Lost Girls Reviews

Lost Girls Reviews

We are insomniacs, book hoarders, wine tasters, occasional cosplayers, thrill seekers, oncers, ringers, collectors, gamers and explorers with a terrible sense of direction. We came, we saw....we're lost!

Review
5 Stars
The Mirror King
The Mirror King (Orphan Queen) - Jodi Meadows
This book picks up right where The Orphan Queen left off and the action never stops. I was holding my breath so much while reading this book. Tensions are already high with the coming destruction of the wraith and now Wil's identity has been revealed to everyone in the Indigo Kingdom and she struggles as she tries to control her magic and take back control of her kingdom.
 
Wil is a continuously growing character. She wants to be the queen that her people need but she's struggling with how to become that person. How do you go from being an orphan, living on the streets and fighting to survive to being a queen and being responsible for an entire kingdom? She manages, but not so gracefully at first. It's a learning experience for her and her friends as they navigate how to run a kingdom and deal with the wraith. 
 
Wil and Tobiah's relationship is what made this story for me. I'm not big on romance but I just couldn't help it with these two. No matter the obstacles that get in their way they keep coming back to each other. And Tobiah's list at the end was just...Wow... I cried happy tears.

I am so glad we got to see more of James in this book! The mystery surrounding his miraculous healing in The Orphan Queen is finally revealed and I was completely blown away. Did not see that coming. I can't say much without spoiling the ending but James is a true hero with unyielding loyalty for those he cares about. The wraith boy, Chrysalis, worked his way into my heart. He is like a child, only wanting to please but he goes about it the wrong way and without thinking of the consequences. He was so devoted to Wil. I wish she would have showed him a little more attention because that's all he really wanted. I can't help but wonder if she HAD shown him more affection, would he have acted differently? Grown more compassionate and sympathetic, even more human? The ending was perfection. The entire book was a whirlwind of emotions. Of love and loss. Of adventure, action, magic and best of all, hope. This is one of those series that will stay with me for a long time.
 
-BW
Review
4 Stars
Gathering Darkness
Gathering Darkness - Morgan Rhodes, Michelle Rowen

There are so many twists in this series! There are times when I can see it coming and I know someone is about to betray someone else. Other times it's a complete surprise. I love it when a book can keep me on my toes. Characters I was sure would make it to the end of the series are gone. Characters I was sure would be killed off by now are still going strong.

The Kraeshian siblings, Ashur and Amara, play a bigger role in this book and I was pretty unsure of their intentions until the end. I am very eager to see what will come of their involvement in the next book.

Princess Cleo is still Cleo. She believes she's an excellent liar, but most of the time she's completely transparent. When she does manage to manipulate circumstances, it's not long before someone figures out it was her. She never admits to anything and maintains her innocent demeanor, but once again no one is fooled.

Princess Lucia is still a wild card in my book. I have no clue where her character is heading. How dark will she go? King Gaius is hiding in his kingdom, showing fear for the first time. He knows he's mortal and needs the kindred to become all powerful.  I was very pleased to see some weakness show in him for once.

Prince Magnus is finally, finally heading in a direction that I'm very happy to see. I am crossing my fingers. I hope some good things come from it. Once again, there was so much action I had no time at all to get bored.

I won't go into much more detail, even though I could go on and on about this series. I'm trying my best not to give anything away from the previous books. I'm very excited to start the next book. Before I read the very last sentence I already had book 4, Frozen Tides in hand and ready to go, so off I go.

 

-SW

Review
5 Stars
The Orphan Queen
The Orphan Queen - Jodi Meadows
Wilhelmina is an orphaned princess, her parents were murdered and her home kingdom of Aecor was conquered by King Terrell of  the Indigo Kingdom 10 years ago in what is known as the One-Night war. Now she and her band of refugees, known as the Ospreys, are preparing to take back their kingdom. Wil and her best friend Melanie are infiltrating the palace under the guise of a duchess and her companion from Liadia to obtain information that will help them reclaim Aecor.
 
Wil has developed many talents over the years. She is an excellent fighter, a spy and a thief, master of forgery and a magic user- more specifically she is an animator, she can bring objects to life and command them to do what she wants. Magic is forbidden now and this is a secret she has kept to herself. Magic has created the wraith and it is slowly spreading across the world, poisoning the land and turning animals and humans into enormous monsters.
 
Black Knife is a masked vigilante in the Indigo Kingdom. He is feared by some and commended by others. He spends each night apprehending criminals and fighting wraith monsters that enter the city. I suspected his identity early in the book and I'm glad I was right. Black Knife and Wil's relationship has to be my favorite part of this entire book. I fell in love with him instantly and enjoyed following Wil along as she slowly did too.

The rest of the characters were pretty one dimensional to me. I would have liked to learn more about Patrick and Melanie and even Prince Tobiah. Maybe we will get more of them in the next book?

Overall, The Orphaned Queen is a spectacular fantasy world full of magic, romance and secrets. Well written and kept me hooked from the beginning.  Oh and that cliffhanger ending- How could you do this to me, Jodi??? Starting the next book right away!
 
-BW
Review
5 Stars
A Court of Mist and Fury
A Court of Mist and Fury - Sarah J. Maas

This book surpassed my expectations in so many wonderful ways. I originally gave A Court of Thorns and Roses five stars. I thoroughly enjoyed it, but I was completely blown away by the twists and turns this series has taken. Can I give this book more than five stars?

I was feeling very disappointed in some of the characters and their choices from the previous book, but I came to really love the new friends that Feyre makes, the Night Court and the beauty of Valeris. If only it were possible to visit fictional places. The world-building was amazing. We see so much of the realm, including the chilling Court of Nightmares, the Court of Dreams and more.

After all the horrors that she survived, Feyre now has to heal and move on. She grows and changes so much in this book. Some of my favorite parts were watching her discover and attempt to master her new powers and seeing how incredibly powerful she really is.

What can I say about Rhysand? I knew he was something special from the moment he was introduced in ACoTaR but he also exceeded my expectations in many glorious ways. At first he is strength and power, mystery and darkness, but then we get to learn about his heartbreaking background, the caring and compassion he shows for his people and the things he did to keep them safe. The way he supports Feyre and allows her to make her own decisions, the respect and honor that he shows her makes him such an easy character to fall in love with.

That ending! I was not expecting after 640 pages to be left THERE. Like THAT. I certainly hope Maas is furiously writing away because I don't know how I'm going to stand the wait for book 3. Once again, her book is going straight to my favorites list.

 

-SW

Review
5 Stars
The Reader
The Reader - Traci Chee
I was thrilled to have been given the opportunity to read this beautiful book. From the lush and vivid landscapes to the action and adventure, this story was wonderfully done. The characters were so easy to fall in love with. Sefia has lost her family and she is on the run, trying to stay alive, rescue the only person she has left in the world and keep the book safe. In this world reading is a rarity, books are magical and assassins, pirates and sharpshooters abound.     
 
"This is a book"
 
The writing sucked me into this book in such a way that I felt as if I were a part of the adventure. I enjoyed finding and piecing together the little hidden clues sprinkled throughout the pages. I felt less like I was reading the book and more like I was experiencing it. For a moment I even felt a little like Bastian while he was reading the Neverending Story. I loved it! I can't wait to get my hands on a physical copy of this masterpiece. This book is going straight to my favorites list and I have a very good feeling that this will be a wonderful series. I can hardly wait to find out what book 2 of the Sea of Ink and Gold series has in store for us.
 
Many, many thanks to Putnam and the First to Read program for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
 
-SW
Review
4 Stars
Rebel Spring
Rebel Spring - Morgan Rhodes
This is book 2 in the Falling Kingdoms series and there is, once again, a lot happening. We get plenty of action, new characters, some shocking deaths and we learn more about the Watchers. King Gaius is as bloodthirsty and relentless as ever. He is determined to find the Kindred at any cost and become an immortal god. This man doesn't ask for much in life. Nope, not much at all.

Jonas is leading his small army of rebels and he is out for revenge. He is determined. He is angry. He is ready for action, but the man is incapable of executing a plan! Every time he has a brilliant idea, disaster strikes. At this point I'm not even sure how he's still alive. If he survives to the end of this series, I will be shocked. Absolutely shocked. I just hope at some point, the poor guy will accomplish something.

I feel like I have a love/hate relationship with Cleo. She's been through so much and she is still going strong. She smiles and plays her part for the people. She acts as if everything is just fine, but she doesn't actually fool anyone. King Gaius knows it's an act, Magnus knows it's an act, pretty much everyone who meets her, knows it's an act. She also has (actually I've lost count of how many) men falling in love with her, but I haven't figured out what, besides her beauty, is so fascinating. At times I feel like she just isn't very bright. For example, she continually fiddles with and draws attention to her super special ring that she doesn't want anyone to know about. "My ring is glowing you say? What ring? Oh, this old thing? It's just a trick of the light." Sure, Cleo. Absolutely no one is suspicious now. Can you please be a little less obvious?
 
Magnus and Lucia's relationship is now strained and I'm hoping that someone else just may capture Magnus's heart. I love that his character is really growing and changing throughout this book. Lucia, on the other hand, is becoming more and more like king Gaius. Is she up? Is she down? Is she good? Is she bad? I don't even know anymore but I'm looking forward to seeing where she is heading.

The new characters such as Lysandra, Prince Ashur and the Watchers are keeping things interesting. The various POVs don't bother me at all, and I haven't had any trouble keeping up with all the different characters. I enjoy trying to figure them out and discover their secret agendas. For me, this was definitely another fun read and I'm already off to book 3, Gathering Darkness.
 
-SW
Review
3 Stars
The Smaller Evil
The Smaller Evil - Stephanie Kuehn

I was immediately drawn into the story. Kuehn kept me guessing right up until the final page. Arman suffers from anxiety, self loathing and a host of other issues when he meets Beau. Beau is a father figure to Arman, who offers him a chance to change and grow. To become a new person. Arman journeys with Beau, and a couple of other kids he knows from school, to a retreat in the mountains of California. Not long after they arrive, things begin to fall apart. Beau goes missing and Arman no longer knows what is real or who to trust.

Arman's character was believable. I sympathized with him and felt his pain and anxiety. Kuehn's writing was gripping. I couldn't put the book down. I just had to know how it ended. This book will definitely mess with your mind. I admit, once I finished this story I was still a bit lost. I had to go back and reread many of the passages and attempt to put the pieces together. The vague ending left me with a few questions and a lingering feeling that I may have missed something important.

I'm very curious to hear what others think of this book and the insights that they glean from it. I enjoyed Kuehn's writing style and I fully intend to check out more of her work.

Thank you Penguin Random House and the First to Read program for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.  

 

-SW

Review
3.5 Stars
The Cure For Dreaming
The Cure for Dreaming - Cat Winters

Set in Oregon in the 1900s, a young girl named Olivia Mead, lives with her controlling father who feels that her headstrong behavior needs to be snuffed out. He hires a hypnotist to put her under hypnosis and remove her rebellion, but instead, Henri gives her the gift of seeing the world as it truly is. Olivia has dreams of going to college and standing up for women's rights in a time when women were expected to be obedient, quiet little homemakers with no goals aside from finding a husband and raising children.

Henri's character was a bit mysterious and kept me guessing throughout the book. Olivia's father was infuriating. I wanted to feel sorry him, his wife left him alone to raise their daughter while she ran off to pursue her own dreams, but his attitude was so vile that I felt only contempt for the man. Olivia was strong minded and intelligent. She was a likable character, even if I didn't feel like I entirely connected with her.

There were added elements of horror when Olivia sees people's true nature as visions of beasts and vampires, but none of it was particularly terrifying. The romance in this book was sweet and didn't overpower the story. The pacing was great and I never lost interest. I think there could have been more depth to the story and the characters, but this was still an enjoyable read.

 

-SW

Review
3.5 Stars
Me Before You
Me Before You - Jojo Moyes
 
I was in the middle of a book I've been dying to read, and trying desperately to finish, knowing a book I preordered and have been anticipating for years would be arriving any time. I suddenly get a ding from my library that Me Before You is available for download. Hmm
 
I really wanted to read the book before I watch the movie so I took a peek at the first couple of pages of Me Before You, trying to decide if I should set my original book aside and start this one, and before I knew it I was on the last page sobbing over my kindle asking, "How could you do this to me, Moyes? How?" 
 
 Louisa Clark is 26 years old and has just lost her job working at a cafe. She has no real hopes or dreams or ambitions in life. She finds herself working as a caregiver for a man with quadriplegia named Will. Will lived an incredible life filled with adventure prior to his tragic accident.
 
Will challenges Louisa to try new things, to take risks and get out of her comfort zone while Louisa does everything in her power to make Will smile, laugh and want to get up in the morning. This is not a sappy romance by any means. There was far less romance than I originally expected and there was certainly no love at first sight, which I thought was wonderful. 
 
I knew this was going to be a heartbreaking story but I wasn't prepared to laugh as much as I did. Louisa's quirkiness and her banter with Will made the story enjoyable and realistic. It's the kind of story that will stick with you long after you've read it.
 
I was hoping for a bittersweet story with an inspiring message. 
 
"You only get one life. It's actually your duty to live it as fully as possible."
 
I didn't feel like this book achieved that for me. The story was bittersweet, the writing was beautiful, I loved the characters but the story left me feeling torn and a little disappointed.

This book deals with some controversial subject matter which I will not get into even though the movie trailer itself is fairly spoilery. Aside from that, I did enjoy this book very much. It will make you think and it will make you feel, whether you agree with the decisions that these characters make or not.
 
-SW
 
Review
3 Stars
The Shadow Queen
The Shadow Queen - C.J. Redwine

This Snow White re-telling involves a magic wielding, fugitive princess battling the evil queen with the help of seven dragons, a mind-linked bird and a mind-linked huntsman/king/dragon. It's a little different, to say the least.

 

Lorelai and her brother Leo are on the run from evil queen Irina, who killed their family and took Lorelai's throne and kingdom. Both Lorelai and Irina are mardushkas with powerful magic and we know we are going to get a big showdown between the two, but only if Lorelai can stay alive long enough to fight Irina face to face.

 

Our huntsman is a young man named Kol, who recently became king of a nearby kingdom after losing his family. Ogres are attacking his kingdom and desperate to save his people, he asks Irina for help. She agrees to use magic to take care of his ogre problem, in return, she sends him to kill Lorelai and bring back her heart. I didn't quite understand why Kol and his draconi friends couldn't take care of the ogre problem themselves considering their powerful abilities to shift into dragons. I didn't feel there was enough worldbuilding. There was so much more that I wanted to know and see and understand.

 

Lorelai's magic, and magic in general, was a bit of a mystery to me. It seemed like she didn't learn to use her magic, instead she makes up the spells as she goes along. All the years she is on the run she is careful not to use her abilities on anything Irina has touched because she is afraid that using her magic will alert Irina. This made me question how exactly she was able to train and become powerful enough to fight the queen.

 

When Lorelai uses her magic to heal a creature, she creates an unusual connection with the human or animal, allowing her to see into their minds and share her thoughts with them. She does this with her bird named Sasha and also with Kol throughout the book. The majority of her dialogue with Kol happens in their minds which must look pretty awkward to everyone else in the room. I would think people would notice and question their odd behavior. I know I would be wondering why they keep staring at each other and making random facial expressions or breaking out in laughter for no obvious reason.

 

There was plenty of action, dragons and a bit of romance. Overall, this was a good re-telling. In the future, I would like to see Redwine delve deeper and give us more details and a better understanding of the world she created.

 

-SW

Review
4 Stars
Falling Kingdoms
Falling Kingdoms - Morgan Rhodes, Michelle Rowen

There is so much going on in this book! What a journey. There are three different kingdoms and four main characters that we jump back and forth between.

Kingdom of Auranos: Princess Cleo is the youngest daughter. She is spoiled, stubborn, a bit immature and engaged to a vile little drunk. While journeying through the kingdom of Paelsia, Cleo's fiance becomes the spark that ignites the war by murdering an innocent peasant. I didn't care much for Cleo at first, but she suffers and loses so much that by the end of the book I couldn't help but feel for her. She is forced to grow and find the strength to go on and I want very much to see her succeed.

Kingdom of Paelsia: The poor and desolate Paelsia is located between Auranos and Limeros. The people barely have enough to eat and survive. The neighboring kingdoms never once offered them any assistance, but when Limeros offers to join with them to bring Auranos to its knees, Paelsia is all too eager to accept. Jonas, the brother of the murdered peasant is intent on seeking vengeance. He soon finds himself fighting in the war to take down Auranos, Cleo and the man that murdered his brother.

Kingdom of Limeros: Magnus is the prince of Limeros and the son of King Gaius, the cruel and bloodthirsty king. Prince Magnus is an interesting character. He falls in love with his sister, though she's not his sister by blood, they were raised together and she does not return his feelings. His father is a tyrant and terrible all around human being. Despite being very much like his father, I think he may have some redeeming qualities. He has so much going against him, yet he still shows kindness in unexpected ways. I have a lot of mixed feelings toward Magnus. His sister, Lucia, is the princess of Limeros, a child of prophecy who may become a great sorceress. She discovers that everything she thought she knew about herself was a lie.

This story is full of action, forbidden love, betrayal, heartbreak, magic. This book made me feel so many emotions, from anger to shock to sadness, and there is no shortage of unexpected deaths. Authors like Rhodes make me very nervous because no one is off limits. There are so many characters I care about and I don't want to see die, both major and minor. This is the start of what I feel is going to be a pretty amazing series!

 

-SW

Review
5 Stars
Henrietta the Dragon Slayer
Henrietta the Dragon Slayer - Beth Barany
Henrietta has done much in her short 17 years. She has been in the army and earned her reputation as a dragon slayer. Now she is done with the killing and just wants to live a quiet life on her own. That is, until fate steps in and sends Henrietta on a quest. She learns that her old mentor, Master Chen, is dying and the only way to save him is to kill the dragon Mimoto and retrieve the Dracontias, a magical stone with the power to heal him. 
 
Henrietta is the kind of badass heroine I love to read about. She's stubborn, irritable, and sarcastic but deep down she has a good heart. Despite her complaints, she gains a few travelling companions along the way. Jaxter the Jester was the comic relief. I think other than Henrietta he is my favorite. She is also joined by a witch in training, Paulette and Franc the Knight. For me, these characters made the story!
 
This was such an engaging and fantastic read! The whole story was so well paced and full of action and twists. There wasn't a single dull moment.  Can't wait to get started on the next book, Henrietta and The Dragon Stone. Consider me a new fan of Beth Barany!
 
-BW
Review
5 Stars
A Court of Thorns and Roses
A Court of Thorns and Roses - Sarah J. Maas
I love fairy tale re-tellings and when I heard this story was a Beauty and the Beast re-telling with faeries I had to give it a try. As much as I hate to admit this, my first experience with Sarah J. Maas' work ended in a dnf. I heard so many good things about her writing and it upset me that I just wasn't able to get into her Throne of Glass series but once I started A Court of Thorns and Roses, I couldn't stop. I finished it in about two days. I am such a fan of her writing now that I  plan to go back to Throne of Glass and give it another try. 
 
Feyre lives with her father and two sisters in a run down cottage with barely enough money or food to survive so she hunts to feed her, often times, ungrateful family. When she kills a faerie in wolf form in the woods a terrifying beast appears and takes her to the fae world in exchange for the life she took.

I loved this version of Beauty and the Beast because it was similar enough to be recognizable but unique in so many different ways. The characters were fantastic. Feyre's sisters made me so angry that I couldn't wait for her to be taken from them. Let them fend for themselves and see how well they do without their sister doing everything for them! I loved where the story took their relationships. I didn't expect to be as moved as I was. Maas is truly a gifted writer. I don't know what I was thinking ever doubting her.

The beast, Tamlin, is fascinating and the romance is steamy but I gotta admit, I found several other characters to be just as fascinating, if not more so. Rhysand captured my attention from the moment he appeared on the scene and I am incredibly excited to see more of his intriguing character in the next book. 

There is just so much to love about this book. The beautiful and terrifying fae world, the vile and cruel villain, the wonderfully strong and selfless main characters. I'm definitely adding this one to my favorites list. 
 
-SW
Review
4 Stars
In the Time of Dragon Moon
In the Time of Dragon Moon - Janet Lee Carey
This is the third book in the Wilde Island Chronicles but it can be read as a standalone. Uma is the daughter of a highly respected Euit healer and an English midwife. In Uma's tribe only the men are allowed to become healers. Uma does her best to hide her feminine traits in the hopes that she will be allowed to continue to learn alongside her father and possibly become her tribe's first female healer. 
 
When Uma and her father are taken by the English queen and their home is surrounded, they are forced to attempt to cure the queen who suffers from bouts of madness and barrenness. Uma's father passes away before he can complete the treatments, leaving Uma alone to finish the job. If she fails to cure the queen before time runs out, she will be burned at the stake. 
 
I love Uma's character. She is brave and strong willed as well as caring, intelligent, and eager to learn. She spent so much of her time hiding her femininity and becoming the boy her father never had, when she meets Jackrun she finally begins to realize that she can be a healer and be herself, even if she isn't entirely sure who that is. Jackrun is part human, fey and dragon, making him a very unique character.
 
Carey's writing style is enchanting and her dragons come alive. They were one of my favorite things about this book. I kept hoping that Uma would get her very own dragon or at least be allowed to fly on one. 
 
I enjoyed reading about the Euit's customs and traditions. All of the characters were interesting and the story line was captivating. The romance was sweet and the story itself was very different compared to the books I've been reading lately. It was exactly what I was looking for.  
 
-SW 
Review
4 Stars
Helper 12 Review
HELPER12 - Jack Blaine
In this dystopian novel people are labeled and tattooed as infants for what occupation they will hold. Breeders, Helpers, Laborers, Artists, etc. It's all decided for them by what the population will need in the future. Only the rich society members choose how they wish to live.
 
Benna, Helper12, is a baby helper. She cares for the infants in the Pre-ward until they are sent off to be labeled. Until one day a society couple come in to her ward. They are illegally adopting one of the babies, a boy that Benna has become attached to and calls Jobee. Mr. and Mrs. Sloane also buy Benna as a live in nanny for the baby. Shortly after arriving at the Sloane's house Benna realizes that they are not as perfect as they seem. 

Benna begins developing a friendship that eventually turns into a romance with the Sloanes biological son, Thomas. Thomas is not like his parents or other Society members. He sees the flaws in this world and even though he can't change them, he doesn't want to be suppressed by them. 
 
Benna becomes worried when Mrs. Sloane starts to regret her impulse baby buying. Thomas comes up with a plan to get her and Jobee out but will she go along with it? Does she even have a choice? 
 
I really enjoyed this book! I loved Benna and especially Thomas. The only issue I have is that there isn't enough world building. I would have liked to go deeper into how this society works. It is a short book, but worth the read! Fast paced and exciting. The ending was perfect!
 
-BW
Review
4 Stars
Snow Like Ashes
Snow Like Ashes - Sara Raasch
When Meira was just a baby her Kingdom of Winter was overthrown by the evil King of Spring, Angra. Now she is one of only 8 survivors. Her group has spent the past 16 years searching for the two halves of a conduit which could restore magic to Winter. They are constantly on the move, avoiding capture by the Spring army. When they hear word of the location of  one half of the conduit Meira demands to be given the chance to prove herself and retrieve it. And she does exactly that!
 
Meira was a fantastic heroine! She's strong, smart, intuitive and pretty badass with a chakram! While I was reading this story I kept wondering why she was treated differently. It was just little things here and there but it bugged me. And it most definitely bugged Meira. There is a huge twist towards the end and I found out exactly why! I did not see that one coming! 
 
Mather is the Prince of Winter and one of the love interests for Meira. He was an interesting character for sure. Even though he was the Prince he felt no attachment to his Kingdom and that becomes a bit of a problem for him. I adored his relationship with Meira, even when things got complicated. 
 
Theron is sort of forced into Meira's life. She wants to hate him but it's just so hard to when he is so  sweet and understands her in a way that no one else does. Not to mention he is distractingly attractive. I admit, I was rooting for Theron from the moment he was introduced. 
 
The story started a bit slow for me. I actually put the book down for a while. About 1/3 of the way into the book it really started to pick up. Once things got going I couldn't put it down. All the characters were so well developed and the world building was excellent! Everything was described so vividly that I could picture every detail. 
 
Snow Like Ashes is a stunning, magical adventure that you won't want to miss!
 
-BW

currently reading

Progress: 225/672pages
One Dark Throne (Three Dark Crowns) - Kendare Blake
Caraval - Stephanie G. Garber
The Burning Hand - Jodi Meadows