Review: The Armored Saint by Myke Cole

Loved it! 😍

The Armored Saint is a fast-paced and compelling fantasy. Myke Cole knows just where to hit for the biggest impact and keeps hold right to the end. Fantastic work!

The Armored Saint
by Myke Cole

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In a world where any act of magic could open a portal to hell, the Order insures that no wizard will live to summon devils, and will kill as many innocent people as they must to prevent that greater horror. After witnessing a horrendous slaughter, the village girl Heloise opposes the Order, and risks bringing their wrath down on herself, her family, and her village.

Synopsis
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Review; Immortal Defiance by Laura Maybrooke

Loved it! 😍

A refreshing fantasy full of betrayal, intrigue and an Elven enchantress waging war for her people’s freedom. But it’s never that simple…

Immortal Defiance
by Laura Maybrooke

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Some things never die. Hope. Heroes. Defiance.

Things take a strange turn for Dulcea, the elven enchantress turned war heroine and Dragonmistress, when a countryman’s betrayal lands her in enemy hands.

As she awaits her execution, a stranger with mysterious powers offers her another chance at life. Will she die here or risk what sinister fate he has in store for her?

Can Dulcea reclaim her rightful place and lead her army once more? Or does Krath, the man who travels the Realm of the Dead as one of its own, prove to be the obstacle that fells her rebellion?

… Or will this immortal vampire warrior turn out to be the best chance she has of defying the ancient evil arising in the west?

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Review; Assassin’s Choice by Monique Singleton

Exciting news! I’m now a Reviewer on Reedsy Discovery. If you’re interested in becoming a reviewer, too, and want to benefit us both you should use this link. When you post your first review using it, we both get paid for it!

For those unaware, Reedsy Discovery gives reviewers access to a pool of ARCs to read for free in exchange for an honest review. At this point, “free” and “books” are really all it takes to get my attention.

My first review for the site is below. Check it out on Reedsy Discovery, too!


Assassin’s Choice is a quick and snappy urban fantasy romance focusing on shapeshifters in a world full of paranormal beings.


Assassin’s Choice
by Monique Singleton

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

If they realise who I am… I’m dead. To the Council, I’m their top assassin. I terminate paranormals that step out of line. I’ll head off the hit list if they ever find out who I really am.

I’m close to finding out who’s responsible for my mother’s death, when the Council sends me on a mission,: kill two clan leaders who threaten to expose the paranormal world. Simple, Right?

Then I meet them…and everything goes to hell.

Throw in my overheated libido, not one, but two soul-mate claims, a mysterious age-old shaman who throws me slap-bang into the centre of an ancient prophecy, and things really heat up.

My next decision will send my life in a new direction… or kill me in the process. Which will it be? Personal revenge… or save the world?

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Review; Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe

Gender Queer
Maia Kobabe (Goodreads Author) (Author, Illustrator), Phoebe Kobabe (Goodreads Author) (Colorist)

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Summary from Goodreads:

In 2014, Maia Kobabe, who uses e/em/eir pronouns, thought that a comic of reading statistics would be the last autobiographical comic e would ever write. At the time, it was the only thing e felt comfortable with strangers knowing about em. Now, Gender Queer is here. Maia’s intensely cathartic autobiography charts eir journey of self-identity, which includes the mortification and confusion of adolescent crushes, grappling with how to come out to family and society, bonding with friends over erotic gay fanfiction, and facing the trauma and fundamental violation of pap smears. Started as a way to explain to eir family what it means to be nonbinary and asexual, Gender Queer is more than a personal story: it is a useful and touching guide on gender identity-what it means.

Goodreads.com

I have never come across a book that so closely captured the feeling of dysphoria that I felt growing up. Mine was caused by different things, but much of how I dealt with it is mirrored in portions of this graphic novel.

I invented and named a lost male twin who had always felt like he should be a girl. If I could just find him we would both finally feel like whole complete people.

Gender Queer, Maia Kobabe

This book is an amazing read and so honest and open. I didn’t know it, but I needed to read it. I picked it up out of curiosity, thinking I may learn something. I didn’t expect to get so much out of it, though.

Review; Crescent Calling

Crescent Calling (The Crescent Witch Chronicles #1)
by Nicole R. Taylor

My Rating: 2 of 5 stars

Summary from Goodreads:

Skye Williams is an ordinary woman, living an ordinary life.

Or so she thought.

When she receives news of her estranged mother’s death, she must go to Ireland to claim her inheritance, but when she arrives in the tiny village of Derrydun, she isn’t prepared for what she finds nestled amongst the rolling hills of the Emerald Isle. 

Lumped with a funeral, her mother’s crystal shop, a moody goth girl for an employee, and a crumbling cottage with horrible floral curtains, selling up and getting out sounds like a great plan, but everything and everyone seems determined to keep her from going home.

Skye doesn’t want any part of her mother’s life or the people of Derrydun until she sees the hot Irishman she’s been crushing on turn into a fox.

More absurdly, he tells her her dead mother was a witch who battled evil fairies, there’s magical trees growing in the centre of the village, there’s a parallel universe where the fair folk live, and she’s meant to be the last defense of the magical peoples of Ireland.

Turns out Skye Williams was never an ordinary woman. Not by a long shot.
She’s the last Crescent Witch and has a destiny to fulfil.

Whether she likes it or not.


Witches in Ireland?

I picked up this book as the premise looked interesting, and a story taking place in Ireland would take a change from the usual urban fantasies I read.

Not reading any of the author’s work prior to this, I didn’t have any expectations going in. It was a quick and easy read, but felt underwhelming and I wanted more.

Impressions

The two characters, Skye and Boone, had a few small conflicts but it didn’t feel to hold much weight. Skye came across younger than her age, acting more like an immature teenager rather than the adult she was supposed to be. (Running away from Boone to not let him explain something, cutting people off and refusing to hear a perfectly reasonable explanation that would release tension, etc.) I wish the tension around the conflicts was written in a different way, too, rather than to simply draw it out with delays. In doing this, Skye’s immaturity was emphasized and it was difficult to relate to her because of it.

Be aware of Spoilers below.

The main conflict arcs were… unearned. It felt too easy. An enemy is alerted to Skye’s presence because she was negligent, she figures out she needs a weapon, she uses her new powers (that she doesn’t know how to use and has had no training to use) to find just the weapon she needs, and somehow knows where to go to imbue that weapon. And then defeats the enemy with said weapon. Easy. Fast.

Everything happened in a flurry and there was no real “work” done by the main character. She just… figured it out because she’s a “badass witch” and she could?

The worldbuilding did not pull me in, either. Aside from a few things like names, sayings, and possibly lore, this story could really have taken place anywhere.

And unfortunately, I didn’t care about Skye. Or Boone. If there was a reason to, I missed it completely. Their romance felt forced and I wasn’t at all interested in reading about them being together. But I think that’s related to the issue of my not being able to really care about the two of them.

Overall

This story is likely directed toward much younger readers. They may be able to relate to the characters better. For me, Skye just made too many bad and immature decisions unlike someone her age. (If I recall correctly, mid twenties?)

This is one of the times I wish there was more of a distinction between the types of Young Adult novels out there. It’s a difference in audience, and this book is just intended for a younger one.

I will not be picking up the in the series.