7 Months of Mini Reviews

December 30, 2018 Review 6

Oh my, it’s been a while hasn’t it.

Hello yes, Alise and I still exist! We’ve been crazy busy with work and things. Not to mention some massive blogging and reading slumps for months on end. But something crazy happened to me last week, a miracle really.

My blogging inspiration has returned!!

Unfortunately I might not have the time needed to make use of that fresh inspiration BUT ANYWAY

I’ve barely read these past 7 months. So much time doing vet things (I rarely leave work before 6pm and start at 7:30am) and all I want to do when I get home is sleep. Or play video games (give me all those fantasy RPGs with fantastic stories please). Or watch more Critical Role in a never-ending attempt to catch up. I’ve only read 53 books this year, I’m not even going to meet my goal of 60 books

But they always say quality over quantity, right? I may not be reading many books, but most have been good books! And because I still keep my reading journal, it’s fairly easy to share my thoughts on most of these books! So here, have some mini reviews! Which are basically word for word the notes I made while reading them.

If I was smart, I probably would have split these over a few posts to make the content last longer… I am not smart and also need to make the most of this motivation and inspiration while it’s still here.


Traitor to the Throne by Alwyn Hamilton

Rebel of the Sands #2

The Good

  • I really appreciated the recap at the beginning and like the fairy tale-esque writing style
  • Action began very quickly
  • I did NOT expect some of the betrayals and character returns and teists so soon
  • It’s a different kind of intense than Rebel of the Sands had. First book was lots of intense action, this is more political
  • Really appreciate the better look we’re getting at the Sultan. He’s more than just a faceless villain now
  • Not as much romance angst than I expected (thanks to Jin being away for so much of the book)

The Not so Good

  • Not sure how I feel about such a big time skip, especially considering some Important Events happened during it
  • Romance angst was still present, which seems to happen when the main couple get together in the first book
  • Ugh the harem girls. They’re such petty girls, interactions with them felt like I was reading a novel set in a high school

Rating: 4 stars


Hero at the Fall by Alwyn Hamilton

Rebel of the Sands #3

The Good:

  • Jumps right into the story while also giving us a decent recap
  • Yet another addictive novel. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time
  • It destroyed my emotions from page 100 in
  • I’m so glad the ending gave us a glimpse of where the characters go in the future
  • I really hope we get a few companion novels that explore the other countries and magic in this world

The Not so Good:

  • I’m sad it ended. I want more
  • The end approached rather quickly with less build up than I was expecting
  • I’m a bit conflicted about one of the final solutions. View Spoiler »

Rating: 5 stars


Furyborn by Claire Legrand

The Empirium Trilogy #1

The Good

  • Eliana’s personality (especially her cockiness) reminds me of early Throne of Glass Celaena
  • There are two separate timelines which are both interesting and different, following the fall of one queen and the (probable) rise of another
  • The alternating chapters really help build the suspense
  • All the characters are flawed and well rounded
  • Wasn’t expecting angel things to come into this!
  • Such an epic ending!! Really cannot wait to see where things go next
  • Corien is creepy. He reminds me of Kilgrave in Jessica Jones

The Not so Good

  • The prologue ruins a few different plot points/ things that could have been really good twists if they were kept hidden – Eliana’s identity, which queen is the Blood and Sun queen respectively (unless it’s a lie and a future twist ha), and a few others
  • Rielle’s romance angst. It got a bit old. She’s very obsessed with her prince.

Rating: 4.5 stars


Wolfskin by Juliet Marillier

The Light Isles #1

The Good

  • It’s a Juliet Marillier novel!! She writes some of the best historical fantasy novels.
  • So many character feels! They feel so well developed
  • Somerland was incredibly creepy
  • It’s historical fiction with a sprinkle of fantasy and magic. How can I not love it?
  • Really loved the main characters and their relationship, but they could have had more page time together before the romance got truly underway
  • I can see myself rereading this again and again

The Not so Good

  • Like a lot of historical fiction, it is slow
  • As I said, I would have liked to have seen more interaction between the main characters before their romance began

Rating: 4.5 stars


The Gift by Alison Croggon

Book of Pellinor #1

The Good

  • Interesting magic system and world
  • It’s #LoveOzYA
  • The story is a good vs evil story involving a prophecy. Some of my favourite fantasy things to read for fun
  • This first book lays down a strong foundation for an intriguing old school epic fantasy

The Not so Good

  • It’s slow and the writing can be clunky at times (this was a debut novel so I’m hoping the style improves in the sequels)
  • It’s a bit info dumpy too
  • It took me forever to finish it (2-3 months if I remember correctly. It didn’t help my slump)

Rating: 3 stars


To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

To All the Boys #1

The Good

  • Josh has a bigger role in the book and we got to know him better than in the movie
  • Kitty! Such a hilarious younger sister
  • Very accurate sibling relationships.
  • Super easy to read. I finished it in two late night sittings
  • Intrigued to see how all the character relationships change in the sequels

The Not so Good

  • Honestly, I preferred the movie overall. It set up the whole scenario much faster and in a more interesting way. It also had a more conclusive and concrete ending
  • I feel like I got to know Peter better in the movie

Rating: 4 stars


Onyx and Ivory by Mindee Arnett

Rime Chronicles #1

The Good

  • Awwwww yeah animal communication magic! And elemental magic!
  • The characters are in the new adult range (19-20)
  • I got some serious Green Rider vibes with the Relay rider aspect (give me all the horses!!!)
  • Very interesting fantasy world with politics, magic systems and conflicts. The further I got in, the more layers were added to the plot and world
  • I was a bit worried going in because I was not a fan of The Nightmare Affair but I really did enjoy this
  • Did not expect the true villain to be who they were
  • So glad we’re going to finish it all in the sequel. I need to explore more ASAP

The Not so Good

  • I was a bit irritated at the very beginning thanks to some no-so-accurate descriptions of horse lameness (one of the problems with being a vet ha). Thank goodness I enjoyed everything else and forgot about it quickly
  • Kind of predicted some of the plot twists in regards to the drake attacks, but not fully

Rating: 4 stars


With any luck, this won’t be the last you hear from me in several months again. I have a “best reads of 2018” post planned (which probably won’t be written until some time in 2019 at this rate ha), and some discussion posts I haven’t fleshed out yet. Might also do a bit on my reading journal and how it helps me write my reviews. Maybe I’ll actually finish some more books and post a review every now and then too.

Have you read anything good in the last few months?

6 Responses to “7 Months of Mini Reviews”

  1. Jeann @ Happy Indulgence

    OMG so good to see you blogging again Bec, it sounds like you’ve been super busy but I’m glad you found the time to post this one! Glad to hear you enjoyed To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. Great to hear you enjoyed Onyx & Ivory as well because it’s been on my tBR for ages. I found Furyborn so disappointing but yes, Eliana definitely reminded me a lot of Celaena.
    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence recently posted…2018 Blogging & Reading Stats

  2. Sarah J.

    I’m so happy to see you again and even happier that you’ve regained some inspiration! Furyborn was such a surprise for me in 2018. I’m happy to see that it was a good one for you! Wolfskin sounds good. I love Marillier so, so much.
    Sarah J. recently posted…Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant

  3. SHA @ Book Princess Reviews

    I love how you laid out the mini-reviews! They were all clear and easy to follow. I’ll admit my own skill with the mini-review format is quite lacking, haha.

    I’ve been thinking about adding Furyborn to my reading list, and your Pro/Con scale gave me a nice perspective. I do like when authors add that touch of mystery by keeping extra elements secret.. but it’s never the *worst* “mistake” when things are revealed too quickly.

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