BookCon 2019 Haul + Experience

BookCon

EXPERIENCE 

My first ever BookCon! I will say that part of me found it to be quite overwhelming since there were times when I was super intimidated by the crowd and wanted to crawl into a cave being the introvert that I am. HAHA But at the end of the day, it was definitely a great experience and I ended up walking away with a ton of books which I am super excited to share with you in this post!

So for some highlights – I managed to randomly bump into Sasha Alsberg and Stephanie Garber! AND OMG i WAS FangIrling So Hard! Ahem . . . thankfully my coffee kept me steady and I was able to speak coherently. Sasha was so sweet and I made sure to let her know how her channel actually sparked me to dive into my passion for reading, start blogging, instagram, etc. Stephanie was amazing as well! I rambled a bit on how Finale wrapped me in a bundle of emotions and that the series now become one of my favorite series of all time! I honestly can’t wait for her project! i am sure it will be fantastic!

ARCs/ Book Signings

*All Summaries below provided by GoodReads*

Cursed by Frank Miller and Thomas Wheeler From Simon Teen/ Riveted

Whosoever wields the Sword of Power shall be the one true King.

But what if the Sword has chosen a Queen?

Nimue grew up an outcast. Her connection to dark magic made her something to be feared in her Druid village, and that made her desperate to leave…

That is, until her entire village is slaughtered by Red Paladins, and Nimue’s fate is forever altered. Charged by her dying mother to reunite an ancient sword with a legendary sorcerer, Nimue is now her people’s only hope. Her mission leaves little room for revenge, but the growing power within her can think of little else.

Nimue teams up with a charming mercenary named Arthur and refugee Fey Folk from across England. She wields a sword meant for the one true king, battling paladins and the armies of a corrupt king. She struggles to unite her people, avenge her family, and discover the truth about her destiny.

But perhaps the one thing that can change Destiny itself is found at the edge of a blade.

SuperNova by Kass Morgan From NOVL

(Sequel to Light Years – Summary may contain spoilers to the first book)

The 100 meets Ender’s Game in the captivating and romantic sequel to Light Years from New York Times bestselling author Kass Morgan!

With a galaxy on the brink of war and loyalties divided, the friendship of four Quatra Fleet cadets will be tested as their greatest enemy closes in.

Arrested for espionage, Orelia’s future is looking bleak . . . until the Quatrans make her a surprising offer that could save her life — and the lives of everyone in the galaxy. Reeling from a betrayal, Arran finds comfort in a sympathetic boy from Loos, someone who understands how hard it can be to fit in. But is it enough for Arran to forget his heartbreak? Meanwhile, Cormak’s position at the Academy is in jeopardy when someone discovers his own treasonous secret, putting everything he’s fought for in peril. And Vesper is on the brink of becoming the superstar officer she always dreamed she’d be . . . until she uncovers a conspiracy that shakes her faith in the Quatra Fleet to its core.

As secret machinations come to light, these cadets will be forced to overcome their differences and band together to restore peace to their worlds.

Kass Morgan, the bestselling author of The 100, once again delivers pulse-pounding action and glittering romance in this sequel to Light Years.

Queen of Ruin by Tracy Banghart From NOVL

(Sequel to Grace and Fury – Summary may contain spoilers to the first book) 

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.

A Match Made in Mehendi From NOVL

Fifteen-year-old Simran “Simi” Sangha comes from a long line of Indian vichole-matchmakers-with a rich history for helping parents find good matches for their grown children. When Simi accidentally sets up her cousin and a soon-to-be lawyer, her family is thrilled that she has the “gift.”

But Simi is an artist, and she doesn’t want to have anything to do with relationships, helicopter parents, and family drama. That is, until she realizes this might be just the thing to improve her and her best friend Noah’s social status. Armed with her family’s ancient guide to finding love, Simi starts a matchmaking service-via an app, of course.

But when she helps connect a wallflower of a girl with the star of the boys’ soccer team, she turns the high school hierarchy topsy-turvy, soon making herself public enemy number one.

Into the Crooked Palace by Alexandra Christo From LitJoy Crate

Into the Crooked Place begins a gritty two-book YA fantasy series from Alexandra Christo, the author of To Kill a Kingdom.

The streets of Creije are for the deadly and the dreamers, and four crooks in particular know just how much magic they need up their sleeve to survive.

Tavia, a busker ready to pack up her dark-magic wares and turn her back on Creije for good. She’ll do anything to put her crimes behind her.

Wesley, the closest thing Creije has to a gangster. After growing up on streets hungry enough to swallow the weak whole, he won’t stop until he has brought the entire realm to kneel before him.

Karam, a warrior who spends her days watching over the city’s worst criminals and her nights in the fighting rings, making a deadly name for herself.

And Saxony, a resistance fighter hiding from the very people who destroyed her family, and willing to do whatever it takes to get her revenge.

Everything in their lives is going to plan, until Tavia makes a crucial mistake: she delivers a vial of dark magic—a weapon she didn’t know she had—to someone she cares about, sparking the greatest conflict in decades. Now these four magical outsiders must come together to save their home and the world, before it’s too late. But with enemies at all sides, they can trust nobody. Least of all each other.

Descendant of the Crane by Joan He (Book Signing) – Joan He is so down to earth and awesome! I always love reading novels with an Asian setting and she made sure to recommend me some – Spin the Dawn, Tiger at Midnight and The Candle and the Flame. Will definitely be adding those to my never ending TBR!

Tyrants cut out hearts. Rulers sacrifice their own.

Princess Hesina of Yan has always been eager to shirk the responsibilities of the crown, but when her beloved father is murdered, she’s thrust into power, suddenly the queen of an unstable kingdom. Determined to find her father’s killer, Hesina does something desperate: she engages the aid of a soothsayer—a treasonous act, punishable by death… because in Yan, magic was outlawed centuries ago.

Using the information illicitly provided by the sooth, and uncertain if she can trust even her family, Hesina turns to Akira—a brilliant investigator who’s also a convicted criminal with secrets of his own. With the future of her kingdom at stake, can Hesina find justice for her father? Or will the cost be too high?

In this shimmering Chinese-inspired fantasy, debut author Joan He introduces a determined and vulnerable young heroine struggling to do right in a world brimming with deception.

Queen of the Conquered by Kheryn Callender (Book Signing)

An ambitious young woman with the power to control minds seeks vengeance against the royals who murdered her family, in a Caribbean-inspired fantasy world embattled by colonial oppression.

Sigourney Rose is the only surviving daughter of a noble lineage on the islands of Hans Lollik. When she was a child, her family was murdered by the islands’ colonizers, who have massacred and enslaved generations of her people—and now, Sigourney is ready to exact her revenge.

When the childless king of the islands declares that he will choose his successor from amongst eligible noble families, Sigourney uses her ability to read and control minds to manipulate her way onto the royal island and into the ranks of the ruling colonizers. But when she arrives, prepared to fight for control of all the islands, Sigourney finds herself the target of a dangerous, unknown magic.

Someone is killing off the ruling families to clear a path to the throne. As the bodies pile up and all eyes regard her with suspicion, Sigourney must find allies among her prey and the murderer among her peers… lest she become the next victim.

Queen of the Conquered reckons with the many layers of power and privilege in a lush fantasy world—perfect for readers of V. E. Schwab, Kiersten White, and Marlon James.

The Tenth Girl From Fierce Reads – I happen to receive this book by chance since this was a mystery ARC that Fierce Reads announced on twitter. I did not know about it until one of my fellow book readers advised me and I was so fortunate that they still had a copy. And its a paranormal thriller, so I am super excited for this one!

Simmering in Patagonian myth, The Tenth Girl is a gothic psychological thriller with a haunting twist.

At the very southern tip of South America looms an isolated finishing school. Legend has it that the land will curse those who settle there. But for Mavi—a bold Buenos Aires native fleeing the military regime that took her mother—it offers an escape to a new life as a young teacher to Argentina’s elite girls.

Mavi tries to embrace the strangeness of the imposing house—despite warnings not to roam at night, threats from an enigmatic young man, and rumors of mysterious Others. But one of Mavi’s ten students is missing, and when students and teachers alike begin to behave as if possessed, the forces haunting this unholy cliff will no longer be ignored.

One of these spirits holds a secret that could unravel Mavi’s existence. In order to survive she must solve a cosmic mystery—and then fight for her life.

Eight Will Fall From Fierce Reads

In a land where magic is outlawed, eight criminals led by seventeen-year-old Larkin are sent on a mission to kill an ancient evil that plagues their kingdom. Descending into an underground realm full of unspeakable horrors, Larkin and her party must use their forbidden magic to survive what lies in wait, teeth sharp and jaws deadly. 

As she fights for her life, Larkin finds a light in Amias, a fellow outlaw with a notorious past. Soon Larkin and Amias realize their fates are entwined. The eight of them were chosen for a reason. 

But as the dangers multiply and her band of felons are picked off one by one, Larkin must confront a terrible truth: They were never meant to return. 

Sarah Harian crafts a thrilling, high-octane fantasy adventure that explores the often-thin line between light and darkness, good and evil.

Beyond the Black Door From Fierce Reads

Kamai was warned never to open the black door, but she didn’t listen …

Everyone has a soul. Some are beautiful gardens, others are frightening dungeons. Soulwalkers―like Kamai and her mother―can journey into other people’s souls while they sleep.

But no matter where Kamai visits, she sees the black door. It follows her into every soul, and her mother has told her to never, ever open it.

When Kamai touches the door, it is warm and beating, like it has a pulse. When she puts her ear to it, she hears her own name whispered from the other side. And when tragedy strikes, Kamai does the unthinkable: she opens the door.

A.M. Strickland’s imaginative dark fantasy features court intrigue and romance, a main character coming to terms with her asexuality, and twists and turns as a seductive mystery unfolds that endangers not just Kamai’s own soul, but the entire kingdom …

Wicked as You Wish by Rin Chupeco

Tala Warnock has little use for magic – as a descendant of Maria Makiling, the legendary Filipina heroine, she negates spells, often by accident. But her family’s old ties to the country of Avalon (frozen, bespelled, and unreachable for almost 12 years) soon finds them guarding its last prince from those who would use his kingdom’s magic for insidious ends. 

And with the rise of dangerous spelltech in the Royal States of America; the appearance of the firebird, Avalon’s deadliest weapon, at her doorstep; and the re-emergence of the Snow Queen, powerful but long thought dead, who wants nothing more than to take the firebird’s magic for her own – Tala’s life is about to get even more complicated….

Kingdom of Exiles by Maxym M. Martineau

Fantastic Beasts meets Assassin’s Creed in this epic, gripping fantasy romance from debut author Maxym M. Martineau.

Exiled beast charmer Leena Edenfrell is in deep trouble. Empty pockets forced her to sell her beloved magical beasts on the black market—an offense punishable by death—and now there’s a price on her head. With the realm’s most talented murderer-for-hire nipping at her heels, Leena makes him an offer he can’t refuse: powerful mythical creatures in exchange for her life.

If only it were that simple. Unbeknownst to Leena, the undying ones are bound by magic to complete their contracts, and Noc cannot risk his brotherhood of assassins…not even to save the woman he can no longer live without.

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TIPS AND ADVICE

Plan Ahead – You have no idea how planning ahead actually helped me with my first trip to BookCon. When I initially started researching about other reader’s experiences, nearly everyone had planned out a full itinerary but trust me, it helps so much. When you first arrive to the Showfloor, it can be overwhelming since there are so many publishers, vendors, and exhibitors who have booths throughout the show. Therefore,  one of the most strategic things you can do is plan ahead. So for a lot of first timers, you may ask – How can I? I would suggest following your favorite publishers on social media such as Twitter, Instagram, etc. They will most likely release their schedule within 2 weeks before the show starts and sometimes even earlier so it is within our best interest to compile a schedule of all the events and arc drops which we want to attend. In addition, BookCon would also release a schedule of all panels and autograph sessions as well so make sure to include them as well.

Autograph Sessions – The autograph sessions at the main Autographing stage will be revealed online a couple of weeks before the show. BookCon enables one general ticket holder to sign up for two autographing sessions per day. These tickets tend to go fast so if you really want to meet an author I would advise that you try to sign up for them as soon as you can.

Ticket Information – There are 3 type of tickets: Weekend, Saturday and Sunday. There are also VIP tickets available as well. Tickets will need to be purchased online and if you are able to purchase them early, they will be mailed to you a few weeks before the show. I highly suggest that you purchase your tickets as soon as you can so you can avoid the Will Call Line in the morning of the show and that can take up time.

Earlier the Better – I am pretty sure a lot of other bookbloggers have stated this before but depending on your schedule and what you specifically want to do at BookCon, try to arrive early so you will be able to attend these events. Each year, the convention grows and grows so it is best that we keep this mind and prepare ourselves when attending the show.

Pack Snacks – With the time you spend waiting for ARC drops, autographing lines or simply strolling through the show floor, I guarantee that you will loose track of time there. I most certainly did since I had a pretty packed schedule! Therefore, I highly suggest that you pack some snacks to keep you energized throughout the day just in case some events may run longer than expected.

Take a Light Jacket/Sweater/ Comfortable Shoes – The convention center can get quite cold so I would suggest that you bring a light sweater. In addition, it is highly advisable that you wear some comfortable shoes. I made sure to go in with some flats and I was so thankful that I did. But even with the amount of walking and standing in line, my legs were still screaming at me by the end of the event HAHA

Choose ARCs which you are interested in – ARCs are meant to serve a promotional purpose for authors so when you are waiting for an ARC, please try to get ones which you are interested in and are willing to provide a review on GoodReads, BookBlog, Amazon etc. This would even help newer authors to gain recognition for their work and it would overall help in the actual release of the novel.

Be Polite – This one is pretty self explanatory but please be polite while waiting in line. I did not have too many issues during the ARC drop lines but I have heard some unpleasant accounts from other attendees so please be courteous to one another and be polite. We are all book lovers here and we all want to have a good time in the event. So even if  you are unable to receive the book you want, then no worries – You can always get it when it releases! Hakuna Matata! 🙂

I hope you all enjoyed this post! Have you ever been to BookCon? How was your experience?

Until next time, keep reading and I will see you all soon with another bookish post! 🙂

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Top Ten Tuesday – Most Anticipated Releases of the Second Half of 2019

TTT-NEW

I am really excited for this week’s prompt but also kind of intimidated because I feel like this is going to extend my TBR list! HAHA For today’s list we are talking about our most anticipated releases for the second half of 2019! YAYYYY! Can you believe we are already halfway through the year already? It feels like just yesterday the year only began! I have so many interesting titles to share with you! Maybe we may have similar titles on our list!

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

Without further ado, here are my top 10 most anticipated novels for the second half of the year.

JUNE 2019

WICKED FOX.jpg

Release Date – June 25th 2019

Summary from GoodReads:

A fresh and addictive fantasy-romance set in modern-day Seoul.

Eighteen-year-old Gu Miyoung has a secret–she’s a gumiho, a nine-tailed fox who must devour the energy of men in order to survive. Because so few believe in the old tales anymore, and with so many evil men no one will miss, the modern city of Seoul is the perfect place to hide and hunt.

But after feeding one full moon, Miyoung crosses paths with Jihoon, a human boy, being attacked by a goblin deep in the forest. Against her better judgment, she violates the rules of survival to rescue the boy, losing her fox bead–her gumiho soul–in the process.

Jihoon knows Miyoung is more than just a beautiful girl–he saw her nine tails the night she saved his life. His grandmother used to tell him stories of the gumiho, of their power and the danger they pose to humans. He’s drawn to her anyway.

With murderous forces lurking in the background, Miyoung and Jihoon develop a tenuous friendship that blossoms into something more. But when a young shaman tries to reunite Miyoung with her bead, the consequences are disastrous . . . forcing Miyoung to choose between her immortal life and Jihoon’s.

Ok so how does this not sound AMAZING??? As a fan of KDRAMAS and BTS, I am a bit familiar with the Korean culture but I would love to learn more about it. And how better through my favorite way of all? Through reading a novel! This summary itself sounds super intriguing and from the early reviews, it looks like so many bloggers already love this one so I am so excited to grab a copy of this as soon as it releases!

JULY 2019

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Release Date – July 9th 2019

Summary from GoodReads:

Project Runway meets Mulan in this sweeping YA fantasy about a young girl who poses as a boy to compete for the role of imperial tailor and embarks on an impossible journey to sew three magic dresses, from the sun, the moon, and the stars.

Maia Tamarin dreams of becoming the greatest tailor in the land, but as a girl, the best she can hope for is to marry well. When a royal messenger summons her ailing father, once a tailor of renown, to court, Maia poses as a boy and takes his place. She knows her life is forfeit if her secret is discovered, but she’ll take that risk to achieve her dream and save her family from ruin. There’s just one catch: Maia is one of twelve tailors vying for the job.

Backstabbing and lies run rampant as the tailors compete in challenges to prove their artistry and skill. Maia’s task is further complicated when she draws the attention of the court magician, Edan, whose piercing eyes seem to see straight through her disguise.

And nothing could have prepared her for the final challenge: to sew three magic gowns for the emperor’s reluctant bride-to-be, from the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon, and the blood of stars. With this impossible task before her, she embarks on a journey to the far reaches of the kingdom, seeking the sun, the moon, and the stars, and finding more than she ever could have imagined.

Steeped in Chinese culture, sizzling with forbidden romance, and shimmering with magic, this young adult fantasy is pitch-perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas or Renée Ahdieh.

A Mulan re-telling? I am already intrigued! If you have been following by blog, I think it’s no surprise that I would add this book to my list since I am a fan fairy tale re-tellings. But in addition to that, I was actually recommended this book through Joan Ae (Author of Descendant of the Crane) at her book signing at BookCon so I am even more excited to read this upon release! 🙂

SEPTEMBER 2019

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Release Date – September 3rd 2019 by Harper Teen

Summary from GoodReads:

Bound as one to love, honor, or burn.

Two years ago, Louise le Blanc fled her coven and took shelter in the city of Cesarine, forsaking all magic and living off whatever she could steal. There, witches like Lou are hunted. They are feared. And they are burned.

Sworn to the Church as a Chasseur, Reid Diggory has lived his life by one principle: thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. His path was never meant to cross with Lou’s, but a wicked stunt forces them into an impossible union—holy matrimony.

The war between witches and Church is an ancient one, and Lou’s most dangerous enemies bring a fate worse than fire. Unable to ignore her growing feelings, yet powerless to change what she is, a choice must be made.

And love makes fools of us all.

This book was brought to my radar after Epic Reads announced it was on their ARC Drop list for BOOKCON and OMG how do you not want to read it after seeing that summary? Having read a few early reviews, I can already tell this one is going to be amazing!

there will come a darkness

Release Date – September 3rd 2019 by Henry Holt Books for Young Readers

Summary from GoodReads:

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? Perfect for fans of Throne of Glass, Children of Blood and Bone, and An Ember in the Ashes.

When the summary describes it to be for fans of  Throne of Glass, Children of Blood and Bone, and An Ember in the Ashes, you better believe I will pick this up!

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Release Date – September 10th 2019 by JIMMY Patterson

Summary from GoodReads 

In the shocking finale to the bestselling series that began with Stalking Jack the Ripper, Audrey Rose and Thomas are on the hunt for the depraved, elusive killer known as the White City Devil. A deadly game of cat-and-mouse has them fighting to stay one step ahead of the brilliant serial killer—or see their fateful romance cut short by unspeakable tragedy.

Audrey Rose Wadsworth and Thomas Cresswell have landed in America, a bold, brash land unlike the genteel streets of London they knew. But like London, the city of Chicago hides its dark secrets well. When the two attend the spectacular World’s Fair, they find the once-in-a-lifetime event tainted with reports of missing people and unsolved murders.

Determined to help, Audrey Rose and Thomas begin their investigations, only to find themselves facing a serial killer unlike any they’ve heard of before. Identifying him is one thing, but capturing him—and getting dangerously lost in the infamous Murder Hotel he constructed as a terrifying torture device—is another.

Will Audrey Rose and Thomas see their last mystery to the end—together and in love—or will their fortunes finally run out when their most depraved adversary makes one final, devastating kill?

I feel like I mention this series all the time with every post on my blog HAHA And it is so sad that it is coming to an end. How are we supposed to say goodbye to Thomas Creswell??? THE FEELS!!! Ahem . . . I am totally sane I swear. In other news, if you guys have not picked up this series, I highly recommend it if you are into mystery genres!

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Release Date – September 10th 2019 by HarperVoyager

Summary from GoodReads:

Born into a family of powerful witchdoctors, Arrah yearns for magic of her own. But each year she fails to call forth her ancestral powers, while her ambitious mother watches with growing disapproval.

There’s only one thing Arrah hasn’t tried, a deadly last resort: trading years of her own life for scraps of magic. Until the Kingdom’s children begin to disappear, and Arrah is desperate to find the culprit.

She uncovers something worse. The long-imprisoned Demon King is stirring. And if he rises, his hunger for souls will bring the world to its knees… unless Arrah pays the price for the magic to stop him.

OH. M. GOODNESS. OK, How can you read this summary and not be curious about this book? It sounds absolutely amazing! WITCHDOCTORS? A DEMON KING? MAGIC? YES PLZZZZZ

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Release Date – September 24th 2019

Summary from GoodReads:

Seventeen-year-old Aderyn (“Ryn”) only cares about two things: her family, and her family’s graveyard. And right now, both are in dire straits. Since the death of their parents, Ryn and her siblings have been scraping together a meager existence as gravediggers in the remote village of Colbren, which sits at the foot of a harsh and deadly mountain range that was once home to the fae. The problem with being a gravedigger in Colbren, though, is that the dead don’t always stay dead.

The risen corpses are known as “bone houses,” and legend says that they’re the result of a decades-old curse. When Ellis, an apprentice mapmaker with a mysterious past, arrives in town, the bone houses attack with new ferocity. What is it about Ellis that draws them near? And more importantly, how can they be stopped for good?

Together, Ellis and Ryn embark on a journey that will take them deep into the heart of the mountains, where they will have to face both the curse and the long-hidden truths about themselves.

I heard about this novel through NOVL reads and it immediately peaked my interest. Ranging from gravediggers, the rising dead, mysterious pasts, and a dangerous curse definitely sends a bone-chilling aura. Sounds like this one will be quite a thrilling read!

OCTOBER 2019

shadow frost

Release Date – October 1st 2019 by Blackstone Publishing

Summary from GoodReads

IN THE KINGDOM OF AXARIA, a darkness rises.

Some call it a monster, laying waste to the villagers and their homes. 
Some say it is an invulnerable demon summoned from the deepest abysses of the Immortal Realm. 
Many soldiers from the royal guard are sent out to hunt it down.

Not one has ever returned. 

When Asterin Faelenhart, Princess of Axaria and heir to the throne, discovers that she may hold the key to defeating the mysterious demon terrorizing her kingdom, she vows not to rest until the beast is slain. With the help of her friends and the powers she wields—though has yet to fully understand—Asterin sets out to complete a single task. The task that countless, trained soldiers have failed. 

To kill it. 

But as they hunt for the demon, they unearth a plot to assassinate the Princess herself instead. Asterin and her companions begin to wonder how much of their lives have been lies, especially when they realize that the center of the web of deceit might very well be themselves. With no one else to turn to, they are forced to decide just how much they are willing to sacrifice to protect the only world they have ever known. 

That is… if the demon doesn’t get to them first.

GAHHHH. I really wanted to visit Coco Ma at her signing at BookCon but I didn’t get the chance! 😦 When I saw some news of the release of this book, my interest peaked upon reading the summary. A princess and her team heading off to slay a demon. LETS GOOOO!!!

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Release Date – October 8th 2019

Summary From GoodReads:

Into the Crooked Place begins a gritty two-book YA fantasy series from Alexandra Christo, the author of To Kill a Kingdom.

The streets of Creije are for the deadly and the dreamers, and four crooks in particular know just how much magic they need up their sleeve to survive.

Tavia, a busker ready to pack up her dark-magic wares and turn her back on Creije for good. She’ll do anything to put her crimes behind her.

Wesley, the closest thing Creije has to a gangster. After growing up on streets hungry enough to swallow the weak whole, he won’t stop until he has brought the entire realm to kneel before him.

Karam, a warrior who spends her days watching over the city’s worst criminals and her nights in the fighting rings, making a deadly name for herself.

And Saxony, a resistance fighter hiding from the very people who destroyed her family, and willing to do whatever it takes to get her revenge.

Everything in their lives is going to plan, until Tavia makes a crucial mistake: she delivers a vial of dark magic—a weapon she didn’t know she had—to someone she cares about, sparking the greatest conflict in decades. Now these four magical outsiders must come together to save their home and the world, before it’s too late. But with enemies at all sides, they can trust nobody. Least of all each other.

OMG I am so thankful to LitJoyCrate at BookCon for providing me an ARC of this novel. I am so excited for it and I never thought I would be able to get a copy! *insert pterodactyl screams* The summary of the book was something I love seeing in a lot of novels – A group of diverse individuals coming together to save the day! I am so curious to see how the story will unravel and the various character interactions! I can’t wait to dive into it!

DECEMBER 2019

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Release Date – December 3rd 2019 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)

Summary from GoodReads:

After battling the impossible, Zélie and Amari have finally succeeded in bringing magic back to the land of Orïsha. But the ritual was more powerful than they could’ve imagined, reigniting the powers of not only the maji, but of nobles with magic ancestry, too.

Now, Zélie struggles to unite the maji in an Orïsha where the enemy is just as powerful as they are. But when the monarchy and military unite to keep control of Orïsha, Zélie must fight to secure Amari’s right to the throne and protect the new maji from the monarchy’s wrath.

With civil war looming on the horizon, Zélie finds herself at a breaking point: she must discover a way to bring the kingdom together or watch as Orïsha tears itself apart.

Children of Virtue and Vengeance is the stunning sequel to Tomi Adeyemi’s New York Times bestselling debut Children of Blood and Bone, the first title in her Legacy of Orïsha trilogy.

SO CLOSE. YET SO FAR AWAY 😦 I was a huge fan Tomi’s first book and the ending had me yearning for more! Although we have to wait for a few more months, I am so happy to know that it would be out this year! Just gotta keep counting down the days LOL

What books are you eagerly anticipating the remainder of the year? Did we share any similar titles? Let me know!
Until next time, keep reading and I will chat with you all soon!
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Grace and Fury Book Review (Spoiler Free)

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Author: Tracy Banghart

Publication: July 31st 2018 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Pages: 320

Rating: 4/5

GoodReads

Since I managed to get the ARC of the second book (Queen of Ruin) at BookCon, it’s about time I picked this one up! I was actually surprised on how this book turned out! While I do feel that there were some YA tropes which I recognized from previous books, I think author did a great job in moving the storyline in a different direction which overall delivers the main theme of feminism and strength. In addition, this is also a great novel to pick up if you are ever in a reading slump since its very fast paced and I ended up enjoying it! 

Summary (From GoodReads)

In a world where women have no rights, sisters Serina and Nomi Tessaro face two very different fates: one in the palace, the other in prison.

Serina has been groomed her whole life to become a Grace – someone to stand by the heir to the throne as a shining, subjugated example of the perfect woman. But when her headstrong and rebellious younger sister, Nomi, catches the heir’s eye, it’s Serina who takes the fall for the dangerous secret that Nomi has been hiding.

Now trapped in a life she never wanted, Nomi has only one way to save Serina: surrender to her role as a Grace until she can use her position to release her sister. This is easier said than done. A traitor walks the halls of the palace, and deception lurks in every corner. But Serina is running out of time, imprisoned on an island where she must fight to the death to survive and one wrong move could cost her everything.

Characters:

Serina – Patient, Submissive (at first) – Serina’s character growth is phenomenal and I think she was my favorite part of this entire novel. She is initially very accepting to all the societal rules around her and believes that as a woman, that’s how she is supposed to be but then later develops a boldness and courage which I really appreciated.

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Nomi – Strong, Determined, Outspoken – While Nomi’s story was not as dynamic as Serina’s, we still see developing tension and court politics moving into play. She faces a lot of struggles as well and takes a powerful blow to her inner strength with her experiences.

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Final Thoughts

While I do feel like there were similar tropes such as the Cinderella fairytale and the Hunger Games dystopia setting, I liked that it focused on feminism and the sister relationships which I love to see in books mostly because they remind me of me and my sister. At first,  I was not able to connect as deeply with these characters and it could be because it moved too fast but with the progression of the story and the character growth, I found myself developing a connection with them over time. I will also say that there was one instance which I found to be predictable but I think this is also because of the amount of YA novels I have read so it was not much of a surprise to me. 

But let’s talk about the positives! The main points of interest is that we follow these two sisters who are placed in situations which are completely out of their comfort zone and they endure serious challenges which overall contribute to their character growth.  We do have to two perspectives (one for each sister) and I ended up preferring to read Serina since her plot dynamic suddenly flips to the most extreme and I was so curious and interested to see how her journey would progress! I think she is faced with so much challenges which push her to her limits and she develops into a strong leader and I loved seeing that growth! Nomi is also a character I admired. She is already strong in her values and beliefs from the very beginning but she finds herself caught in a web of court politics and it is interesting to see her navigate through this web which she has never come across before.  

In terms of plot, I think the story only gets interesting about halfway through the novel. We see plot lines growing more intricate and dangerous. We see the stakes being raised even further. While the beginning does incorporate a lot previous YA tropes we have seen before, I do believe that the author only started to differentiate the storyline about midway through the novel. One of my favorite scenes (not a spoiler) is the cliff scene where we see a build up of a lot emotions and it was handled very well: “You fight back. Always.”

Overall, I definitely think this was a satisfying opening to a series. While there were some similar tropes used, we do end up receiving a different storyline by the end along with a dynamic character growth which I loved seeing unfold. BUT THAT CLIFFHANGER ENDING THOUGH!!! 😦

Have any of you read Grace and Fury? What did you think of it? And stay tuned for my review of the second book coming soon!

Until next time, keep reading and I will see you all soon in another bookish post!

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Top Ten Tuesday – Unpopular Bookish Opinions

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For this week’s prompt, its all about Unpopular Opinions. Let’s face it. We are all different and we may have very different reading interests which should be no surprise that a lot of us do have some unpopular opinions. So let’s share ours and discuss! Who knows? Maybe we both may share similar ones!

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

So without further ado, let’s begin the list!

The Twilight Saga Was not For Me

Now let’s start with the positive – One of the elements of the Twilight Saga which I can appreciate is that it inspired so many individuals to read and I love this aspect. However, I couldn’t bring myself to finish this series. Maybe because my reading tastes evolved over time so I do not find this genre as interesting anymore. I have heard that a lot of people enjoy it since it is entertaining and addicting but unfortunately, it was not for me. Another reason for this unpopular reason is my second rationale below:

Love Triangle 😦

Oh the YA Love Triangles! HAHA Through the course of my reading journey, I discovered that I am not a fan of them. While this may be used as a plot element to create tension or drama, I found that it is a bit overused and it becomes almost a struggle to read through. Now I have noticed that a lot of book bloggers have mentioned that they were only able to tolerate the love triangle from The Infernal Devices which I find intriguing. Now that I got the first book of that series, I will definitely try it out.

Red Queen 

I know there are a lot of people who love the Red Queen series but unfortunately for me, I found the plot to be predictable and this may have been one of the reasons why I did not enjoy it as much. That “wow” or “omg” moment at the end did not happen for me. In addition, when I continued with Glass Sword, I was extremely disappointed with the characters and the plot line. However, I do think Victoria has a gripping and beautiful writing style so I would be open to pick up another novel of hers in the future.

“Katniss” Character 

There are times when I noticed that a lot of the protagonists within YA novels tend to have the typical “Katniss” characteristics. I love Katniss but sometimes it is refreshing to see individuals who work their way to become epitome of strength and valor. This is one of the reasons I love characters from the Lunar Chronicles. Each of them are very different in personality but they are amazing in their own way. For example, Cress is absolutely sweet and shy but a complete BAWSE with her tech skills. Through her journey, she grows stronger and it was refreshing to see these types of personalities so I hope we see more diverse stories in the future. Another example would be Laia from An Ember in the Ashes who has a complete 180 turn from the beginning of the novel and I LOVED THAT!

Prefer Paperback over Hardback

Ok. This may be a 50/50 for me actually. I actually prefer reading in paperback (it’s so much more comfortable, easier to travel with, etc) but I love displaying my books in hardback on my bookshelves since it looks absolutely divine!

Hooray for Hate-to-Love Romances

I’m gonna say it. It’s honestly my most preferred type of romances in novels. Instalove does not work for me. Sometimes it seems so forced and unnatural. I always love seeing the growth of characters and how they take time to appreciate each other despite their flaws and I think that is best displayed with the Hate-To-Love Romances.

Writing is Crucial

There are a lot of reasons why we may reach for a book. It may be because of a recommendation or the summary sounded interesting. But what really keeps you reading? Does it provide the hook you need to immerse yourself into the world? For me, I feel that the writing plays a huge role. If I feel that it is not a style I am comfortable with, I probably would end up DNFing it.

DNFing Books

Speaking of DNFing . . . I honestly do not think it’s a problem if you decide to DNF a book. Sometimes a book just isn’t for you. I had one particular case where I experienced this with Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne. I just could not get into it so I ended up DNFing it. As readers, our reading tastes are very different and what may work for one person may not work for another. So I don’t believe it’s a serious issue in my opinion.

I LOVE YA BOOKS

Now despite being marketed as books for teens aged 13-18, I honestly think the YA genre is open for older audiences too. I am in my 20s and I absolutely love YA novels. I do read new adult and a few adult books here and there but I am always willing to read a novel from the YA genre. I feel like YA authors now a days do a splendid job with their writing, their world building and character development and this makes it such a pleasure to read them!

Judge a Book by Its Cover

I am not going to lie. There are so many times when I would reach for a book on the shelves while randomly browsing through a bookstore solely for the reason that it has a dazzling cover. I can’t help it. If the cover looks pretty, I will most certainly pick it up!

And that’s pretty much it. I hope I did not offend anyone with my choices . . How about you guys? What are your biggest bookish unpopular opinions? Let me know below! I would love to hear from you guys! 🙂

Until next time, keep reading and I will see you all soon with another bookish post!

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Finale Book Review (Spoiler Free)

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“A true Queen’s power isn’t in her crown.” 

Author: Stephanie Garber

Publisher: May 7th 2019 by Flatiron Books

Pages: 496

GoodReads

Rating – 5/5

OMG FINALLY!!!

Every time I pick up one of the books in this series, I’m whirled away to another realm drenched with magic, thrill and enchantment. There is no clear way to describe the magic of Caraval and I think that is what makes this series so unique and special. Its riveting, whimsical and dangerous but also grounded by themes of love and sisterhood.

Summary from GoodReads: (Since this is the final book in the series, there are some minor spoilers to the first two books in the summary below):

Welcome, welcome to Caraval…all games must come to an end.

It’s been two months since the last Caraval concluded, two months since the Fates have been freed from an enchanted deck of cards, two months since Tella has seen Legend, and two months since Legend claimed the empire’s throne as his own. Now, Legend is preparing for his official coronation and Tella is determined to stop it. She believes her own mother, who still remains in an enchanted sleep, is the rightful heir to the throne.

Meanwhile, Scarlett has started a game of her own. She’s challenged Julian and her former fiancé, Count Nicolas d’Arcy, to a competition where the winner will receive her hand in marriage. Finaly, Scarlett feels as if she is in complete control over her life and future. She is unaware that her mother’s past has put her in the greatest danger of all.

Caraval is over, but perhaps the greatest game of all has begun―with lives, empires, and hearts all at stake. There are no spectators this time: only those who will win…and those who will lose everything. . .

Characters:

Scarlet – Scarlet now takes control and takes risks – something she never done before and it was refreshing to see that. While we do know that Scarlet has an inner strength to her in the first book, she expands on it with a touch of boldness in this one.

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Julien – Lord. This man. Confidence. Carefree. Jovial. And Witty AF. What’s not to love about him? I swear as soon as he appeared the amount of post it tabs I used increased exponentially!  I was living for the ScarletxJulien moments in this novel since they were all so satisfying. We do see an dynamic change in Julien from the first book and I liked seeing that growth. OMG and I absolutely adore the way he calls Scarlet “Crimson” LOVE IT!

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Tella – Well we all know that Tella is quite the firecracker! She is bold and sometimes rash in her decisions than her cautious sister which is probably why it gets her into some troublesome situations. Nevertheless, I have always appreciated her character for her fearlessness since its a trait that I wish I had!

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Legend – Hmmm what can I day about Legend? He is borderline dangerous with his manipulative nature but his charm, explosive magic and devious schemes have a way of entrancing us. I will say I was not a huge fan of the push and pull between Tella and Legend and I preferred the relationship between Scarlet and Julien but that’s just me 🙂

Final Thoughts:

Stephanie Garber really grew with her writing. The imagery is spectacular. The growth of the story and world is brilliantly done. The dialogue is amazing. The pacing is perfect that you can’t help but fly through the pages. Within the first chapter I was hooked! I also loved the abundance of quotes in the novel which are hard hitting!

“Occasionally, there are minutes that get extra seconds. Moments so precious the universe stretches to make additional room for them.” 

“She looked the way Love might have looked if Love in a mirror, infectiously happy and radiantly beautiful.” 

The concept of utilizing the Deck of Destiny and providing characterization for each of the fates/cards was such a phenomenal idea. Stephanie Garber continued to build on the story from the previous novels and as a reader you can feel the story lines intertwining and building upon one another. With the added intricacy of the story, it is clear that the author spent an enormous amount of effort devising the plot lines and developing a seamless flow to the story. There are just so many twists and turns which keeps you on the edge of your seat and I have to say that this series has now become one of my favorite series of all time! 

Side Note –  I also randomly bumped into Stephanie Garber at BookCon this past weekend and OMG I was FanGirling so hard HAHA She is just the sweetest person ever! And Stay Tuned for my BookCon Haul and Experience post coming soon!

Have any of you read Finale yet? What were your thoughts on it?

Until next time, keep reading and i will see you all soon with another bookish post!

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Top Ten Tuesday – Books I’d Like to See on the Big Screen

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Hey everyone! It’s Tuesday so its time for another Top Ten Tuesday! For this week’s prompt, it’s all about book to screen adaptations. Since this is a freebie, I wanted to talk about my top choices for potential book adaptations. And some that are listed below may already be in the pre-production stage!

So without further ado, let’s get on with the list!

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Children of Blood and Bone

The cinema has brought countless fantasy stories to life but how about one inspired from West African folklore? I was immediately drawn to this book when it was first released due to the outstanding premise and brilliant characters. I do believe this book is already in talks to be adapted into a major motion picture since the author has previously mentioned it in her social media. And because of this, I am eagerly anticipating the release!

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Darker Shade of Magic

This was the first series I read by V.E Schwab and I was in love with her world, story-telling, characters and outstanding plot! Again, I do believe this novel is already being considered for a film and I really hope they do it justice. I absolutely loved every single character in this book and we do grow close with them throughout the series. I also loved the magic system  and I think it would be great to see the different dimension Londons in the big screen!

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Caraval series

OMG. If you guys have ever read this series, can you just picture the beautiful and whimsical visionary work delineated through Stephanie Garber on the big screen? Just reading the gorgeous details of this magical world immediately transports you to another realm. While in terms of plot it may more romance oriented, I definitely think the world would be beautiful to experience in theatres.

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An Ember in the Ashes Quartet

A series which brought me adventure, thrill, emotional pain and heartache. Yep, Sabaa Tahir has a way of completely messing with your feels! And I am not complaining! The setting of this novel is inspired by the Roman Empire and initially follows a Scholar girl and a the top student of a prestigious yet, daunting Military Academy. When I first read this novel, I remember that could not put it down. In fact, I stayed up until 4AM! It was that addicting and I think it would be amazing to see this tension, suspense and thrill being translated onto the big screen. I will admit that my heart suffered but I would still love to see this adaptation!

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The Lunar Chronicles

One of my favorite series of all time and if this does get a movie deal in the future I would not be able to contain my excitement and would be screaming until my throat is sore! But of course I will be eagerly anticipating with high expectations. I think the main aspect of this series which really grasped me was the characters. They are so diverse and flawed but so lovable! And I mean, come on who wouldn’t want to see Captain Thorne on the big screen? Also, the re-telling was done so well. I love how each book followed a  different character yet still followed through with the bigger story arc over the four books. Marissa Meyer is honestly one of the best at crafting beautiful stories.

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Wolf by Wolf

An alternate history of WWII with Nazi regime in power? As terrifying as that sounds, I think that plot line would make a great backdrop for a movie. Coupled with a feisty female lead with secrets of her own who battles to win a Motorcycle race in order to meet and assassinate Hitler, would truly create a film worth watching! This was a novel which I could NOT put down. It was so fast paced and full of adventure, character growth and heart that it would be stunning to watch in theatres.

Six of Crows

Six of Crows

Diverse Characters? Check. Thrilling, high stake plot? Check. Romance? Check. Character growth/ high level themes? Check. I think it’s safe to say that this book has it all. Everything from the detail oriented and dark streets of Ketterdam to intricate layers of the various characters was outlined so well to make this novel such a phenomenal read.

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These Broken Stars

This was one of the first Sci-fi novels I have read and I absolutely loved it! It had the perfect blend of adventure, romance, and thrill which you would want in a typical feature film. I also loved that the book was about survival but the plot moves in a way which you do not expect and that aspect would truly makes it a candidate for a feature film.

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Angelfall

A lot of fantasy and dystopian novels exist in YA literature but I never saw one which incorporated both genres within a series. Susan Ee manages to utilize the concept of Fallen Angels into a dystopian world and brings about a thrilling and fast paced adventure series. I adored both the female and male leads of the novel and was addicted to the story line!

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Stalking Jack the Ripper

Honestly, I can never seem to let go of this series. . . I blame Thomas Creswell haha  But who doesn’t love a good mystery novel? The author did a fabulous job providing the details to the setting that you actually feel you are walking beside the characters through the streets of London. With the details she provided, I think this would translate very well to a feature film. I would definitely be intrigued if this ever happened!

How about you all? What books would you like to see in as a Netflix series or Feature film?

Until next time, keep reading and I will see you all soon with another bookish post!

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Hunting Prince Dracula Book Review (Spoiler Free)

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“The world is neither kind nor is it cruel. It simply exists. We have the ability to view it however we choose.” 

Author: Kerri Maniscalco

Publisher: September 19th 2017 by Little, Brown & Company

Pages: 434

Rating: 5/5

HOLY CANNOLI! I think it’s safe to say that I loved the second book even more than the first! It’s honestly something that rarely happens with most series since some of them fall into the “Second Book Syndrome,” but I am so happy that this book did not! As with the previous book, I did not see that ending coming! JUST WOW! 🙂

Please note the summary/review below may have spoilers from the first book, Stalking Jack the Ripper

Summary (From GoodReads):

In this New York Times bestselling sequel to Kerri Maniscalco’s haunting #1 debut Stalking Jack the Ripper, bizarre murders are discovered in the castle of Prince Vlad the Impaler, otherwise known as Dracula. Could it be a copycat killer…or has the depraved prince been brought back to life?

Following the grief and horror of her discovery of Jack the Ripper’s true identity, Audrey Rose Wadsworth has no choice but to flee London and its memories. Together with the arrogant yet charming Thomas Cresswell, she journeys to the dark heart of Romania, home to one of Europe’s best schools of forensic medicine…and to another notorious killer, Vlad the Impaler, whose thirst for blood became legend.

But her life’s dream is soon tainted by blood-soaked discoveries in the halls of the school’s forbidding castle, and Audrey Rose is compelled to investigate the strangely familiar murders. What she finds brings all her terrifying fears to life once again.

Characters

Audrey Rose Wadsworth – I definitely liked Audrey a lot more in this book! Although she was a strong character in the first novel, I felt that her character was more relatable in the second. She is going though the aftermaths of her days in London and the Ripper murders and even with this period of grief, she still is a formidable force and has so much strength.

“Please do not make the mistake of telling me what’s best for me, as if you are the sole authority on the subject.” 

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Thomas Cresswell – Excuse me, but where can I find this man? Like I must know. Right now! I love how the author provided us more depths to his character. His flaws make him seem more human and also gives us more reason to adore him! Besides his charm and kindness, he also has level of maturity which is a quality I greatly admire. There were so many quotes from him in this book where I had to take a moment and be like . . . wow that was deep! But usually he is a devilish flirt LOL

“Try not to miss me too much Wadsworth. Though that might be an impossible task. I, for one, miss myself terribly when asleep.” 

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Final Thoughts

While Stalking Jack the Ripper takes place in Victorian Era London, Hunting Prince Dracula is set in Romania. Similar to the first book, the author does a phenomenal job creating the vast and gorgeous scenery of the Romanian landscape and it does feel that you are within the country. She is very skilled in capturing the exquisite details to make the setting very realistic and I loved venturing into these new lands and learning more about the culture.

Audrey’s character development  was done quite well in this book. Although it wasn’t anything too dynamic, we do see her struggle with the aftermath of the previous novel and fight to regain her strength to overcome her demons. Although she is filled with such turmoil, what makes her more interesting to read about is her endearing personality and her passion for what she does and wants to achieve. We also given more insight into Thomas’s background and I appreciated that we were able to see the different layers of his character.

The overall pacing of the novel was well done in my opinion. From the very beginning, it was very gripping and as a reader, you knew you were in for a wild ride! The writing was beautiful as well. It captured the Romanian scenery, the ambiance of the horrific murders, the tension between the students at the Academy and terrifying moments of the investigations. In addition, the quotes in this book are worth recognition! Let’s just take a moment to appreciate the artistry in this piece of literature:

“Monsters could wear the smiles of friends while secreting away the rotten soul of the Devil in the darkest crevices of themselves.” (pg. 287) 

“Monsters are only real as the stories that grant them life. And they only live for long as we tell those tales.” (pg. 132)

“No matter how much death and horror existed, there were still things of beauty to find.” (pg. 407)

JUST STUNNING.

Overall, I LOVED this sequel to Stalking Jack the Ripper and I would definitely recommend this series if you enjoy reading books with sassy characters, hilarious banter, gripping and mysterious plot and beautiful writing!

Have any of you read this series yet? What were your thoughts on it?

Until next time keep reading and I will see you all soon with another bookish post! (Hopefully, that would be soon since I am still recovering from the BTS performance and 2 wins on the Billboard Awards last night. DAYUUMMMM )

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