Monday, March 25, 2024

Audio Book Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

After being left heartbroken from the novellas leading up to the series, and Celeana's past, I finally jumped into to the first full length book. This book was great. I loved the potential threads here.

Celeana is broken, which we knew from before she was sent to the salt mines. (The previous novellas.) She had a different upbringing. This book takes her from the salt mines that were to be her death and puts her in the hope of winning her way to the King's Champion for her freedom in four years. There is a line Celeana has to walk and cross as the King is one she's not a fan of.

She will compete against other men who want this position as well. But while the competition is happening, there's another danger that is attacking the competitors. A very old danger that lingers in the shadows. And Celeana is drawn into it. She must survive not only the challenges to become the Champion but also the ancient beast set to destroy the potential champions.

As she goes through, Celeana makes new friends. I love the bonds she creates with her wit and charm. Her guard and who she trains with, Chaol, is a huge part of the story as he's always at her make sure she doesn't kill the prince. The prince has other plans and enjoys spending time with Celeana. And we have a princess visiting who befriends Celeana. I love Nehemia. She is a strong woman with her country, training, and opinions. There is much, much more to her and we start to see that.

I have really enjoyed all the potential threads set in motion here in this book as we fight the evil here and see Celeana strengthen again in the challenges. I'm looking forward to listening to the rest of them

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Thursday, March 21, 2024

Audio Book Review: Vials and Tribulations by S.L. Rowland

Vials and Tribulations (Pangea Online #3)Vials and Tribulations by S.L. Rowland
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Esil had no desire to compete in another tournament. He did not want to be in the spotlight again. But when he goes to the orphanage he grew up in to talk to the kids about hope, he saw what he remembered feeling in their eyes. One kid wasn't as receptive at first, and Esil shared what he knows and experienced. In helping the kids, he becomes closer to this kid, Dean. And when no one else will take a chance to work with a kid from the Boxes, Esil steps in to help him see there's more and to give Dean a chance.

I liked seeing Esil stand up for what he believes in with the Boxes and needing a chance for better living, homes, and so much more. I loved that Esil stepped out of his comfort zone to help Dean. And they really become a team.

I did find at times the story slowed for me and I was thankful I was listening to the audio book. The changes in voices with having 2 narrators was great and kept me interested. I was hoping for a little more with the emersion world Esil worked in for book 2, but we didn't get much there. We did see a glimpse of it. And at the end we heard there was more happening. So...I guess Esil's okay with it and they do remember him.

I like the theme of the story. Friends and family. Esil has created his own family with his friends. And he's determined to help them.

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Monday, March 18, 2024

Audio Book Review: Magic and Mayhem by S.L. Rowland

Magic and Mayhem (Pangea Online #2)Magic and Mayhem by S.L. Rowland
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

We return to the world with Esil as he starts his new job and has moved out of the boxes to the town with so much more to offer.

Esil sees how many here live and how everyone he knows lives in the boxes. He wants to help them all. He does start saying things to people, hoping and wanting to make a difference for so many. He starts to see that he can't help the masses at once. He starts with those he knows and can move from there to help everyone as he learns more.

This is a book where we are in the gaming world. Esil's new job is a new set up for gaming... He's in a tank of nanites and gel/liquid to make a full emersion experience in a new world. Esil can feel things in the world like real. When he gets hit, he feels that pain. The world is directed by his actions and the AI adapts to his responses and action, creating the world, quests, and events around him. The NPCs he meets feel like friends and he wants to help them as thing change in the world.

The way the story is written, it feels like Esil does see them as friends, and they to him.

I listened to the audio of this book. I really enjoyed it. There are 3 voices to add depth and life to different characters. We also have light sound effects when things happen. They add to the story and I really like that they are light in the background, that way they don't distract from the story telling. Well done! And fun! The audio brings the story and characters to life for us.

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Thursday, March 14, 2024

Audio Book Review: Blackbird Crowned by Keri Arthur

Blackbird Crowned (The Witch King's Crown, #3)Blackbird Crowned by Keri Arthur
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

And we get all the answers to the sword, crown, ring, and more in this book. Gwen, Mo, and Luc are finding new secrets as well. Secrets from a time long forgotten and hidden that could help with the war that's about to break out.

Oh Gwen. I feel for her. Her twin brother proves where his loyalties are, and that's a hard one to see. She knows what it's all going to come to, but will she be able to do what she needs to do to save so many more lives...

There's lots of battles leading up to the finally. And there's lots of information shared about who's the heir, about the crown, and how the past Witch Kings dealt with the demons, gates along with with yielding Elysian.

Gwen, Mo, and Luc are all in dangerous moments. Moments they may not make it out of. And moments that Gwen doesn't want to say good bye just yet. The sexual tension between Gwen and Luc carries on through this book. And Luc is a man of his word. But Luc also has a big decision he needs to make...that can make or break how things play out.

I very much enjoyed all that we learned still of the world in this final book.

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Monday, March 11, 2024

Audio Book Review: Blackbird Broken by Keri Arthur

Blackbird Broken (The Witch King's Crown, #2)Blackbird Broken by Keri Arthur
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

There is a lot to learn here. We finally get some answers to things that are happening. Though, we are still wondering why the "Heir" did what they did. And that confrontation is yet to come, and likely will be a rough one with what we learn at the end of this book.

Gwen is progressing in her power and how to yield her daggers. It's something new yet Mo has an idea of what's happening. With this progress, we learn with Gwen why it works this way. And more about the Sword of the King.

Speaking of Mo. I love her! She's Gwen's grandmother...many grandmothers removed, but all in all she's the grandmother. I love their relationship. They seem similar in many ways. They don't cut each other any slack either. They have reasons for what they do, and share it. They also respect each other greatly. I love that Mo has trust and faith in Gwen and her abilities, feelings, and more. There's no coddling or telling Gwen she's wrong.

We see Luc again too. He's come along in the idea of a relationship. But that will have to wait until after work is done. He's come along in trusting Gwen in her abilities too. And he's there to support her when she's used the daggers to the point of severe pain. He's becoming a good partner for Gwen.

And we are at the end of the book and I want to know is the "Heir" going to react... and so much more. I'm so so glad that all three books are out! :D

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Thursday, March 7, 2024

Audio Book Review: The Assassin's Blade by Sarah J. Maas

The Assassin's Blade (Throne of Glass, #0.1-0.5)The Assassin's Blade by Sarah J. Maas
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Oh wow. I'm afraid to go any further in this series. I fell in love and felt the heartbreak.

.1 The Assassin & The Pirate Lord
Celaena has strong values. Seems like she cares deeply for those in her circle. When she comes across something against her morals, she' can't just watch and go with it. However, I kept asking myself...Is this what it seems?

Celaena starts out rough, but I really liked her when things got moving. She's a smart lady at 16 years of age.

.2 The Assassin & the Healer
This is a short one.

Even in a fowl mood, Celaena is still a good person at heart. This is a follow up to the previous novella. Celaena does help a few woman out and sees hope...

.3 The Assassin & the Desert
This story felt a little slower in it's telling, but I know this story has lots of little gold nuggets to reference in the novels. I can't wait to see them all come to fruit. A lot of growth for Celaena in this one.

.4 The Assassin & the Underworld
I love Celaena returning home. Getting to see Sam and how his summer had gone. I had a feeling about this mission, and...I was right. My heart has been taken by Sam! I love him for Celaena. Action & love in this story. Celaena learns to be her own as well. Great steps for Celaena growing here.

.5 The Assassin & the Empire
I love Celaena and Sam together. They have struggles, still with Araban. But working on moving on. This story has me so worried for Sam! And...breaks my heart.

I want to keep going with these books, but had to take a break after this. I was so sad.

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Monday, March 4, 2024

Audio Book Review: Blackbird Rising by Keri Arthur

Blackbird Rising (The Witch King's Crown, #1)Blackbird Rising by Keri Arthur
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Oh this is a great start to an Arthurian remix with an Urban Fantasy feel with witches in a current time. Nicely done. I like how the old staples of the tale are present in this story...the sword, crown, Lady of the Lake, and magic. There is mention of others that relate in their positions here in the book.

There is someone trying to claim the sword of power... an heir that's further down the line. But to do so, they need to remove those that could be before them in the line. Gwen and Mo, her grandmother, is trying to figure out who and stop the demons that are after Gwen along with save those on the list that could be next. Family to Gwen. And keep her twin brother safe and away.

The Blackbirds are involved in protecting the direct line of heirs. One, Lucas, crosses paths with Gwen, wanting to talk to her brother. And while waiting for him to return from Holiday, he helps Gwen fight the demons. Gwen sees there's more to them being together than lust. There could be history, and a destiny....

I felt there was a good amount of details shared of the lineage and different families tied to the throne. I want to know it all and track it for myself! lol. There's much unknown there too as family bibles have been missing for generations.

There's fighting and feeling like behind the eight ball as Gwen, Mo, and Luc try to figure out what is happening and why. And putting the slivers of information they have together to get ahead for once. It's hard.

I really like learning the history created in this story, the magic used, and the budding relationship.

Katherine Littrell is the narrator for this series as well. Nice! She does a very nice job with the works.

I'll be moving on to the audiobook of the next book in this trilogy.

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