Empire of the Vampire Review

*SPOILERS AHEAD*

Twenty-seven years have passed since the last sunrise, and for almost three decades, the creatures of the night have walked the day without fear. Once, humanity fought bravely against the coldblood legions, but now, we exist only in a few scattered settlements—tiny sparks of light in a growing sea of darkness. Gabriel de León is the last of the Silversaints, a holy order dedicated to defending realm and church, now utterly destroyed. Imprisoned for the murder of the vampiric king, Gabriel is charged with telling the story of his life.

So first of all I loved the format of the story. Gabe being forced to tell his life story and we see how all of the actions and decisions he has made in his life has led him to this moment and it makes me excited to see what has happened and how he has ended up here. I also low key like to be spoiled when I’m reading epic fantasy so knowing that Gabe isn’t going to die is reassuring but also the fact that everyone around him could potentially is engaging!

As a character I find Gabe to be quite complex. We see over the various timelines that he evolves and changes quite significantly but in a way that shows growth for sure. He maintains a quite arrogant, unlikable attitude that honestly appeals to me, I know a lot of people probably would hate him but I’m here for it!

I am very must invested in the dual timelines. Each were at such pivotal moments in Gabe’s life that there wasn’t one over the other that I preferred which is usually what happens. I was both equally invested and eager to find out what was going to happen to all of the characters in each period.

The world building was pretty epic and descriptive and the scale is definitely shown through the amount of time it takes the characters to traverse the country throughout the course of the storyline. The magic system surrounding the vampires and their hierarchy is fascinating and unlike anything I’ve read before. The whole history of the Silversaints and how they control their urges and the seductive nature of smoking and how debilitating it can be when they go without was a unique twist and I certainly can’t wait to see what is going to happen next.

⭐️5/5 stars Gabe is everything I needed!

The Stone Sky Review

*SPOILERS BELOW*

This is the way the world ends… for the last time. The Moon will soon return. Whether this heralds the destruction of humankind or something worse will depend on two women. Essun has inherited the power of Alabaster Tenring. With it, she hopes to find her daughter Nassun and forge a world in which every orogene child can grow up safe. For Nassun, her mother’s mastery of the Obelisk Gate comes too late. She has seen the evil of the world, and accepted what her mother will not admit: that sometimes what is corrupt cannot be cleansed, only destroyed.

Essun in this final instalment of the series fell a little bit flat for me. Although we see her breakthrough and really start to become more invested in her Comm I found the majority of her storyline travelling with them to be tedious. She is unable to wield her powers as much as she could previous because she was turning to stone and I found when she is finally reunited with Nassun she could of tried harder to stop her instead of giving in.

Nassun’s character is quite morally grey but again she is only 10 years old for the majority of the storyline and was quite indoctrined by Schaffa. She puts her love for him above everything else and is willing to risk all of humanity just to keep him alive. I feel as if she should have more of an emotional connection to her mother than what is shown when they do reunite.

I think the twist with the Stone Eaters was a great addition to the storyline and gave us that much needed context as to why they keep popping up and are so invested in Essun and Nassun. I honestly can’t blame them for what they did and it was gratifying to see how their story came full circle and we understand why.

Overall I was still highly invested in the storyline and wanted to know how it was all going to wrap up and honestly I can say I was content! I just wish there was a little more action to make it more gripping. It was still just a lot of history and terminology to wrap my mind around. Loved the twists and all my questions pretty much got answered which is all I can ask for!

⭐️4/5 stars Solid ending to this great series!!

The Obelisk Gate Review

*Some spoilers*

This is the way the world ends… for the last time. The season of endings grows darker as civilization fades into the long cold night. Alabaster Tenring – madman, world-crusher, saviour – has returned with a mission: to train his successor, Essun, and thus seal the fate of the Stillness forever. It continues with a lost daughter, found by the enemy. It continues with the obelisks, and an ancient mystery converging on answers at last. The Stillness is the wall which stands against the flow of tradition, the spark of hope long buried under the thickening ashfall. And it will not be broken

I took me quite a few chapters to be situated back into the story simply because I read The Fifth Season back in February and some of the finer details and characters eluded me. But around the first 100 page mark I was pretty much reintroduced to everyone and very much invested back into the storyline.

Essun I think has evolved even more in this book than the first. We’ve learnt nearly all there is to know about her and her background and now we get to see how her previous experiences affect her choices moving forward. I think we definitely see how the Fulcrum has influenced her and from her run in with the Guardian we see that her old relationship with Schaffa has definitely left some scars. I like how committed she becomes to her new Comm and the banter between her and Ykka is very entertaining. She truly comes into her powers in this book and I can’t wait to see where she will go next!

I liked the inclusion of Nassun’s point of view. From her reaction to her brothers death and then the subsequent journey with her father afterwards and how she manipulates him through his love for her. It’s definitely an act of desperation to cling to the only parent she actually loves but we can see how it skews her perception of what a proper relationship with a father figure should be and why she latches on to Schaffa who actually listens and tries to understand her. Even though some of the choices she makes is questionable I remember that she is only 10 years old, incredibly impressionable and just a product of her surroundings. I can’t wait for the reunion she is going to have with her mother and I am excited to see their reactions to each other.

The Stone Eaters are what intrigues me the most. They’ve been very much present throughout the course of the series so far and we’ve only just started to learn more about them and their history. I’m still unsure of their motivations yet, we have some like Hoa and Antimony who are helping the Roggas and others who want the human’s to go extinct. Is Hoa actually being honest and honourable with his intentions or is he going to double cross Essun?

I find this book to be quite a bit slower pace wise than the previous. I found the writing to be a little bit harder to get into than what I remember from The Fifth Season as well. It’s very descriptive but there’s a lot of terminology to try and get your head around which I struggled with at times. Overall though I think this was a great continuation from the first book and I am for sure picking up The Stone Sky whilst everything is still fresh in my brain!

⭐️4/5 stars Immersive, surprising and ever evolving!

One by One Review

*Definite spoilers below*

Getting snowed in at a beautiful, rustic mountain chalet doesn’t sound like the worst problem in the world, especially when there’s a breath-taking vista, a cosy fire, and company to keep you warm. But what happens when that company is eight of your co-workers…and you can’t trust any of them?

I definitely preferred Erin over every other character in this book. I felt like she was the most fleshed out and we got more of a background with her and how she ended up at the chalet. I thought she was a very realistic character and all of the choices that she made would be the same if I was in that situation. I felt very sympathetic towards her and I liked the way she thinks and how she managed to figure out in the end who was behind it all!

Liz was written in a way that kind of forced sympathy from the reader on to her. Always being forgotten by the other Snoop employees and just disappearing into the background. In hindsight, there are definitely clues spread throughout the course of the plot that point to her but they weren’t so obvious to me. I don’t see how she thinks she’s the victim in all of this, sure she had something horrific happen to her and Eva really leaned on that and used it to manipulate her but to resort to killing people is just a bit of a stretch to me.

There was just a lot of characters and not enough time for me to get to know them all and differentiate between them. We got a little bit of history and background on each of them but not enough for me to remember each of them specifically. Usually I don’t really care for learning too much about each of the characters but when we are in a forced proximity setting I would like to be able to recognise each of them.

Other than that I really enjoyed the story and how the plot unfolded. The pace was on the slower side for the majority of the book but once the avalanche happens things really speed up and I was on the edge of my seat from there. I’m still quite new to the mystery/thriller genre so a lot of the plot twists and tropes I haven’t come across yet and everything is still fresh and exciting for me and I thought the same for this book!

⭐️4/5 stars Atmospheric and suspenseful!

Into the Water Review

*SPOILERS AHEAD*

In the last days before her death, Nel Abbott called her sister. Jules didn’t pick up the phone, ignoring her plea for help. Now Nel is dead. They say she jumped. And Jules has been dragged back to the one place she hoped she had escaped for good, to care for the teenage girl her sister left behind.

As a character I didn’t particularly like Jules or feel any kind of connection to her so I wasn’t that invested in the story as whole because of that. Throughout the book she never surprised me or did something that would encourage me to be on her side. Sure she had something horrific happen to her when she was a child and the other children and her sister were horrible to her but none of that had anything to do with Nel’s death and the deaths of all the other women at the pool. It did give us some context as to Nel’s character and I can see why Jules would believe that her sister was so callous all these years.

Lena just got on my nerves for the majority of the story as well. I can appreciate that she just lost her mum and is in mourning at the moment but her attitude and brattiness was annoying. She was very selfish in keeping that secret about Katie and I was 100% on Louise’s side for telling her that! She would of eased their minds months and months ago about why Katie killed herself had she just told the family about the relationship.

I feel like Louise bless her was the most realistic out of all the characters in this book. Her grief over her daughter’s death and her unwillingness to give up and figure out the cause of it all felt so real and raw. I can’t imagine what she would be going through but she knew that Nel and Lena had something to do with it and ultimately they did.

I liked the structure of the book, having the multiple perspectives really gave us a lot of context and upped the mystery factor as to who was behind Nel’s death. The pacing was just a little off though, there wasn’t enough reveals or twists for me, it was just one big build up to the standoff with the Townsend’s. It was original, unlike anything I’ve read so far and ultimately was just an ok for me!

⭐️3/5 stars Very eerie, dark and wet!