A Darker Shade of Sorcery by William Collins

Rating: 3/5

Genre: YA Fantasy

Pages: 378

Amazon

I was provided a free copy of this book by the author. Thank you so much! All opinions are my own.

Evan Umbra is the newest Venator to enter Veneseron, the school for demon hunters, only demons are the ones hunting him.

A Venator is a wizard, a spy and a demon hunter rolled into one. They’re taught how to wield their sorcery and enchanted weaponry by orcs, elfpires and aliens alike. Their missions range from battling monsters and saving countless lives in the multiple worlds, to wrangling killer unicorns and calming down drunken yetis. Being a Venator is perilous and every new mission could be their last.

Whilst learning how to manipulate the elements, summon magical creatures and shoot Spellzookas, Evan encounters a dangerous rival and meets a girl who makes him feel nauseous; but in a good way. He makes the first friends he’s ever had in the carefree Jed and the reckless Brooke. Whilst Jed gets on the wrong side of a rival Venator, Brooke finds herself falling for the enigmatic demon hunter who brought her to Veneseron, not knowing he isn’t quite human. But it soon becomes apparent that Evan is more than just a Venator. Everyone wants to kill or capture him, from demons to Dark-Venators and even people he’s supposed to be able to trust.

Evan reckons he probably won’t survive his first year at Veneseron. – Amazon.com

Yet another book with magic and teens. Honestly, I think I’m going to burn out on these because they start seeming the same after awhile. But more on that later, here are the good parts of this book: The book is really engaging and fast paced. The plot is intriguing and the book is well written overall. The characters also seem very well developed. Unfortunately while that all sounds good there are some issues.

The book didn’t click with me and I felt that it tried too hard to be like Harry Potter or The Mortal Insturments or any popular book like those. I felt that because it felt so familiar to me that was why my interest waned: I had already read those book and don’t feel like reading them again. I didn’t feel connected to any of the characters and while the world building is fantastic I feel that if the author had a conversation with the characters or had little moments between them that weren’t essential to the plot overall then I would have liked the book better. I also think there are some continuity errors in the book, especially with the timeline.

Verdict: If you’re a huge fan of books like Harry Potter this book is for you! If you’re looking for something a bit more unique then this might not be the read for you, but give it a try and see if you like it or not first =).

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October 2017 – Adorable Monthly Subscription Box from Dio Candle Company


Rating: 4/5

Price: $25.00 a month or you can subscribe and get the boxes for $20 a month. There are also many rep codes you can use on these boxes. Shipping global is $5 and shipping to the USA and Canada is free!

 

Product: You get 4 candles in this box that are made for this box specifically (but you can purchase some of the past box candles in the past box section of the website) and you get little exclusive items and some cards that tell you about the scent with photo challenge prompts. Keep ahold of all of those cards in your box! There are some awesome prizes that are given away if you participate.

 

Ships To: Worldwide

 

My first candles ever when I joined bookstagram were from Dio Candle Company and I was very excited to see them start a subscription candle box! I finally decided to purchase one and while I thought the box was going to be all Stranger Things related (misunderstanding on my end!) I was still so happy with what I received.

 



So because it’s been a hot minute since I’ve reviewed a candle box I’m going to break the mold and do things a bit differently. Pictured above are all of the candles and their corresponding candles and exclusives. The candles that were included were “And Unusual: Beetlejuice In The Attic” which smells like “vibrant citrus mixed with that distinctive aroma of a dusty old attic.” And it includes this minimalist style stick of the infamous beetlejuice outfit from LauraStitesArt. Since the company does not normally make stickers I estimate the price to be less than $5. If you want the art print just go to the artist’s website! The other candles featured in the box were Things: Eggo Waffles in the Upside Down which smells like the “sweetness of Eleven and her favorite eggo waffles mixed with a little darkness from the upside down”, Bellatrix Le which smells like “coastal waters from Azkaban, fibers from her wand, and just a bit of expensive hair serum fragrance from those luscious evil curls”, and Doctor: Sorcerers Supreme which smells like “exotic herbs from around the world carefully measured and blended with ancient amber and sandalwood”.  Candles on the website are available for $4.50-$5 each in the regular size. The company also has an extra adorable size which is almost twice as big.


 

Estimated Price of the Box: $23-$25

 

Verdict: While this box doesn’t exceed the price point, the point of this box is to gather the pieces to enter giveaways sponsored by the company. There are many ways to win coupon codes or free items from this shop and the challenges on the back of each card are fun to create. There is even a number on the back of the November theme card which the company owner is using to give out more awesome gifts. Besides, the scents are amazing and the candles, while small, are vibrant enough to hold their own in bookstagram photos. I absolutely love this company and I loved this box. I can’t wait to participate in the little challenges!

September 2017 – MsKoolsCrafts product review

Note: I am a rep for this company and I received my items for a discount. This did not influence or sway my opinion.
Rating: 5/5

 

Price: Varies with the products. Anywhere between $5 – $50+.

 

Products: Jewelry, purses, baby/toddler items, and more! All handmade with love and one of a kind accessories! If there’s something you want in a different color or such, contact the owner to request a custom item!

 

Ships: USA, Canada, and various other countries. Processing and shipping times vary.

 

Hi guys! I’m back for another review of MsKoolsCrafts store on Etsy! I’ve loved representing her so far and her items are absolutely gorgeous! Let me show you what I’ve gotten from her for the month of September:

 


The first item I HAD to get was this Hogwart’s Sorting Hat! It’s newborn size (shhhhh!!) and it’s so soft and beautiful! The face is recognizable on the fabric and it is absolutely perfect for newborn photos. This item retails for $16.53 as of right now.

 


The next item I bought was something that would satisfy my Beauty and the Beast obsession. It was this awesome Belle inspired rose bracelet! The bracelet is beautiful and I love how the bracelets I buy from this shop do not pinch or poke me. The bracelet is retailing for $14.55 currently. I also received the bracelet in the back for free. It’s a Belle inspired wrap bracelet and I love it as well! No pinching, no poking, and it does not feel like it’s going to fall off my wrist!

 

The last item I received from the shop was this awesome crocheted butterfly bookmark! I saw this and I was like “I NEED THAT!” because of obvious reasons lol. It’s super soft, but it’s not so bulky that it will hurt your paperbacks! I can’t wait to use it as my bookmark! It’s not currently listed on the site, but there are other bookmarks like it listed instead. Both are pretty flower bookmarks that retail for $5.79 each.

 

Verdict: While shipping is pricey (can’t help it, it’s a Canadian company and I live in the Southern USA) I think it’s more than worth paying for. The items I got were all gorgeous and I loved that she included a special made bracelet for me! I love every item I receive from her and I can’t wait to order more things! There is a special sale going on currently, so all the items are 20% off! Take advantage of this deal and use my coupon code BUTTERFLY10 to get 10% off your entire order!

August 2017 – MsKoolsCrafts package review

Note: I am a rep for this company and I received my items for a discount. This did not influence or sway my opinion.
Rating: 5/5

 

Price: Varies with the products. Anywhere between $5 – $50+.

 

Products: Jewelry, purses, baby/toddler items, and more! All handmade with love and one of a kind accessories! If there’s something you want in a different color or such, contact the owner to request a custom item!

 

Ships: USA, Canada, and various other countries. Processing and shipping times vary.

 

Hi guys! I was recently appointed a representative of Ms. Kools Crafts’ and I got to order some adorable items from her shop! So I chose the three above (although I was super tempted to purchase more!).

 

The items I bought were the Ravenclaw Golden Snitch beaded bracelet, the Deathly Hollows necklace, and a crochet bubble purse. The bracelet is worth $8.14, the purse was worth $22.45, and I can’t remember exactly how much the necklace was worth but it was around $5.82. The purse is a perfect fit for my NOOK, which is what I primarily bought it for. The necklace is braided so it won’t irritate anyone who has allergies… like me lol. Lastly, the bracelet is my favorite. It’s so beautiful and it perfectly represents my House pride. It is also light and doesn’t snag on my skin or clothes.

 

Verdict: While the shipping is pricey for me (since the company is located in Canada) I think it’s worth paying for. The items I got were absolutely gorgeous and I love wearing my bracelet everywhere I go! I can’t wait to order more items from this store, especially that stunning Belle inspired bracelet! If you want to give this company a try (and I highly suggest you do) then remember to use my code at checkout to get 10% off: BUTTERFLY10

Ewan Pendle and the White Wraith by Shaun Hume 

Rating: 5/5

Genre: YA Fantasy

Recommended Age: 12+ (one mature flashback).

Favorite Quote: “‘Mind you keep your eyes open in this new life Ewan,’ she said with wide pupils of her own, ‘you never know what you might see when you get to the big city.'”
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

This did not influence my decision in any manner.
“Ewan Pendle was weird. Really weird. At least, that’s what everyone told him. Then again, being able to see monsters that no one else could wasn’t exactly normal. Thinking he has been moved off to live with his eleventh foster family, Ewan is instead told he is a Lenitnes, one of an ancient race of peoples who can alone see the real Creatures that inhabit the earth. He is taken in by Enola, the mysterious sword carrying Grand Master of Firedrake Lyceum, a labyrinth of halls and rooms in the middle of London where other children, just like him, go to learn the ways of the Creatures.” – Amazon
When I was first contacted by the author and asked to review this book I read about it on Amazon. The first thing I saw was “If you’re suffering fom Harry Potter withdrawals…” And obviously I’m always suffering. So I agreed to review it and I have to say that this is definitely the book you want to read when suffering from Harry Potter withdrawals. Ewan is a very likable orphan who’s luck changes close to his 12th birthday. He finds out he’s not the weird kid he’s been made to believe he is… He’s not weird at all. He’s just a Lenitnes, a group of people who can see creatures like goblins and dragons. But, just like Harry Potter, Ewan has something special in him and with his group of friends he’s determined to solve the mystery and save the Queen.
I found the book to be a very fun read! It was a quick and very easy read (I got busy with life, but every chance I had I would easily work through 100 pages), the characters are all developed and I can determine who’s talking by the way the sentence is wrote, and the plot is very well thought out. The flashbacks in this book aren’t out of place and the character conversation felt natural.
The only thing I need to complain about are the lack of creatures Ewan sees when he starts at the school, but hopefully if the second novel is ever released it will become a more prominent presence. 
Overall, this book was very enjoyable. I want to know more about this world and about the characters. I absolutely fell in love with Mathilde and Enid and I’m so happy with how Ewan developed in the first novel. I’d love to see more of him and I think you would too! Go check out this book and make sure to leave a review telling the author how much we are in need of a sequel! Happy reading!