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January was a weird month for me. Right after the holidays I felt incredibly tired and wanted a break from nearly everything in my life. Despite it being January and wanting to jump right into the new year, I found myself in a reading slump.
So I allowed myself a break to step back. Which also meant that I read far less.
So in January, I read:
And while this is a trilogy, I will not be finishing it for reasons I will get into later.
Prefer to watch? That’s an option too.
Bow Before The Elf Queen by J.M. Kearl
This book is a Fantasy Romance book that focuses on elves! Which is pretty refreshing when most Fantasy Romance novels focus on fae. There were also some pretty solid tropes, enemies to lovers, mates, “touch her and you die”, and banter!
I genuinely enjoyed the banter in this book and the characters were interesting. For some reason, I imagined some of the side characters as little elves, versus the sexy almost fae-like elves of the main characters.
The tropes somehow felt overused in this book. Like when our MMC described his mate bond with our FMC, it felt like it was taken straight out of A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas.
The plot was also a little bland. I was in it for the characters.
The FMC was hit with the “told lies all my life” and “lacks critical thinking until she uses her brain for once” traits, which was annoying.
Our MMC on the other hand is quite smooth and very, very swoon-worthy. 💖
I listened to the first two books and the male narrator was a little grating a first. He took some time to get used to. Half the time he sounded like he was yelling.
This book wasn’t horrendous but also won’t be a top read of 2024, so a solid 3 stars out of 5 stars.
Long Live The Elf Queen by J.M. Kearl
This book picks up right after the events of the first book. Right off the bat, there is quite a lot more tension and angst in this book. Which I found I enjoyed.
I like that our two main characters have a much closer connection in this book and get to know each other. They share a lot of memories and we as the readers get to know them a lot better too which I found I enjoyed.
The introduction of the Dragon Court was interesting but felt like a drawn-out distraction from what truly needed to be done. (The offing of a certain character to be specific but spoiler-free.)
That being said, the ending of this book ruined the series for me.
Why the author decided to introduce a love triangle into the third book of a series is beyond me. The love triangle should have happened in the first book.
I don’t want a new love interest.
But love triangle aside, was I the only one who felt like they got punked?
🚨SPOILER AHEAD 🚨
Like oh, you like the first two books? Haha well, they were all a lie so here is the real story. They’re just silly little lost Gods and even though you spent two books investing in this pairing, they might actually not be endgame.
🚨SPOILER OVER 🚨
That bit truly ruined the series for me and so I will not be continuing with The Elf Queen series. However, this book also gets 3 stars out of 5 stars.
What I’m Reading Lately
So even though January started in a slump, February is heating up! I have way too many books on my list for upcoming reads, but I suppose we will see how many I manage to get through.
Powerless by Lauren Roberts
I, unfortunately, got my copy from the library during my reading slump, so I got about 10% through and then returned it.
But now my loan has come back through and I’m, enjoying it so far! The trials are about to begin and I have a feeling I won’t be able to put this book down anytime soon.
When The Moon Hatched by Sarah A. Parker
Oh come on, look at that COVER!
I am about 20% into this book and am so intrigued by the world and the characters. I want to know more. The writing is really enjoyable, the characters are growing on me, and I love the world this story is set in.
The dragons feel done the right way.
So fingers crossed that this doesn’t end up being another disappointing, over-hyped book.
The Ever Queen by L.J. Andrews
I have been waiting for the continuation of Erik and Livia’s story since I read this book last fall! The anticipation has been killing me and I am so happy it is finally here!
I have not started this one yet but it is up on my docket.
Speaking of upcoming reads, here’s what I hope to read in February:
Ruthless Vows by Rebecca Ross
Another victim of my reading slump. The hold came in right around New Year’s and I just couldn’t force myself. My copy should be available in a week or so according to Libby.
I cannot wait to get back to Iris and Roman! I did start it but left off very early on, after the confrontation with Roman’s father and Iris.
House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City #1) by Sarah J Maas
With the third book pretty much out and the crossover with ACOTAR, I have to read this series.
I did start HOEAB once before but my god, all of the info-dumping in the beginning is hard to get through. This world is so different from ACOTAR that there are so many things to cover.
And while I got annoyed the first time around and returned my copy about 10% into it, I think it’ll be worth reading, even if it’s just to get to the ACOTAR crossover!
Honorable mention: House of Sky and Breath (Crescent City #2) by Sarah J Maas
Considering how thick these books are, I would not expect to read House of Flame and Shadow (Crescent City #3) until at least March.
I also am super grateful to have received an ARC for A Feather So Black by Lyra Selene so expect that review soon as well!
Books I DNF’d in January
An Education in Malice by T.S. Gibson
I enjoyed the writing in this book and the initial setup drew me in. The atmosphere of the book was enough to hold my attention and it is a dark academia. Need I say more?
What I did not enjoy was the obsession that became more and more toxic as the book went on between our two main characters, Laura and Carmilla. The plot also lost its way at times and by the time I DNF’d halfway through, both Laura and Carmilla’s POV started to read a bit too similarly.
Despite starting the year off with a reading slump and lowering my goal to 24 books, I am feeling so ready to get back to my TBR list! And I feel like I will read most of the things I plan to because I’m genuinely so excited about all of the books on this list!
How are your New Year’s reading goals starting?