Blog Tour Review- Hero at the Fall by Alwyn Hamilton

 unnamedI am SO excited to be participating in the blog tour for Hero at the Fall by Alwyn Hamilton. I love these books so much! Today I’m reviewing the last in the series. But first…


HeroAtTheFall_JK.inddHero at the Fall
By: Alywn Hamilton
Release Date: March 6, 2018
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers

When gunslinging Amani Al’Hiza escaped her dead-end town, she never imagined she’d join a revolution, let alone lead one. But after the bloodthirsty Sultan of Miraji imprisoned the Rebel Prince Ahmed in the mythical city of Eremot, she doesn’t have a choice.

Armed with only her revolver, her wits, and her untameable Demdji powers, Amani must rally her skeleton crew of rebels for a rescue mission through the unforgiving desert to a place that, according to maps, doesn’t exist. As she watches those she loves most lay their lives on the line against ghouls and enemy soldiers, Amani questions whether she can be the leader they need or if she is leading them all to their deaths.


Alwyn Hamilton was born in Toronto and lived between Canada, France, and Italy until the was three, when her family settled in the small French town of Beaune. She studied History of Art at King’s College, Cambridge, graduated in 2009, and lives in London.


This book was a rather lengthy read but I sped through it in no time (a couple of days). I fell in love with the first book, Rebel of the Sands, and have been eagerly awaiting this finale. I had no clue where Hamilton would take and end the series and I’ve got to admit I was scared! Would the characters be ok? Would my ship sail?

Amani was just as awesome as always in this book. She has really grown as a character and you can feel the weight of her worries baring down on her shoulders. She makes really tough choices in this book (I was at the edge of my seat seeing what she would do). I loved that her actions had consequences. This book was full of action, suspense and heavy stakes.

What made it a faster read really were the characters. They all had such well developed personalities and their interactions with each other really is my favorite aspect of this series. The friendships are gorgeously rendered and upped the tension so much! How would they all make it out safely? And, of course, Amani and Jin. SIGH. I love these two so, so much. They really bring out the best in one another. I love having read how they have grown together as the books have progressed.

Another thing I LOVE- the setting! Each book adds more and more to this world and in this on we have a LAND SHIP sailing over the desert! I loved this part SO much. I mean, how often do we get to see that? The descriptions were all so vivid and it played out in my mind like a movie. Pure perfection really.

If you haven’t read these books DO SO SOON. Hero at the Fall releases March 6th so it is the perfect time to start these books (or reread or continue)


1/30 – Spinatale Reviews – Review
1/31 – Library Ladies – Review
2/1 – I Fangirl about books – Review
2/2 – Aimee, Always – Quote Wallpaper
2/5 – Opalsbookjems – Review
2/6 – Mundie Moms – Review
2/7 – As Told By Michelle – Review
2/12 – YA and Wine – Review
2/13 – Adventures of a Book Junkie – “5 Reasons to Read the Series”
2/14 – ReadingAnyone – Review
2/15 – The Clockwork Bibliophile – Booklook + Photo Feature
2/20 – The Lovely Books – Review
2/21 – Never Too Many To Read – Creative
2/22 – Sisters Who Read – Creative Post
2/26 – Writing is Hard – Review + Social Media Promo
2/27 – Mike the Fanboy – Fun Recap of Series
2/28 – My Friends are Fiction – Review
3/1 – The Young Folks – Review
3/2 – Lisa’s Lost in Lit – Creative
3/5 – The Reader Bee – Review + Bookstagram Post
3/6 – Seeing Double in Neverland – Review + Creative Insta Post
3/7 – A  Book and A Cup of Coffee – Playlist
3/8 – Fiction Fare – Moodboard
3/12 – The Eater of Books – Moodboard
3/13 – Love Is Not a Triangle – Review + Bookstagram Picture
3/14 – Tales of the Ravenous Reader – Creative Content
3/15 – Forever Young Adult – Review

Blog Tour- Review for Blood and Sand by C.V. Wyk + Giveaway

Blog Tour Banner

I am excited to be reviewing Blood and Sand by C.V. Wyk today! I love gladiator stories and a fierce female lead. This book has both in spades!

About the Book


Blood and Sand
By: C.V. Wyk
Release Date: January 16
Publisher: Tor Teen


The action-packed tale of a 17-year-old warrior princess and a handsome gladiator who dared take on the Roman Republic—and gave rise to the legend of Spartacus…

For teens who love strong female protagonists in their fantasy and historical fiction, Blood and Sand is a stirring, yet poignant tale of two slaves who dared take on an empire by talented debut author C. V. Wyk.

Roma Victrix. The Republic of Rome is on a relentless march to create an empire—an empire built on the backs of the conquered, brought back to Rome as slaves. 

Attia was once destined to rule as the queen and swordmaiden of Thrace, the greatest warrior kingdom the world had seen since Sparta. Now she is a slave, given to Xanthus, the Champion of Rome, as a sign of his master’s favor. Enslaved as a child, Xanthus is the preeminent gladiator of his generation.

Against all odds, Attia and Xanthus form a tentative bond. A bond that will spark a rebellion. A rebellion that threatens to bring the Roman Republic to its end—and gives rise to the legend of Spartacus…

The story continues in Fire and Ash, coming in 2019 from Tor Teen.

My Review:

I am so excited that more books are being released that feature gladiators and Roman times! This historical novel reads less historical and more fantasy to me (pacing and depth of world etc). It was fast paced and a quick read. I immediately was captivated by the characters, especially Attia. She was amazingly fierce, determined, and relatable. She was groomed to take over Thrace but instead is captured and sold as a slave. Instead of giving up she used her strengths to start a change. Got to love that!

Wyk did an impeccable job describing ancient Rome and the people living in it. Her descriptions were well done and she didn’t hesitate to write about the violence of this time period. The action sequences were really well done and I could really see this book as a film.

The bond between Attia and Xanthus was perfect-I loved that they slowly warmed up to one another (slow burn is my ultimate favorite thing). There wasn’t an instant connection between these two. Both didn’t want to really see good within the other but eventually they really related to one another. I thought it was beautifully (and realistically) done.

The side characters weren’t ignored- you really cared for them and feared for their futures. This made the choices Attia made more realistic since not only would she be impacted but the people around her would be too. Since you cared for each character it was really a tense read in parts.

I honestly don’t know too much about Spartacus (I haven’t watched the show or researched the story) so I can’t tell you how well this accomplished the retelling aspect. But, I can say that no prior historical knowledge is needed to become immersed in this book and characters. And, you might even find yourself Googling Spartacus after you read it.


Tor Teen has provided 3 Hardcovers to be sent to 3 winners in the US or Canada. You must be 12 years or older to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule

Jan 8 “ Mary Had A Little Book Blog

Jan 9  Novel Knight

Jan 10  The Book Nut

Jan 11  Short & Sweet Reviews

Jan 12  Rabid Reads

Jan 15  Brittany’s Book Rambles

Jan 16 Powder and Page

Jan 17 Arctic Books

Jan 18 My Friends Are Fiction

Jan 19 Itching for Books

Jan 22 Pretty Deadly Reviews

Jan 23 Chasing Faerytales

Jan 24 Bumbles and Fairytales

Jan 25 Ageless Pages Reviews

Jan 26 Gizmo’s Reviews

Blog Tour- Review of A Poison Dark and Drowning by Jessica Cluess

33629245A Poison Dark and Drowning
By: Jessica Cluess
Release Date: September 19, 2017
Publisher: Random House

There are spoilers for A Shadow Bright and Burning in this review.

The magicians want her to lead. The sorcerers want her to lie. The demons want her blood. Henrietta wants to save the one she loves. But will his dark magic be her undoing?

Henrietta doesn’t need a prophecy to know that she’s in danger. She came to London to be named the chosen one, the first female sorcerer in centuries, the one who would defeat the bloodthirsty Ancients. Instead, she discovered a city ruled by secrets. And the biggest secret of all: Henrietta is not the chosen one.

Still, she must play the role in order to keep herself and Rook, her best friend and childhood love, safe. But can she truly save him? The poison in Rook’s system is transforming him into something monstrous as he begins to master dark powers of his own.

So when Henrietta finds a clue to the Ancients’ past that could turn the tide of the war, she persuades Blackwood, the mysterious Earl of Sorrow-Fell, to travel up the coast to seek out strange new weapons. And Magnus, the brave, reckless flirt who wants to win back her favor, is assigned to their mission. Together, they will face monsters, meet powerful new allies, and uncover the most devastating weapon of all: the truth

My Thoughts:
I really enjoyed the first book in this series but this one was even better! It had more action, a thickening plot and I really loved most of the character interactions. I feel that Henrietta is really coming into her own more and more and her interactions with Blackwood are some of my very favorite scenes.

The ability Cluess has to write her actions scenes is really remarkable. I was completely enthralled and they are all so easy to visualize as you read. These books really need to be a movie or TV series. The descriptions I see saying this is a mix between Pride and Prejudice and Harry Potter actually fit to me- how often does that actually happen?

There is only one tiny complaint I had with this book and that’s Henrietta’s relationship with her childhood friend, Rook. For some reason I just can’t feel the chemistry between these two and I just don’t see any spark. I think it’s because I’m so heavily shipping her with another character. Rook just seems like a hollow character and I feel that as the series progresses his personality declines- perhaps that is the point? I really did love him at the start of the first book but more and more I don’t care about his outcome.

I really felt that the writing was even stronger in this sequel than the first and there are some really dark moments that I just loved. Things felt really tense and I didn’t know what to expect exactly. I am looking forward to seeing how everything plays out in the third book.


Review of The Hummingbird Heart by AG Howard

30331979The Hummingbird Heart
By: AG Howard
Release Date: August 15, 2017
Publisher: Golden Orb Press
Format: E-ARC
Source: Author

My Rating:

Set 19 years after The Architect of Song.

Shortly after escaping a circus tragedy, young Italian orphan, Willow Antoniette, seeks refuge at The Manor of Diversions holiday resort in England born of a ghost story. For eleven years, she’s raised alongside the children of the resort’s owners: Julian, his twin brother, Nick, and their younger sister Emilia. Now that Willow is of marriable age, she’s determined to escape finishing school along with everyone’s efforts to make her a proper lady. The only man she wants to spend her life with is Julian, after all. Yet how can she tell him, when he thinks of her as nothing but a friend?

As a machinist and engineer, Julian Thornton prefers a governable life. He can’t allow his ever-deepening attraction for Willow to distract from his amusement park plans to lure a younger, wealthier clientele to their family’s resort. In hopes to escape Willow and find investors, Julian sets off on a transatlantic ocean liner headed for the St. Louis World’s Fair, unaware Willow has secretly stowed away on the same ship.

A tiny, mute orphan named Newton and a pair of haunted Italian shoes bring Willow and Julian face to face on deck. Forced to work together to solve the mystery of Newton and his vindictive, ghostly companion, Julian and Willow can no longer fight their untapped passions. However, time to admit their true feelings is running out, for the ghost and her murderer have enlisted them as unsuspecting pawns in a karmic game of cat-and-mouse that could cost all of them their lives.

My Thoughts:
It’s no secret I’m a huge fan of AG Howard so when I was offered a copy to read I jumped on it. I adore Howard’s characters and they always have such great chemistry. This book takes place 19 years after The Architect of Song and once again it deals with a ghost story. I love the bits of mystery woven into the story and I have a feeling that as we read more and more in this series we’ll see how each book is interwoven more than we even think.

The characters in THH were so beautifully done. The two main characters, Willow and Julian, were well rounded and whew-they had chemistry! This book had lots of kissing (yay!!) along with a great mystery. The pacing was quick and it was a fast read. And, look at that cover. Swoon.

The side characters were wonderful too; especially little Newton. I grew very attached to him and I’m excited to think we’ll see him in the next book (I hope!). Julian’s twin brother, Nick, wasn’t in this book all that much but I’m intrigued to learn more about his storyline. I didn’t love his actions but with Julian as his brother and his parents being who they are I know there’s got to be a great side to him. I’m eager to read about it. Emilia was also intriguing and I loved the little bits of her book we get to read. Really, I could read a book about each of these characters happily.

The storyline was really creative and I didn’t predict all the outcomes which is always fun. Howard has such a skill at creating an atmosphere in her books. You can feel the magic in the air as you read and I just love her descriptions, especially her character’s clothing. Howard adds little details that paint things so clearly in your mind’s eye. Her character’s clothing choices and style really help to help you understand her character’s personalities.

Final Thoughts:
The Hummingbird Heart was yet another gorgeous book by Howard. Once again she delivers addicting writing, character chemistry and an atmosphere that keeps you enthralled. I highly recommend this romantic ghost story!

I know some of you will ask- do I have to read The Architect of Song first? I really think you could read these out of order but you will be spoiled on a bit and I think reading them in publishing order allows for the stories to build on each other.



Review of Want by Cindy Pon

By: Cindy Pon
Release Date: June 13, 2017
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Format: Print ARC
Source: Convention

My Rating:

From critically acclaimed author Cindy Pon comes an edge-of-your-seat sci-fi thriller, set in a near-future Taipei plagued by pollution, about a group of teens who risk everything to save their city.

Jason Zhou survives in a divided society where the elite use their wealth to buy longer lives. The rich wear special suits, protecting them from the pollution and viruses that plague the city, while those without suffer illness and early deaths. Frustrated by his city’s corruption and still grieving the loss of his mother who died as a result of it, Zhou is determined to change things, no matter the cost.

With the help of his friends, Zhou infiltrates the lives of the wealthy in hopes of destroying the international Jin Corporation from within. Jin Corp not only manufactures the special suits the rich rely on, but they may also be manufacturing the pollution that makes them necessary.

Yet the deeper Zhou delves into this new world of excess and wealth, the more muddled his plans become. And against his better judgment, Zhou finds himself falling for Daiyu, the daughter of Jin Corp’s CEO. Can Zhou save his city without compromising who he is, or destroying his own heart?

My Thoughts
Want was my first book to read by Cindy Pon and it was a really wonderful and unique read. I loved that the setting was futuristic Taipei and that the world has been ravaged by pollution. This doesn’t seem all that off base to a possible future for our world so it was easy to relate. The story was fast paced and played on some sort of typical futuristic tropes such as an evil business but it felt fresh and I easily became attached to the cast of characters.

Zhou was the main character and I enjoyed learning about his history and watching him navigate his world and that of the wealthy. The idea that social classes would be divided by the ability to wear suits that protect them from disease seemed all too plausible. The reader can’t help but compare aspects of Jason Zhou’s world with our own which really gave heart to this book and increased the level of intensity.

Though there are a lot of action and it does have the feel of a heist book/movie there was ample character development and relationships. I thought the characters had great chemistry and I was worried for them all.

Pon did a brilliant job putting the reader in her setting- she vividly created the atmosphere with descriptions of the setting, foods and people. It was so easy to imagine everything- even the special suits. Nothing about this read felt unreachable- though this would be classified science fiction it really didn’t lose me in technical talk like some Sci-Fi’s do. I can so imagine this as a movie and it reads like you are watching one.

Final Thoughts:
In Want-Cindy Pon introduces her readers to a beautifully rendered futuristic Taipei which feels incredibly realistic. The characters are very well developed and easy to love. The action kept me flipping the pages and fretting about the outcome.