The Burning Maze by Rick Riordan

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That could be my life motto, I thought: He takes a lot of damage.

Title: The Burning Maze
Author: Rick Riordan
Series: The Trials of Apollo #3
Number of pages: 448 (hardcover edition)
Good things about this book: I love mythology so I loved this book!
Bad things about this book: After you read it, you’ll know it.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

I have been postponing this review because I honestly didn’t know what to say. I don’t know if I can write one thing without sounding like I’m trying not to reveal a spoiler but by being evasive, it’ll be only too easy to spot the spoiler. The fact that I read a major spoiler before starting the book doesn’t mean I want other people to know it in advance. I like my reviews as clean as possible.

Apollo is in California with Meg and Grover to find and free the third Oracle. We’re meeting the third member of the evil triumvirate and it’s one I know from my high school days but that I have to admit not remembering much about. Once again, after a long time, our heroes and Lester, are venturing into Daedalus maze, one part that it’s burning by some mysterious energy force. They have to find out what that is, defeat it, find the oracle, free the oracle, listen to the new prophecy and proceed with their quest. Easy, right?

There’s never nothing easy when it comes to Riordan’s books but this time I was unprepared for what was to come. New friends and old friends, happy times and sad times, everything is put there to play with our heart because why make it easy to get from point A to point B? We have to suffer every step of the way.

I loved the oracle and the way she told her prophecies. It was original and so unnecessarily complex. I loved it to pieces! I’m a fan already. Hope to see more of her in the future. So now we have a new prophecy and the promise of old friends coming along on the quest against the triumvirate. The emperors are all there, all sadly alive, and we have only two books left to fight them, defeat them, and save the world. What can go wrong?

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Bloodline by Jordan L. Hawk

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5stars

I spoke thirteen languages, and yet I had no words to express what his presence meant to me. Griffin seemed to understand anyway.

Title: Bloodline
Author: Jordan L. Hawk
Series: Whyborne & Griffin #5

Number of pages: 237 (paperback edition)
Good things about this book: So many twists, so many great things happening.
Bad things about this book: Nothing, characters being immature is not really a bad thing if they understand their mistakes!
Do I recommend it? Yes! Of course!!
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

I have nine books of the magical and mysterious adventures of Whyborne and Griffin but I’ve had only read four of the them because I don’t want to live in a world of no new stories of those two sweet men and their love. But I couldn’t stay away long and now I have read the fifth book and it was a great decision.

It’s just a quiet October for our beloved couple and Whyborn’s birthday is just around the corner; yeah, they wish. This book could have been called Halloween from Hell! I had no idea so many things could happen in such a short book. That Widdershins is not a city that fools around. We open up with a celebration, we get introduced to Whyborne’s sister and long lost cousins from England, Whyborne’s brother is annoying as usual, and everything goes to hell.

Whyborne has grown so much as a character and in this growth he is making a few mistakes that are jeopardizing his life and his relationship with his lover Griffin and his friend Christine. He made me want to slap him; I understood why he was doing what he was doing, the wish to be free to use his magic without judgment, without hiding, so I let him deal with the consequences of his actions. I knew he was going to be okay in the end. He is sweet and caring, he is bound to take a few wrong turns, but he will learn from his mistakes and become a better man. That’s what makes him different from his hideous brother. Oh how I hate that man!

Lots of surprises and an ending that left me with butterflies in my belly and hearts flying above my head. And ending worth waiting for. I loved how Whyborne used his magic and there is so much potential of how many more spells he can learn to protect his town and the people he loves. The next books are going to be great and I will pace myself, of course, but I’m going to read them as soon as possible.

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Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare

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4stars

Sometimes some you have known all your life becomes no longer familiar to you, but strange in a marvelous way, as if you have discovered a beach you have been visiting all your life is made not of sand but of diamonds, and they blind you with their beauty.

Title: Lord of Shadows
Author: Cassandra Clare
Series: The Dark Artifices #2
Number of pages: 699 (paperback edition)
Good things about this book: I loved how we got to know more about Gwyn and other faerie mysteries.
Bad things about this book: The romance between some characters war totally nonsense and I hated it.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Rate: 4/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

Took me 20 days to finish this. Some days I didn’t want to pick it up, some other days I wanted to read it just to get it over with. It doesn’t mean I didn’t like it. Don’t get me wrong: there is much I liked but there was also a lot I didn’t. Too much unnecessary drama, the miscommunication, the lies, oh my how many lies and tricks. You’d think they’d learned not to do it after the disasters of the previous book but nooooo here we go again, hiding things, making the worst decisions, not thinking anything through.

Our teenage heroes have to venture into forbidden lands for a mission that will unveil plans and secrets from the Lord of Shadows, aka the Unseelie King. The Black Volume is still lost and it contains too many dark spells to be left floating at large. It doesn’t only contain necromancy spells but it contains spells that could strip shadowhunters of their angelic powers. That could be the end of the world and the dominion of the Lord of Shadows all over humans, shadowhunters and downworlders. I’m fascinated by the fair folks and I want to know everything there is to know about the king, the queen and their secrets. They can’t lie but they can deceive and they’re very good at that. I want to know what they are planning.

Julian sought Mark in the crowd on the steps. He was standing with his hands behind his back, exchanging a mistrustful look with a carved stone gnome. “Your pretense does not fool me, gnome,” he muttered. “My eyes will be upon you.”

You may think the Lord of Shadows is the most evil creature in the whole world and he is the one that is a danger to our teenage heroes, but you’ll be wrong!! The Dearborns and the Cohort were the most awful villains to ever have graced the pages of a shadowhunter book, in my opinion. So hateful and kick butt worthy! Everything was their fault, everything that happened in the last chapter was 100% their doing because they are megalomaniac racists bigots. The worst kind of human beings/shadowhunters.

The romance got to my nerve! That useless plotline of forced love that for me had zero chemistry ruined everything for me. I’m talking about Mark and Cristina obviously. I thought Cristina had more chemistry with a random centurion that she had with Mark. They don’t belong together and as much as I like Kieran (I like him A LOT), I think Mark needs to be by himself for a while and be a big brother. That romantic storyline felt so forced and pointless I sighed everytime I knew a Mark+Cristina moment was approaching. I like Cristina so I hope she finds happiness but, girl, you better keep looking. I know Mark is divine but you both are wrong for each other. Get yourself someone else!

Julian was the kind of person who could descend into Hell and come out with the devil himself owing him a favor.

I may be rambling but I got mad about that. Also about how stubborn Julian was being with the martyr mask he liked to wear. Bad decisions were made, that’s an understatement, and people got hurt. The ending did not shocked me, not much, because the internet is a source of unwanted spoilers you can’t avoid and I already knew a lot of things that were going to happen.

This review is only me being angry at the unnecessary love authors like to put in books. Like it’s so unlikely that two people meet each other for the first time, become friends, and NOT fall in love. What was I thinking? That happens all the time, right? Impossible for them to be, I don’t know, just good friends.

There are still 220 days left until the release of Queen of Air and Darkness that, if I’m not wrong, will be the last book of this shadowhunters trilogy. Am I worried? Oh hell you bet I am! But I’m also curious about a lot of things; I can’t wait to be angry at the forced love story, and to see those two parabatai be free to love each other without lies, curses or LIES. Did I already say lies? I thought it was worth repeating myself. I also can’t wait to see Ty and Kit’s friendship blooming. Those two are adorable and their friendship is worth every single cringe worthy moment of the unnecessary story line I have to bear witness to. See you in 220 days!

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A Wish Upon the Stars by T.J. Klune ☆

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5starsplus

We turn to you, the boy we lost, your body now littered with scars. We know what your bravery cost, and for you we wish upon these stars.

Title: A Wish Upon the Stars
Author: T.J. Klune
Series: Tales From Verania #4
Number of pages: 450 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: Everything. I’m telling you, EVERYTHING.
Bad things about this book: Nothing. It was hard to say goodbye but it also feels good.
Do I recommend it? Yes! Yes! Yes!
Rate: 5+++/5
☆: It made my “favourite books” list

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

BEWARE! This review will contain spoilers of the previous books and spoilers of this book because I must say things and the things I must say are spoilery.

This book deserves more than 5 stars and this series deserves at least a million stars. AT LEAST! I’ll say maybe 2 billion stars, maybe more. I have loved everything about it, everything: frustration and all. I have not loved a series as much as I’ve loved this one. Sure, you know how easily I give 5 stars to books but maybe it is because I read books I know I will like so the probability of a full star review is pretty high. I seem to know how to avoid books that make me mad but, alas, I have read a few that I wish I could forget completely but still haunt my everyday life. You know who you are, books, you know it and you should be ashamed of yourselves!

“How are you still alive?” Dimitri asked me.
“Sheer force of will,” I said cheerfully.

A Wish Upon the Stars is the fourth and last book of the Tales from Verania saga. I have read four magnificent books about a boy who happens to be a wizard apprentice and who, apparently, doesn’t know when to shut up. The things Sam says are things of beauty and perversion. Maybe more of perversion if I’m being honest and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Sam is a magical boy with feelings and so much love to give. Sam is also a very sexual being and he will make sure you don’t have any doubts about it. I have read things that had made me gasp, laugh, cringe and also made me horny. Sam and I, we are alike. The only difference is that he has a hunk of a boyfriend while me, well, I’m single and the world has decided I will remain that way until the day I die.

The third book ended on a very sad note; Morgan was murdered and Ryan was badly hurt. Our Sam made the only decision he thought was right so he ran away to the Dark Woods to join the Great White and the other dragons to train. Eleven, I repeat, eleven months later he resurfaces from his “training camp”, disheveled and with bushy eyebrows, more powerful than ever, now a wizard, and more scared of facing the ones he left behind that the super villain who wants to consume him and kill them all.

“I promise you, when I was in the woods, looking up at the stars, there is nothing I wished for more than you.”

I was scared, too. San ran away leaving only letters not really explaining where he was going or for how long. Gary and Tiggy were super mad, Sam’s parents grounded him for eternity, Justin was uncharacteristically huggy, and Ryan was furious for very valid reasons. I would also be super mad if the love of my life went away who knows where for who knows how long telling me to wait patiently. How dare he leave me? That’s not okay. Luckily, Sam returned with more magic and Ryan has a kink for magic so things resolved quite quickly and quite steamily. I saw a side of Ryan I liked, a new side of him I like because I already liked him a lot.

“Lady Tina,” I said. “How unfortunate that you didn’t pass beyond the veil overnight. I expected more from you.”

Sam feels a bit left out in this new dynamic, having been almost a year away while the world kept going without him. Two of his arch-nemesis are now all lovey-dovey with his friends. Lady Tina DeSilva is second in command to Ryan and Sam hates it. I would hate it, too. She was the bane of his existence for the last books. Okay, she repented, had a change of heart, etc etc. But she did unnecessary things. I wouldn’t forget and forgive that easily.

“I had a vision you would say that,” Vadoma said, the bangles on her wrists knocking together. “I have many visions about everything you say. None of them are good.”

Then we have Vadoma, the one who put Ruv in our Sam’s way, maybe also contributing to the fall of Morgan. Yeah, she was sort of bewitched by Ruv, but still, she was rude and that’s not okay. You don’t get to be rude to Sam because he’s precious and needs protection.

“There were spiders when Dad showed me the first time,” he mumbled. “I don’t like spiders.”
“Ah,” I said wisely. “It’s a good thing you’ve got us, then, eh? And by us, I mean Ryan, because I also don’t like spiders, so he can go first and scare them all away and make sure we don’t get bitten and die.”

The book has one main mission and two side missions. The one super important mission is to use the dragons to kill Myrin, of course. The two side missions are to retrieve Gary’s horn and to save the King from the Castle’s dungeons where he’s kept captive. They do get the horn after saving the King and they meet Randall again, and guess what, he had the horn and the story of how he tracked is something else. Randall is a phenomenal character and I love him and his old hairy face! The “ceremony” of reattaching Gary’s horn is one I will never forget. I keep picturing Sam bad touching the horn while it leaked rainbow fluid, and then putting it on Gary and Gary sort of evolving, all majestic and posing and with his ego so much bigger than before you didn’t think it could be possible.

“Gary Matthias Pontificus Esmerelda Juanita Lopez Alabaster Kennedy the Fourth!”

Gary’s full name. I’m so glad we know it now!

I haven’t found the kind of comedy T.J. Klune writes with any other author. It’s overwhelming. I think you love it or you hate it, there’s no in-between. I love it with all my heart. He mixes hilarious moments with moments full of sentiment capable of breaking your heart and, trust me, your heart will certainly break. Mine broke so many times since book 1. I’ve lost count. He plays with your feelings but you hang in there because he is so clever, he knows it, and he’ll do the story justice and you won’t be mad at him (so much). He knows he’ll make you hate him a little bit and I know he grins evilly when no one is watching because he knows all will be forgiven by the end of the books. You magnificent manipulator! You have a special place in my heart.

“He reminds me of you,” he told Randall. “Stubborn. Indignant. Mouthy. He speaks before he thinks and is more likely to ignore my orders than to actually follow them.”
I would have objected, but that was pretty much all true.

I’m realizing I didn’t spoil much of the book so now I’m going to list my favourite parts so this will become a real spoilerful review:

1- Sam promising himself that he’ll find a boyfriend for Justin and us maybe getting in the future a book from Justin’s pov with his own romantic adventures
2- Ryan proposing like the cheesy boy he truly is and being all heart-eyes for Sam even when he was angry with him. But of course you can’t stay angry with Sam; have you look at him? He’s adorable.
3- Sam wooing the guards promising slutty things was beautiful and so cringe worthy I’m still thinking about how slutty he truly is. And I’m loving it. I loved every second of that scene. And I loved how jealous Ryan got because his man is loved by many. Too many!
4- Sam using the ability to change his and other people’s appearances to make Lady Tina the ugliest man in existence. It was hilarious! And he made Justin bald. Sam, why are you doing this to me? Tears, I had tears rolling down my face it was almost poetic.
5- Randall asking a little too many times if someone had a reason for Sam and Ryan not to get married got me laughing hard. Randall is precious and his story with Myrin was so sad; he deserved to be loved more, to be chosen over power, not to be left behind. Myrin, you suck.
6- Terry, Gary’s twin brother wanting Ryan to “ride him”, if you know what I mean!!
7- Morgan of Shadows. Morgan of freaking Shadows to complete the happy ending we truly deserved. We suffered so much and that was our reward.

With this list, this long and probably incomprehensible review gets to an end just like this series. I’m sad, of course, but I’m also happy because I don’t have to wonder if they’re okay and happy. I know they are. They will have bad days, they will have to face adversities, probably random kidnappings, but they will be victorious. They have each other, they have love and they are loved. There’s really nothing that puts a bigger smile on my face than seeing all of them, Sam, Ryan, Gary, Tiggy, Justin, Morgan, Randall, Sam’s parents, the King, be as happier as they can be in a world that wanted to put a destiny set in stone in their way. But stone crumbles, right? It sure did. Stone crumbled and if it didn’t, I was ready to magically teleport myself inside the book and punch it until it did. I was going to get my happy ending one way or the other.

“I’m in control of my own destiny. My path may have been set in stone, but stone crumbles, and sometimes we have to forge our own way through.”

Farewell Verania. You’ll be missed, and if we’re going to meet again I hope it’s not very far in the future. I can wait, though, because I know it’ll be worth it.

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Where Death Meets the Devil by L.J. Hayward

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5stars

“I trust you, Jack.”
“You’ve said that before, then shot me.”
“For which I apologised.”

Title: Where Death Meets the Devil
Author: L.J. Hayward
Number of pages: 395 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: Fast paced, super intriguing, full of action.
Bad things about this book: I wanted more but then two sequels were announced so it’s okay now.
Do I recommend it? Yes, but be prepared.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

Of all the possible endings I could’ve thought of, this was certainly the most coherent to the character’s personalities. The last sentences took away the physical pain I was feeling not knowing which way things could go. I didn’t expect things to go the way they did, and I didn’t expect all the twists, lies, betrayals that were hidden behind not enough concealed bushes along the way.

The day Ethan Blade did something straightforward would be the day the Devil started knitting.

Jack is undercover and his cover is blown thanks to a famous assassin called Ethan Blade who is everything and nothing Jack expected in a cold-blooded killer, as cliché as it may seem. They fight and it seems that they lie and betray each other every other minute. Nothing is as it seems and everything can go wrong. I was afraid the ending was not going to be like I pictured it because things kept happening and the ending was so near it wasn’t possible! Impossible, though, isn’t in Ethan’s vocabulary; Ethan with his British accent and white eyes, and his mystery past. Jack can’t trust him but he can’t fight alone so he must join forces to try staying alive.

This was . . . was . . . intolerable, frustrating, personal. Wonderful. Arousing.

I would’ve loved reading some chapters in Ethan’s pov because he intrigued me a lot but Jack was such an interesting character that I was plenty satisfied with his side of the story. I still didn’t see many things coming and I liked that I was blind-sided. I love trying to come up with theories even if I then find myself sweating with fear.

My eyes hurt, I can barely see, yet I’m satisfied. I was afraid I was going to be disappointed. I wasn’t. My greedy brain wanted an epilogue but my heart knows it wouldn’t have made the story justice. There’s only one tiny thing that I think would have made the ending 100% satisfying. I wanted the both of them to do what Jack was always so much against on doing. I guess we can’t have it all, right? It was still perfect as it was.

Ethan could irritate a saint with nothing but politeness.

I’ll miss Ethan and Jack. I’ve come to enjoy their company. As crazy as they were, I liked them a lot.

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The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

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5stars

“Of all organs,” said Nehemiah Trot, “the tongue is the most remarkable. For we use it both to taste our sweet wine and bitter poison, thus also do we utter words both sweet and sour with same tongue.”

Title: The Graveyard Book
Author: Neil Gaiman
Number of pages: 327 (paperback edition)
Good things about this book: It’s magical.
Bad things about this book: The mystery that wasn’t really explained.
Do I recommend it? Yes, of course.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

A couple years ago I bought the audiobook and started listening to it but as it always happens to me with books I haven’t read before listening to them, I got distracted and kept losing parts of the narration. I loved listening to Neil Gaiman tell the story but his voice wasn’t enough to get me focus on the book. I gave up until I decided to buy the physical book and now I could read a story that really deserved all my attention.

Nobody Owens is quite an interesting boy; we read about him growing up in the graveyard after a mysterious man called Jack murders his parents and sister. As a toddler he was inquisitive and curious. As a pre-teen he was obnoxious and unnecessarily rebellious. As a teenager he made questionable decisions but was overall a nice kid. I came to like him and I cheered for him to have a happy life surrounded by people who cared for him. It was going to be hard and I knew that.

“You’re always you, and that don’t change, and you’re always changing, and there’s nothing you can do about it.”

I forgot about the mystery about Bod and why Jack wanted him dead after that first part and every time someone mentioned it I asked myself why it was so important to kill Bod. Why was Bod’s dead essential? I was curious. A lot, but then, in my opinion, the reason was not explained and the ending left me with too many questions. More than I’m used to have after finishing a book without sequels. That’s the only bad thing (if we can call it bad) about his book. The rest was exquisite and it gave me a newly found trust about Gaiman’s books with younger protagonists. I had a bad experience but I wasn’t going to let that ruin this marvellous author for me!

“You’re alive, Bod. That means you have infinite potential. You can do anything, make anything, dream anything. If you can change the world, the world will change. Potential. Once you’re dead, it’s gone. Over. You’ve made what you’ve made, dreamed your dream, written your name. You may be buried here, you may even walk. But that potential is finished.”

Now I have a couple Gaiman’s books on my bookshelves that require my attention and I need to finish reading his comic book Sandman that I’m reading so slowly I’ve been in stand-by mode for months. I can do it!

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Black Light Express by Philip Reeve

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5stars

He didn’t have a plan. He thought love and anger would be enough.

Title: Black Light Express
Author: Philip Reeve
Series: Railhead #2
Number of pages: 303 (hardcover edition)
Good things about this book: It’s the perfect sequel of Railhead with everything you didn’t think you needed.
Bad things about this book: The twists!!! How many can my heart take? (Not really a bad thing, I just like things being easy even when they never are)
Do I recommend it? Yes, it’s a great sci-fi book and it’s worth a chance.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

I’m glad I waited this much to read the second book of the Railhead series because maybe now I won’t have to wait long for the third and last book. It’s already the end. It’s never easy.

Zen and Nova took the new gate to an unexplored part of the galaxy and will meet quite a few interest characters. Their love is pure and adorable, never too much, never forced, just right for the kind of book we’re reading. There’s nothing wrong about two people loving each other even if the rest of the world may think it’s unconventional, with Nova being a machine and all. Their adventures in the Web of Worlds was fantastic and there’s so much they found out, so much that can change everything and maybe by changing everything, they will have to make sacrifices. I’m never ready for sacrifices.

Threnody Noon, new Empress of the Great Network, along with newly unfrozen criminal Chandni Hansa, will be forced to escape the Network to save their lives and their journey will intersect with the one of Zen and Nova. There’s only a tiny detail: Threnody was deceived by Zen in Railhead; he’s at fault for the death of her uncle, the previous emperor. She doesn’t like him and she wants him to pay for what he’s done.

While they are escaping, they found themselves in Desdemor, where the new gate is, and they go through it with a new character, one that will be my favorite from the time they met him, until the end of the book: the interface of Mordaunt 90. This guardian in the form of a magnificent golden man stole my heart. I was torn because guardians aren’t really trustful but there was something in him that gave me hope.

This book didn’t lack twists; right from the beginning things started to go wrong, everything seemed to fall apart very easily and I was scared because, if that certain thing happened, nothing could stop other bad things to also happen, right? I was on edge all the time.

I was scared for the humans, for the other beings, for the golden guardian, for the motorik, and for the trains! This is my first time being scared for trains but in this book they’re as important as all the other characters. They have personalities; they are smart and essential to the success of the various missions. The Damask Rose is as caring and witty as ever and there’s also a new entry: the Ghost Wolf. A black wartrain with fire in its engine! Not real fire, it’s only very enthusiastic. The trains are great and they also have villain counterparts in this book and you can’t help being afraid. You care for them as much as you care for the main characters. I just hope they’ll have a happily ever after!

This series is amazing and this book is even better than the first. I loved it. A lot of wth moments, lots of gasps, lots of “now what?”. Can’t wait to see how it all ends!

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