#UltimateBlogTour Review: The Die of Death by Kenneth B. Andersen (The Great Devil War #2)

Rating: 3 out of 5.

A series I would have never picked up on my own, but is definitely worth a read.

Thank you so much to The Write Reads and Kenneth B. Anderson for allowing me to be part of this experience and also providing me with a complimentary digital copy and blog tour media kit!

About the Author

Kenneth B. Andersen (1976) is an award-winning Danish writer. He has published more than forty books for children and young adults, including both fantasy, horror, and science fiction. 

His books have been translated into more than 15 languages and his hit-series about the superhero Antboy has been turned into three movies. A musical adaptation of The Devil’s Apprentice, the first book in The Great Devil War series, opened in the fall 2018 and film rights for the series have been optioned. 

Kenneth lives in Copenhagen with his wife, two boys, a dog named Milo, and spiders in the basement.

Review

Book CWs

  • Bullying
  • Abuse
  • Torture
  • Paranormal Creatures
  • Attempted Murder
  • Child endangerment

Premise

Philip’s adventures as the Devil’s apprentice have changed him—in a good way. Although he misses his friends in Hell, he has made new friends in life.
But when the future of the underworld is threatened once again, Philip’s help is needed. Death’s Die has been stolen and immortality is spreading across the globe.
Philip throws himself into the search—and discovers a horrible truth about his own life along the way.

The Die of Death is volume 2 in The Great Devil War-series and winner of the ORLA-Award.

The Great Devil War-series is a humorous and gripping tale about good and evil, filled with biblical and historical characters, such as Judas, Goliath, and Pontius Pilate, as well as modern figures such as Elvis Presley, Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill, and many more.

The Great Devil War-series is a Danish bestseller, topping library and school reading lists among teens and young adults. The books have been published in more than ten countries and have won numerous awards.

Review (No Spoilers)

I ended my review for The Devil’s Apprentice (Book #1) by saying that I wasn’t sure if I would continue the series but I’ve been invited to take part in the blog tours for the rest of the books so here I am!!!

The Die of Death was a book that, for me, didn’t quite live up to its predecessor. Regardless, I think that it was still quite enjoyable. The thing that I liked most about The Devil’s Apprentice was that it didn’t shy away from religious topics and provided very interesting views on life, death, and punishment. Because The Die of Death is the second book, it didn’t have that same kind of impact on me since all of the background had pretty much been laid out already. Instead, the story focused more on Phillip’s relationship with himself, his friends, and his family.

I read this book over two days and I was once again surprised by how quickly it went by. Fantasy is a genre that I generally don’t read and I kind of always expect for me to have to trudge my way through them. I’m happy that Kenneth Anderson writes books that I find both quick and entertaining.

A few things that I didn’t like about the book were that I found myself being confused by the logic of how the plot was progressing a few times. There was one chapter in particularly that I had to read twice because I had a hard time following it. After my second read, I ended up giving up and continuing. Thankfully, that didn’t make me miss out on much. There are also a few instances where the book opened up a question that it never actually answered. I’m hoping that these are just set ups for the rest of the series and not editing errors. I did find 3 or 4 typos in the book as well, but I think that can happen to the best of us.

That being said, I definitely recommend giving this book/series a try if you’re into fantasy. It also has a lot of (maybe) hot takes about the afterlife that I find intriguing so hopefully that will interest you too!

Five Thoughts on Hannah Montana

Introduction

Hi Everyone!

This is a new sort of post for me and it has arisen from the fact that I recently binge watched all of Hannah Montana for no good reason and Twitter seemed to support me sharing my thoughts. The following are some of the main things that I wanted to talk about. These can get pretty spoilery so if you care about spoilers, you should probably not read this.

Here we go!

1. The characters are basically all jerks.

This is the thing that stood out most to me when watching the series. I couldn’t understand how Disney thought these episodes were good family content, especially when most of their viewers are impressionable children. Almost all of the characters were selfish and willing to treat their friends/family terribly to get what they want. Many episodes relied on people being horrible in order to move the plot forward or to get cheap laughs.

This might have been excusable if these acts were called out and recognized as being bad, but this hardly ever happens. I can only imagine how many children learned flawed lessons from watching this show.

2. The series can, however, occasionally be wholesome.

While I was mostly upset by the episode plots, every so often I would come across one that was particularly wholesome. In one episode, for example, Jackson wins two tickets to a Lakers game and ends up being emotionally manipulated into agreeing to take two different people to the game. I was prepared to be disappointed by this episode but surprisingly, people apologized for inviting themselves and in the end they were all able to attend together. I was pleasantly shocked.

3. The Hannah Montana Movie was weird.

For one thing, it takes place between Season 3 and Season 4 (I think) so it’s a bit awkward in terms of timing. Additionally, Season 4 hardly ever mentions or acknowledges the events of the movie–I noticed only one mention–even though there were significant developments that occurred.

Also, the ending of the movie was pretty farfetched and didn’t make much sense…I’ll just leave it at that.

4. They did us dirty with Jake Ryan.

I don’t even want to go into how upset I was with the whole Jake-Jesse arc, but it was TERRIBLE AND I HATED IT.

What I did want to talk about was how Miley and Jake were kind of set up to be endgame but it seems like the writers just gave up. There was even this big event on Disney Channel where viewers were asked to choose between Jake and Jesse and the audience chose Jake. A few episodes later, Disney wrote out his character and made Miley end up with Jesse. Like WTF???

I remember my teenage self being completely enraged by the fact that they misled everyone and went back on their word. Maybe they watched too much Hannah Montana and didn’t learn proper morals.

5. The continuity was a mess

Several episodes contradicted other episodes so it was hard to keep track of what was supposed to be accepted as canon or not. The most notable example that I can think of off the top of my head is that Oliver couldn’t sing in one season and in another he was a leading contestant on a singing show. It didn’t make any sense.

Speaking of things that don’t make sense, Robby Ray was publicly known as Hannah Montana’s father, but he was also Miley Stewart’s father. Even if people didn’t recognize that Hannah and Miley were identical, they would have known that the two of them shared the same father. Not to mention, his disguise is literally just a mustache that he only sometimes wears.

Welp, that’s all for now! If you have anything you want to add/talk about in the comments, feel free. I’m always willing to rant lol.

Book Review: Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Initially exciting but an ultimate let down.

Book CWs

  • Sexism
  • Character Death (murder)
  • Drugging

Premise

Someone is roaming the streets of London and murdering women in terrible fashions. As a (secret) assistant to her uncle’s forensic medicine practice, Audrey Rose Wadworth has witnessed firsthand what the serial killer known as the Leather Apron is capable of.

On a mission to discover who Leather Apron is, Audrey learns that the murders may be even more connected to her life than she initially believed.

Review (No Spoilers)

Stalking Jack the Ripper was my very first buddy read and I think that might have actually worked against me. I buddy read this with Steph and we created benchmarks to get to each week. As a result, I would often binge read 7 chapters at once and then stop and read something else. I think I would have liked this more if I just read it all at one time.

The beginning of the book started off great! I found myself upset that I had been putting off reading this book for so long because I was convinced it was going to be an amazing read. This is how I felt for like 2 and a half weeks of reading the book. And then I got to the ending and I had no idea what the heck was happening.

One of the main things that I liked about the book was that at no point as I 100% sure who the murderer was. I had a main guess (which ended up being correct) but I had enough doubt that I was very open for it being literally anyone or any group of people. But as I neared the ending, I felt like the author was playing this up way too much. There were plot twists that came out of nowhere and didn’t make sense to me. And in the end, I don’t actually understand why the truth was the truth. I felt as if Kerri Maniscaclo was so focused on telling us about the crimes than she was about making sure what she was saying made sense.

Steph and I plan on reading the entire series together and I’ve heard great things about the second book in this series (Hunting Prince Dracula) so I’m hoping that this book isn’t indicitive of the rest of the series.

Book Review: Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore (A League of Extraordinary Women, #1)

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

This book triggered me A LOT but that’s only one of the reasons why I didn’t enjoy it much.

Book CWs

  • Cheating (mentioning of mistresses etc)
  • Sexism
  • Violence
  • Sexual Assault
  • Imprisonment

Premise

It’s 1879 and women in England do not have the right to vote.

Annabelle Archer is one of the first female students at the University of Oxford and in order to keep her scholarship, she must become an activist for the women’s suffrage movement. One of her first tasks: recruit Sebastian Devereux, the Duke of Montgomery, to the cause. Sebastian, being well known as an extremely effective political influencer, would be the perfect ally. The problem is, Sebastian works for the wrong side.

As Annabelle spends more time trying to recruit Sebastian, it becomes clearer that converting him might be the movement’s only chance at succeeding.

Review (No Spoilers)

I’ve never really read historical romance books so I was a little wary of picking this one up. Now I’m wondering if maybe I should avoid that genre altogether.

As a fan of hate-to-love and NA romance, I thought this book would be a great read. I didn’t at all predict that this book would make me cry my eyes out mid-read and debate DNFing it, but that’s exactly what it did.

To understand why this book triggered me so bad, you have to know how much I despise cheating. I’ve been surrounded by cheaters my entire life–every immediate male family member that I have has cheated on their SO at some point–and being cheated on (emotionally or physically) is one of my biggest fears. It’s something that often gets in the way of my current relationship because I’m so freaking terrified that I’ll never be enough.

If you’re like me, I highly suggest that you do not read this book. Due to the setting, 1879 Victorian England, the only way for the MC and the love interest to feasibly get together is for her to become his mistress. There are entire conversations dedicated to this fact and they were so difficult for me to read. Hence the tears. And hence my partner’s suggestion that I DNF the book. The reasons I pushed through were because 1) I don’t like DNFing books and 2) I was reading this for a 24 hour readathon and I wanted to finish as many books as possible.

Even though this book took so much out of me emotionally, I still had planned on giving it 4 stars. What made me rethink this was the fact that I never really understood the main character. There were many times where I felt like she would say one thing and then do something that went against it. Or say one thing and then say the opposite later on. Even at the end of the book I had no idea what her goals were or what she wanted with her life.

There’s a sequel to this book that focuses on some side characters. I’m thinking about picking it up because it seems like the cheating thing wouldn’t be a problem, but I might just pass on it.

Book Review: The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie (Hercule Poirot Mysteries #1)

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I didn’t expect to like this book as much as I did!

Book CWs

  • Racism (Use of the N word and the G*psy slur)
  • Character Death
  • Parental Death
  • Cheating

Premise

During the summer of 1917, Emily Inglethorp dies suddenly and unexpectedly. Amongst her house guests are Captain Arthur Hastings and his friend Detective Hercule Poirot. Emily’s family has long suspected her new (and unlikeable) husband Alfred of being a gold digger and now that Emily death has been attributed to poison, suspicion immediately falls on him. But did he really do it?

It’s up to Hastings and Poirot to figure out who killed Emily, how they did it, and why.

Review (No Spoilers)

I’ve been interested in trying out Agatha Christie’s books for a while, especially since I found out that people like to classify her books as “cozy mystery”, a genre that I wanted to learn more about. My partner grabbed this book from the school library and he and I both had the same hesitations. I tend to not like old books, so we both worried that I would have a hard time reading this. Thankfully, we were both wrong.

The thing that I found really interesting about this book is that the narrator is, in many ways, not the main character. He tells us his account of what happened but the real MC is Detective Hercule Poirot. Reading this book reminded me a lot of The Great Gatsby. Nick is the narrator, but he’s not really the main character.

As far as the plot goes, my memory is terrible so I can’t remember anything specific, but I really liked how I could never put my finger on what was happening. There were so many twists and turns in this book and in the end, I was completely shocked. Honestly, I felt like this book was leading me into rating it 3 stars for mediocrity but then all of a sudden EVERYTHING MADE SENSE.

I’m definitely going to continue reading Agatha Christie, though I might switch over to her Miss Marple series instead.

#TheWriteReads #UltimateBlogTour Review: Magic Unleashed by Devri Walls

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This book made me realize that I should probably read more fantasy books.

Thank you so much to The Write Reads and Devri Walls for allowing me to be part of this blog tour and for providing me with a complimentary digital copy. Special thanks to Noly for making the banner!

Book CWs

  • Child endangerment
  • Bullying
  • Abuse
  • Fighting
  • Character Death
  • Rape (inferred)

Premise (from Goodreads)

Six years ago, Grey Malteer was attacked by creatures he thought couldn’t possibly exist. They repeated a word, calling him a name he’d never heard before…Venator. Since then, his life has been a hellhole of secrecy—hiding old pain alongside strange new abilities.

Rune Jenkins has an itch, as she calls it, but it’s more than that. It’s an anger that builds up like the inside of a boiler whenever she’s around anything remotely supernatural. The pressure is growing steadily worse and she can’t understand why. All she knows is—her control is slipping.

By order of an unknown council Grey and Rune are pulled through a portal in the St. Louis arch, landing them in an alternate dimension where creatures of myth and legend exist. A realm that calls them, Venators.

Made up of centuries old fae, vampires, werewolves, elves and succubi the council’s corrupt nature becomes obvious as they seek to wield the newly returned Venators as weapons. Wedged in an impossible position, Grey and Rune must decide their fate—do they go against the council’s wishes and help the innocents of this unforgiving land, or face the possibility of execution by the council.

Review (No Spoilers)

When I agreed to be part of this blog tour, I was worried because I tend to avoid the fantasy genre as a whole. After reading this book, I’m now realizing that I should probably read a lot more fantasies lol.

The plot of Magic Unleashed was by far my favorite part. Reading about the different types of creatures and being immersed into a new world was absolutely amazing. I was so invested in wanting to know what was going to happen next that by the time I got to the end of the book, I wanted so much more. To me, the ending felt more to me like the end of a Part 1 of a multi-part novel. I felt like I didn’t get the closure that I like to feel at the end of the book. And although this was upsetting for me, it ensured that I’m definitely going to continue the series. I need to know what happens!

On top of enjoying the plot, I also really enjoyed the characters. I’ll admit that I still don’t quite know who is who–fantasy books have so many names–but I felt for all of the main characters. I’ve actually already claimed my favorite character of the series which is something I like to avoid because I have a favorite character curse (my favorite character almost always dies). I won’t tell you who it is because I don’t want to spoil anything but if you want to know, just ask!

Whether you’re into fantasy or on the fence about it like me, I recommend trying out this series. I mean, just look at that beautiful cover. How could you not?