The School of Night

hardback of Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness

Time to look back at what I read in July. As I mentioned in my previous post, my impetus for finally reading Shadow of Night was that season 2 of the series was starting on June 27th and I wanted to have the book read by then. Well, with having to restart the book, that put me a bit behind, so I didn’t finish it until July. But, Eric was sweet enough to wait to watch the new episodes of Discovery of Witches until I’d finished the book. And restarting the book did help. I enjoyed it so much more once I had my footing. Of course, taking place in a different time period gives this book a much different feel from the first book, but I loved it just as much. I loved that Diana was getting the opportunity to see these entirely different sides to Matthew – who he was, who he was to others. This took me a lot longer to read than anticipated, but the story and the setting are so richly detailed and full of that Dark Academia feel that I wanted to savor every page. I’m so very glad I read this and so glad that I also added it to my own library.

The three men looked like an unkindness of ravens with their dark clothes and attentive expressions. It reminded me of what Shakespeare would soon say about this extraordinary group. ‘How does it begin?’ I murmured softly. ‘Black is the badge of hell?’ Matthew looked wistful. ‘Black is the badge of hell | The hue of dungeons, and the school of night.’

Shadow of Night
book cover for Den of Vipers by K.A. Knight

I kept seeing Den of Vipers all over bookstagram and I hear it’s all over booktok too. So, I decided to give it a go. I was hooked after two chapters, but the further I got into the book the more it became a tug of war between how bad this was and being completely unable to stop myself from reading it. This book is basically what I would consider the Dark Erotic Romance genre – there are all sorts of trigger warnings on it, so do your research before you decide to dive in. One of the things that bugged me about this book was that the main character keeps thinking things like she’s not ashamed of what she wants, she won’t apologize for the things she likes, etc. And ok, I can see that one time, but after the author repeats this again and again, it’s like why do I feel like you aren’t entirely comfortable with this and you’re trying to make sure I realize that Roxy is a strong female and is in control and it’s ok for her to want these things. Who are you trying to convince?

My biggest issue with this book was that there are so many continuity problems – like mentioning Garrett when it’s Garrett’s POV, she goes from naked to wearing clothes and vice versa – like one second she’s naked and then it says Ryder ripped her fishnets. That makes me crazy. I also got to a point where I started to feel like the book was just too long. Like, ok she’s made a decision, now what. I just got to the point where I was just done with this story. The only difference between this and that damn Vampire King series I can’t seem to quit is that this is all in one book. But, it just seemed to go on and on and on. I wasn’t invested in the characters at all either. When I picked up this book, I really felt like people didn’t like it because it was dark and the sex was less than mainstream, we’ll say. I thought I would enjoy this and scoff at the people that panned it. Nope. They were right. It’s just not a great book. I was glad to be done with it.

book cover of Every Last Breath by Jennifer L. Armentrout

After that train wreck of a book, I was glad to be back on familiar ground by reading the last book in the Dark Elements series, Every Last Breath. I enjoyed this book a lot and I was satisfied with the ending. I could have used a little more spice considering all the build up from the first two books, but overall pleased. I’m glad I read this series and I will definitely read more by Jennifer Armentrout. Her Blood and Ash series is high on my TBR.

book cover of Daughter of the Blood by Anne Bishop

After finishing Every Last Breath, I was at a loss what to read next. My friend Annette suggested I read a series she’s been telling me to read forever, the Black Jewels series. My library had it, so I figured I’d give it a go. The beginning is a bit of a slog. The thing about starting a new fantasy series is all the world-building and set up that has to happen. And the first few chapters had me feeling very confused. It’s starting to get better though. Obviously, I’m carrying this book into August, so I’ll report back once I’ve finished it.

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