* I made this review a long time ago but I hadn’t upload it in this page and I think it’s important as I’ll upload the review of the second and third books. *
A hero’s tournament. A defiant contender. Does one girl have the courage to take on Mount Olympus?
world doesn’t have room for heroes. She barely has time for schoolwork,
swim team, and taking care of her ailing mother. But when she’s invited
to a mysterious tournament, the all-powerful hosts won’t take no for an
Transported to Mount Olympus, Hope comes face to face
with her new trainers—the pantheon of Greek gods. While other contenders
train hard to gain a fighting edge, Hope searches for a way out.
Instead, she finds a gorgeous shadow god who may just convince her to
As each round unfolds, the ultimate prize draws closer—the
granting of her heart’s deepest desire. If she survives the final
challenge, her mother’s cure would be within reach…but only if Hope can
ignore the tournament’s dark purpose.
is the first book in a bold YA urban fantasy trilogy. If you like Greek
mythology, forbidden romance, and feats of courage, then you’ll love
Astrid Arditi’s heroic coming-of-age tale.
I have always loved Greek mythology and the last saga I read before starting this book was also about this, so I was pretty obsessed with the subject before starting and had really high expectations about it.
In brief this book seems totally recommendable to me and it fulfilled my expectations, I can’t give it 5 stars because I felt the whole book that I was reading a story instead of really feeling part of it. But I have faith in the following books, I look forward to them (2019 u.u)
The book itself was easy to read and I only had a couple of problems to understand some parts until the context guided me (this may have been because I am not a native English speaker). In fact more than once I got confused if they were talking about Hope the protagonist or about having hope. (Dishonor to my cow for this XD)
The central theme behind the story, the competition, was very entertaining and included enough mythology as a bonus. As for the characters, some just were lovely like Gabriel and Amy. Hope is also an interesting character but it is soooo good that it gets stressful sometimes XD. Most of the characters are introduced drop by drop, which makes you begin to really like them when the story is well advanced. Especially with Kieron, I love his character but I feel I knew him very little and I wish I had seen a little more of his personality change cause it was too drastic for me. Anyway, I’m not too worried about this ‘cause it’s only the first book in the series and we will have time to get to know everyone better and get deeper into the world that Astrid presents to us. Regarding the gods … I love them because they are excessively imperfect. The heroes are much better though, especially Bellerophon (whose name is not so difficult but for some reason I am unable to say aloud XD), but I deeply desire the power of Aphrodite…
Now I need a second to express … probably Heath is the character that I’ve hated the most in centuries! When I started reading, I was sure that he would be part of the typical love triangle and that we would understand why he does everything and blablabla. BUT NOOOOOO, he’s just a damn bastard, if you read this, feel free to hate him from the beginning, do not bother thinking about it XD. Actually I swear I hated him more every chapter and that just reading his name makes me angry, I just Hope (see what I did here? xD) that I’m not offending an important character for Astrid, if so I’m reaaaaally sorry but I still hate him 🙂
I just need to add that I really got kind of obsessed while I read the book and ended in every Astrid group in facebook, don’t even know how that happened. And that I’m IN LOVE with the cover. I strongly recommend to give this book a try.
Bye bye 💕
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Axlin’s world is full of monsters. Some attack the travelers on the roads, others besiege the villages until they manage to completely destroy them and others enter the houses at night to take the children while they sleep.
Axlin is the scribe of her village, the only one who can read and write. And she has decided to investigate everything she can about monsters and translate her findings into a book that can serve as a guide and protection for other people. That is why she decides to leave with the peddlers to gather the ancestral wisdom of the villages in their precarious fight against the monsters. However, throughout her trip she will discover things she would have never imagined when she left.
The book tells the story of Axlin, a girl who lives in a village, here they are known as “enclaves”, in which they must try day by day to survive, as monsters constantly lurk in order to kill humans. Kill, don’t eat.
Axlin herself knows for sure, because a “knobbly” left her with a limp for life, a lower price if we take into account that she was lucky enough to survive.
This fact, among others of her life, generated in her a great curiosity to know and discover ways to protect themselves from monsters. For example, in her enclave, everyone was shaved to avoid “longfingers” (I think it’s the worst enclave just for this ?).
Since everyone worked to survive. No one knew or was interested in learning to read, only the scribe of the village knew, and he chose Axlin as his successor.
<< Axlin, thirteen years old, is the new scribe of the enclave >>
So far I was sure that I had understood what the story was about, but I was very wrong.
Axlin begins to write a book to capture everything she learns about monsters thanks to the peddlers and her own experiences in the village, but she soon realizes that if she wants to continue with her book, she needs to get out of her enclave. Like this she begins her journey with the peddlers, learning from the wisdom of each of the villages she passes.
For situations that I will not mention so I don’t ruin the book to anyone, Axlin meets Xein, an extremely handsome young man with a very strange characteristic, his eyes are golden. Even stranger, he seems to feel no fear of monsters, he even thinks he is capable of hunting them. Will he simply be crazy or have any reason?
Xein was calm and confident; normally, his attitude was enough for her to relax too, or at least a little. However, a disturbing idea crossed his mind suddenly: What if Xein was crazy?
Axlin and Xein don’t have much time to spend together, but they still generate a powerful relationship that, unfortunately, must be postponed, because Axlin feels she can’t leave her mission incomplete.
– And you? If you met a special girl … would you be willing to leave with her? …
– I wonder what kind of boy would be willing to lay with you on the roads cataloging monsters – he countered. And Axlin found herself answering: -Maybe one who doesn’t fear the monsters. A hunter, and not a prey.
I feel it could have been a very good book so far, and the truth is that here the best is just beginning.
El Bestiario de Axlin is a complete book. It has adventure, action, romance, suspense and more! You really don’t want to put it down since you start reading, and it’s only the first part. There are many characters and each of them feels real, not just as a filler. The protagonists in particular have an impressive development as they discover who they are, and must fight against who they are supposed to be.
From the beginning I could realize that it would not be a simple light reading, because the story begins quite dark and the descriptions of the monsters are macabre, especially when contrasted with their very simple names. One of the things that caught my attention and I really liked is the analysis of the society that is done in the book: It really serves to beat the monsters, or in a world where humans do not need to worry about surviving, they can become something worse than monsters?
I’ve said that it’s very difficult for me to put 5 stars to the first book of a saga. But this one deserves it by far. I can’t wait to see the new twist that this story will take in the following books.
Bye bye 💕
* When I did this review there was no English version *
* I read this book in Spanish and some things are translated by me, so they may not be identical to the English version *
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Marked for death, Sabine escaped from her home more than ten years ago.
But the Wild Hunt will never give up.
It should have been easy to stay hidden. All Sabine had to do was keep her head down, avoid telling anyone about her past, and above all else — not let her glamour drop.
Even the best-laid plans eventually fall apart.
When a charismatic stranger arrives in the city, Sabine finds herself unwittingly drawn to him and the power she can sense hidden within him. Keeping her distance is nearly impossible, especially after a life debt is called due and she’s tasked into helping steal a rare artifact.
In order to break the magical barriers protecting the item and save her companions, Sabine will be forced to drop her glamour and reveal her true identity.
Unfortunately, the Fae aren’t the only ones hunting her.
And the most dangerous monsters aren’t always confined to the dark.
This is a book full of magic, adventure and love. Mostly the love you feel for your friends, who become your family.
The book begins with the story of Sabine, a Fae descendant who has escaped from her home more than 10 years ago to save her life. Since then she has lived in Akros, one of the cities with the greatest diversity of races, protected by Dax, a demon that dominates much of the city’s commerce.
When Sabine falls into a trap, she’s helped by a strange ship captain who has just arrived in the city to do business with Dax. His name is Malek and the attraction between them is undeniable from the first moment they see each other. Sabine realizes that Malek is not a human, but she doesn’t know what kind of creature he is, nor does she care.
But, should she care who Malek really is? Besides, why is Sabine running away? What is Malek really doing in Akros? These and many other questions are not answered until beyond the middle of the book, but the surprising thing is that at no time I thought about stop reading it. The suspense catches you and it becomes a need to know the whole story.
The descriptions of the characters and places are very good and allow it to be easy to live the story you are reading.
As for the characters themselves, Sabine and Malek are amazing. As you get to know them you can see they are complex people, with a past that does not define who they are in the present. The others are also good characters, but we don’t get to know them that much, so they have less development, however, it’s easy to like most of them. Sabine in particular is a wonderful character. She has been able to become a strong and brave woman, but she is also able to realize when she needs help.
I try to save the 5 stars for my favorite books ever and it’s almost impossible that I give them to a book 1 in a saga as there’s so much more left to know. This is the only reason I gave this book 4 stars, although it’s probably around 4.5. For me it is totally recommendable, and I can’t wait to read the second part.
Can we take a second to appreciate the drawing before each chapter?
It’s too beautiful!
I really would like to say more about this book, but I feel anything else I could say would be a spoiler, so just go and grab your copy!
EDIT: First, this book deserves 5 stars, I have no idea what was I thinking. Second, I just saw this book trailer and it’s amazing! Had to share it.
Bye bye 💕
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* After reading the complete saga, I think the best order to read it is the original. Starting with Spell Speakers or Step into Magic. But reading these two before Kissing Magic and Within Magic. It is true that is not necessary to understand the story. But it’s necessary to feel it complete. *
Magic has never been as dangerous.
Troubled by dreams of Sian in danger, Karina opens a new portal.
But instead of going to Whyland, she breaks the defenses against
Lumina, an ethereal city with advanced and dangerous magic. Not only
that, she ends up powerless, alone, and without any awareness of her magic, trapped in a strange land where not even her mind is safe.
Sian has an impossible task: defeat the gigantic Maris king. A victory doesn’t mean a ticket home, though. In his struggle, he’ll come across magic more powerful than he ever imagined.
Intruders in Whyland force Cayla and Darian to go to the Light Gardens, where more truths and secrets are about to be revealed.
Stranded across dimensions, how will these characters come together again?
Get immersed in this action-packed, emotional conclusion to Portals to Whyland, recommended for teens 13 and up.
You’ll find adventure, romance, intrigue, revelations, and magic. Start reading it now!
This book has a totally different tone from the previous ones. From the beginning it felt much darker, not losing its essence, but the protagonists suffered too much in a very short time.
Everybody was sent back where they belonged. This means that Karina was back in her own dimension, with all the portals closed. Away from Whyland. Away from Sian.
After 6 months of research, Karina went with Zoe to meet a stranger who claimed to have a teleporting tower. This was clearly a bad idea, but Karina was desperate, especially since she kept dreaming that Sian was in danger.
Things were even more complex than she expected, as she ended up opening a portal to Lumina, one of the ethereal cities, which had long been isolated for trying to conquer others. Karina ended up being kidnapped by the people of Lumina for being able to open portals, and was tricked by Satwak (with a very dirty trick in my opinion), the leader’s nephew, to get her help.
Meanwhile, Sian had been sent to Marisia, since he had to fulfill his promise and defeat their current king. The mission was impossible for a human even against a normal Maris, and the king was much larger than these. His only chance was that his dream was right and he had more power than he thought. Being without shoes…
Still, he was surprised that he remained there. The realization that he was in a dream usually pulled him awake.
The woman exhaled and smiled. Her hood covered the top of her face, but he could feel her eyes piercing him. “The fight tomorrow. Don’t wear shoes.”
This was quite odd advice.
On the other hand, in Siphoria, Darian and Cayla are finally having a nice relationship. Darian was named Grand General by Lylah, while Cayla is practicing self-defense and trying to be friends with Alessa, her coach. Everything was going perfect until Lumina was unlocked. Lylah involuntarily evacuated Cayla and Darian to Light Gardens to protect them from the people of Lumina, the same ones who had Karina.
Sian: One of the biggest reasons I liked this saga. Sian is finally learning about his powers, but he is also learning about himself. After being with Karina, he understood that feelings don’t necessarily make you weak. But, after having to survive in Marisia, he doesn’t really know who he is anymore. Clearly, all his suffering in this place, plus everything he suffered as a child made a dent in him. For the first time he has to learn how to cope with emotions, instead of burying them. His evolution in incredible, because he is learning from his mistakes and wants to do things right this time. However, there were times when I felt it was not like himself. Above all, I needed more of his sarcastic and overreacted attitude.
Karina: She looks stunning on the cover, it’s my favorite! It’s always easy to identify with Karina, and it’s nice to grow up with her. She has become much stronger and more determined. She wasn’t going to accept not seeing Sian again, nor losing her chance to become a guardian. However, things do not turn out as she expected and ends up trapped in Lumina. This time we get to know this ethereal city through her eyes, while she tries to remember the last two years of her life, the ones she has spent in Lumina’s royal family with her husband … Wait, what?
Cayla: She is finally beginning to mature, which implies that she needs to fix her relationship with. Although this is not easy when the two are unable to hold a conversation without attacking each other. She is also determined to learn self-defense and make friends. All while enjoying her relationship with Darian. But things get complicated when she is forced to escape to Light Gardens.
Darian: At first I thought he wouldn’t be really important in this story, but I’m glad I was wrong. Darian has finally understood that he should not overprotect Cayla. He has matured a lot and wants to have a true relationship with his brother. He is also for the first time in a real searching for his powers (for which he becomes something between a hippie and a buddha).
Satwak: Nephew of the leader of Lumina, he’s crazy. Karina is kidnapped and then Sat erases her memory to protect her from her uncle. Or not? I would have liked to know him better, he is a very interesting character. I still hate him, but he’s interesting.
For me this book deserves 4.5 / 5 stars. I really wanted to give it 5, but something was missing. I had a hard time understanding what it was, but I think I already know. It could give much more. It is a very good book, but the created world and the characters presented are so many and so good, that there isn’t enough time to cover everything.
As in the previous books, so many things happened that some of them simply lost relevance along the way. At least most of my doubts from Kissing Magic got an answer.
I liked the style of Day very much. I love that there is so much humor and sarcasm in the book. But above all I admire her imagination. From creating a new world, she went on to create dimensions, creatures and powers. With a really endless resource of imagination.
This book, and the whole saga are totally recommended for spending a pleasant time, in a world surrounded by magic and wonderful characters.
He was raised to resist them. Now he has to join them.
14-year-old Darian was raised in an isolated village in Whyland, among people who resisted the oppression of the King and his army. When his life takes a tragic turn, he ends up living in the King’s castle, forced to train in the military academy, closer to his enemies than he has ever dreamed. His only solace is Cayla, a girl he befriends at the castle, who helps him smile and feel whole again, with whom he slowly falls in love, whose identity he ignores at his own peril.
But the castle holds more dangers than expected. Darian has to thread carefully if he wants use his position to help Whyland find freedom and remain alive.
Spell Speakers is a coming-of-age fantasy novella introducing characters featured in the upcoming series Portals to Whyland.
It is probably my favorite book from the saga. Knowing Darian and Cayla’s relationship at last, in addition to each other’s past, explains a lot about why each of them did the things they do in the future. I definitely think the saga should be read in order, starting with this. While it is true that you can understand the story without reading them all, the feeling is completely different.
Cayla, Darian and Sian have many reasons to be as they are. And we can only fully understand them once we know their full history. For example, in step into Magic I liked Darian’s appearance, but now that I know how things went, everything makes a lot more sense. The same with the evolution of Sian’s and Cayla’s personality.
In this short novel we can know the love story between Darian and Cayla, from his point of view. It is a wonderful story of a first love that begins as a friendship in a secret garden. Unfortunately, they are forced to postpone their relationship.
It is also an interesting family story, because we finally know how Sian and Darian met. And how they attempt to relate with great difficulties.
Basically, it is a warm story, which gives us as a bonus a little more information about the village where Darian was raised and the capital, Siphoria. And the state of the latter upon Karina’s arrival in Whyland. Totally recommended.
*I know that this book says you don’t need to read the first one and it’s true, but it’s nice to have a better understanding of the world and the characters, so I would recommend reading it first anyway.*
Kiss him. Don’t fall in love.
Break a spell with a kiss. Karina has heard and seen enough weird stuff for this request to sound
At 16, Karina has a shot at adventure—and an odd first kiss—when she’s called to Whyland, a kingdom in another dimension, to save Sian. Sian. Last time she saw him, they were in opposite sides. Still, other than trying to take the kingdom for very selfish reasons and keeping her friend hostage, he was pretty nice. And he sent her a book. Maybe he’s not that bad. Well, she’s not going to leave him enchanted just because he was a greedy jerk some months ago. And it’s not like kissing him is some kind of torture. Far from torture. Still, Karina’s smart enough not to fall in love—or at least to tell herself not to. But it turns out that risking a broken heart is the smallest of her problems. As an ancient darkness rises in Whyland, Karina will have to take a stand—and face more dangers than she’s ever expected.
If you like romantic fantasy and adventure
with snarky and witty characters, you’ll have a great time reading Kissing
Magic. This is book 2 in Portals to Whyland but you can jump straight into it
without having read book 1. This novel is recommended for readers 13 and older.
Karina goes back to Whyland to save Sian from a weird spell that made him a statue. Only a kiss could wake him up and for some reason Darian expected Karina’s would work. While they tried to wake Sian up, Cayla, Darian and Karina were attacked by Kyons, sort of clay creatures that mimicked an incomplete human shape. Karina couldn’t let Sian-statue abandoned so she run and ended up teleporting to her own dimension with him.
Karina crossed her arms. “I kissed you on the cheek. Friendly kiss.”
His eyes widened, then he frowned. “That’s cheating!”
Sian finally woke up and warned Karina that the Kyons were after her. She didn’t believe they could reach her dimension, but they did and attacked her and her best friend Zoe. To save her, Karina teleported to Whyland with the Kyon and met Sian again. So, she stayed with him in the Darloom Castle to find a way to stop the Kyons. Karina repeatedly told herself to avoid falling in love. But maybe it’s not that easy.
She’d been fascinated with him from the moment she first saw him. She’d told herself he was weird. Weird were her feelings. And now she’d have to deal with them.
Meanwhile, Cayla and Darian are finally together but now they will have
a harder and unexpected problem that may end their relationship. They become
the king and queen of Whyland in Lylah’s absence.
So, the girls are clearly in bigger problems than before, and now they
must add love to the list.
Sian is seriously one of the best characters I’ve read about. He’s
really complex and has a superior intelligence. He knows how to get whatever he
wants but he’s not a murderer monster and he never lies, as he makes clear a
lot of times. It’s clear that Sian wants Karina by his side. But the question
Sian tilted his head. “Nobody believes in love at first sight. Until they do.”
Karina is amazing, she’s clearly a normal girl that found herself in the
middle of too many unknown things, but she grew up along the story becoming
braver and smarter. She still makes some silly mistakes but that’s only because
she’s naive. Above all the new things she’s living, she falls in love for the
first time and with the worst option possible (although I disagree on this).
Sian, the weird guy that flirted with her after kidnaping her and Cayla. Now
she and whole Whyland have bigger problems than ever before.
Sian stared at her. “It was a joke, then. All a joke.”
“It wasn’t. But you never told me what you wanted to do, never. You spent time away from me, probably planning whatever it is you’re going to do, and you never said anything. You never asked what I thought of that.”
Cayla and Darian have finally sorted things out, but Cayla is still stubborn,
and Darian has an extreme need of protecting her, so they have a lot of fights
around this until they both understand their mistakes. We can also see a little
more of the past of them both, which is way more interesting than expected.
Cayla snorted. “You said it all, Darian. If I made the decisions. The problem is that I don’t.”
That was unfair. “I’m doing this for you! For us!”
I can’t say much about the other characters in the book as there would probably be too much spoilers.
In summary I loved this book. I’ve liked a lot the first one but was clearly for younger people. This one has a much more complete story with much better characters, or more than that, better presented ones. The evolution of the characters, mainly Karina and Sian, is really nice. You can truly see they are growing up and learning instead of getting stuck. Something interesting are the occasional explanations of how technology works in Whyland. More worlds, more magic, more love. What else can you ask for? Also, the fairytales vibes are still here, and I love them. Therefore, I recommend this book 100%, even more than book 1.
One thing I was forgetting. I didn’t read this book, I listened to the audiobook. About the audiobook itself, the voice is really nice to listen. My only complain would be that, as it’s only one narrator, when the conversations got a little faster it was really hard for me to know who was saying what. Anyway I enjoyed it a lot. This was my first audiobook and it opened my mind for keep listening them.
Not special. Not chosen. But she’s got magical shoes.
14-year old Karina doesn’t know what she wants, but knows what she’s found—fascinating silver shoes. Fascinating, dangerous, and potentially evil. On the upside, they do bring cool visitors. When a princess invites her to go to Whyland and save her kingdom, of course she accepts. There’s that little “let’s destroy the shoes” detail she’s not crazy about, but hey, free trip, alternate world. But Whyland is nothing like she expected. Karina finds herself stuck in a kingdom she doesn’t understand, with no clue on who to trust. Before saving anyone, she’d better save herself—if she figures out how. To make matters worse, as much as the princess is fierce, determined, and brave, she’ll jeopardize everything just to reconnect with her boyfriend, almost boyfriend, or whatever. And that might just be their doom.
Step into Magic is a fun YA portal fantasy adventure. If you like books with strong heroines, friendships between girls, subtle romance, and some mystery, you’ve found your book.
This story starts with a completely normal girl named Karina who falls in love with some silver shoes in a garage sale. She didn’t buy them at first but once she got home she felt the urge to go back for them. For some reason Karina decided that she wanted nobody to see the shoes and hided them in her closet as her special secret. The problem was her best friend Zoe who found the shoes and decided to “borrow” them for a dance. While Karina got furious seeing her friend with her shoes, Zoe suddenly slipped and fell from the stairs breaking her leg. Although it seemed stupid, Karina was sure it happened because she had wished her friend would take the shoes off. So, the shoes were magical and really dangerous but for some reason she didn’t throw them away.
The shoes – and what they seemed capable of doing – sent shivers down her spine.
One night a woman entered Karina’s room claiming to be the real owner of the shoes and offering a wish in exchange from them as they could not be stolen like Zoe tried.
No harm in trying. “World peace.”
“No, no, no, you have to wish something for yourself.”
“Why? That’s a good wish.”
“It is. But you see, you cannot mess with other people’s free will”.
Oh well, that meant there would be no new era on Earth thanks to her.
The woman, Lylah, said she came from another dimension and couldn’t stay long, so she would be back the next day which was more than a week later in her dimension. After she left, Karina went to sleep and woke up as she felt somebody in her room again. This time were two girls, Cayla and Ayanna, princesses from Whyland, the dimension where also Lylah came from. They needed the shoes and Karina for destroying them as they were Lylah’s fount of power and she was an evil witch that put their realm in danger. So Karina, eager for knowing about other dimension agreed to go with them to destroy the shoes and become a heroine. Unfortunately the first part of the mission seemed to be quite easy and boring.
Perhaps that was what real adventures were like: they felt ordinary and mundane when one was in the middle of them. Only later, when looking back, people would realize what it had been, which was sad because it meant nobody ever truly lived an adventure, only remembered it as one.
“Luckily” for Karina, she found out really soon that things would be harder than she expected as there were real dangers in this world and she knew nothing about it.
There clearly are more important characters that take part in this story but I’ll just talk about the ones that I felt more important.
Karina: A normal girl eager for knowledge and adventure until she finds out that adventures where more dangerous than she expected. Most of the book is from her perspective so we are as clueless as she is about this realm we are brought into. Even though she gets easily scared in this new world she never quits in her mission and decided to be brave so she can help her new friends.
More than anything, Karina hated to be wrong. Wait. There was something worse: admitting she was wrong.
Cayla: Stubborn teenager princess. Bad combination but she’s not that bad. Her life style made her brave at a point that could be crossing the line for being reckless but she’s a really good person inside.
Cayla looked at the girl. She stared as if examining her before answering. “People in the castle are not like you” “What do you mean?” Cayla had a half smile. “They are not dumb.”
Darian: I spent most of the book trying to understand what side was he into. Darian is the “friend maybe more but not” of Cayla. He’s the son of the king’s general but was raised away from the castle. He was born with the talent of influencing people and he really gave it a use. “I’m sorry for my part in it. But I did tell Cayla it wasn’t safe to go wandering on her own. I offered to go with her, but no.”
Lylah: I don’t really know what to say about her. It’s clearly the most powerful person in the kingdom and she’s an evil witch. But, is this true?
“I was hoping this would be the day,” Lylah said. “Have you ever considered that most of what you heard in your life were lies?”
Sian: I wasn’t going to mention him as he’s not really protagonist in this story and actually we don’t really get to know him. Sian is Darian’s older brother, but they are in opposite sides of the war. However, his honest and funny personality caught me immediately.
“You don’t talk much, do you?” He smiled. “I like it! My favorite type of conversation partner. I can hear more of myself.”
In summary I loved reading this book. It’s full of small secondary stories and has friendship, a little of romance, adventure, magic and some hilarious parts. I guess I should add that if you’re of the kind that likes to get an explanation for everything, this may not be your book as lots of things just seems to happen. Anyway, this is just book I so there’s plenty of time for getting this answers. After thinking about it I believe this book it’s a lot like old fairytales, as we get immerse in a realm where we follow this girls and their companions to their destiny while our hearts get filled with magic. I recommend it a 100%.
I got the opportunity to hear the audiobook and to be honest it gives even more vibes of a fairytale. The narrator is super clear and easy to understand, but I hated the attempt to do some voices, particularly Odell’s and Nia’s. And general Keen sounds like a snake ?. Anyway I loved this audiobook.
My real name, no one remembers. The truth about that summer, no one else knows.
the summer of 1862, a group of young artists led by the passionate and
talented Edward Radcliffe descends upon Birchwood Manor on the banks of
the Upper Thames. Their plan: to spend a secluded summer month in a haze
of inspiration and creativity. But by the time their stay is over, one
woman has been shot dead while another has disappeared; a priceless
heirloom is missing; and Edward Radcliffe’s life is in ruins.
one hundred and fifty years later, Elodie Winslow, a young archivist in
London, uncovers a leather satchel containing two seemingly unrelated
items: a sepia photograph of an arresting-looking woman in Victorian
clothing, and an artist’s sketchbook containing the drawing of a
twin-gabled house on the bend of a river.
Why does Birchwood
Manor feel so familiar to Elodie? And who is the beautiful woman in the
photograph? Will she ever give up her secrets?
Usually I need a book to have fantasy to want to read it. I love to think of books as a way out of reality to live in a totally different world for a moment. And, don’t get me wrong, it’s not that reality is so bad, it’s just fun to be able to live in more than one reality. But I got off the subject.
I found this book in a library and, for some reason, it caught my attention. When I read the synopsis I was already determined to read it. Who doesn’t love a good mystery?
At the beginning I found it very interesting, because the story begins in the present and seems to have no relation to the past, I thought we would simply participate in a current investigation into an ancient event, but I was wrong.
There is more than one person who tells us his story through the book, all with only a small relationship between them. I read in another review that someone made a small scheme not to get lost about the history and time of each one. This is not really necessary, but if you have bad memory it can be quite useful.
About the characters, there are a lot relevant for the story but for avoiding spoilers I will focus on a few.
First we meet Elodie, who is, in some way, the protagonist of this story. Personally I do not like her personality at all, I found her a very uninteresting person, however, the character is very well done, it is possible to understand her way of being.
Elodie works as an archivist. One day a long-forgotten box was found at work that she voluntarily offered to classify. In this she found a bag with a notebook and a photograph, all without apparent relationship. After seeing the photograph of a woman and the sketch of a house that she identified as the one of her favorite story when she was a child, she felt the need to discover who that woman was and what relationship she had with the house.
While Elodie does not know, it is not really a spoiler for the reader to know that the woman in the photo is Birdie, who is another character that tells us her own story.
Birdie’s character is lovely. She’s really beautiful and, not common in her time, incredibly intelligent. Every person she met, one way or another, describes her ways that it’s impossible not to like her, and when she tells the story herself, it’s really easy to be on her side.
Birdie is the real protagonist of this story. Daughter of a clockmaker, she had a rather difficult childhood and, for reasons of destiny, she became a model of Edward Radcliffe, a young man aimed at becoming one of the best painters of his time.
Edward is clearle another one of the important characters in this story. An artist whose personality leaves no doubt of this. At the beginning of a work he was unable to think of anything else, and when he received an inspiration he was so distracted that it was very common for him to return without his wallet.
Unfortunately, Edward’s promising future was suddenly ruined one summer. He had decided to make a retreat with his artist friends at Birchwood Manor for inspiration, but instead his fiancé, Fanny, died and Edward was totally destroyed. What really happened that day is something that only Birdie knows.
But what does Birdie have to do with this? Well, you will need to read the book to know.
My favorite character is Birdie, she’s the biggest reason I loved this book. But there’s one more “character” that caught me from the story: Birchwood Manor.
The house that connect each of the lives that we know in this story through the ages. Kate does an impressive job giving dimension to each of the characters, but she really nailed it with the atmosphere she creates in the house. It is possible to “see” each of its interior spaces and also its exterior next to the river. It makes her a character in the story.
In short, I really liked this book and also Kate Morton’s writing style. I will probably read “The Forgotten Garden” in the future, but, for now, I highly recommend that you give this book a chance as it has a very solid and realistic plot, complete characters and that transports us in each of its pages.
I would recommend reading this book after the first and before the second. This is because the first one introduces you to the history of the Luxen and in the second the story of Dawson and Bethany becomes quite important.
The last thing Dawson Black expected was Bethany Williams. As a Luxen, an alien life-form on Earth, human girls are…well, fun. But since the Luxen have to keep their true identities a secret, falling for one would be insane. Dangerous. Tempting. Undeniable.
deny the immediate connection between her and Dawson. And even though
boys aren’t a complication she wants, she can’t stay away from him.
Still, whenever they lock eyes, she’s drawn in. Captivated. Lured.
Dawson is keeping a secret that will change her existence…and put her life in jeopardy. But even he can’t stop risking everything for one human girl. Or from a fate that is as unavoidable as love itself.
Dawson is a completely different person from Daemon. He was always much nicer than his brother, and, while not weak, Daemon was much more powerful than him. His life was as simple as that of an alien in the midst of humans, until the day Bethany arrived at school. It was love at first sight for both of them and Dawson didn’t bother to hide it, he approached her from the beginning and was totally reciprocated.
“For the first time he wished he was not an exact copy of his brother … But then the girl caught his gaze again and smiled. The pen fell from Dawson’s fingers. ”
“- Well, Bethany Williams, this is where I should leave you – for all saints, he seemed truly afflicted – for now.”
Awwww Dawson is so cute I ❤ Dawson
For things of destiny (and what things ?), Bethany discovered his true nature. This greatly complicates things because, while Dawson blindly trusts Beth, other Luxen people don’t like the idea of putting their lives in the hands of a human, even knowing that if she tells someone, she loses as much as they do, since the defense department is responsible for disappearing humans who know too much.
This couple’s relationship is really one of the prettiest I’ve read. Every thought and every act they perform is incredibly loaded with love. In addition, Bethany is a great protagonist. She is not at all weak, is very funny and is very normal. I love that her hobby is painting, for example. It is amazing how well she assumes the Luxen thing, that although it scares her a little, she manages to control herself and accept it. She never thinks about leaving Dawson and they both do their best to get everyone to accept their relationship, even getting Daemon’s support.
Then Ash turned to Daemon, his cheeks flushed. – I can’t believe you’re allowing him to do this. The next thing we will know is that you will be dating a human.
Daemon burst out laughing. – Yes, as if that would happen.
Finally, they manage to convince the Luxen that there is no danger that Beth knows of their existence, and they “accept” their relationship. But just when everything seems fine, an ugly accident complicates things and they end up being attacked by arums, obtaining the result we already knew from the first book.
The end of this book is quite sad, but I have all faith that this is not the last thing we will know about Dawson and Bethany. I can’t wait to read the other books. Normally I would have finished the entire saga in a week, but the studies won’t let me read ?.
Anyway, I hope you read this saga, so far it is wonderful. Tell me, what do you think?
* I read this book in Spanish, so the quotes are translated by me and may not be identical to the English version *
When we moved to West Virginia
right before my senior year, I’d pretty much resigned myself to thick
accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring…until I
spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes.
Things were looking up.
And then he opened his mouth.
is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But
when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a
wave of his hand, well, something…unexpected happens.
The hot alien living next door marks me.
heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of
enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon’s touch has me lit
up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I’m getting out of this alive is
by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades.
If I don’t kill him first, that is.
The first thing I want to say is that I postponed reading this book for too long. Many times, while looking for what to read, this saga appeared to me as a recommendation, however, a book of aliens did not call my attention at all. At least until I ended up having the Covenant saga in my hands, from the same author and OMG, I became obsessed with it on another level. After my fascination with the plot and writing style of that saga, I finally decided to give Lux a chance, ready to obsess me again. I was not wrong …
“Welcome to West Virginia, the supermodel land!”
The book tells the story of Katy, who leads a normal life until she moves to the house next to the Blacks, the twins Dee and Damon.
Daemon was a real jerk at the beginning of the book. However, when reading the chapters from his perspective, things change a lot. He is still an unpleasant type because of his initial behavior with Kat, but at least it is possible to understand that he really good reasons.
The chemistry between Daemon and Kat is incredible, even when they are insulting each other you can see that there is something else between them. The fangirl in me explodes with the relationship of these two. It is very funny to see how every time Daemon is cute with Kat, her neurons fry and she is incapable of giving an intelligent response like the ones she gives when he acts like a cretin. And the clear effect she has on Daemon is really exciting, although Kat doesn’t realize this.
I really recommend reading this book. At least for me it is wonderfully written and keeps your attention all the time. The main characters are well developed and each one has a strong story as the basis of their personality. In addition, this book contains a lot of humor characteristic of Jennifer that fascinates me.
If you read this and have not read the Lux saga you have to give it a try. And when you finish it run through Covenant, which probably became my favorite saga ever and I have read quite a few sagas.
* From this point on, this review contains spoilers, nothing that will ruin the reading, but I do add some details that might be interesting to read in the book first *
The main character is Katy Swartz, a normal 17-year-old girl who has just moved to “the Puritan West Virginia” from Florida with her mother after her father’s death. She is a shy and “bored” girl who loves to read, even has a blog about it.
“Mom has beautiful blond straight hair and very vivacious hazel eyes. Even with the uniform on, it made my gray eyes and my ordinary brown hair look like the pile. Besides, I am … more round, so to speak. I have the widest hips, the full lips and the very big eyes, like of a small doll”
Let’s see … it’s curvy, with big gray eyes, light brown hair and full lips. How horrible must be your life Kat …
Her mother is a nurse and obsessed with work, so they have very little time together and Katy has had to get used to fending for herself.
Since Kat had to go to school and didn’t know anyone in town, her mother insists that she make an effort to meet her neighbors, who turned out to be a boy and a girl her age.
With the excuse of getting directions to a store, she approaches the house next door and meets Daemon Black …
“The eyelashes rose, revealing eyes so green and bright that they couldn’t be real. They were an intense emerald tone that stood out by contrast against tanned skin”
Daemon was probably the most handsome boy in the universe, but the moment he opened his mouth he also turned out to be the biggest jerk, treating her in a very bad way.
After this, Kat goes to Petersburg for shopping and in the supermarket she meets Dee, the twin sister of the cretin Daemon , who, unlike her brother, is super excited that they are neighbors and practically begs her to be friends.
Dee’s personality is lovely. Always overflowing with energy and joy, so much so that it should become annoying, however, it feels so authentic that it became one of my favorite characters in this saga.
“Not that she was simply an animated girl, she was pure life …”
As she adapted to the village, she noticed more and more strange things about the Blacks. Mistrustful looks from people, superhuman reflexes, in addition to the fact that Daemon kept trying to get Katy away from her sister, arguing that they were different.
The real reason for Daemon’s hatred was because his twin brother had fallen in love with a human and everything had ended badly.
The Luxen were always born as triplets, 2 men and one woman. Dawson, the brother of Daemon and Dee, had disappeared a year ago along with his human girlfriend.
“My brother fell in love with a human … and now they are both dead.”
When Daemon saw a human coming to the house next door, and realized that he was unable to ignore her, he probably panicked and the only solution he saw to continue protecting his family was to try to scare her away.
This could have been a good plan if it weren’t because Dee was determined that Daemon would accept her and, in reality, he didn’t want to push her away either.
Anyway, Daemon has his moments …
I have always believed that people who are truly beautiful, inside and out, are those who are not aware of the effect they have on others.
Those who show their beauty spoil it. Beauty is temporary. It is a shell that hides the shadows and the emptiness inside…
“ I have always believed that people who are truly beautiful, inside and out, are those who are not aware of the effect they have on others.
Those who show their beauty spoil it. Beauty is temporary. It is a shell that hides the shadows and the emptiness inside… ”
Anyway, after embarrassing Katy to the limit of her patience, Daemon tries to apologize, but this goes wrong and Kat ends up running away from him until she is right in front of a truck. Daemon, to save her, freezes the truck revealing the great secret they were trying to hide. It turns out that he and his sister, in addition to their friends, are aliens. Luxen to be exact. Their real form is that of a body made of light, like a giant firefly, and they can control the light in a thousand different ways.
They hide their identity because the government knows about their existence and the Department of Defense leaves them alone as long as they don’t reveal too much. In addition, every time they use their powers near a human, this absorbs part of their energy and is left with a “trail” of light resembling Christmas trees, which only the Luxen can see and the Arum, shadow beings of an enemy planet who destroyed the planet Lux and now came to earth to look for the Luxen to steal their powers.
Katy is involved in this world and is obliged to stay close to Daemon until the trail left in her by the truck incident disappears.
From here many interesting things happen but I hate spoilers, so I won’t say anything else.
Read the book and tell me if you liked it as much as I did 🙂
* I read this book in Spanish, so the quotes are translated by me and may not be identical to the English version *
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