Book Review: Archangel’s Storm by Nalini Singh

Book: Archangel’s Storm by Nalini Singh

Published September 2012 by Penguin Group|315 pages

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

Series: Guild Hunters #5

Genre: Adult Paranormal Romance

Enter New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh’s darkly beautiful world of archangels and immortal power, as a pact is sealed between two souls bound by blood, stirred by desire, and driven by vengeance…

With wings of midnight and an affinity for shadows, Jason courts darkness. But now, with the Archangel Neha’s consort lying murdered in the jewel-studded palace that was his prison and her rage threatening cataclysmic devastation, Jason steps into the light, knowing he must unearth the murderer before it is too late.

Earning Neha’s trust comes at a price—Jason must tie himself to her bloodline through the Princess Mahiya, a woman with secrets so dangerous, she trusts no one. Least of all an enemy spymaster.

With only their relentless hunt for a violent, intelligent killer to unite them, Jason and Mahiya embark on a quest that leads to a centuries-old nightmare… and to the dark storm of an unexpected passion that threatens to drench them both in blood.

I liked Archangel’s Storm!  This one was interesting and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

It was nice getting a book focusing on Jason.  He’s a pretty mysterious guy, and it was great to learn more about him.  I did like Jason and Mahiya together, and I’m curious to see how that works out.  Considering everything Jason does, he’s probably going to be away quite a bit, but still, I can’t help but like them together.

I really, really liked Mahiya.  She’s had to deal with a lot, and I can’t imaging being in Neha’s court as her niece.  There’s a lot of family history we didn’t know until this book, but I’m glad we know it.  I feel like it explained a lot about Neha, and I feel like I understand her better.  It’s too bad we don’t get more about her consort, who’s only been mentioned, but I’m honestly glad we get the backstory.

We do get more of Dmitri and Honor in this book, and I was a little disappointed with that.  Mostly because I just read their book, and I didn’t need more of them in this one.  But I also wanted more of Jason and Mahiya and they took away from that.  Even though their chapters were pretty scattered throughout the book, I still wanted less of them and more of Jason and Mahiya.

I do want to know if everything we learn about Neha’s family will go somewhere in the books to come.  I hope so, because it did catch my interest.  I wasn’t expecting that to happen, but once I knew, I really wanted more.

3 stars.  I liked Archangel’s Storm but I wish we had more of Jason and Mahiya and less of Dmitri and Honor.

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Book Review: The Things She’s Seen by Ambelin Kwaymullina and Ezekiel Kwaymullina

Book: The Things She’s Seen by Ambelin Kwaymullina and Ezekiel Kwaymullina

Published May 2019 by Alfred A Knopf Books For Young Readers|224 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the hardcover from the library

Series: None

Genre: YA Mystery

Nothing’s been the same for Beth Teller since the day she died.

Her dad is drowning in grief. He’s also the only one who has been able to see and hear her since the accident. But now she’s got a mystery to solve, a mystery that will hopefully remind her detective father that he is still alive, that there is a life after Beth that is still worth living.

Who is Isobel Catching, and why is she able to see Beth, too? What is her connection to the crime Beth’s father has been sent to investigate–a gruesome fire at a home for troubled youth that left an unidentifiable body behind? What happened to the people who haven’t been seen since the fire?

As Beth and her father unravel the mystery, they find a shocking and heartbreaking story lurking beneath the surface of a small town, and a friendship that lasts beyond one life and into another…

I’m not sure how I feel about The Things She’s Seen.  It’s interesting but I was as interested in it as I thought I would be.

The Things She’s Seen are narrated by Catching and Beth, and their stories are pretty distinct.  Catching’s story is told through poetry, while Beth’s is not.  Catching’s story felt more like she was telling a story, and it felt very rooted in folklore or oral storytelling, while Beth’s story is more rooted in the present day solving a mystery.  It made the narrators very distinct, and it was easy to tell who was narrating.  They alternate sections, and even without looking at who was supposed to be narrating, I knew who had taken over the story.

I will say that Catching’s part of the story slowed things down for me.  I wanted to get back to the mystery Beth was trying to solve with her dad from beyond the grave, and Catching’s story felt like it veered away from that.  Even though we know what happens in the end, and that it’s clearly spelled out in Beth’s sections, I just wasn’t into this story.  It’s not for me, but I can see why so many people love it.  I really wish I was one of them.

This book is definitely for people who like very creepy mysteries, and I most certainly am not the type of reader that will love this book.  I like creepy stories, I like mysteries, but this one just didn’t work for me.  The setting is really creepy, but the characters and writing didn’t grab me the way I thought it would.

2 stars.  The Things She’s Seen just wasn’t for me.  I liked that the two narrators were very distinct and there is a creepy feel to the book but overall, it was just okay.

Book Review: Archangel’s Blade by Nalini Singh

Book: Archangel’s Blade by Nalini Singh

Published September 2011 by Berkley|336 pages

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

Series: Guild Hunter #4

Genre: Adult Paranormal Romance

New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh is back in the shadows of a deadly, beautiful world where angels rule, vampires serve, and one female hunter must crawl out of the darkness to survive…

The severed head marked by a distinctive tattoo on its cheek should have been a Guild case, but dark instincts honed over hundreds of years of life compel the vampire Dmitri to take control. There is something twisted about this death, something that whispers of centuries long past…but Dmitri’s need to discover the truth is nothing to the vicious strength of his response to the hunter assigned to decipher the tattoo.

Savaged in a brutal attack that almost killed her, Honor is nowhere near ready to come face to face with the seductive vampire who is an archangel’s right hand, and who wears his cruelty as boldly as his lethal sensuality…the same vampire who has been her secret obsession since the day she was old enough to understand the inexplicable, violent emotions he aroused in her.

As desire turns into a dangerous compulsion that might destroy them both, it becomes clear the past will not stay buried. Something is hunting…and it will not stop until it brings a blood-soaked nightmare to life once more… 

I liked Archangel’s Blade!  This one is definitely interesting, but I don’t know that I like it as much as the other books in the series.

This book focused on two different characters- Dmitri and Honor.  It’s interesting to follow two different characters, especially Dmitri.  I’m glad we got to know him more, because he’s definitely an interesting character.  I can’t remember how much we’ve seen of Honor, or even if she’s been mentioned.  If she has, it clearly hasn’t made an impression on me, though her story was sad but also interesting.  Still, I was more interested in Dmitri’s story.

I’m disappointed that we didn’t get more of Raphael and Elena, because I really like both of them.  They make appearances, of course, so we still know what’s going on, but I’m hoping we get back to their world.

I guess this is where I have mixed feelings.  On the one hand, we’ve had a few books focusing on Raphael and Elena, and we were suddenly pulled from their story to see the series focus on someone else.  But at the same time, there are a lot of characters, and with someone like Dmitri around, it’s also nice to see what’s going on with some of the other characters.  So hopefully, we’ll see a balance of Raphael and Elena and some of the other characters.

I don’t know how I feel about Dmitri and Honor.  Of all the vampires Honor could have chosen, she went with Dmitri?  It’s just so strange, given what he’s into, and what’s happened to her.  It seems like she’s a reincarnation of his mortal wife, but something about them just didn’t sit right with me.  Since they’ve had their book, hopefully future books will focus on some of the other characters, and we’ll just see them in passing.  I’m not sure if I’d be interested in another book about them.

3 stars.  While I don’t love Dmitri and Honor as a couple, I still liked Archangel’s Blade, and I’m hoping we get back to Raphael and Elena soon.

Book Review: This Time Will Be Different by Misa Sugiura

Book: This Time Will Be Different by Misa Sugiura

Published June 2019 by HarperTeen|400 pages

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

Series: None

Genre: YA Contemporary

Katsuyamas never quit—but seventeen-year-old CJ doesn’t even know where to start. She’s never lived up to her mom’s type A ambition, and she’s perfectly happy just helping her aunt, Hannah, at their family’s flower shop.

She doesn’t buy into Hannah’s romantic ideas about flowers and their hidden meanings, but when it comes to arranging the perfect bouquet, CJ discovers a knack she never knew she had. A skill she might even be proud of.

Then her mom decides to sell the shop—to the family who swindled CJ’s grandparents when thousands of Japanese Americans were sent to internment camps during WWII. Soon a rift threatens to splinter CJ’s family, friends, and their entire Northern California community; and for the first time, CJ has found something she wants to fight for.

I didn’t like This Time Is Different as much I thought I would, but I still liked it.

CJ was interesting, and I love that she’s into flower arranging.  I feel like that’s not something a lot of people are into, and that definitely stood out.  She really was happy helping out at the family flower shop, and it was really important to both CJ and Hannah.  I didn’t love her, but I can’t really figure out why.  She was really hard on people, and not willing to give them second chances.  Which is understandable but she let it get in the way of other things.

Fighting for the flower shop, and changing the name of the school was really important to her, and it was interesting to see her fight for that.  There are issues along the way, including working with someone she doesn’t like.  Which I completely understand, after hearing what had happened.  But it was middle school, and I want to give her the benefit of the doubt..maybe she has changed.

I felt like I learned a little bit more about Japanese internment and the effects it had.  It’s not something I really remember from history class in school, but it had this huge affect on CJ’s town, even decades later.  It very much affected her family, and it became really important to her to fight for her community.

The characters in This Time Will Be Different are very human and very flawed.  I liked that because they felt so very real.  They have a lot of really difficult conversations, and there aren’t easy answers but I think a lot of the characters learn a lot about themselves along the way.

I know for me, I really wanted the flower shop to be saved, and was disappointed it wasn’t, but things don’t always work out how we want them to.  Hopefully, CJ will find something she loves as much as she loved the flower shop and she’ll find something she’s really passionate.  Maybe she’ll stick with the flower arranging but maybe not.  She has a lot of options, I think.

3 stars.  I liked This Time Will Be Different but I didn’t love it.

Around The Internet #16

Hey there!  I hope this week has been treating you well.  I’ve found some pretty cool things for this edition of Around The Internet, and it’s pretty photo heavy this time.  Enjoy!

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

Book Review: Archangel’s Consort by Nalini Singh

Book: Archangel’s Consort by Nalini Singh

Published January 2011 by Berkley|352 pages

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

Series: Guild Hunters #3

Genre: Adult Paranormal Romance

Vampire hunter Elena Deveraux and her lover, the lethally beautiful archangel Raphael, have returned home to New York only to face an uncompromising new evil.

A vampire has attacked a girls’ school—the assault one of sheer, vicious madness—and it is only the first act. Rampant bloodlust takes vampire after vampire, threatening to make the streets run with blood. Then Raphael himself begins to show signs of an uncontrolled rage, as inexplicable storms darken the city skyline and the earth itself shudders. The omens are suddenly terrifyingly clear.

An ancient and malevolent immortal is rising. The violent winds whisper her name: Caliane. She has returned to reclaim her son, Raphael. Only one thing stands in her way: Elena, the consort who must be destroyed…

I really liked Archangel’s Consort.  There’s a lot going on in this book, and I think it’s a great addition to the series.

In this book, we see Raphael and Elena back in New York.  Caliane is waking, and things are changing in this world.  She’s supposed to be really powerful- more than Lijuan.  I’m having trouble picturing it, but I also want to see how that plays out.  I think I’m having trouble with it because we’re meeting her for the first time in this book, though she’s been mentioned before.  And I feel like we don’t know a lot about her.

The world is changing because of Caliane, but I’m hoping it goes back to normal.  As normal as a world like this can be.  We also see how Elena gets drawn into things because of an attack at a high school.  Her sister is involved, and I wasn’t expecting that to happen at all.  I thought Elena was the only one with Hunter abilities, but we learn she’s not, and that she seems to have a pretty interesting family history.

I wonder if all of the angels and archangels are affected by what’s going on with Caliane.  Raphael is, and I think a few others are as well, but I’m having a little trouble remembering.  For some reason, I feel pretty fuzzy on the details but either way, Raphael doesn’t have an easy road ahead of him, especially where his mother is concerned.  I want to know how it’s all connected.

4 stars.  I really liked Archangel’s Consort.  I wish I had more to say about it, and that I remembered more of it, but I still enjoyed reading it.

Book Review: The Beholder by Anna Bright

Book: The Beholder by Anna Bright

Published June 2019 by HarperTeen|435 pages

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

Series: The Beholder #1

Genre: YA Fantasy

Selah has waited her whole life for a happily ever after. As the only daughter of the leader of Potomac, she knows her duty is to find the perfect match, a partner who will help secure the future of her people. Now that day has finally come.

But after an excruciatingly public rejection from her closest childhood friend, Selah’s stepmother suggests an unthinkable solution: Selah must set sail across the Atlantic, where a series of potential suitors awaits—and if she doesn’t come home engaged, she shouldn’t come home at all.

From English castle gardens to the fjords of Norge, and under the eye of the dreaded Imperiya Yotne, Selah’s quest will be the journey of a lifetime. But her stepmother’s schemes aren’t the only secrets hiding belowdecks…and the stakes of her voyage may be higher than any happy ending.

I wasn’t sure about The Beholder at first, but I ended up really liking it!  It’s a pretty cool book, and I’m glad I read it.

Selah has an interesting journey, and the book in general reminded me of a fairy tale combined with an alternate history of the world.  I wish I could more specific but the book really felt like it was an alternate world and yet, it was a lot like ours.  There’s New York, the Potomac, Russia, England, King Arthur, Baba Yaga…I could go on and on about the myths and stories we see in the book.

Everything was done pretty well, and it was fun trying to figure everything out, and how everything was connected to stories I was familiar with.  It makes me wonder if there references to stories I’m not familiar with, and what we’ll see in the next book.  I wonder if we’ll meet the other suitors, or if Selah will try to not go meet them.  And with what was really going on with everyone on her ship, I’m curious to see what will happen.

I’m not sure about the time period the book is supposed to be set in, because there are some very familiar places, but also some pretty unfamiliar ones as well.  I’m having a hard time with that, because it feels so old, but it also feels modern in a way.  Either way, it’s a pretty interesting read.

I feel like it’s definitely set up that she’ll have to pick someone to marry, and I’m honestly not sure who I would choose.  She could go with anyone, and I’m glad that, for once, it’s not obvious who’s she going to go with.  After what happened in England, I’m not sure if she’ll go with him, but it really seems like she’s genuinely into both guys.  We’ll see what happens, of course, and I’m intrigued.  The next book feels so far away, but I’ll definitely wait and see, because I really want to know what happens.

4 stars.  I really liked The Beholder, and liked the combination of places and myths that come to life in this book.

Currently Obsessed With: July 2019

Hello!  I can’t believe it’s August already, and the year is really flying by!

July was a pretty fun month for me.  Not a lot happened, but it was still a great month.  I went to the San Diego Zoo a few times…I ended up getting a membership when I went on July 4th, and it’s really fun to just walk around.  I’m pretty sore for a couple of days afterwards, because there are a lot of hills, but it’s worth it.

How can you not love baby giraffes?  There are two right now!  I only got a picture of one, but they’re both really adorable.

I just love the giraffes.

I’m bummed I didn’t make it before the pandas left a while back but we have polar bears!

Gerenuks look really cool, and they remind of giraffes.  And it’s amazing how they can stand up to eat.

And I actually managed to see a koala awake, which feels like a small miracle!

Anyway, that’s enough zoo talk!  I mostly just wanted to share some of the pictures, and there may be more to come.

I also hung up some pictures last month, and I can’t believe it’s taken me over a year to start decorating my room.  I’m in love with this starfish photo, this sea urchin photo, this macaron print, a really cool pineapple print, a Dragonfly Inn poster, and a Stars Hollow poster.  It’s just nice to actually have stuff hanging on my walls.  I’m actually surprised that I don’t have anything Harry Potter related hanging up but maybe I will one of these days.

I also had book club, which was fun!  We read The Storm Crow by Kalyn Josephson, and I really liked it.  I really liked the magic, and how connected they were to crows.  I’m curious to see where things go, and I’m pretty excited about the next book.

Really, that’s all I have for today.  I wish I had more to talk about, but I’m pretty sure I’ll have more to talk for August!  I hope you have a great day!

ARC Book Review: Vow Of Thieves by Mary Pearson

Book: Vow Of Thieves by Mary E. Pearson

Expected Publication Is August 6, 2019 by Henry Holt & Co|Expected Number Of Pages: 480 pages

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

Series: Dances Of Thieves #2

Genre: YA Fantasy

Kazi and Jase have survived, stronger and more in love than ever. Their new life now lies before them―the Ballengers will be outlaws no longer, Tor’s Watch will be a kingdom, and the two of them will meet all challenges side by side, together at last.

But an ominous warning mars their journey back, and in their rush to return to Tor’s Watch, just outside the fortress walls, they are violently attacked and torn apart―and each is thrust into their own new hell.

Unsure whether the other is alive or dead, Kazi and Jase must keep their wits among their greatest enemies and unlikeliest allies. And all the while, Death watches and waits.

I really liked Vow Of Thieves!  I was really excited to get an ARC of it, and I liked it just as much as I thought I would.

I thought the story was great in this book.  I liked seeing what was going on with Kazi and Jase, and things were not easy for them in this book.  I wanted them to be okay, and there were times, especially at the beginning, where I thought things wouldn’t be okay.  Things turned out just fine, of course, and I’m glad it did.  They really deserve it after everything they’ve been through.

I really liked Kazi in this book and she’s such an amazing character.  She had some tough decisions to make, and I thought she handled things the best way she could.

As for Jase…I did like him a little bit more in this book than I did in the previous book.  He’s really trying to keep his family together and to protect his people.  I wanted him to be okay, but with everything that happens, it wasn’t easy for him.  Still, he was able to make his way back to his home and family, and with Kazi, they were able to do what they needed to do in order to get Tor’s Watch back to what it was before the attack.

I thought things were wrapped up really well.  I was wondering where the story was going to go, and we definitely found out in this book.  I’m sad it’s only a duology, because I really wanted more of this story and this world.  Even though things are wrapped up and this particular story is over, there’s room for a lot more story in this world.  With how the book ended, it makes me wonder what else is on the horizon.

Things may have been resolved in this book, but there’s a lot more that can happen.  I hope it doesn’t, but you never know.  I know I’ll be waiting to see if we’ll be getting more books in this world, and who it might focus on.  It is a great end to the series, and it was definitely a page-turner.

Like the previous book, it took a little bit to get into the book, but once I did, it was hard to stop reading.  This series, and the Remnant Chronicles, are worth reading.

4 stars.  I really liked Vow Of Thieves, and it’s a great end to a great series.

ARC Book Review: House Of Salt And Sorrows by Erin A Craig

Book: House Of Salt And Sorrows by Erin A Craig

Expected Publication is August 6, 2019 by Delacorte|Expected Number Of Pages: 416

Where I Got It: I received an e-ARC from netgalley.com in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own

Series: None

Genre: YA Fantasy

In a manor by the sea, twelve sisters are cursed.

Annaleigh lives a sheltered life at Highmoor, a manor by the sea, with her sisters, their father, and stepmother. Once they were twelve, but loneliness fills the grand halls now that four of the girls’ lives have been cut short. Each death was more tragic than the last—the plague, a plummeting fall, a drowning, a slippery plunge—and there are whispers throughout the surrounding villages that the family is cursed by the gods.

Disturbed by a series of ghostly visions, Annaleigh becomes increasingly suspicious that the deaths were no accidents. Her sisters have been sneaking out every night to attend glittering balls, dancing until dawn in silk gowns and shimmering slippers, and Annaleigh isn’t sure whether to try to stop them or to join their forbidden trysts. Because who—or what—are they really dancing with?

When Annaleigh’s involvement with a mysterious stranger who has secrets of his own intensifies, it’s a race to unravel the darkness that has fallen over her family—before it claims her next. 

I liked House Of Salt And Sorrows!  Not as much as I thought I would but I still liked it.

It very much reminded me of the tale of the 12 Dancing Princesses.  I don’t know if it’s a re-telling of that story, because I couldn’t find actual confirmation that this is the case.  Either way, I liked that they were cursed, and the reason behind what was happening to Annaleigh’s sisters was interesting.

I don’t know how I feel about Annaleigh.  She seems to be the only one who knows what’s going on, which doesn’t surprise me.  Considering how things go, and what’s really going on, it’s not surprising.  I hope things work out for Annaleigh and her sisters, and it seems like things end in a pretty good place for them.  Hopefully, nothing horrible happens to them, and they can all live happily ever after.

I wish we got more with her sisters, but with so many of them, it’s not a surprise.  You get a pretty good sense of the world they’re living in, and how suffocating it is to be in mourning all the time.  You see what people think of them, and how hard it is for them to move past it and move on with their lives.

The setting is pretty haunting and very gothic.  I mentioned how suffocating it was for them.  You definitely feel all of that throughout the book, and how hard it was for Annaleigh when her father decided days after another funeral that they were no longer going to be in mourning.

I’m not sure what else to say about House Of Salt And Sorrows.  I liked the world and the setting but I wasn’t in love with the characters.

3 stars.  I liked House Of Salt And Sorrows but I didn’t love it.