Monday, August 10, 2020

ARC Review: Bright Raven Skies by Kristina Pérez

Title: Bright Raven Skies (Sweet Black Waves #3)
Author: Kristina Pérez
Publication Date: August 25, 2020
Publisher: Imprint
Pages: 464
Add to Goodreads

Reviews for book 1 & book 2

To save the kingdom, Branwen embraced the darkest aspects of her magic. But she may have lost herself––and the two people she loves most.

Tristan and Eseult are missing. As Branwen searches for them, she must hide the truth surrounding their disappearance from both the king and her lover. Above all, she must find the Queen and her Champion first.

New and old enemies circle Branwen, clamoring for power and revenge, and threatening to destroy the fragile peace that she has sacrificed everything to secure. 

Sweet Black Waves and Wild Savage Stars are two of my favorite YA fantasy books of all time. Both were incredible reads for me, full of magic, romance, and heartbreak. I was very impatient to read Bright Raven Skies so I could find out the ending to Branwen's story and was SO grateful when I had the chance to read it early!

Bright Raven Skies picks up immediately after Wild Savage Stars, with Eseult and Tristan missing, and Branwen angry at them both. Despite her part in their betrayal, Branwen is unable to forgive. Still, she owes it to her aunt to keep Eseult and the alliance between the kingdoms in tact and, as usual, puts others above herself. Usually I get fed up with characters who constantly self-sacrifice, but my love for Branwen is undying. Her love for her family and country is hard not to root for and I read this wanting nothing more than a happy ending for her after so much heartbreak.

There was a lot to wrap up in this trilogy and I think Bright Raven Skies did a good job of it, although there were things I would have liked to end differently. Knowing the original tale of Tristan and Eseult, I knew some of what to expect, but this still managed to fall a little short. My main issue was that a lot of the book was overly drawn out. The political aspects of the story overtook the relationships and the plot went to several places I didn't care much about. There was an entire side plot that seemed to come out of nowhere and took up a huge chunk of the story.

Despite all that, I still enjoyed this finale! I loved the relationship between Branwen and Eseult and even found myself loving Tristan again by the end. There was so much done right about this trilogy, I just wish the final installment had packed a bit more punch. If you like tragic love stories and want a YA fantasy that's a little different, I still definitely recommend giving this series a try!


Sunday, August 9, 2020

Weekly Recap: 8/2 - 8/8



HAPPENINGS OFF THE BLOG

Hello again after a week of no posts. This has been a hectic week of constant communication with my family as we all get through my brother's injury that I summed up last week. We have many more answers now and, three surgeries later, his leg is back together. He's still in the hospital, but hopefully he'll be able to leave this week. We've been very lucky to have gotten many of the supplies he'll need from friends who had them to loan or donate, but there's still so much to do and it's going to be a process. I'm planning to go be near him soon, which wasn't in my COVID plans, but here we are! He does have a GoFundMe and I hate to post it here, but we would greatly appreciate a share.

In other news, I've dived head first back into Animal Crossing because life is a mess and my villagers are nice. Yesterday I spent half the day getting my new hybrid garden like I wanted it. I also fixed up my house area and worked on one of my villagers' neighborhoods, relocated my museum, and moved some rivers. You know, just another day in quarantine. My reading has suffered, but I did get through on audiobook thriller. They definitely seem to be the best reads when it's hard to focus. Unfortunately, I didn't get around to posting, but it's a new week so I'll try again!


NEW BOOKS THIS WEEK

 


THIS WEEK I READ



IN CASE YOU MISSED IT



UPCOMING REVIEWS



I'm linking up to Stacking the Shelves & The Sunday Post!
Sunday, August 2, 2020

Weekly Recap: 7/26 - 8/1



HAPPENINGS OFF THE BLOG

2020 blows. As I write this my brother is being prepped for surgery after he fell somewhere between 20 and 35 feet while rock climbing. He landed on his right foot and shattered multiple bones, although we really haven't gotten many answers yet. Hopefully by the time this is read we have news and his surgery was successful. I'm just completely over this year.

Other than that, I've had a decent reading week. I binged lots of Love It Or List It and Sugar Rush and took some walks. My dog Bella's allergies also seem to have been magically cured by an injection that didn't work the first time we tried it, so hurray for that. Meh, let's just get to the books.


NEW BOOKS THIS WEEK

   


THIS WEEK I READ

   


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

On Thursday I posted by Summer TBR
I watched way too many movies for Saturday Screen Time


UPCOMING REVIEWS



I'm linking up to Stacking the Shelves & The Sunday Post!
Saturday, August 1, 2020

Saturday Screen Time #42: Too many to mention


Happy Saturday, everyone! It has been A WHILE since I've done one of these. Before you judge me, keep in mind this is a roundup of everything I've watched since March and we've been in quarantine. So I don't want to hear it. Since there are SO many, I'm only going to talk about the best and worst of the bunch. 


RECENTLY IN MOVIES


THE BEST

Underwater - I really had to think about this one for awhile after I watched it to decide how much I liked it. There's a lot to love here - the characters are trapped underwater, which is my NIGHTMARE. There's also some incredible Lovecraftian aspects, which I wasn't expecting since I went in blind. Overall, this is a movie I've decided I really, really liked and I'll be adding it to my collection! (4/5 stars)

Time Trap - Another blind watch, I had no idea what I was going into with this one. It's about a group of people who get lost in a cave system while searching for their professor and I absolutely adored where it went! The acting was rough at times, but the story kept me on the edge of my seat. (4/5 stars)

The Hunt - I picked this one up for date night and my husband and I both ended up loving it! The Hunt is a brilliant horror movie that's almost hilarious in its political satire. Although it definitely has a lot to say about the two party system, it's also a brilliant movie even if you don't catch onto that somehow. The ending was brilliant and I'll definitely be watching this more than once. (4.5/5 stars)

Sweetheart - At some point in the last few months I decided I needed to go through the Blumhouse catalog and I settled on this one next. Sweetheart is about a girl who finds herself stranded on an island after her boat goes down, but she isn't alone. This is another amazing monster movie and, although it isn't perfect, it hooked me right away. (4/5 stars)

Delirium - My expectations weren't high going into Delirium and I know the ratings aren't great, but I loved it! I truly had no idea whether the things going on around the main character were truly happening or were just in his head and the final twist really took me by surprise. I love a great mystery thriller that has twists I don't see coming! I'm genuinely sad more people don't love this one. (4.5/5 stars)

Spring - I'd already seen Resolution and The Endless by these directors and Spring was on my list for years before I finally got around to it. It wasn't quite in the same ballpark as the other two, but I still ended up enjoying it a lot. This is, bizarrely, a horror romance and I'm not sure I've ever seen anything else like it. I can't wait to see what these guys makes next. (4/5 stars)


THE WORST

The Lodge - This movie was so bad that I had to watch the trailer to remember what it was even about. A woman takes her step children to a cabin for the weekend and things go ridiculously wrong. I can't say much without giving away the ending, but I was not here for it. (1.5/5 stars)

The Platform - I adore weird movies that make me think, but this was just too much. I honestly don't understand who liked this movie or why, but it was a mess. I was bored out of my mind with the repetition and the I hated the ending. That said, it wasn't the worst movie I watched this time around and it still made me think about it long after I turned it off. (2/5 stars)

Knock Knock - Keanu, what were you thinking? Someone described this movie to me and I really thought it would be great, especially since I adore Keanu Reeves (who doesn't?). Alas, it was a whole mess and I hated it. It took me multiple days to watch this and there are no words for how dumb the plot is (1.5/5 stars)

Vivarium - I wanted to love Vivarium SO much! It's exactly the kind of weird I adore and it definitely had the potential to be great. Unfortunately, I think it suffered from being way, way too long. This would have been an incredible episode of Black Mirror, but what began as an enthralling, horrifying film had me almost falling asleep halfway through. (2/5 stars)

The Room (2019) - After watching Vivarium, I saw a lot of people say that The Room was Vivarium, but better. But no. Honestly, the concepts aren't even similar. The Room is about a couple who moves into a house and finds that one room grants wishes. Again, it's an interesting concept, but the execution was poor. I hated the characters and they made a host of idiotic decisions. Still, weird house gains a star from me. (2/5 stars)

First Reformed - Big oof. I saw this in a discussion board as a terrifying horror movie and just... what? First Reformed is about a minister who meets an environmental activist who sends him into a bit of a spiral and it was terrible. Easily the worst thing I've watched this year. I know people who would say I'm just not smart enough to get it, but there was literally a scene of a woman laying face down on a man and flying over ridiculously green screened mountains and galaxies. The ending was a non-ending, and I hate it. (1/5 stars)


RECENTLY IN TV


AHS 1984 - After some mild disappointment in Apocalypse, 1984 was so good! While I'd love to get another Murder House or Hotel, this was a fun slasher season with great characters and a super spooky story. I loved the time jumps and the integration of true crime. I'm so excited to see what's next! (4/5 stars)

Euphoria - I wasn't sure this would be the kind of show I enjoyed, but I ended up binging it over a few days. Euphoria definitely isn't the kind of show that makes you feel good, but the characters were wonderful and Zendaya's acting was on another level. By the end I was devastated the season was over and of course the next one is now delayed for obvious reasons. This definitely has all the trigger warnings, so make sure to look those up before watching! (4/5 stars)

The Great - Amazing. The Great was such a bizarre combination of historical drama and comedy and I absolutely loved it! I both loved and hated Peter and was truly not sure how the story would wrap up. (No, I don't know much about Russian history.) I am dying for season two of this show and I went right out and purchased The Favorite by the same writer. (4.5/5 stars)

Space Force - I wasn't really sure about this show at first, but by the end I was invested. The humor is weird but it grew on me and I'm definitely hoping for another season! (3.5/5 stars)

Solar Opposites - This show was... weird. Honestly, I wouldn't have continued watching if my husband hadn't been watching with me. We spent half the season staring awkwardly at each other and asking if we should watch another episode. Solar Opposites is one of the weirdest shows I've ever seen, but I'd watch more of it, honestly. (3/5 stars)



RECENT DNF LIST



WATCHLIST




What have you watched during quarantine?
Do you like weird humor?
Let me know in the comments!