Reading Lately: November 2018 Edition

Hi friends! I’m back again for my monthly book reviews. I hit my Goodreads Challenge of 60 books in November, so that was exciting. It was a bit of a slow month with only 4 books read. For whatever reason, I just didn’t find myself picking up a book when I had a chance. Hopefully I pick up the pace a bit with some time off with the holidays coming up!

Reading Lately: November 2018 Edition | book reviews of The Queen of Blood and The Reluctant Queen by Sarah Beth Durst; The Raging Ones by Krista & Becca Ritchie; A Dangerous Collaboration by Deanna Raybourn | Puppies & Pretties

The Raging Ones by Krista and Becca Ritchie: This story is set in a freezing world where everyone knows the date of their death based on a test given at birth. Depending on how long they will live (Babe, Fast Tracker, Influential) each person has a certain outlook of life, type of job and education. But Fanny the Fast Tracker wakes up after her deathday and her world is turned upside down. She finds herself inexplicably tied to Court and Mykal. They realize the only way they will survive and thrive is to get into Stardust, the secret space travel division that is putting together a team for a mission. We follow the three of them as they try to act as Influentials, navigate their very odd relationship and try to succeed at Stardust. I enjoyed their relationship and how it was explored. The world was interesting and the twist at the end I certainly didn’t see coming (it actually made the book better!). I plan on picking up the next book in the series for sure. 
3.5 out 5 stars
c/o Netgalley

The Queen of Blood by Sarah Beth Durst: Set in a world where spirits inhibit everything and make things work, but also want to kill all the humans, only a queen with the power to command the spirits keeps the peace. At an early age, Daleina finds she has the power to command spirits and is sent to Academy to nurture her powers. Academically, she is at the top of her class, but in commanding spirits, she just gets by. At the end of her schooling, she is surprisingly chosen by disgraced Champion, Ven (think a knight) to be trained as an heir. The best and the brightest girls with power are trained as heirs because a queen could die at any time and what comes after her death is a bloodbath because the spirits have free reign. As Ven and Daleina train, it becomes apparent that the current queen is corrupt and working with the spirits (and not in a good way). What comes next is a fight for survival for not only Daleina, but for all humans. I really enjoyed this book. The magic system is interesting. While the characters are not highly detailed, their relationships are believable and there is no insta-love or friendships. It is also nice that Daleina isn’t the best at everything and has to work for it and knows her limitations. 
4 out 5 stars

The Reluctant Queen by Sarah Beth Durst: Daleina has become queen, even though it was the last thing she wanted. But she will protect her people with all her might. However, she has a secret – she is dying. She sends her Champions out to find and train new Heirs, because if she dies before another woman is ready, the humans of her realm will be slaughtered. Ven finds Naelin in the outer cities, and she might be the savior they need. But Naelin wants nothing to do with being queen. She just wants to live her life and raise her children in peace. But there are more undercurrents in the world than it seems, and Naelin is pulled into Ven and Daleina’s circle. This is a great book that extends the story from book one but adds in another layer of intrigue with the political side of humans with all the bloodthirsty spirits from before. Plus, there is another wrinkle that is revealed at the end that makes me excited to read book 3.   
4 out 5 stars

A Dangerous Collaboration by Deanna Raybourn: This is the fourth book in the series and you really need to read all of them. Seriously, this series is just fun. Veronica and Stoker are once again pulled into a mystery. Invited by Stoker’s brother to a gathering at an old friend’s castle on a small island, it quickly becomes evident that the gathering is no party. Romilly (the friend) wants to figure out once and for all what happened to his bride that disappeared on their wedding day 3 years ago. What comes next is ghosts, charlatans, hidden passages and a whole lot of whodunit. And of course, hilarity and tension (the romantic kind) from Veronica and Stoker. Their relationship definitely makes these books and it is just so good. 
4 out 5 stars
c/o First to Read

Didn’t finish
It isn’t very often that I DNF a book, but I did it with Winter Tide. I wanted to like it, I really did. But nothing really happens. And the characters didn’t draw me in. I initially put the book aside for a bit hoping to go back to it. But after reading a few other books, I still had no desire to pick it back up. So I moved it to my DNF shelf and haven’t looked back.

What have you been reading lately?

Linking up: Jana Says