Sunday, October 27, 2019

Ghost Walk by Cassandra Gannon - Book Review

Ghost Walk by Cassandra Gannon
Publication date: June 12, 2016
My rating: 4 stars

“Why I’d never suggest otherwise.  I was merely thinking I could be your glamorous, occasionally sarcastic, sidekick.  Someone to bounce your brilliant ideas off of.”

This book was soooo wonderful.
I’m in love with Jamie. IN. LOVE.
Kyaaaaa! *Japanese fangirl moment over here*

This book really made me realize how much I love all of these tropes and how little I see them in books.

1) Time Travel. And I’m not talking about the sci-fi type of time travel, but the magical one created by magic, when the protagonist can travel through time.

2) Pirates as love interests because… PIRATES AS LOVE INTERESTS. Just pirates in general though, thank you. I wanna see more piracy!

3) Ghosts! And not the freaky horror kind. Especially if it’s a love story between a human and a ghost. Like… seriously, SO COOL.

4) Accents. Jamie as the best accent ever ahhh! I adore him! 

I’ve basically been binge reading Cassandra Gannon’s books. My favorite of hers so far was the A Kinda Fairy Tail series (especially the first book Wicked Ugly Bad! SO GOOD), but now this is also a fave, I just enjoyed it sooo much. 

He waved a hand around, like all she needed to do was whip out a Sherlock Holmes-sized magnifying glass and shout, “Elementary, my dear Watson!”

I loved Jamie! LOVED HIM. I loved Grace and her character development. I loved all the names the Rivera family has – so cool! I loved ghost Jamie, I loved real Jamie, I loved the time travel, the magic system, I just loved it all! And of course, the best part, the romance. Fantastically done.

I would absolutely love for more books in this world. Even though the author hasn’t indicated she has any plan for ones, I would still hope! There is still so much to tell about the Rivera family. I’m definitely very much intrigued by all the cousins Grace had mentioned in this book.

I also loved the author's note at the end. Listening to how Cassandra had come up with this idea, and the history behind it was fascinating.

This author is amazing with her story weaving skills, the romance, and banter in her books. I cannot wait to read more!

I highly recommend you give her other books a try, starting with A Kinda Fairytale and Not Another Vampire Book.
And if you read Ghost Walker and are looking for more fun books about magical time travel and ghosts (although ghosts aren't a main aspect), please also give Ruby Red by Kierstin Gier a try. 

“If a man is courting you, he should be calling upon your residence,” lectured the moral authority who knew the exact location of the town’s former brothel.

*Spoiler Alert* 

My favorite part had to be the ending, when Jamie could FINALLY beat Robert to death, as we all wanted him to do since the beginning. AHHH, his smile when he rose and did it. I was squealing with happiness like it was a love scene or something πŸ˜‚ 

*End of spoiler*

Now where can I find a Jamie? 

“No one will stop you if you seem confident.  They’ll be too afraid of looking a fool if they question you.  Always act as if you know exactly what you’re doing and you can get away with anything.  T’is the secret of life.”

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin - Book Review

Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahrin
Publication date: September 3, 2019
My rating: 4 stars

I shall write this review in the form of a list of the things I liked (and things I didn't like, which is literally only two things, and only my own personal opinion, really, because I LIKED THIS BOOK A LOT).

Things I liked (no spoilers):
I rose and gestured to my small frame. “You really think I could knock two fully grown men unconscious?” My husband’s reply came instantaneously. “Yes.” Under different circumstances, I would’ve been flattered. Now, however, his unwavering faith in my abilities was damnably inconvenient.
  • Lou and Reid's dynamics!Despite the seriousness and craziness of the situation they both found themselves in, their dynamics was just so fun from the start. I couldn’t wait for those two complete opposites to finally fall in love. And when they did it was just... 🧑

“Why are you dressed like a man?” “Have you ever worn a corset?” I spun around to face him, reattaching my mustache with as much dignity as I could muster. “I doubt you’d ask such a question if you had. Trousers are infinitely more freeing.”
  • How Lou is just unapologetically herself. Granted, I was sympathizing with Reid when she was cursing because much like Reid I'm also a prude πŸ˜‚ but Lou just had such a vibrant personality and she never tried to make herself different for anyone's sake. I loved that about her. And I loved her.

  • Reid. I love Reid too. Aside from a very annoying thing he did, but we'll get to that in the things I didn't like. Aside from that though, I loved Reid! I related to his prudish personality a lot, and I think the author definitely managed to sell me on the whole "serious and stoic" love interest. Who needs a bad boy when you can have a Reid who will honor and protect you forever? 

  • STICKY BUNS 🧑 I am not usually the type to be taunted with foods in books (even though I LOVE food and especially sweets), BUT OMG was I taunted here! I want a sticky bun, the author found my weakness! 

  • At one point during all those revelations at the end, my heart was beating out of my chest and I literally had to put the book aside to compose myself. 

  • Lou and Reid together are just so precious and I want SO MUCH MORE of them in the next book. 

Things I liked (with spoilers):

  • The gang! I just loved our gang at the end, their dynamics was such fun. I'll be so sad if they part ways in the next book because I just love all of them together - Lou, Reid, Ansel, Coco, Madam Labelle, Beau (yep, Beau was a surprise because I didn't think I'll like him but now I really like him!)
  • Madam Labelle being Reid's mother - so cool! I liked that he started caring for her in the end, and I hope to see him come to care for her more. I know they have a long way to go, but I hope they do because it would be so precious. I was so scared at the end there when it looked like she died, and PHEW that she didn't!

  • Reid killing the Archbishop. Okay, so I didn't want the Archbishop to die at the end. Granted, I wanted to punch him in the face repeatedly in the beginning, but after we found out he was Lou's father it was just... O_O . But wow wow wow wow, Reid killing him to save Lou's life SO DARK and also HECK YES at the same time? I don't even know, but I'm just glad Reid is willing to do anything to save Lou. Love it.

  • Which brings us to, Reid is a witch! He wasn't just born to a witch, he can do actual magic!We still don't know how it works - can he really do it all the time? Was it just a one time thing because Lou almost died and so he almost died too? Is it something that awakened in him in those moments of darkness? I personally hope it's something he'll still be able to do in the next book and not just a one time thing!

And my wife—the fucking love of my life—was the daughter of La Dame des SorciΓ¨res. The heiress of Chateau le Blanc. The goddamned princess of the witches. 

  • Reid cursing like 3 times at the end of the book πŸ˜‚ Never thought I would be so delighted by a character cursing, but boy this was good.
Lou glared at him. “I like you, Ansel, but this had better be something good. Emilie and Alexandre just had a moment, and I swear if they don’t kiss soon, I will literally die.”
  • Lou reading that book about those two lovers from warring countries! Loved it! And how it was like a nod to us readers to our own fangirling situation with Reid and Lou. 

Things I didn't like (with spoilers): 

There are only really two things that I had personal issues with.

  • The whole "past love interest" trope. And yeah, I'm talking about Celie and Reid. I mean, it's not that I don't understand what Reid found in her. It makes sense that he would fall in love with someone like Celie, especially since they've known each other since they were children. But it just made the whole "falling in love with Lou" a bit less realistic when he was technically still in love with Celie in the beginning of the book. It is a bit jarring that he could just move from his so called love to Celie and right to Lou. Don't get me wrong, I'M SO HAPPY he fell for Lou, the love of his life, so I'm assuming when he said he loved Celie, he did love her, but he probably wasn't in love with her for some time now. But in general, yeah, I always had trouble with the past love interest trope, when one of the protagonists is still half in love with said past love.

I loved her. Despite everything. Despite the lies, the betrayal, the hurt. Despite the Archbishop and Morgane le Blanc. Despite my own brothers. I don't know if she returned that love, and I didn't care. If she was destined to burn in Hell, I would burn with her.
  • Reid rejecting Lou when he found out she was a witch. Haha... yep, that moment. I nearly threw the book aside when Lou was just about to tell him she's a witch in their room and they were interrupted in a classic interruption scene just when someone is about to reveal something really important πŸ˜‚ I didn't know whether to laugh or cry, but I just knew then and there Reid was going to find out Lou is a witch in the wrong way. And yep, he did. And yep, he BROKE HER HEART. AND I WAS SO MAD. SO MAD I TELL YOU. I understand. I understand Reid was practically brainwashed since he was born. You can't just erase brainwashing of years and year, DOESN'T MEAN I STILL CAN'T BE MAD THOUGH.I am glad, however, that he apologized at the end. That he even cried and blamed himself. At the very least he's repenting about it. So I'm glad. 

In conclusion (with spoilers): 

What will happen now! Our gang is so not our of the woods yet. If anything, they're in even deeper woods. Madam Labelle and Beau are said to go talk to the king, persuade him not to act rashly. As for Lou, Reid, Aansel and Coco, they must seek sanctuary with Coco's aunt, now that they're all fugitives. Everyone would want Lou dead, especially her mother - who is still alive and probably the biggest threat - and everyone saw Reid kill the Archbishop, so he's wanted too. And Ansel, of course, who aided them both. Not to mention Coco, who also aided and is known as a witch. 

How will Reid deal with the PTSD he probably just got from killing the Archbishop, finding out the love of his life his a witch, he's the son of a witch and probably has magic too, and his wife is still threatened by practically everyone?

Now I really want to read Blood & Honey. 

Fun times ahead, people ;) 

Besides—didn’t all men share some sort of unspoken camaraderie? A mutual understanding of their own collective importance? 

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

The Burning Maze by Rick Riordan - Book Review

The Burning Maze by Rick Riordan
Publication date: May 1, 2018
My rating: 3 stars

NO. I refuse to share this part of my story. It was the lowest, most humiliating, most awful week in my four-thousand-plus years of life. Tragedy. Disaster. Heartbreak. I will not tell you about it. Why are you still here? Go away! 

It took me way too long to read The Burning Maze.

The reason? Back in the day when it came out, I read about 25% of it... when I was spoiled about something major happening. I was so shocked, I literally dropped the book and didn’t pick it up more than a year later.

I’m honestly a little ashamed of myself considering my fan status of Rick Riordan. I mean I literally grew up on these books.

Still, maybe it’s also actually a good thing I waited until the 4th book was out? That way I could binge read it.

But anyway, since this is the 3rd book in the series, there are obviously going to be MAJOR spoilers below. If you haven’t read these books yet, what are you doing, go read them.

And if you haven’t read any of the Percy Jackson books yet (although I highly doubt you would be here, reading this review, if you hadn't), I highly recommend you start with The Lightning Thief. Go now, shoo, let me freak out about this book.
Because, boy, am I going to freak out

*Spoilers from now on* 

I’m so sad right now people. SO SAD.

And yes, this is the thing I was spoiled about before I finished reading the book – well technically it’s two things if you think about it.

Piper and Jason breaking up, and Jason FREAKING DYING.

*sobbing into eternity* 

Jason and Piper were the kind of characters that I didn't immediately scream "omg, favorite!" Unlike with my instant love to characters like Percy, Leo, Nico... Piper and Jason took a bit more time to grow on me during their adventures in Heroes of Olympus. And that's okay! Because when we left them, Piper and Jason were in a good place, beginning their search for their lost friend, Leo. 

But then we pick up where we left them and Piper and Jason are not in a good place. Piper and Jason are broken up. But Piper and Jason are also so much more awesome than I remembered? They've grown up so much (mentally, if not physically), they're awesome, they're heroic, they're wonderful.
I didn't even realize it, stupidly, before... how much I love them. Together and apart. 

In the previous books, I was so busy being in love with the rest of the gang that I completely neglected Piper and Jason.
And now...
And NOW. 

Jason took me by the shoulders—not out of anger, or in a clinging way, but as a brother. “Promise me one thing. Whatever happens, when you get back to Olympus, when you’re a god again, remember. Remember what it’s like to be human.” 

I just about nearly sobbed when I read that.  


I really admired Piper in this one. She was just so freaking mentally strong. And I loved how she was acting like this big sister to Meg at times.

It was just so jarring to hear that she and Jason broke up considering, as Grover almost said, that we always thought they would be like like Percy and Annabeth. Thinking about these heroes, that got together when you yourself were 16, as you were reading about them excitedly, after purchasing the next book in the series from the bookstore, and now you’re 21 and they’re broken up… it just makes me sad.

It’s logical, I suppose, considering Piper and Jason's fake history, considering what Piper told Apollo about her wanting to find herself. BUT WHO CARES ABOUT LOGIC when all I wanted was for them to be happy together. 

But that’s not the saddest thing. Nope. I could still hold out to hope that these two will be happy – whether it’s together or apart – UNTIL JASON SACRIFICED HIMSELF AND WAS STABBED TWO TIMES THROUGH THE HEART. 

“I can’t even…” Jason sat heavily on his bed. “I don’t know whether to laugh or yell.” “Don’t limit yourself,” grumbled Piper. “Do both.” 

I mean, yeah... why limit myself when I can yell and cry 😭 

It’s like Rick Riordan thought “You know what, since I didn’t kill anyone major in The Blood of Olympus, let’s like, kill one of them now, right? RIGHT?” 


It’s even worse killing Jason now that it would have been in The Blood of Olympus because we spent 6 books with Jason, we got used to the idea of Jason, we thought Jason was SAFE, and now what? Now we cry. And wonder if Rick will kill anyone else. 

He probably won’t. Thinking about Rick Riordan’s style, he doesn’t go overboard with character kills, so I’m thinking most of them are probably safe, at least the other main ones. 

Now before I start sobbing again thinking about Piper's reaction when they... with Jason... *taking a deep breath*, I should talk a bit about the protagonist of this book, Apollo. 

“Let my friends go,” I said. “All of them. Then you can have me.” The emperor’s eyes gleamed like a strix’s. “And if I don’t?” I summoned my courage, and issued a threat I never could have imagined in my previous four thousand years of life. “I’ll kill myself.”

One of my favorite moments, was when Apollo and the gang were being held hostage by Caligula – right before… right before Jason… - and Apollo was SO ANGRY about his hurt friends, and then he realized that the only way to save them was to threaten his own life… It was just so beautiful?

Such an amazing character development. Apollo really is evolving. He’s not the same guy he was in book 1. After that, he literally risked himself 2 more times just to save his friends. And I honestly cannot wait to see what happens next. I mean, Apollo will quite probably return to godhood but… how will it change him? How would his promise to Jason… Jason Grace, will change him? 

I felt sad when Piper was blaming Apollo, especially since they almost bonded at some point. I mean, I understand, I really do. Even though it’s not Apollo’s fault, it was his quest, he was the one who asked for their help. He’s not at fault,  especially considering Jason literally told everyone about the prophecy of either him or Piper dying if they try to go after Caligula, but I can see how Piper, in her situation, could blame him. It’s just so sad though. My heart. I can’t. 

As the former praetor and the emperor charged past each other, Jason met my eyes across the ruined throne room. His expression told me his plan with perfect clarity. Like me, he had decided that Piper McLean would not die tonight. For some reason, he had decided that I must live too. He yelled again, “GO! Remember!”

Jason sacrificed himself for this friends to get away, but… at the end of the day, he did it for Piper. He did it so Piper wouldn’t die, so Piper would get away, and this breaks my heart and I’m going to cry. 

His last words to Piper and Apollo "GO! Remember!" before he told his horse to get them to safety just about killed me. It also really threw me back to the 11th Doctor and Clara (Oswin) Oswald (Run, you clever boy. And remember). Which honestly just made me sadder. 

Piper shook him and sobbed, “JASON!” Her voice echoed from the cliffs. 

I literally had to hold my tears back when they found Jason on the shore and Piper was screaming his name and begging for Apollo, and when Piper's dad showed up and hugged his daughter... 😭 I would have probably sobbed if I was alone at the time, but since I wasn't I looked like I had something in my eye with how much blinking I was doing. It was hard enough to try to keep the tears at bay. 

And then later, when Leo came along, I had tears in my eyes and I'm just... when he asked where's Jason... and Piper broke down in his arms... someone please hold me.

“One good stab in the back deserves another.” Piper kissed Medea on the cheek. “I’d tell you to say hello to Jason for me, but he’ll be in Elysium. You…won’t.”  

Piper killing Medea was EPIC. So no maybe she didn’t get to kill Jason’s actual murderer yet, but killing the person who assisted in this, Piper’s nemesis, sure is retribution.

I also kind of felt Apollo wasn’t sad ENOUGH about Jason, though? I mean don’t get me wrong, he was obviously sad and guilty, but by the way he reacted to Crest’s death, whom he knew even for less time than Jason, it kind of felt his reaction to Jason’s death lacked? I dono. I mean, Apollo and Jason are technically half brothers, they’re bonded to a promise, I just thought Apollo would express… more. But that’s just me. 

Jason sighed miserably. “That’s supposed to be my job. I’m always the one who gets knocked in the head. Sorry, guys. Things didn’t exactly go as planned.”

(Because we also need to remember the fun times with Jason) 

We're definitely not done with this heartbreak though, huh?
Book 4 should pick right up where book 3 left, which means Meg and Apollo are delivering Jason to the Roman camp. Which means... which means breaking the hearts of the rest of the gang. 

We already know Annabeth's and Percy's reaction from the end of Ship of the Dead (Magnus Chase) - although I do wish to see/hear Percy's actual reaction, as we only heard Annabeth, crying. 

We also know Piper and Leo's reaction... 

Now it's time to deliver the news to the rest of the people who care about Jason - Reyna (who was once in love with him), Frank (his comrade), Hazel (his comrade and friend), Thalia (his sister)... I can't even. 

Onto The Tyrant's Tomb now...
See you there. 

What I wanted Jason and Piper to end as:
Unstoppable - Alex Goot

What they actually sort of ended up us (hard to find an exact song these days):
The Meterial - I'd be Lying 

Also this one because why not, I'm feeling sad and musicy:
Deltarune - Legend (Tudd Chillwave Remix)

“I’m Jason Grace,” he said. “Former praetor of the Twelfth Legion. Son of Jupiter. Child of Rome. But I belong to both camps.” 

 I would be Apollo. I would remember.