First Lines Friday – 16 April

Happy Friday book lovers! We’re back with another First Lines Friday, a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines? Here are the rules:

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

First lines:

“No matter what century you live in, the world will always be filled with assholes.”

Do you recognize the book these first lines come from?

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Blog Tour Review: The Lore of Prometheus by Graham Austin-King

Hello, hello friends! I’m so excited to be back for another blog tour with @TheWriteReads today for the 2020 BBNYA Winner: The Lore of Prometheus by Graham Austin-King. Be sure to check out all the other bloggers participating in this tour: here! 😍

I received this book to read and review as part of the BBNYA 2020 competition and/or the BBNYA tours organised by the @The_WriteReads tours team. Special thanks to for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review!

More information about about BBNYA available at the end of my post for those who want to know more, especially authors!

Goodreads: The Lore of Prometheus
Publisher: Fallen Leaf Press
Published: 10 December 2018
Genre: Urban Paranormal Fantasy, Military Fiction
Panda Rating:

(3.75 pandas)

John Carver has three rules: Don’t drink in the daytime, don’t gamble when the luck has gone, and don’t talk to the dead people who come to visit.

It has been almost five years since the incident in Kabul. Since the magic stirred within him and the stories began. Fleeing the army, running from the whispers, the guilt, and the fear he was losing his mind, Carver fell into addiction, dragging himself through life one day at a time.

Desperation has pulled him back to Afghanistan, back to the heat, the dust, and the truth he worked so hard to avoid. But there are others, obsessed with power and forbidden magics, who will stop at nothing to learn the truth of his gifts. Abducted and chained, Carver must break more than his own rules if he is to harness this power and survive

BUY NOW: Book Depository | Amazon (UK) | Amazon (US) | Barnes & Noble

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ARC Review: Spellmaker by Charlie N. Holmberg

Thanks to NetGalley and 47North for providing the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Spellmaker (Spellbreaker Duology #2)
Publisher: 47North
Publication Date: 09 March 2021
Genre: Historical Fantasy, Romance
Panda Rating:


England, 1895. An unsolved series of magician murders and opus thefts isn’t a puzzle to Elsie Camden. But to reveal a master spellcaster as the culprit means incriminating herself as an unregistered spellbreaker. When Elsie refuses to join forces with the charming assassin, her secret is exposed, she’s thrown in jail, and the murderer disappears. But Elsie’s hope hasn’t vanished.

Through a twist of luck, the elite magic user Bacchus Kelsey helps Elsie join the lawful, but with a caveat: they must marry to prove their cover story. Forced beneath a magical tutor while her bond with Bacchus grows, Elsie seeks to thwart the plans of England’s most devious criminal—if she can find them.

With hundreds of stolen spells at their disposal, the villain has a plan—and it involves seducing Elsie to the dark side. But even now that her secret is out, Elsie must be careful how she uses the new abilities she’s discovering, or she may play right into the criminal’s hands.

*Note: There might be minor spoilers for book one if you haven’t read it yet!*

TL;DR: Spellmaker was an action-packed sequel to Spellbreaker and a satisfying conclusion to this historical fantasy duology with a little bit of mystery and romance. I was a little worried when I got to the 80% mark and felt that a lot still had to be resolved, and although I thought the climax was a little too simplistic for the build-up, I was still enthralled by the story and characters, and ultimately thought the conclusion was done well.

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Blog Tour Review + Book Look: Cast in Firelight by Dana Swift

Today is my stop on the TBR & Beyond Tours for Cast in Firelight by Dana Swift.
Special thanks to Delacorte Press for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review!

Be sure to click on the banner above to check out the rest of the amazing bloggers on tour!

Goodreads: Cast in Firelight (Wickery #1)
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication Date: 19 January 2021
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Panda Rating:

Adraa is the royal heir of Belwar, a talented witch on the cusp of taking her royal ceremony test, and a girl who just wants to prove her worth to her people.

Jatin is the royal heir to Naupure, a competitive wizard who’s mastered all nine colors of magic, and a boy anxious to return home for the first time since he was a child.

Together, their arranged marriage will unite two of Wickery’s most powerful kingdoms. But after years of rivalry from afar, Adraa and Jatin only agree on one thing: their reunion will be anything but sweet. Only, destiny has other plans and with the criminal underbelly of Belwar suddenly making a move for control, their paths cross…and neither realizes who the other is, adopting separate secret identities instead.

Between dodging deathly spells and keeping their true selves hidden, the pair must learn to put their trust in the other if either is to uncover the real threat. Now Wickery’s fate is in the hands of rivals..? Fiancées..? Partners..? Whatever they are, it’s complicated and bound for greatness or destruction

BUY NOW: Amazon (US) | Book Depository | Barnes & Noble | Indigo | Indiebound

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ARC Review: The Crowns of Croswald by D.E. Night

Thanks to the team at Stories Untold for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review.

The Crowns of Croswald (The Croswald Series #1)
Publisher: Stories Untold
Publication Date: 21 July 2017
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
Panda Rating:


Ivy Lovely is 16 and she has no idea who she is—or what her powers could be. When she crosses a magical boundary, she discovers a whole new world of enchantment and mystery. Making friends that will last a lifetime—and save her life—she steps into her own abilities and discovers more about her hidden past, magical blood, and the power of Croswald’s mystical stones. But all is not well: a dark history and an evil Queen threatens all that is good. Will Ivy’s bravery and wit be enough?

Curious and whimsical, both shy and brave, Ivy is a hero that connects with readers of all ages. For those who wished that Narnia, Harry Potter, and Alice in Wonderland could go on forever, Croswald opens a whole new world of magic. Recommended as a read-aloud for families and a first middle-grade fantasy read, The Crowns of Croswald is a four-part series that will carry readers to a whimsical world that they won’t want to leave. 

I really wanted to love this story. I wanted to love it so much that although I struggled to read it over a period of 2 months, I still persisted in the hopes that it would get better or something about it would click for me. I’m really sad to say that it never happened and it was with a great resounding sigh of relief that I finally came to the last page of this book. I feel terrible leaving a low rating, especially when the author’s team reached out for me to read it, but I did receive a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, and an honest review I shall give it. It does seem that I’m very much in the minority with my feelings though so perhaps this just really wasn’t for me!

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Blog Tour Review + Top 5 Reasons to Read: Glimpsed by G.F. Miller

Today is my stop on the TBR & Beyond Tours for Glimpsed by G.F. Miller. Special thanks to Simon & Schuster Books for providing the ARC in exchange for an honest review!

Be sure to click on the banner above to check out the rest of the amazing bloggers on tour!

Goodreads: Glimpsed
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: 05 December 2020
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary/Fantasy
Panda Rating:

Perfect for fans of Geekerella and Jenn Bennett, this charming, sparkly rom-com follows a wish-granting teen forced to question if she’s really doing good—and if she has the power to make her own dreams come true.

Charity is a fairy godmother. She doesn’t wear a poofy dress or go around waving a wand, but she does make sure the deepest desires of the student population at Jack London High School come true. And she knows what they want even better than they do because she can glimpse their perfect futures.

But when Charity fulfills a glimpse that gets Vibha crowned homecoming queen, it ends in disaster. Suddenly, every wish Charity has ever granted is called into question. Has she really been helping people? Where do these glimpses come from, anyway? What if she’s not getting the whole picture?

Making this existential crisis way worse is Noah—the adorkable and (in Charity’s opinion) diabolical ex of one of her past clients—who blames her for sabotaging his prom plans and claims her interventions are doing more harm than good. He demands that she stop granting wishes and help him get his girl back. At first, Charity has no choice but to play along. But soon, Noah becomes an unexpected ally in getting to the bottom of the glimpses. Before long, Charity dares to call him her friend…and even starts to wish he were something more. But can the fairy godmother ever get the happily ever after?

BUY NOW: Amazon (US) | Barnes & Noble | Indigo | Indiebound

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Goodreads Monday – Among the Beasts & Briars by Ashley Poston

Welcome back to Goodreads Monday! It’s been a very hot minute since I did one but I figured I might as well get back into it! This weekly meme was started by @Lauren’s Page Turners and it invites you to pick a book from your TBR and explain why you want to read it. Easy enough, right? Feel free to join in if you want to! I’ll be using a random number generator to pick my books from my insanely long GR Want-to-read list.*

*Sorry if a book has been featured twice! I need to make better note of which ones I’ve done already!

This week’s featured book is Among the Beasts & Briars by Ashley Poston. This is a fairy tale inspired YA fantasy that was published in October 2020 and has a 3.88 rating on Goodreads with 600+ reviews.

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Goodreads Monday – The Waking Forest by Alyssa Wees

Welcome back to Goodreads Monday! It’s been a very hot minute since I did one but I figured I might as well get back into it! This weekly meme was started by @Lauren’s Page Turners and it invites you to pick a book from your TBR and explain why you want to read it. Easy enough, right? Feel free to join in if you want to! I’ll be using a random number generator to pick my books from my insanely long GR Want-to-read list.*

*Sorry if a book has been featured twice! I need to make better note of which ones I’ve done already!

This week’s featured book is The Waking Forest by Alyssa Wees. This is a YA paranormal fantasy that was published in 2019 and has a 3.35 rating on Goodreads with 300+ reviews. Hmm… Not that great?

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Goodreads Monday – Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody

Welcome back to Goodreads Monday! It’s been a very hot minute since I did one but I figured I might as well get back into it! This weekly meme was started by @Lauren’s Page Turners and it invites you to pick a book from your TBR and explain why you want to read it. Easy enough, right? Feel free to join in if you want to! I’ll be using a random number generator to pick my books from my insanely long GR Want-to-read list.*

*Sorry if a book has been featured twice! I need to make better note of which ones I’ve done already!

This week’s featured book is Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody. This is a YA fantasy and mystery that was published in 2017 and has a 3.71 rating on Goodreads with almost 1.5k reviews.

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Blog Tour Review: The Bitterwine Oath by Hannah West

Today is my stop on the TBR & Beyond Tours for The Bitterwine Oath by Hannah West. Special thanks to Holiday House and the author for providing the ARC in exchange for an honest review!

Be sure to click on the banner above to check out the rest of the amazing bloggers on tour!

Goodreads: The Bitterwine Oath
Publication Date: 01 December 2020
Genre: Young Adult Mystery
Panda Rating:

Every fifty years, a cult claims twelve men to murder in a small Texas town. Can one girl end the cycle of violence – and save the boy who broke her heart?

San Solano, Texas is a quaint town known for its charm, hospitality, and history of murder. Twice now, twelve men have been brutally killed, and no one knows who did it. A shadowy witch? A copy-cat killer? Or a man-hating murderess? Eighteen-year-old Natalie Colter is sure that the rumors about her great-great-grandmother’s cult of wronged women are just gossip, but that doesn’t stop the true crime writers and dark tourism bloggers from capitalizing on the town’s reputation. It’s an urban legend that’s hard to ignore, and it gets harder when Nat learns that the sisterhood is real, and magical. And they want her to join.

The more Nat learns of the Wardens’ supernatural history, the more she wonders about the real culprits behind the town’s ritualistic murders. Are the Wardens protecting San Solano from even darker forces? As the anniversary of the murders draws near, the town grows restless. Residents start getting “claimed” as this year’s planned victims, including Levi Langford, the boy whose kiss haunted Nat for a year.

Nat knows that no one is safe. Can she and the sisterhood stop the true evil from claiming their town?

BUY NOW: Amazon (US) | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indigo | Indiebound

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