19. velj 2016.

ARC Review: The Shadow Queen by C. J . Redwine

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Book summary: 
Lorelai Diederich, crown princess and fugitive at large, has one mission: kill the wicked queen who took both the Ravenspire throne and the life of her father. To do that, Lorelai needs to use the one weapon she and Queen Irina have in common—magic. She’ll have to be stronger, faster, and more powerful than Irina, the most dangerous sorceress Ravenspire has ever seen.
In the neighboring kingdom of Eldr, when Prince Kol’s father and older brother are killed by an invading army of magic-wielding ogres, the second-born prince is suddenly given the responsibility of saving his kingdom. To do that, Kol needs magic—and the only way to get it is to make a deal with the queen of Ravenspire, promise to become her personal huntsman…and bring her Lorelai’s heart.
But Lorelai is nothing like Kol expected—beautiful, fierce, and unstoppable—and despite dark magic, Lorelai is drawn in by the passionate and troubled king. Fighting to stay one step ahead of the dragon huntsman—who she likes far more than she should—Lorelai does everything in her power to ruin the wicked queen. But Irina isn’t going down without a fight, and her final move may cost the princess the one thing she still has left to lose.
         I've always wanted to do a trailer for a book. Not the video thing, just to write the text for one. As I got really inspired after reading this book, here it goes:

A world torn between kingdoms
An enormous power is growing stronger
A special snowflake that wields the greatest power ever seen
A bad boy...
with a golden heart (you didn't see that coming, right?
Both lost everything they cared for but..
United they find the meaning of it all 
United they will rise against the enemy 
Will their force be strong enough?
Will they make it...?

Find out in The Shadow Queen! Coming out on February 23! 

        Okay that was fun! Needless to say I didn't spoil anything as you can get all of that from the blurb.

        Now, it's time to get serious. When I requested this book I had no idea that this actually is partly retelling. I should have guessed from huntsman, bring her heart and wicked witch, but alas this actually has some elements of Snow White and the Huntsman, minus dwarfs. It does have seven other creatures, though. It was a surprise for me, but not positive one. It just added more to the predictability this book already had in the characters themselves. They weren't bad or undeveloped to say so, but rather predictable and full of sappy lines.

       You might wonder why did I give it 3 stars. Well I must say that the world building was really interesting and the whole idea is not bad at all. It would be a great book, if the characters were less stereotypical. That and the writing which made it easy to jump into the story and fly through it quickly. Basically another good idea ruined by all the wrong choices.

      If you are new to the fantasy part of young adult genre, you might enjoy this one much more then I did. But if, like me, you had read tons of them then you might skip this one. You can already guess the plot and the ending.

      P.S. After reading this you might wonder why is it part of the series. Well this is actually a standalone, which will be followed by companion novels set in the same world. Hopefully the next one will be much better.

Rating: 3 stars.

Until the next time,
*NOTE: Copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher, Balzer + Bray, via Edelweiss. Thank you!

5. velj 2016.

ARC Review: Reign of Shadows by Sophie Jordan

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Book summary:

Seventeen years ago, an eclipse cloaked the kingdom of Relhok in perpetual darkness. In the chaos, an evil chancellor murdered the king and queen and seized their throne. Luna, Relhok’s lost princess, has been hiding in a tower ever since. Luna’s survival depends on the world believing she is dead.
But that doesn’t stop Luna from wanting more. When she meets Fowler, a mysterious archer braving the woods outside her tower, Luna is drawn to him despite the risk. When the tower is attacked, Luna and Fowler escape together. But this world of darkness is more treacherous than Luna ever realized.
With every threat stacked against them, Luna and Fowler find solace in each other. But with secrets still unspoken between them, falling in love might be their most dangerous journey yet.
With lush writing and a star–crossed romance, Reign of Shadows is Sophie Jordan at her best. 
         I might have promised on my Goodreads that I'll complain about the unrealistic things in this fantasy book and I'm actually thinking about that. So beware as I'm not always as logical as I might sound.

         Sophie Jordan and I go a way back, when she blew me away with her debut in YA lit I believe, Firelight. Sadly everything went downhill in that series and our relationship afterwards. Still when I saw Reign of Shadows on Edelweiss I couldn't help myself. It sounded so good, a ruined kingdom, new magical world and what sounds like a good kickass main character and not to mention a possible new book boyfriend. It had some of that, but not enough.

         Reign of Shadows starts in a tower which is isolated in the woods and rarely anybody knows about it. It's occupied only by a hunter, old maid and a girl with a very long hair *hint? hint* Yes, it's kind of, sort of a retelling. Our Rapunzel is Luna, a girl who has been living in isolation. The chaos has destroyed not only her kingdom but also the whole world. They only get a couple of hours of light, and the rest of the day they are cloaked in darkness, where many dangerous creatures hide. She's been a good girl and obeyed all the rules until one day she decided to break some. Of course she meets Fowler (of Flower as I suck at properly reading names) and falls head over heals in love.

       It all went downhill from there, there was attack and they must run. It also means spending more time together and well you know how that ends. Now don't get me wrong, the romance here was quite nice. Yes predictable, but still slow building and sweet. But there is one issue, big issue. Luna actually has, I'm not really sure what's the proper term to use here but I'll say impairment. Still she kicks ass better than I would with four hands and 20 years of training with ninjas themselves. Fine, she is determined, but for the heaven's sake this is as realistic as me winning the lottery. Even there the odds are 1 in 14 million (totally googled that).

      You can assume that it annoyed me more than it should, but I'm a moody reader so it either doesn't bother me or pisses the hell out of me. Not to forget, this is not a standalone. It'll have a sequel for sure, so don't get your hopes up.

Rating: 2 stars. 

Until the next time,
*NOTE: Copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher, Harper Teen, via Edelweiss. Thank you!

29. sij 2016.

ARC Review: Revenge and the Wild by Michelle Modesto

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Book summary:
The two-bit town of Rogue City is a lawless place, full of dark magic and saloon brawls, monsters and six-shooters. But it’s perfect for seventeen-year-old Westie, the notorious adopted daughter of local inventor Nigel Butler.
Westie was only a child when she lost her arm and her family to cannibals on the wagon trail. Nine years later, Westie may seem fearsome with her foul-mouthed tough exterior and the powerful mechanical arm built for her by Nigel, but the memory of her past still haunts her. She’s determined to make the killers pay for their crimes—and there’s nothing to stop her except her own reckless ways.
But Westie’s search ceases when a wealthy family comes to town looking to invest in Nigel’s latest invention, a machine that can harvest magic from gold—which Rogue City desperately needs as the magic wards that surround the city start to fail. There’s only one problem: the investors look exactly like the family who murdered Westie’s kin. With the help of Nigel’s handsome but scarred young assistant, Alistair, Westie sets out to prove their guilt. But if she’s not careful, her desire for revenge could cost her the family she has now.
This thrilling novel is a remarkable tale of danger and discovery, from debut author Michelle Modesto.
        I'm really having a bad luck with these new ARCs (bare in mind that I'm writing this in September). When they first appeared on Edelweiss I was over the moon as they all sounded so good and most of them unique. Revenge and the Wild seemed as the most unique one for sure. It was that, but with lots of issues.

        As promised in the blurb, this book is a mix of everything. It's a mystery, steampunk and above all fantasy. Set in Rouge City it tells about the girl Westie. A girl who has lost her parents long ago and ever since then trained really hard to revenge their death. With Nigel's help (her guardian) she became as many believe heartless killing machine. In the world where vampires, zombies, cannibals and what not it seems like a very useful skill. When she finally gets to face the killers, she will do anything to complete her task.

       That was the revenge part of the title, now we're coming to the wild part. This book is full of all sorts of creatures. Some of them familiar to us, while some of them not. But what they all have in common is that all of them are wild. Meaning no sparkling vampires or heartthrob zombies. That part of the story was the best for me. I never knew when the next creature will pop out and the next bloodshed begin.

      But another wild part here are love interests. More or less all of us hate love triangles, so I'm not sure why someone things that quadrangle is better. No, it's worse, much worse. It ruined the whole reading experience for me as every guy in this book seemed to be in love with Westie. I shall add that her character was actually really flat as all others in the book.

     Basically, this book goes on the good idea, but bad realization shelf in my library.

Rating: 2 stars. 

Until the next time,
*NOTE: Copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher, via Edelweiss. Thank you!

4. sij 2016.

ARC Review: This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp

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Book summary:
10:00 a.m.The principal of Opportunity, Alabama's high school finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve.
10:02 a.m.The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.
10:03The auditorium doors won't open.
10:05Someone starts shooting.
Told over the span of 54 harrowing minutes from four different perspectives, terror reigns as one student's calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival.
         To all of us who always complain that there really is no diversity in YA books, well I present you This is Where it Ends! This book contains all diversity you may ask for (different races and sexual orientations) and with that deliver a really strong story, real and heartbreaking. Basically, everything I could ask from it.

         It starts with four narrators and four different POVs. At the beginning it's a bit hard to connect all the dots and understand what's the connecting between all of them as the story progresses you get to understand it. We're in a high school here, ironically called Opportunity. It's your typical high school but with some unexpected event on a first day of school. It starts as each year with assembly where the principal is giving them her speech, which all of them already know by heart. Only when it ends there is no way out. They are trapped and suddenly there are gunshots. Terror starts in and out of high school.

         While some might complain that four different narrators might be too much here it really works out. Mostly as you get to be inside and outside of the school and with that get a full picture. Not only that, this book is real. When I say real I mean shocking as you won't believe that it's happening. There is no happy moments and love conquers all here. It's really straightforward and heartbreaking.

         I'm not sure that many will find this book appealing as it might even be controversial. Still I believe it's something that we all need to read. It's a great wake up call and it makes you think of everything that's happening around you, which is its greatest strength.

Rating: 5 stars.

Until the next time,
*NOTE: Copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher via NetGalley. Thank you!


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