Review: Heart of the Moors: An Original Maleficent: Mistress of Evil Novel

Title: Heart of the Moors: An Original Maleficent: Mistress of Evil Novel
Author: Holly Black
Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy
Publisher: Disney Press
Source: Purchased
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: October 8, 2019
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

From New York Times bestselling author Holly Black comes a captivating original novel set between Disney’s Maleficent and Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, in which newly-queened Aurora struggles to be the best leader to both the humans and Fair Folk under her reign; her beau, Prince Phillip, longs to get to know Aurora and her kingdom better; and Maleficent has trouble letting go of the past.

Review:

This is a great middle grade faerie story from Holly Black.

I loved that this story stayed true to the story of Maleficent, but it was in Holly Black’s style. Holly does a great job of writing about the different types of faeries in a descriptive way. I could imagine the beautiful settings because of how thoroughly and concisely they were described.

I also enjoyed the plot of the novel. It was a complete plot, while not straying too far from the movie plots. This story is a side plot, which can accompany the movies, but does not replace them.

I really enjoyed this novel!

What to read next:

Mirror, Mirror by Jen Calonita

Have you read Heart of the Moors? What did you think of it?

Review: Guardians of Magic (The Cloud Horse Chronicles #1)

Title: Guardians of Magic (The Cloud Horse Chronicles #1)
Author: Chris Riddell
Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: November 5, 2019
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

In Guardians of Magic the award-winning, 2015-2017 UK Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell weaves together a stunningly illustrated magical quest in which three ordinary children, with extraordinary gifts, come together to defeat the enemies who threaten the mysterious cloud horses. This is the first title in The Cloud Horse Chronicles series.

The Kingdom of Thrynne is a place where fairy tales don’t behave, and magic can be found in unexpected places. But magic brings danger to Zam, Phoebe and Bathsheba, because it is forbidden. 
Now, the future of magic itself is under threat from powerful enemies: those who fear it and, worse, those who want to use it for their own ends. 
What can three ordinary children do to protect it?

Review:

This story follows three different narratives. Zam is a baker who discovers a magical spoon. Phoebe is a musician with a talking cello. Bathsheba is the daughter of a giant-slayer, who thinks giants shouldn’t be killed. They all come up against enemies who want to steal their magical items.

There were many common elements of fairytales that I liked in the story. Zam baked gingerbread people and Phoebe is a musician in a cat orchestra. There were also evil princesses, which defied the usual princess narrative.

I loved the illustrations that went along with the story. They were detailed and showed everything that was happening in the story. It also gave visual representation to some unusual creatures, such as the goat people and the giants.

This is a great story!

Thank you Pan Macmillan for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse (Goth Girl #1) by Chris Riddell

Have you read Guardians of Magic? What did you think of it?

Review: The Raven King (The Raven Cycle #4)

Title: The Raven King (The Raven Cycle #4)
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Source: Purchased
Format: Paperback
Release Date: April 26, 2016
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

The fourth and final installment in the spellbinding series from the irrepressible, #1 New York Times bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater.

All her life, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love’s death. She doesn’t believe in true love and never thought this would be a problem, but as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore. 

Review:

I liked this conclusion to the Raven Cycle series.

This story felt different from the rest of the series. It was a lot darker than the other books. The other stories had more dreams, but in this one they turned into nightmares. Some parts were very dark and descriptive, and leaning towards horror.

I was a little disappointed with the way Blue’s and Gansey’s prophesy ended in the story. I won’t give it away for those who haven’t read it, but I think it was kind of rushed.

After that ending, I’m so curious to see what happens in the spin off series about Ronan!

What to read next:

Opal (The Raven Cycle #4.5) by Maggie Stiefvater

Call Down the Hawk (Dreamer #1) by Maggie Stiefvater

Have you read The Raven King? What did you think of it?

Review: The Toll (Arc of the Scythe #3)

Title: The Toll (Arc of the Scythe #3)
Author: Neal Shusterman
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Fantasy
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Source: Indigo Fall Preview
Format: Paperback
Release Date: November 5, 2019
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

From New York Times bestselling author Neal Shusterman comes the thrilling conclusion to the Printz Honor–winning series Arc of a Scythe.

It’s been three years since Rowan and Citra disappeared; since Scythe Goddard came into power; since the Thunderhead closed itself off to everyone but Grayson Tolliver.

In this pulse-pounding conclusion to New York Times bestselling author Neal Shusterman’s Arc of a Scythe trilogy, constitutions are tested and old friends are brought back from the dead.

Review:

This was one of my most highly anticipated books of 2019. I was beyond excited to get an ARC of it.

The story started out super slow. It follows the huge events of the last book, where some major characters were potentially killed. I don’t want to give too much away, in case anyone hasn’t read it yet. This story started out following some minor characters from the first two books. I kept waiting to hear from my favourite characters, Citra and Rowan.

I found that the story really picked up halfway through the book. Then, it was really hard to put down. The first half of the book was kind of an introduction to the story. There was necessary information in the first half that was needed to create the huge ending. However, it was very slow paced. I wish some of the events of the two halves of the books were woven together to make the pacing a little steadier.

The ending of the story was one of my favourite endings to a book series ever. I’m so happy with how it ended. The book took a little work to get through, but the ending was worth it!

Thank you Indigo for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Dry by Neal Shusterman, Jarrod Shusterman

The Diabolic (The Diabolic #1) by S.J. Kincaid

Have you read The Toll? What did you think of it?

Review: Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle #3)

Title: Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle #3)
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publisher: Scholastic
Source: Purchased
Format: Paperback
Release Date: October 21, 2014
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

The third installment in the all-new series from the #1 NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater!

Blue Sargent has found things. For the first time in her life, she has friends she can trust, a group to which she can belong. The Raven Boys have taken her in as one of their own. Their problems have become hers, and her problems have become theirs. 

The trick with found things, though, is how easily they can be lost.

Friends can betray.
Mothers can disappear.
Visions can mislead.
Certainties can unravel.

Review:

This was a great book in the Raven Cycle series!

There are many subplots that go along with the main plot of Gansey’s search for Glendower. Each of the main characters (Gansey, Ronan, Adam, and Blue) have their own distinct lives and stories. They each have their own subplots, which could be their own plot in an individual book. Though the book isn’t too long, each character could easily take up their own book to tell their story.

Maggie Stiefvater does a great job at characterization. There is an ensemble cast, but everyone gets their own part. The characters seem like real people, because they have detailed backgrounds, motivations, and goals. I felt like I really knew them as people.

I love the historical elements of the story, as well. The search for the Welsh king Glendower brings in lots of Welsh history to the story. The fictional town, Henrietta, also has an extensive history, making it a character in itself.

I really enjoyed this book! I’m excited to see how the series ends in the next book!

What to read next:

The Raven King (The Raven Cycle #3) by Maggie Stiefvater

Love and Other Curses by Michael Thomas Ford

Have you read Blue Lily, Lily Blue? What did you think of it?

Review: Fables, Vol. 1: Legends in Exile

Title: Fables, Vol. 1: Legends in Exile
Author: Bill Willingham
Genre: Graphic Novel, Fantasy
Publisher: Vertigo
Source: Library
Format: Ebook
Release Date: May 22, 2012 (originally December 31, 2002)
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

When a savage creature known only as the Adversary conquered the fabled lands of legends and fairy tales, all of the infamous inhabitants of folklore were forced into exile. Disguised among the “mundys,” their name for normal citizens of modern-day New York, these magical characters created their own secret society that they call Fabletown. From their exclusive luxury apartment buildings on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, these creatures of legend must fight for their survival in the new world.

Fables is the winner of 14 Eisner Awards and is one of the most enduring Vertigo titles ever. Here, in this new, 10th anniversary edition, is a newly colored 8-page story from the Fables prose work Peter & Max: A Fables Novel, as well as a beautiful new cover from series artist Mark Buckingham.

Collecting:Fables #1-5

Review:

I first read Fables a few years ago and I loved it! I love adaptations of fairytales, and this series is a lot of fun.

The characters from fairytales have left their lands and entered the human world, or the mundane as they call it. They have to keep their special powers hidden or they face consequences from their leaders, in particular Snow White and Bigby, the Big Bad Wolf.

In this story, Snow White’s sister, Red Rose, has gone missing. Red Rose’s apartment was covered in blood, but her body was not there. Snow White and Bigby have to search for the answers to her disappearance, and possibly find her body.

Though this series is based on fairytales, it is not meant for children. There are adult themes and language in the story. However, they are entertaining and funny. I highly recommend this series!

What to read next:

Fables, Vol. 2: Animal Farm by Bill Willingham

Have you read Fables, Vol. 1: Legends in Exile? What did you think of it?

Review: Ninth House (Alex Stern #1)

Title: Ninth House (Alex Stern #1)
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Genre: Fiction, Fantasy, Thriller
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Source: Purchased
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: October 8, 2019
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Galaxy “Alex” Stern is the most unlikely member of Yale’s freshman class. Raised in the Los Angeles hinterlands by a hippie mom, Alex dropped out of school early and into a world of shady drug dealer boyfriends, dead-end jobs, and much, much worse. By age twenty, in fact, she is the sole survivor of a horrific, unsolved multiple homicide. Some might say she’s thrown her life away. But at her hospital bed, Alex is offered a second chance: to attend one of the world’s most elite universities on a full ride. What’s the catch, and why her?

Still searching for answers to this herself, Alex arrives in New Haven tasked by her mysterious benefactors with monitoring the activities of Yale’s secret societies. These eight windowless “tombs” are well-known to be haunts of the future rich and powerful, from high-ranking politicos to Wall Street and Hollywood’s biggest players. But their occult activities are revealed to be more sinister and more extraordinary than any paranoid imagination might conceive.

The mesmerizing adult debut from #1 New York Timesbestselling author Leigh Bardugo.

Review:

This was one of my most highly anticipated books of 2019. It was worth the wait!

I loved the way magic and ghosts were brought into the university life. It reminded me of my time at university, and all the colleges that it was divided up into, like the houses in this book. There were real locations at Yale used in this book. It’s great to see images of these locations, so that the story is brought to life.

There were a lot of thriller elements to this story as well as fantasy. Though there were ghosts, called Greys, and supernatural rituals, there were also murders and lots of drugs. The real gritty underworld of drugs and gruesome murders, mixed with the supernatural underworld of ghosts. These genres blended seamlessly.

I loved this book! I can’t wait to see what happens in the next book.

What to read next:

A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic #1) by V.E. Schwab

Have you read Ninth House? What did you think of it?