Review: A Girl Named Calamity by Danielle Lori

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Review: Witch Emerging by Mona Hanna

Witch Emerging (High Witch, #2)

Witch Emerging
(High Witch #2)
Author: Mona Hanna
Publisher: Createspace
Published: September 27, 2013
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal, Young Adult, Romance
My Rating:

three point five

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Synopsis new

Sequel to High Witch.

After surviving being hunted by Julius, Brayden and Ariel settle into their married life. Ariel is determined to find the other High Witches to make sure they’re alright. But there’s something going on with her pregnancy, something unusual, and she needs to find out what.

In the meantime, Hallie, an eighteen-year-old witch, is being pursued by Nicholas, a strange young man who knows about her past. What does Nicholas want with Hallie, and how are they both connected to Ariel? And what about Sean, the man Hallie loves? Will they end up together, or will Nicholas’ plan hurt all of them? The two witches will need to work hard to save those they love, and each other.

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There’s a bit of an improvement in this second sequel of the series. Like the first book High Witch, Witch Emerging is a quick and easy fantasy read that you can finish in one or two sittings. This time, there are additional important characters to read about.

The storyline of the book expands when Brayden and Ariel, now a married coupe and are expecting a child, are on a quest to find the other existing High Witch in order to protect her against possible threats. However, it’s difficult to trace her when the baby in Ariel’s womb is exhibiting some strange power that troubles them. Meanwhile, the other High Witch known as Hallie is being pursued by a warlock named Nicholas who is on a mission of revenge.

There were things that I liked in this book including the writing of the author which apparently improved. The characters were given much depth and there was also enough “creep factor” that kind of made my hair raise on the back of my neck. (I started reading this witch book at 2AM so you can basically imagine the freaky feeling I’ve had.)

“Watch out for the little witch, with golden hair on her head. She’ll say your name and your fingers will twitch, and then you’ll end up dead.”

I wasn’t fully convinced by the action in this book, though. For me, that aspect fell short. I was looking for a real elaboration of action scenes, like how the casting of spells are done, how they fight an enemy using their power, etc. And I’m not just talking about the descriptions via characters’ dialogues. I want more showing and less talking.

All in all, it was a good sequel. It was better than the first book for sure. Although there were elements that were missing here, a few things however, stood out. For fans of witch and fantasy books, I recommend you to check this series out. 🙂

(Thank you to the author Mona Hanna for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!)

Rating:

three point five

Buy this book at:

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Review: A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2)

A Court of Mist and Fury
(A Court of Thorns and Roses #2)
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury Childrens Books
Published: May 3, 2016
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, New Adult, Romance
My Rating:

5 stars new

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Synopsis new

Feyre is immortal.

After rescuing her lover Tamlin from a wicked Faerie Queen, she returns to the Spring Court possessing the powers of the High Fae. But Feyre cannot forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people – nor the bargain she made with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court.

As Feyre is drawn ever deeper into Rhysand’s dark web of politics and passion, war is looming and an evil far greater than any queen threatens to destroy everything Feyre has fought for. She must confront her past, embrace her gifts and decide her fate.

She must surrender her heart to heal a world torn in two.

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“To the people who look at the stars and wish, Rhys.”

Rhys clinked his glass against mine. “To the stars who listen— and the dreams that are answered.”

First of all, can we take a moment to glorify the perfection that is Rhysand?

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No doubt, A Court of Mist and Fury tops my favorite sequels this year. It basically owned me, took my heart, broke it into a million pieces, and mend it all back together. Sarah J. Maas sure doesn’t stop giving me goosebumps. I’ve just realized that there are so many reasons why I need to stick to her works and never let go, because she does it better. Always.

Notable things to expect in ACOMAF:

> remarkable plot
> character development
> new setting
> new characters
> romantic development
> series of revelations
> sizzling romantic scenes
> deep, tear-jerking dialogues
> plot twist

and of course–

> Rhysand and lots and lots of Rhysand

These things are more than reason enough for me to rate this 5++++ stars. There was just too much goodness that happened in this book. So much improvement, especially when it comes to Feyre’s character. I loved how she handled and basically maneuvered all the rough situations here, how she listened not only to her heart but to her mind as well, and how she was able to use her critical thinking in the end. I’ve just witnessed a new Feyre and with that, I was more than happy.

I guess it’s already quite obvious and it’s fair to say that this book is about Rhysand, isn’t it? Yep. Where is Tamlin? What is Tamlin?

He’s gone. Figuratively. And this isn’t a spoiler. Tamlin (in ACOTAR) was non-existent here. He basically changed– or so I thought. I admit that it was so hard for me to accept his character changes because I rooted for him in the first book. I kept asking, why? Why did the author change his character? It was when I reached the near-end part of the book when I finally realized that he didn’t really change. I just saw the REAL him. He was in my opinion, a good character. It’s just that… He’s weak and his love for Feyre and the need to protect her was all-consuming, to the point where he became so manipulative and territorial.

That’s why in the end, my vote goes to Rhysand. I’ve known his character in the first book as someone who’s cocky and literal bad boy, but I didn’t know anything about him, really. In this book, I saw him as a well-developed, wholly different character. I didn’t know that behind his pretty face and sexy grin lies dark secrets full of pain which made me feel for him.

“He thinks he’ll be remembered as the villain in the story. But I forgot to tell him that the villain is usually the person who locks up the maiden and throws away the key. He was the one who let me out.”

The best thing about this sequel apart from the character and romantic development was also the setting. The Night Court was so beautiful it’s too much! I loved how the place was described in a vivid and captivating way. I found myself really dreamy just by imagining those beautiful stars and sunsets *sigh.

This is what I imagine The Night Court to look like:

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I had a lot of favorite scenes here, too. Like the Starfallfestival scene, the Court of of Nightmares smexy and full-of-sexual-tension scenes, and the scene when Feyre said:

“You love me? Then eat. “

Did I say that I also love it every time Rhysand calls her,“Feyre darling?” 😉

In addition to my favorite scenes, the new characters also rocked! Amren, Cassian, Mor, and Azriel for the win!!! I like the Inner Circle and their bad-assery and I need more of them soon, in the third book.

I actually have a lot more to say, but they’re going to be really spoilery so I am just going to leave it here:

FEYSAND IS LIFE.

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If you haven’t read this sequel yet, do it already. If you haven’t started this series yet, do yourself a favor and read it. BEST ONGOING SERIES EVER. . 🙂

“Then I learned your name. Hearing you say it… It was like an answer to a question I’d been asking for five hundred years.”

(Note: I would like to say thank you to my dear friend, Allie who gave me a physical copy of this book. You are such a wonderful person with a generous heart. Best of all, you are a sweet soul! <3)

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Rating:

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Buy this book at:

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Review: Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass, #3)

Heir of Fire
(Throne of Glass #3)
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury Childrens
Published: September 11, 2014
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
My Rating:

5 stars new

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Synopsis new

Consumed by guilt and rage, Celaena can’t bring herself to spill blood for the King of Adarlan. She must fight back…

The Immortal Queen will help her destroy the king – for a price. But as Celaena battles with her darkest memories and her heart breaks for a love that could never last, can she fulfil the bargain and head the almighty court of Terrasen? And who will stand with her?

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“She was the heir of ash and fire, and she would bow to no one.”

I have no words that will serve this book justice. This sequel is spot-on perfection!

We all know Sarah J. Maas’s writing power can’t be debated, so let me just tell you that once again, I was beyond amazed with the way she delivered this sequel using her usual scheme– surprising her readers with a series of twists.

Things got more and more interesting in Heir of Fire. In this sequel we can see Celaena’s different side– her vulnerable and helpless side. She’s now delving into a new world called Wendlyn, the land of the faes. From there she met the ferocious Queen Maeve and her devotee, Prince Rowan Whitethorn who later on trained her to unfold her fire abilities. Meanwhile, Chaol and Dorian are having conflicts in Adarlan. Chaol is trying to protect Dorian from unleashing his magical abilities and exposing himself to the King and at the same time, he’s allying with the King’s General Aedion Ashryver, treading in dangerous waters in order to fight back against Adarlan.

The character development of Celaena in this book truly amazed me. It’s nice to know that she isn’t a complete Mary Sue. She is brave yet at the same time she is flawed. In this book, I saw a Celaena who was haunted by her past and was constantly visited by those nightmares that will forever etch her mind. What happened to her when she was a child opened my eyes and made me understand her even more. The moment those flashback scenes were narrated– I died a thousand times. I wasn’t able to help myself but cry and feel so sorry for her. What a cruel, cruel experience it was for Celaena!

What also impressed me was the establishment of the new world, Wendlyn. Wow. It was utterly refreshing. I loved how SJM described this magical land and all those faes and demi-faes that are living there. Not only did the author give us a new setting but she also introduced a bunch of new characters that in a way, changed the entirety of the book– like Rowan, Aedion Ashryver, Manon, Sorscha, and Ren.

I especially loved Rowan. For me, he is character-driven and full of mystery. And I loved the way he’s too brave to protect Celaena and guide her all the way to becoming what she is. He is simply… adorable. 🙂 Aedion, on the other hand, also enthralled me with his masculinity (Am I too shallow? Lol). Actually, I kind of hated him at the start but later on I warmed up to him when I discovered what his true motives are. His dedication towards his people and his queen was truly remarkable.

And Manon. This witch is so kick-ass! I have never fangirled over a female antagonist before but there was something in her fierceness that strangely gave me goosebumps. She’s still a mystery to me, though, and I can’t wait to read more about her character in the next books.

Now on to Chaol and Dorian. Their friendship was tested big time here but I was amazed to find out how deep their bond is and how they’re both willing to give up everything just to save one another. Dorian’s character development was great here. Where’s the weak Dorian we’ve met in the first two books? NON-EXISTENT. I loved how he stood up against his father. I also loved the way he schooled Chaol and said these things to him:

“You cannot pick and choose what parts of her to love.”

Oh, Dorian, I LOVE YOU EVEN MORE! Now while I saw a huge development in Dorian’s character, I found it lacking in Chaol. I don’t know but it seemed as though his character only shined in the final chapters.

The action scenes in this book, on the other hand, were too terrifying and so beautiful I can’t help but gasp. I particularly loved those scenes where Rowan trained Celaena. I loved the banters and the way their friendship bloomed.

What I also loved was how secrets were slowly unfolded. Celaena’s past and roots, the missing Wyrdmarks, Maeve and her sister’s history, what really happened before the magic in Erilea was vanished… Wow, there were really lots of things that were unraveled here and I’m so glad. It was definitely a huge improvement.

So I wrap everything up by saying that this sequel lived up to the first and second book. There were so many things that happened here that wowed me. I’m now excited to dive into the fourth book, Queen of Shadows. I know there will be a lot of huge obstacles that need to be overcome by Celaena and the rest of the characters, so I’m crossing fingers that they will get through it and defeat the King.

Rating:

5 stars new

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Review: Transition by Paige Walker

Transition

Transition
Author: Paige Walker
Publisher: College Boy Publishing, LLC
Published: December 1, 2015
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal
My Rating:

2 Stars smile

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Synopsis new

Nichole Roberts is a beautiful young woman with a bright future ahead of her. It is her eighteenth birthday, and she cannot wait to celebrate it at what will soon to be known as the party of the year. With her family and best friend by her side, everything seems perfect, that is, until that night. A romantic evening with her handsome and mysterious boyfriend turns tragic, and Nichole’s life takes a turn for the worse. Confused about what has happened to her, Nichole wakes up to find everything that she holds dear has been taken from her in a way she never knew existed. Will she ever come to terms with what she has become? Or, will she seek revenge against the one person that has wronged her.

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From the book:
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The sun descends and the moon rises, giving the only light that illuminates the darkness. Wind blows silently as if it is trying to tell me a secret. Our steps are quiet, we move like the wind walking along the forest floor, as we make our way to the hole I crawled out of just a few months ago.

We whip past the trees, rocks, and grass like we are floating in the air. The animals in the forest are neither seen nor heard. They are hiding, but I know they are out there. I can hear the steady pace of their hearts and the blood flowing in their veins.

We make it to our destination. No words spoken, no sentiments given. There is just quiet contemplation and preparation churning in our minds. I look at Jade and she nods. She quickly turns and climbs the tall tree, near me, looking like a spider silently climbing up a wall.

I turn my attention away from Jade. She is now invisible to me. I will neither give away nor tell her whereabouts. She is a secret, one that I will pretend not to know.

I look around through the darkness of night, taking my place, waiting for this game to begin. My stance is confident. My mind is calm. I survey my surroundings, like a predator who feels threatened, bracing for an attack. My eyes land on remnants of the trash bag that once held me inside. I laugh, Nate will have to do better this time if he wants to get rid of me.

Nate is going to come into the forest confident and cocky. He doesn’t realize that the girl he is coming to kill isn’t the same one he had attempted to kill before.

my thoughts new

A Young Adult vampire book, Transition opens up when Nichole Roberts celebrated her eighteenth birthday and was turned into a vampire when her boyfriend Nate Blackwood transitioned her. All throughout her relationship with Nate, she didn’t know that he was a vampire. Not until his bad side suddenly showed up and she realized that he’s not at all the perfect boyfriend that she thought he was. It was too late when she decided to end their relationship though, because she already became a creature of the night.

I really tried to like this book but I felt underwhelmed in most parts. The plot was a little bit cliché to me. I’ve read this kind of vampire story before so maybe that’s the reason why it felt unoriginal to me.

I believe this book will not be so bad at all if it also wasn’t because of the female lead. Nichole kind of ruined it. I was fairly unimpressed with her bratty attitude. She was unnerving, whiny, and difficult to like. The moment she said these things, I knew she and I wouldn’t get along…

“Casey and I aren’t the most popular girls in school but we are likeable and easy to get along with so that gives us a substantial amount of popularity.”

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Another problem that I encountered was Nichole’s over-the-top and perfect character. Literally perfect. She grew up in a rich and loving family, has a tall frame and beautiful face, has a boyfriend who’s also tall, good-looking, and wealthy (he even gave her a jewelry with real diamonds in them on her birthday), and even her boyfriend’s friends are perfect. She has many admirers and everybody in school loves her. In short, everything was unrealistic.

I also had an issue when it comes to the characters’ dialogues which sounded awkward. At times it even appeared repetitive. The world-building and the descriptions of actions were also vague and it was difficult for me to imagine what I was reading.

I give this book 2 stars though because of the interesting things that started to appear in the final chapters. The ending, which was a cliffhanger, was also strongly delivered. It gave the readers a glimpse of the exciting things that will happen in the next book.

(Thank you to the author Paige Walker for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.)

Rating:

2 Stars smile

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xo pearl

Review: A Thorne for a Crown by Lorel Clayton

A Thorne for a Crown (Eva Thorne, #2)

A Thorne for a Crown
(Eva Thorne #2)
Author: Lorel Clayton
Publisher: LC Books
Published: December 8, 2015
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
My Rating:

4

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Synopsis new

The first real case femme fatale turned private eye, Eva Thorne, has had in months may be more than she can handle. King Rutgard has been kidnapped, only he’s not entirely alive, which makes finding him difficult. What’s more, dwarf men are joining the suffragist movement in droves to win freedom from the matriarchy, and there’s a werewolf terrorist in town causing chaos. Eva needs a case like this to make her reputation, but she has problems of her own. Dark magic is rising in her, the Thorne legacy, and she can’t control it. She has to find a way or risk imprisonment by the jackbooted elf soldiers who are cracking down on illegal necromancy and worship of the Dead God. Worse, the God of Death wants her soul, as does her twin sister, so Eva denies her magic and hides from her family. But some things are impossible to hide from, like the tax collector … and love.

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“You only fear what you do not know.”

My reaction after reading this book:

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After reading Ate Claire’s (I call her Ate Claire, “ate” as big sister in Filipino) review of this book months ago, I felt so giddy to start it because I found the previous book really enjoyable. (Click her name to read her thoughts! :))

A Thorne for a Crown is the second installment of Eva Thorne series. I expected this book to be a lot more action-packed. I was right. It was filled with particularly exciting action scenes and adventures. What I didn’t expect was how it’s going to be better than the first book, Tangle of Thorneswhen it comes to the storyline and the mc’s character development. In this sequel, our heroine Eva Thorne begins her journey as a detective, investigating the reported disappearance of the dwarf king, King Rutgard. She’s now smarter, confident, and independent. More developed compared to her character in the previous book.

What made me appreciate this book more was the thrill it gave me when magical creatures such as werewolves, beasts,and even dragons were highlighted apart from dwarfs. The authors sure did an amazing job in engaging me with its mythical characters, dazzling plotline, and lots of humor. In addition, I appreciate Eva’s romantic involvement with certain characters. I personally ship Eva and Conrad, by the way. I thought they look cute together and the way they work as a team was remarkable. Can they just end up together, please?

I have to give the authors credits for that cliffhanger in the end. That totally stunned me. This book, as a whole, offered a real surprise to me. It was better than what I’ve expected. I’m looking forward to reading the third installment. 🙂

(Thank you to the authors for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!)

Rating:

4

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xo pearl

Review: High Witch by Mona Hanna

High Witch (High Witch, #1)

High Witch
(High Witch #1)
Author: Mona Hanna
Publisher: Createspace
Published: December 2, 2012
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal, Young Adult, Romance
My Rating:

3 Stars

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Synopsis new

Brayden dreams for thirty nights, tortured by the vision of a beautiful woman. When Ariel Williams walks into his inn, he sees that she’s the one he’s been obsessed with in his night time journeys. But Ariel is fleeing an arranged marriage and keeps shyly to herself, until the worst happens and by mistake she casts a spell on a guest. Brayden works with Ariel to help her control her magic but discovers she’s a High Witch – one of only three witches in the world with a rare kind of power.

Immediately the two must flee; evil warlock Julius wants to enslave Ariel – mind, heart and body. Julius and his lover the High Witch Nadia will stop at nothing to capture Ariel, and the danger threatens to tear Ariel apart from Brayden. Ariel’s only hope is that her love for Brayden and her newly-discovered powers are strong enough to save them.

This is a NOVELLA of approximately 25,000 words.

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Mixed feelings. I really loved the premise of this novella but I was expecting something different. I thought it would be more on the fantasy and supernatural side than romance.

High Witch, the first installment of High Witch series, was actually short (87 pages). It’s about a guy named Brayden who has been dreaming about a mysterious girl for a very long time. He fell in love with that girl even though he only saw her in his dreams. When he unexpectedly met her in flesh one day, he eventually learned that her name’s Ariel and she’s in fact, a High Witch, a powerful sort of witch. He was not really that dumbstrucked upon learning Ariel’s true nature because he came from a long generation of witches. He soon learned that Ariel is hunted by an evil warlock named Julius who wanted her powers in order for him to enjoy unending youth.

At first I found myself getting lost in the story so easily. The plot was promising. Although the writing was not that perfect, I had high hopes that the author can still pull it off. But when I got into the part where the romance was introduced, and not just simple romance but over-the-top, I-will-die-for-you romance, I found it quite off. The romantic development came a little too quickly. I love it when there’s romance in a fantasy book but I also wish it wasn’t the main focus of the story.

Despite my issues, though, I still found this novella quite promising. It had lots of potentials and the characters were likeable and very independent. The writing may need a little polishing and some improvements but I’m impressed ‘coz the author was able to think of a concept that will draw fantasy-lovers in. If you want a quick read with witches as main characters, then I recommend this novella! 🙂

P.S. Really loving the cover of this book. So pretty!

(Thank you to the author Mona Hanna for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!)

Rating:

3 Stars

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xo pearl