Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Spoiler Free Review of The Captive Prince Trilogy by C. S. Pacat

Series: Captive Prince Trilogy- includes Captive Prince, Prince's Gambit and Kings Rising.

Publication of Captive Prince: May 22nd 2012

Goodreads description of book 1, Captive Prince:
"This was Vere, voluptuous and decadent, country of honeyed poison"

Damen is a warrior hero to his people, and the truthful heir to the throne of Akielos, but when his half brother seizes power, Damen is captured, stripped of his identity and sent to serve the prince of an enemy nation as a pleasure slave.

Beautiful, manipulative and deadly, his new master Prince Laurent epitomizes the worst of the court at Vere. But in the lethal political web of the Veretian court, nothing is as it seems, and when Damen finds himself caught up in a play for the throne, he must work together with Laurent to survive and save his country.

For Damen, there is just one rule: never, ever reveal his true identity. Because the one man Damen needs is the one man who has more reason to hate him than anyone else...

My thoughts on the series (spoiler free):
So this series is not something I'd usually pick up. It's very dark and definitely an adult series. I didn't like the trilogy but I didn't hate it either. It was just okay. I have no strong feeling toward it.

There is a major trigger warning for rape and abuse in this series. I was warned, but I wasn't expecting it to be as dark as it was. Rape and abuse play an important part in both the plot and the world in which Captive Prince is set so if you don't want to read that kind of thing I wouldn't recommend this series. Personally, I don't like reading those kind of things so I skimmed a lot of these scene. If this series wasn't so highly praised I probably would have stopped reading because of this.

I think my main problem with theses books was that I wasn't emotionally attached to any of the characters and I couldn't relate to any of them either.

I liked reading about Damen but I couldn't relate to him. I felt like he didn't have anything that made him interesting. His situation was but he wasn't.

I wasn't emotionally attached to Laurent. In Captive Prince I did not know what to think of him. I did grow to like him more in Prince's Gambit and Kings Rising. I found Laurent a lot more interesting to read about than Damen, because I felt like I didn't know him in Captive Prince and slowly over the course of the three books I started to understand his personality.

The romance in the first book is almost non-existent. I was not invested in it to be honest. I didn't ship anyone with anyone and while reading Captive Prince I couldn't understand why some people would. My opinion did change after reading Prince's Gambit. I wasn't shipping anyone romantically but I could see why people were shipping certain characters.

The language was a bit hard for me to understand at times, which is something that's never happened to me unless I'm reading a classic. I just felt like the author used a lot of rare words I'd never come across in my 19 years.

I felt like there was no plot in Captive Prince. I didn't know where the story was going. It was just characters interacting as part of their daily lives. Luckily there is plots in books 2 and 3. Prince's Gambit and Kings Rising are much more structured. There is a middle, beginning and end.

The world Pacat created is very intense. She did an excellent job at building up different cultural norms between Vere and Akleios.
 The nobility keep people as 'Pets'. And they force slave to 'preform' for them.

I really liked how there was a big emphasis on politics and war. War is definitely something that is more of a focus in the second and third books as we spend more time with soldiers and armies. I liked how there was this web of politics woven through the story. There was lots of mystery and betrayal and I wasn't sure who to trust.

I wasn't a huge fan of the first book, Captive Prince, but I decided to pick up the second one because I had heard too many rave reviews not to. The rating are also quite high on Goodreads and Sarah J. Maas (one of my all time favourite authors) recommended them in a newsletter so I wanted to give them another chance.

Personally I think Prince's Gambit and Kings Rising were better than Captive Prince. There was a lot more action and character growth in the second and third books. I particularly like Prince's Gambit because as reader we get to know Laurent a lot better and I felt like book 2 was really the start of Damen and Laurents friendship.

So all in all, I like the series as a whole but wasn't in love with it.

My rating:
1. Captive Prince: 2.5 out of 5
2. Prince's Gambit: 3 out of 5
3. Kings Rising: 3 out of 5

Thanks for reading,
A :)
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Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Inherited by Freedom Matthews

Series: Curses of VIII,#1

Publications:July 12th 2016 by Oftomes Publishing

Goodreads description:
If saying 'I love you' meant death, would you still say it?

The Wilted Rose, of faery-tale and folklore, is a pirate ship filled with unfortunate souls-each forbidden to love. One such soul is Valencia 'Lennie' Roux. Raised in a brothel and an heir to a curse; Lennie never expected to pique the interest of any man. Yet with the arrival of vivid-eyed Nathaniel, she is torn between wanting to know him better and fearing what that knowledge would mean.

With Nathaniel bringing the crew's total to six, the Wilted Rose sets off in search of the remaining two heirs. They hope that in reuniting, they will convince the faery Sorceress responsible for the curse, to end it. However lurking beneath the water is a long standing enemy of the Wilted Rose; who is determined to thwart their quest and bring down its leaders.

Together the eight heirs fight for survival, friendship and love.

My thoughts:
Unfortunately I didn't love Inherited like I thought I would. I had a lot of problems with it and it just wasn't what I was expecting. I thought it was going to be this epic quest of pirates fighting fantastical creatures while looking for the two lost heirs but it wasn't so I was kind of disappointed.

The author created a lovely whimsical tone and atmosphere in the first few chapter while introducing the characters and the boat but I felt like this whimsical tone got lost as the story went on.

I think one of the strong points in Inherited is Lennie's character development. She definitely goes through a lot of growth in the story and I think it was portrayed very well. Unfortunately I didn't feel connected in anyway to Lennie. Her character is built up to be this tough girl who has suffered terrible hardships, which is true, but I felt like these hardships were used to define her. Even after spending 500+ pages in her head I still feel like I know very little about her.

I really liked reading about Lennie's different friendships with the other crew members, in particular her relationships with Claudette and Butch. I felt like these where the two characters/relationships that were developed the most.

The plot was engaging at times and boring at others. At some parts it felt like too much was happening and at other times it felt like nothing was happening that was relevant to the what I thought was the whole point of the story which was getting rid of the curse. The pacing was a bit all over the place to be honest.

I thought the antagonist of Hadnaloy could have been developed a lot more. I felt like she wasn't built up to be that threatening in my eyes.

Lennie and Nathaniel's relationship is definitely a big part of the story. Unfortunately I wasn't the biggest fan of it. It was too insta- lovey for my liking but if you don't mind insta-love than this aspect of the novel wouldn't bother you.

Sometime I thought the dialogue wasn't great. The only I can think to describe it is choppy. It didn't flowing right and sounded a bit unnatural to me. Every time I picked up the book it would take a few pages for this to stop bothering me.

I think the world was very underdeveloped. I have a lot of questions about it that were never answered. It's built up to be a fantasy world with curses and witches and faeries. We are on a magical boat and we visit magical forests and then smack bang in the middle there's a section of the book that takes place in England. It's was kind of jarring to me to have a real place in the midst of what I previously thought was a fantasy setting.

It sounds like I didn't like this book but I did. I guess my expectations where just too high. I wouldn't not recommend this book to people because I can see why some people who love it but I just wasn't for me.

My rating: 2.5

Thank you to Oftomes Publishing for sending me an eARC of Inherited in exchange for a review. As always all opinion are my own!

Thanks for reading,
A :)

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Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Happy Release Day to The Starbright Series by Hilary Thompson + Givaway!

Happy book birthday to The Starbright Series by Hilary Thompson!

The Starbright Series, which was just released today, consists of three books and three novellas! The books are YA dystopian fantasy books! I haven't read the series yet myself but after reading the descriptions I can't wait to marathon it this summer! (Giveaway info is at the end of this post!)

About the books:

Justice Buried #1

Synopsis: The people need Justice, but she's not listening.
One hundred years before, the Great Sickness reduced the world to three dystopian cities. Now the community of Asphodel is trapped underground, waiting for the prophesied maiden of Justice to rescue them.
Sixteen-year-old Astrea is supposed to be this savior - too bad for them she isn't a believer. Astrea fights her fate until discovering a power she never knew she had, and a handsome ally she never expected. With her life in danger, Astrea must choose between saving her city or herself.

This thrilling young adult adventure is the first in the richly-imagined Starbright series, which is laced with mystery, mythology, romance, and magic. Justice Buried will have you questioning fate versus free will along with Astrea's strong female lead, and wondering who can be trusted when everyone is keeping secrets.
Get Justice Buried: Amazon UK   Amazon US

Balance Broken #2 

Synopsis: Balance Broken is the second in the Starbright series. In the first book, Justice Buried, Astrea fights to remain independent in a world which demands she submit to an ancient prophecy. In Balance Broken, she learns that independence means little when the world is depending on her.
The world cries for Order, but she’s igniting a revolution.
One hundred years before, the Great Sickness reduced the world to three cities. Now, Asphodel no longer lingers underground, and the Starbright Maiden of Justice has returned.
Everyone has faith in Astrea’s ability to save the world - but only she knows the dark truth about her powers.
Astrea teams with Stian, Lexan, and Zarea to enlist the help of Lord Hadeon of Tartarus. They hope Hadeon will aid in attacking Asphodel’s First Leader Keirna, but the Destroyer usually takes lives, not sides.
As Astrea discovers life outside of Asphodel, she begins to wonder whether the remaining world is too broken to save - especially since the price of freedom just might be her own life.
Get Balance Broken: Amazon UK   Amazon US

Destiny Risen #3 

Synopsis: The world cries for Peace, but she can’t stop fighting now.
One hundred years before, the Great Sickness reduced the world to three scattered cities. Now Asphodel has risen, Tartarus no longer burns, but Elysium still waits at the edge of the earth.
Trea’s destiny is still uncertain – but with her own personal prophet to help, the choice will finally be hers to make.
Three Sisters.
Four fallen stars.
Seven minutes to determine the future of our world.
Get Destiny Risen: Amazon UK   Amazon US

Don't forget about the three novellas: Stian's Mistake #0.5, Lexan's Pledge #1.5 and  Aitan's Revenge #2.5!

About the author:

Hilary Thompson was born to parents who made a habit of taking roads less traveled. But she was also a first child, and an independent, willful child, so she has made a habit of taking a few roads on her own.
After trying on hats made for artists, architects, restaurant and retail workers, landscape designers, legal secretaries, and professional students, she retreated back to her first loves of education and writing.
Hilary now teaches high school full time, writes whenever and wherever she can, and reads as much as her eyes can handle. She also tries not to spoil her own independent, willful children or neglect her wonderful soul-mate of a husband too much. She tends to ignore laundry baskets and dirty dishes.

To enter to wins ebooks of each book in The Starbright Series by Hilary Thompson just fill in the rafflecopter form below! (open internationally!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I want to say a big thank you to OfTomes Publishing for letting me be part of the release day party for The Starbright Series! They provided me with all the pictures, descriptions and links for this post!

Thanks for reading,
A :) Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Top 10 Contemporary Books I've Read!

It's summer so for me that means picking up some good contemporaries! Here's a list of some of my favourites! I don't read much contemporary books but I managed to scrape together a list of 10! Not all of them are summery but they're all favourites of mine!:

1. My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick (Young Adult)

This is one of my all time favourite summer books to read. It takes place during summer and the characters do lots of summery things like swimming in the pool and going to the beach! There's a big focus on family which I loved! All the characters are so loveable. Highly recommend!

2. Wonder by R.J. Palacio (Middle Grade)
This one isn't necessarily a summery, it actually takes place during the school year but it is one of my favourite contemporaries because of its messages.

3. To All The Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han (Young Adult)
These are just some of the cutest books I've ever read! if youre looking for something light and fluffy pick this one up! I also heard there is going to be a third book released next year so why not read the first two so your ready for the release of the next one!

4. The Summer I Turned Pretty Trilogy by Jenny Han (Young Adult)
As you can probably tell by the title this trilogy is definitely a summer read. But don't let the titles and covers deceive you. This series has a serious emotional punch. It's not all cute adorable moments, though there is quite a few! These books focus a lot on family which I great!

5. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell (Young Adult)
Fangirl is a must read for any fangirl/fanboy. It takes place during the school year but is a great contemporary about finding yourself and going to college. If you're starting college in the autumn why not pick this up and see how Cath survived her first year there!

6. Anna and the French Kiss Trilogy/Companion series by Stephanie Perkins (Young Adult)
None of these books are particularly summery but they are all super easy quick reads. I'd recommend marathoning these books!

7. Any book written by Colleen Hoover (My favourites are November 9 and Slammed) (New Adult)
Colleen Hoover's books are heavier than some of the other books on this list.  But she always gets the right balance between cute happy moments and the heartbreaking emotional ones. I'd recommend her books if your looking for a bit of an emotional contemporary thats not all about a cute romance! (Keep in mind her books are New Adult!)

8. I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson (Young Adult)
I'd recommend picking up Jandy Nelson if you're looking for absolutely beautiful writing. There's a big emphasis on family in this one too, the focus mainly on siblings.

9. Any book written by Morgan Matson (personally I love Since You've Been Gone and The Unexpected Everything) (Young Adult)
If your going to read anything this summer pick up Morgan Matson. All her books are so summery.

10. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart (Young Adult)
Some people says We Were Liars is contemporary and some people says it's not. What is though is summery. The story takes place on an island during the summer. If you're looking for a book that will get you thinking pick up this one!

So that's my list! I'll probably do an updated one next year!
Thanks for reading,
A :)