Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Ocean Light (Psy-Changeling Trinity, #2) by Nalini Singh

Synopsis (via Goodreads): New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh dives beneath the surface of her Psy-Changeling world into a story of passionate devotion and selfless love...

Security specialist Bowen Knight has come back from the dead. But there's a ticking time bomb in his head: a chip implanted to block telepathic interference that could fail at any moment--taking his brain along with it. With no time to waste, he should be back on land helping the Human Alliance. Instead, he's at the bottom of the ocean, consumed with an enigmatic changeling...

Kaia Luna may have traded in science for being a chef, but she won't hide the facts of Bo's condition from him or herself. She's suffered too much loss in her life to fall prey to the dangerous charm of a human who is a dead man walking. And she carries a devastating secret Bo could never imagine...

But when Kaia is taken by those who mean her deadly harm, all bets are off. Bo will do anything to get her back--even if it means striking a devil's bargain and giving up his mind to the enemy...


𑁋𑁋𑁋

I read Silver Silence waaaay back in July of 2018! AGES ago! I can't believe it's been that long! I easily fell back into Singh's world, and the peppered-in details from the previous book jogged my memory without making me feel like the author was repeating herself or info-dumping. I was hesitant to start this one after loving the bears so much, but I shouldn't have been worried. Bowen Knight may be human, but he's an excellent character. Kaia was the changeling in this story, and I love that the author chose to keep her animal a secret until the end.

My guess about Kaia's animal was wrong, and I blame Bowen for that. His thoughts about her were distracting, and I think the author was intentionally misleading. I didn't love Ocean Light as much as Silver Silence, because bears. There was just something about those rowdy, raucous bear changelings that endeared them to me forever. However, the idea of being able to swim in the ocean's depths was appealing. No one really knows what's down there, and being a part of that world would be fascinating! I also really enjoyed learning about the different types of water changelings. Keeping their other selves a secret seemed to be a game they enjoyed playing with outsiders.

Kaia suffered from a childhood trauma that prevented her from ever going on land. She lives her life in the deep, and she's happy cooking for her people and caring for them with food. It's obvious how much the rest of the clan adores her (especially since she takes the time to learn their favorite foods), and Bowen's interest in Kaia and the people around her was clear from the start. He was immediately intrigued by the creatures and changelings that called the water home, and he never made Kaia feel bad for her mental limitations. He loved fiercely and was immensely protective of those he cared about. I really enjoyed watching their friendship grow and their relationship bloom. Both were hesitant at first, but quickly accepted there was something special between them. Their romance was subtle but intense, and I loved how sweet they were with each other.

I also really liked how many mysteries and problems the author wove into the story. Bowen was shot previously, and while that wasn't immediately addressed, the repercussions were something they had to deal with. A lot of water changelings have been disappearing - - taken for unknown reasons. Kaia is struggling with her past and the recent loss of her best friend. Bowen's brain and the chip implanted there, plus the untested experiment he's subjecting himself to. A betrayal from within the clan, and possibly one from within the Human Alliance - - there is a lot going on, but it never felt overwhelming. The author expertly tied the various threads together to make one cohesive and thrilling story.

I've already started- - and am nearly finished with - - Wolf Rain (the third book in the series). I cannot wait to see what the author writes next! I know this trilogy is technically part of another series, so I might have to check that one out when I'm finished. The audio for this series has been fantastic, but I also have physical copies of the books for future re-reads. If you're looking for fun adventures with amazing characters and complex stories, definitely give this series a shot.

Monday, August 3, 2020

Past Due Reviews [5]


My Forest Is Green by Darren Lebeuf, Ashley Barron (Illustrator)

Synopsis (via Goodreads): With art supplies in tow, a young boy explores the urban forest near his home, then interprets what he sees with his art. The boy is a keen observer who uses poetic, rhythmic language to describe the diversity he finds through all four seasons.

𑁋𑁋𑁋

I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Any quotes I use are from an unpublished copy and may not reflect the finished product.

I really enjoyed reading this one with my monsters! My Forest Is Green subtly incorporates opposing adjectives while delivering a sweet story with lovely illustrations. "My forest is short," shows a child looking down at ants crawling across the ground, implying that it's largely about our perspective. We also see fluffy, prickly, rough, smooth, and various others. I really liked all of the ways the author described the "forest" and what it meant to the main character. He has essentially created his own forest with items he's found outside, collecting them throughout the seasons and incorporating them into his artwork. We see a lot of interesting ways to make art with nature, and learn that a forest can be more than just trees. (★★★★☆)

𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋

Little Lost Bat by Sandra Markle, Alan Marks (Illustrator)

Synopsis (via Goodreads): A baby Mexican free-tailed bat clings to the ceiling of a crowded noisy cave, waiting for his mother to return from her daily hunting trip. After three days of searching and waiting, he is rescued by a bat that is in a strangely similar circumstance. A surprising story of adoption in the animal kingdom based on current research.

𑁋𑁋𑁋

Read at your own risk! Little Lost Bat had me SOBBING. You can probably guess why based on the synopsis, and I will never forgive my kids for asking me to read this book to them (just kidding - - love my monsters!). I thought the author did a wonderful job of portraying the bats and how they function as a group. The illustrations were also fantastic and really did the story justice. (★★★★☆)


𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋

Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass, #2) by Sarah J. Maas

Synopsis (via Goodreads): "A line that should never be crossed is about to be breached. It puts this entire castle in jeopardy—and the life of your friend."

From the throne of glass rules a king with a fist of iron and a soul as black as pitch. Assassin Celaena Sardothien won a brutal contest to become his Champion. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown. She hides her secret vigilantly; she knows that the man she serves is bent on evil.

Keeping up the deadly charade becomes increasingly difficult when Celaena realizes she is not the only one seeking justice. As she tries to untangle the mysteries buried deep within the glass castle, her closest relationships suffer. It seems no one is above questioning her allegiances—not the Crown Prince Dorian; not Chaol, the Captain of the Guard; not even her best friend, Nehemia, a foreign princess with a rebel heart.

Then one terrible night, the secrets they have all been keeping lead to an unspeakable tragedy. As Celaena's world shatters, she will be forced to give up the very thing most precious to her and decide once and for all where her true loyalties lie... and whom she is ultimately willing to fight for.

𑁋𑁋𑁋

I read this back in October and still cannot think of the right words to review it. I liked it more than Throne of Glass, but still found Celaena to be a really unlikable character. She's obsessed with clothes, unwilling to commit to a romantic relationship (but happy to string several people along), and her methods of subverting the king's orders are questionable at best. I understand that she wants to do the right thing, but she isn't always willing to give everything or do whatever it takes. She's selfish and cares more about herself and what she's hiding.

She's also very consumed with keeping specific people safe, even when they question her loyalty and intentions. She cares about them, but she doesn't want to tell them her deepest, darkest secrets. There's so much we still don't know about Celaena, but we do learn more about her past (and Chaol's) throughout Crown of Midnight.

I liked the world and the world-building, but everything else was more frustrating than interesting. 

Maas tries to justify someone's death in this book, but I'm not buying it. It seemed unnecessary and like it was done just to create confusion, conflict, and chaos. There wasn't a reason for this person to die (unless it was supposed to solely shock readers), despite the author insisting it was required to push Celaena onto the right path. Lame. I honestly don't know if I will continue reading this series or not, despite so many people loving it. Now, if you want to talk about ACOTAR and the new book coming out, I'm totally here for that! ;) (★★★⋆☆)

Sunday, August 2, 2020

The Sunday Post [53]

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly at the Caffeinated Reviewer! It's an opportunity to share news, post a recap for the previous week, showcase books, and highlight what's planned for the week ahead.

News:

Hello! I know I haven't been around much this past week, but that's because we're looking for a house! I had no idea how time-consuming it would be. 😅 Every morning we check to see what new houses are available, and oftentimes the ones we like are under contract before the end of the day. It's insane! We were finally able to make an offer on one this weekend, but someone else offered them more. People are really competitive when it comes to houses, but I'm sure we'll find something perfect if we're patient. 

My anniversary was also last week! 7 years. 💗

My son's experiment with social distancing while at soccer practice has been mostly successful. They work on a lot of passing and drills that improve their skills while also keeping them at least 6 feet away from the other players. They're able to be around other kids, but safely. Unfortunately, the last several practices have been cancelled because of the heat, and now they're trying to figure out how to make up those days before the fall sessions start. 

I've been reading (mostly audiobooks), but nothing has really grabbed me since Deal with the Devil. I have a lot of review books coming up, so fingers crossed they're mind-blowing reads! How has your summer reading been going? Is it unbearably hot where you live too? 

Previous week on the blog:
What I'm currently reading:

Quintessence by Jess Redman
The Switch by Beth O'Leary 🎧
The Silver Arrow by Lev Grossman 🎧

  • Quintessence has been an interesting read so far! I'm reading it with my girls, and they seem to be enjoying it. They fall asleep after one or two chapters, so it's going to take us longer than I would like to read through it. I'm impatient when it comes to reading, haha. 
  • The Switch is an audiobook that's not really doing it for me. I'm about 20% into the story and nothing has really happened yet. The characters are also unremarkable. 
  • The Silver Arrow is one I'm reading and the kids are listening to in the car. This has worked out really well since they like to ask questions while the audiobook is playing, and it causes me to miss certain parts of the story. Having a physical copy allows me to read at my own pace and not miss anything important, and they get to ask questions in the car without me feeling frustrated. They've really been enjoying the audio! Sometimes we'll just go for a drive and listen to it.

What I plan on reading next: 

Migrations by Charlotte McConaghy
Lobizona (Wolves of No World, #1) by Romina Garber

What I'm watching: 


Season 2 of The Umbrella Academy is out! Jacob and I have been watching it all weekend and should finish the last three episodes tonight (there are 10 total). It's SO GOOD. We love it!

Challenge updates:

Read the Alphabet Challenge 15
Audiobook Challenge 18 / 50+
Beat the Backlist Challenge 29 / 110
Discussion Challenge 2 / 1-10
Goodreads Challenge 214 / 365

Friday, July 31, 2020

DNF&Y [31]

DNF&Y is used to explain why I gave up on certain books, and what about them just didn't work for me. What I disliked about a book might be something you love, so it helps to share your thoughts even when they're negative! If you would like additional information, please click on the DNF&Y tab at the top. If you want to join, you can link up at the bottom!

A Sweet Mess by Jayci Lee

Synopsis (via Goodreads): Korean-American author Jayci Lee delights with this delicious and light-hearted romantic comedy that readers will devour and ask for more.

Bake a chance on love.


Aubrey Choi loves living in her small town nestled in the foothills of California, running her highly successful bakery away from the watch of her strict Korean parents. When a cake mix-up and a harsh review threaten all of her hard work and her livelihood, she never thought the jaded food critic would turn out to be her one-night stand. And she sure as hell never thought she’d see her gorgeous Korean unicorn again. But when Landon Kim waltzes into her bakery trying to clean up the mess he had a huge hand in making, Aubrey is torn between throwing and hearing him out.

When she hears his plan to help save her business, Aubrey knows that spending three weeks in California wine country working with Landon is a sure recipe for disaster. Her head is telling her to take the chance to save her bakery while her heart—and her hormones—are at war on whether to give him a second chance. And it just so happens that Landon’s meddling friends want them to spend those three weeks as close as possible...by sharing a villa.

When things start heating up, both in and out of the kitchen, Aubrey will have to make a choice—to stick it out or risk her heart. 

This review was originally posted on 7/9/20. You can find it here.

"Her jaws went slack, and her tummy dipped and swerved at the appreciative gleam in his eyes."
I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Any quotes I use are from an unpublished copy and may not reflect the finished product.

I really wanted to like A Sweet Mess, and thought the idea of two Korean-American foodies sounded adorable, but it was sooo cheesy and unromantic. I honestly thought this was the author's first book until I talked to Karen (from For What It's Worth). We'd unknowingly been trying to read it at the same time, but both struggled with the story. It was after messaging her that I realized the author has been published previously.

I'm also not a fan of telling over showing. I should be able to see and understand the humor without someone screaming, "LOOK! RIGHT HERE! THIS IS FUNNY! LAUGH!" I really struggled with the dialogue as well, since their conversations made them seem like teenagers in high school, and not adults with their own businesses and careers.

The formatting was atrocious. I'm already not a fan of POV changes in the middle of a chapter, but this book gives you absolutely no warning before dropping you into someone else's head. I would be reading thinking I was one person, but a few pages later realize that I'd been someone else all along. I would have to backtrack and start over, but even that was hard to do since there were no page breaks or any indication that there'd been a switch. Additionally, the story skips ahead a month without making that abundantly clear, and there wasn't a confirmed chapter until CHAPTER 4. How does that work?

The relationship between Aubrey and Landon wasn't all that believable either. Yes, people have one-night stands, but it felt like they rushed through everything at the start. I wanted there to be more build up before they banged. Basically, they meet at a bar, start to drink together while enjoying some light conversation, then abruptly jump up to act on their "uncontrollable" urges. I wish they'd deepened their conversation, explored their connection, and then left to go boink their brains out.

Finally, I cannot stand it when someone is attracted to a person that has screwed them over, like it's completely out of their control. Landon did something that was truly terrible, and other than "feeling bad" about it, doesn't really give a shit. He doesn't want to risk his reputation to do right by someone else. His "reasons" for staying out of it were crap, and I hated that Aubrey still wanted to hump his leg whenever she saw him again.

"Standing on the brink of losing her dream, she still wanted the man."

"She was determined to hate him, but the thought of him naked on her bed stalled her brain."

"She mentally slapped herself, annoyed as hell at her body’s reaction to him. He was the bringer of destruction. The pusher of her rage buttons."

Aubrey was a smart, successful woman, but the thought of this jerk naked made her act like a hormonal teenager. She should have had more respect for herself and the dream she'd worked so hard for. He could have easily remedied his mistake, but his pride was nearly as large as his ego. It also felt like the author was trying to justify her interest in Landon, despite him clearly being an asshole.

The parts of the book that I think were meant to be funny (like Darth Dimple) ended up making me cringe instead because of the context. She's justifiably mad at him, but mentally making excuses for his behavior. Nope. Sorry, bucko. You don't get any v-candy after being an asshat. His "roving eyes" should have made her angry, not horny. Instead of writing to him and his employer, she should have complained publicly and shared her story with the world. His review of her business was done unfairly, and she shouldn't have sulked around waiting for him to fix things for her. DNF at 20% (★★☆☆☆)


𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋

Memory Clouds by Tony Moyle

Synopsis (via Goodreads): The Circuit knows everything about you…because they are you.

Ascension Eve. 


Jake Montana waits for the letter every eighteen-year-old receives on their birthday. It’s the one from the Circuit. It’s the one that determines the rest of your life. Your life partner, job, home, and crucially, your importance factor, all selected for you. In the year 2054 your ‘importance factor’ is everything, but it’s not random. It’s based on a detailed assessment of every thought, emotion and memory you’ve ever stored in your Memory Cloud since the day you first received the implants. Your fate, the Circuit insists, is always yours.

But the future that Jake wants most won’t be inside his letter. It can’t be. His childhood sweetheart, Christie, won’t reach her Ascension Day for months so it’s impossible that her name will appear. He’s right, but there are bigger surprises in store. The Memory Cloud has chosen a life for Jake that no one would want. A life that will drag him into the murky world of the Spectrum, a community who denounce the Circuit and refuse to comply to their rules. A life designed to keep Jake from Christie and to hide the truth that lives deep inside him.

A truth that the Circuit will stop at nothing to keep from the world.

Memory Clouds is book one of the 'Circuit' series, the brand new dystopian thriller from Tony Moyle. if you liked 1984, A Brave New World or The Hunger Games then this is a must read. Grab hold of this wickedly dark, fast-paced page turner today. 

𑁋𑁋𑁋

I received a complimentary copy from the author in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Any quotes I use are from an unpublished copy and may not reflect the finished product.

I liked the premise for Memory Clouds, but really struggled with the story from the start. There is a lot of telling instead of showing, which is something I dislike when reading a book. If I'm being introduced to a new world, I want to experience it through the characters. I don't want a lot of info-dumping right at the beginning. The author tried to cram too much world-building into the first few pages, and it left me feeling overwhelmed and disconnected from the story. DNF at 2% (★★☆☆☆)

𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋

The Mall by Megan McCafferty

Synopsis (via Goodreads): New York Times bestselling author Megan McCafferty returns to her roots with this YA coming of age story set in a New Jersey mall.

The year is 1991. Scrunchies, mixtapes and 90210 are, like, totally fresh. Cassie Worthy is psyched to spend the summer after graduation working at the Parkway Center Mall. In six weeks, she and her boyfriend head off to college in NYC to fulfill The Plan: higher education and happily ever after.

But you know what they say about the best laid plans...

Set entirely in a classic “monument to consumerism,” the novel follows Cassie as she finds friendship, love, and ultimately herself, in the most unexpected of places. Megan McCafferty, beloved New York Times bestselling author of the Jessica Darling series, takes readers on an epic trip back in time to
The Mall.


"Then Dad kissed Mom on the cheek, and I was ready to leggo my Eggos all over the Volvo’s leather interior."
I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Any quotes I use are from an unpublished copy and may not reflect the finished product.

Reading this book was the equivalent of listening to someone scrape their fingernails down a chalkboard. My mind recoiled at the unwitty dialogue and over-the-top attempts at humor (see previous quote). Cassie is an obnoxious, offensive character, and there's no way I would have been able to finish this book with her as the only POV. 

Let's look at some of the horrible things she says, shall we?
  1. "...until I saw Troy’s tongue in Helen’s snaggletoothed yuck mouth."
  2. "This Helen was not beautiful. She was tiny and terrifying like a feral Chihuahua with a horrendous home perm."
  3. "Helen stopped groping Troy and casually twirled a crusty curl around her finger."
  4. "But I couldn’t avoid passing him in the halls, this denim-on-denim dirtbag who reeked of weed and Designer Imposters Drakkar Noir even at a distance."
I get that Cassie was upset her boyfriend had been cheating on her, but she just goes on and on with her hateful thoughts and commentary. I don't care that she didn't actually verbalize most of what she was thinking, she's still the sort of person that belittles others to make herself feel better. Additionally, what she says about Sonny Sexton (the dirtbag comment) was totally unrelated and said for the sake of being mean. She admits to not knowing him - - to never even having a conversation with him - - yet she's quick to judge him based on appearances and perceptions. All of this happened within the first 10% of the book, so I can only imagine how it would've progressed from there.

Cassie's inner dialogue was also way too wordy, and it's clear the author was trying too hard to be funny and make her character seem more relatable than she actually was.
  • "Slade was just so predictable with his handsomeness, the quintessence of every uncreative football-playing, homecoming queen– dating, keg-tapping high school stud stereotype. It’s as if he’d enrolled in a master class at the Cobra Kai Academy of Asshole Arts and Sciences but took it pass- fail because he couldn’t be bothered to put in the extra effort required for a unique spin on teenage cockiness."
Cassie is a shallow, self-centered character that isn't even remotely relatable. Her 90210 references were peppered in to make the 90's connection, but it wasn't explained at all. If someone picks up this book and is unfamiliar with the show, most of the commentary will go over their heads. It's going to alienate a lot of readers and significantly reduce this book's potential audience. The Mall might make some people feel nostalgic, but it just made me cringe. DNF at 10% (★★☆☆☆)

*Share your DNF&Y post! Please leave the direct link to your DNF&Y post and not just your blog's URL. Thank you for participating and happy reading!

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

My Weekly Pull [126] & Can't-Wait Wednesday [101]

My Weekly Pull is something I do every Wednesday to show which comics I had pulled for me that week! If you're into comics, or you're looking to start, please join me! If you decide to do your own post, there's a link-up at the bottom. I would love to stop by and check it out!

Sleeping Beauties #2 by Rio Youers, Alison Sampson, Annie Wu
Spider-Man Noir #2 by Margaret Stohl, Juan Ferreyra, Dave Rapoza
Firefly #18 by Greg Pak, Davide Gianfelice, George Kambadais

Mirka Andolfo's Mercy #4 by Mirka Andolfo

💥 Jacob's comics for the week! 💥

Symbiote Spider-Man Alien Reality #5 by Peter David, Greg Land
Spawn #308 by Todd McFarlane, Ken Lashley, Francesco Mattina
Amazing Spider-Man #45 by Nick Spencer, Ryan Ottley, Josemaria Casanovas
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #107 by Sophie Campbell, Nelson Daniel, Kevin Eastman
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Vol 5 Annual 2020 by Tom Waltz, Adam Gorham, Kevin Eastman

Lost Soldiers #1 by Ales Kot, Luca Casalanguida, Heather Moore

📚 Books for the kiddos! 

Disney Moana by Golden Books
Pokemon ABC Book by Golden Books, Steve Foxe
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Totally Turtles! by Golden Books, Matthew Gilbert, Lawrence Christmas

Can't Wait Wednesday is a weekly feature that's hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings. It highlights the upcoming releases we're really excited about reading! CWW is a spinoff of the feature Waiting on Wednesday (WoW), that was started by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

Ink & Sigil (Ink & Sigil, #1) by Kevin Hearne
Expected publication: August 25th 2020
Synopsis (via Goodreads): Al MacBharrais is both blessed and cursed. He is blessed with an extraordinary white moustache, an appreciation for craft cocktails – and a most unique magical talent. He can cast spells with magically enchanted ink and he uses his gifts to protect our world from rogue minions of various pantheons, especially the Fae.

But he is also cursed. Anyone who hears his voice will begin to feel an inexplicable hatred for Al, so he can only communicate through the written word or speech apps. And his apprentices keep dying in peculiar freak accidents. As his personal life crumbles around him, he devotes his life to his work, all the while trying to crack the secret of his curse.

But when his latest apprentice, Gordie, turns up dead in his Glasgow flat, Al discovers evidence that Gordie was living a secret life of crime. Now Al is forced to play detective – while avoiding actual detectives who are wondering why death seems to always follow Al. Investigating his apprentice’s death will take him through Scotland’s magical underworld, and he’ll need the help of a mischievous hobgoblin if he’s to survive.

*Share your My Weekly Pull post! Please leave the direct link to your My Weekly Pull post and not just your blog's URL. Thank you for participating and happy reading!

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

The Unready Queen (The Oddmire, #2) by William Ritter

Synopsis (via Goodreads): Human and goblin brothers Cole and Tinn are finding their way back to normal after their journey to the heart of the Oddmire. Normal, unfortunately, wants nothing to do with them. Fable, the daughter of the Queen of the Deep Dark, has her first true friends in the brothers. The Queen allows Fable to visit Tinn and Cole as long as she promises to stay quiet and out of sight—concealing herself and her magic from the townspeople of Endsborough.

But when the trio discovers that humans are destroying the Wild Wood and the lives of its creatures for their own dark purposes, Fable cannot stay quiet. As the unspoken truce between the people of Endsborough and the inhabitants of the Wild Wood crumbles, violence escalates, threatening war and bringing Fable’s mother closer to the fulfillment of a deadly prophecy that could leave Fable a most Unready Queen.

"Dinna be afraid of a few sparks or a burnout from time to time. That’s na failure. That’s fine-tuning.”
I received a complementary copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Any quotes I use are from an unpublished copy and may not reflect the finished product.

Finally finished reading The Unready Queen with my son! Normally, I'm able to read several chapters to him at night, but we've been having some late evenings, and he kept falling asleep. Not wanting to read without him, I paused wherever we were and continued from there the next night. It took us about a month to get through this book, but it had nothing to do with the story, and everything to do with life. 

Warning! Potential (small) spoilers if you haven't read the first book. Review for the first book can be found here.

I really love the cast of characters in this series! They're all so unique and interesting. Fable is both fairy and human, her mother is Queen of the Deep Dark (and her grandmother before that), Cole is a human, but Tinn (his twin) is a goblin changeling. They're all trying to figure out how to exist in a world that views them as different, and I enjoyed seeing their individual journeys. I do wish the characters had been developed more over the course of the story, but they seem like the same kids we read about in the first book. More character growth and this book would've been a five-star read for me.

Tinn has started to embrace his goblin side, and I thought his moments with Kull were sweet and endearing. Kull did a bad thing for the right reasons, but he was also hurt in the process. He was willing to give up something precious to him if it meant saving his entire clan, and now he's getting a second chance. Their interactions were some of my favorite parts of the book, especially there at the end. 

The first book was mostly about Tinn, the second focused on Fable, and I believe the third will be about Cole and his desire to find his father. I'm sure the others will still be around, but I like that each character is getting their own story of sorts. Evie (another human) joining the group in this book just made things better! I really loved her interactions with the spriggans. 

Speaking of spriggans, I like that the author includes mythological creatures we don't often see in stories. Spriggans, hinkypunks, rock trolls (not like the ones depicted in Frozen or Trolls World Tour). Ritter keeps their outline (what's generally known about them), but fills his characters with a uniqueness that makes you want to know more. For example, I would love to visit the spriggans and see their caves and whatever else their guarding on their side of the forest. 

If you have a child that loves magic and the mythological, definitely consider giving this book a shot! The characters do talk about bodily functions a lot, but that's something my adult brain can overlook in the grand scheme of things. My son thought those comments and conversations were hilarious, but it's just something that doesn't appeal to me personally. (★★★★☆)