Fairyloot March 2022 Adult Book Only Unboxing

Fairyloot recently launched a new monthly subscription offering an exclusive edition of an Adult fantasy book. Unlike their original YA subscription which includes a selection of bookish items, their Adult sub comes with just a book.

As I enjoy reading a mix of YA and Adult fantasy, I was excited to try out the new subscription and see what books they would choose. For their first box, Fairyloot’s theme was ‘Dark Academia’ and they picked The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake.

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April 2022 Wrap Up

I didn’t end up finishing many books this month as I couldn’t decide what I was in the mood for, so picked up and put down a couple of books before deciding that actually I needed a break from SFF and decided to give a romcom audiobook a go! I think it was a good choice as it definitely stopped me from sliding into a slump.

Blade of Secrets by Tricia Levenseller ⭐⭐⭐⭐ – Tricia Levenseller is now my go-to author for fun, easy-read YA fantasy, and Blade of Secrets is a fun adventure. The main character of Blade of Secrets has society anxiety and I have honestly never related to a character so much before! I felt the author did a great job of showing all of Ziva’s internal thoughts and anxieties, and I really connected with her.

The Stand-In by Lily Chu (audiobook) ⭐⭐⭐⭐.5 – It’s rare that I pick up a romcom, but I am so glad I decided to give this one a chance, because I loved it! I had so much fun listening to the audiobook, which is brilliantly narrated by Phillipa Soo. Although there is romance, there are also several other subplots which I enjoyed, and which gave the story layers and plenty to keep me engaged. I would definitely recommend the audiobook for this one, as I think it enhanced the reading experience.

I added a few books to my haul this month – The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake, The City of Dusk by Tara Sim, and An Arrow to the Moon by Emily X.R. Pan. I’ve ordered some new bookcases, which are due to arrive in June, and I’m excited to get to display all my books on them!

I haven’t done an update on my writing for a while as it’s been a rough few months and, well, I haven’t been able to write much. But last week I wrote two pages of my new WIP and I am so happy to be back writing again!

What books have you enjoyed this month? Chat with me in the comments!

Audiobook Review: The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

Genre: Dystopian, Fantasy  

Publishing Info: Audiobook, March 2021, Bloomsbury Publishing, narrated by Alana Kerr Collins

Star Rating: 4/5

Back Cover Summary:

For the past two hundred years the Scion government has led an oppressive campaign against unnaturalness in London.

Clairvoyance in all its forms has been decreed a criminal offence, and those who practise it viciously punished. Forced underground, a clairvoyant underworld has developed, combating persecution and evading capture.

Paige Mahoney, a powerful dreamwalker operating in the Seven Dials district of London, leads a double life, using her unnaturalness illegally while hiding her gift from her father, who works for the Scion regime…

Having enjoyed Samantha Shannon’s epic fantasy novel, The Priory of the Orange Tree, I decided to delve into her backlist and try her debut novel, The Bone Season. While The Bone Season is vastly different from Priory, being set in future London rather than a secondary world fantasy, the pages were still filled with Samantha Shannon’s rich, detailed worldbuilding and readable, engaging prose. The audiobook narration by Alana Kerr Collins was also excellent and drew me into the story.  

After an intriguing opening, The Bone Season very quickly went in a direction I was not expecting, giving me a kind of book whiplash. It left me feeling a little baffled at first, wondering what, exactly, it was I was reading. However, once I adjusted my expectations and got used to this complex and strange future world, I found myself becoming more and more invested in Paige’s story. I won’t talk about plot specifics, because I think this is one of those books where it’s best going in not knowing much at all. Many of the plot elements are familiar, but Samantha Shannon’s immersive world building makes it feel fresh.

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Illumicrate March 2022 Book Only Unboxing

Illumicrate’s featured book for March was Gallant by V. E. Schwab! I have only read a couple of her books so far but loved them so I was really excited Illumicrate would be doing Gallant so I could add another special edition to my Schwab collection. Let’s take a look at the book and the special finishes!

Illumicrate is a UK-based subscription box. Subscribers can choose between a full box or book only option. The full box includes a hardback book and 3-5 exclusive goodies around a theme, but I subscribe to the book only option.

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Top 10 Tuesday: Authors I Haven’t Read, But Want To

This week’s Top 10 Tuesday topic is all about authors we haven’t read yet! There are so many fantastic authors I have yet to discover. Here are 10 whose books I want to read.

Top 10 Tuesday was originally created by The Broke and the Bookish, but has now moved to That Artsy Reader Girl. If you’re interested in taking part click here.

Holly Black – It’s actually shocking that I haven’t read any of Holly Black’s books? She is such a prolific author who so many readers love, so I will have to give one of her books a go soon.

Joan He – The Ones We’re Meant to Find has been sitting on my shelf for a few months but I have yet to get round to reading it.

Madeline Miller – With two popular releases so far, this author is definitely on my radar. I have always loved ancient mythology, so am intrigued to read her retellings.

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Top 10 Tuesday: Adult SFF on my TBR

This week’s Top 10 Tuesday topic is a freebie and I’ve chosen to list some of the Adult SFF on my TBR. Over the last couple of years, I’ve been reading more Adult SFF in addition to YA, and I definitely want to read more of a mix going forward. Here are 10 Adult SFF books I missed out on in recent years which I’d love to pick up.

Top 10 Tuesday was originally created by The Broke and the Bookish, but has now moved to That Artsy Reader Girl. If you’re interested in taking part click here.


The First Sister by Linden A. Lewis

First Sister has no name and no voice. As a priestess of the Sisterhood, she travels the stars alongside the soldiers of Earth and Mars—the same ones who own the rights to her body and soul. When her former captain abandons her, First Sister’s hopes for freedom are dashed when she is forced to stay on her ship with no friends, no power, and a new captain—Saito Ren—whom she knows nothing about. She is commanded to spy on Captain Ren by the Sisterhood, but soon discovers that working for the war effort is much harder when you’re falling in love.

Lito val Lucius climbed his way out of the slums to become an elite soldier of Venus but was defeated in combat by none other than Saito Ren, resulting in the disappearance of his partner, Hiro. When Lito learns that Hiro is both alive and a traitor to the cause, he now has a shot at redemption: track down and kill his former partner. But when he discovers recordings that Hiro secretly made, Lito’s own allegiances are put to the test. Ultimately, he must decide between following orders and following his heart.


Jade City by Fonda Lee

The Kaul family is one of two crime syndicates that control the island of Kekon. It’s the only place in the world that produces rare magical jade, which grants those with the right training and heritage superhuman abilities.

The Green Bone clans of honorable jade-wearing warriors once protected the island from foreign invasion–but nowadays, in a bustling post-war metropolis full of fast cars and foreign money, Green Bone families like the Kauls are primarily involved in commerce, construction, and the everyday upkeep of the districts under their protection.

When the simmering tension between the Kauls and their greatest rivals erupts into open violence in the streets, the outcome of this clan war will determine the fate of all Green Bones and the future of Kekon itself.


Vicious by V. E. Schwab

Victor and Eli started out as college roommates—brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong.

Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find—aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge—but who will be left alive at the end?

In Vicious, V. E. Schwab brings to life a gritty comic-book-style world in vivid prose: a world where gaining superpowers doesn’t automatically lead to heroism, and a time when allegiances are called into question.

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March 2022 Wrap Up

I can’t believe it’s already April! March was a bit of a blur. I have still been busy with sorting things out in the new house so reading and blogging has taken a bit of a back seat. It’s starting to come together and feel more homely as we unpack and get our furnishings sorted.

You Truly Assumed by Laila Sabreen (audiobook) ⭐⭐⭐⭐ – This contemporary YA novel follows three Black Muslim girls who create a blog after a terrorist attack causes a rise in Islamophobia. This was a great read and I really enjoyed following the stories of all three of the main characters, seeing how each of them was affected by what happened and how they came together to create a space to express themselves and create a community. You Truly Assumed is a powerful novel and an excellent debut. The three narrators were great as well so I’d definitely recommend the audiobook.  

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon (audiobook) ⭐⭐⭐⭐ – Having loved The Priory of the Orange Tree, I was excited to read this one. The Bone Season is very different from Priory and, at first, I wasn’t sure if this book was for me. However, I became more and more invested, and ended up loving it. When I started this book, I didn’t think it was likely I would carry on with the rest of the series. Now I’ve finished it though, I will definitely be continuing. I’ll be posting a full review soon!

My Illumicrate exclusive edition of Gallant by V. E. Schwab arrived! No spoilers yet while people are still getting their boxes, but I will be sharing pics on my blog soon.

What books have you enjoyed this month? Chat with me in the comments!

Book Review: Blazewrath Games by Amparo Ortiz

Blazewrath Games by Amparo Ortiz

Genre: Young adult, contemporary fantasy

Publishing Info: October 2020 by Page Street Kids

Pages: 368

Star Rating: 3.5/5

Back Cover Summary:

Lana Torres has always preferred dragons to people. In a few weeks, sixteen countries will compete in the Blazewrath World Cup, a tournament where dragons and their riders fight for glory in a dangerous relay. Lana longs to represent her native Puerto Rico in their first ever World Cup appearance, and when Puerto Rico’s Runner—the only player without a dragon steed—is kicked off the team, she’s given the chance.

But when she discovers that a former Blazewrath superstar has teamed up with the Sire—a legendary dragon who’s cursed into human form—the safety of the Cup is jeopardized. The pair are burning down dragon sanctuaries around the world and refuse to stop unless the Cup gets cancelled. All Lana wanted was to represent her country. Now, to do that, she’ll have to navigate an international conspiracy that’s deadlier than her beloved sport.

Blazewrath Games is a creative and fun entry into the YA landscape, integrating fantasy elements into our contemporary world in a way that felt believable and magical. As much as I love high fantasy, there is something unique about the way contemporary fantasy makes magic feel closer, more real. The world Amparo Ortiz has created feels like a completely plausible alternative version of our own world. One where there are dragons, tournaments, and magic wand shops. Something about it just captured my imagination and that tingly magical feeling that you only get from some books.

We’re introduced to Lana, who dreams of playing in the Blazewrath World Cup for Puerto Rico. Lana is a very relatable character – she has dreams, is driven and has a strong belief in doing what is right. Amparo Ortiz also explores what it means to belong and Lana’s relationship with Puerto Rico after moving to the US as a child, and how that affects her identity and her place amongst the Puerto Rico team. A lot of readers will really connect to Lana’s internal struggles and appreciate seeing this represented on the page.

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February 2022 Wrap Up

My February Wrap Up is coming a bit later than planned as the last few weeks have been very busy. We’ve now moved into our new home! It’s been hectic but I’m so happy we’re finally here. There’s still a lot of unpacking and sorting out to do. I am missing blogging so hope to be back more regularly once things have settled down! Unsurprisingly, I haven’t had much time for reading or writing this month, but I have read a couple of great books.

Gods & Monsters by Shelby Mahurin (audiobook) ⭐⭐⭐ – The finale of the Serpent & Dove series brought the story to a good conclusion, but was weakened by the planned duology being drawn out into a trilogy. The plot of Gods & Monsters was too similar to Blood & Honey, and it felt repetitive. Having said that, I still love this series and the characters, and would recommend it to those who enjoy more character-focused fantasy romance.

Blazewrath Games by Amparo Ortiz ⭐⭐⭐.5 – Competition plotlines are one of my favourite tropes, so combine that with dragons (another of my favourite fantasy elements) and there was no way I wasn’t going to pick this one up. It was a quick, fun YA fantasy read and I loved the integration of the magical elements into the contemporary world.

My Fairyloot edition of The Righteous by Renée Ahdieh finally arrived. The Beautiful was a surprise favourite for me so I want to catch up on the rest of the series.

My most anticipated release of the year – One For All by Lillie Lainoff – also arrived recently and I felt so emotional holding this book in my hands. I can’t wait to read it and share my review. Disability representation is so important and seeing the love this book has received has warmed my heart.

What books have you enjoyed this month? Chat with me in the comments!

Audiobook Review: Gods & Monsters by Shelby Mahurin

Gods & Monsters by Shelby Mahurin

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance  

Publishing Info: Audiobook, July 2021, narrated by Holter Graham & Saskia Maarleveld

Star Rating: 3/5

Back Cover Summary:
The spellbinding conclusion to the New York Times and IndieBound bestselling trilogy Serpent & Dove. This stunning fantasy take on French witches and forbidden love is perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas.

Evil always seeks a foothold. We must not give it one.

After a heartbreaking loss, Lou, Reid, Beau, and Coco are bent on vengeance more than ever before—and none more so than Lou.

But this is no longer the Lou they thought they knew. No longer the Lou that captured a chasseur’s heart. A darkness has settled over her, and this time it will take more than love to drive it out.

Gods & Monsters is the concluding novel in Shelby Mahurin’s Serpent & Dove series and, following an unexpected twist at the end of the previous instalment, I was intrigued to see how the story would conclude. While many fans of the first book found Blood & Honey disappointing, I found the character development and evolution of Lou and Reid’s relationship engaging, though there was a little too much filler in the plot department. Still, Gods & Monsters had a lot of work to do to bring the story round to a good conclusion and, while it did have a satisfying ending, the third novel sadly suffered from issues with the overall series structure.

The opening section of Gods & Monsters didn’t quite draw me in as much as I had hoped. Nicholina’s character was incredibly creepy, which I expect was the author’s intention, and the audiobook narrator did an excellent job of making her disturbing. Perhaps too good a job, as I felt a bit uncomfortable listening to this part of the audiobook. Lou also only had a small part in the first section, and without her presence, there was something missing.

After a while, I settled into the familiarity of the characters and Shelby Mahurin’s writing style, simply enjoying being back with these characters and enjoying the story. The character development was once again strong, with the characters challenged to face their deepest fears and truths about themselves they have yet to acknowledge.

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