Posted in Book Review

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

Dates Read: March 27, 2022 – March 29, 2022
Date Published: May 5, 2016
Source: Owned paperback

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Feyre is a huntress.

She thinks nothing of slaughtering a wolf to capture its prey. But, like all mortals, she fears what lingers mercilessly beyond the forest. And she will learn that taking the life of a magical creature comes at a high price…

Imprisoned in an enchanted court in her enemy’s kingdom, Feyre is free to roam but forbidden to escape. Her captor’s body bears the scars of fighting, and his face is always masked – but his piercing stare draws her ever closer. As Feyre’s feeling for Tamlin begin to burn through every warning she’s been told about his kind, an ancient, wicked shadow grows.

Feyre must find a way to break a spell, or lose her heart forever.

Oh hello there. Welcome to my new obsession!

I went into this book not knowing if I was going to hate it or love it. Let me just say, I DON’T KNOW WHERE I’VE BEEN. This book came out in 2015 and the fact that I’m just now reading it is an absolute disgrace. I nearly killed myself staying up nights just to finish this book. I couldn’t put it down! The world-building and the characters and the m a g i c. My goodness, I can’t believe I slept on this series for so long. I’ve got book two on my nightstand awaiting its inevitable doom. Or… I guess… my inevitable doom. Because I’m about to stop sleeping for a few days, I’m sure.

Feyre
What an amazing heroine we have. She steps up to the plate to help keep her family fed when they fall into poverty. Poor girl didn’t deserve the life her mother bestowed upon her but I understand that her mother knew, of all her daughters, Feyre was the only one who would be able to keep her family alive. She’s strong, sharp-tongued, resilient… she’s just such a likable character.

Tamlin
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have a crush on this fictional hunk of a man. He’s so quiet and unsure. He’s such a loose cannon. He’s the perfect fit for Feyre, honestly. I enjoyed reading scenes when the two of them finally became acquainted with each other. Tamlin just wants his lands to find peace. He wants to keep the people of his lands safe and fed and cared for.

I love you,” he whispered, and kissed my brow. “Thorns and all.”

Lucien
Who did I enjoy reading more than Feyre and Tamlin? Feyre and LUCIEN. I loved their back and forth banter. I just loved Lucien and his fierce loyalty to Tamlin and his cause. The way you could tell something had broken him earlier on in his life but you weren’t sure exactly what plagued his thoughts. Ok, maybe I had more of a crush on Lucien. I enjoyed every single page with Lucien’s name on it. I can’t wait to see more of him in book two. And three… and… four?? *nervous laughter*

I cannot leave here without mentioning Rhysand. He doesn’t really show up or remain constant in the book until nearly the end but… look… I have a thing for the bad boys and I can tell he’s going to be one. I can’t wait to see where his story goes in the coming books. I need more Rhys!

This world is so much bigger than I could have imagined. The last time I met a book with a world and a plot so grand was when I first read Leigh Bardugo’s Shadow and Bone series which bled into her Six of Crows series… which bled into her King of Scars series. Those were some of my favorite books and it seems that this series I’ve finally unearthed from Sarah J. Maas is going to do the same that Leigh Bardugo’s books did for me. Every second I’m not reading more of Feyre and Tamlin and Lucien, I’m itchy with anticipation to get back into their story and find out what happens next.

These are those books that I can get absolutely lost in. I lose all sense of time and forget who I even am and what realm I’m sitting in. I love when a book can transport me into its world and make me feel like I’m a part of it and this series has done just that so far.

There are fae creatures galore. All of them are different than the last and more frightening than the last. Courts of High Fae loom on the borders, some more evil and atrocious than the others. A higher power oversees them all, dishing out an unsettling sense of dread that bad things lie ahead. This book had all the things I love in a fantasy book. Including romance. Sorry. I like those. Sue me.

I will say, the “new adult” label is the most accurate. This book had a couple explicit scenes. In case anyone was wondering.

GO. READ. THIS. BOOK.

And then grow obsessed like I have and immediately order the rest of the series so you never have to wait to read another page of the series ever again.

Be glad of your human heart, Feyre. Pity those who don’t feel anything at all.”

✌💛

Posted in Book Review

War by Laura Thalassa

Read Dates: February 6, 2022 – February 23, 2022
Publication Date: July 11, 2019
Source: Owned paperback

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They came to earth – Pestilence, War, Famine, Death – four horsemen riding their screaming steeds, racing to the corners of the world. Four horsemen with the power to destroy all of humanity. They came to earth, and they came to end us all.

The day Jerusalem falls, Miriam Elmahdy knows her life is over. Houses are burning, the streets run red with blood, and a traitorous army is massacring every last resident. There is no surviving this, especially not once Miriam catches the eye of War himself. But when the massive and terrifying horseman corners Miriam, he calls her his wife, and instead of killing her, he takes her back to his camp.

Now Miriam faces a terrifying future, one where she watches her world burn town by town, and the one man responsible for it all is her seemingly indestructible “husband”. But there’s another side to him, one that’s gentle and loving and dead set on winning her over, and she might not be strong enough to resist.

However, if there’s one thing Miriam has learned, it’s that love and war cannot coexist. And so she must make the ultimate choice: surrender to War and watch humankind fall, or sacrifice everything and stop him.

We’re back, baby!

Another GEM of a story by Laura Thalassa.

(1) Bend the rules – but don’t break them.
(2) Stick to the truth.
(3) Avoid notice.
(4)Listen to your instincts.
(5) Be brave.
Five simple rules that, while not always being easy to follow, have kept me alive for the last seven years.”

I’m honestly so glad my best friend picked up Pestilence and tempted me to join her in reading these books. I am two books deep and I am NOT disappointed. Pestilence and War have BOTH scored a 5-star rating from me. I’m excited to read Famine and especially… DEATH. *shudders* I’m willing to bet he’s going to be my favorite.

I will say, I teetered between a 4.5 rating and a 5 because I didn’t like these characters as much as I liked Pestilence and Sara. I ultimately decided that I definitely liked all the characters in War and there was no reason to deduct just because I connected with one couple more than the other. I tell ya what I did connect with… that cover art. *drools*

So you would think this book would be no different from Pestilence but… this book had its own feel and its own plot and resolution. I admit I was trying to figure out how Thalassa could concoct four totally different stories that held up by themselves and weren’t full of recycled content from the previous book(s). So far, that has not happened. I was pleasantly surprised when I realized I had no idea where she was going to take these two characters and the many supporting characters in the story.

You are the one He sent me.
“You are my wife.”

Miriam is a strong-willed young girl from Jerusalem who has lost her family and is all on her own. Until War crosses her path. War claims that Miriam is his fated and calls her his wife, holding her within his camp and having his subjects tend to her and guard her.

My favorite thing about Miriam was how real she was. She tried to get away from War at every turn… as most would do when a man is reanimating the dead and allowing them to kill thousands and thousands of innocents.

War gave me some serious Khal Drogo vibes and I was absolutely here for it. Did I mention the cover art? I mean, c’mon.

War is duty-bound. He is driven, much like his brother Pestilence, to carry out the task he was created for. But Miriam challenges him. She throws him curveball after curveball causing him to rethink his entire existence. What follows is heartbreaking and beautiful and soul-crushing and maddening and frustrating and so so touching. This book takes you through it all.

You are painfully human. Your bones want to break, your skin wants to bleed, your heart wants to stop. And for the first time ever, I am desperate for none of those things to happen.”

I’m not gonna lie, I cried. Which, I guess, these days isn’t saying much. Since having a kid I’m a big ol’ emotional wreck.

Another thing I feel I should mention, which I think I mentioned in my review of Pestilence, the author doesn’t romanticize these horsemen of the apocalypse. You are taken through gut-wrenching scenes where the reality of what they are on Earth to do… is done. I, for one, love that about these books. At first, it hurt me. It hurt me deeply. The old couple in Pestilence’s book… omg. But I was more prepared in War’s book and it hit just as hard regardless.

I do highly recommend these books! I can’t wait to start Famine. However, I have found myself newly obsessed with Sarah J. Maas and I must continue on to A Court of Mist and Fury before I totally lose my mind wondering what is going on with Tamlin and Feyre. And… Lucien. *Does a little eyebrow wag*

Anyway, until next time! (Which will be soon because I’m catching up on reviews as we speak!)

Posted in Book Review

Pestilence by Laura Thalassa

Read Dates: January 19, 2022 – January 22, 2022
Date Published: September 14, 2018
Source: ebook

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From Goodreads:

They came to earth–Pestilence, War, Famine, Death–four horsemen riding their screaming steeds, racing to the corners of the world. Four horsemen with the power to destroy all of humanity. They came to earth, and they came to end us all.

When Pestilence comes for Sara Burn’s town, one thing is certain: everyone she knows and loves is marked for death. Unless, of course, the angelic-looking horseman is stopped, which is exactly what Sara has in mind when she shoots the unholy beast off his steed.

Too bad no one told her Pestilence can’t be killed.

Now the horseman, very much alive and very pissed off, has taken her prisoner, and he’s eager to make her suffer. Only, the longer she’s with him, the more uncertain she is about his true feelings towards her … and hers towards him.

And now, well, Sara might still be able to save the world, but in order to do so, she’ll have to sacrifice her heart in the process.

Is this my first five-star of the year!? I think it is!

So this was actually a spur-of-the-moment read because my best friend started reading it and told me she was about 70 pages in and felt like it was going to be a 5/5 for her. So I took a pause on the book I was currently reading and dove into this one. I’m so glad I did.

Now, I get the mixed reviews. This isn’t your conventional romance novel. It doesn’t really fall into any one romance category for me. It was just… different. It was so different from the romance novels I’m used to. I read contemporary, paranormal, historical, YA… this book doesn’t fit into any of them. It was in a league all its own.

So, our main characters for pretty much the entirety of the book are Sara and Pestilence. Sara is a firefighter who volunteers to take the last shift before evacuation. She also happens to be the firefighter who pulls the black straw, meaning she is the one who will stay behind and carry out a plan she and her coworkers came up with to attempt to kill Pestilence and end the plague that he carries with him. Despite shooting him point-blank and setting him on fire, Pestilence lives and he takes Sara captive intending to make her suffer showing no mercy the way she showed him no mercy. And so begins the story.

“Oh, for the love of—” “God?” he finishes for me, raising his eyebrows. “Do you really think He is going to help you?”

Now here’s the thing… this book stood out from its brethren in substantial ways. First of all, there wasn’t that immediate sexual interest that you get from the very first encounter in most of the romance novels (especially paranormal ones) I read. It wasn’t immediately, as my best friend put it, putting fire into anyone’s loins. Some of the things Pestilence did to make Sara “suffer” were particularly cruel. It wasn’t just one cruel instance, it was many. It went on until it didn’t. It was BELIEVABLE. That’s the big one for me. The way this book was written was completely believable. Sara tried to kill him and didn’t waver when he asked her for mercy. Then Pestilence caused Sara to suffer and, in turn, did not show Sara mercy when she asked it of him. We don’t get to hear Pestilence’s side of things but from Sara’s perspective, she hates him. She hates the way he keeps her alive and causes her hurt and it all makes SENSE.

Now, I must say, I do have a strange fascination with Stockholm Syndrome type books. I mean, Beauty and the Beast is one of my all-time favorites… so… I guess maybe that’s the difference between me and the people that didn’t care for this book. But I thought it was incredibly refreshing that the beginning of their relationship wasn’t romanticized. It was anything but. As most of these situations should be, right? Even if you *are* kidnapped by a tall, handsome, RIPPED specimen of a man.

Pestilence frowns. “Anyone who tries to get close to us is doomed. You are safe, Sara.” But I’m not. Not from him, and not from my own heart.

Another thing I noticed people complaining about was the decisions the two made being questionable to their characters but, if you ask me, they really weren’t! They totally made sense to me. I don’t want to give too much away here but there were moments when, even though Pestilence was coming to care for Sara, he would do things to upset her. Let me just explain this to you guys in one sentence, “He IS Pestilence.” He was made to spread disease. It’s his purpose. He doesn’t know human customs and values. He only knows what he was made to do and what he’s been existing to do all his life.

He rises to his feet then and walks to the door. He pauses there. “For good or for ill,” he says over his shoulder, “I have been indelibly changed by you.”

Both of these characters were just really likable for me and I’m definitely, without a doubt, going to read through the next three books in the series. I just worry that they won’t live up to this one because this one, for me, was so so so good. I mean, I gave it five stars. That’s a really hard rating to get out of me. This book had me feeling frustrated when I couldn’t get any free time to read. I wanted nothing more than to sit and read the entirety of this book in one sitting. It made me feel all the things. I had literal pangs in my chest multiple times. It made me cry for heaven’s sake. The scenes we got where it showed normal everyday people in their homes getting the plague and how they handled it… just everything about this book was so incredibly wonderful and refreshing and startling and I really hope the next three are just as good. I am especially anxious to read Death’s book.

If you like paranormal romance novels, chances are you’ll like this one. As long as you’re not super attached to the immediate sexual tension. As long as you’re willing to witness the ugly truth of this kind of situation in order to get to the romantic parts. I loved Pestilence and he was so worth it. Onto the next!

Pestilence, his crown perched upon his brow. War, with his steel blade held high. Famine, a scythe and scales at hand. And Death, blighted Death, his dark wings folded at his back, a torch of bilious smoke tight in his grip. And so it was, and so it shall be, for the Age of Man is over, and the Age of the Horseman has begun. They came to earth, and they came to end us all.

✌💛