Three books. Two books.

Apologies

First thing I need to do is apologise. This post is late due to another power cut to hit my area. That would make two in roughly a month. Everything from our kitchen utilities to the living room entertainment equipment. Off. Gone. Which interrupted my time scale and meant that I had no lights to continue finishing the book I was reading. But I have officially finished it today, and have already started a new one.

Book one.

Lore Olympus Volume One by Rachel Smythe.
Image taken from Amazon.

This was a surprise for me. I didn’t know anything about it. It was given to me by a really good friend. She gave me two other books as well which I will eventually get to. However, for now this… This gorgeous book, comic, whatever you want to call it, was a magnificent read. I didn’t actually intend on reading it when I did. I had just picked it up from my friends home. I stepped into the house and I opened it. It was not a mistake. Actually, I loved it. It was brilliant. It was beautiful. And when it got its claws into me that was it. It sunk deeper and deeper into me that after I had promised myself to stop reading it after the first chapter, after the second, and third. I ignored myself until I finished this beautiful first volume and screamed for more.

I do have a warning for anyone that might be interested in reading this. It does have sensitive topics and themes in it. If you are someone that might be triggered, or particularly vulnerable to this kind of topic then just be careful or aware when you read it. I don’t think you shouldn’t read it. I think it would be a tragic shame. It is an exquisite piece of art. I won’t divulge the nature of the sensitive topics I am warning you all about because it would spoil the book. But please try and read passed it as it is a beautiful book the characters are all amazing. Except for one which you will all discover who I mean if you read this. Which you most definitely should because it is amazing. I am not even going to go into the blurb because it is just amazing. Go read it! I finished it in an hour. Go! Go now! Put the blog down and go buy it off amazon, read it!

Book two.

Once upon a Broken Heart by Stephanie Garber.
Image taken from Amazon.

This led me down a wonderful rabbit hole of self doubt and many cases of speculation. Stephanie Garber is the author of the well established series Caravel. I have read the first book but I haven’t finished the whole series yet. But like all authors Stephanie Garber has a pattern. A writing pattern. Her last series was designed to redirect you. To make you believe the same illusion as the main character. It is a technique she is very successful at.

For as long as she can remember, Evangeline Fox has believed in happily ever after. Until she learns that the love of her life is about to marry another, and her dreams are shattered.

Desperate to stop the wedding, and heal her wounded heart, Evangeline strikes a deal with the charismatic, but wicked, Prince of Hearts. In exchange for his help, he asks for three kisses, to be given at the time and place of his choosing.

But after Evangeline’s first promised kiss, she learns that bargaining with an immortal is a dangerous game – and that the Prince of Hearts wants far more from her than she pledged. He has plans for Evangeline, plans that will either end in the greatest happily ever after, or the most exquisite tragedy . . .

My main aim is to keep this post as spoiler free as possible. So, I will be careful with what I say. This literally made me think a little bit like Alice in Wonderland. There were moments I felt as naïve as the main character. I was also craving a romance which I still think is there but I will have to wait until second book for that I think… I hope! There was a moment of sexiness which gives me the impression that there is still a chance. But as Stephanie Garber is so skilled at doing and proving… I could be wrong. The sneaking suspicion is still there though and I hope I’m right. I’m waiting with a bated breath for the second book.

Book three.

Midnight in Everwood by M. A. Kuzniar.
Image from Amazon.

This is a beautiful book. I believe it is based on the Nutcracker story. A good story to have read for Christmas time and also to be the first finished book of the year. I didn’t know anything about this book when I came to it. I had heard that it was a nice book to read for Christmas so I got it from my partner as a Christmas present.

Marietta Stelle longs to be a ballerina but, as Christmas draws nearer, her dancing days are numbered – she must marry and take up her place in society in the New Year. But, when a mysterious toymaker, Dr Drosselmeier, purchases a neighbouring townhouse, it heralds the arrival of magic and wonder in Marietta’s life.

After Drosselmeier constructs an elaborate theatrical set for her final ballet performance on Christmas Eve, Marietta discovers it carries a magic all of its own – a magic darker than anyone could imagine. As the clock chimes midnight, Marietta finds herself transported from her family’s ballroom to a frozen sugar palace, silent with secrets, in a forest of snow-topped fir trees. She must find a way to return home before she’s trapped in Everwood’s enchanting grip forever.

It took me a little while to get to grips with this book. If I’m honest as well I am not overly sure about the ending either. It felt a little… empty for me. But I have an odd suspicion as to why. I won’t go into in depth detail because once again I am trying to not spill any spoilers. There were a lot of words in this book that threw me off because I had never seen them before and had no idea how to pronounce them or what they even meant so my brain spent an awful lot of time stopping and starting. Stalling at another word I was trying to work my brain around. Deeper into the story my brain got into the flow of just jumping an attempt at understanding what the fuck had just been said and moved on hoping the rest of the story would just help it roughly make sense. Otherwise, I enjoyed the story, there was romance with a character I fell in love with. (He was cute). I would have preferred a different ending to the story but that is just my opinion. The story was very good. Very enjoyable. A little difficult. But get passed that and it was a very good story.

What’s next…?

After finishing these books I have been feeling really good about myself. I have been enjoying my books more. And my to be read list is growing shorter. Thank goodness for that. Now, I have selected a book that is sort of making me quake in my boots at how huge it is. It is the Bargainer series in one. Four books in one. By Laura Thalassa. I worked it out as over a hundred chapters. If I have even the smallest hope in finishing this, I would need to get in as many chapters tonight as I possibly can.

Affiliate.

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If you could check the links under the images that would help me out a lot. Thank you so much for reading. Write again soon. Bye!

Illusionary

Zoraida Cordova

Image found on Bing Images.

If by any chance you have clicked onto this post and haven’t read the first book but you are going to read them then please follow this link to my previous post so as not to spoil anything for yourself.

http://aerialwriter.com/2021/12/15/incendiary/

As this book is a second in a duology it may be difficult for me to avoid spoilers. So this is your opportunity to avoid that and return to the other post.

Spoiler Warning.

This is the second in a duology and it is a beautiful ending to Renata’s story. Betrayal, heartbreak, friendship, love, steamy scenes, and a voyage. Renata and Castian have teamed up. This book starts off right at the end of the first book. The war between Moria and the Puerto Leonese is still in full swing except this time the King is now personally enforcing the issue. While the pair go on a perilous adventure to find a divine weapon to help win the war.

Reeling from betrayal at the hands of the Whispers, Renata Convida is a girl on the run. With few options and fewer allies, she’s reluctantly joined forces with none other than Prince Castian, her most infuriating and intriguing enemy. They’re united by lofty goals: find the fabled Knife of Memory, kill the ruthless King Fernando, and bring peace to the nation. Together, Ren and Castian have a chance to save everything, if only they can set aside their complex and intense feelings for each other.

With the king’s forces on their heels at every turn, their quest across Puerto Leones and beyond leaves little room for mistakes. But the greatest danger is within Ren. The Gray, her fortress of stolen memories, has begun to crumble, threatening her grip on reality. She’ll have to control her magics–and her mind–to unlock her power and protect the Moria people once and for all.

For years, she was wielded as weapon. Now it’s her time to fight back.

My thoughts.

If I’m honest I was definitely looking forward to this one after the first book. I enjoyed the first book, I did the story was good. I was emotionally invested even though there were times when I really wanted to know why on earth would the main character help any of these people. However, the first book didn’t really have the build up of juicy romance, no steamy scenes… not really. The love was already there when the story began and then it was quite abruptly lost. Well you find out later that it wasn’t lost in the way that main character had believed which is how Renata and Castian end up thrust together. In the second book there is the build up of romance! Enemies to lovers! Yes that sweet character change. There were in steamy scenes which were beautiful to read. They weren’t cringy or grim to read. They were classy and intimately romantic.

It was a lovely end to the story and I was well invested. There was a risk of losing everything although… let’s be honest typically young adult novels have nice endings. I wouldn’t have it any other way! But that is the predictable part of the story. The question was how they were going to get there. I was also thankfully so relieved and thankful to Renata for having some self-respect and sense. She was confronted by her ex and chose not to fall pathetically conflicted into his arms. She saw that he had betrayed her and realised the clear answer. Hallelujah! The amount of books with female characters that go through that stupid crisis of – Oh but I love him – boohoo! The guy is awful, betrayed you, and possibly is going to betray you again. Oh wait, look! they betrayed you again! and you’re surprised! I hate that, but Renata didn’t do that. Thank whatever writing deity is out there.

Next…

I managed to complete this book in a week. I was so impressed with myself. That is a whole book in a week. That isn’t a record for me, but it is pretty good. This week however I think I have shot myself in the foot a little bit. The next book I have chosen for this beautiful Christmas week is ‘Once upon a broken heart’ by Stephanie Garber. It is a gorgeous book given to me by a beautiful friend. A hardback, signed by the author edition. And it is gorgeous to look at. I don’t know much about this book and what is about to happen. What I do know is this one is bigger, and there are more chapters. Oh crap. This is going to be harder to nail in a week. Especially given that this is the Christmas week. Lots of running around going to see family. Well, not for me really one parent is going away on holiday and the other tested positive for covid… So… I’ll be seeing them after Christmas.

Affiliate.

We are getting closer to Christmas. Need any desperate Christmas presents? If you fancy browsing for a book check out the link below. It would help me out a lot.

http://www.awin1.com/cread.php?awinmid=3787&awinaffid=839047

Thank you so much for reading. Write again soon. Bye!

Incendiary

Zoraida Cordova

Image taken from Microsoft Bing Images.

The first book in a duology. And it is a spectacular start to a series. Love, grief, revenge, rebellion, and betrayal. Two kingdoms at war; Puerto Leones, and Memoria. Puerto Leones under the rule of a vicious King and Prince son. Memoria a scattered Kingdom in hiding with a small band of rebels called Whispers. The people of Memoria have gifts that concentrate on different aspects of mind manipulation. Persuari, as you can all probably guess, is a potent power of suggestion. Ventari, mind readers. Illusionari, creators of illusion. Robari, an ability to take memory for their own.

Renata was only a child when she was kidnapped by the crown. As a memory thief, the rarest and most feared of the magical Moria, she was used to carry out the King’s Wrath, a siege that resulted in the death of thousands of her own people. 

Now Renata is one of the Whispers, a rebel spy working against the crown. When Dez, her commander – and the boy she’s grown to love – is taken prisoner by the notorious Prince Dorado, Renata must return to the palace and complete his top-secret mission herself. Can she keep her cover, even as she burns for vengeance against the brutal, enigmatic prince? Her life and the fate of the Moria depend on it.

But returning to the palace stirs memories long locked away. As Renata grows more deeply embedded in the royal court, she uncovers a secret that could change to fate of the entire kingdom – and end the war that has cost her everything

Spoiler Free Review

Well, I am going to try and keep this as spoiler free as I can. But there were parts of it I enjoyed and some of it I was sat screaming profanities at the pages. I enjoyed this book. Honestly, I did. I don’t think it filled the hole that was left in my reading heart by Crescent City by Sarah J. Maas. But let’s be reasonable. Not every book is going to and that book was beyond words amazing to me. But this book was very enjoyable, I liked the main character even though sometimes I wanted to grab hold of her and shake her shouting ‘Open your fucking eyes!’ or ‘Put two and two together! Please!’.

This book is a young adult fiction, but it could fit into the adult fantasy section of any library or shop as well. I say this given that there are elements of torture, starvation, and practically world war two human cruelty style themes. A set type of people are hated and punished for existing. And the punishments are not limited. Heads left on display on spikes around the main city walls as a reminder to the ‘enemy’. Cages in which people are quite literally forgotten about and are left to starve or kill themselves or whatever other dark things happen in the dungeons. There are also cases of child abuse in this book. So, if you are someone that may find these sort of themes too much for you maybe don’t read this story.

It starts you, the reader, right in the thick of the action. Actually, you could almost think that it is nearing a tragic end given that there are implications that the rebels are losing. Losing badly. There are mentions of a home that they had already lost before we enter the book so naturally I think it would safe to assume that the rebels have either nearly all died or fled the country. But you don’t start with the main character, you start from the point of view of an older character who is a rebel. She is confronted by the Prince. Now the first chapter is usually the setting stone for how the rest of the book is going to play out or it provides you with information you need to move forward. It should also leave you with a question. What happens next? This definitely does. It paints a cruel image of a prince. But the author also leaves a tiny bit of doubt to this cruelness because the character we follow makes mention that he had been a sweet boy when he was tiny. In just the first chapter there is so much foreshadowing and suspicious implications for how the rest of the book will turn out and what these little implications mean that you want to find out.

Personally because I adore romance, and especially if it is an enemy to lover sort of story this book didn’t quite hit my favourites. It had action, intrigue and mystery, grief, and magic. Like any book with a royal family there are inner court gossips and betrayals. Underhanded strategic plays for the handsome prince’s attention. Even maids fancying him. However, because of the structure of the story and for aspects of it that I am not going to specifically mention because as I said trying to be spoiler free. There is no build up of lover relations, not really any romance, so it didn’t quite give me the curling my toes and kicking my feet squealing with delight. But it is still a worthwhile read. Well written, and I was absorbed into it that sometimes my partner would speak to me, and I would only register that he had spoken five minutes later and I would need to apologise that I didn’t quite take it in. He would laugh and forgive me.

Next…

I finished the book within the week I set myself. Next is now my big challenge so far. A whole book in a week. I think I can do it… I’d like to have some faith in myself. The only issue is of course something personal with family has come up for Christmas and I need to prepare for it. So amid all the preparation I will be trying to squeeze in a whole book in a week. I know to some of you that won’t sound like a lot. But for me, a particularly slow reader, this is going to be an actual challenge. The next step is to continue the story from where it left off. My next read is Illusionary by Zoraida Cordova. The second instalment to the duology. Reading the blurb after finishing the first book has left me actually quite excited. I won’t say more as again I mean this post to not spoil the book. But oh my goodness I hope this book has what is implied in the blurb.

Affiliate.

Before I close off this post I would like to include the affiliation that I have with Waterstones. A huge bookselling company which I adore going into every time I go into a city. If you would like to purchase the book I have spoken about above you can purchase the paperback for £8.99 or hardback for £14.99.

If the book above is of no interest to you then please check out the link below for some brand new releases at great prices. From leading author, Lee Childs, or even Will Smith’s own book.

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And if even these do not catch your fancy, Waterstones have a lovely selection of signed, or exclusive editions. Both in paperback and hardback.

http://www.awin1.com/cread.php?awinmid=3787&awinaffid=839047

Even if you are not interested in buying anything, simply clicking the link to browse helps me out a lot. Thank you so much for reading. Write again soon. Bye!

Getting back into Reading.

Recently, because I have been feeling a little bit low I have let go of practically everything. And although reading was only one of those things, probably not even the most important, but it is where I am going to start. I love sinking into another world and forgetting about the one that we are all actually in for a little bit. Now, I am going to try and do it even more I want to go into the year 2022 with a goal of the number of books I read. I could do with expanding my brain and films are just getting all the more awful.

The goal.

I know this isn’t going to be difficult for some of you. Unfortunately though I am a slow reader. I am nearly like Penny from the big bang theory. Hopefully not that slow, but I am still slow enough. To improve that I have set myself a goal to read one book a week. At least. I am practically sweating at the idea of that goal. My brain is thinking ‘Oh my god, do I have the brain power to even do that’. Short answer, probably not. But you never know for sure unless you try right?

Currently.

At the moment I am more than halfway through ‘Incendiary’ by Zoraida Cordova. I am enjoying it, but I would like to talk about it once I have finished it. I have eleven chapters left so if I read at least two a day for seven days I will finish it for next week. Then I will have the conundrum of selecting the next book to read from my shelf.

Zoraida Cordova

Affliate

Waterstones recently announced their book of the year award winner. And what a winner he is. Already hysterically famous, there won’t be anyone in the world who doesn’t have some idea of who this is. Or would have at least heard of him. ‘The Lyrics’ by Paul McCartney.

http://www.awin1.com/cread.php?awinmid=3787&awinaffid=839047

From the moment booksellers heard about the imminent publication of The Lyrics we all recognised its enormous significance as a key piece of cultural history. When the stunningly designed two-volume slipcase edition arrived in shops, we realised it was even more special than that. Paul McCartney has stated that it is highly unlikely he will ever write a conventional autobiography. This, then, stands as the defining literary statement of Britain’s most influential living songwriter. From Yesterday to Hey Jude to Live and Let Die and beyond, The Lyrics – crafted in collaboration with celebrated poet Paul Muldoon – abounds in evocative, never-before-seen images from McCartney’s personal archive alongside fascinating commentary on 154 career-spanning songs that have soundtracked all of our lives. The Lyrics is undoubtedly, in the words of Waterstones CEO James Daunt, ‘a true joy for bibliophiles.’

They also announced the Winner for their Children’s Gift of the Year award. ‘Julia and the Shark’ by Kiran Millwood Hargrave. A beautifully illustrated book for children, Tom de Freston, this book is a wonderful addition for your children’s mini home libraries.

http://www.awin1.com/cread.php?awinmid=3787&awinaffid=839047

When we saw just how much bookseller love there was out there for the breathtaking children’s novel Julia and the Shark, we knew we had to crown it our Children’s Gift of the Year. A very special collaboration between the wife and husband team of Kiran Millwood Hargrave (former Waterstones Children’s Book Prize winner for The Girl of Ink and Stars) and enormously talented artist Tom de Freston, this wonderfully realised tale of a summer spent seeking the mysterious great Greenland shark touches on universal themes of family, hope and the escalating climate crisis. With de Freston’s exquisite illustrations perfectly complementing Hargrave’s tender, timeless and compelling prose, Julia and the Shark is an irresistibly beautiful must-read that all junior bookworms – not to mention their parents – will fall head over heels in love with.

http://www.awin1.com/cread.php?awinmid=3787&awinaffid=839047

Thank you so much for reading. If you could check out the link under the images that would be a great help to me and greatly appreciated. Write again soon. Bye!