Review: The Wicked Will Rise by Danielle Paige

18602341The Wicked Will Rise by Danielle Paige
Published: March 31, 2015

In this dark, high-octane sequel to the New York Timesbestselling Dorothy Must Die, Amy Gumm must do everything in her power to kill Dorothy and free Oz.

To make Oz a free land again, Amy Gumm was given a mission: remove the Tin Woodman’s heart, steal the Scarecrow’s brain, take the Lion’s courage, and then Dorothy must die…

But Dorothy still lives. Now the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked has vanished, and mysterious Princess Ozma might be Amy’s only ally. As Amy learns the truth about her mission, she realizes that she’s only just scratched the surface of Oz’s past—and that Kansas, the home she couldn’t wait to leave behind, may also be in danger. In a place where the line between good and evil shifts with just a strong gust of wind, who can Amy trust—and who is really Wicked?


I was worried when I saw how much smaller this book was compared to Dororthy Must Die. But I was thoroughly surprised at how fast paced and action packed this book was! I also loved that we were in like a middle transition area of Amy being not a witch and a witch. Like this mid zone of will she really go to the wicked side or will she be a free agent/good witch?

I also loved Queen Lulu like what a bad ass. And I loved the backstory you got on Pete, Ozma and Momby as well. I think this was a wonderful book to give a lot of world building as well as back story on all these characters. I think that’s my favorite part of this series, how everyone is so different but could be tied together and learning about them and who they are.

I loved seeing more of Oz. I think in this Oz it’s a really cool place and love Paige’s spin on it.

I feel like I don’t have a lot to say about this one just because it was so short and I don’t want to spoil anything for anyone but Dorothy yet again get’s away alive and I’m 100% ready to read Yellow Brick War and SUPER excited for this fourth book.

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Review : Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

20983362Passenger by Alexandra Bracken
Published: January 5, 2016

Passage, n.
i. A brief section of music composed of a series of notes and flourishes.
ii. A journey by water; a voyage.
iii. The transition from one place to another, across space and time.

In one devastating night, violin prodigy Etta Spencer loses everything she knows and loves. Thrust into an unfamiliar world by a stranger with a dangerous agenda, Etta is certain of only one thing: she has traveled not just miles but years from home. And she’s inherited a legacy she knows nothing about from a family whose existence she’s never heard of. Until now.

Nicholas Carter is content with his life at sea, free from the Ironwoods—a powerful family in the colonies—and the servitude he’s known at their hands. But with the arrival of an unusual passenger on his ship comes the insistent pull of the past that he can’t escape and the family that won’t let him go so easily. Now the Ironwoods are searching for a stolen object of untold value, one they believe only Etta, Nicholas’ passenger, can find. In order to protect her, he must ensure she brings it back to them—whether she wants to or not.

Together, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the traveler who will do anything to keep the object out of the Ironwoods’ grasp. But as they get closer to the truth of their search, and the deadly game the Ironwoods are playing, treacherous forces threaten to separate Etta not only from Nicholas but from her path home… forever.


Where to begin, where to begin? Passenger was very underwhelming for me. I get very excited with pirates and then throw time travel into the mix. How could you go wrong!? Well…with a really annoying main character and some insta-love. I’m torn between wanting to continue this series or if I just want to give up. I hate giving up.

The premise of the book was interesting. A girl hidden from her true time traveling powers and she finally unleashes them to go on a hunt for the one thing her nemesis is looking for. HOW COULD YOU POSSIBLY GO WRONG?! I feel like it’s almost a sin that this book went the way it did.

Etta really frustrated me, it wasn’t until towards the last half of the book where she got tolerable for me. I was much more interested in Nicholas. I really wish I got more of him and am completely debating picking up Wayfarer in hopes of getting more Nicholas backstory and what not. But Etta was too up tight for the most part and my god…the instalove was…it was really annoying. I don’t think I can forgive an insta-love like that. It was almost forced.

The pace was okay, it was fast enough that it kept me interested to keep going till the end, but in all honesty, I just really wanted more pirates, more time travel, and more all around bad ass-ery with a nice touch of romance. I have to say though I’m REALLY impressed by Bracken’s writing and seriously considering picking up The Darkest Minds.

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ARC Review: And I Darken by Kiersten White

27190613 And I Darken by Kiersten White
Published : June 28, 2016

NO ONE EXPECTS A PRINCESS TO BE BRUTAL.

And Lada Dragwlya likes it that way. Ever since she and her gentle younger brother, Radu, were wrenched from their homeland of Wallachia and abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman courts, Lada has known that being ruthless is the key to survival. She and Radu are doomed to act as pawns in a vicious game, an unseen sword hovering over their every move. For the lineage that makes them special also makes them targets.

Lada despises the Ottomans and bides her time, planning her vengeance for the day when she can return to Wallachia and claim her birthright. Radu longs only for a place where he feels safe. And when they meet Mehmed, the defiant and lonely son of the sultan, who’s expected to rule a nation, Radu feels that he’s made a true friend—and Lada wonders if she’s finally found someone worthy of her passion.

But Mehmed is heir to the very empire that Lada has sworn to fight against—and that Radu now considers home. Together, Lada, Radu, and Mehmed form a toxic triangle that strains the bonds of love and loyalty to the breaking point.

From New York Times bestselling author Kiersten White comes the first book in a dark, sweeping new series in which heads will roll, bodies will be impaled . . . and hearts will be broken.


Okay people, be prepared, here comes an unpopular opinion!

I received an ARC of this book from the publishers through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

I can’t express how excited I was for this book. From the most amazing cover to the “It’s like Game of Thrones” enticement. And who wouldn’t want to read about a female Vlad the Impaler?! I was super stoked and all I kept thinking about was how bad ass this was going to be and all the action that was going to be in this REALLY HEFTY book.

But I was quite let down. For such a good sized book I felt like nothing really happened. I understand a lot of it was more geared towards the political moves almost like chess. And it made it more of a slow burning book but I didn’t have it in me to keep going and going with such small and sporadic action scenes.

The only thing that really carried me through the book was Whites AMAZING writing. Her writing is beautiful, I loved it. The way she wrote gave me hope that something better would happen, something BIG, ACTION, SHOCKING. And I just missed it really. I think Radu was a redeeming character as well and I had a lot of faith and hope in Radu, and I hope he’s an epic bad ass by the end of the series.

But I really do appreciate the writing, there are so many beautiful quotes one could pull from this book, I adored her fluidity and it felt like every single word was just so precisely chosen for a purpose, it was really beautiful. I can’t emphasize that enough.

I also think Mehmed is also an awesome character. Loved his snark and his first encounters with Lada. I think he brought out a better side of her but there was still something about her that didn’t really sit right with me. I wish almost this book started when Lada was a bit more mature, I think then she would’ve started off with a bit of angst but a good sense of maybe poise and maturity that would just escalate from beginning to the end of the series.

All in all I think this book will definitely be one of those Love It or Hate It books. I didn’t hate it but I didn’t love it. I think it’s a wonderful book for the right person. I’ve seen TONS of wonderful reviews for this book, which is why I got so excited to read it as well. But I think Kiersten White deserves a very big hand for her strong and beautiful writing throughout this book, and I’m excited to hear more about the rest of the books to follow.

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Review: Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige

18053060Dororthy Must Die by Danielle Paige
Published: April 1st, 2014

I didn’t ask for any of this. I didn’t ask to be some kind of hero.

But when your whole life gets swept up by a tornado – taking you with it – you have no choice but to go along, you know?

Sure, I’ve read the books. I’ve seen the movies. I know the song about the rainbow and the happy little bluebirds. But I never expected Oz to look like this. To be a place where Good Witches can’t be trusted, Wicked Witches may just be the good guys, and winged monkeys can be executed for acts of rebellion. There’s still a yellow brick road – but even that’s crumbling.

What happened? Dorothy.

They say she found a way to come back to Oz. They say she seized power and the power went to her head. And now no one is safe.

My name is Amy Gumm – and I’m the other girl from Kansas.

I’ve been recruited by the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked.

I’ve been trained to fight.

And I have a mission.

 


If you haven’t read this book yet, stop what you’re doing, step away from the screen, and go get this book and start reading it. You will not regret it. This book is phenomenal! And a wonderful opening to what I think will be an amazing trilogy.

So this is the story of Amy Gumm. And Amy just so happens to live a pretty hard life. Getting in trouble at school, and having to take care of her alcoholic mother outside of that. She just so happens to get swept up by a tornado and dropped in the dreary land of Oz. That’s right, dreary, dark, creepy, land of Oz. This book follows Amy’s time in Oz and how she finds out Dorothy is actually evil and mining the magic out of Oz for her own use and ultimately, Dorothy must die.

I loved the way this book was written. A very bit tip of my hat to Danielle Paige for mixing a good chunk of wit, humor, darkness, cleverness, gore, and action into a wonderful read. From the beginning to the end of this book, the pace was amazing and there was always something that was keeping me on the edge of my seat. From landing in Oz all the way through to training with the Order of The Wicked and beyond, it was so amazingly well paced and put together, I’m still a bit speechless about it.

This book had a bit of romance and I’m kind of happy that it wasn’t a ton of romance. It was pretty underdeveloped but I’m happy that there’s room for it to grow and build further through the books.

I think character wise, it was difficult for me to relate to any of the characters but I also feel as though maybe that was a good thing and made my reading experience better. I couldn’t connect with Amy, but I appreciated her character and her growth throughout the book even though at times it didn’t seem like much growth. I absolutely adored the Order of The Wicked. I think that group of women was my absolute favorite especially Gort (which I feel like is an obvious favorite). I also found the representation of Dorothy to be pretty great for what we saw of her. She was physically displeasing, but I think as a villain she was just a bad person and was a very well written villain. Every time she was in a scene, I wanted to just punch her in the face which I feel like…well…proves that Dorothy is a well written villain.

Overall I think this well paced, great action, magical, witty, and amazingly narrated book is one everyone should pick up. Without a doubt, wonderful and evil characters, great world building, and a great great GREAT start to this trilogy.

I will for sure be picking up the rest of the books in this trilogy.

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Review: Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor

Review

8490112Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor
Published: September 27, 2011

Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grows dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real, she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”, she speaks many languages – not all of them human – and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?


So I decided to start this year reading the e-books I have yet to read on my kindle. I keep buying them and not even touching them. So I decided to start with Daughter of Smoke & Bone because I heard AMAZING things about this book. And I have to say, I wasn’t disappointed, but it wasn’t really what I was expecting it to be.

I have to say the writing was absolutely breath taking. Such detail, such…grace in all the words it was something I enjoyed reading. The words just seemed to fit seamlessly together. It was a very well written book. I also loved the world. Mostly the whole demon side of it. I thought the whole building bodies from the teeth and what the hamsas meant. But I didn’t really like any of the characters. I couldn’t connect with them.

As for the plot I found it to be a bit too lovey dovey. I understand why Karou and Akiva fall in love and I understand why Karou and Akiva are SO in love but I felt as though it happened to fast, and I was hoping to have a bit more action in this book. I heard it picks up in books 2 and 3 so I’ll definitely give book 2 a shot. But all in all it was a bit of a let down around all the hype. But I can 100% say I thoroughly enjoy Laini Taylor’s writing very much.

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Review: Wolf By Wolf by Ryan Graudin

Review

24807186 Wolf By Wolf by Ryan Graudin
Published October 20,2015

The year is 1956, and the Axis powers of the Third Reich and Imperial Japan rule the world. To commemorate their Great Victory over Britain and Russia, Hitler and Emperor Hirohito host the Axis Tour: an annual motorcycle race across their conjoined continents. The victor is awarded an audience with the highly reclusive Adolf Hitler at the Victor’s ball.

Yael, who escaped from a death camp, has one goal: Win the race and kill Hitler. A survivor of painful human experimentation, Yael has the power to skinshift and must complete her mission by impersonating last year’s only female victor, Adele Wolfe. This deception becomes more difficult when Felix, Adele twin’s brother, and Luka, her former love interest, enter the race and watch Yael’s every move. But as Yael begins to get closer to the other competitors, can she bring herself to be as ruthless as she needs to be to avoid discovery and complete her mission?


 

I love this book, and I’m surprised to hear that this book is turning into a series. This was my first time reading a Ryan Graudin book, and I’ve heard AMAZING things about The Walled City, but I got this book in an Uppercase Box so I chose this as my first Graudin book. And I have to say, this book is probably on my top 15 of 2015.

I was wary of this book at first, and the way it was described I immediately thought of Man in The High Castle. Which is perfectly fine because I’ve heard massive amounts of good things about that series/book as well. And the beginning was kind of…iffy for me but as I kept going I couldn’t stop. I even got to the point where I was reading when I was at home and on the way to work and at work I was listening to it on audiobook. I love love love the way this book was written and how Graudin created this awesome alternate history and gave this action packed plot. It was great.

I also loved her characters and the conflicts between them and especially Yael’s trouble with keeping herself as Adele Wolf and trying to be as spot on as her personality wise and learning the ins and outs of her life that she didn’t know while studying Adele before the race. The ending was a great twist! From what I heard I thought it was going to be a one-off but holy mother of plot twist I literally just sat there like WHAT!? A SERIES?! YAAAAAAS. All in all I loved this book, thoroughly enjoyed it and highly recommend it!

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Review: Armada by Ernest Cline

16278318 Armada by Ernest Cline
Published: July 14, 2015

Zack Lightman has spent his life dreaming. Dreaming that the real world could be a little more like the countless science-fiction books, movies, and videogames he’s spent his life consuming. Dreaming that one day, some fantastic, world-altering event will shatter the monotony of his humdrum existence and whisk him off on some grand space-faring adventure.

But hey, there’s nothing wrong with a little escapism, right? After all, Zack tells himself, he knows the difference between fantasy and reality. He knows that here in the real world, aimless teenage gamers with anger issues don’t get chosen to save the universe.

And then he sees the flying saucer.

Even stranger, the alien ship he’s staring at is straight out of the videogame he plays every night, a hugely popular online flight simulator called Armada—in which gamers just happen to be protecting the earth from alien invaders.

No, Zack hasn’t lost his mind. As impossible as it seems, what he’s seeing is all too real. And his skills—as well as those of millions of gamers across the world—are going to be needed to save the earth from what’s about to befall it.

It’s Zack’s chance, at last, to play the hero. But even through the terror and exhilaration, he can’t help thinking back to all those science-fiction stories he grew up with, and wondering: Doesn’t something about this scenario seem a little…familiar?

At once gleefully embracing and brilliantly subverting science-fiction conventions as only Ernest Cline could, Armada is a rollicking, surprising thriller, a classic coming of age adventure, and an alien invasion tale like nothing you’ve ever read before—one whose every page is infused with the pop-culture savvy that has helped make Ready Player One a phenomenon.


First of all I’d like to say that this book was really good. I feel like I connected with Zack the most especially when he’s playing videogames and the way he geeks out about them. But I felt like almost all the characters went by unnoticed.

I love how the setting made me feel like I was right there with Zack and the crew. But at the same time I feel like the connection and the setting didn’t really make up for the whole predictability of the book. I felt like I could tell what would happen about 3 Chapters ahead and, without a doubt I was correct.

This book was super entertaining and interesting it just got a bit repetitive and a bit bothersome that I knew what was to happen. Also, it didn’t feel as though it was written any differently than Ready Player One. I WAS hoping that Cline would write something interesting and different than his previous book but the way it was written Zack reminded me quite a bit of Wade.

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Review: Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson

17182126 Steelheart by Bandon Sanderson
Published : September 24, 2013

Ten years ago, Calamity came. It was a burst in the sky that gave ordinary men and women extraordinary powers. The awed public started calling them Epics. But Epics are no friend of man. With incredible gifts came the desire to rule. And to rule man you must crush his wills.

Nobody fights the Epics…nobody but the Reckoners. A shadowy group of ordinary humans, they spend their lives studying Epics, finding their weaknesses, and then assassinating them.

And David wants in. He wants Steelheart – the Epic who is said to be invincible. The Epic who killed David’s father. For years, like the Reckoners, David’s been studying, and planning – and he has something they need. Not an object, but an experience.

He’s seen Steelheart bleed. And he wants revenge.


 

I haven’t read a book this good in a while (aka October when I read Queen of Shadows). I loved this book from start to finish. There was always some sort of action going on, something that kept me on my toes.  I still cannot believe how great this book was!

Super well written the whole team was an array of different walks of life who come together to take down one of the biggest, strongest, most enigmatic epics out there. For one boy who is searching for revenge and a better world. I enjoyed David as a character although at times I felt like he acted much younger than 18 and which he’d mature a bit, seeing as he was a man who essentially raised himself for 10 years in an crazy dystopian place.

The plot and continuity of it was great. I loved the progression of the whole thing. It was more of an up and down up and down plot line. There were the climactic and then a mellow out, and then moments later you’re reading a super action packed scene again. It was super action packed.

The writing was wonderful too. I never expected to like this book so much. I’ve had trouble with high fantasy and just regular fantasy books, but Brandon Sanderson does amazing things. I found it to be a good read, somewhat challenging at times, but not as challenging as I thought Mistborn was (at least the first chapter of it that I’ve read), in the aspect of content. This was much easier to read.

I really recommend this book to anyone, it’s almost written in a way that you could imagine it as a TV show or a really good action movie. It was really easy to visualize the setting and the characters and the scenes.

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Review: Gates of Thread and Stone by Lori M. Lee

Gates of Thread and Stone Gates of Thread and Stone by Lori M. Lee
Published: August 5, 2014

In the Labyrinth, we had a saying: keep silent, keep still, keep safe.

In a city of walls and secrets, where only one man is supposed to possess magic, seventeen-year-old Kai struggles to keep hidden her own secret—she can manipulate the threads of time. When Kai was eight, she was found by Reev on the riverbank, and her “brother” has taken care of her ever since. Kai doesn’t know where her ability comes from—or where shecame from. All that matters is that she and Reev stay together, and maybe one day move out of the freight container they call home, away from the metal walls of the Labyrinth. Kai’s only friend is Avan, the shopkeeper’s son with the scandalous reputation that both frightens and intrigues her.

Then Reev disappears. When keeping silent and safe means losing him forever, Kai vows to do whatever it takes to find him. She will leave the only home she’s ever known and risk getting caught up in a revolution centuries in the making. But to save Reev, Kai must unravel the threads of her past and face shocking truths about her brother, her friendship with Avan, and her unique power.


 

I found this book entertaining for the first half and then everything kind of fell flat. I disliked Kai and Reev and their relationship as siblings. I feel like Kai was a bit TOO naive. I hated how she was so clueless in a way but I thought her whole controlling the time power was pretty awesome.

I just really had the qualm against the plot laying flat towards the end. The overall concept was awesome, but I just feel like it wasn’t executed correctly. There were some things like the gargoyles that I don’t think tied in properly. And I think it would’ve been awesome if there was less Avan/Kai romance and more action.

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Review: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

 Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins7260188
Published: August 24, 2010

My name is Katniss Everdeen.
Why am I not dead?
I should be dead.

Katniss Everdeen, girl on fire, has survived, even though her home has been destroyed. Gale has escaped. Katniss’s family is safe. Peeta has been captured by the Capitol. District 13 really does exist. There are rebels. There are new leaders. A revolution is unfolding.

It is by design that Katniss was rescued from the arena in the cruel and haunting Quarter Quell, and it is by design that she has long been part of the revolution without knowing it. District 13 has come out of the shadows and is plotting to overthrow the Capitol. Everyone, it seems, has had a hand in the carefully laid plans–except Katniss.

The success of the rebellion hinges on Katniss’s willingness to be a pawn, to accept responsibility for countless lives, and to change the course of the future of Panem. To do this, she must put aside her feelings of anger and distrust. She must become the rebels’ Mockingjay–no matter what the personal cost.


 

Ugh, this book. I just constantly wanted it to end. I went through with reading it due to the sole fact that I couldn’t leave this series unfinished. As these books progress I find Katniss to be more and more weak and more dependent on this crazy love triangle thing and then Prim. It’s quite appalling really. Having her portrayed as this strong woman when she’s just barely scraping by and just basically never making her own true decisions except for very few.

President Coin was a pain in the ass and just so dumb until the very end when brining up a possible final Hunger Games with Captiol Children. Which kind of showed the woman who Katniss truly is, and even then she didn’t base her decisions on her own opinions, she based it off “What Prim would want.”

Plot wise it dragged I felt like, I didn’t find myself reading eagerly like I did with the first book. Everything just felt super rushed. That whole last third of the book, Finnick’s death was THE WORST. Ugh that made me so mad. But I also felt like almost everything was rushed. Finnick, Bogs, and even the whole love triangle didn’t feel like it was properly executed.

All in all I think Mockinjay just was a weird complied heap of things that Collins wanted to use to finish up the story but just jumbled it together in no proper way, and kind of the end of the book was her going “oh well, might as well just end it now.”

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