(Review) Horngate Witches Series by Diana Pharaoh Francis

Book #1: Bitter Night

Book #2: Crimson Wind

Book #3: Shadow City

Book #4: Blood Winter

Description from Online (Just Bitter Night):

Once, Max dreamed of a career, a home, a loving family. Now all she wants is freedom…and revenge. A witch named Giselle transformed Max into a warrior with extraordinary strength, speed, and endurance. Bound by spellcraft, Max has no choice but to fight as Giselle’s personal magic weapon — a Shadowblade — and she’s lethally good at it. But her skills are about to be put to the test as they never have before….

The ancient Guardians of the earth are preparing to unleash widespread destruction on the mortal world, and they want the witches to help them. If the witches refuse, their covens will be destroyed, including Horngate, the place Max has grudgingly come to think of as home. Max thinks she can find a way to help Horngate stand against the Guardians, but doing so will mean forging dangerous alliances — including one with a rival witch’s Shadowblade, who is as drawn to Max as she is to him — and standing with the witch she despises. Max will have to choose between the old life she still dreams of and the warrior she has become, and take her place on the side of right — if she survives long enough to figure out which side that is….

I am in desperate need to talk about this series because it is so amazing and I don’t think that it got the credit it deserves. First off I’m mostly just going to talk about the first book Bitter Night because of course I wouldn’t want to release any spoilers.

While reading Bitter Night I found myself becoming attached to not only the main characters, but also the minimal little side characters because Max was so attached to them and her feelings felt like they weren’t just in the pages. Max’s feelings and her attitude really were the first things that jumped out at me when I started this book because Diana Pharaoh Francis didn’t ease you into them like most authors. Max’s emotions were already at full peak much like starting a epic love story with the couple already in love and at the climax of their relationship. Strangely enough; it was not a bad thing! I loved it!

Not only was this book brimming with spectacular characters, but it was packed with action. Seriously, if you love action you will definitely love Bitter Night. The action wasn’t bordering horror story gore (minus some pretty well detailed scenes), but most of the time it was your normal fight scene.

Now I know all fantasy/ urban fantasy novels have newly created monsters and other things. But this series had relatively normal monsters nothing too out there. Which is not what I was expecting. I also wasn’t expecting the story’s dabbling in romance between her and Alexander.

What I Loved:

  • Max’s relationship with her witch Giselle
  • Max’s spitfire attitude
  • Max’s attitude
  • The action sequences
  • Basically all of the characters because they were absolutely amazing. Although they weren’t human they still had human emotions.
  • Horngate
  • Later book things
  • How skeptic Max was and how Diana Pharaoh Francis kept that consistent

What I Hated:

  • How fast Alexander fell for Max
  • Sometimes this book felt a little too wordy

I truly recommend this series to anyone looking for something really good and to add to their collection of possible favorites because this series definitely made my list. 😉


Goodreads Rating: 3.83

My Rating: 4.1

The Final Empire by: Brandon Sanderson

Why I Want It: For one and ONLY one reason; I want to find out why ash is falling  from the sky. That and the supreme epicness of the book description

Description from Online:

For a thousand years the ash fell and no flowers bloomed. For a thousand years the Skaa slaved in misery and lived in fear. For a thousand years the Lord Ruler, the “Sliver of Infinity,” reigned with absolute power and ultimate terror, divinely invincible. Then, when hope was so long lost that not even its memory remained, a terribly scarred, heart-broken half-Skaa rediscovered it in the depths of the Lord Ruler’s most hellish prison. Kelsier “snapped” and found in himself the powers of a Mistborn. A brilliant thief and natural leader, he turned his talents to the ultimate caper, with the Lord Ruler himself as the mark.

Eleanor and Park by: Rainbow Rowell

Description from online:

Set over the course of one school year in 1986, this is the story of two star-crossed misfits—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love—and just how hard it pulled you under

Let me just begin by saying that this book gave me a lot of angst. I went on a freaking ridiculous roller coaster ride with this book and it literally tore me inside out (in a good way). This was my very first Rainbow Rowell novel and I was so pleasantly surprised that she quickly became one of my favorite authors.

Eleanor & Park gave me recognition. I was able to truly connect with the characters throughout the novel especially Park and how “in with the crowd” he was but also how absolutely “out of the loop” he was. I’m most likely going to keep this review to a minimum because I simply cannot say things about this book without accidentally saying a SPOILER, so I will hold my tongue. I just know for sure that Rainbow Rowell knows how to capture your heart and rip it to shreds and then not make a sequel.

What I loved:

  • Park
  • The cute bus ride moments
  • Eleanor’s hair
  • The comics even though I don’t really read them that often
  • Ahhh!!! THE MUSIC!
  • The descriptions Rainbow used for how Eleanor felt about Park
  • Eleanor and Park’s dialogue because it was so normal and so full of teenage spirit

“Are you over me?” –Park

“Yeah. Over and over and over.” –Eleanor

“Yeah?” –Park

“Yeah, no.” –Eleanor

What I Hated:

  • Eleanor’s mother. She was just to annoying for me to actually feel empathy for her.
  • The ENDING because it left me emotionally unstable for days
  • Sometimes how quick things happened
  • Regular but stupid human reactions to regular but stupid human situations and interactions.

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a YA novel that isn’t just Sally falls in love with Tom and then hates Tom  for something that doesn’t even pertain to him but in the end realizes Tom wasn’t at fault.

My Rating: 4.3

Goodreads Rating: 4.18 (current)

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by: Jesse Andrews

Why I got it:

I haven’t done my research on Jesse Andrews yet, but I do know that he is/was a filmmaker. I basically picked up this book because of the cover. It really stuck out to me and I just absolutely love it so so much. Once I got past the cover I noticed the title was very bizarre and I just couldn’t stop myself from buying the book. I really hope this book becomes more than just a “cancer book” because I believe it can be more than that.

Description from Online:

Up until senior year, Greg has maintained total social invisibility. He only has one friend, Earl, and together they spend their time—when not playing video games and avoiding Earl’s terrifying brothers— making movies, their own versions of Coppola and Herzog cult classics. Greg would be the first one to tell you his movies are f*@$ing terrible, but he and Earl don’t make them for other people. Until Rachel.
Rachel has leukemia, and Greg’s mom gets the genius idea that Greg should befriend her. Against his better judgment and despite his extreme awkwardness, he does. When Rachel decides to stop treatment, Greg and Earl must abandon invisibility and make a stand. It’s a hilarious, outrageous, and truthful look at death and high school by a prodigiously talented debut author

Average Goodreads Rating: 3.58 (currently)