Tag Archive | teen fantasy

Non-Spoiler Book Review | “Smoke in the Sun,” by Reneé Ahdieh

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

4.5/5 Stars

31394243

Wow, once again mind-blown by the beautiful Reneé Ahdieh and her amazing writing. Even though half of the time throughout this books I had no idea what she was saying because many of the words used to described things were in a different language–though there’s an intensive glossary in the back–I didn’t get lost, not even once.

Here we follow the story of Mariko and Okami as they were dragged to the place following immediately after the ending of the last book A Flame in the Mist. In this book, we get different perspectives from various different characters and its written in the third person. Following the ambush of the Black Clan, Mariko has to figure out a way to save Okami and has to find a way to become someone of importance for the Black Clan. There’s political turmoil from within, family’s betrayal, broken hearts, and desperate cries. But at the end, we find our joy.

Mariko is not the same girl we started with in the first book, though in the first book she always seemed full of conviction, in this book we see it being part of her core. Spending time with those men in the woods taught her to believe in herself and to become stronger than she’s ever been before. We see her beeing tested throughout this book time and time again, yet Mariko’s resolved never faultered. She believed in a cause, and one cause only, and she would go to unknown lenghts to regardless of the consequenses, to save her people, to save Okami. She make sure they followed through. That’s something I admired from her in this book, in this story she had to make a choice for herself, could’ve chosen an easier route, but yet she didn’t. She choose to fight, and I truly apprecite divergence.

Ahdieh manages to bring one more time her beautiful writing in this one, and every once in awhile throughout this book I felt like I was reading a beautifully written folklore book that a grandma from Ireland was reading to her children. You know, the kind that passes by generations and that have the kids enthralled all the way to the end of the story. I honestly think she did a great job with world-building and the fact that she used the characters native language throughout this book made the story more diverse, made the story different. The way she portrayed the characters never felt lacking of anything. Renee made you feel the way the characters felt when you read them, if that makes any sense and each of thier thoughts were easy to follow.

If I do have to complain about anything I would say that the book felt a little bit rushed. There are moments throughout this book that I think she could’ve prolonged and/or moments that she could’ve added. There’s still some questions that I need answers to. Some scenes, especially in the last fifty pages or so felt rushed, and the book itself wasn’t very long, so I wouldn’t have mind if she were to add a couple pages to end just so that it can be more solidify. The didn’t necessarily end with a cliffhanger which is why I am confused as to whether there’s going to be another book or not.

Anyways, I would recommend this book if you liked her one, A Flame in the Mist, if you like Mulan, if you like Asian characters, if you like Mulan, oh, an if you like Mulan! There are some sensored sexy scenes in this book, so I would recommend it for ages 14 and up!

Advertisements

Non-Spoiler Book Review | “Legendary,” by Stephanie Garber

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

36329818

I just finished reading Legendary by Stephanie Garber and OMG it was such a huge improvement from the first one. If you read my review on Caraval which I wrote about more than a year ago, you know I did not like that book at all. I felt like it lacked character and purpose and the actual main character Scarlett truly pissed me off.

In this book, we follow the story of Scarlett’s sister, Tella. Donatella decides its time for her to play the game of Caraval herself this time instead of participating because in doing so she would finally be reunited with her mom who left them a long time ago. Don’t get me wrong, there’s still the conniving lies, mysterious people, and treatures adventures full of pain, loss, and sacrifice, but somehow in this book there seem to be more of a purpose. In this story, the players of the Caraval tell Tella that this time Caraval is much more than a game–the game is real this time and maybe that’s why I liked it even better.

We immediately see the differences between the two sisters in this story. Where Scarlett’s decisions were all made out of fear, Tella’s were made out of finding out what came next, her fear pushed her to be more. There wasn’t one time throughout this whole book where I felt annoyed by Tella’s decisions if anything I found myself agreeing to many of the decisions she made and found myself nodding along with her statements while playing the game. Tella is a super strong character, stronger than Scarlett for sure, but after reading this book, I do have to give Scarlett some credit because she did play out of love for her sister when it was her turn in the past book.

We are introduced to more characters in this book, there are some that we already know and that we get to know more intimately, and we are introduced to the Fates in this story who are some sort of immortal beings that ruled the earth centuries ago, who are also apparently evil creatures. Oh, and you won’t believe who’s Tella’s love interest on this one, it made me laugh with her at the end so hard LOL!

The reason I wanted to read this book was that of the letter on the last page of Caraval, the one that Tella’s friend wrote to her, and Garber didn’t disappoint. I have to hand it to her, that women can write! Her world building was beautiful–the way she describes the places and buildings throughout the book made me want to read every single detail of it (because sometimes I do skip details LOL), her descriptions were life if you were able to read music without actually listening to the sounds. The story felt so alive, she made you feel as if you were in the story with the character. Hell, I found myself playing along–participating in Caraval–with Donatella trying to figure who is Legend (which we do find out who he is in this book but I won’t tell you muahaha imagine evil laugh here) trying to find a way of not dooming the whole to the hands of the fates, trying to save herself and also trying to find her mother.

There are many things going on in this book but never once did I get lost nor did I feel like I should put the book down because it got too overwhelming–if anything every chapter of the book made me want to finish it faster, hence why I finished the book at 3 a.m. (not ashamed). Congratulations Stephanie on this beautiful masterpiece, you managed to make me truly enjoy this book and I cannot wait to read the next one, especially with that little teasing note that you left at the end of this one! How dare you?! LOL

I would recommend for ages 13 and up! Read if you liked Caraval, Ace of Shades, Six of Crows, and Crooked Kingdom! You’ll truly enjoy this one!

Non-Spoiler Book Review | “Ash Princess,” by Laura Sebastian

2/5 Stars

32505753

Hey, well guess what? Finally got around reading Ash Princess and unfortunately, this book didn’t do it for me. It felt like one of those books that I’ve read before somewhere else. I finished it and I was like, “Meh, I’ve read it before,” which sucked because I really wanted to like this book. TThe cover alone dragged me to it like a moth drawn to a flame, it’s so pretty and if you ever get to hold it in your hands you can feel the 3D feel of the cover.

Here we follow the story of Princess Theodosia, a princess whose mother was killed right before her eyes by the evil King and that now has to work to gain her kingdom back. She’s been in captivity for over 10 years given the title of Ash princess by the man who stole her kingdom. The story itself seems repetitive, there’s a damsel in distress, she has powers, she’s hopeless, defenseless, and abused. There’s promise to this story though, I feel like the author has great potential and her writing is incredible. I just wished she’d written a better story. However, Theo was incredibly strong, the things that she went through because of her people–for her people–are things that I haven’t read in any other books.

The king is as cruel as any king can be–but I’ve yet to read a fantasy book following this kind of line that had a king that was nice.  He was ruthless and mean and he took anything he wanted. He makes Theo wear an ash crown for each time there’s a reason to celebrate something, shaming her in front of her people, hence the title and the crown on the cover. Then there was Soren, the heir to the throne, which I believe has good intentions for the kingdom and for Thora but we’ll see how it develops. And then there’s Blaise, a friend from Theo’s past and he’s sure a keeper–or is he?

I do think that honestly, that true enigma in this book is her friend Crescentia, whom I think the next book is going to be about, and if my suspicions are confirmed, then I wouldn’t mind reading the next book.

I didn’t care much about the “world-building” but since her whole life was inside the palace, there wasn’t much to build. There were some words thrown here and there from her Astrean language that were hard to interpret and also, what kind of name is Kalovaxian for a group of people? But anyways, it just felt like another princess whose kingdom has been taken away and now she must battle to get it back.

I would recommend this book if you liked Red Queen, Blood Rose Rebellion, and any other princess need to save her kingdom book out there! For ages 13 and up!

I’m also trying to be more active in my book social media, so if you guys could give me a follow that would be awesome! @deniareads is my username

Non-Spoiler Book Review | “Children of Blood and Bone,” by Tomi Adeyemi

5/5 stars

OMG, OMG, OMG, OMG, OMG.

I don’t know where to start. This book was AMAZING –since the beginning to the end. From the first line,

“Pick me…”

To the cover, I mean the cover alone makes you want to pick the book up. It was quite literally an amazing trip. It was good enough to see it as a movie. This for sure is one of my favorite reads for the better part of last year and most certainly this one! I cannot wait until you guys get to read it this Tuesday the 6th when it finally comes out.

This book follows along the path of two siblings, a runaway princess and a purpose ridden Prince all across the country of Orïsha. This book is written from three points of view but the main character is still Zélie. She one of the many maji that are being mistreated by the ruthless king. The king that took the magic away from their kingdom.

The characters were strongly driven, each had their own purpose and had different distinctions between them. Zélie herself was so strong, she stood when she couldn’t do it anymore, pushing to the edge. She fought with all her might showing me and everyone in the book how strong she truly was. Even when she didn’t know it herself. She has PTSD from dealing with the memories of losing her mother at such a young age. She’s so vulnerable and yet so strong. She knows that until magic comes back they will never be treated with respect, so that’s what she’s going to do. She will rise.

“Live (…) Whatever you do, survive,”

Princess Amari is a very strong character too! She surprises me at every turn. She’s stronger than she believes she is and when she finally figured that out, she’s like a force that shouldn’t be reckoned with. Zèlie’s brother, Tzain, is a very powerful character too–not in terms of powers, but in terms of his personality. I love him. I really do. I love how determined he is to keep his sister alive, to protect her at all cost. He’s passionate, determined, very hard-driven and extremely sexy. I will marry him. There’s seriously nothing wrong with him.

The book never followed a pattern that I was expecting–which is not necessarily a bad thing. The way that Adeyemi brought everything together and tied correlations and narrations were beautifully shown throughout this book. She truly has a beautiful way with words and I cannot wait to read the next one. The tone, the context, and the message were clearly presented in this book and I’m so glad I’ve stumbled upon it.

Even though the book is supposed to be written in a different world than ours, it is clear to see some of our current situation reflected in this book. Even though every character in this book is black, there’s a lot of racism against the maji, which are noticeably distinguished by their white hair. The maji are treated like the worst of society, they are made into slaves, captured and tortured all because one day their magic might become powerful enough to eradicate the kingdom. There’s also a serious correlation with the BLM movement, which I don’t know if the author did that on purpose or not, but after I read this quote, BLM immediately came to mind, (Not Spoiler, I promise),

“Your people, your guards–they’re nothing more than killers, rapists, and thieves. The only difference between them and criminals is the uniforms they wear.”

However, I’m going to say that it is so hard to pronounce half of this book. I’m actually very surprised that she hasn’t made a YouTube video about a pronunciation guide to the words in this book. It very easy to get lost if you don’t pay close attention. So, just keep track of your reading and take notes lol.

If you enjoy dangerous adventures worked with a little bit of romance, magical superpower and torture then this is the perfect book for you. I would recommend for 15 year-olds and older.

I’m Out! xoxo

P.S. Thank you for reading!

March TBR Pile | 2018

I just went and looked at a couple of blogs and saw this trend floating around. I was honestly kind of depressed and jealous because many of these bloggers read about ten to fourteen books a month! I wish… I mean I used to read that many books a month, but working full-time and going to school full-time barely gives me time to breathe.  I really miss reading like that though. However, I’m going to try to push my limits this month and read at least 8 books, silently prays and these would be:

“High Voltage,” by Karen Marie Moning

I’m super excited about this book! Anyone that knows me knows that I would die for Karen Moning. She’s one of my favorite authors ever and I’ve been waiting for this book forever. I’m excited to see how Dani and Ryodan develop in this book. I cannot wait!

“Children of Blood and Bone,” by Tomi Adeyemi

I’m already reading this book, and it’s like your own personal bible. It is so big! But I’m loving it! I want to finish it today (though I doubt it because I have to go to work soon). But this book is full of action, love, mistrust, and lots of magic. I cannot wait for its release and for y’all to read it. I also love Tomi Adeyemi, so there’s that! I really am enjoying this book and cannot wait to finish it just to write a review on it.

“Hero at the Fall,” by Alwyn Hamilton

This book I’m super excited about! I absolutely loved the other two, and I sincerely can’t wait to see the adventures that Hamilton is going to bring us in this new book. I received an e-arc for it but I haven’t had a chance to read it yet, and I want to read before Tuesday the 6th because High Voltage is coming out then and I’m not going to be reading anything else until I finish that one, LOL. Anyways, Traitor to the Throne left us with a huge cliffhanger and if I don’t get to read this before the end of this month, shoot me! (HAHA, see what I did there? No? Then you need to read this series).

“Restore Me,” Tahere Mafi

I don’t know what is there to say about this book/series that you guys don’t already know. I loved the first three book in the series and even the novella and when I heard that Mafi was coming out with a fourth book, I about died! Now, it is not on the top of my priorities because I was actually happy with the ending of the last book–like I would have been fine if she decided to end it there. However, we have been blessed by the Lord with a fourth book and I am no one to not the gifts that the Lord brings upon us, so Mafi: here I come!

“Obsidio,” by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

I still haven’t finished Gemina yet, which is the second book on this series, but I plan to finish it at some point to tackle this bad boy. I enjoyed the other ones very much and the only I haven’t finished the second book is because I’m clearly stupid and very lazy. I love the visual stimulation that these books brings. They are most certainly a different format than anything I’ve ever read and I’m so excited to read the last one! (At least I think it’s the last one).

“Tiger’s Dream,” by Colleen Houck 

So, when I first started this series, I read the four books in five days. I remember making a big deal on snapchat about it (add me: deniamartinezz LOL). But anyways, I heard that she was coming with a fourth book as soon as I finished reading the series and that was a couple of years ago and the book never came. Now, I’m going to tackle this book to ground to finally get it on my hands and add it to my collection because I truly enjoyed the series.

“To Kill A Kingdom,” by Alexandra Christo

I just found this book while browsing on Goodreads and I found it pretty interesting. It also has kind of the same font as the Six of Crow does on the front cover, so that’s what called my attention to it. I read the description of the story and I’m kinda interested in it now, so why not give it a try.

 

For my last book, I like to keep it open. Since I work in a bookstore, there’s always a new book that catches my eye and then I’ll be like, “Oh! That seems interesting!” and I’ll give it a try. So yeah girls, this is all I have for this month, I hope I get to read them all and probably squeeze a few new adult romances as well as romance in general because I love that genre. I hope you girls can relate to any of these book and please let me know if you are as excited as I am to read any of them!

I’m Out! xoxo.

 

Non-Spoiler Book Review | “Hunting Prince Dracula,” by Kerri Maniscalco

Again, an amazing, intriguing and intense story by the wonderful Maniscalco.

4.5/5 Stars

33784373

In this story, we follow Audrey Rose and her friend Thomas to Romania, where they are to compete for a spot in a prestigious forensic studies school. The twist in this story is that they are going where the infamous Dracula lived—the school is situated in his castle.

A quick history lesson for you guys, Prince Vlad Dracula reigned in the Country of Romania around the 1600s and when he died people believed he turned into a vampire. This book was written in a late 1800s perspective and I find it fascinating the way the author makes these connections and chooses these myths and folklore to create an amazing story. Maniscalco manages to fuse both, history and fiction in a way that will have you at the edge of your chair with goosebumps all over your body.

We meet a variety of different characters and I must say that I despised the headmaster of the school, but there were some interesting developments throughout the story. I also loved how she incorporated a romance that, in that period of time, would have been seen as wrong and unforgiving—but that didn’t stop the author from bringing that aspect in, which I found very brave. You’ll see what I’m talking about once you read the book.

In other words, if you like solving mysteries, page-turning thrillers, murder investigation, and you are curious about Dracula, then this is the perfect book for you. With the right amount of romance, action, and suspense, Maniscalco will have you craving for me after each page. I cannot wait for the next to come out, “Escaping Houdini,” I’m so excited.

I recommend it to 14+ years-old.

Non-Spoiler Book Review | “Stalking Jack the Ripper,” by Kerri Maniscalco.

4/5 stars

This was a very interesting story that dealt with postmortems, forensic sciences, and cadavers–I mean, who doesn’t want to read a book like this? Maniscalco brings us this very intriguing story (that I consider more of a spinoff) about Jack the Ripper and A little bit of history behind Jack the Ripper, for those of you who don’t know, he was a serial killer from England that murdered women in the late 1800s. Anyways, back to the story, Audrey Rose is our main character and she’s full of curiosity and an insatiable passion for the forensic sciences.

28962906

Nathaniel is her brother whom she loves and her father is crazy, oh and her uncle is a forensic scientist that she apprentices under. The book was written in the time period of the late 1800s so you can imagine all the formalities and social classes and royale tea parties and all that jazz. Maniscalco writes beautifully and very detailed scenes that include customs from that era. Those were one of the aspects that made this book very interesting. Thomas was another interesting factor in this book–he plays our love interest, but he’s infuriating as he is charming. He managed to get in Miss Wadsworth neves as much as he managed to get on mine (LOL), but he was very cute and I look forward to reading more about him in the next books.

The fact that she decided to incorporate Jack the Ripper into this story makes it even more interesting, and I cannot wait to read the next book. I honestly was kinda skeptic about reading this book because it was a James Patterson publishing and I could care less about James Patterson in general, but that’s why I didn’t give it a try. However, I truly enjoyed this book and cannot wait to read more books by this author. I would recommend this book to anyone 14 years and older.