Well Played Review

Stacey is jolted when her friends Simon and Emily get engaged. She knew she was putting her life on hold when she stayed in Willow Creek to care for her sick mother, but it’s been years now, and even though Stacey loves spending her summers pouring drinks and flirting with patrons at the local Renaissance Faire, she wants more out of life. Stacey vows to have her life figured out by the time her friends get hitched at Faire next summer. Maybe she’ll even find The One.

I really liked Stacey as our main protagonist. I thought she seemed very realistic and relatable. I can totally see how she would invest herself in this relationship with Dex online after being so lonely for so long. It was quite subtle and progressed I thought naturally to what it ended up being when she found out the truth. Had I been in the same situation I probably wouldn’t of forgave Daniel quite as quickly as she did but there connection was electric!

I knew immediately when Stacey had so many queries about whether or not this was the same Dex she had the flings with over the summer that it wasn’t him writing all of these emails. And they the only other male character that was introduced was Dan so it was kind of obvious that he was the one. But I was able to overlook the predictability of the plot because of the setting and the bond I have with the other character from the previous book.

The pacing was at times a little slow and repetitive but I was pretty much invested with these characters right from the start so it carried me through the story pretty quickly. I could of dealt with a little more sexy scenes in the book as well, it was definitely less smutty than the first book in this series but it was still pretty cute!

⭐️4/5 stars was an enjoyiable, romantic, fun read!

The Fifth Season Review

Three terrible things happen in a single day. Essun, a woman living an ordinary life in a small town, comes home to find that her husband has brutally murdered their son and kidnapped their daughter. Meanwhile, mighty Sanze — the world-spanning empire whose innovations have been civilization’s bedrock for a thousand years — collapses as most of its citizens are murdered to serve a madman’s vengeance. And worst of all, across the heart of the vast continent known as the Stillness, a great red rift has been torn into the heart of the earth, spewing ash enough to darken the sky for years. Or centuries.

This was great! For some reason because of all of the hype surrounding this book I thought I wasn’t going to like it. From what I heard about the blurb and what I thought this book was about it didn’t seem interesting to me, but once I actually sat down and started reading I was hooked! I can’t lie it was a slow start for me, it took me at least a hundred pages until I was fully immersed and understood what was going on.

Essun I wasn’t that invested in to be totally honest especially in comparison to the other two perspectives and I think it’s because her storyline involved a lot of travelling. Which is a good way to show the reader the world and gives us a sense of how dire the season’s are and how much preparation these people go through. But still reading about her trying to catch up to her husband and daughter didn’t really do a lot for me. However, once she joined with the other oregenes in the underground geode and we started to find out more about who she is and who her companions are I was a little shook!

Damaya I loved from the moment she was first introduced. I couldn’t help but sympathise with her and what she has had to go through because she is a ‘rogga’. Ostracised from her family and sold off like livestock, at such a young age would be so traumatising. Her strength and resilience she shows throughout the course of her storyline was noteworthy and I really enjoyed her perspective.

Syenite was by and far my favourite out of the three, from her relationship with Alabaster and the whole sequence of events that lead them to Meov. I had an overwhelming sense of foreboding throughout their stay there and to see her so happy with Innon and Corundum and how they managed to make a family only to have it ripped away killed me!

This was a wonderful introduction to this trilogy and I can see now why so many people love this book. The writing was descriptive and the world building was immaculate. All of the characters were distinctive and diverse and the way the storylines merged was masterful. I am kicking myself for putting off reading this book for so long and I am happy to have finally completed it. I have a feeling I am going to be continuing on very soon!

⭐️4/5 stars lived up to the hype!!!

In An Absent Dream Review

This fourth entry and prequel tells the story of Lundy, a very serious young girl who would rather study and dream than become a respectable housewife and live up to the expectations of the world around her. As well she should. When she finds a doorway to a world founded on logic and reason, riddles and lies, she thinks she’s found her paradise. Alas, everything costs at the goblin market, and when her time there is drawing to a close, she makes the kind of bargain that never plays out well.

From what we learn about Katherine I can see why she would want to escape to the Goblin Market and how she would thrive in this world. She is very stubborn and I could see how her choices would affect her later on in the plot and they eventually did. She was both selfish running away from her family and coming back multiple times, she didn’t really understand how that could affect them, but also she would do just about anything to help Moon and stop her from becoming an owl, taking on her debt and paying it all off with no thought of the repercussions.

The world building wasn’t quite enough for me. There was definitely multiple discussions about the rules and debt and how giving fair value and not asking for too much was key in this world but the actual setting wasn’t explored enough for me. It lacked that depth I needed to become fully engaged and invested in the plot.

I felt like all of the action and adventure aspects in these books were just passed over. I wanted to know about all of the things Lundy got up to in the years she was in the Goblin Market instead of briefly being told them when she returns to her family. This is definitely more of a character driven series which explores the characters growth over their journey’s and their frame of minds throughout as opposed to what is actually happening within the worlds.

Overall I feel a bit ambivalent towards this book in particular. It was interesting sure, and seeing how Lundy interprets the rules and debts captured my attention but overall it just feels like something is missing in the story. And again like the rest of the series I think it was the fact that they are just so short and doesn’t give me enough substance.

⭐️3/5 stars Just an ok one for me…

Flamecaster Review

Set in the world of the acclaimed Seven Realms series a generation later, this is a thrilling story of dark magic, chilling threats, and two unforgettable characters walking a knife-sharp line between life and death. 

It has been a while since I read the Seven Realms and it took me a minute to become settled in Cinda Williams Chima’s writing style but once I was I was thriving! She set up so many storylines and questions that I need answering so it seems like I’m going to be bingeing this series.

I really liked Ash. He wasn’t perfect by any means and was a tad stubborn and unwilling to listen to advice from anyone but he is still so endearing. Watching you father being killed right in front of you (which I was a bit salty about tbh) would of damaged any child and I think wanting to enact revenge is a perfectly plausible plan and I would of probably wanted to do the same had I been in his position.

Lila I was unsure about for the majority of her storyline before we found out who she actually is. I didn’t understand her motives and why she was so hellbent on helping Ash yet also seemingly supplying the Kind of Arden with supplies that could help him win the war. She was cloaked in mystery throughout the book and her closeness to Destin was also a factor that made me not trust her.

Jenna I am the most curious about out of all the characters. Not knowing who her parents are and having this Empress searching for her is all very compelling! Who is she really, what powers does she actually have and how can she talk to dragons? That element really shocked me as I didn’t know that dragons were a part of this world but it was definitely a welcome addition to the plot.

I have to say it did get a little slow paced and kind of stagnant in the middle section of the book where we follow Ash as he infiltrates the castle at Arden. But there was so many different strands and arcs going on that kept me turning the pages for sure! I am very much engaged and I think this was the perfect set up for the series.

⭐️4/5 stars I think I’m going to love this series!!!

A Sky Beyond the Storm Review

This was perfection!

The long-imprisoned jinn are on the attack, wreaking bloody havoc in villages and cities alike. But for the Nightbringer, vengeance on his human foes is just the beginning.

Laia we can definitely see how far she has come in this final instalment to the series. She is resolute and unwavering in her purpose and has grown so much from the timid girl pretending to be a slave to the Commandant. She still makes some decisions that I find questionable but within her scope of reasoning so it didn’t annoy me as much as it would of otherwise. She has been through a lot and I am very satisfied with the way her character arc played out.

Elias has always been one of my favourite characters in this world. His broodiness, his want to rebel from his mother and not be a mindless mask forced to kill with no remorse. He has put me through the ringer throughout the course of this series and has frustrated me to no end, I still can’t help but love him. Seeing his journey to find his empathy and bring back his emotions to try and help end the war as the Soul Catcher was a struggle and I wanted to throttle him at times, but it made the pay off worth it so much more.

Helene was amazing in this book. Again super frustrating her not wanting to give in to her feelings for Harper and actually cultivate a relationship with him when everyone around them could see they were meant for each other. The build up of tension between them and the eventual pay off was well worth it though! Helene I have to say I wasn’t really all that interested in before this book but she really came to the forefront and shined. I was very much invested in her storyline and I was not disappointed!

There is so much going on in this book right from the start. It has been a few months since I reread the previous books in this series so there were a few characters that I didn’t recognise at first but as the story continued I was able to regain my bearings and enjoy all of the action. I liked the fact that everyone is separated for the majority of the book and eventually find their way back together just in time. It wasn’t the fairy tale ending I was expecting where everything just magically works out, we definitely loose a lot of characters I wasn’t expecting but we gained a few as well so I was left feeling very content!

⭐️5/5 All the feels!!