Hello you guys! Yes, I’m still attempting to start posting on here again – you might’ve noticed that I kind of disappeared again after I posted my reviw for Kingsbane. To be honest, I wasn’t fully ready to come back yet. I wanted an even longer break but hopefully that is over now.
And while I may have been on a blogging hiatus, I certainly didn’t take a break from reading. Oh no! I’ve got quite a few books I need to update you guys on that I’ve read in the past two months or so which means there may be two Recently Read posts this week. I just don’t want to fall too far behind and would rather get all caught up. Hope you guys don’t mind!
As you can see from the title, today’s post features exclusively April 2019 releases, most of which I loved, one I hated and one that ended up being okay. But, read on to find out which books fall under which category! 🙂
Once again, in an effort to make sure these wrap ups of sorts don’t get too long, I’ll be linking to any reviews I’ve posted to the blog previously so you guys can check them for more extensive thoughts (and extensive they are. I’m using a new review format and it’s awesome!).
What To Expect: dark & gothic vibes. a reluctant prince. a mysterious boy. a girl who communicates with the gods. so, so much blood. hate to love relationship. elements that will remind you of the Grisha trilogy. an ending that ensures you’re craving book two.
My full review can be found here.
What To Expect: Magnus and Alec AND Malec greatness. character development that makes you adore these two even more. traveling to Paris, Venice & Rome. extravagent parties. so many warlocks. references and shoutouts that’ll make you tear up. Alec being a badass with his bow and arrow. Magnus being his usual awesome AF self. so much Magnus backstory.
My full review can be found here.
What To Expect: too many pop culture references. a character that reminds you too much of the author herself. writing that tries too hard to be quirky. a character who tries too hard to be quirky. Pilot Penn. parents who belong in the trash can. traveling across Europe.
My full review can be found here.
The Devouring Gray by Christine Lynn Herman
The first book we’re going to actually talk about for this post is Christine Lynn Herman’s The Devouring Gray, a young adult fantasy novel which was released on April 2nd, 2019 by Titan Books.
If you guys have been following me on any of my social media accounts or on the blog, you’ll most definitely have heard me talk about this book and my excitement about it for months at this point. I was so impatiently waiting to get my hands on this book and once I read this? I kind of got out of it pretty disappointed.
As I was reading this book, I kept thinking about possibly DNFing it because it just wasn’t giving me what I had expected – I even felt bad for yelling about it so much to my friends that they ended up spending their money on the book too. Granted, their reading experience may be entirely different (and I certainly hope so) but I still had this nagging feeling about being wrong about how awesome this book would be.
What I did like about The Devouring Gray were the different powers each of the founding families had and how they manifested differently in the family members – I thought that was a really interesting way of giving people powers. Something else I enjoyed was the fact that the characters sexualities were brought up in a really casual way very early on in the book (we have two bisexual characters within our core group) and the characters are never just their sexuality. They are bisexual and so much more (my memory of most of this book is quite bad as I read it over a month ago).
Before we get to the things about this book that I didn’t enjoy, let’s quickly talk about the things I didn’t love but also didn’t hate. xD
While I, overall, didn’t have any strong feelings towards any of the characters, I did find myself enjoying Isaac’s character the most out of all of them. I thought his backstory was quite interesting, plus we learned some more things throughout the book that I do want to learn about!
The other things is that this book felt quite average to me. I won’t hate a book for it but I obviously also don’t love it. Especially since I had much higher expectations about how I’d feel about this book. But I’m holding out hope that I’ll enjoy the second & final book more!
Now, what I didn’t enjoy about this book. While I thought I would have so much more to say it really boils down to the fact that I was quite disappointed overall, I felt like the comparison to The Raven Boys didn’t fit at all? I’m a huge of that series, I’ve read it multiple times and not once did this book give me any Raven Boys vibes to be honest. I can’t speak for the Stranger Things comparison as I’ve never seen the show.
And lastly, something I will always, always hate in books: when characters are being kept apart because they just don’t freaking communicate. While I understand where one part is coming from it still felt like it was dragged out way too long until they finally just freaking talked. Please, please create reasonable reasons why characters who – from everything we’ve gotten so far -seem like they’re going to end up together, aren’t together yet.
In the end, The Devouring Gray is going to get a 3 star rating from me and I’ll just hold out hope that the finale will give me more of what I was hoping for.
King Of Fools by Amanda Foody
Lastly, at least for this post, we’re talking about King Of Fools by Amanda Foody, a young adult fantasy novel which was released on April 29th, 2019 by Inkyard Press.
Here’s the book I’ve been waiting a year to finally get my hands on and I’m honestly so, so happy that I ended up loving it. I was worried I might be disappointed after TDG but luckily that wasn’t the case here.
King Of Fools ended up having very few things I didn’t enjoy so let’s talk about those first before we jump into everything I ended up loving, shall we? The biggest thing was hands down the way Levi and Enne’s relationship was handled here because it once again included an annoying excuse as to why they can’t be together and as we’ve just established, I hate that. However, the one great thing about that? Oh, just you wait! I’m gonna talk more about that in the things I loved department.
I feel like Ace Of Shades gave us so many greats things that I was so, so happy to see further developed and dove into but unfortunately we didn’t get much of that. I really enjoyed the magic system and how it was set up but that took a backseat for the most part – we get tiny glimpses/scenes here and there instead. Same with what we learned about different characters and New Reynes’ backstory overall. Most of that didn’t come back into play again until the very, very end. I was so, so excited to dive into one character’s backstory especially but from the looks of it, we’ll have to wait until book three for that.
And now, it is time to talk about all of the things that this book did right, in my eyes. 😀
I don’t remember if I talked about this a lot but one of my favorite characters in this trilogy is Jac Mardlin. He had some scenes in Ace Of Shades that made me want to hug him and then Amanda gives him his own POV and has him be an active member of the plot and has him help Levi while giving Jac all the time to develop further as a character and I loved it. So, so much. I’ve said this before on Twitter, but Jac gives me Ronan Lynch vibes so I was destined to love him a lot.
Something else I’ve mentioned in my review of Ace Of Shades was that I wanted more of the Jac and Lola friendship and man, did Amanda deliver on that too! These two had some awesome heart to heart conversations and they just care about each other so much and I loved every second of it. I feel like I still need more of Lola overall, but just having a few more scenes of her not with Enne was great.
Both Ace Of Shades and King Of Fools have a very clear and set timeline and while Ace Of Shades takes place over ten days, King Of Fools gives you months to spend with the characters as we’re heading towards an election. And because of this election and the race to get the respective side’s candidate elected, this book ended up being much, much more political which I loved! I don’t read a million and one fantasy novels set at court for nothing. xD
King Of Fools introduces us to some new female characters who are joining Levi or Enne’s gangs which I really appreciated. They still play fairly small roles compared to everyone else, but they also each get time to shine aswell. One of my favorite new additions was probably Sophia and I truly am so excited to see where Amanda takes her story in book three.
And now, let’s talk about what was probably my favorite thing about this book: Levi’s relationship in the first half~ of the book. Levi and Enne are staying apart for Reasons and Levi ends up with a character we’ve kind of met before and their relationship was so, so good. The other person isn’t afraid to tell Levi when he’s fucking up. He’s not taking any bullshit and I loved it. Plus, there’s this one scene that feels like it could be straight out of a certain Alternative Universe type of fanfiction and I never thought for that particular situation to be as sexy.
Overall, King Of Fools is a very, very strong 4.5 star book that I’ll probably bump up to 5 stars on Goodreads. I am already super excited for book 3 and can’t believe I’ll have to wait at least a year until I can get my hands on the finale of this trilogy.
Did you guys read any of the books I talked about above? If so, what did you think? Did any of them disappoint you? Did you end up loving them? Let’s chat in the comments below, I can’t wait to hear from you guys!