Waiting On Wednesday: 21 March 2018

Waiting On Wednesday was a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that highlights anticipated releases. Unfortunately, the host was no longer able to continue and Waiting On Wednesday has merged with Can’t-Wait Wednesday over on Wishful Endings.

This week, my anticipated read selection is:

Circle of Ashes by Elise Kova and Lynn Larsh


Release Date: 9 April 2018


Once a hacker-for-hire living in the shadows, Josephina “Jo” Espinosa is the newest member of a magical Society. Their mandate? To grant the wishes of mortals. A simple enough task until Jo is faced with an impossible wish – and her inability to grant it might spell disaster for her entire team, if not the Society itself.

Jo is used to high-pressure situations, but after a string of disasters, the last thing she needs is stakes of this magnitude. Especially given that neither she nor the Society know quite what the consequences of failing to grant a wish might be.

The only person with answers is the Society’s aloof and cryptic leader, Snow. Yet while Jo is enigmatically drawn to the man, all their clandestine encounters leave her with only more questions about the true nature of the Society, her magic, and her own history.

Time is running out for the Society, and an executioner will rise from among them to exact the price of failure.


Review: Society of Wishes by Elise Kova and Lynn Larsh

First book in the Wish Quartet, a new-adult, urban fantasy series set in a near-future alternate reality


Josephina Espinosa makes her living as a hacker-for-hire in the Lone Star Republic, a remnant of the fractured U.S.A. That is, until the day she and her best friend are gunned down in a government raid.

With her dying breath, Jo uses magical lore passed down from her grandmother to summon a wish-granter. Her wish? To save her friend’s life. Except wishes have costs, and for Jo, the price is the erasure of her entire mortal existence.

Now, as the most recent addition to the mysterious Society of Wishes, Jo must form a new “life” alongside the seven other members, one of which being her savior himself. Living as an occupant of the Society’s lavish mansion should be quite the perk, but while it is furnished with everything its inhabitants could possibly need, it lacks one thing—freedom.

Her otherworldly identity crisis takes a backseat, however, when Jo learns that the friend she sacrificed everything for is headed down the same path to ruin. Jumping in head-first, Jo uses her newfound magical abilities to protect him, only to realize that the ripples of her actions have far-reaching consequences. When the Society’s aloof leader Snow decides to give her a taste of his own ancient magic, Jo discovers that there are threads woven into the tapestry of her new reality that reach far beyond the wishes she is now required to grant. Ones that, if tugged on, could mean the unraveling of the world itself.


My Review

So, I started reading Society of Wishes along with the Official Facebook Read Along. I accidentally read ahead to the point where I was so close to the end I figured I might as well finish it. So, while the read along is still going strong, I’m here writing out my review. That should at least tell you something about how this is going to go.

The characters are quite mysterious and it’s hard to feel like I know them much. Aside from Jo, they weren’t overly three-dimensional, but I do feel like we have at least bits and pieces of the characters enough to at least start seeing them as people. Also, I can not speak to the authenticity of Jo’s Mexican American representation because I am not Mexican American, but she felt very white-coded to me. At the moment though I feel mostly like we have bits and pieces without that extra something that pulls it all together. Given what I have already seen from Elise Kova’s work, I have to assume this will come later.

Society of Wishes is set in a futuristic United States that are no longer United following a third World War. This was built up fairly well, but the majority of the story takes place in the Society, which is built up very well. As a location, it was relatively easy to immerse myself into, but also the hierarchy and expectations of the characters were very clear and easy to visualize. The world building was a strong point in this novel for me.

While I did really enjoy the semi-immersive quality of the world building, Society of Wishes is a very plot-driven book. And drive it does! The story flows very well from one bit of excitement to the next, which is what led to my accidental finishing of the book in two days instead of thirty-six days. It was very easy to get caught up and keep reading from beginning to end.

That is one thing I need to talk about though. The end. It just… kind of… stopped? Like… I hate cliffhangers. This much has been established repeatedly in my reviews and blog posts. But this… wasn’t even a cliffhanger? The story was building up to another bit of excitement and then… Nothing. Needless to say the ending of this book was not a win for me.

I really did enjoy the story while I was reading it and I’m curious to see more about the Society and its members so I’ll definitely be continuing with the series. I did not like the way the book just kind of stopped, but I am invested in the plot so I’m definitely looking forward to the next book in the series. Hopefully, the ending to that one will be a little easier to sit with.

Overall, I rate Society of Wishes 3 out of 5 bookworms. But don’t just take my word for it. Add it on Goodreads and enjoy it for yourself!

Bookworm of the Week: 16 March 2018

Um… What happened to this week and where has it gone? I slacked off quite a bit in my post writing this week so….

Happy Saturday, bookworms! It’s that time of the week again!! 😀 Bookworm of the Week is a spotlight started here on Vicarious Bookworm where each week a different book blogger or vlogger and their platform(s) are highlighted. It started as a way to help bring more attention to book bloggers and vloggers within the online book community.

This week’s Bookworm of the Week is:

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I stumbled across Eli’s blog shortly after I started blogging here and I’ve been hooked ever since. She uses a variety of social media in her posts to create a unique blog. I haven’t seen anyone else use social media on their blog the way she does and it’s really creative.

I’m not sure if she’s still doing Top Ten Tuesday, but I always love watching her videos for it because she manages to cram it all into 60 seconds or less without making it feel rushed. They’re really fun to watch and my TBR explodes or I find a book on the list I’ve read and I get excited she’s talking about it.

She also writes Sticky Note Reviews, which are reviews that can fit into a single sticky note. Her most recent one for Let’s Talk About Love has me really hoping the library will get it in soon! (Side Note: I just checked again and it’s listed as “On Order” for the branch I work at. The stars are aligning!!) But I really enjoy her quick reviews because she’s brilliant at wording things in a way that efficiently tells me what she thought of the book and why. It quickly tells me whether or not picking up the book will be worth my while.

Eli is one of the few I regularly take recommendations from because, for the most part, we enjoy the same style of books. There’s, so far, only really been one that we disagree on and even that isn’t a huge deal to me because HER TASTE IN BOOKS IS EXCELLENT! Also, there is the occasional dissertation update, which is always good to read.

Anyway, if you’re looking for an awesomely creative blog and social media account to follow, definitely check out the (book) supplier! You can find Eli on:

Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | Goodreads | Google +


Audiobook Review: The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco

The beast raged; it punctured the air with its spite. But the girl was fiercer.

Tea is different from the other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy makes her a bone witch, who are feared and ostracized in the kingdom. For theirs is a powerful, elemental magic that can reach beyond the boundaries of the living—and of the human.

Great power comes at a price, forcing Tea to leave her homeland to train under the guidance of an older, wiser bone witch. There, Tea puts all of her energy into becoming an asha, learning to control her elemental magic and those beasts who will submit by no other force. And Tea must be strong—stronger than she even believes possible. Because war is brewing in the eight kingdoms, war that will threaten the sovereignty of her homeland…and threaten the very survival of those she loves.

My Review

I’ve actually been meaning to read this one for quite a while, ever since it was first released about a year ago. I kept putting it off for other books on my TBR and it honestly had slipped my mind until quite recently when I heard about the upcoming sequel, The Heart Forger. I wanted to be ready to read that book when it’s released and I discovered that my library owned a digital audiobook of it so it seemed to be something of a match made in heaven.

I really enjoyed getting to know Tea and Fox especially, but the other characters as well. I feel like I got to know enough about each character to make at least most of them seem real enough to have a conversation with. None of the primary characters blur together at all, but I still don’t feel like I know them very well, Tea included. I’d really like to get to know them a bit better in the nest book so fingers crossed that happens!

Since I listened to the audiobook version of this, I didn’t have the advantage of any map that might have been put in the physical book. I’m not entirely sure what the land they’re in would look like, but I know the world-building itself put me in mind of somewhat of a cross between Memoirs of a Geisha and the Witchlands series. The way the world was built up made it seem effortlessly intriguing and immersive. I really enjoyed seeing and learning about the world the characters had to navigate.

The story is split between what could be considered real time where Tea is telling her story to the bard and the past, which is essentially the story she is telling. As with many other flashback style stories, this one took a bit of adjusting for me to be okay with but eventually the back and forth helped build up the plot’s momentum. It flowed really well, with interesting plot twists thrown in throughout.

However, I feel like it would be negligent of me to publish this review without bringing up the conclusion, or lack thereof. The ending of The Bone Witch was basically where you get to the end of the first hour of a two-hour series conclusion on a television show and the words “To Be Continued…” flash dramatically onto the screen. I have more questions about the plot after the ending than I did at any point during the novel itself and, if I’m being completely honest, had I read this book when it first released, I probably wouldn’t have wanted to read the sequel. As it is, the sequel is forthcoming and now I want to know why things happened so I’ll end up devouring it in a day or two.

The audiobook is narrated by Emily Woo Zeller when the point of view is Tea’s and Will Damron when the writing is meant to be from the point of view of the bard. This change was quite jarring at first because there is no pause between narrator changes, but over the course of the novel I grew used to it. At the end, I like that there were two different narrators for the two perspectives because it helped me differentiate between the two much more easily than I could have with a single narrator.

I really enjoyed Emily Woo Zeller’s voice and storytelling style. I feel like she really added an extra level to the novel for me while I was listening to her speak. I was less a fan of Will Damron’s voice, though his skill as a narrator was good. There was just something about his voice that made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. It wasn’t entirely unpleasant, but it wasn’t comfortable either.

I did like the story a great deal but the ending really killed it for me. As those of you who have been around a while already know, I hate cliffhangers. Enough to drop a bookworm from the rating. In this case, we didn’t even get the cliffhanger ending. I feel like the book just kind of….stopped? And I don’t like that at all. I’m still mad about that but I’ll probably check the next book out when the library gets it to see where the story is going and how we got to the HUGE plot twist we did. I just honestly hope the second book is the conclusion because I can’t take endings like that.

Overall, I rate The Bone Witch 3 out of 5 bookworms. But don’t just take my word for it. Add it on Goodreads and enjoy it for yourself!

That’s all for this review, bookworms. Until next time, happy reading!

Waiting On Wednesday: 14 March 2018

Waiting On Wednesday was a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that highlights anticipated releases. Unfortunately, the host was no longer able to continue and Waiting On Wednesday has merged with Can’t-Wait Wednesday over on Wishful Endings.

This week, my anticipated read selection is:

Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian


Publication Date: 24 April 2018

Theodosia was six when her country was invaded and her mother, the Queen of Flame and Fury, was murdered before her eyes. Ten years later, Theo has learned to survive under the relentless abuse of the Kaiser and his court as the ridiculed “Ash Princess.” Pretending to be empty-headed and naive when she’s not enduring brutal whippings, she pushes down all other thoughts but one: Keep the Kaiser happy and he will keep you safe.

When the Kaiser forces her to execute her last hope of rescue, Theo can’t keep her feelings and memories pushed down any longer. She vows revenge, throwing herself into a plot to seduce and murder the Kaiser’s warrior son with the help of a group of magically gifted and volatile rebels. But Theo doesn’t expect to develop feelings for the Prinz. Or for her rebel allies to challenge her friendship with the one person who’s been kind to her throughout the last hopeless decade: her heart’s sister, Cress.

Cornered into impossible choices and unable to trust even those who are on her side, Theo will have to decide how far she’s willing to go to save her people and how much of herself she’s willing to sacrifice to become queen.

That’s it for me this time, bookworms. Keep living one page at a time!

Series Review: Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare

I recently finished listening to the audiobook versions for the books in the Infernal Devices series, which is the prequel series to the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. I’ve had multiple people recommend these books to me so many times over the past few years and I finally decided to start with this series before reading Mortal Instruments. Since they were available as digital audiobooks through my local library, the bus ride to and from work seemed like the perfect time to finally jump into this series.

You can find my reviews for each individual novel here:



I can’t even lie… I did not like Tessa at first. At all. I’m sure I was supposed to relate to her, but I just didn’t like a lot of her choices. I suppose a lot of it came from her being naive while not being naive, if that even makes sense, but I just had some trouble relating to her at the beginning. As the story progressed, I she quickly grew on me and I came to understand her a bit better. I do feel like her character development was perfectly done because she grew and changed as a real person would and I have a hard time imagining her as anything but real now.

Will was such a pain in the arse. Throughout the first book, I pretty much hated him. While I appreciate that he made the choices he did because of the reason he did, I just had a lot of trouble making myself like him. At the end of the series, I can say I like him well enough but I still don’t love him. I am definitely not on the Wessa ship.

Jem. Jem is such a pure bean his name deserves its own sentence. I actually got so angry with the way his arc was going during Clockwork Princess that I turned the audiobook off and spam texted a friend until she convinced me to continue listening. Jem is easily the best character in the entire series and his development as such was perfect.

If a tiny human was a bigger badass than any bodybuilder type while still basically being a mother hen, that would be Charlotte. She was protective and caring while still managing to be an amazingly skilled Shadowhunter and Head of the London Institute. Her arc often left me irritated at those around her, but at the end of the series she definitely deserved what she got!

Henry is a large, ginger inventor. What’s not to love?! (That was rhetorical. Don’t answer.) He was so oblivious and caring throughout the entire series and I just loved seeing where his arc took him. He’s so supportive (when he can see past the gears and cogs) and caring that I had to love him.

If there’s anyone who probably deserved better than they got, it was Jessamine. I feel like she fell pray to something that we all do from time to time: She made a couple really bad choices. I like where her arc ultimately ended, but I also understand why Charlotte chose the way she did with Jessamine.

Nate was a selfish asshole and he deserved worse than he got. I don’t really have anything else to say about him so I guess we can tell which character I hated most, can’t we?

While I can’t say I liked Axel Mortmain, aka The Magister, I can at least understand why he made the choices that he did. He felt a sense of revenge and that obviously set him on a very destructive path. He was a self-absorbed jerk, but his character development made him at least make sense on some level.



The entire story of this trilogy centers around Victorian London. Cassandra Clare not only had to build up Victorian London for us, but an entire underbelly society with Shadowhunters and Downworlders as well.

She did so masterfully. While it could easily have been very complicated, the world and how it functions was very easy to grasp. Regardless of the location, the descriptions scattered throughout the story made the world quite immersive.



While this series only consists of three novels, it feels like so much more. So much happened during the span of each novel that by the end of the series, I feel like I’ve known the characters for years instead of simply three relatively short novels. I also feel like the plot flowed well throughout the series, pushed along by the fact that Cassandra Clare makes brilliant use of a variety of alternating point-of-view characters.

Another thing that bears mentioning is that The Love Triangle™ is an actual love triangle, with all three characters loving each other deeply, though perhaps in different ways. I don’t think I’ve ever come across a story before that had an honest to goodness love triangle with all three people involved actually loving each other enough to make the use of the word “triangle” feel accurate. I really loved seeing it.

I also really enjoyed how at the end of the series Cassandra Clare left herself so many potential options for spinoffs, but she also left very few questions unanswered. Even after the point where I thought most authors would have typed “The End,” the novel continued, tucking in every loose strand and answering questions I didn’t realize I had. I was very impressed with how thoroughly this was done.



Since I did listen to the entire series on digital audiobook through my library, I felt it was important to include this section in the series review. I also feel the need to discuss it because the inconsistency of the narrators actually bothered me quite a bit. I enjoyed the first and last narrator, but the narrators for the second book felt wrong. Each time they switched places, it was jarring and I had trouble enjoying the story as much. I would have much preferred if all three novels in this series had the same narrator.


The Infernal Devices has quickly made its way onto the list of my favourite books. I am greatly looking forward to diving back into the world with Cassandra Clare’s other books in the near future and hope they live up to my now very high expectations. I also hope she sticks with a single narrator but I’ll still happily settle for multiples if I can only find them in English…

Overall, I rate Infernal Devices 4 out of 5 bookworms.

Because this is a series review, I’m not going to put in purchase links. Instead, I’ll link each book’s Goodreads page, which you can then use to get purchase links. Or you can pick them up in your favourite local shop. Or you can support your public library and check them out. Anywho, here they are:


That’s it for me this post, bookworms. Keep living one page at a time!

Bookworm of the Week: 9 March 2018

So… Last week was ridiculously hectic and I did not get any of the posts typed that I wanted to, including this one. I also took a page from this week’s Bookworm of the Week and took at least the majority of the weekend away from social media and blogging. Of course, my weekend was only one day this week but… You get the point.

Bookworm of the Week is a spotlight started here on Vicarious Bookworm where each week a different book blogger or vlogger and their platform(s) are highlighted. It started as a way to help bring more attention to book bloggers and vloggers within the online book community.

This week’s Bookworm of the Week is:

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Drew was my very first mutual follow on both my blog and social media nearly two whole years ago. He’s been around for everything here on Vicarious Bookworm from my first reviews and the Ginger Ninja Trials. His blog is definitely not for the faint of heart, but I’ve always enjoyed his dark and sarcastic sense of humor and unapologetic honesty.

Something aside from his horribly blatant sarcasm that sets The Tattooed Book Geek apart from other blogs is his poetry. Much of it is quite dark and a very deep look into Drew and how he feels, which often makes me feel as though I have found a kindred spirit in him. His poetry does not shy away from the hard topics many seem to avoid, like depression and loss.

However, what first pulled me to follow Drew’s blog was his book reviews. He writes his reviews as though he’s having a conversation with a friend about the book and discussing all the things he likes or dislikes about it. I really like the feel of them. Especially the epic use of gifs throughout. Gifs for the win!

Drew also writes some interesting and thought provoking discussion posts and silly posts. Some of the most disturbing yet hilarious posts are his Fun and Inappropriate Book Covers posts. I also really like his Music Monday posts because I get to hear songs I might not otherwise have listened to, though a few of them have brought me into full on nostalgia mode.

So, if you enjoy sarcasm, awesome posts, and epic gif usage, go follow Drew! You can find him on:

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