Review: Everless by Sara Holland

Title: Everless (Everless #1)
Author: Sara Holland
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: January 2nd 2018
Hardcover, 362 pages

In the kingdom of Sempera, time is currency—extracted from blood, bound to iron, and consumed to add time to one’s own lifespan. The rich aristocracy, like the Gerlings, tax the poor to the hilt, extending their own lives by centuries. No one resents the Gerlings more than Jules Ember. A decade ago, she and her father were servants at Everless, the Gerlings’ palatial estate, until a fateful accident forced them to flee in the dead of night. When Jules discovers that her father is dying, she knows that she must return to Everless to earn more time for him before she loses him forever. But going back to Everless brings more danger—and temptation—than Jules could have ever imagined. Soon she’s caught in a tangle of violent secrets and finds her heart torn between two people she thought she’d never see again. Her decisions have the power to change her fate—and the fate of time itself.
From the first moment I saw the cover for Everless I was immediately taken away with this book. The idea of time be bound to money and being hoarded by the wealthy was a really cool concept that I was super intrigued by. Though I did find Everless interesting I did have quite a few issues with it. 

I found Jules be very bland and fit into the same cookie cutter mold of the heroine who got put into a position she didn't ask for and now she has to save her country. Only, Jules willingly went back to Everless, she sought out these answers and created many of these problems for herself. I also found her character to be super reckless and super selfish at times only caring about herself and the answers she was seeking. 

The idea behind Everless is interesting: time being bound to blood in the form of coins and then being used as currency. The concept was interesting and unique and it gave the book an air of uniqueness but that was about it for me. I found the story between the Sorcerer and the Alchemist interesting and liked how Holland used a children's tale to explain the story on how blood-irons had come to be. 

I feel there were plot points in Everless that were just added with no suspicion or forewarning. They kind of just popped up randomly and no one seemed to question it. Jules was super quick to not question what the letter said about her heritage. I also didn't understand the point of the queen as she really didn't have a grand role in the grand scheme of everything? I honestly thought her character wasn't needed at all. The ending was kind of predictable and I had guessed it pretty early on in the story upon the Queen's arrival and the alliances that were being made by characters. There was one character death that surprised me though and I am really sad with loosing this character. 

Overall, I wasn't crazy about Everless and I am more disappointed in the story then in love with it. I'm super torn on reading the next book in this series to see what happens next because I have a strange feeling I already know, but we shall see. I did request a copy for my library so maybe when it comes in...? In the end this one wasn't my cup of tea sadly. 

(2.5 Stars!)

ARC Review: Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan

Title: Wicked Saints
(Something Dark and Holy #1)
Author: Emily A. Duncan
Genre: Fantasy
Source: Wednesday Books via NetGalley
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Publication Date: April 2nd 2019 
Hardcover, 400 pages

A girl who can speak to gods must save her people without destroying herself. A prince in danger must decide who to trust. A boy with a monstrous secret waits in the wings. Together, they must assassinate the king and stop the war. In a centuries-long war where beauty and brutality meet, their three paths entwine in a shadowy world of spilled blood and mysterious saints, where a forbidden romance threatens to tip the scales between dark and light. Wicked Saints is the thrilling start to Emily A. Duncan’s devastatingly Gothic Something Dark and Holy trilogy..
*Emily posted about all the trigger warnings in Wicked Saints here!*

This book is unlike everything I have ever read before and left me speechless from page one. Absolutely stunning and marvelous Wicked Saints is going to get under your skin and stay there long after you finish it. Emily A. Duncan masterfully blended Russian and Polish aspects to create a culturally rich world, with characters that you can't help but love. 

Kalyazin and Tranavia have been at war for over a century. Where Kalyazin has its divine magic from their Gods, Tranavia has blood magic and blood mages. Neither country can see eye to eye, but it is clear on how to end this war: Kill the Tranavian King. Nadya, the last known cleric in Kalyazin, is living a peaceful life at a monastery when it is attacked by blood mages who are on the hunt for the cleric. Serefin, the prince of Tranavia and a general of the Tranavian army leads this attack, but Nadya manages to escape his grasp. But quickly Serefin is called home to Tranavia with his best guards Ostyia and Kacper, to follow the tradition of finding a wife. Nadya teams up with Parijahan and Rashid two Akolan refugees and Malachiasz who Nadya's sworn enemy. Deciding on who to trust the two groups must find a way to save their kingdoms before it is too late. 

My love for these characters just continues to grow. I have a lot to talk about with each character, so I am going to break it down by character rather then making one huge paragraph. 

"I'm heartless, but not cruel."

Nadya - I liked Nadya from page one. She is fierce and determined and all she wanted to do was end this war even if it meant sacrificing her life in the process. Duncan did an amazing job of portraying Nadya's growth through out the novel. Nadya goes from being the naive cleric that lived in the monastery to a girl who no long understands the extent of her powers and struggling to embrace them to a complete bad ass. She also has to learn to trust her new partner Malachiasz, a Tranvanian rebel of sorts. But is trusting Malachiasz a smart idea?

Serefin - I think by default I wanted to hate Serefin because he is from Tranavia and he is hunting Nadya. But under his rocky exterior Serefin is really just a Prince who is horribly misunderstood and looking to belong. His dedication to his friends and his country and admirable and he wants to end this holy war just as bad. He copes with the help of alcohol and it isn't immediately addressed in the novel but it is clear to see that Serefin is the alcoholic prince that is referred to in the summary. 

Malachiasz - I am head over heels in love with Malachiasz. The beautiful boy from Tranavia said he wants to war to end. But are his intentions as pure as he makes them seem? His characterization is so complex that if I try to explain it I will end up spoiling a huge chunk of the story. But trust me, you are going to quickly fall in love with him. 

All the minor characters in Wicked Saints are as amazingly done as the main characters. Duncan didn't spare of description and I felt as if I knew all of her characters pretty well. 

The romance between Nadya and Malachiasz was a slow burn and tentative to begin with. There was several parts of Wicked Saints where I kept thinking: "When are they going to kiss?!" It is worth the wait my friends. So worth it. Considering the alliances made and certain events of the novel and a couple of scenes involving Serefin and Kacper I am curious to see how the romance aspect for Serefin is going to play out. Emily did mention on twitter that Serefin is a bi so I am super excited to see where everything is going to go. 

"Monsters are real, and I am their king."

The last 100 pages or so of this book was nonstop action and things that changed the plot in irreparable ways. Once you thought you knew something, suddenly it was changed. Even the most beautiful faces have different sides. The ending of Wicked Saints left me speechless and rethinking everything I read. The betrayal and the heart break and the pain. The epilogue shattered my heart into a million pieces, and I will admit: I cried. 

Wicked Saints is 100% unique and thrilling and had me memorized from page one. Emily Duncan's writing is both beautiful and haunting and it is going to leave you wanting more. She crafted a beautiful story that is both timeless and going to be loved by so so so many. I hope my review does this book at least an ounce of justice, because it deserves the highest of praises. 

Waiting on Wednesday: How The Light Gets In by Katy Upperman

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking The Spine where we highlight some of the upcoming books we can't wait to read! 

40864797Title: How the Light Gets In
Author: Katy Upperman
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Hardcover, 336 Pages 
Publication Date: August 6th, 2019

Summary: Since her sister’s tragic death, seventeen-year-old Callie Ryan has basically given up. Her grades have plummeted, she’s quit her swim team, and she barely recognizes the people her parents once were. When she returns to her aunt’s run-down coastal Victorian one year after Chloe’s death, Callie resigns herself to a summer of guilt and home renovations. She doesn’t expect to be charmed by the tiny coastal town or by Tucker Morgan, a local boy brimming with sunshine. But even as her days begin to brighten, Callie’s nights are crowded with chilling dreams, unanswered questions, and eerie phenomenon that have her convinced she’s being haunted. Will Callie be able to figure out what her sister is trying to communicate before it’s too late?

I received an advanced copy of Katy Upperman's previous book, The Impossibility of Us, so when I found out that she had another book coming out -- and that it was even more raw and emotional than the first one -- I was immediately hooked and added it to my TBR. I really can't wait to read this one, because it seems like it's going to be a shocking emotional rollercoaster, and that's just up my alley. Here's to hoping August 2019 comes quickly!

What are you waiting on this week? Leave your links so we can stop back!