Archon is book one in a series about Angela Mathers, a troubled young woman who dreams of angels and is apparently unkillable (she knows, she’s tried). The book starts as she’s released from a mental institution and starting out at a new university, West Wood Academy, a priest-run school for blood heads like her (red-headed children with powers). Society sends all such children to one place, because one of them is going to be the prophesied Archon, who will unlock the lost book of the archangel Raziel and have the power to remake the universe. And seeing as Angela dreams of angels, she is attracting attention from anyone who has a stake in the Archon prophecy, whether they want to stop her or control her.
This was a breathless, strange little book. And I mean that in a good way. Breathless because things happen so fast and even the characters that the narrative is following don’t fully understand everything as it’s happening. Strange because it’s this odd blend of alternate reality, dark fantasy, theology, mystery, and YA romance. There are red-headed witches, evil angels, half-demon priests, and a whole lot of surreal gothic ambiance (somewhat unclear, but I think it’s supposed to take place in the future). Also a whole lot of bloody violence, shifting alliances and trust issues. It makes for a compelling read, because you’re never quite sure as a reader whose side someone is on or what their end game is. It’s not the type of read you can skim- you will miss important details if you do that, and probably be confused. But if you pay attention, enough questions are answered that you will be drawn into the world of the story.
Overall it was a satisfying read in itself, but also sets the stage for a pretty sweeping fantasy series. It’s definitely on the darker side, though, so if you’re looking for something light and fluffy, this may not be for you.
I was provided a free necklace from Anjolee in exchange for an honest review.
Ok, let me start this off by saying that my clothing/jewelry budget does not leave me in any position to be buying diamond jewelry, of any kind. However, I like to window shop as much as the next girl, especially online. And Anjolee jewelry provides an excellent daydreamy window shopping experience. When they approached me about doing a post, I was hesitant, because I wasn’t sure I’d find something that was my style (I mean, the first thing you think of when you think Amanda’s Style isn’t diamond jewelry, be honest). But I was pleasantly surprised! They have quite a range, from more affordable simple stud earrings to uber-fancy necklaces like the Riviera Necklace (that’ll be 13K, thanks!).
I ended up getting this necklace (though with CZ’s instead of real diamonds, and in sterling silver) and the whole process was easy. I got to pick my gemstone (garnet), my chain length, and all of that. The site makes it super easy to see what your options are and how that affects the price. And if you’re going with real diamonds and fancy metals, their site lets you pick your carat weight and karat marks for even more customization. Sidenote: I never before noticed that gemstones are carat with a c and metals are karat with a k. The more you know.
Once I had picked out my options, I just had to wait for the necklace to arrive. It came packaged in a beautiful box, and I think the necklace itself is dainty and classy. I love it. I had thought about going with a purple gemstone, but I already have a necklace with a purple stone, and I don’t have one with red, so red it was. And I’m happy with my choice. I haven’t had a fancy occasion to wear it on yet, but who says you can’t class up a jeans-and-tee day with a necklace like this?
Now if only I could get Ian to do some window shopping in that diamond ring section.
What’s your favorite kind of gemstone? Are you a diamonds girl?
The Infinite Possibilities in Saying “I Do”. “I used to think freedom meant the ability to choose literally anything at anytime… and to change my mind at the float of a feather. [...] I know many people who fear making a choice because it will limit their options. [...] But here’s what I’ve noticed of late: MAKING A CLEAR DECISION OPENS UP A DEEPER LEVEL OF FREEDOM THAT YOU DON’T GET WHEN YOU STAY ON THE FENCE.”
Not much to report here. Our weekend was spent lazing about and binge watching Scandal on Netflix, alternated with me printing a bunch of stuff for my shop, and visiting Trader Joe’s for the first time. And yes, I tried cookie butter. Honestly, I don’t see what the fuss is about. It’s an ok flavor, but I can’t imagine what I would actually eat it on. It is, at least, more palatable than Nutella.
The boy has (suddenly) decided to take the week off starting on Thursday, so we’ll be getting up to some staycation / housecleaning shenanigans. Exact ratio TBD.
A new design! Here’s the flower that I based it off of:
And here’s my design:
This is a frangipani flower, though you may also know it as plumeria. I had never encountered it before doing my study abroad in Australia, and then I fell in love with it. It’s still my favorite flower, both for appearance and for scent. This design took me a bit of a different route from my norm, very minimal. But still stylized and bold, so it still fits with my other designs. Right now I only have the customizable listing ready to go, but I have a stack of art prints waiting to be photographed that should go up in the shop soon.
What do you think? Did I capture the flower well? What’s your favorite flower?
I received a free copy of this book for review from NetGalley.
If you’re in the mood for a New Adult murder mystery romance with ghosts and Louisiana swampland ambiance, you might want to give this book a whirl. It’s the story of Mala LaCroix, last in a long line of “witch women” – except she doesn’t believe in any of that nonsense, and wants nothing to do with it. She just wants to get by: working, saving up for her criminal justice classes, crushing on George the deputy, and avoiding her drunken mother. But when she finds a dead girl on the bayou, everything changes. She’s being haunted by what is undeniably the dead girl’s ghost – and so is the victim’s hot brother, Landry (who, unbeknownst to Mala, has had a crush on her for years). Now the two are thrown together trying to solve a murder, while the ghost’s rage grows alongside their attraction to each other. Between the ghost attacks and whoever really killed Landry’s sister, and the ever-present prejudice of the small town’s residents, Mala is not sure she’ll make it out in one piece. Or with her heart intact.
I will say this for the the author – she doesn’t pull her punches when it comes to hurting or putting her characters in danger. Not to a GRR Martin level, but nothing to sneeze at. Particularly towards the end of the book, there’s a good amount of adrenaline and oh-shit moments. The down side of this book is that it falls prey to oh-so-overdone Love Triangle syndrome. Not every male-female relationship in books for young people needs to be a romance! The chemistry between Landry and Mala is believable and built well over time (though Landry is a bit bipolar-seeming with his mood swings). The chemistry between Mala and George is very much not believable or built up well, which makes certain scenes in the latter part of the book just baffling. But the ending did throw some intriguing curveballs, and the southern bayou atmosphere comes through strongly throughout. And I liked how the narrative switched between Mala’s point of view and Landry’s – I like getting to see both sides. Overall, I enjoyed reading this and do want to see where the story goes, so it’s a successful first-book-in-a-series hook.