Book Review: Bring Me Their Hearts by Sara Wolf

Image result for Bring Me Their HeartsZera is Heartless.  As an unaging and unable to die servant to a witch Zera doesn’t have a heart and yet that is all she craves.  Her witch, Nightsinger has complete control over Zera and Zera serves her unquestioningly until Nightsinger asks her to infiltrate the noble court.  Her task to take the Prince’s heart and in return she will gain her heart and freedom.

Crown Prince Lucien d’Malvane hates the court and the nobles.  With every girl jockeying for a position at his side he wants nothing to do with the spring brides.  Until Lady Zera is presented with her inelegance and smart-mouth shes’s out for his blood.

Soon a game of cat and mouse begins between a Heartless and a boy who has everything.  The winner gets the loser’s heart.  Literally.

Bring Me Their Hearts was an amazing tale of struggle, heartbreak, and the darkness offset by light that makes up humanity.  The characters were stunning and their struggles were utterly real and heartbreaking.  The world the author created was unique and I adored reading about the struggles of a girl who believes herself to be a monster.  I could not put Bring Me Their Hearts down and when I reached the devastating end I came away wanting more of Zera and Lucien’s story.  The end was a massive cliffhanger and I desperately want another book because this story was stunningly brought to life.  What really made the book, though, was the characters.

The main character Zera constantly struggled beneath the weight of being heartless.  It was devastating to read about the hunger that constantly clawed at her and how she fought it.  She covered the darkness within her with jokes which made for some entertaining back and forths with other characters.  However what made her real was her desperate need to be cared for and loved. She wanted that, to not feel like a monster.  Zera believed herself to be a monster and yet throughout the book we begin to see her emerge and attempt to be human again.  She learns to love and it was a beautiful thing to read as Zera changed and grew beyond her heartlessness.  The character growth was phenomenal and I completely adored Zera’s character.

Related imageThe other characters were just as finely wrought what with their pain and heartbreak.  The emotional depth the author instilled throughout the book was outstanding, especially in the Prince.

Lucien, the Prince, wants to care for his people and he wants to live up to his sister’s memory.  We watch throughout the tale as his internal walls slowly break down for Zera.  However, at the end of the book, it is heart-wrenching to read about how he finds out that Zera is heartless and to see her as a monster.  Throughout the book, we watch as he grows and finds the courage to try to change his nation once and for all.  His character was outstanding and I simply cherished him as the love interest.

The other side characters were just as sensational as the two main characters.  They each fought their own demons and the book in no way hides that.  Some overcome their demons while some continue to fight theirs but it made each character unique and real.  The world was stunning and the characters all the more so.

Would I recommend this book? Yes, yes, yes, a dozen times over.

Advertisements

Books I want (I actually need them as much as I need air) in 2019

b3997daa-9d0d-41f8-bb8d-95b33a7afb80-yamostanticipated2019 (1)

2019 is here along with a whole list of books I want that are coming out this year.  I am sure that as the year progresses my list will just continue to get longer but for now it can be considered somewhat short.  Below is my compiled list so far along with the books release dates.

Capturing the Devil by Kerri Maniscalco – September 10th, 2019

Children of Blood and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi – March 5th, 2019

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi – January 15th, 2019

A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer – January 29th, 2019

Find me Their Bones by Sara Wolf – June 4th, 2019

Descendant of the Crane by Joan He – April 2nd, 2019

We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal – May 14th, 2019

Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson – June 4th, 2019

Courting Darkness by Robin LaFevers – February 5th, 2019

Blood Heir by Amélie Wen Zhao –  June 4th, 2019

Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly – May 28th, 2019

The Tiger at Midnight by Swati Teerdhala – April 23rd, 2019

King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo – January 29th, 2019

Warrior of the Wild by Tricia Levenseller – February 26th, 2019

Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim – July 30th, 2019

Sherwood by Meagan Spooner – March 19th, 2019

The Beautiful by Renée Ahdieh – October 8th, 2019

The Sword and the Dagger by Robert Cochran – April 9th, 2019

The Queen’s Resistance by Rebecca Ross – March 5th, 2019

Rage by Cora Carmack – June 11th, 2019

more……

 

 

 

 

Sharing Saturday Fifty

b85c677fab143d9f711029dbc3e3cc4e--silhouette-pictures-silhouette-art (1)

The second Sharing Saturday of the year has arrived and I am excited to share with you some of my writings.  I recently wrote a ten-page essay on Jack the Ripper, a serial killer whose identity has never been discovered.  This chapter of history has fascinated me since I read Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco and I have researched and written a lot about it.  So, today I will be sharing with you but a short paragraph about this famous killer.  Enjoy!

The Ripper’s crimes took place in London during the nineteenth century when technological advancement and new ideas began to flourish.  However, this also brought about a boom in migration and London became an overcrowded, dirty, and desperate place as poor immigrants fought for any way to support their families.  Chaos ensued, crimes spread like wildfire; robbery, theft, violence, vandalism and even murder were commonplace as people struggled to feed themselves and their families. Soon London became a haven for criminals and one of the worst parts of London was the East End.  From the depths of this place arose one of the most well-known serial killers ever: Jack the Ripper.

Book Review: Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

Image result for cruel beautyNyx has been raised to kill the tyrant, Ignifex, the demon king who has enacted his cruel bargains for hundred of years.  She is the one meant to kill him because of a reckless deal her father struck with him. Her mission is to kill him and reunite her kingdom which is sundered from the rest of the world.  However, Ignifex is not what she expects.  He quickly worms his way past her defenses and his castle of twisting mazes soon enthralls her.  But everything is not as it seems and as she uncovers more of Ignifex’s secrets Nyx begins to find herself unwillingly drawn to him.  But even if she can love her enemy how can she refuse her duty to kill him and save thousands of people?

Cruel Beauty was a wildly dark tale that completely entranced me through it’s vivid characters and sundered world.  I could not put the book down, desperately wanting to know what would happen.  The tale flew by in a whirlwind of opposites, betrayal, love, truth, and lies.  Endlessly the book kept distorting into new plot twists and vivacious creations.  The world and the heroes who were all guilty in their own ways worked together to form a tale from which I did not want to emerge.

The characters were charming, witty, and flawed.  Nyx, the main character is filled with hatred and pain for the family who never truly loved her and the fate that awaits her.  Throughout the book we see her grow to understand that the world is not completely black and white.  That the guilty can also be the innocent.  Her indomitable will and determination to fulfill her mission was admirable but what made her human was how she gave into feelings of malice, self hatred, regret, hope for forgiveness, and the knowledge that sometimes the world is a convoluted place.  Her character was offset by Ignifex and his shadow, Shade.  They were complete opposites of each other as two sides of a single person.  The witty banter between Ignifex and Nyx was wonderful and I quite enjoyed their game of trying to defeat the other.  The three characters were stunning and I savored reading their story.

The world building was definitely unique.  A small kingdom is cut off from the rest of the world and it all resides in a house which resides in that kingdom.  The unique castle and its many magical rooms was intriguing to read about.  The whole idea of a diminished world created a vivid setting for the tale.  Not to mention some of the story was built around Greek legends which added a wonderful mythological twist.  However, it was at times confusing as to what exactly the magic was and who the gods were and what they could do.  There were also a few plot holes that left me wondering.  It was slightly rambling almost like the castle within the book: constantly changing and at times completely absurd.  The author made up for these flaws through the amazing characters but the love triangle was still a little weird.

Despite this I loved Cruel Beauty and would recommend reading it.  It was darkly imaginative and is definitely worth the time it takes to read it.

Book Review: The Blood of Four Other Gods and Stories by Jamie Lackey

Image result for the blood of four gods and other storiesIn this collection of fourteen short stories inspired by African, Asian, and Native American myth and legend one will explore different realms of possibility.  From the cloud forest to crowded city streets these stories bring to life new fantasy.   New characters arise as brave as they are kind to counteract the forces of evil constantly threatening our world.  As these stories show the impossible it becomes the reality of possibility in the mind’s eye.  I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.  This book was published September 1, 2018.

This short collection of stories was interesting in a weird and not completely amazing way.  I was first drawn to the book through its title and the promise of short stories filled with magic.  I looked forward to the book and was quite excited to read it.  However, the book did not fully live up to my expectations.

First of all there was absolutely no character growth in anyone. The characters were just there and some of the stories almost seemed to just end but had no real ending.  All of the characters were blah for I as a reader could not connect to them and their troubles.  Not to mention most of the endings were either depressing, too much happily ever after, or simply not there at all.

However, the main thing that drove me to distraction was how in almost every story there was an incomplete transition where we just jump from one moment to the next and it was slightly confusing.  Like suddenly the main characters are getting married then one of them is dead due to a snake bite. 

Related imageAnother thing I hated was how some endings were just so abrupt.  It was like the author didn’t want to continue it and this usually resulted in there being no climax or plot to the short story.  For example one story was about a priestess who sacrifices herself by jumping into a volcano.  She lands on solid ground and has to climb up a ledge which she can’t see. And the story just ends with her climbing.  It made me want to cry for I wanted to know what happened to her but we will never know because the story just ends.

I will say though that I liked the ideas behind the world building and some of the stories.  I just felt that the author could have explored the worlds and characters more in depth creating short stories that allow the reader to become attached to that tale.  However, since this did not occur it just created stories that were just there and that weren’t that great.

In the end I cannot recommend this book.  It wasn’t the worst thing I have read but it wasn’t phenomenal. 

Sharing Saturday Forty-Nine

images (8) (1)

I have been so busy in the past few months that I have simply have not had time to post Sharing Saturdays.  So, I am going to start with the next Sharing Saturday after the last one even if more than a few weeks have passed.  And since it is a new year I have decided to share with you a slideshow of some posts from last year.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Book Review: Dread Nation by Justina Ireland

Image result for Dread Nation

Jane Mckeene was born two days before the dead began to walk the battlefield Gettysburg ending the Civil War and changing the nation forever. The safety of America depends upon a few and with the laws such as the Negro and Native Reeducation Act children are sent to combat schools. There are few other options available to Jane who is determined to be an attendant to protect the well off. For a negro like her, it’s a chance at a better life.

But she doesn’t want that life. She wants to go home to Kentucky but as families begin to disappear around the country Jane becomes embroiled in a political scheme to put the world back into its natural order. Soon the dead are the least of Jane’s worries for the living can be just as dangerous.

This book was phenomenal and much better than I expected it to be. The characters were totally awesome and the reimagined history was unique.  I loved reading about a different America. The book also confronted major ideas about race and the nature of humans. Overall it was a stunning tale that I would definitely recommend to others.

One of the main reasons I adored Dread Nation was because of the characters especially the main character, Jane. Jane was brave with a bit of a temper and she was an excellent killer of the undead. Her backstory was intricate and we as the reader were lied to about her past several times until the very end of the book. However, I really wanted to know more about her and Jackson’s past relationship. She carried her secrets and I liked how the book slowly revealed them. Jane’s character growth was decent as she continued to learn about the times that she lived in.

The other characters were also excellently rendered. Their pasts which intertwined with Jane’s intrigued me but sadly little was revealed about them. They were, however, all awesome in different ways by using the skills they possessed to their advantage.

Image result for i loved it gifBesides the characters, I loved the alternate history that the book portrayed. It included the undead and a hint of magic during one of the most interesting times in American history. It was excellently rendered and I loved reimagining the Civil War and the times after it. The book also included the topic of slavery and race which furthered the historical accuracy of the book since it was a major issue of the times. Dread Nation’s retelling of history was unique and thrilling and for that I loved it.

By the end of the book, I firmly decided that I adored this tale and hope for a sequel. I would recommend this book to one and all especially lovers of history.