*A few Spoilers below*
Something is wrong in Snakebite, Oregon. Teenagers are disappearing, some turning up dead, the weather isn’t normal, and all fingers seem to point to TV’s most popular ghost hunters who have just returned to town. Logan Ortiz-Woodley, daughter of TV’s ParaSpectors, has never been to Snakebite before, but the moment she and her dads arrive, she starts to get the feeling that there’s more secrets buried here than they originally let on.
I definitely liked Logan’s character a lot more than the rest of the characters in this book. The only real issue I had was that she knew that her Dads had an explanation for what was going on in Snakebite and why they were there in the first place but she wouldn’t demand they tell her. Instead she was running around in circles with Ashley while more and more people were dying. If they would have just sat her down and explained and then her and Ashley could have worked together to find the dark and stop it.
I feel like Ashley is one of those girls who was always popular, had her whole life planned out for her and then Tristan’s disappearance just turned everything upside down. I really don’t like the way her and her friends treated Logan and her dads when they first got to town and even though she wasn’t as nasty as those around her she still condoned their behaviour. I appreciated the way Logan called her out for it, but I still feel like she didn’t really learn anything from it or called her friends out for their biases enough.
I really enjoyed the fact that we got more of an insight into Brandon’s life and an explanation as to why he was so distant with Logan. Throughout the course of the book I just didn’t really understand why he was so aloof and standoffish with her, like you chose to adopt her why would you treat her like that. Even though it made sense in the end, I just really feel like if they were honest with her it wouldn’t of escalated to the point it did and maybe some of those characters didn’t have to die.
The overall mystery surrounding what happened to Tristan and why it started when Brandon first came back to Snakebite was interesting and I was intrigued enough to finish the book pretty quickly but I just feel like the atmosphere wasn’t really there for me. Even though the stakes were pretty high there was just no sense of urgency for me.
⭐️3/5 stars wasn’t as gripping as what I was expecting!
Tavia is already at odds with the world, forced to keep her siren identity under wraps in a society that wants to keep her kind under lock and key. Nevermind she’s also stuck in Portland, Oregon, a city with only a handful of black folk and even fewer of those with magical powers. At least she has her bestie Effie by her side as they tackle high school drama, family secrets, and unrequited crushes.
I liked Tavia’s character. Having to constantly be on guard and quelling her powers so often would definitely have an effect on anyone and I thought she did a pretty good job of it for the majority of the storyline. I think having to overcome her father’s fears and constraints was her main obstacle throughout the course of the book. She is wanting to know more about her siren power’s and to connect with her grandmother but he is so against anything happening to her that she has to resort to sneaking and lying.
Effie’s storyline was definitely more intriguing. Originally thinking she wasn’t anything special and then to find out what happened in the park with the other kids and then eventually seeing her morph into who she truly is was quite a remarkable storyline. It’s frustrating knowing that the adults know what Effie is and just won’t tell her. Just locking her away without an explanation and being outed at the prom after being pushed to her limits.
However, I just feel like their whole magic system and the different beings in this world just wasn’t fleshed out enough for me. There was a lot of talk about myths and ethos but we really don’t get to dive right in and get a thorough explanation. I was left with more questions than answers and would of appreciated the book more had I maybe had more of a history of the siren’s and the network and how that was established.
This just isn’t my kind of fantasy I guess. I’m not even sure if this is labelled as a fantasy or whether it’s just a contemporary with some magical realism thrown in. I was just not all that invested and felt like the book dragged. The pacing might have been a little off for me and made the book seem longer than what it actually was.
⭐️2/5 stars Just wasn’t for me!
Through blood and sacrifice, Amora Montara has conquered a rebellion and taken her rightful place as queen of Visidia. Now, with the islands in turmoil and the people questioning her authority, Amora cannot allow anyone to see her weaknesses. No one can know about the curse in her bloodline. No one can know that she’s lost her magic. No one can know the truth about the boy who holds the missing half of her soul.
I honestly didn’t think Amora really went through any growth from the first book to now. Sure she is now the Queen of Visidia but other than that title she now holds she is pretty much the same. She still comes across as unrelatable and naïve and won’t let anyone in her crew in on what’s going on with her and has way to many secrets. She will play the friendship card with them but as soon as they have an opinion or idea that contradicts with her plans she will order them to submit. She’s a tad too reckless and just overall not likeable to me.
Bastian remains one of my favourites out of all the characters. He will challenge Amara regularly and the banter between them is still so entertaining to read. I like that his communication with her is always open and honest and he will express how he is feeling to her consistently. Amara was blinded by what effects the curse had on him because she was so concerned about herself and he exposed that to her which I appreciated.
Ferrick was always a stable and consistent character throughout the course of the series. He was a great friend and advisor to Amara and would give her sound advice often that she continually chose to ignore. I didn’t appreciate how he ultimately chose Amara over himself and made that sacrifice. I think his character’s arc deserved a better ending, even just being remembered would be better than what we got. I liked the fact that Vataea stood up for herself and had that blow up with Amara. She didn’t just accept the apology and continued on being one of her crew mates. I didn’t think it was the right decision for Amara to keep that secret from Vataea and I felt justified when she left.
Overall this was a highly entertaining and thrilling read. There were several plot twists that kept me wanting to read more and had me guessing what was going to happen next. I like how Amara decided to end the reign of the Montara’s and allow everyone to learn soul magic. I think it was the right decision and gave her the freedom she was yearning for.
⭐️3/5 stars A few things I didn’t like, overall a good duology!!
*A Few Spoilers*
Kappa Rho Nu isn’t your average sorority. Their parties are notorious. Their fundraisers are known for being Westerly College’s most elaborate affairs. But beneath the veil of Greek life and prestige, the sisters of Kappu Rho Nu share a secret: they’re a coven of witches.
I liked the dual perspective. We have Vivi who knows nothing about magic and witches and what the sorority is all about, young and naïve and then we have Scarlett a legacy at Kappa and a shoe in to become the next president. Vivi at the start I can totally relate to wanting to have some consistency in her life and get away from her mother and start fresh. Meanwhile Scarlett is very comfortable in her role at Kappa and is wanting to build upon her life and establish herself as the best and better and stronger than her sister and live up to her mother’s expectations.
At first I was a little salty at Scarlett for being so nasty to Vivi and being so threatened by her. I know she is under a lot of pressure from her family and her own insecurities but I don’t think that excuses you from treating someone badly. She is so set in her thoughts about what her life ‘should’ be like and she really projected that onto Mason instead of really hearing him out and sympathising with his feelings. I can see why he would end the relationship but I think it was a little shady of him to move straight onto Vivi like 5 minutes later at the homecoming dance.
Vivi really just wants to fit in and find a place where she feels wanted and accepted and she really found that with the Kappa’s the other freshman. She is very loyal very quickly to her sisters and even though I find it commendable I think putting them over her mother and not sitting down and listening to her for five minutes instead of just taking the necklace was a bit much.
The mystery surrounding Gwen was interesting but when we find out what actually happened and how Harper was killed was kind of anticlimactic for me. The magic though we do learn a lot through hell week I would of liked a more in depth run down of how the system works. I definitely found it to be quite original and exciting. Overall I am intrigued and enjoyed the story but it felt kind of more YA than what I was expecting despite the quite macabre nature of the storyline, but I am still excited to pick up the next book in this duology.
⭐️3/5 stars Witchy vibes are real!!
*SPOILERS, SPOILERS, SPOILERS*
Lo Denham is used to being on her own. After her parents died in a tragic car accident, her sister Bea joined the elusive community called The Unity Project, leaving Lo to fend for herself. Desperate not to lose the only family she has left, Lo has spent the last six years trying to reconnect with Bea, only to be met with radio silence.
I loved the format of the book, the time jumps from the past to the present. It really established depth to the story and enabled me to form a connection to both sisters. The pace was pretty consistent and there were definitely some well places twists and turns throughout to keep me engaged and wanting to read more.
I honestly wouldn’t say that either sister is particularly likeable. Since we get more from Lo’s perspective I definitely formed more of a connection to her but I can sympathise with what Bea had to go through. Both girls fall under the spell of Lev and end up both forming a relationship with him. Bea’s I can understand more because she was in a very vulnerable state when he seen her and then thinking he saved her sister from death I can see how she would be more susceptible to him. But Lo and the way she enters the Unity Project was just strange. She has spent the last 6 years campaigning against these people and trying to find her sister and then forgets all of that and sleeps with Lev? Sure when she finds out about her niece and the fact that Bea left without her would be a reason to be angry with her sister but does she forget she’s only hearing from one side and it’s the alleged cult.
Lo really goes through a journey of self discovery and realisation throughout the course of the plot but there are just so many decisions she makes that are questionable to me. And for that reason it brought me out the story a lot and made me think why… I guess it really just reinforces how influential Lev was and how all these people are tortured and emotionally manipulated by him for all these years yet still love and revere him.
This was a rollercoaster ride for sure. I had no idea how the story was going to play out but went in a very different direction than what I was predicting in my mind. So I was constantly shocked and surprised and on the edge of my seat throughout the read. The ending was a little rushed in my opinion and I felt like this final scene at the river was being built up and then is just skipped right over and we are told what is happened instead of shown. I would of liked to know for sure how Lo survived and what happened in the water but I guess it’s just not to be.
⭐️3/5 stars A fascinating read, I was just expecting something more…