These Divided Shores by Sara Raasch

GoodReads Summary:
As a child, she committed unforgivable acts to free Grace Loray from King Elazar of Argrid. Now Elazar’s plan to retake the island has surpassed Lu’s darkest fears: he’s holding her and his son, Ben, captive in an endlessly shifting prison, forcing them to make a weapon that will guarantee Elazar’s success. Escape is impossible—unless Lu becomes the ruthless soldier she hoped never to be again.
Vex failed to save Lu and Ben—and that torments him as much as his Shaking Sickness. With the disease worsening, Vex throws himself into the rebellion against Argrid. The remaining free armies are allied with the stream raider syndicates—and getting them to cooperate will take a strength Vex thought burned on a pyre six years ago.
Imprisoned, betrayed, and heartbroken, Ben is determined to end his father’s rampage. Watching Elazar sway the minds of Grace Loray as he did those of Argrid, Ben knows he has to play his father’s game of devotion to win this war. But how can a heretic prince defeat the Pious God?
As armies clash and magic rises, Lu, Vex, and Ben will confront their pasts . . . or lose their futures forever.
These Divided Shores (Stream Raiders, #2)Review:
Okay honestly, I’m not even sure where to start with this review. This book was large. And overall, I really enjoyed it. There were a few little things that I didn’t like. The main one being Lu’s attitude. She had a few revelations about her past and they’ve really hit her hard. I can understand being thrown and upset by this for a little while, but she was made miserable the whole book, whiney and lost in herself. I honestly wouldn’t have cared if it had been for like the first half of the book at most. But it wasn’t really resolved.
I loved Ben and Gunnar. Their relationship and its development were 100% the best part of this book. They were two people from such different backgrounds and despite that, wanted to be together. I loved every word of their flirtation and ultimate coupling.
I’m going to keep this short because I took forever to write this review so I don’t have that much to say. I thought the political issues were wrapped up really well and I was very satisfied with how everything ended. I will definitely continue reading the work of this author.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

These Rebel Waves by Sara Raasch

Summary:
Adeluna is a soldier. Five years ago, she helped the magic-rich island of Grace Loray overthrow its oppressor, Argrid, a country ruled by religion. But adjusting to postwar life has not been easy. When an Argridian delegate vanishes during peace talks with Grace Loray’s new Council, Argrid demands brutal justice—but Lu suspects something more dangerous is at work.
Devereux is a pirate. As one of the outlaws called stream raiders who run rampant on Grace Loray, he pirates the island’s magic plants and sells them on the black market. But after Argrid accuses raiders of the diplomat’s abduction, Vex becomes a target. An expert navigator, he agrees to help Lu find the Argridian—but the truth they uncover could be deadlier than any war.
Benat is a heretic. The crown prince of Argrid, he harbors a secret obsession with Grace Loray’s forbidden magic. When Ben’s father, the king, gives him the shocking task of reversing Argrid’s fear of magic, Ben has to decide if one prince can change a devout country—or if he’s building his own pyre.
As conspiracies arise, Lu, Vex, and Ben will have to decide who they really are . . . and what they are willing to become for peace.
These Rebel Waves (Stream Raiders, #1)Review:
These Rebel Waves completely blew me away. I read the majority of this book in one single sitting. I just could not put it down. The summertime is my favorite time to read pirate books. This didn’t completely satisfy that though. I thought there would be more pirates and more sea travel. It was more land-based and political than I anticipated. Regardless of that, I adored this book.
Adeluna or Lu, was such a compelling character. She’s torn between trying to be the good politician that her parents want her to be now that the war is over and being the spy that her father trained her to be during the war. She uses all of her skills to do what she feels is best for the island she calls home. She learns that things aren’t always exactly how she thought they were. I think it was really interesting to follow her as she learned more about the world she thought she knew and how those things change her. Learning about the things she’d gone through and done in the name of Grace Loray really made me feel for her. I just cannot wait to see how things play out with her in These Divided Shores, especially with what was in the final pages of These Rebel Waves.
Devereux or Vex was definitely my favorite. He’s a pirate with no alliances trying to escape the thumb of someone he doesn’t want to be controlled by anymore. I really enjoyed learning about him and his past. I liked seeing him admire Lu and her strength. I wanted more pirate business. I liked the view we got into his crew and the other raider syndicates but I wanted more of it. I was completely floored by the plot twist involving Vex, to the point where I actually sat up and yelled “WHAT NO WAY.” So, I cannot wait to see what happens next with him as well.
Now Benat or Ben. I really liked him as well. His story was probably the most compelling. He’s torn between falling in line with his religion, with his father, doing what’s expected of him and following what his heart is telling him, that his father is wrong and what he’s been told his whole life is wrong. I loved the inner struggle that he faced. I also loved what his decisions ended up being. I think he was the most complicated of the three main characters. I really enjoyed seeing his path finally intersect with Vex and Lu. His story, like Lu’s, was left hanging in the final pages so I’m dying to know what’s going to happen next.
Finally, the world. I was pretty confused about the world at first, but the further I got into the story the more the details came together. I think the world was interesting and I’m dying to know how things will be settled between these war-torn countries. The magic was a bit confusing. I wanted to know more. I want to know where it comes from and what it’s limits are. It is plant-based but too many things are left unexplained. I understand that it’s because the knowledge of the characters is limited and the reader only gets to understand as much as they do, but I think it would have been interesting to learn more about it.
Overall, I loved this book. These Rebel Waves was one that I devoured and I just could not put it down until I’d read every page. I suggest if you like political fantasy with a bit of pirates this is the book for you.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

ABC Book Challenge |I|

Hello, Bookworms! This week we are talking about books with the letter I.

For those of you that are new here – each week we post about books beginning with a specific letter of the alphabet starting with A all the way through Z. We’re going to mention one or sometimes a few books that were memorable with the letter of the week and also books that are sadly still living on our TBR lists. So without further ado.

Read last week’s post here.

This week’s letter is – I

Most Memorable Books

Amanda

Identical by Ellen Hopkins – This is my second favorite book by Hopkins. The story was incredible and really shocked me with its creative plot twists. I didn’t see any of the craziness coming that happened in these pages.

Incarceron by Catherine Fisher – I read this book (and its sequel) years and years ago when I got it from the library. The story has stuck with me so much so that when I saw them recently at my local bookstore I just had to buy them. They’re actually also on my TBR list for a reread sometime in the future.

Antonia

It’s in His Kiss by Julia Quinn – This was the first book I read by Quinn. I was probably only 16 or so and hadn’t read too much romance yet but couldn’t find anything at the library. The title was what made me pick it up first, then the summary sounded funny and within a day she was one of my favorite authors.

(The) Immortal Hunter by Lynsay Sands – This was also my first book by Sands. Yes, it’s technically the eleventh book in the series but they can all be read by themselves. These are not books with much depth in them but they’re amazing when you just want a quick, light read.

 

Books Still on Our TBR Lists

Amanda

Inferno by Julie Kagawa – The final book in the Talon series. I will eventually get around to rereading the whole series because I don’t remember anything that happened.

Ice like Fire by Sara Raasch – I loved this series the first time I read it. I read them when I was slacking on being a book blogger. So I’m planning to reread the whole series (this is the second of three) so that I can review them for all our wonderful readers.

Antonia

Inkspell by Cornelia Funk – I want to continue this series because the first book was really good.

(The) In Death series by J.D. Robb (Nora Roberts) – This is another series that I’ve started and would like to continue because the first was super good!

 

 

Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday – Bookish Mash Ups

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. Every week there’s a new topic where we get to choose our top ten and write about it. This week’s topic is top ten books I would mash together. I think this is a wicked interesting topic. I’m not sure how I’m going to go about it, so in no particular order, here goes!

topten
1. Rose Gardner Investigations by Denise Grover Swank & Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich – These are books about an aspiring private investigator and books about a bond enforcement officer. I think Rose and Stephanie would make one hell of a hilarious pair.
2. Renegades by Marissa Meyer & Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan, and Deborah Biancotti – Two different types of superhero books. Both with similar abilities, sort of. But the worlds they take place in are pretty different. I think it would be interesting to see these two worlds collide.
3. Meant to be Broken by Brandy Woods Snow & One Small Thing by Erin Watt – Both are novels involving girls who are struggling with their feelings about a guy. Both thinking that their feelings are wrong and should be stifled and ignored. I think the two female main characters would be great friends and would be able to help one another immensely by sharing their experiences.
4. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson & The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith – These are both murder mystery sort of books but with a ton of different subplots along the way. I think they would be interesting to see together. Seeing the characters with their hugely different personalities would be funny.
5. Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson & Confessions of a Murder Suspect by James Patterson – This is a choice for similar reasons to above except these are young adult murder mysteries. Again, the personalities in these stories would make for an interesting read.
6. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas & Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch – If the Sara(h)’s wrote a book together I would be able to die happy as soon as I finished it. These specific books would be so cool to see together. In ACOTAR, there’s Fae with seasonal courts and magical abilities and in Snow Like Ashes there are different kingdoms for the seasons with different sorts of magical abilities. I think they would mesh well together with the similarities in the stories.
7. The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare & A Shade of Vampire by Bella Forrest – Both of these series have a great variety of supernatural characters like vampires and werewolves and others unique to their books. Their also both full of headstrong characters that strive to do the ‘right’ thing at all costs. I would love to see these characters and worlds collide.
8. The Young Elites by Marie Lu & Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo – These two came together in my head because of their magic systems. Both books have people with abilities that are not accepted in their worlds. Both have fantastic villains. Now that I’m typing this, I would LOVE to see the Darkling and Adelina join forces and run the world.
9. Impulse by Ellen Hopkins & Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow – I really think that Charlie could have been another character in Impulse. She for sure could have been a fourth perspective in that story. These characters could all relate for sure.
10. The Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead & A Quick Bite by Lynsay Sands – I obviously had to throw my two favorite vampire worlds together. I think these worlds would be awesome to see together because of the different ways that vampires are created and the similarities that are already there.

This week’s topic was a hard one for me! I had a ton of fun looking at my shelves and thinking about all the different worlds I love colliding. I tried to pick bookish worlds that already had a little bit in common. I wanted my mashups to mostly make sense. Which bookish worlds would you want to see collide?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme formerly hosted by Should Be Reading and was revived by Taking on a World of Words. To play along, answer the following three questions and share a link to your post in the comments on her page. Enjoy!

www wednesday picture new

What are you currently reading? 

Amanda – So I haven’t actually started it yet, but I’m going to count this as currently reading anyway. The Heart Forger by Rin Chupeco is sitting on my coffee table waiting for me to be finished with this post and my homework and the laundry and the many other things I should (but probably won’t) get done before I can let myself read.

Antonia – I’m currently reading Soldier by Julie Kagawa. Technically I’m only a few pages in but this is the first one of the series that I’m not rereading so I’m really excited to see where the story takes me.

What did you recently finish reading? 

Amanda – I just finished reading The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco, (check out my review here.) I wasn’t crazy about it and I’m really hoping the second book is better and answers some of the questions The Bone Witch left me with.

Antonia – I just finished Rogue by Julie Kagawa. (See my review here.) This one was a really fun, action-packed read.

What do you think you will read next?

Amanda – This question has not gotten any easier for me the last few weeks. I just have so many options and have gotten so many new books in the last few weeks. I might reread the Red Queen series by Victoria Aveyard. I might reread the Snow Like Ashes series by Sara Raasch. I might reread the Talon series by Julia Kagawa. I might reread the Shattered Realms series by Cinda Williams Chima. But I really just am undecided, (but look at all the fun and awesome books you guys get to look forward to me reviewing!) Ask me again next week and maybe I’ll have decided.

Antonia – I’m pretty sure I’m going to stick with my Talon marathon and read Legion by Julie Kagawa the fourth book in the series.

What are your W’s this week?

Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday – Bookish Worlds

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 bookish worlds I’d want to (or wouldn’t want to) live in. I like both of these, so this week I’m going to do five that I would want to live in and five that I wouldn’t want to live in. Here’s my top ten for this week!

top ten tuesday picture

Bookish worlds I would like to live in

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas – Yes I know that they just went through a huge war and a ton of people died, but now all is hopefully well and I’d love to live here. I would love to get to visit all the different seasonal courts and the solar courts. I would also enjoy helping (or trying to) create a better world with the fae and the humans. Plus, who wouldn’t want to live in a world with Rhysand, Cassian and Aziel?

Harry Potter by J.K Rowling – Would I be a twenty something year old bookworm if I hadn’t read Harry Potter and fantasized about getting my letter and attending Hogwarts?

Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch – This is a world similar to ACOTAR with the different seasonal territories that I would love to visit. But in this book universe they have magical abilities instead of being Fae. So who wouldn’t want to have magic and be able to visit whatever season you wanted?

Zodiac by Romina Russell – One word: Space. I love outer space and most space themed books are ones that I’ll buy as soon as I know they take place among the stars. This book universe sounds so cool. The different zodiac planets with the different personalities, I just love everything about this series.

Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld – Superheros are yet another autobuy topic. So this book, while it’s set in a regular realistic world, it has kids with super powers. Yes, please?

Bookish worlds I would not want to live in –

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas – While I love these books and I love  the characters and the story, I wouldn’t want to live in this world. A world that’s on the brink of war and treats most of the people horribly. No thank you.

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir – Living in this super oppressive world? No way. I wouldn’t survive in this book universe for very long and if I did, I would be very miserable.

Moon Chosen by P.C. Cast – I love this story and all of the characters in it. But I definitely wouldn’t want to live in this ruined futuristic world.

The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead – This book universe seems how I imagine England in the 1800s. I’ve always said that I would live in that time period, but only if I was a woman of wealth. The same goes for this world except I still don’t think I’d want to live there because well, electricity and running water and the internet and all of the modern day amenities I probably couldn’t live without.

The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima – This book universe is one that I wouldn’t want to live in for one reason that I could use for so many other series that I considered putting here. I wouldn’t want to live in a world that was in the middle of fighting a war. Even though by the end of the series the war is over, there’s always going to be another war in these kinds of worlds even if that story doesn’t get written. Yes, I would love to see this world and meet the characters that I love, but I wouldn’t want to have to constantly worry about the next battle to be fought.

This week’s topic was so fun I considered doing one post with worlds I would want to live in and a different post with worlds I wouldn’t want to live in, but I just did five of each here. What bookish world would you or wouldn’t you want to live in and why?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

 

WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Should Be Reading. To play along, answer the following three questions and share a link to your post in the comments on her page. Enjoy!

www wednesday picture

What are you currently reading? 

Amanda- I’m currently reading nothing sadly. I am in between books and honestly haven’t decided what I want to read next because I have so many new books. I’m torn between Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth or rereading Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch. But that might change because I’m getting a delivery of books when my parents come to visit this weekend.

Antonia- I’m reading Master of Magic by Linsey Hall. It’s the fifth and final book in her Dragon’s Gift: The Valkyrie series. There are three series previous to this one that all connect and I really love seeing Bree’s story finally.

What did you recently finish reading?

Amanda- I finished reading A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas a few days ago. The review will be available as soon as I post the reviews for the books that come before it in the series.

Antonia- I just finished Beheld by Alex Flinn. I absolutely loved this book and will be posting my review of it tomorrow. (Review here.)

What do you think you’ll read next?

Amanda- Next I’ll be reading whatever I decide to pick up. Like I said above, I’m super torn between what I want to invest my time in next. I recently got my book collection back from being in storage  after moving all over. So it’s like having a whole new collection of books. I also bought a few new released as well as more books that are coming to me this weekend that were new when I bought them and just haven’t read yet. Someone come choose what to read for me because I just can’t make up my mind!

Antonia- Next I’ll be rereading Talon by Julie Kagawa. I read the first three books in this series years ago and now that books four and five are out I’ll be reading and reviewing all of them.

 

Tell us your answers to these questions and as always, thanks for visiting our blog.