ARC Book Review: The Babysitter’s Coven by Kate Williams

Book: The Babysitter’s Coven by Kate Williams

Expected Publication Is September 17, 2019 by Delacorte Press|Expected Number Of Pages: 368

Where I Got It: I received an e-ARC from netgalley.com in exchange for a fair and honest review

Series: The Babysitter’s Coven #1

Genre: YA Fantasy

Adventures in Babysitting meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer in this funny, action-packed novel about a coven of witchy babysitters who realize their calling to protect the innocent and save the world from an onslaught of evil.

Seventeen-year-old Esme Pearl has a babysitters club. She knows it’s kinda lame, but what else is she supposed to do? Get a job? Gross. Besides, Esme likes babysitting, and she’s good at it.

And lately Esme needs all the cash she can get, because it seems like destruction follows her wherever she goes. Let’s just say she owes some people a new tree.

Enter Cassandra Heaven. She’s Instagram-model hot, dresses like she found her clothes in a dumpster, and has a rebellious streak as gnarly as the cafeteria cooking. So why is Cassandra willing to do anything, even take on a potty-training two-year-old, to join Esme’s babysitters club?

The answer lies in a mysterious note Cassandra’s mother left her: “Find the babysitters. Love, Mom.”

Turns out, Esme and Cassandra have more in common than they think, and they’re about to discover what being a babysitter really means: a heroic lineage of superpowers, magic rituals, and saving the innocent from seriously terrifying evil. And all before the parents get home.

I liked The Babysitter’s Coven but like a lot of the books I’ve read this year…I didn’t like it as much as I wanted to.

For some reason, the book felt like it should have been middle grade and not YA  I kept forgetting that the characters were around 17, and it would be interesting to see this book as a middle grade series.

I can’t speak to the comparisons to Buffy or Adventures In Babysitting, since I haven’t seen Buffy or Adventures In Babysitting.  I kept thinking about the Babysitter’s Club, though, if they were witches and trying to defend against demons and whatnot.

Esme wasn’t always my favorite character, and Cassandra wasn’t either, but maybe they’ll grow me, should I pick up the sequel.  I’m not sure if I will but we’ll see when the next one comes out.  I did like Janis, though.  And I did like the backstory for Esme’s mom.  It wasn’t what I was expecting but I did like it.  Pig was great too, and it’s so hard not to love.

I was expecting expecting babysitting to have more of a connection to the weird goings-on.  It would make a great cover but it didn’t go that way at all.  Still, it was fun to see what adventures they got themselves into, and I liked seeing them try to figure things out with pretty much no information.

I do wish they struggled a little more than they did, because things were pretty easy for both Esme and Cassandra.  They did figure things out pretty fast, and they seemed to do things really well after practicing a handful of times.  I think it would have made their achievements a lot more fun and it would have been a little easier to root for them.  But maybe that’s just me.

There was this 90’s teen movie vibe to it, which was fun.  Now that I think about it, I can totally see this book being a Disney channel series/original movie.  It would be pretty fun to watch, and it’s certainly light and fluffy enough to work well as a movie or tv show.

The outfits sounded pretty cool too, and that, more than anything, made me think of the outfits that Stacy and Claudia would wear in the BSC.  Which I now feel like reading, by the way.  A movie would bring the outfits to life, and it would be pretty cool to actually see the outfits.

3 stars.  I liked The Babysitter’s Coven, but I honestly thought it sounded younger than I expected.  It was a fun read but I had my issues with it too.

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Around The Internet #17

Hello and Happy Friday the 13th!  I’m back with more cool things I’ve found on the internet.  I hope you enjoy them!

That’s all for today, and I hope it’s a good one!

Book Review: Archangel’s Shadow by Nalini Singh

Book: Archangel’s Shadow by Nalini Singh

Published October 2014 by Penguin Group|378 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the e-book from the library

Series: Guild Hunter #7

Genre: Adult Paranormal Romance

In the wake of a brutal war, the archangel Raphael and his hunter consort, Elena, are dealing with the treacherously shifting tides of archangelic politics and the people of a battered but not broken city. The last thing their city needs is more death, especially a death that bears the eerie signature of an insane enemy archangel who cannot—should not—be walking the streets.

This hunt must be undertaken with stealth and without alerting their people. It must be handled by those who can become shadows themselves…

Ash is a gifted tracker and a woman cursed with the ability to sense the secrets of anyone she touches. But there’s one man she knows all too well without a single instant of skin contact: Janvier, the dangerously sexy Cajun vampire who has fascinated and infuriated her for years. Now, as they track down a merciless killer, their cat-and-mouse game of flirtation and provocation has turned into a profound one of the heart. And this time, it is Ash’s secret, dark and terrible, that threatens to destroy them both.

I liked Archangel’s Shadows but it’s not one of my favorites in this series

Janvier and Ashwini were interesting characters and I liked them.  Ashwini was particularly interesting, especially because of her family.  I really liked her, and though I liked Janvier, I didn’t like him as much as Ashwini.  I did like them together, and there’s definitely a connection between them, but compared to some of the other couples (mostly Elena and Raphael), they were just okay.

I liked the story, and we do see more of the world they live in.  There’s so much going on in thiis world, and I feel like we learn more about it with every passing book.  I was really interested in the grey area that we saw in this book and even though it didn’t occur to me that some of the vampires might have “cattle,” it did make sense.  It made me sad to see that there were women dependent on these vampires for support, but it also doesn’t surprise me.

We also see the aftermath of the battle and how the Tower is trying to deal with some of the rumors and stories circulating around town.  No one can catch a break but Ash and Janvier do get their HEA.  It is romance after all, and no romance is complete without having a happily ever after.  I’m glad Ash told Janvier her hesitations and family history.  It did make sense for why she didn’t want to be a vampire, but she did come around.

Even though I like the characters and story, and was glad to read about Janvier and Ash, I also wasn’t super into the story or the pairing.  I don’t know why, but it felt like something was missing.  According to the author’s note at the end of the book, there is a novella that goes into more detail about their relationship.  I don’t think it’s necessary to read it, because you do get their story and you know what’s going on.  Plus, you do get hints throughout the previous books that mention both Ash and Janvier.  Still, I can’t help but wonder if that’s the missing piece for this book.  That might not be the case for other readers, but it might be for me.

3 stars.  I liked Archangel’s Shadow but it’s not my favorite in this series.

ARC Book Review: Sword And Pen by Rachel Caine

Book: Sword And Pen by Rachel Caine

Expected Publication Is September 3, 2019 by Berkley|Expected Number Of Pages: 368

Where I Got It: I received an e-ARC from netgalley.com in exchange for a fair and honest review

Series: The Great Library #5

Genre: YA Steampunk/Alternate History

With the future of the Great Library in doubt, the unforgettable characters from Ink and Bone must decide if it’s worth saving in this thrilling adventure in the New York Times bestselling series.

The corrupt leadership of the Great Library has fallen. But with the Archivist plotting his return to power, and the Library under siege from outside empires and kingdoms, its future is uncertain. Jess Brightwell and his friends must come together as never before, to forge a new future for the Great Library…or see everything it stood for crumble.

I absolutely loved Sword And Pen!  It was such a great read, and I’m sad to see this series end, but I’m also really glad to see how everything turned out.

This series is so worth reading, and ever since I started reading Ink And Bone years ago, I loved the series.  The world is amazing, and we see Jess and everyone else try to save the world they’ve lived in their entire lives.  They really are trying to make it a better place for everyone, and while we don’t see all of the changes that are bound to happen, I feel like the library is going to be in a very good place.

I can’t help but think that there will be a lot of really good changes but that there’s also going to be some trouble as well.  I feel like people are going to have trouble with this new library, especially at first, but hopefully things will calm down and be okay.

While I was reading Sword And Pen, I was wondering who was going to make it out alive.  There was no way everyone was going to survive, but that’s what I was hoping.  My hopes were dashed but in this world, I would have been surprised if everyone had survived.  With all of the battles and destruction, it just wasn’t going to happen.  And I think I would have been disappointed too, because I don’t think it would have been as realistic.

The characters were great, and I feel like, years from now, they’ll still be talking to each other.  That’s what I want for them.  I think they all have great things in store for them, and I wish we had some sort of epilogue that shows what happened several years later.  I can imagine, of course, which is fun but I also kind of want to know what Caine imagined for them.

I really liked Wolfe, Santi and Khalila in this book.  Khalila really came into her own in this book, and she’s had a really great story line throughout the whole series.  Wolfe and Santi were protective adoptive dads, and I felt like they saw all of the kids as their own.  Especially Jess.  They seemed especially protective of Jess, which is understandable after everything Jess has been through.  I can’t imagine losing a twin, and you really see how much it affected Jess.  I liked that you saw his grief and how he didn’t want to lose anyone else while also going after the old Archivist.

There’s a lot of action and destruction but there’s also a lot of hope, and I really liked it balanced it was.  I really felt like things would be okay at the end of the series.  Even though a lot of really terrible things happens to the characters, I also felt like they made it through okay.  There may be some wounds and scars for them, but they survived and made it through.

5 stars.  I loved this book, and the world and characters are amazing!  I’m sad to see this series end but I thought Sword And Pen did a great job at wrapping everything up.

Book Review: My Fate According To The Butterfly by Gail D Villanueva

Book: My Fate According To The Butterfly by Gail D Villanueva

Published July 2019 by Scholastic Press|240 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the e-book from the library

Series: None

Genre: Middle Grade

When superstitious Sab sees a giant black butterfly, an omen of death, she knows that she’s doomed! According to legend, she has one week before her fate catches up with her — on her 11th birthday. With her time running out, all she wants is to celebrate her birthday with her entire family. But her sister, Ate Nadine, stopped speaking to their father one year ago, and Sab doesn’t even know why.

If Sab’s going to get Ate Nadine and their father to reconcile, she’ll have to overcome her fears — of her sister’s anger, of leaving the bubble of her sheltered community, of her upcoming doom — and figure out the cause of their rift.

So Sab and her best friend Pepper start spying on Nadine and digging into their family’s past to determine why, exactly, Nadine won’t speak to their father. But Sab’s adventures across Manila reveal truths about her family more difficult — and dangerous — than she ever anticipated.

Was the Butterfly right? Perhaps Sab is doomed after all!

I liked My Fate According To The Butterfly!  It’s a cute and heart-warming middle grade book that’s worth checking out.

I really liked Sab, and her connection to butterflies.  It’s an interesting story, and I never thought of butterflies as being a sign of death before this book.  For me, the black butterfly wasn’t literal, in terms of how it relates to the story.  She learns a lot about her dad and family and how things aren’t what she thought they were.

Maybe that’s what the butterfly represents- learning something about your family and how things aren’t what they seem.  It also seemed to give her something to focus on and it seems to set things in motion for her and her family.

I do get why her mom didn’t say anything about what was really going on with her dad.  I didn’t get why her sister didn’t talk to their dad, but I do understand why she wouldn’t say anything to Sab.  It makes total sense they’d want to protect her from that, and it must have been hard to hear what had really happened.  But hopefully Nadine will be able to make amends with their dad, and hopefully things will eventually be okay.

Sab definitely has an adventure going all over Manila with her best friend Pepper, and I wish we got to see more of it.  I liked what we saw, but I did find myself wishing we saw more.  It seems like Sab is pretty sheltered, and we see that she has to be pretty careful when she leaves her quiet neighborhood.  It’s a world she isn’t used to, that’s for sure.

Something I did find confusing was her relationship with her sister.  It’s a minor thing, I guess, but for most of the book, I kept forgetting Nadine was her sister and not her aunt or an older cousin.  She’s actually called Ate Nadine throughout the book, and for some reason, it made me think of aunt or someone who taking of care of her.  Her sister does, because her parents aren’t together and her mom travels a lot but I found that it threw me off a little bit.

3 stars.  I did like this book, and I liked seeing Sab’s learn more about her family, but I didn’t love it.  It’s still worth reading, though!

ARC Book Review: American Royals by Katharine McGee

Book: American Royals by Katharine McGee

Expected Publication Is September 3, 2019 by Random House Books For Young Readers|Expected Number Of Pages: 448

Where I Got It: I received American Royals as an E-ARC from netgalley.com in exchange for a fair and honest review

Series: American Royals #1

Genre: YA Contemporary

What if America had a royal family? If you can’t get enough of Harry and Meghan or Kate and William, meet American princesses Beatrice and Samantha.

Two princesses vying for the ultimate crown. 
Two girls vying for the prince’s heart. 
This is the story of the American royals.

When America won the Revolutionary War, its people offered General George Washington a crown. Two and a half centuries later, the House of Washington still sits on the throne. Like most royal families, the Washingtons have an heir and a spare. A future monarch and a backup battery. Each child knows exactly what is expected of them. But these aren’t just any royals. They’re American.

As Princess Beatrice gets closer to becoming America’s first queen regnant, the duty she has embraced her entire life suddenly feels stifling. Nobody cares about the spare except when she’s breaking the rules, so Princess Samantha doesn’t care much about anything, either . . . except the one boy who is distinctly off-limits to her. And then there’s Samantha’s twin, Prince Jefferson. If he’d been born a generation earlier, he would have stood first in line for the throne, but the new laws of succession make him third. Most of America adores their devastatingly handsome prince . . . but two very different girls are vying to capture his heart.

The duty. The intrigue. The Crown. New York Times bestselling author Katharine McGee imagines an alternate version of the modern world, one where the glittering age of monarchies has not yet faded–and where love is still powerful enough to change the course of history.

At first, I wasn’t sure about American Royals, but I ended up really liking it!

It was a little hard to get into at first, and I think it’s because we’re getting to know 4 very different girls.  I’m always hesitant about multiple narrators, especially when it’s 3 or more, and this book had 4.  I was worried we wouldn’t get to know each girl and while we don’t know them really, really well, we still get a really good idea of who each girl is.

Beatrice and Samantha are very different girls, and I liked both of them.  I did have a pretty good understanding of who they were, and, in Samantha’s case, why she acted the way she did.  One thing that came to mind in some of their chapters was that the grass really is greener on the other side.

I don’t envy either girl but I really don’t envy Beatrice.  She’s under a lot of pressure, considering she’s going to be the first queen one day.  Samantha does have some more freedom than her sister, but it also means she doesn’t get the attention her sister does.

We also see Daphne, the prince’s ex, and Nina, who is Sam’s best friend.  I liked Nina and Daphne was ambitious but also horrible.  Daphne was definitely my least favorite character, but she really is willing to do anything to get Jefferson back.  She was interesting, I’ll give her that.  I don’t have as much to say about them but it will be interesting to see where their stories go in the next book.

The story is pretty predictable in a lot of ways, but I honestly didn’t care because the book is a pretty interesting What If.  It really makes you wonder how different America would be if we were a monarchy.  We get a little bit of history, and it seems to be a little bit different in the book.  Like, Russia still has a tsar.  That’s the biggest thing that’s different.  At least from what I can remember.  It seems like there’s a lot more monarchies in this world than there actually is in real life.

It makes me wonder how different history is, especially American history.  I had trouble keeping track of some of the kings and queens mentioned, and I hope there’s a family tree included in the final version.  There wasn’t in this book, and that’s just what I’m hoping for, so by no means is it actually going to be included.

Still, a little more background would be interesting to see.  I mean, how much would having a monarchy change America’s history.  Like, did we still have a Civil War?  Did slavery still exist, and at what point did it get abolished if it did?  I have so many questions, but I know it’s not going to get answered.  Still, we might get little bits of history, and I’m okay with that.

My Rating: 4 stars.  I didn’t love it, but I still really enjoyed it.  It was hard not to cry and I was definitely crying by the end of the book.

ARC Book Review: Dear Haiti, Love Alaine by Maika Moulite And Maritza Moulite

Book: Dear Haiti, Love Alaine by Maika Moulite and Maritza Moulite

Expected Publication Is September 3, 2019 by Inkyard Press|Expected Number Of Pages: 384

Where I Got It: I received an e-ARC from netgalley.com in exchange for a fair and honest review

Series: None

Genre: YA Contemporary

When a school presentation goes very wrong, Alaine Beauparlant finds herself suspended, shipped off to Haiti and writing the report of a lifetime…

You might ask the obvious question: What do I, a seventeen-year-old Haitian American from Miami with way too little life experience, have to say about anything?

Actually, a lot.

Thanks to “the incident” (don’t ask), I’m spending the next two months doing what my school is calling a “spring volunteer immersion project.” It’s definitely no vacation. I’m toiling away under the ever-watchful eyes of Tati Estelle at her new nonprofit. And my lean-in queen of a mother is even here to make sure I do things right. Or she might just be lying low to dodge the media sharks after a much more public incident of her own…and to hide a rather devastating secret.

All things considered, there are some pretty nice perks…like flirting with Tati’s distractingly cute intern, getting actual face time with my mom and experiencing Haiti for the first time. I’m even exploring my family’s history—which happens to be loaded with betrayals, superstitions and possibly even a family curse.

You know, typical drama. But it’s nothing I can’t handle. 

I wish I liked Dear Haiti, Love Alaine, but it was a hard book for me to get through, and I ended up not liking it.

It’s told in a mixed media format, so you see news articles, emails, texts, transcripts, and diary entries from both Alaine and her family.  That didn’t work at all in an e-book format.  It just didn’t look great, but keep in mind I was reading an advance copy, so I’m pretty sure it’ll look better once it’s actually published.

I did have a hard time getting through the book, and part of it is that the mixed media form of story-telling didn’t work in an e-book form.  A few parts of the text were out of order, and it’s hard to have a good flow when you start a new section or chapter in the middle of a sentence.  Again, I’m sure that will be fixed by the the time the book actually comes out, but it did affect my reading experience.

Part of why I struggled with the book was the random tangents.  We’d be reading things from Alaine’s point of view, and then suddenly, we’d be getting imagined emails between her mom and someone at GNN, where her mom used to work, or diary entries on a centuries old family curse.  Even though everything did tie together in the end, it didn’t make sense for most of the book.  I did finish the book wondering what it was supposed to be about.  There’s a lot going on, and while I did like the individual pieces, I don’t know that I liked all of them together.  I felt like it muddled the overall story to the point that I wasn’t sure what the story was supposed to be about.

I did like the family relationships, and that was something I did like about the book.  You don’t really see that in YA, and it was really refreshing to read.  It was nice to see how they developed and changed over time but I wish we saw more of it.

Alaine had a really strong voice, and I wish we saw more of it.  It did take a backseat to some of the other things we see in the book, and I’m a little sad about that because I felt like it took away from her story.

My Rating: 1 star.  I really wish I liked this book more, but it just didn’t work for me.  I think it would work great in physical form, but as a digital ARC, it was hard to get through.  There were parts of the book I liked, but it wasn’t enough for me to really get into the book.

Book Review: Archangel’s Legion by Nalini Singh

Book: Archangel’s Legion by Nalini Singh

Published October 2013 by Penguin|384 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the e-book from the library

Series: Guild Hunter #6

Genre: Adult Paranormal Romance

Nalini Singh, the New York Times bestselling “alpha author of paranormal romance” (Booklist) returns to an immortal world of violent passion and lethal power…on the brink of a deadly archangelic war.

Angels are falling from the sky in New York, struck down by a vicious, unknown force.

Vampires are dying impossibly of disease.

Guild hunter Elena Deveraux and the Archangel Raphael must discover the source of the wave of death before it engulfs their city and their people, leaving New York a ruin and Raphael’s Tower under siege by enemy archangels.

Yet even as they fight desperately to save the city, an even darker force is stirring, its chill eyes trained on New York…and on Raphael. Rivers of crimson and nightmares given flesh, the world will never again be the same… 

 

I really liked Archangel’s Legion!  I definitely liked it a lot more than the last couple of books, and I’m glad we got back to Elena and Raphael.

It’s not that I don’t like reading about the other characters, because I do.  But we started with Elena and Raphael, and I’m glad their story has continued.  I just love them as a couple and they balance each other out really, really well.

There’s a lot going on with this book, and I feel like this is going to be the turning point in the series.  With a Tower that’s under siege, and the archangel’s getting more powerful, things are getting really interesting.  The world’s changing, and the Cascade is pretty much the reason for that.  I wish we knew a little bit more about it, but maybe that will come up in the books to come.

That’s what I’m hoping, anyway.  I mean, I’m sure we’ll see how much things change, and if alliances are formed between all of the arachangels, and how the divides that will form.  I’m assuming all of the archangels will be pitted against each other, but maybe they’ll all unite against one really bad force.  It’s hard to say, at least right now, but I’ll find out once I keep reading.

There’s a major battle- against Liujan, of course- and I have the feeling it’s far from over.  Things have taken a turn for the worse, and things are going to get a lot worse before they start to get better.  It’s romance, so of course everything is going to end happily ever after…at least eventually.

This world is a lot more cruel and cold, so maybe not, but you never know.  Still, I’m pretty hopeful things are going to be fine in the end.  It just might take a while to get there.

4 stars.  I really liked the story, and I’m glad we’re back to Elena and Raphael!  Hopefully, we’ll stay with them for a while but with things going the way they are, I have the feeling we’ll be seeing a lot of other characters.  It’s not going to stop me from reading on to see what happens.

Book Review: These Witches Don’t Burn by Isabel Sterling

Book: These Witches Don’t Burn by Isabel Sterling

Published May 2019 by Razorbill|336 Pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the e-book from the library

Series: These Witches Don’t Burn #1

Genre: YA Paranormal

Hannah’s a witch, but not the kind you’re thinking of. She’s the real deal, an Elemental with the power to control fire, earth, water, and air. But even though she lives in Salem, Massachusetts, her magic is a secret she has to keep to herself. If she’s ever caught using it in front of a Reg (read: non-witch), she could lose it. For good. So, Hannah spends most of her time avoiding her ex-girlfriend (and fellow Elemental Witch) Veronica, hanging out with her best friend, and working at the Fly by Night Cauldron selling candles and crystals to tourists, goths, and local Wiccans.

But dealing with her ex is the least of Hannah’s concerns when a terrifying blood ritual interrupts the end-of-school-year bonfire. Evidence of dark magic begins to appear all over Salem, and Hannah’s sure it’s the work of a deadly Blood Witch. The issue is, her coven is less than convinced, forcing Hannah to team up with the last person she wants to see: Veronica.

While the pair attempt to smoke out the Blood Witch at a house party, Hannah meets Morgan, a cute new ballerina in town. But trying to date amid a supernatural crisis is easier said than done, and Hannah will have to test the limits of her power if she’s going to save her coven and get the girl, especially when the attacks on Salem’s witches become deadlier by the day.

Isabel Sterling’s delightful, suspenseful debut is equal parts sweet romance and thrilling mystery. With everything she loves on the line, Hannah must confront this murderous villain before her coven–and any chance she has with the new girl–is destroyed.

I really liked These Witches Don’t Burn!  I wasn’t sure what to expect but I ended up liking it a lot more than I thought I would.

I really love this take on Salem and the witches that live there.  It’s definitely different, and I liked how current day Salem was tied to the Salem that we know from the Salem witch trials.  It really did tie together really well, and Sterling did a great job with connecting everything.

In a lot of ways, it’s a pretty typical story.  There are witch hunters, witches can’t tell mortals, and there’s a council overseeing everything.  I didn’t mind it, though, and it was pretty interesting to see the mystery unravel.  People are definitely not who I thought they were, and it was hard to know who to trust.  I was a little bit surprised by the revelations and now I kind of want to go back and re-read the book to see if I can pick up on anything.

The story did feel pretty realistic, and the weird things that are happening could be done by anyone.  I was surprised by some of the things in the book, but I felt like things were revealed pretty naturally.

I liked Hannah, though I didn’t love her.  I felt for her, though, and she had a lot going on, from the beginning of the book to the very end.  Especially at the end of the book.  I wasn’t a fan of Veronica and her love interest Savannah, and it seemed like Savannah had a lot of issues she needed to work out.

I get where Savannah’s coming from, and that she’s not ready to come out, but I also thought she was pretty horrible to Hannah for a good chunk of the book.  Veronica was pretty careless at times as well, and she was pretty terrible to Hannah at times.

Hannah was sweet, though, and you can tell she’s really earnest.  She wants to help and do good, and it shows.  It makes her really endearing, and I’m curious to see how the events of this book will change her.  If it does, but I don’t see her staying the same person she was in this book.

4 stars.  I really liked These Witches Don’t Burn.  It was fun and intriguing, and I am looking forward to reading the next book.

ARC Book Review: Wild Savage Stars by Kristina Perez

Book: Wild Savage Stars by Kristina Perez

Expected Publication Is August 27 2019 by Imprint|Expected Number Of Pages: 384 pages

Where I Got It: I received an e-ARC from netgalley.com in exchange for a fair and honest review

Series: Sweet Black Waves #2

Genre: YA

Inspired by the legend of Tristan and Iseult, Wild Savage Stars is the spellbinding sequel to Sweet Black Waves.

Branwen has a secret powerful enough to destroy two kingdoms.

Her ancient magic led to a terrible betrayal by both her best friend, the princess Essy, and her first love, Tristan. Now this same magic is changing Branwen. Adrift in a rival court, Branwen must hide the truth from the enemy king by protecting the lovers who broke her heart―and finds herself considering a darker path.

Not everyone wants the alliance with Branwen’s kingdom to succeed―peace is balanced on a knife’s edge, and her only chance may be to embrace the darkness within…

I really liked Wild Savage Stars!  It’s a great follow-up to Sweet Black Waves, and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

This book picks up where the first book left off, and in this book, we see Essy and Branwen in Kernyv.  We spend quite a bit of time with Tristan’s family- especially Marc and Ruan.  Branwen’s relationship with Marc was particularly interesting, and I hope they’re able to move past everything.

I will say, though, that a lot of the characters have messy and complicated relationships with each other.  Branwen and Essy’s relationship has changed a lot as well, and there is one moment in particular that I’m really curious about.  I won’t give it away here, but it is a moment that really changes things between them.  There are a few things that change their relationship over the course of the book, and they all stand out, but this one really stands out, and I’m not sure why.

With those moments between Branwen and Essy, I did find myself wanting to see things from Essy’s point of view.  I would love to get inside her head, even for a chapter or two, just to see what’s going on in her head.

I really love the world, and I really felt immersed in it.  I don’t know what it is about this world but I really like it, and I can picture everything so clearly.  There’s just something about the world and the magic and the characters that keep me reading.  I would love to see this as a movie or tv show, especially if it focused on Branwen.

Something else I really like about this book is that it does focus on Branwen, and how she sees the story of Tristan and Isolde unfold.  It is great to see their story from someone else’s perspective, and I’m getting more interested to see how everything is going to end.  I’m assuming this series is going to be a trilogy, because the story is far from over, and I honestly can’t see how it’s going to be more than three books.

With the first book, I was a little concerned how the story would work over the course of a series, but I was worried about nothing.  Perez has broken up the story in books really, really well, and so far, the two books have ended in a pretty good place.  I want to keep reading, and even though they don’t end on cliffhangers, the endings are still really great endings that make me interested to see what will happen next.

4 stars.  I really liked Wild Savage Stars, and I can’t wait to see what happens next.