Trial by Fire kicks off Josephine Angelini’s new series and introdu**spoiler alert** Find this review and more on my blog The Rest Is Still Unwritten!
Trial by Fire kicks off Josephine Angelini’s new series and introduces readers to a new intriguing world that mixes magic and danger together with romance and adventure in a tale that really takes being your own worst enemy to a new level!
Lily Proctor is allergic to the world. Having spent her whole life in and out of hospitals, experiencing seizures and illnesses none of the best doctors can identify, Lily is tired of being an outcast. Yet, when an attempt at being a normal teenager sees Lily heartbroken and seeking any kind of escape, the last think she expects is to be transported to a whole new world; a world featuring different versions of almost everyone Lily knows, a world very different than Lily’s own. Discovering quickly that magic exists and there’s a reason she is the way she is, Lily soon finds herself face to face with her own alter-ego, a very powerful and cruel woman who has her own agendas and isn’t above using Lily for her own gain…..
I’m not quite sure what I expected heading into Trial by Fire, but whatever it was it certainly wasn’t what I ultimately found….and yet I really enjoyed the story Josephine Angelini has created. I admit in the first couple of chapters I found the novel slow, but once I found my footing I discovered I very much enjoyed reading Lily’s tale.
Told in the third person, Trial by Fire primarily follows Lily, but that doesn’t stop Angelini from throwing in a chapter here and there not told through the eyes of our main character. This allows for a more rounded story as there are certain moments that Lily isn’t present for that are detrimental to the evolving storyline. I felt like Angelini’s world building was very well expressed and I like the way she has built this alternate world Lily finds herself in. As we quickly learn, it’s a blend of old and new with simple ways of living mixing with modern technology and magic.
Josephine Angelini’s writing is solid and details a vivid world, inhabited with many interesting individuals. At first I questioned whether I could some to adore Lily, but as the novel progressed she really wore on me. I think she’s one of those characters with real potential and I can see Angelini developing her a lot as the series progresses. At her heart, I think Lily is a kind, strong character and I look forward to seeing her grow.
Trial of Fire wouldn’t be complete if there wasn’t a love interest and a hint of romance to support its action, magic and adventure, something Angelini includes in the form of Rowan Fall. Now, I have no intentions of giving too much away, but there’s a complexity to Rowan and Lily’s relationship that makes for some unique conflict. The attraction is there, and Angelini builds on this with some sweet, tender moments as the two get to know each other during some complicated situations. Personally I loved the relationship between Lily and Roman and found myself hanging out for their next tension filled interaction. What can I say—I love those love-hate relationships, even if this one was more one sided and love seeing them change into something really powerful and fiery.
Overall I was very impressed with Trial by Fire. Perfect for fans of Maria V. Snyder and Sarah J. Mass, the vividly described world within the story has won me over, as have the cast of characters and all the possibilities for this series. I very much look forward to reading more!
Ink and Bone is the latest release by best-selling author Rachel Caine and introduces audiences to a unique and carefully detailed world that is unlike anything I’ve really seen.
Imagine a world where the Great Library of Alexandra was never destroyed. Where knowledge is everything and those who control the Great Library have almost complete control over society. Books are highly valued but strictly controlled, and though freely accessible, anyone caught with private books face the harshest of punishments. For Jess Brightwell, this world is a reality. And as the son of a black-market book smuggler, he knows the dangers that come from owning books better than anyone. Yet in a world on the brink of war, Jess finds himself being sent to the Library to vie for a converted position as a scholar and soon discovers that the Library holds more than vast knowledge; it also holds dangerous secrets that those in power will kill to protect……
In all honesty, Ink and Bone is a difficult book for me to review. Though I found it incredibly detailed, well thought out and clearly very complex, I also struggled heavily with it at times; especially in the beginning. Ink and Bone starts out very slow, but slowly begins to pick up about halfway through. I never found myself completely sucked into the story, but I did plod along and mostly enjoyed the book.
Rachel Caine has created a very unique world within Ink and Bone. Set in an alternate world of 2025, the world within the story is a mix of ancient and futuristic times. Featuring an aura that brings to mind Ancient Egypt and Victorian London on occasion, Ink and Bone takes readers through many different locations. Vividly described, after the initial difficulty I had, I did enjoy learning about this unique world Caine has created.
I’ll be the first to admit, I don’t think I fully comprehend everything Rachel Caine has introduced within Ink and Bone but I understood enough to read the book without too much trouble. The world of the Library is very detailed and complex. There is a range of different positions, terms and devices unlike anything I’ve seen before that give Ink and Bone a real edge. I think you need to persevere with this novel and concentrate to understand; especially in the beginning. However Caine does increase the pace as time goes on.
Maybe I’m coming along as too harsh, because despite the misgivings I had, there were times when I found myself very involved with Ink and Bone. Caine does a solid job writing through the eyes of main character Jess. His voice reads well and I actually really liked him as a character and individual. Those Jess meets during his time at the Library were really intriguing. Those vying for a place as a scholar really appealed to me and even Wolfe (who remind me as Professor Snape if I’m being honest!) began to win me over. Personally I think the characters were the real saving grace for me as I began to struggle with this novel.
Ink and Bone races towards an unexpected, but exciting ending, that actually has me wanting to read more. For all it's faults Ink and Bone steadily progresses to become a novel worth reading and I do look forward to seeing what will happen to Jess and those he knows next!
I Made Lattes for a Love God by Wendy Harmer is a novel that in my opinion is best suited to the younger teenage girl who enjoys gossip, friendship and a whole lot of drama.
I Made Lattes for a Love God sees readers meet Eleanor "Elly" Pickering, a fifteen year old girl who discovers herself in the centre of a media frenzy when her mother lands a job looking after the promotional aspect of a Hollywood movie starring a popular "it" boy and they decide to shoot the film at Elly’s high school. Throw in a bunch of secrets and some paparazzi mayhem and Elly soon finds herself in the deep end without a paddle…..
Wendy Harmer is a well-known Australian comedian. I feel like I’ve grown up seeing her face on tv or hearing her voice on radio, so the chance to read a story by a home-grown talent was really exciting. But in all honesty, I Made Lattes for a Love God probably wasn’t the book for me. I persevered because I can be a stubborn thing and I felt as a review novel I had to finish it, but I didn’t enjoy the story all too much. Was I Made Lattes for a Love God a bad book? Not necessarily, no. It just wasn’t for me. If I’d read it maybe eight or so years ago I may have appreciated it a bit more, but for me at this point in my life, I really struggled.
Heading into I Made Lattes for a Love God I had no idea there was a previous novel called I Lost My Mobile At the Mall featuring Elly. When I realised about three chapters in, I was concerned, but found this didn’t really effect my ability to read and understand what was going on. If anything, I Made Lattes for a Love God is more a companion novel than a strict sequel.
Personally I found the main character Elly to be incredibly difficult to like. I’m not trying to toot my own horn or anything, but I was always mature for my age and as such can’t imagine acting the way Elly acts in this novel. She was immature and childish, and although there was growth in her, it wasn’t enough to redeem her in my eyes.
When a main character is difficult to like, it can really effect the rest of the novel and this was the case for me and I Made Lattes for a Love God. After a new chapters I found myself growing tired of Elly’s friendship and relationship dramas. Everything felt overly dramatic and unnecessary. From interactions with her sister to her reactions to her best friend’s involvement in the movie---I really struggled. Elly seemed vapid and childish and just not someone I enjoyed following.
For me the saving characters were Rosie and Tyler, both of whom I liked but felt we didn’t see enough of. Overall I Made Lattes for a Love God was just a hard book for me to get through and not something I would be quick to recommend.