Review: Hero at the Fall

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Hero at the Fall by: Alwyn Hamilton

My Rating: 3 Stars

Once, in the desert country of Miraji, there was a Sultan without an heir.

The heir had been killed by his own brother, the treacherous Rebel Prince, who was consumed by jealousy and sought the throne for himself.

Or so it was said by some. There were others who said that the Rebel Prince was not a traitor but a hero…

In the final battle for the throne, Amani must fight for everything she believes in, but with the rebellion in pieces, and the Sultan’s armies advancing across the desert plains, who will lead, who will triumph, who will live and who will die?

Beware spoilers ahead!

Trigger warning: War and death. The LGTBQ characters have been killed off.

Buddy read with Tova! Click on her name to keep an eye out for her review. Part of this book was read during Kimi’s (GR friend) 24 hour read-a-thon. Tova and I also buddy read Traitor to the Throne. Considering how much I enjoyed that one, naturally I finished the sequel. I am happy to say that I enjoyed it!

Amani is woken up from her nightmares and told to follow Sara. The two make their way up to the roof and notice a sort of glow. Amani realizes that it’s fire and likely has something to do with Leyla’s latest invention. The rebels are a mess. Amani has taken leadership and is struggling. Amani and the rebellion need to come up with a plan to defeat the Sultan.

I’m really happy that Hero at the Fall was a solid conclusion to the series! Like the previous installments, Hero at the Fall is narrated in first person following Amani’s point of view, and third person omniscient. There are chapter numbers and some chapters have titles. And lastly there is a character list and a map.

I may as well mention this first: some of the characters from the previous installments do die. I’m not going to mention which one’s die. That’s way too spoilerly even for me. Looking back on it now I probably should have predicated those deaths. Although I am still sad. I genuinely like all the characters in this series.

More information is revealed about the Dijinn’s. Some of the tales come into question, when Amani meets another dijinn. There was a huge focus on stories, choices, and the truth vs. what you’re told. Morally grey characters as well. As Amani herself is a questionable character. I really liked how well the author handled all these points!

I loved Amani’s character development! In the beginning Amani is in charge of the rebellion. She’s trying to make do but realizing that she isn’t fit to run a rebellion. Amani constantly berates herself, as she feels that she’s not well versed enough to be making such decisions. Amani also meets her aunt Farrah as well as Noorsham. Throughout her interactions with them, Amani comes to realize that she does matter. It was really beautiful to read about!

As per usual Amani’s relationship with Shazad, and the twins was fantastic! Her relationship with Hala even improved. Though I was anxiously waiting for some interactions with Ahmed. After everything that happened in the Harem I was wondering what would happen between the two of them. Ahmed actually took Amani seriously when she gave him suggestions. Their interactions were sweet and very important for the events in the last chapter.

When Amani meets her aunt again she is very nervous. To top it off Amani had to tell her aunt that Shira is dead. Through some rough patches, they sort of come to an understanding. In a sense the two move. This is largely due to Amani telling her aunt about Shira’s son. Something is better than nothing though. Amani and Tamid also make up. While they aren’t really friends anymore, they still care for each other and continue to do so.

Noorsham now rules over Dustwalk almost like a God. The people see him as their savior. Amani and the rebellion are taken to Noorsham first. Noorsham uses this magical object to see into their intentions, in order to deem them worthy or not. I’d say as I character Noosham definitely improved. His and Amani’s interactions really did read like a sibling relationship. I’m glad that he was introduced again and that the author did a good job with Noorsham’s character!

The rebellion getting an army was so much fun to read about! Amani tries to make some alliances in Ahmed’s place. Shazad’s father spread the word of Ahmed’s return and several people decide to join.

Jin’s backstory is expanded upon more. There is a chapter in his point of view. Wherein it starts with a flashback and ends with the present. I enjoyed having some insight into his thoughts. Really made some things clearer about his behaviour. Blissfully Jin and Ahmed do make up.

Amani’s relationship with Jin was strong throughout. Jin was the one person she actually got advice from. I also appreciated that Amani and Jin would call each other out on their faults and still be okay. I truly felt that their relationship grew stronger. It was lovely to read about!

I did have some issues with Hero at the Fall. I was very uncomfortable with Noorsham’s God-like rule. He treated himself like a God as did the rest of the people. Amani was still stupid and reckless in the beginning. Unfortunately this affected how she ran the rebellion. While I understand this was intended, it really wasn’t the that great to read about. Hero at the Fall wasn’t as engaging as Traitor to the Throne. It took me awhile to get invested into the story. The ending was rushed and anti-climactic. All of these points prevented me from giving Hero at the Fall a higher rating.

Overall I enjoyed this book! I highly recommend this series. 

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Review: Traitor to the Throne

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Traitor to the Throne by: Alwyn Hamilton

My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

This is not about blood or love. This is about treason.

Nearly a year has passed since Amani and the rebels won their epic battle at Fahali. Amani has come into both her powers and her reputation as the Blue-Eyed Bandit, and the Rebel Prince’s message has spread across the desert – and some might say out of control. But when a surprise encounter turns into a brutal kidnapping, Amani finds herself betrayed in the cruellest manner possible.

Stripped of her powers and her identity, and torn from the man she loves, Amani must return to her desert-girl’s instinct for survival. For the Sultan’s palace is a dangerous one, and the harem is a viper’s nest of suspicion, fear and intrigue. Just the right place for a spy to thrive… But spying is a dangerous game, and when ghosts from Amani’s past emerge to haunt her, she begins to wonder if she can trust her own treacherous heart.

Beware spoilers ahead!

I buddy read this with my dear GR friend Tova! Click on her name to check out her profile. When she post’s her review I’ll link it. 

Traitor to the Throne opens with a prologue in Jin’s point of view. The Sultan is planning a peace treaty between all the nations. Jin knowing his father all too well, starts fearing that this supposed ‘Peace Treaty’ will end badly for everyone. Jin leaves his undercover mission to go back to the rebellion and report all this to Ahmed. 

On Amani’s end the rebellion has just taken back a city that once belonged to the Sultan. Unfortunately a few lives where lost in the process. Much to Amani’s surprisement one of the women the rebellion saves, calls Amani by her mothers name. The rebellion then proceed to make their way back to camp.

At camp it is revealed that the woman is actually Amani’s long lost aunt. However they do not have the time to catch up as the camp is attacked by the Sultan’s men. The rebellion split up into groups and run to a safe location. Much to Amani’s surprise, she is betrayed by her aunt and sold to the Sultan as a Demdjii. For there onwards Amani has to try and escape the Harem as well as hide that she is the Blue-eyed bandit.

Traitor to the Throne was fantastic! I thoroughly enjoyed it! We are given a character list and the mythology list. Rebel of the Sands is written in first person all in Amani’s point of view. Whereas in Traitor to the Throne there are a few chapters narrated in third person from various character’s. Those chapters also have a chapter title along with the chapter number.

Shira, Tamid, and Amani’s aunt (as stated above) make an appearance. For drama’s sake and for Amani’s growth, I wasn’t that surprised that Tamid would come in. Shira on the other hand shocked me. I really didn’t like her in Rebel of the Sands. Color me surprised when Shira not only became a main character but was the Sultima. The equivalent of a queen in the harem. Amani’s aunt Sayyida coming in actually made me happy. Until she sold her to the Sultan. Despite her short appearance Sayyida’s betrayal stays with Amani throughout the whole book.

Traitor to the Throne was filled with more politics and the setting of the harem made it particularly interesting. The politics were well done and actually interesting. The harem setting made for an interesting undercover operation, as Amani spends her duration trying to hide who she really is. The harem setting also reminds the readers how brutal this world is and to what extent people will do to survive.

Despite there not being many fighting scenes I felt that Traitor to the Throne was more action packed then Rebel of the Sands. The stakes were much higher. Especially with the Sultan watching Amani’s every move and having the power to control her.

There are a slew of new characters that come in. The most important one’s being Sam, Leyla, and Rahim. These three characters play a central part in the plot. Lots of new information was revealed. You get to learn more about the Dijinn’s, the history, and what they are capable off. Some Dijinn’s actually come in this book including Amani and Noorsham’s father.

As mentioned above, Jin left the rebellion to do some undercover work for Ahmed. When Jin returned Ahmed wasn’t too pleased with his brother. There was a strain in their relationship leaving Shazad and Delila to deal with the fallout. This strain lasted till the end of Traitor to the Throne. 

Once face-to-face with Shira and Tamid, Amani has to accept her mistakes. Amani and Shira were able to create a relationship of sorts. I and Amani slowly began to understand and like Shira as a character. Her interaction’s with Tamid were strained but they eventually come to a truce.

Despite Amani being separated from the rebellion, her relationship with Shazad was still strong. I really like the friendship that they have! Amani come’s to accept that she is a Demdjii much more than she did in Rebel of the Sands. This allowed her to actually have a good interaction with Hala.

While Jin and Amani were separated for most of Traitor to the Throne their interactions were still fantastic! The two of them make-up and all is well in the romance department. There will likely be more romance in the last book with the other characters. Imin and a new rebellion member Navid actually get married. The wedding was really sweet to read about!

The Sultan played a huge role in Traitor to the Throne. Amani has quite a few interactions with him. Readers and Amani are given some more insight into the ruthless man and some of his history. Amani spent a good ordeal of their interactions wondering whether Ahmed actually has what it take’s to be a Sultan. Hamilton did an excellent job with the Sultan! He wasn’t an annoying character or a stupid villain. The Sultan is very intelligent with terrifying plans for those opposing him.

My only complaint is that it took me awhile to get into Traitor to the Throne. I was honestly wondering whether or not I even enjoyed the series anymore. The more read the more I was proven wrong. That’s the only reason I haven’t given a 5 star rating. 

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed Traitor to the Throne! I am looking forward to reading Hero at the Fall. I recommend this series for people who wanted more from The Wrath and the Dawn.   

Review: Fear the Drowning Deep

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Fear the Drowning Deep by: Sarah Glenn Marsh

My Rating: 3 of 5 Stars

Witch’s apprentice Bridey Corkill has hated the ocean ever since she watched her granddad dive in and drown with a smile on his face. So when a dead girl rolls in with the tide in the summer of 1913, sixteen-year-old Bridey suspects that whatever compelled her granddad to leap into the sea has made its return to the Isle of Man.

Soon, villagers are vanishing in the night, but no one shares Bridey’s suspicions about the sea. No one but the island’s witch, who isn’t as frightening as she first appears, and the handsome dark-haired lad Bridey rescues from a grim and watery fate. The cause of the deep gashes in Fynn’s stomach and his lost memories are, like the recent disappearances, a mystery well-guarded by the sea. In exchange for saving his life, Fynn teaches Bridey to master her fear of the water — stealing her heart in the process.

Now, Bridey must work with the Isle’s eccentric witch and the boy she isn’t sure she can trust — because if she can’t uncover the truth about the ancient evil in the water, everyone she loves will walk into the sea, never to return.

Beware spoilers ahead!

I received this E-ARC from the author and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I am also participating in the Sunday Street Team. 

I had heard about this book through Twitter. Quite a few people were talking about it but at the time it didn’t catch my eye. It wasn’t until I got the sign up form for the street team that I considered reading it.

Now I suppose because I didn’t really care much for Fear the Drowning Deep I didn’t have any expectations. I was quite surprised that I enjoyed it! The book takes place sometime during the 1913. It is written in first person through Bridey’s point of view.

The minute you read the first page the book grabs you and it’s hard to stop. We are taken right when Bridey finds a dead girls body. Soon after that the town is in a frenzy as there hasn’t been a death since Bridey’s grandfather.

When Bridey was seven years old she and her grandfather were walking by the beach. She’s trying to have a conversation with him when suddenly he stops replying. He mentions whether Bridey can hear the singing to which she replies no. Her grandfather claims that the singing is coming from the water. He walks to the cliff and jumps off with a smile on his face.

Bridey told her townspeople about what happened but they all thought she was crazy. Add to the fact that she’s the only person in the town who doesn’t like the water. Throughout the book Bridey soon realizes that all these disappearances and murders are somehow linked to her grandfather’s death. She explains as much to her people but they don’t believe her. The only one who does is Fynn and the Witch she is apprenticed to. With their help she looks for a way to stop the monster from killing her townspeople.

I didn’t see any of the plot coming! This is a very original book. The book is fairly fast paced and I was never bored. It was interesting reading about the witch that Bridey was apprenticed to as well as the monsters. All of the monsters are from some mythology. Personally speaking I have never read about these monsters before.

The family relationship was absolutely amazing! Bridey has two sisters and adoring parents. Despite some of the sisters’ arguments they stood by each other. The same goes for Bridey’s parents. When Bridey found Fynn her parents took him in and treated them as their own. They stood up for him when the town started to get suspicious of Fynn.

I also loved Bridey’s friendship! I forgot her friends’ names but I loved reading about them! They were a tight group. Now one of her friends is a guy and there is a bit of a love triangle but it gets resolved fairly quickly.

I liked reading about Bridey and Fynn’s relationship. They were sweet together. Although I did feel that it was a bit rushed. There is a certain reveal that comes out about Fynn which ruined the romance for me. I still liked his character though.

I found the ending to be just right for the book. And in a sense it was beautiful. It gives Bridey and the readers hope.

I had two problems with Fear the Drowning Deep. I wished that we got to read more about Bridey’s friends. They didn’t really come in a lot. And that reveal about Fynn was shocking and a bit odd considering that Bridey and Fynn were dating.

Overall I enjoyed this book! I am definitely going to be checking out more from this author. I recommend it for anyone looking for a fantasy standalone. 

Review: Endangered

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Endangered by: Dani Hoots

My Rating 2 of 5 Stars

Chrys has been in the Underworld for thousands of years, hidden away by her father, Hades, from all of the other gods. He’s afraid that if someone finds out about her, they will destroy her because of the dichotomous power that she holds, the power of life and death. So she has remained in the Palace of Hades all her life, making very few friends and always bored out of her mind.

Huntley would have never guessed that after he died he would wake up with a beautiful girl standing over him. And that she would be the Dark Lord of the Underworld’s daughter. Yet, for some reason, she keeps him around as her tutor, as if he knows anything about the world. But Huntley knows that all she really wants is a friend; being trapped in the Underworld can get pretty lonely.

That is, until Chrys decides she wants to run away to the human world after a big fight with her mother Persephone. Chrys claims her father is just over reacting and that nothing bad will come of it. There’s no way that the gods will notice she’s there for only a couple of days…right?

Beware spoilers ahead!

DNF

I received this E-ARC via Victory Editing and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I had heard about this book through some friends on GR. It sounded like a light fantasy which I enjoy so I requested it. Unfortunately I did not enjoy it.

The book begins with Chrys and her father Hades. Chrys has been told by her father that she needs to sit and watch him judge people. To see which parts of the underworld said people will go to. At this point Chrys is so used to the begging and screaming that she doesn’t care. The only thing Chrys wants is for this to be over so she can start her tutor session with Hunter.

I didn’t finish this because I felt that this was too light for my taste. I felt that at some point it would become ridiculous so I just dropped it. This book is not for me.

However there were some things that I liked. I liked the writing style and the relationship between Chrys and Hades. It was a sweet father-daughter relationship. And slightly complex. These aspects were not enough to save the book for me.

Overall this book was not for me. I recommend it to anyone looking for a light mythology book series.

Review: Dark Tide

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Dark Tide by: Jennifer Donnelly 

My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Once a lost and confused princess, Serafina is now a confident leader of the Black Fin Resistance (BFR). While she works on sabotaging her enemy and enlisting allies for battle, her friends face challenges of their own. Ling is in the hold of Rafe Mfeme’s giant trawler, on her way to a prison camp. Becca meets up with Astrid and learns why the Ondalinian mermaid is always so angry: she is hiding a shameful secret. Ava can’t return home, because death riders await her arrival. And it is getting more and more difficult for Mahdi, Serafina’s betrothed, to keep up the ruse that he is in love with Lucia Volerno. If Lucia’s parents become suspicious, his life–and all of Sera’s hopes–will be extinguished. Political intrigue, dangerous liaisons, and spine-tingling suspense swirl like a maelstrom in this penultimate book in the WaterFire saga

Beware spoilers ahead!

This book series was recommended to me by my dear GR friend Alyssa! Click on her name to read her review.

After finishing Rogue Wave I needed to read Dark Tide! That ending was very cruel. I have no idea how people managed to wait until October 2015 to read this book. I am happy to say that I enjoyed this! 

The book begins with a prologue in Astrid’s point of view. Astrid is on her way home. It’s been quite the journey and she’s nearly there. So far she’s managed to dodge the Death Riders. She stays in a hotel to rest for the night. As she gets ready to sleep the man with fully black eyes appears in the mirror. He knows Astrid’s secret and reaches out to her. Astrid feels drawn to him and does the same. Right before he can pull her through the mirror she sees that he has no iris. She jumps back and runs.

We are then taken to the first chapter in Sera’s point of view. It’s been two months since the events of Rogue Wave and she is now in charge of the Black Fins Resistance. With the help of Madhi they plan to steal some gold from her uncle Vallerio.

Neela and Yaz are apart of the Black Fins as well. Yaz is Sera’s second in command. Once they have their plan set they make their way to the palace. Mahdi pretending to love Lucia holds a party for her as a distraction while the Black Fins steal the gold. The plan goes a bit wrong and they are discovered. Still managing to make it out with the gold Sera and Sophia run.

While trying to outrun the Death Riders they come across a secret room. The two decide to rest for a bit because Sera’s tail is severely injured. As Sera takes in her surroundings she realizes that the room has statues of the Six the girls are descended from. And in the statues are their talisman’s. Sera makes a mental take and contacts the girls.

Dark Tide was much better than Rogue Wave! There are multiple point of views in this book. The author did a good job balancing all of them along with the plot. There is a larger focus on politics and new allegiances are made.

Sera now in charge of the Black Fin’s has become an inspiring leader. Throughout the book she continues to address issues such as food and shelter, without losing hope. Her relationship with Yaz was really sweet! Madhi doesn’t really come in but their still going strong.

Ling finds herself in a terrible situation. After finding out that Orfeo is alive she has been sent to a work camp to look for one of the talisman’s. Throughout her journey she fights for her survival. She realizes that not every strong person is going to remain strong forever, and that her mother was never weak. While at the camp she also meets someone   from her past.

Becca run into Astrid while searching for the talisman. The two of them become friends. Becca’s past is revealed in this book. It was quite sad. Once the two of them separate Becca searches for her talisman. Along the way she realizes that not everything goes according to plan.

Astrid is hiding a secret. While I didn’t find it that bad it really brought Astrid’s self esteem down. When she meets Becca she finds herself becoming friends with Becca. This goes against all her raising as she’s not supposed to be emotional. Once they separate Astrid returns home to terrible news. She meets someone very important and sets off with said person. Astrid realizes she has nothing to fear about her secret. She decides to do things her way and let people into her life.

Neela is present in the book but she doesn’t come in. Ava and Lucia’s point of views do come in. Surprisingly Lucia comes in more than Ava and Neela. As usual the female friendship was amazing! Becca and Astrid get love interests. I am looking forward to see where that goes. I also love the sibling relationship in this book! I liked Dark Tide way more than Rogue Wave! 

I didn’t have any issues with Dark Tide. But if I had to think of something I would say that I would’ve liked to read more about Ava. I feel like I don’t even know Ava. I’m sure she’ll become a bigger character in Sea Spell as she is still looking for her talisman.

Overall this was a great book! I recommend this series to anyone looking for a good mermaid series. I can’t wait to read Sea Spell which is the last book!

Review: Rogue Wave

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Rogue Wave by: Jennifer Donnelly 

My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Serafina, Neela, Ling, Ava, Becca, and Astrid, six mermaids from realms scattered throughout the seas and freshwaters, were summoned by the leader of the river witches to learn an incredible truth: the mermaids are direct descendants of the Six Who Ruled-powerful mages who once governed the lost empire of Atlantis. The ancient evil that destroyed Atlantis is stirring again, and only the mermaids can defeat it. To do so, they need to find magical talismans that belonged to the Six.

Serafina believes her talisman was buried with an old shipwreck. While researching its location, she is almost discovered by a death rider patrol led by someone familiar. . . . The pain of seeing him turned traitor is devastating.

Neela travels to Matali to warn her parents of the grave threat facing their world. But they find her story outlandish; a sign that she needs to be confined to her chamber for rest and recovery. She escapes and travels to Kandina, where her talisman is in the possession of fearsome razormouth dragons.

As they hunt for their talismans, both Serafina and Neela find reserves of courage and cunning they didn’t know they possessed. They face down danger and death, only to endure a game-changing betrayal, as shocking as a rogue wave.

Beware spoilers ahead!

This book series was recommended to me from my dear GR friend Alyssa! Click on her name to read her review.

After I finished reading Deep Blue I so badly wanted to read the rest of the series! I was only able to get to it now due to my reading schedule. I am happy to say that I enjoyed this!

The book begins with a prologue. In the point of view of the man with fully black eyes. He watches Serafina from a mirror. He could kill her that way at least he won’t have to worry about her getting in his way. As he watches her he realizes that killing her now would be pointless. If he kills her later on there’s a good chance that she’ll have the talisman’s. Once he steals the talisman’s from her and destroys everything she holds dear, then he’ll look into her eyes proving to her that darkness has won.

We are then taken to the first chapter which is in Serafina’s point of view. She and the rest of her friends fled into the mirror so that they could escape Traho’s army. While Sera is trying to get a way out of there she runs into Dolim. The man in charge of the mirror realm who eats people’s fears.

Dolim confront Sera and asks where she is going. She lies and says she’s going home. He eventually figures out that she’s lying and start feeding of off her fears. Sera feels absolutely helpless as Dolim continues to feed. When Dolim starts talking again Sera regains her strength. Sera tells Dolim everything she is afraid of until Dolim becomes so fat that he can’t move.

It is then revealed that Sera plans to go to the capital of Atlantis. Sera is hoping to find a clue and then she’ll make her way home. When she reaches the capital Sera runs into Ling. Ling explains that Ava was worried so she offered to go after Sera. After doing some investigating they decide to ask Lady Thalia some questions. Lady Thalia is one of the mirror people and from her the two find out a bit about Orfeo’s past, what some of the talismans are, and a particular person who was working with Orfeo.

Before finding out anymore the creatures guarding the capital come and start to attack the girls. Then Dolim appears with the man with fully black eyes. Sera has no choice but to destroy the mirror. The two of them fight off the monsters and manage to escape. Ling and Sera feel somewhat accomplished with the information they got from Lady Thalia. They wish each other luck and go their separate ways.

I didn’t like this book as much as Deep Blue but I enjoyed it nonetheless! You get two point of views in this book. Sera and Neela. Serafina thinks that she can find the location of the talismans through Merror’s progress. She doesn’t find what she’s looking for but with the help of some new friends she is able to pin point the locations. Sera focuses on finding Merrow’s talisman whom she is descended from. Along the way she finds out about the Black Fins rebellion. She also runs into Madhi her fiance. Throughout her journey Sera learns to accept her role as a future queen and becomes an amazing leader.

When Neela arrives home her parents think that she is an impostor judging by what she’s wearing. After they realize that she isn’t an impostor they welcome her with open arms. But after some time they believe there’s something wrong with Neela. She isn’t eating her favourite sweets and she still insists on keeping the outfit she came home in. Neela tries to explain her parents the situation with the talisman’s. Much to her surprise her parents think that she’s crazy. They actually call in a doctor and keep her locked in her room. Sera is able to contact her and tells her about the talisman Neela has to look for. Neela runs away from home and goes to search for the talisman. Neela gets some help from a friend to retrieve the talisman. Throughout her journey Neela learns to do what she wants and her way.

Ava does come in for one scene. Ling comes in with Serafina and at the end of the book. You are not sure what is happening with Astrid and Becca. Despite this you could feel the friendship between all the girls. 

Just like Deep Blue there is some action and lots of twists and turns. Old and new characters come in this book. I didn’t expect some of the old characters to be working with Traho let alone that they became main characters. I loved Sera and Neela’s character development! It was also nice to read about the Black Fins and Madhia and Yaz (Neela’s brother). I did not see some of those twists coming. Just like Deep Blue there is barely any romance but when it was present it was adorable!

I only had three problems with Rogue Wave. I felt that Deep Blue was much better than Rogue Wave. The book felt really jumpy and once Ling and Sera separate not much happens for awhile. I also felt that it lost some of it’s magic because the girls were separated and didn’t meet until towards the end. Nonetheless I enjoyed this!

Overall this was a really good book! I recommend this series to anyone looking for a good mermaid series.   

Review: Serpent’s Kiss

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Serpent’s Kiss by: Melissa de la Cruz

My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

The intriguing Beauchamp family, introduced in the New York Times bestselling Witches of East End, returns in Serpent’s Kiss, with dizzying plot twists and spellbinding magic.

Joanna and her daughters, bookish Ingrid and wild-child Freya, are just settling into the newfound peace that has been cast over their small, off-the map town of North Hampton. With the centuries-old restriction against practicing magic lifted, casting spells, mixing potions, and curing troubled souls has never felt so good for the three witches. That is, until everything gets turned upside down–from Joanna’s organized kitchen to Ingrid’s previously nonexistent love life to Freya’s once unshakeable faith in her sexy soul mate, Killian Gardiner.

When Freya’s twin brother, Freddie, suddenly returns, escaped from Limbo and professing innocence on a long-ago crime, Freya should be ecstatic. The golden boy can do no wrong. Or can he? Freddie blames no other than her fiance Killian for his downfall, and enlists Freya’s help to prove it. Now Freya doesn’t know who to believe or trust.

And for the first time in–well, forever, really–Ingrid is also busy in love. Matt Noble, the handsome and charming police detective, has won her heart. But can romance work between a virgin witch and a mortal who doesn’t believe in magic? Things get even more complicated when it appears Ingrid is harboring the prime suspects in Matt’s police investigation.

To add to the chaos, a dead spirit is attempting to make contact with Joanna–but does it mean to bring harm or help? Joanna asks her sort-of ex-husband Norman to help figure it out, only to accidentally invite him to a Thanksgiving dinner with a dapper gentleman she’s recently begun dating. As the witches pull together to discover the serpent within their midst and the culprit behind Freddie’s imprisonment, everything is thrown into peril. Will the discovery come too late to save those they love most? Melissa de la Cruz weaves all this and more in a blockbuster sequel that is not to be missed by her fans, and one that is sure to enchant new readers of the series.

Beware spoilers ahead!

After I finished Witches of East End I was eager to start the sequel! That ending was truly cruel. I am happy to report that I enjoyed this book as well!

The book begins with a recap summarizing the events of the last book. We are then taken to the first chapter in which Freya is working with Killian at the bar. It’s been a month since the events of Witches of East End and Freddie has returned from Limbo. Freya has convinced her brother to give her some time in looking into Killian. So far she hasn’t noticed anything out of the ordinary and she’s starting to wonder whether Limbo has deluded her brother.

The two of them continue to working together until the bar is empty. They leave and Frey accidentally falls. In the nick of time Killian catches her but not before Freya notices something in Killian’s expression. Freya then begins to wonder whether there is some truth to what Freddie is saying.

This book was so good! Unto the characters and their story lines!

Freya spends the majority of the book trying to see whether or not Freddie is right that Killian framed him for the destruction of Bofrir bridge. Once Freya starts digging into the case she finds out that there’s more to the story then what Freddie remembers. She begins to lose trust in Killian and Freddie, fearing Bran has returned and disguised himself as both of them.

Ingrid and Matt have finally started dating. But the relationship isn’t really working out. Matt doesn’t believe in magic and Ingrid doesn’t know how to prove to him that she’s a witch. And when a few pixies ask Ingrid for help, Ingrid keeps this a secret from Matt and her family which is proving to be difficult. Her mother despises pixies and people have been getting robbed by the pixies. Matt knows that Ingrid knows who the robbers are but doesn’t tell him. This is a pretty big dent in their relationship.

Joanna notices that all the objects in her house have been getting moved around. And some of the furniture has been getting rearranged. One day Joanna is trying to garden but the flowers die in her hands. She then realizes that a spirit is trying to contact her. While looking into the spirit Joanna, she has been seeing Harold a nice widow and her kind of husband Norman has been trying to win her back.

Freddie gets his own point of view. So far he has just been adjusting and hoping that Freya can clear his name. He can’t risk leaving because if the Valkyries find him they’ll take him back to Limbo. To kill time he plays video games and dates some girls through dating websites. He is very interested in Hilly (short for Hilary). In fact he believes that he’s in love with her.  Somehow his fear of the Valkyries finding him is diminished as he continues to win Hilly’s father’s approval.

As usual the family relationship was well done in this book! Matt and Ingrid’s romance was sweet to read about. And how she kept on going to Hudson for advice on her relationship. Freddie was interesting to read about. I really didn’t like how he didn’t even think about seeing the rest of his family but was fine was seeing Hilly. Freya was put in a very tough situation trying to keep Freddie’s arrival a secret and making her look into Killian. Norman was nice to read about as well.

There are some new characters introduced in this book. Hilly and her family. Harold who is Joanna’s boyfriend. And Jean-Baptiste who is the god of memory. And the Beauchamp’s god father.

I was honestly surprised that Freya actually started looking into Killian. I thought that she would just continuously try and convince Freddie that Killian was innocent. She loves her brother as much as she loves Killian so she worked really hard trying to find clues. The Salem witch trails is pretty important in this book. Joanna assumed that the spirit contacting her was in the Salem witch trails. It was pretty interesting to read about.

Along with the recap there was a family tree attached at the end of the book. It definitely proved useful as I kept on looking at it for spoilers.

I only had two problems with this book. While I was reading it I felt that it was slower then the first book. While yes things are being revealed light and right I felt no suspense. But I was engaged and intrigued. And like the last book the ending felt rushed and there was a cliffhanger. Nonetheless I enjoyed this book!

Overall this was a great book! I recommend it to those looking for some light fantasy. I am looking forward to finishing the series.