Tag Archives: #fantasy

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

Note: New Year, new Review structure! Enjoy, and happy reading 🙂

Book 1 in the Shades of Magic Trilogy

400 pages

5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Sypnosis:

Kell is one of the last Antari—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons; Red, Grey, White, and, once upon a time, Black.

Kell was raised in Arnes—Red London—and officially serves the Maresh Empire as an ambassador, traveling between the frequent bloody regime changes in White London and the court of George III in the dullest of Londons, the one without any magic left to see.

Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.

After an exchange goes awry, Kell escapes to Grey London and runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.

Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive.

Let’s talk about the plot:

It was so exciting and fast paced! I knew, as soon as I started reading, that I discovered something awesome; and the series, I can tell, is going to be a long time favourite! One book in and I’m already hooked and obsessed with the world Schwab created. It was constant edge of your seat excitement, and I couldn’t get enough of Kell and Lila! The plot just got more and more detailed and wild too, I could have never predicted what was coming next! The book, and the story, and the plot was so unique! I have never read anything like this before! Pure perfection!

Let’s talk about the writing:

The writing was so pleasurable and vast! And detailed, I mean, even the concepts had me in awe! Schwab has created so much vastness, from Red London, which was my favourite of the settings (I mean, can I go there?!), to Grey London, and everything in between. It was so fascinating learning about all of the London’s, and what separates each of them. I could clearly picture each seperate environment, and I love how we saw everything from Kell and Lila’s eyes. It was honestly all perfection! The writing had be gasping in both shock, surprise and pleasure! I’d only read one of the authors books in the past, The Archived, but her writing had definitely matured since then! I mean, the wealth of magic in this novel is flawless! I loved every minute, as I said, and I didn’t want this book to end! Yet, I couldn’t put it down, I was dying to know what would come next! And the ending definitely didn’t disappoint! It was all flawless, and the pacing was freaking amazing. There was never a dull moment, and plenty of wit throughout.

Let’s talk about the characters:

I loved most of the characters! Lila Bard is one new favourite heroine of mine! She’s full of sass and she’s utterly fierce! I loved her introduction to the book, and I loved her dynamic with Kell! I was cheering for Lila all throughout, honestly! I loved her longing for adventure, and I love how she got to see so much of the other London’s! I felt like I was Lila, throughout the book, I felt like her thoughts and reactions mirrored my own, and I definitely shared her emotions! I definitely became proud of her too, she never backed down from anything and she constantly stood her ground. Her scenes had me terrified and delighted in equal measures! Given her last scene in this book, I can’t wait to discover the action that will be in store for her in the next one!

Kell, what an amazing character! I loved learning about him, his life, and how he came to be who and where he is now, throughout the book, it was absolutely wicked! He was definitely my portal into the book world, and I loved learning about the language, and the importance of magic and being an antari. Kell is definitely admirable too, I was cheering for him throughout, and I couldn’t get enough of him and Lila! Their friendship is so freaking fabulous, and I can’t wait to see how it grows, especially given it grew so much in the first book itself! I love Kell’s values, and loved his reactions to everything!

I also really love Rhy, I think he and Kell have the most precious bond, I love how they both hold the other in the highest regard and would do anything for one another, and I love their banter! Throw Lila into the mix, and that’s a brilliant trio! I hope there’s scenes with the two of them to come!

I’m not really sure how I feel about Holland, truthfully, I hope we somehow learn more about him (but I’m not sure if we will?!) but, honestly, I’m still conflicted! I want to learn more about his early years, I think, but I think I can safely say that he and Kell are two sides of the same coin. Their scenes definitely had be nervous, and their last one in this book had me biting my teeth.

Overall:

What a freaking epic start to the year of reading! (This year is the year where I will read all the books!) and I have another favourite series! Utterly flawless and if I had to fault it in a small way? I couldn’t! Thank you Victoria Schwab, for creating this world! I can already see it as something I’d re read over and over! I already can’t get enough! So for that reason, I’ll try and break up the other two books! I don’t want to leave this world!

Happy new year, everyone, I hope you all have a fantastic bookish year! This was my first read of the year, and I hope everyone has an amazing 2018!

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Book Review: Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Published in 2015 by St Martin’s Press

517 pages

5 out of 5 stars

Sypnosis from Goodreads:

Simon Snow is the worst chosen one who’s ever been chosen

That’s what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he’s probably right.

Half the time Simon can’t even make his wand work, and the other half, he sets something on fire. His mentor’s avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there’s a magic-eating monster running around wearing Simon’s face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here – it’s their last year at Watford School of Magicks, and Simon’s infuriating nemesis didn’t even bother to show up.

Carry On is a love letter to love stories and the power of words – to every ‘chosen one’ who ever had more on their mind than saving the world.

My mini Review:

This book was such an unexpected pleasure! I absolutely loved Fangirl and Landline, but I didn’t know what to expect from Carry On! The result is one of my all time favourite stand alone books! And I’m lamenting that it’s a stand alone because I’d happily read ALL the books about Simon and Baz! This book was full of so many delightful feels and ALOT of angst, it was such an addictive read and my heart was constantly feeling! The fantasy element felt really natural, and the writing was fast paced, I was constantly kept guessing what would come next! It was full of a lot of twists and turns, some things I couldn’t have guessed, and it was amazing! I buddy read this with one of my closest friends, we analysed every chapter; and I can safely say it’s something we’d both recommend to all! The characters will long stay with me and I can see myself re visiting this world! I would love to read more with these characters, Baz and Simon have got to be two of the most precious characters out there! Definitely an outstanding book!

Happy reading 🙂

Book Review: House of Hades by Rick Riordan

Book 4 in The Heroes of Olympus series 

Published in 2013

Pages: 583

Sypnosis from Goodreads:

At the conclusion of The Mark of Athena, Annabeth and Percy tumble into a pit leading straight to the Underworld. The other five demigods have to put aside their grief and follow Percy’s instructions to find the mortal side of the Doors of Death. If they can fight their way through the Gaea’s forces, and Percy and Annabeth can survive the House of Hades, then the Seven will be able to seal the Doors both sides and prevent the giants from raising Gaea. But, Leo wonders, if the Doors are sealed, how will Percy and Annabeth be able to escape?

They have no choice. If the demigods don’t succeed, Gaea’s armies will never die. They have no time. In about a month, the Romans will march on Camp Half-Blood. The stakes are higher than ever in this adventure that dives into the depths of Tartarus. 
My Review:


After the cliffhanger that was the ending of Mark of Athena, I was properly terrified to read this, but equally excited. I mean, two of my favourite characters ever, fallen into The Underworld?! Not nerve wracking at all! But as soon as I started this book, I was thrust back into this amazing book world and it felt like I never left! 

This whole book was literally edge of your seat excitement! I couldn’t put it down, and the writing was flawless! The pacing was constantly epic; and I was laughing, and screaming at times too; the foreshadowing, which is one of the many things Rick Riordan writes epically, was perfection and I couldn’t stop reading this! I honestly couldn’t predict how the events in this book would play out; and every scene was brilliant! It was awesome to see and hear about past characters, and the addition of new ones! (I mean Bob and Calypso gave me all the feels!), also, Riordan’s writing was so freaking vivid, it was flawless! There were some really intense scenes with Percy and Annabeth, and honestly it was all just so amscing to read about and I was really feeling throughout! The writing was also really haunting and bone chilling, I feel like it’ll be in my mind for plenty of time to come! I couldn’t help but feel like I was with Percy and Annabeth throughout, and it was terrifying to the core! But awesome at the same time, and frankly, feely, because the two had some really intense thoughts, and some scares. 

Everyone’s character development was amazing in this book! They all played such a crucial part to the story and seeing how everything blended together was epic! These characters are honestly squad goals! I cannot wait to read Blood of Olympus, but it’s so short! So I’ll put it off til next month at least! This series is an all time favourite and I don’t want it to end! 
Until next time, happy reading! Brooklyn 🙂

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by JK Rowling

Published in 1997

Pages: 350 (Ravenclaw edition)

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars 

Sypnosis from Goodreads: 

Gryffindor, Slytherin, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw … Twenty years ago these magical words and many more flowed from a young writer’s pen, an orphan called Harry Potter was freed from the cupboard under the stairs – and a global phenomenon started. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone has been read and loved by every new generation since. To mark the 20th anniversary of first publication, Bloomsbury is publishing four House Editions of J.K. Rowling’s modern classic. These stunning editions will each feature the individual house crest on the jacket and sprayed edges in the house colours. Exciting new extra content will include fact files, profiles of favourite characters and line illustrations exclusive to that house. Available for a limited period only, these highly collectable editions will be a must-have for all Harry Potter fans in 2017)

Harry Potter’s life is miserable. His parents are dead and he’s stuck with his heartless relatives, who force him to live in a tiny closet under the stairs. But his fortune changes when he receives a letter that tells him the truth about himself: he’s a wizard. A mysterious visitor rescues him from his relatives and takes him to his new home, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

After a lifetime of bottling up his magical powers, Harry finally feels like a normal kid. But even within the Wizarding community, he is special. He is the boy who lived: the only person to have ever survived a killing curse inflicted by the evil Lord Voldemort, who launched a brutal takeover of the Wizarding world, only to vanish after failing to kill Harry.
Though Harry’s first year at Hogwarts is the best of his life, not everything is perfect. There is a dangerous secret object hidden within the castle walls, and Harry believes it’s his responsibility to prevent it from falling into evil hands. But doing so will bring him into contact with forces more terrifying than he ever could have imagined.
Full of sympathetic characters, wildly imaginative situations, and countless exciting details, the first installment in the series assembles an unforgettable magical world and sets the stage for many high-stakes adventures to come.

My Review:


I’ve officially lost count how many times I’ve re read these magical books; and to be honest I’ll re read them again, many more times. Harry Potter has been part of my life for 20 odd years now, I can’t imagine life without it. They were the books that got me into reading; and I’m forever grateful to Queen Rowling for bringing magic into my life, every time. Honestly, re reading Harry Potter feels like going home; it is always perfection and I can easily say that it’s my favourite book series of all time; my top fandom, and even as I read them, what with being older now, I can appreciate the magic in a new light; and I always seem to pick up some fine detail that I’ve missed in the past; and this was such a quick re read! I finished it in less than 24hrs!

Where do we begin, Rowling is honestly a flawless writer! I was there, observing Mr Dursley and his frankly mundane (see what I did there, fellow Shadowhunters), life; and then even as I re read, my curiosity heightened when the surname Potter came up; honestly yes I knew what was to come and what would happen but it was just so exciting re reading the book! And whilst I can never capture the first read feeling; it will never not excite me when I re read Harry Potter. Meeting all the new characters again, was awesome. I loved the little banter between Ron and Hermione (I mean they had always been clearly meant to be!) and the wisdom of Dumbledore, who gives many of my all time favourite quotes: “It does not do well to dwell on dreams and forget to live.” to name one! And the honest to goodness awe inspiring that is just the description of Hogwarts! With its moving portraits, endless staircases, house ghosts; it’s magic is honestly infinite and Hogwarts has always been a dream, literally. 

I honestly forgot how fast paced the story is; and not at all confusing, ever! Harry Potter needs to be read by everyone at least once! I mean all the characters are freaking awesome; the dialogue can be humourous, and it’s an epic adventure if there ever was one! I felt I was there, feeling Harry’s desperation to get his letters, his excitement and all round awe at Diagon Alley; and how Hogwarts feels like his home. Honestly, my emotions from this re read; I always feel excitement and often get goosebumps, when Harry, Ron and Hermione become friends (go girl, for covering up for the lads!) and honestly who doesn’t love Hermione? She’s my next favourite girl character after Luna and probably the one I relate to the most; and as I said I loved seeing all these characters again, it was nothing short of wicked! 

All in all, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is the perfect start to a perfect series; and it always will be.
And that concludes my review, until next time, happy reading 🙂
Brooklyn. 

Book Review: Angels Twice Descending by Cassandra Clare and Robin Wasserman  

The last story in Tales from The Shadowhunter Academy 

Published in 2015

96 pages

5 out of 5 stars 

Sypnosis from Goodreads:


Someone lives and someone dies at Simon’s Ascension ceremony.

My Review:


Thanks, Clare, you’ve destroyed my soul again, (no, jokes, that was crushed a long time ago!) but no in all earnest this was yet another perfect addition to the Tales from The Shadowhunter Academy, and such a bittersweet finale. Everyone has come such a long way, and I honestly had chills as I was reading this one all throughout. It was honestly the perfect conclusion to the perfect book, and I can definitely see myself reading this again and again. 

Firstly, George. Oh my gosh I didn’t see that coming! Like, what?! It was so heartbreaking and honestly the ending was so emotional and perfection. This whole story was such an epic finale, and honestly I can’t even deal right now. 

So I think I’ll leave it there! Honestly, Clare and the other authors have done such a perfect job, and I can’t wait to see what’s in store in The Dark Artifices!

And that concludes my review, until next time, happy reading, 

Brooklyn 🙂 

Book Review: Born to Endless Night by Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan

The ninth story in Tales from The Shadowhunter Academy

Published: 2015

Pages: 120

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Sypnosis from Goodreads:


Simon, like the rest of the Academy, is stunned when a navy-skinned warlock baby is found on the Academy steps. They hand the child over to guest lecturer Magnus Bane, who has to bring a child home… temporarily, of course… to his man!

My Review:


This was honestly flawless, actually I found it refreshing that it was mostly told from Magnus’s point of view and I loved that this story had all of the Malec in it. It made me heart so happy; this story had so many feels contained within it and honestly I was a puddle of fangirl feels by the end! I was definitely crying happy tears; i feel like each novella has been leading up to so much, and I honestly think that it’s these past few stories where everything is heightening to a huge finale; which I’m about to read next; but honestly I’m so proud of Simon, he has stepped up so much and especially in this story, I loved the chat he had with Alec and the depth of the conversation they had; also, can we just appreciate the amount of Malec in this story? Malec is life and I was fangirling so much throughout!! When Alec and Magnus and the Lightwood family were all bonding over …well, I don’t want to spoil it, but it was perfection! And there were plenty of light moments when Simon’s friends were comparing Malec to Brangelina, and when Malec was actually mentioned (the word) I laughed, honestly, this novella was perfection and I had all the feels!

And that concludes my review, until next time, happy reading,
Brooklyn 🙂 

Book Review: The Fiery Trial by Cassandra Clare and Maureen Johnson

The eighth story in Tales from The Shadowhunter Academy 

Published in 2015

64 pages 

5 out of 5 stars

Sypnosis from Goodreads:


Emma Carstairs and Julian Blackthorn become parabatai. Simon and Clary both act as their witnesses, so they can see what a parabatai bond forming looks like as they want to become parabatai as soon as Simon graduates — and because Emma asked Clary. The ritual goes unexpectedly …

My Review:


This was honestly perfection. It definitely leads into Lady Midnight, which I couldn’t be more excited to read; and honestly it had so many feelings, and I was left wanting more! I was excited to read about Emma and Julian’s parabatai scene, and honestly when Jem was telling Simon and Clary before hand about the parabatai bond I was feeling all the HeronStairs feels. No I don’t ship Jem and Will but honestly they are parabatai endgame as far as I’m concerned; though honestly the whole parabatai bond moves me, and I love Jace and Alec as parabatai too, and now of course Emma and Julian…and another new parabatai pair. Honestly, when it was suggested and both characters were for it my heart was honestly so happy! So you can definitely say that this novella was full of lots of happy feels too; although when Simon was going through the memories honestly there were a lot of sad feels there, it was all done so well! And there was of course light comedy provided by Jace, which I feel made me laugh more than it should’ve. 

But honestly, another perfection edition to a perfect book. Cannot get enough of these! And I can’t wait to read more about Emma and Julian especially! I freaking adore both of them! 

And that concludes my review, until next time, happy reading: 

Brooklyn 🙂 

Book Review: Pale Kings and Princes by Cassandra Clare and Robin Wasserman 

The sixth novella in Tales from The Shadowhunter Academy 

Published: 2015

Pages: 40

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Sypnosis from Goodreads:

Simon has an encounter with Downworlders and is reprimanded for not following the rules for Academy students interacting with Downworlders. A story within a story: Andrew Blackthorn, while a student at the Academy, becomes enthralled by a faerie and has two children with her: Mark and Helen.
My Review:


This was honestly so perfect, it got me right in the feelings throughout; what with Simon and Izzy, and Helen Blackthorn explaining her parents story to the students. Honestly, her being there just explains how brutal and cruel the Clave can be; but we are definitely given both sides of the argument, from when Isabelle and Simon talk about the Shadowhunter mentality; what I did love honestly was both of their support towards Helen, her presence in this story was honestly amazing and I loved her from when we initially met her in The Mortal Instruments; and I’m proud of her because it was definitely brave what she did, even if she didn’t have a choice. 

As I mentioned, her appearance definitely set the foundation for a fair bit of Sizzy angst, I was cheering throughout though; and definitely tearing up; Simon remembers fragments of things, and people; Clary of course is fundamental with this and I love how supportive she is of her friend, as he tries to piece bits and pieces of who he once was. I really feel for Simon still, he’s honestly grown so much and I cannot wait to read the rest of these novellas! This was another great perfect addition to the story, and honestly every moment has been a roller coaster of feels! 

And that concludes my review, until next time happy reading,

Brooklyn 🙂 

Book Review: Nothing But Shadows by Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan 

The fourth novella in Tales from The Shadowhunter Academy 

Pages: 96

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars 

Published: 2015

Sypnosis from Goodreads:

Simon learns about James Herondale’s time at Shadowhunter Academy. One of ten adventures in Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy.

It’s hard to be a Shadowhunter when you’ve got demonic powers. Simon learns about the school-time struggles of half-warlock James Herondale in this prelude to The Last Hours.

This standalone e-only short story follows the adventures of Simon Lewis.

My Review:


This was honestly perfection, I can’t fault it. It was literally a prelude to The Last Hours, and I loved every moment! It was honestly heavenly reading about little James Herondale and getting snippets of his sister, I cannot freaking wait for The Last Hours; I need more of the Herondales/Carstairs in my life! 

I especially loved the growing friendship and bond between Matthew Fairchild and James, honestly, Matthew had some freaking amazing character development!! And James did too; although I knew of his power from reading The Midnight Heir in The Bane Chronicles; I thought this story was honestly really well done, in getting James used to what he can do. 

Other characters that were in this novella were interesting too, knowing how they all connected to the main characters, but for me this novella was honestly all about James, Matthew and of course Simon- and Jem, oh my heart the scenes with Jem were so beautiful! But as for Simon – He learns a lot from this story, still also dealing with his little memory fragments, and knows who he could possibly turn to in order to get his own parabatai. I for one cannot wait for that to get explored more!

And that concludes my review, until next time, happy reading 🙂 

Brooklyn 🙂

Book Review: The Lost Herondale by Cassandra Clare and Robin Wasserman

The second novella in Tales from The Shadowhunter Academy 

98 pages

Published in 2015

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Sypnosis from Goodreads:

Simon learns the worst crime a Shadowhunter can commit: desertion of their comrades. In the early nineteenth century, Tobias Herondale abandoned his fellow Shadowhunters in the heat of battle and left them to die. His life was forfeit, but Tobias never returned, and the Clave claimed his wife’s life in exchange for Tobias’s. Simon and his fellow students are shocked to learn of this brutality, especially when it is revealed the woman was pregnant. But what if the child survived… could there be a lost Herondale line out in the world today? 
My Review:


I really enjoyed this one, it definitely gave a fascinating insight into Tobias Herondale and there was a little hint, well okay more than that, about another character possibly still lingering; I wonder if that will get explored in future novels? But regardless, I absolutely loved the interactions between Simon and Catarina, and Izzy and Clary’s appearances. Both definitely firmly helped Simon, I think; he’s still getting used to his patchy memories, and of course he feels bad about things, but I definitely think that Clary and Izzy have helped him in the long run, 

Even though I’m only two stories in, this has been so addictive so far and I can’t wait to see where the other stories take Simon and to see what familiar faces show up! 

And that concludes my review, until next time, happy reading,

Brooklyn 🙂