Make sure to check out my tour stop for this book to read a smexy bath scene from Xarion's POV (;
Imagine being bound to sRating Clarification: 3.5 / 5
Make sure to check out my tour stop for this book to read a smexy bath scene from Xarion's POV (;
Imagine being bound to serve for the rest of your immortal life, your powers and wills forever under the command of one ruling family. Then imagine falling in love with the one who holds that command over you, knowing ASTARTE'S WRATH, plus touches of humor, adventure, fun, and magic.
One thing you should know about this book is that it’s mainly a romance book. And if you’ve read my reviews or blog for a while, you probably know that usually this is a book no-no in my book. In this case, however, I loved the sweetness (and not to mention major hotness – think BATH SCENES) of Star & Xarion’s relationship. It’s probably that their childhood-friends-to-lovers relationship is the type that I’m always weak for, but it was also that they seemed to have such great chemistry together. Therefore if you’re usually a big romance junkie, you’ll probably fall in love with their story!
That’s not to say though that the story didn’t have its conflicts. Regarding Star & Xarion’s relationship, you have the problem that Star is supposed to serve Xarion for eternity, and is forbidden by Kythan law to be with Xarion. You also have the stirring war between Cleopatra and Octavian, and the mystery of the newly created Kythan race controlled by Octavian. And on top of that, there’s the fact that Egyptian Guardians are tired of being slaves and start to lean towards the Octavian side. This combination of plot lines made it so the story wasn’t only focused on the romance, but also on the problems of their world at the time, which just pulled me more into the story.
I also liked the heroine, Star. On the surface, she’s the type of strong, warrior-type heroine you see so often in YA – strong, smart, caring, etc. Over the course of the story, though, I feel like you’re really able to get into her head and her heart to learn her strengths and vulnerabilities, which made me care more for her character. For one, she’s totally loyal to those that she cares about, which I really admired. Star is also the one people around her depend on in order to make some of the harder decisions, even if they may be a bit rash.
The world and magic were also fascinating! In case you don’t know, this book is set in Ancient Egypt, which is a setting that I was already fascinated with. Unlike most books though, Wolfe didn’t choose to focus on the gods, but rather the Guardians and their different magics, which is something I didn’t really expect. Rather, it still incorporated parts of Egyptian mythology, but also added sparks of the author’s own imagination. I can’t wait to see how this magic plays out in the futuristic world of DESTINY'S FIRE, too!
And the ending! I commend Trisha Wolfe for doing that, since I know that so many other authors might have ended it in an… “easier” way. I don’t want to give the ending away, but I’ll just say it’s a near perfect balance of sadness and hope, and really tugged at my heart.
ASTARATE'S WRATH was in one word, captivating. The romance, magic, characters, plot and ending all captured my mind, pushing me to read on until I came to the last word. If you’re a fan of romance, YA fantasy, Ancient Egypt, or of this novel’s predecessor DESTINY'S FIRE this is a must read!
* Thank you to Trisha Wolfe & the Tuff Girl Legion for a review copy of this book!...more
Most of the time when I’m iffy about one half or so of the story and totally psyched about the other, iCheck out more of my reviews @ Moosubi Reviews!
Most of the time when I’m iffy about one half or so of the story and totally psyched about the other, it’s when I love the initial action and excitement in one half, and a bit disappointed in the other. In THE LAST ACADEMY, however, it was a bit different. It seemed like in the beginning of the book, there wasn’t as much action. However, as the book went on, I got more in to the story, until the end, where I was totally immersed.
Specifically, in the beginning I was just bored – it seemed like it would be a more juvenile, mean-girl, boarding school type of book, with Cam checking out hot guys, making some friends, and arguing a bit with her roommate. Then when Cam’s friend disappears, it got more interesting, as Cam starts to take action and solve the mystery, while Barnaby Charon starts making mysterious appearances and you learn about a darker side about Cam’s fellow students. And by the end, there’s a pretty big twist that I loved, since it made me think about Cam’s choices and made the story seem to have a lot more meaning.
The question you might have, though, was if going through the slow beginning was “worth” getting to that exciting end. Personally, I thought it was worth it, because I loved the ending and reasoning behind it that much, and because I also enjoyed the middle of the novel. If you’re worried about the plot, though, I’d suggest either reading a copy from the library, an excerpt online or a few preview chapters before you buy it, or checking out other reviews on Goodreads.
As for the characters, except for Camden, I felt similarly about them as the plot. Mark, for example, didn’t seem like anything special to me in the beginning of the book. Like the classic YA love interest, he was gorgeous, blonde, kind, and obviously attracted to the heroine. As the story goes on, though, you learn about problems he has at home. Then finally at the end, it turned really interesting, as you see the strength, emotion, conflict and reasons behind Mark & Cam’s relationship, and how Mark got to where he was. This was almost the same for the other side characters, like Nora, Tammara, and even the teachers, as you see their own stories and unfold and fall into place.
Camden didn’t as much annoy me in the beginning, but also developed throughout the course of the book. Though I truly felt bad for her at the beginning of the book when she felt lost and betrayed, sometimes she seemed a bit whiny. However, soon you see that she’s a strong, smart and somewhat snarky heroine with a genuine voice from beginning to end. I also admired her determination during her investigation and her willingness to support others, even if they weren’t the nicest to her.
THE LAST ACADEMY was a book that I eventually immensely enjoyed because it ended up surprising me! It was a bit slow in the beginning, but this twist that I keep on mentioning really made it worth it for me. Again, I’d recommend reading an excerpt or a copy from the library before buying a copy or looking at other reviews on Goodreads. However, I’d also recommend this book to people who like novels set in boarding schools, might not mind a slow beginning that allows for development (and, again, an awesome ending!), or younger readers, since the setting might appeal to them. (:
* Thank you to the publisher & IFB Blog Tours for the review copy!...more
FRACTION OF STONE is one of those books that might not have a ton of action, but, to me, was still a fascinating read, mainly because I loved the characters and the different issues it dealt with. By the end of the book, I fell in love with the world and characters, and was left wanting more!
I'm the type of reader who, for some reason, loves reading about broken characters. Their pain, development, and eventually, redemption is just so moving for me to read. In this case, I feel like Kelley Lynn portrays this difficult journey and the associated emotions perfectly. Rydan, for example, is forced to make a decision between staying in his life of luxury, but not really connecting with anyone, or to save the one person who he could ever relate to. He also had to deal with the fact that while Rydan was learning from a teacher and being pampered, Akara was ruthlessly whipped, starved, and absued by her captors. Akara, on the other hand, learns the value of life and the company of others, while trying to forget her painful past. And to top it off, both also have to deal with exhaustion after running and using their magic, as well as being hunted fugitives. Yet, though both Rydan and Akara are distinctly different, the two characters are able to stay strong and selfless, as well as to heal each other, survive, and eventually, save the world.
While reading, I also enjoyed exploring the world in the book! I especially liked the different settings of the world, like the Sutaka village, Drier Forest, old Namaqua village, and Distarkant Forest (I mean, no sunlight - imagine that!). The concept of the Gia Stone, and how its magic was vital for the world to survive, as well as learning the history between the Tarmack, Liasam, and Namaqua was also really interesting! Hopefully these ideas will also be explored in the next book!
And I'm not sure if this was on purpose or not, but the author also made me think. It was like my experience with THE MADMAN'S DAUGHTER - there were just really heavy issues which occasionally made me put down my Kindle, and just sit and ponder. Specifically, who would be "worth" saving in the world, especially if it seems like everyone is hunting you down? And is it worth sacrificing a few people in order to save a lot more? Personally, I felt like this showed me that the book wasn't shallow at all - it made me think, while tugging at my heart.
My only issue with the book was with the plot. Though the general story was interesting, I felt like at times, the story could drag. The basic story structure was also pretty basic, as I felt like the book focused more on Akara & Rydan's character development and thinking.
Nevertheless, I really enjoyed FRACTION OF STONE! At times the story might have dragged, but I was still entirely immersed in the characters, world and different questions I had in my head. This is a book that will appeal to many fantasy readers, as well as people looking for a book that's a bit darker and heavier. Definitely read this book soon if it's on your TBR, or if it looks like something you'd enjoy!
* A review copy of this book was provided by the author for the blog tour. This did not influence my opinion of the book....more
THE DEVIL'S TRIANGLE was the type of book that I started with the intention of reading just a few chapters, then realizing I had finished the whole book in one sitting. For me, it was a near-perfect weekend read, with smart characters, fun, mystery, and excitement!
Many times, authors make the mistake of making male POVs sound unrealistic, whether it be making their voices to “feminine” and dramatic, or picturing the guys a little too perfectly. Rest assured, in THE DEVIL'S TRIANGLE, this is not the case. Cooper, your main character, had a witty, sometimes snarky, and hilarious voice, and I really enjoyed it! Moreover, his eventual character growth and development from a mostly self-centered teen with his own goals, to someone who truly cared, supported, and loved others was wonderful!
Of course, the other side characters were also well written! Though Cooper’s relationships with them weren’t perfect, you definitely see the friendship and sense of family between them. Along the way, you meet Lucy, who’s pretty mysterious but I ended up liking, Grace, a liberal punk-girl with a sweet heart, and Ryan, Cooper’s super supportive “brother”. Other more villainous side characters, like Blake, were obviously unlikable, but still brought an interesting side to the story (:
The storyline also never ceased to intrigue and entertain me. Right from the beginning, you’re introduced to Lucy, Lucifer’s sister, and her proposition to Cooper to “redeem” himself by forming a relationship with Grace, then immediately thrown into the action. There was also plenty of mystery and questions for me to ponder on, as well as a few very unexpected twists along the way, which, of course, just made me more interested in the book! :D The eventual romance between Grace and Cooper also didn’t overcrowd the storyline, but was still satisfying & sweet.
Another thing that really interested me, though, was the book’s concept. As I mentioned before, Cooper is sent back into a second life of a sort in order to redeem himself, after he set fire to a school. Though this might seem simple, along the way, you learn that there’s something more to the deal, and more to Cooper’s identity and memories. The magic and mythology of it all just excited me!
My only complaint would have to be that I wanted more. To me, the book was ended relatively quickly and easily, and I wanted more of the characters and their wittiness, more of the mystery and fantasy I was hooked on, and more of my questions answered! Nevertheless, there will probably be plenty of stuff to build off of for the second book, so I’ll be eagerly awaiting the next!
Simply put, THE DEVIL'S TRIANGLE was a great read. With a combination of light and witty humor and an intriguing concept, this is a book that will appeal to many YA readers, especially if you enjoy fantasy or paranormal romance. If you’re looking for a weekend adventurous read, definitely check this book out!
(* On a side note, there are a few mentions of God, though religion is not prominent in the book. Nevertheless, if you’re the type of reader who is very uncomfortable with reading a book with a slight religious presence, this might not be the book for you.)
* A review copy of this book was provided by the author for the blog tour. This did not affect my opinion of the book....more
EXHALE by Jennifer Snyder focuses on the idea of falling in love with a guy, though another guy is in love with you. Sounds a little familiar, right?EXHALE by Jennifer Snyder focuses on the idea of falling in love with a guy, though another guy is in love with you. Sounds a little familiar, right? Except this time it’s a bit more complicated – the two guys are twins. Overall, I felt like Snyder had a good basis for the storyline, though I felt like some aspects of the book could be developed more.
For this review, I’ll be organizing it into positives & negatives, since I found that each aspect of the book had its on merits and faults.
Characters: The Upside: The characters were, well, normal. They aren’t the smartest, most perfect, or nicest characters, but they did resemble normal teenage characters. Kat’s voice in particular sounded authentic, as she felt emotions that aren’t the purest of intentions, but definitely reasonable and realistic for a teenager. As the book went on, you also see a really sweet side of her, which made her a more likable character for me. If you’re looking for an authentic voice, one that isn’t “too perfect” or phony sounding, you may love Kat’s voice!
The Downside: I still felt like they were undeveloped, and at times, really unlikable. In Kat’s case, though I ended up caring for and liking her at the end, you don’t get to see the very depths of her character. In my opinion, her relationship with Missy also seemed questionable – in the beginning of the book, Kat mentions that she’s afraid of mentioning any conflicting opinions with Missy, and often receives glares from Missy whenever Kyle flirted with Kat. Missy just didn’t seem like a “true” friend, let alone a best friend.
Plot: The Upside: Though the book is short, there’s also a good amount of emotion portrayed. I don’t want to give too much away, but there’s a pretty sad event that occurs, and Kat completely shuts down afterwards. Personally, it was heartbreaking for me to see such a breakdown and guilt from a sweet character. In fact, it might be a bit unfair to characterize this book as only a “romance” book – it also deals with harder issues and being able to let go, or exhale the bad things in your past.
The Downside: As I’ve mentioned many times, the book is short, so many things fell undeveloped. In the plot’s case, I felt like Snyder could have done so much more about Derek and Kyle’s conflict. Kat’s eventual redemption, though ending sweetly and happily, also seemed a little quick to achieve. I guess overall I would have appreciated more development or details in the story.
Language: The Upside: Some of Snyder’s quotes just connected with me. One good example is her quote about inhaling and exhaling – it was just great! Her language also allows a lot of emotion to be depicted in the plot, which is always an upside or me.
Life moves on, Katie, even in times when we don’t want it to the most. With every inhale, we have to exhale. That can apply to life sometimes too, and we have to take in just as much as we have to let go.
The (Slight) Downside: I’m not sure if this was because I converted my original review copy to Kindle format, but at times the sentences would be broken or run-on, which was distracting for me. This shouldn’t be a problem if you’re using Amazon or B&N to buy the book though!
All in all, I did end up liking EXHALE. Short, filled with beautiful language, and a sweet romance and ending, this could be the perfect read for Snyder’s fans, the beach/weekend, or for fans of YA Contemporary authors like Sarah Dessen or Susane Colasanti. Readers of shoujo manga-esque books would probably enjoy the romance and pace of the book!...more
SURRENDER is probably one of those books that many people will end up loving, recommending to everyone, giving 5-star reviews, etc., while a few people like me will be sitting in the corner wondering what they missed. It wasn't that the book was badly written, but in the end, it failed to WOW me. Nevertheless, I liked the idea of the story and the world building, and enjoyed a good part of the book.
First thing's first: The world was absolutely beautiful. I love Paille's descriptions of the merfolk and their land, as well as the different forests, people, and creatures inside it. I also liked the idea of elvens, learning with elders, venturing towards the "Land of Men", and eventually marrying the land. Like any well-written fantasy book, lots of magical powers also surface and were cool to read about, like Kaliel's ability to communicate with trees and merfolk, and Pux's fun abilities. Overall, I guess I loved the magic, beautiful prose, and detail!
What turned me off though, was the characters & romance. The romance was always there, and I felt like a lot of the book could be focused more on developing the magic and action in the story. It also felt a little like insta-love; in fact, after one encounter, both Kaliel and Krishani were always thinking I can't live without you. This then led me to be unable to connect with the characters :/ But, again, this is the type of romance SO many YA readers like, so this book may appeal to those readers.
And the plot! Honestly, if it wasn't for the ending, the book would have ended up getting 2.5 or 2 stars, but I guess I'm a sadistic human being I enjoy that type of ending? I don't want to give too much away, but compared to the large amount of romance-focused plot in the beginning, I found the ending to be much more exciting.
Overall, I guess I still have mixed feelings on the book - I loved the world and the ending of the book, but can't ignore the fact that the characters and romance threw me off. Nevertheless, if you're looking for a more mythology-centered less-romance-focused book, this wouldn't be the book for you. However, if you're a HUGE fan of romance, or of paranormal romance novels, this book will definitely be for you (:
* A review copy of this book was provided for the blog tour. This did not affect my opinion of the book....more