CANDLES IN BOOKLAND UNBOXING…

Hello Bookworms! It’s been a minute since I’ve done an unboxing here on Lair Of Books but in the spirit of starting them up again I come to you with one worthy of your attention ๐Ÿ˜ย I recently started repping for Candles in Booklandย who also recently curated their first themed box. Titled “The Thirteen” this box is centered around Manon Blackbeak and the 13 witches in the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas. I was over the moon excited to hear my favorite character in the series was getting a box focused on them cause Queen Manon is worthy of all that & more! You can find Candles In Bookland on Instagramย & the shop link is linked above and will be linked at the very end of this unboxing as well.

 

The Bookmarks…

The STUNNING artwork for the Manon & Abraxos bookmark was created by Kaya @Kayadoodles

ย Asterin, Manon, and Elide were created by Salome Totladze @MorganaOanagrom

The Art Prints…

Elide & Asterin art prints to match bookmarks were created by the talentedย  Salome Totladze @MorganaOanagrom

Fierce Manon print created byย 

Salome Totladze @MorganaOanagrom

The Book Sleeve…

๐Ÿ–คย Created by Julie & Brittney @babymybook this bookย sleeve will fit most tomes. My hardcover copy of A Court Of Mist and Fury fit snug as a bug & the kangaroo pouch allows you to stash any stationary on the go

The Candles…

๐Ÿ–คย Everything was packaged so nicely & the red really pops and gives off Manon Vibes!ย 

Manon- Sweet Cider, Cloves, Blood Orange, Citrus, Warm Spices, Sandalwoodย 

Elide-ย Amber, Musk, Cherry, Floral, Jasmine, Berry, and Sandalwood

Asterin-ย Leather, Woody, Raspberry, and Vanilla

๐Ÿ–คย The Manon candle is a two color blended candle that has this amazing citrus scent. Elide’s candle is my fave of all, warm with hints of cherry and jasmine that make me want this candle is a HUGE jar ๐Ÿ˜‚ย The Asterin candle smells of lovely Raspberry with a hint of vanilla ๐Ÿ’œย to top it off these have glitter on top and look so beautiful!ย 

Sorrel- Amber, warm spices, sandalwood

Abraxos- wild flowers, spice, clean air fresh herbal scent, a hint of leather

๐Ÿ–คย Sorrel smells like Autumn in a jar while Abraxos reminds me of my fave laundry detergent with its fresh scentย 


“The Thirteen” is a June Exclusive box by Candles In Bookland that will leave fans of Manon Blackbeak and the 13 blown away!!! This is their first themed box and the quality really speaks for itself. The box does have a quote written on the front flap that has a misspelling the shop owner is aware of. However, this mishap is quickly forgotten the minute you open your box. I’m always on the hunt for bookishย merch, candles & bookmarks being the top two items I buy the most of. I am MOST certainly looking forward to the next one! ๐Ÿ–ค๐Ÿ–ค๐Ÿ–ค
CANDLES IN BOOKLANDย |ย REP CODE: LAIROFBOOKS10

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Black Friday Bookoutlet Haul

Happy Sunday Bookworms! I am currently trying to squeeze in some ME time at home. I don’t usually post on Sunday’s but I missed the blogosphere on the weekends where I get to see another wave of bloggers not usually on during the week. I also promised to post my Black Friday Book Haul to a few book blogging buddies on Twitter & so here I am <3’s! Before Black Friday, it had been 1 whole year since I last purchased anything on Bookoutlet (I checked my past orders lol)ย & so I thought it wise to take advantage of this yearly sale. I completely had forgotten about the anxiety that comes with actually completing a purchase during this sale…

Yea…I set the alarm for this sale & had my cart full with titles I “had to have” haha! & I was almost successful. Unfortunately as is to be expected, the world of Bookworms were all trying to get in on the deals & the site experienced several gateway errors. My first order looked as if it had gone through and my Credit Card showed a charge pending however their site knocked my order off as if it never existed. So, I quickly placed another order with the exception of Tiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaipotra & Dhonielle Claytonย which is book one in a duology. I had this book checked out from the library & read about 45% too little too late & had to return it lol. This book seems to not want to get read by me smh, but in true bookworm fashion I still went through with getting the sequel lol! anyways, on to the book haul…

Hardcovers

A Crown Of Wishes (The Star-Touched Queen #2) | Windwitch (The Witchlands #2) | Young Jane Young | The Dark Days Club (Lady Helen #1)| Want (Want #1)| Shiny Broken Pieces (Tiny Pretty Things #2)

Confession…I am a bookworm addicted to books. I have 3 sequels listed here that I can’t read just yet lol, but I do own the first book in each series & plan on getting to them early 2018 so there’s me rationalizing…

Paperbacks

Random Family | Jackaby (Jackaby #1) | Beastly Bones (Jackaby #2) | Ghostly Echoes (Jackaby #3) | We Are the Ants | The Hating Game

So my paperback haul is about 90% recommendations from either Blogging buddies or Booktubers I LOVE to the moon & back haha! I’ll start with Darque Dreamer Reads who reviewed Jackabyย & left me smiling & thinking I really NEED to meet this Jackaby character.ย The Hating Game is highly recommended by Chelsea over at ChelseaDolling Readsย who I friggin LOVE! so it was a MUST BUY (she also influenced my Young Jane Young purchase lol). We are the Ants & Random Family have been on my TBR for way too long & I couldn’t believe Random Family was only $.75 cents *gasp*ย 


I peeped a couple of you tweeting about the Bookoutlet sale, if you posted a unboxing (or happen to have purchased my copy of Tiny Pretty Things right from under my nose lol)ย drop those links down below <3’s!


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Review: Berserker by Emmy Laybourne

Title: Berserker (Berserker #1) 

Author: Emmy Laybourne

Pub. Date: October 10th, 2017

Genre: YA Fantasy/Historical Fiction

Publisher:  Feiwel & Friends

Pages: 352

Formats: eGalley/Netgalley & physical arc won from a Goodreads Giveaway

Rating: 3.75 Stars

Are Hanne’s powers a gift from the old Norse gods, or a curse?

Her brother Stieg swears their powers are a gift from the old gods, but Hanne Hemstad knows she is truly cursed. It’s not Stieg’s fault that their father is dead, their mother has left, and their brother Knut has been accused of a crime he didn’t commit.

No, the fault lies with Hanne and her inability to control her murderous “gift”–she is a Berserker. When someone she loves is threatened, she flies into a killing state. The siblings must leave Norway for the American frontier or risk being brought to justice.

Aided by a young cowboy who agrees to be their guide, Hanne and her siblings use their powers to survive the perilous trail, where blizzards, wild animals, and vicious bounty hunters await.

Will they be able to reach their uncle, the one man Hanne believes may be able to teach her how to control her drive to kill? With Berserker, Emmy Laybourne, the author of Monument 14, presents her vision of an American west studded with Viking glory.

Berserker wasn’t at all what I was expecting & for a minute there I wondered aloud what exactly I was reading? the answer took me by surprise & intrigued the hell out of me enough for this frightful bookworm to read through the bloody scenes. I can only describe Berserker as Norse Mythology meets the American Frontier with hints of the classic novel Of Mice and Men & guess what bookworms?!?! IT WORKS!!! part of the reason I think that it did is because Laybourne has created her own lore in this world instead of using everything we know about Norse Mythology. The opening scene really sets the tone for this short read, bloody and raw. Our MC Hanne & her siblings (with the exception of the youngest) all have been gifted/cursed with special abilities from the Viking Gods. It is believed that the Viking God Odin gifted three of his favorite Kings with special abilities known as The Nytte. This gift/curse doesn’t come without its consequences, there is a big price to pay as a result of using their ability. The odds of inheriting The Nytte are greater if both parents are descended from these kings & such is the case for our MC & her siblings. They don’t know the names of each ability or even if they quite believe in the origin of these abilities but they’ve learned to use them to make a living. Hanne is a Berserker which is the only gift that is focused on taking life whenever someone she loves in danger. While in Norway, her father has her using her “gift” to slaughter pigs for local farmers (detailed in the book) because her technique leads to better quality meat. A incident on the farm triggers Hanne’s Berserker abilities ending in tragedy & the need to go on the run. While on the run they manage to catch the interest of a man who has made it his mission to find Nyttes daughters & sons with a keen interest in their abilities. Although this mans intentions are not readily made known, Hanne doesn’t trust him & will keep her siblings running to put as much distance as possible between the law & this stranger.

*In order not to spoil anything, i won’t be including each characters Norse gift/curse…besides it’s more fun finding out for yourself along the way ๐Ÿ˜‰

Hanne- The MC aka the Berserker & sort of the matriarch of the family. She loves her family fiercely & her abilities have sharpened her senses to the point where if any danger is even headed their way she is ON IT! Hanne doesn’t see The Nytte as a gift but rather a curse she can’t control & when it strikes it leaves her mortified at the end results. When I picture Hanne there is only one Goddess that comes to mind…Lagertha!

Stieg- not sure if he’s the oldest or second oldest to Hanne but either way he is more of the patriarch of this family. Stieg is a intellectual with a passion for knowledge & conversation. He knows more than one language & will never pass up the opportunity to teach. Stieg also has a ability that he uses sparingly whenever in dire straights. What I liked about Stieg is that he wasn’t made out to be the stereotypical bookworm, he’s just as much down to have fun as he is to hit the books. Also, his ability is pretty bad a** ๐Ÿ˜‰

Knut- Knut reminded me most of Lennie from Of Mice and Men which meant that I was already on Over protective mode upon meeting him. Tender hearted standing at 6’2, Knut also carries The Nytte & it is tied to his physical strength. There’s no way you won’t love him when you meet him ๐Ÿ™‚

Sissel- my least favorite of the siblings, she is the youngest and most spoiled. Sissel is all about comfort and finding a good match for marriage, in other words being taken care of. Sissel is described as frail in physical appearance & very likely to have had The Nytte skipped her. This being book 1 in the series, I can’t help but wonder if Laybourne has special plans with this sibling…

Owen- The cowboy the siblings pay to safely guide them to a uncle who could possibly help Hanne control her Berserker abilities. He is actually one of my favorite characters in this book, its just him and his dog Daisy until he meets the siblings. Owen loves Daisy to pieces & has trained her to help herd cattle with dreams of one day training pups on a farm to do the same. He minds his business & lives a simple life until chaos is introduced and he has a decision to make…

I managed to fly through my reading of Berseker because of my general interest in Norse Mythology & the ease with which Laybourne used the well known mythos as a jumping board. This is a VERY bloody read & had some cringe worthy passages that surprisingly engrossed me. Why the 3.75 rating? well for starters, this is still a good rating in my book & translates into a 4 star rating on Goodreads. The siblings were for the most part traveling in this book trying to reach their uncle to help Hanne & I enjoyed that adventure very much. However, my only complaint is how neatly the ending was presented compared to how bloody, chaotic, and raw Berserker was for the most part. Berserker could also easily be viewed as a stand-alone which really left me thinking where the series would take Hanne and her siblings. I’m still curious & have every intention on continuing on to read the next book. It may very well be that in the sequel the siblings find a way to reverse or at least stop the consequences of their abilities…So, I do have questions bookworms which means I’ll be returning to this world when the next book is released ๐Ÿ˜‰

HUGE thanks to Feiwell & Friends, Netgalley, Goodreads, and Emmy Laybourne for the ARC copy of Berserker.

Hello Bookworms! Happy FriYAY! have any of you read Berserker? has it made its way onto your radar? If you’re a fan of Norse Mythology, Berserker will probably intrigue you & Laybourne will surprise you with her twist on Viking lore. It’s a bloody gripping read! ๐Ÿ˜‰


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Gush Review: Nyxia (The Nyxia Triad #1) by Scott Reintgen

Title:ย Nyxia (The Nyxia Triad #1)

Author: Scott Reintgen

Pub. Date:ย September 12th, 2017

Genre:ย YA Science Fiction

Publisher:ย ย Crown Books for Young Readers

Pages:ย 384

Formats:ย eGalley

ย ย ย ย 

Emmett Atwater isnโ€™t just leaving Detroit; heโ€™s leaving Earth. Why the Babel Corporation recruitedย himย is a mystery, but the number of zeroes on their contract has him boarding their lightship and hoping to return to Earth with enough money to take care of his family.

Forever.

Before long, Emmett discovers that he is one of ten recruits, all of whom have troubled pasts and are a long way from home. Now each recruit must earn the right to travel down to the planet of Edenโ€”a planet that Babel has kept hiddenโ€”where they will mine a substance called Nyxia that has quietly become the most valuable material in the universe.

But Babelโ€™s ship is full of secrets. And Emmett will face the ultimate choice: win the fortune at any cost, or find a way to fight that wonโ€™t forever compromise what it means to be human.

Fast paced non-stop action from the minute you start the EPIC ride that is Nyxia! This is one will leave you with a bad case of “just one more chapter & then I’ll stop”

We get introduced to this diverse set of characters who have all basically signed on the dotted line & joined Babel as recruits. The Mission: to board the ship departingย Earth & headed for Eden aka a newly discovered habitable planet with alien life. In Eden the recruits willย mine a substance called Nyxia. This substance has been heavily researched & found to be invaluable.ย The major corporation Babel has recruits from all parts of the world on the ship headed for Eden after having them sign contracts promising huge pay-outs for their families back on Earth as well as themselves upon their return to Earth. For these specific recruits the money is worth leaving all they love behind, they are all poor & many have terminally ill parents. Our MC Emmett Atwater has signed but his gut feeling is telling him that something just isn’t right & that there’s more than meets the eye with Babel. Alliances & enemies will be made once the specifics are laid out & what once appeared to be a lucrative deal turns into survival of the fittest.

“We’re poor,” Roathy says without a trace of shame. “They picked us because we’re poor. We can be kings and queens, sure, but only if we bow first”

Nyxia’s cast of characters come from all over the world & the author Scott Reintgen came up with an ingenious way to overcome the language barrier. Each of the recruits are given high tech suits & small quantities of Nyxia that can be molded into literally just about anything. Inclusively, they’ve given them mouth pieces which function as translators. This being science fiction, I was very happy to see all of the different equipment & functions that facilitated communication between these characters. Our MC Emmett Atwater is a young black male from Chicago who considers himself a Southpaw. Emmett is very guarded, intelligent, and has his eye on the prize. With two very loving parents at home, one of which has Cancer, Emmett is driven by their need for better medical coverage. I have read a TON of YA books across many sub-genres but it wasn’t until I picked up Nyxia & discovered Emmett that I could say I had a favorite male MC. I can list teh reasons I love him but the truth is that parts of the fun is seeing him discover parts of himself he never knew he had in him ๐Ÿ˜‰

In total there are 10 recruits to board the light ship & although I enjoyed them all so much there are a couple of stand outs.

Kaya ends up being sort of roomates with Emmett & if there’s one thing that will instantly make me fall for a character is finding out they are a fellow bookworm.When she pulled out a copy of my favorite childhood book I gasped haha! Kaya is Japanese and through the translating mouth piece is able to talk to Emmett with no barrier. Their scenes reading together were some of my FAVORITE! Kaya is also a strategist & Emmett’s first alliance, LOVE this character! Then there’s Bilal who comes from a small village in Palestine where he & his family are very poor. Bilal is always smiling & an overall positive presence, he is the type of person we could use more of in real life. Bilal befriended Emmett through perseverance, never taking Emmett’s stand offish attitude as a deterrent. Azima is from Kenya & emanates strength, beauty, and intelligence she is silent when we meet her but soon realize she is a force to be reckoned with. Jasmine aka Jazzy is from Texas & she carries with her that southern charm. It be best not to sleep on Jazzy though now that she’s far from the world of beauty pageants & focused on the same goalย as the rest of the recruits (to remain vague cuz spoilers). Katsu…many might not like his boisterous personality but I found him funny at times, he is also Japanese & enjoys making others laugh through random outbursts & jokes.

Last but not least Emmett’s father who imparts such valuable pieces of wisdom to his son, stole my heart from the moment I met him. His confidence in Emmett to do the right thing & the history he keeps alive to strengthen his son brought me to tears a few times. Many of my highlighted passages in my galley were of conversations between Emmett & his dad. These characters are all amazing but they are also very flawed & hurting inside, but they were also very relatable & I am so glad to have met them even if it was within the pages of this book.

So of course after I finished reading Nyxia & finding myself in a EPIC book hangover, I did what I always do hehe. I went looking for the authors note & bio to meet the person behind the book. Scott Reintgen is a teacher of English & creative writing and when he set out to create the characters in Nyxia, he aimed to give his students characters they can relate to & see themselves in. Scott also had some of his students beta read for him which I found to be brilliant! In his author bio is written “The hardest lesson he learned was that inspiration isn’t equally accessible for everyone. So he set out to write a novel for the front-row sleepers and back-row dreamers of his classrooms”…I’d say he accomplished what he set out to do, this AMAZING diverse set of characters are relatable. Combined with the fast paced non-stop adrenaline inducing plot, Nyxia is hands-down my favorite YA Sci-Fi book of 2017! โค โค โค

*HUGE Thanks to Crown Books for Young Readers, Netgalley, and Scott Reintgen for the eGalley copy of Nyxia in exchange for an honest review.

Hello Bookworms! I was so excited to write this review since I couldn’t stop raving about it & Twitter/Goodreads wasn’t enough to spread the word hehe. Have any of you read Nyxia? or possibly plan to? what are some of your favorite YA Sci-Fi books? Sound off in the comments <3’s!

#ARCstravaganza #10

#ARCstravaganza is a weekly meme hostedย by the wonderful Flavia over @Flavia the Bibliophileย whereย book bloggers/bookstagrammers have a chance to show off their ARCs/eARCs/Galleys!

Hello Readers! This is my 10th week participating in #ARCstravaganza Monday & this week Iโ€™ve chosen Renegades (Renegades #1) by Marissa Meyerย which is one of my highly anticipated books of 2017! Meyer is a auto-buy author for me at this point, I enjoyed her writing & fresh take in the Lunar Chronicles & have high hopes for the next chapter in this authors journey. Renegades will follow a new story line, set of characters, and world. I’ve tried my hardest to stay away from early reviews on Goodreads but I did see mention of the main character being half Filipino which is automatically a plus in my book & on this blog. I guess what I’m also very excited to see is the villain Meyer has conjured up this time. Levana is still top 5 evil for me & I’m curious to see if there will be a new villain in town to dethrone her. Also, superhero powers are my Achilles Heel & no I can’t resist these stories, truth be told they take up the majority of my shelves.

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From #1 New York Times-bestselling author Marissa Meyer, comes a high-stakes world of adventure, passion, danger, and betrayal.

Secret Identities.
Extraordinary Powers.
She wants vengeance. He wants justice.

The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigiesโ€”humans with extraordinary abilitiesโ€”who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone…except the villains they once overthrew.

Nova has a reason to hate the Renegades, and she is on a mission for vengeance. As she gets closer to her target, she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in justiceโ€”and in Nova. But Nova’s allegiance is to a villain who has the power to end them both.

What are some ARCS/eGalleys youโ€™re excited to have Bookworms? are you a fan of Marissa Meyer? looking forward to Renegades? sound off in the comments belowย ๐Ÿ™‚


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