Mini Reviews: Fantasy – Rebel of the Sands, Bloody Acquisitions, Elemental Thief


In Rebel of the Sands, a girl flees her hometown with a mysterious stranger through lands filled with magic and danger. In Bloody Acquisitions, everyone’s favorite vampire accountant deals with hunters, pocket dimensions, and rival vampire clans. In Elemental Thief, a thief with magic works with an enemy to get back an artifact she stole before it ends up in the wrong hands. Enjoy my mini reviews for these three fantasy books!

Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

Book Review: Rebel of the Sands (Rebel of the Sands Book 1) by Alwyn Hamilton | reading, books, book reviews, fantasy
Title: Rebel of the Sands
Author: Alwyn Hamilton
Book Number: Book 1
Pages: 321
Rating: 4 stars
I definitely enjoyed this book. I loved how the world was a mix of the Old West, Middle Eastern culture, and fantasy. I liked how Amani wasn't a perfect character who always took the moral highground---sometimes she thought about doing the wrong thing, sometimes she did do the wrong thing---but she grew as the story went on. The demdji (half-djinn) aspect was cool. I liked seeing the different abilities the demdji had, the different ways the author used djinn mythology. One thing I didn't like though was that the romance felt forced; I didn't feel anything between Amani and Jin. I also never really connected to Amani. Mostly, the way I feel about this book is that I liked it, but I don't know if I liked it enough to spend the time and money to continue the series. But if it sounds good to you, I would recommend it!

Bloody Acquisitions by Drew Hayes

Book Review: Bloody Acquisitions (Fred, The Vampire Accountant Book 3) by Drew Hayes | reading, books, book reviews, urban fantasy, vampires
Title: Bloody Acquisitions
Author: Drew Hayes
Book Number: Book 3
Pages: 414
Rating: 4 stars

This was yet another sweet, light, funny, enjoyable audiobook in the Fred series. It's getting harder for me to review them though since I've liked the same things every time. Fred is definitely a unique, atypical sort of vampire, but that's what makes him so likeable. The found family aspect is great too. I also thought it was neat getting to see a vampire hunter from a vampire's perspective. There are lots of books/movies/shows in which hunters just go around killing any creature they find, but just because someone is paranormal, that doesn't means they're a monster. Oh, also, I would totally read a book about Arch. Anyone who can sit at a table pointing a gun at hostile vampires with one hand and casually eat his meal with the other is someone I want to know more about lol. Anyway, these are not the most action-packed or gripping books out there, but they're definitely enjoyable to listen to!


Elemental Thief by Rachel Morgan

Book Review: Elemental Thief (Ridley Kayne Chronicles Book 1) by Rachel Morgan | reading, books, book reviews, urban fantasy
Title: Elemental Thief
Author: Rachel Morgan
Book Number: Book 1
Pages: 257
Rating: 3.5 stars

*I received an ecopy of this book from the author. This has not influenced my review.*

This was a good start to a new series by an author whose previous fantasy series I really liked. The pacing, the writing, the story, the characters, all of it was good. But that's the thing, this one was good but not great for me. I think all the dangerous stuff and secrets and sinister plots and twists just felt like a bit too much, although they did keep things surprising and interesting. Also, just a note, although this book didn't have any romance, I get the feeling there might be some in future books. I'm not sure this was quite right for my tastes, but I think plenty of readers will love this book and its dystopian/post-apoc world, elemental magic, mysterious characters, and headstrong teenage protagonist.


Talk to me!

Have you read any of these fantasy books?
What's the most unique world mash-up you've ever read about?
Do you ever come across side characters you'd love to know more about?
Have you ever read about elemental magic?


Your Thoughts


51 thoughts on “Mini Reviews: Fantasy – Rebel of the Sands, Bloody Acquisitions, Elemental Thief

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  1. Pauliina Vuorinen

    Great mini reviews! Now I’m especially intrigued to pick up the first book in Fred, the vampire accountant series. I’m usually not a fan of vampires but that one sounds lighthearted and fun. Exactly what I have been looking for as an audio book!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks! You should! It’s not a typical vampire series. It’s really cute, and Fred is so lovable. And the narrator really brings the characters to life in the audio!

  2. Angela

    I’m planning on reading Rebel of the Sands this year, so I’m glad to hear you liked it! I’ve seen some mixed reviews on it.

  3. Tori @ InToriLex

    Rebel of Sands have been on my radar for a while because I don’t read many books with Western influences. Glad they were all good reads for you (lol). But yeah I always feel conflicted when I read a book that someone else would have been 5 stars but that I had an issue with so it gets a four.

    Tori @ In Tori Lex

    1. Kristen Burns

      I like SFF westerns, but this was certainly a unique mashup. Yeah I really don’t want to turn people away from certain books just because I didn’t like them when I feel like it’s really just a me thing!

  4. Greg

    I love the idea of elemental magic and have read surprisingly little of it? So Elemental Thief definitely has my interest- plus I know Rachel Morgan’s stuff is supposed to be pretty good. I’d love to see more elemental type creatures, like actual summoned elementals and various sub- elementals, whatever. Spirits of flame or wind, that kinda stuff.

    Rebel of the Sands sounds pretty good too, and I love the vibe from that cover.

  5. Di @ Book Reviews by Di

    Love your mini reviews. I’m hoping you will continue in with Rebel because I felt the series got better and better and is so underrated!

    I didn’t realise there were more Fred books. 😅

    Hope you’re having a great week!

  6. ShootingStarsMag

    Thanks for sharing. I’m glad these were all pretty good reads for you. I have not read any of them, however, so I can’t comment on that. BUT – I’m always falling in love with secondary characters. 🙂


  7. Olivia Roach

    I am so glad you liked Rebel of the Sands because that is one on my TBR. I do like old west kind of settings which makes me more eager to read it. And you also enjoyed Blood Acquisitions. I now know I need to try this series because not a single one of them seems to let you down. Great mini review x

  8. Bookworm Brandee

    Well, you’ve given me things to think about concerning Rebel of the Sands. It’s on my TBR and on my shelf. I’ll have to pull it down soon so we can discuss. (really, I’ll try to read it sooner than later 😉 ) I’m so happy you’re continuing to enjoy the Fred books. That’s another author I want to check out – also have #1 on my shelf. *sigh* Do you see a pattern here? I don’t have Elemental Thief though. 😉 I do have books from RMorgan though…I believe they’re from that series of hers you really enjoyed. LOL I love these mini reviews, Kristen!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Maybe you won’t have the same issues as me 🙂 The Fred series is great! Lol we all have the same problem 😛 Yes, I did like her Creepy Hollow series!

  9. Daniela Ark

    I’m dying to get to Rebel of the Sands wifey!!! I don;t know WHY on earth haven’t yet! SMH! I’m glad to hear you enjoyed it even though you didn’t connect to Amani and you are not sure you’ll continue with the series.

  10. Suzanne @ The Bookish Libra

    I actually pulled Rebel of the Sands off my shelf today to read the blurb on the back cover. It had been sitting there for so long I couldn’t even remember what it’s about, so your review is very timely for me, lol. I might try to start this series soon because it really does sound good.

  11. Dani Eide

    Your audiobook series you’ve been reviewing is intriguing. Fred, the Vampire Accountant title is enough to make you smile. Not a vampire fan but this sounds fun! Great mini-reviews! ❤️

  12. Tizzy

    I liked Rebel of the Sands. I’m enjoying reading more books about non-Western mythology lately. I really like the sound of Elemental Thief and the lack of romance is a pro for me-I prefer a slow burn across a series if anything.

  13. Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity

    Rebel of the Sands! I remember really enjoying that book and I got approved for an ARC for the second and then never read it. I saw some less than good reviews and got put off but I know my library has the next book so maybe I should give that series another shot. It was good, but I don’t know how committed I was to it in the end. Fred book 3! I feel like I should give those books ago simply because you always seem to enjoy them. And Rachel Morgan’s newest book sounds alright too. I’m intrigued, your review has me thinking maybe I give it a read, we’ll see.

  14. Anonymous

    in Elemental thief yeah there isn’t any romance but in book 2 there is. book 3 most of the heartbreak is due to romance. i actually loved it

    1. Kristen Burns

      To be honest I never continued the series and don’t plan to (though who knows, maybe I’ll decide to try it again in the future), but I’m glad you ended up loving it!