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Reading Wrap-Up - Jan 2021

I'm going to try something new this year when it comes to book reviews. Instead of posting a new review whenever I finish a book, I'm going to do a post at the end of each month with a reading wrap-up which will showcase what I read in that month and how I liked them. So here is the first of those new posts. I read 2 books in January, so I am right on schedule for my 2021 Goodreads challenge. (Words in italics are book blurbs copied directly from Goodreads. All credit to the authors and publishers)


Vika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters—the only two in Russia—and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side.


And so he initiates the Crown’s Game, an ancient duel of magical skill—the greatest test an enchanter will ever know. The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the tsar’s most respected adviser. The defeated is sentenced to death.


Raised on tiny Ovchinin Island her whole life, Vika is eager for the chance to show off her talent in the grand capital of Saint Petersburg. But can she kill another enchanter—even when his magic calls to her like nothing else ever has?


For Nikolai, an orphan, the Crown’s Game is the chance of a lifetime. But his deadly opponent is a force to be reckoned with—beautiful, whip-smart, imaginative—and he can’t stop thinking about her.


And when Pasha, Nikolai’s best friend and heir to the throne, also starts to fall for the mysterious enchantress, Nikolai must defeat the girl they both love…or be killed himself.


As long-buried secrets emerge, threatening the future of the empire, it becomes dangerously clear—the Crown’s Game is not one to lose.


This book was a decent read. It was such a cool concept and the magic system was well done. The characters were very real and the worldbuilding was good. I think what kept me from giving this book a higher rating was a lack of wow factor. The main reason I picked up this book is because it is set in Russia and I have this odd fascination for Russia. It delivered in that aspect, but it wasn't the kind of book I expected from reading the synopsis. I was looking for more direct hunger games like magic duel, but instead the fight was more subtle. I also found that the ending was very anticlimactic. There was a huge buildup and then it was just over. So again, the book was good, it just wasn't amazing. I have a feeling that book two will be better though, so I look forward to reading it. The Crown's Game by Evelyn Skye: 3.5/5 stars.


A Life No One Will Remember. A Story You Will Never Forget.


France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.


Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world.


But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name.


This book is almost beyond words. I'm going to start by saying that it's been a while since a book has made me cry and even longer since a book has made me cry that hard. I honestly had a hard time seeing the last 50 pages. I knew going into this book that it was going to make me a mess, but the great part of these kinds of books is that you're never quite sure how it'll do it. I'm not usually a lover of books with flashbacks, but this book did it so well, I hardly cared. The characters and relationships were so real and there are so many lines that just hit you like a fist to the gut. I think the thing that made this book so heart wrenching is how well I related to Henry and Addie. There fears of the future and time slipping away too fast mirror my own. In short, I've never felt so seen by a book and yet so exposed. It is truly a wonder and an insult all at once and this book will haunt me the rest of my life. I certainly will not forget it. The Invisble Life of Addie LaRue by V. E. Schwab: 5/5 stars.


And that concludes my January reading wrap-up. I'm not yet sure what I want to read next, as the book hangover is still heavy from Addie, but I'm excited to see if I can keep my reading momentum going after a rough year last year.

If you've read either of these books, let me know in the comments what you thought of them!

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