Review: Pacifica by Kristen Simmons

When was the last time you finished a book and immediately sat down and wrote out a list of people who MUST read this book? When I finished this, that’s exactly what I did. The first, my kids, then my homeschool co-op teens, then some moms of those teens, then a few scattered friends who I know would get a kick out of this. And then I pretty much went on IG and FB and shouted it from the rooftops there. THIS BOOK IS EVERYTHING!!! Thought provoking and exciting and I can’t wait for everyone to read this.

When I first got Pacifica, I almost skipped the author’s note and went right to the story. I’m so glad I didn’t. The author’s note is where the magic begins. It’s where the background story comes from. It’s the first time your heart is squeezed. And it’s definitely not the last.

When you read dystopians, part of you thinks, “This could never happen. We won’t let it happen.” But when I was reading this book, I kept thinking, “Crap. This could totally happen. And that would be horrific.” Basically climate change and the affects it has on our planet. But that’s not the hardest part of this story. The people, and what’s happening right under their noses, that’s the hardest part. They thought the government knew what was best for them and they just went along with it. But when the story is uncovered, they realize it’s far from anything they’ve ever heard of.

I think the best part of this book was the friendships. I was cheering everyone on. Marin, who was a pirate’s daughter and Ross, the president’s son, set out to rescue Ross’ friend, Adam, the vice president’s son, and it is non stop action. Like stomach twisting action. I couldn’t stop reading, for fear of something happening and I miss it. 🙂 Silly, I know, but I was so invested in these characters, I wouldn’t stop until they found their way back to safety. Now there is a little bit of love brewing on the high seas, but can you blame them? People who’ve gone through traumatic experiences tend to react that way. But it’s teen friendly, so no worries.

I have never read a Kristen Simmons book, but if they’re anything like this one, she’s found a new fan and I’ve found a new autobuy author. This story is now added to my ever growing “You need to read these YA books!” list. And all those people who are on my list above, better act surprised when they all get copies for Christmas.


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Reviewed Again: The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

Sometimes I love a book so much I feel compelled to read it over again. When this happens I oftentimes feel a bit let down and get upset with myself. That I ruined a great book with a reread.
For me, very few books are as good the second time around. Having said that I have a few I read over and over again (TKaM, TNotW, TWMF and PiL). Each time I read them I love them. Never did I love them more the second time around…I loved them as much…or nearly as much…but never more…

Despite having books I love during a reread, I can’t ever recall a feeling like I’ve had reading this novel for the second time. When I first read this book I knew instantly that it was a 5 star read for me and that I loved it. With the second book coming out soon I wanted to refresh the story in my mind…So I once again went deep into the Rus’ forest at winter…

Once I started it again…well…magic happened. The first time I loved the story. The second time, I knew the story and I fell in love with the storytelling. I honestly loved it more than I did the first time. I must be getting old (hell, I AM getting old!!!!) but at times I just wanted to cry…for no other reason than I loved what I was reading.

It’s like looking over at your spouse sitting on the couch, and feeling a tug at the heartstrings and an overwhelming feeling of love…suddenly the emotions well up and you have a huge lump in your throat…that’s what happened to me whilst reading this book.

The only issue I have is that…well….I have wanted to start the second book for months now…I opened the cover (I received an ARC months before it’s release) but I was worried I wouldn’t love it as much…I’ve had friends read it and tell me it’s just as fantastic…I can’t explain it, but I am really scared to read it! I thought rereading this one would fix that problem…but now I am terrified…

Until next time…
Urania xx

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

Review: Blood and Sand by C.V. Wyk

They were shadow and light. Death in two forms. Together, they killed ten, twenty, forty men before the sun rose.

This is a debut novel?! No freaking way. That blows my mind. For those who like the kick a$$ heroines, this is a book for you. The epicness of Rome and all it’s death and beauty will keep you turning those pages. I couldn’t put it down.

Attia’s entire world was detroyed and was taken into slavery and given to the Champion of Rome, a gladiator named Xanthus. Now that sounds brutal, and it is, but there is way more to their stories, that you’ll have to read yourself. These two slaves want more than the life they have now, but they need to be patient and find the right moment to take control of their destinies.

“Rome has taken everything from me-my family, my home, my freedom. I won’t let it have Xanthus.”

Of course, in the midst of battles that surround them, they realize that they can be of use to each other. They learn each other’s secrets, which then makes them form a bond that will help forge a rebellion right under the Roman’s noses, all the while bringing the legend of Spartacus to life. I was cheering in my seat, when that was brought to light.

Xanthus was the kind of man who asked rather than took, who begged the gods to forgive his sins with whispered breath. He was the man who’d fallen to his knees before her, who had help her close until the night was over, who would give anything to keep her whole.

Of course there’s romance, but that is so secondary. It fits the story perfectly without being forced. Slow burn, in fact. I wasn’t expecting it, if I’m being honest, so it was a pleasant surprise. These two just want to get by to they get their revenge on those who’ve taken their world away. But they realize they’re better together and start to plan.

But then the world turns upside down. And I’m not even exaggerating. Hence the reason I need book two immediately. But I gotta wait til next year!! AHH!!!

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Add Fire and Ash to your Goodreads shelf

Review: Shadowsong by S. Jae-Jones

While I am very happy with the way Shadowsong ended, it took a lot to get there. A lot of stress and heartache, and more pacing. After we were left with our hearts on the floor, by the ending of Wintersong, I needed this book to put me back together. While Wintersong was about love, Shadowsong was about healing. Healing of families. Healing of hearts and healing of minds.

I didn’t know what I was getting myself into, when I first started. But soon I realized that this book was going to be nothing like the first. In fact, when I read the author’s note, I knew this was going to be totally different than the first book.

We rarely saw the Goblin King, but I understand why. It wasn’t really about him. It was about Liesl’s and her brother, Josef’s journey. They both are broken and troubled and trying to discover the pieces they need to put themselves back together. My heart was breaking for both of them. In the first book was find out why Josef is struggling. He is different but he doesn’t know it. Liesl needs to help him, while also helping herself.

This book was harder to read than the first. It was making me manic. The twists and turns of Liesl’s world had me reeling right along with her. My heart was breaking. My soul hurt. The world is falling a part and she’s the only one who can stop, but she doesn’t know that. And when she does, she has to make sacrifices that don’t only affect her, but her loved ones as well.

Again, I am happy with the ending, but I feel there could’ve been just a little bit more. There’s a few open ended stories that need to be written. *hint hint*


Buy Wintersong~
Buy Shadowsong~

Quick Review: Heat by Donna Grant

Yes!! The pieces are falling into place. Things are going in the direction I want them going into, while my mind is spinning in all directions. All is well in this world. But I sense much heartbreak coming up and that is not well. But it must happen. It’s darkest before the dawn, and all that. I love these Dragon Kings stories. Excitement and romance galore.

So many discoveries. So many answers. BUT there’s still a few questions I have. So I’ll be waiting patiently.

I’m quite excited to see that Esther play a bigger roll than I ever thought she would. It should be interesting how she grows into that roll. I won’t say anything else. SPOILERS. *said in River Song’s voice*

Seeing Ulrick’s pov is rather exciting. There is definitely more to him than he was letting on. I can’t WAIT to read his book.

If you like Dragons and romance, then you should totally dive into this epic world that Donna has created. So many books and series that intertwine, it’s just plain fabulous.


Grab the recent one, HEAT
DIve into this series with Darkest Flame, for only $1.99!!
In fact, the first three books are $1.99, while books 4&5 are $2.99. Perfect chance to try this series out.

Review: The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

10,000 stars!!!! I am speechless. Wow. What a wonderful magical fantastic novel!

How does one review a book that you absolutely love and manage to do it the justice it deserves? One where you get to 40% and can’t put it down. One where you have 20 pages left and tell your husband to shut up and leave you alone when he reminds you that it’s bedtime. One that after reading you’re so hyped up you can’t possibly sleep, even thought it’s past 11 pm and you have a full day of work to do the next day.

If I had to complain about anything, it’s that at the start it is a bit confusing with the children’s names. They have their given name, but also the names their family calls them and they go by. I also struggled with some of the Russian vocabulary, but soon discovered that there was a glossary in the back. I soon got over these bits and had no issues at all following along.

There is so much here to review. So I will just tell you again, that I loved this book. Every single bit of it. The family. The fairytale. The spirits that Vasilisa cares for. Even the Winter Demon. I love these old folklore stories and they all came to life in this book. Please, give this novel a chance. It will go down as an all time favourite of mine. Seriously. Top 5 lifetime reads.

What I find very interesting is that the step mother and Vasilisa are from the same bloodline and although they are much alike, their attitude it what separates and divides them. One refuses to accept what is before their very eyes, the other one does. This attitude makes all the difference to themselves, but also to everyone in the village.

Man, this is truly a Midlevel Russian Fairytale. Go satisfy that child within your heart, the heart that longs for a good old-fashioned story…where good and bad clash….where you’re too scared to breathe and too afraid to not go on…where you have to pause to build your courage and you close your eyes at the truly scary parts and cheer for the really happy parts….go curl up to a warm fire on a snowy night, make yourself a hot drink and some fresh cookies, find a warm and fluffy blanket and curl up with this book. I can’t imagine a better way to spend any night…Seriously….the best…

Until next time…
Urania xx

Buy it now The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

Review: The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

I’m a big fan of the fae. I will read anything that has to do with them. So this book made me a very happy girl. There was intrigue, secrets, romance and adventure. The perfect combination honestly.

Jude was taken into the faerie world when she was young. She’s hated every moment but tried to make the most of it by learning to fight. SInce she can’t be like them, and live forever, perhaps she could be in the army and at least do something beyond living til she dies, which is what mortals do. When she finds herself in the midst of a civil war, she decides to jump in, even if it costs her everything.

I liked her. She was quick on her feet and had tons of spunk. She takes what Prince Cardan, and his minions, dish out at her, and even gives some back. I’ll admit, it was hard to see what she had to take at their hands. He was just plain cruel. Hence, the title name.

She may not have known what was going to happen, but she rolled with the punches and made decisions that would benefit everyone, not just her. Even if it hurt to do that. I am super anxious to see what happens to Jude in the next book. I have some theories…

This is my first Holly Black book and I liked it. All through the story I knew what was going to happen, but it was still very enjoyable. When I say all through, I mean almost all through. I saw everything except the end, when she basically slapped me across the face with a big “HAH!! You thought you were so smart. You never saw THAT coming, did ya?”

So now I sit here waiting for my kids to read this and join in my suffering, as we all wait for book two.


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