Tuesday, 30 May 2017


Blacksouls (Blackhearts, #2)

Blacksouls by Nicole Castroman is the second book in her Blackhearts series.

Edward “Teach” Drummond is setting sail to the Caribbean as first mate on the most celebrated merchant ship in the British fleet—until he rebels against his captain. Mutiny is a capital offense and Teach knows it could cost him his life, but he believes it worth the risk in order to save his crew from the attacking Spanish ships.

Sailing on the same blue waters, Anne barely avoids the Spanish attack, making it safely to Nassau. But lawless criminals, corrupt politics, and dangerous intentions fill the crowded streets of this Caribbean port. Soon, Anne discovers that the man entrusted to keep the peace is quite possibly the most treacherous of them all—and he just happens to hold Teach’s fate in his terrifying hands.

Life and death hang in the balance when Teach and Anne are given a dangerous mission. It’s a mission that will test their love, loyalty and devotion, forcing them down a path neither one could have ever imagined.

The Breakdown:
1. This is Castroman sophomore novel and the second in her series on Blackbeard's origin story.   While I did not enjoy this as much as Blackhearts, I still enjoyed this book.  I think that part of the reason I did not love it as much is there were not enough Anne and Teach scenes together.  I love their chemistry and banter, which this book was missing a lot of, but on that note, I made sense for the story that they were not together as much.

2.  This book had a significant amount more of action/fight scenes that the first book.  For me, it really spoke to the difference between English society at the time and the atmosphere of the Caribbean towns.  It really spoke to the sense of lawlessness and ruthlessness in ports in the Caribbean.  This change also brings about interesting changes in the characters of Anne and Teach, and what they become willing to do to protect those they care about.

3. Castroman introduce several new characters, both friend and foe.  Anne makes friends some siblings Coyle and Cara on her way over from England, who take her in as family.  The antagonist in this book, Governor Webb, makes Teach's father in the first book look like a cuddly bunny.  The man is evil.

4. The ending makes me very interested to see how the next book will go.  The actions that Teach and Anne had to take and what they do next has me excited for the next book.

To Read or Not to Read:

Monday, 29 May 2017

AudioBook: The Fate of the Tearling

The Fate of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling, #3)

The Fate of the Tearling is written by Erika Johansen and narrated by Polly Lee and is the last book of the Queen of the Tearling series.

In less than a year, Kelsea Glynn has grown from an awkward teenager into a powerful monarch and a visionary leader.

And as she has come into her own as the Queen of the Tearling, she has transformed her realm. But in her quest to end corruption and restore justice, she has made many enemies - chief among them the evil and feared Red Queen, who ordered the armies of Mortmesne to march against the Tear and crush them.

To protect her people from such a devastating invasion, Kelsea did the unthinkable - naming the Mace, the trusted head of her personal guards, Regent in her place, she surrendered herself and her magical sapphires to her enemy. But the Mace will not rest until he and his men rescue their sovereign from her prison in Mortmesne.

So, the endgame has begun and the fate of Queen Kelsea - and the Tearling itself - will be revealed...

The Breakdown:
1.  Johansen brings her story of the Tearling to a close with this book.  It picks up where the last book left off, and follows Kelsea to her imprisonment in Mortmesne and what is left behind in the Tearling.  This book really does answer most of my lingering questions about the series. From what caused the downfall of William Tears' dream to who is the Fetch and Kelsea's father.

2.  One of the best things about this book was interactions between Kelsea and the Red Queen. It was fascinating to see who the Red Queen almost longed for Kelsea's company and trust. The learning of the Red Queen's past made her quite the complex character.

3. In the book, Kelsea experience more of the past, this time as Katie, a girl born just after the Crossing. This shed light on both the magic of the sapphires and what happened to William Tear and his dream of the new world. It was an important lesson in that history can shape the future.

4. While I thought the ending was perfect for this series, I was disappointed that Johansen did not give hints to the fate of many of the characters.  There were several characters that I was left wondering what happened to them.

To Read or Not to Read:

Monday, 22 May 2017

A Court of Wings and Ruin

A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3)

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas is the third book of the A Court of Thorns and Roses series.

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin's maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit-and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.

As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords-and hunt for allies in unexpected places. 

The Breakdown:
1. I adore Sarah J. Maas, and I love this series. I love the world it is built in.  I adore the characters, especially Feyre, Rhysand, and the rest of the Court of Dreams.  This story really draws me in, and quite a few surprises along the way.  It was very hard for me to put down.  I may or may not have stayed up until almost two in the morning reading one night.

2.  Feyre and Rhysand might be my favorite book couple, ever.  Their love and chemistry is written so wonderfully by Maas. I enjoy that they are equals, and Rhysand is determined for the world to know that he views her as an equal.  Plus their banter is always entertaining, and their bedroom scenes are super hot.

3.  Maas keeps surprising me with twist and turns in this book.  Surprising revelations about characters seems to be a major theme in this book.  From Mor's secret to Lucien's heritage, more than once I was like I did not see that coming.  Oh, and not everyone is who you expected them to be.  Maas certainly keeps me on my toes.

4. While Maas wraps up the story in this book, she has promised there are more stories to come from this world. I, for one, am dying for more of Cassian and Nesta, and maybe some Lucien and Elain.

To Read or Not to Read:
Must Read

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Strange the Dreamer

Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer, #1)

Strange the Dreamer is the Laini Taylor's new book and of a series of the same name.

The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around—and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forever.

What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?

The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries—including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? And if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?

Welcome to Weep.

The Breakdown:
1. I adore Laini Taylor's writing.  Her series Daughter of Smoke and Bone is one of my favorites.  She is a master world builder, and her characters are so fantastically complex.  And she does it again with this book.  An orphan who dreams of the lost city.  A lost city that has many secrets of its own.  The creatures and the magic she has in her writing really have me lost in her world.

2. I loved Lazlo.  An orphan boy who dreams of the Unseen City/Weep.  Plus, I instantly connect with a character who adores books like he does.  I like that despite his circumstances of his childhood, Lazlo is kind and genuinely wants to help others.

3.  I enjoyed learning of Weep and its history and culture.  The city has a complex and tragic history.  I was fascinated with how the gods came to be there and the lasting scars they left on the people of Weep.  Taylor hints at so much more from that aspect, that I can't wait to see where she goes with it in future books.

4.  Speaking of the future of the series. Taylor leaves with quite the ending. I have so many questions on what is going to happen to characters and how they deal with what they have learned.

To Read or Not to Read:
Must Read

Sunday, 7 May 2017

A Crown of Wishes

A Crown of Wishes (The Star-Touched Queen, #2)

A Crown of Wishes is Roshani Chokshi's follow up to The Star-Touched Queen.

An ancient mystery. An unlikely union. For one young princess in a state of peril, a dangerous wish could be the only answer…

She is the princess of Bharata—captured by her kingdom’s enemies, a prisoner of war. Now that she faces a future of exile and scorn, Gauri has nothing left to lose. But should she trust Vikram, the notoriously cunning prince of a neighboring land? He promises her freedom in exchange for her battle prowess. Together they can team up and win the Tournament of Wishes, a competition held in a mythical city where the Lord of Wealth promises a wish to the victor. It seems like a foolproof plan—until Gauri and Vikram arrive at the tournament and find that danger takes on new shapes: poisonous courtesans, mischievous story birds, a feast of fears, and twisted fairy revels. New trials will test their devotion, strength, and wits. But what Gauri and Vikram will soon discover is that there’s nothing more dangerous than what they most desire.

The Breakdown:
1.  I simply adore the world that Chokshi has created in these books.  In this book, she follows Gauri, Maya's sister, and Vikram, who was introduced peripherally in The Star-Touched Queen.  This book is beautifully written and expands more on the mythologies that she created in the first book.

2. I loved the characters of Gauri and Vikram.  Both wanting to be help their people as their ruler but having obstacles in their way. Each taking a very different approach to gaining the throne.  Gauri is warrior and wins things in the physical realm.  Vikram is a scholar, and wins by using his mind. They make for an great team.

3.  I liked the different trails they went through for the Tournament of Wishes.  It really interesting to see how they learn to deal with their desires and fears.  I liked that what they wanted most changed as they grew as characters, and learned more about themselves.

4.  Aasha is another character that shows up about half through the book.  She aids Gauri and Vikram severeal times.  I found her fascinating.  Her story and her desire were definitely good, and added so much to the story.

To Read or Not to Read: