Rating: 4.5 STARS
Series/Standalone: The Folk of the Air #1
How I got this book: Bought
Of course I want to be like them. They're beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.
And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.
One terrible morning, Jude and her sisters see their parents murdered in front of them. The terrifying assassin abducts all three girls to the world of Faerie, where Jude is installed in the royal court but mocked and tormented by the Faerie royalty for being mortal.
As Jude grows older, she realises that she will need to take part in the dangerous deceptions of the fey to ever truly belong.
But the stairway to power is fraught with shadows and betrayal. And looming over all is the infuriating, arrogant and charismatic Prince Cardan . . .
This book was so massively hyped that I found myself subconsciously staying away from it. Even though I was aware of the book, I had no inclination to actually read it until I stumbled across a copy in Waterstones last week and got hooked whilst reading the back cover - I had such a strong urge to read it that I started it the moment I got home.
I can tell you one thing - the hype is real! This book was fantastic!
Holly Black's writing is completely immersive, the world is captivating and the characters are complex and deliciously twisted.
Jude is perfect in her imperfections. She's bad-ass, conflicted and haunted. Living with her parents murderer and being forced to move to another world where she's belittled, tortured and abused has hardened her into a fighter both physically and mentally. She's a force to be reckoned with and I love both her character arc and her sass.
"I thought I was playing the game of pissing off people who hated me already and eating the consequences."
This book is filled with deception - the twists and turns from each character are unexpected, the plot is dark and gripping, and the pacing is perfect.
If you're looking for something darker and more thrilling than your traditional fairytale, you'll love this.
“Nice things don’t happen in storybooks,” Taryn says. “Or when they do happen, something bad happens next. Because otherwise the story would be boring, and no one would read it.”
The secondary characters were unexpected to say the least. I don't want to give too much away, but prepare yourself to be surprised.
This is a fantastic book and I can't wait to find out what happens in book 2 after that shocking ending!
If you loved the A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J Maas, you'll absolutely devour The Cruel Prince.
Today is my stop on the Carols and Chaos blog tour! This book is so Christmassy and so, despite it being Halloween today, I just feel like curling up in front of the fire with a giant mug of hot chocolate.
Rating: 3.5 STARS
How I got this book: ARC from Xpresso Book Tours
A lady's maid and a valet become entangled in a yuletide counterfeiting scheme in this romantic Christmas YA adventure.
1817. The happy chaos of the Yuletide season has descended upon the country estate of Shackleford Park in full force, but lady's maid Kate Darby barely has the time to notice. Between her household duties, caring for her ailing mother, and saving up money to someday own a dress shop, her hands are quite full. Matt Harlow is also rather busy. He's performing double-duty, acting as valet for both of the Steeple brothers, two of the estate's holiday guests.
Falling in love would be a disaster for either of them. But staving off their feelings for each other becomes the least of their problems when a devious counterfeiting scheme reaches the gates of Shackleford Park, and Kate and Matt are unwittingly swept up in the intrigue.
Reading this book immediately took me back to all of those hours binge-watching Downton Abbey (gah, I loved that show), I love the upstairs/downstairs drama. At the same time, it reminded me of Pride and Prejudice, specifically the Austen-era, which I also love and so I quickly became engrossed in this sweet story.
The characters are varied and fantastic. Kate is strong-willed, determined and unperturbed by most of the things thrown her way and Matt is the epitome of a true English gentleman.
Their fast-paced romance is full of fun and flirtation but entangled with elements of drama and danger that keep the plot intriguing and moving forward.
Carols and Chaos is a sweet, lighthearted Christmas read that is perfect for fans of Downton Abbey and Austen novels.
As an aside: After reading this book I noticed that it's a spin-off from one of the author's other books, Suitors and Sabotage, but I didn't at any point feel as though I'd missed anything by not reading it, so I'm happy to say that this can be read as a standalone.
Click the cover photo above to add the book to your Goodreads TBR and enter below for your chance to win a signed copy of Carols and Chaos. The giveaway is open internationally and is hosted by Xpresso Book Tours.
Don't forget to click the banner at the top to follow the rest of the tour and feel free to leave your comments below :)
Rating: 4 STARS
Standalone/Series: Sorcery and Society #1
How I got this book: ARC from INscribe Digital via NetGalley
If 14-year-old Cassandra Reed makes it through her first day at Miss Castwell’s Institute for the Magical Instruction of Young Ladies without anyone discovering her secret, maybe, just maybe, she’ll let herself believe that she really does belong at Miss Castwell’s.
Except Cassandra Reed’s real name is Sarah Smith and up until now, she lived her whole life in the Warren, serving a magical family, the Winters, as all non-magical “Snipes” are bound by magical Guardian law to do. That is, until one day, Sarah accidentally levitates Mrs. Winter’s favorite vase in the parlor...
But Snipes aren’t supposed to have magical powers…and the existence of a magical Snipe threatens the world order dictated during the Guardians’ Restoration years ago. If she wants to keep her family safe and protect her own skin, Sarah must figure out how to fit into posh Guardian society, master her newfound magical powers and discover the truth about how an ordinary girl can become magical.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book! I was immediately intrigued by the synopsis and so, when the ARC came through via NetGalley I jumped straight in. This is my first book by Molly Harper, so I wasn't sure what to expect but I immediately fell in love with her writing style and was hooked straight away.
This book gave me such strong Charmed vibes!! The only way I can describe this book is sort of Charmed meets The Worst Witch, Harry Potter and Mean Girls! I love the mixture of themes and subplots that were woven into this story.
Admittedly, I did identify the villain quite early on and it almost felt like I was in the audience at a pantomime at times, just wanting to shout at Cassandra/Sarah, "They're behind you!" But, despite this, I didn't enjoy the story any less.
I actually also bought the Audiobook from Audible (so that I could listen whilst painting my nails - I have to do this at least once a year otherwise my girl card is really going to get taken away) and listened to parts of it in between reading the eARC. The narration by Amanda Ronconi was really great (despite the less than stellar English accent) and helped to skim over some of the editing inaccuracies (see below), I loved the voice she gave to Cassandra/Sarah.
Changeling has great pace, a fun magical plot and great characters. I particularly love the various relationship dynamics, especially Cassie and Own who I absolutely love together. Their sarcastic, playful, and teasing relationship drew most of my smiles and is definitely something I want more of from this series.
All of the characters are individual, with unique personalities and voices. They were great to discover, especially as new layers were revealed about most of the main characters as the book progresses
The only reason that this book has a slightly lower than 5-star rating is because of the editing of the eBook. I'd highly recommend that the editors give this book another once-over because of the spelling mistakes and a few occasions where a sentence or more is repeated.
However, that didn't prevent me from loving Changeling and I can't wait for book 2! I need to find out what happens next!
Changeling is a magical story filled with passionate, strong, and courageous women, true friendships, a dash of budding romance, bullies, magical surprises, adorable animal companions and a villainous plot!
Rating: 3 STARS
Genre: Paranormal, Romance/Suspense
Standalone/Series: Beautiful Monsters #1
How I got this book: Bought
Matthew Callahan has spent seven years struggling against the insatiable hunger for blood consuming him. Unable to stop the vampire inside from preying on humans, he keeps himself confined to a lonely existence.
Everything changes the night he is lured into a trap and taken prisoner by High Lord General Tarrick—a seductive incubus who feeds off sexual energy. Forced into the middle of a war between vampires and incubi, Matthew is used as a weapon against his own kind. Although he's desperate for freedom, he is unable to deny the burning desire drawing him to the incubus general he now calls Master.
I have sooo many mixed feelings about this book.
First of all, I had no idea how to categorise this book. It's definitely paranormal, full of suspense and yeah, there's a lot of sex, both M/M and F/M, but I don't feel like 'romance' is the right category for this book, even if Goodreads disagrees, which is the only reason I've included it above lol.
Let me start by getting the bad stuff out of the way first, because there's a serious amount of traumatic sh** in this book including mental, physical and emotional abuse, and slavery - none of which are things I enjoy reading about.
However, moving past that, there was a lot about this book that I did like. The world-building was fantastic, especially the description, history and development of the four different species featured in this book; look out for vampires, incubi, gargoyles and more.
I really like the main character Mathew, he's very likeable, and I just wanted to save him through every single moment of this book, especially at the end where I honestly felt like bursting into tears.
I also liked how the author changed my opinion of different characters, those I started off liking/hating sometimes switched, and then again switched back. It was different, and I ended the book still completely unsure who's 'good' (although that's an extremely loose term) and who isn't.
The absolute best thing about this book was the action. The fight scenes were the kind that have you on the edge of your seat, heart pounding, hoping that everything will work out in the end.
I think ultimately, this book features far too much sex, which detracts a lot from the plot. Honestly, if you cut the majority of the sex scenes from this book between various characters, the pace would flow so much quicker.
There are four books in this series, and I'm just not sure yet if I want to continue with this series. I'd hope for more action, less sex, and in truth, the synopsis of book two sounds really promising.
What do you think? Have you read this book? Should I keep reading?
Rating: 4 STARS
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Standalone/Series: Discord's Desire #1
How I got this book: ARC from the author
Cross a satyr, a siren, and an incubus with rock and roll, and you get Discord’s Desire, a band of panty-dropping hellions whose live shows incite orgies. Of course, their booking manager, Liz O’Brien, gets saddled with the monumental task of keeping the boys in line. She’s not your average chick, resistant to glamour of the fae and fame variety, which only makes her more tempting to their lead singer, Kieran Blackmore. With his incubus charms, silken voice, and GQ looks, he could have any girl he wants—except Liz. She doesn’t do serious flings, and she’s determined to keep things professional.
However, when Kieran’s brother sends hitmen after the band, Liz discovers others with her abilities—hunters, who just declared themselves enemies of the fae. Liz leans on Kieran for support, who proves his dedication at every step. Fae mercenaries might attack post-show, but Liz has her Beretta to handle that. What terrifies her more than any monster chasing after them is how she’s falling for Kieran. Her deep feelings trigger every ‘run-away’ sensor in her foster kid handbook, and worse, with war brewing between the hunters and the fae, their love can only end in heartbreak.
I love a good paranormal romance (and I haven't read one in a little while), so when I received an email from the author offering an ARC, I loved the sound of the synopsis and decided to read it straight away.
I enjoyed this book from the start and literally flew through it. I read it in two short sittings and just devoured it.
The characters are fun, and the pace is great, making it easy to fall into and at no point did I feel bored or start losing interest.
It's a light, easy romantic read with plenty of plot and character tension. The continuous action is delivered in the form of various monsters, creatures and hellish exes that are thrust into the bands' path, and I particularly like the creepy sea creature.
Liz is the heroine of the story. She's feisty, strong, protective of her boys and I love that she's capable of holding her own around these 'more powerful' beings. She's sassy and smart, but with a complicated past and unique abilities that make her an instant target.
"For Liz O'Brien, the monster under the bed was always real."
Kieran is the sexy hero of the story. He's tough, protective and yet at the same time he's sweet and one hell of a flirt. 😍😍😍
The two of them together are incendiary. The constantly building sexual tension makes for a very steamy read that culminates in a lovely, sweet ending.
I love that each band member has a distinct, distinguishable personality and I'm looking forward to each one having their own story in this series.
If you're looking for a romance with a kick that's full of creepy creatures, bitchy exes with claws, sinfully good-looking rock stars and a tough, kick-ass heroine who isn't afraid to step into the line of fire to protect those she cares about, even if she does have trouble accepting affection from others, I'd highly recommend Captivating Melody.
Rating: 5 STARS!!
Standalone/Series: Caraval #2
How I got this book: Bought
A heart to protect. A debt to repay. A game to win.
After being swept up in the magical world of Caraval, Donatella Dragna has finally escaped her father and saved her sister Scarlett from a disastrous arranged marriage. The girls should be celebrating, but Tella isn’t yet free. She made a desperate bargain with a mysterious criminal, and what Tella owes him no one has ever been able to deliver: Caraval Master Legend’s true name.
The only chance of uncovering Legend’s identity is to win Caraval, so Tella throws herself into the legendary competition once more—and into the path of the murderous heir to the throne, a doomed love story, and a web of secrets…including her sister's. Caraval has always demanded bravery, cunning, and sacrifice. But now the game is asking for more. If Tella can’t fulfill her bargain and deliver Legend’s name, she’ll lose everything she cares about—maybe even her life. But if she wins, Legend and Caraval will be destroyed forever.
Welcome, welcome to Caraval...the games have only just begun.
I can't tell you how EXCITED I've been for Legendary!!
If you haven't read book one in the series, feel free to check out my review of Caraval!
This book is 😍🤯😱 - it's EVERYTHING!!
The most amazing thing about Stephanie Garber's writing is that it completely sweeps me away. I get so lost in her incredible world that I never want to leave.
The magic, deception and mystery of Legendary drew me in so fully that I became fully immersed in it. Legendary, like Caraval, is one of those rare books that you find yourself flying through whilst at the same time wishing that it could last forever.
I absolutely loved Tella in this book. In Caraval, I wasn't too sure how I felt about her as a character, but in Legendary, she really comes into her own. She's fierce, brave, loyal, committed and bursting with conviction, seeing things from her point of view completely flipped my original opinion of her....I can't get enough of her sass and her propensity to tell things as they are.
"Tella had kissed enough young men to know that anything said by a boy right before or directly after she kissed him could not be believed at all."
There's a fantastic undercurrent of feminism in this book and I'm so glad of it!
"Tella might have been many things, but she was far from silly or worthless or whatever labels people liked to affix because a person was young and female."
The romance in Legendary, for me at least, felt much bigger and more swoon-worthy than in Caraval. Whilst I loved the slow-burn between Scarlett and Julian, I absolutely loved the back and forth between two certain characters in Legendary and often found myself grinning madly whilst reading their scenes, and I love that Stephanie Garber completely changed my opinion of these two characters in the course of just a few chapters.
Legendary contains some truly fantastic characters, most of whom we already met in Caraval, but there's also the introduction of some new faces, my favourites being The Fates. The Fates are incredible, I love how dark and twisted they are!
This book sees Tella swept away in a completely new game, one that seems vividly more real than the last. She faces difficult paths, dark temptations and it's a joy to travel with her as she discovers more about who she is, and who she wants to be.
To me, Legendary feels a touch darker than Caraval, and I love that about this book. There's danger, trials, mystery and so much confusion that I'm tempted to re-read it again even now! I honestly cannot wait for the final book in the series, the aptly named Finale as my jaw was hanging wide as the ending of Legendary played out!
I was so drawn in by the glorious imagery and magic of Legendary that I sped through this book without realising it and at times even tried to slow myself down to make it last longer. I will most definitely be re-reading this series before Finale is released.
5/5 shimmering stars for what's shaping up to be one of my favourite book series' of all time!
This book is so beautiful! Here's a quick photo I took of my hidden cover for the Fairy Loot 'May' challenge!
Which of the four secret covers is your favourite?
Rating: 5 STARS!
Standalone/Series: Caraval #1
How I got this book: Bought
Remember, it’s only a game…
Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny island where she and her sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval—the faraway, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show—are over.
But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt-of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.
Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. Nevertheless she becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic. And whether Caraval is real or not, Scarlett must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over or a dangerous domino effect of consequences will be set off, and her beloved sister will disappear forever.
Welcome, welcome to Caraval…beware of getting swept too far away.
Whilst I am normally a one book at a time kind of girl, this past week I found myself reading four books; the most I’ve ever attempted at once. My sister (hi Sophie!) was horrified by the idea of reading more than one book at a time, but since all four are so different and unique, I was really pleased that I didn’t get the storylines confused.
One of the books that I read this week was Caraval by Stephanie Garber. It’s the second time that I’ve read this book, I desperately wanted to refresh my memory before Legendary arrives later this month, so I teamed up with my pal Craig on Goodreads for a buddy read.
I previously rated this book 5 stars and unlike some of the other re-read reviews of this book, my star rating is staying the same.
Caraval is an incredible work of fantasy, magic, mystery, and mind-bending deception that blew me away on this re-read maybe more than it did the first time.
Before starting my re-read I remembered falling in love with the storytelling and imagery that Stephanie Garber executes perfectly through her use of colour when illuminating Scarlett’s feelings and to reveal certain aspects of the game. I was also really intrigued by the tunnels and their very unique magic.
I’d already read, and loved, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern a few years back and I felt the same glorious wonder and awe whilst exploring the world of Caraval.
The characters in Caraval are fantastic. Scarlett is brilliant. She’s compelling, fierce, protective, and driven, but at the same time she’s terribly confused, hurt and we see so much from her; so many colours of emotions from fear, horror and grief to wonder, hope and love.
I love her utter devotion to her sister, and that they are both willing to do whatever it takes to protect the other.
My sympathy for Scarlett just continued to grow as I travelled through this book due to the cruelty and torment that she is subjected to throughout the entirety of her story.
I won’t say anything about any of the other characters (although I really, really want to), for fear of giving anything away, so I’ll just leave you with this little snippet from two of the central characters.
“Don’t look at me like that,” Scarlett said. “It doesn’t work on me.”
“That’s why it’s so fun.”
Every step through this book feels like a magical adventure, right from the first page. Entering Caraval is truly a wondrous experience.
Whilst this book does contain a fair amount of 'romance', although it's not as simple as it sounds, I love how dark and twisted the story gets and how that creates a much deeper story and connection with the characters.
What I loved the most about reading Caraval again was that, even though it was a re-read, it was so fresh and mysterious, it honestly felt as though I was reading it again for the first time, and unravelling an entirely new mystery, (and isn’t that every book lovers’ desire? To read a book for the second time and have it feel like it’s the first time…) it made me love it even more.
On a side note, the ‘dress shopping’ scene in this book really fortifies my deeply rooted loathing for clothes shopping. You’ll understand what I mean when/if you’ve read it.
The chapters in this book flew by so quickly, I found myself at the end wondering if I’d gotten so lost in the story that time itself really had been affected by the magic of Caraval.
Overall, this book is one of my absolute favourites and I would highly recommend it to everyone.
I am now even more excited for Legendary!! I have so many questions that need to be answered!!
Prepare yourself for unsolvable mystery, repugnant villains, sisters willing to risk it all for a new life and a world filled with characters who are never what they seem.
“Remember, it’s only a game.”
Trigger warning: this book does contain forms of physical and mental abuse/torment.
Can I also just highlight how gorgeous the shiny gold foiling is both on the dust jacket and the hidden rose image beneath?!?
You can't see in the photo but the dust jacket is double toned, with a white back and split toned spine, making it even more stunning to look at!
Rating: 4.5 STARS
How I got this book: ARC from Riptide Publishing via NetGalley
Being perfect isn't all it's cracked up to be.
Sixteen-year-old Declan is the perfect son . . . except for one tiny issue. When his sister Delia comes home to find him trying on her clothes, he fears her judgment, but she only fears his fashion choices. One quick makeover later, Declan is transformed into Delia’s mysterious cousin Layla and dragged to the party of the year, hosted by Carter, the most popular boy in school.
When Carter meets Layla, he fumbles to charm her. He adores her sense of humor and her poise. But when she vanishes in the middle of the night, he’s left confused and determined to solve the mystery of who she is.
As their school year begins, their high school embraces a policy of intolerance, and both Declan and Carter know they must stand up. Carter is tired of being a coward and wants to prove he can be a knight in shining armor. Declan is sick of being bullied and wants desperately to be himself. If they team up, it could be a fairy-tale ending, or a very unhappy ever after.
I know? After reading that blurb how could I not read this?!?
Quick note: I'm still learning when it comes to all of the different types of sexuality, gender-fluidity being something I don't know a great deal about at the moment, and so I can't honestly say whether or not the author appropriately handles this, all I can offer is my own opinion. So, apologies in advance if I make any mistakes and please feel free to correct me.
I can honestly say that I haven't been able to get this book off my mind since I finished reading it.
This is one of the most poignant LGBT books I've had the pleasure of reading. If you're looking for a book that's ready to take the world by storm and show everyone just how diverse we are, and how that's perfectly okay, this is the book for you!
I absolutely love Dex and Carter, Dex more so for his wit, his passion and his heart. He really is the purest of souls.
Beyond the passionate protest for human rights that forms a solid backbone intertwined with a burning romance, this book is a cover to cover nerd fest, full of the most delightful witty conversation between the two main characters. My nerdy brain was so happy with the glorious geekiness of this book.
My favourite aspect of this book was watching Dex transform, not into Layla as such, but into himself, watching his evolution from the nervous, shy, closeted Declan we meet at the beginning to the beautiful, confident, radiant Dex who evolves through the events of this book.
His sass, confidence and unforgiving mouth as he blooms are brilliant and the chemistry between these two is perfect.
Carter also goes through a pretty big personality transformation and it was wonderfully delivered.
This book does a fantastic job of making you think, making you reassess the world around you, in very much the same way that Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli has made huge progress recently.
I found myself thinking back to high school and how not a single person was openly gay or otherwise. We were all closeted, all afraid to make a wrong move. Constantly forced to be fake or fall victim to another. Cinderella Boy made me wonder how different life could have been if we'd had the courage to stand up for ourselves and for something that truly mattered.
I loved every aspect of this book. The ending resolved things beautifully, it was perfectly sweet and poignant.
I also have to mention the other fantastic characters we meet from Delia, Dex's sister, to Chloe, and Carter's mum. Even the antagonist's, whilst unpleasant are perfectly portrayed.
If you're a fan of Becky Albertalli, Mackenzie Lee and Adam Silvera, Cinderella Boy should definitely be on your TBR!
If you love lingering glances, passionate embraces and a friendship that will change everything, read this book!
4.5 tiara's from me!
P.S. I also desperately want my own treehouse castle...
Rating: 4.5 STARS
Standalone/Series: Spellslinger #3
How I got this book: ARC from Bonnier Zaffre via NetGalley
'I was getting almost as good at running away from enemies as I was at making them in the first place. Turns out, I wasn't running nearly fast enough.'
Kellen has begun to master his spellslinging and the Argosi tricks for staying alive, and he and Reichis have found a career that suits them both: taking down mercenary mages who make people's lives miserable. But Ferius is concerned that Kellen is courting disaster . . .
Whilst I enjoyed the first two books in this series, Charmcaster was brilliant and, in my opinion, the best book in the series so far. I absolutely loved it. It completely tackled the slight issue that I had with the previous two books in that the pacing at the beginning of those felt a little slow. I did not have the same problem here, the pacing was fantastic throughout.
Charmcaster launches with a fantastic action scene that fully immersed me in the story from the moment I started reading. I loved the visuals at the start of this book. The whole 'storm' scene really blew me away (no pun intended).
My number 1 bad-boy Reichis is back in all his furry glory in this book. I love him so much!!
Reichis broke my heart in this book - I almost cried twice and one of those reasons was because of this feisty little devil and then I laughed out loud during a scene where he's practically high.
"You have pretty eyes.' he said, staring up at her.
'What did he say?' she asked me. When I translated, she gave him a smile. 'Well now, aren't you the sweetest little-'
'I'd really like to eat them.' The squirrel cat's head swivelled towards me. 'Can I eat her eyes, Kellen? I'll give them back later, I promise."
I adore Kellen and Reichis's relationship. It's so beautiful and gets stronger in each book. It may be weird that the relationship I love the most is between a boy and a squirrel cat, but I don't care! They're perfect together, and I need a stern word with the author as to why Reichis suffers so much in every single instalment!
"You stink,' the squirrel cat said. 'You too,' I replied. That, in a nutshell, is our relationship."
Kellen is also at his best in this book. We finally see how much he's learned from Ferius, Reichis and everything else he's had to face and overcome. He really steps up his game in this book and shows us just how much potential he has.
I also love that we find out more about Ferius's past in this book. I desperately wanted this at the end of the last book and it was perfect how it came together during this leg of the journey.
We see the return of a few characters from book 1, one in particular that I wasn't too pleased about, but we'll see where that goes.
There's so much more emotion in this book than there is in the previous two instalments. The bond between Kellen and Ferius, and Kellen and Reichis is much more prominent in this book and it's beautiful to see, especially after travelling with the trio over these three books.
Also, does anyone else ship Ferius and Kellen or is that just me? I have no idea what the age difference is but I love them together.
"I stopped for a second, holding on to that laugh. It contained everything I loved about Ferius Parfax, and everything about her that made me crazy."
How can you not ship this??
I also felt like this book had much more humour, which really helped lift the pace compared to the others.
There's so much more in Charmcaster than we see in the other books, a lot more is explained, there are better characters, and some of the mysteries that have been building are finally revealed. There are some really great scenes in this book, both action scenes and more heart-felt scenes that really make Charmcaster stand out for me as the best book of the series so far.
Kellen picks up a few new tricks in this book and after the ending that just messed me up, I'm really wondering where this story is going to take us next. Roll on book 4!!
You can read my review for book number 2 in the series, Shadowblack here.
Note: I read this book as part of the Dewey's Readathon - April 2018!
Rating: 3 STARS
Standalone/Series: Standalone (I think - see review for more info)
How I got this book: Bought
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 the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon’s infuriating nemesis didn’t even bother to show up.
Carry On is a ghost story, a love story, a mystery and a melodrama. It has just as much kissing and talking as you’d expect from a Rainbow Rowell story—but far, far more monsters.
Please don't hate me!! I KNOW that this book is super highly rated and everyone seems to love it. Hell, that's the very reason I decided to pick it up.
"It's like gay Harry Potter." - SOLD to the chick with a seriously disturbing Harry/Malfoy obsession. That fandom is probably the basis for my entire 'enemies to lovers' trope craze.
Upon first reading, I honestly wondered what all the fuss was about. It sort of read like a really obvious Harry Potter parody/fan fiction that was determined to poke fun at that series.
After speaking to my good friend Lia the Book Bat, (don't forget to check out her awesome new book blog), I found out that this was probably intentional.
Remember my note above about thinking that this was a standalone read? Well, now I'm not too sure. Lia kindly let me know that there's another book by Rainbow Rowell called Fangirl which basically centers around a girl who writes fanfiction for Simon Snow (who is the MC in Carry On). Now that I know this, I get it a bit more and it kinda makes sense. Although, can someone please tell Goodreads that this is the case because it seems to think the books aren't connected at all. Surely they should be listed as part of a series???
So, once I found that out, I tried to look at it with a new perspective and admit that I did enjoy it much more.
Simon Snow is funny. He's the all-round typical Chosen One in that he's courageous, brave and loyal but on the flip side, he's sweet, charming and utterly clueless. He literally has no idea what he's doing romantically or otherwise.
Baz is a bad-ass vampire and Simon's arch nemesis, but at the beginning of the book he's missing, something which drives Simon very much insane.
I did enjoy the bond and the camaraderie between Baz and Simon, but what I wasn't too keen on is that it takes so long for Baz to make an appearance and that even when he does there isn't quite as much romance as I'd been led to believe.
The story, being a fan-fiction/parody style story was fairly predictable and I felt the saving grace of the book was Simon and Baz's changing relationship, which should (in my opinion) have taken center stage.
This I think became more apparent as the other characters in the book began to have POV chapters which I really wasn't a fan of. I didn't particularly like or connect with any of the other characters and just wish that the book had been solely from Baz and Simon's perspectives.
It was Baz who kept me reading when things got a little 'slow' for me.
Overall, I enjoyed the story, there were plenty of fun moments, and a few tender ones. I just personally felt that the romance was somewhat underplayed since that's what sold me on the book in the first place.
As an after note, I will definitely be checking out Fangirl as soon as possible because I feel like there's a lot to offer from this author and I wonder if maybe I struggled to enjoy this book because I hadn't read that one. We shall see :)
What did you think of Carry On? I'd love to know your thoughts!
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Book addict, film mad, music lover, business owner, aspiring writer and mum (not necessarily in that order), living in the UK.
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