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Friday, May 29, 2020

May Bookish Wrap-Up



This is a snapshot of the books I have consumed in May 2020



I have a Goodreads goal of reading 52 books a year or a book a week. Some books I can read in a couple of days and others it takes me a couple of weeks. Ugh, my reading is NOT consistent at all. I was hoping to read more this month but that did NOT seem to happen. There are 4 full weeks in May and I read a total of 4 books. At least I'm staying current on my Goodreads goal but I'm slacking compared to previous years.

Sisters of Shadow and Light
Extraordinary Lies
The Grace Year
DawnSinger




Sisters of Shadow and Light (see my review HERE). This was another book & audiobook combo. Those seem to be a good thing for me so I can multitask or sit and curl up with a book- whichever sparks joy in the moment.

The Grace Year - review coming soon. Story of my life: I make goals like write and post reviews within 3 days of finishing books and here is another month that I slip. I also said I would post about #JustReadBuzz week every day. Today's prompt: Justread and hosts. I'm a host... Hi, my name is Angela, I have a recent problem with procrastination. Thanks for reading my blog.








I didn't read any e-books this month. I was too busy addicted to TikTok (yes, I'm one of THOSE millennials, but I'm a voyeur not a content creator). Also, trying to sludge through DawnSinger took up WAY to much time and mental energy to pick up an ebook. 




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Sisters of Shadow and Light (see my review HERE). 4 star book. I had a pretty decent start to reading this month. The first 3 books of 4 I picked up were enjoyable.

Extraordinary Lies- 4 stars. Getting a message from the author to be part of a tour makes me feel good. Doesn't happen often but when it does from an author I already enjoy I can't help smile. This book had well written antagonist in a believable setting (see my review HERE).


DawnSinger- 2 stars. Ever really want to like a book and it just doesn't connect the way you want? This happened to me for DawnSinger. Fantasy with mythical creatures- yes! Christian Fiction- yes! New to me author-yes! I just couldn't get into it and it was a chore to finish  (see my review HERE). 

Guess what: I posted this review 3-4 days behind schedule. What are we going to do with me? 

Want a sneak peak on some of my tour posts for June? Read on!

TBR/ Upcoming Tours
June 2nd- Spotlight: The Heart of a Hero GIVEAWAY
June 3rd- Spotlight: The Trouble with Love GIVEAWAY
 June 4th: Spotlight: Where the Road Bends
June 5th - Instagram: Stories That Bind Us GIVEAWAY
June 12th- instagram: Let Them Be Kids
June 16th- instagram: Closer Than She Knows
June 20th- Let Them Be Kids

June 25th- instagram: quote tour






I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. As an Amazon Associate I can earn from qualifying purchases if you use my affiliate link. 
**No monetary compensation was received for this review. Posts may contain affiliate or referral links. Thank you for your support!**


Thursday, May 28, 2020

DawnSlinger REVIEW

Welcome to my review for : 
DawnSinger

Title: DawnSinger
Series: Tales of Faeraven book 1
Author: Janalyn Voigt
Publisher: Harbourlight
Release Date: June 29th 2012
Print Length:  342 pages
Genre: Young Adult Christian Fantasy

Edition: paperback 


BOOK LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | #CommissionsEarned

Reason for Reading – I signed up to be a host for JustReadTours blind book tour. I received a copy of this novel from the author. All opinions are my own, any review rating is voluntary. 



Synopsis:

The High Queen is dying...

At the royal summons, Shae mounts a wingabeast and soars through the air to the high hold of Faeraven, where all is not as it seems. Visions warn her of danger, and a dark soul touches hers in the night. When she encounters an attractive but disturbing musician, her wayward heart awakens.

But then there is Kai, a guardian of Faeraven and of Shae. Secrets bind him to her, and her safety lies at the center of every decision he makes.

On a desperate journey fraught with peril and the unknown, they battle warlike garns, waevens, ferocious raptors, and the wraiths of their own regrets. Yet, they must endure the campaign long enough to release the DawnKing'and the salvation he offers'into a divided land. To prevail, each must learn that sometimes victory comes only through surrender.



If you like this you may also enjoy #affiliate

Awesomeness Factor: 2 / ★★★★★





Main Characters

  • Shae- a sheltered girl who doesn't like to follow rules and enjoys mini adventures in her backyard. She is not a strong female but instead a more caricature of the weak fainting ladies in bodices with servants that constantly attend and chaperone them. She seemed more of an accessory or pawn than a real main character even though she was a main POV
  • Kai- Shae's older brother, guardian of Faeraven, friend of the dying queen. He's the strong silent type, angsty soldier who does what he's told and doesn't relax... except around his sister who he romantically loves.
Dynamic: siblings to lovers,  hero/damsel

Characters: 2 / ★★★★★

Plot

I was trying to describe the book to my husband (who hates details) and here is what I came up with:

Part 1: Summons
Shae is taken to visit a dying queen and learns secrets about her past. Shae also has waking nightmares and her maidenly looks make the boys go crazy.

Part 2: Journey
Sent on a quest to save the kingdom Shae sleeps, misses the comforts of home, and the group is attacked by physical assailants and spiritual ones.

Plot and Themes: 2 / ★★★★★


Setting

I have no idea what time period this is in. Weird language, unknown words and references... fun fact there is a GLOSSARY in the back. I had no idea until I was finished with the book.

Faeraven- a kingdom on the brink of war with mythical creatures making the quest the main characters go on dangerous. Because of the name, I thought there would be Fae... there are not, I was disappointed.

Setting: 3 / ★★★★★





What did I like about the book?

I love reading new books. I really love when books are recommended to me. I signed up to be a Blind Book Tour host and got this message: Congrats, reviewers! You've been matched with a book! We took your preferences into consideration & even checked your Goodreads shelves (where we could) to make sure you haven't read the book yet. I was told the author's last name (Voigt) but nothing else. I had success with one of these tours already this year (see that review HERE) so I was really looking forward to this one.

When the book came in the mail I noticed it was SIGNED by the author. I skipped the synopsis and noticed a list of names that made zero since to me. Honestly, after I have read the book they still don't for the most part. There is also a MAP. I love maps. The font is super tiny so I didn't reference it too much but to note the characters started at the North part.

The cover has a wingabeast (Pegasus or winged horse) in the background. 

The book offers two alternating POVs from someone that knows what is going on, and from someone who is learning a lot about herself and the world in a very confusing way but it allows the readers to get a broader perspective on the world.

It's true I have been a part of book tours that featured this author, but this was the first book I read of hers. Fantasy is definitely one of my top favorite genres. Christian Fantasy is relatively new to me and I don't see how this one differs much in the genre to make it Christian. The main character prays to a god named Lof Yuel. Lof Yuel seems pretty hands off, not a meddling god, and sometimes speaks to the character internally. He also magically gifts descendants of his Rivenn people.



What did I not like about the book?

The book starts a little confusing when the POV Shae goes from reality to dreams (or visions or waking nightmares?) without transition. I felt like I was missing something. Cue me finally reading the description. Visions are warning her and she's being spiritually attacked. . . but no one else is? Why did they suddenly start now instead of plaguing her entire life? In a land of magic, Shae is special... ok... but she seems like a prissy young sheltered girl that is ignorant to the ways of the world... by the way, that doesn't change much throughout the book. Both main characters were hard to like or sympathize with.

(SPOILERS)
130 pages in we find out Shae is the daughter of the dying queen and Kai is not her biological brother. I didn't notice their ages but Shae seems young, although her "twin sister" is married so not that young, and Kai was already a guardian when Shae was born, so I'm guessing 16-20 years older than her. Shai has always looked up to and admired her BROTHER but at the end she kisses him? Also from Kai's point of view, sure he's known all along they aren't blood related but they ARE siblings raised by the same parents in the same household and he lusts after her from the moment some other guy shows her interest. EWWW That's like picturing my daughter having the hots for her step-brother. GROSS and completely unnecessary. 

DANGER everywhere. On the way to the dying queen Shae and Kai are randomly attacked. Shae is mentally attacked by unknown sources. There are unknown riders stealing guardian rides and tormenting the kingdom to cause upset. Shae never mentions things she notices that could prevent danger around the queen or her brother. The journey had various dangerous physical and spiritual creatures. The prince sends a group to escort Shae but half turn back right in the beginning to warn about approaching army. Trouble and injuries bothers the rest. I understand wanting to add excitement but it just made me zone out.

Shae SLEEPS so much! I think that was a way for the author to show passing of time but it seemed like all she did was close her eyes, or lay down, or grow drowsy, or have waking nightmares, or be suddenly woken up. It makes the book drag and took up a good portion of the writing.

WORSE OFFENDER for me was the language. Often times I read the passages out loud and asked why would it be written that way? So many words in italic- didn't know that meant you could reference the back to find out what the foreign words meant in the glossary. Some of the words I couldn't make out from context clues and I really didn't feel like it was described well so I went the whole book not knowing what it was saying. Didn't know Raelien meant Queen. Didn't know Shae grew up a princess. Ugh. There were poetry/ballads and prophecy I didn't understand either. I had to keep putting this book down. I found myself distracted constantly instead of staying engaged.

I feel like I would have enjoyed the book more if it was written in plain English with some words to this world that were new but immediately translated. Even if Shae's character didn't change in personality or history if she didn't sleep so much or transitions to visions that assualted her were written differently to make it easier to follow. Also, if there has to be love... can the characters be closer in age and not related? Kai could've been a friend of the family, or a guard of the Whellein house. Super gave me the creeps Shae is supposed to be chaperoned to keep her honor intact but Kai took advantage of her every chance he had. He forced himself on her, mistreated her, put her in situations to make them alone or where she would have to depend on him. He also blamed her femaleness for a lot of bad or potential bad. Like its her fault guys can't keep it in their pants. Kai is definitley a bad guy in my book and I'm glad Shae had the courage to leave him in the end... twice.

Date Started/Finished : May 17th- 27th 2020

Writing: 2/★★★★★
Story – 2 / ★★★★★
Romance – 1 / ★★★★★ eww
Angst – 4 / ★★★★★
Content Flow – 3 / ★★★★★
Image/ Illustration – 4 / ★★★★★

"Couldn't Put It Down"-ness – 1 / ★★★★★



Recommend? no

Recommend To – I guess if you enjoy fantasy, epic quests, new languages, and danger around every corner. You may like this. Definitely read the description before digging in- that would probably be helpful.
Would you encourage others to read this book? no... first of all I have no idea how many books are going to be in this series. There are currently 4. There was 6 years between books 2 and 3. Fantasy is a broad genre. I'm not familiar with a lot of Christian fantasy but this didn't give me that idea, maybe just the author happens to be Christian?
Would Read More from Author? maybe but not because I agreed to on a certain timeline



DawnSinger (Tales of Faeraven, #1)DawnSinger by Janalyn Voigt
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Overall Rating: 2 /★★★★★
based off Goodreads' ratings
2 stars – it was OK. Not really impressed. I probably finished reading the book (wishing I hadn't). I was hoping for more or wanting something different.

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Disclosure: This book was provided to me at no cost. Whether positive or negative, my blog review is my own and may differ from others opinions. This review is simply a compilation of my thoughts and opinions of this book.  If you have any questions, just post them and I'll be happy to answer as best as I can. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
**No monetary compensation was received for this review. Posts may contain affiliate or referral links. Thank you for your support!**