Goodreads Choice Awards

Usually I don’t really attention to the Goodreads Choice Awards but I have seen the criticism in the past about how it’s more of a popularity contest rather than going off actual ratings. Which is apparent this year as one of the nominees for the Fantasy category is Rhythm of War by Brandon Sanderson and it hasn’t even been released yet. I wanted to make an informed decision when I vote so I have decided to try and read all of the nominees from the YA Fantasy category and see which I think should be the winner!! There are a couple that I have already read and a few on my physical TBR and I will have to try and source the rest and try to get to them in the coming weeks.

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Hollowpox Review

Morrigan Crow and her friends have survived their first year as proud scholars of the elite Wundrous Society, helped bring down the nefarious Ghastly Market, and proven themselves loyal to Unit 919. Now Morrigan faces a new, exciting challenge: to master the mysterious Wretched Arts of the Accomplished Wundersmith, and control the power that threatens to consume her.

Jupiter is definitely one of my favourite characters in this series. He is just super supportive of Morrigan and lets her express her opinions whilst also giving her boundaries. He actually listens to her and wants to know how she is feeling and always has her best interest at heart.

 Morrigan has a bit of a rebellious phase in this instalment. She has a period of self-isolation from her friends and focuses on the shadow classes and really starts to become obsessive with becoming a better Wundersmith. There were little instances, like when she tries to steal the book and gets her friend to cover up for her, or when she ruins away to become Ezra’s apprentice and ends up getting manipulated by the president. But I really appreciated how she took into account all of the advice she has been given and listens to those in authority and sees the error of her ways and apologises for the things she’s done.

The mystery surrounding the Hollowpox was interesting and again gave us more of an insight to Nevermoor and the people living there. It was a little predictable how it was created and the way the storyline progressed it seemed inevitable that the ending would turn out the way it did.

For some reason this didn’t quite keep me as engaged as the previous books in this series. I can usually get through one of these in a day or so and I ended up only getting around 20 pages in and then put it down for nearly a week. I just didn’t have that urge to pick it up and finish it until I forced myself to.

⭐️4/5 Still such a fun, action packed, entertaining read!

A Deadly Education Review

*A FEW SPOILERS AHEAD*

A Deadly Education is all about a dangerous school for the magically gifted where failure means certain death – until one girl begins to rewrite its rules. Enter a school of magic unlike any you have ever encountered.

I have to admit this was a little difficult to get into. There is a bit of an info dump at the start of the book with a lot of different names and characters that I was a little confused at first. It wasn’t until like a third of the way through was I able to get my head around everything and enjoy the story.

El I really enjoyed as our main protagonist. The fact that she has to work so hard to be good it just such a fun and unique concept. I almost kind of wanted her to dip into that darker side; I thought that would be an interesting twist. I liked how straightforward she is and isn’t afraid to call it like it is and stand up to the enclave kids. It was nice to see her become a little more vulnerable when she started opening up more to her friends and starting the alliance, it was quite gratifying to see her finally being able to rely on others and not fight to be included.

Orion we always just kind of there but we don’t really get to learn much about him or see him open up and discuss his life with El all that much. After the kiss with El he did kind of explain his feelings for her and how he has been treated all his life but I wanted more of an in depth look at his character.

The school setting was fantastic. The stakes were at an all-time high throughout the course of the storyline and the conflicts got progressively bigger and more entertaining. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, the pacing was fast, this was fresh and distinctive and I am sooo excited to see what will happen next!

⭐️4/5 stars has the potential to become a new all time fav!!!

Children of Virtue and Vengeance Review

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.

I have to admit I wasn’t as enthralled with this installment as I was with Children of Blood and Bone. It was a lot shorter than the previous book but I felt like it just wasn’t as immersive, which is mostly to do with the characters.

All Zélie cares about is her betrayal by Inan. It rules over her emotions and she is unable to see reason when he is involved in any plans. All she wanted to do is kill him for betraying her. As an elder now I feel like she definitely should have been able to see beyond her own prejudice and do what is best for her people.

Amari I can understand how frustrated she became after they joined with the resistance. I feel like she was frozen out of the plans almost immediately and wasn’t trusted by any of the maji even though she was integral in bringing magic back to the land. But instead of building rapport and trying to gain friendships naturally she was petulant and combative.

Miscommunication was the main source of conflict in this book and that frustrated me. If Amari and Zélie had just sat down and worked through their issues I feel they could of probably come up with a foolproof plan that would have saved a lot of lives.

⭐️3/5 Had a bit of the second book syndrome for me!

The Damned Review

Following the events of The Beautiful, Sébastien Saint Germain is now cursed and forever changed. The treaty between the Fallen and the Brotherhood has been broken, and war between the immortals seems imminent. The price of loving Celine was costly. But Celine has also paid a high price for loving Bastien, loosing her memory of him completely.

I liked that we got a more in depth look at the supernatural beings in this book. We learnt all about the Court of Lions and how they all came together and formed this family under Nicodemus’s charge. We are definitely given a lot of context and background around the war between the vampires and werewolves and how they all came to be in the mortal realm in the first place after being banished 400 years ago, which was what I was missing from the first book.

I was highly invested in Bastien’s character throughout the course of this book and I found he really took over most of the plot. I was a lot more interested in his point of view as opposed to all the others. It was entertaining seeing the shift from his human self and what he thought he wanted from his life to now being one of the Fallen wanting to be better and fix his flaws. Going on the quest to try to be unmade so he can reunite with Celine was adorable and commendable.

Celine again is not a favourite character of mine. I liked her more in this book than The Beautiful for sure, yet she is still a tad bland for me. There is nothing about her that captures my attention and she isn’t really differentiated from any other main female protagonist out there in the literary world. I appreciate her need to find the truth and I was surprised by the reveal of who her mother really is. I liked the call back at the end to her life back in France and what she was running from in the first place. I definitely think she owed Michael and explanation and she should of probably told him the truth from the start about her feelings for Bastien instead of just disappearing with him for weeks.

There were times when I thought the plot rushed through a lot of important events that could of been explored and explained a lot more. The first half of the book was a lot slower paced with not a lot happening and then it feels what should of been two thirds of the book condensed into the last 150 pages or so.

⭐️3/5 stars I’m left with a lot more questions than answers