Tag: Fantasy (page 1 of 75)

BOOK REVIEW: Legion (Talon #4) by Julia Kagawa

BOOK REVIEW: Legion (Talon #4) by Julia KagawaLegion (Talon #4)
by Julie Kagawa
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

The legions are about to be unleashed, and no human, rogue dragon or former dragon slayer can stand against the coming horde. Book 4 of 5 in The Talon Saga from New York Times bestselling author Julie Kagawa.

Dragon hatchling Ember Hill was never prepared to find love at all--dragons do not suffer human emotions--let alone the love of a human and a former dragonslayer, at that. With ex-soldier Garret dying at her feet after sacrificing his freedom and his life to expose the deepest of betrayals, Ember knows only that nothing she was taught by dragon organization Talon is true. About humans, about rogue dragons, about herself and what she's capable of doing and feeling.

In the face of great loss, Ember vows to stand with rogue dragon Riley against the dragon-slaying Order of St. George and her own twin brother Dante--the heir apparent to all of Talon, and the boy who will soon unleash the greatest threat and terror dragonkind has ever known.

Talon is poised to take over the world, and the abominations they have created will soon take to the skies, darkening the world with the promise of blood and death to those who refuse to yield.

 

“Make no mistake. You will serve Talon, one way or another. We just have to find that breaking point.”

It’s no secret I’m one of the few people (among those I know or follow) who are still deeply involved with this series. I cherish and am obsessed with Garret, adore Riley and the rest of the crew, have a love/hate relationship with Ember, and generally am knee-deep in Kagawa’s perilous fantasy story-telling abilities. The end of Soldier (and all of Soldier, really, in my opinion) was by far one of my favorite endings to a book-ever. But, even Kagawa can’t always be perfect.

Even with all the things I love about this series, this book felt, inevitably, like a filler to me. Not as much passion, not enough action, a little too much of that moron, Dante, and an overall overkill of some things. I say ‘some things’ lightly because I just don’t know how to explain what wasn’t right for me-it just wasn’t. I think there was too much background noise, too much buildup with not enough payoff.

“Though you are beautiful, you know that, right?” I think I blushed, and he smiled, leaning closer. “I didn’t fall in love with how you looked,” he murmured as his hand rose, gently brushing my cheek. “I fell in love with you.”

I liked so many things, as always with the Talon series, in this book, but I’m kind of in a place [with the content of the last book, Soldier] where I can’t say too much. I can say there was a lot of planning for an all-out war. I can say there was a decent amount of, ahem, romance. And I can even say the writing style wasn’t as strong as the last three books, in my opinion. But when you get down to it, I can’t say the things I REALLYYY want to say…because…spoilers lol.
But, hey, let’s recreate some dialogue like Joey from Friends and ALMOST accidentally spoil everything, while talking to Chandler and Ross:

J: Remember how that bastard cheated and went against the oath at the end of Soldier?
R/C: Riighhhttt, okay, so fun, I remember.
J: And then remember how Ember was begging him not to die and…you know…
R/C: Ooohh yeahhh, so cool.
J: And it just ended with Garret View Spoiler » ?!
Rachel: JOEY!!!

HA. Sorry, but I can’t not talk about him!!!!! I JUST CANNOT. WHAT WORLD WOULD I BE LIVING IN IF I DIDN’T GUSH ABOUT ONE OF MY TOP BBF’S FOR LIFE??? Not a good one, that’s for sure.
So, anyway. Take what you will from this review, but just remember these key things:

-By far my least favorite book of the series
-Not my favorite dialogues, almost bordering on cheesy, which Kagawa has never done so I may be overstepping, I don’t know
-Lots of Dante…a big downside for me, because:

A) YAWN
B) BORINGGGGG
C) FUCK HIM

-Not as much action as I remember from the others
-Not as emotional, if you ask me

BUT

-Still some heart-wrenching moments
-Still some swoon
-Still butterflies in my belly
-Still Kagawa…and you ain’t doin’ half bad readin’ a Kagawa book, mmmkaaaaaayyy?

So…whatever. If you read it, read it. If you don’t, don’t. But I’ve done as good as I can keepin’ it real. Go with God.

View Spoiler »

View Spoiler »

***********************

OMG THE COVER OMG MY BOY AHHHH-I LOVE IT *smiling devil face emoji*

****

Ugly Crying like…


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My heart and soul were ripped to shreds at the end of Soldier….and with my horrible book slump, this is the ONLY story that could ease my wounded soul.


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I’m so obsessed with Garret it’s not even funny.


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Which is why I am still a blubbering mess when I think of him…


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and this story…and it’s end…


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and this evil author that I am obsessed with and adore…..


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But I suppose I’ll be fine (UNTIL 2017) ARGHHHHHHH UGHHHHH


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Seriously-Kagawa, you are evil. You wound me.

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BOOK REVIEW: The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air #1) by Holly Black

BOOK REVIEW:  The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air #1) by Holly BlackThe Cruel Prince by Holly Black
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself

“If I cannot be better than them, I will become so much worse.”

I see why people call Holly Black ‘Queen of the Faeries’. Hoooly wow. What a delightfully dark, twisty novel.

If you know anything about me, I’m all about the court politics & intrigue, villains & anti-heroes, and schemes within plots within schemes. This book had my name written ALL over it.

Okay so here’s the basic rundown without giving away too much. Jude and Taryn are twins. Vivi is their older sister. It turns out, Vivi’s real father, Madoc, is fae. When the girls are young, he comes for Vivi, kills their parents, and sees Jude and Taryn as his responsibilities since their mother was his… ex. To put it lightly. He whisks them away to Faerie to be raised alongside his family. Having grown up with Madoc as the only father they knew, Taryn and Jude have come to love him like a father, while Vivi promises to always hate him for what he did.

Being the general’s daughters, Jude and her sisters are raised alongside the High King’s sons and daughters. Each sibling has their own group of friends, spies, etc.

Enter Cardan.

Cardan is the youngest prince, and on the surface, the cruelest. Anyone who gets in his way, annoys him, or disrespect him, ends up paying dearly. Jude hates him with a passion, to say the least. He has that whole ‘school bully’ syndrome and is impossibly arrogant (all the makings of a delicious prince, amirite?)

Jude just wants to belong. Unlike her sister, she loves the land of Faerie. She wants to belong. Her dream is to become a knight. She wants a position of power that will earn her freedom and respect. But after being bullied and harassed by Cardan and his lackeys, Jude is fed up.

“My good intentions evaporate on the wind. My blood is on fire, boiling in my veins. I do not have much power, but here is what I have – I can force his hand. Cardan might want to hurt me, but I can make him want to hurt me worse.”

So we have a bit of a prank war, but a life-threatening one. Jude stops trying to control her temper, and she starts fighting back. She gets in a few good swings at Cardan, which royally pisses him off in the most delightful way. It catches the attention of the rest of the royal family, including Prince Dain. He meets Jude in secret and offers her a position of power if she spies for him. Dain is the chosen son, the one that will inherit the crown via his father’s favor.

So Jude accepts his offer and becomes part of his ‘Court of Shadows’.

Political games insue. Jude gets in over her head. (Or does she?)

I don’t want to say more than that, but that’s the general idea of the opening. Only, it becomes so much more. Jude discovers secrets within secrets about the court, and with the coronation coming up, things get especially intense. Not to mention, her twin sister says she has a secret lover but she refuses to reveal his identity.

When shit hits the fan, oh man, it gets SO good. The ending was phenomenal, and the sequel is set up to be AMAZING and I dont know how I’m going to wait… *screams into the void*

That. Epilogue.

Help.

Bah, ok. Anyway… Jude is a fantastic main character. She’s cunning, witty, and so supremely dark. Perhaps darker than Cardan himself at times. She’s complex (so is everyone else) and relatable and easily has one of the strongest voices I’ve come across in a YA novel. I loved how complicated things get with her sisters and Madoc’s family, and how buried some of the secrets are. Oh man. What a cool (and awful) family dynamic. I also looooved how vivid the royal family is. Of course, Cardan is my favorite, because I am utterly helpless when it comes to characters like him. Is there ever something between him and Jude, you ask? I admit nothing, but if you could pass me your fan…

Ugh, and the world. Holly Black’s writing is lush in every way imaginable, and she excels in bringing such a fantastical world to life. None of it felt made up. She doesn’t shy away from anything dark, either. This isn’t a pretty fairie land, folks. Here be monsters.

BOOK REVIEW: The Midnight Dance by Nikki Katz

BOOK REVIEW: The Midnight Dance by Nikki KatzThe Midnight Dance by Nikki Katz
Purchase on: Amazon
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

When the music stops, the dance begins.

Seventeen-year-old Penny is a lead dancer at the Grande Teatro, a finishing school where she and eleven other young women are training to become the finest ballerinas in Italy. Tucked deep into the woods, the school is overseen by the mysterious and handsome young Master who keeps the girls ensconced in the estate – and in the only life Penny has never known.

But when flashes of memories, memories of a life very different from the one she thinks she’s been leading, start to appear, Penny begins to question the Grand Teatro and the motivations of the Master. With a kind and attractive kitchen boy, Cricket, at her side, Penny vows to escape the confines of her school and the strict rules that dictate every step she takes. But at every turn, the Master finds a way to stop her, and Penny must find a way to escape the school and uncover the secrets of her past before it’s too late.

I’m… not quite sure how to feel. On one hand, the writing was absolutely lovely, but I think the story was a bit of a miss for me personally, though that might be due to personal preferences! But let me say this first- this would make an incredible film! Can someone please make this into a movie? Thanksssss.

Penny is one of many dancers held up in the Master’s estate. At the beginning, she starts to realize her memories are off kilter and something is very wrong. Despite being drawn to the (very handsome) Master (the owner of the estate), Penny discovers he’s doing something to manipulate all the girls. (Sounds cool right?)

I was super into the first few chapters. The plot takes no time to dive you in deep, and I was totally into the whole Master concept. So much in fact, that I think it set my hopes too high for the end. I was expecting some majorly cool plot twists and while there were a few small ones, nothing really caught me off guard. So that’s probably my fault-my expectation levels with the whole mystery thing were sky high, so I was sad when there were no big surprises. I DID like the few small ones though. I also felt like there were quite a few loop holes, but it could be that I missed some important details.

The concept was strong, but the characterization fell a bit flat for me. The focus was much more on the present circumstances and mystery vs the character’s pasts or personalities, so I had a difficult time connecting to anyone, especially at the beginning. I get it, everything was supposed to be a mystery, but since the mystery aspect didn’t have many surprises, I just had a hard time with it.

The Master totally had ‘Darkling’ vibes, and I LOVED that bit, but he kinda disappointed me in the end. It was cool that we saw bits of his story in the past but it didn’t feel like strong enough motivation for him to become who he was. I’m SUPER particular about my villains though, so I doubt anyone else will feel the same.

Now I know that all sounds a bit negative, but trust me, those are all personal opinions that I doubt others will share. This book had MANY redeeming qualities. For instance, the setting was SO COOL and the writing (which I mentioned earlier) was absolutely lovely. While the mystery aspect was a bit of a let down for me personally, the story was still really cool and I really enjoyed several bits. I would definitely read another book by Nikki because she’s an extremely talented author.

So all in all, If you’re in the mood for a mystery/semi-thriller with hints of romance, check out this book!

BOOK REVIEW – The Star-Touched Queen (The Star-Touched Queen #1) by Roshani Chokshi

BOOK REVIEW – The Star-Touched Queen (The Star-Touched Queen #1) by Roshani ChokshiThe Star-Touched Queen (The Star-Touched Queen #1)
by Roshani Chokshi
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Fate and fortune. Power and passion. What does it take to be the queen of a kingdom when you're only seventeen?

Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of Death and Destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father's kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her whole world is torn apart when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. Soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Neither roles are what she expected: As Akaran's queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar's wife, she finds something else entirely: Compassion. Protection. Desire...

But Akaran has its own secrets -- thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Soon, Maya suspects her life is in danger. Yet who, besides her husband, can she trust? With the fate of the human and Otherworldly realms hanging in the balance, Maya must unravel an ancient mystery that spans reincarnated lives to save those she loves the most. . .including herself.

Review:

The words that spilled from the pages was breathtaking. The story that took place was beautifully enchanting. Yet every time I put the book down, I never felt the urge to pick it back up again. And I never once caught myself thinking about the story or the characters outside of reading. Which isn’t normal for me, at all. So I was left feeling torn towards The Star-Touched Queen. Since I’m stuck in the middle, here are some of my scattered thoughts about this uniquely, beautiful book –

✮ Fabulous world building –

I could glimpse the moon folding herself into crescents and half-smiles. When I looked up, I could imagine an existence as  vast as the sky. Just as infinite. Just as unknown.

The world building was fascinating, and I loved learning everything I could about Indian folklore. They were both richly described, and I felt as though I couldn’t get enough. I wanted to learn more. Those two elements were my favorite things about this book!

✮ I loved how fate and choices was a strong theme –

I pushed myself off the wall. I knew all the rumors, and I didn’t care to hear them again. Their words crawled over my skin. I wanted to shake off the insults, the laughter, the shadows. But all of it clung to me, thick as smoke, pushing out the blood from my veins until I pulsed with hate.

In the beginning, we learn that one’s fate and love revolves around horoscopes. And it’s taken as the literal truth. Which was awful for Maya, our main character, because her horoscope was viewed as horrific and tragic. It caused prejudice towards her, and others who had a less than desirable horoscope. But as the story progressed, we saw how not only fate but choices too played an integral part in the story and Maya’s life. It was fun watching everything unfold.

✮ Ambiguous scenes –


I see only night and smoke, dreams and glass, embers and wings. And I would not have you any other way.

There were moments where not everything was explained. And while those moments were filled with beautiful words, I was left with nothing to grip onto. I’d end the scene confused and left wondering what in the world just transpired?! Each time I tried to shrug it off and keep going. Which is a littler harder than it sounds, because I’m one who would prefer to have a solid understanding with what’s taking place in a scene. So I did struggle with this aspect.

✮ Not connected to the romance –

“My star-touched queen,” he said softly, as if he was remembering something from long ago. “I would break the world to give you what you want.”

I never connected to the romance. I liked Maya and Amar separately, but when they were together I never felt much emotion. I would get a small smile from time to time, but I definitely didn’t get that butterfly inducing, wishing they would just get together already feelings. I think part of the reason I didn’t connect with them was that I was always left wishing that I had more of a backstory. Yet that never happened.

So I’ve decided that I do need to try another book by this author. I have a feeling that will push me into the love or pass category for her future releases. But if you’re thinking about picking this one up, I definitely recommend it if you’re looking for something unique and beautifully crafted!

BOOK REVIEW – Thunderstruck by Brenda Drake

BOOK REVIEW – Thunderstruck by Brenda DrakeThunderstruck by Brenda Drake
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
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Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Stevie Moon is famous...at least to the subscribers on her comic review vlog. At school, she’s as plain as the gray painted walls in the cafeteria. So when Blake, the hot new guy at school, shows an interest in her, she knows trouble when she sees it. Been there. And never doing it again.

As the son of the god Thor, Blake Foster's been given an important mission—to recover the Norse god Heimdall’s sacred and powerful horn before someone uses it to herald in the destruction of the entire universe. But while Blake is great in a fight, the battlefield that is a high school’s social scene is another matter.

Blake knows his only choice is to team up with the adorable Stevie, but she's not willing to give him even the time of day. He'll need to woo the girl and find the horn if he hopes to win this war. Who better to tackle Stevie's defenses than the demi-god of thunder?

Review:

Thunderstruck was such a cute story.  It revolved around Norse Mythology and the pages were filled with friendship, drama, first love and some mystery.  I quickly read it in two sittings and I found myself smiling a lot.  While it had a younger vibe and a few adorable yet cheesy moments, I enjoyed Thunderstruck and it’s characters!

He wanted to get lost in her. Forget he was from another world. A world where she could never go. A world he no longer wanted to return to without her.

Blake, the son of Thor, was my favorite out of all of the characters.  He was to recover a horn, and bring it back home.  But Blake found himself distracted by Stevie, a girl who goes to the same school as him.  And while I thought the son of a god would be charming and charismatic, it didn’t always work out that way lol.  He was soooooooo out of his element on Earth.   He was awkward at times, used too proper of English, and he didn’t understand slang (the Netflix comment was my fave rofl!). There were moments that I was laughing yet also cringing for him.  But thankfully Stevie was able to see past all of that, just like I was able to.

He just didn’t seem like he belonged on this planet, which was a weird thing to think, but it kept playing in her head.
Really, Stevie. You’re not living in a comic.

Stevie was an adorable girl who had a vlog and loved cosplay.  And I assumed her and Blake would easily end up together, that’s not exactly how it went down.  It all became convoluted when Blake wasn’t sure who had the horn.  And because of that, he ended up hanging around another girl a lot.  Her name was Grace, and I was not a fan.  So a love triangle formed.  And there was definitely a lot of drama.  I’m one of those that loves drama (I use to watch soaps back in the day), so I was a happy girl.

Kyle was leaning against his passenger side door. “Now, wasn’t that sweet? Kill a troll, hack up its body and dump it in the bay, then kiss a cute girl. All in one night.”
“What do you want, now?” Blake rounded the hood to the driver’s side. “Don’t you have someone else you can bother?”

Another character that helped cause a lot of drama was Kyle.  He was Blake’s brother and in the beginning I wasn’t too sure where his loyalty resided.  I kept getting annoyed at myself because Kyle came across as someone who I shouldn’t necessarily like.  Yet I did.  He was the annoying brother who would never go away.  Heaven help me for liking him lol.

“Why me?” Her words were as silent as a feather falling from a dove. When she looked back up the moonlight touched her face, her cheeks flushed and her dark eyes glistened with tears held back. And he didn’t care that he told her his feelings, because they made her look like that— beautiful.

Now underneath it all, was Norse Mythology.  And maybe this is more my issue than anyone else’s, but I’m clueless about Norse Mythology.  So when a character’s name would appear, I didn’t understand who they were.  It’d say if they were related, but I would have loved to have a little bit of a backstory on who was who.  Thankfully I was reading on my kindle, so I would highlight the name and read more about them on the Wikipedia pop-up box.  But I do wish some of that info was within the actual story so I’d know who we were meeting or who they were dressing up as.

This time he turned his back. Because he would do anything to save her, even betray her.

The creatures, characters, mystery, and action made this book such a quick, fun read!  I was completely entertained, and the story went by too fast.  I’m always bummed when I devour a story too quickly.  Ohhh one more thing before I go, while it’s a YA book, I felt like it would be a great step for those ready to leave MG and step into YA.  

PS This is SO random but Trevon (Stevie’s best friend’s boyfriend) reminded me so much of Murray, Dionne’s boyfriend, from Clueless for some reason.  So I was always smiling when he was gracing the pages.

*ARC kindly provided by Entangled:Crave via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

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