Book Review: Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor

This book is the sequel in the Strange the Dreamer series. You should definitely read the first book Strange the Dreamer before picking up Muse of Nightmares. The first leaves the reader with so many questions and this one is the answer key. In fact, this book leaves off right where the first one ends. I’ll try to leave this review spoiler free so it is thin on book summary.

What can I say about this book other than it is amazing. It ripped out my heart and then fix it back into my chest and filled it again almost to bursting. I finished reading this book before bed and I couldn’t go to sleep because I was just so happy. I feel like I was on a journey right along with the characters feeling everything they feel. Laini is a words smith. She makes the reader understand how characters can be good and bad by creating the clearest, realist picture of people. The magic and the world are huge and detailed but not confusing. Plus, shout out to an epilogue I needed to read. Perfect closure to a story leaving me satisfied and dreamy.

In this book, we follow the same cast of characters but even a few new ones, Nova and Kova, enter the fold becoming a critical point of the story. Lazlo returns but we spend less time in his head. Sarai also returns and as the title of the book leads you to believe, yes this is her book. She is sweet, strong, and instead of breaking people down she is learning to use her magic to help people. Rudy, Feral, and Sparrow are back. I think Sparrow gets a little more magical growth in the story but Rudy and Feral set the perfect teenage tone. Minya is a marvelously complex character. All the pain she holds and knowing every decision made was to protect the others. Even though I disagreed with her so many times, it is so easy to understand her position completely. The character with probably the most unexpected arc is Thyron. I don’t want to give anything away but at first, I was a little confused why he was getting page time. Let’s be honest he isn’t the best person in the first book but it made me so happy to see him develop. (Squeal!) Lastly, Eril-Fane and Azareen. Sigh. So much emotion.

Yes, these books are considered young adult but the themes in this book are ones we are constantly facing throughout life. How grief can be blinding and holding on to pain is such a negative weight. Learning to let go of hurt and learning from mistakes and after all that knowledge, you can still do good. Moving on from the ugliness. Thank you Laini Taylor.

ARC provided in exchange for an honest review.  Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor will be published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers on October 2nd, 2018.

Purchase Muse of Nightmares through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Book Depository.

Purchase the first book in the series, Strange the Dreamer, through AmazoneBooks.com, Barnes & Noble, or Book Depository.

Book Haul

This book haul will be short since I don’t buy a lot of books anymore. I didn’t have a book review ready this week because I’m a slow reader. I’m hoping this will be better than posting nothing.
Mostly I go borrow from the library. It saves money and if I’m not downloading a library e-book, it’s a nice time out. But this past month I did buy and receive a few books and I would love to continue to share my love of books and support authors.


First I had some digital dollars left in my Amazon account and there is an Amazon e-book sale on Leigh Bardugo’s Wonder Woman: Warbringer. I’m a fan of Wonder Woman so I needed it plus sale! You understand.
Book Depository, Amazon, Ebooks.com, and Barnes & Noble.


When I was younger I may have sponsored whales or dolphins but the first animal I really found a connection with was wolves and I sponsored a wolf from the Sawtooth Pack. Jim and Jamie Dutcher lived intimately with this pack of wolves and now has written about the virtues they observed in wolf society and behavior. Basically, anything that has to do with wolves, especially the Sawtooth Pack I will buy. Amazon, Book Depository, Ebooks.com, and Barnes & Nobles.


I received a Barnes & Noble gift card from my mom so I took advantage of the 50% off sale and bought, Circe by Madeline Miller. I don’t think I could tell it any better so, “In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child–not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power–the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves.” Need I say more? Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, and Ebooks.com.


The second book I bought was Dread Nation by Justina Ireland. The reader follows Jane McKeene, a Black teen. Zombies rise from their graves during the Civil War. The US ends the war with a compromise that frees the enslaved but forces them into combat schools that train them to slay the undead. Yup, had to have. Amazon, Book Depository, Barnes & Noble, and Ebooks.com.


I’m currently reading an advance copy of (Don’t) Call Me Crazy by Kelly Jensen. Algonquin Young Readers gave me this book filled with essays, lists, poems, and art which 33 contributors including actress Kristen Bell, figure skater Nancy Kerrigan, and bestselling YA authors like Adam Silvera, and Victoria Schwab. The novel explores ways these people have coped and thrived with mental illness. If you’ve ever struggled with your mental health, or know someone who has this is the book. Review coming soon. On sale October 2, 2018. Amazon, Book Depository, and Barnes & Noble.


My next read will be Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers was so amazing and give me an advance copy. It is the sequel of Strange the Dreamer which was like a dream, wonderful and heartbreaking. I love Laini Taylor’s writing and can’t wait to get to this read. Review coming soon. On sale October 2, 2018. Amazon, Book Depository, and Barnes & Noble.

That concludes my list. What do you think of my list? Is there any you would or would not recommend. Would you like to see more post like this one? This blog won’t be book reviews forever. I do plan on getting back to discussing some writing struggles. Until then, I hope you find your perfect read.

Drooling for These Book Deals

I’m not trying to be a deal site but for a book obsessed person, there are 4 days left to Barnes & Noble 50% off book blow out. I made the mistake of looking and I saw some books that I loved reading or some on my to-read list I thought I would share. I do mostly frequent my local library for my reading needs and I would surely recommend that if money is tight even for some of these wonderful deals but if you’ve been eyeing one of these beautiful books to occupy your shelf nows the time. Any money saving that can be done on my book buying habit I’m all in. (If you prefer, I included the Amazon link if they had the same deal.)

Strange the Dreamer

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor I read this and loved. I think Laini Taylor has such a poetic way with language. This is a fantasy. It’s about Lazlo Strange and his obsession with the mythic lost city of Weep until it leads him to finally find it’s borders. Just disappointed it is the paperback on sale. Was thinking of adding the hardcover to my collection. Amazon

Dread Nation

Dread Nation by Justina Ireland and on my to-read list. Zombies rise from their graves at during the Civil War. The US ends the war with a compromise that frees the enslaved but forces them into combat schools that train them to slay the undead shamblers and the reader follows Jane McKeene, a Black teen. Need I say more. Amazon

Warcross (Warcross Series #1)

Warcross by Marie Lu is the first in a series. A teen bounty -hunter hacks into Warcross championship games and accidentally into the action. Game creator recruits her to spy but she soon uncovers sinister plots. There is also an e-book deal just for today (probably only the US) for $2.99. Amazon

Love and Ruin (B&N Exclusive Edition)

Love and Ruin by Paula McLain. From the point of view of Martha Gellhorn, famed novelist, travel writer, and journalist during her marriage to Ernest Hemingway.  I really like Mclain’s first novel The Paris Wife from point of view of Hadley Richardson, Hemingway’s first wife, so I’m all in for this one.
Amazon doesn’t have the paperback/hardcover deal by the e-book is $3.99 at the time I posted this.

Circe

Circe by Madeline Miller. I don’t think I could tell it any better so, “In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child–not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power–the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves.” Amazon

Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood

A non-fiction pick on my to-read list is Born a Crime by Trevor Noah. I just have heard so many good things about this book. I now wonder how I haven’t read it yet? Amazon

That concludes my list but there are so many more books I want to read that are currently on sale. What do you think of my list? Is there any you would or would not recommend. Would you like to see more post like this one? This blog won’t be book reviews forever. I do plan on getting back to discussing some writing struggles but for now, this is what I got.

Days of Blood and Starlight Review

Should I buy the hardcover additions of The Daughter of Smoke and Bone Series? The debate still lives in my mind. And an update on the box set available in October is a price decrease from $57 to $51. Barnes & Noble has even a better deal. The box set is only $37. Thanks B&N for making my decision a lot easier. In this post, to help my brain, I will review the second book in the series Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Talyor. If you haven’t read the first, warning, just the synopsis may give away some spoilers. Read ahead at your own risk.

Karou has finally learned about her past. She know knows where she comes from and who she is. Karou’s stories continues but she sets out without her family or friends. Karou must work for The White Wolf the same wolf that ended her last life. She uses the skill she learned from Brimstone to make monsters to fight in the Wolf’s army. Her once-beloved, Akiva, tries to undo some of the wrong of his past and ties to save as many as he can.

I still love the wonderful unique prose. The first half of the book was slow and made it hard to get into until it wasn’t. The world building is clear and vivid. The character descriptions of half human/ half beast is imaginative.  Still the same engaging characters and a few new interesting introductions. Taylor has gift by making the reader feel the defeat of her character’s and their situation but as the story plays out the reader can feel the main characters, Karou and Akiva, grow from followers to leaders. Love how this young adult novel has found a grown-up voice with the cold truth of the ugly side of war. This story is not all daggers and pain. Taylor still manages to add some humor, romance, and hope. What I loved about this story is that this is not just about star crossed lovers but the depth to save a people, save two worlds, and save themselves.

Recommend this series.

Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor

Bookshelf Decisions

I’m trying to keep the spending down. For me this isn’t hard when it comes to things like cloths or extracurricular activities but books, they are my spending weakness. I’ve been doing well lately. I have mostly borrowed from the library and friends. There hasn’t been too many books I’ve come across I feel I need to own. I’ve been pretty happy reading them and giving them back. I’m very proud when I’m able to put down the books I find in book stores and simply check it out of the library. It has saved space on my bookshelves already overflowing with read and to-read copies of dozens of books. I now have a set of books I feel I need to own and in hardcover no less. 

The book series is The Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. I love the story, the characters, the settings, and the cover art. I’ve tried to win them in Goodreads giveaways but I’ve had no luck. The good news, the hardcover is still available for the first book in the series. Since this thought has been on my mind since the release of the third novel in the series I decided to look up the damage this purchase would cost my wallet and the outlook is not good. I understand what I wanted but it still hurts when you see the $56 dollar price tag. But that total was all the individual books added to the cart. Next, I looked up to see if they have a box set. It looks like the box set is not out yet and not planned to be released until late October but with a $52 tag. I think I will wait and keep an eye on the price of the box set to see if it decreases before October. Maybe by October my wallet will be a bit better, the set will be somewhat cheaper and I can justify a great series on my bookshelf. If you haven’t read The Daughter of Smoke and Bone series my short review is below of why I think it’s worth the read.

Daughteros SmokeAnd Bone
Daughter of Smoke & Bone Box Set

I came across this book because of Vaginal Fantasy, a book club introducing me to romance genre books with strong female leads in the urban fantasy, sci-fi, and historical fiction. The first book is called The Daughter of Smoke and Bone and as I said above it is by Laini Taylor. This story is about Karou, a blue haired, tattooed, knows multiple of languages, art student, and orphan living in Prague. To her sassy, sarcastic, lovable best friend, Zusana, Karou is a girl who draws amazing monsters in a sketch book. What Zusana doesn’t know is Karou’s demons are real and the only family she has known. Karou is just trying to get over her crummy ex-boyfriend and do her job, collect teeth for her beast like foster father Brimstone. As Black Hand prints start showing up on Brimstone’s portal doors in cities around the world what comes to past is a history with no good or evil but a muddled gray of sides.

This book is labeled young adult but I believe it can appeal to an adult audience. The author has an impeccable writing style. The world building and setting is clear, imaginative, and beautiful. The characters are unique. I liked Karou, Brimstone, and the shop full of teeth. You know that Karou’s job to collect teeth is serious business when it is on the black market in exchange for wishes. Taylor doesn’t disappoint when the reader learns what the teeth are being used for. The romance that develops in the second half of the narrative slows down the book a bit but the mystery of the characters and their pass is what kept me reading. When the story ended I was left with more questions and looking forward to the sequel.

Favorite Quote:

“You were true to her, even if she was not to you. Never repent of your own goodness, child. To stay true in the face of evil is a feat of great strength.”
“Strength,” she said with a little laugh. “I  gave her strength, and look what she did with it.”

I want to thank Felicia Day, Veronica Belmont, Kiala Kazebee and Bonnie Burton (the girls from Vaginal Fantasy) for opening my mind to wonderful books I would have missed out on like this one. I’ll write a review for the second book in the series, Day of Blood & Starlight next week. Maybe this will help me make some bookshelf decisions by then. 

Covers
All Three Books In The Series (Love Cover Art)