Hey everyone, and welcome back to the blog! It’s been another month of whirlwind exams, assessments and dissertation readings. And that’s on top of two birthdays as well! Bonfire Night came and went with many flashes and bangs – just like the reading in this wrap up!
So without further ado, let’s begin and fair warning, there may be spoilers.
I read the second ebook in the Shades of Magic series – A Gathering of Shadows by V. E. Schwab. Picking up after the events of the first novel, Antari magician Kell is struggling to continue with his life after many magical events. On the other side of the coin, Delilah Bard is sailing the the high seas, trying to master hidden powers. The pair are thrown together once again as Red London celebrates an international magical competition – The Element Games. Magic is perilous and evil is already growing. This was a great continuation of the series, and the characters are always keeping readers on their toes. We are starting to learn more about the world, but I just wanted a little bit more of The Games. I understand why it didn’t have more though! In the end, I gave it 4 stars, and I’m eagerly anticipating the next book!
Next is a standalone eBook: Asking For It by Louise O’Neill. This was a reread for me, but I hadn’t read this since its release. While ground in YA realism, this book appeals to YA readers and adults alike. The novel follows Emma, 18, beautiful, and confident. Everyone loves her, and thinks she could model. And then her world is turned upside down. After a party, she wakes up on the front porch of her home, whilst horrific photographs of the evening before circulate. Just as horrific is the disbelief of the towns people as they cling to their beloved football heroes. I could not put this book down – it was devastating and heartbreaking, but oh so real. The characters are progressive, and I found I liked to hate some. It is reflective of the world we live in, especially with so many speaking out on #MeToo. It’s a brave tale of hope and courage, whilst facing terrifying realities. And the reality is, women are not asking for it. I rated this 5 stars, and I eagerly await the next release from this author!
Next is Lover Avenged by J. R. Ward, the seventh book in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. This follows Rehvenge, a notorious club owner and drug lord, with secrets that he keeps close to his chest. One evening, during a hospital visit, he meets Ehlena. Ehlena’s family is struggling to survive after leaving the aristocracy. Rehvenge and Ehlena come together in a way that neither of them expected, and secrets are about to be told. I rated this 3 stars, simply because there were so many plots entwining that it was hard to keep track of who belonged where, and what certain characters felt. It distracted the reader from Rehvenge and Ehlena’s romance, which I felt could have been explored in more detail.
I then read Lover Mine, the eighth book in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series, by J. R. Ward. Picking up after the events of the last book, this novel follows troubled, mute warrior John Matthew. His past routinely crops up and now his future is shaken. The love of his life, sympath Xhex, is kidnapped and he will do anything to get her back… I rated this 5 stars – John Matthew is a great character and Xhex is so dangerous. I’ve loved the pairing from day one, although I love the teasing and promises of more to come from characters, Qhuinn and Blaylock. The lesser battles are ramped up, as are the romantic scenes. And we get some glimpses of future character, Payne!
I followed this up with Lover Unleashed by J. R. Ward. This is the ninth book in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series, picking up after the events of the last book. In this, we follow Payne, the twin sister to Vishous, a member of the Brotherhood. Kept hidden for centuries by her godly mother, Payne has longed to be set free. In becoming free though, she comes into contact with human surgeon, Manuel Manello, who knows he cannot leave her until he has treated her. And then he realises he cannot leave her at all… I rated this 3 stars. I felt the romance was poor, and should have had more interaction between the two lead characters. Instead, we revisit Vishous, and are taken on a Caldwell police case – that is linked to a new threat: the Band of Bastards, lead by big bad, Xcor. The side stories all interlink, but it just wasn’t as good as the previous tales.
Finally, we come to the last book in the wrap up – Lover Reborn by J. R. Ward. This is the tenth book in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series, and it was a real heartbreaker. Tohr is in turmoil over the loss of his wife and unborn child. The only thing he lives for is battle, and being on the edge. No’One has a troubled past, has nothing and is trying to build bridges with her daughter. When the pair are brought together over the seasons by an unlikely angel, hearts and minds will twist and turn. I rated this 5 stars – the build up of romance was lovely and there were points when I had to put the book down because I cried. There are side-plots which connect with other characters from the Brotherhood and the Band of Bastards, but I don’t want to say too much. I’m addicted to the series, and the next book is on my to-buy list!
So that completes my sixth wrap up for this blog! Let me know what book/books you have read in the month of November – whether it’s paper/hardback, audio, eBook, graphic novels or manga. They all count! If you have any recommendations, please feel free to let me know!