Monthly Wrap-Up: July 2020

July was a very slow reading month for me. It took me two weeks to read a 230-page kindle book and I honestly found myself just not wanting to read. I was so determined to actually read all of the books in my July To Be Read post that I think intimidated myself by the amount I had chosen, which at the time didn’t seem like too much as I read six books in June. This slow month left me with just four books under my belt, which was a miracle to be honest.

Just Witch It (Academy of Witches #4) by Erin Bedford

IMG_2813Read: 1/07/20 – 14/07/20          Rating: 3/5

*This is an excerpt from my full review, check it out HERE*

This series is a bit of a weird one for me. I honestly chose to read the first book based on its cover because lets be honest, a lot of kindle unlimited books have stunning covers. I would not say that I disliked this book because if anything its the opposite. However I read, I think, the first two books and they were completely free of any, of what I can only call ‘mature content’, and then BAM you get to the third and it is filled with it. Honestly, nothing against that kind of thing however when starting the fourth book they started getting it on in the first chapter and it was a bit off-putting. 

The story is pretty interesting however it does focus way too much on Max and her boyfriends. Yep, you read that right. Boyfriends. I absolutely love books with magic and I’m always excited to see how it will differ in different series. However, it seems that the magic element is only an afterthought in this book, even though the main plotline is supposed to be the Magi-X Games.  

Goodreads synopsis: “Magic can make the competition that much more deadlier!

This year Max has more than her handful of problems. Not only was Winchester Academy hosting the next quarterly Magi-X Games but it brings a host of new dangers for her and her wizards. Top that off with busy school schedules and one of her guys being shady as hell and you’ve got one helluva recipe for disaster.

With flying lessons and a new Wicked Witch of the South to contend with Max might have found her match in her magical adventure. Can she juggle the aspects of school, love, and bring home a trophy for her second home? Or will these games end up being too much for her to handle?” 

Spelldriver (The Magic & Mixology Mystery #6) by Gina LaManna

IMG_2716Read: 20/07/20 – 24/07/20          Rating: 4/5

This was definitely the best instalment of this series yet. It was packed full of action and for once everything did not happen at the end of the book. It would seem from the synopsis that this book would be entirely focused on the upcoming wedding, which to be completely honest I was actually quite excited for, however, it became more of an afterthought once the book progressed. 

As mentioned before all of the action usually takes place nearer the end of the book, however, with Spelldriver a Ranger is killed within the first few chapters. This is a great plot point which really helps to drive the book forward. With other books in this series, there tends to be a lot of time spent talking about everyday Isle life, but Spelldriver changes all of that. 

The ending of the book has made it quite clear there will be a seventh instalment, although there has been no news yet on when this will be released. I am hoping very soon. 

Goodreads synopsis: “With a wedding on the horizon and her father tucked safely away in prison, the future is looking bright for Lily Locke. Unfortunately, life on The Isle is never calm for long… and when a Ranger is killed brutally in plain sight, Lily and her fiancé—the renowned Ranger X—find themselves hunting a murderer more ruthless than any they’ve ever encountered before.

However, unravelling the killer’s intricate plot isn’t Lily’s only problem. She has a cousin who is nowhere to be found. A dangerous hunter has escaped from prison. Ranger X is all but obsessed with his latest case, and Lily worries it’s consuming him entirely. Despite it all, Lily must make a decision that will affect not only her life but the life of the man she loves more than anything else—and once it’s done, there’s no turning back…”

Good Night (The Sand Maiden #3) by L.R.W. Lee

Read: 24/07/20 – 30/07/20          Rating: 3.5/5

I see Charlie Bowater artwork I want to read the book. I feel like a lot of people feel the same way. Although I will admit that when picking up the first book I did not know who the artist was, but I was definitely drawn in by the cover. Now Charlie is one of my favourite artists. 

It wasn’t really that long ago I started this series, November to be exact, but I found that going into book three Good Night I had almost no idea what was going on. For this reason, I found the story very hard to get into, it was until I was about 20% through that I found myself getting through the book quicker. This was to no fault of the story itself but more to my forgetfulness which is why I have given this book a 3.5, a pretty low rating compared to its 4.34 rating on Goodreads. 

The concept of this series is one of the most interesting I have seen in a while. The idea of having a sand maiden who controls your dreams is really cool and it one of the reasons why I wanted to read this series in the first place.

I feel like I have to talk about the cover of this book. It is simply stunning and is definitely my favourite from the month. It will be probably be featured in a The Best of Covers post at some point (of which I did my first earlier this month, check it out HERE).

Goodreads synopsis: “Can Ali save Kennan, the Empire, and the World?

Ali won the contest of her life, The Ninety-Eight, as a pawn of the Council, but danger still lurks. The male Ali fled Dream from is using the brother of the man she loves to track her down. What’s worse? That male is her father, Ambien. How will she and Kovis save his sibling from her father’s clutches?

If that’s not bad enough, the bigger threat still looms: Ambien plans to conquer Wake, and he’ll turn humans into catatonic beings who do his will if he succeeds. As Ali and Kovis search for a way to stop him, every idea requires that she return to Dream, an impossibility. What darkness will she and Kovis be forced to confront to stop the god?”

Siege and Storm (Shadow and Bone #2) by Leigh Bardugo 

IMG_2693Read: 21/07/20 – 31/07/20          Rating: 3.5/5

Now this book took me forever to get into. I tried at the start of the month and only read one chapter before putting it down and not picking it back up again until the 21st. This made no sense to me because I read Shadow and Bone quite quickly last November. However, I think its the fact that a lot of people adore this series and have nothing bad to say about it that was putting me off. I genuinely did not find myself amazed by the first book.

The best parts of this book were definitely Nikolai and the Darkling. I’m not really a huge fan of Mal, nothing against the guy he’s just not that interesting. It is wrong to say that I still really like the Darkling? Maybe but I really don’t care. 

What I found hardest with Siege and Storm is the pacing. It was the same with Shadow and Bone, everything happens just a little too slowly for me, other than the part with the sea whip which they seemed to find and kill a little too easily. 

I will be finishing the series as I do own them all in physical copies so it would be a shame not to. I will also post a full review of the entire series when I am finished with it as who knows maybe the last book will be the best thing I have ever read, but honestly, at the moment, I am really doubting that. Still, I am excited about the program though. 

Goodreads synopsis: “Darkness never dies.

Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land, all while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. But she can’t outrun her past or her destiny for long.

The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling’s game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her—or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.”

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  1. I could never understand the hype surrounding the Shadow and Bone series. I hope you enjoy the third one when you get around to reading it though. Six of Crows on the other…changed the game! I found it waaay better than SaB!

    • Completely agree with you, so far the series is quite lack lustre but I’m really hoping it gets better. Six of Crows has been on my TBR for sooo long. Will definitely have to pick it up soon!

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