Book Review: Five Dark Fates by Kendare Blake

Book: Five Dark Fates by Kendare Blake

Published September 2019 by HarperTeen|464 pages

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

Series: Three Dark Crowns #4

Genre: YA Fantasy

After the battle with Katharine, the rebellion lies in tatters. Jules’s legion curse has been unbound, leaving her out of her mind and unfit to rule. Arsinoe must find a cure, even as the responsibility of stopping the ravaging mist rests heavy on her shoulders, and her shoulders alone. Mirabella has disappeared.

Queen Katharine’s rule over Fennbirn remains intact—for now. But her attack on the rebellion exacted a high price: her beloved Pietyr. Without him, who can she rely upon when Mirabella arrives, seemingly under a banner of truce? As oldest and youngest circle each other, and Katharine begins to yearn for the closeness that Mirabella and Arsinoe share, the dead queens hiss caution—Mirabella is not to be trusted.

In this conclusion to the Three Dark Crowns series, three dark sisters will rise to fight as the secrets of Fennbirn’s history are laid bare. Allegiances will shift. Bonds will be tested, and some broken forever.

The fate of the island lies in the hands of its queens.

I liked Five Dark Fates.  Not as much as the other books but I did want to know what happened, and if all of the queens made it through alive.

This book was definitely full of twists and turned, and while I wasn’t surprised by some of the things that happened, I did enjoy the book a lot.

Well, what I remember.  It’s been a while since I’ve read it, so I’m having a hard time remembering it.  I did like the ending and I thought, overall, it was pretty fitting.  I was glad things worked out for the island, though there are a lot of changes in store for them.

Things are definitely going to be different for them, and part of me wishes we got to see what happened decades later.  But I’m also glad we didn’t, because it means I get to come up with my own version of how things changed.

I’m having a hard a time with this review.  That’s what I get for putting it off, and now I feel like I can’t remember anything about it.  Clearly, this book didn’t stick with me, and for a series finale, that’s not a good thing.  You’d think there would be some excitement or something that would really stand out but the book was pretty slow.  I wanted more action and excitement, especially because we had that in the other books.  I wanted a more exciting conclusion, and this was a lot less interesting than I thought it would be.

Katharine was interesting- the dead queens didn’t seem to have the same hold over her in this book, and it makes me wonder why we didn’t see it before.  I don’t know if it took some time for it to happen, and I’m not completely sure what to make of it.  It was different but I don’t know what to think of it.

Not everyone makes it out alive, which didn’t surprise me.  I think I would have been disappointed if they had.  I wasn’t necessarily surprised by some of the deaths, but with a series like this, I felt like it had to happen.  And I feel like, to a certain extent, it had to mirror what had happens hundreds of years earlier with the Blue Queen.

3 stars.  I liked Five Dark Fates, and I liked seeing what happened to all of the characters, but it wasn’t the exciting finale I thought it would be.

ARC Book Review: Find Me Their Bones by Sara Wolf

Book: Find Me Their Bones by Sara Wolf

Expected Publication Is November 5, 2019 by Entangled Teen|Expected Number Of Pages: 400 pages

Where I Got It: I received an advanced reader copy from in exchange for a fair and honest review

Series: Bring Me Their Hearts #2

Genre: YA Fantasy

No one can save her.

In order to protect Prince Lucien d’Malvane’s heart, Zera had to betray him. Now, he hates the sight of her. Trapped in Cavanos as a prisoner of the king, she awaits the inevitable moment her witch severs their magical connection and finally ends her life.

But fate isn’t ready to give her up just yet.

With freedom coming from the most unlikely of sources, Zera is given a second chance at life as a Heartless. But it comes with a terrible price. As the king mobilizes his army to march against the witches, Zera must tame an elusive and deadly valkerax trapped in the tunnels underneath the city if she wants to regain her humanity.

Winning over a bloodthirsty valkerax? Hard. Winning back her friends before war breaks out? A little harder.

But a Heartless winning back Prince Lucien’s heart?

The hardest thing she’s ever done.

I really liked Find Me Their Bones!  I’ve been looking forward to reading this book, especially with how the first book ended.  I really wanted to know what happened.

We learn a lot more about Veria, and I’m glad we did.  She had a really interesting story, and it was nice to learn so much more about this character we’ve only heard about.  Getting her backstory was a really good thing for this book, because I felt like things started to fall into place.

Find Me Their Bones picks up right where Bring Me Their Hearts left off.  There is no gap in time between the ending of the first book and the beginning of this one, and that made me happy because I was pretty desperate to know what happened.  Things definitely changed for Zera and Lucien but there’s a lot going on for all the characters.

Zera is still her snarky self, though I loved the moments with Yorl and with the valkerax.  I loved the concept of true names.  Granted, the idea of true names isn’t unique to this book, but I loved how it was used.  Names really do have power, and it makes me wonder if it was something specific to this book or if we’ll see it again in the next book.

The mythology gets an added dimension in this book, and I loved what it added to Zera’s world.  There is so much more to this world than I ever thought possible, and I’m glad we saw more of it in this book.  I hope the world gets a little bit bigger in the next book, but if the next one is the last one, then I don’t know how much more we’ll see since things need to get resolved.  Still, I feel like what we learn in this book moves the story forward, and I’m definitely interested to see how everything gets wrapped up.

There’s a lot of twists and turns and I’m having a hard time talking about this book without giving anything away.  I am glad I read it and it was interesting, from start to finish.

4 stars.  I really liked Find Me Their Bones, and I can’t wait to read the next book!

ARC Book Review: Winterwood by Shea Ernshaw

Book: Winterwood by Shea Ernshaw

Expected Publication is November 5, 2019 by Simon Pulse|Expected Number Of Pages: 320

Where I Got It: I received an advanced reader copy from in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Series: None

Genre: YA Fantasy

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Wicked Deep comes a haunting romance set deep in the magical snow-covered forest, where the appearance of a mysterious boy unearths secrets that awakens the enchanted, but angry, woods.

Be careful of the dark, dark wood . . .

Especially the woods surrounding the town of Fir Haven. Some say these woods are magical. Haunted, even.

Rumored to be a witch, only Nora Walker knows the truth. She and the Walker women before her have always shared a special connection with the woods. And it’s this special connection that leads Nora to Oliver Huntsman—the same boy who disappeared from the Camp for Wayward Boys weeks ago—and in the middle of the worst snowstorm in years. He should be dead, but here he is alive, and left in the woods with no memory of the time he’d been missing.

But Nora can feel an uneasy shift in the woods at Oliver’s presence. And it’s not too long after that Nora realizes she has no choice but to unearth the truth behind how the boy she has come to care so deeply about survived his time in the forest, and what led him there in the first place. What Nora doesn’t know, though, is that Oliver has secrets of his own—secrets he’ll do anything to keep buried, because as it turns out, he wasn’t the only one to have gone missing on that fateful night all those weeks ago.

I really enjoyed The Wicked Deep when I read it around a year ago, and I’ve been looking forward to read Winterwood for quite a while.  I liked it but not as much as I thought I would.

I really liked the atmosphere.  There’s something quiet, creepy and isolating about the woods and the houses that are nearby.  With the snowstorm, and not being able to leave, it felt suffocating.  Gothic comes to mind, and there were times when I forgot that this book wasn’t set decades ago, but was set in our present.  Something about the woods and lake felt so old.

The setting is as much as a character as the actual people we see.  I’m amazed Ernshaw was able to do it, and do it well but this book was the perfect book to read this time of year.

I knew something was going on with Oliver but I wasn’t sure what it was.  You think you know what happened, but you really don’t.  Unless you’re better at guessing and figuring things out than I am, which is possible.  In all honesty, I’m not sure how I feel about him.

I don’t have strong feelings either way, and I honestly couldn’t tell you much about him.  Even though he does narrate part of the book, not a lot stands out.  You do see him struggle with telling Nora about what happened the night that led him to being in the woods, and seeing the mystery unravel was interesting but I wasn’t super-interested in that part of the book.

Don’t get me wrong, I was interested in unraveling the mystery of Oliver but it wasn’t what kept me reading.

What kept me reading was the magic and the forest.  Nora’s family had quite the history, and I loved seeing the sections of the book that described someone in her family.  I was wondering if Nora had anything magical, and it turned out she did, but it’s not something we see until the end of the book.  I was surprised by her abilities, and it makes me wonder why we didn’t see it before.  But maybe there wasn’t a need for her ability to make an appearance until the events of this book.

Some things were repetitive- like how weird people thought her family was, and how her mom didn’t acknowledge they were witches.  It didn’t detract from the book, but it did get tiring to hear it throughout the book.

3 stars.  Winterwood is definitely slow-paced, and not a lot happens in terms of plot, but the atmosphere and the setting were amazing.

Book Review: Sorcery Of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

Book: Sorcery Of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

Published June 2019 by Margaret K Elderberry Books|456 pages

Where I Got It: I own the hardcover

Series: None

Genre: YA Fantasy

All sorcerers are evil. Elisabeth has known that as long as she has known anything. Raised as a foundling in one of Austermeer’s Great Libraries, Elisabeth has grown up among the tools of sorcery—magical grimoires that whisper on shelves and rattle beneath iron chains. If provoked, they transform into grotesque monsters of ink and leather. She hopes to become a warden, charged with protecting the kingdom from their power.

Then an act of sabotage releases the library’s most dangerous grimoire. Elisabeth’s desperate intervention implicates her in the crime, and she is torn from her home to face justice in the capital. With no one to turn to but her sworn enemy, the sorcerer Nathaniel Thorn, and his mysterious demonic servant, she finds herself entangled in a centuries-old conspiracy. Not only could the Great Libraries go up in flames, but the world along with them.

As her alliance with Nathaniel grows stronger, Elisabeth starts to question everything she’s been taught—about sorcerers, about the libraries she loves, even about herself. For Elisabeth has a power she has never guessed, and a future she could never have imagined.

I liked Sorcery Of Thorns.  This was one I wanted to like more than I did, because the plot is pretty cool.  And it really seemed liked it would be a series, but I was so wrong on that one.

I liked the plot- books that can become grimoires if provoked.  That’s something you don’t see very often.  At least, I haven’t, and the idea is pretty cool.  There are different classes of these books, and the more dangerous they are, the more restricted they are.  It seemed like a pretty interesting system, and I wish we got more about how they came up with it.  Did it take some time, as they learned more about these books, or was it always the same from the beginning?

Since it’s a stand-alone, we got just enough about the world to know what’s going on, and how it’s set up.  We actually got a pretty good amount of information, considering it’s just one book.  It’s a book I could easily see as a series, and even though I liked this one, I don’t know if I’d want to read a sequel.  Mostly because I liked it but not enough to read a sequel, if there were one.  There’s a lot to explore in this world, and with the plot, it could easily have been a duology or trilogy.  I really liked what we learned about the world, and it definitely caught my interest.

I don’t know how I feel about Elizabeth.  I mean, the library is the only thing she knows, and everything that happens in the book definitely changes her future there.  It was interesting that at the end of the book, she wasn’t sure if it was what she wanted.  She did see that there’s a lot in the world outside the library, and I can see her wanting to explore that a little bit more.

I’m glad the library took in kids who had no home, and that it was a safe space.  It reminded me of how people can leave kids at firehouses and hospitals if they don’t want to keep them.  I’m wondering if that’s where Rogerson got that from.

I actually really liked Silas, and for a while, I was honestly convinced that Silas and Elizabeth were going to end up together.  There really wasn’t any romance, but it easily could have been Silas or Thorne.  Considering what happened to Silas, that’s not going to happen.  Unless Elizabeth ends up with someone we haven’t met.  But I feel like it was set up for her to end up with Thorne, considering how much they work together in this book.

3 stars.  Overall, I liked this book but I didn’t love it.  The characters were okay but I really liked the setting and the overall story.

Book Review: The Candle And The Flame by Mafiza Azad

Book: The Candle And The Flame by Mafiza Azad

Published May 2019 by Scholastic Press|391 pages

Where I Got It: I own the hardcover

Series: None

Genre: YA Fantasy

Azad’s debut YA fantasy is set in a city along the Silk Road that is a refuge for those of all faiths, where a young woman is threatened by the war between two clans of powerful djinn.

Fatima lives in the city of Noor, a thriving stop along the Silk Road. There the music of myriad languages fills the air, and people of all faiths weave their lives together. However, the city bears scars of its recent past, when the chaotic tribe of Shayateen djinn slaughtered its entire population — except for Fatima and two other humans. Now ruled by a new maharajah, Noor is protected from the Shayateen by the Ifrit, djinn of order and reason, and by their commander, Zulfikar.

But when one of the most potent of the Ifrit dies, Fatima is changed in ways she cannot fathom, ways that scare even those who love her. Oud in hand, Fatima is drawn into the intrigues of the maharajah and his sister, the affairs of Zulfikar and the djinn, and the dangers of a magical battlefield.

Nafiza Azad weaves an immersive tale of magic and the importance of names; fiercely independent women; and, perhaps most importantly, the work for harmony within a city of a thousand cultures and cadences.

I liked The Candle And The Flame!  I definitely wanted more from it but I did enjoy it.

I really liked the world and the magic.  I liked learning about all of the djinn clans, and I actually really wanted to know more about them.  We get a lot about the Ifrit and the Shayateen, but other groups are mentioned, and I found I wanted to know more about them.  It’s too bad this book is a stand-alone, because I think there’s a lot in this world that can be explored.

Another thing I really liked about the world was naming, and how it gave the Ifrit a human form.  That was really interesting to see and it really made wish that we got more about the djinn clans and their world.

The characters are also great, and the characters felt fully formed- like living, breathing people.  I really liked Fatima, and it was great to follow her story and see how much she changed over the course of the book.  She had a lot to deal with, and surviving what she did really changed her.  Some of them, she had no idea about, and she was definitely pulled into a world she was not expecting.  She really stands out, more than any of the other characters.

She’s my favorite character, though I did like Zulkifar too.  He was intriguing, and it seemed like he wanted to keep his distance, yet he still seemed to care for her and wanted to help her.  I wasn’t sure of his intentions, especially at the beginning.  It never went away, but it did lessen over the course of the book.

The book moved pretty slow, and if you’re expecting action, just know this book doesn’t have it.  I was expecting more action, but if you like books that are more focused on characters, this is the book for you.  I did struggle with it, especially later on, because I just kept expecting action.

One thing I thought was strange was how narrators seemed to change.  It seemed like it randomly switched from Fatima to Zulkifar to the prince and it seemed really sudden and out of place.  I wish it had been a little more obvious, because it made it hard to follow what was going on.  I did have some trouble keeping track of who was who, and I did have to refer to the list of characters included at the beginning of the book.  It made me glad it was there, especially when I couldn’t remember who was who…even at the end of the book.

Going back to something I really liked…I really liked the descriptions.  I could picture everything really well, and Azad did a great job at describing the setting.  The prologue was especially great, and it made me so interested in what was going to happen.  It did a great job at drawing you in, and it made me wish I liked the book more than I did.

3 stars.  I liked The Candle And The Flame but I wish I liked it more.  I can see why so many people love it, and I wish I were one of them.

Book Review: The Surface Breaks by Louise O’Neill

Book: The Surface Breaks by Louise O’Neill

Published July 2019 by Scholastic Press|336 pages

Where I Got It: I own the hardcover

Series: None

Genre: YA Fantasy

A dark and beautiful reimagining of The Little Mermaid.

Deep beneath the sea, off the cold Irish coast, Gaia is a young mermaid who dreams of freedom from her controlling father. On her first swim to the surface, she is drawn towards a human boy. She longs to join his carefree world, but how much will she have to sacrifice? What will it take for the little mermaid to find her voice? Hans Christian Andersen’s original fairy tale is reimagined through a searing feminist lens, with the stunning, scalpel-sharp writing and world building that has won Louise her legions of devoted fans in the UK. A book with the darkest of undercurrents, full of rage and rallying cries: storytelling at its most spellbinding.

I really liked The Surface Breaks!  I wasn’t sure what to expect but it’s definitely darker than I thought it would be.

I’m not too familiar with the original fairy tale but this re-telling feels a lot closer to that than the Disney movie we all know and love.  There is no happily ever after for Gaia- there’s a lot of heartbreak and vengeance and learning to find your voice, even when you’re no longer able to speak.

Gaia sacrificed a lot to give up her tail and voice, and she definitely didn’t have a great father.  Throughout the whole book, we see what’s expected of Gaia and her sisters.  They have really high standards they need to live up to, and they are expected to be obedient and quiet and to not stray from that.  Eventually, they do seem to break free- Gaia especially but it took a lot for that to happen.

The society Gaia lives in is very patriarchal- women are expected to look and act a certain way, they only exist for men’s pleasure…we see Gaia and her sisters suffer in this society and though Gaia doesn’t fight it until the very end of the book, we also see her journey to get to that point.  I really liked seeing her journey and decide to forge her own path instead of the one that her father set for her.

The ending was pretty rushed in my opinion, and I thought there were a lot of possibilities for change.  There is part of me that really wants a sequel to see how much things change.  At the same time, though, it is a little bit fun to picture the changes myself.  Still, there’s a lot going on at the end, and it felt like things had to come together really fast.

I liked Gaia and she definitely was not interchangeable with her sisters.  That actually really stood out to me, and it seemed like all of her sisters were meant to show that they all had the same train of thought.  They all seemed the same but this is a book where they were supposed to be like that.

All of the men- both human and not- were all terrible.  It would have been to nice to see one guy who wasn’t horrible but that was not in the cards for this book.  I know O’Neill is trying to make a point, and we definitely got it but…I still wanted one good guy.

The sea witch, Ceto, was pretty awesome.  If I had to pick a favorite character, she is definitely it.  She is not the villain I thought she would be, and I’m glad we had such a great character in her.

4 stars.  I really liked The Surface Breaks, though there were some things I didn’t like.

Book Review: Onyx And Ivory by Mindee Arnett

Book: Onyx & Ivory by Mindee Arnett

Published May 2019 by Balzer + Bray|497 pages

Where I Got It: I own the paperback

Series: The Rime Chronicles #1

Genre: YA Fantasy

Acclaimed author Mindee Arnett thrusts readers into a beautiful, dangerous, and magical world in this stunningly epic and romantic fantasy for fans of Leigh Bardugo and Sarah Raasch.

They call her Traitor Kate. It’s a title Kate Brighton inherited from her father after he tried to assassinate the high king of Rime.

Cast out of the nobility, Kate now works for the royal courier service. Only the most skilled ride for the Relay and only the fastest survive, for when night falls, the drakes—deadly flightless dragons—come out to hunt. Fortunately, Kate has a secret edge: She is a wilder, born with forbidden magic that allows her to influence the minds of animals.

And it’s this magic that leads her to a caravan massacred by drakes in broad daylight—the only survivor Corwin Tormaine, the son of the king. Her first love, the boy she swore to forget after he condemned her father to death.

With their paths once more entangled, Kate and Corwin must put the past behind them to face this new threat and an even darker menace stirring in the kingdom. 

I was really intrigued by Onyx & Ivory- partly because of that cover and partly because it sounded really interesting.  While I liked it, I didn’t like it as much as I thought I would.

I did like the story behind why she was seen as a traitor.  It’s sad that she doesn’t have a lot of options because of what her dad did.  Something about this book made me think of Everless by Sara Holland.  There are some similar elements- living at the palace and then being exiled, being able to do something that no one else can…they would make good read-alikes, I think.

Back to Kate, though.  People were absolutely horrible to her, and she didn’t deserve it.  She’s definitely guilty by association.  To me, though, it was clear she had no part in what happened.  I get why her dad did what he did but it definitely had a really big impact on Kate’s life.

It did take quite a while for me to get into the book.  It started off pretty slow, and it felt really long.  I’d say it was painfully slow at the beginning, but once things got going, it was interesting.  There’s an interesting blend of monsters, magic and romance.  I liked the magic and dragons but I didn’t particularly care for the romance.  There’s a lot of history between Kate and Corwin, and while Kate seems to be willing to move on and make things work, I had a hard time really getting behind Kate and Corwin as a couple.  Maybe it’s because it’s the first book in a series and most of the book is building up the romance.

I don’t have strong thoughts about Corwin either way.  Even though we spend a good chunk of the book with Corwin, his story doesn’t stand out a lot.  Still, there was one plot point with Corwin that wasn’t surprising at all.  I won’t give it away, but the whole thing with one of the officials?  I knew something was up with him.

I don’t know if I’ll be reading the next book.  There’s a lot of really interesting things in the book but I just don’t know that I like it enough to keep reading.  Maybe one day, I’ll pick it up but it won’t be anytime soon, that’s for sure.

3 stars.  I’m honestly wavering between two and three stars for this one, but I really liked and felt for Kate.  Plus, everything with the magic and dragons was pretty cool so I decided to round up for this one.

Book Review: There Will Come A Darkness by Katy Rose Pool

Book: There Will Come A Darkness by Katy Rose Pool

Published September 2019 by Henry Holt & Co|496 pages

Where I Got It: I own the hardcover

Series: The Age Of Darkness #1

Genre: YA Fantasy

The Age of Darkness approaches.
Five lives stand in its way.
Who will stop it… or unleash it?

For generations, the Seven Prophets guided humanity. Using their visions of the future, they ended wars and united nations―until the day, one hundred years ago, when the Prophets disappeared.

All they left behind was one final, secret prophecy, foretelling an Age of Darkness and the birth of a new Prophet who could be the world’s salvation . . . or the cause of its destruction. As chaos takes hold, five souls are set on a collision course:

A prince exiled from his kingdom.
A ruthless killer known as the Pale Hand.
A once-faithful leader torn between his duty and his heart.
A reckless gambler with the power to find anything or anyone.
And a dying girl on the verge of giving up.

One of them―or all of them―could break the world. Will they be savior or destroyer?

There Will Come A Darkness is a great book, and I’m glad I read it.  I ended up really liking it!

I was hesitant because there are 5 different narrators.  I’m not the biggest fan of multiple narrators, especially when there’s more than two or three.  I thought I would have trouble keeping track but I didn’t have that problem at all!  Everyone really stood out, and they all had their own stories and voices.  It was interesting to see all of them cross paths, and there is a part of me that’s hoping all 5 of them will end up meeting each other at the same time.  It would be interesting to see all of them come together.

I don’t know that I have a favorite character, but I really liked Beru.  I really felt for her, and I can’t imagine going through everything she went through.  I don’t blame her for wanting to be free from what happened.  We didn’t see a lot of her but I was always interested to see what was going on when she was narrating.  Of the five narrators we have in the book, hers is one I’m looking forward to seeing more of in the next book.

I really liked the setting.  It had a Mediterranean feel to it, and I really thought of ancient Greece the whole time I was reading it.  I really wanted to spend more time in this world because I really think there’s so much more to explore.  I’m really hoping we’ll get to see more of this world as the series goes on, but I’m also fine staying in the same place too.

The world is really interesting.  I really liked the history we get to see, and I’m curious to see how this prophecy unfolds and what it will bring about.  All of the characters are connected to the prophecy and I’m actually excited to see what part they play in things.  It seems like this prophecy will change things for both the characters and the world they live in.

I’m definitely excited about the next book, and I really want to know how this prophecy turns out.

4 stars.  I really liked There Will Come A Darkness, especially the setting and world.

Book Review: Queen Of Ruin by Tracy Banghart

Book: Queen Of Ruin by Tracy Banghart

Published Little, Brown Books For Young Readers|336 pages

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

Series: Grace And Fury #2

Genre: YA Fantasy

A fierce sequel full of sisterhood, heart pounding action, betrayal, and intrigue in the royal court in a series that “breathes new life into the feminist story of oppression and resistance” (Publisher’s Weekly).

Banished by Asa at the end of Grace and Fury, Nomi and Malachi find themselves powerless and headed towards their all-but-certain deaths. Now that Asa sits on the throne, he will stop at nothing to make sure Malachi never sets foot in the palace again. Their only hope is to find Nomi’s sister, Serina, on the prison island of Mount Ruin. But when Nomi and Malachi arrive, it is not the island of conquered, broken women that they expected. It is an island in the grip of revolution, and Serina–polite, submissive Serina–is its leader.
Betrayal, grief, and violence have changed both sisters, and the women of Mount Ruin have their sights set on revenge beyond the confines of their island prison. They plan to sweep across the entire kingdom, issuing in a new age of freedom for all. But first they’ll have to get rid of Asa, and only Nomi knows how.

Separated once again, this time by choice, Nomi and Serina must forge their own paths as they aim to tear down the world they know, and build something better in its place.

The stakes are higher and the battles bolder in Tracy Banghart’s unputdownable sequel to Grace and Fury.

I liked Queen Of Ruin!  I just haven’t been in a mood to write lately, so I’ve already forgotten a lot of the book and what happened, but I did like it.

It was interesting to see Nomi and Serina try to change things.  Though they come together, they also end up separating and going their own way as they try to make their world a better place.  I really liked Serina and how much she changed throughout the series.  She really came into her own and organized a rebellion.  Nomi took charge of her own path but I felt like it was a lot more subtle than what we saw with her sister.

I did like their relationship, though.  They both fought for a better world, and they both strong in their own way.  And I liked that they were strong in different ways.  They, and all of the other women we see in the series, show that strength can come in many different packages, and that there is more than one way to be strong.  It’s nice to see, because I feel like we don’t get a lot of that in YA.  At least in the books I’ve read.

I was disappointed with the ending.  I really wanted to know what happened after the end of the book.  I don’t wish for epilogues often but I really would have liked an epilogue to at least get an idea of how things turned out.  I don’t need every last detail but I would have liked something telling us how things turned out.

3 stars.  I liked Queen Of Ruin but didn’t love it.

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 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.