Book Review: A Reaper at the Gates (An Ember in the Ashes, #3)

I’ll just say this… I am trash for this series. Sabaa Tahir continues to make each book even more complex than the last, and A Reaper at the Gates (An Ember in the Ashes, #3) was no exception.

Beyond the Empire and within it, the threat of war looms ever larger.

The Blood Shrike, Helene Aquilla, is assailed on all sides. Emperor Marcus, haunted by his past, grows increasingly unstable, while the Commandant capitalizes on his madness to bolster her own power. As Helene searches for a way to hold back the approaching darkness, her sister’s life and the lives of all those in the Empire hang in the balance.

Far to the east, Laia of Serra knows the fate of the world lies not in the machinations of the Martial court, but in stopping the Nightbringer. But while hunting for a way to bring him down, Laia faces unexpected threats from those she hoped would aid her, and is drawn into a battle she never thought she’d have to fight.

And in the land between the living and the dead, Elias Veturius has given up his freedom to serve as Soul Catcher. But in doing so, he has vowed himself to an ancient power that will stop at nothing to ensure Elias’s devotion–even at the cost of his humanity.

The Good

  • Helene!! – I will admit that I really didn’t like Helene as a character for the entire first book and most of the second. She just didn’t really interest me, nor pulled me into really rooting for her. Howeverrrrrrrrr, I finally felt that attachment to her in this book. I mean, WOW! She has finally become a fully fleshed out character for me and I love that we get to really see all of the depth to her. Her chapters were definitely the highlight for me in Reaper. There was non-stop tension in every single one of them, culminating in an epic battle that has brewing for the entire series. Also, I really want a warhammer now. Which is weird, because I’ve always thought of myself as a bow person. *shrugs*
  • DRAMA, DRAMA, DRAMA – If you thought there was a lot going on in the second book, then just wait and see what’s in store for you in this one. Because holy moly, things are happening all over the dang place. AND I AM HERE FOR IT. Tahir is just slowly killing me with everything that’s going on and my heart really cannot take it. Helene is dealing with some shit, Laia is dealing with some shit, and Elias has basically become THE shit (no lie!). I have whiplash from everything going on every other page. “You get a plot twist! You get a plot twist! We all get a plot twist!”
  • WE FINALLY GET AN EPIC BATTLE SCENE! – Pretty sure this one is self-explanatory.
  • Expanding World – We finally get to see some other places in this world, which I really appreciate. I’m just glad we’re finally out of the desert and haven’t had to go back yet… I hate deserts, in books and real life. GIMME TREES!
  • More Plot, More Action – I definitely felt like this book covered more actual plot action and political intrigue than the previous two books. It’s definitely easier to fly through, as things are constantly happening. If you felt like the first two books were more character drive, then be aware that this book changes that up. You definitely get a feel for how high the stakes are for our characters, with none of them ever feeling truly safe.

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The Bad

  • Poor Elias… – I kind of feel like Elias has been pushed a little to the side in this book. Yes, he’s still a main POV, but his storyline seems rushed and not as put together as the other two. His story has taken a very interesting turn and I just wish more attention was paid to the details of it. I think there are still lots of holes in what his new duties are and the background of it all, not to mention how it affects the overall story. It seems there is still room to develop his story more and I hope that that becomes a main factor in the final book.

This series has everything that I look for in my fantasy novels – political intrigue, fantastical worlds, characters full of moral ambiguity and depth, and the ability to build tension throughout the entire story. If you haven’t picked up this series yet, I highly recommend it. You won’t be disappointed!

Final Verdict: 5/5 Stars

Have you read A Reaper at the Gates yet? If so, what did you think of it? Do you feel any of the characters have become more/less interesting? How do you feel about Elias’ POV in this book?

WWW Wednesday – June 27th, 2018

Welcome to WWW Wednesday which is currently being hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words. It’s really just a place to do little update on what all you’ve been reading lately. Anyone is welcome to join, just leave a link to your post in the comments and be sure to give the appropriate credit to Sam!

The Three W’s are:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

  • Trail of Lightning (The Sixth World, #1) by Rebecca Roanhorse – physical ARC
  • Lion Heart (Scarlet, #3) by A.C. Gaughen – audiobook

I’m really enjoying Trail of Lightning, especially how the entire story revolves around Native American culture and myths. I do wish I had a little translator to help with some of the words though that are scattered throughout. Maggie is also a total badass. I want to be her best friend!

Lion Heart is definitely a fun read so far. The whole story has definitely taken an even darker turn than the previous two books. I also love how we’re getting to see more of the country, rather than just focusing on Nottingham.

What did you recently finish reading?

  • Lady Thief (Scarlet, #2) by A.C. Gaughen – audiobook
  • Defy the Worlds (Constellation, #2) by Claudia Gray – physical book

Lady Thief was great. I loved getting to experience more of Gisbourne, as he was probably one of my favorite villains ever. So many different layers to him that I just loved every time he was in a scene.

Also, I’m pretty sure that Claudia Gray cannot write a bad book. I absolutely love everything she writes and Defy the Worlds was no exception. She just gets science fiction and I love that. Also, this series is so damn good! I cannot wait to see how it all will end in the final book!

What do you think you’ll read next?

  • Titans by Leila Meacham – physical book
  • Lair of Dreams (The Diviners, #2) by Libba Bray – physical book

I’ll be starting on the Tome Topple Readathon on Friday and cannot wait to dive into these massive books. I’m on a historical fiction trip right now and am ready to go back in time! 😉

What are you currently reading? What books did you finish this week? What are you planning on reading next? Have you read any of the books on my list? If so, what did you think of them? Leave a link to your WWW Wednesday post in the comments below!

My Tome Topple Readathon: Round 6 TBR

The next round of Tome Topple has finally been announced and I’m so excited! I wasn’t able to participate the last time around but I definitely plan to this time!

If you’re unfamiliar with Tome Topple, it’s basically just a stress-free readathon that focuses only on those large books that you typically push aside due to not enough time, intimidation, or for whatever reason. The only rules for this readathon is that the books you’re reading must be at least 500 pages long. The bigger, the better! There are a few challenges that you can do to mix it up as well, but they aren’t required. If you’d like more information on this then you can visit Sam @ Thoughts on Tomes  for the official announcement.

Now on to my personal TBR for this round. I didn’t go too crazy this time around, as my reading has slowed down some this year, and I wanted to stay realistic for what I could potentially finish during the two weeks. With that being said, I really love how stress-free this readathon is so I never feel any pressure to try and rush through my books.

My Tome TBR

  • Lair of Dreams (The Diviners, #2) by Libba Bray
  • Titans by Leila Meacham
  • Renegades (Renegades, #1) by Marissa Meyer

Tome Topple came around a really good time as I had planned to try and get to Titans sometime this summer. I really wanted to focus on books that have been on my backlist this round, and all three of these books have been waiting for me to get to for a long time. I just recently finished a reread of The Diviners, so it’s perfect timing to start on the sequel. And Renegades was one of my most anticipated books last year (still can’t believe I’m just now picking it up!).

And if for some miracle I’m able to finish the above three and have time to start another, here are a few back-ups for me to choose from…

  • The Smoke Thieves (The Smoke Thieves, #1) by Sally Green
  • Middlemarch by George Eliot
  • Tower of Dawn (Throne of Glass, #6) by Sarah J. Maas

But let’s be real, I probably won’t have to even worry about trying to pick one from this group.

Do you struggle with picking up the tomes on your TBR? Are you participating in Tome Topple? If so, what books do you plan on reading? Have you read any of the books on my list? If so, what did you think of them?

WWW Wednesday – June 20th, 2018

Welcome to WWW Wednesday which is currently being hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words. It’s really just a place to do little update on what all you’ve been reading lately. Anyone is welcome to join, just leave a link to your post in the comments and be sure to give the appropriate credit to Sam!

The Three W’s are:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

  • Lady Thief (Scarlet, #2) by A.C. Gaughen – audiobook
  • Defy the Worlds (Constellation, #2) by Claudia Gray – physical book

 No surprise here, but I am LOVING Defy the Worlds right now. The stakes are even higher in this book, with biological warfare going on and my two loves separated by an entire galaxy. Things are really ramping up and I cannot wait to see what’s going to happen next!

I’m not very far into Lady Thief, so I don’t have much of an opinion on it at the moment. However, I think the plot in this second book is more intriguing than the first one. I will say this, you definitely can’t say this series is all rainbows and sunshine. Gaughen isn’t afraid to make things really dark and I can appreciate that for sure, especially in retellings.

What did you recently finish reading?

  • The Diviners (The Diviners, #1) by Libba Bray – audiobook, 5/5 stars
  • A Reaper at the Gates (An Ember in the Ashes, #3) by Sabaa Tahir – physical book, 5/5 stars

 I cannot begin to explain how much I am loving the entire An Ember in the Ashes series. It just has everything that I love in a story – great multifaceted characters, engaging plot, epic political intrigue, and a great slow burn romance. I didn’t know that Tahir could take this story and expand it even more, but she did in A Reaper at the Gates and completely knocked it outta the park. I don’t know how I’m going to be able to wait another year for the finale!

The Diviners was a reread for me, as I needed a definite brush up before moving on with the series, since I haven’t read it since it was first released. And I can sincerely say that I enjoyed it just as much this time around. The story is so engaging and I love all of the paranormal aspects to it. I also definitely recommend the audiobook version, as the narrator does such a fantastic job!

What do you think you’ll read next?

  • Trail of Lightning (The Sixth World, #1) by Rebecca Roanhorse – physical ARC
  • Saints and Misfits by S.K. Ali – physical book

I’m super excited to get to both of these books! They’re both diverse and own voices novels but very different in terms of plot. Trail of Lightning is being likened to an indigenous Mad Max: Fury Road story about a Native American girl fighting monsters in post-apocalyptic New Mexico. Ummmm, YES PLEASE! While Saints and Misfits is a heavy contemporary novel following a Muslim girl who I believe must deal with the issue of sexual assault/harassment from someone within her mosque. Like I said, completely different style novels but both sound totally amazing and I cannot wait to dive into them!

What are you currently reading? What books did you finish this week? What are you planning on reading next? Have you read any of the books on my list? If so, what did you think of them? Leave a link to your WWW Wednesday post in the comments below!

My 2018 Mid-Year Personal Reading Goals

With the month of June already over the halfway point, I thought it’d be a good time to reevaluate some of my personal reading goals for the second half of the year. It’s always a good idea to take some time for personal reflection, even if it’s just over your reading habits! With that being said, here are some reading goals that I’d like to start/continue with for the rest of 2018.

  1. Read at least one book from a subscription box per month.

Right now, I have an excess of books built up from previous book boxes. I haven’t been very good at picking them up in a timely manner and it’s really time to start. I’ll probably focus on books I’ve received from Book of the Month Club first, as I feel like those are the ones I’ve pushed to the side more than ones from other boxes.

2. Finish/catch up on a series before starting a new one.

Let’s be real, we all start wayyyyy too many series and have the hardest time finishing them in a timely manner. I really need to try and not do that so much! I’ve been doing a pretty good job on catching up/finishing series during the first half of the year and so I want to focus on continuing with that. It makes me feel so accomplished when I finish a series, haha!

3. Focus more on reading books that have been on my shelves/TBR for a long time.

I own close to 300 books and half of those are unread which isn’t something I’m really proud of. I hope to remedy some of that for the rest of the year, by focusing more on my backlisted titles. I know how much I love all of the shiny new preorders that show up at my house on their release date, but I really need to learn to push them aside for just a little while. Stay strong, Larkin!

4. Read at least one diverse book a month.

I’ve actually been doing really good about this during the first half of the year, but I really want to continue doing so far the rest of the year. I actually have a Native American own voices novel up next on my TBR which I’m really excited to get to!

5. Be okay with DNFing books that I’m not enjoying.

I really struggle with DNFing books. I always feel like I’m failing if I don’t actually try and push myself to finish the book that I’m reading. However, I think it’s a good idea to know when something doesn’t work for you and to be okay with that. I was recently listening to the audiobook of Call Me By Your Name, and since it’s such a beloved book, I was struggling to continue listening to it because I thought maybe I would enjoy it if I just stuck with it. But after a few hours into it, I knew that it wasn’t going to work for me based on the writing style. And surprisingly enough, I felt so much better after I DNFed and moved on to a different book that I enjoyed so much more.

What are some of your personal reading goals for the rest of the year? Do you like to reflect on your reading goals throughout the year? Do you have any of the same reading goals as me?

2018 Mid-Year Freak Out Book Tag

I think I say this every year, but it’s true… HOW THE HECK IS JUNE ALMOST OVER?! I mean, I could’ve sworn that January was yesterday and it was cold outside. Now, I start to melt like a popsicle as soon as I step outside. (Damn you, Texas weather!)

As always, I wasn’t tagged to do this tag. I just did it last year and decide to keep the tradition going!

Best Book You’ve Read This Year?


The City of Brass (The Daevabad Trilogy, #1) by S.A. Chakraborty

I wish I could just describe to you how much I loved this book. I binged it in less than 24 hours during a personal readathon back in January, and it has been on my mind ever since. This book has everything that I love in a story and the fact that it is based off Middle Eastern mythology just makes it even better. If you haven’t tried this book, please please do!

Best Sequel You’ve Read in 2018?


Legendary (Caraval, #2) by Stephanie Garber

For me, an amazing sequel elevates the original story to a completely different level, and I think Legendary did just that. The plot immediately pulled me in and brought a whole new element to the overall story. I also enjoyed Tella so much more as a main character than I did Scarlett. I just know Finale is going to blow us all away when it’s released!

New Release You Haven’t Read Yet But Want To?

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Defy the Worlds (Constellation, #2) by Claudia Gray

I absolutely loved the first book, Defy the Stars, and cannot believe I have put off picking up the sequel for so long. Luckily, that’ll be rectified very soon as I plan to read it next. I cannot wait!!! I’ve missed Abel so darn much.

Most Anticipated Release For The Second Half Of The Year?

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Dance of Thieves (Dance of Thieves, #1) by Mary E. Pearson

I am soooo excited about this newest series set prior to the events in Pearson’s The Remnant Chronicles. I ended up falling in love with that trilogy after a rough start with the first book. I’ve got really high hopes for this book, y’all!

Also, honorable mention goes to Kingdom of Ash (Throne of Glass, #7) by Sarah J. Maas… because, obviously.

Biggest Disappointment?


Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman

I really don’t get the hype surrounding this book. I listened to the audiobook for a couple of hours before finally DNFing it. There’s barely any dialogue and the character is written in such an unbelievable way that I couldn’t enjoy the story. I think pretentious is the best word to describe this book. I think I’ll just stick to watching the film instead.

Biggest Surprise?


The Queen of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling, #1) by Erika Johansen

This series has some very mixed reviews so I wasn’t sure how it would turn out. I figured it be boring or something.. I WAS WRONG. This entire trilogy completely took me by surprise and solidified itself as one of my all-time favorite series. If you were turned off this series because of the reviews, I recommend still giving it a try. I recommended it to my dad and he really enjoyed it! I’ve also heard rumors that Emma Watson is working to turn this into a movie and I am so hype for it.

Favorite New To You Or Debut Author?


Claire Legrand

I read Furyborn (Empirium, #1) back in May and absolutely loved it. I haven’t read any of her other books but it makes me really want to pick them up. I can’t wait to see what she comes up with for the sequel!

Newest Fictional Crush?


Gathering Darkness (Falling Kingdoms, #3) by Morgan Rhodes

Let’s talk about my new boo, Magnus. I’ll be honest and admit that he kind of creeped me out by his unnatural obsession with his stepsister in the first couple of books. However, he really grew on me in Gathering Darkness. He finally seems to be doing his own thing and that sexual tension he has going with Cleo is giving me life right now. Hate to love, FTW!

Newest Favorite Character?


The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air, #1) by Holly Black

I think we can all agree that Prince Cardan is such a gem of a character. I love how awful he is and yet, you can’t help but like him for some twisted reason. Extremely complicated characters like him will always be my faves. I cannot wait to see how he responds in The Wicked King! Is it January yet?

Book That Made You Cry?


The Fate of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling, #3) by Erika Johansen

Damn, that ending.. It was a killer. But at the same time, after I finished bawling my eyes out, I realized that it was also more bittersweet and a little hopeful. Johansen did such a great job with this finale.

Book That Made You Happy?


Jackaby (Jackaby, #1) by William Ritter

I went into this book with zero expectations and maybe that helped how much I ended up enjoying it. It was just fun, quick read that made me laugh. I liked how it was a twist on Sherlock Holmes but also was able to really be its own thing, especially by incorporating the supernatural. I really want to get to the sequels at some point later this year.

Favorite Book-To-Film Adaptation?


Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

I reallyyy enjoyed this movie. It was just a fun ride from start to finish. I liked some of the changes they made to help transmit the book to the big screen, though they did leave out some parts that I think would’ve been nice additions to the overall story.

Favorite Post You Have Done This Year?

Most Beautiful Book You’ve Bought This Year?


Onyx & Ivory by Mindee Arnett

Let’s all be honest, that is one wicked gorgeous and unique cover. I’m a little bit obsessed with it. It makes me want to pick up the book even faster!

What Books Do You Need To Read By The End of the Year?

  • Reign of the Fallen (Reign of the Fallen, #1) by Sarah Glenn Marsh
  • Tower of Dawn (Throne of Glass, #6) by Sarah J. Maas
  • Renegades (Renegades, #1) by Marissa Meyer

Honestly, there’s way too many books that I need to read before the year is over but that’s nothing new. I do plan to get to each of these soon though, as a couple have their sequels being released this fall.

What book has been your favorite of 2018 so far? Least favorite? What book(s) do you want to read before the end of the year? Have you read any of the books on my list? If so, what did you think of them?

15 Books I Want to Read this Summer

After adding my haul from BookCon to my bookshelves last week, I noticed how many books that I haven’t gotten around to reading yet. There’s quite a few that I really want to get to sooner rather than later. So I decided to post a little bit of a personal summer TBR list. Keep your fingers crossed that I can stick to this, haha!

  • Trail of Lightnight (The Sixth World, #1) by Rebecca Roanhorse
    • So excited that I was able to snag an ARC of this one at BookCon. An #ownvoices story about a Native American girl who is a monster hunter after the apocalypse. Ummmm, HELL YES!
  • And I Darken (And I Darken, #1) by Kiersten White
    • I actually read the first chapter of this one a while back and was really intrigued. I think this is one series that I will have no trouble devouring. I already have the sequel and with the finale coming out later this month, it’s the perfect time to pick it up!
  • Saints & Misfits by S.K. Ali
    • I’ve been meaning to get to this one for a while now and finally have enough time to pick it up. It’s probably what I’ll end up reading next. I’ve heard great things about it and I’m also trying to mentally prepare myself for the heavy content.
  • Tower of Dawn (Throne of Glass, #6) by Sarah J. Maas
    • Why have I put off picking this one up for so long? I wish I had a good reason for you but I don’t. I think maybe it’s because this book focuses on Chaol and he had turned into such a jerk that I wasn’t quite ready to deal with him again. However, it seems that this book has exceeded almost everyone’s expectations and so I think it’s time to see for myself.
  • Frozen Tides (Falling Kingdoms, #4) by Morgan Rhodes
    • I’m kind of obsessed with this series right now and so I can’t put off the next book any longer. Also, still totally waiting for Magnus and Cleo to get together. It better happen!!!! #greatestslowburnever
  • Defy the Worlds (Constellation, #2) by Claudia Gray
    • Basically the first book was like the greatest and most fun science fiction that I’ve read in a while and I’m dying to see what’ll happen next to my favorite little cupcakes. Oh man, how I’ve missed my favorite little A.I., Abel.
  • A Court of Frost and Starlight (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3.1) by Sarah J. Maas
    • Because I’ve been meaning to get to this one for the longest time. I even preordered it and yet, I still haven’t picked it up. Not for much longer though!
  • Sightwitch (The Witchlands, #0.5) by Susan Dennard
    • I did the same thing with this book as I did with ACOFAS. I’m not usually one for novellas but I really think this book will be a good addition to the series, as it introduces us to different areas and characters.
  • Middlemarch by George Eliot
    • I’ve had this book on my shelves for years now. I’ve actually tried starting it a few times, but end up quitting after just a couple of pages because I worry about how long it will take me to finish. However, I plan on ending that this summer! It’s time I stop worrying about how many books I can complete in a month and just focus on enjoying what I’m reading.
  • The Last Magician (The Last Magician, #1) by Lisa Maxwell
    • I’ve heard some amazing things about this book ever since it first came out. And now that I have a copy, I think it’s time to give it a whirl. Based on the synopsis alone, I’d say that this one is probably going to be hit with me too.
  • The Wood by Chelsea Bobulski
    • I’ll admit that this was a bit of a cover-buy for me. However, the synopsis sounds extremely intriguing as well. I think it’ll be a nice change of pace to what I normally read.
  • Smoke and Iron (The Great Library, #4) by Rachel Caine
    • I have been anxiously waiting for the release of this book, ever since I finished the previous one. This series has been so much fun to read, with such a unique premise and diverse cast of characters. If you haven’t read it, I definitely recommend it!
  • Fuse (Pure, #2) by Julianna Baggott
    • I just really need to finish this trilogy soon. I can’t believe I’ve been putting it off for so long!
  • Love and Luck by Jenna Evans Welch
    • I really enjoyed Welch’s previous novel and so when I found out she was writing a companion book to it set in Ireland, I was hooked. Ireland is my favorite place in the world and holds a special place in my heart, so I cannot wait to dive into a book set there, especially one with a little bit of romance!
  • Titans by Leila Meacham
    • I love Meacham’s writing. She does a great job of bringing the history of Texas to life in her books. This one sounds even better than her previous ones and so I’m really looking forward to diving into it. Turn of the century Fort Worth? A boy and girl from two different worlds? Sign me up!

Have you read any of the books on my summer TBR? If so, what did you think of them? Are there any particular books that you really want to read this summer?

WWW Wednesday – June 13th, 2018

Welcome to WWW Wednesday which is currently being hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words. It’s really just a place to do little update on what all you’ve been reading lately. Anyone is welcome to join, just leave a link to your post in the comments and be sure to give the appropriate credit to Sam!

The Three W’s are:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

  • A Reaper at the Gates (An Ember in the Ashes, #3) by Sabaa Tahir – physical book
  • The Diviners (The Diviners, #1) by Libba Bray – audiobook

I didn’t have time to read as much Reaper as I wanted to last night. However, even though I’m only 50 pages into it, I’m already hooked. I think the biggest problem for me right now is that I hardly remember a thing about what happened in the previous book. Bits and pieces are coming back to me but I probably should look up a complete synopsis before I pick it up again tonight. This is why I need authors to write their complete series first and then release them every 6 months, so I don’t have to continue to struggle with a terrible memory! Apparently Michael J. Sullivan does that and basically he’s my hero for it.

This is actually a reread of The Diviners. I first read it back when it was first released and so now that there are multiple sequels out, I thought it was a good time for a reread and than move forward with the series. I’m sooooooo glad I decided to do the audiobook this time around, because y’all, it’s AMAZING. The narrator is so darn good with giving a distinctive voice for each character and just creating the perfect atmosphere. I highly recommend the audiobook version if you’re interested in reading this series! Also, I remember being obsessed when I first read this and this reread has brought all of those feelings back. I love, love, love this story!

What did you recently finish reading?

  • Ahsoka (A Star Wars Novel) by E.K. Johnston – physical book, 4/5 stars
  • Ace of Shades (The Shadow Game, #1) by Amanda Foody – physical book, 5/5 stars, review to come

I’m so glad I decided to get back to reading my Star Wars novels regularly again and started with Ahsoka. She’s my favorite character and I thought that Johnston did a great job bringing her to life in this book. I really enjoyed finding out what happened to her after The Clone Wars.

I don’t think I’ll ever stop gushing over Ace of Shades. This book was just so damn good, y’all! It was dark, brutal, and deliciously sinful. It was like if you set Six of Crows in Las Vegas and made them lose all inhibitions. I loved how twisted the story was and cannot wait to find out what will happen next. I need the sequel immediately!!!

What do you think you’ll read next?

  • Trail of Lightning (The Sixth World, #1) by Rebecca Roanhorse – physical book
  • Defy the Worlds (Constellation, #2) by Claudia Gray – physical book

I’m really excited to dive into Trail of Lightning. The synopsis sounds like so much fun and I haven’t read any urban fantasy in a long time. Plus, it’s an own voices novel following a Native American girl who hunts monsters. I mean, that’s just awesome!

Also, I’ve been waiting for Defy the Worlds ever since I read the first book and I can’t put off picking it up any longer. Abel, my sweetheart, I’m coming for you!

What are you currently reading? What books did you finish this week? What are you planning on reading next? Have you read any of the books on my list? If so, what did you think of them? Leave a link to your WWW Wednesday post in the comments below!

Book Review: Legendary (Caraval, #2)

After loving Caraval so much last year, I was a little hesitant over Stephanie Garber’s sequel, Legendary (Caraval, #2). I thought that there was just no way that she’d be able to recreate that same kind of magic again… I was wrong.

A heart to protect. A debt to repay. A game to win.

After being swept up in the magical world of Caraval, Donatella Dragna has finally escaped her father and saved her sister Scarlett from a disastrous arranged marriage. The girls should be celebrating, but Tella isn’t yet free. She made a desperate bargain with a mysterious criminal, and what Tella owes him no one has ever been able to deliver: Caraval Master Legend’s true name.

The only chance of uncovering Legend’s identity is to win Caraval, so Tella throws herself into the legendary competition once more—and into the path of the murderous heir to the throne, a doomed love story, and a web of secrets…including her sister’s. Caraval has always demanded bravery, cunning, and sacrifice. But now the game is asking for more. If Tella can’t fulfill her bargain and deliver Legend’s name, she’ll lose everything she cares about—maybe even her life. But if she wins, Legend and Caraval will be destroyed forever.

Welcome, welcome to Caraval…the games have only just begun.

The Good

  • Tella For President! – I think the wide consensus after Caraval, was that Scarlett wasn’t the best main character. However, Garber completely made up for that fact with the sassy and independent Tella! Tella is everything that I enjoy in my main characters – tough, personality in spades, and enjoys getting into trouble. I mean, who doesn’t love characters like that?! All I can say is that I want more of Tella, pretty please! Which I think will be the case in the final book. YAYYYYYYYYY!!!
  • A Villain That You Love (NO SHAME) – I don’t want to spoil who it is or what happens, just know that I was just a little bit obsessed with him. If you like your villains charming, a little scary, and quite a bit devilish – you’ll really like this one. I wouldn’t mind if all future villains tempted me to like them more than I hate them. Can this be a thing now?! Darkling 2.0, right?!
  • All The Twists! – As was the case in Caraval, Garber delivers us another story with plenty of twists to keep you on your toes. I love how nothing is as it seems in this series. It just adds to the game really!
  • An Even Better Plot Than Caraval?! – Yes, I really think that the actual story in Legendary was much more engaging and thrilling than in the previous book. The stakes are even higher and the game is being played, while also not really being a game. There are so many more factors involved this time around, and all of them appealed to me. Trust me, things just got kicked up a notch.


The Bad

  • If You Didn’t Like Garber’s Writing Before… – While I do think Garber has a great way of describing this world and really transporting us into the setting, she can sometimes get a bit excessive with the flowery descriptions. I think it tends to be more noticeable because the rest of the story is written very straightforward, minus these kinds of moments where she REALLY likes to try and be a bit too whimsical.

I think it’s safe to say that I’m very obsessed with this story. I honestly don’t know if I can survive until next year to finally find out how it’s all going to end. If you enjoyed the first book or felt it was just alright, I really suggest giving this sequel a chance as it definitely surpasses it!

Final Verdict: 5/5 Stars

Have you read Legendary yet? If so, what did you think of it? Do you prefer Scarlett or Tella more as the main character? Which book is your favorite?

My BookCon Book Haul!


This past weekend, I got to fly to NYC and spend the entire time gallivanting around BookCon with one of my friends! We had such an amazing time chatting with other book lovers, discovering new releases, and just completely engrossing ourselves within the book community. This was our second time attending, the first being the year it was held in Chicago, and I highly recommend going at least once in your life if you have the chance. I personally felt that the event was better organized when it was held in Chicago, but I still really enjoyed NY as well.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to snag any tickets for autographs with the bigger authors. But I was still able to get a few that didn’t require tickets, such as Naomi Novik, Grady Hendrix, and Natasha Ngan! I tried to wait in line for Victoria Schwab’s signing but we were 161st in line and it didn’t even start for almost two hours, so we figured we could do more in those two hours and ended up getting out of the line. Smart choice too, because then we were able snag PenguinTeen’s mystery 2019 ARC! Eeeeeeeeekkkkkk!

Anyways… now on to the haul! (Which is really the only reason you’re reading this post, let’s be real. Haha!)


  • Neverworld Wake by Marisha Pessl
  • The Sandcastle Empire by Kayla Olson
  • Love and Luck by Jenna Evans Welch
  • The Smoke Thieves (The Smoke Thieves, #1) by Sally Green
  • The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli
  • Devils Unto Dust by Emma Berquist
  • Reign the Earth (The Elementae, #1) by A.C. Gaughen

I will admit that I bought a couple of these, but the rest I won in giveaways/games during the convention. I’m probably most excited about Neverworld Wake, Devils Unto Dust, and Love and Luck. I have been anxiously awaiting for the release of The Smoke Thieves but have tempered my hopes a bit after reading some very mixed reviews.


  • Lies, Love, and Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Julie Wright
  • Escaping from Houdini (Stalking Jack the Ripper, #3) by Kerri Maniscalco
  • Rabbit & Robot by Andrew Smith

Sooooooo… I guess this means I need to read the first two books in Stalking Jack the Ripper series, huh? Yup, that’s exactly what it means. Also, I hadn’t heard of Rabbit & Robot before I won this book, but now I’m really excited to pick it up. It sounds all kinds of wacky fun set in space. Sign me up!

  • That’s Not What Happened by Kody Keplinger
  • We Sold Our Souls by Grady Hendrix – signed
  • Kill the Farm Boy (The Tales of Pell, #1) by Delilah S. Dawson & Kevin Hearne

All three of these books were new to me when I picked them up, but each sounds amazing. I’m super excited to dive into a little horror, some comedic fantasy, and even heavy contemporary (which we all know is not something I typically go for). I think Kill the Farm Boy could be a potential new favorite for me.

  • Trail of Lightning (The Sixth World, #1) by Rebecca Roanhorse
  • Pride by Ibi Zoboi
  • Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik – signed

I wish I had a video of the madness that occurred while trying to line up for the Naomi Novik signing. It was literally a freaking mosh pit, as people tried snatching the tickets they were handing out to get a book. IT WAS INSANE! I mean, security literally had to come up and push everyone back. But luckily I got a ticket and was able to get a personalized ARC and meet Novik… Fangirl moment!

  • Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri
  • Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan – signed
  • Four Dead Queens by Astrid Scholte – PenguinTeen mystery 2019 ARC
  • The Brilliant Death by Amy Rose Capetta

All of these books sound completely amazing, but I’m probably most excited about Empire of Sand and Four Dead Queens. The Brilliant Death has one of the most intriguing plots that I’ve heard of in a long time. I’ll be very interested in picking it up soon! I’ve also been hearing good things about Girls of Paper and Fire, which makes me excited!

Overall, I’m extremely thrilled with my BookCon book haul! I have been introduced to some amazing new books that I haven’t heard of before and that’s the best thing about it. I can’t wait to pick up all of these books!!!

Did you attend BookCon? If so, what books did you get there? Have you read any of the books on my list? If so, what did you think of them? Are any of these books new to you?