Review – Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones

 

Wintersong

By S. Jae-Jones

SummaryBeware the goblin men and the wares they sell.

All her life, nineteen-year-old Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, mysterious Goblin King. He is the Lord of Mischief, the Ruler Underground, and the muse around which her music is composed. Yet, as Liesl helps shoulder the burden of running her family’s inn, her dreams of composition and childish fancies about the Goblin King must be set aside in favor of more practical concerns.

But when her sister Käthe is taken by the goblins, Liesl journeys to their realm to rescue her sister and return her to the world above. The Goblin King agrees to let Käthe go—for a price. The life of a maiden must be given to the land, in accordance with the old laws. A life for a life, he says. Without sacrifice, nothing good can grow. Without death, there can be no rebirth. In exchange for her sister’s freedom, Liesl offers her hand in marriage to the Goblin King. He accepts.

Down in the Underground, Liesl discovers that the Goblin King still inspires her—musically, physically, emotionally. Yet even as her talent blossoms, Liesl’s life is slowly fading away, the price she paid for becoming the Goblin King’s bride. As the two of them grow closer, they must learn just what it is they are each willing to sacrifice: her life, her music, or the end of the world. 

Source: I received a digital ARC from NetGalley

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Review:

I absolutely loved Wintersong. It was a beautiful story with such darkness and mystery. It was a dark fantasy romance and for once, it didn’t contain a vampire or a werewolf or the fae.. instead, it was a retelling of Labyrinth, complete with goblins! The heroine wasn’t beautiful and naive, but was instead more cunning and talented. She did not melt at the attention of men or even the Goblin King, desperate for attention, even thought she sometimes wanted to. I loved Liesl and her story. 

Wintersong was gorgeous and lyrical, full of suspense and romance. I hate to give too much of the plot away, but it did not disappoint. I thoroughly enjoyed it and devoured it quickly. I love dark romances and I thought the book delivered exactly what I wanted with a ton of twists and turns. 

I will say that I have not seen Labyrinth, so I have nothing to compare it to. I don’t know how much was changed or what the differences are. That also means I had no expectations, so I was able to fully immerse myself in the book. If you have really high expectations as a result of loving the movie, since it appears to have quite the cult following, I can’t comment on whether it’s a decent retelling. Otherwise, I highly recommend the book. 

Wintersong is a magical YA fantasy that delivered a unique retelling I didn’t know I wanted.

Star 5

Wreck This Journal – Pages 156-159: Words, Magazine

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Pages 156-157

A Page for Four-Letter Words

I went literal with this prompt.

 

 

 

Pages 158-159

Glue in a page from a magazine. Circle words you like.

I’m a collage person at heart, so I couldn’t help but make a collage from an old Entertainment magazine, picking images and words that seemed cool or book related.

Feature and Follow Friday – Winter

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Feature and Follow Friday

Hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read

This week’s prompt:

What are your favorite books with a Winter world?

 

 


Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin

Wolves of Mercy Falls series by Maggie Stiefvater

The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon

The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

Wintersong by S. Jae Jones

 

 

Review – Rook by Sharon Cameron

 

Rook

By Sharon Cameron

SummaryHistory has a way of repeating itself. In the Sunken City that was once Paris, all who oppose the new revolution are being put to the blade. Except for those who disappear from their prison cells, a red-tipped rook feather left in their place. Is the mysterious Red Rook a savior of the innocent or a criminal?

Meanwhile, across the sea in the Commonwealth, Sophia Bellamy’s arranged marriage to the wealthy René Hasard is the last chance to save her family from ruin. But when the search for the Red Rook comes straight to her doorstep, Sophia discovers that her fiancé is not all he seems. Which is only fair, because neither is she. 

As the Red Rook grows bolder and the stakes grow higher, Sophia and René find themselves locked in a tantalizing game of cat and mouse.

Source: I purchased a paperback

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Review:

Rook was basically a futuristic France where technology failed society and they no longer trust or use it, living in a society that resembled time before technology. It was quite the unique situation and I enjoyed the blend of historical with post apocalyptic. It wasn’t so much a retelling of The Scarlet Pimpernel, but there were certainly elements that were obviously inspired by the classic. While I have not read the classic, I was familiar with the gist, and the book paid homage to it in a way I enjoyed. 

It was thought that the fall of society was due to their complete dependence on technology, unable to do hard labor or make difficult decisions because of their dependence, so when the world fell, so did most of the world. The exact details weren’t given, but the overall result was a society that was anti-technology, punishing and executing those who used and cherished inventions with many societies adopting Anti-Technology Laws. While I don’t know that I agree with the conclusions and I wonder why, if history was all but lost, they’d so closely adapt to a time period. Instead, I would’ve expected a blend of pre-technology societies and habits, but I’m not picky about the result. I understood the point and the reasoning, even if I don’t find it all that plausible. I think the author did well with her setting, despite whether I agree with the plausibility of that setting.

I enjoyed Rook. The story was compelling. Sophia acted as the Red Rook, saving prisoners with elaborate plans, while everyone chased who they thought would most obviously be a man. Her arranged fiancé was intriguing, but related to the man who sought the Red Rook, which created a major conflict full of miscommunication, mystery, and adventure. My only major complaint was that, despite the short length, it took longer than expected to get through. Something about the writing made it difficult and slightly boring at times, but other times I was completely sucked in. I’m not completely sure if the author was using a lot of passive voice, but that’s kind of what it was like.. not a whole lot of straight and to the point action, but elaborate Ah-ha moments that took forever to uncover, like the end of a Scooby-Doo episode where they sit around and talk about how they knew what was what. Which was fun in it’s own way, but it certainly made for a less engrossing book.

Still, I’d recommend Rook to fans of historical fiction and YA dystopian who feel like they’d appreciate the unique blend and aren’t afraid of the somewhat slow pace.

Star 3

 

 

November Owlcrate Unboxing 2016

November’s Theme was Wonderland!

Owlcrate did hint that the book would be a Wonderland retelling and come with an exclusive cover!

 

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So what was in the box?

 

  • Heartless by Marissa Meyer with quote card and letter and an exclusive cover
  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and matching bookmark from Rock Paper Books designed by Rita Rodil
  • Alice Magnet by Evie Bookish
  • Handmade bookmark from Authored Adornments
  • Tea from Riddle’s Tea Shoppe exclusively designed for Owlcrate!

 

This might be my favorite box ever. I have a ton of Alice in Wonderland stuff, including a Mad Hatter themed tattoo, so I’m intrigued and excited about all of these items! 

I absolutely love the cover of Heartless and the amazing paperback of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland!

The tea is perfect. There’s actually a tea shop near me that is Alice in Wonderland themed and I was going to stop in and grab more tea before I realized my Owlcrate had arrived. I’m so excited about all of these items. 

 

 

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday – Gift Guide for Book Lovers

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Top Ten Tuesday

Hosted by the Broke and the Bookish

Top Ten Gifts for the Book Lover in Your Life

The most important thing when it comes to gift buying is that it should be from the heart. Find unique things. Think outside of the box. Some of the links I included have a variety of bookish products, so they are great places to start! Most of these I own and received as gifts from awesome family and friends or things I bought for myself.

1. This awesome book lamp

2. 100 Essential Novel scratch off poster

3. Harry Potter House Scarf

4. Literary Scarf

5. Literary Tote/Shirt/Socks

6. Subscription to a book box like Owlcrate or Uppercase.

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7. Mugs for tea, coffee, or anything else book lovers tend to drink while reading.

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8. Unique Print

9. Cell Phone Case

10. Gift Card for Books

Please note that actual books aren’t on the list. I love getting books that I’ve been wanting, but often when people buy me actual books, they are books not in my usual genres. I read just about anything, so it’s weird that books I’ve been gifted are typically books I would NEVER read. I find that people tend to buy things THEY like for people instead of looking at what the person they are buying for will like. To avoid awkward situations, gift cards are always preferred unless I’m asked for a specific wish list. 

Review – The Midnight Star (The Young Elites #3) by Marie Lu

 

The Midnight Star (The Young Elites #3)

By Marie Lu

SummaryThe thrilling finale to the New York Times bestselling Young Elites series from “hit factory” Marie Lu.

There was once a time when darkness shrouded the world, and the darkness had a queen.

Adelina Amouteru is done suffering. She’s turned her back on those who have betrayed her and achieved the ultimate revenge: victory. Her reign as the White Wolf has been a triumphant one, but with each conquest her cruelty only grows. The darkness within her has begun to spiral out of control, threatening to destroy all that she’s achieved.

Adelina’s forced to revisit old wounds when a new danger appears, putting not only Adelina at risk, but every Elite and the very world they live in. In order to save herself and preserve her empire, Adelina and her Roses must join the Daggers on a perilous quest—though this uneasy alliance may prove to be the real danger.

Bestselling author Marie Lu concludes Adelina’s story with this haunting and hypnotizing final installment to the Young Elites series. 

Source: I purchased a hardcover

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Review:

I absolutely loved The Midnight Star and the conclusion to the trilogy as a whole. I teared up a bit at the end and I expected to be wholly disappointed because I didn’t see a way for Adelina to be anything other than a villain and the author surprised me with the entire plot of this book. I did not see the series going in this direction, but it’s a direction I’m glad of now.

Like many other reviewers, I thought The Midnight Star was really short when all signs pointed to complete chaos that needed at least a million pages to be sorted all out, right? And while I’m sad it ended so quickly, I think I’m actually satisfied with the length in that I’m left wondering about just enough to feel that perfect combination of satisfaction and disappointment that a good ending seems to bring me. I wanted more, but I hate when authors beat a plot to death. The whole book took a turn that I did NOT expect. 

I’m left feeling like the ending was absolutely perfect and that the beauty of it all is that everyone had to go through their own trials and tribulations to be brought to the breaking point. The reason for the madness, the voices, the hatred that flowed through Adelina.. it was explained in a unique and mythological way that I appreciated.

The story was beautiful and I love the way it ended. I grew to actually love Adelina, a villain I was sure would only leave me cold and angry. I loved the quotes at the beginning of the chapters and the snippets of legends that had such relevance to the plot. The story was brilliant and well executed. Everything connected in a unique way. The Young Elites trilogy could’ve easily been about a naive girl clinging to the mysterious Enzo and learning her powers, going on Dagger adventures and having to solve some sort of conflict and then there would be swoony moments, which is sort of what I expected, and instead it was a story about something else altogether and I just love being surprised by stories like this. 

Star 5