All Booked

This book. THIS BOOK.

Into the Drowning Deep
Mira Grant
Pages: 448
Genre: Horror / Fantasy
Rating: 4/5

Ya’ll. This book. I cannot. I read it a few months ago but never did a review. I remember telling my best friend while reading it how freaked out I was about this story. It’s creepy as hell.

Seven years before the present story, there was a ship, the Atargatis, that set out to visit the Mariana Trench. The only thing that comes back from that trip is video of what appears to be “mermaids” boarding the ship and killing everyone onboard.

Now, Victoria Stewart, who has dedicated her life to studying sounds in the ocean, is given a chance to make the same trip to prove (or disprove) the existence of the creatures who some believe killed the entirety of the Atargatis – including her sister who was on that ship seven years ago. This trip is fueled with some of the top scientific people in the world. While many are excited for this once-in-a-lifetime chance to study their life’s work, some are hesitant of the potential dangers.

I cannot really say much beyond this as, if I do, it gives away half the story. But, let me tell you my feelings around this story: They were INTENSE. I do not recall ever having to set a book down because my heart was racing so fast before. I’ve read suspenseful books, but this was so intense I wondered if I could finish this. One night I even had a nightmare about this story – that’s how scared I was. HAHA. Now, I’m also slightly a wimp so I wouldn’t bank your views of this book on my weak heart.

Despite the horror of this book, that’s also what I enjoyed about it the most – it didn’t chicken out at any point and you genuinely didn’t know what was going to happen because of that which I appreciate.

I would highly recommend this book and it is certainly a book that is going to stick with me for a long time.

Prepare yourself for a little bad-mouthy, snarky review. Not all bad, but…hey. This book deserved it. Haha.

Furyborn
Claire Legrand
Pages: 501
Genre: YA Fantasty
Rating: 3/5

This is a story told between two different girl’s (women’s?) perspectives. First, we have Rielle, who has more powers than anyone else of her time that center around all the elements. She has spent her life hiding her talents out of fear, but after they are unwillingly shown to those around her, she is put to the test to see if she is one of the prophesized queens. Second, we have Eliana, who is living a thousand years later where magic and powers no longer exist, yet she finds her body magically heals itself after any injury. She spends her life as a bounty hunter for the Empire and it allows her to take care of her brother and mother – who suddenly goes vanishing a long with hundreds of other women. Is Rielle one of the prophesized queens; the Queen of Light or the Queen of Blood? Where is Eliana’s mother and the many missing girls? Will she be able to use her skills to protect her?

As always, honesty is key. I struggled the first part of this book. To the point that I was forcing myself to read one chapter a day because I found I didn’t like either Rielle or Eliana at the beginning. I didn’t understand where the story was going, I didn’t understand why both were important to their own stories let alone to each other’s stories. Lastly, I didn’t like how selfish they both were. The beginning of their stories is a very slow build – I would say it was mostly around character build (which is probably why I struggled so bad). The people in both of their lives are initially dull, flat, and serve little purpose to the girls’ lives.

FINALLY, half way through this book I started actually giving a damn about these two characters and where their lives were suddenly heading. Eliana, in one swift move, is forced between the Empire and her enemies and ends up taking the journey of a lifetime (not in a necessarily all-inclusive resort type of way, that’s for sure). She drags along her brother in search of their mother. A lot of truths come out, a lot of thing are learned about Eliana and those around her. I enjoyed her story in the second half a little more than Rielle’s.

Rielle, on the other hand, is faced into these sort of extreme obstacle courses that everyone comes to see – mostly to see if she will die in the process of trying to get out of each of them. However, her secret is one that resides inside her head and it opens up a CAN. OF. WORMS., folks. That girl is T.R.O.U.B.L.E. I didn’t like her relationship to some of the other characters including the love interest which felt so…uncomfortably rushed at points. But, here we are.

Lastly, let’s briefly discuss that ending. Because. OK, ma’ams and sirs. Mostly I’m referring to the graphic and disturbing pieces around Eliana’s journey. Let’s just say “zombie” is a good reference for how it came across to me. I don’t like zombies. Creeped me out, but in a good way I think?

Overall, if you’re looking for a slow character build that leads to a very strange cliff-ending storyline, this is a great book to pick up. I did get an e-arc of Kingsbane but I wasn’t ready to start it until I could summarize my thoughts on this book, first. Just in the off chance I got things mixed up between the two!

Howdy. This is one of the few books I’ve picked up in the past few months. I’m glad I was able to read this book!

Hope and Other Punch Lines
Julie Buxbaum
Pages: 304
Genre: YA Contemporary
Rating: 3.75/5

I enjoyed this. I enjoy every Buxbaum novel I’ve read and this was another I enjoyed. I didn’t enjoy it AS much as others, but I still found myself binging it all in one day.

This follows Abbi Hope, aka “Baby Hope”, is the main focus of a picture taken on September 11th when she was just a baby. This picture has sparked “hope” for many people and she grows up as somewhat of a symbol for those who have a story to tell about where they were that day. However, she struggles with this image being plastered to her as she is now a teen and finds herself uneasy being noticed as such an iconic symbol for so many people.

Abbi is starting an 8 week job at a kid’s summer camp and hopes to remain under the radar and enjoy her summer despite some recent issues that have arisen in her life. There, she runs into a fellow classmate, Noah, who thinks it’s fate running into “Baby Hope”. Noah believes Abbi can help him answer his own questions around the image of her as a child on that fateful day. He enlists Abbi’s help in digging for answers and they discover a lot about the world around them, each other, and mostly themselves.

I enjoyed both of their stories and how they combined. I should have seen how the book was going to end because I’ve read enough of Buxbaum’s stories by now to know, but I didn’t. Perhaps I enjoy living in the moment of the story so much I refuse to consider how things will end so I can still find a surprise here and there. This is a lovely, quick, witty, and fun story. I would definitely recommend for a quick summer read!

Hi all!

I began reading many (MANNYY) moons ago. I have some of the most amazing bookish feelings and thoughts about a lot of books I read while growing up. This is one of those books. I couldn’t 100% remember the premise of this book, but I have owned this book for a while now, and I thought it was about time to give it an overdue re-read.

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I love Jodi Picoult. You say her name and I’m attached. Speaking of, my best friend mentioned to me a few weeks ago she was a guest on Jonathan Van Ness’s podcast – Getting Curious – so I immediately dropped everything to listen to her. Was I absolutely enthralled with every word she spoke? Of course.

I’ve been trying to slowly re-read all of her books (or listen to them on audio now as a newer experience). Last year I listened to Leaving Time and was so happy to be back in her worlds. So, when I saw Sing You Home was available on audio from the library I said “gee, OK!” and immediately started listening to the story. Here are my thoughts.

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I read Letters to the Lost a few months ago and I fell in love with that story. I don’t know why sad, contemporary books are my thing right now but I’m living for them and the feelings they’re giving me.

More Than We Can Tell is a companion novel to Letters to the Lost. You don’t need to have read the first one to read this story, but to understand some of the characters it might help a little. Let’s do a quick review!

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Hi!

Playing catch up with a few of my January reads. This was one of the first books I dove head first into this month. Let’s not waste time here and head towards the review of this book.

Even If I Fall
Abigail Johnson
Genre: YA Contemporary
Pages: 352
Would I Recommend: Yes – if you want to cry

Overview of the book:

Brooke and her family are social pariahs after her older brother admitted to killing his best friend over a year prior to where this story begins. Brooke is broken, lonely, ashamed, lost, and any other difficult emotion you can imagine. She begins a new friendship with an outsider who doesn’t know yet about her family’s past and she also begins to connect to Heath – the brother of boy her own brother killed. They begin navigating their emotions with and on each other (sometimes in a negative way, sometimes not) to learn to cope with the pain they both feel.

My Thoughts:

I cried. I was lying in bed at one point in this book and my husband came in and asked why I was crying. I didn’t know how to explain that Brooke’s pain was so realistic at points and that I resonated so much with it that it hurt me. This story is not perfect – it isn’t flawlessly written or explored. However, it is a tangle of realness and those are the pieces that stuck with me the most.

Brooke is navigating in a world that she doesn’t understand and feels completely alone in doing. She has a new acquired friend, Maggie, who just arrived into town and doesn’t yet know why she is such a secluded person. Brooke’s only escape is the ice skating she has been doing since a young age.

Happenstance finds Brooke crossing paths with Heath – the brother of the boy her own brother murdered. I enjoyed this relationship. They are two people who should and do despise each other – because they “should” given their situations. There is a decent amount of honest conversation between the two and some of it made me cringe a little with how rough things were between them, as you’d expect. However, I enjoyed this strangeness – that they both were so desperate to feel something besides the hollowness they’d been feeling for different reasons, and how they worked through them by bouncing off each other.

The parts that actually tore my heart apart were around Brooke’s family. There were scenes where she is so utterly helpless and desperate to connect again, even for just a split second, with her mom, dad, or sister and it doesn’t happen again and again. Maybe I related to this because of my own personal life more than someone else might – but these scenes killed me. Johnson made Brooke feel, for me, like she was at the bottom of a deep well, struggling to keep her head above water and not give up on life. Brooke’s will to keep going despite everything she was living through was such a great light in this story, and I appreciated the darkness we were shown, too. Heartbreaking on so many levels.

I also want to touch on Brooke’s relationship with her brother which I think is important for the story. He is a murderer. He is not a pure character. But Brooke still loves him – that is still her brother. Johnson paints a great dilemma where I tried to figure out how I would feel if this was one of my siblings. Do we stop loving someone who was once so important to us for doing such a heinous act? Brooke didn’t stop and I appreciated that look as this is a reality for many people who have family or good friends who may have done (or are accused of doing) similar acts.

The reasons I didn’t give this a full 5 / 5 was because there were parts of the ice skating sections that bored me. I get it. I do. I understand the need to have this piece of her life she can rely on despite everything else. I used to ice skate for years as a child. I get it. Promise. But sometimes it was so boring.

The other reason was because I wasn’t 100% living for the “mysterious” piece towards the end around her brother. It felt forced compared to the rest of the story. I would have been OK if the story didn’t have this piece in it – the emotions tied to this story were enough for me.

Overall rating: 4.25 / 5

Girl Made of Stars
Ashley Herring Blake
Genre: YA Contemporary
Pages: 304
Would I recommend: Yes.

Overview of Book:

This book follows Mara and her twin, Owen, in the aftermath of Owen being accused of raping his girlfriend. Mara is friends with Hannah, Owen’s now-ex-girlfriend, and finds herself confused, overwhelmed, and unsure of what to do between loving her twin and believing one of her best friends.

Triggers:
rape, sexual assault, victim shaming


My thoughts:

I was worried I wouldn’t enjoy this book because I feel these topics can be done incorrectly, insensitively, or without enough information to follow through with it appropriately. However, that was not the case for this book and I ended up struggling to put it down until I completed the story.

Seeing how Mara struggled through a large array of feelings, thoughts, and coping mechanisms based on not only the accused rape her brother committed, but also her own past issues, and dealing with her ex-girlfriend were wonderful to experience.

This book is great if you want to travel the very bumpy and uncertain path of someone who becomes placed in a series of situations that could be difficult to manage by anyone. I would definitely recommend this story if you’re up to the heavy topics.


Overall rating:
4.75/5

Let’s discuss.

  • Have you read this book?
  • What are your thoughts on the sensitive topics?
  • Did you enjoy this book as much as I did?


It’s me. Hi. How are you today?

Time for another review. My mood reading has been a little erratic and I wanted something that required little brain power, a hopefully happy ending, and a little bit of curiosity or love involved. I LOVED What to Say Next by Julie Buxbaum and thought I’d give her other story a chance. Tell Me Three Things came before What to Say Next, but I was still excited and picked this up on audio. Let’s discuss!


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Tell Me Three Things
By: Julie Buxbaum
Pages: 328
Rating: ★★★★☆ (4/5)
Genre: YA Contemporary
Format: Audiobook


Book Synopsis:

Everything about Jessie is wrong. At least, that’s what it feels like during her first week of junior year at her new ultra-intimidating prep school in Los Angeles. Just when she’s thinking about hightailing it back to Chicago, she gets an email from a person calling themselves Somebody/Nobody (SN for short), offering to help her navigate the wilds of Wood Valley High School. Is it an elaborate hoax? Or can she rely on SN for some much-needed help?

It’s been barely two years since her mother’s death, and because her father eloped with a woman he met online, Jessie has been forced to move across the country to live with her stepmonster and her pretentious teenage son.

In a leap of faith—or an act of complete desperation—Jessie begins to rely on SN, and SN quickly becomes her lifeline and closest ally. Jessie can’t help wanting to meet SN in person. But are some mysteries better left unsolved?


My Thoughts:

I adored this book so much. Perhaps I just like Buxbaum’s writing (thus far I have), but I loved this story. It wasn’t super heavy, it wasn’t something that I felt had extremely troubling problems. It was simple, fun, and I could not stop listening. Buxbaum’s conversation at the end discussed how she dealt with the death of someone in her own family at a young age and how she put pieces of herself into this story. This made it so much sweeter when I was done with this story.

Jessie is struggling with the death of her mother and counts in days how long it’s been since she was taken from her and her father. However, she is not only coping with this loss, but with being moved to L.A. after her father marries someone he met through a bereavement group. Her new stepmother is extremely rich and Jessie’s new home feels sterile yet her new step-brother seems flashy and mean.

Jessie doesn’t know how to fit in at this new prep school where everyone is rich and she feels out of place. She gets an e-mail from “Somebody/Nobody” (SN) a few weeks into starting school who offers to help her in exchange for keep his identity a secret. While she’s hesitant at first, she wants to stop feeling so alone and takes the advice SN gives. She starts making new friends and has a confidant who she desperately wants to meet.

She goes through a wide range of emotions in this book: how the loss of her mother affects her; finding herself with crushes on boys she doesn’t think will ever notice her; despising and feeling sorry for her dad; feeling sorry for herself yet wanting to improve her life; navigating bullying; losing her home and friends. I mean, for how short this story was there was a lot jammed into it and I devoured it all eagerly.

I loved Jessie. I truly did. I also loved her new friendships with other females which I feel like we don’t see enough in books. I loved those new friends of hers. I also enjoyed the variety of boys Jessie interacted with in a pretty innocent way. I loved most of this story.

The only parts I didn’t enjoy (yet did?) are the very trope-y things. Mean girls dating the most popular boys. Girls bullying girls and no one doing anything about it. Jessie’s dad randomly marrying someone without telling her and making her suddenly move to a new state? I mean. What? Other than that, though, if you’re willing to not let any of those things really bother you and just enjoy a fluffy book, I’d recommend this. Cute. It was cute. I like.


  • Ok. Who has read this?
  • What did you think?
  • Have you read either of Buxbaum’s stories?

♥♥

Hello. Good morning, afternoon, or evening.

For several months I have always gone straight to this book when I walk into a bookstore because I’ve been wanting to read it so much. I decided I didn’t want to purchase it so I borrowed it on audio from the library. Let’s talk. P.S. This is long-ish.


The City of Brass

The City of Brass
By: S.A. Chakraborty
Pages: 533
Rating: ★★★★☆(3.75/5)
Genre: Fantasy
Format: Audiobook


Book Synopsis:

Nahri has never believed in magic. Certainly, she has power; on the streets of 18th century Cairo, she’s a con woman of unsurpassed talent. But she knows better than anyone that the trade she uses to get by—palm readings, zars, healings—are all tricks, sleights of hand, learned skills; a means to the delightful end of swindling Ottoman nobles.

But when Nahri accidentally summons an equally sly, darkly mysterious djinn warrior to her side during one of her cons, she’s forced to accept that the magical world she thought only existed in childhood stories is real. For the warrior tells her a new tale: across hot, windswept sands teeming with creatures of fire, and rivers where the mythical marid sleep; past ruins of once-magnificent human metropolises, and mountains where the circling hawks are not what they seem, lies Daevabad, the legendary city of brass, a city to which Nahri is irrevocably bound.

In that city, behind gilded brass walls laced with enchantments, behind the six gates of the six djinn tribes, old resentments are simmering. And when Nahri decides to enter this world, she learns that true power is fierce and brutal. That magic cannot shield her from the dangerous web of court politics. That even the cleverest of schemes can have deadly consequences.

After all, there is a reason they say be careful what you wish for…


My Thoughts:

Perhaps listening to this on audio was a mistake for me. I somewhat wish I had read it in physical book form instead. There were parts of this book I was DEEPLY invested in. Then there would be parts I would be so glazed over for 45 minutes I’d have to go back and re-listen once or twice to the same thing so I didn’t lose the story line. I struggled but I also had fun. Does that make sense?

Nahri is a character I actually enjoyed. She was witty, somewhat sarcastic (which I’m finding is a quality I adore in characters), and figuring out life no matter the circumstances she finds herself in.

Dara. Well. Dara I actually loved. I loved Dara. When we first see him enter the story I thought “Oh great, here comes this asshole”. But, as the story went on and I tried to figure out if he was a good or bad guy, I realized he is neither. I enjoyed his affection for Nahri, his conflict over his very, very long life’s history and the future, and the way he is still able to love despite it all.

Ali is neither love-able nor hate-able. He is bound by blood to maintain the laws and rules his ruling family creates even though his heart and head tell him to act differently. While being on the more emotional side made him likeable, he did feel like a character who was constantly unsure of himself and therefore his development felt like a non-stop journey of going up and down hill after hill. Honor and blood. Compassion and caring for others. Finding a middle for him was difficult and while I could understand his position it left me feeling simply “meh” about him.

The parts I struggled with the most in this story was times where not much was happening or was usually when one of these characters and someone else were interacting with each other. Nahri and Dara were fine. But Nahri and Ali. Meh. Ali and Dara. Meh. Often in this situations nothing was really happening and even character development in these spots was low or nonexistent which made it hard to keep following. Hence the glaze fell over my mind and eyes.

The plot was usually interesting but sometimes a little slow. It continued this way throughout the entire story and at times left me wanting a little more than I got. Like many other books I kept wondering “Ok. But how is this going to end? Ok. But how is this going to help this person? Ok. But…why? Ok. But. But. But.“.  I understand looking back that the entire story wasn’t meant to be quick paced, but at many points I wished it was anyway. How Nahri is important in this world, how Ali and Dara play into this, and how the world could one day be made or broken because of them all was much more clear at the end, but it did take a while to get to that understanding. Nahri’s gifts are interesting. Dara’s past was intriguing. I did appreciate how the two of them found each other, rocked the core of Ali’s city, and were plotting ways to change their futures.

Let’s switch gears here and talk about the parts that made it impossible to stop listening. The world. This story starts in Cairo and the travels that occur stem from Cairo outward. To hear about somewhere other my own backyard was truly refreshing. The dust, the landscapes, the way people lived based on these things – great. Check, check, and check.

Additionally, the amount of diversity in magic, creatures, and things I’m not familiar with made me SO happy. Daeva. Tanzeem. Shafit. Nahids. Djinn. YAS. I learned so much about other beliefs, creatures, worlds, and ideas from this story (whether real or not) and I applaud Chakraborty for this. Thank you for the diversity I didn’t know I needed but am so happy I received from this story.

Overall, the world and what is inside of it is wonderful. Diverse. Beautiful. Unique. Interesting. The characters, though, not as much. While I struggled in some parts of this story I will still be eager to see what happens to these character’s fates in the next book since we left off on a somewhat sad, cliff-hanging spot.


  • Thoughts, anyone?
  • If so, what are your thoughts on the location and magic of this world? The people? The characters?

♥♥

Hi Book Lovers!

I recently listened to this story and I want to briefly discuss!


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The Lost City of the Monkey God
By: Douglas Preston
Pages: 326
Rating:  (4/5)
Genre: Non-fiction
Format: Audiobook


Book Synopsis:

A five-hundred-year-old legend. An ancient curse. A stunning medical mystery. And a pioneering journey into the unknown heart of the world’s densest jungle.

Since the days of conquistador Hernán Cortés, rumors have circulated about a lost city of immense wealth hidden somewhere in the Honduran interior, called the White City or the Lost City of the Monkey God. Indigenous tribes speak of ancestors who fled there to escape the Spanish invaders, and they warn that anyone who enters this sacred city will fall ill and die. In 1940, swashbuckling journalist Theodore Morde returned from the rainforest with hundreds of artifacts and an electrifying story of having found the Lost City of the Monkey God-but then committed suicide without revealing its location.

Three quarters of a century later, bestselling author Doug Preston joined a team of scientists on a groundbreaking new quest. In 2012 he climbed aboard a rickety, single-engine plane carrying the machine that would change everything: lidar, a highly advanced, classified technology that could map the terrain under the densest rainforest canopy. In an unexplored valley ringed by steep mountains, that flight revealed the unmistakable image of a sprawling metropolis, tantalizing evidence of not just an undiscovered city but an enigmatic, lost civilization.

Venturing into this raw, treacherous, but breathtakingly beautiful wilderness to confirm the discovery, Preston and the team battled torrential rains, quickmud, disease-carrying insects, jaguars, and deadly snakes. But it wasn’t until they returned that tragedy struck: Preston and others found they had contracted in the ruins a horrifying, sometimes lethal-and incurable-disease.


My Thoughts:

To begin, I want to briefly summarize to everyone that I am pursuing majors in World History and Anthropology. I am obsessed with three things (take it as you’d like):WWII from a European standpoint, American Indian history, and the history of the Southwest including histories in North and South America such as the Aztec, Maya, so on and so forth. The majority of classes I’ve been taking the past 3 semesters have all been around the histories of the Southwestern regions and this story fell in line with that learning. Also, it can be quite fairly assumed I picked this book up for the reasons mentioned above. I did.

I had not heard of this tale, legend, or whatever other fanatical word you’d like to use. Perhaps what drew me in mostly to this story was hearing the first hand experiences of the people involved in this journey (the good, the bad, and the ugly). Preston journeys with researchers and others to see if they can uncover anything about the rumors that have lasted for centuries over the supposedly lost city based on the Monkey God.

Starting with stories drifting through history enters a man named Theodore Morde who, in the early part of the 20th century, claimed he had found this city that had been lost to its people and the past. However, he eventually takes his own life without telling anyone of the things he supposedly found.

This book traveled through it all. It started with the train of people who have talked about or previously attempted to search for this place and how they got to the point of doing this in their lives. However, once we finally got to how it all connected to today’s story was important in my opinion. Then we follow this new team going out in to the wilds of the jungle which features one of the most venomous snakes in the world as well as other creatures that have never seen humans before.

 

The learner in me was so ecstatic to hear the most mundane things: how they prepped to go into the jungle including their supplies and expectations; the way the wildlife works; how researchers have attempted to use different technology to find the right locations; digging up the past including old journals and stories from people who claim to have gone; the trek through the jungle and the sounds, sights, and thoughts everyone had while taking this journey. I couldn’t get enough of it all. This is what I want to do. Highly venomous snakes and all.

The other part of this story I enjoyed was Preston discussing how deforestation and looting are damaging not only the jungles and all that live there, but history as well. It kills me that such sites lose their context, information, and history because of looters. It kills me that all the creatures in these areas who have never interacted with the destruction of humans are dying off and losing their homes due to carelessness.

The only part of the story that I didn’t enjoy as much was the extensive conversation around the disease at the end. While I am not trying to discredit its importance for not only the crew who got sick or anyone else who has the disease mentioned, it did take up a lot of time at the end and didn’t tie in as well to the main story of the lost city which bummed me out at the end.


  • Has anyone read this story?
  • Does this topic interest anyone?
  • How would you feel about venturing into the depths of an unknown jungle knowing you are risking your life?

♥♥

Hi Book Lovers!

Time for another review. First, I received three different copies of this book from different book boxes several months ago. Second, the cover is, honestly, appealing as all get-out. Third, I can’t recall a time I’ve read a Little Mermaid retelling or a book about sirens. I finally decided to give it a go and here is what I thought!


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To Kill a Kingdom
By: Alexandra Christo
Pages: 342
Rating: (3.50/5)
Genre: YA
Format: Hardcover


Book Synopsis:

Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all. With the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea. Until a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own. To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen transforms Lira into the one thing they loathe most—a human. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian’s heart to the Sea Queen or remain a human forever.

The ocean is the only place Prince Elian calls home, even though he is heir to the most powerful kingdom in the world. Hunting sirens is more than an unsavory hobby—it’s his calling. When he rescues a drowning woman in the ocean, she’s more than what she appears. She promises to help him find the key to destroying all of sirenkind for good—But can he trust her? And just how many deals will Elian have to barter to eliminate mankind’s greatest enemy?


Quotes:

“Technically, I’m a murderer, but I like to think that’s one of my better qualities.”

“The true danger is people. They are unpredictable. The betrayers and the liars.”

“Royalty cannot be unmade. Birth rights cannot be changed. Hearts are forever scarred by our true nature.”

“‘Wars aren’t won by running,’ she says. ‘You can’t win a war,’ I tell her. ‘Someone else just loses.'”

“Some people burn so brightly, it’s impossible to put the flames out.”


My Thoughts:

Characters:
I did not enjoy Lira. I’m so sorry, but I just didn’t. Well, let me take that back a bit. I enjoyed her at the start when she was so ruthless and cold as her namesake should be. However, the way she developed fell so flat for me and I ended up feeling like cringing often in the second half of the book at her character’s terrible thoughts and plans.

On the other hand, I mostly enjoyed Elian. I kept wanting to roll my eyes at how often he thought about how he didn’t want to rule a kingdom. Which. I mean. Fine. You don’t want to rule. But stop obsessing over it and make a decision – either don’t rule or suck it up and rule. Geez. Besides that, I enjoyed watching his banter and kindness with his crew and even Lira throughout the book. I was happy with some of his choices by the end and happy FOR him.

I feel like Elian’s crew held the most enjoyment for me as well as the sea witch who was so brutal and ruthless which was, at times, the only complex thing going on.

Story line:
This book started out strong for me and I was excited to see where it was bound to go. However, I quickly became annoyed by the middle of the book. I’m 100% sure that after every single page I turned in this book from the middle on I thought “I have no idea how this story can be wrapped up to where I enjoy what comes out of it all”. Every. Page. To be fair, I was right and that I didn’t enjoy the ending which fell extremely flat.

The ending was unrealistic, frustrating, and whatever battle, fight, or even argument I hoped would occur only fizzled my dreams slowly but surely. I’m all about loose endings. I’m also about nicely wrapped up endings. I can go both ways here. The way this wrapped up was fine for a standalone book, but also gave me a slightly sour taste in my mouth.

Overall I mainly enjoyed the characters and the majority (more than the first half) of the story. However, I do wish that this story had continued on the path it began and it would have felt better executed that way. I’m glad I read this and enjoyed the voyages on the sea and dealings with sirens and mermaids. It inspired me to pick up other mermaid/siren/sea books afterwards so for that, thank you.


  • I was trying to search for other people’s To Kill a Kingdom reviews here but haven’t found as many as I thought I did months ago. Tell me, have you read this?
  • If you have, let’s discuss. Good and bad!

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