Series Review – The Wolves of Mercy Falls Trilogy by Maggie Stiefvater

Shiver, Linger and Forever (The Wolves of Mercy Falls #1, #2 and #3)

Author: Maggie Stiefvater

Publication: August 1st 2009, July 13th 2010 and July 12th 2011

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Format: Kindle Edition 402 pages, Kindle Edition 369 pages and Kindle Edition 405 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal

Read: December 2016, January 2017 and April 2017

Maggie StiefvaterGoodreads

Shiver

Synopsis
From a dazzlingly talented young writer, a haunting and original supernatural romance in the vein of TWILIGHT.

For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf–her wolf–is a chilling presence she can’t seem to live without. Meanwhile, Sam has lived two lives: In winter, the frozen woods, the protection of the pack, and the silent company of a fearless girl. In summer, a few precious months of being human . . . until the cold makes him shift back again.

Now, Grace meets a yellow-eyed boy whose familiarity takes her breath away. It’s her wolf. It has to be. But as winter nears, Sam must fight to stay human–or risk losing himself, and Grace, forever.

Critically

Plot – 3 out of 5 stars
This is a re-read for me so I wasn’t expecting to be surprised by anything and I was right. The plot was kind of slow, sometimes confusing and sometimes boring. It’s a good pace and easy to get through, but it had insta love. However, I really liked the kind of werewolf lore the author decided to go with, I think it’s a really interesting concept that I can’t wait to see explored more.

Writing Style – 3.5 out of 5 stars
In general, the writing is really descriptive and detailed. However, it’s really slow paced so I felt like it dragged as I was reading and made it hard to keep my interest. It’s lyrical and poetic and there’s also in my opinion some great dialogue.

Characters – 3 out of 5 stars
I don’t really know how I feel about these characters. They’re all kind of strange in their own peculiar ways and the story helps by creating a very peculiar atmosphere.
Grace is the protagonist in this book and she’s kind of stoic. She’s really independent and has had to basically raise herself since her parents tend to leave her alone a lot. She’s a little bit obsessed with the wolves outside her backyard which starts this entire adventure and she’s determined to understand everything that’s going on. I found her to be kind but also she’s kind of a stickler for stuff haha.
There’s various other side characters involved in the story, including the male love interest and while I generally enjoyed them, I feel like all the characters to have a bit more complexity. They all seem a little bit cardboard, as in that they have a singular personality and this is the kind of person that they are within the story and there’s not much room to grow beyond that.

Linger

Synopsis
The astonishing #1 New York Times bestseller. In Maggie Stiefvater’s Shiver, Grace and Sam found each other. Now, in Linger, they must fight to be together. For Grace, this means defying her parents and keeping a very dangerous secret about her own well-being. For Sam, this means grappling with his werewolf past . . . and figuring out a way to survive into the future. Add into the mix a new wolf named Cole, whose own past has the potential to destroy the whole pack. And Isabelle, who already lost her brother to the wolves . . . and is nonetheless drawn to Cole.

Critically

Plot – 3 out of 5 stars
Again this book is really slow. The romance is the main focus in the entire series but in the first two books specially which can be annoying for some people. There’s a lot more information of the werewolves which I really appreciate and I think it was really well thought out. This one was full of angst and it kind of got on my nerves.

Writing Style – 3.5 out of 5 stars
Again, descriptive and detailed. Super slow paced though it’s very poetic and lyrical and easy to read. This one in particular had several points of views which was okay, but they never really felt distinct between one another. The narrative dragged a bit while reading but it was really emotional so I liked that.

Characters – 4 out of 5 stars
I enjoyed the characters much more in this one. Part of the reason is because it’s a second book so we get more page time with them but also because there are more points of views so I can see into the minds of those characters that I was more detached from.
Grace is still pretty stoic, I’ve accepted that it’s just her personality. She’s much more emotional in this one though. She’s defiant of her parents and the way they treat her and independent and itching to spread her wings and do something for herself. She’s a little bit reckless, a lot scared but just as kind as she was in the first book. She’s kind of winning me over.
Sam is pretty much exactly the same way I thought he was in the first book, maybe a little more sad in this one. He’s lost, vulnerable and scared with everything that’s going on in his life. He’s still very earnest and I can’t even explain what I mean by that but that’s the kind of vibe he gives.
There’s more side characters in this one as well but they’re definitely getting more development than they did in the first book. They’re a little bit too crazy and too dramatic for my taste but I understand what they’re doing within the story.

Forever

Synopsis
The thrilling conclusion to #1 bestselling Shiver trilogy from Maggie Stievater
In Maggie Stiefvater’s SHIVER, Grace and Sam found each other. In LINGER, they fought to be together. Now, in FOREVER, the stakes are even higher than before. Wolves are being hunted. Lives are being threatened. And love is harder and harder to hold on to as death comes closing in.

Critically

Plot – 3 out of 5 stars
Honestly, I was hoping the plot of this book would improve over the previous two but it was very similar. There was a much bigger conflict which was interesting but then another angsty romance was added to the lineup. It got boring sometimes again and I felt like the ending was interesting but kind of sad all the same.

Writing Style – 3.5 out of 5 stars
There’s nothing much that’s different from this book to the previous one. The writing style is descriptive and detailed though slow paced. The narrative dragged a bit and kind of made it hard for me to keep engaged. However, it was still poetic and lyrical in delivery.

Characters – 4 out of 5 stars
I kind of wish I could say that I ended up falling in love with these characters by the end, but that’s just not true. I like them all well enough but the whole story as well as their personalities were just too dramatic for me.
Grace changed in this book. From the end of the second book to this one, she’s quieter, much more vulnerable. She kept her defiant spirit as well as her independence. But she’s tired and that really came through.
The rest of the side characters are also much more stressed out, specially since the plot of this book is pretty intense for them. They’re all dealing with a lot of different things and it affects each of them in different ways.

Emotionally

Read More »

Series Review – Fire and Thorns Trilogy by Rae Carson

Book Review - Fire and Thorns Trilogy

The Girl of Fire and Thorns, The Crown of Embers and The Bitter Kingdom (Fire and Thorns #1, #2 and #3)

Author: Rae Carson

Publication: September 20th 2011, September 18th 2012 and August 27th 2013

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Format: Kindle Edition 448 pages, Kindle Edition 416 pages and Kindle Edition 449 pages

Genre: Young Adult, High Fantasy, Paranormal

Read: October 2016 and February 2017

Rae CarsonGoodreads

The Girl of Fire and Thorns

Synopsis
Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness.
Elisa is the chosen one. But she is also the younger of two princesses. The one who has never done anything remarkable, and can’t see how she ever will.
Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king–a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs her to be the chosen one, not a failure of a princess.
And he’s not the only one who seeks her. Savage enemies, seething with dark magic, are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could be his people’s savior, and he looks at her in a way that no man has ever looked at her before. Soon it is not just her life, but her very heart that is at stake.
Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn’t die young. Most of the chosen do.

Critically

Plot – 4 out of 5 stars
The plot is medium paced but it doesn’t really seem like it. There’s a lot of adventure and travel. This book sets up the world which is Catholic/Hispanic and Latinx inspired which is amazing and it also sets up the conflict for the future books. It’s all about magic, religion and so much mystery. I loved getting swept up in this story since it hadn’t happened in a long time. There’s also very little romance which was refreshing for the first book in a YA fantasy series.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
This author’s writing style is really simple, but also descriptive and detailed. However, it’s also really intense and powerful. It’s emotionally heavy but the narrator has kind of a dry narrative. In this book, she’s very unsure about everything that’s happening with her but it’s still entertaining and engaging to read.

Characters – 4 out of 5 stars
I feel like this group of characters is going to take over my heart very quickly. There’s so much for me to connect to, not only with the main characters but with the culture and the world in this book. I’m slowly drowning in the depths of these dynamics.
Elisa is a very shy and quiet main character. Usually, main characters in fantasy are tough and ready to take on the world and it was a nice change of pace to see someone much more unsure and lost. She’s been kept in the dark about things pertaining to her and she spends a lot of time trying to get on the same playing field as everyone else which was a very interesting point of view to see. But we learn that she’s really smart and a great strategist. I love how she becomes more confident, honest and strong throughout the book.
There are quite a big number of side characters in this series which tends to happen in high fantasy. Each one is complex and interesting on their own and kept me guessing and wondering how they were going to shift the plot. I’m a shipper so I like to mention the romance but it’s very unclear in this first book. I know there is one because of what I’ve heard people talk about from this series but there’s practically nothing in this book.

The Crown of Embers

Synopsis
She does not know what awaits her at the enemy’s gate.
Elisa is a hero.
She led her people to victory over a terrifying, sorcerous army. Her place as the country’s ruler should be secure. But it isn’t.
Her enemies come at her like ghosts in a dream, from foreign realms and even from within her own court. And her destiny as the chosen one has not yet been fulfilled.
To conquer the power she bears, once and for all, Elisa must follow a trial of long-forgotten—and forbidden—clues, from the deep, hidden catacombs of her own city to the treacherous seas. With her go a one-eyed spy, a traitor, and the man whom—despite everything—she is falling in love with.
If she’s lucky, she will return from this journey. But there will be a cost.

Critically

Plot – 4.5 out of 5 stars
I am falling in love with this series, really and truly. This book is full of adventure and travel (again). There’s much more information on the world and the background of it, like how it was created and what led to the setting we see here. It deals with magic, religion, action, drama, politics, war and death. And just to sweeten things up a bit, we have a bit more romance in this one haha.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
The writing style is descriptive and detailed. It’s simple but at the same time, really powerful and intense. There’s a lot of emotion that pours out of the page through the writing style. It’s medium paced but intricate and entertaining, I could’ve read this book in one sitting honestly. There’s some drama in here but it’s such an enjoyable read.

Characters – 5 out of 5 stars
I’m so obsessed guys! I am officially in love with every single character in this series. They all have a place in my heart, they are my babies and I will protect them with my life!
Elisa astounds me. I loved her character development in the first book, but I’m also super glad that it wasn’t that she had an “easy fix” to the personality she had. She was still unsure and worried about the things happening around her but she’s determined to be the best Queen she can possibly be to this kingdom she now has control of. She’s defiant and selfless. She’s a really strong, smart and honest leader and I think she’s a total badass to be quite honest.
The side characters also continue to grow and astound me. They’re each complex and intricate individuals and the relationships they create between them are just as real and powerful. They feel like real people while reading. The romance also makes a more obvious appearance and I loved it! I’m a huge shipper and this romance gave me the most wondrous feels!

The Bitter Kingdom

Synopsis
The epic conclusion to Rae Carson’s Fire and Thorns trilogy. The seventeen-year-old sorcerer-queen will travel into the unknown realm of the enemy to win back her true love, save her country, and uncover the final secrets of her destiny.
Elisa is a fugitive in her own country. Her enemies have stolen the man she loves in order to lure her to the gate of darkness. As she and her daring companions take one last quest into unknown enemy territory to save Hector, Elisa will face hardships she’s never imagined. And she will discover secrets about herself and her world that could change the course of history. She must rise up as champion – a champion to those who have hated her most.

Critically

Plot – 5 out of 5 stars
IT’S SO GOOD, GUYS! This was the epic finale to end all the finales for me. It was action packed, full of even more adventure and more travel. We see even more of the world and it continues to astound me how big this creation is. There’s politics, magic, religion and so much more romance that just made me ecstatic! There’s a war going on but it’s almost Cold, it deals with stealth and strategies first which was super interesting.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
The writing style is powerful and intense, it packs an emotional punch and took me through the wrenches haha. It’s detailed, descriptive yet simple. There’s drama, there’s entertainment and everything is intricately woven together. Though it has a medium pace, the writing flies by and the book can be easily finished in one sitting.

Characters – 5 out of 5 stars
I LOVE THEM SO MUCH! These characters give me life and happiness more than the majority of the characters that I’ve encountered lately. They are all so amazing and beautiful and just so awesome!
Elisa is my Queen! I absolutely adore her. She’s confident and determined. She’s facing upheaval and mutiny within her advisors and she’s going into extreme enemy territory as well. She’s smart and strong and has such a resilient spirit. I liked being able to see much more of her compassionate side in this book. I consider her such a badass that even though that has a “tough only” connotation, it just reminds me of how complex she is as a character. She’s a defiant individual but also in tune with her emotions and her faith. She’s grown so much throughout the series that it’s kind of mind blowing. It makes me so proud of her which sounds kind of weird but that’s the kind of feeling she brings up in me.
Just like the side characters who are complex and intricate individuals. One of my favorite things about this series is the slow build of relationships. From friendships to romances to alliances, every thing is done with care and each one grows exponentially as the stories continue.

 Emotionally

Read More »

Series Review – Age of Legends by Kelley Armstrong

book-review-age-of-legends

Sea of Shadows, Empire of Night and Forest of Ruin (Age of Legends #1, #2 and #3)

Author: Kelley Armstrong

Publication: April 8th 2014, April 7th 2015 and April 5th 2016

Publisher: HarperCollings

Format: Kindle Edition 406 pages, Kindle Edition 432 pages and Kindle Edition 448 pages

Genre: Young Adult, High Fantasy, Paranormal, Horror

Read: October 2016 and February 2017

Kelley ArmstrongGoodreads

Sea of Shadows Cover

Sea of Shadows

3-stars1

Synopsis
In the Forest of the Dead, where the empire’s worst criminals are exiled, twin sisters Moria and Ashyn are charged with a dangerous task. For they are the Keeper and the Seeker, and each year they must quiet the enraged souls of the damned.
Only this year, the souls will not be quieted.
Ambushed and separated by an ancient evil, the sisters’ journey to find each other sends them far from the only home they’ve ever known. Accompanied by a stubborn imperial guard and a dashing condemned thief, the girls cross a once-empty wasteland, now filled with reawakened monsters of legend, as they travel to warn the emperor. But a terrible secret awaits them at court—one that will alter the balance of their world forever.

Critically

Plot – 3.5 out of 5 stars
This book is really slow paced and there was some action that kept me entertained but it wasn’t what I was expecting. The world building was really confusing and it took me awhile to really get into the story and to grasp everything that was going on. This book deals with death, monsters, religion and rituals. There’s a lot of play on legends and magic which was everything interesting.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
This particular writing style is really verbose and old fashioned. It’s at a slow but steady pace and it’s descriptive and detailed. However, the world building is really confusing and messy. I didn’t understand it at all and it kept me from automatically getting lost into the story. In general, it took me awhile to get into the story because of the older style writing.

Characters – 3 out of 5 stars
This is probably my least favorite part of this book. I felt like the majority of the characters fit into certain boxes or stereotypes and it didn’t help me connect to any of them. The two main characters are twins, Moria and Ashyn. First thing first, it took me a really long time to get comfortable with the names. They are much more complicated than they need to be. I kept reading Moria as Moira and it drove me nuts honestly.
Both of them are stereotypically completely different. Moria has a really strong personality. She’s kind of defensive and temperamental. She’s definitely more of a warrior type and spends a lot of time investigating and practicing fighting. She’s really protective of her sister but not overly emotional. She tends to be seen as the tougher one, with a kind of coldness and practicality to her personality.
Ashyn on the other hand is really shy, meek and quiet. She’s much more book smart and the more romantic of the twins. She’s really naive and almost overprotected in a way. She feels very much out of her depth and completely unsure of how to stay safe and stay alive. She knows more about medicine and tending to wounds but is kind of useless in a battle.
There are also a lot of side characters in this book, each with their own complex personalities. It took me awhile to keep everyone straight in my head because there’s a lot of different players in this complicated story. Because of that, it was harder for me to connect to them and I wish I could’ve seen them grow more then they did in this book.

empire-of-night-cover

Empire of Night

4-stars1

Synopsis
Sisters Moira and Ashyn are the Keeper and Seeker of Edgewood.
or at least, they were.

Their village is gone. Their friends have betrayed them. And now, they are all but prisoners in court, forced to watch and wait while the Emperor decides whether to help the children of Edgewood, who remain hostages of the treacherous Alvar Kitsune.
But when the emperor finally sends the girls on a mission to rescue the children – accompanied by Prince Tyrus and a small band of men – the journey proves more perilous than any of them could have imagined. With lies and unrest mounting in the empire, Moria and Ashyn will have to draw on every bit of influence and power they possess to unite their people and avert an all-out war.

Critically

Plot – 4 out of 5 stars
This book picked up the pace a bit more and it’s much more action packed as well. Thankfully, there’s much more information on the world and how the empire they live in actually works. It’s still a bit confusing though with this second book, I’m definitely getting the hang of things. There’s more romance in this one, lots of twists and turns and monsters. It was definitely a lot more exciting than the first book.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
The writing style is, luckily, really easy to read and has a steady pace to go along with the plot. It’s really descriptive and detailed though it can still get kind of confusing sometimes. It’s really verbose and old fashioned. The characters voices sound much older than they are because of the way their empire is. However, the world building has definitely improved in this one and things make much more sense.

Characters – 3.5 out of 5 stars
This is still the section in which I’m struggling with the most in this series which sucks because characters are my favorite parts of books. Though it’s definitely improved from the first book as well.
Moria is really freaking angry in this book. The ending of the last book kind of shook her and she’s now questioning the things she thought were right. She’s hurt and she feels betrayed. However, she’s still smart and confident in who she is and the plot of this book pushes her to become much more open and honest.
While I’m not the biggest fan of Ashyn, I really like the development she had in this book. She’s much more confident and much more outgoing but without losing her personality and the person that she is. She’s still smart and is becoming much more aware of her surroundings but still can’t really fight and is overprotected by some of the male characters.
There are more side characters added in this book, much more than I was expecting, but at the same time, they’re all fleshed out much more than in the first book. I enjoyed that there was much more development for all of the characters.

Forest of Ruin Cover

Forest of Ruin

4.5-stars1

Synopsis
The empire rests on the edge of a knife, and sisters Ashyn and Moria are the handle and the blade. Desperate to outmaneuver the evil Alvar Kitsune, whose hold on the people grows stronger every day, Emperor Tatsu begs Moria to put aside past grievances and ally with Gavril—at least long enough to make an attempt on Alvar’s life. Meanwhile, reunited with her long-lost grandfather, Ashyn discovers that she is the key to a ritual that could reawaken an ancient dragon and turn the tide of the coming battle in their favor.
But with lies and betrayal lurking around every corner, Ashyn and Moria will have to decide once and for all where their allegiances are. And it may not be where their hearts would lead them…
In this breathtaking final book in her trilogy the Age of Legends, author Kelley Armstrong blends fantasy, action, and romance to give readers the unforgettable ending they’ve been waiting for.

Critically

Plot – 4 out of 5 stars
This book is set at a steady, medium pace but the action keeps going. There’s also some mystery in this one, revolving around dragons which is pretty cool. There’s a lot more focus on romance in this one as well and it’s so much easier to understand than the rest of the books have been. There’s twists and turns and lots of violence (it can get graphic) but I feel like the ending was very solid and conclusive.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
The writing style as always is descriptive and detailed. There’s a steady pace that flows with the plot and I really enjoy that the POV’s are very distinct. The characters speak with big words and it’s all very old fashioned in style. It’s easy to read and I ended up enjoying it much more as the series continued.

Characters – 4 out of 5 stars
Finally, one of these books where I don’t have some huge complain about the characters. They will never become favorites of mine but I have to say that they definitely improved as the series went on.
Moria is a freaking badass lady. She’s so logical, smart and crafty. She’s gotten better at working through her emotions but it doesn’t stop her from continuing to be brave and fiercely protective and strong. She’s super blunt and is always looking at things in a different perspective than other people. Though she had a lot of development, I think it was more of building on who she already was and making her even better.
Ashyn on the other hand had the most extensive development out of everyone in the series. She started out really shy and timid and pretty much scared of a bunch of things. But as things progressed and she started to become more confident, she blossomed. She’s passionate, determined and smart. She’s kind as always but much more blunt and honest with herself and others. I love how self-confidence helped her become a much more well rounded person and someone that can kick ass in her own way.
All the side characters now feel much more three dimensional and fleshed out. They’ve always been complex but since there were so many, I never felt like I got to know them as much as I wanted to but that was definitely fixed in this book.

Emotionally

Read More »

Series Review – The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

book-review-the-lunar-chronicles

Cinder, Scarlet, Cress and Winter (The Lunar Chronicles #1, #2, #3 and #4)

Author: Marissa Meyer

Publication: January 3rd 2012, February 5th 2013, February 4th 2014 and November 10th 2015

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Format: Kindle Edition 400 pages, Kindle Edition 464 pages, Kindle Edition 560 pages and Kindle Edition 833 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, Science Fiction, Retellings

Read: December 2015, October and December 2016

Marissa MeyerGoodreads

Cinder Cover

Cinder

3.5-stars2

Synopsis
Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl.
Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

Critically

Plot – 3 out of 5 stars
This book is really interesting and entertaining but oh my goodness, it was so predictable. I’m pretty sure I figured out everything that was going to happen in this book in the first quarter of it. That was disappointing because I expected so much more considering how much hype this book has. However, I liked the mystery involved (even if I figured it out) and how the author incorporated the original story line with her world.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
I liked Meyer’s writing style. It’s really simple and straight to the point. There’s a lot of detail and description and it was engaging enough to keep me interested in the story although I knew where it was going. It was captivating enough but there wasn’t much distinction between character perspectives.

Characters – 3.5 out of 5 stars
Characters are what make books for me. If I’m not feeling the characters, its a sure fire way to make me lose interest in a book which was what happened here. There’s nothing particularly wrong with the characters, but they didn’t really captivate me much. They were all just… there.Cinder is cool. She’s really jaded and kind of has a rude/sassy attitude. Some of her lines were kind of funny and I like how she tried not to take shit from other people around her. She’s really strong, specially after the life she’s had. I liked her determination and how independent she was. While she’s kind of a closed off person, she’s also really kind. I think all the things she had to deal with in her family and as a cyborg really made her conscious of how she should treat people and thinking beyond herself, even when that wasn’t reciprocated to her. However, there wasn’t anything about her that stood out to me and made me her fan or to want to root for her as I read.
There are also quite a few side characters. Kai, the prince in this story, was okay. He’s really young and inexperienced and the poor guy has the whole world on his shoulders. However, he’s determined to do the best job he can to keep his people safe and I admired that. I want to also mention that I love Iko, she’s amazing haha. There’s a lot of great changes with the characters and what they represent but they are still close to the original.

Scarlet Cover

Scarlet

4-stars1

Synopsis
Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive.
Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.

Critically

Plot – 4 out of 5 stars
Plot wise this book definitely stepped it up in the series. The various story lines as well as the original stories are starting to intertwine which makes it much better for me because this one didn’t feel as predictable as the first. It was interesting and entertaining. It was action packed, fast paced and much more gruesome than I expected. I definitely enjoyed this particular story much more.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
Again, the writing style is really simple and straight forward. I think the author does a great job with connecting the existing stories together as well as with the original ones. It’s detailed, descriptive and engaging. I think the distinction between POVs was much better than the first book, I felt like I was reading about and from different people.

Characters – 4 out of 5 stars
I wasn’t the biggest fan of the characters from the first book, there was nothing that really captivated me about them. However, this book got so much better! Not only did I feel like they were more distinct in their voices and personalities, but I think the fast paced plot helped make me care more about what was happening to the characters.Scarlet became an instant favorite. She’s just so fierce! She’s determined and stubborn. I love how caring she is and how she doesn’t back down. She listens to her gut and follows it no matter what, that’s so inspiring to me. She’s loving to the people she cares about and takes awhile to warm up to others. I think she’s badass and I want to read more from her point of view.
There are also many more side characters introduced in this book. Wolf is one of them and he’s pretty great in my opinion. He has such a powerful presence and he’s fierce and apologetic. But you still get the sense there’s more to him than meets the eye. However, there was one character that was introduced in this book that blew everyone else out of the water and that is Thorne. I absolutely loved him, he stole the show for me. He’s hilarious, a bit self-centered and just a great character overall. I’m a big fan of him.

Cress Cover

Cress

4.5-stars1

Synopsis
In this third book in Marissa Meyer’s bestselling Lunar Chronicles series, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and prevent her army from invading Earth.
Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl trapped on a satellite since childhood who’s only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she’s being forced to work for Queen Levana, and she’s just received orders to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.
When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is splintered. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a higher price than she’d ever expected. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai, especially the cyborg mechanic. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.

Critically

Plot – 4.5 out of 5 stars
I’m really glad to say that these books keep getting better and better as the series continues. This one was entertaining, action packed and intense. It was definitely much more unique than I was expecting since the ones before were predictable in some ways. This one deviates from the original story a whole lot more and I loved it! This original science fiction, revolution story is taking over the series and it’s pretty great. The plot of this book was also so much more emotional. It’s getting down to the wire and you can definitely feel it as you read.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
I’ve come to really enjoy Meyer’s writing style. It’s simple and engaging, it’s easy to slip back into the world and the story because of that. It’s very detailed and descriptive, specially this book because there is so much traveling. These books are very fast paced and the author has gotten much better at creating distinction between all the POVs she’s working with which I really appreciate.

Characters – 4 out of 5 stars
This part of the books just keeps on improving which each one. When I read the first book, I wasn’t really feeling most of the characters, but now that there’s more of a crew and the cast has gotten larger, I’ve warmed up to and am rooting for them much more. I was really interested in meeting Cress since I heard about this series, I really wanted to know how the author was going to work with the Rapunzel story and I really enjoyed her. She has such a sweet disposition despite all that she’s gone through. I found her naivety to be really endearing and cute. She’s so amazed by everything around her and even when she’s terrified of something, she does the best she can and is determined to push through no matter what.
I already knew I loved Thorne and that feeling just grew tenfold in this book. He’s charming, funny, smart and strong. I also like that he has character development in this book, he goes beyond just comic relief.
A lot of the side characters make appearances together as a group and I’m really loving their dynamic now. Shit got complicated but they did their best to stick together and to make it work with each other. I still love Iko and Wolf and Scarlet. I liked how Kai and Cinder were reunited in this book, it definitely got me to like them a bit more individually and together than I had in the past.

Winter Cover

Winter

5-stars1

Synopsis
Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mar her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.
Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend–the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.

Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters? Fans will not want to miss this thrilling conclusion to Marissa Meyer’s national bestselling Lunar Chronicles series.

Critically

Plot – 4.5 out of 5 stars
This is my favorite book in the series by far. I don’t know if its just because its the finale and the culmination of everything the gang has been trying to do for so long but I loved it. It was action packed, intense and powerful. There was a lot more blood shed and violence than the previous books but it was just as exciting and emotional as I wanted. The books have shifted so much from the original stories but there are so many correlations and intricate connections. However, this book was really, really long.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
Again, the writing style really works with making the story shine. It’s simple yet engaging and easy to read. It’s really descriptive and detailed. I love how there’s so much more distinction between the different POVs now and I can tell who’s telling the story just by the first few lines. It was intense and action packed and really fast paced, though this book was definitely a bit too long for me.

Characters – 4 out of 5 stars
I’ve definitely become a fan of this cast of characters as the series went on. The group as a whole has a really great dynamic and they bring out the best in each other. I loved seeing how they all worked together and how they watched each other’s back through this crazy finale.
I really, really wanted to meet Winter. She sounded like such an interesting character but I was not prepared to being inside of her head. She’s really sweet and kind, an all around good person. However, she has delusions which affect how she sees the world which makes her very vulnerable. I just wanted to put her in a little bubble and protect her but at the same time, I wanted her to leave her comfort zone and kick butt haha.
Jacin is a character that annoyed me since coming onto the page, I couldn’t really understand him and his motivation… until I read this book. His relationship with Winter is so pure and open and just ride or die (I don’t know how else to say it haha). His personality, however, gets on my nerves. He has such a singular focus that his protective nature and his determination can rub me the wrong way. But I can’t fault him for being so dedicated.
SO MUCH HAPPENED TO THE CREW. I can’t even wrap my mind around everything the characters went through. I can say though that I really liked seeing them all together as a team and getting shit done together. Their fierce protectiveness of each other is just amazing.

Emotionally

Read More »

Series Review – Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins

book-review-hex-hall-trilogy

Hex Hall, Demonglass and Spell Bound (Hex Hall #1, #2 and #3)

Author: Rachel Hawkins

Publication: May 28th 2010, March 1st 2011 and March 13th 2012

Publisher: Disney Hyperion

Format: Kindle Edition 337 pages, Kindle Edition 365 pages and Kindle Edition 233 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy

Read: November and December 2016

Rachel HawkinsGoodreads

Hex Hall Cover

Hex Hall

4-stars1

Synopsis
Three years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she was a witch. It’s gotten her into a few scrapes. Her non-gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie’s estranged father-an elusive European warlock-only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it’s her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, faeries, and shapeshifters.
By the end of her first day among fellow freak-teens, Sophie has quite a scorecard: three powerful enemies who look like supermodels, a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock, a creepy tagalong ghost, and a new roommate who happens to be the most hated person and only vampire on campus.
Worse, Sophie soon learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students, and her only friend is the number-one suspect. As a series of blood-curdling mysteries starts to converge, Sophie prepares for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all Prodigium, especially her.

Critically

Plot – 3.5 out of 5 stars
This whole book is just pure fun and entertainment. It’s a really simple concept and a simple plot but it’s fast paced with some action. This is a re-read for me and I have to say that it was just as fun the second time around. The world and the paranormal elements are really interesting. However, this is more on the younger side of YA.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
The writing style is really simple and easy to read. It’s fast paced and entertaining. The main character’s narration is really funny, she’s really sarcastic which is fun to read but at the same time she can get a bit juvenile and immature. She is a teenager so I can’t really fault her that much though it gets kind of annoying after awhile.

Characters – 3 out of 5 stars
This is probably my biggest problem with the book. I liked the majority of the characters, specially the main character, but there are also others that felt like stereotypical, card board cuts outs of the kind of people you’d usually find in a high school somewhere. Also the majority of the relationship feel flimsy, they appear to have no real basis in companionship. And there’s girl hate which I really don’t appreciate because you can dislike someone for various reasons, but not just because they are a girl and they have a cute boyfriend. It’s not necessary. And the boy aint that cute anyway.
Sophie is a really young protagonist so like I said above, she can act immature, but yeah, it’s understandable. She’s really naive about the world she’s walking into which causes a lot of sucky situations for her and bullying opportunities for other people which was really upsetting. She’s really confused but she’s also really spunky and sarcastic, she rolls with the punches really easily which makes for an entertaining story.
Like I said above I feel like the side characters were kind of stereotypical and too simple. There wasn’t much to them and their relationships. I wanted more substance, more depth to them that I just did not find while reading. This is a book that’s just fun and entertaining to read but not really there to make you think deeply about anything and the characters reflect that.

demonglass-cover

Demonglass

4-5-stars1

Synopsis
Sophie Mercer thought she was a witch. That was the whole reason she was sent to Hex Hall, a reform school for delinquent Prodigium (aka witches, shapeshifters, and fairies). But that was before she discovered the family secret, and that her hot crush, Archer Cross, is an agent for The Eye, a group bent on wiping Prodigium off the face of the earth. Turns out, Sophie’s a demon, one of only two in the world—the other being her father.
What’s worse, she has powers that threaten the lives of everyone she loves. Which is precisely why Sophie decides she must go to London for the Removal, a dangerous procedure that will destroy her powers. But once Sophie arrives she makes a shocking discovery. Her new friends? They’re demons too. Meaning someone is raising them in secret with creepy plans to use their powers, and probably not for good. Meanwhile, The Eye is set on hunting Sophie down, and they’re using Acher to do it. But it’s not like she has feelings for him anymore. Does she?

Critically

Plot – 4 out of 5 stars
Again, another book that’s just fun and entertaining. This one however is a lot more intense and mature. There’s so much more information about the Prodigium world and their laws, how everything is meant to work. It’s still fast paced and is super easy to read. My biggest complaint in this series is the romance. It bothers me so much, so cliche and just like the stereotypical paranormal romances that I’m just not a fan of. Would enjoy it more without it but that will never happen haha.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
Really enjoy the writing style, specially because it’s just a fun book. The writing is fast paced, easy to read, simple and funny. The narrative goes through some growth because the main character does as well. It’s a lot more emotional and intense thought it doesn’t lose the entertainment value. The main character is still really sarcastic though also indecisive as she’s struggling with some tough decisions in this book.

Characters – 3.5 out of 5 stars
This section got a lot better in this book. I think the author added a lot more layers to the characters’ personalities which added a lot of needed complexity and depth. There are also adult presences which are hard to find in YA books so I really appreciated not only adults, though not all of them are very nice, but also parents and parental relationships with their children and the importance of them. That was awesome.
Sophie has definitely grown. The events of the first book have made her more mature though she’s done something that I tend to do as well which is go from one extreme to the other, using her magic and trying to perfect it to now wanting nothing to do with it. She’s really torn about what she should do and really scared about what’s going on. She’s much more powerful than she realized and just as stubborn as she showed in the first book which might not be the best combination. Though I really like that she’s kept her sass and spunky personality.
The side characters are improving. There are a few that I really enjoy reading about and some that I’m still not a fan of. There’s a lot of new faces in this book as well which change the dynamics of the story and that was interesting to read about. There should still be more development with them in my opinion, but it’s improving.

spell-bound-cover

Spell Bound

4-5-stars1

Synopsis
Hailed as “impossible to put down,” the Hex Hall series has both critics and teens cheering. With a winning combination of romance, action, magic and humor, this third volume will leave readers enchanted.
Just as Sophie Mercer has come to accept her extraordinary magical powers as a demon, the Prodigium Council strips them away. Now Sophie is defenseless, alone, and at the mercy of her sworn enemies—the Brannicks, a family of warrior women who hunt down the Prodigium. Or at least that’s what Sophie thinks, until she makes a surprising discovery. The Brannicks know an epic war is coming, and they believe Sophie is the only one powerful enough to stop the world from ending. But without her magic, Sophie isn’t as confident.
Sophie’s bound for one hell of a ride—can she get her powers back before it’s too late?

Critically

Plot – 4 out of 5 stars
The plot of this book, like the ones before, is really entertaining though this one is also much more serious. It’s fast paced and intense. There’s a lot more focus on family and Sophie’s relationship with all the people that make up her family. This one also focuses a lot on her friendships and her little squad that are trying to help her save the Prodigium world, as always haha. I think the conclusion was really satisfying but I am very angry at one particular thing that happened and I’ll never get over it.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
I really like this author’s writing style. It’s really funny, sarcastic and easy to read. It’s fast paced and simple. This one in particular is a lot more intense and emotional. There’s a lot more action and the culmination of the series makes the writing a lot more powerful.

Characters – 3.5 out of 5 stars
By this time this book rolled around, I became a huge fan of this cast of characters. I’ve really enjoyed their dynamics as a group though I can still find a lot of problems or things I can complain about in regards to the characters in particular, but I really enjoy the group.
Sophie is a ball of nerves in this book. She’s worried and scared out of her mind, she’s got a lot of responsibility on her shoulders and no idea how to pull it off. However, she’s determined to save her friends and her family and she’s hoping to use her ultimate powers to make it happen. Her stubborn nature is alive and well and I like how that pushes her beyond what she thinks she can do.
I’m am such a mess over the side characters! There’s one that I love more than any of them and I am just emotional over him. I really like the majority of them and like I said above, their dynamics as a group are great. Something I haven’t mentioned in awhile is the romance, which I don’t like. This is one of the only books where I ship the guy in the love triangle that doesn’t win haha. And he is so much better than the actual guy she picks and he has the worst fate handed to him and it makes me so much! This book’s emotional section might be spoilery so beware.

Emotionally

Read More »

Series Review – Firebird Trilogy by Claudia Gray

book-review-firebird-trilogy

A Thousand Pieces of You, Ten Thousand Skies Above You and A Million Worlds with You (Firebird #1, #2 and #3)

Author: Claudia Gray

Publication: November 4th 2014, November 3rd 2015 and November 1st 2016

Publisher: HarperTeen

Format: Kindle Edition 373 pages, Kindle Edition 424 pages and Kindle Edition 336 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, Science Fiction and Travel

Read: March, April and November 2016

Claudia GrayGoodreads

A Thousand Pieces of You Cover

A Thousand Pieces of You

4.5 Stars

Synopsis
Cloud Atlas meets Orphan Black in this epic dimension-bending trilogy by New York Times bestselling author Claudia Gray about a girl who must chase her father’s killer through multiple dimensions.
Marguerite Caine’s physicist parents are known for their groundbreaking achievements. Their most astonishing invention, called the Firebird, allows users to jump into multiple universes—and promises to revolutionize science forever. But then Marguerite’s father is murdered, and the killer—her parent’s handsome, enigmatic assistant Paul— escapes into another dimension before the law can touch him.
Marguerite refuses to let the man who destroyed her family go free. So she races after Paul through different universes, always leaping into another version of herself. But she also meets alternate versions of the people she knows—including Paul, whose life entangles with hers in increasingly familiar ways. Before long she begins to question Paul’s guilt—as well as her own heart. And soon she discovers the truth behind her father’s death is far more sinister than she expected.
A Thousand Pieces of You explores an amazingly intricate multi-universe where fate is unavoidable, the truth elusive, and love the greatest mystery of all.

A friend of mine opened my eyes to a problematic scene in the first book. Check out this post for more information.

Critically

Plot – 4 out of 5 stars
This story jumps right into the premise. That was kind of disorienting and the beginning of the story was slow in the beginning. It’s filled with mystery, suspense and action. There’s a lot of history and science weaved throughout the story because it deals with dimensional travel which makes it very entertaining.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
I really enjoyed the writing style because it’s visually rich and engaging. It’s detailed and descriptive though it can be cheesy at times. I found the writing to be very imaginative and the science aspect wasn’t as hard to understand as I expected it to be.

Characters – 4 out of 5 stars
I really liked meeting the cast of characters in this series and seeing how their relationships with each other develop.Marguerite is our main character and narrator. I liked her in a general sense. She told the story very well and was likeable. However, she’s impulsive and indecisive which had me frustrated with her at times. She’s also determined and smart and full of tenacity which made her a force to be reckoned with when she had her goals in mind. I hope to see more growth in her character.
There are also a few side characters and they are all very different in personalities and ambitions. There are two that have a more in depth look in this book which I found very interesting. Again they both have different personalities but my favorite part was seeing their interactions and how their relationships change and develop, not only with the main character but also with each other. I hope to be able to learn more about them in the upcoming books.

Ten Thousand Skies Above You Cover

Ten Thousand Skies Above You

5 Stars

Synopsis
Ever since she used the Firebird, her parents’ invention, to cross into alternate dimensions, Marguerite has caught the attention of enemies who will do anything to force her into helping them dominate the multiverse—even hurting the people she loves. She resists until her boyfriend, Paul, is attacked and his consciousness scattered across multiple dimensions.
Marguerite has no choice but to search for each splinter of Paul’s soul. The hunt sends her racing through a war-torn San Francisco, the criminal underworld of New York City, and a glittering Paris where another Marguerite hides a shocking secret. Each world brings Marguerite one step closer to rescuing Paul. But with each trial she faces, she begins to question the destiny she thought they shared.
The second book in the Firebird trilogy, Ten Thousand Skies Above You features Claudia Gray’s lush, romantic language and smart, exciting action, and will have readers clamoring for the next book.

Critically

Plot – 4.5 out of 5 stars
Again, the story in this book is slow in the beginning. It includes a lot of catching up with what happened after the events of the first book. It’s action packed and full of conspiracy theories. It deals with death, love and ethics and personal morals. The ending is incredibly heart wrenching but I loved how beautiful and intricate the different dimensions are.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
The writing style in this series is great. It’s visually rich with its descriptions and details, it’s so easy to imagine all the different settings. It’s intense, engaging and really emotional. The author has a really big imagination and she’s really creative to come up with all these different scenarios that work scientifically yet work with a normal reader to be easily understandable.

Characters – 4.5 out of 5 stars
The relationships between the cast of characters is definitely getting much more intense and much more complicated.
Marguerite is awesome. I’ve really loved seeing her development in these books. She’s determined and headstrong, she has a single minded focus to get things right. In this book in particular, she’s really emotional and vulnerable. So many different things change in this book and she tries her best to deal with them.
The rest of the cast goes through so much as individuals as well as together. This book in particular is really tough on everyone. Each character has so much growth and development and it was enjoyable to read.

A Million Worlds With You Cover

A Million Worlds with You

5 Stars

Synopsis
A million universes. A million dangers. One destiny.
The fate of the multiverse rests in Marguerite Caine’s hands. Marguerite has been at the center of a cross-dimensional feud since she first traveled to another universe using her parents’ invention, the Firebird. Only now has she learned the true plans of the evil Triad Corporation—and that those plans could spell doom for dozens or hundreds of universes, each facing total annihilation.
Paul Markov has always been at Marguerite’s side, but Triad’s last attack has left him a changed man—angry and shadowed by tragedy. He struggles to overcome the damage done to him, but despite Marguerite’s efforts to help, Paul may never be the same again.
So it’s up to Marguerite alone to stop the destruction of the multiverse. Billions of lives are at stake. The risks have never been higher. And Triad has unleashed its ultimate weapon: another dimension’s Marguerite—wicked, psychologically twisted, and always one step ahead.
In the conclusion to Claudia Gray’s Firebird trilogy, fate and family will be questioned, loves will be won and lost, and the multiverse will be forever changed. It’s a battle of the Marguerites…and only one can win.

Critically

Plot – 4.5 out of 5 stars
I am beyond in love with this book. The plot of this one was filled with mystery, action, suspense, adventure, violence and just a lot of freaking twists and turns that I did not see coming. There’s a steady pace throughout the whole book that kept me hooked and reading. The ending was both simple and yet unexpected.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
I’ve fallen in love with the way these books are written. It’s so imaginative, intense, powerful and emotional. There’s an intricate way to how the story and the different dimensions are weaved together that is really fun to read. It’s descriptive, detailed, and engaging. I think the author is very creative and imaginative to have come up with such a great series arc.

Characters – 5 out of 5 stars
I am now totally in love with this cast of characters, they’re my little babies and I just want them safe okay?!
Marguerite is a great main character and narrator. I’ve really come to enjoy both her personality and her perspective in this story. In this book, she’s absolutely petrified but pushes forward with her determination to save the people she loves. I love how she’s not cocky or overconfident, she really understands what is at stake and how she fits into all of it. She’s so smart and emotional though hopeful. I loved seeing her growth throughout the series.
The rest of the cast also goes through some extensive character development, from the smallest side characters to the bigger ones. I think it’s a very interesting dynamic considering how the characters encounter their friends’, parents’, enemies’, etc other selves from different dimensions and it’s intriguing to see how that gives them each a separate sort of insight into the people they love.

Emotionally

Read More »

Series Review – Waterfire Saga by Jennifer Donnelly

book-review-waterfire-saga

Deep Blue, Rogue Wave, Dark Tide and Sea Spell (Waterfire Saga #1, #2, #3 and #4)

Author: Jennifer Donnelly

Publication: May 6th 2014, January 6th 2015, October 13th 2015 and June 14th 2016

Publisher: Disney Hyperion

Format: Kindle Edition 373 pages, Kindle Edition 320 pages, Kindle Edition 400 pages and Kindle Edition 320 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Mythology, Paranormal, Mermaids

Read: June 2015, July and August 2016

Jennifer DonnellyGoodreads

Deep Blue Cover

Deep Blue

4 Stars

Synopsis
Serafina, daughter of Isabella, Queen of Miromara, has been raised with the expectation – and burden – that she will someday become ruler of the oldest civilization of the merfolk. On the eve of the Dokimí ceremony, which will determine if she is worthy of the crown, Sera is haunted by a strange dream that foretells the return of an ancient evil. But her nightmare is forgotten the next day as she diligently practices her songspell; eagerly anticipates a reunion with her best friend, Neela; and anxiously worries about Mahdi, the crown prince of Matali, and whether his feelings toward her and their future betrothal have changed. Most of all, she worries about not living up to her mother’s hopes.
The Dokimí proceeds, a dazzling display of majesty and might, until a shocking turn of events interrupts it: an assassin’s arrow wounds Isabella. The realm falls into chaos, and Serafina’s darkest premonitions are confirmed. Now she and Neela must embark on a quest to find the assassin’s master and prevent a war between the mer nations. Their search will lead them to other mermaid heriones scattered across the six seas. Together they will form an unbreakable bond of sisterhood as they uncover a conspiracy that threatens their world’s very existence.

Critically

Plot – 4 out of 5 stars
The story was really cute. Most of the time it’s light and fun with a sort of sprinkling of heavy topics. One of my issues is the fact that there’s a little bit too much information on the world, not enough plot action. However, it is very entertaining and has little romance for a YA novel. It’s mostly focused on female friendships.

Writing Style – 3 out of 5 stars
Honestly, the writing style in this book falls into the younger side of YA, almost Middle Grade. It’s really simple and filled with puns about mermaids and the ocean. However, it’s detailed, descriptive and pretty clever and it takes a special interest in feminism.

Characters – 4 out of 5 stars
This book and series has a huge cast of characters compromised of 6 main female characters and a plethora of side characters. In this first book we get to know two of the main characters closely.
Serafina can be thought of as the main main character as she’s the driving force to most of the story. She’s unsure and nervous and feels very vulnerable because her whole world comes crashing down around her. However, she’s also brave and mature and though she wishes she had a different life sometimes, she’s determined to fight for her people.
Neela is her best friend and she has a really girly personality though with a few issues. She’s a stress eater and has a lot of fears. She has the kind of personality where she looks for the fun and lightness in everything and tends to run when things get scary. Yet, she works up her courage and manages to be really brave in the end.
The rest of the characters are complex and diverse, in every sense of the word. They’re different in personality, looks, abilities and there’s even diverse representation involved with a disabled sort of main character. I really loved that and how they interacted with each other.

Rogue Wave Cover

Rogue Wave

4.5 Stars

Synopsis
Serafina, Neela, Ling, Ava, Becca, and Astrid, six mermaids from realms scattered throughout the seas and freshwaters, were summoned by the leader of the river witches to learn an incredible truth: the mermaids are direct descendants of the Six Who Ruled-powerful mages who once governed the lost empire of Atlantis. The ancient evil that destroyed Atlantis is stirring again, and only the mermaids can defeat it. To do so, they need to find magical talismans that belonged to the Six.
Serafina believes her talisman was buried with an old shipwreck. While researching its location, she is almost discovered by a death rider patrol led by someone familiar. . . . The pain of seeing him turned traitor is devastating.
Neela travels to Matali to warn her parents of the grave threat facing their world. But they find her story outlandish; a sign that she needs to be confined to her chamber for rest and recovery. She escapes and travels to Kandina, where her talisman is in the possession of fearsome razormouth dragons.
As they hunt for their talismans, both Serafina and Neela find reserves of courage and cunning they didn’t know they possessed. They face down danger and death, only to endure a game-changing betrayal, as shocking as a rogue wave.

Critically

Plot – 4 out of 5 stars
This book definitely stepped this series up a notch. It’s intricate, exciting and action packed. It’s full of twists and turns that I definitely wasn’t expecting and betrayals that caught me off guard. I felt much more connected to the story and the world wasn’t as pushed on in this book. The romance was also increased in this book but it’s still not the main attraction.

Writing Style – 3 out of 5 stars
Definitely not my favorite of Jennifer’s styles but it’s really easy to read and fast to get through. It’s simple and still filled to the brim with puns. However, after the events of the first book, the characters are more mature and that definitely shows through in the writing style. It’s descriptive and fast paced and keeps it’s feminist edge.

Characters – 4 out of 5 stars
As we continue with the series, other characters get more of a spotlight while we continue with the original POVs.
Serafina is a lot stronger and a lot more mature. The events of the first book have definitely shaped her view of the world and what her part is in it. She’s brave and smart and determined but still very scared of the things she feels she needs to do. I loved that she didn’t just magically become a heroine all of a sudden.
Neela also has more of a focus in this book and I absolutely loved her character development this far. She was a ditzy, kind of ignorant sort of girl and in this book, she really gets down to it and becomes so fierce. She’s still bubbly and sweet, but she’s brave and mature and she knows there are things she needs to do for the good of everyone and she gets shit done.
Unfortunately, in this book, the other mermaids are very separated so we don’t get to see a lot of the others but there were some new characters introduced that our girls meet on their journeys and I really liked them.

Dark Tide Cover

Dark Tide

4 Stars

Synopsis
Once a lost and confused princess, Serafina is now a confident leader of the Black Fin Resistance (BFR). While she works on sabotaging her enemy and enlisting allies for battle, her friends face challenges of their own. Ling is in the hold of Rafe Mfeme’s giant trawler, on her way to a prison camp. Becca meets up with Astrid and learns why the Ondalinian mermaid is always so angry: she is hiding a shameful secret. Ava can’t return home, because death riders await her arrival. And it is getting more and more difficult for Mahdi, Serafina’s betrothed, to keep up the ruse that he is in love with Lucia Volerno. If Lucia’s parents become suspicious, his life–and all of Sera’s hopes–will be extinguished. Political intrigue, dangerous liaisons, and spine-tingling suspense swirl like a maelstrom in this penultimate book in the WaterFire saga

Critically

Plot – 3.5 out of 5 stars
This book was a little disappointing after how epic the second one was. The plot is action packed and fast paced but definitely not as entertaining. It was sometimes boring and it lost my interest because of that. There’s more romance with more characters and it has a lot of reveals and twists that push the story along. There’s both heavy and positive themes throughout and it was an okay addition to the series.

Writing Style – 3 out of 5 stars
Again, not Jennifer’s best but it fits  the story. It’s on the younger side of YA, though not as young as the first book felt. It’s full of puns still since that’s the way the characters talk. It’s simple, descriptive and fast paced. There are more points of views in this one which was great and more romance (insta love) which was not, but what can you do?

Characters – 4 out of 5 stars
Finally, I get to have the point of views of some of the lesser known mermaids, I’ve been wanting it since the beginning.
Astrid is the only mermaid who wasn’t really sold on her role in the prophecy and the saving of their world. She’d abandonded the rest of the group and tried to get as far away as possible from the mess. She’s really closed off as a person but that hides a lot of vulnerability and insecurity that comes from years and years of bullying. However, she manages to turn herself around in this book and becomes strong and determined to help the cause.
Becca is one of the quieter mermaids, we didn’t hear much of her until this book. She’s sweet and smart but also has a kind of obsessive and overly organized personality (okay, but does that not sound like me? haha). While being kind of meek and quiet compared to the rest of them, she gives a lot to their purpose and is just as or even more determined to make sure they save their world.
Sera in this book is completely overwhelmed with all the responsibilities that lie on her shoulders. Yet she continues. Ling is in a really tough situation and is struggling  to get out of it pretty much the entire book and it was kind of hard to read at times. Ava is the last of the mermaids and one that we haven’t heard from much but from the glimpses in this one she’s just as determined as the rest of them.

Sea Spell Cover

Sea Spell

4.5 Stars

Synopsis
At the end of Dark Tide, Book 3 in the Waterfire Saga, Astrid leaves her mermaid friends to confront her ancestor, Orfeo, the evil force behind the rise of the monster Abbadon. Orfeo possesses one of the six talismans that the merls need in order to keep the monster locked up forever. But without the ability to songcast, how will Astrid be able to defeat the most powerful mage in history? Meanwhile, Serafina and her Black Fins train goblin troops for battle against her uncle Vallerio’s death riders. Will Sera ever see her beloved home–and her beloved Mahdi–again, or will the Volneros take over the mer realms while Orfeo takes on the gods themselves? Nothing less than the fate of the underwater world is at stake in this breathtaking finale.

Critically

Plot – 4 out of 5 stars
After the slow third book, this one definitely picked up again. It’s action packed though not as entertaining as the glory that was the second book. There are quite a few slow sections and some more romance which is just not what I read these books for. It deals with deth, grief, friendship, family, hope and faith. Yet I felt like the ending was lackluster for such a fun series though the epilogue kind of made up for it.

Writing Style – 3 out of 5 stars
I’m running out of things to say about the writing style haha. It’s simple, full of tension and descriptive. It’s fast paced which makes reading go by really fast though the books are thick and with a lot of chapters. It’s imaginative though on the younger side of the YA genre. And there’s lots of POV’s that show you everything that is happening all the time.

Characters – 4 out of 5 stars
This book finally has the entire group of six mermaids together and it was really great to see their dynamic again.
Sera is in such a vulnerable place. She’s basically the leader of the fight which comes at a high price and a lot of pressure on her shoulders. She’s determined to get her kingdom back and while she’s brave and strong, she’s also weighed down a lot by everything going on around her. I’m glad she finally started to trust her partners in this book because she needed it.
Astrid is also one of the ones with the biggest character development. She deals with a lot alone, and she’s nervous and discouraged really easily. However, she manages to push past those tough feelings and is determined to save her world. She learns to take the encouragement from her friends and to trust them to keep her secrets and truths safe.
Honestly, this series has some amazing depictions not only of female friendships and the different kinds they can be but also of character development and how people and your experiences can change you for the better. I’m a fan.

Emotionally

Read More »

Series Review – The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater

book-review-the-raven-cycle

The Raven Boys, The Dream Thieves, Blue Lily, Lily Blue and The Raven King (The Raven Cycle #1, #2, #3 and #4)

Author: Maggie Stiefvater

Publication: September 18th 2012, September 17th 2013, October 21st 2014 and April 26th 2016

Publisher: Scholastic

Format: Kindle Edition 468 pages, Kindle Edition 453 pages, Kindle Edition 400 pages and Kindle Edition 448 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal

Read: June, July and August 2016

Maggie StiefvaterGoodreads

The Raven Boys Cover

The Raven Boys

4 Stars

Synopsis
Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue never sees them–until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks to her.
His name is Gansey, a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.
But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul whose emotions range from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher who notices many things but says very little.
For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She doesn’t believe in true love, and never thought this would be a problem. But as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

Critically

Plot – 4 out of 5 stars
This story is weird but intriguing, it hooked me from the beginning and the set up and connections between the characters is really intricate, involves dead kings, cars, ghosts, psychics and ley lines.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
It’s really quirky and funny, it has its sarcastic lines and honest, real and current anecdotes, but it’s also atmospheric and dark, it lends a very heavy and ominous feeling to the story and its very moody as in it translates its moods very well.

Characters – 4 out of 5 stars
Our main cast of characters is so unique and special and real.
Blue is eccentric. She’s really smart and tends to be sensible and look at things with a logical perspective. But she’s kind and open and sweet and wants nothing more than to be part of an adventure.
Gansey is just adorable. He’s smart and caring. His determination is one of his strongest qualities but he’s also very opinionated. He tends to come across as self-righteous but he’s really not.
Adam and Ronan aren’t delved into as deeply in this book but we get some insights into their characters anyway. Adam is really prideful but that hides a lot of hurt and pain from his life. Ronan on the other hand is defiant and yet connected to something far bigger than him. And in the end there’s Noah whose entire life is just one big plot twist.

The Dream Thieves Cover

The Dream Thieves

4.5 Stars

Synopsis
If you could steal things from dreams, what would you take?
Ronan Lynch has secrets. Some he keeps from others. Some he keeps from himself.
One secret: Ronan can bring things out of his dreams.
And sometimes he’s not the only one who wants those things.
Ronan is one of the raven boys—a group of friends, practically brothers, searching for a dead king named Glendower, who they think is hidden somewhere in the hills by their elite private school, Aglionby Academy. The path to Glendower has long lived as an undercurrent beneath town. But now, like Ronan’s secrets, it is beginning to rise to the surface—changing everything in its wake.
Of The Raven Boys, Entertainment Weekly wrote, “Maggie Stiefvater’s can’t-put-it-down paranormal adventure will leave you clamoring for book two.” Now the second book is here, with the same wild imagination, dark romance, and heart-stopping twists that only Maggie Stiefvater can conjure.

Critically

Plot – 4.5 out of 5 stars
The plot of this book is action packed and intense, there’s magic, violence, and many twists and turns throughout, it’s a lot heavier than the first book and it’s more focused on character development which I appreciated and enjoyed.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
I’ve come to notice that Maggie’s writing style is very concise and deliberate, it’s well thought out while still being entertaining and realistic, the prose is eerie and leans toward creepy at times but it’s lyrical and poetic and really beautiful all the same.

Characters – 4 out of 5 stars
In this book we got to know some of the other characters a lot more.
Ronan is intense but he has an emotional depth to him that I didn’t realize was there. He’s vulnerable and soft on the inside but at the same time, rough and tough around the edges. I fell in love with him in this book.
Adam is like little boy blue. He’s lost and confused. He’s very angry about his life and how it is and he’s frustrated that he can’t seem to move past it. But at the same time, he’s so open and honest with his friends (most of the time). I’m still figuring him out.
Gansey and Blue take more of a backseat in this book though they are still protagonists. He is extremely frustrated and feels trapped while she is strong and a force to be reckoned with. I love them both. And in this book we meet the Gray Man who is both intriguing and a little scary to be honest. I can’t wait to see where they all go from here.

Blue Lily, Lily Blue Cover

Blue Lily, Lily Blue

4.5 Stars

Synopsis
There is danger in dreaming. But there is even more danger in waking up.
Blue Sargent has found things. For the first time in her life, she has friends she can trust, a group to which she can belong. The Raven Boys have taken her in as one of their own. Their problems have become hers, and her problems have become theirs.
The trick with found things though, is how easily they can be lost.
Friends can betray.
Mothers can disappear.
Visions can mislead.
Certainties can unravel.

Critically

Plot – 4.5 out of 5 stars
Every time I start a new book in this series it seems like things get kicked up a notch, this one is full of suspense and horror, action and death, the magic is so much more impressive and wondrous, it’s a lot more emotional and intense, things are getting more and more complex and THAT EPILOGUE THOUGH.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
Again concise and deliberate, nothing feels like it was thought of out of nowhere, it’s both intense and entertaining, it’s beautifully poetic and lyrical while still being honest and sarcastic and funny, it still paints the plot and atmosphere to feel very creepy and eerie but it’s so easy to read.

Characters – 4.5 out of 5 stars
Again this book changes focus within the characters.
Blue is such a wonderfully real character. She’s strong, determined and powerful. She’s compassionate and sweet even when she has no reason to be. I loved her growth in this book.
Gansey has won my heart. He has an anxious personality but he’s so passionate. He has more power than he believes in this crazy fantastical world but he’s still caring and smart. Almost like a mother hen in a way haha.
Ronan and Adam have both changed in my eyes for the better. Ronan is still a tough cookie but you can see how much he loves his friends and family. He’s a sweetheart deep down… deep, deep down. Adam on the other hand has had so much character growth it’s insane! He’s come to terms with himself and what he wants to do in life. But, and I never thought I’d say this, I need more romance in this series. I’m desperate!

The Raven King Cover

The Raven King

5 Stars

Synopsis
Nothing living is safe. Nothing dead is to be trusted.
For years, Gansey has been on a quest to find a lost king. One by one, he’s drawn others into this quest: Ronan, who steals from dreams; Adam, whose life is no longer his own; Noah, whose life is no longer a lie; and Blue, who loves Gansey… and is certain she is destined to kill him.
Now the endgame has begun. Dreams and nightmares are converging. Love and loss are inseparable. And the quest refuses to be pinned to a path.

Critically

Plot – 5 out of 5 stars
This was everything I ever wanted in a finale! It’s full of suspense and horror, death and action. There’s finally some tangible romance which I needed in my life more than I need air to breathe, it has it’s signature creep factor and it’s full of twists and turns while at the same time, tying up most of the loose ends. It was incredible.

Writing Style – 4 out 5 stars
I’ve become such a fan of the way Maggie crafts her stories. It’s atmospheric and kind of creepy but written beautifully in a lyrical and poetic way. It’s intense, emotional, powerful, imaginative and addictive, so easy to read. It has it’s funny moments and I can’t wait to dive into more of her work soon.

Characters – 5 out of 5 stars
It’s so bittersweet to say goodbye to this amazing and real cast of characters who have grown so much.
Gansey is just amazing. From the beginning to now, he’s kept his finest qualities (honest, determined, brave) but he’s also grown so much. He’s hopeful for the future and has lost that incessant need to search for a purpose.
Blue is just wondrous. She’s more than you think at first glance, in a lot of different ways. She’s a bit sad and vulnerable in this particular book but also hopeful for the future to come.
I think Adam is the one that has grown the most out of all of them. He was such a closed off character in the beginning but he’s come into his own, he’s more open and confident and it was so great to see his journey.
Ronan will always be my baby because he has such a harsh outward attitude, that is really not how he is. It’s not fake but he’s so much sweeter and much more honest and hopeful that it first appears. I just love them all to pieces.

Emotionally

Read More »

Series Review – Falling Kingdoms #1-3 by Morgan Rhodes

book-review-falling-kingdoms-1-3

Falling Kingdoms, Rebel Spring and Gathering Darkness (Falling Kingdoms #1, #2 and #3)

Author: Morgan Rhodes

Publication: December 11th 2012, December 3rd 2013 and December 9th 2014

Publisher: Razorbill

Format: Kindle Edition 400 pages, Kindle Edition 416 pages and Kindle Edition 416 pages

Genre: Young Adult, High Fantasy, Paranormal

Read: January, June and July 2016

Morgan RhodesGoodreads

Falling Kingdoms Cover Falling Kingdoms

4 Stars

Synopsis
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 realize that the heart can be more lethal than the sword….

Critically

Plot – 3.5 out of 5 stars
boring in the beginning, different elements like lots of fucking death, magic, mystery, betrayals, and war, there are a lot of local folktales and legends that kind of set up the magic system and the conflict, the ending for me was predictable but I still ended up enjoying myself while reading.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
easy to read, flies by, engaging, mysterious, lots of different and distinct POVs, really visual and descriptive, but has a tendency to repeat phrases

Characters – 4 out of 5 stars
Everyone knows this series has a lot of characters so I’m going to talk about each of them.
Cleo annoyed me at first. She’s really petulant and spoiled which makes sense because of her life. However, she’s fierce and protective of her family, she loves them so much and she’s determined to get her life back.
Magnus is kind of a douche. I did not like him because he’s super arrogant and cold. He’s a bit self-centered and has some questionable desires but he also has a sensitive soul. And he doubts his decisions constantly which I have to say made me feel a little bad for him.
Lucia is kind of bland. She’s really sweet and caring but extremely sheltered. She’s neglected a bit by her family and when things start changing for her, she doesn’t really have anyone to turn to. Her emotions are all over the place and she’s pretty powerful but we’ll see how she handles it.
Jonas is just lost. Poor guy. His life is turned upside down after the death of his brother and his desire for revenge pulls him into this half-ass attempted at revolution that doesn’t end up turning out like he hoped. I really want him to catch a break.

Rebel Spring Cover

Rebel Spring

4.5 Stars

Synopsis
The road to power…is paved with blood and magic.
Cleo
is now a prisoner in her own palace, forced to be an ambassador for Mytica as the evil King Gaius lies to her people.
Magnus stands to eventually inherit the new kingdom but is still obsessed with his feelings for his adopted sister, Lucia.
Lucia is haunted by the outcome of the breathtaking display of magic that allowed her father to capture the kingdoms.
Jonas watched at the palace gates a troop of rebels behind him, waiting for him to tell them how he plans to overtake King Gaius.
After a bloody siege, Auranos has been defeated, its young queen orphaned and dethroned. The three kingdoms—Auranos, Limeros, and Paelsia—are now unwillingly united as one country called Mytica. But the allure of ancient, dangerous magic beckons still, and with it the chance to rule not just Mytica, but the whole world over….
At the heart of the fray are four brave young people grappling for that magic and the power it promises. For Cleo, the magic would enable her to reclaim her royal seat. In Jonas’s hands, it frees his nation, and in Lucia’s, it fulfills the ancient prophecy of her destiny. And if the magic were Magnus’s, he would finally prove his worth in the eyes of his cruel and scheming father, King Gaius, who rules Mytica with a punishing hand.
When Gaius begins to build a road into the Forbidden Mountains to physically link all of Mytica, he sparks a long-smoking fire in the hearts of the people that will forever change the face of this land. For Gaius’s road is paved with blood, and its construction will have cosmic consequences.

Critically

Plot – 4 out of 5 stars
much more exciting than the first one but still boring beginning, it’s full of action, betrayals, magic, violence and death, the folklore and legends are developed and expanded on, this one is also much darker than the first book, the world building is also much greater in this one

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
multiple and distinct POVs, visual, descriptive, engaging, easy to read, more fast paced though the beginning is still slow, the author tends to use declarations of love/romance and deaths as shock factors which become sort of predictable after awhile

Characters – 4 out of 5 stars
Cleo is definitely getting a bit of backbone in this book. She’s got her vengeful spirit on and she’s fierce against the people she does not like. However, she can get easily distracted from her goal by other things and she gets easily persuaded by other people. Yet I loved her determination and I hope she succeeds.
Oh Magnus. He’s still a little arrogant douche but he has a vulnerable side that is slowly coming out. He kind of gets kicked around a lot and he has a wounded pride. But he’s still fierce and determined to be a badass. But I don’t know how I feel about him completely.
Lucia just makes me want to give her a poor hug. She’s lost and vulnerable and doesn’t really have anyone to talk to. Her powers are beyond her control and there isn’t anyone around who can explain things to her but I feel like she will become a force to be reckoned with.
Jonas just can’t catch a break. He lets his emotions get the better of him and is always angry. He makes decisions and jumps into dangerous situations without thinking them through rationally. He’s definitely not the smartest rebel leader but his heart is in the right place.

Gathering Darkness Cover

Gathering Darkness

4.5 Stars

Synopsis
In GATHERING DARKNESS, book three of the New York Times bestselling Falling Kingdoms series, the stakes have never been higher as three teams push forward on a race to find the Kindred, the four elemental crystals possessing ancient all-powerful magic, first:
Prince Magnus has just witnessed torture, death, and miracles during the bloody confrontation that decimated the rebel forces. Now he must choose between family and justice as his father, the cruel King Gaius, sets out to conquer all of Mytica. All Gaius needs now are the Kindred – the four elemental crystals that give godlike powers to their owner. But the King of Blood is not the only one hunting for this ancient, storied magic…
• THE KRAESHIANS join the hunt. Ashur and Amara, the royal siblings from the wealthy kingdom across the Silver Sea, charm and manipulate their way to the Kindred, proving to be more ruthless than perhaps even the King of Blood himself.
• THE REBELS forge ahead. Princess Cleo and vengeful Jonas lead them, slaying with sweetness, skill, and a secret that can control Lucia’s overpowering magic – all so they can use the Kindred to win back their fallen kingdoms.
• THE WATCHERS follow Melenia out of the Sanctuary. They ally in the flesh with King Gaius, who vows to use Lucia’s powers to unveil the Kindred.
The only certainty in the dark times is that whoever finds the magic first will control the fate of Mytica… but fate can be fickle when magic is involved.

Critically

Plot – 4 out of 5 stars
boring/slow in the beginning, picks up a lot in the second half, full of action, death (though not as much as usual), violence and magic, the plot is full of twists and turns that I didn’t expect, there’s alliances, betrayals, but I still felt like some things were predictable

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
I have to repeat myself but that’s okay, multiply POVs, visual, descriptive, detailed, engaging, easy to read, but the many POVs also give a lot of plots points away

Characters – 4.5 out of 5 stars
Cleo is taking some backward steps in this book. I loved her tenacity in RS but in this book she’s a bit too trusting with the people around her. She’s getting desperate and making mistakes in what she says and who she confides in. She’s still determined but I feel like she’ll need more power before being able to get what she wants.
Magnus started to win me over a bit in this book. He’s still super arrogant but now it feels more like a front to get ahead. He’s a lot more emotional and vulnerable, at least to himself. But he’s smart and cunning and has a lot more power.
Lucia is annoying the crap out of me. Here’s this chick with more power than anyone else and she’s pretty much wasting it. She’s naive and easily manipulated by everyone around her and I mean everyone. It’s almost pathetic to be honest.
Jonas just does not have any luck whatsoever. He has the best intentions, he’s doing everything he to save his people from slavery basically. But his plans are too outrageous, he doesn’t think them through and the executions always end up biting him in the ass.

Emotionally

Read More »

Series Review – The Jinni Wars by Amber Lough

Book Review - The Jinni Wars

The Fire Wish and The Blind Wish (The Jinni Wars #1 and #2)

Author: Amber Lough

Publication: July 22nd, 2014 and July 28th, 2015

Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers

Format: Kindle Edition 320 pages and Kindle Edition 352 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Mythology, High Fantasy

Read: May 2015 and June 2016

Amber LoughGoodreads

The Fire Wish Cover

The Fire Wish

5 Stars

Synopsis
A jinni. A princess. And the wish that changes everything. . . .
Najwa is a jinni, training to be a spy in the war against the humans. Zayele is a human on her way to marry a prince of Baghdad—which she’ll do anything to avoid. So she captures Najwa and makes a wish. With a rush of smoke and fire, they fall apart and re-form—as each other. A jinni and a human, trading lives. Both girls must play their parts among enemies who would kill them if the deception were ever discovered—enemies including the young men Najwa and Zayele are just discovering they might love.

Critically

Plot – 4.5 out of 5 stars
The plot of this book hooked me right in the beginning. It’s so interesting because it’s about a subject and a premise that I’ve never read before. It’s mysterious and suspenseful and full of adventure. The mythology aspect is really interesting and the plot full of twists and turns. It kept me hooked the entire time.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
In general, it’s very simple but very descriptive which I appreciated because it makes it so much easier to picture such a vast and extraordinary world. The sentences are short and tight which made the story move very fast. My favorite part was definitely the world building  which is just amazing.

Characters – 4 out of 5 stars
This is the part where it got a little iffy for me. I was so enchanted by the world and the mythology that I honestly couldn’t care less about the characters, specially considering they were plainly stereo typical and totally opposites of each other. First there’s Najwa, the jinni and she’s the good one. She’s very brave and protective of her people and smart. She’s headstrong but also has a tendency to take a backseat when someone older doesn’t agree with her ideas. The only bad thing is that she’s very anxious and insecure. I understood it because of the situations she was placed in, but it got really annoying, really fast. Then there’s Zayele, who is the human and the bad one. She got on my every last nerve and I pretty much tried to ignore her when it came to her perspective and just focused on the plot instead. She’s selfish and mean and kind of a bully at some parts. She’s desperate to get out of her situation but resorts to something completely horrendous and ends up screwing things up even more for everybody. She has a tendency to act before she thinks and it gets her and everyone around her into hot water. She’s outspoken which I guess is the only good thing I can say about her character but it also backfired on her at times so I guess it can’t be that good. The side characters were so unmemorable that I didn’t write a note about them on my notebook and the romance was basically insta love times two.

The Blind Wish Cover

The Blind Wish

3.5 Stars

Synopsis
Two sisters. A war. And the wish to end regret. . . . The magical, evocative follow-up to The Fire Wish.
The war: The lies that started the conflict are in the open now, but the war between the humans and the jinn is as bitter as ever—and becoming far more treacherous.
The sisters: Najwa and Zayele have just learned they’re half-jinni, half-human twins. Najwa is now the jinni representative at the human palace, working to bring peace. But her new role comes at a price—she’s no longer allowed alone with her cherished Prince Kamal. And as Zayele adjusts to life among the jinn, she discovers that she’s a magus, one of the most powerful jinn in the Cavern. Suddenly, she’s thrown into special training, and the strongest young men in the army are competing to be paired up with her.
The wish: Once again, Zayele makes a wish. A wish that she doesn’t think can possibly go wrong. A wish that neither sister could imagine would change the outcome of the war.

Critically

Plot – 3 out of 5 stars
Gosh, I’m so disappointed in this sequel. The plot in this book was not as exciting as I expected it to be. It was slow and some parts of it were really boring. It felt like there were two separate plot lines, again both driven by the two different main characters but even that didn’t make it entertaining. I did like that it delved deeper into jinni life, death, grief and the different wishes. My favorite part of this series has always been the world building and it’s still top notch. But the end was really convenient and I didn’t get lost in this book like I did the first.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
Pretty simple but incredibly descriptive, It’s very short and the sentences are tight so it makes it easy to read quickly. However, it became really redundant after awhile. The reader knows things before the character and things are constantly being explained again and again. There’s a lot of telling and not showing which didn’t bother me in the first book but did in this one because the plot isn’t as exciting. The great thing though is that the world is really creative and imaginative and I loved it.

Characters – 3 out of 5 stars
This is the worst part and the source of my biggest disappointment in this book. I hope that the main characters would improve and develop in this second book but that didn’t happen, at all. Najwa is still just as anxious and just as insecure in the beginning of this book. She feels very vulnerable after the events of the first book and is very withdrawn. She’s still obedient and loyal and brave and smart but it just doesn’t really matter to me. It was like meh. I didn’t care for her point of view but it was not as bad as Zayele. You’d think this girl would’ve learned something after the catastrophe she created in the first book but nope. She’s still stubborn and reckless and again she makes a wish without thinking the consequences through and causes so much mayhem and pain to other people. She means well but she’s too impulsive and ends up screwing things up instead of fixing them like she wants. By the halfway point I had no more patience for her and her tantrums so the bit of growth she did have went practically unnoticed. The biggest problem for me is that they remain two seperate entities. The relationship between the two main characters is practically nonexistent and that feels like such a wasted opportunity. Also, the romances are super weak and the insta love continues. And the ending definitely did not do justice to the amazing world and it’s history.

Emotionally

Read More »