Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones – Spoiler Review

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Helloooo. First off, welcome 2019! This is my first blog post of the new year so yay! I hope 2019 is being kind to you so far and I hope it will be a great year to come. Anyways, today I will be sharing my spoilery thoughts, opinions, and comments on the fantasy book Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones. If you haven’t read the book I will be providing a quick synopsis of the book and a snapshot of my overall, non-spoiler thoughts before I dive into the deep stuff so check that out below!

Wintersong takes place in the past in a small town in Germany where our main character, Liesel’s sister is kidnapped by the Goblin King; a monster she thought was only a story from her childhood but is now a nightmare come to life. She ventures to the Underground, the land of the goblins, to save her sister and return to the world above intact but like all adventures, it is never that easy.

Overall, I…did not like this book. It was slowly paced for the most part and our main character, Liesel, was not a POV I enjoyed. She was easily manipulated, whiny, and not too intelligent, making it difficult for me to care about whether she died in the Underground or not. I gave it a 2.5/5 stars because of that, but if you want to hear my SPOILER thoughts on it, keep reading!

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Let’s start with the overall story. Reading the back of this book, I was so excited to jump into this story of an evil Goblin King who steals our main character’s sister, drawing her into the Underground to save her sister before it is too late. However, while I was hopeful while reading the first 100 pages (even though they were some slowly paced 100 pages), I soon realized I shouldn’t be. Honestly, I don’t know how I kept reading and didn’t DNF this book. Anyways, back to the point. Liesel (our MC) ventures down to the Underground just before page 100 to save her sister and within a few pages of her being down there…she finds her sister who is fine, a little delusional, but for the most part completely fine. Okay, okay, Liesel apparently has to burn some of her music to find her sister but honestly, that’s a small price to pay for the life of someone she loves. Once Liesel finds her sister, Kathe, they kind of just chill down in the Underground for a few days, right under the Goblin King’s nose. The Goblin King is someone from Liesel’s childhood actually, so that plays into the plot when she gives herself up to him so her sister can safely return to the world above only a ten or twenty pages after Liesel finds her…which was weird to me because it was TOO EASY. Also, we only get a few glimpses into how the Goblin King is evil…most of those glimpses composed of malicious grins and his dark black eyes. Anyways, after this, the entire rest of the book follows Liesel moaning about how the Goblin King isn’t letting her pursue her music just like in the world above (even though that’s not true…he plays the violin all the time and wants her to write her own music/play music), about how ugly she is compared to her sister, and realizing she is madly in love with her captor and the man who stole her sister. But it’s okay because he’s HER Goblin King.

Everything in this book just happened so fast. Kathe getting kidnapped, Liesel finding her, Liesel freeing her, Liesel marrying the Goblin King, and then we had this looooong stretch of Liesel and the Goblin King just hanging around, and then Liesel escaping back into her world. Any action happened in a span of 2-5 pages, and then whatever else we read afterward was fluff and not necessary. There were a few good lines I tabbed, but overall, I was not impressed.

One thing that isn’t big but also really is because it contradicts the character S. Jae-Jones has built Liesel up to be, is when Liesel discovers her brother is dead…or has been dead for a long time and a changeling (I still do NOT understand what those things are honestly) has been acting in his place. Or at least, I think that’s what happened…honestly, lots of confusion occurred here for me. So, the whole beginning of the book it is conveyed that Liesel loves Josef more than anything, and protects him more than she protects Kathe. She gives up her own undying passion for music so her brother can pursue it instead, and grieves for him when she is in the Underground. AND THEN SHE FINDS OUT HE IS DEAD, CRIES A LITTLE BIT AND WE BARELY SEE HER THINK ABOUT IT AGAIN. Like honestly, she finds out the person she loves most has died, and kind of forgets about it because the Goblin King she loves so very, very much is there and he makes her a woman named Elisabeth, not a girl named Liesel. Yeah, I was weirded out too. This just annoyed me because we are made to think she cares about Josef so much, but her reaction to his death is really anticlimactic. I have a younger brother who is literally my life, and if he died…boy, objects would be thrown against walls, my heart would be breaking and my cheeks would be streams of tears.

Let’s discuss the Underground, the land of the goblins, which are ruled by a single Goblin King whose past we learn LITERALLY nothing about. Maybe it and he will be explained in the second book (which ha, surprise, surprise, I’m not picking up), but I still think it’d have been smart to introduce some backstory of him in this book to make him seem less, well, less FLAT AND BORING. I can’t tell you anything about this Goblin King accept he’s not as hot as Hans (who honestly, was such an UNNECESSARY character in this book. Will talk about more though…) but still pretty cute, and he plays the violin. Anyways, we also learn nothing about the Underground. I have no idea what it looks like. The only places down there described to us are Liesel’s room and the room in between her room and the Goblin King’s…that’s all I remember and can kind of picture in my head. So yeah, the Underground to me is composed of two, sometimes three (when Liesel wakes up in the Goblin King’s bed), rooms.

Okay, I need to talk about Hans. 1) Why is he in this book? That’s it. That is my only question actually. Like why, WHY, is he a character? He is introduced as the man promised to Kathe who honestly, couldn’t care less about him, but Liesel is secretly in love with him. Until Liesel is suddenly living a life right after her sister is taken where Kathe never existed in her family, and because of that, Liesel is pursuing music or something (I thought Josef was the reason she had to set aside her dream but I guess not?). In this weird life, she kisses Hans and I realizes she doesn’t love him. Anyways, why bring him in then? It would have been perfectly FINE to not set up the idea of Kathe being engaged to someone because it made no difference to the story, the Goblin King still took her, and it also would have been perfectly FINE if Liesel wasn’t in love with anyone before going to the Underground and realizing she kind of loves him instead. He served no purpose at all and was a waste of space in this book. Maybe he serves a purpose in the second book which then everything I said now would be kind of invalid (also not though because Jae-Jones could have just had Hans engaged to Kathe and that’s it), but STILL.

Anyways, this book had 400-something pages filled with a lot of nothing…oh wait, sorry, filled with a lot of contradicting or useless characters, slow and boring plot, and a flat world. However, I really did like the writing. It was lyrical and beautiful…my favourite type of writing! I apologize for being kind of harsh but this is just my opinion. There were a few lines in the book and even a few scenes I enjoyed in this book overall, again, those were just because of the writing. Overall, I gave this book 2.5/5 stars. Why did I not DNF this book if I hated it so much? Well, I really, really wanted to like it and I just hoped it would get better. It took until page 300ish for me to realize that wasn’t going to happen though.

Anyways, that is all for my spoilery review on Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones, and I hope you enjoyed! If you’ve read it, let me know your thoughts on it because I am really curious. From what I’ve read on Goodreads, people either loved it or hated it. Also, don’t forget to check out my last blog post, as well as my social media accounts linked down below. Thanks for reading 🙂

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To Kill A Kingdom by Alexandra Christo Book Review – Magical, Mythical, and Yes, Bloody

To Kill a Kingdom took me over 3 weeks to read, but I enjoyed those 3 weeks spent desperately trying to squeeze in time for this gory “The Little Mermaid” retelling. This is going to be a SPOILER review, but before I get into this, I’ll give a quick description in case you are interested in reading it but don’t really know what it’s about! My quick thoughts are that I really did like it and you should check it out if you like mythology, deadly characters, and a fast-paced plot.

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To Kill a Kingdom is a magical, mythical, and yes, bloody retelling of “The Little Mermaid” following our two main characters, Lira, a siren heiress who takes the heart of a prince for each year she has been alive, and Elian, the human heir of Midas but siren killer and sailor at heart. When Lira kills one of her own, her mother banishes her from the sea as a human with the task of retrieving Elian’s heart in exchange for her place back in the sea. But what happens when Lira finds a place with Elian and his crew? And what happens when they find out the truth of who she is; a siren on a ship of siren killers.

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After reading the first 50 pages of To Kill a Kingdom, I immediately thought “The Little Mermaid” meets “Throne of Glass”. It has the core story of “The Little Mermaid” and the initial drive and goal that our main character, Celaena, has in “Throne of Glass”. While I am not a huge fan of the Throne of Glass series, I did enjoy the first book though so I knew I would like To Kill a Kingdom. And I did! A lot!

One thing I appreciated about this book a lot is the consistency of the characters. Lira and Elian are both murderers and don’t flinch at the sight of blood. I was worried that as we followed them through the story, that they would soften a bit because of each other and their growing feelings, but luckily that didn’t happen. Well, I mean they did fall for each other but they were still themselves. Sometimes, authors kind of soften their characters personalities when a relationship forms but luckily, that was not the case for this book. When it comes to our two main characters, I am not sure I could pick a favourite. There were times I liked Lira more than Elian and times where I liked Elian more. I do love their names though, and for some reason that made me love this book even more. They were both strong-willed and brave and intelligent in a lot of similar ways which was interesting because I haven’t read many books where the love interests and two POV characters were THAT similar. It made for a nice connection at the beginning though because them being so similar meant they quickly understood the each other. I was really surprised to like them both equally because when it comes to having more than one POV, I rarely ever like them all.

One thing I was kind of sad about when it came to characters was the rest of the cast in this book. The sailors of the Saad just really fell flat from me and I didn’t connect with them at all. Maybe it was just me but I feel like they were just there. Kye and Madrid were close to feeling like real people to me, but only just when the book was wrapping up. That is one thing that disappointed me and kind of made me not love the book as much as I could of, but since Elian and Lira were such strong characters, it kind of makes up for it. Kind of.

The plot was a lot of fun and pulled me in from page one. I mean kickass sirens and a deadly siren queen? Yes, please. The story was dark from the beginning and for the most part, kept the darkness which was perfect considering most of the days I read this book were cold and wet. As Elian and Lira started actually liking and caring for one another though, the mood and atmosphere of the story got lighter, like the clouds of a storm were finally parting. I thought the pacing of the plot was fast but not too fast for the most part, however, I thought the last 100 pages just happened all at once. The author sped through them and there was a lot more telling rather than showing I found. This threw me out of the story a little bit, but I was so deep already that it wasn’t enough for me to put it down or anything luckily. When it came to that final fight scene though…that was a little fast in my opinion. I mean, I am not saying I want a long, drawn-out fight scene because ugh, boring. I just wanted a little more substance to it so it would slow down a tad. We finally got to the end and it was a battle between the sirens and the humans, mostly focused on Lira and her mother though. We got no insight really to what was happening around her and Elian, or maybe we did but it just wasn’t enough for me to really envision it! And then bam, Lira has convinced the sirens to join her side and turn against her mother. And then bam, her mother is killed. And then bam, story over.

I know I complained a lot towards the end, but apart from those last 100 or so pages, I did really enjoy this book. I just had some problems with it but hey, no book is perfect. Would I recommend this book? Yes! If you love myths and legends, especially The Little Mermaid but with a bloody twist, then give it a shot. If you have read this book, let me know what you thought in the comments! Or even better, if you have a review of this book as well, link it for me to check out. Out of 5 stars..this book would get a solid 4/5 stars!

Anyways, that is all for this review on To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo and I hope you enjoyed reading my thoughts. Let me know if there are any specific books you want me to read and review, otherwise, my next book review will (most likely) be The Light Between Worlds by Laura E. Weymouth sometime in late October! Don’t forget to check out my last blog post, as well as my social media accounts which are all linked below. Thanks 🙂

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Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire – Spoiler Review

I have been reading so many amazing books lately that I thought I would start doing book reviews! I used to do them way, way back but stopped because they do take a lot of time and effort, and I didn’t have the energy or motivation to pour into them, but lately I have been feeling like it so why not?

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Today I will be giving a SPOILER review on Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire so if you haven’t read it, don’t read much further, however before we get into that, here is  a NON-SPOILER short synopsis on the book:

Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children is a place for the children who have gone off to fantasy worlds and suddenly returned to the mortal world. Some hope for the door to their fantasy world to return and some don’t. Our main character Nancy has just returned and is sent off to the home for Wayward Children by her parents, and is one of the children anxious for their door to return. However, her welcome is not entirely pleasant when other Wayward children at the home begin turning up dead, different body parts missing on each one of them every time. With the help of new friends, Nancy and them try to unveil this mysterious killer before it is too late, in the hopes of saving the home and themselves.  

SPOILERY THOUGHTS BELOW, READ AT YOUR OWN RISK…

I had high expectations going into this book because everyone on all different platforms have been hyping it up like crazy. Long story short though, I did really enjoy it and thought it was a strange and unique read that is definitely worth it!

One thing this book did a great job at was diversity. Our main character, Nancy, was asexual which I do not see a lot of representation in YA books so that was great to see! We also had a transgender character named Kade, and queer representation in other characters. While this book is deemed fantasy, it made it feel more real having all this rep of real people, and it made me realize how badly we need more books like this in all areas of literature.

This book was super weird but in a dark fairy tale type of way that reels you in. The characters were strange, the world was strange, and the entire premise was strange, but that is the beauty about this book. It doesn’t follow standard YA rules I suppose you could say, and that was really refreshing.

The one thing I think this book suffered from, and if you read the book you could probably agree, is the length. This book isn’t even two hundred pages…crazy, right? And because of that, this odd and fantastical world didn’t feel fleshed out enough. We learn that there are four main areas of worlds, kind of like how we have north, east, south, and west, with worlds in between like Nonsense, Logic, etc. However, because of the short length, I never really fully grasped the worlds. Especially since we only got little snippets of what these worlds contained, like through Nancy’s flashbacks to the underworld type place she went to. And while I think the relationships between characters were well done because since we only see Nancy with these characters within the span of I don’t even know, a few days, a week? Well, because of that, the relationships weren’t going to be super strong. I did want to see more of Nancy and Kade’s relationship though, because I thought they were really good together!

The short length also made the big reveal of the murderer, being the quieter twin, less dramatic. I was still like “huh, wow”, but I only had a few pages to really feel that way. And right after the reveal, a few pages later, Nancy finds her world again and then bam, done. All within what, twenty pages? Luckily, this short length did not make me hate the book or anything, it just made me wish there was a little bit more. Even an extra fifty pages would have been nice, but at the same time I trust that the author thought this was best.

Overall, I do see myself continuing with this series, and would rate this book: 4/5 STARS

Please let me know your thoughts below because I would love to discuss!

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Legend by Marie Lu Book Review (Spoiler Free)

I recentlyLegend_Marie_Lu_Book_cover finished Legend by Marie Lu and I really enjoyed it. Don’t worry if you haven’t read this book because this is a spoiler free review but I definitely recommend you go and read this trilogy because it is so good!

If you didn’t know, Legend is about a boy named Day, who is a convicted criminal with more of a backstory then people think, and a girl named June who is highly looked up in their government. They both have two entirely different lives but when June sets out to take down Day she realizes he may not be the criminal everyone thought he was and shocking truths unravel about their government that she couldn’t even think of.

I thought this was a strong first book for this trilogy and I was satisfied with the outcome and how the story came along. Each character had their unique voice and I didn’t feel like they were blending together which is very important when you are writing a book in more than one point of view. This book totally spun a different way then what I thought and it was a really fun ride that I hope continues in the next two books! Overall I loved this book and think everyone should read it! 4.5/5 stars.

Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi Review

I just finished Ignite Me and it was so fantastic! Since this is the last book this will be a SPOILER review so if you haven’t read the book go and read it and then come back!


So I basically devoured this whole book. Like the first two, it was so poetically written and I loved it. It didn’t really feel like it was coming to an end but it did and that was sad because this book series is so great! In my opinion, I feel like Tahereh Mafi wrapped it up a bit too quickly but I still liked how everything turned out. Okay, now onto the main part of this book. The ships! I love Warner and Juliette together and I always have. They bring out the best in each other and even though Warner is perfect in my eyes, he needs someone to show his softer sides to everyone else, like Juliette. And Juliette needs Warner because she is stubborn and sometimes needs help to see the big picture which is what Warner does. One thing I do wish is that there were MORE relationships and not just the love triangle. I wanted to see Kenji with someone or even Winston, heck, maybe even James. The only person I did not want in a relationship was Adam, which he wasn’t, because he was very annoying and he needs to calm down before he gets into another relationship. Overall I thought this book was still a fantastic way to wrap up the trilogy, despite its minor flaws and I would give it a 4.5/5 stars!