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Saturday, June 19, 2021

Realm of the Banished by Jennifer M. Waldrop ARC Book Review


Disclaimer: I received an ARC, which thank you, but it in no way affects my review. My thoughts are my own.

TW: sexual assault (which is not mentioned anywhere at the beginning or end of the ARC it is short and validated by the male characters in the book when adressed, don't be me and read it at night)

This was okay, nothing I have never read before and Nayla was annoying to me. She kept making choices, especially towards the end, that made less and less sense to me. I thought that as the book progressed it would have been better and better choices as she learns more. The opposite happened. At least in my eyes.

A lot of information is also thrown at you about the politics in such a short book, had it been longer it may have felt different. It felt a lot like info dumping in certain parts or rather throwing words around that mean nothing because they are invented for the fantasy world (or giving a two - three sentences of explanation that with all of the information some will get lost at the speed it is being given). It was hard to keep track of things, and I say this as a high fantasy reader who loves political and character driven books. I really enjoyed Conall, but we see a medium amount of them and of him overall even though he's the most interesting in my opinion. Malik was also nice to read, he was just that character with that banter and those sentences that made you smirk and he is just amazing.

The magic is interesting as it is lost when people are banished so there is this whole belief that because our MC has more powers than others she will save them somehow. I liked parts of it and some were boring to me because I kept having to re-read due to the fact that so much information is thrown at us at such a speed. The women characters are strong and opiniated which I really liked (YAY women). 


should not be the job of the reviewer to put TW


Anyhow, there is a lot of good that was made in this book, the world is interesting as a whole and I think there is a lot of potential in this story and with this author. It is her debut novel and I think there is a lot that could happen in the next one that will make this great. Unfortunately this one was just alright for me.

 The first half of the book stood at a 2 - 2.5 star, slow and too much information given at once, while the second half was a 3 star, good but not amazing with a somewhat better pacing. Not a book I will remember the details of in a couple of days or weeks unfortunately.

Overall 3/5 stars. 

Won't pick up the sequel, but maybe a future book by her.


Questland by Carrie Vaughn ARC Book Review


Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for an honest review, my thoughts are my own.

This was a let down, I have no other way to put this. I won't go into details in this review as I don't feel like dwelling on a book that will eat up my current reads time and will just make me even more annoyed about what it could've been. 

So this is pitched for fans of DnD and as an hybrid between westworld and jurassic parc. I thought this would be somewhat humorous and from the description thought they (Our MC's) would be thrown into the world of a fantasy as they are playing DnD. Nope think more along the lines of, this is westworld with mythical creatures made by man. Also I hate the thrope of a random person going into a military base as an expert, like don't they have people that were hired while making those things that know more about it than this random lady ???

Anyhow, our MC (a nerdy doctor) has PTSD which okay, but why would you put her in a situation that would constantly trigger her and make her cry and revert to child-like behavior or revert to acting super scared and unable to act ?!?!!? HELLO WASN'T THERE A BETTER CHOICE or could you at least give her tools to help her not be triggered or emotionally distraught ????  I could not get attached to any characters, they all felt meh to me. 

I found myself not caring about what would happen, good thing is the authors overall pacing otherwhise I would have DNF'ed it FAST.

2/5 stars Bookarina.

Friday, June 11, 2021

Fangs Vol.1 by Billy Balibally Book ARC Review


Disclaimer: I received an ARC in exchange of an honest review.

This manga is a BL / MM romance.

(in case anyone doesn't like that)

I loved to see a paranormal romance similar in vibes to the manga 'Midnight secretary' be with done as a Gay relationship, yes there are sex scenes, but so is there in Midnight Secretary. Which is, for the record, an old favorite. There is complexity in the story and as this is the first volume we are introduced to multiple characters and a little of the dynamics/politics of the vampire world. How they function, form and choose life time partners and how they survive. 

I enjoyed our MC's relationship, as it is a sort of slow-ish burn that expands as they have a past before the manga (briefly shown (which no spoilers !)) that is deepened throughout the novel.. I loved the cliffhanger where we left off, it seems like darker secrets will come in play and that our MC who is the first of the two to be a Vampire, will be thrown off as he will seemingly come across someone from his dark past. AND WE LOVE A CHARACTER WITH A DARK PAST.

ANYHOW, this is for fans of Midnight Secretary and Blood Blank (The manhwa) !

Totally loved this, read it in one sitting. 

5/5 stars

Bookarina .

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

The Nature of Witches by Rachel Griffin Book ARC Review

 Disclaimer: I received an ARC in exchange of an honest review.

This book was meh. It often felt as if the characters were one dimensional and that their biggest personality trait was their magic, I had a hard time connecting with anyone. Clara is an Everwitch, the only witch for some reason that is not connected to seasons (like a specific one, she is connected to all which is rare and she's the first in 200 years to appear) and protecting the planet, atmosphere and such.

The romance in the novel was short and not really captivating or having me root for them, I just could not fall in love with the idea of a romance when they don't feel real. I enjoyed, how the novel was cut into parts (with the seaons so summer, spring, etc) it was nice to have a place to put the book down and made for a nicely structured read. I was so excited about this read but in the end, while this was one of my most anticipated read it feel into that branch of urban fantasy that would have been so much better as a traditional fantasy. I enjoyed how the climate change was woven in the story and their powers. 

Clara was just too annoying and bratty for me. While it is addressed by other characters with her, it has little to no effect in the end.

For me the book wrapped up too nicely for how it was all along, it felt like a Disney ending to a otherwise new adult book. It completely threw me off, the writing is very flowery which I usually love, but bearing in mind our MC is 17 it felt weird and just added to the annoyance I felt toward our MC. 

An unfortunate flop for me, 

2/5 stars.