Review: A Torch Against the Night – Sabaa Tahir

A Torch Against the Night (An Ember in the Ashes, #2)Title: A Torch Against the Night, An Ember in the Ashes #2
Sabaa Tahir
Publication Date: 30 August 2016
ISBN: 1101998873
Pages: 452
Genre: Fantasy
Format: Hardcover
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Buy it: Amazon|Book Depository

Elias and Laia are running for their lives. After the events of the Fourth Trial, Martial soldiers hunt the two fugitives as they flee the city of Serra and undertake a perilous journey through the heart of the Empire.

Laia is determined to break into Kauf—the Empire’s most secure and dangerous prison—to save her brother, who is the key to the Scholars’ survival. And Elias is determined to help Laia succeed, even if it means giving up his last chance at freedom.

But dark forces, human and otherworldly, work against Laia and Elias. The pair must fight every step of the way to outsmart their enemies: the bloodthirsty Emperor Marcus, the merciless Commandant, the sadistic Warden of Kauf, and, most heartbreaking of all, Helene—Elias’s former friend and the Empire’s newest Blood Shrike.

Bound to Marcus’s will, Helene faces a torturous mission of her own—one that might destroy her: find the traitor Elias Veturius and the Scholar slave who helped him escape…and kill them both.


So I already said in my review of the first book that I love Sabaa Tahir. And honestly, this book just continues my deep love for this book.

 *** Beware of Spoilers! ***

Before I even get to the actual book, I have to talk about this cover. This cover is gorgeous! This would definitely be one of those books that would have been a cover buy. It’s so lovely and I definitely can’t wait to see what the cover will look like for the third book.

Now, onward to the book itself.

Continue reading “Review: A Torch Against the Night – Sabaa Tahir”


An Ember in the Ashes – Sabaa Tahir

Title: An Ember in the AshesAn Ember in the Ashes (An Ember in the Ashes, #1)
Sabaa Tahir
Publication Date: 9 February 2015
ISBN: 1595148043
Pages: 446
Genre: Fantasy, Dystopia
Format: Hardcover
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Buy it: Amazon|Book Depository

Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free.

Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.

It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.

But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.

There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.


Y’all, this novel was phenomenal. It literally had me on the edge of my seat from start to finish.

First and foremost, the world creating in this novel was inspiring. Sabaa Tahir has created one of the most nuanced and intriguing worlds of any recent book that I’ve seen. The Roman inspiration for the novel is very apparent throughout the novel, which added a realistic quality to the fantasy. More importantly, the world was presented in a really interesting way. At the start, there was a lot of world building which was a little boring at times. However, most of the world building occurred as the story progressed so that readers were learning more about the world as the story unraveled itself. And, quite frankly, I enjoyed that.

Continue reading “An Ember in the Ashes – Sabaa Tahir”

Review: Revival – Stephen King

Title: RevivalRevival
 Stephen King
Publication Date: 5 May 2015
ISBN: 1476770395
Pages: 403
Genre: Horror Fiction
Format: Paperback
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A dark and electrifying novel about addiction, fanaticism, and what might exist on the other side of life.

In a small New England town, over half a century ago, a shadow falls over a small boy playing with his toy soldiers. Jamie Morton looks up to see a striking man, the new minister. Charles Jacobs, along with his beautiful wife, will transform the local church. The men and boys are all a bit in love with Mrs. Jacobs; the women and girls feel the same about Reverend Jacobs—including Jamie’s mother and beloved sister, Claire. With Jamie, the Reverend shares a deeper bond based on a secret obsession. When tragedy strikes the Jacobs family, this charismatic preacher curses God, mocks all religious belief, and is banished from the shocked town.

Jamie has demons of his own. Wed to his guitar from the age of thirteen, he plays in bands across the country, living the nomadic lifestyle of bar-band rock and roll while fleeing from his family’s horrific loss. In his mid-thirties—addicted to heroin, stranded, desperate—Jamie meets Charles Jacobs again, with profound consequences for both men. Their bond becomes a pact beyond even the Devil’s devising, and Jamie discovers that revival has many meanings.


This novel made inner science me so happy. I loved it!

First of all, can we just talk about Stephen King’s writing style? It’s so beautiful and unique; I could pick out his writing from a stack of random books. I particularly enjoyed how the ending of the novel was framed, it was incredibly intense. He wields words in a simple yet deep and disturbing way. I’m a definite fan.

King also creates shockingly relatable characters. Despite the fact that I’ve never gone through the events of either Jamie or Charlie, I found myself empathizing with them quite frequently. Continue reading “Review: Revival – Stephen King”

Review: Empire of Storms – Sarah J. Maas

Title: Empire of Storms, Throne of Glass #5Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass, #5)
 Sarah J. Maas
Publication Date: 6 September 2016
ISBN: 1619636077
Pages: 693
Genre: Fantasy
Format: Hardcover
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Buy it: Amazon|Book Depository

The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius. Loyalties have been broken and bought, friends have been lost and gained, and those who possess magic find themselves at odds with those don’t.

As the kingdoms of Erilea fracture around her, enemies must become allies if Aelin is to keep those she loves from falling to the dark forces poised to claim her world. With war looming on all horizons, the only chance for salvation lies in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear.

Aelin’s journey from assassin to queen has entranced millions across the globe, and this fifth installment will leave fans breathless. Will Aelin succeed in keeping her world from splintering, or will it all come crashing down?


Y’all know I love Sarah J. Maas. And this was certainly no different.

I’ve been eagerly awaiting this novel since I read Queen of Shadows. And I didn’t think that the series could get much better or more intriguing and yet, somehow, it did.

 *** Beware of Spoilers! ***

Continue reading “Review: Empire of Storms – Sarah J. Maas”

Review: The Secret of Raven Point – Jennifer Vanderbes

The Secret of Raven PointTitle: The Secret of Raven Point
Author: Jennifer Vanderbes
Publication Date: 4 February 2014
ISBN: 1439167001
Pages: 304
Genre: Historical Fiction
Format: Hardcover
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Juliet Dufresne is a hard-working and smart high-school girl who aspires to make a groundbreaking scientific discovery like her hero Marie Curie. Life in South Carolina with her father, stepmother, and her brother Tuck is safe and happy. But when war breaks out in Europe, Tuck volunteers and serves in Italy—until he goes missing. Juliet, already enrolled in nursing school, is overwhelmed by the loss of her brother, so she lies about her age and enlists to serve as a nurse in the army, hoping she might find him.

Shipped off to Italy at the age of seventeen and thrust into the bloody chaos of a field hospital, Juliet doles out medicine, assists in operations, and is absorbed into the whirlwind of warlife. Slowly she befriends her fellow nurses, her patients, the soldiers, and the doctor who is treating the little-understood condition of battle fatigue. Always seeking news of her brother, her journey is ultimately one of self-discovery.


I’m not typically a big fan of American historical fiction just ’cause. It just doesn’t really appeal to me. But this novel I thoroughly enjoyed.

Vanderbes has a unique and intriguing writing style. I never felt like I was quite in Juliet’s head, I felt a little bit like an outsider looking in. It was almost like reading a biography but in fiction. It was really beautiful and honestly that would be my biggest reason to read this book.

Another thing that I loved were the characters. Just about every single one of the characters in this novel was so beautiful. I wasn’t a particular fan of Juliet and Tuck’s parents however. They were far more complacent than I believe any parents would be in the ’40s. Otherwise, I felt that each of the characters were accurate representations of people during the ’40s. But easily one of my favorite characters would go to Bernice who just embodied the idea of a sexy, ’40s, independent house wife. I loved her so very much! Continue reading “Review: The Secret of Raven Point – Jennifer Vanderbes”

Review: The House on Mango Street – Sandra Cisneros

The House on Mango StreetTitle: The House on Mango Street
Author: Sandra Cisneros
Publication Date: 3 April 2009
ISBN: 0679734775
Pages: 110
Genre: Contemporary Literature
Format: Paperback
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Buy it: Amazon|Book Depository

Told in a series of vignettes – sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes deeply joyous – it is the story of a young Latina girl growing up in Chicago, inventing for herself who and what she will become.


Here on The Little Book Nerd’s Life I try to only include novels that I think you guys are going to pick up purely for pleasure reading. I don’t really expect you guys to sit there and analyze any of these novels. But all that changes today.

The House on Mango Street isn’t one of those books that you just pick up for the fun of it. I mean you can but you’ll really dislike it and may only give it a 1 or 2 star rating (like I did). Mango Street is intended to be analyzed and the work really comes alive when it is. Continue reading “Review: The House on Mango Street – Sandra Cisneros”

ARC Review: The Sun is Also a Star- Nicola Yoon

The Sun Is Also a Star Title: The Sun is Also a Star
Author: Nicola Yoon
Expected Publication Date: 1 November 2016
ISBN: 0553496689
Pages: 344
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Format: Softcover, ARC
Add it: Goodreads
Preorder it: Amazon|Book Depository

Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.

Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.

The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?


Contemporary is slowly starting to grow on me, I can feel it. I honestly think I’ve read more contemporary than anything so far this year. But it’s because all of the contemporary I’ve picked up have been amazing and this novel is no different.

Daniel was my favorite character mostly because he broke stereotypes. He was dreamy eyed and romantic. He was slightly dramatic. And, in case you can’t tell, he’s a guy. I loved his optimism and his desire to be around this girl who really didn’t want to be around him.

Continue reading “ARC Review: The Sun is Also a Star- Nicola Yoon”

Review: Queen of Shadows

Title: Crown of Midnight, Throne of Glass #4Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass, #4)
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publication Date: 
1 September 2015
ISBN: 1619636042
Pages: 656
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Format: Hardover
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon|Book Depository
Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she’s at last returned to the empire-for vengeance, to rescue her once-glorious kingdom, and to confront the shadows of her past…

She has embraced her identity as Aelin Galathynius, Queen of Terrasen. But before she can reclaim her throne, she must fight.

She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die just to see her again. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queen’s triumphant return.

Celaena’s epic journey has captured the hearts and imaginations of millions across the globe. This fourth volume will hold readers rapt as Celaena’s story builds to a passionate, agonizing crescendo that might just shatter her world.

My thoughts

If you can’t tell, I am in love with Sarah J. Maas’ writing, so it’s sad that it’s taken me this long to read this book. But I’ve finished and I loved it. Sarah J. Maas has once again blown it out of the water and written a story truly worthy of this series.

***Beware of spoilers!****

Continue reading “Review: Queen of Shadows”