Posted in Book Blog, Book Reviews

Book Review: A Deadly Education (The Scholomance #1) – Naomi Novik

Rating: 4/5 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy, Magic, Horror, Dark Fantasy

Review:

Ever since I read Spinning Silver, Naomi Novik’s become one of my favorite authors. So of course, I follow all her new releases. The only reason I didn’t start A Deadly Education when it first came out is because I’m on a self-imposed Incomplete-Series ban. I still am — it kills me to have to wait for the last book in a trilogy/series so now I just hoard until the last book is out and I can binge-read. But A Deadly Education was so worth the wait.

Welcome to the Scholomance, a dark school of wizardry unlike any other, with monsters lurking at every corner—one second of inattention and you could end up really, really dead. I love this darker tint to wizardry, a grim outlook of magic and all the baggage that came with it. It was unique and fascinating with all its workings and dangers.

The main character, our beautiful sorceress-in-the-making, one Galadriel “El” Higgins, with her snarky point of view and her Wednesday Addams attitude, was a dark delight. She was such a myriad of contradictions and always, always fighting her own nature. She was a pretty amazing character. I loved all the insight into her personality, the little childhood stories which provided dark humor at times.

Now, onto her nemesis, the heroic, fumbling Orion Lake in awe of the dark sorceress. Oh my God, I found Orion just too cute with all his quirks. I enjoyed the interactions between these two a lot. And let’s not forget the side-characters who were compelling on their own.

I had a lot of fun reading this book! A Deadly Education is the kind of book that makes you love reading and that is the highest kudos I can give it.

Stay tuned.

∼Lyn

Synopsis:
Lesson One of the Scholomance: Learning has never been this deadly.
A Deadly Education is set at Scholomance, a school for the magically gifted where failure means certain death (for real) — until one girl, El, begins to unlock its many secrets.
There are no teachers, no holidays, and no friendships, save strategic ones. Survival is more important than any letter grade, for the school won’t allow its students to leave until they graduate… or die! The rules are deceptively simple: Don’t walk the halls alone. And beware of the monsters who lurk everywhere.
El is uniquely prepared for the school’s dangers. She may be without allies, but she possesses a dark power strong enough to level mountains and wipe out millions. It would be easy enough for El to defeat the monsters that prowl the school. The problem? Her powerful dark magic might also kill all the other students.
Posted in Movie Reviews

Movie Review: Rosaline (2022)

Rating: 5/5 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Genre: Comedy, Romance

Review:

I read Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet in high school (eons ago) and shocker, I was never a fan. Even now that I’m no longer an angsty, Goth teen but an ancient dragon, though with the same penchant for sarcasm mind you, I still find R&J a tragic waste. That said, I absolutely loved the movie, Rosaline.

Rosaline is a modern re-telling of R&J but with a slight, snarky twist that makes it absolutely fantastic. It’s told from the point of view of Rosaline, who is Juliet’s cousin. I loved the modern slang and the changes in the different characters. Rosaline, of course, was my favorite. She’s audacious, snarky, outspoken, stubborn and she marches to her own drum. Her point of view was a delight and I also enjoyed her character growth.

Now, broody Dario, ooh-la-la. You can see the maturity on him. And of course, he’s gorgeous. I liked the side characters—the sassy nurse, charming Paris.

I love how the movie portrays Romeo & Juliet as two rash teens—children really, who never had the chance to grow and learn from their mistakes. Rosaline and Dario’s characters show that world of difference. Kaitlyn Dever and Sean Teale did a great job of portraying Rosaline and Dario.

And that ending? Bloody fabulous! I enjoyed it immensely and if you watch it, do not miss the satisfaction of the post-credit scenes.

As a music buff, of course, I can’t end my review without commenting on the soundtrack. It gave the movie that modernization again and the songs fit the movie to a T.

Highly recommended!

∼Lyn

Posted in Blog Memes, Music Monday

Music Monday – 31 Oct 2022 – Everybody (Backstreet’s Back) – Backstreet Boys

Hola, Music Dragons, I’m back from the dead! I figure Halloween’s a good day to make a comeback, right? lol. I was in another fugue and it feels like no matter how hard I try, I just can’t seem to find a balance between work, chores and trying to read and blog. Some days I feel like I’m dying of survival. *sigh* But I’m still here, taking it one day at a time, trying not to feel down when I can’t seem to get everything I want to do get done.

I guess you guys already know what song I’m gonna share today, huh? Yes, you are absolutely right. BSB! So apt for Halloween! We’ve got a haunted house, a werewolf, Dracula & his vampires and Mina Harker, mummies, Phantom of the Opera, Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, and a Frankenstein-esque monster.

Music Monday is hosted by Drew @ The Tattooed Book Geek. Be sure to check out his awesome blog.

Stay tuned.

∼Lyn

Posted in Book Blog, New Releases

New Book Releases – 27 Sep 2022

Hola, Book Dragons, new book releases today! Below are some of the new releases I’m looking forward to today:

1. The Golden Enclaves – (The Scholomance #3) – Naomi Novik

THE EXCITING FINALE TO THE SCHOLOMANCE TRILOGY

Synopsis:
Saving the world is a test no school of magic can prepare you for in the triumphant conclusion to the New York Times bestselling trilogy that began with A Deadly Education and The Last Graduate.
The one thing you never talk about while you’re in the Scholomance is what you’ll do when you get out. Not even the richest enclaver would tempt fate that way. But it’s all we dream about, the hideously slim chance we’ll survive to make it out the gates and improbably find ourselves with a life ahead of us, a life outside the Scholomance halls.
And now the impossible dream has come true. I’m out, we’re all out–and I didn’t even have to turn into a monstrous dark witch to make it happen. So much for my great-grandmother’s prophecy of doom and destruction. I didn’t kill enclavers, I saved them. Me, and Orion, and our allies. Our graduation plan worked to perfection: we saved everyone and made the world safe for all wizards and brought peace and harmony to all the enclaves of the world.
Ha, only joking! Actually it’s gone all wrong. Someone else has picked up the project of destroying enclaves in my stead, and probably everyone we saved is about to get killed in the brewing enclave war on the horizon. And the first thing I’ve got to do now, having miraculously got out of the Scholomance, is turn straight around and find a way back in.

2. Spells for Forgetting – Adrienne Young

Synopsis:
A deeply atmospheric story about ancestral magic, an unsolved murder, and a second chance at true love.
Emery Blackwood’s life changed forever the night her best friend was found dead and the love of her life, August Salt, was accused of murdering her. Years later, she is doing what her teenage self swore she never would: living a quiet existence on the misty, remote shores of Saoirse Island and running the family’s business, Blackwood’s Tea Shoppe Herbal Tonics & Tea Leaf Readings.
But when the island, rooted in folklore and magic, begins to show signs of strange happenings, Emery knows that something is coming. The morning she wakes to find that every single tree on Saoirse has turned color in a single night, August returns for the first time in fourteen years and unearths the past that the town has tried desperately to forget.
August knows he is not welcome on Saiorse, not after the night everything changed. As a fire raged on at the Salt family orchard, Lily Morgan was found dead in the dark woods, shaking the bedrock of their tight-knit community and branding August a murderer. When he returns to bury his mother’s ashes, he must confront the people who turned their backs on him and face the one wound from his past that has never healed—Emery.
The town has more than one reason to want August gone, and the emergence of deep betrayals and hidden promises spanning generations threaten to reveal the truth behind Lily’s mysterious death once and for all.

3. Kingdom of the Feared (Kingdom of the Wicked #3) – Kerri Maniscalco

Synopsis:
Emilia is reeling from the shocking discovery that her twin sister, Vittoria, is alive. But before she faces the demons of her past, Emilia yearns to claim her king, the seductive Prince of Wrath, in the flesh. Emilia doesn’t simply desire his body, she wants his heart and soul—but that’s something the enigmatic demon can’t promise her.
When a high-ranking member of House Greed is assassinated, Emilia and Wrath are drawn to the rival demon court. Damning evidence points to Vittoria as the murderer and she’s quickly declared an enemy of the Seven Circles. Despite her betrayal, Emilia will do anything to solve this new mystery and find out who her sister really is.
Together Emilia and Wrath play a sin-fueled game of deception as they work to stop the unrest that’s brewing between witches, demons, shape-shifters and the most treacherous foes of all: the Feared.
Emilia was warned that when it came to the Wicked nothing was as it seemed. But, have the true villains been much closer all along? When the truth is finally revealed, it just might end up costing Emilia her heart.
Two curses.
One prophecy.
A reckoning all have feared.
And a love more powerful than fate. All hail the king and queen of Hell.

4. The Ballad of Never After (Once Upon a Broken Heart #2) – Stephanie Garber

Synopsis:
Not every love is meant to be.
After Jacks, the Prince of Hearts, betrays her, Evangeline Fox swears she’ll never trust him again. Now that she’s discovered her own magic, Evangeline believes she can use it to restore the chance at happily ever after that Jacks stole away.
But when a new terrifying curse is revealed, Evangeline finds herself entering into a tenuous partnership with the Prince of Hearts again. Only this time, the rules have changed. Jacks isn’t the only force Evangeline needs to be wary of. In fact, he might be the only one she can trust, despite her desire to despise him.
Instead of a love spell wreaking havoc on Evangeline’s life, a murderous spell has been cast. To break it, Evangeline and Jacks will have to do battle with old friends, new foes, and a magic that plays with heads and hearts. Evangeline has always trusted her heart, but this time she’s not sure she can…
The fiercely-anticipated sequel to the #1 New York Times bestseller Once Upon a Broken Heart, starring Evangeline Fox and the Prince of Hearts on a new journey of magic, mystery, and heartbreak.

What about you guys? Any new releases you’re anticipating today?

Stay tuned.

∼Lyn

Posted in Blog Memes, Music Monday

Music Monday – 26 Sep 2022 – Live My Life in Colour – Katie Hargrove & Stevie Gold

Hola, Music Dragons, are you living your life in color? 😉 I just heard this song on the trailer for the Disney movie, The Curious Case of Dolphin Bay (2022), and it grabbed my heart right away.

As a Book Dragon and Music Dragon, how can I not love this song, especially with lyrics like:

Give me gray and gold and numb my soul
Paint the world like a story told

Lyrics:
Cloudy skies but I’m alright, alright
Sunlight peaking through just fine, fine
It’s like I got a rain pulse out of my head
I know it’s not over yet
Cloudy skies, they now just shine, shine
So let me tell you what it feels like
Give me gray and gold and numb my soul
(burning harder, never gonna let this go)
Paint the world like a story told
(shining brighter, never gonna let this go)
I live my life in
I live my life in colour
I live my life in
I live my life in colour
When you think you’re gonna break, break
Check out what was yesterday, day
Cause i know I’m stronger this time around
No one it’s bringing me down
Everything will be okay, yeah
Cause now I’m doing it my own way
Give me gray, gold and numb my soul
(burning harder, never gonna let this go)
Paint the world like a story told
(shining brighter, never gonna let this go)
I live my life in
I live my life in colour
I live my life in
I live my life in colour
Live you’re life in colour if you want too
Everybody’s gonna see it, gonna shine through
Don’t you let anybody else stop you
Live your life in colour, cause you got to
Give me gray and gold and numb my soul
(burning harder, never gonna let this go)
Paint the world like a story told
(shining brighter, never gonna let this go)
Live my life in clour
(burning harder, never gonna let this go)
Life my life in colour
(shining brighter, never gonna let this go)
Live my life in colour
(live my life in colour, cause you got to)
Live my life in colour
(don’t you let anybody else stop you)
Live my life in colour
Living my life, living my life
Live my life in colour
I live my life in colour
Cloudy skies, but I’m alright

Music Monday is hosted by Drew @ The Tattooed Book Geek. Be sure to check out his awesome blog.

Stay tuned.

∼Lyn

Posted in F is For Friday, Blog Memes

F Is For Friday – 23 Sep 2022

Hola, Book Dragons! I went for a long bike ride this afternoon right after work. I didn’t think about it, didn’t plan it, just grabbed my things and went out on an adventure to Lake Aquitaine.

I got lost twice amidst the park trails lol but I made my way back safe and sound. And I got home with a solid sense of accomplishment. Plus got a healthy dose of nature, some sunshine though it was windy as hell, and some much-needed exercise.

F – Feature your latest book obsession (it doesn’t have to be your current read)

I GOT THE E-ARC FOR THE CHOICE! Yay!

Continue reading “F Is For Friday – 23 Sep 2022”
Posted in Book Blog, New Releases

New Book Releases – 20 Sep 2022

Hola, Book Dragons, new book releases today! Below are some of the new releases I’m looking forward to today:

1. Rust in the Root – Justina Ireland

Synopsis:
The author of the visionary New York Times bestseller Dread Nation returns with another spellbinding historical fantasy set at the crossroads of race and power in America.
It is 1937, and Laura Ann Langston lives in an America divided—between those who work the mystical arts and those who do not. Ever since the Great Rust, a catastrophic event that blighted the arcane force called the Dynamism and threw America into disarray, the country has been rebuilding for a better future. And everyone knows the future is industry and technology—otherwise known as Mechomancy—not the traditional mystical arts.
Laura disagrees. A talented young mage from Pennsylvania, Laura hopped a portal to New York City on her seventeenth birthday with hopes of earning her mage’s license and becoming something more than a rootworker
But six months later, she’s got little to show for it other than an empty pocket and broken dreams. With nowhere else to turn, Laura applies for a job with the Bureau of the Arcane’s Conservation Corps, a branch of the US government dedicated to repairing the Dynamism so that Mechomancy can thrive. There she meets the Skylark, a powerful mage with a mysterious past, who reluctantly takes Laura on as an apprentice.
As they’re sent off on their first mission together into the heart of the country’s oldest and most mysterious Blight, they discover the work of mages not encountered since the darkest period in America’s past, when Black mages were killed for their power—work that could threaten Laura’s and the Skylark’s lives, and everything they’ve worked for.

2. Only Bad Options (Galactic Truebond #1) – Jennifer Estep

Synopsis:
Space opera meets Bridgerton in an exciting new science-fiction fantasy adventure by bestselling author Jennifer Estep. Perfect for readers looking for a mix of magic and technology and for fans of soul mates and enemies-to-lovers stories.
A WOMAN WHO SEES EVERYTHING . . .
Few people know the name Vesper Quill. To most folks, I’m just a lowly lab rat who designs brewmakers and other household appliances in the research and development lab at the powerful Kent Corp. But when I point out a design flaw and a safety hazard in the new line of Kent Corp starcruisers, everyone knows who I am—and wants to eliminate me.
I might be a seer with a photographic memory, but I don’t see the trouble headed my way until it’s too late. Suddenly, I’m surrounded by enemies and fighting for my life.
I don’t think things can get any worse until I meet Kyrion Coldren, an arrogant Regal lord who insists that we have a connection, one that could be the death of us both.
A MAN WHO CAN’T FORGET HIS PAST . . .
The name Kyrion Coldren strikes fear in the hearts of people across the Archipelago Galaxy. As the leader of the Arrows, the Imperium’s elite fighting force, I’m used to being a villain, as well as the personal assassin of Lord Callus Holloway. Even the wealthy Regals who live on the planet of Corion are afraid of me.
But everything changes when I meet Vesper Quill. I might be a powerful psion with telepathic, telekinetic, and other abilities, but Vesper sees far too many of my secrets.
Thanks to an arcane, unwanted quirk of psionic magic, the two of us are forced to work together to unravel a dangerous conspiracy and outwit the dangerous enemies who want to bend us to their will.

3. Seoulmates – Susan Lee

Synopsis:
Hannah Cho had the next year all planned out—the perfect summer with her boyfriend, Nate, and then a fun senior year with their friends.
But then Nate does what everyone else in Hannah’s life seems to do—he leaves her, claiming they have nothing in common. He and all her friends are newly obsessed with K-pop and K-dramas, and Hannah is not. After years of trying to embrace the American part and shunning the Korean side of her Korean American identity to fit in, Hannah finds that’s exactly what now has her on the outs.
But someone who does know K-dramas—so well that he’s actually starring in one—is Jacob Kim, Hannah’s former best friend, whom she hasn’t seen in years. He’s desperate for a break from the fame, so a family trip back to San Diego might be just what he needs… that is, if he and Hannah can figure out what went wrong when they last parted and navigate the new feelings developing between them.
Her ex-boyfriend wants her back. Her former best friend is in town. When did Hannah’s life become a K-drama?

4. Defend the Dawn (Defy the Night #2) – Brigid Kemmerer

Synopsis:
To save their kingdom, they must embark on a dangerous journey…
The kingdom of Kandala narrowly avoided catastrophe, but the embers of revolution still simmer. While King Harristan seeks a new way to lead, Tessa and Prince Corrick attempt to foster unity between rebels and royals.
But the consuls who control the Moonflower will not back down, and Corrick realizes he must find a new source for the lifesaving Elixir.
When an emissary from the neighboring kingdom of Ostriary arrives with an intriguing offer, Tessa and Corrick set out on an uncertain journey as they attempt to mend their own fractured relationship.
This could be their only chance to keep the peace and bring relief to the people of Kandala, but danger strikes during the journey to Ostriary, and no one is who they seemed to be. . .

5. Devouring Darkness (Heirs of Chicagoland #4) – Chloe Neill

Synopsis:
In the newest installment of the USA Today bestselling Heirs of Chicagoland series, vampire Elisa Sullivan unearths an ancient grudge, with potentially devastating consequences.
As the only vampire ever born, and the daughter of two very powerful Chicago vampires, Elisa Sullivan knew her life was going to be…unusual. But she wanted to make her own way in the world, preferably away from her famous family. Then supernatural politics—and perhaps a bit of destiny—intervened, and Elisa had to steady her nerves and sharpen her steel to fight for the city of Chicago. Luckily, Connor Keene, son of the North American Central Pack’s Apex wolf, is right by her side.
When Elisa and her Ombudsman colleagues agree to escort a troubled sorcereress to Chicago, they inadvertently set in motion a scheme of long-awaited magical vengeance. The city may pay an arcane price it can’t afford unless Elisa and her allies rise to the challenge.

What about you guys? Any new releases you’re anticipating today?

Stay tuned.

∼Lyn

Posted in Blog Memes, Music Monday

Music Monday – 19 Sep 2022 – Eternal Love – Michael Learns To Rock (Healer OST)

Hola, Music Dragons, whatcha listening to? I know I’ve probably shared this song before but I’m currently re-watching the Kdrama Healer which is my absolute favorite in the world. The music is excellent as well.

Eternal Love fast became one of my favorite songs ever. Enjoy!

Music Monday is hosted by Drew @ The Tattooed Book Geek. Be sure to check out his awesome blog.

Stay tuned.

∼Lyn

Posted in Book Blog, Book Reviews, Graphic Novel Reviews, Graphic Novels

Book Review: Sorceline (Sorceline #1) – Sylvia Douyé, Paola Antista (Illustrations)

Rating: 3/5 🌟🌟🌟

Genre: Graphic Novels, Comic Books, Middle-Grade

Review:

I came across this book on NetGalley and I was at once fascinated by that cute cover. Plus I love fantastic creatures and stories so of course, this book was right up my alley. Sorceline is a young girl who wants to study cryptozoology and when she gets into Professor Archibald Balzar’s school, it’s a dream come true. Now, if she could only get chosen as his apprentice, it would be icing on the cake.

The storyline wasn’t as exciting as I’d expected it to be. Some of the plot twists were quite obvious and there were plot holes as well that needed to be dealt with. That said, this book has a lot of potential. As it’s the first book in the series, I sure hope the storyline gets better. The dialogues felt a bit stunted at first but it was a nice surprise when I did get some witticism.

Now, quality of drawings—Graphic novels are such a visual medium rather than imagining the scenes in your head like with the written word, so the quality of the drawings is a deal breaker for me. I’m glad to say I loved the graphics in Sorceline! The drawings were beautifully drawn and made this book well worth it.

Stay tuned.

∼Lyn

Synopsis:
Welcome to the Island of Vorn, where mythical creatures roam free and only the brightest students are invited to study them. In Book 1 of this riveting new middle grade graphic novel series, a gifted young cryptozoologist-in-training must learn to tame powerful beasts—including her own inner demons.
For as long as she can remember, Sorceline has had a knack for the study of mythical creatures. Now a student at Professor Archibald Balzar’s prestigious school of cryptozoology, she’s eager to test her skills and earn a spot as one of Balzar’s apprentices.
But for all her knowledge of gorgons, vampires, and griffins, Sorceline is mystified by her fellow humans. While she excels in her studies, she quickly clashes with her classmates, revealing her fiery temper.
When one of her rivals suddenly disappears, Sorceline must set aside her anger and join the quest to find her. But the mystery only deepens, leading Sorceline on a journey far darker and more personal than she expected . . .

Posted in Book Blog, New Releases

New Book Releases – 06 Sep 2022

Hola, Book Dragons, new book releases today. I love this one day in Sept the most, not the date really but at the beginning of Sept when I get a new release in the In Death series.

1. Desperation in Death (In Death #55) – J.D. Robb

Synopsis:
The Sunday Times bestselling series is back with a gripping new thriller that pits homicide detective Eve Dallas against a conspiracy of exploitation and evil…
Mina Rose Cabot, age thirteen, disappeared walking home from soccer practice in Devon, Pennsylvania.
Eight months later her body is found in Battery Park, New York, speared through the chest by a three-inch piece of wood.
Lt. Eve Dallas knows that whoever took Mina is responsible for her death. But who took her and where has Mina been for eight long months…?

2. Fairy Tale – Stephen King

Synopsis:
Legendary storyteller Stephen King goes into the deepest well of his imagination in this spellbinding novel about a seventeen-year-old boy who inherits the keys to a parallel world where good and evil are at war, and the stakes could not be higher—for that world or ours.
Charlie Reade looks like a regular high school kid, great at baseball and football, a decent student. But he carries a heavy load. His mom was killed in a hit-and-run accident when he was ten, and grief drove his dad to drink. Charlie learned how to take care of himself—and his dad. When Charlie is seventeen, he meets a dog named Radar and her aging master, Howard Bowditch, a recluse in a big house at the top of a big hill, with a locked shed in the backyard. Sometimes strange sounds emerge from it.
Charlie starts doing jobs for Mr. Bowditch and loses his heart to Radar. Then, when Bowditch dies, he leaves Charlie a cassette tape telling a story no one would believe. What Bowditch knows, and has kept secret all his long life, is that inside the shed is a portal to another world.
King’s storytelling in Fairy Tale soars. This is a magnificent and terrifying tale in which good is pitted against overwhelming evil, and a heroic boy—and his dog—must lead the battle.
Early in the Pandemic, King asked himself: “What could you write that would make you happy?”
“As if my imagination had been waiting for the question to be asked, I saw a vast deserted city—deserted but alive. I saw the empty streets, the haunted buildings, a gargoyle head lying overturned in the street. I saw smashed statues (of what I didn’t know, but I eventually found out). I saw a huge, sprawling palace with glass towers so high their tips pierced the clouds. Those images released the story I wanted to tell.”

3. Shades of Rust and Ruin (Shades of Rust and Ruin #1) – A.G. Howard

Synopsis:
New York Times bestselling author A.G. Howard launches a dark and compelling new YA fantasy series about a girl whose family is cursed by Halloween, perfect for fans of Caraval.
Phoenix “Nix” Loring knows her family is under a Halloween curse. When she was three, her parents tragically died on October 31st. Eleven years later, her twin sister Lark suffered a similar fate.
Ever since, Nix has battled survivor guilt. She can’t even find comfort in Clarey, Lark’s boyfriend and the one person who understands her pain, because Nix’s hidden feelings for him go far beyond friendship. All that remains are her sketches, where she finds solace among the goblins and faeries in her imaginary world of Mystiquel. When her depression starts affecting her ability to see color, Nix all but gives up on her art, until her uncle goes missing on Halloween day. Hot on his trail, Nix and Clarey step through a portal, becoming trapped inside a decaying version of their town filled with Nix’s own sketches come to life.
As Nix and Clarey search for her uncle within the sinister and dangerous world of Mystiquel, Nix discovers there’s more to her family curse and otherworldly artwork than she ever imagined-and unless she can solve the Goblin King’s maze before the clock strikes midnight, her life won’t be the only one the curse claims next.
Set in a gritty, steampunk-inspired fantasy world, New York Times bestselling author A.G. Howard launches a thrilling new fantasy full of romance, twists, and betrayals.

What about you guys? Any new releases you’re anticipating today?

Stay tuned.

∼Lyn