Uncategorized

INSTAGRAM HACKED

Hello Lovelies! I hate that I have to say this, but unfortunately my old Instagram @autumnbookreads was hacked 😞 I’ve converted another account with the new handle @ theautumnbookreads !

I would very much appreciate it if you could report and block the other account. Please also do not open any messages from them or follow any links they may send you!

Thank you all so much for the support that you’ve shown me through this. It’s been very frustrating and I’ve cried so much over it. But you all’s support has has really helped me get through this. I appreciate it more than you know!

– Autumn ❤️

Dark, Fantasy, Favorites, Reviews

REVIEW: Empire of the Vampire (Empire of the Vampire #1) by Jay Kristoff

43728380. sy475

Synopsis:

From holy cup comes holy light;
The faithful hands sets world aright.
And in the Seven Martyrs’ sight,
Mere man shall end this endless night.


It has been twenty-seven long years since the last sunrise. For nearly three decades, vampires have waged war against humanity; building their eternal empire even as they tear down our own. Now, only a few tiny sparks of light endure in a sea of darkness.

Gabriel de León is a silversaint: a member of a holy brotherhood dedicated to defending realm and church from the creatures of the night. But even the Silver Order couldn’t stem the tide once daylight failed us, and now, only Gabriel remains.

Imprisoned by the very monsters he vowed to destroy, the last silversaint is forced to tell his story. A story of legendary battles and forbidden love, of faith lost and friendships won, of the Wars of the Blood and the Forever King and the quest for humanity’s last remaining hope:

The Holy Grail.

From the New York Times bestselling author of the Nevernight Chronicle, Jay Kristoff, comes the first book of an astonishing illustrated dark fantasy saga.


🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁

MAJOR SPOILERS BELOW! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED

Where do I even begin? I truly have so much to say and so many emotions that it’s hard to pick where to start this review…

Well, I suppose I should start with the fact that I have been a Jay Kristoff fan for a while. I read Illuminae first and later read Nevernight by him. Both of which, I really enjoyed. They were very different but spoke to me in their own ways. I heard about this book years ago when Jay first started promoting it. I was so stoked for it to come out in 2020, but it was pushed back to 2021 for understandable reasons. Anyways, I knew the general premise of Gabe telling the story and that it was about a world with evil vampires. I was a little leery because male main characters can be a real miss for me and vampires aren’t a genre I gravitate towards. But after seeing what Jay did with Illuminae and Nevernight, I was willing to give this book a go.

After watching Jay promote this book and the hype train get bigger and bigger, I let myself fall deep into the train. I somehow own 21 editions of this book. No, that is not an exaggeration. A small part of me worried that I was wasting my money if I disliked this, but a louder part of me had confidence that Jay would make me fall in love with this world. So I dove full on in and on release day, I was up at the book store buying yet another copy of this book as soon as they opened.

After quite literally consuming this book these past few days, I can say that every single penny that I spent was worth it. This book is without a doubt in my top three favorite books of all time. And I absolutely love that because it has become so hard to find books now that can become top favorites like that. It hasn’t happened for me in years at this point. I don’t think there is an accurate way for me to put my feelings towards this book down on paper. There are so many wordless emotions I have and deep feelings that I could never portray by speaking them. All I can say is that this book spoke to me. It gripped my heart and made me never want to leave. The characters felt so raw and real to me and the world felt the same. The broken parts of this world hurt so bad and the small glimpses of hope that these characters had warmed my heart.

“If he wanted a war, I would be it. If he wanted a fear, let it be me.”


Gabriel- Despite struggling with some male characters in the past, I am happy to say that I bonded with Gabe pretty much instantly. From the beginning prologue-like chapters, I felt a pull to him. I wanted to see what made this broken, jaded, smart ass man the way he is. And after reading this story and the small amount he told us (in the grand scheme of this being 1 of 3 books), I can say that I love him with my heart and soul. A part of me connected in an indescribable way to the part of him that has lost something. As someone who has gone through loss, I can say that the way Gabe deals with it and how it was portrayed felt so realistic to me, that I found myself tearing up at the smallest glimpses of Gabe’s pain. I felt a bond with him that only people who have lost those closest to them can feel and there are no words that I can give you to describe what that means to me. To have a character speak to those dark and broken parts of myself is something that I don’t know if I’ve ever truly had. And I can’t think Jay Kristoff enough for that, truly.

“May I present Dior Lachance, Prince of Thieves, Lord of Liars, and incorrigible little bastard.”


Dior- I might be starting to sound like a broken record at this point, but it’s hard to describe how I feel about Dior. When I think about her, I just get this light and giddy feeling. She was one of my favorite parts of this book and the whole plot twist surrounding her gender completely blew my mind. Like I just sat there for 10 minutes after that chapter staring in to space, thinking about how mind blowing it was. I 100% did not see it coming at all, not even a little bit. The rest of the book, I was almost always smiling when she was around. Her banter with Gabriel was fantastic and seeing their relationship grow both broke and mended my heart. I am scared to death for Dior’s safety in the future books and I am not ready for the inevitable separation of her and Gabe.

“Because I miss them, like a piece of me is missing. And I love them, like love is all I was. And there is nothing I’d not do, no depth to which I’d not sink, no price I wouldn’t pay to have them back and here with me. Because they were my all and my everything.”


Astrid- I loved Astrid. I adored all the parts with her in it and I couldn’t get enough scenes with her. She knew what she wanted and went after it with her whole self. I definitely got strong Mia Corvere vibes and I’m honestly down for that! The only complaint I would have is that I wish we got just a little more of her and more development of her and Gabe’s relationship.

“You play a game you cannot win.”


Liathe- Did I know she was going to be important in some way? Yes, because she kept appearing and Jay put a lot of emphasis on her character. Did I have any idea she was going to be who she was until like the page before we found out? No. Once again, this was a plot twist I did not see coming at all. And to be honest she is one of the characters I am the most excited for in the future books. I have a feeling the relationship and the dynamics between her and Gabe in the future books will be rocky and heartbreaking. I’m also dying to know what she wants with Dior and what her true motivations are.

“It matters not what you hold faith in. But you must hold faith in something.”


Aaron & Chloe- These are the two that I probably had the biggest emotional changes about over the course of the book. Aaron, I hated and could not stand at the beginning, but I adored him by the end. Chloe, I really liked and was rooting for in the beginning, to only hate by the end.

“Hearts only bruise. They never break.”


Justice and Jezebel- Yes, these two characters deserve their own section because they were the MVPs of this book. My heart was ripped out of my chest when they both died and I am truly not okay with it.

“I didn’t give this sword a name, girl. She came with one.”


Ashdrinker- A talking sword that has been broken and has a mysterious past you say?? There is literally nothing else you could say to have me more intrigued.

”Thou shalt suffer for this, Silversaint. And it shall be legendary.”


The Forever King & the Vampires- It has been a while since the villains of a story truly scared me, but the ones in this book for sure did. They were evil incarnate, and Jay did the vampire thing so well! I truly see how this entity that puts no value in time is scary and feels like such a big obstacle to overcome.

I could sit here and try to go over all my feelings about the rest of the characters but there are truly so many that it would take hours. The rest of the characters I had probably the appropriate feelings you’re supposed to have. Some I changed how I felt over the course of the book and others I felt lukewarm about.

“We believe in life after death because oblivion is too dark an abyss to stare into. We tell ourselves our creator cares, because the thought of a maker who doesn’t is too terrifying to consider.”


There is one more thing I wanted to talk about before we get to the end of this review. And that would religion and the role it plays in this story. I am personally religious, so seeing what Jay did with it in this book was interesting. Seeing Gabe go through this roller coaster of believing in it, losing his faith, and then finally putting it back into Dior broke my heart and sealed it back together again. Whenever religion and God were brought up in this book, I could tell that Jay Kristoff had thought about these things before and it made Gabe’s journey feel easier to connect to. I’ve never seen something like that and there were times where it brought me to tears.

To end this review, all there is left to say is that this book left its mark. Almost instantly after finishing it, I felt one of the worst book hangovers of my life come over and it hurt to know there was nothing left to read. I went to bed thinking about this book, I dreamed about it multiple times during the night, and it was the first thing I thought about when I woke up. If that doesn’t speak to how much I love this book, I don’t know what does. I went through one of the biggest emotional roller coasters I’ve gone on in a long time while reading this. There were literally points where there were tears streaming down my face for thirty minutes straight and parts where I was so angry at what was happening to these characters that I was shaking. But all of that just speaks to how beautifully written this book was… And I wouldn’t trade it for the world! There aren’t enough words in the dictionary to describe how much this story means to me or how much I need the next book!

Fantasy, Illumicrate Unboxings

UNBOXING: May Illumicrate “Change Your Stars” Box

Hello Lovelies! I’m back with another Illumicrate unboxing today! This is a box I’ve been excited about for a while and I am so happy to share it with you all today!


The Book:

I LOVED the design choices Illumicrate chose for this month’s book! The stenciled edges, while a simple design, compliment the book and cover well. I also love what they did with the foil embossing. It’s almost prettier than the cover, truth be told.


The Items:

h

I have heard some grumblings about the items this month. And, while I can say not all of the items are ones I would personally use, I can see the value in this box. The sketchbook is beautiful, the tea tin is stunning, and the gown pin is (as always with Blissfully Bookish) gorgeous! The key is supposed to be the new collectable for IC going forward and, as someone who has been begging for a key collection, I am pretty excited. The key does look a little cheap in photos, but is better in person.


Artist/Supplier Credits:

Spinning Silver Book Sleeve – @pauhami

Girls of Paper and Fire Dress Pin – @blissfullybookishtees

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue Sketchbook – @rena.illustration

Daevabad Tea Tin – @lioninthetrees

Skyward Illumikey – dalandan.ielle

Monthly Enamel Pin Inspired by the Book – @stacey.mcevoy.caunt


Overall, this was a pretty good box. Not my absolute favorite box, but I still enjoyed it. I’m looking forward to next month’s box, which sounds like it could easily become a favorite for me!

Dreamy & Co. Unboxings, Fantasy, Favorites

UNBOXING: May Dreamy & Co. “To Whatever End” Box

Hello Lovelies! I’m back with an unboxing from one of my favorite companies, Dreamy & Co. Unlike most book boxes, Dreamy doesn’t include a book, but instead has a item only box centered around one fandom. In the case of this month, the box was centered around Throne of Glass, which naturally was a much have box for me.


The Items:

W
Pin

Artist/Supplier Credits:

Double-Sided Sturdy Print (Aelin & Rowan Print) – @emeliesnath_art

Double-Sided Square (Manon/Thirteen) Print – @nessiarts

Enamel Pin – @azura.arts

Pin Banner – @eviebookish

Double Sided Woodmark, Double-Sided Sturdy Bookmark, & Wooden Art – @dreamyandco

2 oz Candle – @flickthewick


Overall, I enjoyed this box! The pin banner is the most beautiful one I have ever seen and the pin is gorgeous! I’m not gonna lie, the Rowan face on the print is kind of weird, but I enjoyed this box besides that. Dreamy & Co. blew me away, as usual!

~ Autumn 💕

Bookish Box Unboxings, Fantasy

UNBOXING: May Bookish Box “Story Wanderlust” Box

Hello Lovelies! I’m back with another Bookish Box unboxing today and I am interested to share this box with you guys!


The Book:

I was really excited for the book this month because it was one of my most anticipated releases and I loved the ARC. And, while I love the inside artwork and the end papers, the reverse dust jacket design is not for me. None of the characters really look like how I picture them and the main female character looks 12 😬


The Items:

Traveler Tea by Riddle’s Tea Shoppe
Fictional Wanderlust Necklace
The Shadows Between Us Art Print by @morlev_art
Monthly Collectable Pin: Crave Pin by @blissfullybookishtees
Monthly Collectables: Double-Sided Twilight Bookmark & Candle

As far as the items go this month, I was a bit on the disappointed side as well. While the mug is lovely, I also found it a bit plain and FBAA is not my fandom so I don’t really get much excitement out of it. The other items were also a bit tame as well. The only one I really like is the pin because I love the designer 😔


Next Month’s Box (June):

As far as next month’s box goes, I am pretty excited. Bookish Box has already revealed what the book will look like and it is STUNNING!! The fandoms also sounds pretty interesting! I can never say no to ACOTAR and I’m looking forward to the Addie item!


Overall, this box wasn’t my favorite. I see the value, but the fandoms mixed with the choice of artwork on the reverse dust jacket of the book just wasn’t for me. It’s been a while since Bookish was such a miss for me so I know this probably just wasn’t my month. I am looking forward to June’s box though!

~ Autumn 💕

Bookish Box Unboxings

UNBOXING: May Book Gizmo “Morally Grey Characters” Box

Hello Lovelies! I’m here today with a new box that I’ve never gotten from before, Book Gizmo. As soon as I saw this theme, I knew it was for me and that I HAD to try it! Morally grey characters are my favorites in books and I was SO excited for this box!


The Items:

Throne of Glass Candle by @california_candlecompany
Six of Crows Mouse Pad
Crescent City Lens Cloth
Illuminae Files Mini Book Sleeve
Three Dark Crowns Ribbon Bookmark

Overall, I really liked this box! I probably won’t start a monthly subscription with them, but for a one-off box, this was worth the money. The items were on the less unique side, but the artwork/designs on them were pretty and they were all useful in their own ways. My favorite items were probably the mouse pad and KOTW book sleeve, with my least favorite being the mini book sleeve (I like the design but it’s just too small to be practical).

~ Autumn 💕

Bookish Box Unboxings, Fantasy, TBR

UNBOXING: April Bookish Box “Ascend the Throne” Box

Hello Lovelies! I’m back with another Bookish Box unboxing! This month’s box was quite late due to the book’s release date, but it ended up being a great box so I was happy to wait!


The Book:

I LOVED THE BOOK PICK THIS MONTH!!! I literally cannot say that enough! I was so sad when no other boxes decided to include this book, so I’m so happy that Bookish Box did! Add on all their beautiful customizations, and I could not love this edition more if I tried!


The Items:

Art Print of May Theme Art by @morlev_art
Throne of Glass Pillow Case by @letterpiece
Monthly Collectable Pin: Lord of the Rings Pin by @pinsbyarisamon
Monthly Collectables: Double-Sided AEITA Bookmark & Candle

This items were pretty great this month! Even though it’s not my fandom, the book sleeve is absolutely stunning and the pin is one of my favorites that they have done!

I said it last month, but I feel like it’s worth mentioning again: I don’t really like the fact that one of the items included is the future theme art for the next month? It feels like a waste of an item and it’s not a choice that I would make, personally.


Next Month’s Box (May):

As far as next month’s box goes, I am so incredibly excited, it’s unreal!!! The book will be Realm Breaker which is one of my most anticipated releases for this year and the customizations sound amazing! The fandoms sound mildly intriguing, but none are my top fandoms so we’ll see. I do find it very peculiar that they are including FBAA two months in a row? I guess we’ll see!


Overall, I enjoyed this month’s box. The book makes it all worth it to me, but the pin and book sleeve made it doubly worth it! I can’t wait for next (this? lol) month’s box!

~Autumn💕

Dark, Fantasy, Favorites, Illumicrate Unboxings, Romance, TBR

UNBOXING: April Illumicrate “Dearly Departed” Box

Hello Lovelies! I’m back with another Illumicrate unboxing today! This box was a bit late but it’s here now and I could not be more excited!


The Book:

The book this month is absolutely STUNNING!!! First off, I could not be more in love with the book pick itself. A dark, polyamorous romance you say??? HELL TO THE YES!!! Add on the stenciled edges, exclusive endpapers, and one of the prettiest art prints I have ever seen and this has GOT to be one of my most favorite books I’ve ever gotten! I can’t wait to dive into this read!


The Items:

The Beautiful Mason Jar Glass by @thatslovelydearshop
Dread Nation Sickle Key Ring by @palaceofresin
Gideon the Ninth Magnets by @_saintdri
Monthly Enamel Pin by @stacey.mcevoy.caunt
Nevernight Book Organizer by @rosdottir

As far as the items go this month, I think Illumicrate did well for the most part. A majority of their budget had to have gone to the book pot, so with that in mind, the other items were better quality than I would have thought.

While gorgeous, the book pot isn’t my favorite they’ve ever done. I love the Egyptian mythology theme, but their Forgotten Fables and Folklore book pot is still my favorite.

My favorite item BY FAR is the Nevernight book organizer! I am not ashamed to say that I’ve already put it to good use, housing some of my books! My least favorite item has to be the key ring. It’s not awful, but it’s not my fandom and you run out of enthusiasm for them after a while!


Next Month’s Box (May):

I’m excited for next month’s (this month’s lol?) box. I love me some stenciled edges so I’m looking forward to those. I am also looking forward to the Addie LaRue and City of Brass items!


Overall, I did enjoy this month’s box. The Nevernight item made the box pretty much worth it items wise, but what really sold me was the book! It’s probably my favorite pick from Illumicrate so far this year, not gonna lie!

~Autumn💕

FairyLoot Unboxings, Fantasy, Favorites, TBR

UNBOXING: March FairyLoot “Frozen Fables” Box

Hello Lovelies! I’m back for the SECOND day in a row with an unboxing 🤩 This has certainly been a good week for unboxings! I know not to keep you waiting from this awesome box so let’s just get into it!!


The Book:

I can’t express to you guys how IN LOVE I am with FairyLoot’s edition of this book! I already knew it was going to be beautiful but it blew all of my expectations out of the water! It’s definitely one of my favorite exclusives that I have ever gotten from a book box!


The Items:

Wicked Saints Headband by @catarinabookdesigns
Even the Darkest Stars Socks by @jezhawk
Winterwood Phone Ring by @ironandinkdesigns

Monthly Theme Art Print & Bookmark
Monthly Tarot Cards: Winternight

FairyLoot, on top of having a stunning book this month, absolutely knocked it out of the park with these items! I love them all and some are so stunning that pictures can’t do them justice. The mug is by far my favorite I have ever gotten! The art is just so beautiful and it is definitely my favorite item in the box! I do really like the socks and notebook though! I can’t wait to use them! My least favorite item is probably the phone ring, but it is still a useful item!

I should note, I am missing an item (like all US residents) as it was delayed in customs. The spoiler card says it is a Foiled Art Print of Spinning Silver by @warickaart. I love that artist so I’m sure it will be stunning! The print is supposed to be included with my April box so you’ll get to see it when I unbox April!


Next Month’s Box (April!!!):

Next month’s box, just like this one, is one I am HIGHLY anticipating! The book is one of my anticipated releases and it’s supposed to have STENCILED EDGES which I am honestly SO excited about! As far as the items go, the fandoms sound pretty good as well! I’m probably the most excited for the Lord of the Rings item and foiled bookmark set! They also said the box will contain an item they’ve never done before so I am very eager to see what it is 👀


Overall, this is probably one of my favorite boxes that I have ever gotten from FairyLoot! Despite missing an item, the box is still incredibly put together and I love the wintery vibes of all the items! This box definitely shows why FairyLoot is the favorite box of many people!

~Autumn 💕

Bookish Box Unboxings

UNBOXING: March Bookish Box “Crime & Passions” Box

Hello Lovelies! I’m back with my second unboxing since my break and I’m so excited! Anyways, I don’t want to keep you waiting so here is March’s Bookish Box!


The Book:

First off in this box, we have the beautiful book! I love all of the art and exclusive pieces that Bookish Box decided to do for this book. It is all very themed and the reverse dust jacket artwork is to DIE for!! While the genre that the book is (mystery/thriller) is not my thing, I can still appreciate its beauty!


The Items:

Kingdom of the Wicked Puzzle by @Jemlin_C.
The Shadows Between Us Bracelet
From Blood and Ash April Theme Art Print by @morlev_art
Monthly Collectable Pin: Sherlock Holmes Pin by @dustandpages

I enjoyed this month’s items! Overall, not their best box, though the value is still there. I really like the Crescent City book light and the key pin is fantastic! I’m not particularly fond of the fact that they used next month’s theme art as an art print/item? It just comes across as a cop-out to me. Plus I’m not really a fan of the art in general so I didn’t really need it as a print in the box, especially considering it’s the theme art for NEXT month?! I don’t know, it just doesn’t work for me.


Next Month’s Box (April!!!):

I’m excited about next month’s box! The book is going to be These Feathered Flames by Alexandra Overy which is one of my anticipated releases. The customizations sound AMAZING and the fandoms sound awesome! I’m SO excited for the Throne of Glass and Lord of the Rings items!


Overall, this was a solid box. The book and items, while not my absolute favorites, still worked. Bookish Box can be a hit or miss for me, but typically (like with this box) you can still find the value there. Here’s to hoping that next month’s is even better!

~Autumn 💕