Mini Reviews: Ilona Andrews edition

Hello everyone! Today I’m bringing you mini reviews of four books I’ve read from one of my favorite authors!! I love Ilona Andrews. They are an author duo (husband and wife) that I discovered last year and omg I’m glad I did. They write adult urban fantasy and I believe so far they have four series that I know of lol I’m currently caught up in one, restarted one, haven’t started one, and having trouble finding the final book in another.

Hidden Legacy

This series is my favorite!! The synopsis of the first book is as follows:

Nevada Baylor is faced with the most challenging case of her detective career- a suited mission to bring in a suspect in a volatile case. Nevada isn’t sure she has the chops. Her quarry is a Prime, the highest rank of magic user, who can set anything and anyone on fire. Then she’s kidnapped by Connor “Mad” Rogan- a darkly tempting billionaire with equally devastating powers. Torn between wanting to run or surrender to their overwhelming attraction, Nevada must join forces with Rogan to stay alive. Rogan’s after the same target, so he needs Nevada. But she’s getting under his skin, making him care about someone other than himself for a change. And, as Rogan has learned, love can be as perilous as death, especially in the magic world.

I fell in love with this world, this series, these characters, just everything. Plus I am so not a big romance person, but the way they do romance is SOOO good to me.

I love Nevada, her family (especially Grandma Frida), Connor, and Bug. Bug has to be one of my favorite side characters ever. He just makes me laugh all the time. Connor is that cute guy that is super annoying yet you always want him around lol My favorite thing about Nevada is that she is super family oriented. That just made me connect with her so much. Grandma Frida is LIFE! This lady is amazing. She is so not your typical grandma in the slightest.

Now Nevada has two younger sisters, Catalina and Arabella. I bring them up because the first three books in the series follow Nevada. The novella and the next trilogy follow Catalina.

(The novella and book 4…books 5 is released in August of this year and book 6 sometime next year)

Not giving a synopsis for these because they both spoil major events from earlier in the series. However, I will say that Catalina is so different from Nevada and I love that. Plus Alessandro is….well idk how to describe him lol I gave both of these books 4 stars. This is the series I’m caught up on, and I need book 5 like now lol

The Edge

This series has 4 books in it, and is the one I can’t find the final book in. I rated On The Edge 5 stars, Bayou Moon and Fate’s Edge were both 4 stars, and Steel’s Edge is the final book.

This series is kind of connected, but only through characters in my opinion. Sort of like those books where a side character in one book becomes the main character in the next book. I feel like book 4 will probably bring everyone together just based off of how book 3 ended. I just need to find it. I will probably end up buying it since I’ve already broken my book buying “ban”. It wasn’t really a ban, I just wanted to get the books I already own read. Half of what I read so far this year has come from my shelves so I felt a reward was in order lol

Kate Daniels

I’ve actually restarted this series. Granted I only read the first three so it was easy to restart. The synopsis of book one is:

The world has suffered a magic apocalypse. We pushed the technological progress too far, and now magic returned with a vengeance. In comes in waves, without warning, and vanishes as suddenly as it appears. When magic is up, planes drop out of the sky, cars stall, electricity dies. When magic is down, guns work and spells fail. Atlanta would be a nice place to live, if it weren’t for magic…One moment magic dominates, and cars stall and guns fail. The next, technology takes over and the defensive spells no longer protect your house from monsters. Here skyscrapers topple under onslaught of magic; werebears and werehyenas prowl through the ruined streets; and the Masters of the Dead, necromancers driven by their thirst of knowledge and wealth, pilot blood-crazed vampires with their minds. In this world lives Kate Daniels. Kate likes her sword a little too much and has a hard time controlling her mouth. The magic in her blood makes her a target, and she spent most of her life hiding in plain sight. But when Kate’s guardian is murdered, she must choose to do nothing and remain safe or to pursue his preternatural killer. Hiding is easy, but the right choice is rarely easy.

See this is why I don’t read the synopsis. That sounds so boring lol granted I did rate books 1&2 3 stars, however book 3 is where it hooked me. Even after my reread of Magic Bites, I still left it at three stars because it was good but still felt like the beginning of a series.

Kate’s guardian is murdered in like the first chapter so that’s not really a spoiler in the synopsis in my opinion. I just love her. Especially her smart mouth at the wrong times lol plus she is so aware of herself. What you see is what you get. She is probably one of my favorite female leads ever.

I really want to talk about other characters but I don’t want to give too much away. Plus I don’t really remember what was said or done in each book so I don’t want to unintentionally give away spoilers.

Wow this is long lol what was supposed to be mini reviews turned into this. This is what happens when you love an author. Have you read anything by Ilona Andrews? If so, did you enjoy it? Did you not enjoy it? Let’s talk!! Until next time, happy reading šŸ’š

Advertisement

Inkmistress by Audrey Coulthurst book review

Asra is a demigod with a dangerous gift: the ability to dictate the future by writing with her blood. To keep her power secret, she leads a quiet life as a healer on a remote mountain, content to help the people in her care and spend time with Ina, the mortal girl she loves. But Asra’s peaceful life is upended when bandits threaten Ina’s village and the king does nothing to help. Desperate to protect her people, Ima begs Asra for assistance in finding her manifest-the animal she’ll be able to change into as her rite of passage into adulthood. Asra uses her blood magic to help Ina, but her spell goes horribly wrong and the bandits destroy the village, killing Ina’s family. Unaware that Asra is at fault, Ina swears revenge on the king and takes a savage dragon as her manifest. To stop her, Asra must embark on a journey across the kingdom, becoming a player in lethal games of power among assassins, gods, and even the king himself. Most frightening of all, she discovers the dark secrets of her own mysterious history- and the terrible, powerful legacy she carries in her blood.

This book was so good! I love that I’m finding so many good books. Well good to me lol I believe this takes place a long time before Of Fire and Stars.

First and foremost, I love Asra. She just made me cheer her on and want the best for her. I would say that she did overreact at some points, however that would be hypercritical of me because I can see myself reacting the exact same way.

Ina reminded me of Hans from the first Frozen. There is a very specific moment in the story where that comparison is spot on. Like it was the first thought I had when it happened after I verbally said “Well damn.”

There are characters we meet later on that I either loved or hated, which is what I’m meant to do. One became my favorite alongside Asra. I can definitely see myself rereading this!

Two Can Keep A Secret by Karen M. McManus book review

Echo Ridge is small-town America. Ellery’s never been there, but she’s heard all about it. Her aunt went missing there at age seventeen. And only five years ago, a homecoming queen put the town on the map when she was killed. Now Ellery has to move there to live with a grandmother she barely knows. The town is picture-perfect, but it’s hiding secrets. And before school even begins for Ellery, someone’s declared open-season on homecoming, promising to make it as dangerous as it was five years ago. Then, almost as if to prove it, another girl goes missing. Ellery knows all about secrets. Her mother has them; her grandmother does too. And the longer she’s in Echo Ridge, the clearer it becomes that everyone there is hiding something. The thing is, secrets are dangerous- and most people aren’t good at keeping them. Which is why in Echo Ridge, it’s safest to keep your secrets to yourself.

I enjoyed this so much! Probably a little more than I enjoyed One of Us is Lying. I’ve come to the conclusion that I like mystery “thrillers” more than traditional thrillers. Traditional thrillers I find are hard for me to get into or even want to pick up. Not for lack of trying. I have one on my shelf that I got halfway through and actually liked, but again, finding it hard to want to pick it up and actually read it.

Anyway, back to this book. It’s not really a companion or series continuation to the One of Us is Lying series. This is just a standalone that is AMAZING! I was so hooked. I listened to it as an audiobook while at work and finished it in one shift lol I only stopped for like breaks and lunch (weird I know but I didn’t want to finish it too early.)

The synopsis tells us about Ellery, a teenage girl moving to Echo Ridge with her twin brother Ezra after their mom is put into rehab. Now most synopsis can sometimes spoil things to come in the book. Not this one. Everything it describes happens early on. I, for one, did not see the plot twist coming. Even more I didn’t figure out the reasoning behind it either. Also, I just want to point out that the reasoning behind it all is something to watch out for. I don’t know whether it would be a trigger warning or not, but I just wanted to give a heads up to it.

Now remember how I said I listened to this at work? Well, the very last line of this book had me so shook I was literally standing in the aisle holding the items I was stocking going “Wait what? No. You can’t just end like that. Omg!” Then proceeded to recap the story to my brother when he picked up after I got off lol I thoroughly enjoyed this and rated it a 4.5. Would have been a full 5, but there was one storyline I felt was just a little weaker than the rest. I can definitely see this author being an auto buy for me especially since I already want to read One of Us is Next and her newest book releasing this December (according to Goodreads.)

A Court of Wings and Ruin book review

This thick book here gave me conflicting feelings. It’s broken into 3 parts. Part one I absolutely loved! Feyre in this part is the Feyre I love to see. I was invested and smiling and everything at things she would do or say. Especially to certain characters.

Part two, the longest part of this 699 page book, where was my conflicting thoughts come in. It had some highs and lows and felt like it was longer than it needed to be. I felt like some chapters didn’t need to be there because it didn’t really add much except to add more feelings for the characters. They didn’t add much plot wise. I know I’m a big character person and not plot person, but this is one series where both needs to done equally. I did love some of the character building parts we got in this section. Mainly why I pushed through and kept going because they would either say or do something that had me curious on how it would play out. Of course as this is the third book in a series, I’m not going to give major details or spoilers.

Part three started just like part one. I absolutely was invested and here for it. All the action and twists and just yessss! However, I did have two issues with it. One of an authors choice of how a side character was handled. It was nothing bad…I just wished something different was done with that character so just a me thing. The second was the rest after all was said and done. I felt like it carried on for longer than needed to after things were handled.

Overall, I gave this book a 4. ACOMAF is definitely my favorite is the series. Now on to reading ACOFAS and then who knows when the next one is coming out lol at least I will be caught up.

Beautiful Chaos by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl book review

Before we begin, I just have one question: WHY DO I KEEP READING BOOKS THAT HURT ME?!?!

Beautiful Darkness hurt in a relationship way, Allegiant broke my heart and made me ugly cry, The Rose Society was dark and scary hurt, and this book here…oh man. My eyes were burning when I finished this. I went from crying to laughing back to crying to anger to crying lol

Chaos is definitely what was going on in this story. I swear my heart was in my throat for most of this. Plus reading along with the audiobook is soooo good. It is so immersive and just brings the story to life. The narrator is AMAZING in my opinion. His voices for the characters is just great. Plus when a big scene is happening (say it’s a storm or fire happening while the scene is going on) you actually hear that in the audiobook.

I need to pick up book 4 (the finale) like ASAP but I also don’t want the series to end šŸ˜« I do own the two spinoffs as well so I will officially be done with the series in June (since I’m reading them once a month) This series is going to be right up there with Splintered, The School for Good and Evil, and the Alex Cross series as my top favorite series.

This review is all over the place but it is fitting for how this book had me feeling. I swear I experiences every single emotion while reading.

Mini Reviews: Sequel edition

Hey everyone! Today I’m bringing to you a trio of mini reviews. Since these are continuations of series, I won’t be posting the synopsis of the books. All three of these were emotional reads for me for different reasons and in different ways. So let’s get started!

The first book is Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. This is the sequel to Beautiful Creatures and oh boy. My poor baby Ethan had a really rough time during this book. This book was emotional for me because of the characters. Especially Ethan. I could truly feel his emotions like they were my own. Plus I love Lena, but OMG did she make me so mad this book. The way this book ended, I’m so excited to get to Beautiful Chaos.

Next is Allegiant by Veronica Roth. This has been a long time coming. I started this series when the first movie came out. I actually read Divergent and Insurgent twice and watched both movies, but for some reason I never finished the series. Well I corrected that last month. Why did no one warn me I would ugly cry?? I mean I knew what would happen, but not how and omg I cried so hard. Then the author had the nerve to deal me another emotional gut punch. Whyyy?? I literally just laid there after reading trying to get myself together.

Finally we have The Rose Society by Marie Lu. My recent finish and man was this darker than I was expecting. This is the sequel to The Young Elites, and that book had multiple moments where my feelings got all kinds of ways. Well this delivered on that and then some. Adelina’s gradual descent had me on edge the entire book, and the very last chapter had me like šŸ˜³ even after I closed the book. I literally just sat there for a few minutes to gather my thoughts. I can’t wait to pick up The Midnight Star.

This is why I love reading. Especially being a character driven person. I get so emotionally invested and it puts me into the story so much more. I can’t wait to see what the next book is that makes me feel this way. Happy reading everyone šŸ’š

Another series review

Hey everyone! Today Iā€™m going to review the Another series written by siblings Daniel and Dina Nayeri. I came across this series at an old job of mine (well the first book that is) and decided to give it a chance. Boy am I glad I did. Just a heads up, there may be possible spoilers.

First book: Another Faust

On a single night, five children from cities across Europe vanish, only to reappear years later at an š„š±šœš„š®š¬š¢šÆšž New York holiday party with their strange but beautiful governess, Madame Vileroy. Rumor and intrigue follow the teenagers as they attend the exclusive Manhattan Marlowe School, where they rise to suspicious heights using the “gifts” given to them by their governess. Though it seems like simple fun at first, the five soon learn that their newfound talents are far more potent then they ever imagined- and far more addictive. Even as the side effects of pursuing their personal obsessions begin to show, these ambitious teens are intent on achieving their goals at any cost…until two of them uncover a secret even more shocking than their own most unforgivable sins.

I read this one a year ago. It started of slow than gradually kept getting better. These five kids (from left to right: Christian, Victoria, Valentin, Belle, and her twin Bice) are all a mess in their own right. However, my sweet cinnamon rolls that are Bice and Christian make me happy. They were my faves throughout the entire story. Belle eventually got on my good side towards the end. She wasn’t necessarily a bad character, but her actions at times made me keep her at a distance.

Victoria and Valentin…..I said it in my original review on Goodreads, I don’t think I’ve ever hated anyone as much as I hate Valentin. He started out as one of my cinnamon rolls, but as the story progressed and his “gift” got stronger, he got worse and worse. His mouth made me want to punch him in it. Yes I still feel that strongly about it. Victoria was never a favorite from the start. Her attitude was always bad from the first time we met her. She also gets worse as time progresses.

Madame Vileroy. I can’t really describe her without giving too much a way because she plays a big part in this entire series.

To me, this whole story is more about the characters than any plot really. Like there is an underlying plot going on, but it has to do with all six of the main characters so it’s best to pay attention. Plus I’m not familiar with the Faust story so any similarities went right past me.

Second book: Another Pan

Darkness continues to haunt Marlowe School. Wendy Darling, a headstrong junior, and her brother, John, a thirteen-year-old genius, struggle with being from the poorest family at the posh New York academy. Wendy’s new boyfriend, socialite golden-boy Connor Wirth, offers a solid step up in popularity, yet ambitious Wendy and John still find themselves longing for something more. When the mysterious and fabled Book of Gates appears at Marlowe along with Peter, a dashing new resident adviser, the Darlings are swept into a captivating world of “Lost Boys”, old-world secrets, and forbidden places. The book opens the door to a hidden labyrinthine underworld where Egyptian myths thought impossible become frighteningly real. Suddenly, Peter, Wendy, and John find themselves captive in the lair of an age-old darkness, trying to escape the clutches of an ancient and beautiful child-thief who refuses to let go.

This one is my favorite of the series. I read this last summer I believe, and I absolutely love it. The synopsis seems to give things away, but it doesn’t really. Yes those things happen, but what comes before and after is just as important. This story has way plot in my opinion. They actually have something they are trying to figure out and whatnot. Man I just want to talk about this in full but I won’t lol I can do a spoiler review if anyone actually wants that.

The Darlings are amazing. Especially their dad. He just loves his kids and his job, but of course dealing with teenagers is not easy. Wendy and John are typical siblings. I loved their relationship. Connor we met back in book 1. He’s the best friend of Thomas (remember the name) who dated Belle. That relationship caused some problems. I love how they made Peter an RA and his Lost Boys were the prep kids that lived on campus. Plus, nurses can be scary šŸ˜

I forgot to mention earlier that each chapter starts (or ends in the case of this book) with either a scene or a letter or something that ties into the chapter. In the first book, we get glimpses of Vileroy. In this one we get “interludes” after each chapter, and it’s a characters thoughts or actions that tie into the character.

Third book: Another Jekyll, Another Hyde

When Thomas’s billionaire father marries French governess Nicola Vileroy, high society is all abuzz- but Thomas is just plain high. Ever since his girlfriend dumped him, he’s been spending less time with friends and more time getting wasted at clubs. As Thomas’s new designer drug-induced blackouts give way to a sinister voice inside his head, news of a vicious hate crime has students at the Marlowe School on edge. Thomas can’t escape the sickening realization that Madame Vileroy is far more sinister and powerful than your average wicked stepmother- and has made him a victim of a horrifying supernatural plan.

This one you may have just recently seen because I finished it last month. Shortest book in the series yet it took me forever to get to it lol however I did manage to finish it all in one day. I could not put it down. By the synopsis alone you can tell that there is a trigger warning for drug abuse, both intentionally and unintentionally. Also there is violence in this book. To me this is the darkest of the trilogy.

Remember when I said to remember the name Thomas? This is why. Poor baby Thomas has been through hell, and it only gets extremely worse in this book. In the first book, the things that happen to him seem minor in the grand scheme of that book. However, in this one, we see just how bad it affected him.

Connor shows back up again and oh boy is he different. We also get call backs to both books 1&2. Not only character wise, but also plot wise. Vileroy is the absolute worse. You learn things about her past in each book, and all of those come to a head in the finale.

The beginning of each chapter I can’t give away because it is a huge spoiler for the plot of this book. Plus I love how this book hurt in the best way possible. After I finished I felt satisfied with the conclusion of the series. Everything wrapped up nicely plot wise with all the connections between the series, but the stories themselves don’t really end all that happily. Feels way more real that way especially for this third one.

Splintered series review

WARNING!!! THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS POST!

Alyssa Gardner hears the thoughts of plants and insects. She hides her delusions for now, but she knows her fate: she will end up like her mother, in an institution. Madness has run in her family ever since her great-great-great-grandmother, Alice Liddell, told Lewis Carroll her strange dreams, inspiring his classic Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

But perhaps she’s not mad. And perhaps Carroll’s stories aren’t as whimsical as they first seem…

My initial review on Goodreads when I first read this book: “I was not expecting to love this book but I did. Plus two of the MCs made me hate and love them all at the same time. I love having a connection to the characters, plus feeling like I can picture myself there with them. I can’t wait to see where the next book takes me.”

I still love this book. The two MCs I mentioned were Jeb and Morpheus. Jeb and his sister Jenara love next door to Alyssa and her father, and they are her best friends. However, Alyssa has a crush on Jeb. Morpheus is….Morpheus lol Finding out things about him is part of why I love this series so much.

This is an Alice in Wonderland retelling. So of course they are in Wonderland for most of this book. However, the characters you think you know are not as they seem. Plus Alyssa finds out some truths about her family.

Not giving the synopsis for the rest of the series to avoid major spoilers. However, here is my initial review: “This one was more character driven than Splintered but man it was still so good. A lot of things get revealed that shake Alyssa and I was here for it all. This one also focused on the romance side more but it was done in a way that I love. I’m not a big romance person, but if it’s mixed into the story well and is used to drive points of the story then I’m fine wit that. Random side note: I want a guy that is a mix of Jeb and Morpheus lol”

The sequel finds us mostly in the human realm. Alyssa is in her senior year now. She is trying to make it to graduation, but of course things from book one make that hard. Plus as I mentioned in my review, this book is character driven. The secrets come out in this one! Alyssa thought her world was shook in Splintered, but oh boy she was wrong. Plus this book has my favorite ending line ever!! It’s not even all that great, but in the context of the story…oh man! Also that is Morpheus on the cover. I was very vague on him, but the cover tells you things about him.

Say hello to Jeb. Yes I love both guys equally. This cover also has spoilers on it, but you won’t get them out of me.

My initial review: “All the feels with this one. I love this series and will definitely read more from this author.”

Short and sweet and to the point lol this one does have all the feels but from a different character. It still focuses on the trio of Alyssa, Jeb, and Morpheus, but Alyssa’s dad is the one who gets the shake up in his life at the beginning of this book. What does he find out: his life has been a lie. My favorite ending line comes into play right at the beginning of this book.

A. G. Howard has given me the best love triangle ever. It spans all three books, but mostly 2&3. Plus the resolution to it is amazing yet heartbreaking all at the same time.

Now, Ensnared is the official end to the series. In my opinion, however, Untamed is because it actually gives you closure plus answers to some things that are left vague at the end of Ensnared.

Here is my initial review for this one: “Well, this is the end to a new favorite series. This wrapped it up very nicely and hit all my emotions. So glad I found this series and author. Still dealing with all the feels this left me with. I swear I either cried or teared up multiple times. Definitely an auto buy author for me. Just wow.”

My first ever book hangover came from this book here. This contains a set of three novellas: one of her mom as young girl (relevant to book 2), one from Morpheus’ point of view (set directly after book 1), and the last is set after book 3. Not revealing what it’s about because that a major spoiler. *if I’m not mistaken, there is a trigger warning for attempted sexual assault in the first novella*

The last novella in this book is what cause the tears and emotions and hangover. It is probably why I still haven’t done my reread of it yet even though my reread of the other three is done.

This series was one of the first I read in 2019 when I got back into reading. For me, it’s one of those series that has stuck with me, and I will continue to read over and over because I love it so much.

Shatter Me and Destroy Me reviews

No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal, but the Reestablishment has plans for her. Plans to use her as a weapon.

But Juliette has plans of her own.

After a lifetime without freedom, she’s finally discovering a strength to fight back for the very first time- and to find a future with the boy she thought she lost forever.

In the electrifying first book in the Shatter Me series, Tahereh Mafi presents a riveting dystopian world, a thrilling superhero story, and an unforgettable heroine.

Well. This was just like The Crown’s Game for me. The ending saved this for me. Probably because it made me curious to see where it goes from there.

I’m going to be completely honest. I could care less about the characters. Well Warner is an exception but I will get to him in a minute. Only characters I actually liked where side characters. Plus the plot was just meh. If I didn’t have the audiobook I probably would have DNFed this. As it stands, I gave this book 3 stars.

This copy I got from Book Outlet has the novella Destroy Me in the back. It’s from Warner’s point of view after a certain part in Shatter Me. Oh my word! I read it directly after finishing Shatter Me and was automatically sucked in.

Warner made me so mad during the first book, but the novella had me wanting to protect him. It brought out the emotional response I love to get while reading. Now I’m worried that book 2 might let me down. I gave this 4 stars.

Have any of you read this series? Does it get better? Anyone get that emotional response from this reading this series? Let me know in the comments. Happy reading šŸ’š

Get A Life, Chloe Brown review

My second 5 star read (not including rereads) of the year!! I absolutely loved this! I’m not a romance reader at all. I like books where romance is secondary and woven into the storyline where I know it’s there, but not taking over. Like little cute moments here and there just to remind me “oh yea they are a thing” or “oh hey they would be cute together”.

This here actually kind of did just that. Like I knew going in that it was an adult romance. However, the storyline flowed so well for me that I honestly felt like I was watching a movie. I felt what they felt. I even teared up at one point for no real reason lol

I saw myself in Chloe. I don’t think I have ever said I’ve seen myself in a character. I always say “that’s something I would do” or things of that nature. Never before has a character made me go “hey…that’s me.” Chloe Brown is me. The only part of her I can’t say is me is her illness, but other than that…yes. That’s probably why this book worked so well for me.

By know y’all should know I’m a character person. Chloe and her sisters remind me of my brothers and I. I wish I had a Red in my life. Gigi makes me miss my grandma. I just love them all.

Talia Hibbert really won me over with this book (if that wasn’t obvious lol) The way she wrote this, in my opinion, is like I was friends with them both, and watching them finally come together. Definitely a favorite for me and one I will always remember and cherish.