book reviews · books

Buddy Read: Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco


Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco 
Series: Kingdom of the Wicked #1
Genre: Fantasy | Romance | Paranormal
Age Range: Young Adult
Format: Hardcover, 372 pages
Source: My Copy
Published on October 27, 2020
Kerri Maniscalco: Website | Twitter | Goodreads

Synopsis:
Emilia and her twin sister Victoria are streghe – witches who live secretly among humans, avoiding notice and persecution. One night, Victoria misses dinner service at the family’s renowned Sicilian restaurant. Emilia soon finds the body of her beloved twin…desecrated beyond belief. Devastated, Emilia sets out to discover who did this, and to seek vengeance at any cost—even if it means using dark magic that’s been long forbidden.

Then Emilia meets Wrath, the outlier among the seven demon brethren, always choosing duty over pleasure. He’s been tasked by his master with investigating a series of women’s murders on the island. When Emilia and Wrath’s fates collide, it’s clear this disturbing mystery will take a bewitching turn…

Kerri Maniscalco introduces her next series, a dark tale of a beautiful young witch, a troubled demon, and their epic romance, set against a 19th century Italian backdrop.

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Book Review: The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan


The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan 
Series: Heroes of Olympus, #5
Genre: Fantasy
Age Range: Young Adult
Format: Hardcover, 516 pages
Source: My Copy
Published on October 7, 2014
Rick Riordan: Website | Twitter | Goodreads
I read the Finnish version, “Olympoksen Veri”. Contains spoilers for earlier books in the series.

Synopsis:
Nico had warned them. Going through the House of Hades would stir the demigods’ worst memories. Their ghosts would become restless. Nico may actually become a ghost if he has to shadow-travel with Reyna and Coach Hedge one more time. But that might be better than the alternative: allowing someone else to die, as Hades foretold.

Jason’s ghost is his mother, who abandoned him when he was little. He may not know how he is going to prove himself as a leader, but he does know that he will not break promises like she did. He will complete his line of the prophecy: To storm or fire the world must fall.

Reyna fears the ghosts of her ancestors, who radiate anger. But she can’t allow them to distract her from getting the Athena Parthenos to Camp Half-Blood before war breaks out between the Romans and Greeks. Will she have enough strength to succeed, especially with a deadly hunter on her trail?

Leo fears that his plan won’t work, that his friends might interfere. But there is no other way. All of them know that one of the Seven has to die in order to defeat Gaea, the Earth Mother.

Piper must learn to give herself over to fear. Only then will she be able to do her part at the end: utter a single word.

Heroes, gods, and monsters all have a role to play in the climactic fulfillment of the prophecy in The Blood of Olympus, the electrifying finale of the best-selling Heroes of Olympus series.

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Book Review: Grace and Glory by Jennifer L. Armentrout


Grace and Glory by Jennifer L. Armentrout 
Series: The Harbinger, #3
Genre: Fantasy | Romance | Paranormal
Age Range: Young Adult
Format: Hardcover, 512 pages.
Source: My Copy
Published on June 1, 2021
Jennifer L. Armentout: Website | Twitter | Goodreads
Spoilers for The Dark Elements

Synopsis:
Danger, betrayal, and enticing forbidden love clash in book three of #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout’s Harbinger trilogy!
When Angels Fall

Trinity Marrow has lost the battle and her beloved Protector. Even with both demons and Wardens on her side, Trin may not win the war against the Harbinger.

Bringing Lucifer back to the world to fight the Harbinger is probably a really, really bad idea, but they’re out of options—and the world’s ultimate fallen angel is the only being powerful enough to impact the outcome.

As Trin and Zayne form a new and more dangerous bond and Lucifer unleashes Hell on earth, the apocalypse looms and the world teeters on the end of forever. Win or lose, one thing is certain—nothing will ever be the same.

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Book Review: The House of Hades by Rick Riordan


The House of Hades by Rick Riordan 
Series: Heroes of Olympus, #4
Genre: Fantasy
Age Range: Young Adult
Format: Hardcover, 597 pages
Source: My Copy
Published on October 8, 2013
Rick Riordan: Website | Twitter | Goodreads
I read the Finnish version, “Haadeksen Talo”. Contains spoilers for earlier books in the series.

Synopsis:
Hazel stands at a crossroads. She and the remaining crew of the Argo II could return home with the Athena Parthenos statue and try to stop Camp Half-Blood and Camp Jupiter from going to war. Or they could continue their quest to find the House of Hades, where they might be able to open the Doors of Death, rescue their friends Percy and Annabeth from Tartarus, and prevent monsters from being reincarnated in the mortal world. Whichever road they decide to take, they have to hurry, because time is running out. Gaea, the bloodthirsty Earth Mother, has set the date of August 1 for her rise to power.

Annabeth and Percy are overwhelmed. How will the two of them make it through Tartarus? Starving, thirsty, and in pain, they are barely able to stumble on in the dark and poisonous landscape that holds new horrors at every turn. They have no way of locating the Doors of Death. Even if they did, a legion of Gaea’s strongest monsters guards the Doors on the Tartarus side. Annabeth and Percy can’t exactly launch a frontal assault.

Despite the terrible odds, Hazel, Annabeth, Percy, and the other demigods of the prophecy know that there is only one choice: to attempt the impossible. Not just for themselves, but for everyone they love. Even though love can be the riskiest choice of all.

Join the demigods as they face their biggest challenges yet in The House of Hades, the hair-raising penultimate book in the best-selling Heroes of Olympus series.

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Book Review: The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan


The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan 
Series: Heroes of Olympus, #3
Genre: Fantasy
Age Range: Young Adult
Format: Hardcover, 586 pages
Source: My Copy
Published on October 2, 2012
Rick Riordan: Website | Twitter | Goodreads
I read the Finnish version, “Athenan Merkki”. 

Synopsis:
Annabeth is terrified. Just when she’s about to be reunited with Percy—after six months of being apart, thanks to Hera—it looks like Camp Jupiter is preparing for war. As Annabeth and her friends Jason, Piper, and Leo fly in on the Argo II, she can’t blame the Roman demigods for thinking the ship is a Greek weapon. With its steaming bronze dragon figurehead, Leo’s fantastical creation doesn’t appear friendly. Annabeth hopes that the sight of their praetor Jason on deck will reassure the Romans that the visitors from Camp Half-Blood are coming in peace.

And that’s only one of her worries. In her pocket, Annabeth carries a gift from her mother that came with an unnerving command: Follow the Mark of Athena. Avenge me. Annabeth already feels weighed down by the prophecy that will send seven demigods on a quest to find—and close—the Doors of Death. What more does Athena want from her?

Annabeth’s biggest fear, though, is that Percy might have changed. What if he’s now attached to Roman ways? Does he still need his old friends? As the daughter of the goddess of war and wisdom, Annabeth knows she was born to be a leader—but never again does she want to be without Seaweed Brain by her side

Narrated by four different demigods, The Mark of Athena is an unforgettable journey across land and sea to Rome, where important discoveries, surprising sacrifices, and unspeakable horrors await. Climb aboard the Argo II, if you dare. . . .

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Book Review: Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer


Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer 
Series: Twilight, #4
Genre: Fantasy | Romance | Paranormal
Age Range: Young Adult
Format: Hardcover, 756 pages
Source: My Copy
Published on August 2, 2008
Stephenie Meyer: Website | Twitter | Goodreads
Contains spoilers

Synopsis:
WHEN YOU LOVED THE ONE WHO WAS KILLING YOU, IT LEFT YOU NO OPTIONS. How could you run, how could you fight, when doing so would hurt that beloved one? If your life was all you had to give, how could you not give it? If it was someone you truly loved?

TO BE IRREVOCABLY IN LOVE WITH A VAMPIRE is both fantasy and nightmare woven into a dangerously heightened reality for Bella Swan. Pulled in one direction by her intense passion for Edward Cullen, and in another by her profound connection to werewolf Jacob Black, a tumultuous year of temptation, loss, and strife have led her to the ultimate turning point. Her imminent choice to either join the dark but seductive world of immortals or to pursue a fully human life has become the thread from which the fates of two tribes hangs.

NOW THAT BELLA HAS MADE HER DECISION, a startling chain of unprecedented events is about to unfold with potentially devastating, and unfathomable, consequences. Just when the frayed strands of Bella’s life – first discovered in Twilight, then scattered and torn in New Moon and Eclipse – seem ready to heal and knit together, could they be destroyed… forever?

THE ASTONISHING, BREATHLESSLY anticipated conclusion to the Twilight Saga, Breaking Dawn illuminates the secrets and mysteries of this spellbinding romantic epic that has entranced millions.

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Book Review: The Brightest Night by Jennifer L. Armentrout


The Brightest Night by Jennifer L. Armentroutt 
Series: Origin, #3
Genre: Science Fiction | Romance | Paranormal
Age Range: Young Adult
Format: Hardcover, 512 pages.
Source: My Copy
Published on October 20, 2020
Jennifer L. Armentrout: Website | Twitter | Goodread

Synopsis:

Less than a year ago, Evelyn Dasher was a normal girl, living an unremarkable life.

Now, she’s on the run, under the protection of the beautiful, deadly inhuman Luc. She’s been betrayed by those who were closest to her. And she’s learned truths about herself that she never saw coming–things she once knew, and was made to forget. Truths with devastating consequences. She’s caught in the eye of the storm.

He is the darkest star.
You are the burning shadow.
And together, you will bring about the brightest night.

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Book Review: Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer


Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer 
Series: Twilight, #3
Genre: Fantasy | Romance | Paranormal
Age Range: Young Adult
Format: Hardcover, 629 pages
Source: My Copy
Published on August 7th 2007 by Little, Brown and Company
Stephenie Meyer: Website | Twitter | Goodreads
Contains spoilers

Synopsis:
As Seattle is ravaged by a string of mysterious killings and a malicious vampire continues her quest for revenge, Bella once again finds herself surrounded by danger. In the midst of it all, she is forced to choose between her love for Edward and her friendship with Jacob – knowing that her decision has the potential to ignite the ageless struggle between vampire and werewolf. With her graduation quickly approaching, Bella has one more decision to make: life or death. But which is which?

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Book Review: The Burning Shadow by Jennifer L. Armentrout


The Burning Shadow by Jennifer L. Armentroutt 
Series: Origin, #2
Genre: Science Fiction | Romance | Paranormal
Age Range: Young Adult
Format: Hardcover, 432 pages.
Source: My Copy
Published on October 8th 2019 by Tor Teen
Jennifer L. Armentrout: Website | Twitter | Goodreads

Contains spoilers for The Darkest Star

Synopsis:

When Evelyn Dasher crossed paths with Luc, she was thrown headfirst into the world of the Lux—only to discover that she was already far more involved in their world than she ever suspected.

Because the Luxen aren’t the only ones with a hidden past. There’s a gap in Evie’s memory, lost months of her life and a lingering sense that something happened, something she can’t remember and nobody is willing to tell her. She needs to find out the truth about who she is—and who she was. But every answer she finds only brings up more questions.

Her search for the truth brings her ever closer to Luc, the Origin at the center of it all. He’s powerful, arrogant, inhumanly beautiful, extremely dangerous…and possibly in love with her. But even as Evie falls for him, she can’t help but wonder if his attraction is to her, or to the memory of a girl who no longer exists.

And all the while, a new threat looms: reports of a flu-like, fatal virus that the government insists is being spread by Luxen. A horrifying illness that changes whoever it touches, spreading panic across a country already at its breaking point.

#1 New York Times, USA Today, and internationally bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout returns to the world of the Lux with this steamy, shocking second installment of the Origin series that will leave readers reeling.

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Buddy Read: Rage and Ruin by Jennifer L. Armentrout


Rage and Ruin by Jennifer L. Armentrout 
Series: The Harbinger, #2
Genre: Fantasy | Romance | Paranormal
Age Range: Young Adult
Format: Hardcover, 576 pages.
Source: My Copy
Published on June 9th 2020 by Inkyard Press
Jennifer L. Armentout: Website | Twitter | Goodreads
Spoilers for The Dark Elements series

Synopsis:
A half human, half angel and her bonded gargoyle protector must work with demons to stop the apocalypse while avoiding falling in love. The Harbinger is coming… but who or what is it? All of humankind may fall if Trinity and Zayne can’t win the race against time as dark forces gather.

As tensions rise, they must stay close together and patrol the DC streets at night, seeking signs of the Harbinger, an entity that is killing Wardens and demons with no seeming rhyme or reason. Forbidden to be with each other, Zayne and Trinity fight their feelings and turn to unusual sources for help—the demon Roth and his cohorts. But as deaths pile up and they uncover a sinister plot involving the local high school and endangering someone dear to Zayne, Trin realizes she is being led – herded – played for some unknown end. As anger builds and feelings spiral out of control, it becomes clear that rage may be the ruin of them all.

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