ARC Review: Age of Magic (Wish Quartet #4) by Elise Kova and Lynn Larsh

I was sent this book as an advanced copy for reviewing purposes, but all opinions are my own. 

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Summary: A new age has dawned. Will Jo be its savior, or its downfall?
The Society is over and its members are now free in a new world. But freedom is not what it seems, and their true enemy is still at large.

Joining together one last time, the members lend their magic and knowledge to Jo to finally put an end to the madness of Chaos and finally free Snow. There’s no easy path to victory, and securing the future of the new Age of Magic may cost Jo everything.

Will her plan be enough to finally end a divine war that has spanned across thousands of years? Or is this new Age of Magic merely a precursor to the final Age of Oblivion?

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★★★.5

The conclusion to this series felt very different from the first three books and I can say I’m fairly satisfied with how everything turned out.

The thing I loved the most was the new Age of Magic and seeing how technology and magic and different creatures interacted in this new alternate reality that was created by the destruction of the Society of Wishes. Also the new world politics were interesting even though maybe it’s a little unrealistic that the whole world was divided in so few political areas but for simplicity purposes it was fine.

Contrary to the first three books, this was a lot about plotting and planning and I can’t help but feel like it could’ve been a little shorter. Not that it’s not short already, but it did drag a little for me in some parts, and I can’t help but feel like a lot of the book was “let’s do this thing to show off this world we created” when the Thing didn’t end up having much relevance at the end after all.

The rest made up for it though and I loved the whole part in the Elves’ kingdom, it was basically like reading a high fantasy novel instead of an urban fantasy and I loved the descriptions of the surroundings.

As for the actual conclusion I found it a little bit messy and although there was a lot of tension I never really felt like the stakes were too high. I never felt actually scared for any of the characters and I thought so much time in the novel was spent planning that I already knew exactly what would happen because not enough was left up to my imagination in those last moments, if that makes sense. Everything more or less turned out how everyone expected it to go.

Despite this, I’m still satisfied and finally I saw some other side plot lines have the page time they deserved. I’m particularly talking about a side M/M couple which I found was pretty obvious from book one but still it’s nice to see it actually on page. The main romance between Jo and Snow never actually made my heart beat so I wasn’t thrilled about it here either but it was okay. If you’re easily into soulmates/reincarnation romances you’ll probably enjoy the romance a lot.

The epilogue set the basis for a future spin-off series as was to be expected. I think if I had the next books on my hands right now I wouldn’t exactly skip meals to read them but I’d keep them for later when I’m in the mood for this genre again, which I’m sort of not right now.

I still enjoyed the overall experience of reading this Wish Quartet series and I would recommend it for fans of urban fantasy and/or Elise Kova, even though I still think she can and has done better than this.

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ARC Mini-Review: Birth of Chaos by Elise Kova and Lynn Larsh

I was sent this book as an advanced copy by the author for reviewing purposes, but all opinions are my own. 

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Summary: A WISH FOR DESTRUCTION…
HAS JOSEPHINA UNRAVELING

A new wish is pushing the weary members of the Society to their breaking points. But as Jo’s complex relationship with their leader reveals dangerous truths about who she truly is, and was, her priorities quickly change. Now, she seeks to expose the enemy lurking in their midst, but it may already be too late to thwart an ancient goddess bent on stealing Jo’s power and destroying everything she loves.

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★★★✩

Birth of Chaos is in some ways better and in some others worse than the previous installments of this series. Some of the problems I had with the first two books (read the reviews here and here) are still there, other problems are somewhat solved, but I just can’t help but feel that the whole series feels extremely rushed and that it would benefit immensely from a little more editing.

What I continue liking about the series is the whole concept of worlds that can be destroyed and rebuilt, and the many missing pieces of worldbuilding that we finally got to discover in this third book make everything more interesting. Granted some things were kind of predictable if you’ve been paying attention during book two, some things still managed to surprise me.

There’s not much I can add to what I’ve already said in my previous reviews for this series without spoiling the plot, so this is just a short review. I want to read the next and final book because now I’m invested in the story and the characters. One thing I will say is that the ending (as in, the few final chapters) had me even more curious about what’s going to happen, so I guess that regardless of my problems with the execution, the concept still keeps dragging me into the story.

ARC Review: Circle of Ashes (Wish Quartet #2) by Elise Kova & Lynn Larsh

I was sent this book as an advanced copy by the author for reviewing purposes, but all opinions are my own. 

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Summary:EVERY WISH HAS A COST BUT WILL THE SOCIETY BE WILLING TO PAY IT? 

Once a hacker-for-hire living in the shadows, Josephina “Jo” Espinosa is the newest member of a magical Society. Their mandate? To grant the wishes of mortals. A simple enough task until Jo is faced with an impossible wish – and her inability to grant it might spell disaster for her entire team, if not the Society itself. 

Jo is used to high-pressure situations, but after a string of disasters, the last thing she needs is stakes of this magnitude. Especially given that neither she nor the Society know quite what the consequences of failing to grant a wish might be. 

The only person with answers is the Society’s aloof and cryptic leader, Snow. Yet while Jo is enigmatically drawn to the man, all their clandestine encounters leave her with only more questions about the true nature of the Society, her magic, and her own history. 

Time is running out for the Society, and an executioner will rise from among them to exact the price of failure.

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★★★.5

I liked this book much more than the first one. Almost all the main problems I had with Society of Wishes weren’t present here, so that was definitely a plus.

I enjoyed the plot and it was much easier to get invested in it compared to book one. The stakes were really high and I just wanted to know what came next. I also think there was more than one plot hole, some more obvious than others, so if you’re someone who cares a lot about the plot maybe that would bother you more than it did me.

I think the characters, and especially Jo, were also better fleshed out here. I enjoyed getting to know more about some of them and I have a few theories about some of them, and I’m curious to know if I’m right. Also let it be known that Nico has my undying love.

That said, I’m still not fully invested in the romance between Jo and Snow. I also have theories about it though, so I’m hoping that things will make sense after a future reveal. I still should be able to feel a chemistry between them, something I still don’t feel halfway into the series.

I’m also……….not okay with the way the book ended. It felt very unnecessary and just a way to finally establish a certain someone as the villain (something that so far wasn’t confirmed). I don’t mind when certain events happen, but they need to make some sort of sense and while I can kind of see why it was the only choice that made sense, I also found it to be anticlimactic.

Despite its flaws, I had a good time reading it (I also read it super fast for some reason) and I’m looking forward to the next book!

Cover reveal: Circle of Ashes (Wish Quartet #2) by Elise Kova and Lynn Larsh

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Title: Circle of Ashes (Wish Quartet, #2)

Publication Date: April 9, 2018

Author: Elise Kova

Publisher: Silver Wing Press

Genre(s): New-Adult, Urban Fantasy, Romance

Summary:

EVERY WISH HAS A COST BUT WILL THE SOCIETY BE WILLING TO PAY IT?

Once a hacker-for-hire living in the shadows, Josephina “Jo” Espinosa is the newest member of a magical Society. Their mandate? To grant the wishes of mortals. A simple enough task until Jo is faced with an impossible wish – and her inability to grant it might spell disaster for her entire team, if not the Society itself.

Jo is used to high-pressure situations, but after a string of disasters, the last thing she needs is stakes of this magnitude. Especially given that neither she nor the Society know quite what the consequences of failing to grant a wish might be.

The only person with answers is the Society’s aloof and cryptic leader, Snow. Yet while Jo is enigmatically drawn to the man, all their clandestine encounters leave her with only more questions about the true nature of the Society, her magic, and her own history.

Time is running out for the Society, and an executioner will rise from among them to exact the price of failure.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS:

ELISE KOVA

Elise Kova is the USA Today bestselling author of the Air Awakens series, Loom Saga, and Wish Quartet.

In her past lives, she has graduated from an MBA program, lived in Japan for a bit, and worked for a Fortune 500 technology company. However, she finds herself much happier in her current reincarnation as full-time author. When not writing, she can usually be found playing video games, drawing, watching anime, or talking with readers on social media. She’s happy to call Saint Petersburg, Florida, her home, but is always looking forward to her next trip.

LYNN LARSH

Lynn Larsh considers herself to be a serial hobby-dabbler. She got a bachelors degree in music (which she used for all of four months), studied aerial acrobatics and classical piano for many years, worked briefly as a stunt woman in a Wild West stunt show (it’s a long story), and eventually settled down into the bar tending business in St. Petersberg, FL. When she’s not acting as a purveyor of fine libations, you can find her diving head first into her newest venture as a New Adult author, or simply writing Voltron fan fiction on Archive of Our Own.

Pre-Order on Amazon: http://getbook.at/circleofashes

Elise’s Website: http://elisekova.com

Lynn’s Website: https://www.lynnlarsh.com/

Release Giveaway: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/39698f6c26/?

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37913906-circle-of-ashes

ARC review: Society of Wishes (Wish Quartet #1) by Elise Kova and Lynn Larsh

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I was sent this book as an advanced copy by author for reviewing purposes, but all opinions are my own. 

Summary: First book in the Wish Quartet, a new-adult, urban fantasy series

BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR.

Josephina Espinosa makes her living as a hacker-for-hire in the Lone Star Republic, a remnant of the fractured U.S.A. That is, until the day she and her best friend are gunned down in a government raid.

With her dying breath, Jo uses magical lore passed down from her grandmother to summon a wish-granter. Her wish? To save her friend’s life. Except wishes have costs, and for Jo, the price is the erasure of her entire mortal existence.

Now, as the most recent addition to the mysterious Society of Wishes, Jo must form a new “life” alongside the seven other members, one of which being her savior himself. Living as an occupant of the Society’s lavish mansion should be quite the perk, but while it is furnished with everything its inhabitants could possibly need, it lacks one thing—freedom.

Her otherworldly identity crisis takes a backseat, however, when Jo learns that the friend she sacrificed everything for is headed down the same path to ruin. Jumping in head-first, Jo uses her newfound magical abilities to protect him, only to realize that the ripples of her actions have far-reaching consequences. When the Society’s aloof leader Snow decides to give her a taste of his own ancient magic, Jo discovers that there are threads woven into the tapestry of her new reality that reach far beyond the wishes she is now required to grant. Ones that, if tugged on, could mean the unraveling of the world itself.

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Release date: January 29th 2018

★★★.5✩

I liked a lot of things in this book and it was overall a very enjoyable and entertaining read. Other things I had a few issues with and I’m going to talk about those too.

The idea behind this series is great, and it’s what I was looking forward to the most. Knowing Elise Kova’s worldbuilding abilities from her previous series, I was sure this aspect was going to be one of the most interesting ones in the book, and I can confirm it’s that way exactly. Even when I was left with some questions about how certain things about this wishing-granting society worked, these were answered later.

There was no real info-dump, which is usually a positive thing, but I do feel like some things were kept needlessly mysterious for the sake of the narrative, while in reality they should have been explained right away. Like, when Jo arrives at the Society and people simply tell her “this is your home now” without a real explanation of what the Society is or how she ended up there. I mean, it kept the reader suspended, but it also didn’t make much sense because these are all people that have been in Jo’s position before, and they should have known to just explain to her right away.

Minor spoilers about the general plot from here on.

Another thing I know from Elise Kova’s writing is that her characters are always interesting people, and I found this to be only partially true here. Most characters definitely had me curious about them right away (Eslar and Pan), and others I became interested in as the story developed. Sadly, one character I didn’t always like is Jo, the protagonist. She’s not a bad protagonist by any means, and her making mistakes is obviously what drove the plot forward. But I couldn’t help being annoyed when she went out of her way to put herself in trouble even after everyone told her that her actions would put more than just herself in danger. Though by the end of the novel it did feel like she has a better understanding of it (also because, you know, people actually bothered to give her a full explanation this time).

Another character that didn’t make much sense was Wayne. He’s supposedly smart and knows the Society’s rules, and still he decided to help Jo for no reason, and he didn’t even need much convincing at all. And after helping her, knowing they were still “on a wish”, he somehow thought it was okay to spend another three days in the real world. He’s been in the Society for almost two hundred years and that’s not really believable.

I also felt like there was a problem with the telling vs showing, especially when it came to Jo’s opinion of Snow. Right away he was presented as this asshole leader who everyone should fear, while I don’t feel like his actions really prove that. And towards the very end I felt what the authors wanted to do but I wish there had been some indication of that throughout the novel, because everything felt pretty sudden.

One thing I liked about Snow is that he’s the “guy with too much power” trope, and that’s really fascinating to read, so I could partially understand Jo’s feelings towards him in the end, but I just felt like there was no previous indication of any of it.

Let me mention my favorite character, which is Nico. Admittedly I’m soft for him because he’s Italian but also learning his backstory and reading how he talked about it made me want to protect him.
Another character I liked is Takako, I love how she wanted to help Jo.

I’m also pretty pleased so far with the diversity in this. Jo is American-Mexican (although America doesn’t really exist anymore when she is born, but well she lives in Texas which is like its own state now) and she often talks about her abuela and the food she used to eat at home (although I have no means to say if this is good Mexican representation), Takako is Japanese, Nico is Italian, and I’m not really sure about the others but you get my point. I also hope that in the next installments we will see more diversity when it comes to queer rep and maybe mental illness as well.

One thing I want to say about the genre: this is marketed as New Adult (there is a sex scene in it) but throughout the novel it felt more like YA. There’s nothing wrong with that obviously but I can’t help but feel that that’s where the collaboration between the two writers shows: I can’t tell who wrote what from the writing style alone, but genre-wise, if you take out the sex scene, there is no indication that this is NA. I personally don’t care much about that but it is something I noticed and I think is worth mentioning.

I appreciate that the main plot was resolved in this first book. I have no doubt that there will be a common plot thread in the four books, but for now it feels satisfying as a standalone as well.

I would recommend it because it’s a quick and gripping read and I believe there is a lot of potential for the next installments.