My Review of The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air #1) by Holly Black

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

(Disclaimer: this review contains spoilers)

OMG what I have read???

Okay, so this review was pending for two days and I just gotten to it after processing my thoughts about this book.

You guys are in for a treat 😍😍😍

This book is so addictive and hypnotic. I started in the morning and finished it in the same evening. It was so bloody good! I was left reeling from the ending. The twists and turns, the punch-in-the-gut foreshadowing, the characterization, the intensity of the subplot romance, the court politics.

I was left breathless.

This is my first book by Holly Black. I’ve watched the Spiderwick Chronicles movie and I loved it back in 2008. I never knew it was by the same author and now I’m thrilled for her other books. OMG she’s super amazing.

Okay, now on to the review:

01. Plot:

Though it centered around faeries, it was a parallel universe to modern human world, opposite to SJM’s universe. Both series have the same faerie based fantasy and court intrigue. But while SJM was mostly about romance, this series focused on the protagonist and power and greed and politics. From the get go, the plot reeled me in like a fish with a bait. And I was totally hooked. I loved every chapter, every scheming and foreshadows, every plot twists and all. Loved every moment of it.

02. Characters:

Jude Duarte:

She is the protagonist and a human whisked to the faerieland with her sisters by her faerie stepfather after he killed her parents. She is brought up among the faeries and she longs to be like them. Her desire for power and beauty is so relatable. Her reactions and thoughts are likeable and make me adore her. She is no damsel in distress despite being a human in a faerieland. Just pute respect and love for her.

Prince Cardan:

He was half like Rhysand but also different from him. He’s a spoiled brat and a bully and yet harbors desire and attraction toward Jude which he suppresses. His characterization, unfortunately compared to Jude, fell slightly flat for me. Maybe in the next books he can shine.

Taryn:

Jude’s twin sister and a goody two shoes. From the get go I disliked her attitude. Yes, there were some goody two shoes sisters in other books (e.g. Elain to Feyre, Prim to Katniss, etc.) But something about Taryn rubbed me off and it is only after a plot twist did I realize my instincts were so right to hate her.

Madoc:

Jude’s stepfather and a ruthless faerie general. He murdered her parents and whisked Jude and her sisters to the faerieland.

Spoiler: he is an antagonist.

Vivienne:

Jude’s half sister and a faerie, she’s Madoc’s biological daughter but hates her father to the core. She was the true best sister for Jude and I loved her spunk and sass. She yearns to return to the human world, unlike Jude and Taryn

Minor characters:

There were other minor characters with their own goals and stakes. I loved Jude’s stepmom later in the story, though hated her in the beginning. I also hated Prince Cardan’s group of bullies. Cardan’s siblings were so so.

03. Court politics:

This is what made me love this book to the core. Other faerie books had court politics but this book surpassed them all. It was this book that made me realize how much fun the scheming and backstabbing can be.

All the twists and turns made me giddy with fangirling emotions.

04. Angsty romance:

Oh yeah. There was romance. There was plenty of angst. The intense battle of one-upping each other between Jude and Prince Cardan was mindbogglingly good. I loved how he wanted her badly yet also hated that he wanted her so badly. That one kissing scene between them was so swoonworthy! 😍😍😍

Some content warning:

This book was overall free of problematic aspects (as far as I could see) except for one. In one scene, there was two suicides back to back which may make you uncomfortable and/or trigger any trauma. It was during the coronation scene of Prince Dain, and if you are uncomfortable with such contents, skip it since there were references to what happened on that scene later.

So overall, I’ve become a huge fan of this book. It gave me a hangover still lasting. I’m dying to get my hands on The Wicked King (2019) and then Queen of Nothing (2020).

I’d recommend to all fans of SJM.

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My Review of The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Five glorious stars!

Truth be told I’m not a romance reader. I’m more into young adult fantasy and SciFi. But lately I’m branching out as a reader and this book I heard about so much I had to read it.

And everyone was so right. I may not be a romance reader but this book even made me swallow it and squeal in delight from it. I finished it in one day and I savored every page.

It’s a hilarious lighthearted romance full of hilarious witty banter and steamy sexual tension in abundance. And since I am a huge fan of ACOTAR series, you bet I enjoyed every banter.

Now, the analysis of the book:

01. Plot:

The plot is super funny and adorable and pretty much like any other typical office romances. Two rival colleagues falling for each other. But the simplification of the plot mustn’t throw you off. I loved every thing about this plot. It wasn’t clichéd or corny. The plot moved without making any cringe worthy moments and dialogues.

So the plot is the romance between the assistants of the two CEOs of a merged publishing house. They start off as arch nemeses and you know I love a good enemies to lovers romance. The plot goes seamlessly and I loved how there was no problematic aspects of this relationship. Nobody does any abusive or manipulative stuff. The guy, though big and rough and all, isn’t an asshole to the heroine so I was relieved.

Sally Thorne created a healthy portrayal of a healthy relationship.

02. Characters:

Lucy Hutton:

She’s the narrator and protagonist of the book. She’s your typical girl next door librarian type who’s sweet with a smart mouth. She’s not ashamed of her sexual feelings for her arch nemesis and I applaud the author for creating a heroine who is confident in her desire for someone she’s not supposed to like. I felt mostly akin to her for her height and fiery personality since I got both. Like her, I’m also 5’0″ and I got a bit of temper when I’m pissed lol.

Josh Templeman:

He’s the love interest. He’s everything Lucy isn’t. He’s almost 6’4″ and big bodied, he’s all muscles and very clinical and uber professional in the office. He too has a bit of temper and keeps everyone scared of him except for his bosses and Lucy. He later turns out of be super adorable and in the end, he does several super adorable and devotional things for the love interest that makes me go awww.

Helene:

She’s the only significant enough character I found apart from Lucy and Josh. Everyone else kind of vanishes in the background to me. She’s the kind of boss you’d want as your boss and she’s super friendly and nice to her assistant, Lucy.

So one last thing before I end this review. Although this book is very good with the romance and character development and the establishment of healthy romance, there was one line that made me uncomfortable. It’s a scene where Lucy goes to Josh’s apartment one day as a guest and compared to his spring clean flat, she finds her own “a Calcutta slum”. This made me very uncomfortable and slightly angry. America has tons of alleys and slum-like places on its own. She should not have made such a narrow minded comparison that only India and this subcontinent has such nasty slums. Also, Calcutta? Not Kolkata? How updated is she?

Anyway, I’ll leave on a positive note aside from that one part. This book is really good and made me giggle, chuckle, squeal and squirm (for good reasons) and I’m not a romance reader at all. But I enjoyed it thoroughly. If you are a fan of witty banters ending toward sweet romance, this is the book for you.

My Review of The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I was debating with myself if I should either review it immediately after finishing it or sit back for some days to stew over all I read and then take my time to write a review.

Honestly, both of them work. I chose the first one though.

Truth be told, no review of mine will do justice to this fantastically written masterpiece. I have thwarted reading it repeatedly since my first taste of circus themed books ended badly. But a recent read made me curious and I dove into this masterpiece, and realized what a gem I was putting off.

I have read never a book like this, though its magical words and ethereal descriptions made me realize there will never be a book as good as this. From the first chapters, I realized this so I sat back and let it mesmerize me.

Erin Morgenstern is a true storyteller, who weaved the story into such a beautiful way you cannot simplify the story without butchering its essences, what this book stands to accomplish, the same way if you describe a circus as nothing but a place to be entertained by some odd performers.

So without beating around the bush, I’ll dive straight into the dissection without butchering it.

01. Plot:

The story is, as you can guess from the title, about a mysterious circus which appears in a town without any notice, and leaves the same way. The circus begins to operate after sundown and closes before sunrise. The main plot is about two people, who are pitted against each other since young age by their master charmers. They are given no choice but to do this, and soon they are also tangled by the binding of love other than the binding their masters had them trapped in. Alongside this storyline is numerous others that somehow impact the main plot, but have their individual footing as well.

The story is told from multiple POV, and each POV adds to the story.

02. Characters:

Celia Bowen:

The female protagonist among the large cast, she is one of the two players. Her father, the famed magician, Hector Bowen, binds her into this game without her consent at the age of six. I loved the air of mysticism in her POV, and how the author both discloses her secrets only to introduce new ones to ponder and wonder about.

Marco Alisdair:

He is the other player, and the male protagonist of the story. As an orphan, he was plucked out of an orphanage with the false promise of security. His POV seemed more clearer to me than Celia.

Bailey:

Though not a main player of the story, he is integral to the plot and several times the chapters are from his POV. A black sheep and a disappointment to his parents and a victim to his older sister’s bullying, he is a dreamer who finds solace and solitude in the circus whenever it comes to his city.

Poppet:

Bailey’s love interest, she has lesser POV chapters, though she too plays an integral role in the book.

Widget:

He is Poppet’s fraternal twin and gets lesser POV chapters than Poppet, but like Bailey and Poppet, his role is important.

Tsukiko:

The mysterious contortionist of the circus, she is a Japanese woman who, though she never gets any POV chapters of her own, plays a shadowy player until the ending of the book.

Isobel Martin:

Initially Marco’s love interest only to be replaced later by Celia, Isobel is a fortune teller, and also crucial to the plot. She gets several POV chapters of her own and we see the heartache of unrequited love through them.

Chandresh:

He is the absentee proprietor of the circus. His brain child, the circus is his dream project that comes to fruition after he collaborates several exceptional individuals. He also is a key character to the plot.

Fredrick Thiessen:

An elderly European clockmaker, he later becomes besotted with the circus and begins the club of the circus’ devout fans worldwide. He is also close friends with Celia and his presence in the book later propels the plot.

Hector Bowen:

He is the main antagonist of the book, whose greedy and cruel manipulation of his daughter makes him a hateful, spiteful person throughout the book.

Mr. A.H—

He is the master of Marco Alisdair. Comparatively, he is the lesser antagonist, who though pits Marco in a game with a competitor he loves, later regrets his choices and somewhat has earned my forgiveness.

Mr. Ethan Barris:

An engineer who was roped into the project of the Night Circus, he is an integral player to the book, albeit he stops appearing in the book later.

Tara and Lainie Burgess:

Sisters, they play crucial albeit smaller roles in the book. They are also founder of the circus alongside Chandresh, Mr. Ethan Barris and Mr. A.H—.

Mme. Padva:

She is the last of the six founders and investors of the circus. Her role comparatively smallest, she plays a matronly role in the book and to Celia.

03. The setting:

Maybe I’m wrong but I think this book was the one which reintroduced circus and carnival back in trend. The book treats the setting as a separate entity. And there are often chapters where the reader is taken on a vivid detailed tour of the circus. I loved those chapters and I could picture myself in the place. The setting isn’t just a backdrop. It’s crucial to the plot of the book itself.

04. Romance:

The romance in this book reminds me of the romance in the book The Time Traveller’s Wife. After halfway through the book, we get to the part where Marco and Celia have fallen for each other but the first half isn’t a waste. We can guess and sense they’ll be intense, passionate lovers in future. The anticipatory rhythm the first half of the story builds for the romantic crescendo found later in the book is self satisfying. Every single time Celia and Marco are in the same room and in the same pages, the reader’s heartbeat picks up. If that is not slow building romance I dunno what is. Every stolen touch, every covert glances make your heart pound in anticipation. So Erin Morgenstern is a master of slow building romance.

Overall, this book deserves more than just five stars and this review. I can gush all day about it and still won’t run dry of its deserved praises. This book is a dream come true, literally and connotatively. It’s a timeless masterpiece I’d pick up again and again and never feel bored.

My Review of Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I love this book so much! This is my first time trying out books by the author and I’m so into this. I was not a circus/carnival book fan but Ms. Foody changed my mind. Now I’m becoming a huge fan of circus/carnival books and I devoured this book in two days.

Now let’s come to the plot summary. The story takes place in the moving city of Gomorrah, where the sky is forever burning and all the staff and performers are someway a “freak” according to the wording of those who are “civil”. Called the Down-Mountaniers, they travel from one Up-Mountain city to another. The protagonist, Sorina, is the only illusionist in the circus, whose illusions not only come to life but can also be touched, seen, heard and vice versa. She regards them as family and together they perform the Freak Show. So the story begins when someone starts to murder her illusion family. And the kick is that they are merely illusions so they can’t be killed. Yet somehow the killer does. So Sorina starts the investigation of finding out the killer and in the process, seeks help from a newcomer in the city, Luca.

I really loved the uniqueness of this book. It isn’t some fantasy where the hero goes on a bravado adventure to saves the world. Sorina is simply trying to both save her family and be the proprietor her adopted father, the current proprietor, wants her to be.

Now the points:

01. Plot:

I was super invested in the plot. Tinged with mystery and suspense, the plot moves seamlessly. Unlike some standalone fantasy where the complexity confused me and derailed me from the story, this plot was simple yet complexly woven. I loved the way it moved, weaving in bigger stakes with smaller ones. Also a big round of applause to Ms. Foody for doing amazing foreshadowing.

02. Characters:

Sorina:

I loved and adored her as a protagonist. I loved how vocal she was and how clearly she thought everything. Her thoughts weren’t jumbled, and she reacted the exact way she should whenever any calamity befalls. Despite that, she shows plenty of surprise for the readers and shows applauding tenacity and strength.

Luca:

I loved his character. From some of the GR reviews, I was worried he might become just another hero with a tragic past and cocky smiles. He wasn’t. He was well behaved and yet made you laugh, and I loved every scene with him. He also wasn’t there to become Sorina’s love interest. He rather played a pivotal part in the turning points of the plot, and careened the course of the plot to a different direction every time he came up.

The family:

Nicoleta:

She’s one of Sorina’s illusions and plays the responsible big sister part. She is dutiful and yet sometimes become daring. And often she holds the family together.

Venera:

She’s a contortionist and her role in the family was being the little sister Sorina wanted. I loved her scenes, especially with the one where she shows interest in Sorina’s times with Luca.

Unu and Du:

Siamese twins with the same body, their roles was to be the annoying younger brother.

Crown:

He was made covered in fingernails instead of body hair and was the softhearted grandfather in the family.

Tree:

A tree man in life, he’s somewhere around a big brother or an uncle, I’m tad confused.

Hawk:

I loved this girl, she’s another little sister to Sorina. She has wings and loves to eat anything raw, mostly worms.

Blister:

A one year old baby who was a fireworker and could walk on his own legs, I loved this child so much!

Gill:

Last member of the family is Gill, who is half fish and wears a water filled helmet and lives in a tank. He’s the serious uncle and the voice of conscience.

03. Diversity:

I loved how seamlessly and simply Ms. Foody laced diversity in the characters regarding sexuality. Sorina is a bisexual, Luca is demisexual, and Nicoleta lesbian. I loved how simply their sexualities were shown and how they weaved into their characters’ personality.

So overall, I loved this book, mostly because it made me fall back in love with circus/carnival books. I’d definitely pick up the author’s next book, Ace of Shades, and look for other circus/carnival books. I’d definitely recommend this book if you are a fan of standalone fantasy and the setting.

My Review of A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Thorns and Roses #4)

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

(Disclaimer: This review heavily contains spoilers. Please refrain from reading it if you haven’t read the book)

O M G !!!

I was so eagerly waiting for this book and now I’ve finally read it and I WANT THE NEXT BOOK IN MY HANDS RIGHT NOW!!

OMG, SJM stepped up her game and instead of making this book an action packed one like before, she’d made it more nuanced and subtle and hit the marks about the leftover lingering feelings and traumas of the large epic wars we see in climactic scenes in high fantasies. In the Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, the author had made a mistake portraying how the good guys winning a war makes the fairy tale happily ever after.

SJM showed us how gray the aftereffects of a war is. The whole novella (was it a novella? The book was 272 pages long ffs), she showed us the numerous shades of the aftereffects of the devastating war at the end of ACOWAR and I just loved it.

So I’m gonna tell you about all the important characters and how their traumas were portrayed.

Feyre:

She had the most POV portions throughout this book. Compared to the beginning of ACOMAF, she was less traumatized and more willing to help those who sought it (or not sought it but needed it). She went back to painting and slowly learned and accepted her role as the High Lady of the Night Court. Honestly, her POV was bland to me.

Rhysand:

I don’t know why but his POV sucked the most to me. The weakest among the four and a half POV in this book. Like the perfect high lord he was, he seemed the least traumatized by the outcome of the war. I couldn’t relate to him.

Cassian:

Oh yes, he got a POV in this book, albeit from third person. I loved peeking into his mind, what with him being shown as a prick of a male in the last two books. I loved his softer, caring sides, his secrets and stories and this made me feel more sad for him. I loved the little POV portions he got.

Mor:

Oh Mor, my heart breaks for her every time (only twice) her POV came up. She is suffering so much and not showing it and it pisses me off how much the others don’t try to understand her or ask her more often “How are you? Doing okay? Need a hug?” An insight into her mind (also from third POV) gave me so much sympathy and empathy for her. I think one book is going to be about her post-war journey

Poor poor thing.

Elain:

Tbh, I hated her in this book. She has grown more vocal and assertive of herself, but also lost her kindness. The way she treated Lucien coldly every time she met him (only once though) made my blood boil and I stopped caring for her and often skipped her parts to jump into others.

Nesta:

Of all the Archeron sisters, I relate to Nesta the most no matter how much people call her a bitch and cold and unfeeling. Oh no, she isn’t unfeeling. She feels more than others and it drains her of any reactions and emotions to feel anything else. Her feelings are too intense and passionate and deep and only Cassian and Amren are bold enough to tackle them.

And oh boy oh boy, the next book is gonna be Nesta and Cassian only (dream come true!) And she’d be sent to the Illyrian mountain camps with Cassian. So expect plenty of banters and sexual tensions, and steamy smut scenes more hotter and scalding smutty from them 😉😏

Amren:

She, like Elain, got on my nerve so much. I used to enjoy her scenes previously but not anymore. She has lost her charm.

Lucien:

Out of all the characters my poor baby Lucien is suffering the most. An outcast made twice, he was first cast away by his “dad” and now by Tamlin. Poor baby. Even his mate can’t stand him. If Elain doesn’t treat him properly in the upcoming book I swear I’m gonna put her to my list of characters I hate which includes Umbridge and Keris from AEITA series.

Tamlin:

You know, I can’t make up my mind about whether to hate him or feel sorry for him. He was going through so much in this book and I feel bad for him. His life is in shambles and I can’t help but feel sad. But at the same time, I’m angry at him for the way he treated Lucien even after Lucien reached out and hunted food for him.

So overall, you can see the book has been somewhat the muted nuanced bridge to introduce the next book, which will center around Nesta and Cassian *swoons*

Can’t wait for 2019!

My Review of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

THIS BOOK!! Five stars will never be enough to rate such a masterpiece. This book is so overwhelmingly amazing and awe inspiring and simply spellbinding. I have rarely been engrossed by a book, rarely been moved to almost tears by books. The only times it happened were so far three other times, when I read Forest of A Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao, The Strange and Beautiful Sorrow of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton, and The Museum of Innocence by Orhan Pamuk.

This book is so gripping, rife with punch-in-the-gut events and circumstances where you want to choose sides, you want to judge decisions and choices made, you want to blame someone and say “I’d not have done that if I were in their place” and then stop because you’re not sure whether you’d do it or not.

Evelyn Hugo breaks your heart, and you’ll happily let it break your heart repeatedly. This is the kind of book where you get how ugly life and reality are, and yet you can’t hate them. Reality is the air we breathe in. It’s polluted, yet we need it.

This book reminded me of The Strange and Beautiful Sorrow of Ava Lavender. It’s books like these that break you heart, crush your souls, and make your eyes sting with tears. And yet, and yet you let it because the pain is so beautiful, so poignant you can’t deny being a masochist to its painful blows at you. You rather put up your face at its fist to willingly be hurt. Because the pain such books inflict is goddamn beautiful and ugly at the same time.

The story is similar to the 2008 Bollywood film Fashion by Madhur Bhandarkar, where to become a supermodel, Meghna, the protagonist, sacrifices anything and everything including her conscience and love. Similarly was the case with the protagonist, Evelyn Hugo, who sacrificed and pawned everything she had; her body, her relationship, her name, her identity, the love of her life, even her sexuality.

If you are asked who you think is a strong female character, a lot of people would answer Lara Croft, Katniss Everdeen, Tris Prior and Hermione Granger. Hey, I’m not saying they aren’t. Indeed they are.

But for me, personally, I’ve never read about a character so complicated and complex, so gray and shades of gray, so utterly confusing you can’t label her as one category of virtue and vice. She is the strongest character I’ve ever read about. Her story is so poignant and touching, it’ll grip and rip your heart.

As the story goes, a rookie journalist gets a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to interview Evelyn Hugo, one of the biggest legendary stars in Hollywood. Portrayed after Elizabeth Taylor, Evelyn Hugo began her life as a Cuban immigrant who escaped her shady life in Hell’s Kitchen, NYC, after trading her virginity and accepting a marital life at the tender age of 15, just to go to Hollywood. Throughout the book, Evelyn married seven men, all of them for both valid and questionable reasons. Some out of love (be it romantic or platonic), some out of merely deals. The divorces were reasonable as well.

Despite all her questionable choices and decisions, you can’t stop both judging and showing empathy for Evelyn. Her struggles to juggle her personal life and everlasting love for co-star Celia St. James, and her desperation to prove her worth as a star made her always struggle, and sometimes lose, sometimes win, but never in a streak.

This book is also a slap on your face about how ugly and disgusting the limelight glamorous life of a movie star is. This book explores ambition and female sexuality daringly, and challenges you to challenge them. The abuse and amount of immorality of the characters are never one-sided and simply black and white. Everyone has their reasons, and often the reasons are ambiguous. Like in Ava Lavender, you can’t make judgements about the characters easily.

If you’ve enjoyed watching and feeling sad for Priyanka Chopra in Fashion (2008), if you enjoy truly morally gray characters, if you want to read a book with equal literary meaning as Ava Lavender, pick up this book. The whole book will entice you, bind you, engross you, and one by one, tear apart your heart until the tear ducts in your eyes can’t hold back the flow.

My Review of Ink, Iron, And Glass by Gwendolyn Clare

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

OMG, I love this book so much! It’s such a cool concept, the idea of writing an imaginary world where people mill about just the same. On top of that, the story is set at the turn of century. Also, also, there are so many cools gadgets (all fictional) and everything is steampunk, which I really love.

I’m super glad I got my hands on its ARC (thanks to Nobonita Chowdhury for her ARC circulation in Bangladesh and thus allowing Bangladeshi book bloggers a chance to read and review physical ARC as well), and now I’m extra happy of how the book turned out to be.

Now, without further ado, here’s my review breakdown:

01. Plot:

The plot was super intriguing and refreshing. Reading the back cover blurb, I imagined something like the story of the Inkheart movie, where you could summon fictional characters into the real world. But as soon as I read the first few chapters, I realized how wrong I was. The story is about Elsa, who isn’t an Earthling but from a textual world created by those they call a Scriptologist, who create textual worlds they can venture without any problems. Elsa and her mother, Jumi, were living happily in the textual world of Veldana, until some earthlings invaded her world and kidnapped her mother. To rescue Jumi, Elsa sets out into the real world, where with the help of a mentor, she makes new friends who help her in her pursuit. These friends are all quirky and unique like her, social outcasts for being pazzerellones which is Italian for madcap, aka mad scientists, they are.

Anyway, the plot is super intriguing and awesome for fans of Cassandra Clare’s steampunk books, Kerri Maniscalco’s “Stalking Jack The Ripper” series and Gail Carriger’s “The Finishing School” series.

02. Characters:

Some characters would receive a mixed feelings from me. Simply because they weren’t total cinnamon rolls, rather mixed with both good and bad traits.

Elsa:

As the protagonist, I really loved and related to her. She is also a brown skinned girl like me so she feels the disadvantage of being shoved to a white dominating society of 19th century Europe. Her tenacity and resilience make me adore her, and her cautious manner is super relatable. She’s a polymath, meaning talented in numerous pazzerellone skills.

Porzia:

I’m so glad to see girl friendship being featured in this book. More than the romance, the friendship and gangship was super adorable. At first, Porzia’s snoopy and bossy nature made me annoyed at her, but then her changed behavior toward Elsa changed my mind too. Their friendship was adoring and I really hope the next book will feature more such moments.

Leo:

I liked and hated this character a lot throughout the book. His POV I somehow could not relate to much, though there was plenty of causes to relate to. He is the love interest, and though he loved Elsa, his questionable manners threw him from my grace.

Faraz:

I simply loved him! He’s so amazing. An alchemist, he’s super cute and I often wished for him to be Elsa’s love interest, not Leo. His bromance with Leo was adoring as well.

03. Concept:

The book’s concept was super intriguing and cool. I really loved it. Set in a steampunk setting and exotic European places (yes, I’m Asian so Europe is exotic to me, okay!). On top of that, there were some really really unique and cool events and gadgets throughout the book that should interest you enough to pick it up. The concept of writing a world gone wrong, as well as book portals and all made me super happy and satisfied.

04. Some mistakes:

Yes, though this book was super interesting, there was some factual errors. For example, this story was set in 1891, a time long before the 1920s when the usage of “okay” began. Also, the word “muck” seemed rather out of place to me for a girl from the 19th century. Even though she was not from this earth, she was given earthly upbringing in her textual world. So therefore, perhaps the author should have done some research on the vocabulary of the late 19th century.

Overall, I really loved and adored this book. I’ll definitely pick up the sequel. Author Gwendolyn Clare is a fantastic writer.

Thank you, Nobonita Chowdhury, for running the ARC circulation in Bangladesh, and thus allowing me access to this super interesting book. Follow her reviews here.

Also, if you are a book blogger residing in Bangladesh and want to join this circulation, join our group.