Tag: Book Review

eARC Review: Our Dark Stars by Audrey Grey & Krystal Wade

eARC Review: Our Dark Stars by Audrey Grey & Krystal Wade

Both Talia and Will would rather get space-tossed than trust one another, but with the queen’s forces chasing them across the galaxy and the fate of both worlds hanging in the balance, they’ll forge the unlikeliest of alliances to survive. Partial synopsis provided by Goodreads. […]

Book Review: Dragons of Kings by Ava Richardson

Book Review: Dragons of Kings by Ava Richardson

On the eve of battle, Bower will have to fulfill a mystical prophecy and become the leader he was born to be, or risk his future kingdom falling apart. Surrounded on all sides by deadly foes, he must face not only the evil king, but […]

Book Review: A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L’Engle

Book Review: A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L’Engle

Meg Murry and her friends become involved with unearthly strangers and a search for Meg's father, who has disappeared while engaged in secret work for the government.

Synopsis provided by Goodreads.

Book: A Wrinkle in Time

Series: Time Quintet

Author: Madeleine L’Engle

Publication Date: May 2007

Publisher: Square Fish (first published in 1962)

Page Count: 247

Format: Paperback

Genre: Children, Science Fiction, Classics

Cover Artist: Jennifer Browne

My Rating: ★★★½

Meg Murry has had a difficult time since her father’s disappearance. It’s been some time now since they last heard from him–no one knows where exactly where he went. People in the town say he ran off with some other woman, but Meg and the rest of her family just don’t believe that. With having both parents as scientists, Meg has the potential to do great things, but emotionally can’t handle the pressure.

One evening when a storm rages outside, Meg, her brother Charles, and Mrs. Murry can’t sleep so they have a late-night snack. They are visited by their new, eccentric neighbor named Mrs. Whatsit. She makes mention of a tesseract, and Mrs. Murry panics. Meg discovers that the term refers to a project her father had been working on before his disappearance. Curious, she and Charles, accompanied by schoolmate Calvin O’Keefe, make their way to an old “haunted” house where Mrs. Whatsit had taken up residence. There, the meet Mrs. Who and Mrs. Which, who promise to help the trio find Mr. Murry.

The three Mrs. W’s turn out to be supernatural beings who take the three through the universe by tesseract. They learn that it is a fifth-dimension in which space is folded and shortened. They travel first to Uriel, which is inhabited by Centaur-like beings, which end up being what the three Mrs. W’s are in disguise. The children discover that the entire universe is under attack by The Black Thing, and evil force wanting to take everything over. They travel to see the Happy Medium, who shows them that Earth is partially shrouded by this evil.

The children are sent to the planet of Camazotz, which has been taken over by The Black Thing, where it is said that their father is located. Upon arriving, they notice everything has a mechanical way of functioning, and learn that CENTRAL central intelligence has “hypnotic” powers over the world in a means of control. There, they confront the man with the red eyes, who has telepathic abilities and tries to control the three. In order to save their father, Charles gives in to the hypnosis of the man.

Meg and Calvin are able to find Mr. Murry and free him from the hell-like state he has been confined in for who knows how long. Trying to save her brother, Meg learns that Camazotz is ruled by a massive evil brain called “IT.” Threatened to be taken over by the telepathic abilities of IT, Mr. Murry tessers Meg, Calvin, and himself to the planet of Ixchel, which is inhabited by strange, furry beasts. Meg names one who cares for her Aunt Beast.

Mad that Mr. Murry left Charles behind, Meg realizes that she herself must go back to save him. She returns to Camazotz with gifts bestowed upon her by the Mrs. W’s. Because her bond with and love for her brother is so strong, she is able to break him away from the power of IT. They are all tessered back to Earth. Mrs. Whatsit tries to tell them that they need to go somewhere, but is unable to finish her sentence before she disappears.

A Wrinkle in Time (Time Quintet, #1)A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Reading this book has been a long time coming for me. I heard of it a long time ago, but until recently, didn’t realize that it was written by a Christian author. Yes, I said Christian. So if that is a turn off to you, then this may not be the read for you as it has a strong Christian influence. I, however, hope that each and every person decides to pick up this read because it has something to offer anyone of any background. Messages being portrayed and those learned by the characters are too good to pass up.

World Building

A Wrinkle in Time is set initially on Earth, but the town which Meg lives isn’t named. From there, the plot jumps to different worlds including Uriel, Camazotz, and Ixchel. There isn’t a lot to say about the world building. We get a more defined image of Camazotz than anywhere, but a lot is left to the imagination. Each world varies immensely from one another. Uriel is a place of mythical beings and fantasy. Camazotz is technically-inclined, and Ixchel is straight from the belly of the Sci-Fi genre.

Pacing & Readability

While the plot is consistent, it is consistently slow-going. From the way I perceived it, when something did happen, it happened rapidly and without much explanation or walk-through. I felt that certain areas, especially the finale, could have been drawn out much more, and ended in not so “perfect” of a way. It seemed too easy…perhaps I am jaded.

Point-of-View & Characters

A Wrinkle in Time is told from the third-person point of view, but mainly hovers over Meg’s character. Being the main protagonist, we learn most about Meg’s character and get to know her the best. It’s a bit disappointing, because Charles Wallace is incredibly intriguing. Meg’s other brothers, Sandy and Dennys Murray, hardly get any page time but didn’t do much to add to the plot either. Meg’s parents also aren’t delved into with much depth, besides the fact that their work on the tesseract is extremely important.

Calvin, a schoolmate of Meg’s, comes from a large family where he isn’t noticed much. A jock at school, Meg hasn’t interacted with him much. But when she and Charles Wallace come across him at the haunted house, he tags along on their adventure. Throughout the book, Calvin becomes romantically interested in thirteen-year-old Meg, who reciprocates the feelings.

The Mrs. W’s are an interesting, mysterious lot. My first instinct was to think that Mrs. Who, Mrs. Which, and Mrs. Whatsit represented the Holy Trinity. The three are billions of years old, and they possess qualities of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. But reading further, it’s clear that they are only supernatural beings, like guardian angels to the trio, as they also give praise to God throughout.

IT, a massive disembodied brain, and The Black Thing, a black cloud that shrouds overtaken worlds are the antagonists in the story. Representing all things evil, IT desires to control all and enslave humanity to its bidding.

Major Themes

⇒ The dangers of Group Think:

People who love freedom will love this major theme throughout the book. When the trio arrives on Camazotz, they are confronted by a rather odd scene. Everything, and everyone is in sync. They move mechanically, identically. Then, a glitch occurs with a kid who loses control of his ball, and that is when the trio realizes the true danger that they are facing.

The idea that one mind controls all other is terrifying. There is no freedom of thought, individuality, or even faults. In this world where IT has taken over, a nearly perfect dictatorship occurs, where no one can deviate from IT’s influence in any way.

⇒ Love conquers all:

As always, love is the answer. Not cutesy love, but deep, selfless, and sacrificial love, which Meg demonstrates when she returns to Camazotz to free her brother Charles from IT’s influence.

⇒ Good vs. Evil – Parallels to Christianity:

The theme of good vs. evil is obviously an overarching theme. The Mrs. W’s are the forces of good, guiding Meg and the gang through strategies to overcome the forces of evil. However, the guardians cannot defeat the evil themselves and require Meg, her brother, and Calvin to step up in order to overcome evil. References to God and the Bible are prevalent throughout this book and serve as inspirational, motivational, and instructional influences for the characters.

⇒ Interactions of science and faith:

Yes, you read that right. In a world that is constantly trying to prove that these to subjects don’t belong in the same realm, L’Engle shows that they do, and they can. Inspired by her studies in quantum physics, she created a science-infused story combined with Christianity.


Overall Feelings

Things that I liked:

⇒ The overall creativity.
⇒ There is room allowed for imagination (the story is not overtold!)
⇒ The meaning and purpose.

Things that I didn’t like:

⇒ Meg’s overall disposition and unlikeability.
⇒ The pacing, and lack of some detail in important areas (as in the world building.)
⇒ Calvin and Meg’s insta-lovey relationship.

I’m glad I took so long to getting around to this review. When I initially finished reading this book, I wasn’t blown away by it. However, now that I’ve had a lot of time for it to stew, I find that I appreciate it more and more…and more. L’Engel’s perceptiveness of the world is obvious and majorly contributes to the overall awesomeness that A Wrinkle in Time reflects.

I read another of L’Engle’s books last year, Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art where she discusses her artistic expression and how it coincides with her faith. In that book, she talks about her journey (because it took a while to get this series published) with A Wrinkle in Time. Majority of the people who turned her down thought the series was too strange. However, (and I agree with L’Engle) I believe it’s because this book was misunderstood. There is true brilliance behind this concept, that it may just take the freedom of a child’s mind to grasp. As adults, our thoughts become adulterated with perceptions that we miss the grander scheme of things. There were times when I was wishing for more detail, then I realized that that’s the point: we are supposed to use our imagination when we read. The main reason I gave this book only three and a half stars was because I wasn’t a big fan of Meg as the protagonist, and found her quite irritating. Despite that fact, I really enjoyed the overall concept and would recommend this read to anyone.

Vulgarity: None.
Sexual content: None.
Violence: None.

View all my reviews

Fairy Tale Friday #2: Ole-Luk-Oie, The Dream God by Hans Christian Andersen

Fairy Tale Friday #2: Ole-Luk-Oie, The Dream God by Hans Christian Andersen

Ole-Luk-Oie, The Dream God written by Hans Christian Andersen One of the more well-known fairy tale authors, Hans Christian Andersen was a Danish author in the 1800’s. He wrote Ole-Luk-Oie (or Ole Lukøje in other versions) and published it originally on December 20, 1841 by C. A. Reitzel. […]

Book Review: War Horse by Michael Morpurgo

Book Review: War Horse by Michael Morpurgo

Joey is a warhorse, but he wasn’t always. Once, he was a farm horse and a gentle boy named Albert was his master. Then World War I came storming through and everything changed. Partial synopsis provided by Goodreads. Book: War Horse Author: Michael Morpurgo Publication […]

Why I Started Blogging & Why You Should Too!

Why I Started Blogging & Why You Should Too!

I've been blogging for over a year already...

 

It was Winter 2016 when I decided that I really needed to do something in order to keep me sane (for lack-of-better-terms). Being a wife to an amazing husband, mother to an adorable toddler (we are also expecting a baby boy), a full-time employee, along with all of that other demanding life stuff, took up majority of my time. However, most of that time is me doing things for others (which is truly a blessing!) I just wanted to look for something that I could focus my attention on when I did have some downtime. Instead of watching movies (which I like to do), I wanted to focus more on reading. It was something I had always done, but got away from for a few years because of college. 

I grew up on not really a farm, but out in the country where I was always involved in outdoor activities–mostly horseback riding and training. Showing took up a good twelve years of my life (which I gladly gave), along with a peppering of sports, extra-curriculars, and then some more. If you don’t get the picture: I was always incredibly involved in multiple different activities. Naturally, living this lifestyle molded me into a mess of chaotic organization, so when I wasn’t doing one-hundred things at a time, I didn’t know what to do to myself.

After my husband and I were married, we bought a house where I couldn’t sustain my horse. In the midst of one year, nearly everything I had been mega-involved with disappeared. It was a sad stage of life for me, to part with the old and take in the new. However, I welcomed the life to come with my husband. I realized though, that I didn’t really have an active hobby.

A friend and I have been working on writing a book series over the course of two or three years now. In order to build some credibility, I was told by fellow authors and bookish folk that starting a blog was a great way to do this. It was around that time that I also really took an interest in writing reviews for books, so I thought, I’m going to start a book blog! 

So I did.

Only recently, had I realized how little I’ve posted about blogging itself. When I decided to start reviewing books and blogging, I dove in without really having much (any) of a plan. 

Sometimes, jumping in and learning to go with the flow isn’t all that bad. You have the freedom to do whatever you please! However, I found that over this course of time, I spent nearly all of my time only blogging about my book reviews, and participating in a few reading challenges, cover reveals, etc., here and there. 

This isn’t necessarily bad. However, it doesn’t really help establish my brand on blogging itself. I’m not surprised it took me this long to realize some of these things because it’s how I work–I jump in full-force, not really knowing what to expect, and planning to learn along the way. I have learned a lot, too–and now I have some strategy.

Blogging takes some trial and error. There isn’t really a way to do it right or wrong, it’s a combination of everything you do as a whole. When I started getting approvals for eGalleys of books, I went a bit berserk and requested far too many. I was, quite literally going book crazy.

(I'm so funny...)

So, I got in a little over my head. I had to play catch-up right from the beginning (but I liked the challenge.) I wouldn’t recommend this method for others to use, but it definitely forced me into commitment right from the start! 

I certainly didn’t anticipate how much time and effort blogging takes! But after burning myself and learning from my mistakes, it’s slowly getting more manageable.

If my testimony has scared you, please, don’t be. I made the mistake of getting in over my head right away, but that doesn’t mean you will. Most people are better strategists then I am, so that will definitely help benefit them in the long-run. I had to learn some of that. Thankfully, Book blogging has helped me do that! It’s also opened a new world to me, with tons of wonderful bloggers just doing what they like to do: talk about books! 

I think blogging could be beneficial to anyone who just needs an outlet. You don’t even need to have a consistent theme or topic you discuss! (Although, it may help you when starting out.) I’m amazed at the diversity, versatility, and uniqueness by every blog I’ve come across.

So, there’s a little of the backstory as to what got me into blogging. I’ve spoken with many others who started for various reasons. That variety is what makes the realm so interesting, if you ask me!

Here are some reasons why blogging is great, and why you should consider blogging as well!

It helps to pass the time: get more organized!

I’ve experienced for myself the benefits blogging has. For one, it’s helped me manage my time for effectively. Instead of filling my “free” time with frivolous things, I sit down and read, write a review, read other’s posts, write something, etc. It helps me appreciate the time that I do have instead of wasting it away, and to stay focused. I’m not always the best at this because I get distracted, or I have too much to do, or…you get the picture. But it could definitely be a useful tool to those who like to have a schedule and know what they will be doing, and when!

It's a wonderful outlet for creativity!

Your blog is your own. Meaning, you have the freedom to do whatever you like with it! You can customize it to your liking, and create whichever content you want to feature on it! I’ve seen many types of blogs, all with their own unique flare. It’s fun to be able to make something your own. In an age where much of what we do is digital, it’s nice to be able to express ourselves in that way, too!

While my blog mainly focuses on books, I’d like to expand it to also include my artwork. I’ve been a hobby artist for years, and would love to share some of that with others, too!

Engage your mind: challenge yourself to think outside the box

This point goes along with the previous one about creativity. Create! Do new things! Write about topics that you wouldn’t normally–or ones that you are passionate about. Ask questions! Host discussions! Really, the options here are endless!

Make new connections

Book bloggers are probably some of the nicest people you will ever meet. But, you want to know a secret? If you are a nerd, and nervous to geek out about books and gush about how much you love them, don’t fear; book bloggers reciprocate. I don’t know about you, but I didn’t grow up (or currently have, for that matter) many friends who read a lot. Sure, I’ve made an effort to find those who do. But, they simply aren’t in my proximity. Stumbling upon the bookverse has been a great experience for me, and I’ve met some wonderful people from all over the world! 

This isn’t exclusive to just book bloggers. There are people who blog about all sorts of topics that I’ve interacted with who have been really wonderful to get to know!

To put it in short terms: you can make new friends!

Practice your writing skills!

Seeing how one of my main reasons to start this blog in the first place was for writing, it actually helped me out a lot in regards to improving my writing overall. (I definitely still make mistakes though!) Even if I’m not working on creative writing, composing book reviews takes a lot of work and brain power. It takes a lot of effort to string one’s thoughts together into a coherent review (that will hopefully be helpful to whoever reads them). Writing blogs and reviews have really helped me focus on writing well. I can see this only as a benefit as it helps to exercise that part of my mind. 

I hope you have found this post helpful, and perhaps, encouraging. Now you tell me:
What about blogging do you love?
How has it benefited you?
Let me know in the comments below!

eARC Review: Tess of the Road by Rachel Hartman

eARC Review: Tess of the Road by Rachel Hartman

Release day February 27, 2018! Tess, stubbornly, is a troublemaker. You can’t make a scene at your sister’s wedding and break a relative’s nose with one punch (no matter how pompous he is) and not suffer the consequences. As her family plans to send her […]

Book Review: Finding Jade by Mary Jennifer Payne

Book Review: Finding Jade by Mary Jennifer Payne

The year is 2030, and climate change is making life on Earth more challenging. Fourteen-year-old Jasmine Guzman is struggling to come to terms with the abduction of her twin sister, Jade, and her mother’s illness. Things go from bad to worse when a series of […]

eARC Review: Hunger: A Tale of Courage by Donna Jo Napoli

eARC Review: Hunger: A Tale of Courage by Donna Jo Napoli

It is the autumn of 1846 in Ireland. Lorraine and her brother are waiting for the time to pick the potato crop on their family farm leased from an English landowner. But this year is different—the spuds are mushy and ruined. What will Lorraine and her family do?

Partial synopsis provided by Goodreads.

Book: Hunger: A tale of courage

Author: Donna Jo Napoli

Publication Date: Feburary 13, 2018

Publisher: Simon Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books

Page Count: 272

Format: eARC

Genre: Childrens, Historical Fiction

Cover Artist:

My Rating:  ★★

Hunger: A Tale of CourageHunger: A Tale of Courage by Donna Jo Napoli
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I received this copy from the publisher via Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review

 

In August 1845, Phytophthora infestans–a fungus-like organism–attacked the potato crop in Ireland.

I wasn’t sure what to expect going into this read, other than the fact that it wouldn’t be an easy one to ingest. I really enjoyed getting into a different genre in childrens/YA, and hoped for the best, but simply wasn’t as impressed as I’d hoped. While the topic is solid, the characters and plot suffered from an inability to make much progression.

Things I liked:

#1 I appreciated the hardship the author portrayed throughout this story. Lorraine, the main character, is a twelve-year-old Irish girl. Her family work as farmers–tenants on a wealthy English family’s land. She paints a horrific picture of the famine the potato (better known as “spuds”) plight brought to Ireland. Napoli doesn’t spare the reader from the ugly truth. While the book remains clean, it doesn’t keep out the fact that these people suffered greatly during this time, and many (if not all) lives were changed because of it.

#2 Ireland is known for its tumultuous weather and beautiful landscapes. Both of these played a big role in the story and helped the reader to understand how everything must remain in balance in order for life to thrive. It also makes the reading flow as we get to travel through the green hills with the characters.

#3 The author does a great job at incorporating several poignant factors throughout this period. Politics, Religion, and Class division play big roles here, in several ways. These issues come out immediately in Lorraine and Susanna’s interactions.

Things I didn’t like:

#1 There was a lack of direction throughout this plot. It was the main factor that killed this book for me. While the characters definitely underwent turmoil, it never seemed to go anywhere. Without character or plot progression, it’s difficult as the reader to really follow the point of the story. Definitely, this is a tragic tale. Yet, I couldn’t grasp what actually was trying to be portrayed here? Perhaps I’m reading too far into it. I feel as if it could have been written as a non-fiction story instead, and have been more effective as it’s more factual than anything.

#2 I had a very difficult time making a connection to the characters. I didn’t really like any of them, and I’m not sure why. Food is the main topic here and takes center stage in every conversation, and I think that’s why it’s difficult to make this connection.

This is not a bad read by any means. I just had a lot of difficulty with feeling that the plot was driven towards a purpose other than obtaining food.

Vulgarity: None.
Sexual Content: None.
Violence: There are scenes where the children come across dead bodies, and another where people are shooting at one another.

View all my reviews

#ReviewRally Challenge

#ReviewRally Challenge

Are your reviews-to-write list getting you down? Don’t worry, you aren’t alone. I’ve been sitting on some reviews that I need to write for a few months. It’s time to buckle down and get them done! Currently, I have seven reviews that I need to […]

Fairy Tale Friday #1: The Lily of Life by Carmen Sylva

Fairy Tale Friday #1: The Lily of Life by Carmen Sylva

The Lily of Life: a Fairy Tale written by The Crown Princess of Romania, aka Carmen Sylva The Lily of Life: A Fairy Tale is a children’s story that was originally published in 1913. Written by the Crown Princess of Romania, Pauline Elisabeth Ottilie Luise zu […]

Just a Little Update…

Just a Little Update…

Good Evening, Everyone! And Happy Almost Friday!

We’re nearly to Friday already. These weeks seem to just fly by lately! How has everyone’s week been treating them?

I just wanted to drop in and give a quick update. Most of you know that this WordPress blog is a new one for me, yet She’s Going Book Crazy has been established for over a year! I’m working on slowly transferring all of my past book reviews, discussions, and other posts over to this blog, but have to do all of it manually (which is so much work.) Anyways, I just wanted to warn you that your feeds may update with some older material from me here and there, but stuff that I don’t want to lose it all! 

Anyways, I just wanted to warn you that your feeds may update with some older material from me here and there, and I'll try to space it out as much as possible.

On another note, tomorrow is my first Fairy Tale Friday post! I’ve been pretty excited about starting this new series, and am looking forward to your thoughts on the tales that are shared. The goal is to dive deeper into the vast world of fairy tales, and pull from sources all over the world and feature the more-obscure tales. Doing so, there may be some weird stories that we come across, but that’s okay (and sort of fun, if you ask me!)

Lastly, I’m going to be starting a new, reoccurring post that will go up each Thursday called Thursday Blog Trot. Since I don’t have a lot of spare time to follow everyone and the hard work they put into their book blogs, I wanted to have one day a week to allot some time to catch up on what everyone is doing, but also to feature some fellow blogger’s posts! I hope this will not only help me keep up with everyone’s progress, but also be able to support fellow bloggers more!

We'll see how it goes 🙂

Book Review: The Fire Queen by Emily R. King

Book Review: The Fire Queen by Emily R. King

Though the tyrant rajah she was forced to marry is dead, Kalinda’s troubles are far from over. A warlord has invaded the imperial city, and now she’s in exile. But she isn’t alone. Kalinda has the allegiance of Captain Deven Naik, her guard and beloved, […]

eARC Review: Keeper by Kim Chance

eARC Review: Keeper by Kim Chance

When a 200-year-old witch attacks her, sixteen-year-old bookworm Lainey Styles is determined to find a logical explanation. Even with the impossible staring her in the face, Lainey refuses to believe it—until she finds a photograph linking the witch to her dead mother. Partial synopsis provided […]

eARC Review: Shadowsong by S. Jae-Jones

eARC Review: Shadowsong by S. Jae-Jones

Released today, February 6, 2018!

When troubling signs arise that the barrier between worlds is crumbling, Liesl must return to the Underground to unravel the mystery of life, death, and the Goblin King—who he was, who he is, and who he will be. 

Partial synopsis provided by Goodreads.

Shadowsong

Series: Wintersong #2
Author: S. Jae-Jones
Publication Date: February 6, 2018
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Page Count: 368
Format: ebook
Genre: New Adult, Fantasy, Retellings
Cover Artist: Anna Gorovoy
My Rating: ★★★★★

Shadowsong: A Novel (Wintersong)Shadowsong: A Novel by S. Jae-Jones
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

1) Wintersong: ★★★★★

For anyone who has read (and loved…or disliked) Wintersong, be prepared, because this sequel is probably not what you are expecting. But trust me, if you allow yourself the opportunity, this book can sweep you away in a storm of folklore, complexity, and utter lyrical beauty all on its own.

Just as I had written in my review for Wintersong, the writing in Shadowsong has a way of making me feel raw. These characters, Liesl, Josef, Kathe, the Goblin King, are utterly stripped of their complexity and bared for the entire world to see their soul. The writing quality has surpassed my expectations in this series and made me appreciate Jae-Jones as an author immensely. What I appreciate most is the risk she took to also bare her own soul within these characters.

Madness is a strange word. It encompasses any sort of behavior or thought pattern that deviates from the norm, not just mental illness. I, like Liesl, am a functioning member of society, but our mental illnesses make us mad. They make us arrogant, moody, selfish, and reckless, They make us destructive, to both ourselves and to those we love. We are not easy to love, Liesl and I, and I did not want to face that ugly truth.

In the author note, she also noted that there is content such as: self-harm, addiction, reckless behavior, and suicide ideation. These traits are shared among several members of the cast.

How can I go on when I am haunted by ghosts? I feel him, Sepp. I feel the Goblin King when I play, when I work on the Wedding Night Sonata. The touch of his hand upon my hair. The press of his lips against my cheek. The sound of his voice, whispering my name. There is madness in our bloodline.

Despite this fact, I think this was a wonderful read. I was utterly surprised by the complexity of this duology. From what I gathered in Wintersong, I did not foresee the path in which this plot would traverse. Shadowsong is a mix of retellings between Goblin Market, the story of Hades and Persephone, and the Wild Hunt. Majority of the time, the plot walks a narrow path, dipping toes in both the fantastical and reality, obscuring which is which. I believe the way in which this book is written is figurative to Liesl’s experience as a character. Her constant battle between living in the “real world,” yet, being enticed by the underground and back to her beloved is palpable.

I who had grown up with my grandmother’s stories, I who had been the Goblin King’s bride and walked away knew better than anyone the consequences of crossing the old laws that governed life and death. What was real and what was false was as unreliable as memory, and I lived in the in-between spaces, between the pretty lie and the ugly truth. But I did not speak of it. Could not speak of it.

Liesl’s fears and deliberations are not without merit. She knows, along with those that still hold to the Old Laws, that there are consequences for each and every action. The Old Laws must be appeased. By thwarting them, the Wild Hunt occurs, seeking souls to balance the scales. As the threat draws nearer, Liesl grows more erratic in her deliberations, trying to protect her sister Kathe, repair her relationship with her brother Josef, and learn to live with herself and accept who she is. Acceptance proves to be a main theme throughout this story. Each character struggles with acceptance of a certain truth in their life, but instead, try to ignore it by

I was so focused on being Elisabeth, alone, I had not thought about what it meant to be Elisabeth, entire. And that meant embracing my past as well as uncertain future. I was so determined to not wallow in my misery that I made myself lonely; I pushed away memories and feelings and connections not only to the Goblin King, but myself. I had mourned, but I had not let myself grieve. I had not let myself feel. Don’t think. Feel.

While I wish there had been more appearances from the Goblin King himself, I’m glad there wasn’t. I think that after Liesl’s experience in the underground required this sort of backlash in her character. Her transformation from the Goblin Queen back to Liesl required addressing. No matter how “romantic” her experience in the underground may have been, (although, it was definitely twisted) Liesl experienced much that required more attention. It is in Shadowsong where Liesl truly becomes a woman and owns each part of herself–whole and broken. That is the beauty of this story–learning to accept that we all have attributes, experiences, memories, and influences that make and break our character. It’s how we deal with those points that define who we are. I couldn’t help but feel forced to look inward and evaluate parts of myself I wished to ignore while traversing these pages. It also forced me to consider others and observing these same qualities that makeup people around me.

“Who are you?” I whisper. He nods at me. You know who I am, Elisabeth. “You are the man with music in his soul,” I tell him. “You are the one who showed me a way to myself when I was lost in the woods. My teacher, my playmate, my friend.” I choke a little on the sobs rising from my throat. “You allowed me to forgive myself for being imperfect. For being a sinner. For being me.” If my brother is my grace, then the Goblin King is my mercy.

As I said in my review of Wintersong, this book may not resonate with everyone. In fact, I’m certain it won’t. It’s not the typical YA/NA fantasy for today’s era, and I’m so glad that it’s not. It has potential to truly challenge its reader and forces them to evaluate more than just a fun, light-hearted plot with a shallow romance. No, Shadowsong has a lot to offer.

Vulgarity: Minimal! I only counted 3 words!
Sexual Content: Unlike Wintersong, there is very little regarding this area in this book. While Liesl does think about her times with the Goblin King, she doesn’t go into explicit detail.
Violence: Moderate. Due to the nature and tone of this book, there are definitely some points (including the content warning listed by the author) that are not light topics for discussion. I still believe this is a New Adult Fantasy, and not quite appropriate for Young Adult readers.

View all my reviews

S. JAE-JONE (called JJ) is an artist, an adrenaline junkie, and erstwhile editrix. When not obsessing over books, she can be found jumping out of perfectly good airplanes, co-hosting the Pub(lishing) Crawl podcast, or playing dress-up. Born and raised in Los Angeles, she now lives in North Carolina, as well as many other places on the internet, including Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, Instagram, and her blog.


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