Review: Gemina by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

29236299Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Published October 18th 2016

Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed.

The sci-fi saga that began with the breakout bestseller Illuminaecontinues on board the Jump Station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of the BeiTech assault.

Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy’s most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.

When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station’s wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands.

But relax. They’ve totally got this. They hope.

Once again told through a compelling dossier of emails, IMs, classified files, transcripts, and schematics, Gemina raises the stakes of the Illuminae Files, hurling readers into an enthralling new story that will leave them breathless.

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I loved Illuminae but I was really unsure about Gemina focusing on a new set of characters. I really liked the characters in the first book and getting to know a whole new group of characters made me pretty hesitant. But I actually loved the new characters, made even more than the characters in Illuminae.
As much I think the format of this series is really cool and different, it does make it a little hard to follow, at least for me. If this series was written in 1st or 3rd person, I would probably love it 10x more.
I would definitely giving this series a read. The writing format takes a bit to get used to but the characters and plot make it worth it.

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Blog Tour + Giveaway: Bad Boy by Elliot Wake

23430487Bad Boy by Elliot Wake

Published December 6th 2016

Vlog star Renard Grant has nothing to prove: he’s got a pretty face, chiseled body, and two million adoring video subscribers. Plus the scars on his chest and a prescription for testosterone. Because Ren is transgender: assigned female at birth, living now as male. He films his transition and shares it bravely with the world; his fans love his honesty and positivity.

But Ren has been living a double life.

Off-camera, he’s Cane, the muscle-bound enforcer for social justice vigilante group Black Iris. As Cane, he lets his dark side loose. Hurts those who prey on the disempowered. Indulges in the ugly side of masculinity. And his new partner, Tamsin Baylor, is a girl as rough and relentless as him. Together, they terrorize the trolls into silence.

But when a routine Black Iris job goes south, Ren is put in the crosshairs. Someone is out to ruin his life. He’s a bad boy, they say, guilty of what he punishes others for.

Just like every other guy: at heart, he’s a monster, too.

Now Ren’s got everything to prove. He has to clear his name, and show the world he’s a good man. But that requires facing demons he’s locked away for years. And it might mean discovering he’s not such a good guy after all.

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Review:

This was the first book that I’ve read from Elliot Wake and I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’d seen a lot of hype around his books but I’m always hesitant with really hyped books.
But I think the hype is well deserved because I really enjoyed Bad Boy.
I was pretty confused toward the beginning of the book because it focuses on “Black Iris” and I had no idea what that was. I’m assuming if I had read Elliot’s other book, Black Iris, it would have made a lot more sense. I don’t think that the books are in a series so it was a little frustrating that it referenced another book so heavily.
I did love the writing style though. I think the writing was my favorite part of the book.
I really liked the main character, Ren. I loved his flashbacks and vlogs about his transition. I thought it was really interesting and showed me a perspective that I’d never seen before.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It’s very different from any book I’ve read before and I loved the writing style.

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Givaway:

Five signed copies of Bad Boy!

 

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About the author:

 Elliot Wake (formerly known as Leah Raeder) is a transgender author of four novels: Unteachable, Black Iris, Cam Girl, and Bad Boy. Aside from reading his brains out, Elliot enjoys video games, weightlifting, and perfecting his dapper style. He lives with his partner in Chicago.

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Review: Nothing Less by Anna Todd

29432714Nothing Less by Anna Todd

Publication: December 6th 2016

Book two of a new series featuring After worldwide fan-favorite Landon Gibson as he leaves Washington to navigate love and life in New York City. At the end of the After Ever Happy, Landon got married—but readers everywhere have been wondering who will get to call the nicest boy in the After series their forever love

 

 

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I’m not a big fan of Anna Todd’s books (I think she’s a really cool person though). I really hated After but I thought Nothing More was a lot better compared to After. I still didn’t like Nothing More but there was so much improvement in the writing.
I didn’t plan on reading Nothing Less but the publisher sent me an unsolicited copy and I felt bad not reading it. I am pleasantly surprised to report that I thought there was even more improvement in the writing. I don’t know if it was just because the plot was a bit different from Nothing More or I’m just slowing getting used to the writing style but I didn’t hate this book. I didn’t like it, but I didn’t hate it. I thought it was pretty good compared to After.
If you’re a fan of Anna Todd’s books or Fifty Shades of Gray, I’d definitely say check out the Landon Gibson series. I think it’s miles above After and I don’t think it’s a complete waste of time. But if you haven’t read Anna’s books, if you’re even remotely a critical reader, I wouldn’t recommend this series.

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I was sent a copy of this book by the publisher

 

 

 

Review : City of Glass by Cassandra Clare

24885531 City of Glass by Cassandra Clare
Published : March 24, 2009

To save her mother’s life, Clary must travel to the City of Glass, the ancestral home of the Shadowhunters—never mind that entering the city without permission is against the Law, and breaking the Law could mean death. To make things worse, she learns that Jace does not want her there, and her best friend, Simon, has been thrown in prison by the Shadowhunters, who are deeply suspicious of a vampire who can withstand sunlight.

As Clary uncovers more about her family’s past, she finds an ally in mysterious Shadowhunter Sebastian. With Valentine mustering the full force of his power to destroy all Shadowhunters forever, their only chance to defeat him is to fight alongside their eternal enemies. But can Downworlders and Shadowhunters put aside their hatred to work together? While Jace realizes exactly how much he’s willing to risk for Clary, can she harness her newfound powers to help save the Glass City—whatever the cost?

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I feel like I’ve been struggling to get through the TMI series (I won’t like I started the next book in the series and I’ve given up). But this one was quite entertaining.

Still not loving the whole Jace/Clary thing even though it got a bit more cleared up during this book, and oh my god poor Simon! I feel so bad for the guy! I have to say though, this book series is most definitely something that missed me. I think I would’ve much more enjoyed the series if I were younger. But I have to admit, I’m strugglin’ folks.

So I think the plot was a bit more engaging in this book than the last two. And I really enjoyed how this was all written especially the back story of Jace and Valentine. I did enjoy seeing Alicante. It was a new perspective on the series and I did enjoy it.

The reveal of the true villain in this book came a bit anti-climactic for me because I could slowly piece everything together towards the end. But I felt soooooo bad for the Lightwoods. I didn’t see that coming and I felt really bad about it because I was hoping to see that character grow into being a shadowhunter and totally saw him as being a bad ass later in the series but THAT WON’T EVER HAPPEN ):

Any way, I loved seeing Alec and Magnus finally open with their relationship and I totally love them together so that was another plus, and Clary growing into her powers and really figuring out how strong she really is and the power she wields is really cool. But I don’t think I can keep going with this series unfortunately. I’ve given it a good few really hard tries, and the fourth book really just makes me not want to continue with TMI but I’ve been told that TID series is a great trilogy to try, so I might stay in the world and give The Infernal Devices a shot.

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Review: Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

14061955 Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
Published: June 4th 2013

Darkness never dies.

Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land. She finds starting new is not easy while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. She can’t outrun her past or her destiny for long.

The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling’s game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her–or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.
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I was a bit apprehensive starting Siege and Storm. I was told it was an “okay” filler book between Shadow and Bone and Ruin and Rising. I have to say I absolutely loved this book. I enjoyed the writing (as most of you can tell I’ve been on a very big Bardugo Binge) as well as the story line. A lot of threads being woven together for the conclusion of this series.

The pace of this book is absolutely perfect if this is considered a “filler” book. Although the Darkling isn’t very present in this book, he’s very much-so a big part of this plot/story, especially in this book. The suspense and the tie between The Darkling and The Sun Summoner are absolutely amazing.

Also, I feel like I hate Alina and Mal, or maybe it’s just Mal that annoys me. I think I boarded the Alina and Nikolai ship. I have to say that I’m loving more and more of the characters like Tolya and Temar. They’re two great pillars in this book series and I can’t get enough of them!

I think this book did a great job of setting up for Ruin and Rising and if Leigh Bardugo’s writing is anything like the last book, Ruin and Rising seems quite promising (spoiler alert : I already read Ruin and Rising and it’s great…review to come).

Review: A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab

20764879A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab

Published February 23rd 2016

It has been four months since a mysterious obsidian stone fell into Kell’s possession. Four months since his path crossed with Delilah Bard. Four months since Prince Rhy was wounded, and since the nefarious Dane twins of White London fell, and four months since the stone was cast with Holland’s dying body through the rift–back into Black London.

Now, restless after having given up his smuggling habit, Kell is visited by dreams of ominous magical events, waking only to think of Lila, who disappeared from the docks as she always meant to do. As Red London finalizes preparations for the Element Games–an extravagant international competition of magic meant to entertain and keep healthy the ties between neighboring countries–a certain pirate ship draws closer, carrying old friends back into port.

And while Red London is caught up in the pageantry and thrills of the Games, another London is coming back to life. After all, a shadow that was gone in the night will reappear in the morning. But the balance of magic is ever perilous, and for one city to flourish, another London must fall.

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This is one of the best series’ I’ve ever read. The writing, the world building, the characters, everything is so amazing.

I love how Kell started as the main focus of this series but Lila just jumped in there and stole the show. She’s such an outstanding character. Lila is what other writers should model their characters after because she’s everything a fictional person should be.
The character development is amazing! I loved how much the characters have evolved and grown in these two books and I can’t wait to see what happens in the 3rd book.

If you haven’t pick up the Shades of Magic series yet, I highly recommend that you do. It’s perfect in so many ways and the characters are magnificent.
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Review : Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

22299763Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
Published : September 27, 2016

Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and left crippled by the kidnapping of a valuable team member, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz’s cunning and test the team’s fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city’s dark and twisting streets―a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of magic in the Grisha world.

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If you’d like to read my review about Six of Crows you could find it here (just so you know how I felt about it).

I’d like to preface this review with THERE WILL BE SPOILERS ALL THROUGH OUT THIS REVIEW… so be warned…let us begin
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Mind Blowing is honestly the only thing that can come into the shambles of my little brain as I think of this absolutely stunning book. Crooked Kingdom has been one of my most anticipated reads of the year and it did not fail me one bit. I was so happy to be in the universe again and so enamored by all the characters. I kind of don’t understand at all how someone can write such a diverse group of people and have me love every single person in that group so damn much (i’m a very hard woman to please). So, Leigh Bardugo, I commend you. You’ve written a book where I love all of them Kaz, Inej, Nina, Matthias, Jesper and Wylan I cannot get enough of them and I’m actually pretty upset that there are no other books. I’m honestly sobbing on the inside due to this.

I think my favorite thing about this book was the character growth and the development of them. This book made me fall in love with them even more. I’d have to say that Wylan and Matthias get the award for most growth. But all in all, I think all six of my babies grew and went through such development and in some way I feel like Bardugo put SUCH development and thought into all these characters that they grew more than some characters would in other series. Which makes me feel like I should break down the characters and how I felt about them…So I WILL!

Kaz & Inej 
giphy“I would come for you,” he said, and when he saw the wary look she shot him, he said it again. “I would come for you. And if I couldn’t walk, I’d crawl to you, and no matter how broken we were, we’d fight our way out together—knives drawn, pistols blazing. Because that’s what we do. We never stop fighting.”

I don’t think I’ve ever felt such sexual tension between anyone in-person or fictional ever in my life. And oh boy, was it glorious. I’ve been rooting for Kaz and Inej since Six of Crows and I had a feeling that Bardugo wouldn’t go all the way with the smut but, well…it’s perfect. I love that they never got into the smuttiness and I really enjoy their dyanmic.

When Van Eck is about to smash Inej’s legs and she breaks and says she’s worth nothing to Kaz without her legs. It completely broke me.

But I think the above quote describes the two of them pretty damn well. They’re always there for each other and will always save the other one, no matter what. I absolutely love their dynamic.

I love Kaz’s all knowing demeanor and the fact that he can actually be 18 steps ahead of people and not let you know his grand scheme and I loved watching it all unfold. His ruthlessness and his constant mind games (like making Pekka Rollin’s believe that Kaz killed his kid)

As for Inej, she’s the perfect counterpart to Kaz. Elegant and composed. She’s such a strong woman and the care and love she has for the crew and her family and the fire inside her to make sure no person goes treated poorly. Ugh! Praise Inej! Her perseverance is amazing and I loved her Suli proverbs and the way she handled everything with such grace.

Jesper & Wylan
giphy-1Jesper felt the pounding of his heart—or was it Wylan’s?—like a stampede in his chest, and the only thought in his head was a happy, startled, Oh.

Slowly, inevitably, they broke apart. “Wylan,” Jesper said, looking into the wide blue sky of his eyes, “I really hope we don’t die.”

Dear lord these two. I cannot even begin to explain my love for these two since Six of Crows. I never really much liked Wylan through Six of Crows but Oh my god in this book my heart just melted for this little munchkin of a man. I couldn’t believe how amazing of a back story Wylan had. He became such an in-depth and dynamic character.  I loved how by the end of the book he overcame his struggle of illiteracy and didn’t let that become him. I sobbed when we found out about Wylan’s mother, I never thought that would be an actual thing and I love LOVE LOVE how Kaz mentors him though not letting his illiteracy hold him back. I thought that was a great side of Kaz to show as well as a great point to make because Wylan is really smart and has a lot of potential.

And Oh, my baby Jes. My heart swelled at his re-uniting with his father and learning of his mother. I adored his quick and witty come-backs and my god he’s perfect for Wylan. My absolute favorite sharp shooter. Jes is someone I most definitely connect with based on his personality and his responses. I feel as though Jesper was a bit more stagnant compared to everyone else in regards to development but that could just be me.

Nina & Matthias
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 “They were twin souls, soldiers destined to fight for different sides, to find each other and lose each other too quickly. She would not keep him here. Not like this.”

“Nina screamed , a howl that tore from the black space where her heart had beat only moments before. She searched for his pulse, for the light and force that had been Matthias.”

“Farvell,” she said in Fjerdan. “May Djel watch over you until I can once more.”

Not sure if you can tell from this, but…Nina and Mathias are my favorite. I loved them from the beginning and I loved Nina more than Mathias but I came around to him and dear god this was so much perfection and then it all got TORN AWAY FROM ME. I’m very upset with Bardugo about this. I legitimately cried in bed for hours when I read about Mathias leaving Nina. I literally could not handle it. The way it was written and the pain she went through and reading her emotions and just the way she expressed herself with the loss. I couldn’t do it.

But beyond their amazing love, Nina was stunning, witty, pure strength when she needed to be and it was absolutely amazing. I have loved Nina Zenek from the beginning and the fact that she broke down the brick wall that was Matthias Helvar…was perfect. Side note : Kudos to the grisha trilogy peeps cameo’s! But I think Nina was probably one of my most favorite perspectives to read from because she was mostly light, clever and would joke more than others.

Matthias Helvar was swoon-worthy to me.  I loved that he was the enemy gone “good”.  I absolutely love Matthias. I love how he’s come to love the dregs and love the gang, and how undying and burning his love for Nina is and how he’d do anything for her. How he cared for her during her Parem withdrawal. And I just feel like the fact that he was taken away ISN’T FAIR. HE JUST WANTED TO KISS NINA IN A SNOWY WOOD AFTER HAVING DINNER WITH HER FAMILY THREE TIMES AND THEN GO ON A WALK WITH HER. *sobs* I’m sorry but I’m still not over the perfection of Matthias Helvar.

Plot and Story Line
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I was completely enamored by this book. I didn’t put it down. I savored it, I devoured it, I fell completely in love with it. Although, I hate that it’s only a duology, I have to say that this sequel was amazingly thought through, well written and tied up everything in such an amazing way. I don’t think I could’ve ever seen this ending in such a perfect way (with the exception of losing Matthias). I can’t get enough of Leigh Bardugo’s writing and I really wish I could get more stories/books written in the Grisha world as well as seeing the crew again.  I just want to say that this was one of my most anticipated reads of the year and by God, did this book give it justice to be one of my top 2016 reads.

No Mourners. No Funerals.

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Review: Heartless by Marissa Meyer

18584855Heartless by Marissa Meyer

Published November 8th 2016

Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland and a favorite of the unmarried King, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, she wants to open a shop and create delectable pastries. But for her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for a woman who could be a queen.

At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the King’s marriage proposal, she meets handsome and mysterious Jest. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the King and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into a secret courtship.

Cath is determined to choose her own destiny. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.

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I wasn’t sure what to expect with Heartless. I loved the Lunar Chronicles but I didn’t want to get my hopes up and have sky high expectations for Heartless. So I started this book with an open mind and no expectations.

I really loved the concept of this book. I love Wonderland and to have the back story of the Queen of Hearts was so cool. I loved how whimsical and true to the original Wonderland this book was. It felt very Disney.
I did find it to be a little slow though. The beginning and end wasn’t that bad but the middle was, in my opinion, really slow. The last 70-80 pages were my favorite. The ending was so great and I almost wish this was a series.
I loved the writing. Marissa is such a talented writer and she creates such a cool magic in her books.
I didn’t feel very invested in the characters. I would have liked to be more emotionally invested in them like I was with the characters in the Lunar Chronicles, but I didn’t think they were annoying or anything like that.
Overall, despite the very slow middle, I enjoyed this book. I loved the writing and the concept a lot and I thought the last 70 pages were amazing. If you love retellings, Wonderland, or you just really want to read this book, I’d say grab a copy. If you’re not a fan of slow books, I’d say skip this book.

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Review: Bright Smoke, Cold Fire by Rosamund Hodge

28448239Bright Smoke, Cold Fire by Rosamund Hodge

Published September 27th 2016

When the mysterious fog of the Ruining crept over the world, the living died and the dead rose. Only the walled city of Viyara was left untouched.

The heirs of the city’s most powerful—and warring—families, Mahyanai Romeo and Juliet Catresou share a love deeper than duty, honor, even life itself. But the magic laid on Juliet at birth compels her to punish the enemies of her clan—and Romeo has just killed her cousin Tybalt. Which means he must die.

Paris Catresou has always wanted to serve his family by guarding Juliet. But when his ward tries to escape her fate, magic goes terribly wrong—killing her and leaving Paris bound to Romeo. If he wants to discover the truth of what happened, Paris must delve deep into the city, ally with his worst enemy . . . and perhaps turn against his own clan.

Mahyanai Runajo just wants to protect her city—but she’s the only one who believes it’s in peril. In her desperate hunt for information, she accidentally pulls Juliet from the mouth of death—and finds herself bound to the bitter, angry girl. Runajo quickly discovers Juliet might be the one person who can help her recover the secret to saving Viyara.

Both pairs will find friendship where they least expect it. Both will find that Viyara holds more secrets and dangers than anyone ever expected. And outside the walls, death is waiting. . .

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I absolutely loved Cruel Beauty and I really enjoyed Crimson Bound so I was super excited for Bright Smoke, Cold Fire. The synopsis sounded amazing and I love the cover so much. However, this book just wasn’t what I was expecting.

This book is very complex. Too complex, maybe. I had a hard time following the story and I felt like nothing made sense. I would reread parts two or three times but it just wasn’t making sense to me. I felt lost for most of the book and I wasn’t able to fully enjoy it because of that.
I didn’t really like any of the characters, especially Paris. I warmed up to a few of the others but I never fell in love with them.

I do love how creative and unique this book is though. I loved that aspect of it.

Overall, this book just wasn’t what I was expecting. I was confused and I didn’t like the characters. I didn’t hate this book but I think it could have been a lot better.

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Review: The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid

26836910The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid

Published November 1st 2016

A Diabolic is ruthless. A Diabolic is powerful. A Diabolic has a single task: Kill in order to protect the person you’ve been created for.

Nemesis is a Diabolic, a humanoid teenager created to protect a galactic senator’s daughter, Sidonia. The two have grown up side by side, but are in no way sisters. Nemesis is expected to give her life for Sidonia, and she would do so gladly. She would also take as many lives as necessary to keep Sidonia safe.

When the power-mad Emperor learns Sidonia’s father is participating in a rebellion, he summons Sidonia to the Galactic court. She is to serve as a hostage. Now, there is only one way for Nemesis to protect Sidonia. She must become her. Nemesis travels to the court disguised as Sidonia—a killing machine masquerading in a world of corrupt politicians and two-faced senators’ children. It’s a nest of vipers with threats on every side, but Nemesis must keep her true abilities a secret or risk everything.

As the Empire begins to fracture and rebellion looms closer, Nemesis learns there is something more to her than just deadly force. She finds a humanity truer than what she encounters from most humans. Amidst all the danger, action, and intrigue, her humanity just might be the thing that saves her life—and the empire.

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I liked The Diabolic a lot more than I thought I would. I thought it was really original and the main character was so different from any other character I’ve ever read about. It was very well written but I wish there was more world building. I wasn’t able to clearly picture anything and that was kind of disappointing. But I really enjoyed the politics in this book. It reminded me a bit of Game of Thrones and I really liked that aspect of the book. I wasn’t really into the ending. I wish there was a few more chapters or something.
Overall, I really liked this book. It was one of best sci-fi books I’ve read in a long time and I can’t wait to check out the author’s other books. If you’re looking for something original and different, I’d recommend picking up The Diabolic.

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