Wednesday, February 13, 2019

[Review] The Wicked King by Holly Black

The Wicked King by Holly Black 

Series: The Folk of the Air #2
Rating: 5 stars

Format: ARC

Goodreads Synopsis:
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.

What even was this book? Unputdownable is what it was. Holly Black continues to enchant with her sequel to The Cruel Prince - The Wicked King.

I didn't have a chance to review The Cruel Prince in all its glory, but the sequel follows up with so much more. Lies, deceit, treason, and conniving plots are all the more reason to be bewitched. The story takes place five months after The Cruel Prince - Jude has Cardan under her thumb, controlling him from behind the throne. But she must battle enemies on all sides - The Living Council, Balekin, imprisoned in the Tower of Woe, her former classmates, one whose mother might even be planning to take the throne, and even those she considers friends. Who is there to trust in the land of fae?

Monday, February 11, 2019

[Review] The Binding by Bridget Collins

The Binding by Bridget Collins

Rating: 3.5 stars

Format: ARC

Goodreads Synopsis: 
Imagine you could erase grief.Imagine you could remove pain.Imagine you could hide the darkest, most horrifying secret.Forever.
Young Emmett Farmer is working in the fields when a strange letter arrives summoning him away from his family. He is to begin an apprenticeship as a Bookbinder—a vocation that arouses fear, superstition, and prejudice among their small community but one neither he nor his parents can afford to refuse.
For as long as he can recall, Emmett has been drawn to books, even though they are strictly forbidden. Bookbinding is a sacred calling, Seredith informs her new apprentice, and he is a binder born. Under the old woman’s watchful eye, Emmett learns to hand-craft the elegant leather-bound volumes. Within each one they will capture something unique and extraordinary: a memory. If there’s something you want to forget, a binder can help. If there’s something you need to erase, they can assist. Within the pages of the books they create, secrets are concealed and the past is locked away. In a vault under his mentor’s workshop, rows upon rows of books are meticulously stored.
But while Seredith is an artisan, there are others of their kind, avaricious and amoral tradesman who use their talents for dark ends—and just as Emmett begins to settle into his new circumstances, he makes an astonishing discovery: one of the books has his name on it. Soon, everything he thought he understood about his life will be dramatically rewritten.
To have something wrenched out of the deepest part of you - how did that feel? And afterwards, when you had a hole inside you... I saw again the blankness in Milly's eyes as she left, and clenched my jaw. What was worse? To feel nothing, or to grieve for something you no longer remembered? Surely when you forgot, you'd forget to be sad, or what was the point? And yet that numbness would take part of your self away, it would be like having pins and needles in your soul...
Emmett Farmer lives in a world where books are considered taboo, because within them is the ability to hide one's worse memory. That's where book binders come in, binding memories for people into novels. He's thrust into this path without notice, sent to apprentice with an elderly book binder by the name of Seredith. But there are some secrets book binding can't hide...

This is going to be a pretty short review.

This was an eloquently written read, addressing serious issues and dark secrets with tact. I especially enjoyed the growth and development from Lucian and Emmett, watching it unfold over the pages. Their backstory coupled with their relationship was just so tender and sweet.

Plus, the world building was pretty great, flowing from one plot point to another with ease.

Monday, December 3, 2018

[Review] A Million Junes by Emily Henry

A Million Junes by Emily Henry

Rating: 4 stars

Format: Hardcover FC
Published: May 16th 2017
Goodreads Synopsis:
For as long as Jack “June” O’Donnell has been alive, her parents have had only one rule: stay away from the Angert family. But when June collides—quite literally—with Saul Angert, sparks fly, and everything June has known is thrown into chaos.
Who exactly is this gruff, sarcastic, but seemingly harmless boy who has returned to their hometown of Five Fingers, Michigan, after three mysterious years away? And why has June—an O’Donnell to her core—never questioned her late father’s deep hatred of the Angert family? After all, the O’Donnells and the Angerts may have mythic legacies, but for all the tall tales they weave, both founding families are tight-lipped about what caused the century-old rift between them.
As Saul and June’s connection grows deeper, they find that the magic, ghosts, and coywolves of Five Fingers seem to be conspiring to reveal the truth about the harrowing curse that has plagued their bloodlines for generations. Now June must question everything she knows about her family and the father she adored, and she must decide whether it’s finally time for her—and all the O’Donnells before her—to let go.

Another lovely magical realism read by Emily Henry.

A Million Junes is a Romeo-and-Juliet tale that effortlessly weaves together mystical and modern without being awkward or out of place. It's a story of Jack "June" O'Donnell and Saul Angert and the generational battle between their families that keeps the two of them apart.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

[Review] Wildcard by Marie Lu

Wildcard by Marie Lu

Series: Warcross #2
Rating: 4 stars

Format: ARC
Release Date: September 18, 2018 

Goodreads Synopsis:
Emika Chen barely made it out of the Warcross Championships alive. Now that she knows the truth behind Hideo's new NeuroLink algorithm, she can no longer trust the one person she's always looked up to, who she once thought was on her side.
Determined to put a stop to Hideo's grim plans, Emika and the Phoenix Riders band together, only to find a new threat lurking on the neon-lit streets of Tokyo. Someone's put a bounty on Emika's head, and her sole chance for survival lies with Zero and the Blackcoats, his ruthless crew. But Emika soon learns that Zero isn't all that he seems--and his protection comes at a price.
Caught in a web of betrayal, with the future of free will at risk, just how far will Emika go to take down the man she loves?

Friday, August 17, 2018

[Review] Wonder Woman: Warbringer (DC Icons #1) by Leigh Bardugo

Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo

Series: DC Icons #1
Rating: 5 stars

Published: August 28th 2017

Goodreads Synopsis:
Daughter of immortals.
Princess Diana longs to prove herself to her legendary warrior sisters. But when the opportunity finally comes, she throws away her chance at glory and breaks Amazon law—risking exile—to save a mortal. Diana will soon learn that she has rescued no ordinary girl, and that with this single brave act, she may have doomed the world.
Daughter of death.
Alia Keralis just wanted to escape her overprotective brother with a semester at sea. She doesn’t know she is being hunted by people who think her very existence could spark a world war. When a bomb detonates aboard her ship, Alia is rescued by a mysterious girl of extraordinary strength and forced to confront a horrible truth: Alia is a Warbringer—a direct descendant of the infamous Helen of Troy, fated to bring about an age of bloodshed and misery.
Two girls will face an army of enemies—mortal and divine—determined to either destroy or possess the Warbringer. Tested beyond the bounds of their abilities, Diana and Alia must find a way to unleash hidden strengths and forge an unlikely alliance. Because if they have any hope of saving both their worlds, they will have to stand side by side against the tide of war.

Leigh Bardugo's books are auto-buys for me, and though this isn't Grisha-related, Wonder Woman proved to be nevertheless a great read. Plus the movie was also (two thumbs up)

Bardugo's book places Diana as a teenager in the modern day. Living on the isle of Themiscrya, she and the other Amazons are isolated from society, until one girl crashes through the border. Turns out, Alia Keralis descends from Helen, and is thus known as a Warbringer, who brings destruction and strife wherever she goes. In order to cleanse this power from her, the two girls set out to Greece, but are met with many obstacles along the way.