The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin

GoodReads Summary:
This is the way the world ends… for the last time.
The Moon will soon return. Whether this heralds the destruction of humankind or something worse will depend on two women.
Essun has inherited the power of Alabaster Tenring. With it, she hopes to find her daughter Nassun and forge a world in which every orogene child can grow up safe.
For Nassun, her mother’s mastery of the Obelisk Gate comes too late. She has seen the evil of the world, and accepted what her mother will not admit: that sometimes what is corrupt cannot be cleansed, only destroyed.
The remarkable conclusion to the post-apocalyptic and highly acclaimed trilogy that began with the multi-award-nominated The Fifth Season.
The Stone Sky (The Broken Earth, #3)Review:
I really don’t know how to explain my feelings for this series. I think I do it better in my first two reviews because I liked the first two books better. That’s not me saying that I didn’t like this book, because I still gave it five stars on GoodReads.
But there were a few things I didn’t like about this ending. We get parts of the story that follow Hoa, one of the stone eaters. I definitely thought getting this history was interesting but I feel like adding this made it so the conclusion was really fast. I wanted more from Nassun and Essun’s reunion. I thought it all happened too fast.
Despite not liking this aspect, I still really enjoyed this book. I loved getting Hoa’s history. I thought it was fascinating to learn about how the current world came about. I also really enjoyed the different journeys of all of the different characters.
Overall, this series was full of incredible characters that I couldn’t help but love and a fascinating world that I loved learning more and more about. I’ve already ordered all of Jemisin’s other books and I cannot wait to love them just as much as I did this series.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin

GoodReads Summary:
This is the way the world ends… for the last time.
The season of endings grows darker as civilization fades into the long cold night. Alabaster Tenring – madman, world-crusher, savior – has returned with a mission: to train his successor, Essun, and thus seal the fate of the Stillness forever.
It continues with a lost daughter, found by the enemy.
It continues with the obelisks, and an ancient mystery converging on answers at last.
The Stillness is the wall which stands against the flow of tradition, the spark of hope long buried under the thickening ashfall. And it will not be broken.
The Obelisk Gate (The Broken Earth, #2)Review:
Just like the first book, I loved everything about this story. If it was reasonable to just copy my review for that here, I would totally do it. The Obelisk Gate was just as much of a wild ride as The Fifth Season. The world is just so fascinating there’s no stopping being sucked into the story, dying to find out more about what’s happening.
What I really loved about this book was that for some of the chapters we get to see what’s been happening with Nassun, Essun’s daughter. The way that Jemisin connects the two stories is mind-blowing. All of the little bits and pieces we’re getting to figure out just made me want to read faster and faster, but I’m loving the world and its characters that I want to slow down so I can stay engrossed in the story for as long as possible.
I really loved seeing Essun’s past come back to her present. It was one of the best parts of the story because it gave me some of my favorite things from the first book back.
I’m typing this as fast as I can so that I can spend more time reading book three before I have to go to bed tonight. I loved this world. The magic and politics were so interesting, but there’s also the way we’re left wondering how the world got to be the way it is. Some characters seem to know more about it and I’m dying to learn more.
This story remains incredibly diverse with race and skin color, sexuality, and gender identity. I loved this aspect so much. I loved how these things were made to be normal in this world.
Overall, I loved this book. I cannot wait to finish the series. The story just goes by so quickly because it is so easy to get pulled into the world with these characters. Jemisin’s writing is incredible. If I am ever half the writer that she is, it would be a wonder. I found myself not realizing that I’d almost finished the story. This is a world I never want to leave and will definitely be returning to.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune

GoodReads Summary:
A magical island. A dangerous task. A burning secret.
Linus Baker leads a quiet, solitary life. At forty, he lives in a tiny house with a devious cat and his old records. As a Case Worker at the Department in Charge Of Magical Youth, he spends his days overseeing the well-being of children in government-sanctioned orphanages.
When Linus is unexpectedly summoned by Extremely Upper Management he’s given a curious and highly classified assignment: travel to Marsyas Island Orphanage, where six dangerous children reside: a gnome, a sprite, a wyvern, an unidentifiable green blob, a were-Pomeranian, and the Antichrist. Linus must set aside his fears and determine whether or not they’re likely to bring about the end of days.
But the children aren’t the only secret the island keeps. Their caretaker is the charming and enigmatic Arthur Parnassus, who will do anything to keep his wards safe. As Arthur and Linus grow closer, long-held secrets are exposed, and Linus must make a choice: destroy a home or watch the world burn.
An enchanting story, masterfully told, The House in the Cerulean Sea is about the profound experience of discovering an unlikely family in an unexpected place—and realizing that family is yours.
The House in the Cerulean SeaReview:
T.J. Klune has quickly become a new favorite author of mine. This is only my second book written by him that I’ve read, but it was nothing short of incredible.
The story follows Linus Baker at his job with the Department in Charge of Magical Youth (DICOMY). He starts off as this incredibly boring man. One that does his job and goes home to his cat. A good man, he’s fair and kind, but he does his part for DICOMY and nothing more. That is until Extremely Upper Management sends him to check on an orphanage unlike any he’s been to before.
I immediately liked all of the inhabitants of the island. The children were unique and fascinating, which Linus agreed with, but he also knew that they were still just children. I really appreciated that fact because even though they were potentially very dangerous, they were still just children that wanted love and adventure. I really grew to love the children right alongside Linus. I thought the mystery of Arthur was well done. It was clear that there was something different about him, but we didn’t know what for a while. I liked that the mystery was drawn out, but not overly so. The way that Klune tells the story is just indescribable. He draws you into the world, makes you care about Arthur, Linus, and the children in a way that you just can’t help.
This whole world and all of its characters made this story perfect. It shares a message of love and acceptance. The characters are so full of life and love. They made me laugh and smile, and occasionally made my heart hurt. I think this is a story that so many people will love. I would recommend this to anyone.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

GoodReads Summary:
Far beneath the surface of the earth, upon the shores of the Starless Sea, there is a labyrinthine collection of tunnels and rooms filled with stories. The entryways that lead to this sanctuary are often hidden, sometimes on forest floors, sometimes in private homes, sometimes in plain sight. But those who seek will find. Their doors have been waiting for them.
Zachary Ezra Rawlins is searching for his door, though he does not know it. He follows a silent siren song, an inexplicable knowledge that he is meant for another place. When he discovers a mysterious book in the stacks of his campus library he begins to read, entranced by tales of lovelorn prisoners, lost cities, and nameless acolytes. Suddenly a turn of the page brings Zachary to a story from his own childhood impossibly written in this book that is older than he is.
A bee, a key, and a sword emblazoned on the book lead Zachary to two people who will change the course of his life: Mirabel, a fierce, pink-haired painter, and Dorian, a handsome, barefoot man with shifting alliances. These strangers guide Zachary through masquerade party dances and whispered back room stories to the headquarters of a secret society where doorknobs hang from ribbons, and finally through a door conjured from paint to the place he has always yearned for. Amid twisting tunnels filled with books, gilded ballrooms, and wine-dark shores Zachary falls into an intoxicating world soaked in romance and mystery. But a battle is raging over the fate of this place and though there are those who would willingly sacrifice everything to protect it, there are just as many intent on its destruction. As Zachary, Mirabel, and Dorian venture deeper into the space and its histories and myths, searching for answers and each other, a timeless love story unspools, casting a spell of pirates, painters, lovers, liars, and ships that sail upon a Starless Sea.
The Starless SeaReview:
I feel like I start all of my reviews for books that I really love the same way. And I’m going to do it again. I don’t know what to say about The Starless Sea. It was such an incredible story and I just don’t know how to convert my love and emotions into words. So, if you take one thing from this review, it’s that I loved this book and every single thing about it. It might have just become my new favorite book, definitely a favorite, but maybe even the number one favorite.
The Starless Sea follows Zachary Ezra Rawlins when he finds a door as a boy. He’s fascinated by the door, but for some reason, he doesn’t open it. When he realizes his mistake the next day and goes back to try to open the door, it’s no longer there. The story goes forward many years, and Zachary finds a mysterious book in the library. Little does he know; this is his key to finding another door (sort of). This book tells stories of the Starless Sea (an underground world that few find their way to. It’s home to stories, with many different moving parts which we get to learn all about.) After he’s read the book several times, he starts to do some research to try and figure out if he can find out more about what the book really is. It leads him down a rabbit hole of secret societies and many, many questions. I had so many questions throughout the story, and that’s something that usually drives me crazy because not many authors can slowly give the answers I want quick enough for me, but Morgenstern did it wonderfully. Just as I was getting frustrated with being so confused, I’d get a few pieces to the puzzle. This book was a story for all of the people out there that wished to escape into a world of stories. I dreamed of finding a place like the Starless Sea so many times when I was younger. I mostly liked Zachary. I liked that though he was so interested in finding the hidden world he missed out on when he first found the door, he was still skeptical. He asked questions and only sometimes let himself get pushed into stuff he wasn’t sure about. I loved all of the characters that Zachary met along the way. Dorian and Max were so different, but both made the story better.
I have to talk about the writing. It was nothing short of stunning on every single page. While we’re following Zachary, we also get other stories in between chapters. We learn about a pirate who is in love with a girl. We learn about Simon and Elenore who fall in love out of time. We get several fairytale-like stories that were beautiful and thought-provoking. But the best part was that every single one of these stories was relevant and added so much to the overall plotline. I loved how we didn’t know this, but while reading and putting the pieces together and thinks started clicking, that ‘aha!’ moment was fabulous. I loved how connected this story was. It was a beautiful way to learn the history of the characters (in a roundabout way).
Overall, I loved literally every single thing about The Starless Sea. It was pure perfection. I think I said it already, but this book may have bumped all other books out of their places for favorites. I loved all of the characters. I loved the in-between stories and how they were related to the rest of the story. The way the author managed to weave all of the stories and characters together I am blown away by the beauty of this story. It very quickly found its way into my heart and it will not be leaving any time soon. Please read this beautiful, stunning masterpiece so you can love it as much as I do.

Quotes:

“Not all stories speak to all listeners, but all listeners can find a story that does, somewhere, sometime. In one form or another.”

“But the world is strange and endings are not truly endings no matter how the stars might wish it so.”

“Strange, isn’t it? To love a book. When the words on the pages become so precious that they feel like part of your own history because they are. It’s nice to finally have someone read stories I know so intimately.”

“Be brave,’ she says. ‘Be bold. Be loud. Never change for anyone but yourself. Any soul worth their star-stuff will take the whole package as is and however it grows. Don’t waste your time on anyone who doesn’t believe you when you tell them how you feel.”

“For a while I was looking for a person but I didn’t find them and after that I was looking for myself. Now that I’ve found me I’m back to exploring, which is what I was doing in the first place before I was doing anything else and I think I was supposed to be exploring all along.”

“Once, very long ago, Time fell in love with Fate. This, as you might imagine, proved problematic. Their romance disrupted the flow of time. It tangled the strings of fortune into knots. The stars watched from the heavens nervously, worrying what might occur. What might happen to the days and nights were time to suffer a broken heart? What catastrophes might result if the same fate awaited Fate itself?”

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas

GoodReads Summary:
Bryce Quinlan had the perfect life—working hard all day and partying all night—until a demon murdered her closest friends, leaving her bereft, wounded, and alone. When the accused is behind bars but the crimes start up again, Bryce finds herself at the heart of the investigation. She’ll do whatever it takes to avenge their deaths.
Hunt Athalar is a notorious Fallen angel, now enslaved to the Archangels he once attempted to overthrow. His brutal skills and incredible strength have been set to one purpose—to assassinate his boss’s enemies, no questions asked. But with a demon wreaking havoc in the city, he’s offered an irresistible deal: help Bryce find the murderer, and his freedom will be within reach.
As Bryce and Hunt dig deep into Crescent City’s underbelly, they discover a dark power that threatens everything and everyone they hold dear, and they find, in each other, a blazing passion—one that could set them both free, if they’d only let it.
Review:
How do I even talk about this book? I’m undecided about whether or not I want to talk spoilers, so I shall start off spoiler-free and if I feel like I can’t get my thoughts across well enough I will clearly label when/if I start to talk about spoilers.
To start off, the world this is set in was a little confusing. It was unclear if it was supposed to be Earth in 15k years, and if it is Earth, are all of the continents in the same place? I was just a bit confused with the combination of fantasy with modern elements. Despite this, I really enjoyed the combination of fantasy and modern society. I thought it was really interesting to see modern technology within this fantasy world.
Let’s get into the characters. I loved Bryce. She’s a girl that presents herself in one way, a party girl. Everyone so easily believes that of her, underestimates her and I loved it. I loved her proving them all wrong. She loved fiercely and having lost her best friend, she’s just not okay. I adored her relationship with Danika. I loved the fledgling relationship with Connor and was totally devastated at their outcome. I loved how Danika’s journey was brought full circle.
Now, Hunt. He’s an interesting one. I feel like we didn’t get all of his history. We learned about his role in the Angel rebellion and I’m totally here for a man that fights for the right thing. I liked that he’s not perfect. Maas manages to write wonderfully damaged men that are so easy to love. I really enjoyed Bryce and Hunt getting to know one another past the party girl and the governor’s henchman.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book and I have a feeling the series is only going to get better (it seems to be the trend with Maas’s books.) I’m hoping she doesn’t follow the trend of changing the love interest because I really like Hunt and Bryce together. I thought the world was interesting and I’m excited to learn more about it.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Holy Sister by Mark Lawrence

Summary:
They came against her as a child. Now they face the woman.
The ice is advancing, the Corridor is narrowing, and the empire is under siege from the Scithrowl in the east and the Durns in the west. Everywhere, the emperor’s armies are inn retreat.
Nona Grey faces the final challenges that must be overcome if she is to become a full sister in the order of her choice. But it seems unlikely that she and her friends will have time to earn a nun’s habit before war is on their doorstep.
Even a warrior like Nona cannot hope to turn the tide of war.
The shiphearts offer strength that she might use to protect those she loves, but it’s a power that corrupts. A final battle is coming in which she will be torn between friends, unable to save them all. A battle in which her own demons will try to unmake her.
A battle in which hearts will be broken, lovers lost, thrones burned.
Holy Sister (Book of the Ancestor, #3)Review:
Holy Sister was everything I wanted and more. I am so glad to have found this series because it’s become an all-time favorite of mine, especially with this concluding novel. I have not a single negative thing to say about Holy Sister.
Nona, my girl, was kick ass and brave and loyal and kick ass just like she was in the previous books. I adored her and her relationships. She cares so deeply for the people she loves that she will risk her life for them again and again. She’s also so smart and somehow always managed to find her way out of the wild situations she gets into.
Holy Sister is told in two timelines. Three years ago, and present day. I liked this because ‘three years ago’ started us off right where Grey Sister ended. But we also got to see the current events and antics that the characters are getting into. I think Lawrence did the flashbacks really well, though I would have liked to seen more of Abbess Glass because she was a true Queen.
The world building was also incredible. We got to learn more about Zole and the ice people. I thought that was my favorite part. Learning about how her people have found things under the ice and learned how to use them to their advantage was so interesting. I wanted to know more about what was on the planet before the ice. All the talk about ‘the missing’ left me very curious to know more about them and the history of the world.
Overall, I adored this book. Nona will be one of my favorite characters forever. This world was fascinating and kept me interested the whole time. The magic was fun and complex but had limitations and rules. This is a series I will be recommending more often for sure.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.