Daughter of Sparta: Book Review

Daughter of Sparta by Claire M. Andrews is a young adult, Greek mythology, fantasy. Daphne has been training her entire life so she can accepted by the Spartans. When Artemis, the Goddess of the hunt and moon, turns up with a mission to restore the nine stolen items from Olympus, Daphne has no choice but to accept. If she fails, the gods will lose their powers and Daphne’s brother will lose his life. Alongside Apollo, Daphne begins an empowering journey filled with action, Gods, and mythological legends.

Going into this, I had low expectations. I love Greek mythology but rarely do I find a retelling or mythology inspired book that I thoroughly enjoy. But Claire M. Andrews understood the assignment. This reinterpretation of Daphne and Apollo was so well done.

The entire journey was exhiliarating and I was so invested. This is a fast paced story filled with action, that hooks you from the start and never lets you go. I loved the characters we met along the way, to the allies we made and to the foes we fought.

The characters were all lovable and multi-faced. Daphne is a complex character that felt real. I cared about her and was so scared for her in so many scenes. I was really happy with her development and the direction her character went in. Apollo’s character was also handled really well. It was a great combination of the sinister actions the Gods are known to make and a refreshing take on his character.

The romance between Daphne and Apollo was swoon-worthy. The slow burn, hate to love arc was die to for. The tension was described really well and I was really happy with its development.

The banter was really funny. Not just between Daphne and Apollo, but with all the other characters we meet.

I loved how the story wrapped up and I was really satisfied with the ending, despite all the questions I have. I’m so excited for the sequel and I can’t wait for it. Why does it have to be so far away?

I highly recommend this for anyone looking for a fast paced fantasy with a badass heroine. If you love Greek mythology, you need to pick this one up.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

My Comfort Reads: Book List

Everyone always asks me why I buy so many books. Short answer: so I can re-read them. There are some authors and stories that I find myself reaching for more than others. These are my comfort stories.

Disclaimer: there’s going to be A LOT of Jennifer L. Armentrout

The first set of books in my list, is the Lux series by Jennifer L. Armentrout. I know what you’re thinking, but Hasnita, these covers are atrocious and you only judge a book by it’s cover.

That’s how much I love this series.

In Obsidian, we meet Katy who’s just moved to Virginia with her mum and is stuck with a hot, brooding neighbour. Who happens to be an alien. Daemon infuriates Katy and drives her up a wall. Until they’re attacked and Daemon ends up freezing time to save them, marking Katy as a beacon for other aliens.

This series is amazing, the first book isn’t the best, but I love the rest. This is my ideal series: so much humour that your stomach hurts, endless amounts of sexual tension and pent up angst, and supporting characters that are just as exciting.

I have gone back to re-read this series whenever I need something funny and exciting and this always satisfies. Just typing this makes me want to pick it up and read it. If something is holding you back from picking this up, just do it. TRUST THE PROCESS. Daemon is still one of my top book boyfriends. Daemon in Origin makes me faint.

Two Jennifer L. Armentrout series back to back, what’s wrong with me? Candidly, a lot. This is an oldie that’s a goldie.

A Greek Mythology fantasy where the descendants of Hematoi (children of Gods and Mortals) are divided into Pure-Bloods (who have godlike powers) and Half-Bloods (who either protect Pure-Bloods or live as their slaves).

Alex, a half-blood, is training to be a guard for the Pure-Bloods but her chances of slumming start to look higher when she falls for Aiden (a pureblood). Fun fact: relationships between pures and halfs are forbidden.

This book has always been compared to Vampire Academy, and I do agree. If you enjoy one of these series, you’ll probably enjoy the other.

I love this series so much. I love how badass Alex is, and I just love everything about Aiden. Another one of my top book boyfriends who has survived the strife of time. This series has forbidden romance, kickass action and incredible world building. It is also so funny like anything Jennifer L. Armentrout writes. What more could you ask for?

If you’re a YA reader, you’ve heard of Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas. This book starts with Celaena Sardothien, a notorious assassin currently chained and slumming it in a salt mine prison. When the Prince turns up and offers her freedom in exchange for participating in a competition, it’s a no brainer. She agrees. But as the participants start dropping dead and weird (understatement) things start occurring, Celaena has to figure it out before she’s next.

This is my all time favourite fantasy series. I would die for these characters. I just want to say, this story goes places. It’s so funny, witty and the romance arcs are swoon-worthy. It’s such a fun series that I always go back to. It always delivers. Despite the parts that make me sob.

While we’re on the topic of Sarah J. Maas, I’ll mention A Court of Mist and Fury, the second book in a new adult/adult fantasy series. This book specifically is one I find myself reaching for frequently. This is a nicely wrapped bundle of enemies to lovers and found family – two of my favourite tropes. If I had to choose one book to read for the rest of my life, this would be it.

Wait For You by J. Lynn/Jennifer L. Armentrout is a new adult, contemporary series that follows different characters in each book. This is full of characters I will never stop gushing over, adorable romance and witty scenes. This is done while dealing with intense backstories and hard topics. Even when I’m not reading, I’m reading this.

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead was one of the first series I fell in love with. I read this in early high school and couldn’t get enough of these characters. A well-developed world of vampires, forbidden romance, amazing friendships and so much great banter. It’s action packed and full of badass characters.

Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles is an oldie that I’ll never stop picking up. Alex Fuentes is a masterpiece and one of my first fictional crushes. This is high school rivalry tied up with enemies to lovers and a sprinkle of ‘forbidden’ romance.

I love all of these stories so much. What’s a comfort series/books that you find yourself reaching for? Have you read any of these? Let me know so we can scream together.

Awakened by Ciara Duggan: ARC Review

I was fortunate to receive an advanced reader’s copy from the publisher and author through Netgalley in exchange for feedback and my honest review. These are my opinions, uninfluenced.

Awakened by Ciara Duggan is a young adult, fantasy romance releasing on September 7th 2021. After the death of her parents, Hannah is determined to have a fresh start. At her new college, things turns dire when she accidentally, wakes up a witch who’s been sleeping for a long (decades? centuries?) time. With the witch awakening, so have other creatures, creatures that want Hannah dead. To add to the mix, the witch claims to know her.

I was super excited for this. The blurb sounded fun and the cover is stunning. I didn’t enjoy this as much as I had hoped.

One of my biggest issues was the romance. The entire book takes place over two days, and by the end Hannah and Callan (the witch) are confessing their undying for each other. It felt very rushed and it was hard to believe.

Initially, Hannah is set up as a closed off and stoic character. But as the plot requires, her personality does a 180 turn and she’s so trusting and forthcoming. Hannah’s motivations for helping Callan and risking as much as she did, didn’t make sense to me.

The most believable part of the book was Hannah’s griefs. That was handled well and it did make me feel for her.

The magic system was interesting. I would’ve loved to get to know it more or even to see Hannah learn how to use and harness it. However, the book settles for a more convenient option.

The book is really fast paced and certain aspects felt rushed. But if you’re one for an insta-lovey romance and a fast paced novel about witches, this one is for you.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

The Magi Menagerie by Kale Lawrence: ARC Review

I was fortunate to receive an advanced reader’s copy from the publisher and author through Netgalley in exchange for feedback and my honest review. These are my opinions, uninfluenced.

The Magi Menagerie by Kale Lawrence is a historical fiction slash fantasy set to release on September 7th 2021. For as long as Ezra has known, his parents have been travelling from the Ottoman Empire and across 20th Century Europe. On their journey, Ezra’s mother is murdered by a bounty hunter and his father is forced into a life on the run. Ezra soon learns that his family has been on the run and now their enemies will do everything to see Ezra dead.

In a moment of desperation, Ezra’s fate collides with the Third Order of the Magi, a secret society dedicated to using their supernatural powers to protect their communities. With increasing violence around the world, the Magi are fairly certain they know who’s behind the attacks on Ezra and his family since the same group could also be threatening their own existence.

Both Ezra and the Magi’s survival hinges on knowledge only Ezra’s father has and the key to saving them could be buried within history itself. In a race across continents and time, both Ezra and the Magi must secure an ancient Babylonian artifact before hell is unleashed on the world. And, against all odds, Ezra must decide where his allegiances truly lie, despite what is written in the stars.

The story is told from Ezra’s and Jonas’ point of view. Ezra was a really interesting character. Through out his journey, I felt for him. There were even a few times that my eyes welled up. I felt frustrated when he was frustrated, and I felt just as lost when he was left to his devices. Jonas, is a Magus, a part of the Third Order of the Magi. The minute we meet Jonas, I loved him. I loved reading from his point of view and seeing the politics that he dealt with.

There’s a romance arc between Jonas and another male character and I was so here it. I liked how the dangers of a LGBTQIA relationship in that period of time was done. I felt so scared for them. Although, the forbidden romance was definitely welcomed. I ate it up.

I liked all of the supporting characters as well, they felt like they had their own personalities. The story also has the ‘found family’ trope, which I’m a sucker for. It was well executed and added to my enjoyment.

The worldbuilding was handled well. By the end of the book, I had a fairly good understanding of the magic system and the politics. I didn’t feel bored by an big portions of info dumps. Instead, there were little bits of information woven into the story.

As soon as I got to the end, and I read the cliffhanger that we ended on, I wanted to scream. I cannot wait for the next book.

I just want to take a moment to appreciate the diversity in this book. I don’t practice Islam nor am I queer, but the topics handled in the book felt like they were done well.

I’m still not able to put my finger on it, but something felt amiss for me. I think it may just have been my mood. So I’m adding this to my pile of books to re-read so I can give it the proper shot it deserves.

I highly recommend this for anyone that likes a good worldbuilding, great characters, forbidden romance and the ‘found family’ trope.

Rating: 4 out of 5.