Book Review

Everless (Proof) Review

During YALC (Young Adult Literature Convention), I managed to get a proof copy of Everless (not the fancy one they are recently sending out and which I wish I had a copy of) by Sara Holland.

Picture by the delightful Nikki, idea by me.

Everless by Sara Holland

In the land of Sempera, time is extracted from blood and used as payment. Jules Ember and her father were once servants at Everless, the wealthy Gerling family’s estate, but were cast out after of a fateful accident a decade ago. Now, Jules’s father is reaching his last hour, and she will do anything to save him. Desperate to earn time, she arrives at the palace as it prepares for a royal wedding, ready to begin her search into childhood secrets that she once believed to be no more than myths. As she uncovers lost truths, Jules spirals deeper into a past she hardly recognizes, and faces an ancient and dangerous foe who threatens her future and the future of time itself.

Rating: MoonKestrel Logo2 20pxMoonKestrel Logo2 20pxMoonKestrel Logo2 20pxMoonKestrel Logo2 20pxMoonKestrel Logo2 20px Grey

I should’ve posted this review sooner, but after I finished reading Everless, I was in a slump. I couldn’t make myself read another fantasy book that had anything similar to it because I’d compare it, and it was a struggle tofind a book to read.

When I got the copy of Everless, I wasn’t sure what to expect from it, it sounded fun but light and I didn’t expect it to be a wow book. As seems to be the case, books I underestimate, blow me away.

The first few chapters introduce you to the world of Sempera, the Gerlings, blood iron, the myth of the Sorceress and the Alchemist, and of course Jules and her own world. It is a slightly slow introduction but it doesn’t feel too much like an info dump and I was glad for that.

Without spoiling anyone, I was quite pleased with all the sudden plot twists (the only one I could see miles away was the one regarding Liam) since they weren’t that predictable but they also weren’t illogical. I didn’t feel like the plot had been useless now that the twist was revealed. Instead it slowly fit like a good puzzle.

One other thing I really loved about this is that there is no insta romance, no crazy love triangles and any hints of romance are just that, hints. Romance doesn’t take main stage and it doesn’t fill in plot gaps (and if you take it away you don’t really loose anything plot wise).

So all in all, a good fantasy, with interesting concepts, refreshing story and ideas, no insta romance and love triangles, good plot twists. Worth the read. (The sad part is that the book hasn’t even come out yet and then add to that that I already want to read the next one!).

Moon recommends

You read this book then curl up in bed until the next one comes out because you need to know what happens next. Go watch In Time film with Justin Timberlake, it’s like it but also totally not like it, but somehow my mind linked them and it is a fun link. Read some high fantasy, or something unrelated. I started Warcross to cure my book hangover, but you can also read some Trudi Canavan (like Thief’s Magic) or Robin Hobb (like Assasin’s Apprentice)and you’d be in great magical territory.

If you’d like to pre-order/buy Everless, you can find it here.

Disclaimer: There is an Amazon Associates link, but if you choose to use them and buy from them, know that you’re just helping me buy more books and feed my reading needs. Book synopsis is from Good Reads.


Meet the Character + Inktober Art

Keeping up with Meet The Character, I know I promised more Wig Bag Trio on my previous post, but I recently drew a “collection” of my characters so I thought it’d be a good quick introduction to them.

This piece shows all the characters that pop up most in my drawings (there are several missing).

First, let me show you a sketch. I drew this in October 2014, after a series of events that meant my first ever “I am unable to draw or create anything” (not artist’s block, but shock and PTSD). This particular sketch alongisde a counterpart where some of the first drawings I did once I could draw again..


And of course, I deviated from my Inktober prompts (the deviation started with drawing characters from games like Horizon Zero Dawn and Bioshock…) and had to sketch, and ink a fresh take on this.


This is the finished piece (it may be coloured at some point):


And now let’s meet the Characters!

The girl in the middle with a bee tattoo and glasses is actually me (so this is also a “meet the artist”). The idea is I am backed by all the characters and stories inside my head.

To the left, you can see Star Fawn kneeling. She is a Fasquee, part of the native species of Deema.

Behind her are Dalv and Naj (recognise them?) from Wig Bag Trio storyline. And then there’s Knit, Mischief (the lamb/sheep) and The Captain. Mischief is very mischievous so it keeps getting in the way, there’s a reason that it has that name.

Conjuring souls in the middle over my head is Cyx Red, The Collector. She featured in 2016’s Halloween-HQ event on DeviantArt (Sadly, you can’t play last year’s adventure but you can do this year’s. She features in several storylines so she is more of an “omniscient” flitting character.

Then you can see Child Knit, she doesn’t really feature in the main WBT storyline but appears in my sketches, usually wearing The Captain’s jacket which is a paradox since she couldn’t have met him as a child.

Then under Child Knit, are the Lestrange triplets. They do not feature as much in my sketches, but are part of the Eveniengate and Deema storylines (Eveniengate occurs within Deema). They are probably the oldest characters in this drawing (they came to life around 2004-2006).

The “archer” is Moire Fox, another Fasquee. She is the second oldest here, as her story came to me around 2007. She is the character that has had the most name changes since her conception. At first she was “Fox Girl”, then Unay, which became She Without A Name, then Ella, and finally Moire Fox.

Underneath Moire is Vixy/Little Fox, this is one of the position I first tried as a logo, but that slowly evolved into my logo. She is also quite old, 2007-2008 I think.

Missing in this picture are most of Eveniengate storyline characters (very few of them have actually been drawn), MD the queen of the dream world, Yves Oswald, Oniria & Insomnio, Kit (Black Cat design for a video game), Rose Vered and Ava from WBT, and Moire’s younger sister Roisin.

So there we go. Which character are you most excited to learn more about?


Book Review

Six Of Crows Review

I had been reluctant to read this book after having read the Grisha trilogy. I did not like that. And I am still confused as to why they are called little Gregory, but that is just me knowing cultural bits of Russia (my little sister dreamed of marrying a Russian and moving there -don’t ask me why, we never really understood why- so she made sure we knew about the culture and the language, and you know, stuff… She does seem to have desisted of this venture, by the way).

Anyway, less family tales and more review, here it is.


Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker has been offered wealth beyond his wildest dreams. But to claim it, he’ll have to pull off a seemingly impossible heist:

Break into the notorious Ice Court
(a military stronghold that has never been breached)

Retrieve a hostage
(who could unleash magical havoc on the world)

Survive long enough to collect his reward
(and spend it)

Kaz needs a crew desperate enough to take on this suicide mission and dangerous enough to get the job done – and he knows exactly who: six of the deadliest outcasts the city has to offer. Together, they just might be unstoppable – if they don’t kill each other first.

Rating: MoonKestrel Logo2 20pxMoonKestrel Logo2 20pxMoonKestrel Logo2 20px

I gave this book a chance because Nikki suggested I should and she loved it. So I did. I can thankfully say I don’t regret it.

The book is a big jump from the Grisha trilogy and it is better written and the plot is more refreshing, it is more unique and there are less cliches. The characters are quite varied and it is all in all interesting. Of course, I have a soft spot for Inej (the rest are okay).

Story wise, I was a little annoyed that most of the book is them getting ready or looking back and making the journey to the actual heist, which feels like a filler and I wanted more of the actual action. And then we get to the heist and there is so little of it, it feels rushed.

It gets three foxes because I felt for the characters and I found this “world” better than her previous trilogy (I know this is a duology). I did enjoy it but it didn’t leave such a mark on me that I’d give it the extra foxes, so 3 it is.

Moon recommends

To give this book a chance if you, like me, didn’t swoon (or anywhere near that) for the Grisha trilogy. It is not a bad book and that is a good thing. I am not entirely sure which other book to recommend alongside this one. I don’t have many heist books in my repertoire that come to mind and the only books that came to mind as I read this was the previous trilogy. However, now I need to read Crooked Kingdom and maybe then I may suggest something else.

In all fairness, I can think of Spellslinger by Sebastien de Castell as an interesting read if you liked Six of Crows, or maybe if you are into grim dark (caution because this is grim and dark), Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence (or anything by Mark Lawrence, you may enjoy Red Sister more, as it is a little less dark and grim). This second book is definitely all about anti-heroes, so make sure you know what you are getting into when you decide to read it.

Side Note: I did draw Inej for Inktober this year, so that tells you at least character wise there was a win for this book.

Disclaimer: There is an Amazon Associates link, but if you choose to use them and buy from them, know that you’re just helping me buy more books and feed my reading needs. Book synopsis is from Good Reads.




Subscription Boxes

October’s Fantasy & Sci-fi Leafer Box

As you may know, Leafer Box is one of my “permanent” boxes. There are a lot of good reasons why I love it:

  1. It’s cheap, each box costs £12.99 plus shipping (UK is £2.99) and you can use code KESTREL10 for 10% off so even cheaper!
  2. It doesn’t have a crazy hype and there’s like zero chance you’ll get a repeat with another book box.
  3. You can buy the box of the month any day of the month! No missing out because it sold out in a few hours and you couldn’t connect at the time, no problems if you only get paid until the end of the month. As long as you order during the month, you get that box.

My list could go on but I’d rather just show you my bundled Fantasy & Sci-Fi box.


Starting from the chocolate bar because chocolate and going clockwise:

  • A Galaxy chocolate bar, this is one of the big ones and that makes me so happy, they don’t go small on chocolate and yummy goodies.
  • Sci-Fi book, Champion of Mars by Guy Haley. I don’t know why but it makes me think of mythology despite knowing it isn’t exactly that…
  • Botanical bookmarks (they are not part of the box but rather a thank you gift from them because I rave so much about them)
  • Glow in the dark constellations! I always wanted glow in the dark stars on my ceiling but never got my parents to get some for me, and as an adult forgot, but now I do!
  • A space/Mars pen (usually their pens are fine point and have beautiful ink and write lovely)
  • An Alien necklace that made me laugh when I saw it, it is cool.
  • Now for the Fantasy box contents, a summer wax melt tart thing that definitely smells like summers and picnics and just good!
  • A thunder and lighting necklace, also quite lovely and cool.
  • A golde twig/branch hair pin which looks amazing on my hair and people have been complimenting when I wear it.
  • And the book, The Fifth Season which was already on my “I’d like to read that book” list so I was very happy to get it in this box.

As you can see, the box(es) was packed full of goodies and it is a great bang for your buck. Absolutely recommend it and there are several other genres you can try.



Meet the Character: WBT

I know I haven’t done one of these in a while, but life has kept me a bit tangled up and I wanted to give my characters a good post rather than a rushed one.

In this edition we meet the WBT (Wig Bag Trio).

The WBT are a trio of friends who receive a mysterious package (one for each) that has a strange bag that looks like a wig. Included with the bag is a note mentioning some cryptic responsibilities and warnings.

Page 1 by MoonKestrel

Turns out that once they wear the bag, they receive some “superpowers”. Mind you, not the usual super hero powers, but rather powers that can be blessings or curses all in one. Their story follows the trio as they try to figure out how to use their powers (there is quite a bit of humour about this). Of course, with the superpowers comes a strange Headquarters base that is basically set in another planet/dimension. As such, the base sends them out on missions to help out all kinds of creatures and through time.

So let’s meet the trio (there will be a separate edition for each character):

Knit Anele is the youngest of the group, and her superpowers grant her tale records, a mischievous lamb called Mischief, and the power over dreams.

Then there is Dalv Le Wot, he is Knit’s older brother and both and artist in his real life and as part of his superpowers. He receives a magic paintbrush and a squid companion.

Finally, we have Naj Reyals, his superpowers challenge his moral compass, as he is the only one who receives a weapon, arrows that will always fly true, and an ocarina he can play to control nature.

The trio was born out of crazy skype chats with two of my friends, and confusing a backpack for a wig. It was meant initially just as a joke, but we all loved the idea so much it had it’s own life pretty quickly.

The plan was to make their comic and have it online, sadly life has been in the way so the comic is just in draft form at the moment. But, the characters appear frequently in my sketches (specially Knit and the Captain) so part of their story is revealed as I draw them more and more.

Hopefully they have intrigued you enough so you’d look out for the next Meet the Character edition, where I’ll talk about Knit Anele.



Harry Potter Spells Book Tag

Anyway, I was tagged by  Taiwo @ Stuffed Shelves. You should go check out her own post on this tag and her blog as is 🙂

This tag was created by Kimberlyfaye Reads. All spell graphics are credited to her.



This one is hard to answer with just one. I have a huge list of books I want to get my hands on. There is: More Than We can Tell by Brigid Kemmerer, Renegades by Marissa Meyer, The Invasion by Peadar Ó Guilín, The Beast’s Heart by Leife Shallcross, … the list really is long…



I love A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L’Engle. It starts off with the line “It was a dark and stormy night” because Madeleine thought she could pull it off despite it being so “cliche” and she did.




This is a very hard one for me. I rarely ever read warm fuzzies books (and it is only when you ask me to name one that I realise this). I guess the Redwall saga has a lot of moments when I’d love to be part of their banquets and be tasting their food and it has adventure and animals and it is just amazing, so I’ll go with that.





This is an easy one to answer. The one that always makes me cry is A Ring Of Endless Light by Madeleine L’Engle. It focuses on grief and death. The other one I would say is up there with ARoEL is Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer.



Can I choose someone like Aragorn or Eowyn? My life isn’t that crazy that the hero needs to be so amazing. I guess in a way, I’ve always wanted The Captain to be there which is why I created him, but he isn’t exactly a hero but he also isn’t an anti-hero.




Does reading the book and going like “I am sure this is going to happen” then skipping some chapters and “yes it is! see? I am sure now this will happen” and keep doing this until the end count? Because this happened most accutely with Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody. I generally can guess plot and plot twists but this was one where I was like “nope, it can’t be” and it was every time, so I spoiled it for myself.




After the Fire by Will Hill. It is blunt and it is brutal but it is also beautiful and amazing and so human and I just wish everyone would read it and try to see life a little bit different.



Dragonriders of Pern. I love Anne McCaffrey’s books and they are amazing, I wish she was still around and could keep on writing. I mean, it is dragons, it is space, there is time travel, there is a “shoulder” dragon (fire lizards), it is amazing!




There are several of them, I am trying to think of one I haven’t mentioned here already (because several on this post would also be candidates for this spell). I think I will say, Franklyn’s Flying Bookshop was an amazing ending and it made me happy.




There are few and far between and I can’t remember one I wish I hadn’t read though I am sure there are a few. But I probably have forgotten them already.




There’s 3 amazing ladies: Anne McCaffrey, Madeleine L’Engle and Robin McKinley.



I love both Corlanth and Harimad in The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley. And Aerin is kind of a hero in her own being for me (The Hero and The Crown by Robin McKinley).




There are so many of them, but the most recent one was Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer. I had meant to read just a couple of chapters before bed and somehow stayed up late until I had finished it in one go.




Lies Like Love by Louisa Reidd made me very thoughtful. It was kind of scary and at the same time, it could be true. Books with topics that are too close to some traumas in my life sometimes make it hard for me to keep reading but I try to keep up with them.



Comics, I recently read Mikki’s Comic Book by Mikiko and it is so cute and funny, but of course, it isn’t the only one.




Given to the Sea. Too many POV and not all of them in first person, and one of them is basically just filler because it is irrelevant to plot (part of plot but it could’ve done without it and not made a difference). The ending was atrocious and I kept trying to read and to like it but I just couldn’t.




Pern. Damar. Deema.




Everless by Sara Holland. It was more unexpected and it actually was a pleasantly “oh wow” twist.



I don’t think any character death has destroyed me. I like characters but it doesn’t destroy me if they die.



Would it be too geeky to say Return of the King by Tolkien? I think he ties things up amazingly, and specially for some of the characters like Faramir and Eowyn. It was a good mix of different endings, an ending that isn’t all the same for everyone but that “fits” each character. I liked that.

So now I’ve made all these book spells. Would you like to do some? (I will tag some of you on Twitter)

Please do tag me in your post and if I didn’t tag you but you’re interested in doing this, remember to link me to your post too!


Book Review

Everything, Everything Review

I borrowed this book from a friend because the film was coming out and I had to have read the book before, but then didn’t give it much thought. I grabbed it because I felt I should read it and that was that.

Want to guess who finished it in one sitting?


Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster. 

Rating: MoonKestrel Logo2 20pxMoonKestrel Logo2 20pxMoonKestrel Logo2 20pxMoonKestrel Logo2 20px Grey

At first glance and after finishing this, I was pretty happy with the book. It is an easy read with a lot of space and is basically a love story. It also filled me because I had just been mentioning a day before reading it that I wished there was a book that talked about living with photophobia/light sensitivity (which is not the same as being allergic to the world). So I was in a good point to read this at the time.

However, I saw the plot twist early on and part of me feels bad about how the illness was handled. I admit I struggled to understand why the mother had to be a doctor, and how they managed to have the airlock, and then why they had a nurse coming and going, all those comings and goings, and all the food Maddie was having.

Either way, I’d say that it could’ve done better representing illness but as a light read it was good and a little bit different than usual.

Moon recommends

This book is the light and fluffy version of Lies like Love by Louisa Reid. Somehow I managed to read Lies Like Love first which is why I probably guessed pretty much all the plot here (the one in Lies Like Love is a bit more dark and slightly different). If you are in it for the romance then stick to Everything, Everything.

Disclaimer: There is an Amazon Associates link, but if you choose to use them and buy from them, know that you’re just helping me buy more books and feed my reading needs. Book synopsis is from Good Reads.


Subscription Boxes

Pixel Me Gaming Spearcraft Unboxing

So, one of the books I really wanted was Warcross, and when I found out the theme for Spearcraft I was sure it’d be the book I wanted, so I fished discount codes and tried to get it as cheap as possible (because it is on the expensive side with expensive shipping to the UK).

On a funny note, I ended up winning a giveaway for Warcross, so now I have both hardback editions (US & UK). UK edition is the colourful one, US is a robin egg/turquoise colour and smaller.


Starting from the book and going clockwise:

  • US edition of Warcross by Marie Lu. (link provided is for the UK version)
  • Pacman earrings (they are quite cute).
  • Nerve sticker (the film was interesting but I wasn’t really into the story even from the book).
  • Ready Player One bookmark
  • Mario Bros inspired soaps (cute, I like them, Mario was one of the first games I played n a console, alongside the shoot the ducks one)
  • Hunger Games quote magnet
  • Character card
  • Ready Player One quote print by treehousebooks
  • Triforce wax melt
  • Mario Bros keyring, which is now with my keys, to show my geeky gaming side.
  • Hunger Games quote postcard

**Start of rant about gaming**
I have to admit with such a massive gaming industry and such a diverse choice of games, I was expecting less of the same one (there’s two of each, Hunger Games, Mario Bros and Ready Player One) and more variety. And to me Hunger Games is out of place because it is not a pixel game nor is it console or anything, it is a book fandom (and film if you want to go with that).

I may rant but I love gaming and love games and it was a little like “but why is HG here when there is so much more that could be here instead? So many series of games, so much Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft and all other gaming developers have brought out that we love, why not include them in here?”. PS. I restrained myself from reciting all the possible games that could’ve inspired an item because you’d be stuck in a vortex hole of game names and weird old stuff like Chips or Carmen San Diego and that red hat… Plus the 8 bit music… **End of rant**

Ignoring the gaming bit, it was a nice box though I do prefer when the boxes have less “paper” items and I am happy to get my Warcross book. Due to shipping + box costs, it is not good for me so I haven’t kept it but it will probably be quite good for others in the US.

Subscription Boxes

Young Adult PageHabit

So after choosing a Fantasy PageHabit, I won the chance of adding an extra book and some goodies to my box, so I was crazy and got another PageHabit, but this time YA.

I don’t regret this extra box at all and was very pleased with it.


Starting from the card at the bottom and going clockwise:

  • PageHabit donates books to other countries for every box bought so it is also a charitable and fun effort to get this box. On the other side of the card it mentions all the books in the different genres that were includd this month (I liked this since it helps me see if the box I have is the one I would’ve enjoyed most or not).
  • Time Traveler patch (same as previous box)
  • Bookmark (same as other box)
  • Comic book pin (also same)
  • Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova. I had my eye on this book so it was awesome to receive it as the bonus book I had won.
  • Feather pen, it has a super fine tip which made me swoon (fine tips and ultra fine tips are awesome)
  • The short story of the box.
  • A Horcrux keychain.
  • The actual book of the box, Black Bird of the Gallows by Meg Kassel, another interesting read, which came with author’s letter and annotated, so it is fun.
  • And a cat/fox coaster.

I enjoyed the box so much I decided to subscribe again. Finding out it had almost the same things as the other box, I decided to just get one box and add an add-on book. I’d definitely recommend it since it has a broader range that most book boxes so you can choose different ones and pad up as you’d like.


Moon Draws: Book Box Club Bookmarks Pt. 2

On part 1, I showed the penciled sketches for the bookmarks, which didn’t have the right proportions for bookmark sizing nor did they include a hidden fox MoonKestrel Logo2 20px Grey.

After some working on them, a few progress shots shared through my Instagram stories, and several late nights and early mornings working on them, they are finally done.

Each one has elements from the book they are based from, and elements based on the theme of the box they were featured in. Each one also has the hidden fox logo in them (in some it is very easy to spot in some it isn’t as easy).

Bookmark Collection 1 LowRes
Pictured above are the first four bookmarks. Enchanted Forest (The Call), Freedom Squad (The Hypnotist), Secrets & Sisterhood (The Stranger Game) and Magic by Night (Bone Gap).

The completion of them also means some news, the opening of my shop! At the moment the only thing available is a preorder of the bookmarks. The preorder closes on the 15th of October. That week, the bookmarks will be shipped to all those that preordered. After that preorder, bookmarks will be made available for individual purchase (so if you only want one bookmark or one of the designs, you can choose that particular one).

Bookmark Collection 2 Low Res
Immortal Stories (Ink), Troublemakers (All About Mia), Time Travel (Waking in Time), and Belles & Beasts (Hunted).

The designs have been digitally inked and done at high resolution (1200dpi) to ensure high quality when printing. They are one sided so that any art supply can be used without feeling guilty about it bleeding to the other side (not that it should since it is cardstock but it may).

Bookmark Collection 3 LowRes
Wizards at War (Spellslinger), Schoolroom Scandals (One of Us is Lying), Spells & Remedies (The Disappearances) and Fearless Females (Things A Bright Girl Can Do).

I enjoyed doing them and have plans for making one per box coming out. There is also the availability of custom colouring designs if you want to promote your book or are just a big fan of certain series.

If you would like to preorder a bookmark set, head out to Moon Kestrel Designs.