Updated: 4 days ago

Author: A.K. Wilder

Publisher: Entangled Teen


Raise. Your. Phantom. In a world on the brink of the next Great Dying, no amount of training can prepare us for what is to come...

A young heir will raise the most powerful phantom in all of Baiseen. A dangerous High Savant will do anything to control the nine realms. A mysterious and deadly Mar race will steal children into the sea. And a handsome guide with far too many secrets will make me fall in love.

My name is Ash. A lowly scribe meant to observe and record. And yet I think I’m destined to surprise us all.


I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

What a fun ride! Crow of Bones is a clean young adult read that keeps the reader guessing. I can spot a plot twist a mile away, but author A.K. Wilder’s clever writing acted as a blindfold. I never saw the jaw-dropping twists coming.

Though the author’s writing style catered toward the young adult genre, at times it felt restricted. Her new adult/adult background yearned to come out. The graphic combative scenes and sexual tension between characters are two examples that stood out. Regardless, A.K. Wilder did a beautiful job transitioning into the young adult marketplace.

What started out as an initiation journey, developed into a nail-biting story of survival. Marcus, the heir to the Baiseen throne, leads his fellow savants, along with his recorder, Ash, a girl who lacks the powers of the others to the Sacred Isle of Aku, a politically neutral island realm where all initiate savants go to train for advancement to yellow robes.

Their journey doesn’t go as planned, but with the help of a handsome sailor who’s torn between the sea and his affections for Ash, the misfit crew makes it to Aku before the gates close.

This is where the story takes off. Training phantoms isn’t a simple task, especially stubborn ones like De’ral, Marcus’s warrior phantom whose unique connection to Ash leaves the readers scratching their heads. But Marcus and the other savants hold their own. An act of betrayal test the savants’ loyalties and friendships solidify after an unexpected attack. I couldn’t stop turning the pages. Once the action built, it never stopped.

I have so many burning questions after finishing this book. The cliffhanger blew my mind. I need the second book—now.

Readers: a fantastic book for those who love YA adventure and clean romance

Writers: a brilliant case study for those studying world-building, combative scenes, and dialogue

Warnings/Triggers: graphic fight scenes

Star Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Completed Read: December 29, 2020

Updated: 4 days ago

Author: Holly Black

Publisher: Little Brown

Synopsis: Before he was a cruel prince or a wicked king, he was a faerie child with a heart of stone. #1 New York Times bestselling author, Holly Black reveals a deeper look into the dramatic life of Elfhame's enigmatic high king, Cardan. This tale includes delicious details of life before The Cruel Prince, an adventure beyond The Queen of Nothing, and familiar moments from The Folk of the Air trilogy, told wholly from Cardan's perspective. This new installment in the Folk of the Air series is a return to the heart-racing romance, danger, humor, and drama that enchanted readers everywhere. Each chapter is paired with lavish and luminous full-color art, making this the perfect collector's item to be enjoyed by both new audiences and old.

Review: Well, damn. I wasn’t expecting to love this book as much as I did. I’ll be honest. I stopped reading The Cruel Prince because the writing style drove me mad. The choppy sentence structure combined with Jude’s lack of maturity made me wonder if I had stumbled upon a twelve-year-old’s diary. I wanted to love the characters, but I didn’t. I couldn’t connect with anyone on an emotional level.

But wait…this review isn’t about the first book in the series, is it? No. It’s about Black’s newest installment, How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories. So why, one might ask. Why did I pick up this book if I closed the first book halfway through? Easy. Curiosity. Why was Cardan such a jerk to Jude in the first book? How did he become such a cruel young man? These burning questions sent me running to the nearest bookstore. I needed answers.

It only took me a few hours to devour the tiny masterpiece, and boy, oh boy, I'm thrilled I gave it a shot. The illustrations that accompany the short stories are glorious. The lessons Cardan learned as he grew into a man opened my eyes. Once the book ended, I wanted to read more about his life prior to Jude.

Yes, I broke the rules and read this book before the series, but honestly, it gave me an appreciation for a world I never planned to revisit. It gave me compassion for a young man I once hated.

Readers: a fun read for those who love short stories, companion novels, nostalgia, and fans of Jude and Cardan

Writers: an excellent case study for those writing short stories and researching love to hate villains

Warnings/Triggers: excessive drinking and drug use

Star Rating:⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Completed Read: 12/4/20

Updated: 4 days ago

Authors: Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Publisher: Ember

Synopsis: Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed. The sci-fi saga that began with the breakout bestseller Illuminae continues on board the Jump Station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of the BeiTech assault. Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy's most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion. When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station's wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands. But relax. They've totally got this. They hope. Once again told through a compelling dossier of emails, IMs, classified files, transcripts, and schematics, Gemina raises the stakes of the Illuminae Files, hurling readers into an enthralling new story that will leave them breathless.

Review: Wow. Wow. Wow. Did I just listen to an audiobook or watch a movie with my eyes closed? The auditory experience blew me away. A full cast and sound effects, (let’s not forget about the lollipop song), made it impossible to remove my earbuds. I couldn’t stop listening to the damn book.

Gemina, the second installment in the Illuminae Files blew me away. I loved Kady and Ezra in book one, but Nik and Hanna stole the show in book two. The overall tone of the story matured, and I loved every second. The authors’ ability to suck the reader into the drama on Heimdall shifted into overdrive. I was there. Running, hiding, laughing, and crying with Hanna, Nik, and his cousin. The chilling parts raised the hairs on the back of my neck, the sweet moments warmed my heart. The pacing never slowed, the twists made my jaw hit the floor, and Aiden…oh, how I love that wicked little AI.

I won’t fill this review with spoilers, so do yourself a favor and pick up the Illuminae Files. The formatting in the physical books are a feast for the eyes, the audiobooks are an experience like no other. Kaufman and Kristoff are magicians. They deserve high praise for co-authoring this phenomenal book.

Readers: excellent read for those who love sci-fi, adventure, mystery, and romance.

Writers: an excellent case study for those learning about world-building, high-tension scenes, and engaging dialogue

Triggers/Warnings: suggestive language, violence, and graphic imagery

Star Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Completed Read: 11/29/2020

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