Mask of Shadows Review
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
There was no going back. I was what I was, and they were a part of me now.
Title: Mask of Shadows
Author: Linsey Miller
Series: Untitled, #1
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Date Published: August 29, 2017
Sallot Leon is a thief, and a good one at that. But gender fluid Sal wants nothing more than to escape the drudgery of life as a highway robber and get closer to the upper-class and the nobles who destroyed their home.
When Sal Leon steals a poster announcing open auditions for the Left Hand, a powerful collection of the Queen's personal assassins named for the rings she wears -- Ruby, Emerald, Amethyst, and Opal -- their world changes. They know it's a chance for a new life.
Except the audition is a fight to the death filled with clever circus acrobats, lethal apothecaries, and vicious ex-soldiers. A childhood as a common criminal hardly prepared Sal for the trials. But Sal must survive to put their real reason for auditioning into play: revenge.
I really wanted to love Mask of Shadows. Sadly, I did not. There were several problems that I had with this book. The first problem that I had was how similar Mask of Shadows was to Throne of Glass. Assassins, revenge, competitions, it’s all there. The entire plot was practically a replica of the plot of Throne of Glass. I can’t put into words how much that bothered me.
Continuing onto the other things that I didn’t like, there was absolutely no character development. I understand that this is only one book, but there should have at least been some character development. In addition, I found the characters really hard to relate to.
The last main thing that I didn’t like was how there was so much history thrown in at once. There wasn’t much time to process the world because it was all explained in one chapter.
Now, finally onto some things that I did enjoy. I really liked the romance. Given, there wasn’t very much of it, but the romance between Sal and Elise was something that saved this book for me. I found it to be understated and obviously not the main focus of the book, which made me appreciate the little moments there were even more.
Even though the plot was so similar to Throne of Glass, it is a good plot. If you enjoy assassins, blood, and gore, you will most likely enjoy this book. I have seen this book advertised to fans of Sarah J. Maas, and I can definitely see where that comparison is coming from, but in my opinion, it is just too similar. Overall, Mask of Shadows has many flaws, but it is still worth a read if you think you will enjoy it.
Buy Mask of Shadows:
Hi! It's been a really long time since I've done a Top 5 Wednesday! This week's theme is characters' fitness routines you want. I thought this would be a fun and challenging prompt, so I decided to use it!
1. The Luxen from the Lux series by Jennifer L. Armentrout
The Luxen in this series don't exactly have a specific fitness routine to keep them in shape, but they do a lot of traveling at the speed of light. I am including this on my list because who wouldn't want to have all of the Luxen perks (traveling at the speed of light, healing, etc.)?
2. Celaena Sardothien from Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
For those who aren't aware, Celaena is a trained assassin. I think it would be pretty neat to have her level of agility, speed, and skill.
3. Feyre Archeron from A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
When I say this, I am talking about the Feyre from ACOMAF and ACOWAR after training. Feyre becomes an absolute badass after training and it would be awesome to be able to do some of the things that she can!
4. Inej Ghafa from Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Inej, also known at the Wraith, is able to climb, be noiseless, and more. I don't know aboutyou, but I think that would be amazing skills to have.
5. The Shadowhunters from The Shadowhunter Chronicles by Cassandra Clare
Anyone else want to be a Shadowhunter? Even if you don't, it would still be beneficial to have some of the skills that the Shadowhunters do!
Six of Crows Review
The heart is an arrow. It demands aim to land true.
Title: Six of Crows
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Series: Six of Crows, #1
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
Date Published: September 29, 2015
Criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker has been offered wealth beyond his wildest dreams. But to claim it, he'll have to pull off a seemingly impossible heist:
Break into the notorious Ice Court
(a military stronghold that has never been breached)
Retrieve a hostage
(who could unleash magical havoc on the world)
Survive long enough to collect his reward
(and spend it)
Kaz needs a crew desperate enough to take on this suicide mission and dangerous enough to get the job done - and he knows exactly who: six of the deadliest outcasts the city has to offer. Together, they just might be unstoppable - if they don't kill each other first.
I think I have a new book in my top 5 favorites. I really enjoyed reading Six of Crows. Honestly, I was worried that I was going to be let down because I had such high expectations, but that was definitely not the case! I went in with the assumption that I would love the book. And, fortunately, I was right and I adored Six of Crows.
I am going to get my one complaint out of the way first. Six of Crows had a bit of a slow start. I had some trouble getting through the first few chapters. I’m not exactly sure why I had such a problem, but I am so glad I persevered!
Now onto the many, many positive things about Six of Crows. The first is all of perspectives. Throughout the story, the perspective switches to where the most action is happening. This is one of the things that really pushed Six of Crows over the top. When this happens in books, I love it. I am very glad that I had no problem distinguishing between whose perspective was whose.
Now, onto the characters. First we have the criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Oh my, I can’t explain how quickly he jumped into my list of book boyfriends! I can’t say too much about Kaz without spending the entire review talking about him, so I am just going to leave it at that. Next we have Inej. I adore her. She is super badass and has a certain complexity to her that I have never seen before. Adding onto that, all of the characters in Six of Crows have some sort of backstory or complex development, which of course I absolutely loved! We also have Nina, Wylan, Matthias, and Jesper. Each character is unique and loveable in their own way, even though at points I was frustrated with all of them.
Six of Crows is filled with suspense. Throughout the entire book, there were twists and turns. When you thought something was going to happen, the complete opposite happened. In addition to the mystery, there was also a hint of romance throughout the book, which was phenomenally written.
Overall, Six of Crows is heartbreaking and mysterious, but it is also beautiful and intriguing. It is filled with a lot of plot twists and I highly recommend reading it because you will not regret it!
Buy Six of Crows:
The Versatile Blogger Award
I was nominated by Alaina over at An Infinite Book World to do The Versatile Blogger Award. As usual, this banner was made by her, so the credit for the banner goes to Alaina! Alaina has an awesome blog- definitely go check it out!
-Thank the bloggers who nominated you and share their links
-Nominate at least 10 bloggers for the award and provide links to their blogs
-Inform them about their nomination
-Reveal 7 facts about yourself that your readers may not know
1. I am a vegetarian. In fact, I have been one my entire life. I have never mentioned this on my blog so no one knows this!
2. I love dancing. I took dance for about 5 years when I was younger, and I recently picked it up again!
3. I have really frizzy and poofy hair. Naturally, I have curly/wavy hair. Unless I straighten it, if I wear it down it poofs up and becomes 10 times the size it normally is :).
4. I have a cat named Shadow. He is 7 years old, gray, and super soft. I have a picture of him somewhere on one of my posts, so you may have seen him before!
5. I chew gum a LOT. I usually have a piece of gum in my mouth. I hate sitting completely still, so chewing gum helps me concentrate.
6. My best friend in the book community is Alaina (the person who nominated me for this award). We have been communicating back and forth for a while now. She is so sweet and her blog is phenomenal!
7. I love being in the mountains. Especially hiking in the mountains. Hiking is one of my favorite things to do!
-Analee @ Book Snacks
-Anny @ The Mystique Reader
-Megan @ Megxnmarie
-TJ @ Books and Other Pursuits
-Hanna @ Hanna's Book Obsession
-Kathy @ Books and Munches
-Lisa @ Rambling Lisa's Book Reviews
-Delphine @ Delphine's Babble on Some Good Reads
-Mandy @ Book Princess Reviews
Wonder Woman Book Tag
Today I am going to be catching up on a lot of tags, so brace for a lot of posts coming your way! I was tagged to do the Wonder Woman Book Tag by Alaina over at An Infinite Book World. This banner was also made by Alaina. Without further ado, let's get into the tag!
1. Wonder Woman: Your favorite badass female book character
This was a hard decision between Feyre, Aelin, and Inej. But, since I just finished reading Six of Crows, I am going to have to give this one to Inej.
2. Fantasy Island: A book setting you want to escape to
Somewhere that I would love to visit is Los Angeles, the setting of Lady Midnight. There is just something about L.A. that seems like it would be a great place to visit!
3. London: A hyped book that let you down
I am going to have to give this one to Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas. I feel that the first book of the series (Throne of Glass) is very overhyped. I was very dissapointed when I read it and it didn't live up to my expectations. However, the rest of the series slowly got better, and I will be finishing Empire of Storms soon.
4. Steve Trevor: A book that has a beautiful cover and a great story (i.e. good personality)
I am going to give this one to Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare. The cover is absolutely gorgeous, and the story is phenomenal!
5. Lasso of Truth: A book you hated
A book I hated is Fallen by Lauren Kate. I have the entire Fallen series. But after the first book, I can't bring myself to complete the series. I found Fallen to be slow, not very entertaining, and hard to relate to. Which is really upsetting, because I really wanted to love it.
6. Wonder Woman's Shield: A book so sad that you need a shield
This is a hard question to answer because there have been lots of books that I've read that are extremely sad. One book that I found really sad that I've read recently is Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare. The book was filled with sad moments and at the end there was a completely tear-worthy scene.
7. Ares: A villain that is scary, but you can't seem to hate them
I am going with possibly a really common answer for this question. And that would be Sebastian from The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare. Similarly to others, I couldn't bring myself to hate Sebastian, even after all of the horrible things he did.
8. The Amazons: A book that you wish had more/better LGBT+ representation
There aren't any books that I can think of off the top of my head that could use more LGBT+ representation. But generally, I think most books could benefit from some more representation in them.
9. Justice League: What superhero book friends do you tag
-Rimpy @ Rimpy Reads
-Lorilin @ Bug Bug Book Reviews
-Ash and Lo @ Windowsill Books
-Bex @ Books With Bex
I recieved a free copy of this book from Zoe Jones in exchange for an honest review.
The street is bathed in crisp autumn sunlight. The sky is clear and blue and the air is cool.
Author: Zoe Jones
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Publisher: Zoe Jones
Date Published: August 1, 2017
While sharing a bottle of wine with her flat mate after yet another bad date, Sophia advertises for her perfect man online. He must have a multi-million pound business, the face of Robert Pattinson and the body of Daniel Craig. The profile is just a bit of fun, but what happens when a man who meets pretty much all the criteria actually replies? Has Sophia finally found her perfect man, or is he not quite as perfect as he seems?
A romantic comedy that anyone who has every tried online dating will be able to relate to, Tinderella is a light-hearted novel that will help you see the funny side of the dating nightmare.
Tinderella is a cute, quick novel filled with laughs. When I first started this book, I was immediately drawn in. Tinderella is filled with tons of funny moments. That was one of the things that I really love about it. No matter what is happening, you can count on Sophia or Kate to break the tension with a good laugh.
Now, I had a sneaking suspicion the entire book that Daniel wasn’t who he said he was. I won’t give away what happens, but I will say that there are some unexpected turns in Tinderella. The suspicion throughout the book ended up giving it a bit of a mysterious undertone, which I really enjoyed!
Although there were many aspects of Tinderella that I liked, there were some that I didn’t. I wish the characters had more backstory. Especially, in romance, a good backstory is very important, but I just felt like Tinderella was lacking in that department. I also found the ending of this book very predictable, which made me not want to finish the book.
Overall, TInderella is a fun read filled with a cute romance, funny jokes, and a little bit of mystery. If you are interested in those aspects, then this book is for you!
The Sunshine Blogger Award
I was nominated by Alaina at An Infinite Book World to do The Sunshine Blogger Award (banner credit also goes to her because she makes gorgeous banners)! Thank you so much for nominating me! Definitely go check out her answers and blog because she is super sweet and amazing!
-Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their post
-Answer the 11 questions sent by the person who nominated you
-Nominate 11 new blogs to recieve the award and write them 11 new questions
-List the rules and display The Sunshine Blogger Award in your post and/or on your blog
1. Who or what was your inspiration for starting your blog?
My inspiration for starting my blog was Katy from the Lux series' blog. Up until then, I had no idea that book blogging was even a thing. After reading that, I wanted to be able to share my love of books just like Katy. So, Shoshi Reads was born!
2. What is something you swear by doing everyday?
Hmm... something I swear by doing everyday is probably doing some sort of reading related thing, whether it be blogging, posting on my bookstagram, or just reading.
3. Besides a bookstore, what are some of your other favorite stores to shop at?
Haha, does Starbucks count? If not, some of my other favorite stores to shop at are Francesca's and Sephora.
4. Are you a coffee drinker? If so, what is your usual Starbucks order?
I definitely am a coffee drinker. As for my usual order, it depends on the season/weather. In the summer, I prefer either iced coffee (with cream and sugar) or a smores frappuccino. In the winter, I usually go for a hot coffee (with cream and sugar)!
5. What is one book that you couldn't live without?
One book that I couldn't live without would have to be Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout. It is the first book of my favorite series (Lux) and I couldn't live without re-reading it.
6. Are you a morning person or a night owl?
Actually, I am neither. I prefer evening time (between 5-8 p.m.).
7. Where do you tend to do the majority of your reading?
I do the majority of my reading on my couch. I am one of those people that can't read in bed because they fall asleep. So, I go for the next best thing, my couch!
8. Are there any movies that you love so much that you would re-watch them?
I am not a huge movie person, so there aren't really any movies that I would want to re-watch.
9. Are there any book bloggers that you look up to? If so, shout them out!
Actually one book blogger I really look up to is my good friend Alaina (An Infinite Book World). Her blog is absolutely wonderful. I love all of the posts that she writes. She recently reached 100 followers on her blog and I am so happy for her because she really deserves it!
10. Who are some authors that you dream of meeting?
Some authors that I would love to meet are Sarah J. Maas, Cassandra Clare, and Diana Gabaldon.
11. What is your favorite part of blogging?
My favorite part of blogging is getting to interact with other book lovers. I don't keep in contact with too many, but the bloggers that I do talk to are so sweet and friendly. I also really love sharing my love of books with everyone else!
Here are the people that I am tagging to do this award:
-Jaelynn over at Jaelynn's Books
-Lorilin over at Bug Bug Book Reviews
-Elise over at Roaming Reader
-Ash and Lo over at Windowsill Books
-Laura over at Snazzy Books
-Lisa over at Rambling Lisa's Book Reviews
-Bex over at Books with Bex
-Pearl over at Pages of Pearl
-Mandy over at Book Princess Review
-Alex over at Alex's Charming Books
-Kris over at Bookish Rambles
These are my questions:
1. What is your favorite thing about reading?
2. What is your favorite T.V. show?
3. What is one thing that you can't live without (books or other items)?
4. How many books do you own (ebooks and physical)?
5. When did you start your blog?
6. Besides reading and blogging, what are your other interests?
7. Do you drink anything while you read?
8. Who are your favorite book bloggers or booktubers?
9. What book have you re-read the most?
10. Do you have a pet? If so, what animal and what is their name?
11. How much bookish merchandise do you have?
Hi! I know this is my second post of the day, but i had some sudden inspiration to do this post after seeing Alaina's post. So, if you couldn't tell by the title, this is going to be my TBR for August!
1. Shadow Souls by L.J. Smith
This is my current read. I am not very far into it, but I am enjoying the serie so far. I am hoping to finish this soon so I can knock some other books off of my TBR!
2. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
Outlander is sort of tentatively being put on my TBR. For those of you who don't know, Outlander is a very long book. I would love to be able to at least start it this month. However, I may not be able to finish it this month because it is so long!
3. You Know Me Well by Nina LaCour and David Levithan
This book is very high on my TBR right now.I have heard phenomenal things about You Know Me Well and I absolutely can't wait to read it!
4. Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall
I have been wanting to read this for months, ever since I saw emmmabooks rave about it on Goodreads.
5. And I Darken by Kiersten White
This is another book that I have been seeing a lot of buzz about lately. Naturally, I wanted to decide for myself if And I Darken is worth the hype!
6. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
I am definitely in the mood for reading another contemporary. I think that Anna and the French Kiss will be the perfect book to satisfy my contemporary craving!
Lord of Shadows Review
Sometimes the most ruthless heart speaks the most truth.
Title: Lord of Shadows
Author: Cassandra Clare
Series: The Dark Artifices, #2
Genre: Romance, Fantasy, Paranormal
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Date Published: May 23, 2017
Would you trade your soul mate for your soul?
A Shadowhunter’s life is bound by duty. Constrained by honor. The word of a Shadowhunter is a solemn pledge, and no vow is more sacred than the vow that binds parabatai, warrior partners—sworn to fight together, die together, but never to fall in love.
Emma Carstairs has learned that the love she shares with her parabatai, Julian Blackthorn, isn’t just forbidden—it could destroy them both. She knows she should run from Julian. But how can she when the Blackthorns are threatened by enemies on all sides?
Their only hope is the Black Volume of the Dead, a spell book of terrible power. Everyone wants it. Only the Blackthorns can find it. Spurred on by a dark bargain with the Seelie Queen, Emma; her best friend, Cristina; and Mark and Julian Blackthorn journey into the Courts of Faerie, where glittering revels hide bloody danger and no promise can be trusted. Meanwhile, rising tension between Shadowhunters and Downworlders has produced the Cohort, an extremist group of Shadowhunters dedicated to registering Downworlders and “unsuitable” Nephilim. They’ll do anything in their power to expose Julian’s secrets and take the Los Angeles Institute for their own.
When Downworlders turn against the Clave, a new threat rises in the form of the Lord of Shadows—the Unseelie King, who sends his greatest warriors to slaughter those with Blackthorn blood and seize the Black Volume. As dangers close in, Julian devises a risky scheme that depends on the cooperation of an unpredictable enemy. But success may come with a price he and Emma cannot even imagine, one that will bring with it a reckoning of blood that could have repercussions for everyone and everything they hold dear.
Lord of Shadows is one of the best books that I have ever read. It has everything I could have ever wanted and more. The entire book, down to the writing style of it, oozed sophistication. From the new adventures to the lovable characters, Lord of Shadows is truly a remarkable book that is not to be missed!
I am going to start of this review by talking about the Parabatai. The Parabatai bond and the feelings that come along with it are the main focus of The Dark Artifices series. We got a lot of introductory information in Lady Midnight. But Lord of Shadows really delves into the true meaning of a Parabatai and the perks and downsides of it.
If you are planning on reading Lord of Shadows, please be aware that it is an addicting book filled with action and unexpected twist and turns. I advise you to read this when you have a lot of free time because you will not want to put it down, I know I didn’t.
I can’t write a review without mentioning the characters. First I want to touch on Emma and Julian. In Lord of Shadows, we get to see their relationship go through the wear and tear of any relationship. Given, their circumstances are different than a normal person’s relationship, but the basic idea is still the same.
Next, I want to talk about some of the secondary characters. I will mention Christina first. Even though she is not one of main characters (like Emma and Julian), her character is incredibly complex which makes her an amazing, badass sidekick. Then we have Malcolm and Annabel. There really isn’t much to say about them (without spoiling things) other than the fact that I don’t like either of them.
Finally, I want to mention the ending of Lord of Shadows. I am obviously not going to spoil the ending but the last few chapters will rip your heart to shreds. With that being said, reading Lord of Shadows is more than worth the heartbreak that comes along with it. Please do yourself a favor and read this book.
Buy Lord of Shadows:
We who are so lucky as to be born into the light- who see it every day and never think about it, we're blessed. We could have been born shadow souls who liv eand die in crimson darkness, never even knowing that somewhere there is something better.
-Shadow Souls by L.J. Smith
I finally finished Nightfall last night, and in usual The Vampire Diaries fashion, it ended on a cliff hanger. So, of course, I had to immediately start reading Shadow Souls (the next book). I am super excited about this book. I have really high hopes for it and let's hope my expectations will be met!
On the run...
Elena Gilbert's love, the vampire Stefan Salvatore, has been captured and imprisoned by demonic spirits who are wreaking havoc in Fell's Church. While her friends Bonnie and Meredith explore the evil that has taken over their town, Elena goes in search of Stefan.
In order to find him, she entrusts her life to Stefan's brother, Damon Salvatore, the handsome but deadly vampire who wants Elena, body and soul. Along with her childhood friend Matt, they set out for the slums of the Dark Dimension, where Stefan is being held captive. It is rumored to be a world where vampires and demons roam free, but humans must live enslaved to their supernatural masters...
Elena will stop at nothing to free Stefan. Yet with each passing day the tension between Elena and Damon grows, and she is faced with a terrible decision: Which brother does she really want?
Back in Fell's Church, Bonnie and Meredith have made some dire discoveries. They hastily try to follow Elena and warn her- only to be caught up in Elena's most dangerous adventure yet.
The Beautiful and Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Goodreads 2021: 3/20