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 

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 
 

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