Saturday, 5 September 2015

Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes


In the land of Mytica, three countries rule, Auranos, Limeros and Paelsia, but not for long if things continue to head downhill...

Four individuals are pulled into the brewing war of the three countries. They must deal with political 
maneuvering and the consequences of war on top of their own personal issues.

Pampered Princess Cleo of Auranos is trying to cope with the murder she witnessed before her own eyes. And when her sister falls sick, she sets out on a quest to find a magical legend as a last resort.

Jonas, a rebel from Paelsia, is angry and wants vengeance for his brothers death. He finds himself a leader of a rebellion for his oppressed country.  

Magnus, the heir of Limeros, is the King of Blood's son. But he doesn't want to end up like his father when he is to become king. Meanwhile, his sister, Lucia, begins to discover the secrets of her heritage.

Rate: 3.5/5 stars

I thought that I was really going to enjoy reading this book. I'd heard great things about this series, and the concept sounded like something I would enjoy quite a bit. But it turns out, I didn't like as much as I thought I would. At first I gave this book a four star rating, but when I began to think about it more, I realized that not a lot happened, and I didn't like it as much as I thought. Overall, the book was just okay. I think I'll continue with the series, but it's not on the top of my list.

SPOILERS AHEAD.

For the most part, the characters in this book didn't amaze me. Although I did think that Magnus was decent, but maybe that's because I like morally grey characters. The rest-- Cleo, Jonas and Lucia-- didn't do too much for me. They just didn't seem as fleshed out as some other characters I've read.

I wished that the magic system was explored a bit more. We got to see some of the things that Lucia could do, but that was only until the second half of the book, and even then we barely saw any of it. I think that elementia could be a pretty cool magic system if we got to see more of it.

Another thing that I wished we got to see more of was the action. During the war scenes, we barely got to see any of the actual fighting. It was kind of skimmed over by the author. Action is one of my favourite things in a book, so I was disappointed that there wasn't too much of it in this book.

I thought that the war in this book took too long to develop. I was kind of let down by the overall plot. Interesting things did happen though, Cleo went out to search for an ancient watcher, Lucia discovered her magic, alliances were made, as well as betrayals. But it was just the way it was executed that made me like it less.

Also the fact that Cleo and Theon fell in "love"quite quickly bothered me. They only really realized it right as Theon was dying. I didn't care much about his death anyways. 

The book overall wasn't horrible, I just didn't love it like some people. 

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

The Assassin's Blade by Sarah J. Maas



In the prequel to Sarah J. Maas's Throne of Glass series, we learn more about notorious assassin, Celaena Sardothien's, dirty past. The Assassin's Blade consists of five intertwining short stories, all featuring the world's finest assassin. 

Celaena works for Arobynn Hamel, who gave her a place at the Assassin's Guild many years before. Since then she has become his protégé, and the worlds best assassin. In these novellas we follow Celaena as she travels far and wide on assignments for Arobynn, along with what happened leading up to her capture and enslavement in Endovier. 

Rate: 4.5/5 stars 

I decided to pick this up since Queen of Shadows (book four of six) is coming out this fall, and I wanted to read it before then. Also, I heard that some characters in this book will be showing up in Queen of Shadows, so I though it would be a good idea to read this before it comes out. I really enjoyed these short-story-prequels, and that's saying something, because I'm not a huge fan of short stories. I thought each novella was great (although The Assassin and the Healer was lacking a bit for me)! I loved how they each had their own storyline, but were all part of one big story. As per usual, there was lots of action, and great writing! I highly suggest that you pick this book up if you are a fan of the series. And if you haven't started reading this series yet, get on it!

SPOILERS AHEAD.

First off, let's talk a bit about the first novella, The Assassin and the Pirate Lord. We got to see a bit of Celaena's softer side in this novella. We saw that she does actually have a heart, and isn't just a cold, hard killing machine. I thought that it was great that she freed the slaves, even when it was against her orders, and I thought that it was great that Sam joined in. I really love when Celaena does things like that for the good.

The Assassin and the Healer was lacking for me as I mentioned above. It was still good, but I enjoyed the others far more. I didn't care too much for Yrene, and it was a bit boring compared to the other stories.

Next was The Assassin and the Dessert. I liked how we got to see that there was more than one place for assassins, and it was interesting to see the stark difference between the two keeps. I was not expecting that betrayal from Ansel. But it just made the story just that more interesting. I did like their friendship while it lasted though. I think that it was good for Celaena to have a friend of the same gender. And you could tell that she definitely still cared for Ansel at the end.

Fourth was The Assassin and the Underworld. This one was quite good, my second favourite actually. We began to see just how treacherous Arobynn could be. I loved the storyline of this one, it had lots of action (which you may have noticed is what I love in a book)! The scene where Celaena was trapped in the sewer was probably my favourite. I was really glad Sam showed up to save her (and they finally became a thing! I was waiting for that the whole book!). But the worst part was when Celaena realized that the person she was hired was actually working for the rebellion and not against it. And just think, this was only the beginning of Arobynn's horribleness.

The fifth and final novella was The Assassin and the Empire, my personal favourite. The action, the romance, the betrayal, it was all great (and horribly sad). Sam's death, although we knew it was coming, was just horrendous. I felt so bad for Celaena. And then she finds out that his death and her capture was all a plan set up by Arobynn, making it even worse. But this novella was still so amazing. I just loved it because of all the tragedy, that's what made it so good. 

Overall these novellas were great! I can't wait for Queen of Shadows to come out in the fall! 

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson


Joel wishes he was a Rithmatist. He wishes that he could create elaborate defences, bring his chalk drawings to life and defend the American Isles from the deadly chalk creature know as wild chalkings. But sadly Joel is the only student at his school that isn't from a wealthy family or a Rithmatist. 

But things begin to change when students begin to disappear from Joel's school, leaving blood at the crime scene. He befriends a Rithmatist, Melody, and the two are assigned to help the professor that is investigating the crime scenes. And they begin to discover things that could change the world of Rithmatics forever.

Rate: 4.5

I have yet to read something by Brandon Sanderson that I didn't like. This was a pretty great book in my opinion. The world building was great as always. The magic system was elaborate, interesting and well put together. Plus I loved the characters, especially Melody. I also enjoyed the steampunk/gearpunk aspect to the book. I thought the illustrations of the chalkings and defences at the end of each chapter really helped the readers understand the magic system better. This book was super unique and it left many directions for the rest of the story to go.

SPOILERS AHEAD.

Like I mentioned above, I love the characters in this book, especially Melody! I loved her spunk and overall personality. Plus, her friendship with Joel was great! Melody was the dramatic one, whereas Joel was the more thoughtful type, plus  were the two odd ones out, and it made for a great friendship. I loved how at the end, they teamed up at the tournament and won. That was a great scene to read. 

I really loved the magic system in this book, it was just so great! The chalkings and the defences were so cool. It was quite mathimatical, and sometimes complicated, and I know some people may not have liked it as much because of this, but I thought that was what made it so great. I really love complex magic systems, story lines, ect. Iv've come to the conclusion that Brandon Sanderson is a genius.

The end was a tad complicated, and I don't have the book with me (it's currently floating over the ocean) to look back on, so please excuse the vagueness (if there is any).

I loved the ending. The mystery, the Rithmatics, ect. The fact that Inspector Harding was being possessed by a forgotten was quite interesting. That changed things quite dramatically. And the same goes for Professor Nalizar, but we never found out exactly what he was. 

Then there were the newly discovered Rithmatic lines. That also changed things quite a bit. There could be many more out there that haven't been discovered yet. 

These two things combined leave the story line wide open. Many things could happen in the next book. You never know. But I'm excited to find out!

Saturday, 25 July 2015

The Serpent's Shadow by Rick Riordan


***The following synopsis and summary contain spoilers for The Red Pyramid and The Throne of Fire.***

The giant snake of Chaos, Apophis, still threatens to take over the world despite Carter and Sadie Kane's efforts. They, along with the help of a now deceased magician, managed to buy the world some more time, but that time is quickly running out. If they want to live, the siblings must do the impossible, defeat Apophis himself. And the only way to do that is to find an ancient spell, and use the serpent's shadow against him.

Rate: 4.5 stars

This was my favourite book of the trilogy. I really loved the final battle and the way things ended. I just love Rick's books, his writing, his characters, his stories. It's all just so great! Everything was wrapped up nicely, and overall this was a great conclusion to an awesome, action-packed series!

SPOILERS AHEAD.

Did anyone else catch that Camp Half-Blood reference? We got to see Drew and Lacy, which was pretty cool! I love authors who do that sort of thing!

Anyways, let's get on with the review. I'm pretty much just going to be talking about the ending because that was the best part. First off, the final battle against Apophis was pretty epic. Action is always the best. That's one of the reasons why I don't like contemporaries. I think that all of Rick's action scenes are written pretty well. Although I enjoyed reading the last battle, I was expecting a tad bit more. I thought that defeating Apophis would be a bit more tricky.

Besides the end scene, I also liked the scene in "A Friendly Game of Hide and Seek (with Bonus Points for Painful Death!)" (I also love the chapter titles, they're hilarious!), where Walt and Sadie played a "friendly" game of hide and seek with Neith. Also, the Jelly Baby Conspiracy thing was hilarious.

Speaking of Walt and that chapter, let's talk about what happened to him in the end. So may recall that a deadly curse runs in his family, and he was dying. So naturally he hosted Anubis (well maybe that's not exactly natural). I actually suspect that Walt and Anubis would join forces. I have conflicted feelings on this topic.On the one hand, I'm glad Walt is alive and well, but on the other, isn't it a bit odd that he's basically two people in one (buy one get one free!)? I preferred Anubis and Sadie together over Walt and Sadie. Don't get me wrong, I liked Walt, but I just liked Anubis and Sadie together better. And the two-for-one-deal that is Walt (is that what we're going to call him?), wasn't exactly the same, and it was like dating two people at once. Weird right?

On the topic of hosting gods, I'd like the mention Ra/Zia. For the short time that they were one, that was a bit odd. Also, Ra is back, but he's not taking the throne? That was surprising. Instead he decided to give his place to a fifteen-year-old magician/Horus. Good for Carter and all but will he be able to take that responsibility? I also really loved that little scene at the end with Carter and Zia.

Moving on. I was glad that at the end we got Bes back. He was able to save Carter and Sadie (again), which, you know, is always handy. Plus it was great to have his character back in the story.

Overall, I was quite happy with the ending. There we no cliffhangers in the series surprisingly enough (I mean have you Heroes of Olympus?!?). And everything was wrapped up quite nicely. It was a great book to end the series. 

Thursday, 23 July 2015

The Throne of Fire by Rick Riordan


***The following synopsis and summary contain spoilers for The Red Pyramid.***

After defeating the Egyptian god of evil, Set, Carter and Sadie Kane have learned that he was the least of their problems. The giant snake of Chaos, Apophis, is starting to rise, and he is way more powerful than Set. 

Carter and Sadie must stop Apophis before he swallows the sun and plunges the Earth into darkness and destruction. And if they don't stop Apophis, the world will end. So Carter and Sadie must reawaken the sun god Ra if they want to survive. The must go on a dangerous mission to find the book of Ra which they will use to awaken the sun god. Will Carter and Sadie be able to awaken Ra and defeat Apophis?

Rate: 4 stars

I liked this instalment of The Kane Chronicles just as much as the first book! I still love the brother/sister dynamic of Sadie and Carter. We still got all that action, mythology and that uniquely funny writing style. A love triangle began, which I actually didn't mind. Overall this was great sequel.

SPOILERS AHEAD.

I liked the new addition of Bes in this book. He was a great god to have around, and he saved Carter and Sadie many times. He was very helpful when he showed up in the scene where Sadie was visiting in London for her birthday, and Nekhbet and Babi possessed her grandparents. It was too bad when they were gambling their souls for time and he gave up his soul for Carter and Sadie though.

Along with Bes we got to see some of the kids that Carter and Sadie were able to recruit like Walt and Jaz. I thought Walt was a great addition to the story. His presence certainly caused more drama within the story, that with his curse and the love triangle. Although I liked Walt and felt bad about his curse, I still liked Sadie and Anubis together better. I just love their banter! 

We also got the real Zia this time around. I felt a bit bad for Carter since he had to rebuild everything in between them. I really like Zia though, she is a strong female character.

In this instalment we got to see more of the Duat and magic. The Duat was a tad confusing for me, so I was glad we got more insight. I thought the whole adventure the Kanes went on in the Duat was more eye opening, interesting and action packed. I really loved all the scenes in the Duat.

The end was especially great! The awakening of Ra (who was ridiculous and sad), and the one fight against Apophis with Menshikov and Desjardins. It was great that Carter and Sadie teamed up with Dejardins, even thought they didn't like each other, to defeat Menshikov and Apophis, however not permanently. Desjardins died a heroic death, and in the end was on the right side. Kind of like Snape in Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows (I'm assuming everybody has read it or seen the movie by now).

Honestly I'm surprised that Rick hasn't ended any of the books in cliffhangers yet. But the book was still great!


Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Top 5 Wednesday: Side Characters That Deserve Their Own Series



Another Top 5 Wednesday! If you haven't seen my other Top 5 Wednesday posts, or don't know what T5W is, then this is for you. But if you have read my other T5W posts, you know the drill, and you can just skip to the next paragraph. So T5W was created by gingerreadslainey. If you would like to check out her channel, here is a link: https://www.youtube.com/user/gingerreadslainey And here's the Goodreads group if you would like to check it out: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/118368-top-5-wednesday

So if you haven't noticed already, this week's topic is "Side Characters That Deserve Their Own Series". I think this is a pretty cool topic! But without further ado, let's get into the list!

5. Nehemia Ytger from The Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J. Maas



I really want to know more about Nehemia's past. We know that she is a princess of Eyllwe, which was conquered by the King of Adarlan, and that her family practiced the magic of Wyrdmarks. I think it would be interesting to see what her life was like before she came to the castle and met Celaena. Plus I really liked her character.

4. Liam, Chubs and Vida from The Darkest Minds Trilogy by Alexandra Bracken



I really loved all these characters, and I want to read more about their pasts, especially Vida. We knew a bit about Vida's past and only a bit more about Chubs and Liam's. It was mentioned that Vida had a tougher past than most, so I would love to read more about her. I think a bind up of the three stories would be great!

3. Kelsier from The Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson




Kelsier was said to have a difficult past. He was sent to The Pits of Hathsin after being captured by the Lord Ruler. And he thought that it was possible that his wife betrayed him. We could see what really went down during that time, and see how Kelsier snapped, became a Mistborn and escaped Hathsin. I think all of this would make for an interesting and action packed prequel! Plus I would love to jump back into that amazing world (although I still have to read the last two books in the trilogy)!


2. Reyna from the Heroes of Olympus Series by Rick Riordan



Reyna is another character that had a tough past and that I want to know more about. She had a rough time with her father, ended up on Circe's island, which pirates then attacked, and finally at Camp Jupiter. I think her story would make for an excellent series, and I would definitely pick it up if it were ever published!


1. The Marauders and Lily Evans and the Next Generation of Harry Potter from the Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling



I want a prequel series about the Marauders and Lily so badly! I want more of their adventures, their friendships and to read about the rise of Voldemort the first time! It would just be so great! But since that hasn't happened, I'm just stuck reading headcanons on Pinterest... 

Anyways, I would also really love another series about the next generation of the Potters, Weasleys, Malfoys, ect. I just want more fun adventures and more Hogwarts! Let's face it, I just want to get back into the world of Harry Potter!

Well that's it for this Top 5 Wednesday! What characters do you think deserve their own series? I'd love to hear your answers!


  

Saturday, 18 July 2015

The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan


When Carter and Sadie Kane are brought along to a museum with their Egyptologist dad, they don't think anything of it. But of course they're dead wrong. They discover that their father has a secret plan, and it just so happens to go incredibly wrong. An explosion destroys an ancient Egyptian artifact, the Rosetta Stone, and releases the Egyptian god of chaos, Set.

Set encases Carter and Sadie's dad in a golden coffin, and if they want to free him they must embark on a quest that could cost them their lives. Along the way they discover that they have connections to the old empire of Egypt, and powers that they must learn to use. While Carter and Sadie are on the dangerous quest to save their father, they also learn that there is more at stake than just their father's life... 

Rate: 4 stars

Yet another Rick Riordan book. What a surprise! Anyways, I enjoyed this book as well! Although I didn't like it quite as much as Percy Jackson and the Olympians or Heroes of Olympus, I still thoroughly enjoyed this book. That may be because I enjoyed the Greek mythology better. The Red Pyramid had the same fun adventures, awesome writing style, amazing characters and mythology. So I would definitely recommend you pick this book up if you are a fan of Rick's other work!

SPOILERS AHEAD.

I really liked the characters in this book! All of the characters that Rick creates are really fleshed out, and are written very well. I loved the brother-sister relationship that Carter and Sadie had. They were great characters on their own, but they were even greater together. I loved reading their banter! And since this book was a recording of their adventures, I liked how we got comments like "[No, Sadie. It's not an old person's soda! Be quiet!]" Those were great!

I love the fact that with Rick Riordan's books you get to learn in a fun way. I got to know more about Egyptian mythology while reading about an epic quest. He does it in such a way so that you don't get a huge info dump, and it's actually entertaining. Plus you don't need to know anything about Egyptian mythology when you start reading, because the characters don't know too much either. I think Rick's books would be a good read for when you are learning about mythology in school. I think they would really help people get into it and help them remember it better, all the while having fun while reading.

The plot and set up of the was similar to Rick's other books. We had the discovery of the powers, an epic quest (with lots of action of course), and then a final battle at the end. And this really works for his books. 

The powers that Carter and Sadie had were pretty cool. Although I did like the different powers that the characters in PJO and HoO had better. They were more varied and ultimately, I think they were more powerful. Maybe I should just stop comparing the series though. Anyways, the whole magician thing was still pretty awesome. Plus they had the extra help of Horus and Isis. I'm glad that they decided not to host the two gods at the end of the book. As cool as hosting a god is, and as powerful as it made them, I wanted to see what the two could do on their own.

The ending was of course the best part. The final battles are always the best! It was kind of sad to find out Zia was really a shabti. I wish it was really her that went on the adventure! Anyways, the ending set up well for the next book with the Carter and Sadie making a deal with Set (I can't believe he was using Amos as a host!), and they discovered that Set was the least of their problems. Apophis was really the bigger problem.

Overall this was another great book! I just finished The Throne of Fire so I should have a book review for that up soon!



Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Top 5 Wednesday: Anticipated Pre-Orders for the Rest of the Year




If you haven't seen my other Top 5 Wednesday posts, or don't know what T5W is, then this is for you. But if you have read my other T5W posts, you know the drill, and you can just skip to the next paragraph. So T5W was created by gingerreadslainey. If you would like to check out her channel, here is a link: https://www.youtube.com/user/gingerreadslainey And here's the Goodreads group if you would like to check it out: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/118368-top-5-wednesday

Okay, so this week's topic, if for some reason you didn't read the title of this post, is "Anticipated Pre-Orders for the Rest of the Year". I won't necessarily be pre-ordering these books (I'm making an international move for one thing, and I'll be making a video on that later), but I'm these are just some of the books that I'm anticipating. 

5. The Fate of Ten by Pittacus Lore




This is the sixth book in The Lorien Legacies. I've been following this series for a while now, and I'm pretty excited for the next book. Although I am ready for an end to the series, as I think it is being drawn out, and I know there is at least one more book coming out. I'm hoping this book will live up to my expectations! Here is a synopsis of the first book if you would like to find out more: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7747374-i-am-number-four

4. The Rest of Us Just Live Here




This book sounds pretty different from most books, and I'm excited to have a new unique book to read. Also, I had an idea for a book that sounds similar to this, so it should be interesting to read!  If you want to know what it's about, here's a synopsis: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22910900-the-rest-of-us-just-live-here

3. The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows




This is the first book in a new fantasy series, and it sounds like something I would like. I haven't heard much about this book, so hopefully it will be good! Synopsis: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18081228-the-orphan-queen?from_search=true&search_version=service

2. The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan




This is the first book in Rick Riordan's new series, and I can't wait! I loved Percy Jackson and the Olympians as well as Heroes of Olympus! Plus I'm currently reading the Kane Chronicles, which is pretty good so far! Synopsis: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15724396-the-sword-of-summer?from_search=true&search_version=service

1. Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas




This series is SO GOOD! If you have not started reading it, get on it! It's going to be huge! I'm super excited for the release of this book in September! Everything about these books are great! Check out the synopsis for the first book, Throne of Glass: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7896527-throne-of-glass?from_search=true&search_version=service

BONUS: Passenger by Alexandra Bracken




So this book doesn't come out this year, but on January 5th, 2016. I can't wait for this one! The author wrote one of my favourite trilogies, The Darkest Minds, so she is now one of my auto-buy authors! Plus the synopsis sounds pretty cool! Synopsis: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20983362-passenger?from_search=true&search_version=service

So that is it for this week's T5W! What books are you anticipating for the rest of the year? 


Saturday, 11 July 2015

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline


The real world is a dump. And that's why Wade Watts spends all of his free time in OASIS, an online world where anything is possible. 

When the billionaire creator of OASIS died, he left behind his fortune to be found by any OASIS player who could solve the puzzles he has set up within the game. Wade has dedicated the last four years of his life studying eighties pop culture––the decade that the creator of OASIS was obsessed with––in hopes of finding the fortune hidden within the game.

When Wade manages to find the first clue in the hunt to find the prize, he realizes just how far some people are willing to go to find the prize, and that he'll have to win to survive.

Rate: 4 stars

Calling all nerds and geeks, this book is for you! Ready Player One revolves around video games, a contest to win a fortune, and '80s pop culture, and is the ultimate book for anyone who loves those things. Even though I don't really like video games, and I'm not too into '80s pop culture, I still enjoyed this book. I really liked the whole concept of the contest, and there was a fair amount of action to top it off. Overall it was a great read, but I think I would have enjoyed it more if I loved video games or '80s pop culture.

SPOILERS AHEAD.

I really enjoyed everything about the contest.  I liked how there were keys that had to be found, and portals opened with that key in which Wade had to complete a challenge. All the different clues and challenges made for an entertaining read.

The characters weren't too bad either, although they weren't the best I had ever read. I liked how they all struggled with things offline though. Wade was fat (at least in the beginning), Art3mis a reddish birthmark across her face, and Aech turned out to be a black lesbian woman, not a white man. She struggled with being treated differently, and I found that her mother was right in thinking that she should make her avatar on OASIS a white man. It's ridiculous that people are treated differently based on their gender, sexuality, and the way they look, and I was glad that Ernest Cline threw these things into the book, even if they weren't really relevant.

Another thing that I liked was the fact the Wade had to deal with IOI inside the OASIS and outside. His life was threatened inside and outside the game. They we just such an nasty bunch of people. Although, I think a company would be willing to kill people of billions of dollars, especially if they had a lot of power and could cover it up.

The ending was one of my favourite parts. Wade got to meet Aech, Art3mis and Shoto in the real world. And there was huge battle and then the race to the finish. Lots of action. I thought the story wrapped up pretty nicely and I wasn't left with too many questions. I think it's best as a standalone.



Sunday, 5 July 2015

The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson



Lia is the First Daughter of the House of Morrighan. Which means that she must marry someone she has never met for political reasons. Sick and tired of all the traditions the Kingdom of Morrighan is steeped in, Lia runs away with her best friend on her wedding day. She flees to a small town avoiding bounty hunters sent by her father. She strives to begin a new life where she can finally be herself.

But when two strangers arrive in town, things get a little more interesting. Little does Lia know that these two strangers that keep popping up in her life are an assassin sent to kill her and the prince she was supposed to marry. 

Rate: 3.5 stars

Despite the incredibly cheesy title, this was a decent book. Even though this book is considered fantasy, there was an air or mystery to it. We didn't know which of the men was the assassin or the prince, and it kept me guessing. However, I had heard some pretty good things about this book, and I was honestly a bit let down. I did still like it, but I didn't love it. The characters were okay and there wasn't as much action as I had anticipated. Plus there was a love triangle, and quite frankly, I'm getting quite sick of those.

SPOILERS AHEAD.

Like I mentioned above, the characters were only okay. They didn't really do anything for me. Lia was your typical headstrong heroin. And I wasn't super fond of Kaden and Rafe either. Kaden delayed his job over and over a girl he barely knew, which I found fairly unrealistic. It was said that he had killed many people before, so what was so different about Lia? What was the point of Rafe coming down to find Lia? Was he going to bring her back to the castle, because I don't think she would have agreed to that at first.

Along with the mystery of which guy was which there was also other minor things building up which I assume will play into the next books. There was some important information that Lia stole before fleeing. Then there was this power that she had. This power of "knowing". Plus there was this whole thing with the Vendans becoming stronger and stronger.

The plot was a bit slow for my taste. Although it did pick up towards the end with Lia trying to go back home to fulfill her duties, but ultimitely being captured by the Vendans. Now that Lia has been captured by the Vendans, and Jaxon/Rafe has showed up, it will be interesting to see what the next book will be like.


Saturday, 4 July 2015

Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson


Best friends Sloane and Emily had planned their summer to be the best one yet. But then all of a sudden Sloane just disappears. 

After checking her house and her phone many, many times for Sloane, Emily finds a to-do list that Sloane left behind. On that list there are thirteen different tasks that Sloane planned for Emily. Except Emily would never do any of the things on the list without Sloane. Especially "Kiss a Stranger" and "Go Skinny-Dipping". But maybe Emily could try if completing these tasks could somehow lead Emily to Sloane...

Rate: 4 stars

This book is perfect if you are looking for a light, fun, summery read. The tasks that Emily had to complete made for a fun and entertaining read, and the characters weren't bad either. If you are looking for a contemporary to read this summer, I would definitely recommend this one. However, I don't think I enjoyed this as much as most people did. There was one aspect of the book that rubbed me the wrong way, which I will get into in the spoilery part of this review. But over all I enjoyed reading this book.

SPOILERS AHEAD.

So I liked the majority of the characters in this book. Emily was a good main character and she developed as the book went on. She started out as a super shy character that needed a friend with her in all social situations. She then became more independent and less shy. I also liked her friendship with Frank, Collins and Dawn, it developed very nicely. I liked their characters as well. But the one character that bothered me was Sloane.

She was portrayed as this super amazing best friend, but I didn't really see her that way. When we got the flash backs of her and Emily, it always seemed that she was making Emily into someone else. She seemed to have made a lot of changes to her wardrobe and appearance. Then we got the flash back before the "Penelope" scene. I really didn't like how she was making Emily do things she wasn't comfortable with. And then she spent a ton of time with her boyfriend, and ended up ditching Emily many times. Trust me, I know that is not a fun experience. End at the end I still didn't like her that much.

Moving on from the characters, let's talk about the actual plot. I enjoyed all the different tasks that Emily had to go through. I though they were very fun to read. Some of my favourites were "Share Some Secrets", "Dance Until Dawn" and "Go Skinny Dipping". I also liked the scene where Fran and Emily drove down to find Sloane.

The ending was good. Everything was wrapped up and seemed as good as can be. Sloane and Emily met up and everything was explained. Even though I'm not the biggest fan of Sloane, I liked the scene between Emily and her. I thought her story was interesting and I have to admit I kind of felt bad for her.

Overall this was a solid contemporary.

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Top 5 Wednesday: Favourite Chapter Headings


Before I get into Top 5 Wednesday, I just wanted to say happy Canada Day to all of my fellow Canadians! It will probably say that I posted this article on Tuesday, but it's actually Wednesday, so excuse my computer's confusion.

Anyways, Top 5 Wednesday, as you may already know, Top 5 Wednesday was created by gingerreadslainey. Here is a link to her channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWEbV2Z1guEF0SvWF0Ng2qw , and the Goodreads group: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/118368-top-5-wednesday , just in case you want to check them out. 

This week's topic is "Favourite Chapter Headings". In the majority of the books I read, the chapter headers are just the number of the chapter, and the only really good ones I found were from the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, so all the chapter headings will be from one of those five books. It was quite difficult to choose my favourites because they are all pretty funny or awesome. But anyways, let's begin!

5. "I Go Snowboarding With A Pig"


This chapter heading is hilarious and accurately described what happens in that chapter. Percy did in fact go snowboarding with a pig, and it was very entertaining!

4. "Nico Buys Happy Meals for the Dead"


Again, this chapter heading is pretty funny. Do I need to say more?

3. "I Wrestle Santa's Evil Twin"


This chapter heading really stood out to me while I was reading. Plus I really enjoyed reading the chapter!

2. "I Become Supreme Lord of the Bathroom"


If you don't think this title is awesome, I don't know what's wrong with you.

1. "We Take a Zebra To Vegas"


If you haven't noticed already, Rick Riordan comes up with the best chapter headings. I means they are either super awesome or super funny. This chapter heading stood out to me while reading the books as well. Also, there's this:

BONUS: "I Go Down With the Ship"


I think every fangirl/fanboy can relate to this...



Anyways, that's it for this Top 5 Wednesday!


Monday, 29 June 2015

The Winner's Crime by Marie Rutkoski


***The following synopsis and summary contain spoilers for The Winner's Curse.***


Being engaged to the Crown Prince is a dream for many girls. But for Kestrel, who's heart belongs to someone else, it's a nightmare. 

In order to prevent another war between Valoria and Herran, and to make sure the one she loves is safe, Kestrel agreed to the marriage. Now she is destined to live a life of lies with the Prince. But Kestrel can't just sit back and let the rebellion live on without her. She begins to play a risky game and feeds plans and secrets to spies in the castle. 

In a world of lies and false allegiances, Kestrel is bound to be found out. She'll learn what it costs to love. Will she be able to continue to play the dangerous game when her life, and many others, are on the line? 

Rate: 4 stars

I enjoyed this book almost as much as the first and it was really great overall. It still had the same intelligent characters, the beautiful prose, and the amazing political aspect. I was still in love with the world and the cultures as we learned more about them. Much like the last book, this one left me wanting the next one as soon as possible. I'm very excited for The Winner's Kiss!

SPOILERS AHEAD.

We got a few new characters in this instalment of The Winner's Trilogy. There was the emperor who was extremely cunning and actually realized what Kestrel was up to. We also had Verex, the prince, and he didn't actually turn out to be too bad. He was actually pretty nice towards Kestrel in the end. I was beginning to like their friendship. It seems like a lot of fantasy books that I read these days have a horrible king/emperor and a son that disagrees with what is going on. I'm beginning to wonder if Verex will fight along side Kestrel and Arin in the end.

While Kestrel began to build a relationship with Verex, she also lost relationships. Her relationship with Jess fell apart fairly quickly. Jess had changed after the event at the ball, she became more bitter and less naïve. Although I understand why she changed and why she was mad, I was still on Kestrel's side of things. And then we had Kestrel's relationship with Ronan crumble as well. After his proposal in the last book, he became bitter and reckless which ultimately lead to his death. You could see that Kestrel felt very guilty about this and carried the burden of his death.

While Kestrel was playing a dangerous game of secrets and lies, Arin was dealing with political things. He ended up in Dacra looking for help, which I was glad that he got in the end. We were introduced to Dacra's people and culture. I liked that these books have different cultures woven into them. We were also introduced to the queen and Roshar. I liked Roshar and Arin's friendship, they were fun to read together.

The ending was probably my favourite part though. Kestrel was found out and she will be sent to a work camp in the tundra. Her relationship with her father fell apart as well. He was too loyal to stand up for his daughter and to see that what Valoria was doing was wrong. I'm interested to see how this will all play out in the next book. And what will Arin do when he finds out about what happened to Kestrel?

Overall, The Winner's Crime was a great sequel and I can't wait for the next book!


Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Top 5 Wednesday: Characters You Wish You Could Drown


Time for another Top 5 Wednesday! Top Five Wednesday is a group created by Lainey from ginerreadslainey. Link to her channel here: https://www.youtube.com/user/gingerreadslainey And in case you are interested in joining the Goodreads group, here's the link: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/118368-top-5-wednesday 

Anyways, if you can't already tell, this week's topic is "Characters You Wish You Could Drown". Now, I think drowning, or killing for that matter, is a bit extreme. I wouldn't want to kill anybody (this isn't The Hunger Games), but these characters I wouldn't mind punching in the face, or something along those lines. Now before we waste any more time, let's get into it!

5. The Mayor (Mayor Prentiss) From The Chaos Walking Trilogy

Iv'e only read the first two books in this trilogy, The Knife of Never Letting Go and The Ask and The Answer (I have reviews for both), but anyone who has read at least the first book in the series can get what I'm saying. He was such a despicable human being. He used people, didn't care about others, and would do anything to get what he wanted. Even though he is on this list, he was still an incredible and complex villain to read.

4. America Singer from The Selection Series

America Singer I wouldn't so much as want to drown, but slap some sense into her. The Selection, TheElite and The One could have been made into one book if it weren't for her procrastination, her ability to never make up her mind, and her poor decision making skills. Throughout the series I got more and more annoyed with the way she was acting and I was tempted to through the book across the room because of this.

3. Clancy Gray from The Darkest Minds Trilogy

Clancy caused SO many problems in this trilogy. He was such a contemptible character! He used many people because he was an Orange, so he could get into their minds and make them do whatever he pleased. Unlike the main character in this novel, who is also an Orange, he used his powers for evil instead of good. Clancy just so manipulative! I REALLY dislike him!

2. Octavian from The Heroes of Olympus Series

Like Clancy, Octavian stirred up a lot of problems. He was one of the most power hungry characters I've read. So power hungry in fact that he wanted to start a war within a war just to get power. He didn't realize that what he wanted to do would most likely lead to his death and many other, if not all, of the people standing with him. Also similarly to Clancy, Octavian was very manipulative, and was able to convince many people to stand for his cause.

1. Dolores Umbridge from the  Harry Potter Series 

Do I even have to explain this?! It's Dolores freaking Umbridge! She is utterly despicable! A lot of people hated her more than Voldemort. She was very mean to the students and acted like she was above everyone else. She was very smug and demanding and always wanted her way. I think the reason why a lot of people hated her more than Voldemort, is because people could see her in their own lives. Voldemort is like a villain you only hear about in stories in the news. But many people could relate to what Harry went through with her, although maybe not to the same extent.

Well, that's it for this Top 5 Wednesday! Hope you enjoyed!


Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Top 5 Wednesday: Books You Read in One Sitting (Or Close To)


So I started to join the Top 5 Wednesday group created by Lainey from gingerreadslainey: https://www.youtube.com/user/gingerreadslainey . Every week there is a new topic that you have to give your top 5 books for. I may not be doing this every week, but I will definitely be doing it sometimes. If you would like to join, here is the Goodreads group: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/118368-top-5-wednesday .

Anyways, if you can't already tell from the title, this week's topic is books you read in one sitting (or close to). This was hard for me to choose because I don't really remember how long it takes me to read books. But these were the ones that I could remember. So here we go!

5. Run by Gabby Tye



I remembered this book because I had read it recently. This is number five because I thought that it was okay. The story was rushed and the writing needed work. But the format of the book made it a SUPER quick read. I'm quite sure if I finished in a sitting, but it was definitely in one day (on a school day to be precise).

If you want to know more about this book, I have a review you can check out here: http://burningthroughpages.blogspot.sg/2015/05/run-by-gabby-tye.html

4. The Selection by Kiera Cass



The Selection was an entertaining, easy read and I finished it very quickly (obviously). Although it is not one of my favourite books, The Selection made for an enjoyable read and I whipped through it!

I have a review for this one as well, which you can check out here: 
http://burningthroughpages.blogspot.sg/2015/02/the-selection-by-kiera-cass.html


3. Paper Towns by John Green



This book I read right after I moved. I barely had any books with me, so it was nice to finally get a book that I hadn't already read and that I thought I would enjoy. Which I did. I remember reading it in my make-shift room and bringing it along to the grocery store so that I could finish. Overall a really great book and I whipped through it. Plus I'm super excited for the movie coming out in July!

2. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling



If you are wondering why this is not number one, it's because I didn't technically finish it in one sitting (or a single day). When I reread Harry Potter last year I remember finishing somewhere between 200 and 300 pages in one day and reading the rest the next day. I marathoned through it, and of course I enjoyed it, it's a Harry Potter book for crying out loud!

1. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green



I finished this book very quickly the second time I decided to read it! It was still just as good as I remembered! It was totally worth spending my day to read it!

So that is it for this Top Five Wednesday! Hope you enjoyed!


Thursday, 4 June 2015

Why I Want To Write a Book/Become an Author


Since I've been posting a lot of videos lately, I figured it would be good to break it up with a written post. As you can already tell (well, that is if you read posts from my blog regularly), this post will be different from my typical review posts. In case you didn't read the title of this post, this post will be about why I want to write a book/become an author.

I was just watching some BEA (Book Expo America) and BookCon vlogs, and that inspired this post. And that brings me to the first reason why I want to write a book or become an author:

1. I Want to be Part of Events Like BEA and BookCon.

Ever since I had heard of BEA and BookCon I have wanted to go. Just to go as a not-so-well-know book blogger/booktuber, would be absolutely amazing! But to go as an author with your own panel would be even more amazing! I'm not saying that this would necessarily happen, but it would be awesome if it did. Just to meet people who's lives you have influenced through your writing would be utterly remarkable!

2. I Just Love to Write! 

Ever since I was young I've loved to write and wanted to become a published author. I've always had some idea for a novel in my head (or many). And I've started writing one many times, even when I was young. In school English is one of my best subjects, if not the best, and it's been like that for a while because of my love for writing.  

My love for writing might just be thanks to my dad who does a bunch of editing and writing for work, so I've grown up with a heavy presence of writing in my life. But there is just something about sitting down and creating your own world and characters where anything can happen that just makes me love it.

3. I LOVE Books.

You've probably noticed this already. I mean I have a blog and YouTube channel dedicated to books. So writing my own book and actually getting it published would be absolutely AMAZING. I get excited over other people's characters, worlds and writing, and I love the feeling of getting excited over your own characters, worlds and writing (And no I'm not trying sound like I'm super amazing or anything, so sorry if it came across that way).

4. I Want to Get a Message Across, Make People Think and Entertain People

I find that some books that have a decent message aren't necessarily super entertaining. I respect the message the book portrays, but that doesn't mean that I actually enjoyed it. An example of this would be (now don't hate me) The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I respect the messages in that book, but I didn't enjoy reading it.

Anyways, I want people to enjoy my world, my characters and my writing, and at the same time I want them to think. I want my book to impact someone. I want my book to have a decent message and be diverse. I don't think that there is enough diversity in books. The main character is almost always white, straight and living in America.

5. What If My Book Could Be Someone's Favourite Book?

We all have our favourite books. But what if what I write could become someone's favourite? That would be amazing! It would be incredible if something that I wrote impacted someone else that much. There is always that possibility.

Anyways, there are all the reasons why I want to write a book/become an author. Hopefully you thought that was interesting, and I hope you enjoyed it!


Friday, 22 May 2015

The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski


Kestrel is a high ranking general's daughter and lives a luxurious life in the land of Valoria's conquered enemies. She doesn't know what it's like to suffer, to lose a home, friends and family. But Arin does. 

While at the market, Kestrel stumbles upon a slave auction and on a whim buys a slave. The slave, Arin, turns out to be different from the others, more defiant, more intelligent. And Kestrel can't help but fall for his spirit and intelligence (finally someone that will give her a run for her money playing Bite and Sting). But as the story advances, things between Kestrel and Arin get more and more complicated. The first instalment of The Winner's TrilogyThe Winner's Curse, is full of lies, rumours, duels, rebellion, strategy and so much more.

Rate: 4.5 stars

I throughly enjoyed this book. The characters were intelligent and well developed. The story itself was very intriguing, and left me wanting the next instalment. The world was interesting and well put together. And the writing was just beautiful. Here are a few examples:

"Jess had wandered off to look at the wares. Kestrel saw her weaving like a flower-drunk bee through the stall, her pale blond hair almost white in the summer sun."

"Everyone thronged around the pit was looking at her: the general's daughter, a high society bird who flitted from one respectable house to the next."

"Kestrel held the child, her eyes trained on but not really seeing his fine white hair, stirring in the faint wind like dandelion fluff."

If that's not enough for you, read the book! Seriously, pick it up! If you are sick of your typical stubborn, not super bright female leads in the YA genre, this is the book for you. Or if you are just looking for a good, enthralling read, pick it up.

SPOILERS AHEAD.

Like I said above the characters were intelligent. And I was so glad about this. I was so tired of unintelligent main characters making idiotic decisions. And boy was I (gladly) surprised when I read this. Not only was Kestrel intelligent, but so was Arin, and I thought that they challenged each other with their intelligence. I thought they complemented each other nicely. Also, Kestrel wasn't a natural born fighter, which was interesting to see (in a good way), because in other novels like this one, the main character is usually good at fighting. Luckily Kestrel's strategic mind made up for her of lack fighting sills, and was able to actually get her out of some tough situations. Oh, and I was also glad that she turned down the option of joining the military because she knew that she could make strategic moves that could ruin people's lives.

Now the world that Kestrel and Arin lived in was interesting. I thought the world building was done well. It was sprinkled into the story and we learned more about the history and customs of Valoria and Herran as the novel progressed. And I actually found myself interested in the customs of the countries and the world that they lived in.

I enjoyed that this book, even though it was described as a romance, it wasn't all about the romance. It was much more than your run-of-the-mill contemporary or romance. We had rebellion, action and dirty secrets. Initially I was not expecting Arin to be involved in the rebellion. Or for him to be undercover to attain information. But as the story progressed, you could see that Arin started to care more about the lives he was effecting with the rebellion (not that the rebellion was necessarily a bad thing).

Speaking of the rebellion, I really did not like, or trust for that matter, Cheat. He just rubbed me the wrong way, and was doing all the wrong things with the rebellion. Sure he had the city under under his control, but that was with the help of Arin. Plus he treated Kestrel horribly. I was glad when Arin finally figured out that he wanted to get rid of Kestrel, and killed him when he found him in Kestrel's room.

At the end of the book, it was hard to tell which side Kestrel was on. She fled the city that the rebels took to warn the emperor, but she made a deal with him to marry his son to stop another war. She still cares for Arin, but seems to be playing for the other side, but Arin doesn't know that. It just keeps getting more and more complicated between these two. It seems like Kestrel doesn't want to betray her country, but she has begun to see what they have done to the Herrani (Arin). So she seems pretty conflicted. 

Anyways, I'm so excited for the next book in this trilogy, and can't wait to see where it goes!