Tag Archive | book review

Non-Spoiler Book Review | “Escaping From Houdini” by Kerri Maniscalco

Exquisite. This story was absolutely exquisite.

4.5/5 Stars


I loved the story, big surprise there, but Maniscalco managed to bring me everything I missed from Audrey Rose and Thomas once again. This story was a little bit more confusing to follow than the other ones we read before, but a great story nonetheless.

This story follows Audrey Rose and Thomas Cresswell join the Etruria, on a week-long trip to New York from GB. Here, the entertainment provided was a circus that the captain brought on board. This circus was directed by a man named Mephistopheles, whose sole purpose was to entertain their patrons. The whole trip turns into a bloodbath and a trip full of terror. Since the first day, these performances turn into targets that kill people, and now, it’s onto Audrey Rose and Thomas to find who’s the murderer.

The world building and character description were very good. Her writing is incredible. Every time I read her stories I feel like I am in 1800s England drinking tea with my cousin. Her writing is consistent and very proper and fascinating. Maniscalco applies a modern fancy English in her writings and I absolutely love it. Is like a mix of Jane Austen and Sherlock Holmes. It’s about reading a novel that has to do with a gruesome murder. And never in a hundred years did I think I was going to like these kinds of story that she writes because for once, I hate scary mysteries and creepy stuff. But I believe that her melodic way of writing makes her murderous descriptions passable and tolerable and somehow enjoyable.

I can sit and eat a big plate of tacos from my favorite Mexican restaurant while reading her gruesome descriptions of whatever murder Audrey Rose just discovered–especially if it is followed by a kiss between Thomas and Audrey Rose.

I am going to say that I was disappointed a little bit with the ending. I was expecting more from Kerri. I got lost in the story a couple times, and I don’t mean that I didn’t understand the story, it was more about, the author losing me as a reader. There were some parts that I thought were redundant and unnecessary. Like, the chain of events that the main characters go through isn’t necessarily part of the conclusion of the book. Unless Maniscalco left some loose ties to tie them up in book four, there are many things that didn’t need to happen or not relevant to this story.

I would recommend this series to anyone 14 years-old and older. If you like mysteries, suspense, and thriller, this is the book for you.


Non-Spoiler Book Review | “Sea Witch” by Sarah Henning

4.5/5 stars36502054


Non-Spoiler Book Review | “Seafire” by Natalie C. Parker

4.5/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


Amazing story. I’ve been looking for a story like this for a while, I’ve been meaning to join a sea adventure as great as this one for the longest time and I’m so glad I finally found it. The Dustjacket of the book describes it as a mix between Wonder woman and Mad Max Fury and that’s exactly what you are going to find. An even mix of sisterhood and action, packed with the right amount of adventure–it’s seriously like reading a “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie.

Caledonia Styx is our main character and it’s written in a third person narrative. She’s Captain of the Mors Navis, a ship with the finest crew on the ocean. 54 girls all under her command and that’s no small job. She’s a very strong woman and with her crew she becomes fierce. Besides her being in charge of a ship and in charge of 54 girls, she’s also very vulnerable. You can notice that she’s still young and that she has so much to learn but I like how she redeems herself. She’s always thinking about the safety of her crew and always puts the needs of her crew before hers. Her decision-making skills are incredible. She’s super smart and you can recognize it in the way she commands her crew and the way she leads them through the sea.

The technical terms are kind of hard to follow, there are many fishermen and boat terminologies that if you haven’t watched Pirates of the Caribbean or read about ships before, you’d be lost. I found myself googling many words because I didn’t know what she was talking about, but nothing that I couldn’t tolerate. Matter of fact, I preferred those terms because I learned more words.

The only reason I didn’t give a 5 was because of the love interest and romance displayed throughout the book. There’s this guy who comes along as the prisoner and I don’t think that the author gives them much of a connection before they actually kiss. There weren’t many moments before the kiss were Cala and Oren connected, it felt sudden and there wasn’t much build-up to the moment.

Other than that the whole story was amazing, the cliffhanger was tolerable, characters were amazingly written and world-building was consistent and manageable to understand. I will for sure be looking forward to her next book in the series. I would recommend to any 12 years old and older, if you like Pirates of the Caribbean, Sea adventures and anything boat related. Oh, if you like Wonder Woman and Mad Max Fury, this is the book for you as well.

Non-Spoiler Book Review |”Monday’s Not Coming” by Tiffany D. Jackson

Wow, I haven’t posted in forever and for that I’m sorry. Is not that I’m not reading, is mostly about me being lazy and not finding time to write. I’m not promising any regular posting schedule because I go to school full time and work full time as well, so I’ll see how it goes.


1/5 Stars ⭐️

But onto the review. I didn’t like this book. The concept of it, the topic, the writing style, and overall writing scheme didn’t seem to capture my attention. Claudia, who is our main character, loses a friend after spending some time apart one summer vacation. When she comes back, she realizes that Monday’s missing and starts questioning everyone and everything. The book is confusing to me because it jumps between separate times. The author wrote this book in the format of the “present” and then in between months. If Jackson’s purpose was to challenge my brain, she most certainly did, however, it wasn’t on a good way.

I lost interest in this book from the beginning, the author didn’t manage to hold my attention, and whenever I put the book down it would be very hard for me to pick it back up. Now, you may be asking yourself, why did you finish it? (If you been following me for while you know that I’m not afraid to DNF) Well, that’s because we choose it for our book club pick of the month and it was kind of mandatory to finish it, especially if you are the moderator of the discussion group. Funny thing is, no one in the club like the book either and there were four of us.

Anyways, the story can be very confusing and its hard to follow the chronological order in which the story is written. I can’t explain much really because if I do I’d be giving the story away, and well, you kinda need to read the book to know what I’m talking about but it is a hard read.

I would recommend this book to 12 year olds and older. If you like suspense and mystery, then this is the book for you (ish).

Non-Spoiler Book Review | “Smoke in the Sun,” by Reneé Ahdieh


4.5/5 Stars


Wow, once again mind-blown by the beautiful Reneé Ahdieh and her amazing writing. Even though half of the time throughout this books I had no idea what she was saying because many of the words used to described things were in a different language–though there’s an intensive glossary in the back–I didn’t get lost, not even once.

Here we follow the story of Mariko and Okami as they were dragged to the place following immediately after the ending of the last book A Flame in the Mist. In this book, we get different perspectives from various different characters and its written in the third person. Following the ambush of the Black Clan, Mariko has to figure out a way to save Okami and has to find a way to become someone of importance for the Black Clan. There’s political turmoil from within, family’s betrayal, broken hearts, and desperate cries. But at the end, we find our joy.

Mariko is not the same girl we started with in the first book, though in the first book she always seemed full of conviction, in this book we see it being part of her core. Spending time with those men in the woods taught her to believe in herself and to become stronger than she’s ever been before. We see her beeing tested throughout this book time and time again, yet Mariko’s resolved never faultered. She believed in a cause, and one cause only, and she would go to unknown lenghts to regardless of the consequenses, to save her people, to save Okami. She make sure they followed through. That’s something I admired from her in this book, in this story she had to make a choice for herself, could’ve chosen an easier route, but yet she didn’t. She choose to fight, and I truly apprecite divergence.

Ahdieh manages to bring one more time her beautiful writing in this one, and every once in awhile throughout this book I felt like I was reading a beautifully written folklore book that a grandma from Ireland was reading to her children. You know, the kind that passes by generations and that have the kids enthralled all the way to the end of the story. I honestly think she did a great job with world-building and the fact that she used the characters native language throughout this book made the story more diverse, made the story different. The way she portrayed the characters never felt lacking of anything. Renee made you feel the way the characters felt when you read them, if that makes any sense and each of thier thoughts were easy to follow.

If I do have to complain about anything I would say that the book felt a little bit rushed. There are moments throughout this book that I think she could’ve prolonged and/or moments that she could’ve added. There’s still some questions that I need answers to. Some scenes, especially in the last fifty pages or so felt rushed, and the book itself wasn’t very long, so I wouldn’t have mind if she were to add a couple pages to end just so that it can be more solidify. The didn’t necessarily end with a cliffhanger which is why I am confused as to whether there’s going to be another book or not.

Anyways, I would recommend this book if you liked her one, A Flame in the Mist, if you like Mulan, if you like Asian characters, if you like Mulan, oh, an if you like Mulan! There are some sensored sexy scenes in this book, so I would recommend it for ages 14 and up!

Non-Spoiler Book Review | “Legendary,” by Stephanie Garber



I just finished reading Legendary by Stephanie Garber and OMG it was such a huge improvement from the first one. If you read my review on Caraval which I wrote about more than a year ago, you know I did not like that book at all. I felt like it lacked character and purpose and the actual main character Scarlett truly pissed me off.

In this book, we follow the story of Scarlett’s sister, Tella. Donatella decides its time for her to play the game of Caraval herself this time instead of participating because in doing so she would finally be reunited with her mom who left them a long time ago. Don’t get me wrong, there’s still the conniving lies, mysterious people, and treatures adventures full of pain, loss, and sacrifice, but somehow in this book there seem to be more of a purpose. In this story, the players of the Caraval tell Tella that this time Caraval is much more than a game–the game is real this time and maybe that’s why I liked it even better.

We immediately see the differences between the two sisters in this story. Where Scarlett’s decisions were all made out of fear, Tella’s were made out of finding out what came next, her fear pushed her to be more. There wasn’t one time throughout this whole book where I felt annoyed by Tella’s decisions if anything I found myself agreeing to many of the decisions she made and found myself nodding along with her statements while playing the game. Tella is a super strong character, stronger than Scarlett for sure, but after reading this book, I do have to give Scarlett some credit because she did play out of love for her sister when it was her turn in the past book.

We are introduced to more characters in this book, there are some that we already know and that we get to know more intimately, and we are introduced to the Fates in this story who are some sort of immortal beings that ruled the earth centuries ago, who are also apparently evil creatures. Oh, and you won’t believe who’s Tella’s love interest on this one, it made me laugh with her at the end so hard LOL!

The reason I wanted to read this book was that of the letter on the last page of Caraval, the one that Tella’s friend wrote to her, and Garber didn’t disappoint. I have to hand it to her, that women can write! Her world building was beautiful–the way she describes the places and buildings throughout the book made me want to read every single detail of it (because sometimes I do skip details LOL), her descriptions were life if you were able to read music without actually listening to the sounds. The story felt so alive, she made you feel as if you were in the story with the character. Hell, I found myself playing along–participating in Caraval–with Donatella trying to figure who is Legend (which we do find out who he is in this book but I won’t tell you muahaha imagine evil laugh here) trying to find a way of not dooming the whole to the hands of the fates, trying to save herself and also trying to find her mother.

There are many things going on in this book but never once did I get lost nor did I feel like I should put the book down because it got too overwhelming–if anything every chapter of the book made me want to finish it faster, hence why I finished the book at 3 a.m. (not ashamed). Congratulations Stephanie on this beautiful masterpiece, you managed to make me truly enjoy this book and I cannot wait to read the next one, especially with that little teasing note that you left at the end of this one! How dare you?! LOL

I would recommend for ages 13 and up! Read if you liked Caraval, Ace of Shades, Six of Crows, and Crooked Kingdom! You’ll truly enjoy this one!

Non-Spoiler Book Review | “Ash Princess,” by Laura Sebastian

2/5 Stars


Hey, well guess what? Finally got around reading Ash Princess and unfortunately, this book didn’t do it for me. It felt like one of those books that I’ve read before somewhere else. I finished it and I was like, “Meh, I’ve read it before,” which sucked because I really wanted to like this book. TThe cover alone dragged me to it like a moth drawn to a flame, it’s so pretty and if you ever get to hold it in your hands you can feel the 3D feel of the cover.

Here we follow the story of Princess Theodosia, a princess whose mother was killed right before her eyes by the evil King and that now has to work to gain her kingdom back. She’s been in captivity for over 10 years given the title of Ash princess by the man who stole her kingdom. The story itself seems repetitive, there’s a damsel in distress, she has powers, she’s hopeless, defenseless, and abused. There’s promise to this story though, I feel like the author has great potential and her writing is incredible. I just wished she’d written a better story. However, Theo was incredibly strong, the things that she went through because of her people–for her people–are things that I haven’t read in any other books.

The king is as cruel as any king can be–but I’ve yet to read a fantasy book following this kind of line that had a king that was nice.  He was ruthless and mean and he took anything he wanted. He makes Theo wear an ash crown for each time there’s a reason to celebrate something, shaming her in front of her people, hence the title and the crown on the cover. Then there was Soren, the heir to the throne, which I believe has good intentions for the kingdom and for Thora but we’ll see how it develops. And then there’s Blaise, a friend from Theo’s past and he’s sure a keeper–or is he?

I do think that honestly, that true enigma in this book is her friend Crescentia, whom I think the next book is going to be about, and if my suspicions are confirmed, then I wouldn’t mind reading the next book.

I didn’t care much about the “world-building” but since her whole life was inside the palace, there wasn’t much to build. There were some words thrown here and there from her Astrean language that were hard to interpret and also, what kind of name is Kalovaxian for a group of people? But anyways, it just felt like another princess whose kingdom has been taken away and now she must battle to get it back.

I would recommend this book if you liked Red Queen, Blood Rose Rebellion, and any other princess need to save her kingdom book out there! For ages 13 and up!

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