disappoint in the swoon!

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So the Greek god stuff has always been intriguing, but sometimes can be overdone when its the same stories with the same gods that we’ve heard about before. What had me full on in was the fact that I’d never heard of the Cupid and Psyche story! Of course I knew who Cupid was because, come on, Valentine’s Day, but I didn’t know this one!!

The story had a super cool concept with a princess, Psyche, having to marry a monster that she can’t see. This left for a pretty original plot where sometimes you have to look from within vs the outside, literally, to truly know a person.

I don’t want to give too much away but there is a lot of neat stuff along the way, especially the cool world building and beautiful descriptions. And again, of course, swoooooon! Loved the writing, loved the story, and dear stars, I loved Cupid!!

 

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Have you ever heard of Cupid & Psyche’s story?

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Review: The Wicked King

Title: The Wicked King

Author: Holly Black

Date of Publication: January 8th, 2019

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Goodreads Summary:

You must be strong enough to strike and strike and strike again without tiring.

The first lesson is to make yourself strong.

After the jaw-dropping revelation that Oak is the heir to Faerie, Jude must keep her younger brother safe. To do so, she has bound the wicked king, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. Navigating the constantly shifting political alliances of Faerie would be difficult enough if Cardan were easy to control. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her even as his fascination with her remains undiminished.

When it becomes all too clear that someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her own life and the lives of everyone she loves, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a Faerie world.

My Review:

First, I want to that say I love Holly Black so, so much! This book had me frustrated, it had me swooning, it had me pissed, it had me anxious, and, oh, did I mention frustrated?

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This series just needs to be filled with all things Cardan! I need a novella or something from his perspective because like book one, he’s not in here enough! From page one, I had a battle with how I felt for Jude. I hate, hate, HATE when characters try to keep all these secrets for no reason and make mistakes that have me shaking my head! Spill the dang beans!!! Honesty is always the best policy, I say!

I still don’t get Taryn, like she needs to go away! Vivi is probably one of the cutest characters ever along with Oak. Roiben, my man, I love every time you’re on the page! Just such a unique and interesting world!

Black’s writing  was on point, and she described everything perfectly as usual! And yes, we get a cliffhanger, and I will be desperate this whole year patiently, or not patiently, waiting for it!

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Have you started this series yet?

Review: The Raven’s Tale

Title: The Raven’s Tale

Author: Cat Winters

Date of Publication: April 16th, 2019

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Goodreads Summary:

Seventeen-year-old Edgar Poe counts down the days until he can escape his foster family—the wealthy Allans of Richmond, Virginia. He hungers for his upcoming life as a student at the prestigious new university, almost as much as he longs to marry his beloved Elmira Royster. However, on the brink of his departure, all his plans go awry when a macabre Muse named Lenore appears to him. Muses are frightful creatures that lead Artists down a path of ruin and disgrace, and no respectable person could possibly understand or accept them. But Lenore steps out of the shadows with one request: “Let them see me!”

My Review:

Edgar, Edgar, Edgar—what a magnificent writer he was. So when I heard there was going to be this book on a young Edgar Allan Poe, I was so incredibly interested! Lenore, Lenore, Lenore! I want to read about you anywhere forevermore!

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Let me tell you something, my dear friends, I loved Edgar and his struggles and his sensitivities in this book. This boy definitely needed a muse to help him escape his terrible adopted father and all the things that occurred because of him! And Lenore? She was such a lovely and horrific creature who was the perfect muse to draw out the tales that one day become famous.

Now, what I wanted and what I thought this book was going to be about DID NOT HAPPEN! I repeat: DID NOT HAPPEN! I wanted a romance between Edgar and his muse that was so dark and twisted that it would haunt me for days with its beauty, sadness, and passion. I wanted that and needed that … still do! However, this strange and lovely little book was still quite enjoyable with beautiful writing and real history entwined!

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Do you read work by Poe?

Review: Fiendish

Title: Fiendish

Author: Brenna Yovanoff

Date of Publication: August 14th, 2014

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Goodreads Summary:

Clementine DeVore spent ten years trapped in a cellar, pinned down by willow roots, silenced and forgotten.

Now she’s out and determined to uncover who put her in that cellar and why.

When Clementine was a child, dangerous and inexplicable things started happening in New South Bend. The townsfolk blamed the fiendish people out in the Willows and burned their homes to the ground. But magic kept Clementine alive, walled up in the cellar for ten years, until a boy named Fisher sets her free. Back in the world, Clementine sets out to discover what happened all those years ago. But the truth gets muddled in her dangerous attraction to Fisher, the politics of New South Bend, and the Hollow, a fickle and terrifying place that seems increasingly temperamental ever since Clementine reemerged.

My Review:

So we begin this lovely tale with a girl being rescued from a cellar. She can’t see because her eyes are sewn shut and she’s been down there for years! This was awesome!

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This is the third book I’ve read by Yovanoff and I seriously loved it. It was weird yet had contemporary aspects and so the magic realism was so cool! The characters were well developed and the story was driven by these characters in a unique fashion. Fisher was complicated and needed hugs and a reminder that things sometimes can’t be controlled, or maybe they can but you need help in order to that.

Clementine was probably my favorite character. She had a Rapunzel-like quality where she was wholesome and innocent yet brave and fierce and wanting to help everyone and everything she could. That is an extraordinary personality to have and one that we in the world should all be striving for.

As for the parts with the Hollow, it was so unique and well described with perfect world building. The creatures were awesome and the magic was beautiful and deadly. I can’t get over how well Yovanoff writes, and I can’t wait to read the other books I have by her!

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Have you read any books by Brenna Yovanoff?

Review: The Cursed Sea

Title: The Cursed Sea

Author: Lauren DeStefano

Date of Publication: December 18th, 2018

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Goodreads Summary:

Wilhemina Heidle, the exiled princess of Northern Arrod, the girl thought dead by her family and friends, must return home. The only way to save Loom, the cursed prince of the Southern Isles, is to revisit the castle and discover the origins of her own curse.

But home is very different from how she left it—Wil’s unstable elder brother is now king, leading a war against the Southern Isles. And the rest of her family must reckon with the truth of what happened to lead to Wil’s exile. With time running out, Wil must navigate the dangerous secrets within her family if she’s going to find the truth and save the boy she loves.

When she’s finally able to reach Pahn, nothing goes as planned, and suddenly Wil and her allies are fighting for their lives, again and again, as the Southern King is out to punish his children for all they’ve done. Traveling across cursed seas and treacherous kingdoms, Wil, Loom—and his ruthless sister Espel—have to work to make peace with their own struggles if they hope to secure the future of their kingdoms.

But when their plans lead them right back to evil marveler Pahn, and to Baren—who is more dangerous than ever—can Wil and her friends outsmart their enemies, this time, for good?

My Review:

I’m always scared when diving into a last book of a series but not as bad with a duology because the journey hasn’t been that long. Yet, I was still nervous because I loved the first book so much! I mean, King Midas-like stuff… Awesome, right? All that glitters is definitely gold!

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I still loved Wil, and she really grew as a character. She wasn’t the same girl we remember at the beginning of book one. Instead, she’s become stronger and braver and I really like her love for her family! My boys, Loom and Gerdie, were back! Gerdie is just my cute, little, science baby! Every time, he was on the page, I was consumed!

There were some twists, lots of fun, romance, and beautiful writing! The one thing I found a little odd was the POV shifts within sections. I can’t recall if that was done in book one, but I’m sure it was! I just wished POVs would have been switched by chapters or page breaks within the chapter! But other than that, it was excellent and the ending was perfect!

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Have you started this series yet?

Review: Descent

Review: Descent

Author: S.G.D. Singh

Date of Publication: October 7th, 2016

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Goodreads:

The Infernal Guard: Descent rejoins our heroes eight months after the events of Emergence. Asha and her fellow trainees gather at Central Headquarters, located in North America’s western desert, to celebrate their graduation and receive their postings as full-fledged Infernal Guard members. But the time for celebrations are cut short when Asha confirms her long-held suspicion: The Prophecy, which foretold the birth of a Seer with the power to bring lasting peace to our realm, never meant her. She is not The One The Guard have been waiting for so many years. While hunting Underworlders in Las Vegas, Asha and her team come across a homeless civilian named Jax. Asha immediately realizes the mysterious girl is critical to their survival, and insists Jax accompany them despite her team’s protests and the civilian’s terror. Now, as the forces of darkness unite to capture their foretold Savior, Asha must lead a rescue team of her beloved friends into the Underworld on the mission of their lives. Because if they fail, hope dies with them.

My Review:

I liked this book even better than the first one! I love when that happens. The author has created some amazing characters in a unique world.

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It’s fast paced and packed with mystery and emotion and just a whole lot of fun. I seriously loved the addition of the new characters and getting to know each and everyone more. The dialogue was so good too, especially when it gets snarky. Snarky owns my life!

Let’s talk about the twists! Yea, there are some good ones and the writing is so well done! I can’t wait to read book three next because that ending!

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What’s your favorite urban fantasy series?

Review: Paper Valentine

Title: Paper Valentine

Author: Brenna Yovanoff

Date of Publication: January 8th, 2013

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Goodreads Summary:

The city of Ludlow is gripped by the hottest July on record. The asphalt is melting, the birds are dying, petty crime is on the rise, and someone in Hannah Wagnor’s peaceful suburban community is killing girls.

For Hannah, the summer is a complicated one. Her best friend Lillian died six months ago, and Hannah just wants her life to go back to normal. But how can things be normal when Lillian’s ghost is haunting her bedroom, pushing her to investigate the mysterious string of murders? Hannah’s just trying to understand why her friend self-destructed, and where she fits now that Lillian isn’t there to save her a place among the social elite. And she must stop thinking about Finny Boone, the big, enigmatic delinquent whose main hobbies seem to include petty larceny and surprising acts of kindness.

With the entire city in a panic, Hannah soon finds herself drawn into a world of ghost girls and horrifying secrets. She realizes that only by confronting the Valentine Killer will she be able move on with her life—and it’s up to her to put together the pieces before he strikes again.

My Review:

I absolutely loved The Replacement! So what did I have to do? Order a bunch of other books by this author! There was some nice solving crime type thing in this one!

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Paper Valentine had a bit of everything! Mystery, friendship, horror, romance, and a great MC. Hannah wasn’t typical and she felt like a real teen. Sometimes she was a follower, sometimes a leader, sometimes indecisive, as are most teens when they are trying to discover themselves.

The side characters were well developed. I liked Finny and Hannah’s sister Ariel a lot! I had a bit of the movies Valentine meets Scream vibes in this yet mixed with originality. Can’t wait to read more from Yovanoff!

 

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What’s your favorite mystery involving ghosts?