Thursday, August 31, 2023

Review: The Pearl Hunter by Miya T. Beck

This was a book I bought just because of how stunning the cover looks. I simply had to have it. And it sounded exciting too. I have now gotten to read it, and I'm a bit heartbroken to say that it was hugely disappointing to me. I'm giving it two stars. I wish I could have loved it. But I did not. It was not what I thought it would be.

I'm honestly not sure how to write this review of mine. I have so many thoughts about this story. Will share some of it, as I am not going to write too much. This one was a mix of middle grade and young adult, as the main girl was an age between, but her actual age is not mentioned. Seemed like she just became a teenager.

This book is told from the point of view of Kai. This young girl is a pearl diver. She loves her life with her family in her small village. She has a twin sister, Kishi. They have always done everything together, the best of friends. But it's been different lately, as Kishi have a crush. Kai does not approve. So they are always fighting a little. I liked getting to know them at the start of this book. And their parents seemed nice. Their village did not; they did not care for pearl divers. So rude. Their job seemed so great. And I wish this book had been more about the actual pearl diving, and more of the water. I truly would have preferred that. Sigh. We learn a little of their dead aunt, whom seemed even more awesome. She always told them the best stories. I liked that a lot. The stories are Japanese based, which I enjoyed. I liked the history too.

But that was sadly all that I liked about this book, if I'm being honest. I thought it was going to be epic and fully exciting. It was not. For the most part it was just boring. I wanted much more about these sisters and their bond. We got to see them together so little and I just did not care for either of them, honestly. And I found almost all of the supernatural and fairy tale parts of the book to be silly. Sure, I liked the stories, but the Dragon King was too silly and the foxes were just beyond silly. Sigh. I wish it had been written better.

I'm not sure what to say. Not going to share all of the plot, but I will mention some things. The twins are diving for pearls. Both going down for more mussels to win their competition. And by doing so, Kishi gets taken by a ghost whale. This was weird to me. I sadly didn't find it magical, just weird. Their parents are in a panic. And Kai just wants her sister back, so she rows out looking for her. And actually finds the whale, which was so weird. She gets her sister free; she is dead. And then a dragon drags them out in the water.

Where Kai meets another type of god. One who can bring her sister back from the dead, bring her soul from the underworld. If Kai brings her the pearl of the leader of the magical foxes. Which Kai agrees to do. I just found this whole thing to be silly. I wish I thought it was magical, but I did not. And I also did not really like the writing either. It was okay, but I never felt connected to anything. I did not actually like Kai either. Felt like I did not get to know her or Kishi well enough to actually care about them, dead or alive.

Then Kai get gifts from these gods to take with her on her two-week long adventure. A silver bow. Which she leaves behind almost right away, of course. A magical bowl that can give her any type of food, and that she only truly uses at the end of the book. A special compass necklace that shows her which way to go, which wasn't used much either. And she is told where to find a flying cloak. And then she is shot down with an arrow the next day and never uses the cloak again. Sigh. So. Gifts were pretty much useless, ha.

Okay. She gets shot down by bandits. Two disgusting adults and one teenage boy her age, that seems like a prisoner himself. She falls for him right away, of course. I did like him, but did not feel like I got to know him either. He liked horses. They take her to sell her to a warlord of some kind. Kai spends daaays in that place, getting dressed up and playing games with another child. It was so very boring and I didn't like it much at all. Sigh. I thought it was to be a book about the sisters; Kai doing her best to save Kishi.

She did not. She finally gets away and goes looking for the foxes. And that showdown was also just too boring for me. I wanted more excitement. More danger, more fear. Instead I got silly dancing foxes that possessed humans so that they could make them dance. Yeah. And then the ending of the book. It was stupid. So very stupid. Should have been another half of the book, to be honest. And it was very much a open ending and not a very good one either. Seemed like so much still needed to be told. Disappointed.

I have now written more about this book than I was supposed to. And been a little bit more negative than I had planned. Oops. I just could not stop writing, once I remembered what I didn't like about this one. Still. The Pearl Hunter has such a beautiful cover. Which I love. But this story was not for me and I do kind of regret reading it. Wish it had been more epic and thrilling. Wish it had been more about diving for pearls. More about the sister love. It was not. Still. I would be curious about a book two. You should try it anyway.

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Waiting on Wednesday #619

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

SOUND THE GONG (Kingdom of Three #2)  BY JOAN HE

Goodreads Description:

From New York Times and Indie bestselling author Joan He, comes the dazzling and sweeping conclusion to The Kingdom of Three duology, Sound the Gong, the breathtaking sequel to the critically-acclaimed Strike the Zither.

All her life, Zephyr has tried to rise above her humble origins as a no-name orphan. Now she is a god in a warrior’s body, and never has she felt more powerless. Her lordess Xin Ren holds the Westlands, but her position is tenuous. In the north, the empress remains under Miasma’s thumb. In the south, the alliance with Cicada is in pieces.

Fate also seems to have a different winner in mind for the three kingdoms, but Zephyr has no intentions of respecting it. She will pay any price to see Ren succeed—and she will make her enemies pay, especially one dark-haired, dark-eyed Crow. What she’ll do when she finds out the truth—that he worked for the South all along…

Format: 320 pages, Hardcover
Expected Publication: April 30, 2024 by Roaring Brook Press
Pre-Order: Blackwells and Amazon US and Amazon UK

Yessss. Look at that gorgeous cover :D Ahh! I love it so much. <3 Sigh. This series has the best covers :) I cannot wait to own this beauty. I have not actually read Strike the Zither yet, oops. But I will read them both together and I am way too excited. As I am positive I will love these books. So I can't wait for this. <3
What are you waiting for on this dazzling Wednesday?

Saturday, August 26, 2023

In My Mailbox #616

Today has been so busy that I forgot for a while that it was another Saturday. Oops. I'm just too tired. Spent much of today playing pokemon go fest. <3 Went outside walking for it a bit too. And just had an evening spa bath. I hurt, haha. And I slept so poorly last night. Ugh. This has been a week of bad sleep. There was a bookish auction I wanted to win today. I did not. The price went to $950. Whaaaat. Yeah. I could not afford that. Shudders. But I wanted it. Sobs. Oh, well. I shall get past it. Probably. I haven't felt like reading this week yet. But I do know what I'm reading next, and I will start it in the next few days for sure. Got less mail this week, so yay for that, haha :) This week I'm waiting on The Scarlet Veil :) Hope you are all doing well. <3 I'm doing my best these days. But I'm not feeling so good, and everything just feels heavy. Ugh. But I'm trying. And so I hope I will be able to read shortly too :) And feel better as well.

Divine Rivals. EEE! Owlcrate version :D Thank you so much Diana for trading with me. <3 I love it most.
Miraculous Ladybug. I already have this one for my Switch, but this Playstation 5 version was on sale :D
Funko Pop. First two sodas and two new Pokemon bought from bigbadtoystore :D Finally have Legolas, ha. <3 Then the rest are from Funko Europe :D Had to have that Dinosaur. He is perfect. The others are too. And then there are funko pop wall stands bought from etsy :D Bought 50. Oops. Excited to try them.

More Instagram photos here. <3

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Waiting on Wednesday #618

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.


Goodreads Description:

This dark and thrilling vampire romance—set in the world of the New York Times bestselling Serpent & Dove series—is perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas!

Célie Tremblay has always been a good girl: kind and beautiful, a daughter of whom every parent would be proud. She surprises the entire kingdom when she defies tradition to become the first huntswoman—including her new captain and fiancé, Jean Luc, who rules the huntsmen with an iron fist. He isn’t the only one concerned for Célie’s safety, however. Though her friends try to protect her from the horrors of her past, mysterious whispers still haunt her, and a new evil is rising in Belterra—leaving bodies in its wake, each one drained of blood.

Determined to prove herself in her new role, Célie tracks the killer to the lair of Les Éternels—ancient creatures only spoken about in nursery rhymes—and catches the attention of their king, a monster who hides his plans for her behind beautiful words and sharp smiles. Now Célie has new reason to fear the dark because the closer he gets, the more tempted she feels to give in to his dark hunger—and her own.

Format: 320 pages, Hardcover
Expected Publication: September 26, 2023 by HarperTeen
Pre-Order: Blackwells and Amazon US and Amazon UK

I know, I know. I still haven't finished reading the Serpent & Dove series. Oops. But I did read the first book, years ago. So now I must read them all, before this one, haha :) One day. I will be getting this one, though, as I think it sounds great and I do plan on reading all of them one day. Hoping to love them all :)
What are you waiting for on this swift Wednesday?

Saturday, August 19, 2023

In My Mailbox #615

How is it another Saturday already? Ahh. I have not done any reading this week. Oops. Had planned on watching lots of movies; haven't gotten to do that yet either. Just been too tired. I finally started taking my outdoor spa baths again, after having had to wait because of a stupid wound. And today I had my fourth two-hour bath in a week. Yeah. I'm tired, haha. It's fully exhausting. But so so good. Sigh. I love my baths. Anyway. I got way way way too many pop figures this week. Oh. I spent way too much money. Sobs. But I just. I love them? All of them. And I had to have them. Sigh. I need more self-control from now on. Ugh. Hoping to find a new book to read in the next days; unsure what I'm in the mood for. As I want something epic to read. Hmm. This week I'm waiting on Fall of Ruin and Wrath :) I hope you are all doing great. <3

Chain of Gold + All These Bodies ARCs. Eee! A lovely trade with Raven. <3 Thank you. Love the pouch.
Pokemon. EEE! New Funko calendar :D I am excited for this in December. <3 Some new trading cards :)

Funko Europe. Oh. These are three orders. I got too much. Sobs. But I love it all, ahh :D But goddamn, all of this was expensive. Ahh! Going to talk about a few of them :) LOVE my new Coraline purse/bag; I shall be using this one from now on. I think it looks stunning. Love all the new Nightmare Before Christmas pop figures, ahh. So cute. Still missing one Stranger Things mystery mini. Ugh. Got new Harry Potter one but still not that damn cat which is the one I actually want, ha. Love the Maggie Witch; regular and glow in the dark. Love my Maleficent; special edition and diamond. <3 And ahh! Disney Princess Bitty pops. They are even smaller than I thought :D I adore them. All my other new pop figures are awesome too :) Love them.

More Instagram photos here. <3

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Waiting on Wednesday #617

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.


Goodreads Description:


Long ago, the world was destroyed by gods. Only nine cities were spared. Separated by vast wilderness teeming with monsters and unimaginable dangers, each city is now ruled by a guardian―royalty who feed on mortal pleasure.

Born with an intuition that never fails, Calista knows her talents are of great value to the power-hungry of the world, so she lives hidden as a courtesan of the Baron of Archwood. In exchange for his protection, she grants him information.

When her intuition leads her to save a traveling prince in dire trouble, the voice inside her blazes with warning―and promise. Today he’ll bring her joy. One day he'll be her doom.

When the Baron takes an interest in the traveling prince and the prince takes an interest in Calista, she becomes the prince’s temporary companion. But the city simmers with rebellion, and with knights and monsters at her city gates and a hungry prince in her bed, intuition may not be enough to keep her safe.

Calista must follow her intuition to safety or follow her heart to her downfall.

Format: 432 pages, Hardcover
Expected Publication: September 12, 2023 by Bramble
Pre-Order: Blackwells and Amazon US and Amazon UK

Okay, I was not actually supposed to look into this book. As I'm not sure this author is for me. Buuut. I saw a Waterstones edition. I had to have it. Oops. So, yeah. I will be giving this one a try, ha :D I do think it sounds pretty interesting, and I'm thinking that I will end up enjoying it. Keeping my fingers crossed :)
What are you waiting for on this wild Wednesday?

Saturday, August 12, 2023

In My Mailbox #614

Ohh. This have been one exhausting week. We had so many days with sun and warmth. It was the best. But I'm so tired, haha. Finally a free day today, as there was no sun. Of course, I will miss the summer. But so glad that we actually had such a great summer this year with such lovely heat. Sigh. It's been so wonderful. Though my body does not agree. Ha. That also means it took me a whole week to read Night of the Witch. Ahh! But I finished it yesterday and got my review up today :) But now I need a break from reading, as I have so many movies I want to watch. So shall focus on that for days at least. Until I figure out what to read next :) I may have gotten a bunch of mail this week too, ahh. And so many pop figures will arrive next week. Oh. Help me. I could not resist. Also, ahh! New Taylor Swift re-recording is coming :D I am so excited for 1989 Taylor's Version. <3 It's going to be the best. I got the deluxe albums ordered to a friend in the US; cannot wait for early November. <3 This week I'm waiting on The Hurricane Wars :D And I shared my review of Night of the Witch. <3 Hope you are all doing well :) Have the best August. <3

A Crown of Ivy and Glass. Of course I had to have two regular hardcover copies as well, ha :D Love it. <3
Divine Rivals. At last have the US hardcover :D I think it's a first edition too? Looks like. I loved this one.
House of Roots and Ruin. Eee! I am so excited about this book :D Must re-read the first one, though. <3
Funko Europe. Oh. Well. More pop figures arrived, ha, as always :) No new mini. Love the Barbie ones :)
Poki-Heaven. Some of these pop figures came from a Norwegian store :) The Witcher ones. And Hook :) And Stitch, eee. Whom I love so much. Sigh. And that adorable small Pokemon trading card album. I love it. Oh, and Warrior Barley came from Amazon. Have wanted that exclusive for ages; finally bought him :D

More Instagram photos here. <3

Review: Night of the Witch by Sara Raasch & Beth Revis

This was a witch story that I simply had to read. It looks stunning and sounds amazing as well. And I may have been a fan of Beth for years and years now. So of course I would read this as well. I was lucky enough to trade for an ARC of this and I had to start it right away. Giving this one four stars. I enjoyed it a whole bunch.

My words are currently failing me, though. As I'm not sure how to write about this book at all. Will do my best. But oh, my mind is a little messy at the moment. I just enjoyed this story. I did not fully love this book, but it was still so good and I am happy that I read it. I cannot wait to get my gorgeous hardcover later this autumn.

I think I shall begin with mentioning the writing. Which I liked very much, for most of the time. I did find it a little bit cheesy at certain times. But it was still good and I felt like I connected to this story and the characters. This book begins with the burning of witches. With the burning of all of Fritzi's family and friends. It was such a strong beginning and I very much liked this. Okay, it was sad, but so good and exciting too. Not many details, as Fritzi was locked in a basement. But enough heartbreak from her. We slowly learn more about why her coven was found and attacked. How Fritzi was involved in that. Which was both sad and exciting to read about. I liked the little twists. I do wish, though, that we had gotten to know her family more. Her mother seemed great. But at least there was one other survivor, little Liesel, whom I so adored.

This book tells the story of Fritzi and Otto. We get both point of views, which I liked. And I enjoyed getting to know both of them. Fritzi the witch, Otto the witch hunter. Fritzi just watched her town burn. Her mother dead, her friends dead. But her little cousin, Liesel, was taken alive. She has to find her, save her. Fritzi bumps into Otto while he is arresting his sister for being a witch. Fritzi saves her; sending her away with magic. Which then ruined Otto's plans to save captured witches, which he needed his sister to get done.

And so Otto has to arrest Fritzi instead. She is so scared of him. Which I thought was written so well, ha. She does not know that he does not actually want to hurt her or anyone else. He wants revenge for his dead stepmother. By taking down the witch hunters from the inside. At least he is trying to do so. I liked reading about Otto and getting to know him. He was trying his best. He was sort of like a gentle giant. I adored him. And reading about him and Fritzi together was all kinds of fun. A little hate, then a lot of love.

I'm not going to say too much about the plot of this story, just mentioning some of what happens. Fritzi and Otto has to work together to free a hundred witches that are about to be burned. All of them probably innocent regular humans. This world was brutal. I loved it. But yeah. It was so not a kind world to live in. They have to work together. It starts out bad, with her hating him and being afraid. But still so fierce and brave and full of fire. But they do work together. And free those about to be burned. And must now run.

And so this book is mostly about Otto and Fritzi and Liesel being on the run from the villain, Dieter. We get to see a little bit of happiness, though they are mostly just scared. I did feel a bit that too little were happening in this book. Then suddenly everything was happening at once, when they finally made it to the black forest and the only other witches alive. The story is about them trying to figure out how to take down Dieter, before he ruins the world. It is a story about magic and wild magic, which I liked the most.

Will say a little bit about the romance as well. I think it is supposed to be enemies to lovers. Considering she is a witch and he a witch hunter. But, well. He wasn't truly a witch hunter, he was rebelling in secret. And they were only angry with each other for hours during their first day together. So, no. Not enemies. The romance was a little fast, how they started caring so soon. But I did not mind this. As I adored their small banter. And I liked Fritzi and Otto together. A little cheesy most of the time, ha, but sweet even so.

I am not sure what to say about the villain of this story. He was a man called Dieter. He was the leader of the hexenjägers, the witch hunters. He is supposed to be this most horrible person. I feel like that was not shown enough. I did not feel like he was all that bad; I was not scared of him. And yet they spend almost all the book running from him. Yes, he burned witches. But what else was there? I wish he had been even more evil, ha. But Dieter did become more evil towards the end. There was torture. I loved it. I hated him.

This book is full of details, all of them exciting. It is a book set in the past. Some of it true history, some of it made up. I liked that. This book takes place in Germany and I loved how there were German words and customs included, which made me like the book more. I did like this book a whole lot. But I was a tiny bit disappointed too, if I can say that. I wanted there to be even more. More magic. More witches, more evil. But I liked this book too. I liked the black forest and what was in there. I liked the small displays of magic.

Night of the Witch was a pretty fantastic story. I enjoyed it so very much. A little magical, a little fantasy. A whole lot of romance and family relationships. A stunning world created as well. While I did not fully love this book, I still liked it so very much. And I cannot wait to read the next one, eee. As that ending was just too cruel. Ugh. I fear the second one will hurt more. How rude. But I still cannot wait. It took me a while to read this book, as I was too exhausted, but I think it's a quick and easy read. So you should read this too.

Goodreads - Blackwells - Amazon US - Amazon UK

Wednesday, August 9, 2023

Waiting on Wednesday #616

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.


Goodreads Description:

The Night Empire will rule all. Nothing can stand in the way of its might and power. Little by little, year by year, the Hurricane Wars take more and more from those who resists the empire’s supremacy. And yet, there is hope in the darkness. One lone light stands against the empire.

Talasyn was left on the steps of a Sardovian orphanage as a baby. All she has ever known are the Hurricane Wars, as her people fight for freedom from the tyranny of the Night Emperor Gaheris. But are they her people? Talasyn dreams of one day finding where she comes from – her true place, family, and the source of the Lightweave magic that flows through her veins like sunlight.

Alaric of House Ossinast, Master of the Shadowforged Legion and Gaheris’s only son and heir has been forged into a weapon by his father. Tasked with obliterating the Sardovian Allford alliance with the strength of his armies and mighty Shadow magic, all Alaric can see is their extinguish all threats to the empire. That is until he sees Talasyn burning brightly on the battlefield with the magic that killed his grandfather, turned his father into a monster, and ignited the Hurricane Wars. He tries and fails to kill her, his now greatest enemy slipping through his fingers. But a greater threat is coming. One that will overshadow the Hurricane Wars. Will these mortal enemies be able to come together to confront it or is everything that has been fought over for so long about to be destroyed?

Format: 480 pages, Hardcover
Expected Publication: October 12, 2023 by HarperVoyager
Pre-Order: Blackwells and Amazon US and Amazon UK

I have not actually seen anybody talking about this book. Yet I see so many looking for the ARC of it. Hmm. Then I saw a Waterstones exclusive, which I'm planning on buying in the next few days, ha. And so I will be giving this book a try :D I read the summary; it sounds pretty awesome. Like the cover too :)
What are you waiting for on this magical Wednesday?

Saturday, August 5, 2023

In My Mailbox #613

Wasn't it just Saturday yesterday? What even. Time is moving way too fast, ha :) And now it is suddenly August as well, ahh! But I have started a new book, though :D Okay, I only read two chapters yesterday. Oops. But I'm going to read more tonight, in a moment. I'm excited. Also. Barbie was not that great of a movie. Sigh. Maybe it's an American thing. Wasn't a me thing. But I saw The Meg 2 yesterday, and that was a me thing :D Such a great movie; I loved it. <3 I'm also just so exhausted, still. And everything hurts. Sigh. But I'm dealing with it, somewhat :) Taking daily evening walks, which is the best. <3 Well, probably, haha. This week I'm waiting on To Cage a God :D I hope you are all doing well. <3 Happy August to all :D

Divine Rivals. Oops. My first Fairyloot arrived with damage. So I bought an unread one from a Norway seller, ahh. <3 Worth it. It's in perfect condition. Sobs. And bought the UK paperback from her too. Love.
Disney Illusion Island. I'm hoping to play this new game very soon, ahh :D I think it looks fully adorable.
Beth Revis swag. A new envelope of patreon swag has arrived from Beth, eee :D I love it so much. <3
Funko Europe. Would it even be a imm post without new pop figures? Hahaha. This was one big order. I could not help myself. Sigh. Tried for more mystery minis, after having had a break. And!!! I got two of the three I'm missing from Stranger Things, finally :D Ahh! Now I just need Max; my most wanted one, ha. No new Lilo, but two new Harry Potter. Still not the cat, which is the one I actually want. Oops. And.. I may have bought a second Peter Pan cooler soda bag, because I did not like the Peter chase I got last time. Oops. So now I have the regular one, and a chase Tinker Bell, which I adore :D Trying to sell the other doubles. And a new Christmas wallet, ha. Love my Pennywise. And diamond Ariel. Love it all so much.

More Instagram photos here. <3

Wednesday, August 2, 2023

Waiting on Wednesday #615

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.


Goodreads Description:

Perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo’s Shadow and Bone, this Imperial Russia-inspired romantasy launches a new dark fantasy duology of gods, politics, and deadly magical powers from a Sunday Times bestselling author

To cage a god is divine.

To be divine is to rule.

To rule is to destroy.

Using ancient secrets, Galina and Sera’s mother grafted gods into their bones. Bound to brutal deities and granted forbidden power no commoner has held in a millennia, the sisters have grown up to become living weapons. Raised to overthrow an empire―no matter the cost.

With their mother gone and their country on the brink of war, it falls to the sisters to take the helm of the rebellion and end the cruel reign of a royal family possessed by destructive gods. Because when the ruling alurea invade, they conquer with fire and blood. And when they clash, common folk burn.

While Sera reunites with her estranged lover turned violent rebel leader, Galina infiltrates the palace. In this world of deception and danger, her only refuge is an isolated princess, whose whip-smart tongue and sharp gaze threaten to uncover Galina’s secret. Torn between desire and duty, Galina must make a choice: work together to expose the lies of the empire―or bring it all down.

Format: 384 pages, Hardcover
Expected Publication: February 20, 2024 by DAW
Pre-Order: Blackwells and Amazon US and Amazon UK

Ohh. I am pretty curious about this book :D Mostly because I have been a fan of Elizabeth for years and years. <3 I am behind on reading her books, though, as I have only read the first two Falconer books, years ago, oops. But even so. I adore her. And I will be buying this new adult fantasy by her :D Excited.
What are you waiting for on this godly Wednesday?