Book Review: The Atlas Six

Reading this book will make you feel so smart and so dense at the same time.

The Book:

Title: The Atlas Six

Series: The Atlas #1

Author: Olivie Blake

Published January 31st 2020

Genre: Fantasy, Fiction, Adult

Pages: 383

“The Alexandrian Society, caretakers of lost knowledge from the greatest civilizations of antiquity, are the foremost secret society of magical academicians in the world. Those who earn a place among the Alexandrians will secure a life of wealth, power, and prestige beyond their wildest dreams, and each decade, only the six most uniquely talented magicians are selected to be considered for initiation.

Enter the latest round of six: Libby Rhodes and Nico de Varona, unwilling halves of an unfathomable whole, who exert uncanny control over every element of physicality. Reina Mori, a naturalist, who can intuit the language of life itself. Parisa Kamali, a telepath who can traverse the depths of the subconscious, navigating worlds inside the human mind. Callum Nova, an empath easily mistaken for a manipulative illusionist, who can influence the intimate workings of a person’s inner self. Finally, there is Tristan Caine, who can see through illusions to a new structure of reality—an ability so rare that neither he nor his peers can fully grasp its implications.

When the candidates are recruited by the mysterious Atlas Blakely, they are told they will have one year to qualify for initiation, during which time they will be permitted preliminary access to the Society’s archives and judged based on their contributions to various subjects of impossibility: time and space, luck and thought, life and death. Five, they are told, will be initiated. One will be eliminated. The six potential initiates will fight to survive the next year of their lives, and if they can prove themselves to be the best among their rivals, most of them will.

Most of them.” –Goodreads

My Review:

Beginning this book, I knew it would be a life-changing book, at least according to numerous people on TikTok.

They were right.

While I may not have had an epiphany about the world or life in general, this book left a lasting impression. Olivie Blake discusses ideas about space, time, and thought that I have never heard of. This book has shifted my way of thinking about time and space.

After finishing the book, I wanted to check out books about all sorts of philosophical topics just to understand half of what these characters were talking about.

While the topics seem intimidating, Blake breaks them down really well for the sake of the story. Her ability to show the ideas while still keeping the complex jargon made me feel so smart. ( I still did not understand half the principles the characters spoke about, hence the feeling dense mentioned earlier.)

The plot was superb. I got the perfect amount of information throughout the story. The switching of POVs and the time-skips made sense and did not take away from my understanding or my enjoyment.

The book does focus mostly on 6 twenty-year-olds reading books and barely anything happens within the story, but the mental processes that take place in each character are astonishing; any added action would have made the book too much or too confusing.

Everything was revealed slowly, but surely. I could not put this book down. There are so many theories that I had in the beginning. Some I did not get right and some I did.

This book focuses heavily on character development, so if you are not into that sort of book, this might not be the book for you.

The characters were amazing to read about. I think that they all had their complex problems and successes. Reina and Libby were probably my favorites. I feel like they were so relatable and they had the best grasp on reality.

The other characters were perfect too! Honestly, there was no underdeveloped character in this book, other than Atlas, but we don’t see growth from him because he is barely around.

Some of the characters were unlikeable which was so nice. Blake makes all of the characters act like themselves. They all follow their own moral compass. They do what is necessary to survive. This story was so unique in the fact that no one tried to be someone they weren’t. I cannot say much more about the characters. I want you to experience them for yourself.

The vibe of this book is delectable. I read it in the wintertime. It was cold and I have been into the dark academia aesthetic recently. This book serves readers this aesthetic on a silver platter.

I loved this book. It has been a while since I have texted my reading buddies about a book and begged them to read it.

This book was honestly amazing. I could not put it down because I was so engulfed in the book.

As always, thanks for reading,

A Bookie

Star Rating: 4.5

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Once Upon a Broken Heart: A Cute Novel with Surprising Adventure

The Book:

Title: Once Upon a Broken Heart

Author: Stephanie Garber

Series: Once Upon a Broken Heart #1

Published September 28th 2021 by Flatiron Books

Genre: Fantasy, YA

Pages: 408

“For as long as she can remember, Evangeline Fox has believed in true love and happy endings…until she learns that the love of her life will marry another.

Desperate to stop the wedding and to heal her wounded heart, Evangeline strikes a deal with the charismatic but wicked Prince of Hearts. In exchange for his help, he asks for three kisses, to be given at the time and place of his choosing.

But after Evangeline’s first promised kiss, she learns that bargaining with an immortal is a dangerous game—and that the Prince of Hearts wants far more from her than she’d pledged. He has plans for Evangeline, plans that will either end in the greatest happily ever after or the most exquisite tragedy….” -Goodreads

My Review:

Once again, Stephanie Garber has one my heart. The Caraval series was beautiful and then this book, in the same universe and my favorite character, was magical.

Garber’s writing is significantly improved in this book. Caraval was a little choppy and less descriptive. This book had amazing descriptions and was less choppy.

The main character in this book was stunning. I want to dye my hair rose gold to match Ms. Evageline Fox. I think we are very similar in character. We try to do the right thing and are hopeless romantics. She believes in fairytales and wants to be the hero. I adore her.

Jacks, oh my Jacks, has been a naughty little boy, but how can you blame the Prince of Hearts. I wished the ending was a bit different for him, but we will see how it plays out in the sequel.

Since this takes place in an empire previously described in the Caraval series, we do not need a lot of world-building upfront which was nice to get the right pacing in the book. When we do have a change of scenery, we get the world-building while still being able to keep up with the story.

This book makes this Caraval universe become three-dimensional. Caraval and the others would have half-explained government systems, landmarks, and just general setting ideas. This book exceeded the last book, explaining the Meridian Empire and the Northern Empire so much more.

This book was honestly magical. My last thing to say is to Stephanie Garber. Please, please, and please finish and publish the next one already. I want more of Jacks!

As always, thanks for reading,

A Bookie

Star Rating: 4

Rating: 4 out of 5.

A Two Book Colleen Hoover Review

Here, I review Without Merit and Layla by Colleen Hoover

The Books:

Title: Without Merit

Author: Colleen Hoover

Published October 3rd 2017 by Atria Books

Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance

Pages: 385

“The Voss family is anything but normal. They live in a repurposed church, newly baptized Dollar Voss. The once cancer-stricken mother lives in the basement, the father is married to the mother’s former nurse, the little half-brother isn’t allowed to do or eat anything fun, and the eldest siblings are irritatingly perfect. Then, there’s Merit.

Merit Voss collects trophies she hasn’t earned and secrets her family forces her to keep. While browsing the local antique shop for her next trophy, she finds Sagan. His wit and unapologetic idealism disarm and spark renewed life into her—until she discovers that he’s completely unavailable. Merit retreats deeper into herself, watching her family from the sidelines when she learns a secret that no trophy in the world can fix.

Fed up with the lies, Merit decides to shatter the happy family illusion that she’s never been a part of before leaving them behind for good. When her escape plan fails, Merit is forced to deal with the staggering consequences of telling the truth and losing the one boy she loves.” -Goodreads

Title: Layla

Author: Colleen Hoover

Published December 8th 2020 by Montlake

Genre: Romance, Paranormal

Pages: 301

“When Leeds meets Layla, he’s convinced he’ll spend the rest of his life with her—until an unexpected attack leaves Layla fighting for her life. After weeks in the hospital, Layla recovers physically, but the emotional and mental scarring has altered the woman Leeds fell in love with. In order to put their relationship back on track, Leeds whisks Layla away to the bed-and-breakfast where they first met. Once they arrive, Layla’s behavior takes a bizarre turn. And that’s just one of many inexplicable occurrences.

Feeling distant from Layla, Leeds soon finds solace in Willow—another guest of the B&B with whom he forms a connection through their shared concerns. As his curiosity for Willow grows, his decision to help her find answers puts him in direct conflict with Layla’s well-being. Leeds soon realizes he has to make a choice because he can’t help both of them. But if he makes the wrong choice, it could be detrimental for all of them. “ -Goodreads

My Reviews

For the first book, I am going to review Without Merit.

I listened to this book on audiobook this past week. I enjoyed the audiobook and the reader.

I thought the book was well done. Certainly, not her best work and it was not her worst.

The premise of the story was good, but I felt like it was a little bland. When I read the synopsis, I thought there would be a grad escape plan that would come to a crashing halt. Forgive me, Colleen Hoover, for assuming this.

When I say ‘bland,’ I don’t necessarily mean boring, because it wasn’t. I just mean that it did not have the OOMPF that most of Hoover’s books had. It did not have that spark. The story still had drama that kept pulling me into the story more and more.

The main character was honestly annoying but in a good way. Her family was even worse, but that was kind of the point.

I think the romance in here was a charming addition to the story. I think it added some suspense and some drama.

All in all, the story was good. Not high on her list but still a good read. I do not know how she comes up with all of the ideas for her books. Everyone I have read has something different in it than the next.

Hoover is a queen.

Star Rating: 3

Rating: 3 out of 5.

This next book, however, is my least favorite out of all of her books.

I don’t know if it was the ghost or the fact that it was from a male’s POV.

The paranormal aspect was way out of the left field for a Colleen Hoover book. There was a good bit of suspense. I sometimes felt like I had to hide under my covers, but that was short-lived.

The male lead was horribly dull. Leeds was honestly boring. There was no development in his character. Every time he spoke, I wanted to kick him in the face. That was pretty hard to get past since the entire book is in his POV.

I could not get into this story. I also listened to this book and it was so hard for me to press play. I would listen for moments in the mornings, but it would not pique my interest enough to play it in the car or elsewhere.

I honestly don’t have much to say.

Nothing was necessarily bad with the book. The writing was great. The story was unique and interesting. I just did not vibe with it.

Star Rating: 1

Rating: 1 out of 5.

I hoped you enjoyed my two reviews. I am so behind on reviews, I would have the next two months planned out if I did every single review, hence the combination of these two.

As always, thanks for reading,

A Bookie

The Thrilling Third Book in The Mortal Insruments

Like the title state, I was thrilled about how well-written this book was!

The Book:

Title: City of Glass

Author: Cassandra Clare

Series: The Mortal Instruments #3

Published September 1st 2015 by Margaret K. McElderry Books (first published March 24th 2009)

Genre: YA, Fantasy

Pages: 543

“To save her mother’s life, Clary must travel to the City of Glass, the ancestral home of the Shadowhunters — never mind that entering the city without permission is against the Law, and breaking the Law could mean death. To make things worse, she learns that Jace does not want her there, and her best friend, Simon, has been thrown in prison by the Shadowhunters, who are deeply suspicious of a vampire who can withstand sunlight.

As Clary uncovers more about her family’s past, she finds an ally in mysterious Shadowhunter Sebastian. With Valentine mustering the full force of his power to destroy all Shadowhunters forever, their only chance to defeat him is to fight alongside their eternal enemies. But can Downworlders and Shadowhunters put aside their hatred to work together? While Jace realizes exactly how much he’s willing to risk for Clary, can she harness her newfound powers to help save the Glass City — whatever the cost?” -Goodreads

My Review:

So far, this is the best book in the series.

I was unable to put this book down. I finished it faster than the other two, even thought it is significantly larger.

I have so many things to rave about this book.

Fight and war scenes are done exceptionally. The writing is easy to follow. The motions are fast, but not too fast, where you lose who is fighting who.

The entire middle section of this book is a war in the city, spread out over different POVs. I have seen this in many books, but honestly this book takes the cake. I was never confused. It was perfectly paced. Each POV added something unique to the story, and did not just describe the same scene from multiple angles.

I loved that part of the book. I talked my boyfriend’s ear off about how nice the writing was.

Different scenes in this book were so thought out and so beautifully haunting. (Slight Spoilers) Meeting Ithuriel was so exqusitely beautiful but also had shivers racing up and down my back.

I loved the way I could guess or make predictions about what was going to happen next. I think some may call that predictable, but, for this book, I thought it was perfect.

I could see the formings of ideas and could see where the book was headed, but there were some twists and turns that I had not anticipated or saw through. Some authors are so transparent, but Clare’s was not. (I knew the big twist in the romance beforehand, but if I hadn’t I would have never guessed.)

The story was good. I never felt like it was dry or dragging on. The book excited me a lot.

The romance is still a bit off in this book. Even with how things ended, I do not think that I could ever be in love with someone who I thought was my brother. No thank you!

As always, thanks for reading,

A Bookie

Star Rating: 4

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Heartstopper: A Review

AGHHH This was so CUTE!

My Book:

Goodreads

Title: Heartstopper: Volume One

Author: Alice Oseman

Series: Heartstopper #1

Published May 5th, 2020 by Graphix (first published September 2016)

Genre: YA, Romance, LGBTQ+

Pages: 288

Boy meets boy. Boys become friends. Boys fall in love. A sweet and charming coming-of-age story that explores friendship, love, and coming out.

Shy and softhearted Charlie Spring sits next to rugby player Nick Nelson in class one morning. A warm and intimate friendship follows, and that soon develops into something more for Charlie, who doesn’t think he has a chance.

But Nick is struggling with feelings of his own, and as the two grow closer and take on the ups and downs of high school, they come to understand the surprising and delightful ways in which love works.” -Goodreads

My Review:

I have not read a graphic novel in so long! This one was perfect to get me out of my tunnel down the fantasy rabbit hole.

I picked it up at Target a few days ago. I finished it the next day. I am now anxiously awaiting the second one.

This volume leaves off on a cliffhanger right as we were getting to the good parts. I love stories that leave you begging for more.

The story is so cute. It focuses on two high school-aged boys falling in love. Charlie and Nick’s romance is so touching and relatable. Whoever you are and wherever your love interests are, we can all relate to the highs and very low lows of crushes and love in high school.

The illustrations are so cute. I think these like semi-minimalistic cartoon pencil drawings are perfect. The way the feelings are displayed through changing box sizes and illustrations on the background.

This graphic novel is so well done. I love it a lot.

As always, thanks for reading,

A Bookie

Star Rating: 4

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The City of Ashes

So besides the sister/brother romance, everything about this book is superb.

The Book:

Goodreads

Title: The City of Ashes

Author: Cassandra Clare

Series: The Mortal Instruments #2

Published September 1st 2015 by Margaret K. McElderry Books (first published March 25th 2008)

Genre: YA, Fantasy

Pages: 455

“Clary Fray just wishes that her life would go back to normal. But what’s normal when you’re a demon-slaying Shadowhunter, your mother is in a magically induced coma, and you can suddenly see Downworlders like werewolves, vampires, and faeries? If Clary left the world of the Shadowhunters behind, it would mean more time with her best friend, Simon, who’s becoming more than a friend. But the Shadowhunting world isn’t ready to let her go—especially her handsome, infuriating, newfound brother, Jace. And Clary’s only chance to help her mother is to track down rogue Shadowhunter Valentine, who is probably insane, certainly evil—and also her father.

To complicate matters, someone in New York City is murdering Downworlder children. Is Valentine behind the killings—and if he is, what is he trying to do? When the second of the Mortal Instruments, the Soul-Sword, is stolen, the terrifying Inquisitor arrives to investigate and zooms right in on Jace. How can Clary stop Valentine if Jace is willing to betray everything he believes in to help their father?

In this breathtaking sequel to City of Bones, Cassandra Clare lures her readers back into the dark grip of New York City’s Downworld, where love is never safe and power becomes the deadliest temptation.” -Goodreads

My Review:

Cassandra Clare wrote horribly in the first book, City of Bones. She wrote writing that I could only describe as fanfiction writing. In this book though, she seems to have a grip on her fanfiction descriptions and reigns it into more professional and exquisite writing.

This is really shown off in the third book, but we are not talking about that yet.

Near the end of the book, the story sucked me in and I could not put it down. I finished the book in two days. I started to read the next one and devoured that as well.

The fighting scenes are so good. The little twists and turns are so good. The descriptions of the world are so vibrant. I can envision everything so well.

The humor in this series is the best. The witty comments are cheesy, but I appreciate them. They are actually funny, unlike other fantasy books.

The one thing I hate about this book is the romance. Ugh, I want to barf. If you don’t know, (spoilers for the rest of the paragraph) the main character and the main love interests are brother and sister for this book. It irks me because the romance could be so great, but now it is just tainted.

Other than that, this book is really good. I am enjoying The Mortal Instruments.

The next book is so much better than all the others. I cannot wait to finish it and put up my review.

As always, thanks for reading,

A Bookie

Star Rating: 4

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Have you read this book? Let me know down below!

A Veil of Truth and Poor Writing

I would never lie to my readers, so I will not be giving this book a good review. I wish that I could.

The Book:

Title: A Veil of Truth and Trickery

Author: Analeigh Ford

Published July 31st 2021

Genre: Fantasy

Pages: 308

“Delphine has been fae-marked from birth, treated as a curse despite the fact the once treacherous fae haven’t been sighted in decades—in fact, no one in Delph’s village has so much as laid eyes on one of the folk in nearly a century.

Right up until a fae turns up on her doorstep, demanding Delph as down payment.

No sooner has she set foot in the fae realm, however, then she learns she’s no mere collateral in a deal made with the lord that owns her family lands. She was selected for a reason, hunted down for a single purpose.

The fae courts are fading. The folk disappearing.

Only four courts remain. Four princes determined to save their crumbling kingdoms.

And Delph … Delph may just hold the key to save them all.

But even as Delph learns to see past the feared glamour of the fae realm, she quickly learns the impossible position she’s found herself in. The fae may not be the monsters she was led to believe, but in order to save them … she may have to become a monster herself.” -Goodreads

My Review:

*I just read the synopsis and that is even written poorly.

Negative reviews are literally my least favorite to write. But I have to for this book.

First, I feel like I was promised a lot from the author on TikTok. I was excited and so I purchased the book.

There was supposed to be spicy romance that beat out the ACOTAR series.

Let’s just say that it was not true.

This book started and instantly I knew it was not going to be great. In my creative writing classes for college, there is a saying thrown around A LOT and I hate to repeat it here, but I must. A writer should show not tell.

This writer did a lot of telling. Many places where there could have been descriptions and details.

This book regarded the Fae. I love Fae books, but I think Ford just tried to use the basic outline of Fae from a Sarah J. Maas world. I read the book like that because there seemed to be no focus on who they were.

The world building in this story in general was a bit lacking. I felt like the village the main character starts off in was okay. It was bland and I did not get the relationship with the family.

The fae realm was even more lack luster than the village. When the main character enters the realm, her body is unable to adjust and she describes feeling sick. But the way the realm is described feels like an acid trip…that never stops.

We get little snippets of the world, but I feel like it was not enough for me to stop imagining that first drop into the world.

I might just be being picky though.

Each chapter ended with like a resolution to the issue presented in the beginning. I dislike that kind of narration. I believe the author was trying to make each chapter end in a cliff hanger. It just wasn’t for me.

There were so many plot holes or things that didn’t add up. I kept expecting to find answers, but I was left with more questions.

The characters were static and one dimensional. No one learned anything or changed. I got more intriguing characters in the Ice Planet Barbarians series than this.

The premise of the story was good. I don’t think it was super unique as it clearly copied a lot of ACOTAR, but it had some interesting aspects that *almost* make me want to read the second book when it comes out.

Except I probably won’t.

As always, thanks for reading,

A Bookie

Star Rating: 2

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Red Queen: My First Aveyard

Hey guys! I am trying out a new format with my blog so bear with me…

THE BOOK:

Title: Red Queen

Author: Victoria Aveyard

Series: Red Queen #1

Published February 10th, 2015 by HarperTeen

Genre: Fantasy, YA, Sci-Fi

Pages: 383

“This is a world divided by blood—red or silver. The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change. That is until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power. Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime. But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance—Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart.” -Goodreads

MY REVIEW:

Plotwise this book had everything. Characterwise this book had everything. Romancewise this book had everything. This book was everything I wanted and more!

Before reading this, I was in a total reading slump. I had five books on my book cart begging to be read, but they did not entice me. I thought, “Okay, let’s try one more attempt at recovery.” I grabbed the first book on my shelf, something new, something fresh. I had never read Aveyard’s work before. I had attempted to read this one a long time ago, but it became overdue at the library and I had no care to continue on.

But damn how I have missed out!

From the moment I picked up this book, I devoured it. I began reading it last week and then just finished today. I have not finished a book in a week since Summer. School has been kicking my butt and this was the perfect escape.

The plot was exciting. Aveyard is a temptress. She brings you into the story with vivid details and then smashes your face into the Silver’s diamond walls with twists and turns. I got to see the seedy underbelly of the elite in this society, and I want more.

Whenever I started getting comfortable with the storyline, thinking: “What else could possibly happen?” I was thrown into a whole new hole and sunk deeper and deeper into the story.

The graphics in my mind were so amazing. Aveyard found the sweet spot when it came to describing the setting. It wasn’t overcontrolling but it wasn’t so little I could have thought of anything and it would fit. The imagery wrapped around me like a nicely fitting glove.

Mare Barrow, the main character, excites me, infuriates me, and charms me in every word of the story. She goes from peasant Red in rags to noble Silver in silks. We, as readers, see the internal struggle she feels working with her enemies. We feel all of her emotions as we go through the story.

The kind, sweet-hearted Maven was my favorite character. Emphasis on the was. I was really rooting for him throughout the book. I wanted the second child to get some sort of recognition in this book. He was handsome, smart, and emotionally available for Mare. Again, emphasis on the past tense.

Cal infuriates me. Yeah, I said it. He is annoying and I do not root for him. He stands against everything Mare stands for, which I am always going to be on Mare’s side, and that makes him a little punk in my mind.

The other side characters were amazing. Everyone was well developed, no matter who they were and if they only showed up once or twice. I got to love almost everyone in this book.

I think this book was super entertaining. I have heard that it might be made into a TV show or movie. I would die! I think that it would be so cool to see the story of Mare Barrow brought to the big screen.

Go check out my Twitter and Instagram @abookiesbooks

As always, thanks for reading

A Bookie

MY RATING:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Blackout: A Must Read

Title: Blackout

Authors: Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk, and Nicola Yoon

Published June 22nd, 2021 by Quill Tree Books

Genre: Contemporary YA, Romance

“A summer heatwave blankets New York City in darkness. But as the city is thrown into confusion, a different kind of electricity sparks…

A first meeting. 

Long-time friends. 

Bitter exes. 

And maybe the beginning of something new.

When the lights go out, people reveal hidden truths. Love blossoms, friendship transforms, and new possibilities take flight.” –Goodreads

My Review:

This is going to be short, I am just trying to catch up!

I read this book in the summer. And clearly, I am posting this review in the fall. I am sorry. I have been doing a whole lot of reading and not a lot of blogging. Blame it on the various ways I am able to read books these days. Audiobooks have made it so I can literally read without my eyes open.

That is how I read this glorious book.

Let me tell you, I love these short story books by multiple authors. This is similar to the winter My True Love Gave to Me book. Except it is even better.

It is about black teens of all different sexualities in New York City. It has representation and New York City. What more can I ask for?

I don’t have a lot to say about this book other than it is really good. I think that everyone should read it. If you like romance and short stories that you definitely should read this book.

As always, thanks for reading,

A Bookie

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Vine Witch Series: Trilogy Mini-Reviews

Title: The Vine Witch

Author: Luanne G. Smith

Series: The Vine Witch #1

Published October 1st 2019 by 47North

Genre: Fantasy, Witches, Romance

Pages: 263

“A young witch emerges from a curse to find her world upended in this gripping fantasy of betrayal, vengeance, and self-discovery set in turn-of-the-century France.

For centuries, the vineyards at Château Renard have depended on the talent of their vine witches, whose spells help create the world-renowned wine of the Chanceaux Valley. Then the skill of divining harvests fell into ruin when sorcière Elena Boureanu was blindsided by a curse. Now, after breaking the spell that confined her to the shallows of a marshland and weakened her magic, Elena is struggling to return to her former life. And the vineyard she was destined to inherit is now in the possession of a handsome stranger.

Vigneron Jean-Paul Martel naively favors science over superstition, and he certainly doesn’t endorse the locals’ belief in witches. But Elena knows a hex when she sees one, and the vineyard is covered in them. To stay on and help the vines recover, she’ll have to hide her true identity, along with her plans for revenge against whoever stole seven winters of her life. And she won’t rest until she can defy the evil powers that are still a threat to herself, Jean-Paul, and the ancient vine-witch legacy in the rolling hills of the Chanceaux Valley.” -Goodreads

My Review:

As the first book in this series, I saw it as I scrolled through Kindle. I took as chance and began reading it. I was immediately intrigued and pulled into this book series. I had never heard of it but I was looking for something different to read than my normal smutty books.

I was first intrigued by the details. It was incredibly detailed. I always could see everything that was happening around me. The smells and tastes of everything was so vivid, I felt as though I was Elena.

Meeting Elena was a magical moment. She was a cunning and relatable character to read about. I think there was little character development on her throughout the series, which was a little disappointing. I do love a good character shift but she stays pretty stagnant. She is very likeable. She always does the right thing and is always there to lend her friends a helping hand.

Elena and Jean-Paul do give this book a bit of romance that gives it a push into the romance genre. It is not a lot, however, and is kind of in the background. I almost didn’t even notice.

I would say this book was a little slow to start and the romance was a little lack luster but the ending was thrilling and made up for my dislike of the beginning.

Star Rating: 3.0

Then came the next book…

Title: The Glamourist

Author: Luanne G. Smith

Series: The Vine Witch #2

Published June 9th 2020 by 47North

Genre: Fantasy, Witches

Pages: 282

“Abandoned as a child in turn-of-the-century Paris, Yvette Lenoir has longed to uncover the secrets of her magical heritage and tap her suppressed powers. But what brave and resourceful Yvette has done to survive the streets has made her a fugitive. With a price on her head, she clings to a memento from her past—what she believes to be a grimoire inherited from the mother she never knew. To unlock the secrets of her past, Yvette trusts in one woman to help solve the arcane riddles among its charmed pages.

Elena Boureanu is the vine witch of Château Renard, noted for its renowned wines. Even as she struggles with her own bloodline—and its poisonous threat to her future—Elena can’t ignore a friend on the run. Joined by a cunning thief, the proprietor of an enchanted-curio shop, and a bewitching black cat, Elena and Yvette are determined to decode Yvette’s mysterious keepsake. But what restless magic will be unleashed? And what are Yvette and Elena willing to risk to become the witches they were destined to be?” -Goodreads

My Review:

The Glamourist was everything the first book was not. It had suspense. It had multiple POVs of our main characters of the series, Yvette, Elena, and Sidra. This book mainly focused on Yvette’s story with Elena to back up the story with side plot.

Yvette was awesome. I liked her a lot. I believe there was a bit of development in this story with her character. The whole story centers around her finding her true identity.

Smith wrote this story even better then The Vine Witch. The senses were even more stimulated. I now really want to go to Paris to try some of the food and smells they talked about in the book.

This book was definitely my favorite in the series. It was just so much action and struggle. I felt so connected with the characters.

Star Rating: 3.1

Title: The Conjurer

Author: Luanne G. Smith

Series: The Vine Witch #3

Published January 12th 2021 by 47North

Genre: Fantasy, Witches

Pages: 241

“Sidra didn’t murder her husband. Yet even a jinni can’t wish away a wrongful imprisonment. Determined to prove her innocence, she returns to her adopted home—a French village renowned for its perfume witches—with her friends Elena and Yvette by her side. Here is where Sidra’s true destiny awaits, but danger also lurks in the village’s narrow lanes.

On her trail is Jamra, another jinni, who’s after more than revenge for the murder of his brother. He also seeks vengeance for the indignities inflicted on jinn by mortals over the centuries. When he learns of an ancient relic capable of unleashing chaos on the world, and that the weapon is in the hands of his murderous sister-in-law, he vows to destroy Sidra to get it.

Relying on a sisterhood of magic, a mysteriously faithful dog, and a second-rate sorcerer, Sidra defends herself using the village’s greatest asset: its perfume. It’s as beguiling a lure as it is a formidable shield. But is it enough for Sidra to protect herself and those she loves from powers yet to be released?” -Goodreads

My Review:

I really enjoyed this book like the others. But there were some downfalls.

Like the first, Sidra did not have a lot of character development. Smith also had Sidra hide a lot of things from the reader even in the third person limited she wrote in. I feel like we could have had a little more insight with out spoiling too much in the grand scheme of things.

Also, the plot up until the end was not as flushed out as I thought it could be. At times it was confusing and just seemed like they were passing time till they were leading up to their final battle.

But, the ending, like the first book, made it all worth it. I was tearing up at the end of the last line. It was a pretty good ending.

Star Rating: 2.8

Anyways, I hope you all enjoyed my mini-reviews of the series. I am pretty backed up on my reviews so I wanted to flush some out as fast as I could. I am doing a lot of reading but not a lot of writing. So this post was to make it a bit easier on myself. I would definitely go check this series out. I thought it was really good and well written.

As always, thanks for reading,

A Bookie