Review: Poison Study by Maria V Snyder

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Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder

or: Sweet Baby Jesus Someone Send Help

Goodreads   ||     The Book Depository

Synopsis: Choose: A quick death, or slow poison… Yelena has a choice – be executed for murder, or become food taster to the Commander of Ixia. She leaps at the chance for survival, but her relief may be short-lived. Life in the palace is full of hazards and secrets. Wily and smart, Yelena must learn to identify poisons before they kill her, recognise whom she can trust and how to spy on those she can’t. And who is the mysterious Southern sorceress who can reach into her head? When Yelena realises she has extraordinary powers of her own, she faces a whole new problem, for using magic in Ixia is punishable by death

Before the review begins, indulge me for a second.

Oh my god.

SWEET ODIN’S RAVEN.

*does a weird jiggly dance for a few seconds trying to get the feels out*

Ok, I’m good now. Let the review begin.

What. a. book.

It’s rare that one finds a book like this, and I’m so glad I decided to pick this book up. This was an impulse buy at the book store when I was picking up another book, and bless whatever power sent this book my way.

As a relative late comer to this series, I’ve found this first book as addictive as the commander’s beloved Criollo. Augh if I don’t get my hands on the next books soon, I’m going to combust.

Initially doubtful- I was worried I was going to encounter a sickly love story told in a disparate ye-olde-times world- I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I was quickly sucked into the rich, immensely complex world of Ixia and quickly fell in to back Yelena 100%.

The world Snyder creates is vividly beautiful but she doesn’t dump information on you all at once. She lets the world, the customs and the backstory slowly unfold much like a flower slowly opening to reveal the inside. Its honestly worth the wait for the background info, and helps to keep you firmly entrenched in her world. It almost feels like you’re drifting along behind Yelena like a ghost, watching helplessly as she makes trademark bad decisions and then overcomes them.

Valek’s transition from bad guy to morally grey love interest is intriguing and its honestly a relief that Snyder doesn’t create a tragic backstory for Valek; she presents him as he is, and never excuses his past behavior. He’s immensely likable even though the moral codes surrounding him are watery. Snyder presents a Stokholm-esque love between Yelena and Valek (that’s totally not a spoiler; its obvious from the beginning) and its hard not to excuse it. I mean sure it’s kinda creepy and totally not ethically cool, but its hard to gather motivation to hate the pairing. The ying-yang effect – my favourite literary couple dynamic- makes it hard not to root for the pair and the millions upon millions of obstacles in their way.

The characters are all immensely likable. In fact I honestly cannot bring up a character that made me wince; well… the baddies of this book honestly (this one I will hide due to spoilers) but only because they were the villains- they were amazingly strong characters. Of note were Ari and Janco who so quickly worked their way into my heart they now have achieved a spot in my legendary sidekick hall of fame.

There are so many plot points I did not see coming and this was such an exciting book to read that the adrenaline barely left my system. I grew cranky each time I was forced to put this book down because I was desperate to know what happened.

This is definitely a new favourite and I highly, highly recommend it. Honestly its been a few weeks since I’ve read this book, and I still cant form enough logical and coherent thoughts to do a book review that gives this book justice. Honestly, you’re just going to have to take my strong words and go and pick up a copy.

You’re welcome

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Review: Daughter of Darkness by V. C Andrews

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Daughter of Darkness by V.C Andrews

or: *retching noises*

Goodreads   ||  No link for book because I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy

Synopsis: When I was a little girl, Daddy told me never to fear the dark. “We exist because of the darkness,” he told me. “All of you are daughters of darkness.” Beloved bestselling author V.C. Andrews’s passion for vampires comes to spellbinding life in a long-awaited novel of dark desires as all-consuming—and forbidden—as in Flowers in the Attic. One night, with the sound of a young man’s scream, high school senior Lorelei discovers that her stern but loving father, who adopted Lorelei and her sisters as infants, is no ordinary man. He has raised his beautiful girls for one purpose: to lure young men into their world of shadows. Like her sisters, Lorelei has been trained in the art of seduction and warned never to fall in love. But when she meets a handsome and charming classmate, she boldly defies her family and follows her heart—even if love is a poison. . . .Dangerously enticing and deliriously intoxicating, V.C. Andrews’s Daughter of Darkness will leave readers thirsting for more

Excuse me while I saliva vomit and bleach out the contents of my mind.

I abandoned this book on page 64. I just couldn’t force myself to go any further. I’d given up all hope of the book improving 20 pages ago and was so close to hurling the book onto a large fire somewhere.
I was given this book years ago as a gift but it’s stayed on my book shelf ever since. This should have been a sign but I was desperate for something to read while I waited on some ordered books and just thought it would be a quick easy read

I should have left it on my book shelf. What a waste of my time.

This is so dull I can’t bring myself to continue. Lorelei is a whiny little brat and Andrews writing is like a stream of consciousness that has zero direction. The plot moves at a glacial pace because she keeps slipping back into pointless memories. Her characters are dull and are obsessed with their father figure which is both disturbing and unsettling as the premise of the book.

The plot is horrific, the writing style is appalling and I am honestly questioning why they decided to release this book under such an esteemed pen name. I’ve never read Andrews work before, but my mother used to be a cult follower back in the 80s and 90s. I grew up watching my mum devour her books and she said such good things about her writing that I guess I had become blind sided.

Sorry mum but this is the last attempt I’ll make for good ‘ol Andrews.

I gave this book one star on Goodreads. I would have given it none if Goodreads would have had it. I honestly didn’t ever expect to come across something that would rival the disastrous Spellcaster but it seems Gray has finally met her match here.
Trust me, this isn’t worth your time. I rarely abandon books: I stick it out until the end even if it’s horrible. I just can’t with this book

Review: Storm Born by Richelle Mead

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Storm Born by Richelle Mead

Or: hmm what’s missing here?

Goodreads   ||   The Book Depository

Synopsis: Just typical. No love life to speak of for months, then all at once, every horny creature in the Otherworld wants to get in your pants. . . Eugenie Markham is a powerful shaman who does a brisk trade banishing spirits and fey who cross into the mortal world. Mercenary, yes, but a girl’s got to eat. Her most recent case, however, is enough to ruin her appetite. Hired to find a teenager who has been taken to the Otherworld, Eugenie comes face to face with a startling prophecy—one that uncovers dark secrets about her past and claims that Eugenie’s first-born will threaten the future of the world as she knows it. Now Eugenie is a hot target for every ambitious demon and Otherworldy ne’er-do-well, and the ones who don’t want to knock her up want her dead. Eugenie handles a Glock as smoothly as she wields a wand, but she needs some formidable allies for a job like this. She finds them in Dorian, a seductive fairy king with a taste for bondage, and Kiyo, a gorgeous shape-shifter who redefines animal attraction. But with enemies growing bolder and time running out, Eugenie realizes that the greatest danger is yet to come, and it lies in the dark powers that are stirring to life within her…

This book was good but there was something missing from it that I cant quite put my finger on.

I’d give this book 3 stars after some time to think on it.

Richelle Mead has held my devotion for many years, and now that the Vampire Academy series and Bloodline Series were over, I was determined to read more of her work. I accidentally stumbled across book three in this series in store and then quickly realised my mistake after purchasing the book and returning home. Determined to like the series, I ordered this book.

This story is good, but it doesn’t sweep me up and overwhelm me. I’m not sure if its because I have extremely high expectations when it comes to Mead’s work or I’m just used to the slightly different style of the VA and Bloodlines series.

Will I read the rest of this series? Definitely; I’ve seriously got a crush on Dorian. Would I go out of my way to recommend it? No, I’d recommend her other stuff.This is the sort of book you read when its a cold, wet day and you have not much else to do. This is a great time waster with a very strong heroine who is in strong command of herself. This is the sort of book you’d take away on vacation. A ‘pool’ read if you will.

Once again, Mead’s ability to create such a dense and complex new world that runs parallel to our own is amazing; the Otherworld is amazing and something you’d find in a true world-built fantasy. Yes there are a few holy parts to this world- for example there are times when you kind of just sit there confused as you try and imagine it in your head- but I think Mead intends well. I’d say the Otherworld for her is so dense and complex, she has a hard time describing it because she leaves a lot of the world to the reader’s imagining. For a lot of reviewers (god bless goodreads) this is a deal breaker. For me it isn’t.

While yes, there is definitely a love triangle in this book, it’s not unnecessary and it’s hard to imagine Eugenie’s story existing without both Kiyo and Dorian in the way that it does. Does Eugenie become solely dependent on either one? no. Not at all. This book does however revolve around sex so if you’re not into sexually independent women, it’s best to put this book down and walk away, because there is A LOT of sex in this book. It’s almost as if Mead is making up for the very wisely abstinent Bloodlines and VA series here.

It’s easy to draw a lot of parallels between Rose Hathaway and Eugenie Markham, but Eugenie is still fresh and original and has just enough dry sarcasm to set her apart from Mead’s other spunky heroine. Eugenie, like most of Mead’s heroes, makes mistakes and like Mead’s previous offerings, is totally forgivable. You can’t help but root for Eugenie, and pray she stays strong enough to keep moving on her own path. While there are some moments Eugenie almost slides into Mary Sue mode, they are rare and brief. If your tolerance for Mary Sue moments is limited, again, its probably best to put down the book and move away. Eugenie isn’t a Mary sue… totally. Hopefully this improves as the series goes on.

I don’t know if that intangible missing part will appear in the next couple of books, but I’m definitely committed to this story line and will read the series anyway. 

Unpopular Opinions Book Tag

My next books to read. Can't wait to get some quality reading time 😋 #bookworm #TBR #nextread

A post shared by Ashleigh Warton (@ashleigh954) on

This is technically a youtube tag…. but I really felt the urge to do this….so…. yeah…… Also no one tagged me…… but frankly my dear I don’t give a damn. This sounded like a lot of fun and I can’t wait to do it!!!

Feel free to do it yourself. I officially tag you.

The original tag comes from The Book Archer (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9UwI6f1tGJr0GeFh3SdNzA)

1. A Popular Book or series that you didn’t like.

People are going to kill me for this but I hated ‘The Great Gatsby’. I still do. With a fiery passion. I was forced to study it for my HSC English and every second of it was torture. I still shudder each time someone says the name. Sorry not sorry.

2. A Popular Book or series that every one else seems to hate but you love.

I’ve been trying for ages to think of one and honestly cant. The only one I can think of is The Undead Series by Mary-Janice Davidson and people don’t so much hate it as it seems to be a series you love or you hate. Its relatively unknown but its a pretty even split in terms of the first couple of books. I personally adore this series so much, Betsy is my Queen literally, and don’t understand the hate it gets.


3. A Love Triangle where the main character ended up with the person you did NOT want them to end up with (warn ppl for spoilers) OR an OTP that you don’t like.

Oh man where do I start. There are so many times I just scratch my head and go geh? I’ll only mention a few here; Ginny and Harry (Its definitely a sister/brotherly relationship), Luce and Daniel from the Fallen series (I know they’re literally the whole premise for the series but I personally don’t get Daniel at all), Mina and Johnathan (from dracula, going back to the classics here), Elanor and Park (scandalous I know. please see my book review on this for a more detailed reason) etc.

4. A popular book Genre that you hardly reach for.

Mystery. I’ve never really gotten deeply into it. I’d honestly like to, but I tend to just stick within my own genres. It’s something I’m trying to challenge though but Mystery is usually never even thought of in my mind.

5. A popular or beloved character that you do not like.

I may piss off a few people with this one, but I really really really do not like Gale in The Hunger Games. Not in the movies or books. I think he’s a waste of space honestly. I grimace each time his character is brought up. Love the Hunger Games, hate Gale.

6. A popular author that you can’t seem to get into.

I tried to read some of Claudia Grays work this year. I don’t know if it was just the book I read (the disaster that is Spellcaster), but I am really reluctant to give her other books a shot. I dont like her style of writing, I hate the helpless female character leads. I hate that Spellcaster revolved solely around a boy and girls crush on each other. Shes probably just not for me.

7. A popular book trope that you’re tired of seeing. (examples “lost princess”, corrupt ruler, love triangles, etc.)

Lots. Let me be brief as a lot of these I intend on writing blog posts on. The Bad Boy trope needs to stop. Now. Its both dangerous, ridiculous and unhealthy to teach women that the bad boy is someone to be lusted over and lauded no matter how badly he treats you. A leopard does not change its spots. You cant fix him.

Second. The damsel in distress. Ridiculous and I refuse to buy into that patriarchal bull. Give me strong heroines who fend for themselves and solve their own problems.

Third… I’ll stop now to avoid going on a rant.


8. A popular series that you have no interest in reading.

Honestly, I’ll try most books. The only one that’s probably the exception to this rule is the 50 shades series. I will not give my money to a franchise that wrongly depicts a kink and tries to convince its readers that its abusive male love interest is just mysterious and its ok. Its not ok. You will not get one cent from me.


9. The saying goes “The book is always better than the movie”, but what movie or T.V. show adaptation do you prefer more than the book?

Honestly, none that I can think of. Maybe I’ve yet to come across that magical unicorn, but usually its the book for me that’s better. That’s essentially my golden rule. Sometimes I may not have read the books behind a tv series or a movie but its hard to say that it is in that case better if I don’t have anything to yet compare it with.