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Recent Reviews...

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Book Review: Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare

Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices #2) by Cassandra Clare
Genre: Young Adult (Paranormal/Urban Fantasy Romance)
Date Published: May 23, 2017
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books

Would you trade your soul mate for your soul?

A Shadowhunter’s life is bound by duty. Constrained by honor. The word of a Shadowhunter is a solemn pledge, and no vow is more sacred than the vow that binds parabatai, warrior partners—sworn to fight together, die together, but never to fall in love.

Emma Carstairs has learned that the love she shares with her parabatai, Julian Blackthorn, isn’t just forbidden—it could destroy them both. She knows she should run from Julian. But how can she when the Blackthorns are threatened by enemies on all sides?

Their only hope is the Black Volume of the Dead, a spell book of terrible power. Everyone wants it. Only the Blackthorns can find it. Spurred on by a dark bargain with the Seelie Queen, Emma; her best friend, Cristina; and Mark and Julian Blackthorn journey into the Courts of Faerie, where glittering revels hide bloody danger and no promise can be trusted. Meanwhile, rising tension between Shadowhunters and Downworlders has produced the Cohort, an extremist group of Shadowhunters dedicated to registering Downworlders and “unsuitable” Nephilim. They’ll do anything in their power to expose Julian’s secrets and take the Los Angeles Institute for their own.

When Downworlders turn against the Clave, a new threat rises in the form of the Lord of Shadows—the Unseelie King, who sends his greatest warriors to slaughter those with Blackthorn blood and seize the Black Volume. As dangers close in, Julian devises a risky scheme that depends on the cooperation of an unpredictable enemy. But success may come with a price he and Emma cannot even imagine, one that will bring with it a reckoning of blood that could have repercussions for everyone and everything they hold dear.

Lord of Shadows is the second book in the Dark Artifices series by Cassandra Clare. I don't know what's going on, but after enjoying the first book, this one was such a disappointment. First of all, we're given many different character view points. I have no idea why nor did I have interest in some of these characters. Whenever something of interest started happening, we'd jump to someone else's perspective, then someone else's, and by the time it all came back around, my interest in their situation was long gone and replaced with aggravation. This happened a few times. Some view points were definitely needed, while other characters added absolutely nothing to the story other than an increase in word count. They were written like they were main characters, but they weren't all main character material. 

There were multiple love triangles and squares, yes squares, going one, and some characters fell into more than one triangle. I think some may turn into parabatai, because that bond is an intense love too. I can see how the emotions would be confusing, but holy angsty love triangles Batman! Sometimes less is more. (Actually, that phrase applies to much of this book.) I don't feel invested in many of the characters or any of the couples at this point. Even Emma and Julian fell flat during this book. Emma's reasoning for not being honest with Julian was pointless. Plus, I feel like I've read a similar story before with Clary and Jace.

There were many moments that seemed to drag on and on. This is such a long book already, and it needs substance, not fluff. I'm all about a long book, but make it a good one with a good plot. Where was the plot anyway? Did I miss it? It looks like we may be fighting the start of a Shadowhunter run Totalitarian type government, but aside from that, I'm not sure what was supposed to be going on here. Something would happen and I'd think, "Here it is. This is what we're waiting for." Then something else would happen to negate it or someone would die, and that ended whatever I thought was starting. Instead, everything revolved mostly around angst. Whatever the first book had, this book lost every bit of it.

I feel like some of the characters are trying to set us up for another series or trilogy as well. Is that a good thing? After reading this book, I'm really not sure.

Have you read the first book in this trilogy yet?

Check out my reviews of a few books from the Mortal Instruments series!

Have you read the Infernal Devices Series yet? I LOVED this trilogy! Check out my reviews!

Cassandra Clare was born overseas and spent her early years traveling around the world with her family and several trunks of fantasy books. Cassandra worked for several years as an entertainment journalist for the Hollywood Reporter before turning her attention to fiction. She is the author of City of Bones, the first book in the Mortal Instruments trilogy and a New York Times bestseller. Cassandra lives with her fiance and their two cats in Massachusetts.

To learn more about Cassandra Clare and her books, visit her website and blog.You can also find her on GoodreadsFacebook, and Twitter.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Book Review! Gypsy Heart by Juliana Haygert

Gypsy Heart (Gypsy Heart, #1) by Juliana Haygert
Genre: New Adult Fiction (Paranormal/Fantasy Romance)
Date Published: March 12, 2018
Publisher: Carter & Bradley Publishing

She's no ordinary gypsy ...

If twenty year old Mirella could just pretend she wasn’t a gypsy for one second, maybe her life wouldn’t suck. But turning off her enhanced sixth sense isn’t something she can do. 

When she’s attacked by mysterious masked men, questions and fear rise. And the answers probably lie with Mirella’s mother, the same woman who she hasn’t spoken with in over a year. Their reencounter is unpleasant, as is learning the truth that Mirella is more than just a gypsy.

She’s a Tzigane, a line of very powerful gypsies, and because she doesn’t live in a secured enclave, she’s an easy target for the Alchemists—a group obsessed with Tzigane’s magic. 

Her mother and two enemy enclaves fight to teach her how to control her magic, when all Mirella wants is to go to college and go out with the guy she’s crushing on—while ignoring the trail of bodies amassing around her.

But living free brings danger to her friends’ lives, and Mirella will have to choose between continuing to pretend to be normal or letting her inner power take over to engage in a century old battle where the price might be her own life.

**First published with Creatures boxed set on Aug 15th 2017.**

Gypsy Heart is the first book in the Gypsy Heart series by Juliana Haygert. It was first published with the Creatures Boxed Set. 

I wasn't sure what to expect with this book, because aside from the stereotypes of fortune telling and thievery, I know very little about Gypsies. So, the premise intrigued me from the start. I'm not sure if the Tzigane and all the abilities and magic surrounding them in this story come from actual Gypsy lore, but it sure was interesting. Mirella has been kept in the dark about most of her heritage her whole life. Her mom is to blame for that, and boy do I want to slap her mom around. I mean come on! It's beyond time to start talking! Mirella has some attitude. Sure, she made some bad decisions, but she didn't let anyone push her around either. I enjoyed both of the enclaves, and their members. If I had to choose which one to join, it'd be tough. There are pluses and minuses to both. Just like everything in life, I suppose. I'd love to see them united. As for the guys... I have to say I like Artan quite a bit, but Theron isn't too far behind. I don't know if this is going to be a love triangle of some kind, but I like all involved so far. Gypsy Heart was very fast paced from the Alchemist to the romance and everything in between. I found myself getting caught up in Mirella's world quite easily, and it was very hard to leave it when the book ended.

Gypsy Heart by Juliana Haygert was kindly provided to me by the author for review. The opinions are my own.

Have you read these books by Juliana Haygert?

While Juliana Haygert dreams of being Wonder Woman, Buffy, or a blood elf shadow priest, she settles for the less exciting—but equally gratifying—life of a wife, mother, and author. Thousands of miles away from her former home in Brazil, she now resides in Connecticut and spends her days writing about kick-ass heroines and the heroes who drive them crazy.

To learn more about Juliana Haygert and her books, visit her website.You can also find her on GoodreadsFacebook and Twitter.

Teaser Tuesday! Allerleirauh by Chantal Gadoury

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by The Purple Booker
Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share  doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
My teaser this week is from Allerleirauh by Chantal Gadoury

“Perhaps she’s like her mother. . .” The older maid grinned as she snapped her rag playfully at the other. “Perhaps she’s a witch. She does have her mother’s charm and whit. And her hair . . .”

Once Upon a Time…

In the kingdom of Tranen, a king makes a promise to his dying wife that he'll only remarry a woman who possesses her golden hair. In time, the king's eyes are turned by his daughter. Realizing her father’s intentions, Princess Aurelia tries to trick him by requesting impossible gifts: dresses created by the sun, moon and stars, and a coat made of a thousand furs. But when he is successful, Aurelia sacrifices her privileged life and flees her kingdom, disguised by the cloak and a new name, Allerleirauh.

She enters the safe haven of Saarland der Licht, where the handsome and gentle Prince Klaus takes her under his care. Hoping not to be discovered by her father’s courtiers, Allerleirauh tries to remain hidden under her new identity when she finds unexpected love with Prince Klaus, even though his arranged marriage to the princess of a neighboring kingdom approaches. Risking everything, Allerleirauh must face her troubled past and her fears of the future along her journey to self-acceptance in this triumphant retelling of the classic Grimm Fairy Tale.

Do you have a blog? Post a link to your Teaser Tuesday post in the comments.

No blog? Post a Teaser in the comments anyway!