The Ship of the Dead by Rick Riordan

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5stars

The world will end. The big picture cannot be changed. But in the meantime, as Loki once said, we can choose to alter the details. That’s how we take control of our destiny.

Title: The Ship of the Dead
Author: Rick Riordan
Series: Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard #3
Number of pages: 423 (hardcover edition)
Good things about this book: Funny, intriguing, mysterious.
Bad things about this book: The lack of fluidity of Alex seemed done on purpose. I didn’t like it very much.
Do I recommend it? Yes, I always recommend a Rick Riordan.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

As soon as I read this was going to be the last book of the Magnus Chase series I knew my book was going to be late because I’m lucky like that. I placed a pre-order that was mysteriously refunded a couple days before the release and that was the beginning of “The Epic Journey of Kristel and the missing Magnus”. It took it one whole spoiler-avoiding month to get here and now that I’ve read it my mind is trying to come to terms with what happened and is going to happen in the next Apollo book. I’m scared!

Magnus and friends are set to sail towards the place where they know the ship of the dead, made of toenails, is, defeat Loki, his undead army, and stop Ragnarok from starting. Sounds easy, right? No, it doesn’t, and it’s not even only those things they need to do. How do you defeat a god? How do you stop an army of zombies when you don’t have a plan? You wait for godly advices and try your best not to die in the meantime. That’s the plan; wing it until you win it.

My first task was my favourite one – getting out of the way.

As usual I loved Magnus, everything about him and his inner monologues. I also loved the whole set of characters accompanying him on this almost impossible quest; we get to know more about all their background stories, the way they died as heroes earning them a place in Valhalla. Each one of them has so much to give to this quest and each one of them is essential for this quest to be a success. I always love how the story is never about a single hero who magically wins everything: this is a team effort and I wouldn’t have loved it as much as I did otherwise.

Alex Fierro, Sam’s green-haired gender-fluid half-sibling chaperone of doom.

One thing I didn’t like was the Alex situation. Alex is gender fluid, right? So if you give us a character that is fluid then you have to allow them to be fluid, on page. When Alex was male it felt through the pages, he was different and I couldn’t wait to get to know him better. I have read books with gender fluid characters and their fluidity was wildly shown and we got to see every aspect of what made them the wonderful beings they were. Instead with Alex we got three scenes with him as a male, three scenes, two right at the beginning then the issue was kind of forgotten! With more scenes it will have shown us more about how Magnus felt about Alex as both male and female. It will have given him and us more info about who he was more interested in. If the whole fluidity was shown off-page, I don’t think I’m okay with it. Give us representation the way we deserve it. All things said, I love Alex and I hope we’ll see more of them, even just a tiny mention, in future books. I’m hoping we get a short story. That’ll be nice!

I will have given this book a 5++ rating if it wasn’t for the Alex situation but The Ship of Dead is still one hell of a book. It has everything I like. It was entertaining, full of mythology, diverse characters, originality, and it has The Lord of the Rings references. Who doesn’t love pop references, right?

My friends were all dressed like me, in white wool, so we looked like a secret society of very clean monks – the Fellowship of the Bleach.

I think it’s time for a Lotr marathon. I just need almost 10 free hours, maybe double if I also want to watch The Hobbit. I will do the re-watch while anxiously waiting for the next Apollo book. I think bad things are going to happen and I will never be ready for those! Please, Rick, don’t kill anyone; make them lose a leg, an arm, but not their lives, I’m begging you! We’ll just have to wait and read, I suppose. Patience is not always a virtue I’m fond of.

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The Druid Next Door by E.J. Russell

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4stars

Never underestimate the power of kindness.

Title: The Druid Next Door
Author: E.J. Russell
Series: Fae Out of Water #2
Number of pages: 328 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: I loved the welsh references even if I don’t think I could pronounce any of the words and I loved hearing in my head the way Mal spoke.
Bad things about this book: It has its flaws but nothing that spoils the book.
Do I recommend it? Yes, I do.
Rate: 4/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

You know how much I like stories about magic and mythical creatures so there was no way I wasn’t going to like this book. I enjoyed a lot the first one in this series and I was very glad to see the main characters appear and have a significant role in the events occurring here. David is adorable and I’m happy he is embracing his nature and his powers: he helps the boys a lot and when he talked about Alun there was so much love in every single word and it made me very happy.

“I only eat phallic food in front of Alun. Otherwise, it’s just a wasted opportunity.”

This book’s main character is Alun’s brother, Mal Kendrick, and an ovo-pescatarian environmental professor, Bryce MacLeod, who is Mal’s neighbor in the new super energy friendly house David bought him. Saving Alun’s life has cost Mal the use of his sword hand, the right, and has gained him the exile from Faerie, a curse he doesn’t know how to break and a severe case of brooding. Oh boy, does he brood. He broods with intensity, with passion. Lord Broody Kendrick.

Mal and Bryce meet in circumstances that make Mal thinks Bryce is an annoying but hot tree hugger, and makes Bryce think Mal is only a pretty face (read: the hottest face he’s ever seen with the body of a marble statue) with a terrible attitude. Little they know they will be forced to join forces to save the world. Yes, the world, I’m not exaggerating, the world is in danger.

Bryce is a druid but didn’t know he was one until Mal came into his life turning it upside down. He is powerful and needs a tutor and Cassie, David’s druid aunt, puts a leash on Mal and Bryce, a magical leash that doesn’t allow them to separate, to force Mal to teach the new druid everything there is to know about the supernatural world. There’s so much to know and Bryce is not once scared; he is interested and he thinks his newly found talents to be the greatest thing that’s ever happened to him. That and Mal, of course.

“If I’m all that bloody, maybe you should call me Macbeth.”

The attraction between the two of them is almost immediate. Mal is gorgeous and, even if Bryce doesn’t think much of himself, Mal thinks he is just beautiful even with his terrible fashion sense and his tactical vests and pants. If you are attractive to a sex god even in tactical clothes, you are not allowed to feel unworthy of his attention. Mal pretty much falls at Bryce’s feet, but that’s something you need to read about to fully understand.

You were almost feeling up a druid—reason has clearly abandoned ship already.

Mal is being offered a chance to break the curse by a giant cloaked figure and he accepts without asking details because he was drunk. Now he has to lie and ask Bryce to join forces to complete a series of tasks that will unveil secrets that will change the Faerie world and will put them in serious danger. In addition to all of that they are also trying to understand if the magical attraction for each other is real or just another one of the druid magic catches. After all, Mal feels the need to submit and that’s something that’s never happened in all the years he’s being alive. Things are going to get hot hot hot. HOT HOT HOT!

Mal and Bryce were great together, steamy, but sometimes they were very insufferable for two grown men; you can’t expect someone to act like you’d do and then if that doesn’t happen being mad. Still I found their story intriguing and entertaining. Now I can’t wait for the last book that comes out in less than a month and find out everything about Gareth.

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Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch

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5stars

“Ready for this?” asked Jean.
“Ready and sweating heavily,” said Locke.

Title: Red Seas Under Red Skies (Gentleman Bastard #2)
Author: Scott Lynch
Good things about this book: Well-written, interesting beyond compare and an extraordinary adventure!
Bad things about this book: Nothing.
Do I recommend it? Yes, Yes, YES!!
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

How do I review a book in which everything that can go wrong, does go wrong, sending our main characters into a series of rollercoaster’s rides that make you fear for their lives even knowing that there are still a few books left in the series so somehow they’re going to make it out alive? The answer is: you don’t. I can’t review this book without spoiling it and if I spoil it then I take away from you half the fun of reading it. I can’t do that.

“You’re ten pints of crazy in a one-pint glass.”

Locke Lamora is a book crush of mine. One of many, I know that, but one nonetheless. Locke is far from perfect; he is one flawed tiny human being. Tiny besides Jean, archangel Jean Tannen, responsible of keeping Locke alive. How can a single man find himself in so much trouble in such little time is a mystery! He comes out with the craziest plans and you don’t think they can work. Then he goes and explains the details and, maybe, they can make it work and come out of it richer. But TWISTS!!! Freaking plot twists around every single corner! I may have a few new white hairs on my head. Worth it.

“He is extraordinary,” Locke whispered. “He continues to save my life, time and time again, even when I don’t deserve it. Which is always, more or less.”

I have always thought that Jean was too good to be true and he is. He isn’t without flaws but he is such an honest human being; they lie all the time but he stays true to his feelings even when he is given a hard time. He doesn’t give up on Locke even when he doesn’t deserve a good friend like Jean. I was so happy seeing other sides of him, one in particular, and every page I turned had me anxious because there just isn’t a happily ever after for these guys, right?

“Wise in the ways of all such things is Jean Tannen,” said Jean. “Wiser by far than most; especially most named Lamora.”

I hope by the end of the series they are all happy and rich and surrounded by the people they love. Even if I have to wait until I’m 85 years old, I want to read the final book that ends with an epilogue of them eating roast chicken and laughing sipping wine in their gigantic villa! I won’t settle for anything less than that.

“I want to hug you. And I want to tear your gods-damned head off. Both at once.”

After the disasters of the first book, Locke is a living corpse and Jean is there to put him together once again. They fight, they make up; they live up to the title of brotp that suits them so well. Their new plan takes years of organization and every single detail is important for the outcome. Luck is not on their side, as usual, and their plan takes them to unusual places. Like on a pirate ship! Pirate ship with cats! Pirate ship with cats sleeping on Locke! Locke-cat-boy! Pirates!! I love stories with pirates and if the captain of the ship is a woman, then I love it even more.

“Mew,” the kitten retorted, locking gazes with him. It had the expression common to all kittens, that of a tyrant in the becoming. I was comfortable, and you dared to move, those jaded eyes said. For that you must die.”

There are lots of new characters and that didn’t sit well in my stomach. In the first book I learnt the hard way that it was unwise to get attached to side characters because, for example, they wouldn’t be around for the sequels or, worse and more probable, they could die. I can enjoy a book only to a certain point if I know that death is lurking in the shadows. I don’t like being surprised by the departure of characters I come to like. Who does? Nevertheless I loved this book and I loved the new characters, the good ones, of course.

“Maxilan, darling.” Locke raised one eyebrow and smiled. “I knew you were driven, but I had no idea you could smoulder. Come, take me now! Jean won’t mind; he’ll avert his eyes like a gentleman.”

The villains had their charm but they were bad guys putting in danger my Locke and his bff so they weren’t lovable villains. They weren’t villains you love to hate. You just hate them. Come on, I have been with my boys for half the book planning a thing and then you come around and twist everything for your benefit and send them to their almost certain deaths? And you want me to see the bigger picture? No, sir, you can go live with those weird sea creatures that glow. You can live INSIDE the glowing monsters, for all I care!

All the naval terms had me confused a little but it was so much fun being with them on the Poison Orchid. Pirate life suited Locke and Jean; they are thieves after all. Pirate life gave Locke a tan, a beard and his natural hair color back: what’s not to love about that?

“We may need to ready ourselves to repel boarders.”
“With what? One stiletto ad hurtful insinuations about their mothers?”

This book was funny and I noticed, going through the highlighted quotes, that I needed to thank Locke for almost all of the laughs and giggles. This book was also super long and I had a hard time reading it at first. I know now that reading a 400+ pages ebook is frustrating: it seems that you aren’t doing any progress and it caused me to put this marvel on hold since November! I bought the physical copies of the three books that are published and I read easily. If I knew that was the problem, I would’ve bought the books sooner. Better late than never, right?

Locke Lamora was small, but the Thorn of Camorr was larger than any of this.

So….pirates, sea creatures, crazy plans, steamy scenes, CATS, bad guys, assassins, and a not very sane dose of little heart attacks. This book was one hell of a ride, worth every single scream and tear.

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Rag and Bone by K.J. Charles

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4stars

Title: Rag and Bone
Author: K.J. Charles
Good things about this book: Magic and mystery and Stephen Day!
Bad things about this book: Nothing.
Do I recommend it? Yes, but read the prequel first!
Rate: 4/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

Magic. I just love magic. I fell in love with the world K.J. Charles built in the Charm of Magpies series; loved the characters, magical ones and not. I think I need to read again the whole series. I’m in need of Stephen and Crane! Honestly, I could read thousands of books set in that magnificent magical Victorian England.

Rag and Bone has been in my kindle library for months, untouched, unread, with no logical reason whatsoever. If you want to read it, I recommend you read first the small prequel that is like a long prologue for the story. I think without reading A Queer Trade you’re missing a lot of the story; it tells how our two main characters meet and what the hell is going on at the beginning of this book. I really think that without reading the prequel there’s too many things that not make much sense. The prequel is a must read.

Crispin and Ned meet under weird circumstances and they find themselves involved in even weirder events. Thanks to this misadventure, they seem to be in a stable relationship now, with its ups and down of course. So, pretty normal. But Crispin isn’t a normal human being, he has magic and, after spending so many years using it in illegal ways, now he’s finding it so hard fitting in the practitioners’ world. Ned used bone and blood magic that it’s illegal and only warlocks use it. And if you’re a warlock, it means you’re evil: but our Crispin may be insecure, a little judgey, a bit self-centred, and naïve, but he certainly isn’t evil.

Ned, on the other hand, is no magician: he is a waste-man and he is good at what he does. He has a hearing talent, though: he can hear magic but can’t use it. This hearing talent is a main resource to solving this book’s mystery case but not without Ned wanting to punch every single practitioner on Earth. Ned doesn’t like magic, he doesn’t trust it. He sees how magic influences Crispin, how bad it can be and how practitioners think only magical people deserve help, forgetting how non-magic folks are somehow innocent victims of their wrongdoings.

Crispin and Ned are very good for each other but they have issues they need to get through to be able to be 100% happy. I got mad at Crispin, I really did, he was making bad choices because he didn’t see how much value he had as a person; he was always seeing how he was not enough and that was self-destructive. I cheered for him and his happiness. I wanted him to be able to use his magic legally and easily. I wanted him to be proud of himself. I wanted people to see how worthy of a second chance he was, just the way Ned saw him. Ned thought Crispin amazing, and he was afraid of always being second place to magic. Those two were going to have a tortuous road to happiness but it was going to be worth it.

Do you want to know what I loved about this book and its prequel/prologue? I loved the importance that was given to kisses. I have always thought kisses to be the best romantic gesture of all, the most intimate. You give me a couple that kisses with such love and passion, and you have in me their number 1 fan.

I pray to our Lord Crane to have more stories set in this magical world! Lord Crane, do this for me, please! Just this once!

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The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton

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5stars

“Love makes us such fools.”

Title: The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender
Author: Leslye Walton
Good things about this book: It is magical and so well-written.
Bad things about this book: Nothing.
Do I recommend it? Yes!
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

Perfect narration, lovely characters, a wonderful story told by an exceptional person. Felt like being in a world that was a mix of Amélie Poulain and Pushing Daisies. This book felt like all the colours, the brightest ones. It was enchanting and magical. I loved it all; I also loved how mad certain passages made me feel, at the way the scenes narrated made me navigate through my emotions. It was the perfect book, of the perfect length, for perfect summer afternoons. I read it slowly enjoying every bit of it.

The whole book is told by Ava Lavender: an exceptional girl born with a pair of extraordinary wings. Ava and her twin brother, Henry, are two peculiar children, each of them with something that make them stand up to the world, that make people see them as different. Ava with her wings and Henry with his silence and amazing map drawing skills.

The story, as much as it is about Ava, it is more about her family: her grandmother and mother’s adventures mainly. Ava recounts the story of her great-grandparents when they decided to move, with their four children, from a little town in France to Manhattan. It is a sad story about misunderstandings, love, lost love, pain and death. It seems that nothing goes right to the women of their family when it comes to love.

She worried she couldn’t protect me from all the things that had hurt her: loss and fear, pain and love.
Most especially from love.

I really loved how things were told, the feeling you got of the surroundings really brought out all the magical realism of the story. How the natural elements were mixed up with magic, without being weird or exaggerated, was done perfectly. There’s so much magic in this book and it fits it like a glove. I wish I lived in Ava’s world with ghosts, wings, baked goods that could change your mood, a weird house and its marvelous inhabitants. They brought me joy and I read about theirs lives feeling like a friend.

She learned how to worry. She, who’d always thought love’s only companion was sorrow, learned that worry came hand in hand with love.

Ava Lavender is just a girl. Her mother, Vivian, is just a heartbroken woman. Her grandmother, Emilienne, is just a baker. They are “just” something until you stop looking at the surface without seeing how many layers of magic, kindness and strength there is inside each one of these women. They are the powerhouses of this book. They are what make you turn the pages anxious to know more, to see them get the ending they truly deserve.

I recommend this if you’re looking for a magical book but as much as it is a light and easy read, check the trigger warnings and if knowing everything you still want to give it go, then you have my full approval!

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[ARC] The Rules and Regulations for Mediating Myths & Magic by F.T. Lukens

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5stars

He walked out of the bathroom not at all ready to face whatever was waiting for him, but totally ready to fake it.

Title: The Rules and Regulations for Mediating Myths & Magic
Author: F.T. Lukens
Release date: September 7th 2017
Good things about this book: Myths, magic and great characters.
Bad things about this book: Nothing, this book is precious.
Do I recommend it? Yes, wait for its release and read it.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

*ARC received via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

I’m so happy I found this book. This book, THIS BOOK, made me so happy; it filled me with lots of giggles. Never underestimate a spontaneous giggle. I laughed so much out loud I freaked out my dog a little bit: he got worried about my safeness and came by my side to see if I was okay. I had so much fun reading it I want everyone to enjoy it as much as I did.

Bridger is a very sexually confused teenage boy looking for a job to pay for college. He is funny, very brave but as I said he is going through many difficulties that are going to put not few obstacles in our poor boy’s road to happiness. He found out he is bisexual and has a very obvious crush on his neighbor and high school football star, Leo. He is scared to come out, to be hated, left alone, so he plans to escape, to go far away for college. Oh boy, that idea was destined to failed from the beginning!

“I’m going to go be bisexual in my room. If that’s okay with you? Great? Great.”

Money for college means a job and Bridger lands the weirdest job he could find. He works for Pavel, the intermediary for myths of the state they live in. His job will be to assist Pavel in order to maintain the mythical world hidden from the human world. It seems something is disrupting the balance of things and Bridger’s job is going to be harder than anticipated. Pavel, who has a family made of pixies, a gorgeous werewolf and seemingly apathetic secretary, is a wonderful boss; he listens to Bridger, helps him out and gives useful advice right when he needed it. I think Pavel is magical and not only because he has magic; when he understands a pop reference he is so proud of himself and the most adorable man ever. You gotta love Pavel, he’s one of a kind!

“You have no idea the amount of research I have put into keeping up with the things you say.” Bridger smiled, despite everything.

Bridger finds himself dealing with feelings he can’t fully express and mythical creatures that need to be convinced to be elsewhere because they’re in places they shouldn’t be.

The Leo problem is only known to his best friend, Astrid; she tries to help him but if one is stubborn and more than a little afraid then there’s little she can do to make a difference. Leo (full name freaking LEONIDAS, as in this-is-Sparta Leonidas!) is adorable and he clearly flirts with Bridger every time he can; he has a crush on our boy but our boy is not ready and my heart hurt a little. I was so glad there wasn’t the dreaded misunderstanding or unnecessary love triangles but still, I was scared for them because they were so cute together and I wanted only good things for them like cuddles and many many kisses. It was the perfect romance, sweet, with a twist of mythical magic. I loved it!

“Well, if you’re going to go gay over someone, not a bad choice.”
“Astrid!” he whispered hotly. “For one, I still like girls. And two, keep your voice down!”
“Fine. If you are going to go bi, not a bad choice.”

For a moment I was genuinely scared because there were many things that could go wrong but I trusted the author to not break my heart. I was on edge until the very end and I loved loved loved how the story unfolded. It was a magnificent book and, I repeat myself, I am so happy I found it.

Go read it as soon as it comes out. It’s worth it!

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My Lady Jane: The Not Entirely True Story by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows

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5stars

“Armies aren’t very good about carrying libraries with them. I can’t imagine why. We’d fight so much less if everyone would just sit down and read.”

Title: My Lady Jane: The Not Entirely True Story
Author: Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows
Good things about this book: It has different chapters from different points of views.
Bad things about this book: Nothing.
Do I recommend it? Yes!
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

I wanted something fun and fast to read and I couldn’t have chosen a better book that included all the elements I didn’t know I was looking for. Royals, a magical touch, history, and swords! Oh, I love swords! Give me a sword and you’ll make this lady warrior very happy!

I have to admit that I didn’t know all the events that happened in British history. What I know comes from TV shows and movies. Until I was 12 I lived in Ecuador so I studied a little bit of South American history, but afterwards I moved to Italy so I studied mainly Italian history and the parts involving the British royals were only a few pages. I did know about Bloody Mary and Mary Queen of Scots but no much else. It was fun getting to know more about King Edward VI and Lady Jane even with all the not very truthful facts.

He thought he finally understood the Meaning of Life now, the Great Secret, which he’d boiled down to this:
Life is short, and then you die.

Edward is sick, poisoned by evil people in the palace plotting to take the throne of England from him, and on his deathbed (but not really) he appointed Jane as his successor. Jane, all books and flaming red hair, is unmarried and that needs to change. He gets engaged to Gifford (call him G, please), son of his majesty’s loyal advisor. There’s just one little thing they didn’t tell Jane about his husband to be; he is an edian and he turns into a horse!

I loved the edian twist of the story. People who could turn into animals? Oh yeah! I wonder what kind of animal I’d be; I’m thinking a dragon or a beautiful swan but maybe I’d turned into a turtle or, better, a sloth. At least I don’t think I’d turned into an ass or a skunk like someone I read about.

“Wow, Father. Fertile and well-vetted? You make it sound so very romantic.”

Gifford and Jane started their married life in a very weird way but they get close through misadventures and love was in the air and stays in the air until the obvious happily ever after. Not spoilers here, it says from the very beginning that this story will give poor Jane (and her luckily still attached head) the happy ending she clearly deserved. Young love, the misunderstandings, the stares, the little touches; I’m a romantic at heart and I loved that nothing was too cheesy. The perfect amount of cheese was involved.

Edward, King of England, and spoiled virgin boy, is kind of a star in this book. You may think he is weak but instead he turns out to be everything you probably didn’t think about him at first. Long live King Edward! Edward’s chapters with his inner monologues about how he fancied Gracie were adorable. I think Edward deserves all the love he can get. All the love! Long live King Edward!

All the characters are great and funny but the real hero of the book is our dear Jane. Jane with her books, her synonyms, her determination to not be the woman of the situation, her courage, and her big heart. I love Jane, and no, her red hair was in no way weird.

The poor book. It didn’t deserve to be hurt just because Jane had to get married.

A fun book for history lovers and fantasy lovers; a book that has a little bit of everything and will make you smile. How can someone refuse a book that brings you joy? You can’t.

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A Destiny of Dragons by T.J. Klune ☆

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5starsplus

I was Sam of Wilds. And I was going to face my godsdamned destiny.

Title: A Destiny of Dragons (Tales From Verania #2)
Author: T.J. Klune
Good things about this book: Sam, the gang and DRAGONS!
Bad things about this book: Not enough Justin. I like the guy.
Do I recommend it? Yes, 500%.
Rate: 5+++/5
☆: It made my “favourite books” list

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

*A very quote-y review that may contain spoilers of the first book of the series. *

He did it again. Damned you, Mr. Klune, you don’t seem to be able to stop. You’re giving me feelings I didn’t know I needed. Oh my, if I needed them. Some more than others. Maybe I didn’t really need the excruciating fear of very possible loss and heartbreak but I decided to trust you; don’t you dare disappoint an innocent and bright soul like mine, it brings back very bad karma. You’ve been warned.

“You gotta trust me. I know what I’m doing.”
He frowned. “I trust you, Sam. But you never know what you’re doing.”

The more I think about this book, and its predecessor for that matter, the more I love its detailed descriptions, its funny and real characters, and its originality. There are not books like these ones. This series has everything I look for in books: magic, a main character you can’t hate even when he’s clearly being dumb, love in every shape, side characters that bring laughter and sunshine and rainbows, villains that made you fear for everyone’s life or that you simply want to slap real hard, very vague prophecies, and dragons. It has dragons. I love dragons.

“Holy shit,” Ryan said, sounding breathless. “You have a Destiny of Dragons!”

Sam has a destiny of dragons and it’s going to be a pain in the butt. I already know I’m going to suffer, that I’m going to have hope that’s going to be crushed by the cruelty of Mr. Klune if he decides to be mean and do something he is not supposed to do. I love my babies, I don’t want harm to come to them. I will do everything in my power, send positive vibes and everything, maybe light some candles, to avoid being heartbroken by the following books of this series.

“Sam is pretty good sometimes at what he does occasionally!”

^^Me, too!

Sam’s grandma, the queen of gypsies, makes a surprise visit to the castle to deliver bad news, prophecies made by constellation dragons, a new cornerstone for him, and ugly vibes. Woman, you don’t mess with Sam and Ryan’s relationship and expect to be loved by the crowd. I don’t like Vadoma; I didn’t like when she first appeared and showed weird visions to Sam, and I didn’t like her by the end of the book with her manipulations and refusal to acknowledge that, for Sam, Ryan is not only a cornerstone but also so much more. I hated how she kept saying she has never told Sam a lie, unlike others: well, of course you have not, you’ve been in his life for how long, one month? Easy for her to say that and it infuriated me so much.

“Oh, no. No, no, no. I’m onto you, exotic twink. Don’t think that I’m not.”

Ruv, the cornerstone Vadoma wants to forcefully pair with Sam, is not a bad guy; he’s being raised knowing he was going to be the other half of Sam, he doesn’t know what to do with himself now that he sees he cannot be that because of Ryan. Sam’s magic reacts to Ruv’s vicinity but what Sam has with Ryan is not something you can replace easily. I didn’t trust Ruv at the beginning, and maybe I never did in the end, but I understand him and what he’s been through, the obligations he feels he needs to follow, the responsibilities that are put upon his shoulders. I don’t blame Ruv, I don’t hate the guy, but you mess with HaveHeart and you have a new enemy in me.

“You’re the most powerful wizard in an age. I’m your cornerstone. Therefore I’m the most powerful cornerstone in an age. It’s my destiny, after all.”

Looking for the dragons to fulfill his destiny will bring Sam and company to face new enemies and new fears. The journey will be long and tortuous, there may be loss, their bodies will be at risk and their souls will waver. Sam, Ryan, Gary, Tiggy, and Kevin have each other and their bond is strong. They won’t give up easily. They have to fight for themselves and for each other. Sam needs to share the weight of his destiny or else he’ll be lost without a back up plan and with no coming back option. Sam, I beg you, open up to Ryan, to the friends you love, it’s the right thing to do.

I wanted to do what was right. I didn’t know how to do that.

The Lightning-Struck Heart was all fluff, sass, puns, a little heartbreak, and so so much love; A Destiny of Dragons is darker, more serious, and nerve-wracking; it still has all the fluff, love and sass the first one had but you won’t feel save. I didn’t. I felt like anything that could go wrong, would go wrong with nefarious results. I was never 100% sure things were going to be okay. The premises kept me from abandoning myself to the romance and comedy of the story, I felt the darkness lurking in the shadows and I didn’t relax. I couldn’t and I won’t until I read the last word of the last book.

We are better together than we ever will be apart. We are bound to each other. And nothing, nothing, will change that.

I love this book, everything about it. It gave me all the feelings, all of them. I love how cheesy Sam and Ryan are, all their kisses, double-entendre, sexy times, jokes, the softness of their love, the strength of their bond, and the absolute certainty that they won’t allow anything bad happen to one another. I want to protect them; they deserve the happiest of endings.

“And he’s blinking and looks all soft and beautiful and then he sees you and he smiles. Like all it takes for him to be the happiest he’s ever been is to see you there. Next to him. That’s… that’s what’s so great about it. That’s what it feels like.”

(Oh, my heart! I want this, Sam, I want what you and Ryan have)

I love Gary and his sassiness and I love how he is all jokes until someone wants to hurt his friends, and then he transforms into a killing machine all glares and murderous glitter! Tiggy speaks so much more allowing us to understand more about him, about the past he doesn’t want to talk about; Tiggy is all business and cuddles and I love him. A prophecy about a destiny involving dragons couldn’t make Kevin more self-centered than he already is. He is hilarious with his Shakespearian speeches and his perverted ways that make everyone feel uncomfortable. Kevin is not the only dragon around but he certainly is one of a kind.

“Sam got kissy face,” Tiggy whispered to Gary.
“Of course he does, kitten,” Gary said. “That’s what happens when you’re a slut.”

November is the month of my birthday and it’s the month the third book is going to be released. Mr. Klune, damned him, twitted saying to prepare tissues and then the tweet disappeared: does that mean tissues won’t be necessary or that I have to be prepared to lose a part of my soul? I know I won’t be ready (how can I?) but I can’t wait nonetheless.

Recommended to all. How can you not read these books? They’re great and T.J. Klune is an evil genius full of sass. 5+++ out of 5.

“My plan is to wing it.”
Ryan sighed. “Godsdammit.”

^^Perfect summary of the book

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Threshold by Jordan L. Hawk

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5stars

I spoke thirteen languages, and yet all my words deserted me in these moments.

Title: Threshold
Author: Jordan L. Hawk
Good things about this book: Whyborne & Griffin OTP!
Bad things about this book: It has the dreaded ex who messes things up.
Do I recommend it? Yes, this and all the others as well even if I haven’t read them yet.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

My new OTP, Whyborne and Griffin, are happy, living together with a cat and being all lovey dovey whenever they find themselves alone. It’s still a new relationship but it feels right, it feels that it’s the one they both were waiting for. What do you think happens when you are happier than you’ve ever been? Yeah, bad things happen. Every single time.

After being hired by Whyborne’s father, Griffin, Whyborne and Christine left the comfort of Widdershins to investigate strange disappearances in Threshold. Who did they find in Threshold if not the ex-lover of our dear Griffin? What a coincidence, a hateful and bothering coincidence, that’s what it is! I knew things were obviously too good to stay that way but a girl can only hope.

They would not take me without a fight, even if a pitiful one.

In Threshold things are worse than initially imagined and it seems hard to trust anyone. I sure didn’t trust Elliott, the infamous ex, and I didn’t trust anything he said. He was a hateful character and he was put there to mess with Griffin and Whyborne’s mind. Why would you disrupt what they have? Why? No matter how handsome and perfect you are, there’s only one person for Griffin and that’s Whyborne.

“My dearest pudding pie,” I read aloud.
“Yes, my little turnip?”

The mysteries of Threshold surprised me. I wasn’t expecting any of that. It was weirder than the mystery in the first book. I guessed a couple of things but some other things caught me off guard. I love being caught off guard when things don’t concern the wellbeing of my favourite characters. That’s the exception. You can twist the story in all the ways you want but don’t mess with my boys’ happiness. That’s where I draw the line.

I can’t wait to keep reading about Griffin, Whyborne and Christine’s adventures. There are still so many books left and a few more to come!

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Widdershins by Jordan L. Hawk

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5stars

Before Griffin had come along, I’d been living inside a photograph: just a facsimile of life, without either color or depth. Could I go back to it, now that I had seen the alternative?

Title: Widdershins
Author: Jordan L. Hawk
Good things about this book: Magic!
Bad things about this book: A few ortographic errors and imprecisions but nothing too bad.
Do I recommend it? Yes, magic and love is everywhere! ENJOY!
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

At this point everyone knows that if a book has magic and is set in the Victorian era then I’m certainly going to love it. Once again, that proved to be the truth. Add a sweet and adorable romance in it and cat lover characters and I’m sold! Whyborne and Griffin are two very interesting people, each with hard pasts and a different way to act upon their differences from others.

“I clung to the past and to pain, and never took a risk or chance. I locked myself in prison and pretended I didn’t have a key.”

Whyborne has lost the only boy he has ever loved and he has shut himself up, avoiding his desire for other men. He feels guilty even after a decade and he lived isolated inside the museum he works in as a polyglot philologist. He knows thirteen languages. Can you imagine people thinking he is boring? I think he is interesting and I will have given him my friendship in a nanosecond. He deserves his world shaken a little bit and he deserves the love he didn’t think ever belonged to someone like himself.

I didn’t dislike people, exactly, but I’d never quite got the hang of the casual interactions which seemed to come naturally to everyone else.

Griffin is a detective. He also has lost someone, a partner detective, in a weird case of black magic and monsters. People thought he was mad, even he thought he wasn’t very sane. This experience left him wounded and not entirely as he was before. There are some things hard to forget. Having gone to Whyborne for help on a new case involving the same kind of black magic has maybe been the best thing that’s ever happened to him.

Perhaps he simply couldn’t imagine anyone would stay with a man who wasn’t entirely whole. Who had been broken, and hadn’t managed to put all the pieces back together.

Griffin is obviously a handsome man; every woman tried flirting with him not knowing he was falling hard for our shy scholar, Whyborne. Griffin flirted with Whyborne from the very beginning and the thoughts going through Whyborne’s mind were both hilarious and really perverted. I loved it! I have a perverted mind: I could relate. Was there a description of someone’s butt? No, there wasn’t. Was I disappointed? No, I wasn’t. That’s a first. People know how much I love to worship buttocks. It’s a weakness of mine.

“Damn the man; I could think of far too many things I’d happily consent to.”

The case!! Whyborne has to translate a book that he founds out it’s a grimoire full of all sorts of magic: from a simple word to light a fire to magic able to resuscitate the dead! Guess what kind of magic was used by our villains, the secret cult who wants to rule the world? Not the ones to make a nice fire to roast some hot dogs, of course not. They obviously went for the blackest of magic for the darkest of souls.

Griffin and Whyborne must join forces, growing more intimate by the minute, and try to stop them from ending human kind as they know it. I’m hoping to see more magic used in the sequels and please don’t ruin my OTP with unnecessary drama. I like them cheesy, passionate, and as flirty as they can be. I’m not asking much, right?

I talked about them as a pair because of course they are the main characters but there is a woman, Whyborne’s friend, Christine, expert of ancient Egypt, who helps them a lot on the case and is going to be helpful in future cases, too. Let’s not forget that poor woman, object of dubious stares because she is not a white man. You go, Christine! Show them you are better than them all!

I can’t wait to read the sequels! I thank the author for making them short so that I can read them all in no time!

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