Blogmas Book Review: The Ruby Circle by Richelle Mead

fullsizeoutput_238b

GoodReads Summary:
Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets – and human lives.
Their forbidden romance exposed, Sydney and Adrian find themselves facing the wrath of both the Alchemists and the Moroi in this electrifying conclusion to Richelle Mead’s bestselling Bloodlines series.
When the life of someone they both love is put on the line, Sydney risks everything to hunt down a deadly former nemesis. Meanwhile, she and Adrian becomes enmeshed in a puzzle that could hold the key to a shocking secret about spirit magic, a secret that could shake the entire Moroi world and alter their lives forever.
Don’t miss their unforgettable final chapter…
The Ruby Circle (Bloodlines, #6)Review:
The final book in this series, The Ruby Circle, was not my favorite. Honestly, I think things could have ended at book four with a great happily ever after. I still enjoyed it because I’m obsessed with these characters.
I’m going to start here and say like I did in my last review that if you haven’t read any of the books in this series you should stop reading now. I would write this without spoilers but that’s pretty much impossible at this point. So, if you don’t want to be spoiled please stop reading here.
Sydney really started to stand up for herself and I loved that. She asked for help when she needed it. She made deals where she saw they would benefit her and her loved ones. I just really love her. She’s brave and stubborn and does whatever it takes to reach her goals and protect those she cares about.
Adrian was honestly kind of losing it in this book. Spirit is starting to take over and I hated that. I hated that he let it get to this point, but I loved the way things ended. He proves again and again how strong he is, and that he won’t let spirit win.
The part of this book that I didn’t like about this book was Jill. She’s been kidnapped at the end of Silver Shadows and while it’s obviously a big deal, they basically do nothing about it until the end of The Ruby Circle. I just didn’t feel like it was a big of a deal as it was supposed to be. Everything else kept getting in the way. I think maybe this was because Sydney and Adrian weren’t allowed to help, so we didn’t get to see the start of others looking for Jill.
Overall, I still enjoyed this book. This series is one of my favorites and I’m really glad they have withstood time, unlike many other books. Richelle Mead is an incredible writer. She’s created such a loveable group of friends that manage to work past their differences and care about each other anyway. Also, Richelle, when are we going to get a series about Declan as an adult? Because I would make some serious sacrifices to the gods for another series in this world.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Blogmas Book Review: Silver Shadows by Richelle Mead

fullsizeoutput_238b

GoodReads Summary:
Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets—and human lives.
In The Fiery Heart, Sydney risked everything to follow her gut, walking a dangerous line to keep her feelings hidden from the Alchemists.
Now in the aftermath of an event that ripped their world apart, Sydney and Adrian struggle to pick up the pieces and find their way back to each other. But first, they have to survive.
For Sydney, trapped and surrounded by adversaries, life becomes a daily struggle to hold on to her identity and the memories of those she loves. Meanwhile, Adrian clings to hope in the face of those who tell him Sydney is a lost cause, but the battle proves daunting as old demons and new temptations begin to seize hold of him. . . .
Their worst fears now a chilling reality, Sydney and Adrian face their darkest hour in this heart-pounding fifth installment in the New York Times bestselling Bloodlines series, where all bets are off.
Silver Shadows (Bloodlines, #5)Review:
Man am I a sucker for a forbidden love. I’m just going to go ahead and say that if you haven’t read the Vampire Academy series or any of the books in the Bloodlines series you should stop reading this review now. It’s practically impossible for me to say anything about this book without spoiling things in the previous books. So, stop reading now and come back when you’ve read the books.
Sydney really broke my heart in this one. Not because of anything she did, but because of the things she had to deal with. She’s been taken by the Alchemists and sent to reeducation, a place that is basically the worst nightmare of the Alchemists. She endures it to the best of her ability. She’s stubborn and determined to help anyone that she can that happens to cross her path. Despite literally being tortured, she still manages to help her fellow Alchemists that have been sent to reeducation. I just love her more and more in each book.
Then there’s Adrian, who does not handle things as well at Sydney does. He basically loses his shit and I really had a hard time with his chapters. I was so mad at him that I didn’t even want to listen. I was so glad when he finally pulled his life together and came up with a plan to save Sydney.
As always, I adore all of the supporting characters. They’re such a tight-knit group of friends and I just really love them.
Overall, this one was probably my least favorite in the series, but that’s not to say it was bad. It was a four-star read, but I just didn’t love it because Sydney and Adrian were apart for most of the book. I did however absolutely adore the turn their relationship took after Sydney was away from reeducation. The end of this book was terrible. I just want them all to be safe and happy already. Richelle Mead really has a way of ending a book leaving me shrieking into the void. I’m actually listening to the final book in the series as I type this review because I just couldn’t wait.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Blogmas Book Review: The Fiery Heart by Richelle Mead

fullsizeoutput_238b

GoodReads Summary:
Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the wolds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets – and human lives.
In The Indigo Spell, Sydney was torn between the Alchemist way of life and what her heart and gut were telling her to do. And in one breathtaking moment that Richelle Mead fans will never forget, she made a decision that shocked even her…
But the struggle isn’t over for Sydney. As she navigates the aftermath of her life-changing decision, she still finds herself pulled in too many directions at once. Her sister Zoe has arrived, and while Sydney longs to grow closer to her, there’s still so much she must keep secret. Working with Marcus has changed the way she views the Alchemists, and Sydney must tread a careful path as she harnesses her profound magical ability to undermine the way of life she was raised to defend. Consumed by passion and vengeance, Sydney struggles to keep her secret life under wraps as the threat of exposure — and re-education — looms larger than ever.
Pulses will race throughout this smoldering fourth installment in the New York Times bestselling Bloodlines series, where no secret is safe.
The Fiery Heart (Bloodlines, #4)Review:
I’ve been rereading the Vampire Academy and Bloodlines series via audiobook over the last month and I’m just so happy that I still love these books just as much as I did when I first read them. It really had been so much fun getting sucked back into the incredible world that Richelle Mead has created. I can’t help but love these characters with my whole heart and feel like I’m just a part of the gang.
The Fiery Heart might be my favorite of the series (we’ll find out after I finish the last two books), because everything for Sydney is just perfect, right up until it isn’t. Mead has a way of pulling you into the story with her writing and not letting you go until the very last page. And even then, those last pages are always filled with things that leave you screaming and rushing to pick up the next book. I’d forgotten about this talent of Mead’s until I needed to stop listening to write this review before starting the next book.
Sydney has really grown and it’s clear in this story. She’s accepted that she might not agree with all of the things the Alchemists believe and that while she still agrees with some of the things, she was taught growing up, she knows that so much of the ideas and values instilled in her are wrong. I just adored this confident and clever Sydney that is finally starting to put herself and her wants first.
But then her sister Zoe is assigned to live with Sydney in her dorm and assist on the assignment of protecting Jill. Zoe complicates things because she still firmly believes in every Alchemist value and has a burning desire to please their father. This causes a bit of conflict now and again when Zoe unknowing rats on Sydney for doing things that aren’t entirely in her job description. I really wanted to like Zoe, but what she did in the last chapters of this book were unforgivable. I don’t remember anything that happens in the next books, so I’m interested to see whether or not the Sage sisters can fix their relationship.
Adrian is amazing. I love him. I will forever love him. He’s doing his best to stay away from drinking and smoking cigarettes. He tries to limit his Spirit use, and he even goes to therapy. He and Sydney are relationship goals. I was sad for them having to sneak around so much after Zoe comes to live with Sydney, but also very happy at the times they did get to spend together. They are just such a good team. They really bring out the best in one another and I adore them so much. My heart broke for Adrian with the cliff hanger in the ending.
The rest of the gang is as loveable as ever. Eddie is a forever favorite. He’s honorable and brave. Jill is finally starting to fit in. I would like to see a bit more interaction between her and Lissa, but I have a feeling that’s coming. Angeline was hilarious. She just adds the perfect amount of comedy to this series. She says ridiculous things and acts without thinking. Or with her own sort of thought process. The newcomer, Neil, was kind of bland, though I think that was intentional.
Overall, I would die any day of the week for every single one of these characters. Richelle Mead’s writing is so well done. Her characters are well developed and all around loveable. I cannot wait to dive into the next book.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday – Hidden Gems

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Each week we talk about our top ten with a different topic provided by Jana. This week’s topic is top ten – Hidden Gems books that haven’t been talked about as much or haven’t been marketed as strongly that I think deserve some recognition.
ttt1. Flamecaster (The Shattered Realms series) by Cinda Williams Chima – I love this series and this author. I just feel like I don’t really see her books advertised anywhere. I don’t see other bloggers talking about her books like I do. I definitely think she should be a more widely read author with the incredible worlds shes built full of diverse and loveable characters.
2. Bloodlines by Richelle Mead – This one I feel is always overlooked in favor of Vampire Academy. Because they’re part of the same world everyone turns to VA instead of talking about these books.
3. A Shade of Vampire by Bella Forrest – I found this series on my Kindle but it’s definitely one that I think more readers should try. The reviews vary but I think Forrest has built quite the reading adventure with this 50+ book series.
4. Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum – Buxbaum’s debut novel was so excellent. I thought I would hear more about it from my fellow bloggers. It makes me sad that I don’t hear more about it.
5. Sleeping Giants (Themis Files) by Sylvain Neuvel – I listened to this audiobook at the recommendation of a BookTuber (Thoughts on Tomes) but aside from the brief mention as one of her top audiobooks I haven’t hear others talk about this series. This is a mistake because Sleeping Giants was insane and amazing.
6. Moon Chosen (Tales of a New World) by P.C. Cast – I found this series outside of the blogging world. I haven’t heard a single blogger talk or write about this book/series. It’s a shame because they’re super interesting books with unique storylines and great character development. I can’t wait for the third to be released later this year.
7. Incarceron by Catherine Fisher – An older book, but still great. Creative and full of mystery. I don’t know why more people don’t talk about this story.
8. Talon by Julie Kagawa – While I see that her other series, The Iron Fey, get attention I never see bloggers reading this series.
9. The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa – See above comment.
10. Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld, Deborah Biancotti, and Margo Lanagan – With the superhero obsession that’s been going on the last few years I’m unsure how this series hasn’t made a bigger splash in the reading world.

What books do you love that you think deserve more attention?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

I Heart Characters!

I Heart Characters! is a weekly meme hosted by Dani @ Perspective of a Writer to showcase our book blogger love for characters! Each week she’ll supply a topic and we’ll supply the character. Post on whatever day suits you, about characters from whatever media you love (books, movies, K-dramas, television, manga, anime, webtoons, whatever!) and link up on Thursday so we can all blog hop and share the character love.

i heart characters

This weeks topic is Supernatural Hottie (Literally a character who is drop dead gorgeous and from a supernatural race or less literally a sexually diverse character who is a hottie).

Amanda- This is going to be obvious to those that read any of my bookish posts. I’m actually obsessed with the Darkling from Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo. I’m a sucker for a good villain and the Darkling is a great villain. I loved getting to learn more about him in the second and third books of the trilogy. He was a well-rounded character. Dark and mysterious at first but then we started to understand his motivations and the things that are driving him to be so horrible and evil and fantastic. Learning his backstory also makes you feel a little bad for him and want to love him and fix him and help him be good. I don’t know what it is but I really just love a good villain and the Darkling is a wonderful one.

Antonia- There’s just so many to choose from. Roth, the demon prince from The Dark Elements series by Jennifer L. Armentrout, has always been one of my favorites. I adored Adrian from The Bloodlines series by Richelle Mead since he was first introduced in the Vampire Academy series. Acheron from The Dark-Hunters series by Sherrilyn Kenyon was a supporting character throughout the series that I always swooned over and when he finally got his own book and I read about his absolutely heartbreaking backstory, it only made me love him more. Seriously guys, do you actually expect me to choose just one?

Thanks for reading! What characters would you choose for this weeks topic? Let us know in the comments or leave us a link to your post.

Antonia’s Top Ten Tuesday- Travel Bug

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week we’re given a new prompt for a top ten list of all things bookish. This week’s topic is – Top Ten Books That Awaken the Travel Bug in me. I had trouble with this one because most of the books I read don’t take place in the real world. So I came up with five books I’d want to travel to and five books I don’t.

TTT

 

Places that Awaken the Travel Bug in Me

 
1. Beastly by Alex Flinn- This is the only book that’s ever made me want to visit New York City even though it barely even takes place there. (The characters rarely leave the house.)
2. Paper Towns by John Green- ROAD TRIP. Their crazy, headlong trip up the East Coast (including pit stops timed to the second) just seemed like so much fun.
3. Friday Harbor series by Lisa Kleypas- I immediately wanted to visit this cute little island off the coast of Washington. I actually now live on another cute little island off the coast of Washington so I plan to visit Friday Harbor sometime soon. (It’s just a ferry ride away.)
4. Cousins O’Dwyer Trilogy by Nora Roberts- Ireland has always been at the top of my travel list but I’d love to visit almost all the settings from Nora’s books.
5. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen- Yes, I know this takes place in the past. However, the regency era books are the ones that always made me want to visit England.

Places that Don’t Awaken the Travel Bug in Me

 
1. Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout- I loved this series but most of it takes place in West Virginia which, no offense, but I have no interest in going to.
2. Bloodlines by Richelle Mead- I also loved this series but I’m definitely more of a beach girl. The desert just sounds awful.
3. Chasing Fire by Nora Roberts- This one takes place in Montana and I have never in my life thought to myself, “I’d like to go there”. (Again, no offense to Montana.)
4. Year One by Nora Roberts- Fantastic book. However, I could really do without two-thirds of the world’s population dying.
5. Maximum Ride by James Patterson- For me, this one’s mostly included because so many negative things happen to the characters that it skewed the way I thought of all the places they went to.

 

Well these are my answers for this week. I’d love to hear what everyone else came up with. Thanks for reading!

-Antonia

Antonia’s Top Ten Tuesday- Favorites From the Last Three Years

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week has a different prompt for you to make a top ten list about. This week is Top Ten Books You Would Classify As ALL TIME FAVORITE BOOKS from the past 3 years (you can extend it to 5 if you need to).
I expected this topic to be really difficult for me. When I saw it I immediately texted Amanda freaking out. But she didn’t panic with me; she simply pointed out that I reread alot of books. With this reassurance in mind, I sat down with my book lists from previous years, positive I could find ten favorites even if I had to use only rereads. Then a funny thing happened: I didn’t need any. Within ten minutes, I had ten books/series’ for my list with no need to use all the old favorites I’ve had for years. Which is how I’ve come to the conclusion that almost every book I read instantly becomes a new favorite. I’m still trying to decide if this has any downsides…
So here are my top ten all-time favorites from the last three years (in no particular order):

1. Bloodlines series by Richelle Mead- I love Sydney. I adore Adrian. This is a series I could read over and over again.

2. The Witness by Nora Roberts- My favorite Nora Roberts book. It has everything I love about her writing.

3. Seven Realms series by Cinda Williams Chima- These are the types of books I wasn’t expecting to like but as soon as I started I couldn’t put them down. I even had to take emergency trips to the library to get the rest of the books. It’s one of the most well-written YA series I’ve ever read.

4. Lux series by Jennifer L. Armentrout- This is another one I got because I was bored but didn’t have much hope for it. It was an instant favorite for Amanda and I.

5. Maximum Ride series by James Patterson- Everything about these books is amazing. They’re quick, fun, emotional reads that I would recommend to everyone.

6. Crown of Vengeance by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory- I was waiting a couple years for this book to come out and it didn’t disappoint. Lackey and Mallory can do no wrong together.

7. Looking For Alaska by John Green- Amanda spent years trying to get me to read this book but I kept putting her off. When I finally read it, I was instantly in love.

8. Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George- I didn’t expect to love this book as much as I did. Everything about it was perfect.

9. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith- I’d expected this book to just be a silly YA romance but it wasn’t even close. Smith took a childish idea, like love at first sight, and made it sweet and reasonable. I loved it so much I immediately went to the library to get her other books (i.e. #10).

10. This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith- I found this book emotional, funny, and romantic. I’ll definitely be looking for more of Smith’s books.

Do you share any of these favorites? Let me know some of yours in the comments. Thanks for reading.
-Antonia