The Well of Ascension: Brandon Sanderson

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Book Information:

Published:  August 21st 2007 by Tor Books

Author: Brandon Sanderson

Page Count: 781

Amazon: Hardcover – $29.41 / Paperback – $11.04

Barnes and Noble: Hardcover – $32.19 / Paperback – $8.99


Warning: This is the second book of the Mistborn trilogy so this will contain spoilers. I have a full review of The Final Empirethat has both a regular review section and a spolier section. Please read on at your own risk!


Description via Goodreads:

Vin, the street urchin who has grown into the most powerful Mistborn in the land, and Elend Venture, the idealistic young nobleman who loves her, must build a healthy new society in the ashes of an empire. Three separate armies attack. As the siege tightens, an ancient legend seems to offer a glimmer of hope. But even if it really exists, no one knows where to find the Well of Ascension or what manner of power it bestows.


When I pick up the second book of a series I am almost always apprehensive. There is a part of me that wants to hold back in fear that it won’t live up to the first book. In some cases my breath is taken away and the strong momentum that was going in the first book carries over to the second without a blink of an eye. In some cases I am very disappointed. The Well of Ascension took my breath away and with it went my very heart for this book.

I am sitting here writing this review in a state of shock, understanding, and absolute heartbreak. I am also listening to sad songs to fuel my state. Just like for the The Final Empire, I will be blubbering and I will be including a spoiler section where I can wail freely through words instead of sounds. It will be properly labeled so that those who don’t wish to be spoiled won’t be. Once again, I am a shell of a human for the second time around. Also, at the end I will be including some fan art I found on Pinterest because the artists who have drawn these characters are fabulous and I think everyone should see their works!

I jumped into The Well of Ascension a day after I finished The Final Empire, and in my opinion it was a very different feeling from the first book. This novel held so much growth for the characters and a completely new feel for the city of Luthadel. It was like stepping into your favorite winter jacket, only to discover something new that you hadn’t notice before. There was still a slight familiarity to the world and the characters but readers can definitely notice something new.

Where we leave off after The Final Empire Kelsier is dead as is the Lord Ruler. The Well of Ascension picks up a year later and now Elend Venture is king and Vin is his Mistborn. The original crew is split up and Vin is still trying to hold everything together, especially her fragile relationship with Elend. One of the things that I loved about this book was the relationship that Sanderson crafted for Vin and Elend.

There is hope for them at the end of the The Final Empire, but once we get to book two it is easy to spot that, surprisingly, they are both very human. Their relationship isn’t smooth and I loved the flaws within it because it was believable. So often I find authors craft these perfect ideal relationships that are rarely obtainable, but Sanderson took a very realistic approach to two different people finding their way to one another.

The characters were once again, fabulous! In this book many more people are introduced to Luthadel and some of them are… questionable. Others you can’t help but fall for just a bit… or in my case a good deal! I mentioned earlier that the character development is well done. A year has passed since Vin destroyed the Lord Ruler and she has so much resting on her shoulders. Readers witness her transform more than before and watch her bloom in different ways. Elend undergoes a massive transformation as well! He does a full turn around from book one and it is an eyeopening change! I can’t forget to mention OreSeur, the character that really hit my in the “feels.” More about him in my spoiler section!

My all time favorites from the second installment are Vin, OreSeur (I know…. surprising), Sazed, Elend, and lastly Tindwyl. They each took a piece of my book heart along with them this installment.

Also, there is a good deal of politics in this book. A good majority of it is characters trying to live in a society that they are rebuilding and breaking away from one thousand years under the Lord Ruler’s influence and heavy hand. Personally, I found some of the politic scenes daunting to understand but I did understand that they were crucial. It was interesting to see how the crew members tried to break everything down and digest the changes happening around them. These scenes were slower paced, but they are only preparing you for what is to come. So much action comes throughout this book that these scenes are a nice break.

Overall, I loved this second installment to the Mistborn trilogy! It was fantastic and lived up to the strong start the first book left. I was invested the entire way through and the ending left me with a craving to jump right into The Hero of Ages.


WARNING: THIS IS THE SPOILER SECTION – PLEASE READ AT YOUR OWN RISK! 

Okay… okay… I need to get a few things off of my chest. I am still mind blown about the ending (last 100 pages) or so and I am trying to gather my scatter thoughts, even hours later. The end of the novel leaves off with Elend and Vin standing together trying to figure out how to stop the force that Vin has released. There is a bleak tone to the ending, the feeling of hopelessness is heavy but there is still that small bead of hope lurking. Sazed is gone, mourning the loss of Tindwyl (heartbreaking let me tell you) and it is upsetting.

First topic of discussion: Marsh!!! WHAT THE ACTUAL HECK – Like seriously, leading up to him being deemed evil, I kept asking myself “Where is Marsh and why isn’t he more present?” Well know I know why, and I am very ashamed to say I gave the book the middle finger when he started to attack Sazed. I really liked Marsh to! I was shocked when Sazed found him and they began to fight. I was really taken off guard.

Next topic of discussion: OreSeur! Or should I say TenSoon? I didn’t like the original OreSeur but his impersonator really was a treat for me. I loved how he and Vin interacted and how OreSeur grew to, in his own way, care for Vin. The kandra are strange creatures and I loved that we were given some of their origin and let in on some secrets through him. What really settled my love for him is the scene where after we discover he is actually TenSoon and Zane is trying to kill Vin, he breaks his contract and tries to help her. It really showed that Vin meant something for him. I feel that it was because she treated him with respect as their relationship grew.

Last topic of discussion: Zane. Oh, Zane. I had higher hopes for you my friend. I was impressed at how good of an actor Zane was with Vin, he was clever and cunning. He was a more worthy opponent for Vin than Straff was in my eyes. He too was Mistborn and their last fight scene really solidified that Vin wasn’t invincible but she was extremely determined to survive.

I would also like to have a pause for all of the amazing characters lost in final battle at the end of the book. Goodbye Clubs, Dockson, and Tindwyl. I really will miss each of these characters and what they brought to the others as well as the story.

Once again, 15/10 would recommend this book! I just can’t believe I waited this long to pick it up. Definitely an amazing read.

END OF SPOILER SECTION


Favorite Quotes:

“It was amazing how many books one could fit into a room, assuming one didn’t want to move around very much.”

“A man was defined not by his flaws, but by how he overcame them.”

“That’s the point, isn’t it? We have to live on, no matter how hard it gets. We’ll win in the end.”

This book was given 5/5 star rating on Goodreads. (I would give it 101 stars would that I could).

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Vin and OreSeur by eriezeru on tumblr. 

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Vin by Ray Miller

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US book cover by Jon Foster.

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The Final Empire: Brandon Sanderson

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Book Information:

Published: July 25th 2006 by Tor Books

Author: Brandon Sanderson

Page Count: 547

Amazon: Hardcover – $19.22 / Paperback – $5.75

Barnes and Noble: Hardcover – $26.63 / Paperback – $8.99


Description via Goodreads:

In a world where ash falls from the sky, and mist dominates the night, an evil cloaks the land and stifles all life. The future of the empire rests on the shoulders of a troublemaker and his young apprentice. Together, can they fill the world with color once more?

In Brandon Sanderson’s intriguing tale of love, loss, despair and hope, a new kind of magic enters the stage — Allomancy, a magic of the metals.


I have found my new favorite book. I finished The Final Empire yesterday afternoon and I am still reeling. I don’t want to blubber but I really think that is how this review is going to go. Just like last time there will be a spoiler section but I will make sure to label it accordingly so those who haven’t read yet aren’t spoiled. I am a shell of a human right now, I am still a sobbing mess… no I am not ashamed.

I have had this book on my shelf for roughly two years ago, when the hype for this novel came back in the BookTube community. I ended up purchasing the UK editions on Book Depository since I fell in love with their covers. They are my favorite! I picked up the box set of books 1-3 on a whim and I am so glad that I did.

I haven’t really dived into the world of epic fantasy, aside from my all-time love The Name of the Wind, so I was very hesitant on whether or not it would be for me. Well Sanderson has earned himself on my fantastic authors list.

I think what drew me in was that this book was like a heist (I know, very Ocean’s Eleven). I love reading about these types of things and I had never really heard of it in epic fantasy before. This made starting the book less daunting for me. It was never about its length (even though this is a nice long book!) but whether or not I would find the plot too out there.

Well let me tell you, the plot is fantastic!!! “What if the dark lord won?” is etched on the cover and I was 100% sold. I loved the idea of a group of talented people coming together and finding a way to crush evil. I love it! It was fast paced and it leaves you wanting to keep reading. It was difficult to put this book down because I feared what would happen next. I will admit I was a little overwhelmed understanding the magic system that is essential to the plot in the beginning. After the first 50 pages or so, I understood it more easily and always referred back to the guide in the back of the book in case I had a question or I was confused.

And the characters… oh the characters! What a fantastic group of people, seriously. Vin is my icon, Kelsier the love of my life, Dockson is the voice of reason in my ear, and Sazed is my mentor. Of course I cannot forget the lovely Elend… This is the type of book where the characters will stay with you. They are so wise and even with their faults, they draw you in and make you crave more of them. They are frightening real deep down. Take away their abilities and I feel that they would walk among us now. Also, Sanderson takes character growth to new heights. You really are able to witness each of the characters grow and develop into some of the best versions of themselves that they can be. It is amazing.

Overall, I love this book. I have been consumed by the mists. I want to know more about this world and the wonderful characters. I relish in the tears I know that I will cry. I have the second novel, The Well of Ascension sitting right next to me begging to be picked up! I highly recommend this book, you will not be disappointed, I promise!


WARNING: THIS IS THE SPOILER SECTION – PLEASE READ AT YOUR OWN RISK! 

CAN WE TALK ABOUT THE ENDING (last 100 pages) FOR A MOMENT PLEASE???

Am I really fully alive after the death of Kelsier? The answer is not fully but my heart still beats slowly. After that scene, when Vin screams “No!” and the voice of Reen comes back to her my heart broke in two. I really didn’t think that Sanderson would kill off a main character but I mean after George R.R. Martin, I shouldn’t be too surprised.

One of things I am very excited about is the possibility of a Vin and Elend relationship! When this was hinted at in The Final Empire, right after the first ball “Valette” attends, my romantic heart swooned. I was not disappointed though, especially as the romance continued on between the two of them. I felt like a little girl in the candy shop while reading! It was a nice little treat in such a strong time of planning and thieving.

Next on the topic of quick discussion is MARSH! Now that one I really didn’t see coming. I really thought he was dead but the moment he stepped out a steel inquisitor WOAH. Mind blown let me tell you. I was unsure about Marsh in the beginning of the book but I really grew attached to him and how much he was risking. It really showed that he did care for his brother Kell. My heart still aches.

As I said above, 15/10 would recommend. Please read this book. It will change your life and make you feel all sorts of emotions! Be swept up in the rebellion and be prepared to fight against the Final Empire.

END OF SPOILER SECTION


Favorite Quotes:

“My behavior is nonetheless, deplorable. Unfortunately, I’m quite prone to such bouts of deplorability–take for instance, my fondness for reading books at the dinner table.”

“But you can’t kill me, Lord Tyrant. I represent that one thing you’ve never been able to kill, no matter how hard you try. I am hope.”

This book was given 5/5 star rating on Goodreads. (I would give it 100 stars would that I could)

Caraval: Stephanie Garber

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Book Information:

Published: January 31, 2017 by Flatiron Books

Author: Stephanie Garber

Page Count: 407

Amazon: Hardcover – $10.63 / Paperback – $8.79

Barnes and Noble: Hardcover – $13.10 / Paperback – $8.97


Description via Goodreads: 

Remember, it’s only a game…

Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny island where she and her sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval—the faraway, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show—are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt-of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. Nevertheless she becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic. And whether Caraval is real or not, Scarlett must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over or a dangerous domino effect of consequences will be set off, and her beloved sister will disappear forever.

Welcome, welcome to Caraval…beware of getting swept too far away.


What an exciting ride this book was! I would like to start this review off with saying I enjoyed this book immensely. I was swept off my feet and thrust into Caraval and the world that both Scarlett and Tella were in. It was a fun, light, and mysterious read. I have a thing for books that have a “carnival” type of feel. This book definitely didn’t disappoint with its mystical vibe and stunning imagery.

The story starts off with a series of letters written by the main character Scarlett asking for Master Legend to come to the Island of Trisda to host their fabulous Caraval game. After years of unanswered letters finally a response makes it way into Scarlett’s hands and that is where the fun truly begins.

The characters in the novel had their faults and I did find myself annoyed at various times with each of them. For Scarlett, my main gripe is that she dwelled on her upcoming nuptials too much and put that first before her sister at times. Tella, was not my favorite at all. I don’t like her or her attitude or actions, but I am hoping that my mind/feelings will change in book two Legendary. Julian however was my absolute love! He was dark, mysterious, and a sailor… can I get a collective swoon? The whole rugged bad boy thing really worked for him and his character pulled it off very nicely.

There is a blossoming romance in this story and it is very easy to pick up on. I knew right away the outcome of things so that is another one of my dislikes. I usually like more of a drawn out type of romance (give me the angst!!) but this was sweet and I did enjoy it as I reflect back on it.

The best aspect of this whole novel is the setting. Readers find themselves inside the game where people are mysterious, the air is a bit sweeter, and the heart craves answers. I fell in love with this story not because of the plot or the characters, but rather for the idea of this magical place.

I definitely feel that the plot could have been stronger since there were a few confusing holes throughout the story, but overall it was a fun and different read. I am hoping to get to see more of the minor characters such as Aiko and Dante in the second book since they too had interesting back stories but not too much was said about them. I also hope to learn more about Nana Anna and her backstory since I found that things weren’t adding up fully about her in book one.

I would recommend this book and I hope that you too get swept away in Caraval!

Favorite Quote:

“She imagined loving him would feel like falling in love with darkness, frightening and consuming yet utterly beautiful when the stars came out.”

This book was given 4.5/5 star rating on Goodreads.

 

A Darker Shade of Magic: V.E. Schwab

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Book Information:

Published: February 24, 2015 by Tor Books

Author: V.E. Schwab

Page Count: 384

Amazon: Hardcover – $17.59  / Paperback – 10.87

Barnes and Noble: Hardcover – $19.49 / Paperback – $11.63

FOR THE NEXT 72 HOURS TOR.COM IS GIVING AWAY A FREE E-BOOK COPY OF A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC TO THE US & CANADA ONLY (FROM JUNE 12TH-JUNE 15TH @ 11:59 PM)


Description via Goodreads: 

Kell is one of the last Antari—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons; Red, Grey, White, and, once upon a time, Black.

Kell was raised in Arnes—Red London—and officially serves the Maresh Empire as an ambassador, traveling between the frequent bloody regime changes in White London and the court of George III in the dullest of Londons, the one without any magic left to see.

Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.

After an exchange goes awry, Kell escapes to Grey London and runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.

Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive.


Oh my gosh, where to begin?! I have fallen head over heels in love with this novel and it has wormed its way into my top 5 favorite books of all time, and it quickly rose to my top 10 favorite series of all time. Get ready to journey alongside Kell and Lila as they discover what dark magic lurks in the background.

This was the first ever V.E. Schwab book I ever read and now I understand the hype that surrounds her name. She is absolutely a wizard with words and can build a world like no other. I quickly found myself immersed in her versions of London and with her magic system. It is unlike anything I had ever read about and it sucked me in rapidly.

The first novel A Darker Shade of Magic follows Antari Kell. He is able to travel between the four London’s and he is one of the only Antari’s left. It isn’t until Kell finds himself with a rare piece of a forbidden world when everything falls apart. He finds himself thrust into a dangerous situation with a new figure by his side.

I loved everything about this book. I loved the characters, the emotions it sparked deep inside me, and how different the worlds were. The magic system was easy to pick up and it was unique. The characters however were beyond my expectations. They were relatable at times, angering at times, and lovable all the time. They are what truly made this book for me and they were the main reason why I continued on. They, much like the magic, draw you closer and keep you tangled in their web.

The plot was very fascinating. Usually the main characters of books can be without flaws but Kell’s main flaw is what sweeps him off his feet and gets him caught up in a storm of danger. It was fast paced and it holds your attention quickly, mainly with the help of the characters. Especially with such an interesting setting of four different Londons and the element of magic laced within, the plot flows evenly and it seems real at times, as if this was happening worlds away.

This is a fun fantasy read that you will fly through and crave more more more! Dive into the worlds of London and lose yourself in the magic that will surround you. Be prepared to binge read the next two books in a heartbeat!

Favorite Quote:

“For the ones who dream of stranger worlds.”

This book was given 5/5 star rating on Goodreads.

 

A Study in Charlotte: Brittany Cavallaro

23272028 Book Information: 

Published: March 1st 2016

Author: Brittany Cavallaro

Page Count: 321

Amazon: $8.04

Barnes and Noble: $8.04


Description via Goodreads:

The last thing Jamie Watson wants is a rugby scholarship to Sherringford, a Connecticut prep school just an hour away from his estranged father. But that’s not the only complication: Sherringford is also home to Charlotte Holmes, the famous detective’s great-great-great-granddaughter, who has inherited not only Sherlock’s genius but also his volatile temperament. From everything Jamie has heard about Charlotte, it seems safer to admire her from afar.

From the moment they meet, there’s a tense energy between them, and they seem more destined to be rivals than anything else. But when a Sherringford student dies under suspicious circumstances, ripped straight from the most terrifying of the Sherlock Holmes stories, Jamie can no longer afford to keep his distance. Jamie and Charlotte are being framed for murder, and only Charlotte can clear their names. But danger is mounting and nowhere is safe—and the only people they can trust are each other.


WOW WOW WOW!! Let me preface this review by saying I don’t read many mystery’s and that I picked this book up on a whim but my goodness I am soooooooo glad that I did. It was funny, truthful, suspenseful, and all around a terrific read. This was my first time reading a Brittany Cavallaro book and I was quite pleased by the end of it.

Now many people going into this read may be apprehensive because we have another Holmes and Watson stepping up to bat but to be frank I liked the younger counterparts of the famous detective and doctor much better. It was such a fun and exciting read that had me guessing around each and every corner.

Jamie Watson just wants to fit in and find some familiarity in his new school, not to mention strike up a friendship with Charlotte who is mysterious and very sharp. They are opposites and I think that is why their friendship works out so nicely.

The mystery was interesting and I was engaged in the characters throughout the entire novel. I have a thing for good guys being framed and seeing how they work out everything. I was not at all disappointed with how Charlotte and Jaime worked together to clear their names. It is usually hard for me to enjoy a character pairing right off the bat but I was surprised by how I wanted more scenes of Charlotte and Jaime together. It was very refreshing for this new type of take on the classic Holmes and Watson. I loved how Jaime was different then his namesake and how Charlotte was very much hers.

Overall I would recommend this book highly. It was a fast paced, quick read that was very refreshing! I cannot wait to marathon the last two books!

Favorite Quote:

“I began wondering if there was some kind of Watsonian guide for the care and keeping of Holmeses.”

This book was given 5/5 star rating on Goodreads.

 

Made: J.M. Darhower

23295358Book Information: 

Published: October 27th 2014 by J.M. Darhower

Author: J.M. Darhower

Page Count: 530

Rating: 5.0 ⭐️

Genre: Romance/Dark

Amazon: $3.99 (Kindle)

Barnes and Noble: $3.99 (Nook E-Book)

*Note: This is considered to be the sequel to the Sempre duology but the events that happen in this novel give away spoilers to the ending of Sempre and Sempre Redemption.

Synopsis via Goodreads: 

Corrado Moretti.

The world knows the notorious Kevlar Killer, but few have ever seen what lies beneath his armor. The abused child. The neglected teenager. The broken man. He always did whatever he had to do in order to survive.

It’s kill or be killed.

Throughout his life, he has been there in the shadows, a witness to everything from beginning to end. Bound by loyalty and honor, there’s only one thing he would sacrifice it all for: family.

Never get close. Never get attached. It’s a lesson that has been brutally pounded into him since childhood, but they’re words the DeMarcos make it difficult for him to follow. Through them he finds love and grieves loss, realizing the world isn’t quite as black and white as it’s made out to be.


Thoughts:

This novel is in my top 10 best books I have read this year. I have found myself going back and re-reading my favorite parts and all I can think of is “Corrado Moretti, how have you wormed yourself into my mind?” Like the rest of the series, this book contains swearing, violence, abuse, and steamy scenes. 

This book follows the infamous Kevlar Killer from his earliest days. Corrado didn’t have a good childhood. His father is absent quite a lot, his mother is physically and verbally abusive, and his twin sister manipulative.

While reading about his childhood there were lots of times where I felt horrible about the life he had to endure at such a young age. Of course being the emotional reader that I am, I cried at several of the parts. From an early age he learned how to take care of himself and how not to grow attached to anything or anyone.

That flies out the window the moment he meets the stunning (both inside and out) Celia DeMarco. She is everything that Corrado isn’t. She is loud, passionate, and has the biggest heart. It isn’t until they meet later in their teenage years where things are set into motion.

After deciding that the life his father lives is the life he should live Corrado tries to find his ground in La Costa Nostra. The boss of this mafia is none other Celia’s father which means that both Celia and Corrado will be running into each other more than ever before.

The hardships that both Corrado and Celia go through before they have her father’s blessing is saddening. Corrado wants nothing more than to be with Celia but he knows that without the blessing he is as good as dead if he tries to make a move. As time goes on things work out and the romance really begins to bloom and take off.

The couple have a love like no other. They both know the risks of the life Corrado lives and they know that certain things just won’t be in their life plan, such as having children. This part broke my heart because Celia would have been such an amazing mother.

The love that these two had for one another is truly heart stopping. Corrado isn’t the typical husband but no matter what he loved his wife fiercely and she would be the only woman in his book. He knew how their story would end and he wanted to try and give her moments to remember.

He is a ruthless killer, he has done terrible things, he has destroyed things in his wake, but no matter what he will always bring home flowers to his wife. He will always make sure she is okay and not hurting. He holds her above himself and will gladly die to protect her.

What I also loved seeing was the different relationships between the characters in this novel. We get to see more of Vincent, Celia’s brother and Carmine’s father, and see how he fell in love with the sweet Maura. We got to know Antonio, Celia’s father and the head of La Costa Nostra during this time.

We also get to see different scenes that happen in Sempre and Sempre Redemption through Corrado’s eyes and in my opinion it made them even more heartbreaking. He was in this lifestyle much deeper than Carmine or Vincent ever were. He knew the outcome of these situations before he even walked through the door.

I was so intrigued about Corrado from the moment that we met him and I am beyond thrilled that he has his own book! This story was utterly perfect, there is not one thing that I would ask to be changed. It is real and it is raw. Corrado is one of those characters that will stick with you.

There is no way that I could ever forget this man.

Favorite Quote:

“Smiling, Celia leaned up on her tiptoes and kissed him. She pulled back, pressing her hand flat against his chest. His heart thumped erratically against her palm.
“You’re wrong about yourself,” she said seriously. “You said you were heartless, but that’s not true. I can feel it, Corrado. It’s in there. And as long as it’s beating, I know it’s there, working overtime, and you’ll never convince me otherwise.”

 

Sempre Redemption: J.M. Darhower

17838379Book Information: 

Published: April 1st 2014 by Gallery Books (1st pub. 12/16/13)

Author: J.M. Darhower

Page Count: 528

Rating: 4.0 ⭐️

Amazon: $11.94

Barnes and Noble: $4.48


*Note: This is the second book in the Sempre duology. There will be spoilers so please if you haven’t read Sempre yet, please beware! I reviewed the first book so you can find that here.

Synopsis via Goodreads: 

In this thrilling and sexy follow-up to Sempre, two young lovers struggle to keep their relationship intact after they become deeply enmeshed in the dangerous mafia-run crime ring they once tried to overthrow.

The electrifying sequel to Sempre! This is a story about loyalty and love. It is a story about finding redemption— even when all seems lost.

Swearing allegiance to the Mafia in order to save Haven Antonelli—the girl he loves—forces Carmine DeMarco to make the ultimate sacrifice. Sent to Chicago to work for La Cosa Nostra, he refuses to place Haven in harm’s way by taking her with him. She deserves a shot at a normal life. But as he becomes more and more immersed in a world of terrible crimes, he realizes that surviving without her may be more than he is able to bear. . . .

Stunned and hurt that Carmine has left her, Haven must now learn to make her way in the world without him. Her heart aches with the loss, but for the first time, she’s making her own choices and accomplishing dreams she never thought were within her reach. The past, however, is not done with either her or Carmine. As Haven discovers dark secrets about the family who enslaved her and her mother, and why she matters so much in this web of lies, she realizes what terrible pain may still lie in wait for her and the boy she loves. And what they must suffer to find redemption. . . .


Thoughts:

I really liked this sequel! Now I usually say that about the majority of the sequel’s I read but Sempre: Redemption was different. I felt like I was riding alongside the characters and feeling exactly how they were feeling.

This book is more about independence and learning to live and find yourself. I would also like to again mention, like the first novel, there is a heavy topic of violence, death, and a dark tone to this story.

We left off Sempre with Carmine signing away his life to La Cosa Nostra to save the girl he loves. When the second book takes off Carmine is in an internal battle with himself. He wants to keep Haven around and love her but he knows that the life he has now will not allow that.

The heartbreak in this book is crazy. Within the first fifty pages or so I cried twice!! Again, I’m an emotional reader but still, my heart and mind was invested in these characters.

You grow attached to these characters in new ways from the first book. You’re introduced to new characters that will steal your breath away. Corrado, Carmine’s uncle, is easily one of the most interesting characters I have read about. He brought this story a unique and different vibe which I really felt the story needed.

I was disappointed with the way the separation between Haven and Carmine happened. I really wished that we could have seen how both characters worked their way through the obstacles standing in their way. I would have loved to see how Haven dealt with Carmine now being part of the mafia and how in turn she tried to help him through some of the obstacles.

Most of the novel the characters are apart and learning how to live without one another. Carmine wanted Haven to have a chance to live and normal life and she had that. I found the parts with them apart still very fast paced but I had grown so fond of the parts of Sempre where they were together. I wished more of those scenes had been present!

When the couple does find their way back to one another, after yet another heartbreak, then I felt more at ease. I had missed those scenes so terribly and I was a very happy camper when they reunited.

J.M. Darhower knows how to suck readers in! I devoured this book in two sittings and I craved more even after the epilogue. I’m pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed these two books.

I found that my newest favorite character Corrado has his own story so you know that I will be hopping onto that train and devouring that book soon!!