Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Hunted

Presenting Hunted by Meagan Spooner.

Here is the summary of the book:

Beauty knows the Beast’s forest in her bones—and in her blood. Though she grew up with the city’s highest aristocrats, far from her father’s old lodge, she knows that the forest holds secrets and that her father is the only hunter who’s ever come close to discovering them.

So when her father loses his fortune and moves Yeva and her sisters back to the outskirts of town, Yeva is secretly relieved. Out in the wilderness, there’s no pressure to make idle chatter with vapid baronessas…or to submit to marrying a wealthy gentleman. But Yeva’s father’s misfortune may have cost him his mind, and when he goes missing in the woods, Yeva sets her sights on one prey: the creature he’d been obsessively tracking just before his disappearance.

Deaf to her sisters’ protests, Yeva hunts this strange Beast back into his own territory—a cursed valley, a ruined castle, and a world of creatures that Yeva’s only heard about in fairy tales. A world that can bring her ruin or salvation. Who will survive: the Beauty, or the Beast?


REVIEW ==

Score 1 for 'fantasy' and a well written re-imaging of a fan favorite tale of Beauty and the Beast. And most of all Hunted by Megan Spooner stands on its own two feet. Fairytale while the name may suggest otherwise are not a cutesy depiction of life, nor does every stories ends in a happy ever after.... Well before Disney got their hands on those stories, when they were just word of mouth and fireside tales. Beauty and the Beast likewise had its serious issues.... *coughs* Stockholm Syndrome *cough**cough*.

Moreover this is Yeva and the Beast's tale. Yeva is definitely no damsel in distress neither does she contain an ounce of naivete in her person but she is kind, passionate, selfless and kickass in her own rights. Beast on the other hand, i did not know what to think about. Disney animated version kept his earlier appearance more animal like and even the live action played close to that. So i am happy to report that Spooner's Beast was just the same, if not a bit more. While we felt sad for his circumstances. For this Beast we did not know how his situation came about. So at first we feel quite angry with him because he is quite forceful with her.

But it falls to the mettle of the author to make or break a character, likewise making us feel for such characters. Thus I particularly like how we feel for Yeva and her family's situation, her rough treatment at the hands of the Beast and how she unearths the secrets of the Beast, his castle and the strange new world she finds herself in. We get a much more in-depth look to the characters of the Beast and Yeva than what we usually get. While never naming names, the wordplay and the prose is articulate enough to keep us apprised of the situation and scenes.

The setting for the tale also gives it some credit. It is set in Russia for the most part and magic and the magical is a rather common practice for these people. That said Spooner created a magical atmosphere for the castle to reside in and it was definitely a marvel to experience each and every one of them as we further into the story. Happily dragging us along for the ride with just the turn of the page.

"Exotic and just the right amount of magic to get this adaptation of the Beauty and the Beast to newer heights"

Genre :     Young Adult, Fairytale re-telling, Romance

Publisher: HarperTeen

Release Date: 14th March, 2017

My Copy: publisher & edelweiss

Rate:             4/5 (Really liked It)

Other Books by the Author(review links):
         Starbound (with Amie Kaufman)#1 #2 

Buy:         Amazon | Book Depository 

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Ravenspire #2 The Wish Granter

Presenting Ravenspire #2 The Wish Granter by C.J. Redwine.

Here is the summary of the book:

An epic, romantic, and action-packed fantasy inspired by the tale of Rumpelstiltskin, about a bastard princess who must take on an evil fae to save her brother’s soul, from C. J. Redwine, the New York Times bestselling author of The Shadow Queen. Perfect for fans of Graceling and the Lunar Chronicles.

The world has turned upside down for Thad and Ari Glavan, the bastard twins of SĂșndraille’s king. Their mother was murdered. The royal family died mysteriously. And now Thad sits on the throne of a kingdom whose streets are suddenly overrun with violence he can’t stop.

Growing up ignored by the nobility, Ari never wanted to be a proper princess. And when Thad suddenly starts training Ari to take his place, she realizes that her brother’s ascension to the throne wasn’t fate. It was the work of a Wish Granter named Alistair Teague who tricked Thad into wishing away both the safety of his people and his soul in exchange for the crown.

So Ari recruits the help of Thad’s enigmatic new weapons master, Sebastian Vaughn, to teach her how to fight Teague. With secret ties to Teague’s criminal empire, Sebastian might just hold the key to discovering Alistair’s weaknesses, saving Ari’s brother—and herself.

But Teague is ruthless and more than ready to destroy anyone who dares stand in his way—and now he has his sights set on the princess. And if Ari can’t outwit him, she’ll lose Sebastian, her brother…and her soul.


REVIEW ==

Magic always comes with a heavy price..... Somehow despite knowing that people still tend to go about dealing with this stuff and we tend to ohhh and ahhh at it all (can't believe I wrote this with a straight face). In a long trend of adaptations, re-tellings and re-imagings of old classic novels, folk lore and fairytale that have been sweeping the market these days, "The Wish Granter" is not only one of them but it sure makes an impression on us all.

The second book in the Ravenspire series by C.J. Redwine. It beings us as name might indicate, the story of Rumpelstilskin, in a brand new avatar. Redwine's imagines a vibrant and enigmatic world through the pages of the book and skillfully intertwines the stories of Ari, Thad, Teague or be it Sebastian, with a dexterous hand that definitely leaves us rooting for the good guys and not for the bad guys.

Love is a powerful emotion. A powerful weapon in its own right and capable of wreaking the most havoc of them all. Every character throughout this story of Ravenspire (again) does what they can to save the ones they love from despair and ultimate ruin. Thad wants to save his sister. Ari likewise wants to save her brother. In all, the 'Wish Granter' Alistair Teague plays the pivotal role of the nemesis. He is definitely not the conventional Rumpelstilskin, there are definitely influences from other adaptations (majorly of ABC's Once Upon A Time). But he is bold, rather ruthless and capricious enough to warrant caution.

Definitely a game of Cat and mouse but The Wish Granter in my opinion was a lot better than 'The Shadow Queen'. Maybe I was much more invested in these characters than I was with the ones in the first book or these characters had much more substance than what came before. I liked Thad's perseverance, Ari's resourcefulness and love for her brother and cool and brooding Sebastian. Teague was a great villain as i already stated and really like all villains, he didn't start out bad..... Will I recommend it ..... Definitely! Because at the end of the day what's within these pages manages to tether us to our seats.

"Exciting, exotic and a fascinating re-imaging of Rumpelstilskin"

Genre :     Young Adult, Fairytale re-telling, Romance, High Fantasy

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Release Date: 14th February, 2017

My Copy: publisher & edelweiss

Rate:             4/5 (Really Liked It)

Other Books by the Author(review links):
         #1 The Shadow Queen

Buy:         Amazon | Book Depository 

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Charlotte Holmes #2 The Last of August

Presenting Charlotte Holmes #2 The Last of August by Brittany Cavallaro.

Here is the summary of the book:

Watson and Holmes: A match made in disaster.

Jamie Watson and Charlotte Holmes are looking for a winter-break reprieve after a fall semester that almost got them killed. But Charlotte isn’t the only Holmes with secrets, and the mood at her family’s Sussex estate is palpably tense. On top of everything else, Holmes and Watson could be becoming more than friends—but still, the darkness in Charlotte’s past is a wall between them.

A distraction arises soon enough, because Charlotte’s beloved uncle Leander goes missing from the estate—after being oddly private about his latest assignment in a German art forgery ring. The game is afoot once again, and Charlotte is single-minded in her pursuit.

Their first stop? Berlin. Their first contact? August Moriarty (formerly Charlotte’s obsession, currently believed by most to be dead), whose powerful family has been ripping off famous paintings for the last hundred years. But as they follow the gritty underground scene in Berlin to glittering art houses in Prague, Holmes and Watson begin to realize that this is a much more complicated case than a disappearance. Much more dangerous, too.

What they learn might change everything they know about their families, themselves, and each other.


REVIEW ==

The dreaded book 2 syndrome all over again. The last of August while a smart followup, missed the charm and wit of the first book. There is also not much in way of a family tree provided because there are way too many Holmes and Moriarty(s) to keep track of.

While Jaime and Charlotte are still stumbling through their relationship, with the latter hefting a closet full of skeletons. Things are no longer just confined to the boarding school... Although I sorely missed it, when those two were still learning about each other. I did like the art forgery ring aspect of the story. And what all the plucky detectives have to do to unearth the truth.

While I do understand why Charlotte is the way she is but that hot & cold attitude started to get irritating real fast. Sadly that is pretty much what I found good enough for this story. It's biggest fault being that the author doesn't offer much in the way of remembering the events of the previous book. Hopefully the next one will be much better.

"There is room for improvement but a strapping adventure nonetheless"


Genre :     Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Mystery, Detective, Teen Angst

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Release Date: 14th February, 2017

My Copy: publisher & edelweiss

Rate:             4/5 (Really Liked It)

Other Books by the Author(review links):
         #1 A Study in Charlotte

Buy:         Amazon | Book Depository 

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Reign of Shadows #2 Rise of Fire

Presenting Reign of Shadows #2 Rise of Fire by Sophie Jordan.

Here is the summary of the book:


The richly suspenseful sequel to Sophie Jordan’s romantic fantasy Reign of Shadows.

Luna and Fowler have escaped the kingdom of Relhok, but they haven’t escaped the darkness. When a battle against the dark dwellers mortally injures Fowler, Luna is faced with a choice: put their fate in the hands of mysterious strangers or risk losing Fowler forever.

Desperate to keep the one bright part of her life alive, Luna accepts the help of soldiers from a nearby kingdom. Lagonia’s castle offers reprieve from the dangerous outside world—until the king discovers both Fowler's and Luna’s true ties to Relhok and their influence over the throne.

Now pawns in each kingdom’s political game, Luna and Fowler are more determined than ever to escape and build the life they’ve been dreaming of. But their own pasts have a tight hold on their hearts and their destinies. Luna must embrace the darkness and fire within her before she loses not only Fowler, but the power she was destined to inherit.



REVIEW ==


Typical of duologies..... They might be a hit... Or a miss. Sadly in case of Rise of Fire, it just doesn't come to par with the fantastic and exciting that was the first book. Reign of Shadows, was a powerhouse in on itself. It was new and very exciting.... Rise of Fire in comparison just doesn't do it justice.


That is not to say that that I disliked Rise of Fire... I did not but it just didn't give that feeling of hair raising fun like the first book. Of course more of Luna and Fowler was a bonus. But other than that it felt like a haphazard mess. Don't get me wrong. There is a happy ending here and personally I like a good and happy ending but what paved the way to that was in the short order a disaster. 


My only beef with this book is just that inclusion of third wheel between Luna and Fowler of the Lagonian royalty and their stake in the power play.... Something that was totally not needed at all in the long run and just served to downgrade a possibly action packed and a hair raising finale. Where it felt like the author just threw in a final confrontation with the creature because she suddenly remembered what the story was all about.


"A disappointing conclusion to an exciting beginning"

Genre :     Young Adult, Dystopia, Post Apocalyptic, Romance, Fairytale re-telling, High Fantasy

Publisher: Harper Teen

Release Date: 7th February, 2017

My Copy: publisher & edelweiss

Rate:             2/5 (It was Ok)

Other Books by the Author(review links):
         Uninvited #1 Uninvited
         Reign of Shadows #1 Reign of Shadows

Buy:         Amazon | Book Depository 

Monday, 24 July 2017

Queen of Hearts #2 Blood of Wonderland

Presenting Queen of Hearts #2 Blood of Wonderland by Colleen Oakes.

Here is the summary of the book:

The queen will rise.

Dinah has been exiled from Wonderland. The vicious father she always feared has framed her for the brutal murder of her brother and turned the kingdom against her.

Now hiding in the lush and mysterious Twisted Wood with only her war steed at her side, Dinah is faced with a choice. She could leave Wonderland forever or return and fight her father for her throne—a fight she knows would only result in bloodshed.

When a chance encounter with one of her father’s long-lost enemies brings Dinah more allies than she ever could have imagined, war starts to feel inevitable. But before Dinah can lead her people into combat, she must confront certain truths about her heart and her destiny—no matter how dark those truths may be.

Revolution is rising in Wonderland.

Dinah’s battle has begun.


REVIEW ==

Starting just after the conclusion of the first book. Blood of Wonderland follows Dinah who must crave a niche for herself after her exile from the Wonderland palace. And while this book had it's merits. It still didn't give that awe-inspiring feeling, the first book left me with. 

There also wasn't much in the way of remembering events from the first book in this one. So I felt lost in a lot of places. But Dinah's character development I liked very much and the more in-depth focus to this new Wonderland was cool. To say the least. 

I will of course wait for the next book to actually form a better opinion of the series, because really this has the potential to be something great and I want it to be epic like its synopsis proclaims it to be.


"A new Wonderland and a new adventure that has the potential to be great"

Genre :     Young Adult, Paranormal, Fantasy, Fairytale re-telling

Publisher: Harper Teen

Release Date: 31st January, 2017

My Copy: publisher & edelweiss

Rate:             3/5 (Liked It)

Buy:         Amazon | Book Depository 

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

A Monster Calls

Presenting A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness, Siobhan Dowd (idea by).

Here is the summary of the book:

The monster showed up after midnight. As they do.

But it isn’t the monster Conor’s been expecting. He’s been expecting the one from his nightmare, the one he’s had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments, the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming…

This monster is something different, though. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor.

It wants the truth.

REVIEW ==

Dark, emotional, sense of family, grief and magical realism. 'A Monster Calls' is everything and so much more packed in this tiny powerhouse. It is not only Conner's tale, but a plethora of all other stories that take a life of their own. The monster wants the truth and he is more than imposing and giant enough to get it. 

Cancer is a disease that can affect you and your families when you least expect it. But it is life and death and it's acceptance that matters most of all. Grief can be deadly. Grief can be immense. Grief takes you over and (by case) can suck the life out of you. Conner needs to accept. Conner needs to move on. But it is not easy when the truth means he looses the only adult figure of his life. That is why truth hurts.

And that is why this book will forever hold a special place in my heart. Because really it made me cry and it made me appreciate life and my loved ones most of all.

(F. Y. I. The movie was as amazing as the book. I'll have a review on my YouTube channel soon so stay tuned)

"Dark, realistic and eye opening with a hint of the magical"

Genre :     Young Adult, Paranormal, Fantasy, Speculative

Publisher: Walker Books

Release Date: 27th September, 2011

My Copy: bought (ebook)

Rate:             4/5 (Really Liked It)

Buy:         Amazon | Book Depository 

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children #2 Hollow City

Presenting Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children #2 Hollow City by Ransom Riggs.

Here is the summary of the book:

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children was the surprise best seller of 2011—an unprecedented mix of YA fantasy and vintage photography that enthralled readers and critics alike. Publishers Weekly called it “an enjoyable, eccentric read, distinguished by well-developed characters, a believable Welsh setting, and some very creepy monsters.”

This second novel begins in 1940, immediately after the first book ended. Having escaped Miss Peregrine’s island by the skin of their teeth, Jacob and his new friends must journey to London, the peculiar capital of the world. Along the way, they encounter new allies, a menagerie of peculiar animals, and other unexpected surprises.

Complete with dozens of newly discovered (and thoroughly mesmerizing) vintage photographs, this new adventure will delight readers of all ages.


REVIEW ==

Begins just where Miss Peregrine's..... ended. Hollow City was a bit of a hit and miss for me. The second books are usually bridges between the first and the third books. And unfortunately Hollow City became just that. Although like its predecessor this book is a fast read, while still somewhat retaining that mystery and magic. Somehow it wasn't all there. 

The vintage photos that accompany the plot was marvelous as usual, mainting the level of subtle darkness and providing us readers with an exclusive look into the adventure. The children are still searching for someone who could turn Miss Peregrine back to her human form before the change becomes permanent. 

Obviously the journey isn't without peril. But along the way there were impossible and mysterious discoveries as well. And while it wasn't as great as the first book I did like what I read and will definitely be reading the finale Library of Souls. 

"Mesmarising and exciting"

Genre :     Young Adult, Paranormal, Fantasy

Publisher: Quirk Books

Release Date: 24h February, 2015

My Copy: bought (paperback)

Rate:             3/5 (Liked It)

Other Books by the Author(review links):
         #1 Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

Buy:         Amazon | Book Depository 

Sunday, 4 June 2017

The Marvels

Presenting The Marvels by Brian Selznick.

Here is the summary of the book:

Caldecott Award winner and bookmaking trailblazer Brian Selznick once again plays with the form he invented and takes readers on a voyage!

Two seemingly unrelated stories--one in words, the other in pictures--come together. The illustrated story begins in 1766 with Billy Marvel, the lone survivor of a shipwreck, and charts the adventures of his family of actors over five generations. The prose story opens in 1990 and follows Joseph, who has run away from school to an estranged uncle's puzzling house in London, where he, along with the reader, must piece together many mysteries.


REVIEW ==

Remember that book from the treasure planet animated movie when the character opens it and the story within plays in front of the person reading the book as a hologram. Like an entire world within the book..... Well 'The Marvels' gave me that same feeling.

It's about art, family, love, life and all of its nuances. It's about two different stories told through 2 different mediums. One purely as page turning art and the other as a prose. It's how two such seemingly different stories come to connect in seemingly impossible ways to bring us a story that is not only a marvel to go through but a proverbial treasure in itself. 

"Aptly named it is a literal marvel and a stunning work of art"

Genre :     Middle Grade, Graphic Novel, Historical fiction, Fantasy realism

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Release Date: 15th September, 2015

My Copy: bought (hardback)

Rate:             5/5 (It was Amazing)

Buy:         Amazon | Book Depository 

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Red Queen #2 Glass Sword

Presenting Red Queen #2 Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard.

Here is the summary of the book:

If there’s one thing Mare Barrow knows, it’s that she’s different.

Mare Barrow’s blood is red—the color of common folk—but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control.

The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from Maven, the prince—the friend—who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.

Pursued by Maven, now a vindictive king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors.

But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat.

Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever?

The electrifying next installment in the Red Queen series escalates the struggle between the growing rebel army and the blood-segregated world they’ve always known—and pits Mare against the darkness that has grown in her soul.


REVIEW ==

Red Queen came as a surprise and stayed ablaze with its newness and it's exciting and dangerous new premise. Not only did the author create a different world but one that promises much and delivers on it too. With the flow of words as such the plot... No this series is as a whole is enough to set our hearts racing. 

And the same can be said for the sequel "Glass Sword". Beginning soon after the events of the first book. Cal and Mare are on the run from Maven. She knows as the synopsis says that she is not the only one of her kind, there are others.... Maven knows that too and for lack of a better term this is a race against time as the good guys must save these new bloods before Maven gets to them. 

Along the way Mare must learn the do(s) and don't(s) of her ability and hopefully save everyone. Cal on the other hand is the outsider and while the resistance see him as the enemy, things are on always black and white. Danger lurks in every corner of their world. Throughout Cal and Mare may have their ups and downs but in a sense they maintain their solidarity till the end.

There was a certain ounce of darkness that prevails throughout this book and if the events are any indication then the next books in the series too maintain that vibe.... Yes I am excited to learn what happens next and really you should be too. 

"With a darker vibe, Glass Sword delivers as an enticing sequel"


Genre :     Young Adult, Dystopia, Paranormal, Romance, High Fantasy

Publisher: Harper Teen

Release Date: 9th February, 2016

My Copy: Courtesy of  Hachette India

Rate:             5/5 (It was Amazing)

Other Books by the Author(review links):
         #1 Red Queen

Buy:         Amazon | Book Depository 

Saturday, 29 April 2017

The Murder Complex #1 The Murder Complex

Presenting The Murder Complex #1 The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings.

Here is the summary of the book;

An action-packed, blood-soaked, futuristic debut thriller set in a world where the murder rate is higher than the birthrate. For fans of Moira Young’s Dust Lands series, La Femme Nikita, and the movie Hanna.

Meadow Woodson, a fifteen-year-old girl who has been trained by her father to fight, to kill, and to survive in any situation, lives with her family on a houseboat in Florida. The state is controlled by The Murder Complex, an organization that tracks the population with precision.

The plot starts to thicken when Meadow meets Zephyr James, who is—although he doesn’t know it—one of the MC’s programmed assassins. Is their meeting a coincidence? Destiny? Or part of a terrifying strategy? And will Zephyr keep Meadow from discovering the haunting truth about her family?

Action-packed, blood-soaked, and chilling, this is a dark and compelling debut novel by Lindsay Cummings.


REVIEW ==

Futuristic, violent and cyberpunk-ish. A debut novel by Lindsay Cummings. Well..... The flow of the book does take some getting used to. And bits and pieces identifying with some of the other mainstream dystopia is visible but it is quite interesting to read once you get over the initial hiccoughs. 

Of course with how well authors have explored this particular genre these recent years that it is literally impossible to find something new. There are exceptions to the rule ..... obviously but while The Murder Complex starts complex and takes a bit of time to settle.... It is still an enjoyable tale of woes and wows. 

As far as the characters Meadow and Zephyr are concerned. Well they felt a bit cliche. Meadows the kickass heroine, going the extra mile for family and just about nothing phases her at all. Zephyr, well he is no different just falls too quickly for Meadow..... You that part wierded me out a bit. But he has his own secrets that he plays close to the chest. That soon comes to nip him behind. 

Resulting an insta-romance and plain running for their lives.... As I said the narrative takes a bit getting used to and there were some terms thrown here and there that made no sense at first. It rushed a bit too but I appreciated it nonetheless. 

"Just violent, blood thursty and chilling enough to keep you interested"

Genre :     Young Adult, Sci-fi, Dystopia

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Release Date: 10th June, 2014

My Copy: bought(paperback)

Rate:             4/5 (Really Liked it)

Buy:         Amazon | Book Depository 

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Kendra Chronicles #4 Beheld by Alex Flinn

Presenting Kendra Chronicles #4 Beheld by Alex Flinn.

Here is the summary of the book:

#1 New York Times bestselling YA author Alex Flinn is back with magical twists on four fairy-tale favorites, each featuring a little help from Kendra, the witch from Beastly, as she searches through cities and centuries for her lost love.

Being a powerful witch, Kendra has survived it all. Since she first beheld James over three hundred years ago, Kendra has tangled with witch hunters and wolves, helped a miller’s daughter spin straw into gold, cowered in London as German bombs fell, and lived through who knows how many shipwrecks. But her powers have limits, and immortality can be lonely. Kendra isn’t ready to stop searching for the warlock she had met centuries ago.

With the help of her magic mirror, Kendra will travel the world to reconnect with her lost love—and, of course, she can’t help but play a hand in a few more stories along the way.

Featuring retellings of favorite fairy tales such as Little Red Riding Hood, Rumpelstiltskin, East of the Sun and West of the Moon, and The Ugly Duckling, Alex Flinn’s latest young adult novel, Beheld, is fresh fairy-tale fun from beginning to end.


REVIEW ==

It is a concurrent  theme among fairytales and some-such that be it an enchantress, a fairy godmother or the supportive witches in general never get much space for their stories to be told. Exceptions have always been there but never do you see the good witch ever be the protagonist of the tale. 

Beheld by Alex Flinn in that regard is definitely something new and something different. Definitely a good different. Following the same format set in a previous novel of the series Bewitching. It began with Beastly and finally comes this book that shines a big light on Kendra, the fairy godmother and explains her story in full. I definitely like the tale all the more for that. 

Of course a fairy godmother is never without her charges really and that is definitely true as we see snipers of Red Riding Hood, Rumpelstiltskin, The Ugly Duckling and East of the Sun and West of the Moon..... But she deserves her happy ever after too and Beheld holds that for her. Most of all Beheld promises and delivers on a well balanced plot and some very innovative characters in the mix. 

"Magical and insightful and just fairytale-like"

Genre :     Young Adult, Romance, Fairytale re-telling

Publisher: Harper Teen

Release Date: 10th January, 2017

My Copy: publisher & edelweiss

Rate:             4/5 (Really Liked it)

Buy:         Amazon | Book Depository 

Sunday, 2 April 2017

As I Descended by Robin Talley

Presenting As I Descended by Robin Talley.

Here is the summary of the book:

“Something wicked this way comes.”

Maria Lyon and Lily Boiten are their school’s ultimate power couple—even if no one knows it but them.

Only one thing stands between them and their perfect future: campus superstar Delilah Dufrey.

Golden child Delilah is a legend at the exclusive Acheron Academy, and the presumptive winner of the distinguished Cawdor Kingsley Prize. She runs the school, and if she chose, she could blow up Maria and Lily’s whole world with a pointed look, or a carefully placed word.

But what Delilah doesn’t know is that Lily and Maria are willing to do anything—absolutely anything—to make their dreams come true. And the first step is unseating Delilah for the Kingsley Prize. The full scholarship, awarded to Maria, will lock in her attendance at Stanford―and four more years in a shared dorm room with Lily.

Maria and Lily will stop at nothing to ensure their victory—including harnessing the dark power long rumored to be present on the former plantation that houses their school.

But when feuds turn to fatalities, and madness begins to blur the distinction between what’s real and what is imagined, the girls must decide where they draw the line.


REVIEW ==

Macbeth... in modern era. Robin Talley's As I Descended is definitely a silent creeper. Just like the play, there is horror,  there is paranormal and the atmosphere is just as morose and creepy enough to give us the heebie-jeebies. 

And characters Lily, Maria, Deliah brought Macbeth, Lady Macbeth and Duncan to life in a different but appreciative form. 

Of course it wasn't a true copy but Talley appreciatively plays around with the plot and it's LGBT characters to give her story the much needed extra kick to distinguish itself from its source. Really  if you know Macbeth..... You are set for an adventure down the rabbit hole of despair and deliciously devious scheming and playing about with forces our characters barely understand.

At the end of it. It's keeps us hooked and after the conclusion, satisfied enough to make us say "WOW".

"Atmospheric horror, dark magic and a slow spiral into ruin. A fitting re-telling of Macbeth"


Genre :     Young Adult, Shakespearean Re-telling, Paranormal

Publisher: Harper Teen

Release Date: 6th September, 2016

My Copy: publisher & edelweiss

Rate:             4/5 (Really Liked it)

Buy:         Amazon | Book Depository 

Thursday, 30 March 2017

When We Collided by Emery Lord

Presenting When We Collided by Emery Lord.

Here is the summary of the book:

Meet Vivi and Jonah: A girl and a boy whose love has the power save or destroy them.

Vivi and Jonah couldn't be more different. Vivi craves anything joyful or beautiful that life can offer. Jonah has been burdened by responsibility for his family ever since his father died. As summer begins, Jonah resigns himself to another season of getting by. Then Vivi arrives, and suddenly life seems brighter and better. Jonah is the perfect project for Vivi, and things finally feel right for Jonah. Their love is the answer to everything. But soon Vivi's zest for life falters, as her adventurousness becomes true danger-seeking. Jonah tries to keep her safe, but there's something important Vivi hasn't told him.

Perfect for fans of E. Lockhart and Jandy Nelson, When We Collided is a powerful story of two teens whose love is put to the test by forces beyond their control.


REVIEW ==

Ohhhhhhh...... Well the first thing that comes to mind after I finished this book is.... My goodness.... this is colorful. Because it is... It really is that. Very rarely do I enjoy contemporary so much but this one was just so different and so lush. 

Emery Lord's style of prose is definitely the highlight to this package. But the characters Vivi and Jonah and everyone else brings in a certain ounce of life that makes all the difference. Vivi is so full of life and Jonah was the brooding thinker. And they just click together like two peas in a pod.

They are of course no way perfect. Vivi can be bipolar (I certainly didn't like a lot of things she does) and Jonah goes through a great tragedy that changes his perspective of life but the Magic happens when the come together.... Or more appropriately when she flows into his life like a gust of wind that changes it so.


"Emotional, dramatic and just as colorful as life"


Genre :     Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary

Publisher: Bloomsbury Children's

Release Date: 7th April, 2016

My Copy: Received as gift (paperback)

Rate:             4/5 (Really Liked it)

Buy:         Amazon | Book Depository 

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

The Librarians #1 The Librarians and The Lost Lamp

Presenting The Librarians #1 The Librarians and The Lost Lamp by Greg Cox.

Here is the summary of the book:

The Librarians is one of the biggest new hits on cable. Spinning off from a popular series of TV-movies, the TNT series begins its second season this Fall. The Librarians and the Lost Lamp is the first in a series of thrilling all-new adventures that will delight fans of the TV series and movies.

For thousands of years, the Librarians have secretly protected the world The Librarians from dangerous magical relics and knowledge, including everything from Pandora’s Box to King Arthur’s sword.

Ten years ago, Flynn Carson was the only living Librarian. When the ancient criminal organization known as the Forty steals the oldest known copy of The Arabian Nights by Scheherazade, Flynn is called in to investigate. Fearing that the Forty is after Aladdin's fabled Lamp, Flynn must race to find it before the Lamp's powerful and malevolent djinn is unleashed upon the world.

Today, a new team of inexperienced Librarians, along with Eve Baird, their tough-as-nails Guardian, is investigating an uncanny mystery in Las Vegas when the quest for the Lamp begins anew . . . and the fate of the world hangs in the balance.


REVIEW ==

Magic - Loads of it...... Books - A library full..... And adventures and mysteries that are just the right amount of exciting to set your heart ablaze. The Librarians and The Lost Lamp by Greg Cox is a wonderful mix of all that is exciting and all that I mentioned above. 

Strictly this is first part of a spin-off series based on the characters and plot of the show The Librarians, which in turn is a spin-off of the original movie trilogy..... But you get my point I hope *wink**wink*.....Just about every other fairytale, lore or myth about any culture of the world gets a new meaning through these stories and they don't even bore you at all. 

For this book in question Cox maintains a great balance of the plot and between it's characters. It has Flynn's (Noah Wyle) quirk and his penchant for finding trouble and adventure. It has Eve's (Rebecca Romijn) sense of righteousness and her sense of productivity.... And Flynn's 'little-lits' Cassandra, Jacob and Ezekiel (Lindy Booth, Christian Kane and John Kim) too get their space to flourish. And who could forget Jenkins (John Larroquette). 

Add to that is the genie lamp and all the little references to the show that you can't miss out on if you are familiar with the show or if you are a fan  .........

"Magic, adventure and the Library. A heady-mix for a great book"


Genre :     Young Adult, Fantasy, Sci-fi, Mythology, Tv Tie-in

Publisher: Tor Books

Release Date: 11th October, 2016

My Copy: bought (ebook)

Rate:             4/5 (It was Amazing)

Buy:         Amazon | Book Depository 

Friday, 17 March 2017

The Wrath and the Dawn #0.25, #0.5, #1.5

#0.25 The Moth & the Flame

It started as playful, if barbed, banter before rising to a fateful wager with a most notorious rake—the Captain of the Guard, Jalal al-Khoury—who may have finally met his match in a lovely, if haughty, handmaiden, Despina. But she, too, seems to have met her match in the handsome Jalal. What begins as a tempestuous battle of will and wit in short order becomes a passionate affair spurred on by tragedy of the worst kind.




#0.5 The Crown & the Arrow
Seventy-one days and seventy-one nights had come and gone since Khalid began killing his brides. This dawn, Khalid would mark the loss of the seventy-second girl, Shahrzad al-Khayzuran. Khalid didn’t know how many more of these dawns he could take. And there was something about this latest girl that piqued his interest. Not only had she volunteered to marry him, but at their wedding ceremony, she had seemed not the least bit afraid. In fact, what he had seen in her eyes was nothing short of pure hatred. She was about to lose her life. Why wasn’t she afraid? Why did she hate him so? He had never before gone to his wife’s chambers before her death at dawn. Tonight would be different.

#1.5 The Mirror & the Maze

The city of Rey is burning. With smoke billowing, fires blazing and his people fleeing, Khalid races back to defend his city, and protect his queen. But Khalid is too late to do either. He and his men arrive to find the city in ruins, nothing but a maze of destruction, and Shahrzad is gone. But who could have wrought such devastation? Khalid fears he may already know the answer, the price of choosing love over the people of Rey all too evident.




(JOINT) REVIEW ==

While short novella don't help much but if you are waiting for the next one in a series or if the prospect is an inside look into the mind of someone other than the protagonist or it be an untold story in the same universe well then you should definitely see what they have to offer.

For me, while they offer a new look..... they just never seem to satisfy me at all.

In that context the three Wrath and the Dawn novella - The Moth and the Flame, The Crown and the Arrow and The Mirror and the Maze .... Are a persona onto their own. Each provide a new story set in and around Khalid & Shazi's time.

While they don't seem to do much other than make me salivate for more than the few pages that they offer but..... I wouldn't have it any other way.


Genre :     Young Adult, Fairytale re-telling, Romance, Historical Fiction

Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Books for Young Readers

My Copy: ebook

Rate:             5/5 (It was Amazing)

Other Books by the Author(review links):
         #1 The Wrath & the Dawn
         #2 The Rose & the Dagger

Buy:         Amazon | Book Depository 

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

The Thousandth Floor #1 The Thousandth Floor

Presenting The Thousandth Floor #1 The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee.

Here is the summary of the book:

NEW YORK CITY AS YOU'VE NEVER SEEN IT BEFORE.

A thousand-story tower stretching into the sky. A glittering vision of the future where anything is possible—if you want it enough.

WELCOME TO MANHATTAN, 2118.

A hundred years in the future, New York is a city of innovation and dreams. Everyone there wants something…and everyone has something to lose.

LEDA COLE’s flawless exterior belies a secret addiction—to a drug she never should have tried and a boy she never should have touched.

ERIS DODD-RADSON’s beautiful, carefree life falls to pieces when a heartbreaking betrayal tears her family apart.

RYLIN MYERS’s job on one of the highest floors sweeps her into a world—and a romance—she never imagined…but will this new life cost Rylin her old one?

WATT BAKRADI is a tech genius with a secret: he knows everything about everyone. But when he’s hired to spy for an upper-floor girl, he finds himself caught up in a complicated web of lies.

And living above everyone else on the thousandth floor is AVERY FULLER, the girl genetically designed to be perfect. The girl who seems to have it all—yet is tormented by the one thing she can never have.

Amid breathtaking advancement and high-tech luxury, five teenagers struggle to find their place at the top of the world. But when you're this high up, there's nowhere to go but down....



REVIEW ==

"Gossip Girl, circa 2118". There.... I said it. That just about sums it up perfectly because it's nothing but mindless teen angst happening in a futuristic Manhattan. While it is just as exciting to read some of the awesome technology the author made up for her plot it was just as much of a downer reading about the same old teen drama. 

For one there are more than two characters that form this story. Avery, Leda, Rylin, Watt and Eris maybe the core characters and through them the stories are told but there are a lot of secondary characters that further this story. And pretty much everyone has a drama unfold around them in their lives living in the tower. 

Everyone of them have a secret to hide. And everyone is a part of some drama as the story moves further. While teen angst is not something I like to read always but McGee weaves her plot in such a way that while I  may not be feeling sympathetic to the plight of any of the characters I would not be averse to reading the sequel because much happens towards the end that just leaves you ..... almost ..... tiny bit eager to read more. 

"Teen drama and.... Teen angst meets Gossip Girl"


Genre :     Young Adult, Sci-fi, Dystopia, Romance

Publisher: Tor Books

Release Date: 30th August, 2016

My Copy: publisher & edelweiss

Rate:             3/5 (Liked it)

Buy:         Amazon | Book Depository 

Monday, 27 February 2017

The Wrath and the Dawn #2 The Rose & the Dagger

Presenting The Wrath and the Dawn #2 The Rose & the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh.

Here is the summary of the book:

The darker the sky, the brighter the stars.

In a land on the brink of war, Shahrzad is forced from the arms of her beloved husband, the Caliph of Khorasan. She once thought Khalid a monster—a merciless killer of wives, responsible for immeasurable heartache and pain—but as she unraveled his secrets, she found instead an extraordinary man and a love she could not deny. Still, a curse threatens to keep Shazi and Khalid apart forever.

Now she’s reunited with her family, who have found refuge in the desert, where a deadly force is gathering against Khalid—a force set on destroying his empire and commanded by Shazi’s spurned childhood sweetheart. Trapped between loyalties to those she loves, the only thing Shazi can do is act. Using the burgeoning magic within her as a guide, she strikes out on her own to end both this terrible curse and the brewing war once and for all. But to do it, she must evade enemies of her own to stay alive.

The saga that began with The Wrath and the Dawn takes its final turn as Shahrzad risks everything to find her way back to her one true love again.


REVIEW ==

Enchanting. Breathless. Intense and magical. 'The Rose and the Dagger' is the second book in the series and the finale and by God it does justice to Shahrzad and Khalid's sweeping romance. Ahdieh successfully manages to ensnare us all over again with the dreamlike flow of her tale and spins a most worthy finale. 

Khalid and Shazi ..... Shazi and Khalid *sighs* ..... If you thought The Wrath and the Dawn was brilliant? Well The Rose and the Dagger it turns out is more than enough of a match. Every instance, every facets and all of it nuances make this finale worthy to behold. Add that the brilliance of our lead couple and every other secondary characters was a utilization in perfection. Really this series can do no wrong and  i'm happy the author maintains that flow never slowing down.

There was swooning (over Khalid *wink*) ..... Heartbreak. A general sense of peace and rude realization that keep us readers fixed to our seats. The feels felt tangible and given just the leeway tugs us in when we least expected it. The ending did feel rushed but the overall fierce romance and excitement with both Shazi and Khalid and all the secondary characters was definitely a 'magical' experience to be had. Suffice it to say I am a huge fan. 

"Magical, enticing and exotic. A conclusion worthy of the love of Shazi & Khalid"


Genre :     Young Adult, Fairytale re-telling, Romance, Historical Fiction

Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Books for Young Readers

Release Date: 26th April, 2016

My Copy: bought (hardback)

Rate:             5/5 (It was Amazing)

Other Books by the Author(review links):
         #1 The Wrath & the Dawn

Buy:         Amazon | Book Depository 

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 
 

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