|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.
I received a copy of Crystal Shadows in exchange for an honest review. This didn’t affect my review.
Sarah’s father has always been secretive about her dead grandfather, even though Sarah and her father share a close bond. However, her fathers behavior hasn’t stopped Sarah from asking questions. And when Sarah and her friends start investigating the strange noises from the attic, they come to the shocking discovery that Sarah’s ‘grandfather’ had actually been living in the attic! And they also discover that her grandfather needs them to save the world…
I wanted to like it, I really did. I don’t often read middle grade books, but the premise was incredibly interesting so I took a chance. Unfortunately, as soon as I started reading it, I was lost. The dialogue between the characters wasn’t logical and incredibly hard to follow. I also couldn’t imagine the characters at all because the ways all the characters talked and acted weren’t realistic. First there was a huge revelation, and suddenly Carly Rae Jepsen (I truly don’t know if I spelled her name correctly) was doing a performance during a basketball game? Why is there a performance in the last few pages of the book when there’s so much that still has to be solved?
Furthermore, I missed a lot of world building. Descriptions of the house, of Sarah’s friends, her father, anything that would make it easier to imagine the story. Instead, too many words were used for (I’m so sorry) useless dialogue. It had a negative influence on the flow of the story.
And lastly, the plot. I’m actually not sure if there’s going to be a sequel or not. If there is, this book was building up to it, and in that case this book and the sequel should have been one book. If not, I’m afraid the only real plot that the book thoroughly executed was Sarah finding her grandfather in the attic, which was already spoiled in the blurb of the book. Nothing happened with the amulet that was supposed to help Sarah fight the darkness and there’s too much that still needs to be solved.
The story has real promise, it really does. The book just needs lots of editing. Make the dialogue more realistic and create a better flow in the book. That will give Crystal Shadows a better chance to go to its full potential.
I wish I could say today was my stop on the Ultimate Blog Tour for May Day, but it was actually yesterday😂 I messed up a little with the dates, my bad. Nonetheless, I loved this book. I read 320 pages in one sitting, because I just couldn’t put it down (much to my boyfriend’s dismay).
May Day follows the vampire Jack Valentine as she and the other Seekers research a murder that happened on May Morning. As they follow all the leads they can find, they soon figure out that there are lots of places that other vampires in high places don’t want them to look. Will they find out the truth of what happened to David Grant?
I honestly couldn’t find any flaws in this book. The writing style was excellent, the mystery had a few huge plot twists and the romance was intriguing. The justice system and hierarchy were both explained clearly, just like the characteristics of being a vampire in Josies world.
I’m a sucker for romance that’s quite toxic. Examples are Jude and Cardan (The Cruel Prince) and Alina and the Darkling (Shadow and Bone). Lucky for me, May Day contains one. It’s one of the main reasons why I HAVE TO READ THE NEXT BOOK RIGHT NOW. I guess I’ll just have to wait and be patient.
May Day is an excellent murder mystery set in modern day England. It has a unique description of vampires and well-written romance. I highly recommend you read it. Please read it.
Here’s the official blurb of the book:
If the murderer you’re tracking is a vampire, then you want a vampire detective. Just maybe not this one.
It’s not that Jack Valentine is bad at her job. The youngest member of Oxford’s Seekers has an impressive track record, but she also has an impressive grudge against the local baron, Killian Drake.
When a human turns up dead on May Morning, she’s determined to pin the murder on Drake. The problem is that none of the evidence points to him. Instead, it leads Jack into a web of conspiracy involving the most powerful people in the country, people to whom Jack has no access. But she knows someone who does.
To get to the truth, Jack will have to partner up with her worst enemy. As long as she can keep her cool, Drake will point her to the ringleaders, she’ll find the murderer and no one else will have to die.
Body bags on standby.
May Day is the first book in Josie Jaffrey’s Seekers series, an urban fantasy series set in Oxford, England.
Buy May Day here
Today is my stop on the blog tour for Knightmare Arcanist! The book is written by Shami Stovall and published last year. I’m very grateful to be able to take part in this tour, since I absolutely LOVED the book (and when I say love, I mean staying up till 2.30 A.M. reading the book love).
Knightmare Arcanist follows gravedigger Volke Savan as he tries to bond with a phoenix to become a magic-wielding arcanist and prove to others that he’s nothing like his criminal parents. When that turns out to be a disaster, he uses a more unconventional way to bond with a different mystical creature: a knightmare with his own agenda. The knightmare Luthair’s previous arcanist was murdered and Luthair wants nothing more than to avenge him. Volke promised to help him, but will he manage?
I often have trouble getting into a book, the first 100 pages are usually not that interesting to me. Knightmare Arcanist however managed to drag me in in the very first chapter! Volkes determination was incredibly admirable, he keeps going even though all the odds are against him. He and his ‘adoptive sister’ Illia are an amazing team together, even before they bonded with mystical creatures.
And the mystical creatures? I loved them. I loved loved loved seeing how they and their arcanists formed closer bonds and complemented each other. Especially Illia’s eldrin Nicholin was unique, as he always lifted the mood with his huge ego.
I usually tell more about my own opinions, but I feel like the best way to enjoy this book is to go into it blindly. The world building was excellently done and I would hate to take that experience away from you.
I highly recommend this book. It’s a light but good read, a rare combination! The pacing is consistent and I truly don’t have anything that I want to see improved. I truly believe that this book is incredibly underrated and more people should read it. I can’t speak for the sequel as I haven’t read it yet, but I’m 100000% sure I will and I can’t wait to start!
Here’s the official blurb of the book:
Magic. Sailing. A murderer among heroes.
Gravedigger Volke Savan wants nothing more than to be like his hero, the legendary magical swashbuckler, Gregory Ruma. First he needs to become an arcanist, someone capable of wielding magic, which requires bonding with a mythical creature. And he’ll take anything—a pegasus, a griffin, a ravenous hydra—maybe even a leviathan, like Ruma.
So when Volke stumbles across a knightmare, a creature made of shadow and terror, he has no reservations. But the knightmare knows a terrible secret: Ruma is a murderer out to spread corrupted magic throughout their island nation. He’s already killed a population of phoenixes and he intends to kill even more.
In order to protect his home, his adopted sister, and the girl he admires from afar, Volke will need to confront his hero, the Master Arcanist Gregory Ruma.
I don’t know what’s going on, but I seem to be reading lots and lots of awesome books lately. I guess I’m lucky!
Renegade Queen by R.J. Vickers is definitely one of those awesome books. I was SO EXCITED for this book after the cliffhanger from Innocent Queen and Renegade Queen did not disappoint! I was sitting on the edge of my seat throughout the whole book.
Renegade Queen picks up where Innocent Queen left off. Kalleah just left the kingdom and her title to Leoth. She, Baridya, Mellicante and Quendon are on their way to Larkhaven in order to raise an army to fight the Whitish. But raising an army is harder than it seems, especially since all the forces seem to be working against them…
Even though I usually prefer a palace or school setting in books, I didn’t mind the shift in scenery in this series. R.J. Vickers adapted really well! The characters grew towards each other during the journey and that was lovely to read.
Just like the rest of the series, Renegade Queen is fast-paced and well written. The tensions between all the involved parties are clear and much is revealed in this book. One thing that I would really like to see some time is an extra chapter from Leoth’s pov, because I’m really intrigued by him and would love to learn more about him.
It you’re a fantasy lover and prefer fast-paced book, just pick up this series. I promise you it won’t disappoint!