ARC Review: Last of Her Name

This book was provided to me by the publisher at my request. The decision to review this book was entirely my own. My review is in no way influenced and all opinions are my own.

Last of Her Name
Author:
Jessica Khoury
Publisher: Scholastic
Release Date: February 26, 2019
Rating: 3 stars
Synopsis: Sixteen years ago, rebellion swept the galaxy known as the Belt of Jewels. Every member of the royal family was murdered–down to their youngest child, Princess Anya–and the Union government rose in its place. But Stacia doesn’t think much about politics. She spends her days half-wild, rambling her father’s vineyard with her closest friends, Clio and Pol.
That all changes the day a Union ship appears in town, carrying the leader of the Belt himself, the Direktor Eminent. The Direktor claims that Princess Anya is alive, and that Stacia’s sleepy village is a den of empire loyalists, intent on hiding her. When Stacia is identified as the lost princess, her provincial home explodes into a nightmare.
Pol smuggles her away to a hidden escape ship in the chaos, leaving Clio in the hands of the Union. With everything she knows threading away into stars, Stacia sets her heart on a single mission. She will find and rescue Clio, even with the whole galaxy on her trail.


Last of Her Name is a solid YA science fiction inspired by the story of the Romanovs. The story follows Stacia Androva as she finds out the truth of her heritage and runs away from the revelation across her galaxy (wonderfully named the Belt of Jewels) with Pol, one of her best friends. But when Stacia realizes Clio, her other best friend, has been taken by the Union and its violent leader, Alexi Volkov, her only thought is to save Clio, no matter the cost.

All told, I liked this book, but it almost never evoked any strong emotions from me. I kept getting to the precipice of LOVING the story, but nothing ever pushed me over the edge. The story moves at a fairly fast pace, but the writing style is simple. Looking at all those “but”s, I realize there was just something missing from this book for me. I wanted to reach in and draw out more depths to the story.

I feel like Last of Her Name is a YA book truly meant for young adults. Stacia is seventeen, just found out she isn’t who she thought she was, her best friend is taken from her, and she’s running away with her other best friend who, thanks to a well-timed step into manhood, is suddenly very attractive. Stacia is driven by her emotions, as confused and illogical as they are, and I’ll be damned if that isn’t how many teens are. But with the exception of a few scenes, I never felt much emotion for any of the characters. While I tend to try and balance my YA character opinions by considering that I am not a young adult, I still was not able to bring myself to care much for anyone in the story.

However, I loved loved loved the world building! The idea of how the humans left earth and came to find the Belt of Jewels, the prisms and how they function, the different planets: LOVED IT! I want other stories told in this universe!! Just with slightly older characters. This story didn’t have the most in-depth world building I’ve ever read in SF, but the world I built from Khoury’s words was dazzling.

I cannot speak for any solid connections to the story of Anastasia because my knowledge of the Romanovs extends to that cartoon movie that wasn’t actually a Disney movie, but I always thought it was. I did find the history of the Leonovas very interesting and I liked the twists that we get when we learn more about them.

The big reveal was a surprise to me in some ways, but I know sleuth-y readers will probably figure it out. As far as I can tell, this is a stand-alone book, so take what you will from that about the ending. Some aspects of the ending were a little too easy for me, but I was happy with what I got.

I think that a lot of people will really like this book, but it never quite connected for me. I was talking to a friend about this book the other day and I described it as a good palate cleanser book between heavy fantasy novels. I hope that doesn’t come off in a negative way, but that’s just what this book was for me. The book was fun and it never took too much from me to read. Some books demand your soul, but Last of Her Name asks you to just relax and come along for the ride.

Friday Favorites: Confessions of Love

Confession time: I am so tired and this is going to be a short post. Work has been kicking my ass and I’ve been having to pull myself out from under the buses people keep throwing me at.

I am locked in my never ending battle with InLinkz, so remember to drop the link to your Friday Favorites post in the comments so I can get it on my link list at the bottom of this post! I swear y’all, I’ll get a better system at some point in the future!

So, now lets get to the good stuff…the loooooooooooove! Oh also, there are spoilers for: North and South, Six of Crows, and Doctor Who.

Mr. Thornton to Margaret Hale (North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell)“Oh, my Margaret—my Margaret! No one can tell what you are to me! Dead—cold as you lie there, you are the only woman I ever loved!” Luckily Margaret isn’t ACTUALLY dead, merely knocked unconscious by thrown rock from a mob. But the whole scene of Margaret shielding Mr. Thornton from the crowd, then Mr. Thornton carrying her inside to safety, AND THEN the confession that he utters though she cannot hear it. *sigh* Maybe it’s because I will always see Mr. Thornton as Richard Armitage (Thank you BBC!), but I’ve always been a fan of Mr. Thornton.

Kaz to Inej…sort of… (Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo)“Stay”, he said, his voice rough stone. “Stay in Ketterdam. Stay with me.” Okay, I mean, for Kaz, this is as good as saying “I love you.” Also, “I would have come for you. And if I couldn’t walk, I’d crawl to you, and no matter how broken we were, we’d fight our way out together-knives drawn, pistols blazing. Because that’s what we do. We never stop fighting.” I cannot even with Kaz. That boy *sigh*

Rose and The Doctor – YES I KNOW IT’S NOT A BOOK MOMENT BUT I COULDN’T NOT PUT THIS HERE. Okay, if you’ve seen Doctor Who season 2 then you know what’s about to happen. I’M ABOUT TO BRING THE PAIN! The Doctor and Rose had been heartlessly separated by cruel TV show writers. Rose is drawn to Dårlig Ulv-Stranden, which according to Rose is Bad Wolf Bay, though I doubt the translation is that perfect. There the Doctor appears and drops this heartbreaking and very on point Doctor quote “I’m burning up a sun just to say good bye.”

And then it happens…

FYI: I cried while downloading this gif

Rose Tyler: I love you.
The Doctor: Quite right too. And I suppose… if it’s my last chance to say it…

The Doctor: Rose Tyler… *fades away AND BREAKS EVERYONE’S HEART*

OMG NOW I’M CRYING WHY DO I DO THIS TO MYSELF?!? (is it wrong that I want to rewatch these episodes now? Yes, probably.)


Okay y’all, that’s it for me. Cheers to Friday and for it being a MUCH BETTER day than Thursday was *glares in the general direction of Thursday*

Friday Favorites posts from around the Blog Community:

Waiting on Wednesday: Serpent & Dove

Serpent & Dove
Author: Shelby Mahurin
Publisher: HarperTeen
Cover Designer: Sarah Kaufman
Cover Artist: Katt Phatt
Release Date: September 3, 2019
Synopsis: For her sixteenth birthday, Louise le Blanc’s mother gave her three things: a sacrificial altar, a ritual knife, and a wicked scar.

Lou’s death would have ended the ancient war between the Church and witches, but Lou refuses to become a martyr. Forsaking her coven, she escapes to the gloomy city of Cesarine and hides her magic as a thief in the criminal underworld. But life in Cesarine has its own dangers. Huntsmen roam the city revered as holy men. Witches burn without trial. And the Archbishop, the Church’s austere patriarch, revels in violence.

As a huntsman, Reid Diggory lives by one verse: thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.

He’s devoted his entire life to eradicating the occult and making his surrogate father, the Archbishop, proud. Finally given the chance to capture a witch of his own, Reid is devastated when a foul-mouthed thief thwarts him—and doubly devastated when she too disappears. Hell-bent on bringing her to justice, Reid vows she won’t escape again. But when Lou tricks him into public scandal trying to avoid capture, the two are forced into an impossible situation—marriage.

Marriage to a huntsman could provide real protection from the witches—if Lou can convince Reid she isn’t one herself. The secret proves difficult to keep as Lou begins practicing magic in secret within the heart of the Church, determined to prepare for her mother’s inevitable return. As time passes, however, Lou discovers yet another danger lurking: her own growing feelings for her husband. But Reid is still dangerous. He’s just as likely to tie her to the stake as defend her if he learns her true identity. With enemies closing in—and more than her own life at stake—Lou must decide who she can trust before it’s too late…and she’s not the only one with a secret.


For real though, I am currently dying for this book! EpicReads had a cover reveal post about it last week and described it as “A slow-burn romance between witch and huntsman, sworn enemies forced to marry if they want to survive. Bound as one to love, honor, or burn.” SLOW BURN! ENEMIES TO LOVERS!

I pre-ordered this book the moment I read that synopsis. And that cover y’all…DAT COVER THO! (that’s how the young kids say it, right?) That cover deserves a place of honor on my book shelves.

All I know is I’ll be stalking my mail person on September 3rd for my copy.

Pre-order links can be found on the publisher’s website.

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Book Couples

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is Favorite Book Couples! Okay, so…I kinda did this last week for my Friday Favorites post. BUT that post was short because I was having a meltdown over trying to figure out stupid InLinkz. So, here is a more comprehensive list of all the folks who make me swoon HARD!

FYI: This is a list of couples. Which means there are spoilers for who ends up with who. I don’t go into any deep spoilers of the books but I obviously name the couplings. The books discussed are: Godsgrave, North and South, The Wicked King, Mistborn Era 2, Mistborn (the original trilogy), The Last Magician, Red Rising Saga, Song of the Lioness quartet, The Immortals quartet, and The Infernal Devices.

  • Margaret and Mr. Thornton (North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell) – Okay, yes, a lot of this is based off the fact that I swooned HARD over Richard Armitage as Mr. Thornton in the BBC miniseries. But I still love these two!
  • Jude and Carden (The Wicked King by Holly Black) – HEAR ME OUT! Yes, Jude and Carden are toxic AF and I certainly don’t want a relationship like theirs…but it is SO FUN TO READ! It’s the whole watching a car accident thing, you know you shouldn’t be looking but you can’t tear your eyes away from the carnage. Give me that dramarama on the page, but not in reality.
  • Mia and Ashlinn (Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff) – Y’all, I did not see this relationship coming but damned if I didn’t love it the second it happened.
  • Wax and Steris (Mistborn Era 2 by Brandon Sanderson) – I have the worst memory so I can’t go into much of why I love these two I just know that when I think of them I get a sad little ache in my heart.
  • Vin and Elend (Mistborn Original Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson) – I DARE YOU TO FIND ME A MORE PERFECT COUPLE!
  • Esta and Harte (The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell) – Another that I can’t talk much about because the details are lost to time and crappy memory. But I do know there was antagonism and snark and that’s just how I like my bookish couples to start.
  • Sevro and Victra (Red Rising by Pierce Brown) – I love love love these two and if Brown harms either of them in the upcoming Red Rising saga books I WILL RIOT!
  • Alanna and George (Song of the Lioness quartet by Tamora Pierce) – these two are so damn cute and if I remember correctly there is much snark shared betwixt these two.
  • Daine and Numair (The Immortals quartet by Tamora Pierce) – Sooooooooooo…this one is maybe a teensy bit problematic with the age difference but WHATEVER! I think it was handled pretty well and I just don’t care because NUMAIR IS BAE!
  • Will, Tessa, and Jem (The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare) – These three give me ALL THE FEELS! This series makes me ugly sob every time I read it. Every. Single. Time.

I may be a bitter spinster but I do love to read about love! Who are some of your favorite literary couples?

Friday Favorites: Fictional Couples

Good Morning, my dear bookish people, and HAPPY FRIDAY!! I’ve been working on a project at work that is outside of my normal job and it has been kicking my brain right in it’s little brain pants. And my brain is in even worse shape now because I just spent an hour trying to figure out how to use InLinkz but like…I could not get it to work how I’ve seen it on other blogs. So for now, keep dropping your links in my comments and I’ll add them to the post. I know it’s kind of a pain, but I’m trying to figure out InLinkz for next week. My blood pressure is like through the roof right now from trying to make it WORK *flips table and walks away, mumbling about how things don’t work like they should*

Wow, I really ramble sometimes…MOVING ON!

Since we are in the “love” month the rest of the prompts for February shall be romantic in nature. Which considering my bitter spinsterhood is surprising. But I love a bit of love in my books. And this week we celebrate our favorite fictional couples. I’m going to be brief with my couples since I’ve already rambled quite a bit but I want to first say this post will contain spoilers for Doctor Who, The Infernal Devices, and Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2). I try really hard not to flat out say any spoilers, but in generally this post is kinda spoiler-y.

LAST WARNING: Spoilers for Doctor Who, The Infernal Devices, and Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2)

River Song and The Doctor

You might be thinking “But Kibby, this is a book blog? What’s with this television couple?” Well, I’m cheating a bit. When I started thinking of couple for this post the FIRST couple that popped into my head is River Song and the Doctor. And to be fair, there are Doctor Who books. Not that I’ve read any of them…but I know they exist.

From the moment River Song graced my screen in the Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead episodes, I knew that I was in love. And then the ending happened and I was BROKEN. Those who know me know that I have a particular appreciation for love stories that make me scream, sob, and generally question the cruelty of the fictional world. Honestly, just saying the phrase “Time can be re-written” makes me get all verklempt.

I am a big lover of time travel in general and the concept of a love story between two time travelers who never meet in the right order is just CATNIP for me. (Yes, I’ve read the Time Traveler’s Wife and LOVED it!) River and The Doctor are just so damn good together. I love the chemistry that River has with each of the Doctors, though I would have loved to see more of her with 12 (good god, the sass between those two is addictive). But at the end of the day, River and the Doctor are my forever OTP. (side note: I am 100% doing a River Song episode marathon this weekend)

Henry and Charlotte Branwell (The Infernal Devices)

Bet you thought I’d be talking about Tessa, Will, and Jem when I mentioned The Infernal Devices earlier, huh? Well, as much as I love that trio, Henry and Charlotte are the purest of pure cinnamon roll couples for me. They balance each other so wonderfully and every interaction between them in TID chipped away at the ice that encases my heart.

Chaol and Celaena (Throne of Glass, specifically Crown of Midnight)

Chaol and Celaena, as they were in Crown of Midnight, were one of my favorite fictional couples ever. And as I loved them coming together and being ridiculously happy, I also kinda loved the intensely tragic way they fell apart. Celaena attacking Chaol? “You will never be my friend. You will always be my enemy.”? The goodbye at the docks and the revelation Chaol gets? Ugh, I want to go reread this book now! So many people hate on Crown of Midnight but it will always be my favorite book in the Throne of Glass series. This is the hill I will die on.

Who are some of your favorite fictional couples?

Make sure to drop your links in my comments so I can add your Friday Favorites post to the post list!

Friday Favorites Posts from the book blog community:

ARC Review: Enchantée

This ARC was sent to me by the publisher at my request. The decision to review the book was my own. All thoughts and opinions in the following review are my own.

Enchantée
Author: Gita Trelease
Release Date: February 5, 2019
Publisher: Flatiron/Macmillan
Rating: 4 stars
Synopsis: Paris in 1789 is a labyrinth of twisted streets, filled with beggars, thieves, revolutionaries—and magicians…

When smallpox kills her parents, Camille Durbonne must find a way to provide for her frail, naive sister while managing her volatile brother. Relying on petty magic—la magie ordinaire—Camille painstakingly transforms scraps of metal into money to buy the food and medicine they need. But when the coins won’t hold their shape and her brother disappears with the family’s savings, Camille must pursue a richer, more dangerous mark: the glittering court of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.

With dark magic forbidden by her mother, Camille transforms herself into the ‘Baroness de la Fontaine’ and is swept up into life at the Palace of Versailles, where aristocrats both fear and hunger for la magie. There, she gambles at cards, desperate to have enough to keep herself and her sister safe. Yet the longer she stays at court, the more difficult it becomes to reconcile her resentment of the nobles with the enchantments of Versailles. And when she returns to Paris, Camille meets a handsome young balloonist—who dares her to hope that love and liberty may both be possible.

But la magie has its costs. And when Camille loses control of her secrets, the game she’s playing turns deadly. Then revolution erupts, and she must choose—love or loyalty, democracy or aristocracy, freedom or magic—before Paris burns…


Enchantée is an alluring debut novel from Gita Trelease that weaves its spell around the reader and transports them to the richly imagined magical Paris of 1792. From the small, run down family apartment on the poverty-stricken rue Charlot to the dangerously decadent parties and treacherous gambling tables at Versailles, we follow Camille Durbonne as she struggles to shed the weight of her misfortunes and create a better life for her sister and herself…at any cost.

Camille works la magie ordinaire to turn simple metal pieces into coins to support herself, her sister, and her drunkard brother. When her situation deteriorates, as tends to happen when you have a wasteral brother, Camille decides to work the darker magic of glamoire to transform herself into the Baroness de la Fontaine, thus gaining access to the gambling parties at Versailles. The more time Camille spends with the nobles at Versailles the harder it becomes to keep her two lives separate.

Some have said this book is predictable, and I will agree that at times it is. But this book reads so beautifully that it did not matter to me. I felt like I was walking through this novel with rose tinted glasses, everything was so deliciously described and exquisitely laid out that I didn’t notice any cracks in my path as I went along. One thing I’ve come to realize now that I’m done with the book is that there wasn’t a lot of character development in the side characters. Though I liked all the sides, they all lacked depth. Even the villain was pretty easy to spot and lacked the depth to make him truly villainous. But again, rose tinted glasses kept this from being bothersome to me.

I will say that the short chapters were the perfect fix for the pacing in this one. If the chapters had been 20 – 30 pages long like some books, I feel this novel would have felt like a slog. When I stepped back from the book after finishing it I realized that there was not much action in this book. But the quick chapter turnover gave the sense of urgency that kept me intrigued. There is also the slow build of revolution in the background of this story that pops in every now and then. And while I think it was well researched (I can’t say for sure how accurate the historical points were. I was stealthily reading paranormal romance books during my history classes in high school), the revolution honestly felt anticlimactic.

I think what surprised me most about Enchantée was the underlying current of addiction that ran throughout the story. Camille constantly has a running internal monologue about how much the glamoire takes from her and how she will stop once she has enough money. But as is usually the case with addiction, there is always another excuse to use again. (FYI: I have personal experience with addictions in various forms. I am not making this generalization lightly or without a base of knowledge.) Though there wasn’t a lesson learned about addiction and the resolution to the addiction in this novel was far too easy, it was still interesting to read Camille’s descent into the addiction of magic. I do wish that addiction could have been explored a little more in the story, but at the same time this is not the book to tackle the stark depths of addiction.

Enchantée is, at its core, a story about how hope and love can survive even through the darkest points in our lives. People make mistakes and hide truths and find themselves slowly draining away their souls to addictions, but there is still hope and love to be found.

I personally find Enchantée to be a strong debut novel from a promising author. Trelease weaves her words in such a way that one feels they are surrounded by the world they are reading. I thoroughly look forward to reading more from her in the future.

Friday Favorites: Books to reread

Hello, hello, and welcome to this week’s Friday Favorites! (if you are interested in joining in go here for the list of topics!) This week is a topic that is near and dear to my heart: books to reread! I know a lot of people don’t like to reread books because it keeps them from tackling the massive TBRs we book people tend to accumulate. For me though, there are some books that just dig their claws into my soul and I can’t help but want to revisit them.

In order to not let my TBR grow wild while I reread, I do all my rereads via audiobook. (Soapbox moment: AUDIOBOOKS COUNT AS READING. This is my opinion, I will not argue with people about it, and if this bothers you then kindly walk away. I’ve seen too much drama over this and I’m not here for drama. Sorry, but I feel quite strongly about this ¯\_(ツ)_/¯) I find that rereads via audio can give a whole other dimension to an already beloved story if the narrator is good enough. Okay, enough of me rambling. Let’s get to the good stuff!

The Illuminae Files by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (Narrated by a full cast…and sound effects…it’s the best thing ever)

The audiobooks of this series are so damn good I hardly know how to function when I listen to it. I’m not going to go into huge detail here because I’m working on a full blown blog post to exclaim about the sheer glory of these audiobooks, but let me just say: these audiobooks have blown my mind in the best possible and I will never be the same.

Red Rising Trilogy by Pierce Brown (Narrated by Tim Gerard Reynolds)

The Red Rising trilogy is brutal, brilliant, and so intensely emotional at times that I can barely stand it. Now imagine dialing that up to 11. That’s what Tim Gerard Reynolds does with his narration of this epic sci-fi trilogy. Reynolds’ voice evokes even more emotion from this story which is already ripe with sorrow, rebellion, joy, and pain. Reynolds has firmly established himself as one of my favorite narrators and I hope to listen to more books with his narration in the near future.

Throne of Glass series by Sarah J Maas (Narrated by Elizabeth Evans)

Never in all my listening, have I ever heard a narrator that more embodied the main character than Elizabeth Evans does with Throne of Glass. She IS the voice of Aelin. Evans is perfect for the snarky, self-confident, yet vulnerable voice of Aelin. I know that Throne of Glass is a “love it or hate it” series for most, but I hugely recommend trying the audiobook of Throne of Glass.

Mistborn (Original Trilogy and Era 2) by Brandon Sanderson (Narrated by Michael Kramer)

The Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson is damn near perfect. Add on narration by audiobook royalty, Michael Kramer, and you’ve got yourself perfection. I’ve actually only ever listen to these books, never read the physical copies. I’m going through and rereading the original trilogy right now with my reading group, the Sanderson Sisters, and am loving every minute of it.

Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling (Narrated by Stephen Fry)

I should first point out that the audiobooks of Harry Potter available in the US are narrated by Jim Dale. I’m sure he is a perfectly acceptable narrator but Stephen Fry, who narrates the HP books outside of the US, is so utterly phenomenal that I refuse to listen to any other narrator for this series. He nails so many of the different voices but still manages to imbue the story with that hint of whimsy that I associate with Fry. I sadly didn’t get a chance to do a reread of this series last year and I certainly will not let another year pass without listening to these books. HP FOREVER!

Honorable Mentions (aka audio rereads that I love but don’t have the brain power to write about )

  • Ready Player One and Armada by Ernest Cline (Narrated by Wil Wheaton
  • The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss (narrated by Nick Podehl)
  • The Immortals Quartet by Tamora Pierce (narrated by a full cast)
  • The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher (narrated by James Marsters)

Do any of you like to reread books? If so, which ones are your favorite rereads? And if you’ve done a Friday Favorites post be sure to drop a comment so I can add it to the post list!

Friday Favorite Posts from the book community!

Happy Friday, y’all! Wishing you a many blissful hours of reading this weekend!

January Wrap Up and February TBR

Well, bookish peoples, we have completed the first month of 2019. WHAT IN THE ACTUAL HECK? HOW IS TIME DOING THIS? *cough* Okay, I’m good now.

I’ve always been bad at keeping track of my book reading and buying, so I’ve never been one for monthly wrap ups, hauls, and TBRs. But this year I am trying to be more mindful of my consumption of books. So, welcome to my first attempt at a wrap up/haul/TBR on this little blog of mine.

January Wrap Up
Books Acquired: 11

Books Bought:

ARCs Recieved:

  • Enchantée by Gita Trelease
  • The Fever King by Victoria Lee
  • To Best the Boys by Mary Weber
  • The Merciful Crow by Margaret Owen
  • Smoke and Summons by Charlie N. Holmberg (I got this through the Amazon First Reads program)
  • Blood Heir by Amélie Wen Zhao (I just found out last night that this book is being pulled from publication at the current time so I won’t be counting it towards my stats for the month)

Books Read: 6 + 3 in progress

  • Kingdom of Copper by S.A. Chakraborty | ALL THE STARS! Read my review here
  • The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner | 3 Stars! Read my review here
  • Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa | 4.25 Stars! Read my review here
  • Warrior of the Wild by Tricia Levenseller | 1.5 Stars! Read my review here
  • The Armored Saint by Myke Cole | 4.5 Stars! Read my review here
  • (Audio Reread) Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff | 4.5 stars for the story, 5 stars for the audiobook performance (review for book is here, I’m actually working on a separate review of the audiobooks because holy hell are they good!)
  • In ProgressEnchantée by Gita Trelease | I am enjoying this book so damn much. Good chance this will be a 4.5 or 5 star read for me. As I said to Sabreena over at Books and Prosecco: The writing is so decadent, and it literally makes me want to drink champagne while I read.  
  • In Progress – (Audio Reread) Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. Since this is a reread I can still hold true to my 4 star rating of the book. I am confident in saying that I’ll be giving the audiobook performance a 5 star for this one as well.
  • In Progress – (Audio Reread) The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson. I’m doing this as a buddy read with my Sanderson Sisters. Two of them haven’t read this one before and one has. Really, I can consider myself as having not read it either because with the exception of a few random moments (and one BIG MOMENT from the end), I don’t remember much at all.

So, I’ve read six books and am in the process of finishing 3 more. Darn, I was hoping to read more than I acquired this month. Oh well, at least it’s not a huge gap in numbers. I wonder how I’ll do next month since it is a short one…


February TBR

My original plan for February was to read only books with tragic love stories. But then ARCs happened and I have a few that I need to get read and review ASAP. So, I have some heart breakers and some ARCs (which may also be heartbreakers *crosses fingers*)…and some books to finish from last month…

So, that’s the plan. I am pretty notorious for never sticking to a strict TBR, but I think I might be able to do it this month. GO TEAM TBR!

How did y’all do this month?

Book Review: The Armored Saint

The Armored Saint
Author:
Myke Cole
Release Date: February 20, 2018
Publisher: Tor.com
Rating: 4.5 stars
Synopsis: In a world where any act of magic could open a portal to hell, the Order insures that no wizard will live to summon devils, and will kill as many innocent people as they must to prevent that greater horror. After witnessing a horrendous slaughter, the village girl Heloise opposes the Order, and risks bringing their wrath down on herself, her family, and her village.

How does such a big story come in such a small book? The Armored Saint clocks in at just over 200 pages, but Myke Cole proves that you don’t need an epic length novel to pack a serious emotional punch and some stellar world building.

The Armored Saint is what I consider to be my first real foray into the grimdark realm. I didn’t much know what to expect. I certainly didn’t think I’d be crying over a mouse or gasping quite so loudly when a certain plot twist occured or having a sudden distaste for the word “knitting”. This little book dragged me through hell and I kinda liked it all the more for that. To steal a quote from the great Captain Hammer, “Not my usual, but nice.” (side note: if you do not know what Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog is go look it up NOW!)

Heloise is the heroine we need in books these days. She is isn’t perfect, but she, like so many of us, is trying to find their place in this crazy, messed up world. The world Heloise lives in is brutal in every sense of the word, but she has hope, even through all she suffers. She finds her strength to fight in the most badass yet tragic way. I’ve read books twice the length of The Armored Saint that didn’t have half as much character development for the main character.

Some may argue that the world building and characterization of the secondary cast was lacking. But I feel there was not a word wasted in this book. I called the world building stellar at the beginning of this review because in it’s simplicity, it is damn near perfect. Sure, I don’t know what the currency is in this world, but I can tell you that you certainly do not want to be a wizard and that the religion is super twisted. My imagination was able to weave quite the mind movie with the material it was given and that’s what matters to me.

My final thoughts are that this book is certainly not for the faint of heart, but I definitely recommend it to YA readers that are looking to maybe branch into something a little darker. I’ll definitely need a couple of fluffy books where there aren’t any horrific deaths before I start the second book in this series, Queen of Crows.

Top Ten Tuesday: Recent TBR Additions!

Oh hello Tuesday! Aren’t you just going so splendidly!! I didn’t think it was possible for a perfect day to exist! (FYI: I’m pre-writing this post so I’m trying to send out positive vibes to the future)

This week’s theme for Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl) is The Ten Most Recent Additions to My To-Read List! (I’m interpreting this as additions to my owned TBR) I’m trying to be better about buying books this year since I have the tendency to buy more books than I read. I have recently had a few additions to my TBR thanks to ARCs and some gift cards because those totally don’t count against my unofficial book buying ban.

  • The Binding by Bridget Collins – So, technically this one doesn’t come out in the US until April, but I ordered a copy from Book Depository because I CANNOT WAIT on this one. Go read the synopsis and try to tell me you don’t want to read this book immediately.
  • King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo – Do I even need to explain myself with this one? IT’S NIKOLAI FREAKING LANTSOV!
  • The Winternight Trilogy by Katherine Arden – So I’ve had The Bear and the Nightingale on my shelves for ages, but I just bought the last two books in the trilogy. I’m hoping to binge read them in March, while it’s still a bit chilly outside.
  • Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi – I was on the fence with this one for a while. There is a lot of hype around it and like I mentioned earlier, I’m trying to buy too many new books. But I’m in the middle of Enchantee right now and I’m really feeling the whole french themed story thing.
  • The Djinn Falls in Love and Other Stories by Various Authors – I blame this one on my deep love of The Daevabad Trilogy and the kindle sale I found it on. I’m trying to get into more short stories this year so hopefully I get to this one sooner rather than later.
  • The Fever King by Victoria Lee – I cannot begin to describe how stoked I am to get to read this one. It sounds like it has a good mix of science and magic and I do love me a good mash up.
  • Bloody Rose by Nicholas Eames – I bought this book thinking that it wasn’t part of a series…I was wrong? I feel like I’ve read people saying I don’t need to read Kings of the Wyld first but I don’t remember where I read that. And honestly, my brain could have been making it up just so I could buy this flipping gorgeous cover.
  • The Tiger’s Daughter by K. Arsenault Rivera – I have been eyeing this book for a little over a year. I finally pulled the trigger on buying it because the cover just draws me in and promises an epic story.
  • To Best the Boys by Mary Weber – This books sounds all kinds of intriguing. Girls dressing up as boys to enter a scholarship competition that is only for men. Oh, and the competition is a maze! So much yes!
  • The Merciful Crow by Margaret Owen – Let me just say that I audibly gasped when I opened my mail the other week and saw this ARC waiting for me. Ever since I read the synopsis I have been aching to read this. It’s not out until July but I’m reading this the moment I am done with any Feb/March ARCs that I have.

What are some books you’ve added to your TBR recently?