Sunday, 15 January 2017

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay

Presenting Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay by J.K . Rowling.

Here is the summary of the book:

J.K. Rowling invites you to explore a new era of the Wizarding World...

Explorer and Magizoologist Newt Scamander has just completed a round-the-globe trip in search of the most rare and unusual magical creatures. Arriving in New York, he intends his stay to be just a brief stopover. However, when Newt's case is misplaced and some of Newt's fantastic beasts escape into the city, it spells trouble for everyone…


REVIEW ==

J K Rowling.... Can do no wrong. Harry Potter began a trend more than a decade ago. Since then that magical world had been sort of a refuge for any and everyone be it young or old... with just the swish and flick of the wand. The Casual Vacancy followed then the stories of Detective Cormoran Strike (still going on)... But the wizarding world had always been our first love.... will always be our first love.... 

And their venture of the return of that world, albeit further back in the past.... Is something we all looked to with much eagerness..... 'Fantastic beasts and where to find them'... In that essence renews that regard with much charm and gusto. A different era, a different country, different ethics but the magic just as effervescent.

This is of course not the novel we may have hoped for but the script to the movie. Adorned in the most gorgeous artwork and the adventures of Newt Scamander and his case full of magical creatures, the no-maj Jacob Kowalski, and the witch sisters Tina and Queenie. MACUSA is as ever strict in their laws.... There is a darkness growing in the streets of New York.... And Grindlewald is of course not far behind.

I might be doing a poor job of describing the book but really you have to see and experience  the movie first, to really experience this beautiful book to the fullest. But the best of all - 4 more movies will follow. But till anything new comes about, we are more than satisfied with Niffler, the Demiguise, the Occamy, the Bowtruckle, the majestic Thunderbird and all manners of beasts that call Scamander's suitcase their home.

"Magic, mayhem and wonder of wizarding world clothed in an equally magical cover"
Genre :      Fantasy, Young Adult, Historical Fiction

PublisherLittle Brown Book Group

Release Date: 19th November, 2016

My Copy: bought (hardback)

Rate:              5/5 (It was Amazing)

Other Books from the Author:
                Cormoran Strike #1 #2 #3
                The Casual Vacancy
               Harry Potter (i read the series before 
                   I began blogging, so I never put up 
                     a review for them)
    
Buy:           Amazon | Book Depository

Friday, 6 January 2017

Of Fire and Stars

Presenting Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coldthurst.

Here is the summary of the book:

Betrothed since childhood to the prince of Mynaria, Princess Dennaleia has always known what her future holds. Her marriage will seal the alliance between Mynaria and her homeland, protecting her people from other hostile lands. But Denna has a secret. She possesses an Affinity for fire—a dangerous gift for the future queen of a kingdom where magic is forbidden.

Now, Denna must learn the ways of her new home while trying to hide her growing magic. To make matters worse, she must learn to ride Mynaria’s formidable warhorses before her coronation—and her teacher is the person who intimidates her most, the prickly and unconventional Princess Amaranthine (called Mare), sister of her betrothed.

When a shocking assassination leaves the kingdom reeling, Mare and Denna reluctantly join forces to search for the culprit. As the two work together, each discovers there’s more to the other than she thought. Mare is surprised by Denna’s intelligence and bravery, while Denna is drawn to Mare’s independent streak. Soon their friendship is threatening to blossom into something more.

But with dangerous conflict brewing that makes the alliance more important than ever, acting on their feelings could be deadly. Forced to choose between their duty and their hearts, Mare and Denna must find a way to save their kingdoms—and each other.


REVIEW ==

Gorgeous cover. An almost high fantasy. Magic and LGBT. While I did like the overall effect of the plot but 'Of Fire and Stars' didn't give that fabulous tale I expected it to contain judging by the outer design and the synopsis. But other than that everything was just disappointing. The plot on the whole felt too generic for its fantasy setting. The characters themselves don't seem to bring much into the plot. Information dump was also seen throughout the pages which in turn brought down the pace of the story a little.

As protagonists, Denna and Mare were likable as a pair. The Princess of another kingdom being forced to marry another Kingdom's Prince to form alliances but falls in love with his cousin. This line of plot device is not that old and has been seen a lot. Although Denna is genuine is about her feelings and her decisions but there were instances where the plot goes deep into her psyche and her starts to wallow in self pity when you least expect her to because she develops feelings for not her intended but his cousin, Mare.

Mare is liked very much on the other hand. She is independent. She is nothing you would expect a Princess to be. Headstrong most of all and a fierce horse riders of all things. She may not care for anything or anyone else but she loves her horses and those are the best parts of her personality. On the whole women are treated far better than you would expect to for a story of this era. With key positions of the kingdom ruled by females even if the men seems a little reserved in their regard so that is definitely a positive point for this book.

As far as dialogues are concerned. They also don't seem constant in their execution. Some places they felt prose like and other times they felt to modern, that the transition felt too jarring to differentiate or enjoy. I'm not trying to bring the story down in anyway but while the story felt great on principal .... its those little things that don't let us enjoy the book as we expect it to.

"Magic. First love and a realm on the verge of war. Fantasy lovers will surely enjoy this new adventure"

Genre :     Young Adult, Fantasy, LGBT, Romance

Publisher: Balzer+Bray

Release Date: 22nd November, 2016

My Copy: publisher & edelweiss

Rate:             3/5 (Liked It)

Buy:         Amazon | Book Depository 

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

The Wishing World

Presenting The Wishing World by Todd Fahnestock.

Here is the summary of the book:

In the Wishing World, dreams are real. You can transform into your own hero, find wild and whimsical friends, and wield power as great as your imagination. But Lorelei doesn't know about any of that. All she knows is that a monster took her family.

It happened during a camping trip one year ago. Hiding inside the tent, she saw shadows, tentacles and a strange creature. By the time she got up the courage to crawl outside, the monster--and Lorelei's mom, dad, and brother--were gone.

Lorelei is determined to find her family. When she accidentally breaks into the Wishing World, she discovers a way. It's a land more wonderful than she could have imagined, a land of talking griffons, water princesses, and cities made of sand, where Lorelei is a Doolivanti--a wish-maker--who can write her dreams into existence.

There's only one problem: the monster is a Doolivanti, too. What he wishes also comes true, and he's determined to shove Lorelei out, keep her family, and make the whole Wishing World his. To save them, Lorelei must find the courage to face him, or her next wish may be her last.


REVIEW ==

There is much to like here and much that was just 'me-h'. The Wishing World by Todd Fahnestock while sporting a gorgeous front cover, a fictional world and a cool world to discover..... It's just maybe I wasn't in the mood for it or maybe the writing style didn't appeal to me. But I didn't enjoy the book as much as I hoped to have.

The best thing about 'The Wishing World' though was it's Narnia-esque Wishing World (I'm not kidding that is it's name) and how the author fashions this new world. It was wonderful experience. Although on the other hand how the Doolivanti add to and their significance in the plot didn't feel that clear to me. In that aspect the writing style also takes some getting used to. But otherwise I liked what I read. Of course it was nowhere near spectacular as I was expecting it to be.

As a protagonist Lorelei certainly proved her mettle. She was determined, headstrong and with a good head on her shoulders and a rather one track mind. There was an allure to the Wishing World but she never once let that impede her mission of finding her family. All the while making friends in the unlikeliest of places and unseemly of situations.

Ultimately while this world didn't wow me as I was hoping it would, but it does have its redeeming qualities that set it apart from the others. 

"A quick read into a new Narnia-esque fantasy that redefines the meaning of love and family"


Genre :     Middle Grade, Fantasy

Publisher: Starscape

Release Date: 25th October, 2016

My Copy: publisher & netgalley

Rate:             3/5 (Liked It)

Buy:         Amazon | Book Depository 

Monday, 26 December 2016

The Boy Who Killed Grant Parker

Presenting The Boy Who Killed Grant Parker by Kat Spears.

Here is the summary of the book:

Luke Grayson's life might as well be over when he's forced to go live in rural Tennessee with his Baptist pastor father. His reputation as a troublemaker has followed him there, and as an outsider, Luke is automatically under suspicion by everyone from the principal at his new school to the local police chief. His social life is no better. The new kid in town is an easy target for Grant Parker, the local golden boy with a violent streak who has the entire community of Ashland under his thumb.

But things go topsy-turvy when a freak accident removes Grant from the top of the social pyramid, replacing him with Luke. This fish out of water has suddenly gone from social outcast to hero in a matter of twenty-four hours. For the students who have lived in fear of Grant all their lives, this is a welcome change. But Luke’s new found fame comes with a price. Nobody knows the truth about what really happened to Grant Parker except for Luke, and the longer he keeps living the lie, the more like Grant Parker he becomes.


REVIEW ==

You tend to already form your opinion whenever you read the title of a book and read its synopsis that, you don't think even for a moment that the book might not be what you want it to be..... And that is what I felt as I finished the book...... 'The Boy Who killed Grant Parker' felt formulaic and rather tried and done with for me to really appreciate Kat Spears' narrative. For a book with such an explosive title like that the plot felt rather quiet to me.

Luke Grayson is for lack of a better word. A normal teenager. The preacher's son. And he is a troublemaker to top it off. Lady Luck definitely doesn't seem to be favoring him these days. But I liked him in the first half of the book. He is the underdog. Going to extremes to be different than what being the preacher's son entails. He is sarcastic. A little bit weird with a good dosage of snark. 

Now Deliah I liked very much. She was this strange and very opinionated girl who Luke seems to banter with every chance he gets. They never really get along but she is also the only one who put up with him.... If only her character was treated better..... Really she was his only friend after the 'incident' and she just got shoved in the corner for the conventional plot to play out. Again I say - I did not like it. 

The incident as I dubbed it changed everything about the story into a direction I really did not like at all. Grant Parker was a bully and Luke stood up to him. It is fairly cliche what comes next but everything goes downhill for the plot after this. Where the first half felt something good and different the latter just the old overdone high school drama. 

Luke's character also became unrecognizable from what we saw before. Bland and letting others decide for him. Really I am trying to not reveal anything but the disappointment is too much.... Hence it gets 2 stars less.

"Familiar premise of high school hierarchy and a tried and done with plot. An Okay read just not what I expected"

Genre :     Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin

Release Date: 13th September, 2016

My Copy: publisher & netgalley

Rate:             3/5 (Liked It)

Buy:         Amazon | Book Depository 

Friday, 18 November 2016

Ash & Bramble #2 Rose & Thorn

Presenting Ash & Bramble #2 Rose & Thorn by Sarah Prineas.

Here is the summary of the book:

A spindle. A beautiful girl. A century-long slumber.

There is a story that longs to be told. It searches for its heroine, its prince, and the magic it needs to come alive. It will stop at nothing for its happily ever after.

One girl in search of answers. Two powerful forces at war. Three curses braided together.

After the spell protecting her is destroyed, Rose seeks safety in the world outside the valley she has called home. She has been kept hidden all her life to delay the three curses she was born with, curses that will put her into her own fairy tale and have drastic consequences if they take effect. Accompanied by Griff, the handsome and mysterious Watcher, and Quirk, his witty and warmhearted partner, Rose tries to escape from the ties that bind her to her story. But will the path they take lead them to that freedom, or will it bring them straight to the destiny they are trying to avoid?


REVIEW ==

'Story' wants to be told. 'Story' needs to be told. And 'Story' is devious enough to gain what it wants the most, no matter the consequences. Pen and Shoe may have dealt a big blow to 'Story's' reign in Ash & Bramble.... But it's not over yet. 'Story' always finds a way, even if it has to wait for its turn. 

And so it begins. Years later in 'Rose and Thorn'. With new players for 'Story' to play with - Rose and Griff. And a new Godmother to do its bidding. This time it is the story of 'Sleeping Beauty' that gets played and author Sarah Prineas does a fabulous job of seamlessly integration of an age old classic, in her own way. What felt missing with 'Ash & Bramble' can be seen in 'Rose & Thorn'.

Rose is the 'Beauty' of the tale. Cursed by 'Story' when she was a wee babe. She was stolen way by the then older Pen and raised by Shoe, away from prying eyes. Having never been to the outside world, Rose grows to be a kind, playful and gentle girl if not slightly naive. Thus, when circumstances force her to leave the safety bubble. She sees that stories and reality are too different and she must find that inner strength for what is coming for her.

Griff on the other is different. Raised in an atmosphere where even the word Story gets you punished. Griff had for most parts followed a strict rule adherent life. A loveless life. A gray life. Where his routine duties are much more important than anything else. Of course all else changes when Rose comes barreling into his life. He knows she has been cursed and must be cleansed but he also knows that she didn't ask for any of this. So strives to help her with all he can. It also doesn't hurt that he is attracted to her. 

Griff on the whole was the best. Strong and silent. He can definitely be moody. But he had the heart of gold. 'Rose & Thorn' on the whole felt much more darker than 'Ash & Bramble' was and I definitely appreciate it all the more for that. There is a darkness to this plot achieved perfectly because of the elements at play and the characters, the well timed twist & turns fabulously do that. The gorgeous cover is of course an incentive enough to warrant us reading it. I will of course want to read the next book when it releases.

"An enticing tale that will have you salivating for more"

Genre :     Young Adult, Fairytale re-telling, Romance

Publisher: HarperTeen

Release Date: 18th September, 2016

My Copy: publisher & edelweiss

Rate:             4/5 (Really Liked It)

Other Books by the Author(review links):
         #1 Ash & Bramble

Buy:         Amazon | Book Depository 

Monday, 14 November 2016

Fear Street Relaunch #5 The Dead Boyfriend

Presenting Fear Street Relaunch #5 The Dead Boyfriend by R.L. Stine.

Here is the summary of the book:

R.L. Stine's Fear Street series is back, and in The Dead Boyfriend, he tells the frightening tale of teenage love - and how it can go terribly, murderously wrong.

Caitlin has never had a real boyfriend before. When she starts seeing Colin, she throws herself into the relationship with fervor. She ignores her friends who warn her that Colin may be a phony and that she is taking the whole thing too seriously. Caitlin is smitten. She doesn't care if she loses her friends. All she wants is Colin. When Caitlin approaches Colin with another girl, she completely loses it. She snaps. Everything goes red. When she comes back to her senses, she realizes that Colin is dead - and she has killed him.

But if Colin is dead, how is he staring at her across a crowded party?

Terrifying from the first page to the last, The Dead Boyfriend is a heart-racing young adult novel from the master of teen screams himself.


REVIEW ==

Creepy, definitely but amazing? Definitely Not!

Why do I do this to myself? R.L. Stine's books would have appealed more to me if I was younger. Fear Street strikes again and The Dead Boyfriend may just be the most cliche of all the cheesy teen thrillers I ever saw.

Again the story was too predictable and I started to get a bit annoyed because the characters and the situation felt ridiculous. Also they make this mistake in the synopsis again.... maybe i noticed because i read the review copy but the boyfriend is not Colin ..... but Blade. Although I will say this though .... that surprising twist and reveal at the end was a nice touch and maybe in a sense destroyed what the plot builds up to ..... but nice touch there.

But truly, this series will appeal more to a younger generation.

"Fear Street and deadly shenanigans"


Genre :     Young Adult, Horror, Paranormal

Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin

Release Date: 27th September, 2016

My Copy: publisher & netgalley

Rate:             2/5 (It was Ok)

Other Books in the Series:
            Review Links 

Buy:           Amazon | Book Depository

Saturday, 5 November 2016

Disruption #1 Disruption

Presenting Disruption #1 Disruption by Jessica Shirvington.

Here is the summary of the book:

The heart-stopping first chapter in bestselling author Jessica Shirvington's Disruption series.

What if a microchip could identify your perfect match?

What if it could be used against you and the ones you love?

Eight years ago, Mercer Corporation's M-Bands became mandatory. An evolution of the smartphone, the bracelets promised an easier life. Instead, they have come to control it.

Two years ago, Maggie Stevens watched helplessly as one of the people she loved most was taken from her, shattering her world as she knew it. Now, Maggie is ready. And Quentin Mercer - heir to the M-Corp empire - has become key to Maggie's plan.

But as the pieces of her dangerous design fall into place, could Quentin's involvement destroy everything she's fought for?

In a world full of broken promises, the ones Maggie must keep could be the most heartbreaking.


REVIEW ==

Somehow this book just didn't work for me..... There now you all must be thinking that something's wrong with me because how could I not like a Jessica Shirvington book but hold your horses people.... I meant it was OK ..... just nothing spectacular ...... as I was expecting it to be. Of course it was action packed and fast paced ..... but it just didn't wow me with its subject matter like I would from a Dystopia. 

Because lets face it. This subject matter had been done before, most notably is the one I remember recently reading Free to Fall by Lauren Miller (which was just amazing). A new technology in a future era that simplifies your life and dictates how you interact with people at a pheromone level ..... okay this last part might be new but other than that it just didn't draw me in. The world building also felt lacking. It just tells us of the Phera-tech and their specs and expect us to understand the initial info-dump. It also never explains how Maggie performs her impossible raids but just the help from Gus. The storyline is about a brutal future so you would expect to read about some of the shady things Maggie had to do to get her needs but it never touches on those aspects at all.

Also Maggie and Quentin as protagonists just didn't click. I love a flawed character just like any other bibliophile out there. So she had a hard life and did a lot of bad things to people to find out what happened to her father. But her attitude and how she started to feel burdened with guilt..... well human beings aren't perfect but this one just annoyed me with her monologues. She may have targeted Quentin at first to use him to get her father out of M-corp but no surprises there .... starts to like him. 

Quentin was your cliche boy-toy but he was different somehow ..... going to great lengths to find out the truth about his family and in the process re-define who he wants to be. I also expected a little bit more out of him when the eventual betrayal was revealed but he sadly didn't deliver on that aspect as well. Of course the good thing is that .... no triangles ..... but the romance again didn't feel genuine. Maggie and Quentin just didn't seem to connect well in my opinion. The friend-enemy Gus had a better chemistry with Maggie and that's saying something.

But I will also say this ..... that ending twist was definitely unexpected and I also appreciated how Shirvington maintains the element of thrill and fast paced action. At the end, though Disruption is by far not my favorite book by any means but I am interested enough to know what happens next. Corruption hopefully will be up to task (its the title of the sequel for those who don't know).

"A story of second chance, heartbreaks and dangerous future technology"

Genre :      Young Adult, Dystopia, Romance, Thriller

Publisher: HarperCollins

Release Date: 4th October, 2016

My Copy: publisher & edelweiss

Rate:              3/5 (Liked It)

Other Books from Author (review links):
            The Violet Eden Chapters #1

Buy:           Amazon | Book Depository 

Monday, 31 October 2016

The Gold Seer Trilogy #2 Like A River Glorious

Presenting The Gold Seer Trilogy #2 Like A River Glorious by Rae Carson.

Here is the summary of the book:

After a harrowing journey across the country, Leah Westfall and her friends have finally arrived in California and are ready to make their fortunes in the Gold Rush. Lee has a special advantage over the other new arrivals in California—she has the ability to sense gold, a secret known only by her handsome best friend Jefferson and her murdering uncle Hiram.

Lee and her friends have the chance to be the most prosperous settlers in California, but Hiram hasn’t given up trying to control Lee and her power. Sabotage and kidnapping are the least of what he’ll do to make sure Lee is his own. His mine is the deepest and darkest in the territory, and there Lee learns the full extent of her magical gift, the worst of her uncle, and the true strength of her friendships. To save everyone, she vows to destroy her uncle and the empire he is building—even at the cost of her own freedom.

The second epic historical fantasy in the Gold Seer trilogy by Rae Carson, the acclaimed author of The Girl of Fire and Thorns.


REVIEW ==

Begins where 'Walk On Earth A Stranger' ended. The group is now in California but the journey had not been a bed of roses. Losses were had and grievances were dealt with. Consequently bringing the group closer than before, looking to finally put down roots and stake their claims before they began to mine for gold.... Of course not everyone remained, some leaving to return the way they came fearing for their safety and the pull of gold that may not necessarily be a good thing.

But for those that remained the Gold Rush promises much prosperity as settlers in California. Leah Westfall has her own secret ability to consider, her relationship with best friend Jefferson and finally doing something about her murderous Uncle Hiram is just one of her many problems. The best aspect of this series throughout these two books would definitely be how Carson developed all the characters throughout their many ordeals and how they came together as a tight-knit family as they settle down and start building their new future.

I'd be truthful I had actually forgotten some of what happened in the first book. But it didn't seem like an issue once I began reading this book. The author does a great job of reminding us of the details as she buildup from where the first one ended. As a protagonist Leah/Lee has been a consistently strong throughout the story. More so in this book, as she slowly gets more stronger with her abilities and has to finally deal with her Uncle Hiram and hopefully save everyone from the his clutches..... And maybe finally be able to give an answer to Jefferson and her own happiness.

'Like A River Glorious' had everything we missed out on in the first book. The characters are much stronger, the plot develops and branches out more. We finally get to see more of Leah's powers and that epic showdown was just brilliant....... And the book cover is just too gorgeous to be left alone.

"A Golden Sequel. Effectively stronger generously developed."

Genre :     Young Adult, Historical fiction, Romance

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Release Date: 27th September, 2016

My Copy: publisher & edelweiss

Rate:             4/5 (Really Liked It)

Other Books by the Author(review links):
         #1 Walk On Earth A Stranger

Buy:         Amazon | Book Depository 

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

The Female of Our Species

Presenting The Female of Our Species by Mindy McGinnis.

Here is the summary of the book:

Alex Craft knows how to kill someone. And she doesn’t feel bad about it. When her older sister, Anna, was murdered three years ago and the killer walked free, Alex uncaged the language she knows best. The language of violence.

While her crime goes unpunished, Alex knows she can’t be trusted among other people, even in her small hometown. She relegates herself to the shadows, a girl who goes unseen in plain sight, unremarkable in the high school hallways.

But Jack Fisher sees her. He’s the guy all other guys want to be: the star athlete gunning for valedictorian with the prom queen on his arm. Guilt over the role he played the night Anna’s body was discovered hasn’t let him forget Alex over the years, and now her green eyes amid a constellation of freckles have his attention. He doesn’t want to only see Alex Craft; he wants to know her.

So does Peekay, the preacher’s kid, a girl whose identity is entangled with her dad’s job, though that does not stop her from knowing the taste of beer or missing the touch of her ex-boyfriend. When Peekay and Alex start working together at the animal shelter, a friendship forms and Alex’s protective nature extends to more than just the dogs and cats they care for.

Circumstances bring Alex, Jack, and Peekay together as their senior year unfolds. While partying one night, Alex’s darker nature breaks out, setting the teens on a collision course that will change their lives forever.


REVIEW ==

Flawed characters. Crime gone unpunished. The horrors of rape culture and pretty much the only language that seems to work against it.... Violence. They say the female of the species, any species are more vicious than their male counterparts. And they are not wrong. A fact proven in stark details by Mindy McGinnis's haunting and realistic words throughout this book.

Sincerely I didn't know what I would find going into this book. I also wasn't expecting it to be so difficult to process as well. Alex, Jack and Peekay were some of the best characters I had ever come across. None of them are perfect. None of them are blameless. But all three of them are flawed in their ways.... I feel truly incapable of enunciating just what I really felt about this book. 

But I will say that this book is painfully realistic. It's honest and gritty and should definitely be a required reading to all. With how much rape and murder cases make the news these days. So I would definitely applaud McGinnis for presenting to us with this amazing book with such dynamic characters. 

This book is for sure not a feel good story, a wish-fulfillment, feminist or your run of the mill happy ever after. So you are warned before you begin this book..... That said you should give this book a chance because I absolutely guarantee it that Alex's brutally honest persona, her friendship with the preacher's kid (Peekay) and her budding romance with the popular Jock (Jack) ..... Is a glimpse of real life, you don't see too often in any form of literature.

"A too real and compound look to reality. McGinnis's words are a lesson for all ages"


Genre :     Young Adult, Contemporary, Realistic, Romance, Mystery

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Release Date: 20th September, 2016

My Copy: publisher & edelweiss

Rate:             4/5 (Really Liked It)

Buy:         Amazon | Book Depository 

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Passenger #1 Passenger

Presenting Passenger #1 Passenger by Alexandra Bracken.

Here is the summary of the book:

In one devastating night, violin prodigy Etta Spencer loses everything she knows and loves. Thrust into an unfamiliar world by a stranger with a dangerous agenda, Etta is certain of only one thing: she has traveled not just miles but years from home. And she’s inherited a legacy she knows nothing about from a family whose existence she’s never heard of. Until now.

Nicholas Carter is content with his life at sea, free from the Ironwoods—a powerful family in the colonies—and the servitude he’s known at their hands. But with the arrival of an unusual passenger on his ship comes the insistent pull of the past that he can’t escape and the family that won’t let him go so easily. Now the Ironwoods are searching for a stolen object of untold value, one they believe only Etta, Nicholas’ passenger, can find. In order to protect her, he must ensure she brings it back to them—whether she wants to or not.

Together, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the traveler who will do anything to keep the object out of the Ironwoods’ grasp. But as they get closer to the truth of their search, and the deadly game the Ironwoods are playing, treacherous forces threaten to separate Etta not only from Nicholas but from her path home... forever.


REVIEW ==

I was equally excited for this book and i am equally dreading reviewing this too now that I have finished it, I was lucky enough to be contacted by Hachette India for a review because this book is clothed in such a gorgeous cover, its Alexandra Bracken (of course I still haven't read her Darkest Minds series, yet) and because the story has time travel .... and i'm a sucker for anything Time travel. This one also has been hyped across the social media a lot too. So those can be a hit and miss thing in a lot of instances ..... In the case of Passenger, it somehow felt in between.

Etta is a budding violinist and Nicholas is a content sea traveler, who dreams of owing his own boat. Etta is just about to have her big debut in modern day America but before that could happen, enters the illusive Ironwood family who whisk her away back in time to search for something they say her mother stole, in return for the release of her mother who had been taken away by the said Ironwoods. And Nicholas must help her, if he wants to get away from the clutches of his family (Ironwood) and be free of its web.

I liked Etta and Nicholas as protagonists. Etta's world has been turned upside down and its understandable that she is suspicious of this secret world and at a loss to do anything about it other than what they want her to do. She is headstrong, and with a good head on her shoulder. Nicholas was a sweetheart. He is chivalrous, protective, loyal to a fault and a well mannered eighteenth century guy, who knows how to treat a girl right. He falls for Etta at first glance but knows not to expect anything because of the restrictions that differentiate them in more ways than one.

This book also has another major point to recommend it. They did time travel but in a different style. Usually people travel trough time because of a rare gene, artifacts or machines but Bracken employs the use of corridors where people walk through to travel in time, not something you usually see in time travel story. And also this story has a colored character in this historical setting, good choice there.... Definitely not something you usually see.

Its just the one thing that made me rate it less was that the story felt too long and dragging. Also the explanations where too long winded, that the pacing got distracted sometimes because of that..... And I got bored because of that. But i definitely liked the development of the romance between Etta and Nicholas..... I'm definitely coming back to this series because the cliffhanger was just heartbreaking and i want to know what happens next.

"New and slightly different but a time travel never seen before"
Genre :     Young Adult, Sci-fi, Romance, Historical fiction

Publisher: Quercus

Release Date: 7th April, 2016

My Copy: courtesy of the publisher

Rate:             3/5 (Liked It)

Buy:         Amazon | Book Depository 

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Blood of Gods and Royals #2 Empire of Dust

Presenting Blood of Gods and Royals #2 Empire of Dust by Eleanor Herman.

Here is the summary of the book:

In Macedon, war rises like smoke, forbidden romance blooms and ancient magic tempered with rage threatens to turn an empire to dust.

After winning his first battle, Prince Alexander fights to become the ruler his kingdom demands—but the line between leader and tyrant blurs with each new threat.

Meanwhile, Hephaestion, cast aside by Alexander for killing the wrong man, must conceal the devastating secret of a divine prophecy from Katerina even as the two of them are thrust together on a dangerous mission to Egypt.

The warrior, Jacob, determined to forget his first love, vows to eradicate the ancient Blood Magics and believes that royal prisoner Cynane holds the key to Macedon’s undoing.

And in chains, the Persian princess Zofia still longs to find the Spirit Eaters, but first must grapple with the secrets of her handsome—and deadly—captor.


REVIEW ==

After 'Legacy of Kings' comes 'Empire of Dust'. Following the tale of young Prince Alexander of Macedon. Of Hephaestion and Alexander's twin Katerina and their secret mission to gather allies for Alexander. Of Olympias, Cyanane, Zofia, and Jacob of Aesaerian Lords garner their own secrets, schemes and half-truth for their end goals. Empire of Dust has the action from the get go. Offering just like its predecessor a plethora of stories, while somehow managing to keep all the stories separate.

Still slow on the pickup. Only progress in pace as we go further into the story but the whole effect this time was just boring. With how much I praised its predecessor, it just took me too long to finish it...... Although i will say that i do like the plot painted by Eleanor Herman but this sequel just exhausted me. Alexander wants to prove his worthiness as a ruler. Heph wants to prove that Alexander still needs him. Cynane wants to rule. Jacob has his own dues as one of the Aesaerian warriors. Zofia wants to alter her destiny and Katerina wants Olympias to answer for her crimes. Their goals maybe same still but this sequel proved too boring as I already said for me to care.

Maybe the problem is that the author is trying to do to much, resulting in this messy sequel. But it did and while the same brought an effect of newness in 'Legacy of Kings', the same wasn't true at all for its sequel. Frankly the only story i wanted to read in this book was of Hephaestion and Katerina who are together for the entirety of the book on a mission from Alexander.

The romance while subtle also didn't do much to improve the excitement i would be expected to feel here. The character development is also a major aspect of this series that i really admire. So hopefully things will be better in the next book because the plot and the world buildup with the clever mix of history and fantasy is a simply brilliant experience.

"A bit of a let down but a worthy sequel to this rich mix of history and mythology"

Genre :     Young Adult, Historical fiction, Fantasy, Romance, Paranormal

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Release Date: 28th June, 2016

My Copy: publisher & netgalley

Rate:             3/5 (Liked It)

Other Books by the Author(review links):
         #1 Legacy of Kings

Buy:         Amazon | Book Depository 

Monday, 19 September 2016

The Winner's Trilogy #2 The Winner's Crime

Presenting The Winner's Trilogy #2 The Winner's Crime by Marie Rutkoski.

Here is the summary of the book:

Lady Kestrel's engagement to Valoria's crown prince calls for great celebration: balls and performances, fireworks and revelry. But to Kestrel it means a cage of her own making. Embedded in the imperial court as a spy, she lives and breathes deceit and cannot confide in the one person she really longs to trust ...

While Arin fights to keep his country's freedom from the hands of his enemy, he suspects that Kestrel knows more than she shows. As Kestrel comes closer to uncovering a shocking secret, it might not be a dagger in the dark that cuts him open, but the truth.

Lies will come undone, and Kestrel and Arin learn just how much their crimes will cost them in this second book in the breathtaking Winner's trilogy.


REVIEW ==

This book just hurts.... Literally, tragically and emotionally. I didn't know if that was at all possible before. But MY GOD! Marie Rutkoski's 'The Winner's Crime', the sequel to The Winner's Curse ..... just hurts. You brilliant brilliant author and your most exquisite book. I may have said that a particular book was amazing enough to make us emotional before but .... Winner's Crime figuratively and literally takes it a step further. And successfully manages to destroy us from the core *cries*..... Seriously I swear it - It was that painful to read.

Kestrel and Arin. There have been many literally couples before who don't follow the norm set by others..... These two are just the same. It is always a wonder to read about your favorite couples as they develop throughout a series. Definitely true for these two as well. Arin is more than the slave he was in the first book. Likewise Kestrel is more than just the calculating daughter of the General. Romance is of course not the focus of this tale. It is there shrouded in its subtlety and the dangers games of life. But politics, conspiracies and betrayal fill its pages with its intrigue and the masterful setup by Rutkoski herself.

They may only meet a few times throughout the book but both Kestrel and Arin are always thinking about each other. Every decision each of them make is always with the significant other in mind. Kestrel in a dangerous bid to save the Herrani agrees to marry the Prince of Valoria. Setting herself up to be the spy for the welfare of Arin and his people. Kestrel manages to trade one cage for another. All the while risking her life for him. Of course Arin doesn't know why she is marrying the Prince. As she hesitates to tell him the whole truth, the noose of the ruthless Emperor being way too precarious to navigate.

Really just about every other negative feeling and sad truths are filled in this book. Conspiracies, betrayal, court politics, deceptions and failures to explain are what we find ..... Resulting in us readers hurt to the core. Arin on the other hand looks towards dangerous allies to win back his freedom from the Valorians without knowing that he already had a staunch ally in the heart of the court. These two know each other so well that it is marvel really that they don't call the other out on the truth.

Arin knows just how Kestrel thinks. Likewise Kestrel knows just how Arin thinks. Call them soulmates or their sweeping, intense romance and feeling for each other. They know each other too well..... But.... somehow they still second guess each other. Everytime it happened and I just felt like wanting to jump into the story and bashing their heads together and then telling them to be completely honest with each other. Because the pain, sadness and resignation we see throughout this sequel was just tragic.... and too painful for my sad sad heart.

And that soul shattering cliffhanger just killed me ........... Why must you authors play with us so! No questions asked the Winner's trilogy is one series that deserves all the praises we can heap on it. Both The Winner's Curse and Winner's Crime are magnificent pieces of literature. With a gorgeous and intriguing world setup, equally distinguished cast of characters, an almost lyrical flow of words through the pages and a narrative like no other.

But I love a good happy ever after ...... and I hope we get that in the The Winner's Kiss, which i am equally anxious and hesitant to read because i have no idea just how much more painful subterfuge my heart can handle.... But great work Ms. Rutkoski. Simply brilliant.

"A heartbreaking-ly epic sequel in the exquisite Winner's Trilogy"


Genre :     Young Adult, Historical fiction, Fantasy, Romance

Publisher: Bloomsbury Children

Release Date: 12th March, 2015

My Copy: publisher & netgalley

Rate:             5/5 (It was Amazing)

Other Books by the Author(review links):
         #1 The Winner's Curse

Buy:         Amazon | Book Depository 
 

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