Book Review: Inferno by Dan Brown ★★★

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“He probed his memory for some recollection…anything at all. He saw only emptiness. All Langdon knew was that he was in Florence, having suffered a bullet wound to the head.

As Langdon stared into his own weary eyes, he half wondered if he might at any moment wake up in his reading chair at home, clutching an empty martini glass and a copy of Dead Souls, only to remind himself that Bombay Sapphire and Gogol should never be mixed.”

Inferno is Dan Brown’s latest historical thriller with Robert Langdon as the main protagonist. In this book, Langdon wakes up in a hospital in Florence, Italy, having absolutely no idea how he got there…or why someone tried to shoot him in the head. From there, the book picks up with the usual mix of suspense, action, and sprinkled-in historical tidbits, as well. The subject matter this time? Dante’s Inferno.

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Book Tag Tuesday

Hello, fellow readers! 

I have decided that I need to spice up my blog with some fun entries, as well as more book reviews (and discussions about my own writing, but I am not quite confident enough for that yet!). So, what is more fun than Book Tags!? I love watching the Book Tag videos on Youtube, but I never really knew if I could translate them well enough for my blog. I say, it’s time I tried. So, I found a really neat tag when I searched for Book Tags on WordPress. I saw the post on Rattle the Stars first, and the creator of the tag is Le Book Chronicles, so thank you both for the inspiration. I was not tagged, but I thought it was a great idea and could showcase some beautiful book covers.

Here goes!

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Book Review: Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones ★★★

“”You are the one who wanted a happy ending, my dear. So you tell me, how does the story end?”
Tears slipped from my face, and he wiped them away with his thumbs.
“The foolish young man lets the beautiful maiden go.”
“Yes.” His voice was clotted thick with unshed emotion. “He lets her go.””

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Cover image courtesy of Goodreads, as I do not own the book. 

Well, this book was hard to review. I was wavering between two and three stars forever on this one, so I would officially give it 2.5 stars with an extra half star for the beautiful writing. This is another book that came out early this year that I was super excited for. I read the multi-chapter preview right when it was released and I loved it! The cover is beyond gorgeous and I was so intrigued by the idea of a Labyrinth-inspired story, despite being kind of terrified of the original movie when I first saw it in 6th grade (those tights gave me nightmares). But, once again, when I finally got to read all of Wintersong, it was just…meh? Ultimately, I was just underwhelmed. Maybe I had unrealistic expectations, but I wanted more from Liesl and the Goblin King! Continue reading

Book Review: A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab ★★★★

“”Aren’t you afraid of dying?” he asked Lila now.
She looked at him as if it were a strange question. And then she shook her head. “Death comes for everyone,” she said simply. “I’m not afraid of dying. But I am afraid of dying here.” She swept her hand over the room, the tavern, the city. “I’d rather die on an adventure than live standing still.””

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Yay! A good one! A Darker Shade of Magic was a magnificent, well-crafted fantasy adventure with great world-building, pacing, and characters.

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Book Review: A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir ★★

“How dare he throw my failures in my face as if I’m a schoolchild to be reprimanded? But he’s not wrong, is he? Every time I needed to make a decision, I chose wrong. Disaster after disaster.”

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So…2 stars again. But also, like 1.5 stars? I can’t decide. I had high-ish expectations for this one, too, based on the continued hype, Tahir’s Instagram which shows her awesome plotting methods, and rave reviews by other readers. The first book, while hailed as a masterpiece by many, was just mediocre for me. But I was really hoping this second book would be stronger! Alas, I was wrong.

Below, there be spoilers!

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Book Review: The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi ★★

“Show me a dream unrealized. Don’t show me unchangeable paths.”

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Phew! Guys, I read this book super fast. Like really, really fast. Is that a good thing, you ask? Normally, I would say, “Hell yeah, it’s great! Couldn’t put it down!” But in this case? Not so much. Considering I skim-read the last 70 pages and really just wanted the book to end, I’d say it is surely not a great thing…Damn.

Spoilers below.

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Book Review: Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente ★★★★★

“”When I say forever, Koschei whispered, “I mean until the black death of the world. An Ivan means just the present moment, the flickering light of it, in a green field, his mouth on yours. He means the stretching of that moment. But forever isn’t bright; it isn’t like that. Forever is cold and hard and final.””

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This freakin’ book, guys. It was so good. Everything about it was magical, vibrant, raw, brutal, and captivating. When I found out there was a book, an adult fantasy story, inspired by Russian folklore, I immediately catapulted it to the top of my TBR list. The novel is a retelling of sorts about Koschei the Deathless and the girl he steals, Marya Morevna. I was so excited to read this book and let me tell you, it did not disappoint! Spoilers and gushing below.

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Birthday Book Haul

For my birthday this past weekend, I was lucky enough to get a bunch of awesome new books!

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I have heard so many great things about these books and I am really excited to read them!

  • The Court of Thorns and Roses Coloring Book: This is a gorgeous companion book to the ACOTAR series by Sarah J Maas. It features coloring pages depicting select scenes from all three novels. I can’t wait to bust out my colored pencils!
  • Strange the Dreamer: This is the first book in a new duology by Laini Taylor and it sounds epic! It is about a war between men and the gods, a lost city, heroes, warriors, a goddess and a young librarian who happens to get wrapped up in it all.
  • A Torch Against the Night: This is the sequel to Sabaa Tahir’s debut novel An Ember in the Ashes. I read the first one right after it came out and really liked it, but have not had the chance to pick up this second one yet. I am definitely looking forward to seeing what has happened to Elias, Laia, and Helene!
  • A Darker Shade of Magic: From V. E. Schwab, this is the story of Kell, one of the last, rare magicians of his kind. He can travel between the different Londons: Grey, Red, and White, but that does not mean he can always avoid trouble. This one has been on my TBR list for ages and I am so happy I finally have it in my hands!
  • The Crown’s Game: The last two Enchanters in Russia, Vika and Nikolai, must battle to the death, so that the victor can stand at the side of the Tsar in the coming war. Count me in!
  • The Star-Touched Queen: I have heard so many good things about this book, such as beautiful prose and imaginative story-telling. The protagonist, Maya, cursed with a bad fortune in her own kingdom is married off to another. There, she becomes a queen and a wife, she finds power and love. But, she also stumbles upon secrets and mysteries that could threaten her life and the lives of those she loves.

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Man, I am going to be busy for a while! Now, I just need to figure out which book I am going to start with.

Happy reading!

-Chelsi