The Vinyl Trilogy by Sophia Elaine Hansen


Synopsis


All citizens within the soaring black walls of Revinia have metal Singers grafted into their skulls at birth. The parasitic machines issue a form of auditory hypnosis called The Music, which keeps their minds malleable and emotions flat. All artistic expression—especially real music—is strictly prohibited.

On the edge of the city, nineteen year old Ronja struggles to support her cousins and disabled mother. A chance meeting leads to her kidnapping by an underground resistance striving to preserve the human spirit. Violently severed from her Singer by the brash young agent Roark, Ronja revels in her newfound freedom until the consequences of her disappearance begin to unfold. 


Review


This series could be classified into many different genres, so no matter what type of books you like most you can surely find an element of it in this trilogy. With the first book I got what I was expecting, a dystopian with steampunk elements and romance. With this final book it sometimes felt more like a epic fantasy novel. I have never read any dystopian like this one. It’s different from every other book I’ve read in the genre in all the best of ways.

With pretty much every other dystopian the answers you get don’t add up, in this case all the answers to my questions are satisfying. Throughout the entire trilogy everything makes sense, there’s no obvious plot holes, or stupid explanations about why the world is the way it is. The world building is great, layers are added with each book,t there is a whole world that gets explored rather than just one continent like in many other books.

I’m always a fan of books about groups of people, this one has a wonderful diverse cast of characters to root for. I liked literally all of them, and loved the banter between them, if you like books with squads of lovable sassy people you’ll like this. I was impressed by the beautiful writing, Sophia is a wonderful storyteller, she has a lovely, strong and distinctive writing style. This whole trilogy has been a delight to read, more so than I expected, each book is compelling and hard to put down. These books are vastly underrated they deserve a lot more attention

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Children of Blood and Bone

They killed my mother.
They took our magic.
They tried to bury us.

Now we rise.

Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zélie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.

But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.

Now Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.


There’s so much to say about this book that I don’t know where to begin or how to properly summarize everything I’m feeling. I’m going to do things a bit differently and separate my thoughts on the characters plot etc.

The characters

Usually in fantasy series the characters are my favorite part, that is surprisingly not the case here. That however in no way means the characters aren’t great, they are. Everything about this book is good and it definitely deserves all the hype it’s been receiving. At first I didn’t care much for Zellie the protagonist but now I don’t know why, by the middle of the book I had grown to love her. My favorite character was Amari, I liked her from the beginning and enjoyed her arc and how much she grew throughout the book.

I liked the Prince at first but by the end I didn’t know how to feel about him and I still don’t. He made some choices I didn’t entirely understand that made his storyline go in a direction I didn’t expect. I’m curious to see what the author will do with him in the next book, it was interesting to read from the antagonists point of view and that made me really enjoy his chapters.

The story

At first glance the story seams simple, a familiar battle against good and evil and a quest to restore magic. This book features many classics fantasy elements, there’s a chosen one, a rebellious princess, hate to love romance. This book has all these things I love to see in a fantasy novel, and it has things I’ve never seen done before. It feels refreshing and new in many ways. This book is a nonstop adventure, you will not want to stop reading, you also won’t want the book to end. It ends with a bang, that has me eager to read the next one.

The magic and world

The magic system and world building is absolutely spectacular. Normally I don’t care about how complicated or cool the magic system is, I just care that it works within the story without being too confusing. In this case magic plays such a key role in the story that’s it’s something I paid attention to and, was impressed by. It first I thought I was never going to remember what all the different types of Maji are called, but I caught on easily. The magic is truly very awesome and made for some fantastic fight scenes.

The writing

I could tell from just a few chapters in that this was a solid fantasy novel, that deserves to become the next big thing in YA. I am impressed by everything in this novel including the writing. Despite being huge and a little daunting, I found it extremely easy to read. The chapters are short, which I always like, and the end of each one makes you want to read the next one. This is one of those books where reading just one more chapter before bed quickly turns into five. I am so satisfied by this and exited to see where the story will go after that epic ending.

The Changeling’s Journey

Ailsa is dead. Leaving Morven the last surviving changeling in the village. Everyone knows it is only a matter of time before she too is dead. Desperate to find out why the fairies steal human babies, and to save her own life, she leaves her family behind, travelling north into the fairy kingdoms with her best friend. 

They soon find that making their way through vast magical forests, across kelpie-ridden lochs and over seemingly endless mountain ranges is more than they were prepared for. Despite the countless evenings spent listening to stories about adventures, fairies and magic, they find themselves out of their depth. Fighting to stay alive. 

Meanwhile in the fairy kingdoms, Princess Freya of Culhuinn struggles to cope with life now that her love has been taken from her. Whilst Queen Euna of Norbroch spends more time lost in her memories than she does ruling her kingdom. 

One changeling’s journey to save her life will alter their world forever


This book took a while to get into, but I’m glad I kept reading because it dose have many good qualities. It’s told in three points of view and that element was done well. You follow Morven and Glen on their adventure to the fairy realm, to get answers about changelings. Then you have Princess Freya who is separated from her lover by her cruel father, and finally Queen Euna whose chapters are mostly flashbacks. They each have individual stories that connect in the end. Their all interesting characters, but they could have been flushed out more and been even better.

This book is about a long Journey and it felt long, there isn’t much dialogue, and it was slowly paced. The story is character driven normally I’m all for that, unfortunately, I didn’t like the characters enough. The side characters especially needed more development, I felt like many of them hardly had a personality. Even Glen who is Morven’s best friend wasn’t developed enough for me to care about. I think Fraya was the most interesting and likable, but her love interest was boring, and that detracted from Fraya’s arc.

I’ve never been to Scotland, and I don’t know much about Scotland, but I could tell that everything about this book is very Scottish. The descriptions of the landscapes they traveled through are beautiful and detailed, it was easy to visualize them, and to wish I was there. I adore how many different fairies are featured, there’s Changelings, Will-oh-the-wisps, fea and more. All the folklore was integrated into the book so wonderfully, the world is fantastical and charming. The writing is lovely as well, however the story sadly wasn’t as compelling as the word.

Sky in the Deep

I am always exited when I find a standalone fantasy novel there is something so satisfying about a well done standalone novel. I am very impressed and satisfied by this strong debut. The writing is lovely I was enticed by every page, somehow Adrianne even made doing chores interesting to read about. There wasn’t as much fighting as I expected from a book about rival viking clans. But I’m not complaining because I think there’s enough and each battle epic, besides the story is really about the relationships.

Each relationship was beautiful, even though the book is only a little over 300 pages, the relationships all developed naturally and slowly. I really liked the main character Eelyn she’s tough and compassionate. Throughout the book she questions everything she believes in and the journey she goes on is heart wrenching. I sympathized greatly with her and there was quite a lot of unexpected emotional moments.

I strongly suggest going into this knowing as little as possible. I had forgotten most of the synopsis before starting it and I’m glad I feel like knowing nothing added to my enjoyment. That’s why I haven’t included a synopsis, all you really need to know is that this is a standalone viking YA novel. In a nutshell it’s about fighting for what’s right, letting go off prejudice and finding love in unexpected places.

I was given this title from the publisher through Netgally in exchange for a review.

The Belles, a lavish and dark new YA series

Camellia Beauregard is a Belle. In the opulent world of Orléans, Belles are revered, for they control Beauty, and Beauty is a commodity coveted above all else. In Orléans, the people are born gray, they are born damned, and only with the help of a Belle and her talents can they transform and be made beautiful.

But it’s not enough for Camellia to be just a Belle. She wants to be the favorite—the Belle chosen by the Queen of Orléans to live in the royal palace, to tend to the royal family and their court, to be recognized as the most talented Belle in the land. But once Camellia and her Belle sisters arrive at court, it becomes clear that being the favorite is not everything she always dreamed it would be. Behind the gilded palace walls live dark secrets, and Camellia soon learns that her powers are far greater, and could be more dangerous, than she ever imagined.

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The world of Orleans is vastly original the idea of the magic system is what drew me to this, it was as wonderful as I’d hoped it would be. The writing is beautiful but at times too flowery, there are too many overly descriptive passages on hair and rooms. The world is very dark and it grows darker as the story progresses, the villain is obsessed with being the most beautiful and simply pure evil. I thought they were well done, all of their scenes are intense, I simultaneously wanted and didn’t want to know what they were about to do.

I thought Camila would be an unlikable protagonist, obsessed with becoming the favorite but it turns out she’s not what I wanted or expected. Camila wants to make people love themselves she wants to improve the world, she’s more kind and empathetic then anyone else in this world. Despite having admirable qualities I oftentimes found her aggravating. The other Belles are ushered out of the story early on, their only in a few scenes not enough for any development, I would like to see more of them in the next book.

I didn’t think there was any real chemistry between Camila and the love interest every scene between them was both boring and frustrating. I think he should have been cut from the book, the plot would only have needed to be slightly tweaked, and I would have enjoyed it a lot more. There are two scenes that I’m not sure are necessary they seem more for shock value then anything else. One of them definitely could have been removed without greatly effecting the plot. I have no idea how many books are going to be in this series I think everything could be sufficiently wrapped up with just one more book. I am definitely interested in seeing where the story goes.

Books with female friendships shouldn’t be hard to find

Happy Galentines day! What’s Galentines day you ask

anigif_enhanced-buzz-13301-1422878212-6Galentines day is a fictional holiday from Parks and Recreation and it is one of the bestest holidays. It’s all about ladies celebrating ladies. In honor of this wonderful holiday I wanted to share some of my favorite books that feature strong female friendships. Sadly there are not many books that have well done female friendships all too often the friendship is pushed to the side in favor of romance. Female friendship and just friendship in general is so important. Platonic relationships can definitely be just as important as romantic ones, despite what popular media tends to convey. I would love to see more books where the romance takes a step back in favor of friendship, or better yet no romance at all.

The mean girl trope does at least seem to be going away, and there are more and more books coming out with good female friendships. However I still think we can do better, I could only think of two books that had a female friendship at the forefront of the story. When there is female friendship it often falls flat, the best friend is usually a one dimension character, who the main character forgets about when they start dating.

The Wrath and the Dawn, has a great female dynamic between Shazi and Despina but at its core it’s a romance. A good romance sure however, I want to make a list of books about female friendships, not books featuring it as a substory. I have been searching the internet for thirty minutes and I can only find a small list of YA books that fit what I’m looking for.

YA comics seem to be doing a little better I’ve only read a few of them and found three that feature it: Squirrel Girl, Paper Girls, and Ms Marvel. I strongly recommend them all. And if your interested in reading comics but aren’t sure where to start there each a good introduction.

The only two YA books I’ve read that are about female friendship are Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo and Truthwitch by Susan Denard. I was delighted to find that Warbringer is about two wonderful female protagonists whose relationship is at the center of the story. And there’s practically no romance! I know I’ve already mentioned Truthwitch a few times but I can’t seem to stop thinking about it. The dynamic between Safi and Isult in Truthwitch is one of my favorite things ever, it’s at the heart of the story. Their friendship might even be the thing that ends up saving the world.

Lucky for me the next Witchlanders novel, Sightwitch comes out today! It’s partly what inspired this post, I will be spending the day reading it. I also intend to look for some friendship focused books while I’m getting it at the bookstore. So definitely leave me some recommendations in the comments. And let me know your thoughts on female friendships in young adult lit. I’m thinking about also buying Moxie I have great things about it and it would definitely be a good book ti read on Galentines day.

The Language of Thorns 


Inspired by myth, fairy tale, and folklore, #1 New York Times–bestselling author Leigh Bardugo has crafted a deliciously atmospheric collection of short stories filled with betrayals, revenge, sacrifice, and love.

Perfect for new readers and dedicated fans, these tales will transport you to lands both familiar and strange—to a fully realized world of dangerous magic that millions have visited through the novels of the Grishaverse.

This collection of six stories includes three brand-new tales, all of them lavishly illustrated with art that changes with each turn of the page, culminating in six stunning full-spread illustrations as rich in detail as the stories themselves.

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I love short stories it fascinates me how an author can tell a complete and satisfying story in only a few pages. Every word has to count in a short story and therefore I think it requires a lot of skill to write a good one. All of books I’ve read by Leigh Bardugo have been well written but this is written in a different style then her other works that is particularly lovely. The writing is elegant and bewitching. The spectacular illustrations definitely help to immerse you into the stories, they complement them wonderfully.
I enjoyed all of the stories however I do have a clear favorite, The Witch of Duva, it felt very classic and timeless with an ending that is far more satisfying then the traditional happily ever after. All the stories had elements of notable fairytales but took turns that made them far more interesting. Each story is gripping, classic and original. It feels like your reading an age old tales.
It’s to interesting to read the tales that the characters from Shadow and Bone and Six of Crows would have heard growing up, and fun to speculate on what their favorites stories would be. Each of these tales stands on its own and can be read without reading any other books in the Grisha verse they also add a lot of depth to the world. I love how vast the world is becoming and am so excited for more books set in this wonderful, magical world.

Fall reads

Fall is my favorite time of year sadly it didn’t start to feel like fall where I live until recently and I am so glad that it’s growing colder outside I am ready to wear cute fall clothes. With the cooler weather and Halloween quickly approaching I have been in the mood for what I consider fall reads. During the colder months of the year I tend to want to read things that are magical, a bit unsettling, and have a touch of whimsy.  I rounded up a few books that I feel would be perfect to read during fall especially around or during Halloween.

I don’t usually get that exited for Halloween but this year I am exited for it partly because my family recently moved to a neighborhood that’s big on Halloween so I think it will be a  lot of fun this year. My plans are to give out candy and watch The Nightmare Before Christmas and of course reading a spooky book.

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The Night Circus

I finally read this and I loved it I wasn’t sure if I would but I was so satisfied with it it’s quite different, and I think it’s best to go into it with low expectations and not knowing what to expect. I read it on a dreary rainy night and it was the perfect weather for this magical book.

Anna Dressed in Blood

This wasn’t my favorite book but I wanted to include something spooky, well it’s more unsettling then scary, if you like ghost stories and want something more on the scary side then definitely check this one out.

The Walls Around Us

It is hard to describe this book especially since it’s been a while since I read it I don’t remember it well I know it was surprising and quite unique. It’s a very mysterious and peculiar tale and those are the sort of books that I gravitate towards during the fall.

Girl on a Wire

This one is not at all spooky in fact it’s a rather light and adorable read but the circus setting and the magical elements would make it a fitting book to read around Halloween.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown

I don’t think any list of Halloween recommendations would be complete without a vampire book the vampires are so cool and the whole book is action packed and the ending is awesome.

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What will you be reading this Halloween? Have you read any of these books? What did you think off them?

Book review: Windwitch

synopsis3After an explosion destroys his ship, the world believes Prince Merik, Windwitch, is dead. Scarred yet alive, Merik is determined to prove his sister’s treachery. Upon reaching the royal capital, crowded with refugees, he haunts the streets, fighting for the weak—which leads to whispers of a disfigured demigod, the Fury, who brings justice to the oppressed.

When the Bloodwitch Aeduan discovers a bounty on Iseult, he makes sure to be the first to find her—yet in a surprise twist, Iseult offers him a deal. She will return money stolen from him, if he locates Safi. Now they must work together to cross the Witchlands, while constantly wondering, who will betray whom first?

After a surprise attack and shipwreck, Safi and the Empress of Marstok barely escape with their lives. Alone in a land of pirates, every moment balances on a knife’s edge—especially when the pirates’ next move could unleash war upon the Witchlands.

  • Rating: 4/5 starrs
  • Add it on goodreads

my-thoughts3I was worried this would be disappointing I was worried about all the characters being separated but somehow it worked even without the dynamics I loved so much. Although I did really miss Safi and Isualt’s friendship and Safi and Merik’s adorableness. Safi gained a potential new love interest and I’m not sure I like it I love her and Merik together, but they both think the other is dead, hopefully they’ll get a happy reunion in the next book. I’m so excited for Safi and Isuelt’s reunion I love how they each kept thinking about what the other would do in their situation.

This book started with a literal bang and while it was full of action and adventure I did find it more boring then the first book it wasn’t slower but I was less interested in the storylines. This book focuses on Merik who I really like but he’s my least favorite of the four main characters, but that definitely doesn’t men he’s a dull character. My favorite storyline was surprisingly Vivia’s I love that girl if you’ve only read the first book your probably confused but just you wait you’ll end up loving her too. She’ has some great character development and I loved the overlapping thought’s her and Merik had, those two are so much more similar then they know.  
I have so many questions and I need the next book I need to know all the things. I think that’s about all I can say without spoiling anything to sum things up this book was epic if you haven’t read this series you should really consider changing that. Even though this series is popular I don’t think it’s quite as popular as it deserves. I think it should be as popular as Six of Crows and Throne of Glass. 

How and why contemporary YA has become my favorite genre

I used to say that YA fantasy was my favorite genre but I recently realized that I now love YA contemporary’s just as much as YA fantasy I used to read primary fantasy and even now that I read a wider rang of genres its still half of what I read, when I first started reading fantasy books are what was primary available to me. Fantasy and dysopian were the two most popular genres when I got into reading and didn’t know what books existed outside off what my sister was reading and what was becoming a movie. Even when I started to learn about all the books out there and knew off a lot of contemporary books I still didn’t read them mostly because I thought they were all supper sappy or sad or at least all the ones I knew of seemed to be one of those things. The first contemporary that I read was Fangirl I loved it and it’s still one of my favorite books even though I loved Fangirl it was a while before I actively read books in the genre.  Continue reading “How and why contemporary YA has become my favorite genre”