Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Flamecaster by Cinda Williams Chima

Publication: April 5th 2016 by HarperCollins

Series: Shattered Realms, #1

Goodreads description:
A burning vengeance.

Adrian sul’Han, known as Ash, is a trained healer with a powerful gift of magic—and a thirst for revenge. The son of the queen of the Fells, Ash is forced into hiding after a series of murders throws the queendom into chaos. Now Ash is closer than he’s ever been to killing the man responsible, the cruel king of Arden. As a healer, can Ash use his powers not to save a life but to take it?

A blood-based curse.

Abandoned at birth, Jenna Bandelow was told the mysterious magemark on the back of her neck would make her a target. But when the King’s Guard launches a relentless search for a girl with a mark like hers, Jenna assumes that it has more to do with her role as a saboteur than any birth-based curse. Though Jenna doesn’t know why she’s being hunted, she knows that she can’t get caught.

Destiny’s fiery hand.

Eventually, Ash’s and Jenna’s paths will collide in Arden. Thrown together by chance and joined by their hatred of the king, they will come to rescue each other in ways they cannot yet imagine.

Set in the world of the acclaimed Seven Realms series a generation later, this is a thrilling story of dark magic, chilling threats, and two unforgettable characters walking a knife-sharp line between life and death.

My thoughts:
Fantastic first book in a series!

Since Flamwcaster is set in the same world as Seven Realms I would recommend reading Seven Realms first. It would help with understanding the world and magic system and some characters from the old series make appearances and familiar names definitely pop up. I think you would appreciate Flamecaster more if you read Seven Realms first.

Okay onto the characters.  I loved getting to know Ash. He's a healer which I found really interesting. So he prefers to kill with poison rather than a sword which was cool to see for a change.

Lila, one of Ash's friends, was probably my favourite character. She's witty and badass. I love how she determined she is to do what she's doing.

I really liked Jenna. She's a strange character but by no means an interesting one. Her background is quite mysterious and I had a million questions about her mage mark on her neck. We get some answers but I assume it will be explored more in book 2!

I don't want to say much about the plot but the way Cinda Williams Chima weaves all the characters stories together is brilliant. All the stories intertwine in such a complex way it fantastic. It's one of the reasons I love her books so much.

I think Flamecaster expanded the world of The Seven Realms wonderfully. We get to visit places we know from Seven Realms but also new places. And there's an introduction of pirates and some mythical/ fantastical creatures which I loved!

I thought the romance that formed was just okay. It felt a bit intsa-love for me so I'm not 100% on board yet.

All in all, Flamecaster is a solid start to a new series and I'll definitely be picking up the next book! I can't wait.

My rating: 4.5 stars

Thanks for reading,
A :)

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan

Series: The Trials of Apollo, #1

May 3rd 2016 by Disney-Hyperion

Goodreads description:
How do you punish an immortal?

By making him human.

After angering his father Zeus, the god Apollo is cast down from Olympus. Weak and disorientated, he lands in New York City as a regular teenage boy. Now, without his godly powers, the four-thousand-year-old deity must learn to survive in the modern world until he can somehow find a way to regain Zeus's favour.

But Apollo has many enemies - gods, monsters and mortals who would love to see the former Olympian permanently destroyed. Apollo needs help, and he can think of only one place to go . . . an enclave of modern demigods known as Camp Half-Blood.

My thoughts:
The Hidden Oracle is a solid start to Rick Riordan's new series based on Greek mythology.

If you are wondering if you have to read Percy Jackson and Heroes of Olympus before The Hidden Oracle, the answer is yes. I'd advise reading PJO and HoO first, however if you have no intention of ever picking up PJO or HoO then you can go straight in to The Hidden Oracle as you'll be spoiled but it won't matter if you are not going to ever read the other series! (But seriously though, why wouldn't you want to read PJO an HoO, they're some of my favourite series!)

The Hidden Oracle is shorter than he's more recent books but I don't think this was a problem, everything was set up nicely for the rest of the series!

Apollo's character arc was so well written. I loved getting to see him struggle with his new mortal conscience. It was hilarious watching him adjust to mortal life. His narration was so funny. What I really loved though, was that he is one of the very few bisexual main characters I've come across in YA. So yay for diversity!

Like with all Rick Riordan's books, The Hidden Oracle was very educational. I learned lots about Greek mythology I didn't know and lots about Apollo.

Unfortunately, I found the plot to be a bit predictable. And I was a bit disappointed because it wasn't as questy (is that a word?!) as Riordan's other books. The story of The Hidden Oracle mostly takes place in Camp Half Blood. So I felt like it wasn't as adventurous as his other books.

The good thing about being at Canp Half blood was getting to see old characters! There's cameos and we get to hear news about others! But we also get introduced to lots of new campers which was cool too. I'm interested to get to know them more throughout the series.

I need the next book now that I know who is going to play a bigger part in the series!

My rating: 4.5
Thanks for reading,
A :)

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

Publication:May 3rd 2016 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Goodreads description:
Andie had it all planned out.

When you are a politician’s daughter who’s pretty much raised yourself, you learn everything can be planned or spun, or both. Especially your future.

Important internship? Check.

Amazing friends? Check.

Guys? Check (as long as we’re talking no more than three weeks).

But that was before the scandal. Before having to be in the same house with her dad. Before walking an insane number of dogs. That was before Clark and those few months that might change her whole life.

Because here’s the thing—if everything’s planned out, you can never find the unexpected.

And where’s the fun in that?

My thoughts:
I loved this book! If you're looking for a book to get you in the mood for summer, look no further, The Unexpected Everything is for you.

The characters in Morgan Matson's books are just all so realistic. I loved getting to know Andie. She's such a relatable character. I found myself emotionally attached to her straight off the bat.

Along with Andie, I loved Clark. I think he's very different to what most love interest are like in YA. He's not bad boy or a guy who hides behind snarky sarcastic comments. He's a nerd. A geek. Whatever you want to call it. And he's so cute. And it's amazing. And lets just say he's on my fictional boyfriend list! I loved reading how awkward he was with Andie in the beginning. He felt like a real person and I really appreciated that. 

One of my favourite parts of The Unexpected Everything was reading about Andie's friendship with Toby,Bri and Palmer (and Tom). I feel like Morgan Matson really portrayed their friendship realistically. They were so much fun to get to know. It's not often you come across a big group of friends who get along so well in books.

I loved the family aspect of the story. It was really interesting watching Andie and her dad trying to fix their relationship. I love how Morgan Matson always has a family storyline going on in her books. We need more parents in YA.

I loved this book because it was so summery. It made me want to go to the outside and enjoy the sun with my friends. I had the best time reading Andie's story. There was lots of smile and laughs along the way and I'd really recommend giving Morgan Matson's books a read this summer! She writes the ultimate summer reads!

My rating: 5 stars

Thanks for reading,

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

*Warning this blog post contains spoilers for the first book in the series, A Court of Thorns and Roses*

Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2

Publication: May 3rd 2016 by Bloomsbury

GoodReads description:
Feyre survived Amarantha's clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can't forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin's people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.

With more than a million copies sold of her beloved Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas's masterful storytelling brings this second book in her seductive and action-packed series to new heights.

My thoughts:
A Court of Mist and Fury is a masterpiece. Beautiful and heartbreaking and just perfect. It's a story of healing and female empowerment. And I loved ever second of it!

At the end of A Court of Thorns and Roses (ACOTAR), Feyre is turned into high fae and A Court of Mist and Fury (ACOMAF) is really about her getting used to her new powers as well as dealing with the guilt and trauma after what went down Under the Mountain. She went through a good deal of character development in book 1 and she goes through even more in ACOMAF. She's not the same person she was before and I really enjoyed watching her grow.

We are introduced to a whole squad of new characters in ACOMAF and I loved getting to know all of them! If you're like me and have been stalking Sarah's Pintrest boards for months waiting for ACOMAF then you probably know who I'm talking about. I won't say who they are because it is kind of spoilery!  Let me just say Sarah J Maas knows how to write badass women. And guys too!

Before reading ACOMAF, I wasn't a Feylin or a Feysand shipper; I was just floating somewhere in the middle. But after ACOMAF I am definitely on team Rhysand! There is a heavier emphasis on his character compared to ACOTAR. He's such a complex character and if you finished ACOTAR wanting to know more about him pick up ACOMAF.

Maas expertly expanded the world in ACOMAF. We get to see a few more courts. One of which has a city I want to live in. It's so beautiful (well in my head it is..). And we also get to learn more about the history of the world.

Sarah J Maas touches on some dark subjects in ACOMAF such as depression, anxiety, sexual and physical abuse. But she handles them in a way that gives the characters and readers some hope. Somehow, in a world with magic and faeries, she managed to create very human characters and get messages that are unrelentingly relatable through to her readers.

This is one of my favourite quotes from the book: “There are good days and hard days for me—even now. Don’t let the hard days win.”

I am head over heels in love with this A Court of Mist and Fury and I need the next book ASAP!

Thanks for reading,

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

The Raven King

*Warning this blog post contains spoilers for the previous books in this series: The Raven Boys, The Dream Thieves and Blue Lily,Lily Blue*

Series: The Raven Cycle, #4

Published: April 26th 2016 by Scholastic Press

Goodreads description:
Nothing living is safe. Nothing dead is to be trusted.

For years, Gansey has been on a quest to find a lost king. One by one, he’s drawn others into this quest: Ronan, who steals from dreams; Adam, whose life is no longer his own; Noah, whose life is no longer a lie; and Blue, who loves Gansey…and is certain she is destined to kill him.

Now the endgame has begun. Dreams and nightmares are converging. Love and loss are inseparable. And the quest refuses to be pinned to a path.

My thoughts:

The Raven Cycle has been a favourite series of mine for a few years now so reading the conclusion was so sad. I'm not ready to say goodbye to theses characters. Their friendships are so strong and I have grown to feel like I am part of their little squad.

I think The Raven King is definitely Gansey's book. He was a big focus this time around anf I loved it. I feel like I fully understand Gansey's need to be known now. I feel like we got to dig deeper into his mind in this book compared the first three books.

I love Ronan and Maggie really put him through the ringer in this book at part. I just wanted to  give him a hug (then again he'd probably punch me in the face for it but he needs it). Maggie is so cruel to him in this book! But there was also a focus on Ronan's relationship with his brothers and Adam which I loved. So that was the happier side of his storyline.

Adam has changed so much over the course of these four books and I really noticed this during The Raven King. He's grown up so much and I couldn't be prouder of him for some of his actions in The Raven King.

Blue was very interesting in this book. I really liked getting to see her thinking about the future, like college. And I loved seeing her struggle with the curse.

Henry Cheng plays a bigger role in The Raven King than he did in previous books. I wasn't the biggest fan of him but towards the end I did start to like him.

The Raven Kings is full of all the ships! I swear I died of cuteness on multiple occasions. There were so many cute Bluesey moments and the Pynch moments were all I wanted them to be!

The plot of these books  have never really been what kept me reading but though the plot of The Raven King was good anything beyond the search for Glendower didn't interest me. There's a plot line about someone magical being in sale and I just didn't care about it much. Any time we were in an adults POV I just wanted to go back to the teens.

The only other problem I had was the lack of Noah. He doesn't get as much page time as previous books and I would have liken to get to know him more.

The last third of the book was crazy. It was so intense. I was freaking out. A lot. I couldn't put the book down. Maggie did an amazing job at ending this fantastic series. The Raven King was a satisfying ending but to be honest I wouldn't say no to more books about these characters. 

My rating: 5 stars out of 5!