June TBR

I have a massive TBR planned for June – both due to needing to catch up a bit and that I (as a teacher) do get half of June off. So I should be able to read a bit more than I’ve managed earlier this year *fingers crossed*

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Continue reading June TBR

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Roar (Stormheart #1)

Started: March 23, 2018
Finished: April 1, 2018

Language: English
Rating: 3/5 stars


You are lightning made flesh. Colder than falling snow. Unstoppable as the desert sands riding the wind.


Well, this book held a bit of a mixed bag of sour and sweet.

When it comes to world building, it’s amazing. The world of Caelira feels incredibly real – and terrifying, considering all the sentient storms that ravage the land. The only reasonably safe places are the cities populated by Stormlings, people who can control storms – force them to obey – but between those cities, you are at the storms’ mercy.

Aurora Pavan is the sole heir to one of the oldest Stormling families – and she is quite the special snowflake. Stunningly beautiful, fierce, skilled – and completely unable to wield storm magic. Which means she has to marry another powerful Stormling in order to ensure that her people are safe – without anyone knowing that she cannot save them if a storm comes in. Her fiancé stirs up conflicting feelings in her, especially after she overhears him talking with his brother about conquering Pavan, and to find out more she trails after him outside the castle, ending up at a black market that trades in storm magic. Which is where she meets a group of Stormhunters – and decides to run away and catch herself some storm magic of her own to avoid marriage. And at the same time she also becomes attracted to the lead Stormhunter – and him to her.

The romance in this novel is far from perfect, which is a bit surprising, considering Cora Carmack’s background as a romance writer. It’s far too instant and, from the men’s point of view, far too possessive. Feelings go from 0 to 100 in a few pages. I honestly think I would have preferred if there had been no romance at all until the next novel. That would have made a lot more sense.

The characters are also a bit “standard YA fantasy stereotypes”; the mysterious, dark prince, the beautiful, enchanting princess and the overly masculine adventurer. It’s a bit sad that these characters were not more diverse, as others in the novel certainly were.

But, yes, I will continue with this series, simply because of the world and the promise of adventure. And who knows? Maybe the next book will achieve better points for characters and romance.

Soldier (Talon #3)

Started: February 25, 2018
Finished: March 31, 2018

Language: English
Rating: 3/5 stars


I wanted to fly up beyond the clouds, where nothing would hear me but the stars.


Garrett, a former soldier of St George, has gone to England to find out what the Order is up to. While there, he finds allies he certainly did not expect – and learns a hell of a lot more about both Talon and the Order than he expected.
Meanwhile, Ember and Riley continue to thwart Talon and the Order. They receive a tip as to where one of the hatching facilites are, but once there it becomes clear that the place is a trap. One meant to kill Riley and, if possible, return Ember to Talon.

I’m still enjoying the writing of these novels, but I find myself groaning at the focus on the love triangle. Like, give it a rest people! There are more important things than fighting over each other as to who gets the girl! I honestly think Ember would (possibly) do better to just leave the boys behind and go it her own.

Possibly.

Anyway, the ending was a goddamn twist and a half! I seriously did not expect that – which means that I’m not giving up on this yet. Things just might have gotten interesting…

Also, before I go, here’s a little theory that just sort of appeared in my head… What if Ember has mixed blood? Like half-dragon, half-human? And that’s why a part of her is drawn to Garrett, a human, and the other half to Riley, a dragon?
Just a thought…

Mark of Destiny

Started: March 8, 2018
Finished: March 23, 2018

Language: English
Rating: 2/5 stars


I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

This book is set in the world of Belstrom and follows Tizrah and Korlin. Tizrah dreams of becoming a warrior, but finds herself marked for a life of ancient magic. Korlin, on the other hand, is trained in magic – and is given the task to hunt Tizrah down and dispose of her before more of her kind can appear.

The writing style of this novel reminds me a lot of Tolkien and other classical fantasy authors, relying heavily on descriptions in order to pull you into the world. And I love that; I love finding this sort of writing in a book published in modern times. However, here those descriptions have overtaken the development and pacing of the story. The characters and their personalities feel flat and undeveloped, their decisions rash and unplanned. Battle sequences are shortened and feel far from dramatic. Characters that seem to be important and crucial upon appearing are ignored throughout the rest of the story.

Honestly, this book has potential, but I think it would have greatly benefitted from potentially being split into two books of equal length to this one, in order to allow the development of the characters and crucial scenes.

Wika och De svarta feerna (Wika #2)

Started: March 11, 2018
Finished: March 11, 2018

Language: Swedish
Rating: 3/5 stars


Bought this at the annual book sale as I want to read more graphic novels. Also bought the first book in the series and since both are pretty short, I managed both of them easily during the space of one afternoon.

As stated in my review for the first book, I liked the basic plot and artwork style. In this sequel I actually found myself enjoying the plot even more because it became more complicated, with more characters chipping in to tell it and reveal bits and pieces of the story. And, at the same time, the artwork continued to be a bit “well, that’s probably not practical in a fight”. Don’t get me wrong; I loved the steampunk and how the characters are drawn, but I honestly do not see the practicality in women wearing basically nothing when fighting battles – no matter their magical powers.

So, like the first book, this one gets an average rating from me. We’ll see if I continue with the next book.

Wika och Oberons raseri (Wika #1)

Started: March 11, 2018
Finished: March 11, 2018

Language: Swedish
Rating: 3/5 stars


Bought this at the annual book sale as I want to read more graphic novels and I thought the artwork and basic plot seemed pretty good. And they were – I really liked the artwork and the base of the story was entertaining. However I did feel like this first installment of this series could have been developed even more as a non-graphic novel. Is that because I am not used to reading graphic novels instead of word-y full length novels? Maybe. It might be something I can get used to.

I also found that, even though I did enjoy the artwork, some of it was way too sexual for me. The clothes that main character Wika – who is honestly a badass girl – wore were a bit too much “standard level 100 female armour”.

Wintersong (Wintersong #1)

Started: February 21, 2018
Finished: March 8, 2018

Language: English
Rating: 4/5 stars


What is eternal life but a prolonged death?


I cannot write a review of this book without including a GIF of David Bowie as the Goblin King in Labyrinth because that was all I saw when the book’s Goblin King was mentioned!

This book follows Liesl, the oldest child of three – and the one considered most plain. She does not have the beauty of her sister Käthe nor the musical talent of her brother Joseph – or at least the latter has not been encouraged as she is a woman and a woman’s place is not up on the stage, playing the pianoforte or the violin. Despite her wanting to go on wild adventures, despite her jealousy, Liesl has come to terms with that she will remain behind at her parents’ inn while her sister gets married and her brother gets to tour Europe. At least until the Goblin King kidnaps Käthe, takes her Underground – and gives Liesl a choice. Stay behind in a world where Käthe never existed – or find a way Underground on her own.

This story is dark and seductive. No one ever said the goblins of the Underground were tame and simple, able to hold back their dark and sinful desires – and it beckons to both the reader and Liesl. Is the Underground really that bad? Wouldn’t it be better to just stay there instead of going Above again? I don’t know how many times I asked myself that – but I did come to the conclusion that, had I lived in the same time period as Liesl, I would have chosen the Underground, because Above I sure as hell would not have been allowed to be a bit strange and different. The Goblin King is a brilliant character with a multitude of sides, described as a once mortal man stretched thin by immortality. He reminded me a bit of the Doctor, actually; someone who goes without a proper name, because that would remind him of what he once was. What he lost.

Although the writing is hauntingly beautiful and incredibly easy to get lost in, it also makes for long breaks between major key events. The rides between those moments are not necessarily bad, but they do slow down the story – and makes some pieces of it repeat themselves over and over. I did like the inclusion of German, though! Made me realize I need to read more German as I haven’t practiced it in years.

All in all, this was certainly a good story to curl up with on a winter day.