[Review] Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

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Graceling meets The Selection in debut novelist Victoria Aveyard’s sweeping tale of seventeen-year-old Mare, a common girl whose once-latent magical power draws her into the dangerous intrigue of the king’s palace. Will her power save her or condemn her?

Mare Barrow’s world is divided by blood—those with common, Red blood serve the Silver- blooded elite, who are gifted with superhuman abilities. Mare is a Red, scraping by as a thief in a poor, rural village, until a twist of fate throws her in front of the Silver court. Before the king, princes, and all the nobles, she discovers she has an ability of her own.

To cover up this impossibility, the king forces her to play the role of a lost Silver princess and betroths her to one of his own sons. As Mare is drawn further into the Silver world, she risks everything and uses her new position to help the Scarlet Guard—a growing Red rebellion—even as her heart tugs her in an impossible direction. One wrong move can lead to her death, but in the dangerous game she plays, the only certainty is betrayal.

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3stars

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[“Anyone can betray anyone”]

Red Queen was a book that bravery, loyalty and faith were beaten but cruel betrayal. It’s is quite impressive how many life lessons this book teaches us. There is not always a happy end and that’s because this is how life works.

Writing style

It’s been a while since the last time I was that satisfied. Everything was flawless. The transition from thoughts to dialogue and from physical description to action were perfect. Everything made sense and the story was easy to follow. There was nothing confusing about any scenes and they were detailed enough to satisfy my fantasy and not tire my brain. There was ballance between Mare’s thoughts, feelings and action.

Plot/World building

While the world building was unique and intruiging, the plot was a bit boring and slow. That’s why my rating is minus two stars. Let me explain more.

 There is this dystopian universe were silver-bloods are creatures with powers and red-bloods are simple, lower class people. We get to see both enviroments and experience how both castes are living. The differences, sadly, are big and while the silver-bloods enjoy a good life, the red-bloods suffer and live like servants. So basically the Reds are trying to survive their hunger and the war and the Silvers only care about balls and dresses and politics. Then there’s this twist and a particular Red, Mare, seems to possess a gift that makes her as good as a silver and that’s how the story begins. A few rebellious Reds form the Scarlet Gaurd and they try to start a revolution.

These things were exciting and I was thrilled to read more but for about 70% of the book I was reading about Mare’s life in the castle. When I tried to adjust with how slow paced the book was I decided to focus on her romance but I was disappointed once again. Maven was everywhere and I disliked him since the very beginning. I thought Cal was going to be but we were just reading about Maven. Ok of course I admit that there were a few interesting scenes here and there that kept me going and then I reached the last 20% of the book and then everything happened. There was the twist I needed and finally some actual action. The last part of the book was the whole story and it wasn’t exactly what I was hoping for but at least it was realistic and just like what I said before bot every story has a happy end.

Characters

Mare was actually a pleasant character and I liked her. She was easy to relate and root for her. She suffered a lot and she gave up everything so that her family could live better. Because she is a human being, she is flawed and sometimes makes bad decisions but who doesn’t? She tried to fight for her rights and save all Reds from the Silvers. She put her faith on the wrong people and as excpected she was betrayed. She also allowed herself to lose the battle about love because she was naive but none of these matter because she could only think of her family. I am glad that the book showed as how important is the bond among family members and glorified the family love.

Cal and Maven are the two basic male leads. They’re brothers and they both have their eyes on our Mare. It was annoying that there was once again love triangle but at least it wasn’t the problem. Mare was bethrothed to Maven and Cal chose to marry Evangeline. Nobody tried to steal noone and there were no stupid fight between the brothers for Mare. There was the forbidden love but it was just there so it didn’t bother me at all. Things had a flow. Cal was a ruthless soldier the perfect heir to the throne and everyone was looking up to him, expecting him to be a great ruller. He was indeed prepared to do anything to keep his kingdom safe as it is, including not to show mercy to the Reds. Maven on the other hand was living in his brother’s shadow and he was kind and ready for a change. He was friendly to Mare and tried to help her through everything.

Overall

It wasn’t a bad book and I enjoyed it a lot. I was just expecting more and I was a bit disappointed. So, I decided to be generous and not to judge because no matter what I say, I hadn’t felt so excited for a while and even though it didn’t last untill the end, the feeling was there.

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[Victoria Aveyard]

[Review] Remember by Shannon Dermott

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Death is a killer and not to those who’ve died but for those that survive. It’s also an opportunity to change.

I’ve resigned to my place in the shadows until the one person in the world that matters to me more than my own life is taken from me. Then I meet him.

He’s everything I’m not.

Tall, dark, face like an angel, mouth like a sinner and tattoos and piercings to rival that of rock gods, in one word, he’s cocky. And he comes with his own personal fan club, great. (as I secretly apply to be president, okay maybe not)

Only our every meeting is suspect. I’m left to wonder why he only ever turns up when my life is headed south, backwards or upside down. His explanations are shady, and his hot and cold give me whiplash. But his lips on mine burn and take me places I’ve never been.

If only I can trust him. If only he reveals what he is? Then hopefully we won’t end up on opposite sides of a frienemy line, and I’m forced to take him down. Worse case is that he’s already planned to take me out first and not on a date, but in a dead kind of way.

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1star

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Arc kindly provided by the publisher, via netGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

Remember is one of these books you have high expectations because of the interesting blurb and cover and then you get to read it and you realise how disappointing it is. I ended up having a headache and my nerves broken.

Writing Style

I can’t really say that I have a lot of complaints about the writing style. I mean, the book was easy to read, written in first person POV, without complicated sentences and difficult words. As an international reader, with flawed english skills I could easily follow. The physical description of the characters was awesome and I could picture them perfectly. I was alsmost satisfied. What bothered me a lot was that many scenes weren’t described fully and they didn’t make sense at all. They needed more details and work to be decent.

Plot/World building

I’ll start witht he fact that the story was predictable in many ways. Especially the romance; I knew what was coming and I wasn’t surprised not even once. The book starts and three HOT guys are head over heals for the heroine. COME ON! Why? Too much testosterone and too mainstream.

This is so passe and outworn and authors should try something new.

If you choose to ignore that, you still can’t enjoy the book. The pace is so slow and you have to reach the 88% of the book to remember that you’re reading a paranormal young adult book instead of a contemporary, high school drama. That’s not cool, okay? I’ve chosen to read the book because I was in the mood for ya pa.

Speaking of paranormal! In this universe there are shifters, vampires and angels/nephilim. I was excited because it has been a while since the last time I read about these kinds. The the author just ruins it by mixing them, writing about hybrids and curses and then a prophecy I still don’t understand what it is about. Why? Because I received all the information in the last 12% of the book. NO! That’s just wrong.

I get that the author tried to make something unique and impressive out of mainstream stuff but she failed big time. Keep it simple girl. If you haven’t figured out what you want to write and there’s a mess in your head then stick to the usual “normal” paranormal stuff.

Characters

All three basic characters were extremely boring and predictable and not to mention how annoying they were. The book goes straight to my ‘annoying characters’ and  ‘no no no no” shelves.

Charlie is obviously an insanely beautiful, 17-yearls old girl but of course she refuses to believe that she is and she dresses like a tomboy. She is just so different that the other ‘trashy’ girls. I hate when this happens. I hate hate hate hate it. Why would all girls be unworthy but the female lead?

I was this close to just dnf the book but I was so curious to see where this was going so I had to go on. So dear Charlie fell in love faster than the speed of lighting with mysterious Peter (who was not so mysterious after all) but she couldn’t decide if she wanted to be with him or with her former best friend Alex who ‘loved’ her since childhood but was in a relationship with another girl. I get that she was confused because she was afraid that a relationship would ruin their friendship and all. What I didn’t get was that she was sending him away with words and a minute later she would be all over him, touching him and provoking him. Then she would feel guilty because she also liked Peter and that was on repeat the whole book.

Alex was cute and friendly at first. He was treating his girlfriend just fine and he was keeping his distance. When we were introduced to Peter, he suddenly turned jealous without having the right to be and overprotective. Dude you have a girlfriend and you were rejected so mind your own business. He did stuff I didn’t approve in order to win Charlie’s heart and he kept too many secrets. No me gusta.

Peter on the other hand was dark and supposedly mysterious at first. Later he turned out to be predictable and boring. He was also bipolar. He was flirting with Charlie and when she was flirting back he was accusing her for doing so and he was repeating that it wasn’t right for them to flirt. Then he flirted again.

Overall

I am disappointed and angry. The story started sometime near 80% of the book and then I was overflowed by too much information and I couldn’t comprehend what I was reading. I still didn’t understand about the prophecy and I am not going to read it again in order to do so. I am done with this book.

abouttheauthor

[Shannon Dermott]

Shannon first love was reading, diving into other realities to explore and brave new worlds. To share her writing is the best experience of all. She writes both young adult, new adult and adult fiction. When Shannon isn’t writing she loves to shop and watch horror movies that make turning out the lights seem like a stupid idea. You can explore more about her at her website www.shannondermott.com. She can also be found on Facebook, Twitter and her blog www.shannondermott.net.

[Review] To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

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To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister’s ex-boyfriend, Josh. As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all.

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3stars

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Sweet, cute and cheesy teenage drama! What kind of person doesn’t enjoy this kind of books? I know I couldn’t stop reading and the book was finished before I knew it, over a night.

Writing Style

Easy to read and follow the story. I love a book when it’s simple and comprehensible, without difficult words and without having the author to show off their knowledge. The transition from thoughts to action was good and made sense. The was flow from descriptions to dialogues and then back and I was satisfied that I wasn’t confused… not even once!

Characters

I have mixed feelings about Lara Jean. Even though she was almost an adult and she supposedly looked up to her sister who was so mature and all, she acted like a 12-yearl-old girl who had just found out about love and crushes and kisses, etc. I liked that she was naive and innocent but that contrasted with the fact that her best friend was the exact opposite. I mean you can’t have a best friend who practically hooks up with every guy available and act like sex is something so special and magical. Let’s be realistic, nobody is that naive while being surrounded by people like Chris. That was my only objection and I wish her character was stronger and more realistic.

I also didn’t enjoy the fact that she couldn’t decide who she liked. First it was Josh and then it was Peter but she coudn’t let go of Josh and then Peter treated her well etc etc… it was tiring. I mean, choose one and stick with him.

I totally disliked Josh. Come on!!! The dude was crying for breaking up with Margot one day and the next day he is just so in love with Lara Jean. Why is that teenagers ‘fall in love’ every day with a different person? Ι am that kind of person who can’t forgive such behaviors. Liking and trying to have both sisters is unacceptable.

Peter was decent. I could understand why he just couldn’t let go of Gev. Deleting somone you used to love completely from your life is not easy. Peter was so many years with Gev and it’s only natural that he cared about her even after they broke up. I wish Lara Jean could understand that. Sometimes he was a jerk but I could forgive him everything because he was caring. He treated Lara Jean like a princess and he didn’t have to, he was so nice to Kitty and he tried to make this happen.

Overall

I liked the book because I was reminded of my own love life. I used to write letters but of course I was throwing them away. Writing your feelings in a paper is just dangerous. Anyway, I think I am too old to read that kind of stories because instead of enjoying them I am being judgy and mean. I feel like protecting all these young girls from getting hurt and I end up being that way. It’s like I forgot how to be a teenager and how I used to change my mind about boys all the time. I had many crushes but at least I never ‘loved’ any of them. I won’t start again about the L word because I’ll be extra mean. The YA genre has started not to working anymore for me.

Ok so the point is that the book was not bad. In addition, it was pretty good and enjoyable. I’m just weird and strict.

[Review] Lorali by Laura Dockrill

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Colourful, raw, brave, rich and fantastical – this mermaid tale is not for the faint-hearted.

Looking after a naked girl he found washed up under Hastings pier isn’t exactly how Rory had imagined spending his sixteenth birthday. But more surprising than finding her in the first place is discovering where she has come from.

Lorali is running not just from the sea, not just from her position as princess, but her entire destiny. Lorali has rejected life as a mermaid, and become human.

But along with Lorali’s arrival, and the freak weather suddenly battering the coast, more strange visitors begin appearing in Rory’s bemused Sussex town. With beautifully coiffed hair, sharp-collared shirts and a pirate ship shaped like a Tudor house, the Abelgare boys are a mystery all of their own. What are they really up to? Can Rory protect Lorali? And who from? And where does she really belong, anyway?

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4stars

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Arc kindly provided by the publisher, via netGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

Lorali is a cute, lovely book filled with beautiful, thrilling mermaids and pirates and adventure.

Writing Style

Laura Dockrill did a great job expressing every character’s feelings and made it possible to relate. It’s important to know what’s inside the mind of the heroes in order to be able to understand their actions. At first I found weird the way she wrote the book because there were many POVs and every POV had a different way of writing. I thought that it was confusing but then I realized that it was actually genious. I could see the difference in every character’s behavior and thoughts and it was easy for me to know which character is, everytime the writing style changes. I didn’t enjoy the small chaotic sentences in Lorali’s POV but I can understand the reason behind them.

[Heart. Bu-Boom. Listen. UP FOR BREATH.Tick. Tock. Legs. Heavy. Sink. Flap. Flap. Flap. In. Out. Calm. Like the fog.]

There were pages full with small confusing sentences like the one above. Yeah, Lorali’s thoughts were chaotic because she was experiencing new things and she was scared but I’d rather have a different description than this. I was unable to follow page after page full with these small sentences. I skipped. Btw that’s the only reason the book lost a star.

World Building

Mermaids. When I read the blurb I had in my mind the usual mainstream mermaids and I was so excited and relieved when I read that these mermaids were different. The Whirl. their kingdom was a mesmerising place, with sea forests and gardens and creatures and a beautiful castle. I approved of what I read. Mermaids weren’t born the usual way but they were humans who died and got a second chance in life. They were salvaged by other mermaids but I am not going to reveal more, you have to read. It was impressing. Also they had their tapestries in their tails and their memories and feelings could be seen there through colors and shapes and all. How awesome is that?

Also I liked the fact that there were modern pirates. I tend to forget the meaning behind the word ‘pirate’ and I’ve only connected it with old times. My mistake.

Characters

Lorali was entertaining. A mermaid that surfaced and got legs is always fun to read. I found cute all of her reactions and I loved how honestly naive she was because of her understandable ignorance. She was thirsty for knowledge and adventure; ready to live. Her fascination over pretty much everything was the best part and her will to trust Rory and the humans was sweet. I liked Lorali and I wish more female leads could be like her.

Rory was the nicest person I’ve ever read about. It was a bit odd to read the thoughts of a 16-year-old boy who is desperate to be a man because I am used to female leads but it was enjoyable. For the first time I could finally understand the struggles of a teenage boy. Actual struggles that normal teenage boys usually have. it was absolutely fun. Well yeah when he met Lorali his priorities changed but it was sweet to read step by step about how he fell in love with her and how he grew to be a man because he needed to keep her safe. I love when there is that kind of character development.

I am not going to talk about more characters because there were many and you also need to find out by yourself. I’ll only talk about the Sea, which was actually a character with feelings and thoughts. The Sea was a narrator and was part of Lorali’s journey, experiencing all of her adventures but mostly she was there to introduce us to the rest of the characters like the Pirates, the Mers and more.

Ending

I am not completely satisfied with how the book ended because I am a fan of happy ends. I am not saying that the book ends in a bad way but it felt like there will be more and to be honest I expect something more because there is more to see anyway.

In general

I found the book unique and interesting and even though there were some parts that I skipped because of the writing style I still felt the need to be generous and rate the book with four stars. It was worthy of my time and if there’s a second book I will definitelly reading.

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[Laura Dockrill]

[Review] Queen of Blood by Jill Myles

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For one hundred years, Seri’s people have lived under the thumb of the Blood, the cruel and mysterious rulers of Athon. Seri wants nothing more than to put food on the table and marry the hotheaded but handsome Rilen come spring. But when a noblewoman asks Seri to be her handmaiden, Rilen insists she move to the enemy’s castle . . . and spy on the newly arrived prince.

Prince Graeme has grown weary of his family’s curse. The Blood are powerful and immortal, but doomed to live in the shadows, flitting from lover to lover, always in search of the mythic Eterna—the one woman who will sate their hunger. Now his father has sent him to the outskirts of the empire to stamp out a rebellious Vidari faction. But when a wild and alluring Vidari girl shows up at court, he finds himself torn between following his father’s orders and following his heart . . .

A war is brewing between Athonite and Vidari, between Blood and man. As uprisings sweep through the land, Seri and Graeme find themselves at the center of a storm with only one choice: betray each other, or betray their people.

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4stars

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Arc kindly provided by the publisher, via netGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

So I was thinking about rating this book with 3 stars but I decided against it because I couldn’t find reasons to do so.

It was a quick, easy read. I had no trouble following the plot and I could relate to the characters. I loved the era the story was set in and I enjoyed the romance. So why would I rate this book less than 4 stars, right?

Let’s start with Seri, a Vitari girl who was trying to survive along with her family. She was going to get married and live a happily ever after. Everything changed when she was told that she was an Eterna, the other half of a Prince Blood and that she was meant to be with him. Seri didn’t like that and she fought till the end to change it. She tried to murder her Prince husband and worked as an insider in order to help her people start a revolution.
I was glad that Seri didn’t fall in love immediately and that she didn’t betray her life style over a man. She remained loyal to her religion and her beliefs. Yes, she fell in love with the prince but he was worth it and Seri deserved him.

Prince Graeme was lovely. He was nothing like his cruel father and brother. He was willing to make his kingdom better and fair and he was always trying for the best. When he found Seri he was patient and hopeful even though he didn’t want her as well. Eventually he saw how precious Seri was and he fought to win her heart and make her life better.

I loved the intrigue around the war and the mystery of plotting a revolution. I enjoyed all the attempts that Seri made in order to murder Graeme. The battle between what was supposed to be right and her morals made the character more real and approachable. I could relate to her and her thoughts or feelings and I could absolutely understand her dilemma.

I don’t have more things to say because I read the book over a night and I didn’t even thought about keeping notes like I always do. That’s a good thing.

I suggest you read the book in a summer night, while drinking wine or something cold and refreshing.

Thank you for reading.

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[Jill Myles]

JILL MYLES is the author of the Succubus Diaries from Pocket Books. Jill also writes as Jessica Clare and Jessica Sims.

[Review] Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley

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Neil Gaiman’s Stardust meets John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars in this fantasy about a girl caught between two worlds… two races…and two destinies.

Aza Ray is drowning in thin air.

Since she was a baby, Aza has suffered from a mysterious lung disease that makes it ever harder for her to breathe, to speak—to live.

So when Aza catches a glimpse of a ship in the sky, her family chalks it up to a cruel side effect of her medication. But Aza doesn’t think this is a hallucination. She can hear someone on the ship calling her name.

Only her best friend, Jason, listens. Jason, who’s always been there. Jason, for whom she might have more-than-friendly feelings. But before Aza can consider that thrilling idea, something goes terribly wrong. Aza is lost to our world—and found, by another. Magonia.

Above the clouds, in a land of trading ships, Aza is not the weak and dying thing she was. In Magonia, she can breathe for the first time. Better, she has immense power—and as she navigates her new life, she discovers that war is coming. Magonia and Earth are on the cusp of a reckoning. And in Aza’s hands lies the fate of the whole of humanity—including the boy who loves her. Where do her loyalties lie?

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3stars

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So much potential… wasted. This book could be the book of the year if it wasn’t so weird. The world building was amazing and the plot was unique and fresh.

The beginning was a bit depressing but I could handle it because it was about the other side of death. Aza was talking about how people don’t want to talk about death because it scares them.

[Death is the Santa Claus of the adult world. Except Santa Claus in reverse. The guys who takes all the presents away.]

I was shocked about how casually she was referring to death because it scares me as well but then I realized that if you’re sick and death is close then you probably have to come to terms with dying. Aza was brave and even if it was shocking she was right.

Also, I loved Jason and his relationship with Aza. I was touched everytime there was a chapter of Jason’s POV. How can a person be so sweet and loving? I seriously wish I had a friend like him, to be able to understand and see through me. He was trying so desperatelly to save her life and he didn’t give up on her even after she “died”. His grief was so realistic that had me crying.

[I never thought this would happen. I thought this would probably happen. I knew this was coming. I didn’t see this coming.]

We all hope for the best and even though we think we’re prepared for the worst, we’re not. It’s only human to have hopes that the worst scenario won’t happen. Jason felt so human to me.

Magonia was amazing with all these beautiful creatures and birds. I wish I would be able to see them. Ships and sails and pirates. It was incredible!

If it wasn’t fot the long, tiring sentences that I couldn’t follow and the weird dialogue style, I would have enjoyed the book. The sentences had the size of a paragraph, for example:

[Sleigh loaded down with memories and wineglasses and pots and pans and sweaters and grilled cheese sandwiches and Kleenexes and text messages and ugly houseplants and calico cat fur and half-used lipstick and laundry that never got done and and letters you went to the trouble of handwritting…..] this one goes on and on.

I was lost at the first line. Why use long unnecessary sentenses?

The dialogue sometimes had this formation:

[School Nurse: “You’re a miracle! You’re our miracle!”

Aza Ray Boyle: (retching noises)]

Why? Why were the dialogues like that? It was like I was reading a movie script or a screenplay. I didn’t need that.

Also I was lost everytime she was using () or {[[[]]]} or (&&&). What are these weird marks and what exactly do they mean?? I thought at first that () means something like ‘love’ but I am not sure. If you’ve read the book and you’re smarter than me please explain them to me.

[Caru yearns for home. For [({})]}]

What does that even mean??

And also explain to me why there were all these pi digits. Yes, I know they meant something deeper and that they were keeping Jason sane and ready to try for the best but why the digits were in front of me all the time?

I don’t know. I wanted so bad to enjoy this book because I really really really liked the story but I was so tired after reading it and I was almost glad that it was over. Isn’t it such a pity?

abouttheauthor

Maria Dahvana Headley is the author of the upcoming young adult skyship novel MAGONIA from HarperCollins, the dark fantasy/alt-history novel QUEEN OF KINGS, the internationally bestselling memoir THE YEAR OF YES, and THE END OF THE SENTENCE, a novella co-written with Kat Howard, from Subterranean. With Neil Gaiman, she is the New York Times-bestselling co-editor of the monster anthology UNNATURAL CREATURES, benefitting 826DC.

Her Nebula and Shirley Jackson award-nominated short fiction has recently appeared on Tor.com, and in The Toast, Clarkesworld, Lightspeed, Nightmare, Apex, The Journal of Unlikely Entomology, Subterranean Online, Glitter & Mayhem and Jurassic London’s The Lowest Heaven and The Book of the Dead, and will soon appear in Uncanny, Shimmer, and more. It’s anthologized in the 2013 and 2014 editions of Rich Horton’s The Year’s Best Fantasy & Science Fiction, & Paula Guran’s 2013 The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror, in The Year’s Best Weird Volume 1, ed. Laird Barron, and in Wastelands, Vol 2, among others. She’s also a playwright and essayist.

She grew up in rural Idaho on a sled-dog ranch, spent part of her 20’s as a pirate negotiator and ship marketer in the maritime industry, and now lives in Brooklyn in an apartment shared with a seven-foot-long stuffed crocodile.

[Review] Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

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In the three kingdoms of Mytica, magic has long been forgotten. And while hard-won peace has reigned for centuries, a deadly unrest now simmers below the surface.

As the rulers of each kingdom grapple for power, the lives of their subjects are brutally transformed… and four key players, royals and rebels alike, find their fates forever intertwined. Cleo, Jonas, Lucia, and Magnus are caught in a dizzying world of treacherous betrayals, shocking murders, secret alliances, and even unforeseen love.

The only outcome that’s certain is that kingdoms will fall. Who will emerge triumphant when all they know has collapsed?

It’s the eve of war…. Choose your side.

Princess: Raised in pampered luxury, Cleo must now embark on a rough and treacherous journey into enemy territory in search of magic long thought extinct.

Rebel: Jonas, enraged at injustice, lashes out against the forces of oppression that have kept his country cruelly impoverished. To his shock, he finds himself the leader of a people’s revolution centuries in the making.

Sorceress: Lucia, adopted at birth into the royal family, discovers the truth about her past—and the supernatural legacy she is destined to wield.

Heir: Bred for aggression and trained to conquer, firstborn son Magnus begins to realise that the heart can be more lethal than the sword….

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1star

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DNF 49%

How do I even begin? This book made me sick.

I was deceived by the awesome cover and the interesting blurb and I picked to buddy read this book. I admit that the prologue was completely thrilling and I couldn’t wait to read more but then… everything just fell apart. I had a headache everytime I was trying to read it.

Too many characters and too many different POVs. I was ready to explode. The pace was slow and after reading half of the book I was expecting some action but guess what, nothing happened. Absolutely nothing! The characters were appalling, flat and without any realistic sides.

The world building was promising but proved me wrong later . Three, very different, countries; Two kingdoms in which the kings hated each other. I thought there would be a good reason behind all the hate and the need to go to war but it was all because one king was jealous of the other.

The whole story was predictable, uninspired and straightforward. The author was trying to create the feeling of mystery but she was giving away all the hidden facts by herself. No twists!

So I was reading about multiple characters and a boring story. The worst combination ever? Nope, it gets worse. What could possible make it worse? Incest.

It makes me nauseous just to think of siblings having other kind of feelings. Ok obviously they’re going to end up not related at all but that doesn’t changes the fact that Magnus thought that Lucia was his sister and had the feelings already. That’s gross, seriously and I didn’t need another Jamie Lanister. Well, to be honest, Jamie was quite the charmer, in addition to Magnus who’s just disgusting.

Cleo was getting on my nerves all the time. Her name should be written under every definition of selfish and spoiled. She was the reason bad things happened and I blame her ego. Ok, I also blame Aron for being a complete asshole but that’s another story.

Theon could be a great character but because of the numerous POVs poor Theon didn’t have enough scenes. He deserved them.

I put all my hopes to Jonas and his need to revenge but the pace was getting slower and I was bored.

So in order to keep my sanity I just dropped the book and I will never, ever try to finish it.

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Have you read the book? What do you think about it?

[Review] Stones and Finger Bones by Jessica Minyard

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Aurelia Barone, Jewel of Starry Stone, harbors no illusions about the purpose of her life as heir to the throne. But after two failed betrothals, she starts to feel like nothing more than a pawn being moved aimlessly about a game board.

Until the night she loses everything.

Kidnapped by a wise-cracking mercenary with more than one identity, Aurelia embarks on a mission across land and sea to avenge her father’s death.

But an evil is rising from the ashes of memory. Insidious magic is stirring. The dregs of a once-powerful nation are thirsty for blood and revenge.

They seek to harness Aurelia. To tempt her. To manipulate her.

And if necessary, to destroy her.

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4stars

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Arc kindly provided by the publisher, via netGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

Α shocking book, in a good way of course! The prologue was a great start and left a good impression on me. The writting style was pleasant and not tiring; simplicity is perfection. It was the first book with multiple characters that didn’t confuse me at all and I could follow the story without getting lost. This means a lot because I’ve tried a lot of books with many characters and it was a disaster every time.

Aurelia was the heiress of the throne and I have to confess that I was expecting her to be annoying and bitchy. She proved me wrong because no matter what happened to her, she remained kind and strong, without showing the weak side (which existed of course because we all have one). She was real and I could relate because she was not the usual flawless girl we read about in YA books. No, Aurelia had flaws and insecurities that real girls have.

[Her arms were scrawny, her breasts small, her hips too narrow.]

Because of the multiple characters we didn’t have the chance to get to know her more but her scenes were enough to understand her need to revenge and get her throne back.

Kostadin, Rycen and Marel were the other characters that drew my attention. Kostadin… let me keep Kostadin a secret! I will only say that he is quite charming and evil and that you’ll want to read about him.

[“Evil is just… so harsh. I prefer ethically unfettered.”]

Rycen was Aurelia’s love interest and mine as well. He could be a great book boyfriend. Mysterious and brave, a tad selfish (but that made him more real), smart and handsome.

[He smelled of smoke and leather and hay. It was the smell of wild and freedom, like nothing she had ever experienced before.]

At this point I would like to say that I was impressed that the book just broke all the stereotypical stuff I was expecting to read in a YA book. One of them was about Rycen’s appearance.

[She run her fingers over the angry scar that marred his broad chest.]

[She stroked the fine dusting of dark hair that covered his chest and abdomen.

YESH, a flawed hairy man at last! I was so sick and tired of the perfect guys with perfect skin and perfect abs! I needed a MAN not a freaking doll.

Rycen was breathtaking.

[… his eyes were the color of the sea during a storm, which cut through the fog in her mind.]

Marel was the villain. A really interesting villain I can say. I didn’t mind reading about him and the approach was excellent. We had a point of view from the bad guy and we knew things that the lead didn’t know and it was awesome. Knowing all the plans and plotting against the good guys while they had no idea and they were planning something different made me feel so on the ball and I wanted to warn them but I couldn’t and it was amazing,

Other than that the pace was fast and the book was rushed. The exact same story would be better in two books. We would have the chance to know more about the characters and their world. Well, I’m not saying that it was bad but it could be even better in two parts.

I am satisfied with what I’ve read and yes if you’re thinking of reading the book, just do it!

abouttheauthor

[Jessica Minyard]

Jessica wrote and illustrated her first story in the fourth grade. “The Dragon of Grindley Grun” was about an evil wizard, a princess, and a dragon who was actually a prince. She likes to think her writing has evolved since that very first story, even though she still writes about magic and evil wizards…sometimes.

She likes to sing loudly and dance on occasion without being particularly talented at either. Her interests include reading, writing, procrastinating, animal advocacy, musicals, accessories, memes, Harry Potter, and sweet tea.

Jessica lives in Kentucky with a spoiled pitbull.

[Review] Reluctantly Married by Victorine E. Lieske

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From the NYT’s best selling author of Not What She Seems.

Megan Holloway can’t stand her local morning show co-host, Adam Warner, even though he’s a total hunk. He goads her on-air until she says things she regrets. But since ratings increase each time they have an on-air fight, the producer encourages his behavior.

When a relationship specialist comes onto the show purporting that Adam has hidden feelings for her, she reluctantly agrees to go out with him–on camera. What starts out as one date turns into a viral dating show with Megan and Adam alternating between locking lips and knocking heads.

As Megan fights her growing attraction to Adam, their popularity increases and ABC takes notice, offering them their own program. Not a morning show like Megan is hoping, but a dating show in which she and Adam must marry at the end. With the promise of a hundred thousand dollars and the possibility of scoring what she really wants, her own national program, she signs on.

What she doesn’t know is that Adam has fallen in love with her, and his objective is to get her to do the same.

This is a sweet romance, appropriate for any age.

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1star

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ARC kindly provided by the publisher, via netGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

DNF at 27%

I saw a lot of potential in the first couple of pages. Megan and her co-host in the show were fighting and it was interesting. A few pages later, Megan fell in love with Adam just like that. That was the first reason I DNFed this book.
Insta-love is the absolutely worst mistake an author can make that ruins a story. If she is in love already what am I going to read about later? I needed an intro of their interaction, a bit more fight and then I was expecting them to realise their feelings while they were forced to date. That’s the interesting stuff and that is how it was supposed to go. Yet, Megan just fell in love in the first chapter, misunderstood Adam and planned her revenge for no reason.

Adam is introduced as a player and a mean jerk. In no time he turns out to be a caring gentleman who loves animals and makes Megan melt just watching him with a racoon. Yeah, what a great reason to fall in insta-love with someone. The mystery was gone and I was bored. I would prefer if that side of Adam was a secret for most of the book and Megan found out after a couple of dates.

And say I could ignore all this; what I couldn’t ignore was the fact that there was a third person POV and we were kept away from their thoughts and feelings. Someone who write in third person POV, knows that feelings and thoughts are still important to be able to understand what’s in their head. It wasn’t completely bad but most of the chapters were like this: date plans description>>date description>>date plans description again>>date description again>>some revenge plotting and a couple of thoughts and then>>date description again. This is really tiring and I don’t want to know just about their dates. I want to get to know more about their characters through their interactions in their daily lifes.

Anyway it’s sad that I had to drop it but seriously, I tried it to read the whole thing but I just couldn’t make it to 30%.
Poorly written,tiring writting style and bad character description. I do not have to mention insta-love and stupid misunderstandings with unnecessary drama. Plus, it was not funny or fluffy or anything like what people were saying it was. I am completely disappointed and the book practically represents everything I hate.

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[Victorine E. Lieske]

[Review] Bitten by Kelley Armstrong

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Elena Michaels is the world’s only female werewolf. And she’s tired of it. Tired of a life spent hiding and protecting, a life where her most important job is hunting down rogue werewolves. Tired of a world that not only accepts the worst in her–her temper, her violence–but requires it. Worst of all, she realizes she’s growing content with that life, with being that person.

So she left the Pack and returned to Toronto where she’s trying to live as a human. When the Pack leader calls asking for her help fighting a sudden uprising, she only agrees because she owes him. Once this is over, she’ll be squared with the Pack and free to live life as a human. Which is what she wants. Really.

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3stars

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Bitten was a good book. The plot was not as interesting as I was expecting but I was impressed by many things so I finished it.

Kelley Armstrong is quite talented and she satisfied my need to relate with the characters. For me it’s important to be able to experience the same feelings as the characters in order to understand them. She was blowing my mind everytime Elena was a wolf. The description of her feelings and senses and what was happening in her mind was fantastic. It was like I was Elena and I enjoyed it better than I should have. Of course the same was happening when she was in her human body. I loved that I could follow her thoughts and completely apprehend the reasons behind her actions and her behavior.

The only thing that bothered me was the transition from the actual story to Elena’s flashbacks and back again. One moment something was happening, and out of nowhere, we were years back and something else was going on. I was lost many times but I was able to connect the dots. After reading half of the book and after I got to know Armstrong’s writting style, I was able to follow without trouble.

As I mentioned at the beggining the plot was not as interesting as I was expecting. Maybe it’s because I am in a weird lovey dovey mood and I just needed something more fluffy and cheesy. Even though Elena’s love life was a huge topic of the book, the most thrilling parts were the action scenes; detailed enough and well built, they kept me on the ball. There was also a dose of creepy and sometimes I wished I hadn’t read certain parts of the action scenes.

Elena was an awesome badass and a great example of how female leads should be. Maybe I liked her so much because of her age and experiences and because of the fact that her way of thinking was closer to mine. I usually read YA books and most of the heroines are quite annoying and well… quite teenagers.
She was determined, focused and proffesional and even though she was trying to hide it, I could she her caring and loving side.

Clay on the other hand, besides the wildness and the temper he couldn’t really help, was a really adorable creature. He was all about love and affection and sometimes I just wanted to hold him and love him forever and ever. Yes, he seemed to be cool and untouchable but I could see behind his facade and I am telling you that the vibes he was sending me were different than what was expected.

I am not really into action and thriller books but I read it because a friend recommended it and gladly I was not disappointed. I’ll read some more because Kelley Armstrong is great in that kind of genre and I appreciate a good book from an author who knows how to do the job.

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[Kelley Armstrong]