The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

Summary:
France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever―and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.
Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world.
But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name.
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. SchwabReview:
There are some books I just don’t know that I’ll be able to succinctly write my thoughts and feelings about and The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue is one of those books. I’m going to do my best, but I’m sorry in advance if this review is mostly nonsense.
Addie LaRue makes a deal with a dark god (or a demon, honestly, I don’t know what the heck Luc is really.) But the deal isn’t what she thought it would be, so the story starts around 300 years later in 2014. Addie cannot be remembered. I think this part of the story was fascinating. The rules of how this worked were given to us slowly over time and I really felt for Addie. She’s lonely, but as we read more, we learn about her history with Luc (the dark god) when the story flashes back to the past. Their relationship is a complicated one and it was absolutely fascinating. But one day, Addie walks into a bookstore and the employee at the counter, Henry, does something odd. He remembers her. The story takes off from here.
Addie was a likable character. It’s easy to feel for her when she’s a young girl in 1714, she wants for so much, and is being offered the small life of being a wife and mother, things she’s never wanted. So, she prays to the gods after dark. Luc answers and grants her wish to be free. Except being ‘free’ has a cost. No one can remember her. Following Addie as she discovers the limits of her ‘freedom’ was heart wrenching but also fascinating. I really loved the contrast of Addie’s life in the past as she’s learning how to survive her new life, to Addie’s life in the present where she’s figured out how to survive. She’s definitely a morally grey character, in the sense of she’s going to do what she needs to survive. Whether that means she steals food and other things to keep her sanity, so be it. I liked Addie. She knew what she wanted from life and she made it happen. When things didn’t go as planned, she made the best she could with what she had. She’s a stubborn woman that didn’t just give up when things got hard, despite Luc offering her many outs.
Henry, the bookseller, was an interesting character too. His connections to Addie and why he can remember her was really well done. I didn’t guess it, but I had many theories until the truth was revealed. I think Henry was a likable character too. He just wants to be enough for the people in his life, but he never is. He struggles with addiction and I thought that was well written. I think Henry was a little bland, but generally a nice guy. But when the competition is a dark god, it’s a tough comparison.
Then there’s Luc. The dark god, or maybe a demon, who knows. He was such a compelling character. We learn more and more about him when the story flashed back to Addie’s past. At first, we’re led to believe that he’s given Addie this ‘gift’ and left on her own. But we see the two develop a relationship. I loved seeing Addie challenge him and their banter was excellent.
Overall, I really loved this book. It was a slow paced, character focused story, so not one that everyone will love. It was a quiet story, but thought provoking with complex characters. The writing was stunning and the magic (if that’s what it’s called) was explained well enough for me to be satisfied. I definitely think this is going to be a book that not everyone loves, but I loved it.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

The Ravens by Kass Morgan & Danielle Paige

Summary:
Kappa Rho Nu isn’t your average sorority. Their parties are notorious. Their fundraisers are known for being Westerly College’s most elaborate affairs. But beneath the veil of Greek life and prestige, the sisters of Kappu Rho Nu share a secret: they’re a coven of witches. For Vivi Deveraux, being one of Kappa Rho Nu’s Ravens means getting a chance to redefine herself. For Scarlett Winters, a bonafide Raven and daughter of a legacy Raven, pledge this year means living up to her mother’s impossible expectations of becoming Kappa Rho Nu’s next president. Scarlett knows she’d be the perfect candidate — that is, if she didn’t have one human-sized skeleton in her closet…. When Vivi and Scarlett are paired as big and little for initiation, they find themselves sinking into the sinister world of blood oaths and betrayals.
The Ravens (The Ravens, #1)Review:
The Ravens is a story of a sorority that is secretly a coven of witches. I thought this concept was excellent. I think the execution was done well too. There were a few things I didn’t like, but overall, I enjoyed the story. We follow Vivi and Scarlett in alternating chapters. Vivi is about to start at Westerly College and she’s full of excitement. She finds herself at a Kappu Rho Nu party even though she never really thought about joining a sorority. She gets picked to pledge and decides that she should try it out and see what happens. Scarlett is a Junior and she’s hoping to become the next president of the Ravens. There’s more to the Ravens than meets the eye, they’re secretly a coven of witches, a sisterhood with magical abilities through the elements.
So, I liked this book. I liked Vivi and her excitement at moving to a new place, one that she wouldn’t have to leave for four years. After moving around randomly her whole like she’s excited to settle somewhere of her own choosing. I liked seeing her settle into her classes and struggle with Hell week. She was a likable character. My biggest and only issue with her was about the magic. She grew up with her mom, who makes money doing tarot readings for people. She didn’t care for this. She never believed in what her mother did, thinking it was a scam. But when she is accepted into the Ravens she just rolls with the idea that she has magic and barely questions it before diving head first into the whole being a Raven idea. It bothered me that she was so critical of her mother but has no problem going all in when she learns she has actual magic. I still liked Vivi, but this rubbed me the wrong way a bit.
Scarlett has to be perfect. She has the perfect boyfriend. The perfect friends and grades. That perfection will continue as long as she secures her position as the next president of the Ravens. I really liked Scarlett at first, but she’s definitely a bit of the stereotypical stuck up sorority girl. She comes from a well-off family that has high expectations for her. She can never live up to the example of her sister. I wanted to like her, but she was so mean to Vivi over something so stupid. I sort of get it later in the story. But Scarlett was pretty mean to her right from the start. I think she definitely had some great characters growth out of that stuck up girl, but I didn’t care for her for most of the story.
Overall, I did really enjoy this book despite these complaints. I think it was a great story of sisterhood and growth. I loved seeing Vivi go through joining the Ravens and learning her magic. I think there were great developments with her mother too. I think Scarlett has some growing to do, but she’s getting there. I loved the magic. It’s all elemental, but the women can work as a team and do magic from other elements. I think this was a great story and I already can’t wait for the sequel.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Blogtober Book Review: The Deck of Omens by Christine Lynn Herman

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GoodReads Summary:
The teenagers of Four Paths must save their home.
Though the Beast is seemingly subdued for now, a new threat looms in Four Paths: a corruption seeping from the Gray into the forest. And with the other Founders preoccupied by their tangled alliances and fraying relationships, only May Hawthorne seems to realize the danger. But saving the town she loves means seeking aid from the person her family despises most–her and Justin’s father.
May’s father isn’t the only newcomer in town–Isaac Sullivan’s older brother has also returned, seeking forgiveness for the role he played in Isaac’s troubled past. But Isaac isn’t ready to let go of his family’s history, especially when that history might hold the key that he and Violet Saunders need to destroy the Gray and the monster within it.
Harper Carlisle isn’t ready to forgive, either. Two devastating betrayals have left her isolated from her family and uncertain who to trust. As the corruption becomes impossible to ignore, Harper must learn to control her newfound powers in order to protect Four Paths. But the only people who can help her do that are the ones who have hurt her the most.
With the veil between the Gray and the town growing ever thinner, all of the Founder descendants must put their grievances with one another aside to stop the corruption and kill the Beast once and for all.
But maybe the monster they truly need to slay has never been the Beast…
The Deck of Omens (The Devouring Gray, #2)Review:
The Deck of Omens was everything I wanted it to be. Check out my review which talks about how much I loved the first book here. In this second book, the Gray has started to corrupt the rest of Four Paths. Some really weird stuff is going on and no one seems to have noticed other than May. May is a troubled girl. She’s under her mother’s thumb, mostly because there is nothing more May wants than her mother’s approval and praise. Despite that, she’s starting to do things that she knows her mother wouldn’t like. One of those things is to call her father. He comes to town to help May, but there’s so much about May and Justin’s father that we (and they) don’t know. I thought the addition of the Hawthorne dad was a really interesting twist, especially when we learn all of his secrets.
I would still die for Violet and Harper. I thought Harper’s challenge of learning how to manage her abilities was a good one. She is pulled between Violet’s mom and Justin’s mom because they both want to train her. I loved the stand that Harper took in this situation. She made it clear that she was in control of her own life and her own abilities and I really appreciated that. Violet is still my favorite. She’s finally trusting her mom and they have a good relationship. But the more she learns about the history of the town and her ancestors, the more she realizes that she still doesn’t know the whole truth. I loved that Violet and Isaac spent more time together. Seeing Isaac open up to Violet literally set my heart on fire. I loved everything about their relationship. Isaac has had some really terrible things happen in his life. But he’s finally working toward doing better for himself, getting what he actually deserves rather than punishing himself for the past. But his brother, Gideon, comes back to town and that brings up all sorts of emotions for him. I liked seeing Isaac and Gideon because we get a new perspective on Isaac’s past from Gideon that we didn’t have before. I think Isaac had some tremendous character growth and I am so proud of him. I just really didn’t care about Justin at all. Christine Lynn Herman really hurt him, but I still couldn’t find it in myself to care.
Overall, I loved this story. I think it was a great conclusion to this duology. I loved these characters with my whole heart. They all grew so much and ended in a way where they made the best choices for themselves and I thought that was amazing. Please read this and love it as much as I do.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Lobizona by Romina Garber

GoodReads Summary:
Some people ARE illegal.
Lobizonas do NOT exist.
Both of these statements are false.
Manuela Azul has been crammed into an existence that feels too small for her. As an undocumented immigrant who’s on the run from her father’s Argentine crime-family, Manu is confined to a small apartment and a small life in Miami, Florida.
Until Manu’s protective bubble is shattered.
Her surrogate grandmother is attacked, lifelong lies are exposed, and her mother is arrested by ICE. Without a home, without answers, and finally without shackles, Manu investigates the only clue she has about her past–a mysterious “Z” emblem—which leads her to a secret world buried within our own. A world connected to her dead father and his criminal past. A world straight out of Argentine folklore, where the seventh consecutive daughter is born a bruja and the seventh consecutive son is a lobizón, a werewolf. A world where her unusual eyes allow her to belong.
As Manu uncovers her own story and traces her real heritage all the way back to a cursed city in Argentina, she learns it’s not just her U.S. residency that’s illegal…it’s her entire existence.
Lobizona (Wolves of No World, #1)Review:
What a wild ride this story was. Thank you to NetGalley and Alexis Neuville with St. Martin’s Press for providing me this eARC in exchange for an honest review.
I completely fell in love with this story within the first chapter. Manu’s struggle of being undocumented in the U.S. was heartbreaking. It’s something that happens to people every single day in this country and it’s absolutely horrible. Manu struggles with this, but loves her mother and respects her mother’s wishes. I loved Manu’s relationship with her mother. They were very close, despite the secrets between them. I was a little sad we didn’t get to see them together after they were separated when ICE took Manu’s mother away. But their love for one another was so obvious, it warmed my heart.
After ICE takes Manu’s mother, Manu finds herself in a world that was supposed to only be a myth. She lies her way into a school for Septimus. After becoming roommates with the headmistress’s daughter, Cata. Cata’s best friend, Saysa, decides Manu is going to be in their friend group. Saysa’s brother, Tiago (who I couldn’t figure out for way too long if he was Saysa’s brother or Cata’s brother) is a part of that group too. He’s the alpha of the pack and takes Manu under his wing. This romance was clear from the start and I really didn’t care for it because at their school everyone knows that Tiago and Cata are end game (but we find out some things that made this untrue and made me okay with their relationship). Though things weren’t kittens and rainbows when Manu first arrived, the four of them developed and really solid relationship, and I absolutely loved it. I loved that Manu finally felt like she had found the place she belonged. Sadly, this didn’t last long before she learned that once again, she was something that wasn’t supposed to exist, wasn’t allowed. I really liked that this book point blank discussed that immigration issues within the U.S. but it also talks about the struggle within a fantastical world. The world of the Septimus is a backward one. Men are werewolves and women are witches, there’s no room for discussion of changing these gender roles what so ever. Those in charge of Septimus are very strict in their thinking and the last person that tried to change the ways of the Septimus was Manu’s father, who Manu believed to be dead until she heard the rumors at her new school. I really liked the full circle of Manu trying to become the change right where her father left off.
Many people had issues with the fantasy world, but I really loved it. I really loved the comparison to Harry Potter and that the author had Manu be a fierce lover of the story so that Manu made the comparisons before the reader could. I thought it was an interesting world, hidden within the world we know today.
Overall, this book was heartbreaking but also incredibly fun. The found family was so wonderful, but there were also strong family values and I loved those too. The conversation this story brings to the table is a hard one but a necessary one. I really hope that so many other people will enjoy this book as much as I did.

Quotes:

“Deep down, we would rather be dreaming than awake.”

“You’re the spark we’re been waiting for—if you ignite, we will fan your flames. Otherwise, you’ll be alone in the dark forever.”

“But why settle for being a son of the system, when you can be the mother of a movement?”

“Plant your new garden with seeds of equality, water it with tolerance and empathy, and warm it with the temperate heat of truth.”

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

White Hot Kiss by Jennifer L. Armentrout

GoodReads Summary:
Layla just wants to be normal—fit in at school, go out on real dates and do other typical teenager things. Trouble is, Layla is anything but normal and her longtime crush, Zayne, treats her like a little sister. Half demon, half gargoyle, Layla has abilities that no one else possesses. And even though Zayne is a Warden, part of the race of gargoyles tasked with hunting demons and keeping humanity safe, Layla’s kiss will kill anything with a soul—including him.
Enter Roth—a smart-mouthed demon who claims to know her deepest, most dangerous secrets. Though Layla knows she should stay away, it’s tough when that whole soul thing isn’t an issue. Trusting Roth could brand her a traitor to the Warden family that raised her and destroy her relationship with Zayne. But with a violent demon uprising looming in the distance, kissing the enemy suddenly pales in comparison to the end of the world.
White Hot Kiss (The Dark Elements, #1)Review:
I just (like ten minutes ago) wrote a review for a different Armentrout book. I reread White Hot Kiss because I’m on a romance kick and this is sort of urban fantasy romance. This book takes place in a world with wardens (read: gargoyles). They fight demons that manage to come topside from hell. They are the good guys, right? The story being from Layla’s point of view makes them look not as good as they should. It’s interesting because she clearly idolizes most of them. But not actually being Layla, it’s clear that they’re not telling her the whole truth.
Layla was honestly a little annoying. She wanted to be a badass, but she was also kind of whiney. Her best friend, Zayne, kind of called her out on it too and I loved it. He told her that if she wanted to be treated like an adult than maybe she shouldn’t act like a child. She does grow a bit by the end of the book, but I’m hoping there’s more growth for her as the series continues. Now, the men. I’m not going to even talk about Zayne because he’s irrelevant in my opinion. Roth is end game and I love him. Sue me, I’m a sucker for the bad boy.
Overall, this was fun and entertaining. I’m definitely going to continue my reread of the series.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan

Summary:
Percy Jackson isn’t expecting freshman orientation to be any fun. But when a mysterious mortal acquaintance appears at his potential new school, followed by demon cheerleaders, things quickly move from bad to worse.
In this latest installment of the blockbuster series, time is running out as war between the Olympians and the evil Titan lord Kronos draws near. Even the safe haven of Camp Half-Blood grows more vulnerable by the minute as Kronos’s army prepares to invade its once impenetrable borders. To stop the invasion, Percy and his demigod friends must set out on a quest through the Labyrinth – a sprawling underground world with stunning surprises at every turn. Full of humor and heart-pounding action, this latest book promises to be their most thrilling adventure yet.
The Battle of the Labyrinth (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #4)Review:
The last line of this book’s summary says it all. The Battle of the Labyrinth was funny as hell and had my heart racing at every turn. I think this was my favorite book in the series so far. We will have to wait and see if the final book in the series can beat it.
I could not put this book down. I read it in two sittings.
Percy was our brave and clever hero, as usual. I grow to love him more and more as I get further into the series. The same goes for Annabeth. Except the dance that these two are playing where they can’t seem to talk about their feelings. That drives me a little crazy. But I love and admire their bravery. They make a really good team and I enjoy reading about their adventures so much.
I completely adore the way Riordan brings mythology into the story. Getting to see Calypso was really interesting to me. As well at Daedalus and his Labyrinth. He has such a talent for bringing the myths into the modern world. His world building probably my favorite thing about this series.
Overall, I still adore the characters. Riordan has a special way of bringing them to life and making you care about them even when they’re being annoying. The world building was phenomenal. The Battle of the Labyrinth was fast paced and absolutely thrilling. I cannot wait to finish this series and see what ends up happening to some of my favorite heroes.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare

Summary:
Innocent blood has been spilled on the steps of the Council Hall, the sacred stronghold of the Shadowhunters. In the wake of the tragic death of Livia Blackthorn, the Clave teeters on the brink of civil war. One fragment of the Blackthorn family flees to Los Angeles, seeking to discover the source of the disease that is destroying the race of warlocks. Meanwhile, Julian and Emma take desperate measures to put their forbidden love aside and undertake a perilous mission to Faerie to retrieve the Black Volume of the Dead. What they find in the Courts is a secret that may tear the Shadow World asunder and open a dark path into a future they could never have imagined. Caught in a race against time, Emma and Julian must save the world of Shadowhunters before the deadly power of the parabatai curse destroys them and everyone they love.
Queen of Air and Darkness (The Dark Artifices, #3)Review:
Queen of Air and Darkness is the finale of The Dark Artifices. This is why I’m just now reading it five months after it was published. I was not ready to torture myself with the things I knew were going to slay me. I was absolutely correct. I somehow read this 900-page beast in three days. I did pretty much nothing but read. I just couldn’t bring myself to stop. I needed to know what was going to happen. This honestly was the whole mood for the book and I think it really says a lot about a book. The Shadowhunter world is one that never fails to do this. The story and the characters suck me in and I enjoy being in the world so much that I just can’t seem to stop until I’m finished with the story.

“You may not yourself be luminous, but you are an extraordinary conductor of light.”

There is so much that happens in Queen of Air and Darkness that it’s impossible for me to talk about each part. All of the characters each find themselves off on their own sort of missions. They all have a part they need to play to prevent a civil war among the Shadowhunters. Or if your Ty to completely ignore everything around you to do something that is the most unwise. Every time I found myself thinking about how the current plotlines were going to weird places they were soon brought back to the rest of the story and the other characters. This is why the book was so big. There were certain parts that I thought maybe this wasn’t really needed and could have been taken out to make it a bit shorter, but after finishing I knew that every piece of the story was needed and made it exactly what it is.

“None of us are okay,” she said. “Maybe that’s part of it. When you’re hurting, it’s sometimes hard to see how other people may be hurting differently or worse.”

I do have to mention that I’d love to live in Cassandra Clare’s brain. The things and ideas that she’s come up for this story were WILD. I cannot wait to see what she’s going to do next with the next (last?) series. I’ve heard it follows Kit and Ty and the fact that there is no release date or even year makes me die a little on the inside.

“We all stumble around in the dark and we cause each other pain and we try to  make up for it the best we can.”

The characters are as loveable as always. I don’t know what it is but I find myself loving the supporting characters more than those that are supposed to be the main focus. In TMI I didn’t care all that much about Jace and Clary, but now when they appear in this series, I freaking adore them. I didn’t love Emma and Julian. As the books went on, I liked them less and less. I adored Emma in the first book and then as they fall in love I just didn’t like them as much. I’m not saying I don’t like them, but I honestly prefer every everyone else.

“Grief can be so bad you can’t breathe, but that’s what it means to be human. We lose, we suffer, but we have to keep breathing.”

I wanted more of Drusilla and Ty and Kit. I still liked them and I was happy with how their story turned out, but I know I’m going to love them more when/if they appear in The Wicked Powers. We get to see so many characters I love from previous books like Magnus and Alec, Simon and Isabelle, Jem and Tessa. I loved every page that these beloved characters appeared.

“You made me understand that love creates far more joy than any pain it causes.”

Overall, Queen of Air and Darkness might be my favorite Shadowhunters book to date. I loved the full cast of characters, new and old. I love the wild adventures they found themselves on. I love the racially and sexually diverse characters that we get to know and love. I cannot think of anything that I did not like about this book other than the fact that it ended. I’m really sad that this story had ended but I’m excited to see what Cassandra Clare is going to come out with next.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Crime of Magic by Linsey Hall

Summary: To solve this crime, I’ll have to risk it all

Training at the Undercover Protectorate’s Academy is kicking my butt. My sister aced it in a few months—but I’m lagging behind like a three-legged poodle at a greyhound race. I don’t want to have to leave my new home in this amazing castle, so I’ve got to get a grip on my magic. Soon.

When thieves steal valuable dragon magic, it puts our whole castle is put at risk. Worse, our friends are dying. It’s my destiny to hunt the thieves, but my boss doesn’t get that. When she tells me to stand down, I have to listen. And that means our magic keeps weakening, and our friends are closer to death.

Unless I ignore my boss… 

My home and friends are in danger, so I’m going rogue. Fortunately, I’ve got the sexy shifter mage Lachlan Munroe on my side. Together, we’ll race against time to solve this crime of magic.

Crime of Magic is a fast-paced urban fantasy adventure starring a kick butt heroine, a powerful hero, and magic that will blow your socks off.

Review: I blew through the second book in Hall’s Dragon’s Gift: The Druid series. All of these books are pretty quick reads but I finished this one even faster than I normally do. It was one of my favorites that I’ve read so far of Hall’s books.
I really enjoyed watching Ana finally start to gain a little control over her magic. In the first book she had so many doubts about herself that it was nice to see her start gaining some confidence. As with the first book, she’s trying to get a handle on her newly developing magic while trying to figure out which pantheon she belongs to. (Ana and her sisters are DragonGods, which means they possess the powers of the gods of whichever pantheon they belong to.) We sort of find out Ana’s pantheon at the very end of the book but I still have a ton of questions about what it actually means.
At first I was a little disappointed because this meant there wasn’t really any mythology in this book and that’s one of the things I love about these series. I ended up being really happy with the alternative though. Instead of mythology, Hall used twisted fairytales. Some were from old, lesser-known versions and some she simply put her own twist on but they were all really interesting and fun.
I still don’t know what I think about Lachlan. We don’t know too much about him yet which I hope is remedied in the next books. I like the stuff that I do know about him but, personally, I need more from the male MC. The romantic tension between Ana and Lachlan was done pretty well; enough small details inserted into scenes to show it’s something continually on their minds but not so much that it becomes overbearing and ridiculous.
Overall I absolutely loved this book and can’t wait to see where the rest of the series takes these characters. I’d recommend it to anyone who enjoys paranormal and urban fantasy though I suggest starting with the first Dragon’s Gift series. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments and thanks for visiting our blog!
-Antonia

*Please be aware that the book cover on this post is a link to purchase this book through Amazon. Feel free to purchase with our affiliate link (just click on the book cover) to support us!

Institute of Magic by Linsey Hall

Summary: Where winning means survival.

According to legend, I’m supposed to be some kind of all-powerful DragonGod—gifted with the magic of gods. Instead, I’m a dud. In fact, I’m currently failing out of the Undercover Protectorate’s magical institute.

It’s the supernatural version of Scotland Yard, and I’ve got one chance left to earn my place here. To do so, I have to compete in a deadly race across the world. In order to win, I need to survive. And I’ll need the help of a sexy and powerful shifter mage named Lachlan Munroe.

When we figure out that the race is rigged, Lachlan and I must rely on each other to make it through. But will I be able to learn enough magic to save my life?

Institute of Magic is a fast-paced urban fantasy adventure starring a kick butt heroine, a powerful hero, and magic that will blow your socks off.

Review: This is the first book in Hall’s Dragon’s Gift: The Druid series. It’s the fifth series she’s written connected by the same magical world and characters. This one follows Ana Blackwood as she tries to master her magical powers and save the world at the same time. I’ve been really excited for this series to come out because I’ve always loved Ana from the previous series.
First, I was a little thrown off by the misleading book summary. (Don’t you hate when that happens?) Mainly the bit about the “deadly race across the world”. When dangerous magic is stolen, the Undercover Protectorate is called on to help retrieve it. Everyone splits up into small groups and spread out to try to find clues and there’s also reward money for whoever actually retrieves the spell but they’re still essentially working together. As soon as someone finds a clue they let everyone else know and they all team up for the big fight. There’s certainly a lot of obstacles but nothing’s actually rigged. No, it’s not actually a problem. The description just had me expecting something like The Amazing Race and it was nothing like that.
I liked Ana as much as ever. Now that I got to see things from her POV, I hated seeing all the doubts she had as she struggled to fit everyone’s expectations of her. Her sister, Bree, has already come into her DragonGod powers; she basically has most of the powers of the Norse gods. Everyone’s waiting for Ana’s powers to expand too and find out which pantheon she belongs to but it’s happening a lot slower for her than it did her sister and she kept comparing herself to Bree and feeling like she was failing. I can’t wait to see how she grows in the next books and hope she gains more confidence in herself.
Lachlan is still a bit of a mystery to me. He’s crazy powerful but we’ve only seen a handful of the twelve powers he possesses. I also really like the way he and Ana interact with each other. I’m excited to see where their romance goes. I just didn’t get to find out too much about him yet so I’m reserving some of my judgement but I think I’m really going to like him.
Overall this was a really fun story. It followed the same basic setup as her other books but there’s enough differences between the characters and the details of the plot that I never feel like I’m reading the same story over and over. It’s a really quick, enjoyable read that I’d recommend to anyone who likes paranormal or urban fantasy.
I’d love to hear your thoughts. Thanks for reading.
-Antonia

*Please be aware that the book cover on this post is a link to purchase this book through Amazon. Feel free to purchase with our affiliate link (just click on the book cover) to support us!

Dragon’s Gift: The Valkyrie by Linsey Hall

Summary: From Book 1: I’ve got two choices. Join the Undercover Protectorate. Or die.

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In a world of controlled magic, I’m an Unknown. Deadly power, little control. I’m only alive because I pay a Blood Sorcerer to keep me hidden. But when he comes to collect on the debt I can’t pay, one of his goons slams me with a deadly curse. Suddenly, I’m out of options and out of time.

When I’m given a rare chance to join the elite Undercover Protectorate and train at their academy to become an investigator, I have a way to hunt the cure for the curse. They have resources I don’t. Easy, since I’m broke.

Seems like a good plan, right? At least, until they tell me Cade will be joining me on my hunt for the Blood Sorcerer. He’s an actual Celtic war god–and the hottest guy I’ve ever seen. The catch? I can’t let him know that I’m an Unknown, or I’m out on my ass and deader than Hades.

Undercover Magic is a fast-paced urban fantasy with a kick-butt heroine, a tough hero, and magic that will knock your socks off.

Review:
Amanda got me into Linsey Hall’s books on Kindle and I’m so glad she did. This is the fourth Dragon’s Gift series, each consisting of five books. It sounds like a lot but they’re very quick reads; I could read one in a day. Each series follows a different women as she tries to master her magic and defeat the evil she’s tasked with getting rid of.
Let’s start with the basics. I really enjoyed these books. They’re quick, funny, suspenseful and have some kickass heroines. I also really liked the world Hall created. It’s mostly based on our world but with a magical twist. Magical creatures of all kinds exist in secret; hiding among us or in hidden magical cities. This allowed Hall to do all sorts of fun stuff with history and myth. (Fun fact: Since Hall was an archeologist before she started writing, her books have a lot of historical accuracy and she includes a section at the end of the books where she explains the different connections to history and what she may have changed for creative reasons.)
Let’s start with Bree. I LOVED her and her sister Ana when they appeared in a previous series. They’ve basically been hiding on the outskirts of society their entire lives and because of this they’re a little awkward, a little crazy and completely badass. Ever since their older sister Rowan disappeared five years ago, they’ve been trying to keep it together while spending all their resources to find her. Unfortunately the series starts with them being deeply in debt to a bad guy because of it. Cue the Undercover Protectorate; a secret, magical organization that fights for the little guy and protects the world from magical threats. They find the girls to recruit them and end up helping them with all the problems that keep popping up in their lives, including finding Rowan.
Bree is awesome. She’s a fighter through and through, proven by the fact her fear response is to dive head first into everything. She works on this impulse control throughout the series which actually proves to be a VERY good thing during an especially surprising plot twist. She also starts to get past her (understandable) trust issues until she’s able to make a home with people she cares about. Bree had some really amazing character development.
Now I’ll talk about Cade, Bree’s love interest. Very swoonworthy. He’s an earth walking god; basically a mortal who inherits godly powers. At first I was a little annoyed. One thing I noticed throughout all the series was that we got these really powerful women who suddenly meet the one man who’s more powerful than them… I’m sorry, why can’t the women be more powerful and not have it be an issue? The one saving grace was that most of them either gain powers or come into their own more strongly until they’re at least level with the male MC. Once that started to happen, I liked Cade a lot more. He has his own trust issues and together he and Bree help each other to start working through them. He’s a tough guy and wants to protect Bree but understands that she’s her own person and has to fight her own battles. While he certainly saves her a few times, he never tries to stop her from going into danger which I thought was a refreshing change from what you frequently see in male MC’s.
Overall I loved this series. I really enjoyed all the mythology throughout it. Mostly Norse since that’s where Bree gets her powers but you get bits from several other pantheons as well. I’d recommend this series to anyone who likes mythology, urban fantasy, or the paranormal. I suggest starting with the first Dragon’s Gift series. You don’t have to read them in order but there’s enough crossover that some of it will definitely make more sense if you do.
As always, thanks for reading and please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.
-Antonia