Beastly Bones Review (Spoiler Free)

Author: William Ritter | Published: September 22, 2015 by Algonquin Young Readers | Series: Jackaby #2 | Length: 295 pages | Genre: YA fantasy, reimagining | Source: I got this book from my local bookstore.

PLEASE NOTE:  While this review does not contain spoilers for said book, it may contain spoilers for the first book in the series.  SO if you have not read the first book and do not wish to be spoiled please do not continue to read this review.  You can read my review for the first book here.  Thank you!

In 1892, New Fiddleham, New England this are never always as they seem.  Abigail Rook is soon finding that out as she tags along with her new employer R.F. Jackaby as they investigate things on the supernatural level.  When a pack of adorable kittens turns out to be shapeshifters and their owner is murdered with only a puncture wound to go on, Abigail and Jackaby are called to investigate.  Policeman Charlie Cane, newly exiled to Gad’s Valley sends them news and a plead for help when dinosaur bones from a recent dig go missing.  Abigail and Jackaby soon find themselves in search of a thief, a monster, and a murderer.

I recently realized that I had read this book almost exactly a year ago, yet I had not done a review on it.  What the heck Chelcie!  Get it together!  I loved this book so I have no idea why I never wrote a review for it in the first place.  I love this series with my whole heart.  The twist on the Sherlock stories is amazingly done.  There were a lot of new characters that we got to meet in this book that I have a feeling they may play a bigger role down the line.  The budding romance between Abigail and Charlie is driving me insane!  They obviously like each other.  Jeez, just do something about it! This feels like it’s going to be a very long slow burn romance which may drive me over the brink of no return.  I do like how everything came together in ways I wasn’t expecting.  The ending was crazy!!  I desperately couldn’t wait to get my hands on the next book to see what happened next.  I do have to say that the cliffhangers are getting better and more gut wrenching.

Overall, I loved this book!  I highly recommend it if you are a Sherlock fan looking for a little supernatural twist on the famous detectives stories, or if you are in the mood for a quick, quirky mystery.

I gave this book 4/5 stars on Goodreads.

Snow Like Ashes Review (Spoiler Free)

Author: Sara Raasch | Published: October 14, 2014 by Balzer + Bray | Series: Snow Like Ashes #1 | Length: 416 pages | Genre: YA fantasy | Source: I got this book at my local bookstore

Sixteen years ago, the kingdom of Winter was taken over and many of the inhabitants were taken as slaves.  Their only hope for escape is eight survivors who managed to escape and are waiting for the opportunity to steal their magic back.  Meira, a girl left orphaned by the Winter’s defeat, has trained her whole life as a warrior while on the run.  She vows she will do anything to restore Winter and free her people.  So when a couple of scouts find out where one piece of Winter’s magic locket is, Meira decides to go after it herself.  She finally gets to use her training and be stealthy and fight.  But when things don’t go as planned, Meira’s eyes are opened to the dark magic lingering in her world.  She also soon finds out that her destiny is not, and never has been, her own.

This is actually my second time reading through this book/series.  I read this book way back in January of 2016 along with the second book. I wanted to do a reread because I have yet to read the third and final book in the series, but I don’t really remember too much from the first two books.  I really rushed through this book back then so this time I wanted to slow down and actually delve deeper into the story line.  I really enjoyed this book the last time I read it and this time I absolutely loved it!  Meira is such a stubborn and bull-headed character, which I love, but it does burn her a bit.  Meira’s character at times really frustrates me, but I can see why she would act the way she does.  This world is so freaking cool!  There are eight kingdoms, four seasons and four rhythms.  Each season kingdom’s weather is based on that season!  How cool is that?!  One other thing I really liked about this world was that each season and rhythm kingdom have their own curse words.  Like Winterians say ice and snow above and Cordellians say golden leaves.  I haven’t read very many books that actually have distinct language changes between countries/people in a fantasy world.  There is so much action and lots of events that happen in this book that I hated having to put it down because I just wanted to see what was going to happen next.  There was also one event near the end of this book where I ended up just about throwing this book across the room and screaming because I wasn’t expecting it to happen and it hurt so badly emotionally.

I genuinely loved this book, and was so excited to be able to reread it.  I highly, highly recommend this book if you like fantasy, badass female main characters, and an interesting take on a fantasy world.  I seriously cannot get enough of this world and I cannot wait to start the next book!

I initially gave this book a 4/5 stars, but I have upped that to 5/5 stars on Goodreads.

A Map For Wrecked Girls **ARC Review** (Spoiler Free)

Author: Jessica Taylor | Published: August 15, 2017 by Dial Books | Series: N/A | Length: 361 pages | Genre: YA Realistic fiction | Source: I got this book while attending BookCon.

First off, I want to give a big thank you to Dial and Penguin for allowing me to read this book!  Thank you for all your hard work to always put out amazing books!

Emma and Henri have been attached at the hip their whole lives until an event causes a rift between the sisters.  When the unthinkable happens on a beautiful island vacation, the sisters end up stranded on an island with a boy named Alex who has as many secrets as they do.  As Alex and Emma fall together, Emma and Henri fall tragically apart.  If they want to survive they’ll need to dig up and face their past to be able to move forward and find their way out of this beautiful hell.

I really enjoyed this book a lot.  One thing that really stuck out to me was the sisters relationship with each other.  It reminded me a lot of Caraval, but I wasn’t so crazy about the sisters relationship in that book.  Emma and Henri were a bit better, but their relationship felt almost toxic.  Emma would do anything for her sister who didn’t care what happened at all.  I don’t know if it’s just because I don’t have a sister, but I don’t know how someone can act like that.  It’s hard for me to wrap my mind around.  There was an event near the end of this book that got me so riled up it was ridiculous.  For the sake of keeping this review spoiler free I cannot say too much more about it.  I just made me so frustrated with one of the characters, and I wanted to slap them around for how ridiculous they were being.  This book also reminded me a bit of that TV show Lost.  For those who have no idea what I’m talking about, the gist of the show is a plane crashes on an island and the survivors have to figure out how to get off the island.  But instead of a plane there was a shipwreck that caused these characters to be stuck.  It almost makes me even more nervous to go out on the ocean as if my thalassophobia (fear of the sea/deep water)  would even let me get on a boat in the first place lol.  I really could not imagine having to survive for days on an island.  I do know a few survival type things, but I don’t know if I could make it long enough until someone was able to find me.  I’ve gotta give these characters props for surviving for as long as they did.  I also would go stir crazy and want my books lmao.

Overall, I really liked this book.  The pacing was really good, and it kept me on my toes and wanting to know what was going to happen next.  I definitely recommend this book to anyone that liked the sister relationship in Caraval or liked the TV show Lost.

I gave this book 4/5 stars on Goodreads

Ash and Quill **ARC Review** (Spoiler Free)

Author: Rachel Caine | Published: July 11, 2017 by New American Library | Series: The Great Library #3 | Length: 368 pages | Genre: YA fantasy | Source: I received an eARC copy of this book through Netgalley.

PLEASE NOTE: While this review does not contain spoilers for said book, it may contain spoilers for the first and second books in the series.  So if you have not read the first or second book and do not wish to be spoiled please do not continue to read this review.  You can read my review for the first book here and the second book here.  Thank you!

I also want to give a big thank you to Berkley Publishing for allowing me to read and advance copy of this amazing book!

After escaping the war-torn London, Jess Brightwell and his group of exiles find themselves thrust into captivity by the burners in Philadelphia.  As they work together to find a way out of the walls and the awaiting Library soldiers on the other side, they find out the Library will do absolutely anything to contain secrets.  Even if it means sacrificing hundreds of innocent people.  With the idea of the press being one of their only bargaining chips, Jess and his group will have to decide if they want to fight or quietly slip into the shadows.

This book series just keeps getting better and better!  It did seem to drag just a bit in the beginning, but once things got rolling they really got rolling.  The action in this book definitely kept up with the action in the previous two books.  I cannot believe the people of the Library would go as far as they did in this book.  So many bad things happened.  And don’t get me started on that ending!!  I think it is now becoming a theme that each book is ending in an even more extreme cliff hanger than the last.  I don’t know if I can wait a whole year for the next book.  I need to know what happens!!  I’m so freaking happy that we get to see more Frauke!  This book series reminds me so much of Farenheit 451 and it’s making me so happy because I loved that book.  I seriously cannot recommend this series enough!

I gave this book 4/5 stars on Goodreads.

The Waking Land **ARC Review** (Spoiler Free)

Author: Callie Bates | Published: June 29, 2017 by Hodder & Stoughton | Series: – N/A | Length: 384 pages | Genre: YA Fantasy | Source: I got his book in my June Illumicrate

Fourteen years ago, Elanna was taken hostage by the king as her father’s rebellion failed.  From that point on the king raised her as one of his own, but now rebellion is being whispered about in the kingdom, and Elanna’s father is at the head of it again.  In a twist of events, she is taken back by her father who wants to use her as the figurehead of his rebellion, claiming she is the Wildegarde reincarnated, a powerful sorceress who could control the earth.  Little do they know, Elanna actually has the legendary powers, but she has kept them hidden for so long that she has no idea how to use it.  And being the first Caveadear, or steward of the land, in hundreds of years means that there arent’ an abundance of teachers to help her learn how to use her powers.  As war looms on the horizon, Elanna must choose which side she is on and whether to use her powers for mercy or war.

I was very excited for this book because I saw that it was recommended for readers that loved Leigh Bardugo and I flipping adore Bardugo’s work.  I went into this book not really knowing much and was so confused for about the first 30%.  I’m not much of a high fantasy reader, and this book felt like it read like one.  There were so many names and places and history to take in that I almost just couldn’t get through it because I’d get so lost.  Right around the time things really got rolling in the book it did get a little better, but I still felt a little disappointed with it.  I did end up skimming some paragraphs, which did me more harm than good as I’d miss important parts amidst Elanna’s endless inner battle with her powers or fawning over Jahan.  Both of which got fairly annoying rather quickly.  Another thing that really got me was I really didn’t know who was ruler over what.  Yes there were kings/queens, but there was also an empire involved and it sounded like the empire may rule over them or I could have been wrong.  Either way it confused me a bit.  There was another part I question, but in asking my question I would give away so much so I’ll just leave it at that for now.

Altogether I did fairly enjoy this book.  If it really is going to be a trilogy I’m not sure if I will continue it or if I’ll just leave it after reading the first one.  Hears to hoping the series gets better.

I gave this book 3.5/5 stars on Goodreads.

Paper and Fire Review (Spoiler Free)

Author: Rachel Caine | Published: July 5, 2016 by New American Library | Series: The Great Library #2 | Length: 354 pages | Genre: YA fantasy| Source: I got this book from my local bookstore.

PLEASE NOTE: While this review does not contain spoilers for said book, it may contain spoilers for the first book in the series.  So if you have not read the first book and do not wish to be spoiled please do not continue to read this review.  You can read my review on the first book here.  Thank you!

After surviving the introduction to the Library, Jess Brightwell finds out that serving in its army isn’t any better.  He meets with his friends in secret as they plan to free one of their own.  As they carry out their plan to free their friend, the Library’s automata turn on them.  They escape to London to find that the Welsh army is approaching with plans to burn the city.  Soon, Jess must choose where his loyalties lie between either his friends, his family or the Library, who is willing to sacrifice anything and anyone to keep control.

Starting up right where Ink and Bone ended, this book did not fall into the “second book slump.”  There as almost the same if not more action in this book compared to the first!  the Library is so ruthless and cold-hearted that it’s scary at times.  They will do anything to stay in power.  I loved getting to delve a little deeper into the world of the Great Library and see the lengths to which they would go to hide information from the public, and how on the reverse side, people would die over owning and smuggling real books instead of the Library issued blanks.  One thing I can say is poor Frauke.  Her story cannot end like that!!  I absolutely adored this book, and cannot wait to start the next in the series!

This book has some amazing quotes that really make me think of how much of an impact books can have on anyone.  “Books spoke mind to mind, soul to soul across the abyss of time and distance.”  “With the right books, we can change everything.”  “We’re just paper on a shelf, in the end.”  That’s only a few, but I literally could go on and on with all the amazing writing contained in this book.

The deeper and deeper I get into this series the more and more I am reminded of Fahrenheit 451, which was one of my favorite reads in high school.  The Burners remind me of the firemen in the way that they would burn books almost as a statement.  It’s making me desperately want to read Fahrenheit again.  If you have read it and liked it, I highly recommend that you pick up this series! Do it! Do it now!!  You won’t regret it!

I gave this book 4/5 stars on Goodreads.

Ink and Bone Review (Spoiler Free)

Author: Rachel Caine | Published: July 7, 2015 by New American Library | Series: The Great Library #1 | Length: 351 pages | Genre: YA fantasy | Source: I got this book from my local bookstore.

For years the Great Library has been present in all the major cities, has governed the flow of knowledge to the people.  The use of alchemy helps the Library distribute literature to anyone on the planet through blanks, but the ownership of real books is illegal.  Jess Brightwell has been a part of his family’s smuggling business ever since he could walk.  He has run illegal books all throughout the city of London, but his father has better plans for.  Soon Jess is whisked off to Alexandria to be trained enter the service of the Library and spy for his father.  Loyalties are tested and Jess sees another side of the Library when one of his friends commits heresy.  For the Great Library believes that knowledge is more important than life.

I’ve read a few books about books, but this one has to be one of my favorites!  There is such a diverse cast of characters from all walks of life.  Plus, the cover of this book is beyond beautiful!  As I was reading this book I got a lot of Fahrenheit 451 vibes with books being burned by those against the Library.  It almost is a scary concept that books could be illegal someday to the point that you could lose your life over them.  I don’t know if I can even survive a society like that!  I need books in my life!  I loved the world building in this book as well!  Not only do we get to see a bit of the black trade side of London, but the almost high society of the Scholars in Alexandria.  This book had a lot of twists and turns that were a bit hard to keep up with at times.  Lots and lot of loyalty was tested, and that’s all I’m going to say.

I would highly recommend this book if you also like books like Fahrenheit 451 or just books in general lol.  Hang onto your precious tomes because you never know when they may become illegal one day.

I gave this book 4/5 stars on Goodreads.

The Vanishing Throne Review (Spoiler Free)

Author: Elizabeth May | Published: June 21, 2016 by Chronicle Books | Series: The Falconer #2 | Length: 458 pages| Genre: YA fantasy | Source: I got this book from my local Barnes & Noble | Side note: There is a bit of swearing in this book just to let those know who don’t like to read that

PLEASE NOTE: While this review does not contain spoilers for said book, it may contain spoilers for the first book in the series.  So if you have not read the first book and do not want to be spoiled please do not continue reading this review.  You can read my review for the first book here. Thank you!

After choking in the last precious few seconds of the battle, Aileana falls through the very fae portal she was so desperately trying to close.  She wakes up in a mirrored prison owned by Lonnrach, who has plans for the Falconer.  He tortures her day in and day out for what seems like months.  He bites her and uses her blood to search through her memories for a way to save his world.  When she is rescued by an unexpected ally, she finds that more time has passed than she realized and the lovely city of Edinburgh is little more than ash and rubble.  The few human survivors are hiding out underground with an uneasy treaty with some of the fae.  Aileana is the world’s only hope, but she must awaken her dormant Falconer powers, and in doing so she risks her life.

I’ve read a lot of series in the past where the second book goes through what I’ve heard called as the “second book slump.”  I was a little worried that this book would fall into that and just be added material smooshed between the first and last book.  HOLY CRAP!  This book for sure did not fall into that slump!  I hardly know where to start lol!  I like how we get to see remnants of the torture throughout the book, and it wasn’t just a once and done thing.  No normal person could just get that right out of their mind and Aeliana has flashbacks and chokes at moments due to the memories of that tourcher.  On top of that, we have more KIARAN!!! **swoon**  My book boyfriend is so amazing and sexier than ever.  “‘I am,’ he tells me.  ‘I’m yours.'” EEEEE!!!!!!  Why can’t he just be real already?!  This is yet another reason why I have unrealistic expectations for real-life boyfriends lol.  I ship Kiaran and Aeliana so hard!!  They need to be together and I will be so upset if something happens to them in the next and final instalment of this series.

Little funny story: I read a good majority of this book while on my way to NYC for Book Con, and it was so hard to contain my squeals during the Kiaran and Aeliana scenes.  I’m pretty sure I let one slip, I couldn’t hear it with my headphones, but the guy sitting next to me gave me a couple of funny looks lol.

Overall, this book was absolutely amazing!  It will for sure hold a spot in my top favorite books/series of all time!

I gave this book 5/5 stars on Goodreads.

The Falconer Review (Spoiler Free)

Author: Elizabeth May | Published: May 6, 2014 by Chronicle Books | Series: The Falconer #1 | Length: 378 pages | Genre: YA Fantasy  | Source: I got this book at my local Barnes & Noble | Side note: There is a bit of swearing in this book just to let those know who don’t like to read that.

Set in 1844 Edinburgh, Scotland, Aileana Kameron has everyhting a girl could ask for.  Lavish dresses, jems, many courters, brains, and beauty beyond belief.  She also a big fat liar.  She only looks the part, as during she uses her skills to sense the sithichean-a faery race that kills humans-and kill them.  Now Aileana wasn’t always this way.  A year prior she watched her mother be slaughtered by one of the fae.   With the help of a very handsome mentor Aileana learns to fight the fae and seek vengeance for her mother’s death.  As Aileana trains she learns that she is the last in a long line of female warriors called Falconers who are skilled in killing the fae.  She is the last hope the world has.

This book was honestly a cover buy for me.  I saw the pretty little thing sitting on the shelf at Barnes & Noble and knew I just had to have it.  I have no idea why I never picked up the book until now.  How very stupid on my part!  From the first page turning I could NOT GET ENOUGH!  It physically hurt to set it down lol.  All the fight scenes and suttle romance had me craving more like a chubby kid craves cake.  Kiaran is litterally my new book boyfriend.  Make way Jace and Will we have a new occupant lol.  I loved how this book had some steampunk elements and how those element clicked and whirred their way into how the story was written.  I really wish I had a little faery like Derrick to mend my clothes and make me laugh with his honey-drunken self.  While it did have some more language than most YA books that I have read, this book was everything that I didn’t know I had been searching for in a YA Fantasy novel.  Almost as soon as I finished this book I just had to order the second one!

I would highly, highly recommend this book to anyone that likes books with fae or a touch of history or steampunk.  You won’t be disappointed by this book!

I gave this book 5/5 stars on Goodreads.

The Waterfall Traveler **ARC Review** (Spoiler Free)

Author: S.J. Lem | Published: April 19th, 2017 by Carpe Noctem Publishing | Series: The Waterfall Traveler #1 | Length: 439 Pages | Genre: YA Fantasy | Source: Netgalley

I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.  When I first saw this book, I thought it was going to be a simple middle-grade fantasy read.  Boy, was I wrong and dumb for not reading the synopsis lol.  Can you tell I just judged this book by its cover?

18-year-old Ri wants nothing more than to find the cure to the Sickness and heal her adoptive father, Samuel.  Two strangers appear in her village within hours of each other; one dark and mysterious and the other a charming fugitive.  When dangerous creatures appear she is whisked away by the former through a waterfall and tossed out across the sea to a city run by a oppressive tyrant.  She now not only has to face Samuel’s unlawful past, but a new threat has risked the lives of the men she has grown to care for in her journey.  Ri must gather her strength and fight for her life and those she loves.

Like I said before, I was totally not expecting this epic fantasy adventure.  I did find it a little slow at the beginning, but I think that was my mind trying to process that my expectation was way off.  once things really got moving they went fast and I found it so hard to put the book down and do adult things.  Who needs to sleep or work anyways?  I was so blown away by how well these characters were developed.  There was a large cast of characters, but they all were so well thought out and introduced.  It didn’t confuse me at all like a lot of other fantasy books I have read in the past that also have large casts.  This book had me feeling so many feelings that I almost couldn’t handle it.  I would be laughing one minute and then be sobbing uncontrollably the next.

If you are looking for a quick fantasy read, this is definitely the book for you.  I cannot say enough about this book, but I could seriously go on and on and on about this book.  I need to get a hard copy of this book for my personal library.  I cannot wait for the next book in the series comes out!  I’ll be impatiently waiting until that day comes!