RECENT READS #22

Hi everyone, I hope you are all well and having an amazing day. Today I will be doing the next in a series on my blog called Recent Reads. As I’ve been reading 20+ books each month, it would be really hard for me to incorporate that into a standard wrap up format. Doing a list of my recent reads that I want to do mini-reviews on is the best way for me to keep track of everything I’ve been reading!

The Hunter

Hunter

I didn’t mean to star in a sex tape, okay?
It was just one of those unexplainable things. Like Stonehenge, Police Academy 2, and morning glory clouds.
It just happened.
Now my ball-busting father is sentencing me to six months of celibacy, sobriety, and morbid boredom under the roof of Boston’s nerdiest girl alive, Sailor Brennan.
The virginal archer is supposed to babysit my ass while I learn to take my place in Royal Pipelines, my family’s oil company.
Little does she know, that’s not the only pipe I’ll be laying…

Sailor
I didn’t want this gig, okay?
But the deal was too sweet to walk away from.
I needed the public endorsement; Hunter needed a nanny.
Besides, what’s six months in the grand scheme of things?
It’s not like I’m in danger of falling in love with the appallingly gorgeous, charismatic gazillionaire who happens to be one of Boston’s most eligible bachelors.
No. I will remain immune to Hunter Fitzpatrick’s charm.
Even at the cost of losing everything I have.
Even at the cost of burning down his kingdom

LJ Shen’s books have always been hit or miss for me, but I found myself craving one of her books so I decided to pick the first one up in this series. I enjoyed it but again found myself having similar issues as I did when reading Vicious. For some reason I find it hard to connect to Shen’s heroes – I find their internal voice incredibly cringey at times and it’s a theme I’ve noticed with her books. I liked the premise though and the relationship and character development was good. Another theme in her books is that I absolutely adore the grand gestures that she writes at the end. I’ve loved every single one of them so far, and this one was brilliant to! I liked it enough that I’m going to continue on with the series, because most of my issues in this book surrounded Hunter – I’m especially intrigued about Cillian and I wonder how he’s going to change in his book.

The Villain

Cruel. Coldblooded. Hades in a Brioni suit.
Cillian Fitzpatrick has been dubbed every wicked thing on planet earth.
To the media, he is The Villain.
To me, he is the man who (reluctantly) saved my life.
Now I need him to do me another, small solid.
Bail me out of the mess my husband got me into.
What’s a hundred grand to one of the wealthiest men in America, anyway?
Only Cillian doesn’t hand out free favors.
The price for the money, it turns out, is my freedom.
Now I’m the eldest Fitzpatrick brother’s little toy.
To play, to mold, to break.
Too bad Cillian forgot one, tiny detail.
Persephone wasn’t only the goddess of spring; she was also the queen of death.
He thinks I’ll buckle under the weight of his mind games.
He is about to find out the most lethal poison is also the sweetest.

I was so intrigued about Cillian so I was really looking forward to picking this one up. I actually had a lot of fun with it! I liked that we got to see Hunter and Sailor back in this book, and that we had a few scenes of the whole gang together. I really liked the relationship development between Persy and Cillian, and I found the beginning absolutely adorable! If anything I would have liked to have seen a bit more explanation of Cillian’s past and difficulties, as I feel like in a way it was sort of tacked on to the end of the story without much discussion. I mentioned in previous reviews that I have trouble connecting with Shen’s hero POVs, but Cillian is one of my favourites from her that I’ve read!

The Mask Falling

Dreamwalker Paige Mahoney has eluded death again. Snatched from the jaws of captivity and consigned to a safe house in the Scion Citadel of Paris, she finds herself caught between those factions that seek Scion’s downfall and those who would kill to protect the Rephaim’s puppet empire.

The mysterious Domino Program has plans for Paige, but she has ambitions of her own in this new citadel. With Arcturus Mesarthim-her former enemy-at her side, she embarks on an adventure that will lead her from the catacombs of Paris to the glittering hallways of Versailles. Her risks promise high reward: the Parisian underworld could yield the means to escalate her rebellion to outright war.

As Scion widens its bounds and the free world trembles in its shadow, Paige must fight her own memories after her ordeal at the hands of Scion. Meanwhile, she strives to understand her bond with Arcturus, which grows stronger by the day. But there are those who know the revolution began with them-and could end with them…

If I had one word to describe this book it would be ‘expansive’. I absolutely adored this new instalment in the series and definitely think it is the best book so far, and one of Samantha Shannon’s bests. Book 4 in a series can be a hard one as you don’t want to keep reuse the same plot points and things can get boring, but that definitely wasn’t the case in this book. I LOVE that we got to see more of the world in this book, with all of it taking place in Scion controlled Paris. we got to see how their government worked, their underworld and trying to unravel all of the mystery surrounding that was so much fun to read about. I thought the pacing of this book was excellent – there was not a page wasted and all of it served a story. I love Paige and Arcturus so much – I am so invested in their romance and god am I glad that we got at least /some/ payoff in this book. We need to talk about that ending though. oh my god it tore me to shreds! there’s just so much to unpack there – I couldn’t keep up with the reveals, the action, the betrayals – honestly it all felt like too much for my emotions to handle!! I can’t believe the cliffhanger we were left on and I am going to be waiting for book 5 with bated breath!!

The Ex Talk

Shay Goldstein has been a producer at her Seattle public radio station for nearly a decade, and she can’t imagine working anywhere else. But lately it’s been a constant clash between her and her newest colleague, Dominic Yun, who’s fresh off a journalism master’s program and convinced he knows everything about public radio.

When the struggling station needs a new concept, Shay proposes a show that her boss green-lights with excitement. On The Ex Talk, two exes will deliver relationship advice live, on air. Their boss decides Shay and Dominic are the perfect co-hosts, given how much they already despise each other. Neither loves the idea of lying to listeners, but it’s this or unemployment. Their audience gets invested fast, and it’s not long before The Ex Talk becomes a must-listen in Seattle and climbs podcast charts.

As the show gets bigger, so does their deception, especially when Shay and Dominic start to fall for each other. In an industry that values truth, getting caught could mean the end of more than just their careers.

I was really looking forward to this book and to be honest, there were things I liked and didn’t like about it. One thing I really loved was the love interest, Dominic. He was just the absolute sweetest and I loved him! Although I didn’t really buy the enemies-to-lovers dynamic at the beginning because it shifted to friendship so quickly, I really liked the way their relationship developed. I didn’t mind Shay for most of the book but I found the way she acted during the main conflict of the book to be really selfish and immature. I was feeling very defensive of Dominic and thought she was completely in the wrong! I also found the little podcast sections where its just a transcript to be a little stilted and it didn’t seem entirely in character. Overall I thought it was pretty cute, I LOVED Steve the dog, and while I didn’t have any major problems with it, I wouldn’t pick it up again anytime soon.

Lore

Every seven years, the Agon begins. As punishment for a past rebellion, nine Greek gods are forced to walk the earth as mortals, hunted by the descendants of ancient bloodlines, all eager to kill a god and seize their divine power and immortality.
Long ago, Lore Perseous fled that brutal world in the wake of her family’s sadistic murder by a rival line, turning her back on the hunt’s promises of eternal glory. For years she’s pushed away any thought of revenge against the man–now a god–responsible for their deaths.

Yet as the next hunt dawns over New York City, two participants seek out her help: Castor, a childhood friend of Lore believed long dead, and a gravely wounded Athena, among the last of the original gods.

The goddess offers an alliance against their mutual enemy and, at last, a way for Lore to leave the Agon behind forever. But Lore’s decision to bind her fate to Athena’s and rejoin the hunt will come at a deadly cost–and still may not be enough to stop the rise of a new god with the power to bring humanity to its knees.

This was one of my most anticipated releases of the year, and it didn’t disappoint! I had no idea what I was getting into with this book, as the only thing I knew was that it was about Greek mythology. I was surprised to see that it took place in New York! This book reminded me of some of my favourites – it had a Hunger Games mixed with House of Earth and Blood and also with the mythological elements of Percy Jackson. While I found it a little slow to start with, by the time we got about 70 pages in it definitely picked up and it the pacing as so fast from then on. My favourite thing about this book was probably the number of plot twists – I truly didn’t see any of them coming and it kept me on my toes the whole time! I thought the finale was also really great. 

I really liked Lore as a protagonist – I thought she was a well rounded character and also really funny! I like that she has made so many mistakes and really struggles to control herself at times, but she went through a really good arc in this book. I also really loved Castor and their relationship. It can be hard for a standalone fantasy to have a good romance too, but I totally bought their connection and I think the flashback scenes helped with that too. I was really surprised at his character, but I ended up loving him. I also liked the side characters Van and Miles – they were so different from each other but brought their own things to the group, which helped contribute to that found family dynamic that I loved so much in this book. The final few chapters kind of broke my heart and put it back together, and I just thought it was an amazing ending. 

Have you checked out of these books? If you have, what did you think of them? I’d love to know your favourites in the comments below!

Happy reading,
Lucy

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