Review: The Gilded Wolves

In 1889, Paris sits on the brink of industrial breakthrough, but in the process has stirred up ancient secrets that now threaten the very existence of civilization. But no one has more to lose than Severin, a treasure hunter and wealthy hotelier, who now must help the very organization he loathes in order to save humanity. The Gilded Wolves brings together a group of miscreants with their own dark pasts in an attempt to keep the world in one piece.

IMG-3327I’m not gonna lie. It took me quite a while to get through this book. Part of that could be because life just got really busy, things got turned upside down (hi, pandemic), or that I just lost interest. But about halfway through The Gilded Wolves I had to put it down. It just wasn’t holding my interest and I felt like I couldn’t follow what was going on. Thankfully, I picked it back up and I’m so glad I did! This book is phenomenal and totally didn’t end the way I expected.

Roshani Chokshi is a magician with words! Bringing the stories of multiple individuals together in one novel and intricately weaving them together is not an easy task. But she did it flawlessly. Severin, Laila, Tristan, Enrique, and Zofia are characters that I found wanting to know more about while simultaneously feeling like they were my own friends. I loved every moment of their adventure and wanted more. By the grace of the writing gods, Chokshi is working on releasing a sequel this September.

If you’re looking for a book with a healthy mix of history, magic, romance, and adventure, then this is definitely a book worth picking up!

The Dragon Republic

The war is over…or so Rin thinks. But she still has yet to avenge the betrayal of her homeland. However, in order to do so, she must join forces with the Dragon Warlord whose only plan is to unseat the Empress and create a new republic. But the more time Rin spends with the Dragon Warlord and the Empress, the more she realizes they’re not all they seem.

Screen Shot 2020-02-19 at 9.41.56 AMI have to be honest, this is not a book I would have picked up had I been browsing the shelves at my local bookstore. Harper Collins sent me a copy of this book (Thank you!!!) and I’m so glad they did. The Dragon Republic is the second book in The Poppy War series. And I haven’t read the first one! So I was a bit lost to the storyline when I first started reading it but it didn’t take me long to fill in the blanks. While I’m sure I missed out on some pretty important details by not reading the first one, jumping in and reading The Dragon Republic was not difficult to do and I soon forgot that it was a sequel.

R.F. Kuang fills this book with laughable banter (probably my favorite part of the book). But for the most part, I felt that the story was quite dry. Enjoyable at times, but it seemed as if there wasn’t a clear flow for the story at all. I’d find myself zoning out during the particularly dense areas and jumping back in when the action came back. Overall, it was a decent book. Not my personal cup of tea but well worth the read.

A Heart So Fierce and Broken

Rhen’s curse is broken. Harper and her brother are stuck in Emberfall. And Grey is no where to be found. But Rhen faces trouble as the rumors of another heir circulate throughout his kingdom. Not only that, but the unknown prince also seems to be a magesmith. After Lilith’s hold on Rhen, he fears anything with magic…even his own brother. But fate will not be ignored and Emberfall is the stage for everything to fall into place.

9BEB35AA-1289-4AEE-ACB5-E329C4A4EE97So it’s rare for me to enjoy the second book in a series more than the first but…holy cow! Brigid Kemmerer does not disappoint!! A Heart So Fierce and Broken is the perfect sequel to A Curse So Dark and Lonely. I started reading it, expecting (hoping?) for it to follow more of Rhen and Harper’s adventures as they settle into this new life. But I was surprised to find that instead, we follow Grey and his path to help save his country.

Once again, I couldn’t put this one down. Kemmerer has a talent for creating stories that draw you in, characters you want to learn more about, and man does she know how to leave it on a cliffhanger??? I don’t know how long I have to wait for the next book in The Cursebreaker Series but I’m not happy about it. I’m hooked you guys and I can’t wait to see what happens next in Emberfall!

The Book of Speculation

We carry our families like anchors, rooting us in storms, making sure we never drift from where and who we are. We carry our families within us the way we carry our breath underwater, keeping us afloat, keeping us alive. I’ve been lifting anchors since eighteen. I’ve been holding my breath since before I was born.

Simon Watson is cursed. His sister is cursed. His whole family is cursed. He just doesn’t know it. Until a strange book shows up on his doorstep and leads Simon down the rabbit hole of circus life and family history. In a small coastal town, Simon is watching his parents’ home slowly fall into the sea. His sister is off somewhere with a circus and his employment at the local library is about to end.

60228268908__F64DBF3B-B010-4F80-8B68-52F58860BE49With unemployment comes free time that Simon fills with pages and pages of his family’s strange history. Amongst the stories of mermaids and wild boys, he find an unusual commonality. The women in his family are dying…always on July 24th. When Simon’s sister, Enola, announces she’s coming home, Simon searches the pages of the old book for a clue as to how to save her from meeting the same fate the other women in their family have.

You guys know that The Night Circus is one of my all-time favorite books. Seriously, I will rave about it for hours if you let me. So when I picked up The Book of Speculation, I was curious if I would enjoy it as much as I did The Night Circus. In short, no. But not because Erika Swyler isn’t a fantastic novelist. More because comparing the two is like apples and oranges. The Book of Speculation alternates between past and present as it intwines two stories of family, magic, and the curses that follow us.

While I thoroughly enjoyed this book, I had a few moments where I wished Swyler would just get to the point. You could see the pieces of the puzzle fitting together but she just wouldn’t put in the last piece. And honestly, I’m so glad she waited. The ending of this book was so satisfying, and while it could have been shorter, the journey to it was so enjoyable! I highly recommend picking up The Book of Speculation if you’re looking for a novel with a touch of magic to it.

Review: Three Dark Crowns

A47B1A61-FCE9-4353-B78F-7ECBD9009857Three sisters. Three queens. One crown.

Life for Katharine, Arsinoe, and Mirabella is anything but normal. They are gifted girls, each with a special power. Katharine has the gift of poison, able to withstand ingesting any poison she comes in contact with as well as mixing intricate potions to dispatch her enemies. Arsinoe is a naturalist, a gift that allows her to make plants bloom and call animals to her. Mirabella is an elemental with the ability to control the weather as well as the elements. But only one of them can take the throne.

In a novel filled with rituals and long-standing traditions, Kendare Blake weaves a dark tale of magic, romance, and evil. The three sisters are unique characters on their own. However, I felt a bit inundated with the other characters (i.e., the priestesses, the council, etc.). It became intricate and at times hard to follow. There were also places where I questioned why the characters would make that decision. Nothing leading up to it seemed to make sense and nothing after made sense either. As if it was spur of the moment and simply to move the story along.

Blake of course left Three Dark Crowns with a cliffhanger, and one I definitely wasn’t expecting. With a significant twist in the story (saved for the last page), Blake left me wanting more and curious to see how the triplets would continue in a world that seems set against them killing one another. All in all, a decent read but probably one I wouldn’t pick up again. However, that could all change with the sequel to this one, One Dark Throne.

Review: Daisy Jones & The Six

It’s the late sixties in Los Angeles and Daisy Jones is living the life. Sneaking into clubs, sleeping with rockstars, and yes doing drugs. But amidst it all, she just wants to sing. When she hits her twenties, her voice is finally garnering some attention, and so are her looks.

39DB3A87-6022-4ABB-8506-BB1AA38BC418Billy Dunne and his band, The Six, are trying to break into the rock n’ roll scene. In the process, Billy struggles with his sobriety and balancing his rockstar lifestyle with the family he’s building. Along the way, a producer introduces Daisy to Billy and suddenly a legend is born.

Ok, so I love music. Like, really really love it. My husband used to be a bassist in a band for years. So when I heard about Daisy Jones & The Six I desperately wanted to read it. It took me forever to find a copy because everyone kept selling out of them!

I could not put this book down! I loved every minute of the story. Taylor Jenkins Reid writes from a unique perspective which sucks you in. My only complaint would be that I wish I could hear the songs mentioned in the book. The multiple characters that make up the story are easy to like, although you may question some of their decisions. But that’s rock n’ roll, right? Daisy Jones & The Six is sure to make a splash for all book lovers.

Review: Origin

IMG_1232Edmond Kirsch is a futurist, a prophetic computer scientist, and an atheist. A former student of Professor Robert Langdon, he has made an earth-shattering discovery that will shake the world’s religions to their core. But when his publicized announcement goes awry, Professor Langdon must find a way to unveil Kirsch’s discovery. Along the way, Robert uncovers much more than he bargained for.

Set in Barcelona, Origin was a book I just couldn’t put down. Dan Brown has a way of messing with my head and I always come out of his books wondering if what I just read was fact or fiction. Brown blends history and art seamlessly into this thriller and will have you questioning everything you thought you knew about computers and where the world is heading. Origin will not disappoint, especially for those who loved The DaVinci Code and Angels and Demons.

After reading this one, I have had the sudden urge to go and buy every Dan Brown book I can get my hands on. It has been years since I last read a Dan Brown novel, the last one being Digital Fortress (which I highly recommend). I would love to read more of Langdon’s adventures!

Review: Die Again, Mr. Holmes

I’ve been a little lax in my reading habits lately and I’m trying to rectify that. But I just have so many books I want to read and I’m trying to do it all at once. Obviously, it isn’t working.

C1B37DBC-EB33-49D8-A501-B775B53236A1A woman seeks the assistances of Sherlock Holmes to discover where the man she loves has gone. An uptight noblewoman has lost her maid and requests the help of Lucy James to find her. Sherlock and his daughter are at it again in the gripping mystery with all the familiar characteristics of the classic Holmes we love.

Die Again, Mr. Holmes is another Holmes/James mystery that is sure to keep you turning the pages. I was skeptical when I received this book for a review. As someone who loves Doyle’s classic character as well as Robert Downey Jr. and Benedict Cumberbatch’s portrayals of the detective, I wasn’t sure that this book could stand up to such a large character. But I was pleasantly surprised. I thoroughly enjoyed following Holmes and his daughter on their adventures as they try to track down the two missing people and suddenly find that their cases are related.

In true Sherlock fashion, there is plenty of intrigue and plots that Holmes has neglected to share with his counterparts. Among the staple characters of Holmes and Watson, we’re introduced to quite a few new ones as well. While this is not the first book of this series, it makes me want to read from the beginning and explore the history of Holmes and his daughter.

**I received a copy of this book from Smith Publicity for an honest review.**

Review: House of Salt and Sorrows

Ghosts. Gods. And plot out the wazoo.

39679076._UY844_SS844_Annaleigh has just buried another one of her sisters. It seems as if her family had been in mourning for as long as she could remember. The islands they made their home believed there was a curse on their family. And when Annaleigh begins seeing the ghosts of her dead sisters, she wonders if they may be right. But that’s not the only strange thing going on.

I want more of this book! House of Salt and Sorrows is one-in-a-million. While being incredibly interesting, it also holds quite a bit of a spook factor. There were times where I didn’t want to read it alone because it gave me the heebie-jeebies in the best way possible. Mixed with fantasy and romance, the characters are incredibly easy to fall in love with. And there was just plot twist after plot twist! It was constantly throwing me off track on what I thought would happen. I seriously can not wait for this to come out in hardback because I will be snatching it up!

**I received a copy of this book from NetGalley for an honest review.**

The Playlist Shuffle Tag

I’ve never done one of these and thought it might be fun to check out others’ playlists. Since I’m almost always listening to music, and have more than my fair share of playlists on Spotify, I thought this would be a good one to try out!

Rules:
1. Put your playlist on shuffle and listen to the first 15 songs (no cheating).
2. Tag 10 others to play along.

So I didn’t do number 2 but if you want to play along, have at it!

1. Clavicle – Alkaline Trio

2. Lupen Tooth – Blitzkid

3. Psycho Killer – Talking Heads

4. This Could Be Love – Alkaline Trio

5. Only Lovers Left Alive – The (International) Noise Conspiracy

6. America’s Suitehearts – Fall Out Boy

7. Pinball Wizard – The Who

8. 21 Guns – Greenday

9. I Hate Myself For Loving You – Joan Jett & The Blackhearts

10. Heartbreaker – Pat Benatar

11. Crazy – Gnarls Barkley

12. Death of a Bachelor – Panic At The Disco

13. Crushcrushcrush – Paramore

14. Revenga – System of a Down

15. Gimme More – Britney Spears

So obviously my musical tastes vary widely. And this is just from one of my playlists! See anything you like? Any suggestions for me to add to my lists? Leave a comment!