March in Review

Hey!

So I was still pretty brand-spankin’ new to the book blogging world when I wrote my February wrap up, so, hopefully, this one is a bit better!

I tried to split the haul from the review so it’s not like ‘death by long post.’

Now, I didn’t read all those books form the haul, I’m not a miracle worker lol. Besides I have the NetGalley list to keep fighting before I can return to my own shelves.

What did I read?


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My favorite March posts from fellow Bloggers:

Susan- An Open Letter of Thanks

Clo- Authenticity in Engagement

Clo- Blogging 101 Blog Hopping & Commenting

Sophia- Book Series I Should Attempt to Finish Because I’m Forgetful

Sam- Books that have Changed Lives

Sam- Genre in Depth: Mystery

Kal- CMA Guidelines (Super Helpful!)

Reading around the Globe: Maria in Bangladesh

Olivia- Shakespeare Themed Unboxing

Isabelle- Review: To Best the Boys (This review makes me want to go out and immediately get this book)

Michelle- A Response to: An Open Letter to Your Sex Scenes

Jayati- Longest Books I’ve Read

What I’ve Posted:

Reviews:

  1. The Dresden Files: Storm Front
  2. Off Planet eARC Review
  3. Anna Undreaming ARC Review
  4. Ready Player One Review
  5. The Bird King eARC Review
  6. Serving the Servant: Remembering Kurt Cobain eARC Review
  7. Descendant of the Crane eARC Review
  8. Stardust Review
  9. [Salty] Mini Review Day
  10. Ghondatha eARC Review
  11. The Fever King eARC Review
  12. Mini Reviews

Regular Posts:

  1. Love and Reading
  2. World Book Day 2019
  3. Book Vs. Book. Vs. Book
  4. Finding love for Reading

Top 5 Posts:

  1. My Top 5 [YA] Fantasy Series
  2. My Top 5 Mystery Picks

[I won’t put every post from the month, but those might be the most useful, the rest are tags and memes!]

And Finally…

What to look forward to for April?

Bookending Spring 2019!

Bookending Spring 2019 Posts with information on hosts and posts and sign-ups:

Sam’s Bookending Spring 2019 Announcement

Ruby’s Bookending Spring 2019 Announcement

Michelle’s Bookending Spring 2019

 

That’s it.

I’m done.

I’m dead, I’m going to go nap. [Also may have bought 4 more books today but you can bet your sweet potato asses I’m not editing my haul post.]

Toodles!

 

 

March Haul

Hey guys!

So I could do like a combined post of my March Wrap up and Haul but I’m going to split it, mostly to milk it this time around because I’m playing in a fiddle rally right now while you all are reading this.

I want to note something first, all these books because it is an overwhelming amount, only 5 were new that I paid for (Hint; The Famliars was one but I had to steal a pic off my own Instagram cause I forgot it in the gathering lol), 3 unpictured were also new but were gifts to my Husband, and 4 were bought used offline, 2 were free and given by the authors, and the rest? ALL CHARITY Shop and I paid less than like 14/15 quid for them. [that includes 9 other charity shop books that were either too far or were mini me’s so I didn’t include them lol]

This is NOT a normal amount of books for me nor will I ever go this crazy again. So please don’t think I always buy this much, I am shocked at my own lack of self control but I needed the retail therapy this month I guess.

Physical Books Haul:
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Warrior of the Wild                                               The Rubicon
Conspiracy of Stars                                               Frankie and Zoe
Want                                                                       War and Peace
Tinder                                                                     The Light and Dark
The Monstrous Child                                           The Forsyte Saga: In Chancery
The Lady Midnight                                               Moby Dick
Jade City                                                                The Mill on the Floss
The Hate U Give                                                  Picture of Dorian Gray
The Surface Breaks                                            The ABC Murders
Sky in the Deep                                                   Thunder on the Right
The Bear and the Nightingale                          James Stewart Biography
Artemis Fowl                                                     Ben-Hur
Ever After High                                                 Dead Man’s Blues
The Alienist                                                       Fiest: The Sun Also Rises
Sparkling Cyanide                                           Men without Women
And Then There Were None                         Gulliver’s Travels
Frankenstein                                                   20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes            The Secret Garden
Kidnapped                                                      The Good Women of China
A History of Scotland                                   Little Women
Twenty Years After                                      Mobster’s Lament (Paid for, hasn’t come in yet)
Priory of the Orange Tree (signed edition this time)

Physical Books from Authors/Publishers: Kaerou Time to go Home Anna Undreaming

EBooks Haul: [These were all free downloads off amazon]
Starswept
Trust and Treachery
I Bring the Fire
Archangel Down: Archangel Project
Shadow of the Raven
Pit of Vipers

And finally, the bookish things I’ve received in the mail this month
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Book of Dust things I bought, and of course Descendant of the Crane things were my preorder incentives!

Well! That’s me! No point adding what ARCs I got cause let’s face it, I can’t keep track. I’m an addict. Halp.

 

Finding love for Reading

For anyone who knows me in real life knows, like every book blogger, I’m a super bookworm, I love to read, I always have, and around my friends, I’m also known as being an annoyingly fast reader.

Oddly enough, I didn’t really enjoy books until the Fourth grade. I used to have to stay after school in First grade with a few others to work on learning to read, it was a massive struggle for me but I got there in the end as far as learning how to.

Teachers thought I had no reading comprehension and I was known for not liking reading, I remember passing a book report on Little House on the Prarie in 3rd grade just from skimming it and making some stuff up. [Shhh my mother still does not know this and she doesn’t read this blog, so let’s keep it between us]

I really struggled and I hated how stupid I felt.

Then came along my reading teacher, Mrs. Retzloff. I remember her taking the time to notice me, and she didn’t just pass by my horrible reading grade.

Do you know what she found out?

I was reading things too fast.

I wasn’t actually having a difficult time reading anymore, my problem was that I was doing it too fast, skimming at times because I was reading at such a high speed and therefore not really taking anything in. As far as where my comprehension was at? She tested me and I had a nearly 6th-grade reading level ability and as someone who didn’t really want to touch books other than to look at the pretty pictures, that was saying something. She wanted me to enjoy reading and so she let me pick a book from her personal shelf in the classroom, and lo and behold I picked a book about children dealing with the mystery of a mummy.

This kind:

 

Not this kind:

[I guess I basically loved mystery type books from the beginning. Huh. Not surprised at my own revelation.]

Anyway, Mrs. Retzloff nurtured my love of reading, she let me pick lower level things still for a while, wanting to make sure I was enjoying it and then she gently helped push and nudge me along, my reading comprehension went past 6, 7, 8th grade, and this is how I read Brave New World in middle school. I wasn’t a genius, but I was a good reader and Mrs. Retzloff brought that out of me. She didn’t see someone who was dumb or lazy. [And let’s face it, some teachers, not most, do sometimes just see a child as unwilling, lazy, or ‘dumb’ and give up, but not all, a lot are like my Mrs. Retzloff.]

By the end of the year, I had succeeded in making a school record (I mean others were up there making the record too, not just me lol) for how many A.R. points I earned (you read a book and was quizzed on it afterwards via a computer) and I got put into honors classes in middle school and the honor society and I can say that would never have happened without that woman.

She is so dear to me even today, and I can’t remember the title of that book she lent me [which low key drives me INSANE] but I remember her. I remember patience and encouragement, her nurturing ways and finally, I was a child who was appreciative of the books my mother had given me with so much love and hope. And it wasn’t just me she helped, Mrs. Retzloff took it upon herself to try and have every single child who stepped through her door love a book, even if it was just one book.

I am so incredibly lucky because I can’t imagine where I would have been without her, people would have continued to think I was, well, not too bright, and I never would have been pushed. I owe a lot to her, especially because forget academics, she instilled a love of reading to me. It’s why I always try with my daughter because it’s one thing to not be a big reader, but I want her to enjoy whatever books she picks, to know that it’s something fun and not a chore.

Haha, this is so cheesy but I find myself getting quite emotional thinking about her, I went back to see her in high school and I was friends with her grandchildren, but, you know, we move, we get older, things change and I haven’t seen her in forever and I pray she’s still around helping children in my old school, I know she was still teaching even up to 4/5 years ago despite people wanting her to retire due to her age but is no longer at my old school.

So, thanks to Mrs. Retzloff for my love of reading, and to all the Mrs. Retzloffs who help kids that are and were like me.

 

Mini Reviews

 

I was going deviate from a review to do this lovely post on how I became a reader and love books so much, but, I just want sinus meds and a nap and to eat soup. So! A couple of mini reviews!!


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GoodReads Blurb:

What would you do if your whole life was a lie and learning the truth could cost you your life? 

From New York Times bestselling author of the Shadow Falls series comes C. C. Hunter’s new YA thriller about a girl who learns that she may have been kidnapped as a child, and must race to uncover the truth about her past before she winds up a victim.

Chloe was three years old when she became Chloe Holden, but her adoption didn’t scar her, and she’s had a great life. Now, fourteen years later, her loving parents’ marriage has fallen apart and her mom has moved them to Joyful, Texas. Starting twelfth grade as the new kid at school, everything Chloe loved about her life is gone. And feelings of déjà vu from her early childhood start haunting her. 

When Chloe meets Cash Colton she feels drawn to him, as though they’re kindred spirits. Until Cash tells her the real reason he sought her out: Chloe looks exactly like the daughter his foster parents lost years ago, and he’s determined to figure out the truth. 

As Chloe and Cash delve deeper into her adoption, the more things don’t add up, and the more strange things start happening. Why is Chloe’s adoption a secret that people would kill for?

Chloe Holden has always known she was adopted, her parents love her and she has a good life. Suddenly her parents are divorced and Chloe and her Mom are left to deal with cancer and a move to Joyful, TX right before Chloe starts her senior year.

While Chloe’s life is turning upside down, she meets Cash a foster kid of the Fullers who lost their daughter, Emily Fuller, 15 years ago, kidnapped under the watch of her Nanny.

What’s the connection between Emily and Chloe?

The plot keeps you engaged and entertained, you really feel bad for both Chloe and Cash for their own respective hard points in their lives. There’s more of Chloe’s parents in this book than most YA novels so that was actually a nice change.

The characters are not very deep but the fast pace of the plot makes up for it and you do get enough into Chloe and Holden’s heads that it doesn’t feel like they’re shallow, just that you could have left wanting more.

There’s some awkward writing at some rare moments (I’m not clear why boobs are such an awkwardly written thing in this but they are), but overall Hunter was fun to read and there are definitely some stereotypes but that didn’t take away from it being fun to read.

It was paced fast enough that I really didn’t want to put it down after starting it and I thought the ending was great. I felt not as much sympathy for Chloe’s Mom or for Mrs. Fuller but you could at least see where they were coming from and the interaction between Chloe and Cash was quite cute in the end.

An enjoyable and easy read, I would recommend it to those who like this sort of YA ‘mystery’ genre or looking for a quick read. I would pick up another book by C.C. Hunter.

I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.

 


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GoodReads Blurb: When Sarah takes a job with occult expert Dr Matthew Geisler, he promises to help her understand the sorrowful spirit that seems to have attached itself to her.

As Sarah struggles to cope with the ghostly presence, she runs into Zeke, the man who left her six months earlier and is recovering from injuries suffered in an alleged accident. But Zeke has secrets of his own, and when an attempt is made on Geisler’s life, Sarah finds herself caught in a struggle between the living and the dead.

Unsure who she can trust, Sarah must solve the mystery of the soul determined to haunt her, and save Dr Geisler and herself from an unknown threat.

[This book was previously published as WEEPING IN THE WINGS.]

[Note: This is the SECOND book in a series, which may cause some confusion for the first couple of chapters.]

I would say this was a solid good read. Enjoyable, great pacing, and not too long. It had hints of paranormal, it was a good mystery and though you may find you could pinpoint ‘whodunit’ early on, it doesn’t take away from the entertainment value. It’s the sort of book where I KNOW I’ll want to read the next one each time and I appreciated the writing style as well. It wasn’t too flowery or heavy and it’s a blissful escape from a stressful day, the sort of read where it won’t drain you but it will keep you intrigued.

Another point I loved about this book was that you could really enjoy the WWII era of it and, this is a small thing but I LOVE that Thomas remembered about food rationing and made a point of including it during the food parts of the book, you want bacon in California in WWII? Too bad! So, HUGE kudos to historical accuracy on that front!

Zeke was pretty interesting but I think my favorite part was that he didn’t take over the storyline, in the end it was still about our Protagonist Sarah, she solves things without him and uses him as a sounding board, and guess what? It works and you still can appreciate the romance part of it without being like ‘please stop ruining the character(s)’.

I would recommend this to any mystery/paranormal reader and would definitely recommend reading the first book, well, first. It’s light, it’s fun, and yea probably predictable but sometimes that’s the kind of read I need.

I received this book from the publishers via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

** Just a note guys, to me 3 cups of coffee ain’t nothing to be ashamed of, it means I find a book enjoyable and maybe wasn’t my favorite read but it was still good ***

 

 

WWW Wednesday

It’s time for the WWW Wednesday meme brought to you all by Taking on a World of Words

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What are you currently reading?

GoodReads Blurb:

Sarah Bennett has two secrets: she sees ghosts, and she is in love with a spy.

When Sarah takes a job with occult expert Dr Matthew Geisler, he promises to help her understand the sorrowful spirit that seems to have attached itself to her.

As Sarah struggles to cope with the ghostly presence, she runs into Zeke, the man who left her six months earlier and is recovering from injuries suffered in an alleged accident. But Zeke has secrets of his own, and when an attempt is made on Geisler’s life, Sarah finds herself caught in a struggle between the living and the dead.

Unsure who she can trust, Sarah must solve the mystery of the soul determined to haunt her, and save Dr Geisler and herself from an unknown threat.

[This book was previously published as WEEPING IN THE WINGS.]

I actually just finished this two minutes ago, but we’ll roll with it for my current read as you know, I haven’t started anything new in the last two minutes. I actually really enjoyed this, and while there was some confusion for me in the first couple of chapters (it wasn’t made clear it was the SECOND in a series but that’s been fixed, thanks to Isabelle) I was able to push past it and really just enjoy it. It’s a supernatural mystery, a medium who wants to solve crimes and it reminded me of a more adult-aimed The Mediator type series in a way, at least where the ghosts were concerned. I would totally recommend this one for those who like this genre, I’ll have a review posted of it tomorrow.

What did you recently finish reading?

I could post the GoodReads blurb for like the 80th time about this one, but I’ll spare you, I already reviewed it and that can be found here if you’re curious! Another top notch 2019 release and I was pretty happy to read it, and that wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t read Kal’s awesome review of it. This book was like ‘oh, you have feelings, great, I’m gonna exploit them and make you weep.’ So, it comes highly recommended from me!

What do you think you’ll read next?

GoodReads Blurb:

For the past three years, Brynna has been patrolling the streets of Forcadel as a masked vigilante, protecting the innocent and beating up bad guys. Her current target is Lord Beswick, a slumlord businessman who keeps the townsfolk in a vicious poverty cycle. But one fateful evening, she’s captured by Felix, the captain of the king’s guard, and told a shocking truth: her father and brother are dead, and she needs to hang up her mask and become queen.

Before long, she negotiates a deal with Felix: attend to her royal duties during the day and continue her vigilante mission to take out Lord Beswick at night – at least until her coronation. But the politics of Forcadel are as volatile as the streets, and Brynna isn’t sure whom she can trust in the castle. With two royals dead in less than a month, she must use all her wits to make sure she isn’t the third.

I have actually been itching to start this one!! But! I wanted to make sure to do my eARCs in some sort of reading order by when they released, so, NOW I finally get to read this one and it’s my last eARC I really ‘needed’ to get through for my monthly goal, though I did add Nation of the Beasts, we’ll see if I get through it by this week, probably not, I’m not a machine and eventually have to take a break from reading lol. Anyway, I’ll talk more about our Princess Vigilante in The City of Veils as the publication draws nearer. [April 16th for those who are curious]

Have you read any of these? What did you finish or start this week?

Toodles!

The Fever King eARC Review

[Note: I bought this on Kindle the day it came out and then got approved for the eARC on NetGalley the next day, so I’m using my Kindle version for the review, but, I’ll be posting this for NetGalley too so I’ve labelled it as an eARC Review. I received this book via the publishers on NetGalley in exchange for my completely honest review of the novel.]


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GoodReads Blurb: 

In the former United States, sixteen-year-old Noam Álvaro wakes up in a hospital bed, the sole survivor of the viral magic that killed his family and made him a technopath. His ability to control technology attracts the attention of the minister of defense and thrusts him into the magical elite of the nation of Carolinia.

The son of undocumented immigrants, Noam has spent his life fighting for the rights of refugees fleeing magical outbreaks—refugees Carolinia routinely deports with vicious efficiency. Sensing a way to make change, Noam accepts the minister’s offer to teach him the science behind his magic, secretly planning to use it against the government. But then he meets the minister’s son—cruel, dangerous, and achingly beautiful—and the way forward becomes less clear.

Caught between his purpose and his heart, Noam must decide who he can trust and how far he’s willing to go in pursuit of the greater good.

First off I love this idea of magic being a virus, that it’s not supposed to be a gift but yet still we have witchings.

Also, while magic is a good part and we have witchings which are the centre of a Holocaust scaled genocide in the US, Lee also gives us a good hard look at immigrants dealing with a country where the virus is an even more common fear for them, and so they go to another country, Carolinia to escape the horrors of Atlantia. And it is a beautifully tragic parallel to today’s world and its problem with immigration. People just wanting to find a place to call home where they can feel safe. Not to mention I just felt the political games were well done and my favorite part of the book.

There’s a dystopia really when you look at it as a world where we have failed to keep others safe, and that the immigrants are suffering and there’s a deadly virus that means magic can kill you.

Noam is half Latino half Jewish, and bisexual. I love that he talks about his ex-girlfriend while also acknowledging he has feelings for men. [Won’t disclose who as I’d hate to ruin the story for you all!]

Lee really brings a very teenage-like presence to all the teenage characters which sometimes authors can forget to do she also writes some tragic scenes and they are beautiful and Victoria Lee likes to tear out your emotions and dangle them above your head. Not to mention, and this is super important to me, but all of Noam’s actions have a consequence for better or worse, there’s no question about what happened to him because he did XYZ and I freakin’ LOVE that.

I love the little flashes of Calix information and I wish there would have been more if anything I would say maybe the pacing felt off at times because at moments I would pause and think so much as happened in so little time or so little has happened and yet I feel like I read 200 pages. That combined with the fact that it wasn’t always clear how much time had passed made pacing one of like the two issues for me. So pacing and I wish there would have been more of Noam and his crush interacting, it felt like we didn’t have a lot of time with them and so their feelings are sometimes a bit hard for me to believe. Those are probably my only complaints.

So let’s break it down into my usual Pros & Cons!

Pros:

– Great diversity and not just with Noam but overall!
– Dystopia feel which is such a direct parallel to our own problems, it’s scary but I love it. She dishes out some truths.
– Calix Lehrer is amazing and I love the peeks at his past.
– Noam’s power is pretty cool
– Magic is a virus, but witchings exist, both concepts are awesome
– Ames (Carter Ames) was my favorite minor characterCons:
– Not enough of Noam and his LI to always make the depth of their feelings believable (you learn that about a year has passed but that isn’t stated which is why I complained about pacing)
– I’m being greedy but I wanted more of those Calix snippets
– Pacing is off and not always clear
– Would have loved more of a look at what it was like for the immigrants, perhaps we will get that in the next book though.
– Dara wasn’t always easy to be sympathetic for at first but I applaud how she handled this.
– And apparently, like most books in 2019 The Fever King just wants to crush your soul and stomp on your feels.Content Warning: Hint of rape/sexual assault, though not gone into detail. Loss of family members and violent deaths. This is a more in-depth content warning from Lee herself.

I really can’t wait to read the next book and I can’t wait to see more of Noam!

 

My Top 5 Vampire Novel Picks

I’m going to be so very totally honest here.

I don’t read a lot of Vampire books. I mean I’ve read more than 5, but, but less than like 15.

So, this was an interesting one to do, but I felt I ought to in light of Ghondatha, and just how much I enjoyed it!

5. Millenium Snow, Vol. 1


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GoodReads Blurb: Seventeen-year-old Chiyuki Matsuoka was born with heart problems, and her doctors say she won’t live to see the next snow. Toya is an 18-year-old vampire who hates blood and refuses to make the traditional partnership with a human, whose life-giving blood would keep them both alive for a thousand years.

Chiyuki makes the most of the time she has left, even though things aren’t that exciting–until she comes across a reluctant vampire late one chilly night. Can Chiyuki teach Touya to feel a passion for life, even as her own is ending?”

So, there are originally 2 volumes but they were incomplete and I’ve only found out today that she finished the other 2 volumes, so guess what got added to my reading list lol. Anyway, I love shojo manga and I think this one was just super cute. As I only read the first volume, that’s all that goes on my list! Again, I just thought this one was cute and sweet so, here we go, it made my list.

4. Interview with the Vampire


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GoodReads Blurb: This is the story of Louis, as told in his own words, of his journey through mortal and immortal life. Louis recounts how he became a vampire at the hands of the radiant and sinister Lestat and how he became indoctrinated, unwillingly, into the vampire way of life. His story ebbs and flows through the streets of New Orleans, defining crucial moments such as his discovery of the exquisite lost young child Claudia, wanting not to hurt but to comfort her with the last breaths of humanity he has inside. Yet, he makes Claudia a vampire, trapping her womanly passion, will, and intelligence inside the body of a small child. Louis and Claudia form a seemingly unbreakable alliance and even “settle down” for a while in the opulent French Quarter. Louis remembers Claudia’s struggle to understand herself and the hatred they both have for Lestat that sends them halfway across the world to seek others of their kind. Louis and Claudia are desperate to find somewhere they belong, to find others who understand, and someone who knows what and why they are.

Louis and Claudia travel Europe, eventually coming to Paris and the ragingly successful Theatre des Vampires–a theatre of vampires pretending to be mortals pretending to be vampires. Here they meet the magnetic and ethereal Armand, who brings them into a whole society of vampires. But Louis and Claudia find that finding others like themselves provides no easy answers and in fact presents dangers they scarcely imagined.

Originally begun as a short story, the book took off as Anne wrote it, spinning the tragic and triumphant life experiences of a soul. As well as the struggles of its characters, Interview captures the political and social changes of two continents. The novel also introduces Lestat, Anne’s most enduring character, a heady mixture of attraction and revulsion. The book, full of lush description, centers on the themes of immortality, change, loss, sexuality, and power.
[source: annerice.com]

I had to add this one to the list! Now there are definitely better-written novels out there but nothing beat the enjoyment I got out of reading this. I eventually hope to read the others in the series but I can’t say Vampire novels are my favorite so I don’t really rush them, I know I’ll get there in the end! [I’m also a sucker for this movie, and you know what, unashamedly I liked Queen of the Damned, so, you know, pfffft I’m allowed to have my questionable movie picks!]

3. Ghondatha


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GoodReads Blurb: 

The power to love.

The power to heed your own voice.

The power to hope in a world of blood and shadow.

Yesterday morning, most of Saphrona Melioska’s family was executed. Today, at dawn, she and her brother’s widow would have followed them to the block. But something changed.

Saphrona doesn’t know who paid for their sentence to be commuted, but by that act of kindness, she and her hearth sister are exiled to the remote island of Ghondatha, where Saphrona’s only relatives live.

She has nothing to take with her but the legacy of ten generations of master sculptors, a family name beloved in the world of Art, and her own credo: there is goodness and beauty in everything.

Upon their arrival at Ghondatha, however, Saphrona and Leigh find that even ageless Ghondatha is not what it once was. The island has a new liege-lord, a nobleman from the lavish Amkadan Empire, with deep pockets and extravagant ideas about progress.

All Lord Gideon Bloodstone requires is that the villagers obey three laws: no one may leave the island; all who are invited to his nightly masquerades must attend; and those who are not invited must mind the curfew and stay home.

Who is this man who has stolen the last familiar piece of life Saphrona has left in the world?

Someone who will change forever how she defines that which is good and beautiful.

Content Transparency Statement

1. This is hate-free fiction.

2. The Garden of Night Series contains:

(a) PG-13 rated sensuality

(b) R-rated violence

(c) Vampire characters. Some of them fall in love with humans. There will be talk of blood and biting one another.

I’d like to go on and on and on about this one, because if you’ve read my review you know I was so pleased with this read. I love it because it’s vampires with two different camps/mindsets. The Ferals and The Followers, and I love how unique Ayres has made her story, so, this was probably my best vampire read in a looooong time. If you haven’t read my review, click here.

2. The Den of Shadows Quartet


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GoodReads Blurb (From first book only): By day, Risika sleeps in shaded room in Concord, Massachusetts. By night, she hunts the streets of New York City. She is used to being alone.

But someone is following Risika. He has left her a black rose, the same sort of rose that sealed her fate three hundred years ago. Three hundred years ago Risika had a family- a brother and a father who loved her. Three hundred years ago she was human.
Now she is a vampire, a powerful one. But her past has come back to torment her.

I only took the GR Blurb from the first one because the Quartet blurb was like one sentence lol. Okay, so, I need peeps to hear me out on this one. This was the first vampire book I ever read and I don’t think I’ll ever cease to be impressed by it because when Atwater-Rhodes wrote this book she was… drumroll, please!

Thirteen.

That’s right, you read that right, 13. So when I read it when I was about 11/12, I was floored. Reading it now would I write it 5 cups? I’m not sure. But I probably would because I’ll never get over the fact of her age. Also for sentimental reasons I am really very fond of Atwater-Rhodes in general, what I didn’t know however is the Den of Shadows books are now beyond a quartet, looks like I’ll be adding more books to my reading list.

1. Dracula

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GoodReads Blurb: When Jonathan Harker visits Transylvania to help Count Dracula purchase a London house, he makes horrifying discoveries in his client’s castle. Soon afterwards, disturbing incidents unfold in England: a ship runs aground on the shores of Whitby, its crew vanished; beautiful Lucy Westenra slowly succumbs to a mysterious, wasting illness, her blood drained away; and the lunatic Renfield raves about the imminent arrival of his ‘master’. In the ensuing battle of wills between the sinister Count and a determined group of adversaries – led by the intrepid vampire hunter Abraham van Helsing – Bram Stoker created a masterpiece of the horror genre, probing into questions of identity, sanity and the dark corners of Victorian sexuality and desire.

Uhhhhhh how could I not??

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How could I not? It still has to be number one on my list it’s the real MVP of Vampire novels, even if you don’t like it, I still like to think without it, we wouldn’t have some really kick-ass vampire books/movies/tv shows that we have today. [And we wouldn’t have Van Helsing, which, uh, I love Van Helsing] It’s not a read for everyone and if you’re like ‘nah, it’s totally boring’ that’s okay, you chuck it to the side. I will probably always have a soft spot for it though and can’t wait to give it a reread when October rolls around because that’s the sort of person I am lol.

So that’s my top 5 list, but, I’d love to hear what your fave Vampire picks are, and any recs you may have! Cause who doesn’t need to add a few more books to their TBR?!

[Sidenote: I have indeed read The Twilight series but I think aside from Den of Shadows it’s the only Vampire series I’ve read.]