April reads 2018

Hey you all! Time to share my have-reads from last month with you guys and girls ❤ I had a very good reading month with 18 read books! And there were some really nice stories on my reading pile 🙂 I read a lot of romance novels (lazy in the garden with some tea while enjoying the perfect weather) and some YA books.

Here’s my April have-reads in pictures ❤ (2 books are missing because there were no cover pictures of them on Goodreads and I was too lazy to make photo’s of them haha)

I really loved the Drägan Duma series by Patty van Delft!!! Dragons, lots of action and emotions, sweet romance and great characters. Unfortunately, this series isn’t translated to English (yet).

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi wasn’t really what I expected of it and sadly there were some things I didn’t like about the book (the romance!), you can read my Dutch review of this book here: http://www.nienkekinderboekenblog.nl/recensie/denise-leest-bloed-en-beenderen-van-tomi-adeyemi/ Maybe I will translate this review in English and post it on this blog later, but I got some other reviews lined up for you all, so those are coming first 😉

Happy reading you all!

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A winged adventure – part 1

Hey you all! Last week I perused the Internet for new books to add to my to read list. Not that I have a lack of reading material haha, but hey, every once in a while you just have to put some new titles on your neverending list 😉 On my search I came across a series of  six books that sounded totally awesome: The Pegasus series by Kate O’Hearn! Most of you guys and girls can probably guess what happened next … Yeah, I totally caved and instead of putting the books on my to read list, I put them in my shopping cart and raced to the virtual checkout 🙂

I confess the covers helped persuade me, just look at the one of the first book ❤

the flame of olympus

And as if that wasn’t enough this is the description

When Pegasus crashes onto a Manhattan roof during a terrible storm, Emily’s life changes forever. Suddenly allied with a winged horse she’d always thought was mythical, Emily is thrust into the center of a fierce battle between the Roman gods and a terrifying race of multiarmed stone warriors called the Nirads. Emily must team up with a thief named Paelen, the goddess Diana, and a boy named Joel in order to return Pegasus to Olympus and rescue the gods from a certain death.

Along the way, Emily and her companions will fight monsters, run from a government agency that is prepared to dissect Pegasus, and even fly above the Manhattan skyline—all as part of a quest to save Olympus before time runs out. 

But, did this book live up to the expectations the cover and description gave me?

Heck yeah! I loved this book!!! Let me try to explain what was so good about this story ❤ Main character Emily is one of those fun characters who instantly pull you into their story. She’s sweet, kind, loyal, independent and strong. The death of her mother hit her hard and she’s still trying to cope with it, while also caring for her dad who is a cop and works his ass off to protect the citizens of New York. Needless to say her life hasn’t been easy lately. Then one day a terrible storm hits the city and Emily hears a crash on the roof of her building. She decides to find out what the crash was and discovers something surrealistic: the mythological stallion Pegasus is lying wounded amidst the remnants of her mom’s rosegarden. And that’s where the adventure starts! Along the way Emily will find new friends and undiscovered powers within herself.

I also loved Paelen’s character. At the beginning he comes across as arrogant and selfish, but soon you find out that there’s so much more to him. I liked how he learned to trust people and that he too has worth and purpose within the pantheon of Roman deities and as a person. The way in which he found his courage and stepped up to save everyone was really cool.

Joel is another one of those characters who instantly win your heart. He’s really caring and nice. I loved his tender heart and really felt for him when I discovered what happened to his family and to him after losing them.

And Pegasus ❤ What’s not to love about him. If you’ve read more of my reviews you probably know I have a soft spot for animal characters and Pegasus was one of those animal characters who instantly steal your heart and make you want to read further.

But not only the heroes of this story are fantastic, the antagonists are really cool too. On the one hand you have the Nirads, beings with four arms and a skin as tough as stone which is seemingly impenetrable. On the other hand there is the CRU, a secret government organization tasked with researching the extraterrestrial and supernatural. In their quest for knowledge and answers they will stop at nothing, not even torture of children, to find what they are looking for.

Besides the cast of awesome characters and side characters this story has so much adventure and suspense. Once I started reading I couldn’t stop! From the battles on Olympus, to Pegasus crashing in Manhattan, to the Nirads infiltrating New York and the CRU capturing the heroes. Every scene is brimming with tension, emotion and fantasy. The combination of the fast pacing and the non-stop action ensures a thrilling read you won’t be able to put down!

If you’re looking for a fast-paced children’s fantasy adventure which uses Roman mythology, has awesome characters and lots of emotion and suspense look no further because this book has it all!

Bookhaul March 2018

Hey you all! March was a good month for my bookcase haha. I joined Nienke Pool on her Facebook page Kinderboeken and on her blog Nienkekinderboeken.nl to help her manage it and write YA reviews 🙂 From now on you can follow my reviews in Dutch on her blog and here in English on my own blog ❤ Because I will be reviewing a whole lot more I received some review copy’s from a couple of publishers, but I also bought a few books (you can never have too many books 😉 )

So which books did I add to my collection?

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Hero at the Fall (Rebel of the Sands #3) by Alwyn Hamilton

When gunslinging Amani Al’Hiza escaped her dead-end town, she never imagined she’d join a revolution, let alone lead one. But after the bloodthirsty Sultan of Miraji imprisoned the Rebel Prince Ahmed in the mythical city of Eremot, she doesn’t have a choice. Armed with only her revolver, her wits, and her untameable Demdji powers, Amani must rally her skeleton crew of rebels for a rescue mission through the unforgiving desert to a place that, according to maps, doesn’t exist. As she watches those she loves most lay their lives on the line against ghouls and enemy soldiers, Amani questions whether she can be the leader they need or if she is leading them all to their deaths.

Schaduwzwart (Shadowblack – Spellslinger #2) by Sebastien de Castell

It’s a few months since Kellen left his people behind. Now aged sixteen, Kellen is an outlaw, relying on his wits to keep him alive in the land of the Seven Sands. He misses home, he misses family and more than anything, he misses Nephenia, the girl he left behind.

Then he meets Seneira, a blindfolded girl who isn’t blind, and who carries a secret that’s all too familiar to Kellen. Kellen and Ferius resolve to help – but the stakes are far higher than they realise. A Shadowblack plague is taking hold – and Kellen can’t help but suspect his own people may even be behind it.

Drägan Duma trilogy (Zij die hoort, Bondgenoten & Verraders, het zwarte kristal) by Patty van Delft (descriptions in Dutch)

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Zij die hoort

Bloed tegen de autoruit… De nachten van Jill worden regelmatig geteisterd door een nachtmerrie over het ongeluk waarbij ze haar moeder verloor. Haar vader heeft ze nooit gekend.

In de nacht nadat ze zestien is geworden, schrikt Jill wakker. Ze gaat naar het slaapkamerraam en ziet buiten de schim van een draak! Ervan overtuigd dat ze droomt, gaat ze ernaartoe en ontmoet de Drägannymare Jordian, een drakenridder uit Drägan Duma. In die parallelle wereld zijn draken een verbond met de mensen aangegaan om de kwaadaardige Morbiden het hoofd te bieden.

Jill blijkt door haar bloedlijn van vaders kant voorbestemd te zijn om in Drägan Duma opgeleid te worden tot Drägnnymare. Ze krijgt slechts een paar dagen de tijd om te beslissen of ze dit werkelijk gaat doen.

Verward blijft ze achter. Moet ze alles wat ze kent achter zich laten en de overstap maken naar het onbekende Drägan Duma?

Bondgenoten en Verraders

In de strijd om vrijheid komt het verraad van binnen…
Na de laatste afgeslagen aanval van de Morbiden is hun meester furieus. Nieuwe plannen om de macht over te nemen worden gesmeed.
Met de overstap naar Drägan Duma is Jill ontsnapt aan haar roerige bestaan op aarde. Ze durft weer voorzichtig te genieten van het leven, maar al snel breken er duistere tijden aan op deze parallelle wereld. 
Jill lijkt aangewezen om de leidster van Dragon Stone op te volgen, maar is zij wel Zij Die Hoort, zoals beschreven in de profetieën? Een Wijze van het Woud vertelt haar over een verrader tussen de mensen die zij net geleerd heeft te vertrouwen. Wie in haar omgeving spant er samen met de vijand? 
De strijd tegen de Soulsnatcher en zijn Morbiden barst in alle hevigheid los en onwaarschijnlijke bondgenootschappen moeten worden gesloten om deze oorlog te kunnen overleven.
In het tweede deel van Patty van Delfts spannende trilogie Drägan Duma volgen gebeurtenissen elkaar razendsnel op. Verlies, moed, verdriet en haar moeilijke relatie met Skylar veranderen het examenjaar van de zestienjarige Jill in een chaotische achtbaan van belevenissen.

Het zwarte kristal

Jill en Skylar hebben alles achter zich gelaten om in de Buitenwereld het Zwarte Kristal te vernietigen, het duistere object dat de mens op Drägan Duma verbindt aan de kwaadaardige magiër Morbiston.
Met slechts een handvol aanwijzingen staan ze aan het begin van een avontuur in een wereld waar magie ongewenste aandacht trekt. En hoe verberg je draken op een plaats waar mythische wezens niet langer voorkomen?

Terwijl de magiër en zijn Morbiden op Drägan Duma nog altijd dood en verderf zaaien, begint voor Jill en Skylar een race tegen de klok.
De onstabiele verbinding teistert de Buitenwereld en tegenslagen maken de missie nog moeilijker dan verwacht.

Volgens de profetie kan Morbiston alleen voorgoed worden verslagen door magie in vertrouwen te bundelen. Maar Jill raakt gaandeweg zelfs het vertrouwen in zichzelf kwijt.
Kan zij haar twijfels opzijzetten om een einde te maken aan Morbistons duistere macht?

Bloed en Beenderen (Children of Blood and Bone – The Orïsha trilogy #1) by Tomi Adeyemi

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Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zelie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.

But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were targeted and killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.

Now, Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.

Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers—and her growing feelings for the enemy.

Can’t wait to read all these beauties!!!

 

March reads 2018

Hey you all! I totally forgot to post my have reads and want-to-reads for last and this month (blush). My only excuse is that the weather has been so nice that I spent all my time in the garden to get it ready for summer 🙂 I love to be outside as soon as the sun shows his face haha. But, hey, that’s not what you came here for. You came for books and reading ❤

I must admit that I didn’t read that much in March. Somehow I read really slowly and only managed to finish 9 books… I don’t think I ever read so little books in a whole month. So, which books did I read?

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A fun mix of erotic romance and Young Adult ❤ I especially loved Patty van Delft’s book (unfortunately it hasn’t been translated to English yet). If you want to see my Dutch review you can read it at http://www.nienkekinderboekenblog.nl/recensie/dragan-duma-1-zij-die-hoort/ 🙂

Happy reading you all!

 

A magical love story

Hey you all! It’s time for a new review for Dutch Venture Publishing!!! The book I will be reviewing is Takla Makan: het blauwe licht (Takla Makan: the blue light in English) by German author Petra Nouns. This blogpost is part of a blogtour, so, I will give you the next stops on the tour beneath this review in case you want to read more opinions about the book (the other reviews are in Dutch). So, what was this book about and what did I think about it?

Ella is a fifteen-year-old girl living in Berlin. She’s learned to stick up for herself because the school where she goes to in Kreuzberg isn’t the best and things can get rather rough in class. Luckily, her best friend Sofia mostly follows the same classes as her. 

Just like last year Orkan is in her class too: a Turkish boy with a big mouth and ego to match. Ella can’t stand him. Moreover, she thinks he’s nuts because he insists that his aunt can do magic. Who believes that kind of crap?

But then something remarkable happens. Ella suddenly sees a mysterious, blue light – a glow that gives her visions of a future where Orkan and Ella are madly in love. Is she losing her mind or is someone trying to show her how her life could be one day … ?

takla makan

The description sounds totally awesome, and the cover is gorgeous ❤ A recipe for an epic read, I thought, but sadly this was not really my book. I will try to explain why this story didn’t really hook me, but first let me tell you what I did like about it.

I loved how different cultures came together in this book. Not only because of the multi-cultural school Ella goes to, but also because of the magic and folklore from Turkey and China that were pivotal in this story. I love reading about different cultures and learning about fairy- and folktales I didn’t know about. I also liked how the writer incorporated some of the struggles and troubles children in multi-cultural schools face every day. It’s no easy feat to write a story that handles these kind of issues and differences in a simple, yet representative way, but the author managed to do this quite well.

Another thing I liked was the blending of a teenage lovestory with Oriental magic. This added some mystery and tension to the story. I thought the parts about Leila, Orkan’s aunt, and her nemesis Arda were pretty funny and interesting. I would have loved to get to know a bit more about the whole magical system in this storyworld.

Now, what I didn’t like. Somehow I couldn’t relate to main character Ella. At times she was rather immature for her age, and other times she seemed much older than fifteen. I couldn’t quite grasp what made her tick. On the one hand she’s bold, stands up for herself, doesn’t give a crap about what other people think and, yet, on the other hand she’s childish, treats her parents as if they are strangers or her servants (like, could someone smack that girl and show her what respecting your parents means?) and she’s kind of full of herself. There were times I really hated this character.

I also didn’t like the love story. Orkan is written like an arrogant ass who thinks he’s God’s gift to girls and thinks he’s really funny. Ugh! Throughout the story the reader is supposed to see him change into a nice and caring guy, and although the writer keeps telling you how much he’s changed, I NEVER saw it. For me Orkan stayed rather bland and arrogant. The only part that made me kind of like him was the last couple of pages. What I did like about the love story was the curse hanging above Orkan and Ella.

When you don’t like either of the main characters that much, a book has to have something else to keep you hooked and entertained. I was hoping the tension and mystery about the visions and the curse would do that, but somehow the tension fell flat. It takes too long for Ella and Orkan to become interested in each other and when they do it’s one of those instant loves where the characters suddenly become flawless and change almost instantly. Orkan becomes good (or so we are told) and Ella becomes pretty (because she changes her wardrobe from two identical sweaters to sexy tops and a bigger, lacy bra because her boobs suddenly grow two sizes), what the heck was that about?! I really don’t mind an instant love or fast love but it has to be written in a way that makes me believe it, makes me see why these two characters suddenly find each other irresistible, and in this story this was simply not the case. I was also kind of bummed when the whole curse thing was solved rather fast and unsuspensefull.

To end on a positive note. I thought the ending was pretty good. Here I finally saw why Ella and Orkan liked each other.  And I finally got a glimpse of Orkan’s changed personality. I also liked the humor throughout the story which made the book lighthearted and fun.

In short: I loved the setting, the storyworld and the magic, but I didn’t like the main characters and the love story. Maybe I’m just too old for this story and maybe younger readers will adore the love story and the main characters, but like I said this was not the story for me.

If you like folklore and magic inspired by the Orient, a young, first love story and some humor in your stories this is the book for you! If you like a little bit more maturity and complication in a love story and you’re looking for really well-developed characters this one is probably not for you.

To see what other people think about this book you can take a look at all the stops in the blogtour: http://dutchventurepublishing.com/takla-makan-blogtour/

Happy reading you all!

 

Want-to-reads March 2018

Hey you all! I promised to share my March want-to-reads with you guys and girls, so, here I am 😉 I’ve got one of those moods where I don’t really know what I want to read. I started a lot of books, but just as quickly put them aside. The only thing I’ve been in the mood for lately is some sci-fi romance and children’s books (don’t ask me why haha). I know it’s the weirdest combination, but it’s what I feel like reading. So, I put together a small list of books that I’d like to read this month.

I will probably read more than just these 7 books, but I’m just not sure which ones I want to read. As always all shall be revealed in the March have-reads post, so, look out for that one at the end of the month haha.

Happy reading you all!

 

February Reads 2018

Hey you all! When I was updating my Goodreads in preparation for this post I discovered I’ve read 23 books in February! Considering I had a slight reading slump at the end of the month because of a bookhangover I got from Sebastien de Castell’s Spellslinger I think this is an insane amount of read books…

And here are my February books ❤

 

I ended up reading only two of the books on my February Want-to-read-list which made me laugh really hard because I’m so not good at deciding up front what I want to read. Often I just go with what I feel like reading. Nevertheless I will also make a Want-to-read list for March (which I will post tomorrow or Tuesday), who knows maybe I will actually read all the books I place on that list 😉

Happy reading you all!

Bookhaul February 2018

Hey you all! I can’t believe it’s already the tenth of March… February just flew by. I’m a little late with posting my February Have-reads and bookhaul but today I will share both with you 🙂 I added 10 new books to my collection ❤ I won 3 books in a giveaway on the Kinderboeken Facebookpage and I bought another 7.

First up the books that I won ❤

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Vogelvrij (Spellslinger) by Sebastien de Castell

For a description and review of this book see:  https://confessionsofaserialreadersite.wordpress.com/2018/02/27/magic-mayhem-and-mischief/

Ronja de roversdochter (Ronia, the robber’s daughter) by Astrid Lindgren

Ronia, who lives with her father and his band of robbers in a castle in the woods, causes trouble when she befriends the son of a rival robber chieftain.

This one sounds like a really nice children’s book and I love Lindgren’s writing, so, looking forward to reading it!

Escape room by Maren Stoffels (description in Dutch)

Vier vrienden geven zich op voor een escape room. In dit spel moeten ze binnen zestig minuten zien te ontsnappen uit een kamer. Maar wat gebeurt er als de persoon die hen opsluit helemaal niet van plan is hen te laten gaan?

Een van de jongeren is het doelwit. Maar wie?

This book hasn’t been translated in English, so, I added the description in Dutch. The book is about four friends participating in an Escape Room (apparently this is a thing now and you voluntarily let yourself be locked up in a room or prison and you have to find a way to escape before time runs out. Don’t know what I think about this because it sounds fun yet idiotic at the same time haha). Only this time the one who locks the boys up has no intention of letting the four friends go because he or she wants to kill one of them. I’m looking forward to reading this as it sounds really suspensefull!

Second, the books that I bought ❤

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As you can see I had a sudden craving for some romance haha. I don’t know about you guys and girls but I like to mix up my reading by adding different genres, books for different ages, and by switching between fiction vs. non-fiction, literary works vs. light reading etc. Anyhow, on to the descriptions for these beauties ❤

Ride Hard (Raven Riders #1) by Laura Kaye

Brotherhood. Club. Family.

They live and ride by their own rules.

These are the Raven Riders . . .

Raven Riders Motorcycle Club President Dare Kenyon rides hard and values loyalty above all else. He’ll do anything to protect the brotherhood of bikers—the only family he’s got—as well as those who can’t defend themselves. So when mistrustful Haven Randall lands on the club’s doorstep scared that she’s being hunted, Dare takes her in, swears to keep her safe, and pushes to learn the secrets overshadowing her pretty smile.

Haven fled from years of abuse at the hands of her criminal father and is suspicious of any man’s promises, including those of the darkly sexy and overwhelmingly intense Ravens’ leader. But as the powerful attraction between them flares to life, Dare pushes her boundaries and tempts her to want things she never thought she could.

The past never dies without a fight, but Dare Kenyon’s never backed down before . . .

I already owned this book as an ebook but I loved it so much that I decided to buy the paperback version too.

Ride Wild (Raven Riders #3) by Laura Kaye

Wild with grief over the death of his wife, Sam “Slider” Evans merely lives for his two sons. Nothing holds his interest anymore—not even riding his bike or his membership in the Raven Riders Motorcycle Club. But that all changes when he hires a new babysitter.

Recently freed from a bad situation by the Ravens, Cora Campbell is determined to bury the past. When Slider offers her a nanny position, she accepts, needing the security and time to figure out what she wants from life. Cora adores his sweet boys, but never expected the red-hot attraction to their brooding, sexy father. If only he would notice her…

Slider does see the beautiful, fun-loving woman he invited into his home. She makes him feel too much, and he both hates it and yearns for it. But when Cora witnesses something she shouldn’t have, the new lives they’ve only just discovered are threatened. Now Slider must claim—and protect—what’s his before it’s too late. 

I forgot to write a review of this book, but I loved it so, so much!!! I think I will write reviews for all the Raven Riders novels when I have bought all of them and read them in order. If you like emotional books with lots of romance, suspense and well-crafted charcaters you’re going to love this series!

Etched in Bone (The Others #5) by Anne Bishop

After a human uprising was brutally put down by the Elders—a primitive and lethal form of the Others—the few cities left under human control are far-flung. And the people within them now know to fear the no-man’s-land beyond their borders—and the darkness…

As some communities struggle to rebuild, Lakeside Courtyard has emerged relatively unscathed, though Simon Wolfgard, its wolf shifter leader, and blood prophet Meg Corbyn must work with the human pack to maintain the fragile peace. But all their efforts are threatened when Lieutenant Montgomery’s shady brother arrives, looking for a free ride and easy pickings.

With the humans on guard against one of their own, tensions rise, drawing the attention of the Elders, who are curious about the effect such an insignificant predator can have on a pack. But Meg knows the dangers, for she has seen in the cards how it will all end—with her standing beside a grave.

I can’t believe this is already the last book in The Others series. I’m a little heartbroken by the fact that there won’t be any more books about Meg, Simon and the gang.

P.s. I like you by Kasie West

While spacing out in chemistry class, Lily scribbles some of her favorite song lyrics onto her desk. The next day, she finds that someone has continued the lyrics on the desk and added a message to her. Intrigue!

Soon, Lily and her anonymous pen pal are exchanging full-on letters—sharing secrets, recommending bands, and opening up to each other. Lily realizes she’s kind of falling for this letter writer. Only, who is he? As Lily attempts to unravel the mystery and juggle school, friends, crushes, and her crazy family, she discovers that matters of the heart can’t always be spelled out… 

I love Kasie’s writing! Her books are always fun, sweet and romantic.

Once and for all by Sarah Dessen

Louna, daughter of famed wedding planner Natalie Barrett, has seen every sort of wedding: on the beach, at historic mansions, in fancy hotels and clubs. Perhaps that’s why she’s cynical about happily-ever-after endings, especially since her own first love ended tragically. When Louna meets charming, happy-go-lucky serial dater Ambrose, she holds him at arm’s length. But Ambrose isn’t about to be discouraged, now that he’s met the one girl he really wants.

Sarah Dessen never disappoints with her emotional, real and heartfelt romantic books, so, I can’t wait to read this.

Fire in you (Wait for you #6) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Jillian Lima’s whole world was destroyed in a span of a few hours. The same night her childhood love, Brock ‘the Beast’ Mitchell, broke her heart, her life was irrevocably altered by the hand of a stranger with a gun. It takes six years to slowly glue together the shattered pieces of her life, but Jillian is finally ready to stop existing in a past full of pain and regret. She takes a job at her father’s martial arts Academy and she’s going out on her first date since a failed relationship that was more yuck than yum. Jillian is determined to start living.

She just never expected Brock to be a part of her life again. But he’s firmly back in her life before she knows it, and not only is he older, he’s impossibly more handsome, more teasing and more everything. And when he sees Jillian, he’s no longer capable of thinking of her as the little girl who was his shadow growing up or the daughter of the man who gave him a second chance at life. He sees the woman who’d always been there for him, the one person who believed in him no matter what.

Brock knows she’s the one he should’ve made his, and what begins as a tentative friendship quickly turns to red-hot chemistry that sparks a flame that burns brighter than lust. Falling for Brock again risks more than her heart, because when the past sorrow-filled and guilt-ridden past resurfaces, and a web of lies threatens to rip them apart, the fallout could lay waste to everything they’ve fought to build together, and destroy the dreams of those they care most about.

What can I say… I just love Armentrout’s writing.

The Forbidden by Jodi Ellen Malpas

Annie has never experienced the ‘spark’ with a guy-that instant chemistry that renders you weak in the knees. That is, until a night out brings her face to face with the dangerously sexy and mysterious Jack. It’s not just a spark that ignites between them. It’s an explosion. Jack promises to consume Annie, and he fully delivers on that promise.

Overwhelmed by the intensity of their one night together, Annie slips out of their hotel room. She is certain that a man who’s had such a powerful impact on her must be dangerous. She has no idea that he belongs to another. That he’s forbidden.

I kind of screwed up with this one I think. I heard a lot of people talking about Malpas’ writing and I wanted to see for myself why people love her books so much. Only, I didn’t want to buy a first book in a series, so I decided to buy a standalone. The description of this one sounded really mysterious and that’s why I ordered it. But, later I discovered that this book is about a married man falling in love with someone else (I think I didn’t read the description good enough). I absolutely hate cheating. I think nothing excuses being dishonest to someone whom you once loved and who loves you. So, I don’t really know what to do with this book as it is about something I really don’t like, but I think I will give it a chance and be open-minded about its theme while reading.

Happy reading you all!

 

Magic, mayhem and mischief

Hey you all! A week ago I won a really nice surprise package containing three books on the Kinderboeken Facebookpage. One of those books was the Dutch version of Spellslinger (Vogelvrij) by Canadian author Sebastien de Castell. This book has been on my wishlist for quite some time, so I was really happy when I saw it was in my package. What was even more fun was the fact that Nienke from https://kinderboeken.blog asked me to write a guest review for their blog (so, if you want to read this blogpost in Dutch you can find it on their blog!) But here, on my own blog, I will share the English version of my review.

Let’s start with the description

There are three things that earn you a man’s name among the Jan’Tep. The first is to demonstrate the strength to defend your family. The second is to prove you can perform the high magic that defines our people. The third is simply to reach the age of sixteen. I was a few weeks shy of my birthday when I learned that I wouldn’t be doing any of those things.

Magic is a con game. 

Kellen is moments away from facing his first mage’s duel and the start of four trials that will make him a spellcaster. There’s just one problem: his magic is gone. As his sixteenth birthday approaches, Kellen falls back on his cunning in a bid to avoid total disgrace. But when a daring stranger arrives in town, she challenges Kellen to take a different path. Ferius Parfax is one of the mysterious Argosi – a traveller who lives by her wits and the three decks of cards she carries. She’s difficult and unpredictable, but she may be Kellen’s only hope…

How freaking awesome is that description! And the cover ❤

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I’ve got so much love for this cover!

This story could well be my favorite of 2018 (and yes the year just started) ❤ I just completely fell in love with this story! It’s such an original, suspensefull and emotional book and I couldn’t stop reading. I don’t know what to do with my life until I can finally read the next book and see what happens next haha.

So, what makes this story great? Let me tell you in four tests which the author passed 😉

Test one: the maincharacter: Kellen. He is not exactly what you would call a hero. When you first meet him he’s egotistical, cowardly, arrogant and full of self pity, yet at the same time smart and devious. I’ve got a weak spot for characters like this haha and it was awesome and refreshing to read the story of a character who isn’t some kind of action hero (quite the opposite). Of course Kellen learns and grows in this story because of all the things that happen to him. Slowly he finds his courage and his worth. His characterdevelopment was written so incredibly well and so emotional that I had to fight my tears on more than one occasion because you don’t wish on anybody the things Kellen has to suffer through.

Test two: worldbuilding and plot. De Castell takes you on an incredible fast-paced journey. This story is full of spectacular events mixed with emotional scenes that effotlessly pulled me in and had me empathizing with Kellen. The way in which the writer manages to bring his storyworld to life is so awesome, without becoming dull or longwinded he firmly roots his magical and political systems in the story so the reader knows exactly how and why things work the way they do. The cruel system of the Jan’Tep was just so realistic.

In the world of the Jan’Tep nothing is more important than magic. Those who possess it are regarded with high esteem, while those who lack it are treated as slaves. Worse is the fact that these slaves are familymembers but are treated like cattle and disposable waste instead. The Jan’Tep are so preoccupied with their magic that they don’t even shy away from torture and murder to protect their way of life. Against this background the reader follows Kellens development from a pampered boy into a young man who fights for justice and truth. Because if you are faced with the consequences of having no magic in a world where nothing is more important, you quikly learn who your friends are and which qualities are most important in the world at large.

Test three: the side characters. I love stories that have a whole cast of weird and interesting side characters. And this book is filled with them! One of them is the mysterious nomad Ferius Parfax who shows up in Kellens life just when his magic starts to disappear. Ferius is one of those characters you fall in love with instantly: she’s sarcastic, rowdy, doesn’t know when to shut up, doesn’t abide to any rules or etiquette, but possesses a strong sense of right and wrong and a strong moral compass. She is one of the most entertaining and fun mentors I ever came across in a book!

“First thing you learn wandering the long roads, kid. Everyone thinks they’re the hero of their own story.”

Another awesome character is Reichis the squirrel cat ❤ I’ve got a weak spot for animal characters, especially when they are sarcastic, full of mischief, don’t know when to fight and when not to haha. The interaction between Reichis and Kellen had me laughing out loud more than once.

“All right, you hairless skinbag sons of bitches. Which one of you wants it first?”

Kellens uncle Abydos is one of the most complex and fascinating characters in the entire story. Because he has no magic, he has become one of the Sha’Tep who work as servants for their family. In the beginning of the book it is hard to understand that Abydos is part of the family but is treated like he is no more than a slave. At first it seems as though Abydos is fine with the way he is treated and what his life looks like, but not all is as it seems 😉

Mer’esan was a character that intrigued me enormously. At first you wonder why the late wife of the clanleader has any interest in a boy that has little to no magic but slowly the writer unfolds his plot in a genius way and Kellen learns the horrible truth about his people’s past and the world he lives in, convincing him that the Jan’Tep way isn’t the right way.

“History is written by the victors,’ she said, ‘but the truth has a way of revealing itself.”

Kellens sister Shalla, his best friend Panahsi, his rival Tennat and his love interest Nephenia are written just as intruiging and well as all the other characters and add even more layers to the story and the plot.

Test four: writing style. I love Sebastiens writing style. It’s full of humor, emotional, suspensefull and deliciously fast-paced. He had me hooked from the very first sentence until the last. I was thoroughly engaged and entertained.

If you’re still not convinced if you want to read this book I will try one final time to convince you that this book is FANTASTIC! It’s got an original and cool magic system, great worldbuilding, an awesome cast of characters and a main character who is utterly unique in a YA story, and the story is just full of suspense and action ❤

Want-to-reads February 2018

Hey you all! I promised to share my monthly want-to-reads with you and that’s what I’m going to do today 🙂 I’ve been in the mood for some romance stories, so, I’m planning to read my unread Brenda Novak books and my mom bought a new trilogy by Nora Roberts that I really want to read. I would also really like to read Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody and Whichwood by Tahereh Mafi.

I’m curious to see if I can read all these books this month or if I will change my mind and read a bunch of different books haha. I’ll let you know at the end of the month 😉

Happy reading you all!