Book Report: June 2017

First summer month passed by in a rush! Didn’t read as much as I thought I would, but I think I had pretty good reasons for this. First my youngest sister graduated high school and we had a big party for her – which we prepped for for like a week – then it was the Midsummer celebrations aaand then I got sick and lay in bed with fever for a week. And then it was July! I’m quite behind on my reading goal right now, but I know some readathons are coming up so hopefully I’ll get things back on track soon.

Format is inspired by C.R.M Nilsson – link in the sidebar!

Continue reading Book Report: June 2017


Dark Breaks the Dawn (Untitled #1)

Started: June 29, 2017
Finished: June 30, 2017

Language: English
Rating: 3/5 stars

“Duty is an unforgiving taskmaster and often comes with a steep price, especially for those left behind.”

You might not know this, but I am a big fan of classic ballet. Swan Lake is definitely one of my absolute favourites – but because of that I love it so much and I’ve seen quite a few average-to-terrible retellings of it out there, I was a bit apprehensive about this book. But when you’re down with a fever but still want to read, audio books is the way to go – so I decided to give this a go.

Unfortunately, I think it could have been done a lot better.

I missed the world building that was there in the Defy-series. I seriously had so much trouble keeping track of how this world looked and where things were and how the people looked – as they’re not human. The romance could also have been done a lot better. It was not quite insta-love, but almost. If there’s some sort of “mate” thing behind this (due to them being not human) then that might make more sense, but I didn’t catch that. And the characters fell a bit flat – especially when comparing it to the characters in Defy, which you kind of do since it’s the same author.

I did like the magic, though, and the history hints about how the magic had been divided that were glimpsed here and there. And I also liked the fact that this is a duology and that what we all know as the story of Swan Lake actually does not start until the very end of this book. And that bit was quite intense and interesting, so I will most likely pick up the next book once that comes out. Maybe not right away, but I will get around to it eventually.

Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices #2)

Started: June 17, 2017
Finished: June 29, 2017

Language: English
Rating: 5/5 stars

“He’s three thousand times the human being you’ll ever be,” said Alec. “Now get out of here before I risk his life by waking him up so he can turn you into a garbage fire. Something that would match your personality.”

What. The. Hell. Was. This. Book?!

Holy frikking crap!!

Alright, let me just gather my thoughts. Breathe. Breathe.

Right. So, first of all, this review is going to be full of spoilers. So instead of just making spoiler cuts everywhere, I’m going to hide the rest of it behind one.

Continue reading Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices #2)

Queen of Extinction (Queen of Extinction #1)

Started: June 25, 2017
Finished: June 27, 2017

Language: English
Rating: 4/5 stars

“You delivered that message well, my nymph.”

I received a copy of this novel from the author Gwynn White in exchange for an honest review.

I’m always up for a Sleeping Beauty retelling. This, however, was far from what I had expected it to be. In a good way.

Aurora is the princess of Ryferia, a kingdom ruled by her brother – until he is brutally murdered. In the blink of an eye Aurora finds herself the queen-to-be – if she can find a husband, because the law states that no female heir may rule if she is unmarried. Her power-greedy uncle issues a challenge; find a husband in a month, or he takes the crown – and blames her brother’s death on her.
The problem? Aurora is Infirm, meaning she has a disease shunned like the blight in Ryferia. Finding a husband will not be easy.
However, it soon becomes apparent that Infirm means something else entirely…

I found myself enjoying this story quite a lot. The world was interesting – though I wouldn’t have minded a map to go with the story – as were the rules of magic. The history of the various kingdoms was intriguing and, well, I just found myself really liking the world that Gwynn White and Erin St Pierre had created here.

I also liked the writing and the way we got to read things from three different perspectives – Aurora, Jorah and Raith, the latter two being contestants in Aurora’s deadly game of finding a husband. Jorah definitely turned out to be one of my favourite characters – you cannot say no to a charming but grumpy and proud dragon, people – while Aurora fell a little flat for me. I think I had a difficult time relating to her as she “speaks first, thinks later”, while I generally do the opposite. Raith was interesting thanks to his magic, but otherwise he was not someone I cared for much.

All in all, I really liked this novel and I am looking forward to the next one in the series.

Nobody’s Goddess (Never Veil #1)

Started: June 20, 2017
Finished: June 24, 2017

Language: English
Rating: 3/5 stars

You seem to have rolled out of a muddy pond and caught your dress on a hundred branches. Perhaps you also bumped into a fair maiden, making off with her apron.

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

So this was a book I added on impulse to my TBR about two years ago. I then received it from NetGalley last autumn and decided that now, June 2017, it was definitely time for me to read it.

This story follows Noll, a young woman who lives in a village where all men are forced to wear masks and are destined to fall in love with one woman – their goddess. Once the men have found their goddess they will do her bidding until the day she returns their love – at which point the man may remove his mask. Noll is a bit of a tomboy, running around with the boys playing with swords (wooden sticks) instead of learning a trade, but one by one her friends find their goddesses, with Noll’s best friend and crush Jurij finds his goddess in Noll’s sister. Noll decides to find out why the men are forced to fall in love as they do and goes in search for the mysterious Lord of the village, believing him to be able to break the curse. She soon finds out, however, that perhaps she has more to do with this curse than she had ever thought.

I found this novel simple and enjoyable. Bits and pieces of it were quite predictable, but the writing flowed really well and made it a good read anyhow. Noll was a bit annoying at times – I really did not feel at all attached to her or her quest, but at times I was able to look past that and instead look at the story and characters as a whole, which helped. I would have liked the story to be more detailed and further developed – it might actually have been possible to extend this into a trilogy alone, because the connection with the next book feels quite loose at the moment. At least that is how I would have done it.

I feel like I should also adress the fact that I saw someone on Goodreads comment, without having read the book, that it sounded like in this novel there are only heterosexual relationships. And yes, it certainly sounds like that. However, the men in this novel are cursed to “only love one woman”. Those exact words. The women are not cursed in any way and there are women who are revealed to be gay, but cannot be together due to the men being cursed to love them. So it’s not an “anti-lgbt-relationships” book – the curse has caused the relationships to be heterosexual only instead of mixed.

I will most likely pick up the next book at some point, but I cannot say when that will be.

The Rose Society (The Young Elites #2)

Started: June 5, 2017
Finished: June 20, 2017

Language: English
Rating: 4/5 stars

Once upon a time, a girl had a father, a prince, a society of friends. Then they betrayed her, so she destroyed them all.

Actual rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

I’m definitely not as enamored with this series as I would like to be. I like it in general, but I do not love it. And I do not really understand why I feel like that.

Looking at the individual elements of this novel, I should have loved it. I should have been extatic about the twists and turns in the story, the characters – old and new – and the magic displayed. But somehow, combined, that didn’t happen. Throughout the majority of the story I found myself thinking “medium rating, this is medium rating, somewhere around 3 stars”. Some of the twists in the end – and the final revelations and cliffhanger for the next novel – where what pushed the rating to change into a 3.5 – rounded up to a 4.

I hope that, once I’ve read Midnight Star, my opinions of this series might change to the better. I do want to like this and I can’t see why I do not. Bear with me until then!

And I Darken (The Conqueror’s Saga #1)

Started: June 11, 2017
Finished: June 17, 2017

Language: English
Rating: 3/5 stars

Her spine was steel. Her heart was armor. Her eyes were fire.

I had planned to read this later this year, but then I received an ARC for the second book and pushed this up to read now in June.

Unfortunately, I was disappointed.

It reminded me a lot of a history book. Which, by the way, is not a bad thing in my eyes. I’m the kind of person who read through history books for school on the day we got them, while everyone else in class only read the bits and pieces they needed for the next lecture. History isn’t bad to read – but it has to be focused on something in order to be entertaining. I felt like this novel was far to unfocused to be entertaining. It covered everything, regardless of how unimportant one chapter turned out to be compared to the next. Sure, it gave you a lot of background information on the differences between Lada and Radu, and Mehmed, but I almost feel like that would have been better presented by being written as flashbacks and not in chronological order. It became too much.

I can honestly say that, if I hadn’t already received the ARC for the next novel, I would have DNF this after about 1/4. At that point I rated this novel 1, maybe 2 stars. The second half of the book was better and pushed my rating – and interest – up somewhat. It was paced better, had more intensity and the characters developed into something I could actually support. I found I liked Radu a lot – him being a Christian converting to Islam, and homosexual. It was something unique, something that I do feel Kiersten White should be praised for writing. We need more characters like Radu, set in modern as well as historical settings. Lada and Mehmed remained a bit boring/annoying to me, but Radu grew in my eyes. And he’s definitely a good reason for me to read the next novel, but probably not as soon as I would have liked.