Wednesday, May 25, 2016
The Star-Touched Queen (The Star-Touched Queen #1)
By Roshani Chokshi
Published April 26th, 2016 by St. Martin's Griffin
4 stars - An Amazing Debut!
Synopsis from Goodreads.com:
Fate and fortune. Power and passion. What does it take to be the queen of a kingdom when you’re only seventeen?
Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of death and destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father’s kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her whole world is torn apart when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. Soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Neither roles are what she expected: As Akaran’s queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar’s wife, she finds something else entirely: Compassion. Protection. Desire…
But Akaran has its own secrets—thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Soon, Maya suspects her life is in danger. Yet who, besides her husband, can she trust? With the fate of the human and Otherworldly realms hanging in the balance, Maya must unravel an ancient mystery that spans reincarnated lives to save those she loves the most…including herself.
Wow. Yet another rich and enchanting read. I was immediately drawn to The Star-Touched Queen by it's cover. It is such a gorgeous cover! This is actually a time when judging a book by it's cover would be fine. The cover is beautiful and so is the book.
The Star-Touched Queen is based on some Indian and Greek mythology and I loved every minute of it. I was drawn in from the very beginning and I just couldn't put this book down. I absolutely loved the writing style of this book. I felt as if I was actually there with Maya.
Aside from the writing style I did enjoy the characters as well. There were a few times where some of them got on my nerves (Maya) but they were great overall. I enjoyed watching Maya grow and learn from her mistakes. I also really loved the riddles that she would come up with or answer as well as her story telling qualities! Amar was equally as awesome but I felt like we just didn't get enough of him. I would have definitely been interested in knowing more about Amar and Maya but I feel like this story was more of Maya's. Another lovely character came in the form of a flesh eating horse who just happens to be one of my favorites. ;)
I won't say too much else because I feel like you really shouldn't know too much going into this. Just know that this book is really just so enchanting and well written. There were a few slow parts for me and a few annoying moments with characters, but this book was really absorbing overall. I definitely enjoyed learning more about Indian mythology and their stories. I will definitely be reading more by this author!
Check this one out soon!
Monday, May 23, 2016
I have two mini reviews for you today! Both are April 2016 releases and the final installments to their series/books. Check them out today!
The Raven King (The Raven Cycle #4)
By Maggie Stiefvater
Published April 26th, 2016 by Scholastic Press
5 stars - Enchanting Ending!
Synopsis from Goodreads.com:
Nothing living is safe. Nothing dead is to be trusted.
For years, Gansey has been on a quest to find a lost king. One by one, he’s drawn others into this quest: Ronan, who steals from dreams; Adam, whose life is no longer his own; Noah, whose life is no longer a lie; and Blue, who loves Gansey… and is certain she is destined to kill him.
Now the endgame has begun. Dreams and nightmares are converging. Love and loss are inseparable. And the quest refuses to be pinned to a path.
The Raven King was all kinds of wonderful just like the previous three books. The writing was on point ;), the characters were just as lovely as ever, and the ending was definitely satisfying.
I don't want to say too much because I don't want to spoil anything, but I also just don't know what to say. I just don't feel like I can explain why I loved this book. Everything tied up pretty nicely but it was suspenseful and somewhat stressful to get to that point. There were stressful events that needed to happen to wrap up the story of these wonderful characters. But you'll have to read this book to figure out what those events are.
Blue, Gansey, Ronan, Adam, and Noah are all some of my favorite characters ever. I loved watching them grow throughout the books and especially throughout this book. I think they figured out a little bit more about themselves and what they want. I was also pretty happy with some of the other secondary characters that made appearances.
Overall, The Raven King was an enchanting and satisfying ending to an especially enchanting series. I have just loved being able to read these books and being able to lose myself in the world building and writing. I always felt like I was there with Blue and Gansey or Ronan and Adam. I'm sad to see these characters go but I thoroughly enjoyed the experience!
The Mirror King (The Orphan Queen #2)
By Jodi Meadows
Published April 5th, 2016 by Katherine Tegen Books
4.5 stars - Beautiful cover = Beautiful book
Synopsis from Goodreads.com:
Wilhelmina has a hundred enemies.
HER FRIENDS HAVE TURNED. After her identity is revealed during the Inundation, Princess Wilhelmina is kept prisoner by the Indigo Kingdom, with the Ospreys lost somewhere in the devastated city. When the Ospreys’ leader emerges at the worst possible moment, leaving Wil’s biggest ally on his deathbed, she must become Black Knife to set things right.
HER MAGIC IS UNCONTROLLABLE. Wil’s power is to animate, not to give true life, but in the wraithland she commanded a cloud of wraith mist to save herself, and later ordered it solid. Now there is a living boy made of wraith—destructive and deadly, and willing to do anything for her.
HER HEART IS TORN. Though she’s ready for her crown, declaring herself queen means war. Caught between what she wants and what is right, Wilhelmina realizes the throne might not even matter. Everyone thought the wraith was years off, but already it’s destroying Indigo Kingdom villages. If she can’t protect both kingdoms, soon there won’t be a land to rule.
In this stunning conclusion to THE ORPHAN QUEEN, Jodi Meadows follows Wilhelmina’s breathtaking and brave journey from orphaned criminal on the streets to magic-wielding queen.
Ahh The Mirror King. Yet another ending to an enjoyable duology. I didn't exactly love love The Orphan Queen but that ending was such a cliff hanger and I had to read the next one. By the end of the first book I really wanted to see more of Wil and Black Knife/Tobiah. My wish was granted, somewhat, in The Mirror King.
Wow, this book just filled me with so many emotions. I cannot tell you how many times I laughed, cried, and screamed in frustration.
The Mirror King picks up right where the first book left off. We get right back into the action and tension from the ending scene. From then on so much happens left and right. Wil is put through so many tests and has to face so many difficult situations. I was just so frustrated for her and sometimes with her! And Tobiah as well.
But despite everything that happens, it is definitely all worth it for that ending! I don't want to spoil anything but that ending is just what I wanted. Kind of. Somewhat. It's hard to explain because there were quite a few sacrifices that had to be made in this book but there were also happy outcomes.
Overall, we learn more about the wraith and the kingdoms in general. We also are able to watch Wil grow and learn more about herself and her friends/enemies. We also get to see Tobiah do some growing of his own and that was great/hard as well.
This last book was such a great ending to this duology and I am so glad I was able to read it. Seriously, I can't stop thinking about that ending! Read it soon!!
Friday, May 13, 2016
The Rebel Within
By Lance Erlick
Genre: YA science fiction
Sixteen-year-old Annabelle Scott lives under the iron rule of a female-dominated régime that forces males to fight to the death to train the military elite. When pressed into service as a mechanized warrior to capture escaped boys, Annabelle stays true to herself by helping some escape. Her defiance endangers everyone she loves and thrusts her to a place of impossible life and death decisions.
Lance Erlick writes action-packed, science fiction thrillers. In the Rebel series, Annabelle Scott faces a crisis of conscience when she is forced to become a warrior to enforce laws she believes are wrong. The Regina Shen series takes place after abrupt climate change leads to Collapse and a new society under the World Federation. As an outcast, Regina must fight to stay alive and help her family while she avoids being captured.
The author is hosting an ebook giveaway during his book blitz!
Direct link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/70954c79125
Thursday, May 12, 2016
By Naomi Novik
Published May 19th, 2015 by Del Rey
5 stars - Positively Enchanting!!
Summary from Goodreads.com:
“Our Dragon doesn’t eat the girls he takes, no matter what stories they tell outside our valley. We hear them sometimes, from travelers passing through. They talk as though we were doing human sacrifice, and he were a real dragon. Of course that’s not true: he may be a wizard and immortal, but he’s still a man, and our fathers would band together and kill him if he wanted to eat one of us every ten years. He protects us against the Wood, and we’re grateful, but not that grateful.”
Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests and the bright shining river. But the corrupted Wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life.
Her people rely on the cold, driven wizard known only as the Dragon to keep its powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman handed over to serve him for ten years, a fate almost as terrible as falling to the Wood.
The next choosing is fast approaching, and Agnieszka is afraid. She knows—everyone knows—that the Dragon will take Kasia: beautiful, graceful, brave Kasia, all the things Agnieszka isn’t, and her dearest friend in the world. And there is no way to save her.
But Agnieszka fears the wrong things. For when the Dragon comes, it is not Kasia he will choose.
I have been wanting to read Uprooted for such a long time! I had seen that so many of my favorite authors had blurbed it and I knew that I couldn't pass it up. I had wanted to wait until I could buy a hardcover of it because that cover is so nice, but I found it online at my library and quickly snatched it up.
I was drawn into this book from the very first page. There is just something so magical about the writing and the setting of this book. I felt like I was there with Agnieszka and all the village people. I could picture the castle that held the fearful Dragon and I could picture the dreaded Wood that held creepy things. I could just picture it all and that really made me feel like I was at home in a way.
Then there was Agnieszka. I absolutely loved her character. She had been raised to believe that Kasia would be the one taken by the Dragon. She thought she was normal and not much of anything to even be thought of being taken. She knew she had flaws and fears and she was fine with that. There were times throughout the entire book that she was afraid and I really enjoyed that. A lot of the time, our heroines are fearless or they try really hard to be strong and to be tough. But Agnieszka was actually quite real and I could relate.
I don't want to say too much about the actual story because I don't want to give anything away. You should know hardly anything going into this book. :)
All I can say is that I really enjoyed reading this book. It was positively enchanting to read. It was magical and honest and full of so many good things, haha. The characters and their relationships were enjoyable to read and I loved how we got to know so many people. I loved how each of these characters grew and became different versions of themselves. I loved how this book had everything I like as well. There was magic, action, suspense, folklore, and romance. There was something for everyone and I would definitely recommend to anyone. Just read it and read it soon!
Tuesday, May 10, 2016
A Madness So Discreet
By Mindy McGinnis
Published October 6th, 2015 by Katherine Tegen Books
4 stars - Awesome!
Summary from Goodreads.com:
Grace Mae knows madness.
She keeps it locked away, along with her voice, trapped deep inside a brilliant mind that cannot forget horrific family secrets. Those secrets, along with the bulge in her belly, land her in a Boston insane asylum.
When her voice returns in a burst of violence, Grace is banished to the dark cellars, where her mind is discovered by a visiting doctor who dabbles in the new study of criminal psychology. With her keen eyes and sharp memory, Grace will make the perfect assistant at crime scenes. Escaping from Boston to the safety of an ethical Ohio asylum, Grace finds friendship and hope, hints of a life she should have had. But gruesome nights bring Grace and the doctor into the circle of a killer who stalks young women. Grace, continuing to operate under the cloak of madness, must hunt a murderer while she confronts the demons in her own past.
In this beautifully twisted historical thriller, Mindy McGinnis, acclaimed author of Not a Drop to Drink and In a Handful of Dust, explores the fine line between sanity and insanity, good and evil—and the madness that exists in all of us.
I have to admit that I was a little disconcerted by the cover of this book. I had a feeling that it was going to be about something creepy and so I passed by it. But eventually I couldn't find anything else to read and this was available and the library so I picked it up. Turns out that it is actually more of a mystery/historical fiction/thriller type of novel which is just fine with me. :)
I actually really enjoyed reading A Madness So Discreet. I wasn't sure that I would because the reviews are kind of mixed. I really enjoyed the writing and the way all the characters interacted. The dialogue was witty and I was entertained the whole time. Plus, the criminal psychology topic was very interesting and reminded me of when I wanted to be a criminal profiler. ;)
Grace Mae definitely had to go through a lot. Watching her go through everything and reading about what she had to go through was kind of hard, but it was worth it because she grew from it. Grace didn't let all the horrible things that happened to her stop her from growing and getting past them.
I loved a few of the other characters as well because each one had their own little quirk. The girls that Grace befriended were such great friends and I enjoyed reading about their stories. Dr. Thornhollow is definitely kind of odd and I wasn't sure about it at first but he grew on me throughout the book. The conversations between him and Grace were always something to look forward to. Oh! And Falsteed was another odd character but I loved how he cared for Grace and was such a good friend.
Overall this was such an interesting and captivating read for me. It was something that I wasn't expecting at all. I just fell into the story and couldn't stop reading until I knew how it ended. I wanted to know the outcome of all the characters that I had been introduced to. The whole topic in itself was something that just called to me. If you are interested in criminal psychology or in asylums, then you would definitely enjoy this. Don't get me wrong, there were definitely a few things that I wasn't fond of but that didn't stop me from enjoying this read. Check it out soon!