Category: Review

The Queen of the Tearling [Review]

Posted February 16, 2017 by Lizzie in Review / 1 Comment

The Queen of the Tearling [Review]The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
Series: The Queen of the Tearling #1
Published by Harper on July 8th 2014
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Pages: 448
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Buy on AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository

An untested young princess must claim her throne, learn to become a queen, and combat a malevolent sorceress in an epic battle between light and darkness in this spectacular debut—the first novel in a trilogy.
Young Kelsea Raleigh was raised in hiding after the death of her mother, Queen Elyssa, far from the intrigues of the royal Keep and in the care of two devoted servants who pledged their lives to protect her. Growing up in a cottage deep in the woods, Kelsea knows little of her kingdom's haunted past . . . or that its fate will soon rest in her hands.
Long ago, Kelsea's forefathers sailed away from a decaying world to establish a new land free of modern technology. Three hundred years later, this feudal society has divided into three fearful nations who pay duties to a fourth: the powerful Mortmesne, ruled by the cunning Red Queen. Now, on Kelsea's nineteenth birthday, the tattered remnants of the Queen's Guard—loyal soldiers who protect the throne—have appeared to escort the princess on a perilous journey to the capital to ascend to her rightful place as the new Queen of the Tearling.
Though born of royal blood and in possession of the Tear sapphire, a jewel of immense power and magic, Kelsea has never felt more uncertain of her ability to rule. But the shocking evil she discovers in the heart of her realm will precipitate an act of immense daring, throwing the entire kingdom into turmoil—and unleashing the Red Queen's vengeance. A cabal of enemies with an array of deadly weapons, from crimson-caped assassins to the darkest blood magic, plots to destroy her. But Kelsea is growing in strength and stealth, her steely resolve earning her loyal allies, including the Queen's Guard, led by the enigmatic Lazarus, and the intriguing outlaw known simply as "the Fetch."
Kelsea's quest to save her kingdom and meet her destiny has only just begun. Riddled with mysteries, betrayals, and treacherous battles, Kelsea's journey is a trial by fire that will either forge a legend . . . or destroy her.

My Thoughts

Holy crap: the political intrigue of this book! I must admit, I tried to read it years ago when it first came out and just couldn’t seem to get into it. Then, this month (after binge watching House of Cards on Netflix) I just really wanted moremoremore politics. Looking around my shelves, I found this guy and read it in one sitting. Sunday well spent folks. Kelsea is a phenomenal MC, her POV is so intricate and unique – I can’t figure out how to explain it. She’s smart and witty, stubborn and calculating – everything you want in a Queen. The story line is perfectly complex and wonderful in every way. There is no clear villain, fighting and war are waged very tongue and cheek and Kelsea is such a bad ass. Her interactions with her people and the shenanigans that she gets into to make a statement literally gave me chills. There wasn’t very much romance in this one, and I can’t really decide if I liked that or not. Either way, for young adult this was one hefty read. Magic, war tactics, suspense, tension – ITS JUST SO GOOD! So many layers and unique themes that I feel like not a lot of YA books reach to explore. I’m so so so curious to see where this series will go, after my current read I’m hopping back into this world feet first! If you like political drama and fantasy, this book will blow your mind. Plus, the third and final book just came out, go read this one so you can join in on the hype!



Blog Tour: Empress of a Thousand Skies [Review & Giveaway]

Posted February 7, 2017 by Stephanie in Blog Tour, Giveaway, Review / 5 Comments

Blog Tour: Empress of a Thousand Skies [Review & Giveaway]

Blog Tour: Empress of a Thousand Skies [Review & Giveaway]Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza
Series: Empress of a Thousand Skies #1
Published by Razorbill on February 7th 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Sci-Fi, Fantasy
Pages: 344
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository

EmpressRhee, also known as Crown Princess Rhiannon Ta’an, is the sole surviving heir to a powerful dynasty. She’ll stop at nothing to avenge her family and claim her throne.
FugitiveAly has risen above his war refugee origins to find fame as the dashing star of a DroneVision show. But when he’s falsely accused of killing Rhee, he's forced to prove his innocence to save his reputation – and his life.
MadmanWith planets on the brink of war, Rhee and Aly are thrown together to confront a ruthless evil that threatens the fate of the entire galaxy.
A saga of vengeance, warfare, and the true meaning of legacy.

My Thoughts

Okay, so let’s get this out.. I really enjoyed this story! Were there problems? Sure. But all-in-all, I thought it was a great story. I liked the writing. I liked the characters. I thought that this was a good debut and I can only expect more from Rhoda in the future!

There were a couple issues, however. There are times where I can see some readers getting bored, but I feel like that there is enough action within the entirety of the story to keep someone entertained. It kept me entertained. The other issue I had was that there is one thing that you expect to happen from reading the summary.. and it just doesn’t happen. Now this could be because it is from the Advanced Reader Copy and not everything is finalized in the ARCs. Or it could have just been the wrong way to summarize the book. But the main reason why I rated it 3.5 stars was because this particular plotline just wasn’t there.

Other than that, I had a very enjoyable time reading this book and I loved the worldbuilding that Rhoda Belleza had created and I really wouldn’t mind seeing more within this world (and thank god there’s a second book to this)! If you love great worldbuilding, writing, and a strong Sci-fi presence, then I think you should give this one a try!

About the Author

Rhoda Belleza was raised in Los Angeles, where she grew up writing X-Files fanfiction and stuffing her face with avocados. She’s a children’s editor at a publishing house and writes from a sunny Brooklyn apartment stuffed with far too many bikes and far too many shoes. When she’s not writing, Rhoda obsesses over nail art tutorials, watches kung fu movies, and sews together crooked things that pass for clothes. Empress of a Thousand Skies is her debut novel. Follow her on Twitter @rhodabee.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enter for a chance to win one (1) of three (3) signed copies of Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza (ARV: $17.99 each).
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on February 6, 2017 and 12:00 AM on February 20, 2017.  Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about February 22, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

Tour Schedule

Week One:
2/6 – Brittany’s Book Rambles – Guest Post
2/6 – Bibliophile Gathering – Review
2/6 – Seeing Double in Neverland – Mood Board
2/7 – Tales of a Ravenous Reader – Excerpt
2/7 – In Wonderland – Review
2/8 – Across the Words – Character Fan Casting
2/8 – Novel Ink – Review
2/8 – Bookling Critics – Review
2/9 – The Young Folks – Interview
2/9 – Here’s to Happy Endings – Review
2/10 – Butter My Books – Book Look
2/10 – Ex Libris – Review
2/10 – My Friends Are Fiction – Guest Post
Week Two:
2/13 – Stories & Sweeties – Empress Cupcakes
2/13 – What Sarah Read – Guest Post
2/13 – MundieMoms – Review
2/14 – YA Wednesdays – Character Fashion
2/14 – Fiction Fare – Review
2/15 – Once Upon a Twilight – Favorite Quotes
2/15 – The Books Buzz – Review
2/15 – Take Me Away to a Great Read – Review
2/16 – The YA Book Traveler – Empress Trailer
2/16 – Bookworm Everlasting – Review
2/17 – The Forest of Words and Pages – Like/Try/Why
2/17 – The Paige Turner – Interview
2/17 – Fangirlish – Review

Let’s talk about it!

Did you read Empress of a Thousand Skies? Do you want to? What draws you into wanting to read this? Or what doesn’t?


Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

Thief of Lies [Review]

Thief of Lies [Review]

Posted February 3, 2017 by Stephanie in Review / 0 Comments

My Thoughts Okay, so first things first. Who wouldn’t want to jump through a portal that takes you to different libraries?! Sign me up please! And then if Arik (pronounced Ah-ric, in case you were wondering) just happens to show his hot face and “rock hard arms” I’ll be even more ecstatic, especially since he […]

The Dark Days Club [Review]

The Dark Days Club [Review]

Posted January 30, 2017 by Stephanie in Review / 1 Comment

My Thoughts So for the most part I liked this book. I think my main issue with this was just the fact that I have been in such a book slumpy mood that it’s put a damper on not only the amount of books I’ve been reading but whether or not I enjoy them. It […]

Review: Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy

Review: Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy

Posted January 19, 2017 by Lizzie in Review / 1 Comment

Holy molly she’s at it again. If you’re a fan of the Shadowhunter world, I am not kidding when I say this was seriously SO GOOD! As per usual, books I love get something short and sweet: here go’s! This collection of short stories was literally EVERYTHING a die hard Cassandra Clare fan could have […]

Eon: Dragoneye Reborn by Alison Goodman [Review]

Eon: Dragoneye Reborn by Alison Goodman [Review]

Posted January 12, 2017 by Lizzie in Review / 1 Comment

My Thoughts Well my book nerds, I don’t quite know what to think. Overall, this novel was certainly not what I was expecting. I’m giving it a solid three stars because there was aspects of this story that I enjoyed – the plot was unique, the Asian influence really interesting – but it fell short […]

Heartless by Marissa Meyer [Review]

Heartless by Marissa Meyer [Review]

Posted January 5, 2017 by Lizzie in Review / 3 Comments

My Thoughts Oh my goodness fellow book nerds! THIS BOOK was everything and more. If you’re a fellow Alice in Wonderland freak as the rest of us, Meyer’s contribution to the canon world is fantastic. As per usual, with books I love this will be short and sweet – so let’s dive in! I think […]

Wallbanger [Review]

Wallbanger [Review]

Posted December 28, 2016 by Stephanie in Review / 1 Comment

**Disclaimer: This is an Adult story and should be read by mature audiences only. I’d say ages 17+** My Thoughts This was an entertaining read. I enjoyed Caroline’s story about her moving into a new apartment (still without her “O”) and meeting the wallbanging manwhore who lived next door and made one woman literally purr […]