Review: Reign of Mist! #MistPH Blog Tour

Reign of Mist header (large)

“We’re not all born equal in strength and agility, but a mind can be as sharp as any blade if you know how to wield it.”

Edition: Digital Advance Copy

Published: September 13th, 2018 by Talem Press

Genres: Dark Fantasy, Fiction, Young Adult

Pages: N/A

Goodreads Rating: 4.73/5 stars

My Rating: 4.5/5 stars


Last year Helen reached out to me to possibly read and review her book Heart of Mist, which I gladly accepted. After reading the first book in the Oremere Chronicles (you would think I would know how to spell Oremere by now but nope, I don’t. Have to check every time) I fell in love with the story, I just couldn’t wait to read more. It was so hard to think about how I had to wait another year to read more of Bleak’s story. So I am happy to be taking part in the #MistPh Blog Tour to have an early chance to dive back into the Oremere world! Thank you The Bookshelf Bitch and Helen for allowing me to take part. If you would like to read my review of Heart of Mist from last year you can do so here! If you haven’t and you want to read Heart of Mist for yourself you can go to Amazon right now and get a kindle version for $0.99 while it’s on sale. It’s a total steal for such an amazing book and you’re supporting an indie author by doing so!


Are we really surprised I love this book so much? I mean within the first few chapters we get Bleak saving a mythical creature with a follow up of a dozen sled dogs, can it get any better than that? The answer is yes, and it does!

We follow Bleak as she starts her journey with a bit of a.. rough start I would say. While it starts off rocky she finds herself in a land that contains answers to her past. This realm of magic isn’t just filled with answers for Bleak, it holds many uncertainties with a false queen and rebel movement residing in the land.

Along with following Bleak we see some Henri, Swinton, and Dash as they all make their ways through their own journeys and paths. Commander Swinton, he’s growing on me! I didn’t care for him much in Heart of Mist but after this book, he’s slowly making his way up the ladder. Dash and Henry as always, have a place in my heart. In the first book, I had an issue with all the POV changes because I like focusing on the protagonist but it works so well in this world. It just brings the whole thing together.

As I stated in my {review} of Heart of Mist the. woman. in. power. I love it. I’m so over this “guy saves the girl” storyline, GIVE ME THE FEMALE SAVES THE WORLD PLOT. *slams table on fist* In these first two books I get exactly that and I think that’s what makes me love this story so much more? Could also be the LGBT+ rep, who knows who knows. (I do and it is both of them.) I will continue to advocate for both of these things in YA books so thank you, Helen, for writing it in your mystical world of magic.

While on the note of the woman in power, I’m also quite over female protagonist in YA fantasy having their journey basically taken over by a romance. Don’t get me wrong I’m a sucker for that type of fantasy every so often but why does it have to be every single one? I’m so happy that Bleak doesn’t have a major love interest and it’s mostly just focused on her journey and her friendships. So if you are looking for a good fantasy book that just focuses on the story with some strong friendships, then look no further- this is the series for you.

I could go on forever but all in all, Helen has a talent for creating a beautiful world that submerges you into the realms of fantasy and magic, she continues to amaze me with her way of words and her world building! I cannot wait for book three and I hope everyone feels the same way. Once I receive a link to purchase Reign of Mist I will make sure to share it with everyone so you can go ahead and order it. Not only will you get an amazing book you will be supporting a wonderful indie artist so definitely check out Heart of Mist if you haven’t and order Reign of Mist when it is published! 

While you wait for the link to buy Reign of Mist make sure to add it to your Goodreads To Be Read list and buy Heart of Mist here! As an added bonus if you join the #MistPH twitter chat on September 10th at 9 am EST/6 am PST there is a chance to win a $20 Amazon gift voucher, exclusive prequels and more. So make sure to join in!


 

Review is subject to change at any point in time after posting.

 

Review: An Enchantment of Ravens

Edition: Advance Copy

Published: September 26th, 2017 by Margaret K. McElderry Books

Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult

Pages: 304

Goodreads Rating: 4.15/5 stars

My Rating: 5/5 stars


For all my reviews so far I have thrown in a quote in from the book that stood out to me in some way and stuck with me for the rest of the book. I just couldn’t do that with An Enchantment of Ravens, nothing really stuck out to me because everything was so beautifully written. Margaret’s writing in An Enchantment of Ravens is truly something magical. It made me feel as though I was right there with Isobel and Rook throughout the story.


In An Enchantment of Ravens we follow alongside Isobel, a portrait artist that lives in the village named Whimsy. Her craft is seeked by various fair folk who pay in the price of enchantments, which can grant anything your heart desires. It may sound like a blessing at first but if not careful with the wording of these enchantments they can turn sour, or even deadly. But with years of practice of working with fair folk and learning all their tricks, she knows how to use the enchantments to her benefits. She never asks for too much, always something practical and useful for herself and her family.

During one of Isobel’s regular client’s appointments he tells her she will be expecting the Autumn Prince soon. Within her time with Rook, the Autumn Prince, to create his portrait Isobel gets to know him more so than other clients. With this she makes the mistake of painting a mortal emotion of sorrow in his eyes. This weakness can cost Rook his life. Furious, he takes Isobel back to the Autumnlands to stand trial for her crime.


I feel like it may be a little too soon to say this is my favorite book of 2017.. buuut it is my favorite book of 2017. I’ve been waiting for this book ever since I saw someone recommend it to a friend many months ago (I am so thankful for Sarah (Margaret’s agent) for sending me an advance copy!) When I was finally able to read An Enchantment of Ravens I couldn’t find it in myself to put it down―and I know I say this a lot but I truly could not find myself putting it down. I kept wanting to know what happened next.

I loved how Margaret wrote the fair folk in her book. They may not lie (just because they cannot lie does not mean they are honest), disguise themselves like humans to hide their true nature, must curtsy back (at all costs), and don’t experience human emotion. For me it was quite different from most faerie novels I’ve read, which I loved. I always appreciate when an author goes a different way than the typical route that many authors use with their novels.

I may be bias because I have always had a strong love for anything autumn related but you guys, I absolutely adored Rook. I just want to protect him from the world and love him forever. I expected him to be an egoistic princeI mean, he was a little bit about him being the Autumn Prince but it wasn’t as bad as some other male protagonists in different novels. He does not understand human emotions at all and it’s quite amusing because emotions practically terrify him. He always apologizes when he may think he upset someone, even if he really doesn’t understand why or how. If I wasn’t making this a spoiler free review I would share all my favorite interactions between Rook and Isobel because I could list them all so easily.

All the characters and scenes in An Enchantment of Ravens were all written all so beautifully I wish it was longer because I wanted it to never end. I hope we get to see more of Margaret’s writing soon, her and her writing kept me captivated from beginning to end with this book.

P.s Viktoria has already called dibs on Rook but I would like to overrule her verdict and call dibs on the Autumn Prince.

Review: Heart of Mist!

“When it feels like a wave is about to break, it probably will.”

Edition: Digital Advance Copy

Published: August 31st, 2017 by Talem Press

Genres: Dark Fantasy, Young Adult

Pages: 488

Goodreads Rating: 4.4/5 stars

My Rating: 5/5 stars

I would like to state that I received a Digital Advance Copy of Heart of Mist from the author herself, Helen Scheuerer, in exchange for a honest and thoughtful review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.


Heart of Mist is the first YA fantasy novel in Helen Scheuerer’s The Oremere Chronicles. In this novel we follow our protagonist, Bleak, in a realm where a toxic mist is sweeping across the lands and magic forbidden to use. Bleak is dangerously self medicating with alcohol while she grieves the loss of her guardian and searching for a cure for her magic. During this time she is summoned to the capital by the king and taken from her home by the Commander of the King’s Army.

During her journey back to the capital, her and her captures realize the king isn’t the only person interested in Bleak and the powers she has. The leader of the infamous society of warriors, the Valia Kindred, lay claim on her along with the king. With this Bleak soon finds herself in the middle of a bigger battle than she ever imagined.


I won’t lie, I didn’t know what to expect when going into Heart of Mist because as of late I’ve just been craving cute and fluffy contemporary books. So reading the first couple chapters was a drag for me, it wasn’t the book it was just me, but once the book picked up and the story started to really build I learned that I liked it alot and now I’m impatiently awaiting book two!

Helen wrote Heart of Mist beautifully, she managed to keep me intrigued throughout the whole book (I’m pretty sure I could have read it in one sitting if I didn’t need to sleep to be a functioning human being.) Once I was finished I realized there was just about little to no romance mentioned in it, at least not for our main character Bleak. Though we did see some possibly interest from a couple of the men in the book. I feel as though every fantasy novel has such a large part of the book being about romance anymore and it can sometimes overshadow the fantasy part of the book. With that being said I’m quite torn on if I want Bleak to be involved in a relationship or not in this series and if so, with who. The first book is so interesting without it but I know we’ll possibly dive into it more in the upcoming books with the hints of it brought up in Heart of Mist; I know Helen will execute it perfectly in them if romance does blossom for our MC.

The characters in this book are astounding, from what I read and interpreted there were some diverse characters (there was some lesbian rep, not much but it was there and my heart SQUEALED. I NEED MORE F/F RELATIONSHIPS IN YA NOVELS PLEASE) and they were amazing. I felt as if the characters were well developed and thought out. They all had their own major role in the story.

We also got to read from some of their own point of views like Dash (Zachary, such a sweet little boy that I want to protect at all cost), Commander Swinton, and the queen of Valia, Henri. I must say at first it was a bit confusing and quite tiring with all the changes in POVs since I just wanted to read about Bleak but in the end it really came together and will make even more sense in the end.

Another thing that I LOVED about Heart of Mist was the fact that it included a lot of social issues. Such as the Valia Kindred who are a group of female warriors who had a very strict way of living. They seem like such this perfect feminist group on the surface, but you slowly realize they have deeper issues amongst their people. (Not going to lie I did like that the men did the tasks that were usually the women’s’ role in their society)

Then there was Bleak self medicating with alcohol, alcoholism isn’t something you see often in young adult novels and I found it be a breath of fresh air to see this included. It leaves room for discussion of alcohol related issues amongst young adults and that’s something that is seriously needed.

All in all Heart of Mist is a riveting tale, while reading it I was always left wanting more. When I reached the last page and realized it was the end I immediately wanted book two. I cannot wait to see where Helen takes the story in the next book! So thank you so much to Helen for reaching out to me and letting me read her stunning book to review it. I hope her and I get to work together again in the future!


If you’d like to read Heart of Mist and support a wonderful author then you can buy it on Amazon. For a limited time it is priced at .99 for the kindle version but I absolutely recommend getting a physical copy. It’s a stunning cover and it deserves a spot on your shelf!

Also you can add Heart of Mist to your Goodreads TBR/Want to Read shelves here!

Review: Warcross by Marie Lu (Spoiler Free)

“Every locked door has a key.”

Edition: Advance Copy

Published: September 12th, 2017 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult

Pages: 416

Goodreads Rating: 4.4/5 stars

My Rating: 5/5 stars


Sci-Fi book written by Marie Lu that is centered around a virtual reality and taken place in Tokyo? You had me at “written by Marie Lu”.

In Warcross we follow a teenager named Emika Chen, a bounty hunter, and hacker who lives in New York City. Since her father passed Emika is struggling to pay the rent of her tiny apartment in the city, so she uses her hacking abilities to track down players who illegally bet on the game. Finally one day she decides to take a risk that could take care of all her financial problemhack a live Warcross Opening Ceremony on the game’s neurolink. While trying to hack the game she is accidentally glitched into the game for the whole world to see, including Hideo Tanaka, the founder of the virtual reality game.

Immediately after being glitched into the game Emika is forced from the game and an unknown number calls. Repeatedly ignoring her cell, she goes to bed believing it to be the police wanting to arrest her. The next morning she wakes up to eighty-four texts all asking Emika to call the number immediately and a bunch of reporters outside her apartment complex. After seeing that she was the world’s top trending topic she looks up the number and finds out it is for Henka Games’ headquarters in Manhattan.

Emika finally decides to call the number rather and is immediately greeted by a woman instead of an automated voice. The woman then transfers her call straight to Mr. Hideo Tanaka himself and he is immediately asking Emika if she is able to come to Tokyo, Japan because he has a job for her if she was willing to hear more. With that Emika finds herself packing what little of belongings she has and is flying across the world to Japan. The next morning at 10 o’clock she is in a meeting room with several people, but most importantly Hideo. During this time he explains to Emika that basically she is important to the game world of Warcross because she isn’t the only one to breach the game’s security. Her taking part in the game will help find the hacker.


I am usually quite turned off by books that are receiving so much hype because I always expect them to be a disappointment, but Warcross was by far one of the best books I have read in 2017. Granted we still have five more months in the year, which means many books will be released within that time frame, but I’m pretty sure it’ll stay in my top three reads for 2017. This book deserves all the positive words it has been receiving from everyone in the book community.

Warcross is filled with so much detail, it makes it feel as if you’re right there in the world with Emika Chen, and it makes it really easy to understand the advanced technology in this futuristic world (even if you’re like me and you are far from tech savvy.) It also presents such an interesting plot with all the secrets and lies that are slowly revealed throughout the story.

Warcross also has a lot of diversity and some representation amongst the characters. Emika is a Chinese American, Hideo is Japanese, there is also a character that wears a hijab, another that’s in a wheelchair, and mention of characters who are gay. There’s just so much more diversity since the game is played by people from around the globe.

And while we’re talking about the characters for a second I want to talk about how amazing, and a breath of fresh air, Emika’s character was. She was a hard-headed and an extremely determined protagonist, also her character development was incredible. We got to see her go from a girl who trusted just about no one to someone who willingly opened up to her team and relied on people other than herself in the end.

While there are a few plot twists in the book, most of them I detected quite easily but even when I was proven correct I wasn’t left. . . unsatisfied? I guess that’s what you can call it. Marie Lu still made the scenes enjoyable and managed to keep me intrigued and wanting to continue reading even though I managed to foresee what would happen. I also managed to piece together who I thought could possibly be the hacker breaching the game’s security during a certain chapter but I was still quite surprised (and at the same time I wasn’t? I had mixed emotions throughout this book okay, it left me with a book hangover) when it was revealed to us at the end. BUT there is a major plot twist that I was not expecting and I will say it gave me so many emotions (mostly me hating Marie Lu for ripping my heart out and stomping on it.) Quite honestly no one will be safe from the “feels” it will bring upon everyone.

All in all, I truly cannot wait for the second book in the series and Warcross hasn’t even been released yet. Even though I personally managed to predict a lot of what happened in the book, I was still left surprised and on my toes because of how she managed to perfectly execute the scenes with her writing. So @ Marie Lu please release both Warcross and the second book now, I’m dying out here, you really outdid yourself and I can’t wait another year or so for the second book.

I highly recommend adding Warcross to your TBR lists and checking out this wonderful book when it’s released on September 12th because you will not be disappointed in this read. Once again Marie Lu really outdid herself with this one.


P.s. I’m pretty sure this was Marie Lu after she unleashed Warcross ARCs into the world, knowing the pain and suffering she would cause

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P.p.s. And this was me throughout the entire book that Marie Lu purposefully wrote to hurt my heart