Isles of Storm and Sorrow, Bex Hogan | Series Review | Overbooked [CC]

welcome back to dead good book reviews I’m Judith 
and you’re watching another episode of overbooked  
the series where I talk about every single book 
on my shelf because it’s the only way to prove to  
my father that I’m worthy of a place on the crew 
today we are talking about bex hogan’s Isles of  
storm and sorrow series I always just call them 
the viper series or that series with a bunch of  
‘V’s in the titles but we’re talking about them 
today just let’s enjoy some shiny foil there we  
go some quick disclaimers before we start as 
always uh I bought all three of the books in  
the series for myself um I think this is a fairy 
loot edition so it’s slightly different from the  
actual cover in that it is vaguely purple instead 
of vaguely navy uh this was a gift I think venom  
was a gift and I bought viper but I bought it as 
a ebook because I wasn’t sure how I was going to  
feel about the series and if I was going to hang 
on to it so that’s what this is what viper looks  
vulture vulture looks like there it is as nice 
and shiny and kind of almost middle-grade -y as  

these covers may look this is quite a dark series 
and would involve quite a lot of content warnings  
I will link the story graph particularly for the 
first one below if you’d like to check that out  
spoiler warning I’m going to be talking about all 
three books in the series as a whole I’m not going  
to reveal any major spoilers for that series but 
obviously if you do want to go into this set of  
books knowing absolutely nothing you may want 
to pause this video and come back when you’ve  
read the first one at very least um but I’m not 
going to spoil anything intentionally for you just  
you know you know the drill at this point this is 
a ya fantasy series that first started with viper  
in 2019 followed with venom in 2020 and 2021 we 
had vulture it’s swashbuckling it’s dark it’s got  
a lot of y-a tropes to it let’s go let me tell you 
all about the author and the book I will link bex  
hogan’s website below but raised on a healthy diet 
of fantasy and fairy tales bex hogan has spent  
much of her life lost in daydreams writing her 
stories down was a natural progression and now she  
enjoys sharing her time between living in the real 
world and escaping to her imagination a cornish  
girl at heart bex now lives in cambridgeshire 
with her husband two beautiful daughters and  
crazy cocker spaniel she might be found riding 
horses talking to our plants or eating marzipan  
or not just there’s something about like in this 
series you can tell bex hogan grew up near the sea  
uh and that speaks to me at my core um just I 
i liked her biography and I wanted to read it  
to you so I’m gonna read you the plot summary 
for book one and then I’ll touch on the other  
two uh seventeen-year-old marianne is fated to 
one day become the viper defender of the twelve  
isles but the reigning viper stands in her way 
corrupt and merciless he prowls the seas in his  
warship killing with impunity leaving only pain 
and suffering in his wake he’s the most dangerous  
man on the ocean and he is marianne’s father 
she was born to protect the islands but can  
she fight for them if it means losing her family 
her home the boy she loves and perhaps even her  
life a brave heroine an impossible dilemma an 
epic new fantasy trilogy set on the high seas  
I can’t really talk about the plot of book two and 
three without revealing the ending of book one so  
suffice to say it carries on from there marianne 
is still our main character I mentioned this being  
quite a dark series and having some quite dark 
themes and dilemmas as the blurb suggested I  
actually think that’s a huge selling point for 
this series I really like that this book doesn’t  
or this series even doesn’t pull punches when it 
comes to exploring some of the like darker aspects  
of potential piracy it’s not exactly piracy 
but I’m gonna call them pirate-themed books  
anyway it makes sense book one has quite 
a graphic description of keel hauling  
yeah that’s quite a intense thing to depict in a 
book that has quite this like middle grade-esque  
cover but I personally really appreciate it and 
I think it’s a book that doesn’t shy away from  
those really quite difficult themes which in quite 
short books is very impressive uh and as the books  
went on the more I kind of went okay yes this is 
more than I don’t wanna say more than the cover  
leads it to believe because that makes it look 
like I really judge books based on their covers  
but I just think there is more meat to these 
books than you would have thought and I also  
I’m not saying that something has to have like 
dark elements to it to be kind of like meaty or  
worth reading or anything because you can read 
something that’s just very casual and she’s coming  
back it’s a cool setting I really liked gradually 
learning more about the setting as the books go on  
I think particularly in book early book one and 
late book three you really get a sense of like  
what’s happening here there’s a lot of magic 
that’s just sort of part of the world um I  
might have liked a little bit more detail but 
again these books are quite short it’s not really  
something that I would expect from this type of 
a series if this was like a big epic sprawling  
fantasy maybe I would expect more um but yeah it’s 
a cool setting there’s some fun stuff going on  
I like the way that the magic interacts with the 
more kind of mundane stuff I just I found it very  
enjoyable there’s also the sense of there being a 
lot of history to this place which I appreciate um  
often in books like this you’ll just get the 
situation as it is now and maybe like a touch of  
in the past it was like this whereas this you can 
really feel the the journey that led them to this  
point I mentioned this being a little bit tropey 
and I think that that’s definitely a selling point  
there are some moments in this series that 
really lean into some ya tropes not in an  
annoying way and not in a cliched way but just in 
an enjoyable way I really liked reading the series  
I liked seeing those things that I was expecting 
to happen happen it was just it was enjoyable if  
you really don’t like tropes obviously that that 
might not be a selling point for you and I don’t  
think I can talk about is specifically what they 
are without it becoming a little bit spoilery um  
but they’re there some things to bear in mind 
uh some things that maybe I think might make  
you not want to read this I think Marianne as 
a main character like I really like the cast  
of characters in the series but Marianne as a 
main character can be a little bit annoying and  
I don’t really know why and almost always when I 
find a character annoying it’s because I’m seeing  
some facet of myself that I don’t like in that 
character so take that with a pinch of salt um  
I think that sometimes the choices she makes are 
a bit irritating and sometimes she just feels like  
one of those characters who could just solve a lot 
of her problems by talking about them more and I  
get why she wouldn’t do that but I just at times 
I got very frustrated with her and overall across  
the whole series I think she’s a good character 
but there are moments where I’m just like ah  
stop it I mentioned if you don’t like tropes 
you might not like this I don’t think it’s too  
too tropey it’s not kind of like Roar by cora 
carmack or anything the other thing I’d mention is  
I think book two is definitely the weakest of the 
books I really liked the first part of book three  
and maybe like the middle chunk of book one were 
my favorite sections book two I found a real slog  
and I don’t know if that’s because of where I was 
at the time or to do with the the just the second  
book problem I found it just really drained me I 
personally feel controversial opinion you could  
read book one and three and be quite happy I don’t 
think book two served the series too much but feel  
free to correct me on that in the comments if you 
love book two I did also uh minor spoiler warning  
I guess it’s not talking about a specific thing 
that happens but it’s talking about a thing  
that happens so you’ll know to expect that thing 
skip ahead to here if you want to avoid that um  
this book does a thing that I really 
dislike which is using a character  
death as a magical kind of plot button that 
just solves a problem because the problem  
is gone because the problem died um I don’t love 
that I think it feels like it’s a way to solve  
a problem I don’t think it’s the most interesting 
way to solve a problem and I think it just sort of  
it made it feel like this had been written into a 
corner and they’d run out of time to fix it so it  
was just like right we’ll kill off that character 
and it’ll be fine you know just something that  
bothered me a little bit some comparisons if you 
want other things to read I do have a whole video  
of seafaring related books I will link if you 
would like to see that um the bone ships by rj  
barker is my obvious comparison if you want like 
an equally emotionally destroying but much more  
adult book that features piracy and becoming 
a crew and backstabbing and all of that stuff  
if you want even more tropey y a pirate my dad is 
terrible content um trisha levenseller’s daughter  
of the pirate king is a good time I will have 
a overbooked video for that in a few months I  
guess um what else are there any other things that 
I would recommend what else happens on the sea or  
involves daddy issues oh what about um mermaid the 
witch and the sea is just a really good queer on  
the sea story I haven’t brought that up in a while 
but maggie tokuda hall it’s a good time should you  
read this should you pick copies of these up am I 
going to buy a third one so I have matching sets  
the answer is no I’m actually going to possibly 
unhaul these I think not because I didn’t enjoy  
them at all it’s nothing to do with that it’s 
just that they’re not something I particularly  
want to reread and I don’t really want to own the 
third one so then I just owned book one and two  
book two was such a slog I’m okay my suggestion 
is if you would like to read these if this sounds  
good they are well written they are enjoyable 
reads I personally don’t think you need to own  
them I would suggest looking for them in the 
library because they are guaranteed to be there  
they will be there they will have copies and as 
I say my my private suggestion is to read book  
one and three I know no one’s gonna do that but 
you could skip it too you’d be fine have you read  
these do you have plans to do you own copies of 
them what are your thoughts and feelings I would  
love to know what are your general thoughts on 
second books in series I’m always interested  
plonk those things down in the comments below 
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me and I will see you in the next one  
it’s gonna be bloopers now welcome back to spoiler 
warning the dog is coming to approach hi no  
no we’ve talked about this we it cannot be 
every video it just cannot be every video  
but you’re so pretty I wouldn’t mind if you 
hung out here but you sit right next to the  
microphone and make gross sounds it’s like the 
opposite of asmr no no no you stay in your bed  
that’s just very casual and she’s coming 
back she’s returning for another attempt

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