Review: Subversive, by Colleen Cowley

I received a free copy of this book from the author. This did not affect my review.

So I actually wrote my review for the sequel, Radical, before I started writing this one because I completely forgot it! Mistakes have been made, but fortunately they can be fixed! It’s been a while since I read Subversive though, but my opinion of the book and the series as a whole stayed the same. 😉

In a world where women barely have any rights at all, and wizards control the country in a highly unfair way, Beatrix Harper is a subtle force to be reckoned with in the small town Ellicott Mills. While working in a shop to pay for her sister’s tuition, Beatrix encounters wizard Peter Blackwell who returned home after many years away. And Beatrix’ well known stance against wizards and magic did not prevent Peter from forcing her to become his assistant. What were is intentions and how will this end?

This magical world is one of the most unique worlds I have ever seen. It reminds me of The Handmaid’s Tale, with present-day technology but a government that’s way behind on people’s rights. The magic system is believable as well, with wizards requiring fuel to use magic. I can’t actually really place this book in a genre! It’s more of an alternative world that definitely could have been real if the magic system existed in our world.

The book consists out of 2 POV’s: Beatrix’ and Peter’s. This made the dynamics between the two so much more interesting! Both their POV’s were crucial to the plot and gave more insight in the characters and their motives.

One of the things I love the most in this book is that THE CHARACTERS DISCUSS THINGS. Instead of the usual fade to black technique that is used when characters make plans, we finally see the discussions and their outcomes! I’m guessing not everybody is a fan of that, so be warned because the book might come across much slower if you don’t like those parts.

And then we come to the romance… I’M NOT OVER THIS. Okay this is all I’ll be saying to avoid spoilers: the romance is unlike any other I’ve read and so is the tension between them. The way you interpret what I said is up to you 😉

I highly recommend starting this series. Subversive is an incredible fantasy book with a strong, feminist protagonist. The dynamics are complex and better executed than I’ve seen in many bestselling books.

 

 

WWW Wednesday

Hey guys! I skipped last week’s WWW Wednesday as I hadn’t started a lot of new books. But guess what, this week I was finally able to read some new books!

What I’ve read last week:

The Twice-Drowned Prince is a short retelling of The Little Mermaid. And what an excellent one it was!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh god oh god oh god Radical was such an amazing sequel! I can’t wait to start the third book in the Clandestine Magic Trilogy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I AM NOT OKAY WITH THIS BOOK.

What I’m currently reading:

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m currently at about 1/3 and loving it so far! I believe the plot is starting at this point. And Sloane you are what I aspire to be.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Still at the first chapter 🙁 I REALLY want to continue but I had some catching up to do with a lot of things. Hopefully I’ll be able to finish it this week!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Started this for a blog tour organized by The Write Reads! I’m only at 8% of the book but I’m loving it so far!

What I’ll be reading next week:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Shadow Curse sounds so promising!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can we all just talk about this STUNNING cover?!?!?! GOD I can’t wait to start!

 

What are your WWW Wednesday books? Let me know in the comments!

Ultimate Blog Tour: The Cousins

I am SO happy that I was able to participate in a blog tour for this book! Big thanks to The Write Reads for organizing the blog tour and Netgalley for providing me with a copy of the book.

The Cousins follows the cousins (obviously) Milly, Aubrey and Jonah as they are invited by their grandmother to spend the summer working at her island resort. However, their grandmother disinherited their parents before they were born and not one family member has seen or heard from her in about 20 years. So why would she suddenly invited the grandchildren she has never seen?

The book has multiple POV’s and a few flashbacks that all add value to the story. The story was FILLED with twists that I did not see coming, and scenes that made me physically smile and cringe and I think my boyfriend thought I was going crazy. All characters have their own value. Aubrey was this sweet, innocent girl who seriously grew some balls as the story developed. Milly was a strong character from the very beginning, but highly underestimated. And Jonah, well he had his own value in the story that I will not spoil.

This was the first book of Karen McManus that I ever read, even though her books have been sitting on my TBR shelf for a very long time. And let me tell you, she did not disappoint. She has a way of writing that makes it hard for the reader to put the book down. The writing style is easy but gripping and that’s the perfect combination for me.

I enjoyed this book tremendously and, as mentioned before, couldn’t put it down. I will never forget the experience that I was able to read an ARC of a well-known author, even though I hadn’t read any of her other books yet. But let me tell you, as soon as my TBR is a little smaller, I will definitely add Karen McManus’ books to my collection. All of them.

Here’s the official blurb of the book:

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of One of Us Is Lying comes your next obsession. You’ll never feel the same about family again.

Milly, Aubrey, and Jonah Story are cousins, but they barely know each another, and they’ve never even met their grandmother. Rich and reclusive, she disinherited their parents before they were born. So when they each receive a letter inviting them to work at her island resort for the summer, they’re surprised . . . and curious.

Their parents are all clear on one point—not going is not an option. This could be the opportunity to get back into Grandmother’s good graces. But when the cousins arrive on the island, it’s immediately clear that she has different plans for them. And the longer they stay, the more they realize how mysterious—and dark—their family’s past is.

The entire Story family has secrets. Whatever pulled them apart years ago isn’t over—and this summer, the cousins will learn everything.

Buy The Cousins here!

WWW Wednesday

What I’ve read last week:

WHAT A BOOK. I loved it. It reminded me of ACOTAR but with a sassy heroine, and sassy heroines are my favourite!

 

What I’m currently reading:

I’m still getting used to the unique setting of the book, but it’s looking good so far!

I loved the first book by J.M. Frey and I hope this one will be just as good as the first one.

I’m not sure yet if anthologies are my thing… I have a hard time starting a new story every day and it makes it even harder for me to pick up new books.

 

What I’ll be reading next week:

I really enjoyed Subversive, the first book in the Clandestine Magic trilogy and can’t wait to start the sequel, Radical!

This will be my first reread of A Court of Wings and Ruin. Rereading the series will make me enjoy A Court of Silver Flames so much more!

 

Review: The Chalice and the Crown, by Kassandra Flamouri

I received a free copy of this book. This did not affect my review, all opinions are my own.

The Russian Sasha Nikolayeva is a talented ballerina, plagued by nightmares that seem so real it’s like she’s living them. Just as she lands a famous role in The Swan Lake, Sasha’s nightmares become more common and she starts hallucinating. One day, she’s fully sucked into her nightmare, a new fantasy world where she’s a thrall without her memory. Can Sasha remember who she was and come back to reality?

Okay, I’ll admit, I hadn’t read the complete blurb before I started the book. I read ‘ballet’s crown princess’ and ‘neurological symptoms’, and I requested a copy. I didn’t know what I was getting into when I started reading. It felt like I was reading a contemporary novel, with some random dream passages in between. As the story progressed and the dreams came more often, I started noticing a coherence in the dreams, and suddenly Sasha was in her parallel dream world.

I have never ever read a book with this layout. The subtle changes in the layout of The Chalice and the Crown (I’m not going to spoil what those changes are!), had real impact on me. The story shows how friends help each other, while still being independent. It’s sad but hopeful and filled with important choices that define Sasha’s future. Sasha grew as a person and her priorities changed. I already respected Sasha at the start of the book, but even more when I finished it.

The Chalice and the Crown is a beautiful dark fantasy that contains racism, pain and sadness, but also friendship, love and hope. It sends a message of finding the good in the bad. It contains morally grey characters and a surprising ending. As I’m writing this review, I don’t even know why I gave this book only 3 stars. I’m going to give it 4 stars, because the author created something incredibly dark, despite being beautiful. It’s not a long book, so I highly recommend you read it.