The Mermaid, The Witch, and The Sea: A Review

The Mermaid, The Witch, and The Sea by Maggie Tokuda-Hall

My Rating: 5 stars!

Cover Rating: 10/10

Publisher: Candlewick press

Publish Date: May 5th, 2020

Number of Pages: 368 pages

Received: Netgalley provided an e-arc in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

In a world divided by colonialism and threaded with magic, a desperate orphan turned pirate and a rebellious imperial lady find a connection on the high seas.

The pirate Florian, born Flora, has always done whatever it takes to survive—including sailing under false flag on the Dove as a marauder, thief, and worse. Lady Evelyn Hasegawa, a highborn Imperial daughter, is on board as well—accompanied by her own casket. But Evelyn’s one-way voyage to an arranged marriage in the Floating Islands is interrupted when the captain and crew show their true colors and enslave their wealthy passengers. 

Both Florian and Evelyn have lived their lives by the rules, and whims, of others. But when they fall in love, they decide to take fate into their own hands—no matter the cost.

Maggie Tokuda-Hall’s sweeping fantasy debut, full of stolen memories, illicit mermaid’s blood, double agents, and haunting mythical creatures conjures an extraordinary cast of characters and the unforgettable story of a couple striving to stay together in the face of myriad forces wishing to control their identities and destinies.”

Opening Sentence: “Long after the sun had set, when the passengers were nestled neatly in their cabins, the crew gathered on the deck of the Dove.”

Musings:

I greatly enjoyed this book. I loved so much of it. The structure, the characters, the magic! It was so well-constructed.

What I loved:

The discussion of gender. Flora is both Flora and Florian. Flora the girl who struggled alongside her brother Alfie to survive and Florian the boy who becomes a pirate of his own right. As far as I could tell reading Flora embraces both and I really loved seeing that in this novel. Also, The Pirate Supreme is non-binary and such a badass. They are also straight up called The Pirate Supreme and every-time their mentioned it’s full of badassery and I love them! I just liked that it’s there and that I’m seeing it so much more now then before. It makes me happy to see.

The way the story broke into parts. I loved the structure of this book. I rarely fall in love with pure structure, but this book does it so well. Each section was clearly defined and told the narrative well. It just fit neatly in a way I really appreciated.

Flora and Evelyn together. These two my lord! I love them together. They have this amazing bond that starts from Evelyn wanting to share books and stories with Florian and teach him how to read. To fighting together and loving each other later on not just as Florian but flora. This made my heart so happy. Especially, the ending which I refuse to spoil. It’s too good!

Rake. At first I wasn’t sure if I even liked Rake, but as the story went on I realized how much of a strong character he was. He’s one of the good guys as difficult as it is to be good in the circumstances of the novel.

The magic. I love a good magic system and I swear a magic system that uses stories to create magic is so beautiful. I loved the many stories the witch told in this book. I’m obsessed with it. It was amazing.

The mermaids. I loved how mermaids were portrayed in this book. I love what they eat. I love how Evelyn connected to the mermaid she wanted to save and saw how wrong it was for the sailors to take mermaid blood for their own. It was so cool. I don’t want to spoil the awesomeness of it.

All in All:

If you want to read a magical swashbuckling romance that is beautifully queer and just amazing in every way pick up The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea. I loved every moment of it. So amazingly written.

About the Author:

Maggie Tokuda-Hall is the author of the Parent’s Choice Gold Medal winning picture book, Also an Octopus, illustrated by Benji Davies, and the young adult novel The Mermaid, The Witch and The Sea.

She lives in Oakland, California with her husband, son, and objectively perfect dog.

She has a BA in Studio Art from Scripps College, and an MFA in Writing from University of San Francisco. 

She is represented by Jennifer Laughran of Andrea Brown Lit.

You can follow her on Twitter, @emteehall
Or on Instagram @maggietokudahall

Places to donate to Trans communities:

Trans Equality 

The Trevor Project

Transgender Law Center 

Some BLM resources: 

Link to bail funds to donate to!

Link to petitions to sign! 

Link to a video to watch if you can’t donate!

Check out my Instagram and Twitter

Check out The Book Raven Poetry website

Checkout The Book Raven Poetry Instagramand Twitter

Check out the Sisters of Twilight website.

If you love my content and wish to offer me extra support by me a Kofi on my donation page!

Monstress Volume 2: A Review

Monstress Volume 2 by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda

My Rating: 5 Stars!!!

Cover Rating: 10/10 these covers are always stunningly beautiful. True works of art like the comics inside are.

Publisher: Image comics

Publish Date: July 5th, 2017

Number of Pages: 152 pages

Received: Purchased off Amazon

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis: The Eisner-nominated MONSTRESS is back! Maika, Kippa, and Ren journey to Thyria in search of answers to her past… and discover a new, terrible, threat. Collects MONSTRESS #7-12

Opening Sentence: “ “Miss? I woke up last night, and you were gone.””

Musings:

I cannot say enough how much I love these comics!!!! They are so goooood!!! I could never hype them up enough. Sometimes the best things you can barely talk about cause you mind is shouting continually everyone must read this thing!!! It’s so goooood!!! Over and over. These comics are top notch in every way.

What I Loved:

THE ART!!! I will never not be obsessed with this art. I finish one of these comics and immediately want to go back and obsess over how god damn gorgeous it is. It’s glorious. Sana Takeda is a queen!

It’s dark. The story itself has this continued sense of foreboding and urgency with horrific tones throughout. I love for it. Even the adorable cat history parts always have grim stories and grim imagery it’s perfection.

The Hispanic influences. It’s the little touches too of mixing in Hispanic culture. Specifically the use of Spanish words and acknowledging that background context that Maika has in this unique fantasy world is beautiful I love to see it!

How invested I get. You can’t read this without wanting to know more or caring for these characters. It’s dripping with mystery and curiosity. Both at the larger world level and at the individual motivation and wants level. Every single facet of the story itself is interesting.

It’s so gorgeous! The writing is so good! The art is a *chefs kiss*. Both writing and art are so nuanced and work together seamlessly to propel the story forward. I LOVE IT!

All in all:

I don’t want to spoil this I just want everyone to read it for themselves. It’s soooo good!

About the Author

New York Times bestselling and award-winning writer Marjorie Liu is best known for her fiction and comic books. She teaches comic book writing at MIT, and she leads a class on Popular Fiction at the Voices of Our Nation (VONA) workshop.

Ms. Liu was born in Philadelphia, and has lived in numerous cities in the Midwest, as well as Beijing and Shanghai. Prior to writing full-time, she was a lawyer. She currently resides in Boston.

About the Artist

Sana Takeda is based in Japan and is best known in the United States for working with Marjorie Liu, most recently on their hit fantasy series MONSTRESS.

THANK YOU ALL FOR READING! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below!

Some BLM resources:

Link to bail funds to donate to!

Link to petitions to sign! 

Link to a video to watch if you can’t donate!

Check out my Instagram and Twitter

Check out The Book Raven Poetry website

Checkout The Book Raven Poetry Instagramand Twitter

Check out the Sisters of Twilight website.

If you love my content and wish to offer me extra support by me a Kofi on my donation page!

Ya Books by Black Authors that need to be read!

There are so many wonderful and incredible books written by black authors that deserve to be read and spread like wildfire.

The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton

“Camellia Beauregard is a Belle. In the opulent world of Orleans, Belles are revered, for they control Beauty, and Beauty is a commodity coveted above all else. In Orleans, the people are born gray, they are born damned, and only with the help of a Belle and her talents can they transform and be made beautiful.

But it’s not enough for Camellia to be just a Belle. She wants to be the favorite, the Belle chosen by the Queen of Orleans to live in the royal palace, to tend to the royal family and their court, to be recognized as the most talented Belle in the land.
But once Camellia and her Belle sisters arrive at court, it becomes clear that being the favorite is not everything she always dreamed it would be. Behind the gilded palace walls live dark secrets, and Camellia soon learns that the very essence of her existence is a lie, that her powers are far greater, and could be more dangerous, than she ever imagined. And when the queen asks Camellia to risk her own life and help the ailing princess by using Belle powers in unintended ways, Camellia now faces an impossible decision. 

With the future of Orleans and its people at stake, Camellia must decide: save herself and her sisters and the way of the Belles, or resuscitate the princess, risk her own life, and change the ways of her world forever.”

This book is AMAZING! It’s horrifying and so good. I loved every moment of it. Highly recommend this book.

American Street by Ibi Zoboi

American Street is an evocative and powerful coming-of-age story perfect for fans of Everything, Everything; Bone Gap; and All American Boys.

In this stunning debut novel, Pushcart-nominated author Ibi Zoboi draws on her own experience as a young Haitian immigrant, infusing this lyrical exploration of America with magical realism and vodouculture. 

On the corner of American Street and Joy Road, Fabiola Toussaint thought she would finally find une belle vie—a good life. 

But after they leave Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Fabiola’s mother is detained by U.S. immigration, leaving Fabiola to navigate her loud American cousins, Chantal, Donna, and Princess; the grittiness of Detroit’s west side; a new school; and a surprising romance, all on her own. 

Just as she finds her footing in this strange new world, a dangerous proposition presents itself, and Fabiola soon realizes that freedom comes at a cost. Trapped at the crossroads of an impossible choice, will she pay the price for the American dream?”

I have this book on my shelves and I can’t wait to dive into it! It sounds like a beautiful piece of writing that I will treasure for the rest of my life.

Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron

Girls team up to overthrow the kingdom in this unique and powerful retelling of Cinderella from a stunning new voice that’s perfect for fans of A Curse So Dark and Lonely.

It’s 200 years after Cinderella found her prince, but the fairy tale is over. Teen girls are now required to appear at the Annual Ball, where the men of the kingdom select wives based on a girl’s display of finery. If a suitable match is not found, the girls not chosen are never heard from again. 

Sixteen-year-old Sophia would much rather marry Erin, her childhood best friend, than parade in front of suitors. At the ball, Sophia makes the desperate decision to flee, and finds herself hiding in Cinderella’s mausoleum. There, she meets Constance, the last known descendant of Cinderella and her step sisters. Together they vow to bring down the king once and for all–and in the process, they learn that there’s more to Cinderella’s story than they ever knew . . .

This fresh take on a classic story will make readers question the tales they’ve been told, and root for girls to break down the constructs of the world around them.”

This book isn’t out yet, but I have a galley for it I will be reading in June. From the moment I saw it I knew I had to read it. It sounds absolutely amazing and I already know I will be recommending this one for ages.

On the Come Up by Angie Thomas

“Sixteen-year-old Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. Or at least win her first battle. As the daughter of an underground hip hop legend who died right before he hit big, Bri’s got massive shoes to fill.

But it’s hard to get your come up when you’re labeled a hoodlum at school, and your fridge at home is empty after your mom loses her job. So Bri pours her anger and frustration into her first song, which goes viral . . . for all the wrong reasons. 

Bri soon finds herself at the center of a controversy, portrayed by the media as more menace than MC. But with an eviction notice staring her family down, Bri doesn’t just want to make it—she has to. Even if it means becoming the very thing the public has made her out to be.  

Insightful, unflinching, and full of heart, On the Come Up is an ode to hip hop from one of the most influential literary voices of a generation. It is the story of fighting for your dreams, even as the odds are stacked against you; and about how, especially for young black people, freedom of speech isn’t always free.”

This book sounds sooo good! All of Angie’s books should be read in classrooms everywhere. By now most know and love The Hate You Give, so I thought mentioning one of her other timely and powerful books would be great here.

With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo

“Ever since she got pregnant freshman year, Emoni Santiago’s life has been about making the tough decisions—doing what has to be done for her daughter and her abuela.

The one place she can let all that go is in the kitchen, where she adds a little something magical to everything she cooks, turning her food into straight-up goodness. 

Even though she dreams of working as a chef after she graduates, Emoni knows that it’s not worth her time to pursue the impossible. Yet despite the rules she thinks she has to play by, once Emoni starts cooking, her only choice is to let her talent break free. 

Plus don’t miss Elizabeth Acevedo’s Clap When You Land!”

A young mother trying her best to make it during difficult circumstances and pursue her dreams. This book sounds like it’ll be a beautiful and hopeful novel.

The Opposite of Always by Justin A. Reynolds

“Debut author Justin A. Reynolds delivers a hilarious and heartfelt novel about the choices we make, the people we choose, and the moments that make a life worth reliving. Perfect for fans of Nicola Yoon and John Green.

When Jack and Kate meet at a party, bonding until sunrise over their mutual love of Froot Loops and their favorite flicks, Jack knows he’s falling—hard. Soon she’s meeting his best friends, Jillian and Franny, and Kate wins them over as easily as she did Jack. 

But then Kate dies. And their story should end there.

Yet Kate’s death sends Jack back to the beginning, the moment they first meet, and Kate’s there again. Healthy, happy, and charming as ever. Jack isn’t sure if he’s losing his mind.

Still, if he has a chance to prevent Kate’s death, he’ll take it. Even if that means believing in time travel. However, Jack will learn that his actions are not without consequences. And when one choice turns deadly for someone else close to him, he has to figure out what he’s willing to do to save the people he loves.”

I love the premise of this book. It sounds like it will be a heart-wrenching read.

I Wanna Be Where You Are by Kristina Forest

“When Chloe Pierce’s mom forbids her to apply for a spot at the dance conservatory of her dreams, she devises a secret plan to drive two hundred miles to the nearest audition. But Chloe hits her first speed bump when her annoying neighbor Eli insists upon hitching a ride, threatening to tell Chloe’s mom if she leaves him and his smelly dog, Geezer, behind. So now Chloe’s chasing her ballet dreams down the east coast—two unwanted (but kinda cute) passengers in her car, butterflies in her stomach, and a really dope playlist on repeat.

Filled with roadside hijinks, heart-stirring romance, and a few broken rules, Kristina Forest’s I Wanna Be Where You Are is a YA debut perfect for fans of Jenny Han and Sandhya Menon.”

An adorable sounding rom com about a ballerina on the road to an audition. Too cute sounding not to pick up!

Not So Pure and Simple by Lamar Giles

“Del has had a crush on Kiera Westing since kindergarten. And now, during their junior year, she’s finally available. So when Kiera volunteers for an opportunity at their church, Del’s right behind her. Though he quickly realizes he’s inadvertently signed up for a Purity Pledge.

His dad thinks his wires are crossed, and his best friend, Qwan, doesn’t believe any girl is worth the long game. But Del’s not about to lose his dream girl, and that’s where fellow pledger Jameer comes in. He can put in the good word. In exchange, Del just has to get answers to the Pledgers’ questions…about sex ed.

With other boys circling Kiera like sharks, Del needs to make his move fast. But as he plots and plans, he neglects to ask the most important question: What does Kiera want? He can’t think about that too much, though, because once he gets the girl, it’ll all sort itself out. Right?”

This book sounds so funny and sweet and I’d love to pick it up! Plus the cover is beautiful. Looks amazing!

THANK YOU ALL FOR READING! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below! 

Check out my Instagram and Twitter

Check out The Book Raven Poetry website

Checkout The Book Raven Poetry Instagramand Twitter

Check out the Sisters of Twilight website.

If you love my content and wish to offer me extra support by me a Kofi on my donation page!

My Netgalley Request Spree

A few days ago I made a judgement call that would force me to get back into reading in a manic way. I went on Netgalley and requested a bunch of books. I’d banned myself from doing this ages ago. But, I’m not a depressed bean anymore. I’m excited about life and moving forward and I missed reading. It’s one of the biggest most magical parts of my life and I wanted to give myself an even larger incentive to read then ever.

I really didn’t know what I was expecting when I did this. I’ve been reviewing a bit lately and I just wanted to see what would happen and boy has it been an interesting line of approvals so far.

Also, I’m so incredibly grateful to Netgalley and all the publishers that approved me to read all these amazing titles. THANK YOU!!!

Books Requested and Approved:

Mayhem by Estelle Laure

That cover my goodness! I saw it and had to request.

Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron

This was a Hail Mary request. Did not expect the approval, but ohhh yeah I’m excited!

Throwaway Girls by Andrea Contos

Couldn’t resist these creepy vibes! This novel looks like a mystery I wanted to know about.

Glass Town Wars by Celia Rees

This cover is UNIQUE. I wanted to know what the story was inside. I’m excited to get to find out!

Sia Martinez and the Moonlit Beginning of Everything by Raquel Vasquez Gilliland

This book is a mix up of so many things yet it looks so much like it fits. I am so so happy and excited I got approved to read it!

I Hope You’re Listening by Tom Ryan

Again a good Mystery and I couldn’t resist requesting! It sounded amazing!

The Unstoppable Wasp by Sam Maggs

I said so many prayers to get approved for this title. I have a fat crush on Sam Maggs and holy smokes I’m so so excited to read this book!!! I was happy all day when I saw this approval!

Each of Us a Desert by Mark Oshiro

So I’ve always wanted to read Anger is a Gift and I already know that book is soooo well loved so I had to request this book! So happy to have the chance to read it!

Never Look Back by Lilliam Rivera

This book has MAGICAL REALISM!!! Let me say that again MAGICAL REALISM alert!! Freaking will want to read every ya magical realism book I can get my hands on. It’s my jam! Plus omg that cover is chef’s kiss gorgeous!

Hush by Dylan Farrow

The magic in this novel sounds freaking amazing lemme tell you. I read the description and was like HELL yes sign me up for that thank you!

My Rejection:

Blazewrath Games by Amparo Ortiz

That’s right this is the only book I’ve heard back as a no from and I get it. This is a very popularly requested book and I’ve gotten many many yes’s to many amazing novels! Still gotta appreciate that cover tho A+!

Pending Requests:

So all that looks like a lot of books right? Well when I say I went on a request spree.. I went on a request SPREE. Anyway here’s what I’m waiting to hear back on.

Last Girls by Demetra Brodsky

Soooo about this book. I kinda sorta got notified today that I won it in a giveaway sooo.. it may be pending, but like.. hell yess I get to read this book!!!! I have her other book Dive Smack on my shelves and I also won that in a giveaway way back. Apparently I’m meant to read Demetra’s books. I’ll be owning both books she’s written so far! Very excited!

The rest in a beautiful collage of ohh my gosh I hope I get to read these!!!!

That’s 18 more books I’ve yet to hear back on! All of them books I’d feel so happy to read! We’ll see what happens sometime soon! But, gosh I can’t wait to see if I get approved for any of these. Looking at them all together my heart swells. They all look so beautiful!

THANK YOU ALL FOR READING! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below! 

Check out my Instagram and Twitter

Check out The Book Raven Poetry website

Checkout The Book Raven Poetry Instagramand Twitter

Check out the Sisters of Twilight website.

My Current TBR: May 2020

It’s only May 4th and already I’ve read three books! Glow, Monstress Vol. 1, and P.S. I Still Love you. I’ve been killing it already this month and I have so many more amazing books to read.

I’ve only mentioned it once before, but the way I pick my TBR is that I have a book for review and then I have all my personally owned books in a tbr document that I put into a random word picker to get the book I will be reading. This way I’m reading both books I own and my review books at a steady rate. What I appreciate about this system is that having my personal books being randomly picked means I don’t prioritize books I just bought over books that have been on my shelves for ages. Everything gets equal opportunity to be picked.

On to the tbr!

The Grace Year September 17th

Horns 

The Orchid Throne September 24th

Witchmark 

Diamond City Jan 28 2020

Luna new moon

Jack Keri is dead to me April 7th 2020

Pride and Prejudice 

Orchid Unshaken Diana’s release 

1984 

The miseducation of Cameron Post (friend’s Christmas gift to me)

Replica

The Orchid Throne may 26th

Glass sword 

The Fiery Crown Netgalley 

Flame in the mist 

The Lost City Netgalley 

Crazy house

The Morning Flower Netgalley 

All the birds in the sky

It came from the sky Netgalley 

All rights reserved 

Little Creeping things Netgalley 

Me Before You

What I love about this tbr is how mixed it is. From classics to Romance to a lot of fantasy, but also some thrillers and Sci-fi. I love all genres and having them reflect in my tbr as random as it is brings me joy.

I have to say I’m most excited to read Jack Kerouac is Dead to me and The Miseducation of Cameron Post. Jack because I love Gae Polishner with all my heart and Post because I can’t wait to discuss it with the friend that got it for me.

As my Netgalley reads come in I add to the list and since I’ve started doing this for my tbr I’ve had so much fun! I don’t know if I’ll get to all of these books in this month, but I can’t wait to see where I end with once May finishes! I’m looking forward to the rest of the month.

I wish you all happy reading in May!

THANK YOU ALL FOR READING! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below! 

Check out my Instagram and Twitter

Check out The Book Raven Poetry website

Checkout The Book Raven Poetry Instagramand Twitter

Check out the Sisters of Twilight website.

Monstress Volume 1: A Review

Monstress Volume 1 by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda

My Rating: Easiest 5 stars of my life

Cover Rating: 10/10 there is no other rating accepted. The art of the cover and inside this amazing comic is top tear. I’m singing this artwork the highest of praise. It’s GORGEOUS! Perfect! Stunning! GLORIOUS! Sana Takeda is a QUEEN!

Publisher: Image Comics

Publish Date: July 19th, 2016

Number of Pages: 202

Received: My mom bought it on Amazon for me and I read it in one sitting as soon as it came in.

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

Set in an alternate matriarchal 1900’s Asia, in a richly imagined world of art deco-inflected steam punk, MONSTRESS tells the story of a teenage girl who is struggling to survive the trauma of war, and who shares a mysterious psychic link with a monster of tremendous power, a connection that will transform them both and make them the target of both human and otherworldly powers.

Opening Sentence: “It took three years to find a name.”

Musings:

This comic book was incredible! I can’t stop thinking about it and it’s been a few hours since I read it! It’s beautiful, stunning, gorgeous. It’s everything! The story is dark and gritty and gorgeous. The art is some of the best I’ve ever seen. I LOVED Monstress so much!!!!

What I loved:

The art. I mean.. duh. The art is fabulous. It’s dark and only I scene basically has lighter tones. It’s simply gorgeous. There is not a page that isn’t beautifully drawn and colored it’s just a chefs kiss top quality amazing work of art.

The Latin Influences. I love that the author put her heritage into writing this. The bits of Spanish here and there. The mix of latinex characters in a fictional world is something I live for. I can’t wait to read more and see what other influences pop up.

It’s dark. I love a dark story. This is exceptionally so. When your allies can’t trust you cause you might eat them and not know your doing so at the time it’s real. There is a lot of death. A lot of action. A lot of stakes. It’s really awesome.

Adorable history from a cat professor. This is a cute side thing that pops up every so often and though the history is dark having an adorable cat tell it didn’t fail to make me smile.

Great world building. This story feels massive even though it follows a single girl. The larger history and learning about the various races and kingdoms makes it feel like a billon stories could be written from the world. It’s incredible.

I just want to go jfidoenr wlap. I am fangirling so hard over this story that words don’t even matter. It’s all incomprehensible and straight feeling. It’s awesome!

All in All:

I LOVE THIS COMIC!!! It’s the first I’ve ever physically read and I adored every single second. I’M OBSESSED! It’s great!

About the authors

The QUEEN!

Sana Takeda is based in Japan and is best known in the United States for working with Marjorie Liu, most recently on their hit fantasy series MONSTRESS.

Another QUEEN!

Marjorie Liu is an attorney and New York Times bestselling author of over nineteen novels. She is the co-creator of the Eisner-nominated series MONSTRESS published by Image Comics. Her comic book work includes X-23, Black Widow, Dark Wolverine, and Astonishing X-Men, for which she was nominated for a GLAAD Media Award for outstanding media images of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. She currently teaches a course on comic book writing at MIT.

THANK YOU ALL FOR READING! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below! 

Check out my Instagram and Twitter

Check out The Book Raven Poetry website

Checkout The Book Raven Poetry Instagramand Twitter

Check out the Sisters of Twilight website.

Sea Spell by Jennifer Donnelly: A Review

Sea Spell (book 4) by Jennifer Donnelly

My Rating: 4/5 stars

Publisher: Disney Hyperion

Cover Rating: 9/10 it’s gorgeous! One of my favorite things about this series is the covers. They are stunning. The black and white with jacket to give Astrid the look of her personality it’s so well done. Eye catching for sure.

Publish Date: June 14th, 2016

Number of Pages: 357

Received: thrift store buy

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

At the end of Dark Tide, Book 3 in the Waterfire Saga, Astrid leaves her mermaid friends to confront her ancestor, Orfeo, the evil force behind the rise of the monster Abbadon. Orfeo possesses one of the talismans that the merls need in order to keep the monster locked up forever. But without the ability to songcast, how will Astrid be able to defeat the most powerful mage in history? Meanwhile, Serafina and her Black Fins train goblin troops for battle against her uncle Vallerio’s death riders. Will Sera ever see her beloved home–and her beloved Mahdi–again, or will the Volneros take over the mer realms while Orfeo takes on the gods themselves? Nothing less than the fate of the underwater world is at stake in this breathtaking finale.

Opening Sentence: “Manon Laveau, regal on her throne of twining cypress roots, regarded the merman before her.”

Musings:

You know a book is solid when it’s been two years between the time you read one book to the next and your not confused at all when your reading again and being reintroduced into the world. That in itself is an accomplishment. I’m in love with this riveting story about friendship and magic and doing anything to make things right in a time that is going terribly wrong.

What I loved:

The world itself! Jennifer does an amazing job at making you feel like your truly underwater. Her world building is incredible. There is no filler and every detail adds to the story in such a rich way.

The sisterhood! These girls have gone through so much over the course of this series. They’ve had drama between each other, two of them basically acted as enemies for a while, and together they’ve experienced so much loss. Through it all they’ve become so strong together and nothing could tear apart their friendship. They’ve lifted each other up and pushed each other to be the best versions of themselves. It’s such a beautiful thing of hope to see.

These lines:

I love great romance! These lines were so good especially in the deeper context of the rest of the story. Made my chest glow in joy. Had to take pictures and send them to my partner with the excitement I felt reading! I love these storylines!

The romance is there, but not at all central to the plot. The romances in this book are great and lovely, but the focus is centered around the girls friendship and their quest to save their realms from great evil. It makes me smile to see a book that has such a wonderful balance to it like Sea spell does.

The pets! I swear I love a book with pets. Plus, these ones are so unique. For example, the adorable octopus Opie owned by Marcos. I love it so much!

All in all:

I don’t want to be too spoilery in a review on a fourth book in a series. I’m just going to say that I greatly enjoyed Sea Spell. It was truly magical.

About the Author:

Jennifer Donnelly is the author of the adult novels The Tea Rose, The Winter Rose, and The Wild Rose, as well as the young adult novels These Shallow Graves, Revolution, and A Northern Light, winner of Britain’s prestigious Carnegie Medal, the LA Times Book Prize for Young Adult Literature, and a Michael L. Printz Honor Book Award. She lives and writes full-time in Upstate New York. You can visit her at jenniferdonnelly.com or follow @JenWritesBooks on Twitter.

THANK YOU ALL FOR READING! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below! 

Check out my Instagram and Twitter

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Checkout The Book Raven Poetry Instagramand Twitter

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The Diabolic: A Review

The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid

My Rating: 4/5 stars

Cover Rating: 7.5/10 love the metallic. It’s so shiny and it is a very simple yet beautiful representation of who nemesis is as a Diabolic.

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Publish Date: November 1st, 2016

Number of Pages: 416

Received: Special gift from special person

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

A Diabolic is ruthless. A Diabolic is powerful. A Diabolic has a single task: Kill in order to protect the person you’ve been created for.

Nemesis is a Diabolic, a humanoid teenager created to protect a galactic senator’s daughter, Sidonia. The two have grown up side by side, but are in no way sisters. Nemesis is expected to give her life for Sidonia, and she would do so gladly. She would also take as many lives as necessary to keep Sidonia safe.

When the power-mad Emperor learns Sidonia’s father is participating in a rebellion, he summons Sidonia to the Galactic court. She is to serve as a hostage. Now, there is only one way for Nemesis to protect Sidonia. She must become her. Nemesis travels to the court disguised as Sidonia—a killing machine masquerading in a world of corrupt politicians and two-faced senators’ children. It’s a nest of vipers with threats on every side, but Nemesis must keep her true abilities a secret or risk everything.

As the Empire begins to fracture and rebellion looms closer, Nemesis learns there is something more to her than just deadly force. She finds a humanity truer than what she encounters from most humans. Amidst all the danger, action, and intrigue, her humanity just might be the thing that saves her life—and the empire.

Opening Sentence: “Everyone believed Diabolics were fearless, but in my earliest years, all I knew was fear.”

Musings:

The Diabolic is brutal, full of action, and takes place in an incredibly unique futuristic setting. I enjoyed the entire thing from beginning to end. It’s such a unique and fun story to read.

What I loved:

This line: sorry about the spoiler that this is, but god reading it was so good!!

Nemesis

Nemesis being a general badass. God, I love Nemesis. She’s been through crap. She has one of the hardest pasts I’ve ever read. It’s literally engineered her into being the beast that she is. She’s brutal and unapologetic and unkind (well if you mess with anyone she cares about) and she does what needs to be done. She doesn’t always do the “right thing”, but she does what she knows to be necessary based on who she is as a Diabolic.

Nemesis’s dog. Later on she gets a dog that’s just as beastly as she is and it’s one of the best things I’ve ever read. I love their relationship. It’s the best.

Nemesis learning to accept that she’s an emotional being. For a lot of the book Nemesis is cold. It’s not really her fault it’s pretty much the only way she could ever be as a Diabolic. As the story goes on she realizes she has the capacity to care. Her stepping into being something more then just a Diabolic, but a human being is one of my favorite things. It was so amazing to root for her as she realized she could love for her own choosing and not just who she was programmed to.

The futurism. This book is cool. That’s the only way to properly describe the unique and futuristic elements that make of the world. It’s so expansive and unique. Has it’s own particular politics. It has beauty bots that change people to be however they want to look. As well as inter-planetary travel. Everything is just so cool.

All in all:

This book is a fun read. It’s a blast. The only reason it’s not five stars is because while it’s incredibly entertaining there’s something about it that doesn’t quite make it five star worthy. I loved it though. I’m really happy to have gotten the chance to read it.

About the Author:

S.J. Kincaid originally wanted to be an astronaut, but a dearth of mathematical skills turned her interest to science fiction instead. Her debut novel, Insignia, was shortlisted for the Waterstones prize. Its sequels, Vortex and Catalyst, have received starred reviews from Kirkus Reviews and Booklist. Her next book, The Diabolic, comes out in the Fall of 2016. She’s chronically restless and has lived in California, Alabama, New Hampshire, Oregon, Chicago, and Scotland with no signs of staying in one place anytime soon. Her debut, Insignia, came out in July of 2012, followed by its sequels Vortex and Catalyst. The Diabolic was released in the fall 2016.

THANK YOU ALL FOR READING! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below! 

Check out my Instagram and Twitter

Check out The Book Raven Poetry website

Checkout The Book Raven Poetry Instagramand Twitter

Check out the Sisters of Twilight website.

30 Days of Drawing Challenge

One of the things in my life I have always wished I was good at was being able to draw. I grew up being known as someone who was bad at it.. hopeless even, but after encouragement from some special people in my life I gave it a shot. A bit later I decided to take on this 30 day challenge. I gotta say I’m proud of how things turned out!

https://pin.it/HLcabu2

February 20th, 2020

Day 1: Something you couldn’t live without 

February 21st, 2020 

Day 2: Favorite TV Show 

February 22nd, 2020

Day 3: something yellow 

February 23rd, 2020 

Day 4: Favorite book character 

February 24th, 2020

Day 5: Favorite Movie (I don’t have one so I picked one I think is really great) (also chose a horror cause that what I feel like drawing) 

February 25th, 2020 

Day 6: Something I dislike (I love waffles what can I say?)

February 26th, 2020

Day 7: Favorite Animated Character (don’t have a favorite so I’m picking one from my childhood.. baby me adored scooby doo)

February 27th, 2020 

Day 8: Something you miss. 

February 28th, 2020

Day 9: A band logo

I also drew noodle from the Gorillaz as a request: 

February 29th, 2020

Day 10: Favorite thing when you were little (God I was obsessed with dragons as a kid)

March 1st, 2020

Day 11: Something purple 

March 7th, 2020 

Day 12: Flag of the country your from 

March 8th, 2020: 

Day 13: Favorite movie Character (don’t have one so I’m drawing just one I like a lot) 

March 9th, 2020 

Day 14: Favorite Fairytale (picked my childhood favorite Cinderella) 

March 10th, 2020

Day 15: Favorite Book: The Giver by Louis Lowry

March 11th, 2020

Day 16: city skyline (Los Angeles) 

March 12th, 2020

Day 17: Something Orange 

March 14th, 2020

Day 18: your favorite quote (a quote I really like): 

March 22nd, 2020

Day 19: Favorite TV character: (gunna draw Harley Quinn since I’ve been watching The Harley Quinn Show a bunch recently)

March 23rd, 2020

Day 20: Favorite candy (all the candy!!!!!!)

 March 24th, 2020 

Day 21: A Logo 

March 25th, 2020

Day 22: something green (messed up a bit on this one, but I drew the first green guy I could think of Mr. Grinch)

March 26th, 2020

Day 23: Favorite Animal (tiger was my favorite animal from childhood)

March 27th, 2020

Day 24: A celebrity you admire ( I picked robin Williams obviously, he’s the best) probably the best realistic human I’ve drawn even though it’s not quite the best, but I’m improving and that’s what matters)

March 28th, 2020

Day 25: Favorite Place in your home (the inside of the shower from memory, I love my long showers)

April 2nd, 2020

Day 26: Something inspired by your favorite song (I don’t have a favorite..so I put my songs on random and Save a little love by Don Diablo popped up and it made me think of a little robot love so that’s what I drew) 

April 5th, 2020

Day 27: Favorite Food (BBQ sauce is King!!!)

April 7th, 2020

Day 28: Something Pink (the pink panther) 

April 10th, 2020

Day 29: Something in your room (not a very good version of it but I have this fairy statue that is much prettier in person then in the drawing, definitely going to try this one again when my drawings are better) 

April 12th, 2020

Day 30: whatever you want (weird bunny thing I thought was cool) (didn’t mean to but it is Easter so it’s appropriate I guess)

At the end of this challenge I am surprised at how fast I improved. There are certainly pieces I drew that I love more then others, but I’m just really proud that I got to this point at all. Childhood me is so happy at the moment. She’d be incredibly happy with how far I’ve come.

THANK YOU ALL FOR READING! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below! 

Check out my Instagram and Twitter

Check out The Book Raven Poetry website

Checkout The Book Raven Poetry Instagramand Twitter

Check out the Sisters of Twilight website.

Watching: Noelle

The first Christmas movie I’ve decided to watch to kick off the beautiful season is Noelle. Due to a lovely friend and coworker being amazing I got the chance to watch this film off Disney plus and I was pleasantly surprised and enjoyed it for all that it was.

The story sets around Noelle and her brother Nick Kringle. Nick from a small child has been raised to become Santa. Noelle was raised with no expectation. She always wanted to do something important, but she was never taken seriously.

Santa passes away and it is time for Nick to fill Santa’s shoes, but he is terrible at it. Noelle tells him to take a break and so he does, but then he doesn’t want to come back.

Noelle then goes on a journey meeting a man named Jake and his son Alex. Together they set off to find her brother.

Overall, the movie is adorable. Obviously kid friendly. But, surprisingly not at all romance based which is unusual for Christmas films like this one, but I’m kinda happy that it isn’t.

Of course my favorite character was the little reindeer Snowball. I love adorable baby animals in films. They add a layer of cute that I cannot resist.

The movie is as it presents itself to be. It is un-complicated and there isn’t anything twisty about it. It has some very adorable moments as well as some good bits of humor. All in all, a great film for the season!

Thank you all for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below!

Check out my Instagram and Twitter

Check out The Book Raven Poetry website

Checkout The Book Raven Poetry Instagramand Twitter

Check out the Wolfe Creek Candle website and Instagram!

Till next time!