Category Archives: fantasy

Strange The Dreamer- Laini Taylor – Review

Lazlo Strange is an outsider. He was orphaned by a war and left with a group of monks. He has grown up thinking he is nothing, just someone to be there to help but never to stand out in the crowd. He lives for one thing, the lost city of Weep.

He is the only one who remembers the real name of Weep which was stolen from his mind. He is the only one who believes that the place is real. He makes it his life mission to find this land and prove its existence.

That chance comes and he is taken to his long dreamed of land. Only it is not a magical place, like he thought. It is lost and needs his help. He finds that what he believed is not the whole story. Weep has a dark past, one that is being told from only one side.

On the other side of Weep’s story is Sari and her siblings. Children of gods who are thrown into a life they don’t know how to navigate. Are they the monsters everyone fears they are? If your parents do horrible things are you then horrible as well? Can you make peace with your past to live for a better future?

This book explores an idea that fascinates me which how is evil created. Is evil something that is born into someone or is evil created by circumstance? The godspawn in this story are the product of evil acts by their parents. They are babies when their parents are killed in what they call The Carnage.

They can’t even remember what happened, except for Minya; more on her in a minute. Sparrow, Ruby, Feral and Sari were left orphaned by the people who were wronged by these gods. They did not grow up with the anger and dangerously dark influence of their parents. They got to grow up on their own, teaching themselves the rules of the world.

The people of Weep though only see their parent’s past mistakes. They hold onto the memories of that darkness. They can’t fathom the idea that Sari and her siblings are not their parents. They believe these gods are evil to their core, that it is part of their nature. But we see that not being true. We see the good these characters can do. I loved that idea and the way it was explored through the different characters.

Minay was the most fascinating character to me. First she is stuck in the body of a six year old. We know she has the mind of an adult but her growth stopped after The Carnage. The idea of this angry child walking around stuck with me. I can see her having this rough and dark attitude but then being in this small body, almost too small to contain all that anger and hurt.

She is the only one who remembers The Carnage. She saved who she could and it eats at her soul that she could not save more of the babies. We see that she is full of anger and resentment towards the people of Weep. She blames all of them for one man’s actions.

It provides an interesting question for the reader. Who is in the wrong? Is anyone in the wrong? The Godslayer did what he thought he had to do to protect his people. Minya did the same. Both see the other as monsters and both are right in a sense. I am very interested to see how this plays out in the second book.

While I like Lazlo and Sari’s relationship it took me a little by surprise. They moved really fast in their falling for each other and for me I felt it was a bit too fast.

Sari has been manipulated and isolated her whole life and she finally finds someone outside of the other godspawn who can see her. She is captivated by him and I understand why. What I didn’t understand was why she fell in love with him right away. I wanted to see her explore who he was more, to try to underhand where he came from better. I even wanted her to be a bit cautious and suspicious of him. Instead she falls right into his arms.

While it didn’t annoy me too much and didn’t make me hate their characters, I did feel like it made them a bit cliche. I am always looking for a character to act outside the norm and wanted her to be a bit darker and edgier. I am curious to see how Sari’s character develops in the next book.

There was nothing that made me upset to removed me from the story. I did feel like it was building quite a bit and a lot of set up but the story telling kept me interested. I think the writing itself helped move the slower parts along.

“It was impossible, of course.
But when did that ever stop any dreamer from dreaming?” – pg. 25

“Beautiful and full of monsters?
All the best stories are.” – pg. 115

“And that’s ho you go on. You lay laughter over the dark parts. The more dark parts, the more you have to laugh. With defiance, with abandon, with hysteria, any way you can.” pg. 135

“Here was the radical notion that you might help someone simply because they needed it.” pg. 287


Inside the Illusion – K.A. Applegate- Everworld #9 – Mini-Review

This is the one I have been looking forward to re-reading the most out of this series. In fact I jumped right into it after Brave the Betrayal instead of reading something else in-between.

This is the only time we get this story from Senna’s POV. I love when we get inside the head of the villain or the antagonist. I find it fascinating to learn how they think and how they make the choices they make. This time was no different.

As I have been reading the series again I found myself not caring much about Senna. I can’t remember how I read her when I first read the series as a teenager. She didn’t leave much of an impression on me. I was curious about her but I wasn’t dying to understand her.

In this book we see that the her past has colored all her decisions. She is resentful and angry. She is someone who blames the world for her issues and she is going to make that world pay. Senna is done being pushed around and left to the side. She is going to rule this world if it kills her.

I understand her anger. She was left by her mother, dropped into her father’s family and left on the outside of a seemingly perfect family. She knew she was different but no one was around to explain to her how or why. Naturally she become a loner and very independent.

Where I lose sympathy for her is her decisions in this world. She is only out for herself and she will use anyone to get what she wants. She doesn’t think about the consequences of her actions. She doesn’t care who make it out in the end, as long as she is the one with the power.

Power has corrupted her. I wonder if her mother had been braver and stuck around how Senna would have turned out. I wonder if she would have learned to appreciate her power and use it to help instead of hurt.

I can’t remember exactly what happens from this point on. I don’t know how her story ends but I am almost positive it isn’t well. I am more excited now to continue the series because I want to see where her story goes.

Brave the Betrayal – K.A. Applegate – (Everworld #8) – Mini-Review

(This is a review for the 8th book in this series, there may be spoilers for previous books)

For this book we were back in Jalil’s head. I vaguely remembered this one, mostly because of the upside down world part. I found it interesting how as I read certain aspects came back to me. I was reading and was like “Oh yeah, forgot about that guy.” I found it a bit fun in this one to see how much I remembered and how much came back to me.

Two parts of this book stood out to me. One was this one centered on the African gods. The interesting part was that we never actually meet any of them. We meet a minor, messenger type god. We never meet the major ones. This portion gave me more a feeling of forbidding than anything else.

What this book did make me want to do is research the African culture and the gods that were mentioned here. I wonder if we don’t get to see much of them because the author didn’t know much about them or if the history and information available is scarce.

I also wonder if this part was smaller because people are not as familiar with these gods and thus she concentrated her time in the story on the stories people are more familiar with? Though that is a lost opportunity to learn more and become familiar with a new set of stories.

This all plays into the theme of this book though. In this one we see Jalil and April unwilling to submit to these gods and make a sacrifice. They anger the gods and get themselves in trouble. The issue is they learn that this not the world they grew up in. This is not our world and thus our rules do not apply here.

They both were firm in standing their ground and trying to not be “weak” but in the end they nearly get themselves killed. I liked this exploration of the idea of “giving in” or doing something to keep yourself safe. Does it really reflect bad on them if they had done the sacrifice? They couldn’t live with the idea but does it really change the way they think? Does it change their beliefs in the end?

What it does to Jalil is make him realize he has a darker streak to himself. He is willing to take out others and make them change but not for himself. I can’t quite remember how his story finishes but I am curious how he ends up and where he is at the end of this series.

The Past and Other Things that Should Stay Buried – Shaun David Hutchinson – Review

Dino and July were best friends at one time. That friendship ended and now they are enemies. Now July is dead and Dino is lost. What happens when July sits up in his parent’s funeral home, alive but no quite? Can they fix what was broken? Or will their feud cause a rift in the world itself, stalling death and destroying life as we know it?

The reason I like Shaun David Hutcinson’s books and stories so much is because he knows how to write characters. His characters are vibrant and full of life (no pun intended). He creates people you can find in any place in the world and feel like you can connect with them. Any story that can create characters that I can understand is a story I am going to enjoy.

Dino was a great character. He is one of those people I can relate to really well. He is someone who wants to make sure the people around him are taken care of and are understood. He is willing to put aside what he wants or likes in order to make others happy. He is pretending he is going to join the family business to avoid the conflict with his family.

He spend so much time trying to keep the peace and please others he is losing himself. I understood him because I am much the same way. I define myself by how the people around me are doing. If I can help them and make them happier then I assume I am happier. I forget that sometimes you have to find your own way and find what you want. Sometimes you have to define yourself in your own terms and hope others understand. And if they are people who love you and care about you they will understand.

Now July is Dino’s opposite. July is harsh and brash. She is someone who is going to fight you at a drop of a hat. She is someone who will tell you what she thinks, could care less about what you think and is going to tell you why you are wrong. She is the kind of person that when you first meet her you are going to be turned off by her attitude. You are going to think her rude and selfish.

What Hutchinson does is show that she has a softer side. Right away we see that she cares about her family. Throughout the story you see her reasons for her actions and you realize she is willing to fight for those she cares about. She is just lost. She needs that softer and kinder hand to temper her down. I loved her character because she was complicated. While she was annoying and harsh I understood her. I liked that we see that life is not easy and understanding people is complicated.

Hutchinson has a tendency to put in slight bits of the supernatural or the otherworldly in his books. In we are the ants it was aliens but you never wanted to quite understand the aliens. The larger story dominated and you knew the aliens were there and were important but you didn’t focus on them.

Unfortunately that didn’t work as well in this book in my opinion. I wanted that deeper connection to the story so I didn’t constantly wonder at the reason that July was back from the dead and why no one else was dying. That is touched on but never explained. I found myself wondering about it the whole book unlike we are the ants where I barely registered the aliens purpose.

I think that is largely because this book felt like it was a lot of running around in circles. They went from one place to another and had a heart to heart conversation over and over again. I felt like we could have done all of this really well in a short story or even a novella. I think the larger format made it so we had to rehash ideas too often and drug it out. I think I would have connected more if the story had been shorter.

While the plot didn’t hold my attention it didn’t throw me out of the book. It didn’t make it unreadable and I wasn’t just waiting to get to the end. There was nothing that really stuck out as parts that I disliked. It was a quick read that hit some powerful notes.

I gave the book three stars. While I loved the characters and the development of them I just wish the plot had been a bit more robust or the story had been shorter.

Quotes

“People, Like cats are obsessed with boxes. Cats are content to squeeze their own furry assess into boxes clearly too small for them, whereas humans take sadistic pleasure in trying to shove one another into boxes.” (pg. 14)

“Mirrors are liars. They never show us what’s truly there. They show us what we expect to see.” (pg. 134)

“Men who’ve been taught that emotions are a weakness, and they’re never to show weakness, or they bottle it up and camouflage it with laughter or anger or silence.” (pg. 171)

“Even when she didn’t know who she was, she fought for the right to screw up and figure it out on her own.” (pg.235)

In An Absent Dream – Seanan McGuire – Review

Katherine Lundy makes a choice early on in her life. She is going to live her way, she is going to do what she wants when she wants. She learns quickly the world is not going to work in her favor. She finds a door to The Goblin Market, a world where you can get whatever you want as long as you are fair with your deals. But what happens when some deals ask for too much?

I love this series. I love the way this feels like a fairytale while also capturing some important issues of today. You get a lesson without realizing it and you get to see that not all stories end with a happily ever after moment.

This story in particular was about a girl who realizes early on that she is okay being alone. I think I like this one the best so far because I identified with Lundy so well. I was also the quiet child, who loved books and followed the rules. I also balked at the idea of having to fall into line of what a true woman is supposed to be.

I felt like we got to understand Lundy so well. Her back and forth through the door showed us that she was struggling with deciding where she belonged. While the other books the characters stayed, finding their new lives and ways of life, Lundy was stuck in this in-between. She wanted both and learned the hard way that life is not always fair.


Not much threw me out of this book. They are shorter so we get hints at bigger events that happen but I am starting to see that it fits in with the fairytale atmosphere of these stories. While it was a bit bothersome not knowing more about the battles she fought I realized it was more important about what happened afterward. Lundy was created from those after moments and choices and not from the moments themselves.

There was nothing that kept my from enjoying the story. It was fast paced. It hit all the points of the character development well. I read it in 2 days and was sad when it ended.

I gave the book four stars. I loved the story and can’t wait to see who we get to understand better next.

“If the children in the yard next door or on the playground couldn’t find her worth loving the same way, she wasn’t going to change for them.” (pg. 17)

“Following the rules didn’t make you a good person, just like breaking the rules didn’t make you a bad one, but it could make you an invisible person, and invisible people got to do as they liked.” (pg. 38) (This hits very close to home).

The Invisible Library – Genevieve Cogman – Review

There is a Library full of Librarians whose job it is to go to alternate worlds and find important books. They are returned to the Library where they are kept safe and all knowledge is contained in one space. Irene is a junior librarian, someone raised her whole life in this world. Kai is her trainee with secrets. Together they are tasked with retrieving a version o the Grimm fairytales. Seems easy until twists, turns and secrets are revealed. Quickly it becomes a quest for survival for not only the book but themselves as well.

I love the concept of this book. I loved the idea that there are alternate worlds all connected through this Library. The idea that there are people whose sole job it is to go into all these worlds and get important books is fantastic. This is 100% the job I would want if it was an option.

I love that this also connect magic into these worlds. At first I wondered if it was just going to be alternate worlds that certain things didn’t happen in. But no, there are worlds like our own and then there are world with magic and then there are worlds that are a combination of both. I like this because it extends the scope of these stories. I wonder how they will play out throughout the series.

Kai was an interesting character. I knew there was something more about him from the very beginning. You get a hint he is hiding something. I liked the fact that he can switch his personalities so much. One minute he is able to play a proper gentleman of the times then he goes into thief mode. As a reader I felt like I was kept guessing. We still don’t know everything about him and I wonder where his story will go.

Alderich is also an interesting character. I know there is so much more to their story. I want to know how they became who they are. ( I am going to use they because it is unclear what Alderich is at this point, whether human or even has a gender). There is mystery here and I am curious about it all.

I had a few minor issue that didn’t necessarily take me out of the book but kind of gave me pause. First I wasn’t thrilled with the Language system being called The Language. It felt like a lazy name to me. Every time I read it was jarring almost like it was left there a placeholder and was never changed. I felt like it could just have used a better title.

While this world as fascinating I found myself very unclear of how it all worked. I don’t quite understand The Language itself. Why it matters? Who can use it? How do you use it? How do you learn it? I felt like it was there as a way to get out of situations.

I also didn’t quite get the whole chaos idea. It was vaguely explained but I needed a bit more to understand it. Why was there this chaos idea? Why are Fae the main issue around it? How does it work? Why is it called chaos? I again felt like it was hinted at but no real detail given.

My biggest issue with this book was Irene. I honestly did not care for her character at all. She was all over the place. She felt like a strong minded character at the beginning but she got weaker and weaker as the story went on. I thought she could take care of herself but then she went alll damsel who needed men to save her.

She got herself into situations that made no sense. She inner monologued a lot but she never came to any real conclusions in time. She doubted herself too often. She was vague about what she was talking about. I just wanted her to get herself together a bit more. I hope she gets better throughout the series.

I ended up giving this book 3 stars. There is a lot of potential here. The world in fascinating. Some of the characters are great. The mystery is there. I am planning on continuing on with the series but just not right away. I just hope it gets better.

Fear the Fantastic – Everworld #6 – K.A. Applegate – Mini-Review

Christopher, April, David and Jalil are once again on the run. They made their escape from Fairy Land and are on the hunt for a way home. A few missteps and they end up in Hewten territory. There they meet Dionysus and Ganymede, two Greek gods. They need to rescue their new friends and make it out alive, a task that is easier said than done when you have to travel through Ka Anor’s territory.

(This is a mini review for the 6th book in the Everworld series. There may be spoilers for the previous five books).

When I started reading this book I realized that I remember very little of this one. I knew it was Christopher’s story and that it involved a lot of the Hewten. The issue I see is that I don’t feel that attached to the Ka Anor or Hewten storyline.

This book should have made me afraid. It should have been tense and made me scared of this threat. Instead I just felt bored. I like the other books and the other stories because it is all about different gods and these teenagers trying to navigate this world. This one was kind of boring.

I found myself just wanting to get out of the area, knowing that they would and move on to Olympus. I didn’t care about the Hewten city. I didn’t care about the fact they could get eaten alive. The threat felt minimal. Even when we see Ka Anor (which I can’t really picture at all) I still didn’t feel that scared or upset at the situation. I think it is because it was so abstract and nothing much truly happened.

The saving grace of this book was Christopher. I have always like his character and this book solidified why. Christopher is the type of character that appears one way but is deeper and more considerate underneath. He hides his insecurities under humor and makes some off color jokes but in this book you see who he truly is. He is a guy who just wants to live and have fun. He doesn’t want to be bogged down with responsibility and moral codes. But he realizes that sometimes you have to make decisions that will haunt you.

I forgot how many deeper issues these books touch on. In this one we see that Christopher has to choose between what he knows is right and his job. He realizes some may seem him as this hard, racist and sexist guy when in reality he is just someone who makes a joke but doesn’t mean them. He begins to realize the face he is showing to the world and the person who truly is are getting confused and misconstrued. I came away from this book wanting to see how far his character grows and who he becomes.

Black Wings Beating – Alex London – Review

Kylee has a secret, one that could change her and her brother’s life forever. The village they live in is being threatened by an outside force. They need to go on a mission to capture the elusive Ghost Eagle. Can Kylee help her brother without revealing who she truly is? Can Brysen prove his worth outside of his sister and save the boy he loves? What happens when secrets get out and the world around them begins to tip?

This book is about the relationship between this society and their falcons and birds. I adore any story that surrounds animals. (Though I always get nervous because I don’t know if an animal is going to survive). I love to see the way stories tell about the relationship between a people and their animals.

This one is interesting because of the way the story works with the birds. I like that the villagers can tame the birds but are never in full control of them. They know that they can’t fully keep these birds down. They know they deserve to fly and be free and it kind of comments back on their way of life as well.

I also like Kylee’s character and her relationship with her brother Brysen. Kylee is a strong minded person who realizes she also has responsibilities. I liked her because you saw that she wanted to get away and be free but she also was not going to let her brother get hurt in the process.

The sibling relationship was the best part of this book. That dynamic grew throughout the story and you saw the secret ways they tried to help each other. You realize that Kylee has always been trying to protect her brother even if he doesn’t release it. You see that Brysen needs his sister if he won’t admit it. I liked that build up and that growth.


I wasn’t fully attached to any of the characters. I liked Kylee but she wasn’t someone I latched onto. She was there but I didn’t find myself scared of what would happen to her. The same went for Brysen. They felt a little flat to me.

I felt like we were told a lot about who they are but never truly shown those things. We got them thinking it over but never acting out to show that side of themselves. You knew that they had secrets but it didn’t feel life altering. I wanted more to be at stake for them. I even wanted them to have more negative or darker sides to them.

The story didn’t feel like it had high stakes to me. I felt like we were just moving piece to piece. I didn’t feel like there was anything in the way that was going to truly stop them. It felt like it was just moving gently along. One issue solved then another and it solved without much fuss.

I didn’t feel any urgency from the plot. I didn’t feel like I wanted to rush to the end. Even the end didn’t leave me wanting the next book right now. I may read the sequel one day when it comes out but I won’t rush out to get it.

I gave this book 3 stars because it was fun to read, loved the birds but wanted it feel like more was at stake and like there was a possibility of true failure.

“Kylee hated the assumption that boys always made when she was made, like her emotions weren’t a part of her thinking mind like theirs but rather tied to the moons and the winds like an animal’s.” (pg. 53)

“The truth was rarely kind, so why not let a lovely lie linger?” (pg. 101)

“It wasn’t the words themselves that had power but the memories that stuck to words like ticks to deer, draining and infecting them. If you shut down your memory and ignored the knowing-self inside you, you could say anything.” (pg. 127)

“He was the sort of man who’d rather take a punch than let go of his hate.” (pg. 186)

Queen of Air and Darkness – Cassandra Clare – Review

Death has fallen over the Blackthorn family. The Shadowhunter world is once again thrown into chaos. Julian and Emma have to fight to save their world, their family and their loved ones. But their cures is getting stronger. How do they save everyone else and themselves at the same time? What sacrifices have to be made?

One thing that Cassandra Clare does really well is creating a series where the whole thing wraps itself up well while also leaving room for more. This book ends in a way that lets us know our main characters are in a good spot. But there is a hint that this story is not over, that these characters are not going to be able to just run off into the sunset and be happy forever. She always leaves room for more.

While I love this idea, especially because there are certain aspects of this story that I wasn’t quite satisfied with, it also makes me wonder if and when things will truly end. I love this world but I do want to eventually get to a point where the end is the true end and I am not wondering about things afterwards.

I thought the way we learned more about Julian’s character in this book was great. We learned that some of his behavior wasn’t as scary as it seemed before. The way he handled certain situations and seemed to be manipulating people was because he was protecting everyone around him. I was worried about what he would do to save his siblings and we see where he will go but we also saw that there was line he won’t cross. A few short paragraphs really gave us a full picture of him.

Cassandra Clare is someone who isn’t afraid to step out and talk about subjects some shy away from. Her books was the first time I encountered a gay character in a story. Since the introduction of Alec she has included a range of diverse characters in her books. In this one she took an even further step out and included a polyamorous relationship, which was interesting. I have not seen that before and I thought it was handled well.

I wonder at how that was received. I haven’t done much research on other reviews but I thought it worked well in the story. The situation was gone through, you understood the choices made and it works. I didn’t feel like it was there just to be there but was explored in a good manner. You realize it is right for these characters and that is what overall matters.

I also really liked the evolution of Kit’s character in this book. I felt like I got to know him so much better. I want to see more from him. I would be okay with a book, short stories or series about him. He needs more about him and not his past but where he is going from this point on.


In the very start of the book Magnus helps Julian in a way I was super surprised at. I won’t say exactly what happened because it is a bit of a spoiler but I didn’t understand why Magnus did it. He is someone who doesn’t do things because he is asked. He makes someone think about their choices more but he didn’t this time. I felt it was very out of character for him.

There is also a character that came back in this that had very little explanation of why. I was super confused by it and it was very glossed over. Why did he do what he did? Why wasn’t there more explanation to it? I felt like he was brought back to just be there to watch Ty. I wanted more about him.


There was one plot point at the end that really bothered me. I won’t say what exactly but it didn’t make sense to me. Two characters have an issue and there is no resolution to it. They fight and never fix it and it makes no sense to me.

One conversation could have fixed it but we are just left with one character thinking the other hates them. I hate that. I felt like it was a thread that could have at least had a small conclusion and been explored more later. I hope we get more because that was not enough for me.

Over all I gave this book 3 stars. I enjoyed the ride. I did think it dragged on a bit and some of the storylines could have been wrapped up a bit better. It did leave me wanting more though.


“Maybe the rest of them, in accepting the fact of her death, were the ones who didn’t understand.” – pg. 34

“Horace remind him of politicians shouting on TV, red-faced men who always seemed angry and always wanted you to know there was something you needed to be afraid of.” – pg. 60

“Perhaps you outgrew your dreams, too, as your world expanded.” – pg. 98

“Sometimes you have to let people blame you. When the only option is letting bad things happen, it doesn’t matter what people think.” – pg. 421 – One quote to sum up Julians character.

The Unbound – (An Archived Novel) – Victoria Schwab – Review

(This will be a review for a sequel in a series. Spoilers may be present for the first book).

Mackenzie is having trouble sleeping, which is understandable after her fight with Owen. She can’t close her eyes without seeing the man’s twisted smile, hear his grating voice and be stalked by him. But she can’t show anyone that pain. She has to prove to the Archive that she is whole and capable. But that becomes even harder when people begin to go missing around her. Who is out to get her? Is she losing her mind? Can she keep herself and the Archive together or will Owen win in the end?


I was worried about reading this series at first. I know that Schwab can’t currently write anymore books for this series, due to her contact and current publisher. She has talked about this on her Twitter and Instagram before. So I was worried that this was going to end in a cliffhanger and leave me wanting more. In reality it ended with a final moment that left room for more but also was one I can live with being the final end.

As for a sequel this improved so much on the first. It is so hard to write a sequel to a book because you have to live up to the first, keep the story threads moving and not lose speed. Schwab did a great job at this. While the first one was kind of predictable this one was anything but. I didn’t see so much of this coming and wanted to keep reading in order to know where the whole story was going. It took the first one and expanded the characters, the world while also centering on a common theme and picking up from the first book.

I thought the best part of this book as how it dealt with trauma and how people are forced to handle what has happened to them. Too many times we try to force people to handle trauma how we think it is best for them. We try to help but we are trying to make people be okay too fast. Usually people are given small finite amount of time to be affected then they are forced to pretend they are okay. If they let it go onto long they are seen as too damaged and thus need to be removed from society or their lives.

This was explored well because we see Mackenzie trying to hold herself together. In the book we are only about a month out from the incidents in the first book. She was forced to fight a man she thought was her friend, throw him into a void of nothinginess, learned secrets were being hid from her and watched a boy she cared about being nearly fatally stabbed. Anyone would have severe PTSD after that. But she is told she has to show she is capable. She can be strong and manage her life and job.

In reality she is breaking and she knows it but she can’t tell anyone. She has to clear her list, keep her mask on for her family and deal with the reality of her nightmares in order to keep her job as Keeper. She has to pretend she is okay when in reality she is anything but. The way this was all handled was done really well, I thought. We see her pain, feel her fright and understand her choices. She is one of those characters I had no trouble emphasizing with. I wanted her to be able to break and not worry about losing everything in the process.

I liked the additional characters in this book too. I thought Cash was a nice addition to the cast and Amber had potential. They were every much side characters in this book but I saw where their potential could be.


While I loved most of this book it does use one of my least favorite type of storylines, which I have done a whole post about, so I will keep this brief. Mackenzie keeps too many secrets from Wesley, because she is trying to protect him. I hate that idea. It never works. It only creates confusion, and danger for the other person.

Now this book didn’t use it in a way that angered me too much. I was annoyed for sure but I wasn’t as annoyed as I usually am. I understood her choice. Mackenzie wanted this all to be her fight, wanted to show she was alone capable of taking care of herself.

But Wesley was the one person she could have told. He would not only understand but he could have done so much to help her. He would know how to be separate when necessary. Instead she pushed him away. I thought if she had told him their relationship could have deepened. We also could have explored the idea of having those around you to help yourself heal. I thought we could have seen how important support is to helping someone handle trauma.

I also wished we had gotten a bit more about Wesley in this book. There is so much mystery around him. I would love a book from his POV. I want to know who his family is, what truly happened and why he hides his name. I know that was probably planned for a further book but I would love to have that information.


There was nothing that made me want to stop reading this book. There was nothing I had to try to be okay with to finish. It was fun and exciting and pulled me along the whole time.

I gave this book 4 stars mostly because of the whole secret keeping issue I had. Other than that this is a great sequel and leaves sparks for so much more.


“Maybe I just can’t stand our home-turned-house.” (pg. 15) (I love the way these simple words sum up so much, such a vivid image and idea).

“But the fact is, dreams catch us with our armor off.” (pg. 70)

“It doesn’t all boil down to with or against. Some of us just want to stay alive.” (pg. 98)

“Treat all the bad things like dreams, Kenzie. That way, no matter how scary or dark they get, you just have to survive until you wake up.” (pg. 177)

“We stand out in the minds of others more than in our own.” (pg. 275)

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