Book Review- Belle: A Retelling Of Beauty And The Beast by Cameron Dokey

synopsis 2

Belle is convinced she has the wrong name, as she lacks her sisters’ awe-inspiring beauty. So she withdraws from society, devoting her time to wood carving. Secretly, Belle longs to find the fabled Heartwood Tree. If carved by the right hands, the Heartwood will reveal the face of one’s true love. 

During a fierce storm, Belle’s father stumbles upon the mysterious Heartwood — and encounters a terrifying and lonely Beast. Now Belle must carve the Heartwood to save her father, and learn to see not with the eyes of her mind, but with the eyes of her heart.


 

My Thoughts 2

 

Charming. Enchanting. Easy for the mind. 

 

It was the beautiful cover that got me interested in this book. That, and the fact that I was on vacation and didn´t really want to read a book with 350+ pages. Instead, I picked this 204 page novel with the stunning cover.

As for the story….

Belle` by author Cameron Dokey is a simple and uncomplicated retelling of `Beauty And The Beast`. There´s nothing heavy or highly emotional about this retell. Belle

I would guess that adding overly dramatic scenes would have demanded more pages… so it´s no surprise that this book wasn´t the full-blown romance we´ve all come to love.

While the story was good ( as one would expect it to be. It´s Belle and the Beast! ) it still differed from the versions we have branded into our brains.

Belle´s life is different. The whole story has been worked on, giving us readers an altered Belle with 2 living parents and kind siblings.

The added family theme was a nice change of wallpaper. The details were ( to a certain point ) perfect. All was okay about this retelling version except for the subtle / not so subtle issues.

I´m a fan of details. In `Belle` I received a well-balanced flow of character development and details, which I fully appreciated. As I enjoyed the great story-build-up I also felt the amount of pages I had left to read. A little spooky when knowing there´s actually SO MUCH MORE to the story. I was a little over 100 pages in to the book and I was still reading about everything except for the Beast.

But I had faith. The book might be only 204 pages thin but there was still enough room to add the Hero. And that´s where I began to be bothered. The Hero is usually introduced after the first few pages, if not, then surely after the second chapter. From the point where Hero and Heroine meet there´s some sort of connection development from there on. In `Belle`there was nothing of the sort.

And when Belle and Beasts golden moment arrived I was slightly disappointed. Because it wasn´t as drawn out as I had thought it would be. It was actually short-lived and questionable, to say the least.

Even the big end scene wasn´t drawn out, as it should have been. In fact- The moment of moments was cut short. Belle and her family received lots of limelight and the Beast received a few pages. Correct me if I´m wrong- Doesn´t it add to the dramatic scene when drama is included? Thoughts on this, anyone?

The author has one thing going for her: Her writing style. It´s simple but romantic. It´s colorful and soft. Actually fitting for fairy tales. I found myself falling for her words and enjoying the way she wields them in her story.

What´s missing is balance and pace. Those two aspects drove me bonkers while reading `Belle`.

This is a complicated review to write because on the one side I experienced wonderful characters and great details. Character development plays a huge role in books as it gives a story life. Crappy characters = crappy story ( no matter if it´s a retelling or not ).

But on the other hand, the imbalance and slow pace – turned – fast pace were confusing and made my reading experience odd.

Would I recommend this book? I would. But only if readers approach this read without expecting anything major.

Would I reread this book? Probably not. I´ll stick with the other versions I´ve read.

 

The Cover – 5 stars ( Stunning )

The Story – 3 stars ( It´s basically Beauty and the Beast fanfic. I appreciated some parts while I didn´t appreciate the technical sides )

The Characters – 4 stars ( I can´t stress this out enough: character development is everything. It´s what a reader gets in this read.)

My emotional state after finishing this read – Meeh.

3 stars

This book is available on Amazon.com

 

Morgana´s Book Box Instagram Book Feature for `Belle` by Cameron Dokey

 

 

Book Review- The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw

synopsis 2

Welcome to the cursed town of Sparrow…

Where, two centuries ago, three sisters were sentenced to death for witchery. Stones were tied to their ankles and they were drowned in the deep waters surrounding the town.

Now, for a brief time each summer, the sisters return, stealing the bodies of three weak-hearted girls so that they may seek their revenge, luring boys into the harbor and pulling them under.

Like many locals, seventeen-year-old Penny Talbot has accepted the fate of the town. But this year, on the eve of the sisters’ return, a boy named Bo Carter arrives; unaware of the danger he has just stumbled into.

Mistrust and lies spread quickly through the salty, rain-soaked streets. The townspeople turn against one another. Penny and Bo suspect each other of hiding secrets. And death comes swiftly to those who cannot resist the call of the sisters.

But only Penny sees what others cannot. And she will be forced to choose: save Bo, or save herself. 

 


 

My Thoughts 2

This is another case of “It´s not the book. It´s me.” Or, maybe the book is my problem…

I liked loved the synopsis. It´s captivating and just screams at a reader to buy the book.

Because it sounds interesting. The story sounds dark and mysterious. It appears to have that certain witchy atmosphere. A promise of legends and curses mixing with reality and…. above all, there´s a promise of something magical.

I can´t say that `The Wicked Deep` by author Shea Ernshaw was a complete the wicked deepdisappointment because there were quite a few parts I really enjoyed about the story. But the other parts? 40% of the story wasn´t as enjoyable as I had hoped it would be.

Was the story dark and mysterious?
Well, it did have a nice dark atmosphere and it did offer a hint of mystery in the beginning. But since the story was predictable the mystery part was flushed down the drain and that made my reading experience less enjoyable.

`The Wicked Deep` is a full blown cliché. While the writing is great the story is rather flat and shallow.

The threat was there but it felt restricted. As if the author didn´t want to go too far with her characters.

I would have liked for the “witches” ( as they were so lovingly sold to the readers ) to have had more spotlight. It wouldn´t have hurt if they had been included in more scenes. They drowned on land as they did when they were forced to drown in the pacific ocean.

As for the main characters- I would have appreciated if Penny hadn´t felt robotic. Bo was a Hero I´d consider to be 2 dimensional. Present but transparent, lacking depth.

As for the end of the story…. It won a smirk from me.



 

Would I recommend this book? I would. I´m sure there are many readers who would appreciate this type of witch book. It´s a nice standalone that´s not too high-toned.

Would I re – read this book? Nope.

 

The Cover – 5 stars ( The cover is stunning. Simple, colorful and the title is catchy.)

The Story – 3 stars ( While there were parts I loved I couldn´t get over the stuff I didn´t enjoy. If it´s said that witches are involved then I´d appreciate reading about witches. If there´s a curse then I would like that curse to have some magical background.  )

The Characters – 2 stars ( All had their own voices. I find it odd, though, when MC are less emotional than sub characters. I also find it worrying when sub characters have more depth. When MCs don´t stand out ( as they should) then I lose interest)

My emotional state after finishing this read – Indifferent.

3 stars

Buy `The Wicked Deep`

 

Morgana´s Book Box Instagram Feature

 

 

Reading List – May 2018

Good – bye, April. Hello, May.

 

Yeah, I know, I know. I´m late with my reading list…again. But I have a great excuse. One that will have you shrugging your shoulders as if to say ” So?”.

I was extremely busy. Busy as in I – had – to – be – social – for – once.

It was tough but I survived. My brother is married and now I need some quality time away from people.

 

It´s still early in the month, though. So, technically…. I´m not THAT late with wanting to present my reading list for May.

Ready to see my wicked list of books that I randomly picked to read and review?

 

A Court Of Frost And Starlight ( A Court Of Thorns And Roses #3.1 ) – Sarah J. Maas

A Court Of rost And StarlightGenre: Fantasy / NA

Pages: 229

Publication Date: May 2018

While I wasn´t happy with books 1 – 3 from the ACOTAR I´m still willing to give this “what happened after ” read a try. Why? Well, I don´t like unfinished business. The author created so many characters in books 1 – 3 that there´s a small chance we´ll get to see some of these characters get their own spotlight. Fingers crossed!

A Court Of Thorns And Roses , A Court Of Mist And Fury,  A Court Of Wings And Ruin

 

The Little Book Of Hygge: The Danish Way To Live Well – Meik Wiking

hygge Genre: Non – fiction

Pages: 240

Publication Date: September 2016

I saw this book on one of my book shopping sprees and had to have it. I haven´t read it yet but from the looks of it the book looks and feels like an oversized magazine about Denmark rather than being a self-help book ( it was also classified as Self Help ).  I´m loving the cover and loved what I saw while I scanned through the pages before I bought this little gem. I can´t wait to see what the Danish have that can improve my already weird and wacky lifestyle. I´m hoping for learning more about the country and what the people do that makes them so awesome.

 

Little Black Book – Otegha Uwagba

little black book

 

Genre: Non – Fiction

Pages: 113

Publication Date: June 2017

 

I´m a working woman. I want to see what the toolkit has to offer. Maybe I´m doing something wrong that I´m not aware of? Who knows. All I know is that I like the package of this book. Not so much the fact that it´s also in the feminism category. I´m a little suspicious about that because if there is anything I dislike more,  it´s a book written by a 2.0 feminist who wants to shove her extreme beliefs down my throat. Let´s hope that this is just a simple “how to juggle work and life” booklet.

 

Ash Princess  ( Ash Princess Trilogy #1 ) – Laura Sebastian

Ash Princess

Genre: Fantasy / YA

Pages: 432

Publication Date: April 2018

I can´t have a reading list without including at least one fantasy read, right? I don´t know why… but I´m actually looking forward to read `Ash Princess`. Sounds like something I´m in desperate need of.

 

And of course, I´ll be working off my TBR list while reading these awesome picks.

Let the fun begin!

 

Much love,

Morgana xx

Book Cover Trends: Part Two (Paranormal, Fantasy & Horror)

Hi! Welcome back to Book Cover Trends!

If you thought there was nothing left for our Book Cover Trends show and tell, then you´re  wrong. Oh, so wrong.

The book world doesn´t just live off of young love novels and cheesy romances. There´s more. Much more. As much as I´d like to continue discussing headless men with pumped abs I do feel the need to dive further into the book cover world.

Werewolves, witches, shapeshifters, vampires, assassins, faeries and serial killers deserve book covers, too. It´s the darker book cover side.

Let´s see what´s hot and what´s not in the make-believe world.

Ready?

 

Someone Needs To Wear The Crown  ( Dystopian, Fantasy )

I´ll admit that these covers are really cool. I like crowns. Wish I wore one myself. As far as book covers for Dystopian / Fantasy go, this is all I see lately. A crown here, a crown there. So many crowns.

crowns

There´s just alot you can do with crown images.

I predict a LONG reign for these types of book covers.

The Crow ( Paranormal, Fantasy )

The crow. Probably THE MOST used animal for book covers. I get it. They´re black. They´re mysterious. They´re always attached to the paranormal world. The world has over 8.7 million species.It´s believed that 1-2 million of those species are animals. You cannot tell me that the crow is the only mysterious animal. It´s certainly not the only black one.

I guess the black bear, a black bat, the black widow, a black bunny were already taken?

crows

I see this trend going nowhere. Crows are here to stay. As long as no one is willing to break this stereotype then I guess we´ll be seeing many more crows.

 

Let´s move on to bad ass women….

I´m Going To Save The World With My Awesomeness ( YA, Dystopian, Fantasy)

These covers definitely say “I´m the chosen one!” A reader knows the story is about a dysfunctional world and someone, a chosen individual ( there´s a 90% chance that someone is a poor human living in some type of slums), will right the wrongs and bring justice to a corrupted world.

These are my least favorite book cover images. I just think they´re…ugly. There´s no other way to express my feelings towards these covers. But still…..

bad ass

… readers love this cover image. In my opinion, you have to be a huge fan of the fantasy genre to accept the badassness these covers have. Or you just don´t give a hoot. I do, though. There are other ways to attract a reader´s attention. How about using a crown?

Me? I´m The Chosen One That Has To Save The World? ( Dystopian, YA, Fantasy)

Sometimes the badass female lead develops her backbone much later in a story. She has to grow into her role as the chosen one. But before she swaps her pitch fork for a glowing faerie sword she has to change her clothes. One cannot win battles in Versace´s Dystopian Autumn collection.

not badass

These ladies want to make a difference. I can´t say which I prefer. The assassins or the princesses.

Speaking of ladies…. up next is a girl who needs our pity….

Emo Girl  ( YA, Fantasy )

emo girl

Okay. I love this story. It´s Twilight with Angels only better. The Fallen by Lauren Kate is one of my favorite reads. But…. the girl on the cover ( which I assume is supposed to be Lucy, MC, is far from being an emo child) does not represent the Heroine. Having 2 hot angels chasing your booty ain´t a good enough reason to cry.

 

Let´s get away from tough cookie Heroine´s and sobbing messes.

Artistic ( fantasy, Children, YA )

artsy

Because it doesn´t always have to be an image of some sexy beast. Okay… Both books are intended for children´s minds so the cover has to match. I totally understand that. And I think it´s okay to use an illustrated cover image. Spot on in these cases.

 

Doors & Windows  ( Mystery, Thriller, Horror )

doors1

Definitely creepy. Normally, doors do nothing for me except keep me safe inside my house. But on a book cover? An absolute 9 on the creep scale. Also, these won´t ever go out of style. A trend that´ll stay!

A Rose IS A Rose, Is A Rose, Is A Rose….  ( All genre´s )

Yupp. Roses are DA SHIT!

rose

Seriously, roses are perfect. Old as time but perfect for any genre. You´ve written a romance? Just use an image of a rose. You´ve written a suspense with a psycho? *snorts* Just use a rose that´s leaking blood as a cover image. Is your book about having din-din with a sexy vampire? I recommend a black rose, because…well, you know. The black crow isn´t THAT fitting. Wanna write a fantasy? Ooh, you can´t use a red rose then. Use a white one. Werewolves? Oh, please *wave off* Werewolves are known to be rose experts. They have gardens filled with long-stemmed roses. High quality you´ll only find in a McWolfy garden.

Funny enough, roses can be used for all genre´s. It´s only a matter of how an author / publisher pimps it to match the theme of the story. What´s even funnier? Most of those books don´t have a single rose in their stories. But the covers are often quite stunning.

 

 

Okay, people… That´s it for today. Stay tuned for Book Cover Trends: Part Three…. Coming soon!

 

Hope you enjoyed the lists so far! If you have any ideas you´d like to add or see in the future then feel free to hit me up! Drop a comment below and let me know your thoughts!

xoxo

 

Book Review- A Court of Wings and Ruin ( book #3) by Sarah J. Maas

Book Description

Looming war threatens all Feyre holds dear in the third volume of the #1 New York Times bestselling A Court of Thorns and Roses series.

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s manoeuvrings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit – and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.

As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords – and hunt for allies in unexpected places. 

In this thrilling third book in the #1 New York Times bestselling series from Sarah J. Maas, the earth will be painted red as mighty armies grapple for power over the one thing that could destroy them all.

My Thoughts

This trilogy accomplished one thing: It made me rethink my standards because I´m slowly convinced that my standards are set too high.

Why? I´ll get to that after I release the ball of energy from my brain via dramatic rant.

A quick rehash – I avoided this series for a long time. I discreetly kept my distance and watched hundreds of bloggers throw out posts after posts about the ACOTAR series.

I caved in. I bought the books. I wanted to see what the fuss was about.

1.739 (!!!) pages later… I´m wondering why I keep ignoring my gut feeling.

Honest to God, I have no idea where to begin with my review here as there´s so much going on in `A Court of Wings and Ruin` book #3 by Sarah J. Maas.ACOWAR

I will start off by shouting out the fair warning about spoilers in this review. Simply saying that this book wasn´t good just doesn´t cut it. I will have to go in-depth with explaining my thoughts and reasons as to WHY this wasn´t my cup of tea. Not even my cup of coffee / hot chocolate or glass of ice-cold coke.

Book #3 starts off with Feyre being back at the Spring Court. Yupp. She tricked the evil enemy and decided to live with Tamlin ( the other supposedly evil enemy ) to save the ones she loved and to possibly find a way to win the war that´s threatening the world.

This is where I have to interrupt because this part just proved I was right before in my review for A Court of Mist and Fury. Tamlin wasn´t the bad guy. He was painted out to be one but wasn´t. He wasn´t Rhys. That was the problem. He loved Feyre and acted out of love. Continued to act out of love and acted like a normal jealous guy/faerie.

I liked his character and would have loved for him to have a happy moment. Besides, Feyre playing the Martyr twice…. uhm…. Let´s say once is enough. Twice is just silly.

Feyre returned to the place that ruined her and acted as Rhys´s spy, gaining all the info on Tamlin`s plans for the war that was near.

When she felt her job was done she practically dusted her hands off her skirts and left the Spring Court, taking Tamlin´s best friend, Lucien, with her.

That scene was a bit more colored out with more deception and mind games but it still had no purpose other than to create more drama and to introduce more characters ( because this book, too, could have been at least 300 pages shorter ).

After a few hurdles Feyre and Lucien made it back to the Night Court where alot of war plotting took place.

It was time to look for alliances and gather them to create a force that would eliminate the evil King for good.

That spanned throughout 699 pages.

And somewhere inbetween all the plottings a reader got a glimps of the romance, the saving of cities, and readers also got to witness how Feyre´s human sisters were dealing with their new lives as faeries.

Here´s the thing- A writer creates a world with 7 realms and only 2 get full attention throughout 3 books.

The Courts of Prythian

Spring Court

Winter Court

Summer Court

Autumn Court

Day Court

Dawn Court

Night Court

After finishing this trilogy the Night Court felt like it was the size of Russia and the Spring Court felt like Area 51 in Nevada. A fenced in piece of land, abandoned and lifeless where the Night Court was full of sparkling stars and rainbow rivers and cities filled with happy people…. ( you get my point).

A reader does get a small glimpse of the Autumn Court but only because Feyre and Lucian pass through it. The Autumn Court could have used a little more details and love because I can imagine that place being truly beautiful.

The Summer Court- well, Feyre, Rhys and Co. visit that place / or had business to take care of there but it wasn´t enough. The author gave the sub characters more attention than she did the Summer Court.

The rest of the courts felt non existant. Sure, they were mentioned and if I remember correctly… a meeting with all the high lords was held at the Dawn Court ( I could be wrong, though. It could have been the Day Court as well).

Back to the story:

After alliances were made the war began.

Now, I´m no expert on the arts of war. I will admit, though, that I´ve been spoiled when it comes to reading about war. I want it to be graphic, I want to feel the character’s pain, I want to see worlds crashing to the ground and people fighting for the greater good. I want to see some crazy shit happening because magic is involved.

I wanted to FINALLY see super Faerie Feyre go all bad ass on the battlefield with her 7 different powers. I wanted her to unleash her beast and wipe out all evil. Maybe even have a one on one stand-off with the evil King and battle together til the bitter end. After all, her character had been worked up to that point. Feyre, the deadly Faerie with the abilities to turn anyone to dust ( I´m being dramatic. No, I´m actually not being dramatic. That´s how she was portrayed).

Instead, I saw none of that happen. Absolutely nothing. Sure, she went off and dealt with a few issues but there was no unleashing Capt. Planet. Why create a character like hers if the author doesn´t intend for her to do anything with her powers? It´s pointless.

There were beings more badass than Feyre was. Faeries that unleashed their inner beasts and slaughtered the evil. Even Feyre´s own sister hid something super powerful inside her and released her unknown powers against the King! Why wasn´t Feyre able to do that? Disappointment at it´s finest.

Tamlin entered the picture in between. Even Feyre´s father. Some long-lost, hidden away Faeries and Faerie hybrids entered the war. But what did it take to end the war? Someone who knew they had the power but waited until enough died to go ape-shit.

When the war was over history repeated itself ( the ending scene from book #1 repeated itself). Someone was dying and only through the help of all the High Lords from all 7 courts was it possible to bring that being back.

My over all opinion? No. Not everything was God awful. There were a handful of scenes that were definitely great. But a handful doesn´t make up for the rest.

Right now, I don´t understand the appeal. I have a good head on my shoulders. I even think myself intelligent enough to understand events that happen in a book. I do not understand how this book was so successful. I do not understand why people haven´t picked up on the stuff the author obviously stole from other books. I cannot wrap my head around the fact that ACOTAR is a bestseller. Because there´s nothing genius about it. No twist in the story. No surprises. Nothing that made my heart skip a few beats.

Feyre was a super strong Faerie but the focus was on how she needed to be independent and become Rhys equal. Feyre´s independence was stressed out to a point where it became eye roll worthy. There is a shadow of 2.0 Social Justice warriors in this book and it´s annoying.

The author made a point out of Rhys giving her the power and to put Tamlin down for wanting to keep her safe. Communication would have solved the Tamlin / Feyre problem. I guess powerful orgasms are gold and talk is overrated.

I´m far from being hateful with my opinion. I just…don´t understand. Do readers ignore the faults in a story when they read? All I know is that I will definitely listen to my gut feeling because I´m spending far too much precious time with this read.

Would I reread this book/series?

No.

Would I recommend this series?

It reeeaaallllly depends on the reader. But if I were forced to give a quick answer I´d say no.

The Cover – 2 stars ( Same style, different color. Green. My opinion on the cover hasn´t changed and I don´t think it ever will. Although, the german book cover is truly beautiful. )

The Story – 2 stars ( please reread my review.)

The Characters – 2 stars ( It´s a sad thing when a reader finds the MC´s and 90% of the sub characters rather dull. The only two characters I truly loved were Cassian and Nesta. Whatever they had going on got me interested and I would really like to find out more about them, together…in a book…hopefully. And Tamlin. Despite how the author let him develop… I liked him. He sure did have a temper. Lol)

My Emotional State After Finishing This Read / The Trilogy Fed up.

I´m giving `A Court of Wings and Ruin` ( A Court of Thorns and Roses #3 ) by Sarah J. Maas, 2 generous stars.

stars17

I´m giving the `A Court of Thorns and Roses` Trilogy ( in my opinion ) solid, well deserved 2 stars.

This book is available everywhere.