Thrice Upon a Time (Beyond Magic – A Book Review)

Beyond Magic
Author: Susan Kearney, Elaine Cunningham, Kassandra Sims
Published: 2008

On Goodreads

Scarlet Reader

Barnes & Noble

My Rating: Full boltFull bolt Half bolt

Rated M for mysterious, magical romanced smut of three women who desperately needed a break from their day job.

 

From three astounding authors, each divine in their own right come three novellas in one book: The Shimmering, Beyond Dreams, and Hill and Sky. From astral projecting to a whole other planet to a medium and psychic teaming up to solve a kidnapping and murder case to trying to save magic. This book is packed corner to corner with magic and of course, a splash of delicious romance.

 

The Shimmering:

I dip my toes into sci-fi from time to time. I’ve never dipped my toes into sci-fi + romance though, until now. It was intriguing and I found myself surprised to much! The way the story came full circle was beautiful and the detail to imagery was mesmerizing. The characters were rough and edgy and aggressive. It was refreshing. That being said, this story was to short!

 

Beyond Dreams:

A medium and a psychic, what can go wrong? LOL. This one gave me those tragic nostalgia vibes. While it’s mysterious and left the tingles of anticipation, I wish there’d been more.

 

Hill and Sky:

Sassy and magic! Two very good things! I love when a relationship is filled with back and forth banter that makes flirting fun. The prophetic tales interweaved with the story were beautiful and curious. This has to be my favorite. The chemistry is red hot and just all-around fun. The spellbinding heat was strong with this one.

 

Overall

A fun Halloween read? Sure! Beyond that? I’m not feeling very much. This wasn’t something that left any lingering emotions. Not even any lingering toe-curls. It happens. Give it a read then pass it along in my opinion.

 

More to come soon…                                                                                                

  -K.

 

P.S. Song Today? Glad You Came by The Wanted.

 

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The Tower For True Love (Wizard and Glass – A Book Review)

Wizard and Glass (The Dark Tower IV)
Author: Stephen King
Published: 1997

On Goodreads

The Scarlet Reader

Amazon

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

Rated T for finding true love only to lose it because of destiny

 

Fools are the only folk on earth who can absolutely count on getting exactly what they deserve.

After winning the game of riddles with Blaine, the monorail, Roland, the Gunslinger, and his group: Susannah and Eddie Dean, Jake, and the billy-bumbler, Oy, get lost and Roland finally tells them the origin of Roland’s journey to the Tower that’s tied to the story of losing his first love.

 

The Dark Tower series is one of the series on my New Year’s resolution and this is book 4 of 7 (technically 8, but I’m not including The Wind Through the Keyhole, though I will be reading it.)

 

So far in the Dark Tower series:

 

The Gunslingerreview here

The Drawing of Threereview here

The Waste Landsreview here

This must be my favorite installment so far! I got caught up in the intense life or death situations of The Waste Lands, but Wizard and Glass brought haunting magic, tragic love, and the start of the epic journey to the Tower. There were many revelations and breathtaking moments. So much detail and emotion.

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I’m a lush for a good relationship and build-up to romance. I don’t care what anybody says. What I admire about King’s storytelling is that he can create an act of sex in an animalistic nature, but also bring to life the act of expressing love. He differentiates the two so clearly though they are the same and that really stuck out for me. Roland and Susan were so sweet and I was sighing away about them. The friendship between Roland, Cuthbert, and Alain as well was powerful in its own way. This journey they took really tested their bonds and I was swept away. Stories that accentuate themes like these always grab my attention, even if you can tell they will end tragically.

The book taking place in a flashback of Roland and his two best friends, Cuthbert and Alain, who have just entered the life of Gunslingers and were sent to a dusty town undercover. I got really strong vibes of the wild west, but a disturbing and sci-fi version of it. Traces of the world we know were in it like a Citgo. It made the place recognizable with these little pieces in such a massive span of a world. It also connected every world together this way too. It came together like a perfectly baked cake. Totally digging it.

 

Overall

Beautiful and haunting. This installment is also personal for Roland. He doesn’t share much so I was drinking it up! This is such an intense and amazingly interwoven story. I’m officially sucked in. With more discoveries and secrets coming to light and the tower growing closer, I’m excited to get to the end!

 

Quotables:

“What’s been spoken for may be unspoken, and what’s done may be undone. Nothing’s sure, but…I want her.” (Roland, p. 172)

“True love, like any other strong and addicting drug, is boring once the tale of encounter and discovery is told, kisses quickly grow stale and caresses tiresome…except, of course to those who share the kisses, who give and take the caresses while every sound and color of the world seems to deepen and brighten around them. As with any other strong drug, true love is really only interesting to those who have become is dangerous.” (p.355)

“You’re in the west. The soul of a man such as you can never leave the west. You’ll live in exile and die as you lived.” (p. 500)

“I left the world I knew to watch a kid try to put booties on a fucked-up weasel. Shoot me, Roland, before I breed.” (Eddie, p. 661)

 

More to come soon…                                                                                                

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? Into the Ocean by Blue October

 

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Thoughts? Let’s chat in the comments below!

 

 

Weaving Across Europe (Shadow of Night – A Book Review)

Shadow of Night (All Souls Trilogy #2)
Author: Deborah Harkness
Published: 2012

On Goodreads

Scarlet Reader

Goodreads

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

Rated T for witchy time-tampering and tinkering.

 

In every ending there is a new beginning.

Diana and Matthew’s timewalk to Elizabethan London is a success. There, they meet more of Matthew’s friends and family, including his father who isn’t alive in their time. While the two move across England searching for a witch that can help Diana reach her full potential as a witch, they also discover they have a shot at seeing the Book of Life in its entirety.

They are quickly drawn into the world of the past, the historian in Diana living in a dream come true while Matthew tries to fix things he didn’t during this time. Caught up in the times, the two must be careful, for their actions may have consequences in the future. And where there is shadow there is light.

 

The All Souls Trilogy is a part of my New Year’s Resolution. This is book 2 of 3.

 

This story only gets better and better! I’m not much of a history buff, but this time travel was amazing! Harkness didn’t spare a single detail. I was utterly beguiled by the scenery and magic. It was so beautiful! From the dangerous encounters to all of the magic to the true love and endearing family, I am just so here for it. Meeting Phillipe, Matthew’s father, and Gallowglass, his nephew, was among my favorite! For vampires, they’re so lively and their loyalty was unyielding. Such admirable characters once again.

Side Note: They’re terrible at keeping secret that they’re from the future. LOL.

There were so many new characters! I was so excited. There were also some familiar ones like Christopher Marlowe, who by the way was an utter douchebag. Brilliant mind! Evil little snit. Many others of history made a cameo and it was so beautiful interwoven with this magical story.

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Matthew and Diana’s love still has me mesmerized. It’s complicated and tail-spinning and surprising. They’re unconventional and there’s the struggle of finding equal partnership as well as being able to let each other into each other’s lives. Of course, there were times I shook my head because they could get super lovey-dovey and it would come off strong and maybe a little cheesy. Diana and Matthew are such strong characters and put a lot of faith in one another. The obstacles they face in this book are mainly themselves and allowing themselves to open up and not let their faults get in the way of how they feel and to accept and move past these faults. My emotions were a-stirrin’.

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Overall

This trilogy has dragged me in further and further. Just complex and original. As such an avid lover of the paranormal, I’d started to wonder if I’d read and seen everything magic had to offer. This trilogy still blows me out of the water! Harkness’s way with words is poetic and filled with splendor. Also, I’ve caught the sneak peeks of season 2 of A Discovery of Witches on Twitter and I am so effing EXCITED!!!! I recommend all of it; the show and the books.

Scarlet Reader

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Quotables:

“Giving a woman your whole life is meaningless without giving her your whole heart as well. You should pay more attention to the conclusion of that love token, not just the beginning.” (Phillipe to Matthew, p. 113)

“Mark me well, Diana: Lives will be lost because of your love for my son. Some will sacrifice themselves. Others will die because someone must, and it will be for you to decide if it is you or them or someone you love…” (Phillipe to Diana, p. 160)

“Whoever could have imagined that the lost Book of Life would stink to high heaven of death?” (p. 462)

“After all my searching, I discover that I am who I always was: Matthew de Clermont. Husband. Father. Vampire. And I am here for only one reason: To make a difference.” (Matthew to Diana, p. 469)

“Nightmares are like Master Harriot’s star glass. They are a trick of the light, one that makes something distant seem closer and larger than it really is.” (Matthew to Jack, p. 552)

 

More to come soon…                                                                                                

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? Way Down We Go by Kaleo.

 

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Thoughts? Let’s chat in the comments below!

 

 

It Begins… (A Discovery of Witches – A Book Review)

A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy #1)
Author: Deborah Harkness
Published: 2011

On Goodreads

Scarlet Reader

Goodreads

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

Rated B for characters that bewitch you, bewilder you and make you melt into a massive puddle from swooning so hard.

 

It begins with absence and desire.

It begins with blood and fear.

It begins with a discovery of witches.

Diana Bishop, of the Bishop witches that date back to Salem, and also a young scholar of Oxford spends her days studying and researching alchemy in Oxford’s Bodleian Library while also resisting using her magic. Then one day she calls up a manuscript that hasn’t been seen in centuries. Witches, vampires, and daemons alike gather, waiting for her to call it again. More than anything she wants to be left alone.

Her entire world shifts when she meets Matthew Clermont, fellow doctor of Oxford and vampire, who like others, is very interested in the manuscript. What begins as a mission to get Diana to call up the manuscript soon turns into something much deeper, passionate, and filled with many discoveries than either of them intended. They’ll stand up to anything and everyone in their way to protect each other and the manuscript that may contain the most important answers to questions about their existence.

 

The All Souls Trilogy is a part of my New Year’s Resolution. This is book 1 of 3.

 

For the last twenty-four hours, I’ve been debating about how to begin this review. I’ll start where I began with this beautiful, mesmerizing series. The television show. I’d heard about it through a grapevine—I can’t remember which—and knew in my gut that I just had to watch it. I knew it wasn’t the typical broody supernatural show. There was both complexity and sophistication and so much beauty. I was blown away. So that’s where it began for me and then I just had to read the trilogy.

The book was long and deep, but I can honestly say that I feel like it didn’t drag. There’s purpose and a sense of longing and wonder with magic weaved in-between. Witch water and witch fire. Vampires as hunters. And daemons as overly intelligent and creative beings that dance on the line of sanity. I’m bewitched I tell you!

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Everything Horror

Diana and Matthew are drawn together through powerful passion, magic, and determination. The chemistry between the two of them is fire! I’m melting from the heat and certainly not complaining. I admire how stubborn they both are and how they stand up for what they believe in and how they feel. It’s so intense and incredible. It shook me, guys. And also, if you’ve read this already or watched the show, French bundling. LOL. I’ll never stop laughing like a moron at that. It’s so adorable, yet blush-worthy. The book made me feel intensely.

The surrounding characters were also phenomenal! I loved all of them! Well, except for Knox and Gerbert. They’re villainous dillholes. Ugh! So many dimensions and life and all-around loveable other characters. I especially loved when everyone was together under the Bishop roof. I especially loved how the Bishop witches are surprising, almost as if to say they’re the weirdos of their species. LOL.

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Tenor

And Marcus and Miriam, gah! Love them. They, along with Mathew, don’t come across as the typical type of vampire: broody and depressing. It’s refreshing. In fact, they take on a realistic facet, coming across as dominant creatures. Of course, coming across the Bishops created a great challenge.

There was so much to take in with this book. All good. All amazing. Completely mind-blowing. From the world building of Oxford to Madison to Sept Tours, it was all vivid and colorful and just gorgeous. The imagery was just stunningly realistic and added so much to the characters and swept me away.

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Giphy

Overall

I honestly don’t have a bad thing to say about this book. Not a damn one. Finding the right words for this review was so difficult because this book was what I can only describe as ineffable and obviously rambling. It was in-depth and magical and splendid in how Diana and Matthew and all of the other characters worked my emotions. Praise from all angles from me. People told me this would be one of those ones that would become an obsession and it has! It’s just absolutely magnificent from head to toe, from magic to love, just absolute perfection. There’s so much more to this story than what the show gave, but they’re both so fantastic and leave me desperate for more. Never read anything like this. I need to start the next one!

 

Scarlett Reader

The Nerd Daily

 

Quotables:

“Aunt Sarah had always told me that magic was a gift. If it was, it had strings attached that bound me to all the Bishop witches who had come before me. There was a price to be paid for using this inherited magical power and for working spells and charms that made up the witches’ carefully guarded craft.” (Diana, p. 13)

“I want what I shouldn’t want, and I crave someone I can never have.” (Mathew, p. 106)

“A witch shouldn’t keep secrets from other witches. Bad things happen when she does.” (Gillian to Diana, p. 122)

“Did you know that a witch’s blood makes music? Like a siren who sings to the sailor, asking him to steer his ship into the rocks, the call of your blood could be my undoing—and yours.” ‘(Mathew to Diana, p. 175)

“Dying was nothing at all like I’d expected it to be. There was a moment of bone-deep quiet. A sense of parting and regret. Then nothing.” (p. 503)

 

More to come soon…

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? It Won’t Kill Ya by The Chainsmokers ft. Louane.

 

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Thoughts? Let’s chat in the comments below!

 

 

Midnight Tease

Midnight Tease - Giphy

Heya, my little bookish fiends!

It’s the midnight hour and if you’re awake then you’re a night owl too! Plus. How’s that saying go? You can sleep when you’re dead? LOL. It’s officially July. The middle of summer. Well, the middle of summer in my opinion.

Since you’re up, here’s the TBR list for the month, though if I’m being honest they’re more like goals. I’m hoping to hit them this month. Here’s what’s coming up, what I’m currently reading, and what’s up for review!

 

Coming Soon…

Ghost_atniquity - LiveJournal

 

Wizard and Glass
Author: Stephen King
The Scarlet Reader
Amazon

The journey to the Tower continues for Roland and his group…hopefully this month. LOL.

 

The Host
Author: Stephanie Meyer
Scarlet Reader

Goodreads

Aliens instead of vampires? I’ve seen the movie and I’m going to follow the saying: The book is better than the movie. This is one of those books that has me curious because so many people enjoyed it.

 

The Book of Life
Author: Deborah Harkness
Scarlet Readerr
Amazon

The third book of the All Souls Trilogy. If you haven’t read this yet then do!

 

The First Men in the Moon
Author: H. G. Wells
Scarlet Reader

Penguin Random House

I feel like it’s good to balance out reading with a good classic and I happen to really enjoy me some Wells.

 

Currently…

About

 

Shadow of Night
Author: Deborah Harkness
Scarlet Reader

Goodreads

 

Zom-B
Author: Darren Shan

Scarlet Reader

 

Up for Review…

Midnight tease II - giphy

 

A Discovery of Witches
Author: Deborah Harkness
Scarlet Reader
A Discovery of Witches – Amazon

 

Good Omens
Author: Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett
Scarlet Reader

Penguin

 

And of course…

Blood and Chocolate
Author: Annette Curtis Klause
Scarlet Reader

Banned Library

This is the book I will read every summer. Every. Single. Year. It’s my favorite book and I enjoy reading it during my favorite season. What’s your favorite book?

 

 

I’m lowering my goals just a tad bit. While I enjoy a mass amount of reading, I’ve got to be realistic about getting to it. LOL. I have a massive mountain to get to but need to take my time, so I’ve fixed up my list a little bit. I know, I know. I’ve fallen behind on what I said I’d read last month. I’ve already slapped myself for it, trust me.

This Midnight Tease is basically what I’ve been working on since last month, but that’s because I like to stick with things. I’ve just been really busy lately with work, plus some of these books are pretty decent sized, so if things slow down a bit don’t give up on me.

I am excited to get to some of the newer books I’ve gotten and hope to do so in the Fall. Dreamfall (Amy Plum), Wicked Saints (Emily A. Duncan), and The Past and Other Things That Should Stay Buried (Shaun David Hutchinson), for example. Yeah, they’re not NEW new releases, but they’re new to my pile and I can’t wait to get to them.

 

More to come soon…

  -K.

 

Find Me:

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Thoughts? Let’s chat in the comments below.

From Time Traveler to Devil’s Thief…That Escalated Quickly (The Devil’s Thief – A Book Review)

The Devil’s Thief (The Last Magician (#2)
Author: Lisa Maxwell
Published: 2018

On Goodreads

The Devil's Thief - Goodreads

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

Rated T for twistier betrayals that are for the greater good…right?

Hunt the stones.

Beware the thief.

Avenge the past.

Everything Esta has known is a lie. Her parents were murdered and those she trusted betrayed her. Now, she and Harte Darrigan must travel to the world fair in St. Louis to track down the magical artifacts that and help fix the brink that surrounds Manhattan. It gets complicated since Darrigan is struggling after taking in the magic of the Book of Mysteries. It wants Esta, but so does he. Not knowing if what he feels is real or not, he must learn to control the power within him or it may just rip the world apart.

Meanwhile, in Manhattan, Viola and Jianyu must defeat a traitor. The city is on the verge of chaos. With the help of unexpected allies, they may just save the city too. History has a chance to be rewritten, but will it be for better or worse?

 

First off, this review took way too damn long to get up. I apologize for that. Now, on to the review!

 

Scarlet Reader

Simon & Schuster

The Last Magician

Review – Here

 

I have no words. No, that’s not right. I don’t have enough words! Like The Last Magician, I was completely blown. Already excited to read this book, I was not let down when I plowed my way through it. Esta and Harte Darrigan broke free of Manhattan and are now on a mission to collect all of the magical artifacts he sent out of the city so that they may be able to save The Brink and everyone inside of it. The first stop is the extravagant world fair in St. Louis. Complications escalate quickly, just like they do back in Manhattan for Jianyu and Viola. There are more secrets! More danger! More adventure!

There are new characters! With the determined Ruby and Theo and the brave and courageous Cela, Viola and Jianyu find unexpected friendships. Esta and Harte meet Julien, Mother Ruth, and North and it’s unclear if they’re friend or foe. Nonetheless, they made this book even better! So much development and creativity in this series! Sophisticated and complex, I loved them so much. They opened up the main characters in so many ways. I really love how much they add to the story and that they seem like so much more than just side characters. I’m also hoping for more possible pairings because I can’t get enough of Esta and Harte. I’m totally up for Ruby/Viola and Jianyu/Cela. I love how they are together. Viola and Ruby are so hot and spicy together, like hot sauce and firecrackers. Jianyu and Cela are so strong and unbreakable like diamonds. They’re all precious and I appreciate all of them.

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The setting got so much bigger!! No longer held up in Manhattan, I’m excited to see so much more! I’m blown away at how vibrant and magical it is. I’m just so impressed with the world-building that Maxwell has done. Her vision is just superb. Major freaking kudos. And DAMA (Defense Against Magic Act) gave me some serious disturbing shivers because of how it relates to today.

Did I say I was addicted? Because I am! So much magic and tension and depth for these characters. So beautifully put together and did break my heart a few times. The writing is phenomenal. Sure, in some places, it felt a little drawn out, but it wasn’t so much that I was annoyed and felt the need to skim. There was so much purpose and perfect precision. And, the MAGIC! Oh. My. Gods. Legit. Utterly enamoring. I was swept away on a journey I didn’t expect.

It's so beautiful

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Overall

I’ve said this before, I’m pretty sure, but I’m not one to get into historical reads. I love history, not in the novel sense. Not all the time. But the magic that is interlaced between these pages is so enticing. This book is un-put-downable. I mean it! I’m addicted and desperate for the next one!

 

Quotables:

“The Thief turned her back on the city—on everything she had once been and on all the lies she had once believed. The ache of loss had honed her, and the weight of memory had pressed her into something new—hard and cold as diamond. The Thief carried the memory of those losses as a weapon against what was to come as she faced the span of the great bridge.” (p. 1)

“…a friend turned foe who would destroy the heart of magic if he held it in his hands. He was coming…” (p. 176)

“Americani and their guns. They all thought they were cowboys. Too bad cows had more brains than half of them.” (Viola, p. 307)

“…There’s an entire future coming, and Mageus won’t survive by being trapped on the city. Maybe they’d have a chance if things were different. Maybe that’s why we ended up here, so we could see what might be. So we could understand that things can be changed. That we can change them, only this time, we can change them for the better. Even if we can’t go back. We can start now.” (Esta, p. 374)

“You know, all this fuss over magic. People are so busy trying to keep it and control it that they’re willing to do all sorts of evil for it.” (Cela, p. 409)

“Her thoughts felt like birds taking flight, but she couldn’t tell if they were flying toward some new freedom or away from some unseen danger.” (p. 519)

“If it was her lot in life to always want and never have, so be it. She was strong and smart and could make her own way. And there were worse things than loneliness.” (Viola, p. 631)

 

More to come soon…

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? Home by Daughtry.

 

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At the Brink (The Last Magician – A Book Review)

The Last Magician (The Last Magician #1)
Author: Lisa Maxwell
Published: 2017

On Goodreads

Scarlet Reader

Simon & Schuster

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

Rated M for magic tricks and sneaky cons that’ll make Chris Angel weak in the knees.

 

Stop the Magician.

Steal the book.

Save the future.

In modern-day New York, Esta has an affinity for time. It’s a special, Mageus talent, an old magic which has been dying. Since she was a little girl she’s been trained in the art of being a thief. Now, to save magic from going extinct, she’ll go back to the age of prohibition to find a special book that could help destroy the Brink—a barrier that keeps all Mageus from leaving Manhattan. It destroys their powers and them.

Just when she begins to get her foothold in this era of ruthless old gangs and high societies bent on destroying magic, Harte Darrigan sweeps in, making her mission more complicated. She has no choice but to betray those in the past to save the future, but the longer she stays, the more she questions everything.

 

First things first. I don’t know how to explain it, so don’t ask, but while reading this, I got some MAJOR Harry Potter vibes. From the immersive and enamoring detail to the incredible chemistry between characters, it’s all I could think. Now, a lot of those who’ve read The Diviner’s series agree that this is similar. Sadly, that isn’t a series that I’ve read, but I still say I’m getting the vibes of epic-ness just like I got from Harry Potter.

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The characters are EVERYTHING. Maxwell does such a splendid job of bouncing between her characters and she left me clamoring after all of them. There wasn’t a single character that I hated…well, not true, but those were villainous characters that are meant to feel my scorn and wrath. Esta and Darrigan though! So much push and pull that makes my pulse quicken like a hummingbird at a colorful and beautiful smelling flower. They’re stubborn and passionate characters that push and pull and by the end I just want them to be together. Hell, at their very first meeting it’s all I want. They’re stressing me out, but I love it!

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Tenor

The other characters are given so much life. They’re more than just side characters. I love that so much! Everyone is important. It’s just incredible the way she built them and I fell even more in love because of all of the diversity among them. So much independence and

The setting of Manhattan was such a unique place to choose. Maxwell took the creation of a setting-a world-to a different dimension. Not only by the depth of place(s) but by the time period too. She time traveled, making the setting even more vibrant and intense. Here is Esta, a girl of modern day, in the past of Manhattan. I’m not one for typical historical fictions, but this is anything but typical.

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The twists and betrayals were wild. Just when I thought there might be a sprinkle of trust between two people BAM nope. My hopes rose every time and I’m not even ashamed of it. I know, thieves never trust thieves, but I couldn’t help it.

There is so much about this book and I could go on and on! But you know what? Just read it! There’s betrayal. Complicated feelings. Intense action. Consequences of using magic, and it’s eye-opening.

 

Overall

I wasn’t sure about this book when I started it. The cover is gorgeous and I love how it ties in with the book. The description was curious. So I took a shot. I’m SO glad I did. Phenomenal. The incredible mix of history and magic is just breathtaking and the ending…it’ll leave you speechless. Up on the favorites shelf, you go.

 

Quotables:

“Steal me the night, girl.” (Dolph to Esta, p. 136)

“Desperation and fear could make anyone do nearly anything, and sometimes a single sacrifice was necessary to save many.” (p. 261)

 

More to come soon…

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? Stand By Me by KI Theory.

 

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Thoughts? Let’s chat in the comments below!