Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst

Series: Of Fire and Stars, #1

Publication: November 22nd 2016 by Balzer + Bray

Goodreads Description:
Betrothed since childhood to the prince of Mynaria, Princess Dennaleia has always known what her future holds. Her marriage will seal the alliance between Mynaria and her homeland, protecting her people from other hostile lands. But Denna has a secret. She possesses an Affinity for fire—a dangerous gift for the future queen of a kingdom where magic is forbidden.

Now, Denna must learn the ways of her new home while trying to hide her growing magic. To make matters worse, she must learn to ride Mynaria’s formidable warhorses—and her teacher is the person who intimidates her most, the prickly and unconventional Princess Amaranthine—called Mare—the sister of her betrothed.

When a shocking assassination leaves the kingdom reeling, Mare and Denna reluctantly join forces to search for the culprit. As the two become closer, Mare is surprised by Denna’s intelligence and bravery, while Denna is drawn to Mare’s independent streak. And soon their friendship is threatening to blossom into something more.

But with dangerous conflict brewing that makes the alliance more important than ever, acting on their feelings could be deadly. Forced to choose between their duty and their hearts, Mare and Denna must find a way to save their kingdoms—and each other. 

My thoughts:
Been reading a lot of mediocre books recently and this one was no different. Of Fire and Stars could have been great, I was so excited to pick up a book about two princesses falling in love, but it ended up being just average.

The plot was very slow and I had to push myself to keep reading in the beginning. There wasn't much happening and I wasn't interested in the characters so it only picked up for me when I got about half way through. 

Random thing that bothered me was everyone's names are so hard to pronounce- dennaleia, amaranthine, Thandillimon - there was just way too many syllables for my brain to comprehend.

It took me a while to warm up to the characters of Mare and Denna. They came across as very young and naive to me and I felt like I couldn't relate to either of them. They were fine but I wanted more backstory and I wanted to know who they were and why they were that way. They felt a bit flat. 

The romance is a classic hate to love story which I usually am a sucker for but I just didn't feel it enough to be shipping it. It was also never explained why it was forbidden- I felt like the author just threw that in there to make it more dramatic. It was an alright romance but nothing that I was obsessing over and rooting for. It was cool reading a romance between to girls in a fantasy novel for once but this one just didn't do it for me. If anyone knows any other YA fantasy with LGBT+ characters let me know as there seems to be a lack of them.

World building was very weak. We are given no history as to why Mynaria hates magic. Readers just have to go with it. I also had no idea how the magic worked at all really. I also didn't get a sense of culture from the kingdom. It felt like a very generic fantasy kingdom setting. 

There is going to be a second book which makes sense with how this one ended but I don't think I will be picking it. Not because I hated this book, I just didn't have any strong feelings for it. I am a bit disappointed because I really wanted to love this one.

Thanks for reading,

A :)

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Geekerella by Ashley Poston

Series: Starfield, #1

Publication: April 4th 2017 by Quirk Books

Goodreads Description:
Geek girl Elle Wittimer lives and breathes Starfield, the classic science-fiction series she grew up watching with her late father. So when she sees a cosplay contest for a new Starfield movie, she has to enter. The prize? An invitation to the ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball and a meet-and-greet with the actor slated to play Federation Prince Carmindor in the reboot. With savings from her gig at the Magic Pumpkin food truck and her dad's old costume, Elle's determined to win - unless her stepsisters get there first.

Teen actor Darien Freeman used to live for cons - before he was famous. Now they're nothing but autographs and awkward meet-and-greets. Playing Carmindor is all he has ever wanted, but Starfield fandom has written him off as just another dumb heartthrob. As ExcelsiCon draws near, Darien feels more and more like a fake - until he meets a girl who shows him otherwise. But when she disappears at midnight, will he ever be able to find her again?

Part-romance, part-love letter to nerd culture, and all totally adorbs, Geekerella is a fairy tale for anyone who believes in the magic of fandom. 

My thoughts:
Anyone who's knows me knows I am a huge fan of all things Disney and retelling related so when I picked up Geekerella I was sure I was going into a new favourite book. Unfortunately I was left disappointed. Geekerella fell flat for me and I ended up not enjoying it as much as I thought I would. 
Maybe it's because I've read/seen too many retellings of Cinderella but I felt like I was just sitting around waiting for certain aspects of the story to play out. I also think my expectations were way too high; I went in looking forward to a cute fluffy fun read and Geekerella just didn't deliver.

I found Elle to be a very average character. There was nothing interesting about her except that she was a fangirl. I could relate to her a bit because of that but I wasn't emotionally invested in her character. I wasn't rooting for her or happy/sad for her when things when good/bad.

I did enjoy the friendship between Elle and the girl who works at the food truck, Sage. Their relationship was probably the only thing I was interested in. I wish we had more from Sage- she was the only interesting character to me.

I didn't buy into the romance between Elle and Darien. I felt like they didn't know each other that well to love each other so quickly.  They only texted a few times and I felt like the content of the texts wasn't enough for them to fall in love with each other over, felt unrealistic to me.

I definitely think Geekerella was written for the for younger end of YA (13/14ywar olds). The writing was very simplistic and the characters acted quite young to me. I wanted Elle to grow up- she was constantly going on about what she thinks others think of her and never stood up for herself and I wanted her to get over the I'm-not-worthy-of-anything thing going on. I found it super annoying and was rolling my eyes but I think younger readers will probably relate to her in this regard whereas I, as a 21 year old, felt she was acting like a kid.

I did think it was cool that the story centred around fandom and fandom culture. There was some cool references to fandom culture like talk of meet cures and ships and whatnot which was fun.

Overall Geekerella was an alright read but nothing amazing. I think my expectations were too high and a younger reader would have enjoyed it more.

Thanks for reading,

A :)

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Series: Legacy of Orïsha, #1

Publication: March 6th 2018 by Henry Holt Books for Young Readers

Goodreads Description:
They killed my mother.
They took our magic.
They tried to bury us.

Now we rise.

Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zélie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.

But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.

Now Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.

Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers and her growing feelings for an enemy.

My thoughts:
Children of Blood and Bone was an alright read for me but nothing spectacular. It just didn't live up to the hype for me unfortunately and left me underwhelmed.

I had a very hard time getting into the story in the beginning. My mind wandering and I just couldn't stay engaged with what was happening; I also kept getting confused with all the names and places which probably didn't help. 

The plot was very slow in the beginning and didn't really start to pick up until about 30% in. I also found that it was quite similar to other stuff I've read in the genre. It had a lot of elements from other YA fantasy books which made it very predictable for me. I also thought the book was too long, the author dragged out aspects of the story that could have easily been edited down. 

Zélie was likeable enough but she felt very much like a cookie cutter character. 

The only character I actually enjoyed reading about was Amari, the princess. She was so well developed I loved getting to know her and the layers of her character. Her arc was perfectly paced too. 

While I think Inan,the prince, was the most interesting because he's so confused about what to do, he did annoy me at times and I found myself getting bored of his drama.

I really enjoy the friendship between Zelie and Amari. I loved how they weren't best friends straight away and their relationship built over time.

The romance felt very forced and unnatural. It just didn't make sense to me why the characters suddenly liked each other, they had hardly any chemistry. 

I was not a fan of the first person POV narration. Every time I picked up the book it would take me a while to figure out whose head I was in. Their voices just weren't very distinct from each other. I this this story would have been better told in third person. 

While I wasn't a fan of the narration style I did enjoy the writing in general. There was some lovely passages in the book with vivid imagery and descriptions.

I do appreciate that this book has a full cast of POC characters which is something I never come across in my reading and am glad it's getting so much hype as we need more representation like this in genres other than contemporary.

Sounds like I really disliked this book but I didn't I just thought it was fine. I think I wasn't in the mood for high fantasy and the hype made my expectations too high. I'm not 100% sure if I'll read the next one. The ending left me interested in continuing but I only think I'll pick up book 2 if it gets amazing reviews.

Thanks for reading, 

A :)

Tuesday, 4 September 2018

The Prophecy by Jennifer L Armentrout

*This post contains spoilers for the previous books in the Titan series by Jennifer L Armentrout*

Series: Titan, #4

Read my review of book 2, The Power, here!
Read my review of book 3, The Struggle, here!

Publication:  March 20th 2018

Goodreads Description:
History is on repeat…

Seth never thought he’d have a future. But now he’s on the brink of having it all with Josie: A tomorrow. A family. A forever. And all that's standing between him and that forever is the Titans. If he helps Josie entomb them -- without killing them, a nearly impossible task for him -- everything he could ever want will be in reach. But he soon realizes that as a god, every little choice he makes can reshape the world for the better… or worse. And in meddling with the Titans, Seth may have just set into motion catastrophic consequences that will force the Olympians to enter the mortal realm and reshape the delicate balance of power that keeps the world from total collapse.

A price must be paid…

Entombing the Titans is Josie’s top priority. After all, it was what she was born to do. But the plans her father put into play to help her are no longer an option, and the odds she and Seth face in forging their own path are grim. The escalating violence between halfs and pures only increases the danger closing in on them and their friends. Josie knows their chances of succeeding in their task are slim at best -- and if they fail, they might lose everything. But she also knows she's not fighting just for herself -- she's fighting for the man she loves, for their future, for the world. Together with the Army of Awesome, Josie and Seth will face the unthinkable. And to win this war, the ultimate sacrifice must be made.

For the end is here and the Prophecy will be fulfilled…. 

My thoughts: 
Short review today guys!

I had the best time reading The Prophecy, like I do with all JLA's covenant series. I didn't know it was the last book until half way through and I was so sad that I slowed my reading down to try make it last longer I was enjoying it so much. The Prophecy has all the hilarious one liners, action and drama that comes in these Titan books and I loved it!

There were so many cute scenes in this book with Josie being pregnant with Seth and their friends. Teen pregnancy is something I don't think I've ever read about and while this probably isn't an accurate representation it was fun to read about! 

Seth was so much better in this book, he annoyed me a good bit in earlier books but he really redeemed himself in this one. He really steeped up to the plate and left his pettiness behind him. He such a funny and caring guy it was nice to see him back to not being so annoying and dramatic. 

I loved the unexpected friendship between Seth and Aidan. It was weird but I was here for it. They had a good few scenes together and I was happy to see them developing their relationship after all this time.

Surprisingly the characters acted very mature in this book which was very much appreciated. There was hardly any stupid decisions made which was awesome!

The plot had the usual drama and action you get with these books but I enjoyed it regardless. There was a good few surprises that caught me off guard and there was also some very emotional parts sprinkled here and there that I was not expecting. 

I had so much fun with this series over the last few years. It's been a wild ride but I've enjoyed every minute of it and I really hope JLA does a spin off if this spin off because I need more time with these characters!

Thanks for reading,

A :)