Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco

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Rating: 4.5 stars

Published: 2020

Genre: Fantasy, YA

Author: Kerri Maniscalco

Synopsis: Emilia and her twin sister Victoria are streghe – witches who live secretly among humans, avoiding notice and persecution. One night, Victoria misses dinner service at the family’s renowned Sicilian restaurant. Emilia soon finds the body of her beloved twin…desecrated beyond belief. Devastated, Emilia sets out to discover who did this, and to seek vengeance at any cost—even if it means using dark magic that’s been long forbidden.

Then Emilia meets Wrath, the outlier among the seven demon brethren, always choosing duty over pleasure. He’s been tasked by his master with investigating a series of women’s murders on the island. When Emilia and Wrath’s fates collide, it’s clear this disturbing mystery will take a bewitching turn…

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Damn, this book was so good. I loved it way more than I expected to, which is kind of how it went with Stalking Jack the Ripper as well. For the sake of preventing me from dissembling into incoherence inserting some sort of structure into this review, let’s first talk about the few things I enjoyed less and that prevented it from being a 5 star read for me.

The main thing I didn’t really enjoy and that pulled me out of the story was the excessive description of foods. I think it’s probably just a personal preference rather than bad writing, but whenever Emilia started listing ingredients for whatever food… it bored me and it took me right out of the story. I strongly dislike cooking and while I enjoy eating food, I don’t particularly want to know how it’s made. That made the first few chapters of the book really drag for me since they were very food-focused. As the plot progressed, it wasn’t as prominent anymore, but it still happened occasionally and I just found it jarring. 

Another thing that bothered me was the lack of communication between Wrath and Emilia. Like, I understand that they’re kind of enemies and he’s a demon so she’s loath to trust him. But sometimes, it just didn’t make any sense and so many issues would have been avoided if she’d just talked to him. Overall, I really enjoyed their dynamic, but occasionally I felt that Emilia in particular was just irrational in an almost absurd way. Wrath was also reserved, but I felt that his reluctance was more natural and made more sense. 

Other than that, this book was everything that I wanted. I find myself recently really craving lush and decadent either fae or other kind of paranormal being, enemies to lovers romance, but not… too romancey. Like more slow burn and also other things going on. I already knew Maniscalco is great at writing gothic mysteries, so I wasn’t surprised by that, but this just hit the spot so well and left me craving more. I can’t believe I have to wait until October for the next one. 

The setting was so lush and atmospheric. Obviously, since it’s set in our world, there’s not that much world-building to do, but just the way the mythology of the world was set up just drew me right in and was so evocative. Especially the audiobook, the sound effects they used along with the narration was just… chef’s kiss. I definitely recommend this book as an audiobook. 

In terms of characters… I absolutely loved Wrath. I’m a sucker for a dark, brooding, powerful hunk with hidden but hinted at soft squishy centre. I also liked Emilia well enough. She was kind of the more boring twin, Victoria was definitely more fun for the brief time she was present. but that was kind of the point and we got to see how what she was going through changed Emilia. I definitely like the Emilia at the end of the book more than the Emilia at the beginning. She’s far more interesting and I look forward to seeing where her character goes from here.  Also… Emilia and Wrath had better be endgame is all I’m gonna say. 

Overall, I highly recommend this. It is quite dark and very… occulty, so if that’s something that makes you uncomfortable, maybe it’s not for you. It’s also pretty gory at times so that’s something else to be mindful of. But otherwise, I definitely recommend this. 

Series I want to catch-up on

A while back, I did yet another series I need to finish post in which I talked about series that are completed. In this post, I’ll talk about series that are currently ongoing, but I still have books to catch up on.


The Folk of the Air by Holly Black

 

I’ve read the first one and really loved it. I think this is a 3 book series and the third one will be released in 2020. I’m waiting to be in a fae mood, I haven’t been craving fae books lately which is why I haven’t continued with it yet.

The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

 

I’ve read the first 2 books and then I kind of just wanted to wait until we at least had a publication date for book 4 before reading book 3. It’s really weird, I still have to wait the same amount of time to continue with the series, but psychologically, knowing that I could continue at any time makes me feel better lol But now there are rumours that book 4 is coming soon. So hopefully I’ll continue with this soon.

The Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson

 

I’m currently on book 2 of this monster series. I think book 4 will be released in 2020, so I don’t know if I’ll read the 3rd one until maybe a few months before the next one is released. Although, I might not be able to resist because these books are just so good.

The Daevabad Trilogy by S. A. Chakraborty

 

Read City of Brass and was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it, so I’m looking forward to continuing with this series. I believe 2 out of the 3 are currently out.

Impossible Times by Mark Lawrence

 

All 3 books are due to be released in 2019, with the final book being released later in the year. I’ve read the first one. They’re super short, fast reads, but I haven’t yet bought the second one. I’ve been in a fantasy mood, so I’m waiting for a sci-fi mood to hit me.

Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

 

I’ve read the first 2 books. The fourth one is being released later this year. I don’t know if there will be more books after that, but I really enjoyed the first 2 books. I’m waiting to be in a bit more of a romance mood, since the romance is quite a big part of it. I really like the romance, I think it’s cute and the banter is great. But I just have been avoiding romance lately.

Saga by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples

 

I’ve read the first 3 volumes of this graphic novel series. I think there are 9 out and they’re currently on hiatus, but they do plan to return to it. So I’m trying to pace myself.

Monstress by Marjorie Liu & Sana Takeda

 

Another graphic novel series. I’ve read 2 of the 3 currently published volumes. Volume 4 is being published later this year. This is such an amazing and weird graphic novel series. I want to see it as an anime.

The Wicked + The Divine by Kieron Gillen

 

I think the final volume is being released this autumn. I’ve only read the first one and I didn’t love it. I loved the art and the concept is really cool. But I was a bit confused about what was going on. I don’t know if that was by design and things will get clearer later on or if I just didn’t get their way of story-telling. But I definitely want to continue with this and see if things become clearer.

 

November-December 2018 Wrap Up

The end of 2018 was pretty tough for me. I had a lot of work and also a lot of personal things going on. So I didn’t get to read as much as I would have liked. I still managed to finish 8 books in the final two months of the year, which is not too bad.


Before They Are Hanged by Joe Abercrombie

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This is the sequel to The Blade Itself which I read earlier in the year and still haven’t reviewed. I’ve been comparatively good with continuing with series this year. And I’m hoping to carry that into 2019. I’m actually currently reading the next book in this series and thoroughly enjoying it. Anyway, to talk about Before They Are Hanged, it was not as good as the first book in my opinion. It was still really good, but I did find it had a bit of a second book slump. Still, so much happened in this book. The world was expanded on, we met some new and fascinating characters and got to explore some old ones. All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I am now a Joe Abercrombie fan. I gave this book 4/5 stars. 

Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco

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In the spirit of continuing with series, I finished listening to this on audio. Once again, it was not as good as the first book. I still really enjoyed the characters and the narration. However, I did have a little issue with it because it was set in my homeland of Transylvania and liberties were taken with folklore and the language and stuff like that. Still, it was enjoyable and I do look forward to continue with this series. 3/5 stars.

City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab

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This is by far my last favourite Schwab book. It’s probably because it’s middle grade. I don’t feel like Victoria can do middle grade as well as she does YA or adult. It had an interesting concept and it was entertaining, I liked the characters and the setting. But I just wanted more from it. 3/5 stars.

The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton

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I finally finished listening to this. It was a good book, but sadly not really my kind of book. I’m just not so much into these stories of middle class drama. It was really well written and set in Amsterdam, which was really cool to read about. But I tend to like my stakes higher in my books. This is not an epic story. It did have an interesting mystery and as I said, it’s really well written. Just not my cup of tea. I ended up giving it 3.5/5 stars, because I just had to appreciate the skill that went into writing the book.

The Wicked and the Divine: The Faust Act by Kieron Gillen

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I’d heard a lot about this graphic novel series and was intrigued so I picked up the first volume. I was not as wowed by it as I was expecting to be. I really enjoyed the art in it. It’s absolutely stunning and the concept is really cool. But the execution left something to be desired in my opinion. It was just confusing. And I usually don’t mind being dropped into the middle of a story. But the way that things happened didn’t seem to flow to me. It was kind of fragmented in a way. Like we were missing chunks in the story. Characters showed up out of nowhere. And I think it was intentional and this sort of storytelling can be very gripping. But there was just something missing. It didn’t feel smoothly done in my opinion. I’m still interested in continuing with the series though. 3.5/5 stars. 

Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas

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I finally, FINALLY finished this book. It took me over a year to read. It was good, except that chaol was in it. If it had been someone other than Chaol, this would have been like a 4 or 4.5 star read. But because I hate Chaol so much, it was a 2/5 stars.

These Rebel Waves by Sara Raasch

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Sara Raasch Has cool concepts but her books always fall short for me. They’re just meh. And this one was no exception. The characters were stereotypical, the plot was predictable. It was just… meh. 2/5 stars

The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett

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I finished the year with a bang. I am so glad I chose this as my final read of 2018. I’ve been putting off reading Terry Pratchett for some time now, but I shouldn’t have because it was just as brilliant as everyone told me it would be. I had a blast with this book and I can’t wait to continue with the Discworld books. 5/5 stars

Belated September Wrap Up

I actually read A LOT in September, as I did have the month off, so I actually had time for life a little. Though to be fair, a good chunk of the books I read were manga. I read 27 books in the month of September. So, let’s just get into this.


The Killing Moon by N. K. Jemisin

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This was the first book that I read in September. For those of you who’ve been here for a while, you know that I absolutely LOVE N. K. Jemisin’s Broken Earth Trilogy, I’ve done both a spoiler free review and a spoilertastic discussion on it, so you can check those out. So I was obviously excited to try another one of her series. I have to say, this one is not as good as The Broken Earth, however, it’s still a good story, with a cool and interesting magic system and world. So I definitely enjoyed it and will continue with the series, but it’s not as awesome as The Broken Earth. I gave it 4/5 stars.

Stalking Jack The Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

 

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Next, I flew through the audiobook for this one. I really enjoyed the narration and of course, the story. The ending was a bit weirder than I expected, it had a sci-fi vibe that I hadn’t expected going into this book, but it was still immensely entertaining to listen to. I loved Audrey-Rose and I ship her and Creswell so muchhhh! 5/5 stars

Attack on Titan Vol. 4 – 26 by Hajime Isayama

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This is where the bulk of the books I read this month comes from. As you can see, I read 22 volumes of this manga, I am now up to date with it and oh, man did I not see this coming. There were obviously some volumes I enjoyed more than others and the final few volumes have far too little Levi in them for my taste, but overall, I loved the series and I’m bursting for the ending. I would say that on average, my rating for this series is 4/5 stars.

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Cartheynne M. Valente

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This book took me a LONG time to read. Not sure why, as I did enjoy it. But I guess I just wasn’t in the mood for middle grade as much in the past year. I ended up giving it 3.5/5 stars in the end.

The Accidental Further Adventures of the Hundred Year Old Man by Jonas Jonasson

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I have loved every Jonas Jonasson book I’ve read so far and this was no exception. While I did think the first book was better, I still really lived this one. As its predecessor, it was both amusing and educational, full of self aware humour and excellent satire. 4.5/5 stars

Bookish Holiday Wishlist – Top Ten Tuesday

Bookish Holiday Wishlist – Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme is “holiday gift guide freebie”. I chose to share with you my top 10 books on my (very long) wishlist. This is going to be difficult because there are a lot, and I mean a lot of books on my wish list. My bookish amazon wishlist currently has 129 items on it and that’s not including additional copies of books that I already have that I really want. So let’s just say this list is the tip of the iceberg. These are the books that I really hope to get soon.

As a little aside, last week I announced I’d be doing a Q&A. I haven’t forgotten, I’ll probably have that post up by the end of the week (I hope!). In the mean time, feel free to send me more questions here.

Alright, I’ll stop rambling now and get on with it.

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

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I really want to read this book. As a lover of fantasy, I feel like this is one of those books I have to read.

A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir

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I recently read An Ember in the Ashes (review here) and I loved it. So now I really want to read the second one. Plus, it’s pretty. So I want it.

Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

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This sounds like such a cool, and kind of messed up thriller. It’s right up my alley. I want to read it.

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

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The description I read for this book is so vague, I honestly have very little idea what to expect from it. But is sounds very ominous and dark and also, look at that pretty raven on the cover.

This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

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Earlier this year, I fell in love with Schwab’s writing and this one sounds so freaking amazing, I don’t know why I haven’t read it yet.

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

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I have wanted to read this book since I first heard of it more than a year ago. I still don’t own it and I still haven’t read it. Why? I don’t know. But I want it.

Fantastic beasts and Where to Find Them

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The film was AWESOME, guys. I adored it. I am so, so, SO excited for  the other ones. I can’t wait. I literally cannot wait. So of course I want the screenplay. Also, look at this beauty! Just look at it.

The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury

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It’s an Aladdin retelling. I have never read an Aladdin retelling. I love retellings. It’s blurbed by Sarah J. Maas. And it’s pretty. All very valid reasons for why I want this.

Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor

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This series is really beautiful. Both inside and outside. And I want to finish it.

Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

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I hear so many great things about this series. I need to read it!

These are 10 of the books that I want the most. But if you’re curious to see more of the books that I want, or you know someone who you think might enjoy the same books as I do and want to buy them a nice Christmas gift, you can check out my Amazon wishlist.