Friday, 26 August 2016

Throne of Glass #0.1 - #0.5 The Assassin's Blade

Presenting Throne of Glass #0.1 - #0.5 The Assassin's Blade by Sarah J. Maas.

Here is the summary of the book:

Contains all five novellas.

Celaena Sardothien is Adarlan's most feared assassin. As part of the Assassin's Guild, her allegiance is to her master, Arobynn Hamel, yet Celaena listens to no one and trusts only her fellow killer-for-hire, Sam. In these action-packed novellas - together in one edition for the first time - Celaena embarks on five daring missions. They take her from remote islands to hostile deserts, where she fights to liberate slaves and seeks to avenge the tyrannous. But she is acting against Arobynn's orders and could suffer an unimaginable punishment for such treachery. Will Celaena ever be truly free? Explore the dark underworld of this kick-ass heroine to find out.


REVIEW ==

Five instances in the life of Celaena Sardothien. Five instances before her time in Endovier. Chronologically this collection may have released much later than the main books of the series but if the time of the stories taking place is considered. All of them happened way before Throne of Glass began and it is interesting to see the Adarlan's Assassin before her imminent capture.

Not only do we see her kick-ass escapades from before. We also see the self-proclaimed 'beautiful' (that got annoying really *wink*) assassin beat down targets left and right and how Sam and her got together. ...... So sad about what happened to him. That was a bittersweet moment at the end. And those two had such an awesome chemistry too *sad face*.

Anyway I can't wait to start reading the next books. Much of the story, her story is still unclear to me and while i'm definitely disheartened for Sam Cortland. I definitely want to read what Celaena does next.

"Exciting,breathless and heartbreaking"
Genre :     Anthology, Young Adult, High Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance

Publisher: Bloomsbury Children

Release Date: 4th March, 2014

My Copy: bought (ebook)

Rate:             5/5 (It was Amazing)

Other Books by the Author(review links):
         #1 Throne of Glass

Buy:         Amazon | Book Depository 

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Cormoran Strike #3 Career of Evil

Presenting Cormoran Strike #3 Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith aka J.K. Rowling.

Here is the summary of the book:

When a mysterious package is delivered to Robin Ellacott, she is horrified to discover that it contains a woman’s severed leg.

Her boss, private detective Cormoran Strike, is less surprised but no less alarmed. There are four people from his past who he thinks could be responsible – and Strike knows that any one of them is capable of sustained and unspeakable brutality.

With the police focusing on the one suspect Strike is increasingly sure is not the perpetrator, he and Robin take matters into their own hands, and delve into the dark and twisted worlds of the other three men. But as more horrendous acts occur, time is running out for the two of them…

Career of Evil is the third in the highly acclaimed series featuring private detective Cormoran Strike and his assistant Robin Ellacott. A fiendishly clever mystery with unexpected twists around every corner, it is also a gripping story of a man and a woman at a crossroads in their personal and professional lives.

Cormoran Strike is back, with his assistant Robin Ellacott, in a mystery based around soldiers returning from war.


REVIEW ==

The Cuckoo called us in and then the Silkworm spun its web to keep us tethered but Career of Evil is different. Career of Evil draws us to a stand still. Written of course by J.K. Rowling under the pseudonym of Robert Galbraith, 'Career of Evil' is the third book in the third book in the 'Cormoran Strike' whodunit series. Its is also in my opinion quite slow in the catching, compared to its predecessors.

Career of Evil in a way different than the first two books. Of course as usual Rowling's style of writing and idea behind the case are very well executed. This time, the author included the killer's point of view as well. A common occurrence in almost every crime fiction story but a first for this series effectively serving to confuse us about the identity of the perpetrator.

Unlike the Lula Landry and the Owen Quine cases this time its is personal, when Robin receives a severed leg in the post. Cormoran Strike immediately suspects 4 people from his past who could seek to do him harm. What follows is a cat and mouse game of chase the lead, with the killer's malicious intents for both Cormoran and Robin enunciated in horrific details. We wanted to know more about Robin's past and really this book gives it to us wrapped in a bow.

Because the plot veered more towards personal history for the majority of the plot. So did it drag a lot as well. Where in the first two books the cases kept us intrigued and invested with timely and sometimes surprising reveal of clues. And Cormoran Strike's unique way of thinking and that eidetic memory at play connecting the dots in the spur of the moment. But this time the actual decisive clue was such a minuscule fact that the detective almost missed it until at the end.

Really is its understandable because tis time the matter was a personal attack from the past and really you can't expect the detective to always solve the cases in the same manner. A change was expected and while I expected it in some form. I wasn't expecting it like this.  I did like the story mind you ... I am definitely eager to sample more of Cormoran Strike & Robin Elacott's cases but I also felt as I mentioned this one dragged.

"A Rhapsody of wit, tension, crime and suspense"
Genre :      Adult, Contemporary, Mystery, Thriller, Suspense

PublisherSphere

Release Date: 22nd October, 2015

My Copy: bought (paperback)

Rate:              4/5 (Really Liked It)

Other Books from the Author:
                Cormoran Strike #1 #2
                The Casual Vacancy
               Harry Potter (i read the series before 
                   I began blogging, so I never put up 
                     a review for them)
    
Buy:           Amazon | Book Depository

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Secret Box #3 The Secret Fire

Presenting Secret Box #3 The Secret Fire by Whitaker Ringwald.

Here is the summary of the book:

The third and final book in the critically acclaimed Secret Box trilogy, a series pitch-perfect for fans of humorous mystery capers like Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library and the Mysterious Benedict Society.

Who knew that insisting on opening a strange birthday present would lead to being kidnapped by an evil Greek god determined to conquer the world? Jax Malone certainly didn’t. But now she’s trapped in the back of a limo bound for Epimetheus’s secret lair. He wants to control the three ancient urns that used to belong to Pandora’s daughter. Magical urns that can suck hope, faith, and love out of the world.

Now Jax, Ethan, and Tyler’s only chance to fight Epimetheus’s formidable power might be to find a secret weapon—and to realize that their family ties are stronger than any magic.


REVIEW ==

This is the conclusion to the Secret Box trilogy. Where ancient Greek Mythology meets modern day middle grade fantasy. Based on the myths of Pandora's Box. This is Jax, Ethan and Tyler's final tug-of-war against Epimetheus or Ricardo as they try to keep all the urns of faith, hope & love away from his nefarious purposes.

Good fun entertainment this book is. Targeted towards the middle grade demographic, the language was also very easy to understand. And while the series may not be for me but I enjoyed every little bit of it. With Ethan's nervous habits and fact filled brain to Jax's sass and Tyler's mathematical brain and their journey of a life time to save humanity. Very well done.

"Fans of good clean action and Greek Mythology will enjoy this series"

Genre :      Middle Grade, Adventure, Paranormal, Fantasy

PublisherKatherine Tegen Books

Release Date: 21st June, 2016

My Copy: publisher and edelweiss

Rate:              4/5 (Really Liked It)

Other Books in the series (review links):
                #1 The Secret Box 
                #2 The Secret Cipher 

Buy:           Amazon | Book Depository 

Sunday, 31 July 2016

After #1 After

Presenting After #1 After by Anna Todd.

Here is the summary of the book:

Tessa is a good girl with a sweet, reliable boyfriend back home. She’s got direction, ambition, and a mother who’s intent on keeping her that way.

But she’s barely moved into her freshman dorm when she runs into Hardin. With his tousled brown hair, cocky British accent, tattoos, and lip ring, Hardin is cute and different from what she’s used to.

But he’s also rude—to the point of cruelty, even. For all his attitude, Tessa should hate Hardin. And she does—until she finds herself alone with him in his room. Something about his dark mood grabs her, and when they kiss it ignites within her a passion she’s never known before.

He’ll call her beautiful, then insist he isn't the one for her and disappear again and again. Despite the reckless way he treats her, Tessa is compelled to dig deeper and find the real Hardin beneath all his lies. He pushes her away again and again, yet every time she pushes back, he only pulls her in deeper.

Tessa already has the perfect boyfriend. So why is she trying so hard to overcome her own hurt pride and Hardin’s prejudice about nice girls like her?

Unless…could this be love?

Now newly revised and expanded, Anna Todd’s After fanfiction racked up 1 billion reads online and captivated readers across the globe. Experience the Internet’s most talked-about book for yourself!

There was the time before Tessa met Hardin, and then there’s everything AFTER ... Life will never be the same.



REVIEW ==

Fifty Shades sure started a trend didn't it of fanfictions being given the best selling status. Hype sure goes a long way in helping it along ..... And here i'm swayed again by the hype to see what Anna Todd's NA fanfiction AFTER is all about. I may be late to the bandwagon because apparently everyone I know had already read the series or posting about it on the social media ..... but here I am finally!

First appearing on Wattpad as a One Direction fan fiction. Since then After has made a big journey to getting the best selling status. I am definitely not a fan of this series. While I did like the story better than Fifty Shades of Grey .... don't flame me but that was just bad writing, showing a bad image of females in general and plain bleeding on the ears *sighs* I had the misfortune of getting its audiobook. Worst decision of my life.

Anyway back to After, the writing is definitely far better. I liked how Todd kept the chapters short. I am definitely not a Hessa fan but calling this a a 1D fanfiction based on Harry Styles is just not happening. I am a 1D fan and portraying the performer as a manipulative guy is just not right. Of course the names are changed to Hardin here but I still didn't appreciate that fact .....

But I decided to overlook the 1D connection when I began reading this book. Good thing I did that too.

Anyways I liked Tessa as a character. She is good and reliable. With a penchant for micro-managing her life. She has the ambition to succeed in life and had a good head on her shoulder. Although she felt judgmental at times as well. Never doing anything out of the ordinary or anything unexpected. And a great boyfriend too who is very reliable but as the plot would have it she meets bad boy Hardin and it all goes down the drain.

Hardin is the definition of a bad boy. He is plain rude and most of the time verging on cruel. He had a bit of dark past to look back on and as a result, he is not the most complacent of them all. But he does have his good moments as well, when he is joking, happy or bring cocky. He doesn't like Tessa at first but they kept getting thrown in the same situations, eventually he gets attracted to her. And she in turn brought out the good side in him.

What results is a chaotic, dramatic and hot & cold romance between Tessa and Hardin. Really none of them are perfect angels but I definitely loved the dynamic bond they shared. Of course Tessa was annoying a lot of times and Hardin was pretty much a douche but somehow their day-to-day romance didn't really bore us in that regard. While I would have preferred the book not to be so long but I didn't mind it seeing and reading that explosive cliffhanger. Good one there Ms. Todd, that is sure to keep us interested ..... Poor Tessa though to be betrayed like that.....

"A chaotic hot & cold romantic pageturner"

Genre :     New Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Publisher: Gallery Books

Release Date: 21st October, 2014

My Copy: bought (paperback)

Rate:             3/5 (Liked It)

Buy:         Amazon | Book Depository 

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Ivory and Bone #1 Ivory and Bone

Presenting Ivory and Bone #1 Ivory and Bone by Julie Eshbaugh.

Here is the summary of the book:

A prehistoric fantasy—with allusions to Pride and Prejudice.

Hunting, gathering, and keeping his family safe—that’s the life seventeen-year-old Kol knows. Then bold, enigmatic Mya arrives from the south with her family, and Kol is captivated. He wants her to like and trust him, but any hopes of impressing her are ruined when he makes a careless—and nearly grave—mistake. However, there’s something more to Mya’s cool disdain…a history wrought with loss that comes to light when another clan arrives. With them is Lo, an enemy from Mya’s past who Mya swears has ulterior motives.

As Kol gets to know Lo, tensions between Mya and Lo escalate until violence erupts. Faced with shattering losses, Kol is forced to question every person he’s trusted. One thing is for sure: this was a war that Mya or Lo—Kol doesn’t know which—had been planning all along.


REVIEW ==

Prehistoric era meets Pride & Prejudice. That is one apt description for Julie Esbaugh's Ivory & Bone. I'd be honest what really attracted me to this book was the cover and the work Prehistoric .... because really you don't see YA in a prehistoric setting .... Well there haven't been yet (as far as I know). Ivory & Bone on the whole has a lot to recommend it but they were a lot of things too .....

Mammoths guys .... this book has mammoths and the Sabertooth tigers. Of course Pre-historic humans are far behind. Kol, Mya, and Lo form the core characters. All three hailing from different tribes and appreciated how their paths converged so well together.

Kol out of all was my favorite. Eldest son of this tribe leader. He is the ultimate nice guy. And equally stubborn when he makes his mind up about something. Mya was just plain rude and distant. And Lo had her own agenda to play.

The book is written in two alternating persons. First and Second are mixed in this plot. Of course the story is from Kol's perspective in the 1st Person but whenever Mya turn came on, it switched to 2nd Person. The transition is really much more jarring than normal. The atmosphere, while the author did a wonderful job of setting the era at first it just got boring after reading it in every scene. Also she takes too long to explain the scene or the surrounding ..... and it felt off putting and dragging at best.

There is a distant lack of females in Kol's tribe and they need the alliances. So when Mya's tribe visits. Kol hopes for Mya's attentions but she turns out to be too rude and standoffish to talk to. I can see where the Pride & Prejudice connection comes in but I don't think Darcy was that rude as Mya appears to be ..... It feels forced upon us that Mya & Kol are meant to be. But there seems to eb no connection between them. That chemistry is no where to be seen and Kol feels more likely attracted towards the idea of a female than just Mya.... So that's another thing I want to point out here.

So Mya doesn't give him the time of day but when Lo enters he seems diverted to the new arrival. Kol is a good guy really but I didn't like this aspect here ... Anyway on the whole while I quite liked the story it also couldn't keep me captivated and plainly dragged a lot. One of those cases where the hype proves detrimental for this book.

Not really sure I want to recommend this but check it out maybe you guys might like it better than me.


"Interesting but didn't very well hold my interest."
Genre :     Young Adult, Pre-historic, Romance

Publisher: Harper Teen

Release Date: 7th June, 2016

My Copy: publisher & edelweiss

Rate:             3/5 (Liked It)

Buy:         Amazon | Book Depository 

Friday, 15 July 2016

The Cage #2 The Hunt

Presenting The Cage #2 The Hunt by Megan Shepherd.

Here is the summary of the book:

They’ve left the cage—but they’re not free yet.

After their failed escape attempt, Cora, Lucky, and Mali have been demoted to the lowest level of human captives and placed in a safari-themed environment called the Hunt, along with wild animals and other human outcasts. They must serve new Kindred masters—Cora as a lounge singer, Lucky as an animal wrangler, and Mali as a safari guide—and follow new rules or face dangerous consequences. Meanwhile, Nok and Rolf have been moved into an enormous dollhouse, observed around the clock by Kindred scientists interested in Nok’s pregnancy. And Leon, the only one who successfully escaped, has teamed up with villainous Mosca black-market traders.

The former inhabitants of the Cage are threatened on all fronts—and maybe worst of all, one of the Hunt’s Kindred safari guests begins to play a twisted game of cat and mouse with Cora. Separated and constantly under watch, she and the others must struggle to stay alive, never mind find a way back to each other. When Cassian secretly offers to train Cora to develop her psychic abilities—to prove the worthiness of humanity in a series of tests called the Gauntlet—she’ll have to decide fast if she dares to trust the Kindred who betrayed her, or if she can forge her own way to freedom.


REVIEW ==

They may be out of the enclosure but Cora, Lucky and the misfits are still a long way from escaping the station and finding their way back home. The Hunt by Megan Shepherd follows closely behind the first book 'The Cage'. Beginning just where the first book ended. The group has now been scattered across the station in different areas as punishment for their destroying the previous enclosure. And somehow I still got bored.

Although I liked Cora a bit better this time. She is resourceful, quick on her feet and knows when to grasp the opportunity coming her way. Cassian still felt weird to me .... I definitely liked Lucky a lot better this time as well. In the first book, he caves under pressure and thinks the aliens are right with their rules but he stands taller this time. Makes decisions by himself. Definitely good. Leon, Nok and Rolf too try to rebel against the aliens in their own ways.

They all may have been separated throughout the station but are more than capricious and lucky enough to find ways and keep in contact. The book is paced really well and liked how the author explores newer aspects for all of her characters. The twists & turns were really well positioned throughout the story .... particularly the ending cliffhanger .... Yup there is a cliffy! But somehow I still got bored with the story. Just feel that the first book was much better in my opinion.

"A well written sequel packaged with the necessary elements to take the story to farther reaches of space"

Genre :      Young Adult, Sci-fi, Dystopia, Romance

PublisherBalzer+Bray

Release Date: 24th May, 2016

My Copy: publisher and edelweiss

Rate:              3/5 (Liked It)

Other Books by the author (review links):
              The Madman's Daughter #1, #2, #3
               The Cage #1

Buy:           Amazon | Book Depository 

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Monsters of Verity #1 This Savage Song

Presenting Monsters of Verity #1 This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab.

Here is the summary of the book:

There’s no such thing as safe in a city at war, a city overrun with monsters. In this dark urban fantasy from author Victoria Schwab, a young woman and a young man must choose whether to become heroes or villains—and friends or enemies—with the future of their home at stake. The first of two books.

Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives.


REVIEW ==

Set in the fictional Verity City, This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab proved a study onto itself. This is my first time actually reading her book. I have read excerpts of her other books but somehow never really got around to reading the whole thing. So glad I began with this one. This Savage Song proved it was worth the hype and it was just so good.

Imagine a world where your deepest, darkest secrets take shape into monsters of the worst kind. Malachai, Corsai and Sunai. One vampire like, another the monster of the worst kind and the latter, the most human looking of them all. This book has it all. A strong plot. Strong background. A dynamic and diverse cast of characters. A well paced plot and the plot tropes happening at the best opportune moments.

With a much darker atmosphere and a city overrun by monsters that go bump in the night. This Savage Song tells the story of Kate Harker of the North and August Flynn of the South side of the divided Verity City. This is a city hinging on a tentative truce between the two sides and a war looming on the horizons.

The North side is run by Callum Harker, Kate's father. The worst among the humans. He lets the monsters, the Malachai and the Corsai roam free in his quarters. Callum Harker may be the proverbial King Pin but Kate will prove that she is as ruthless as her dear old dad ..... And maybe more so .... She is as damaged as they come. Vicious, calculating, smart and hardy. She wants attention and power and definitely doesn't give a damn about toeing the line.

August, ironically was so sweet. Ironically because he .... is a monster. One of the only three Sunai that sided with Henry Flynn and the South side. He is cautious about his powers because Sunai are much more powerful than the Malachai and the Corsai. He is definitely not like siblings Leo and Ilsa. He on the other hand craves humanity, wanted to be worthy as not a monster but a real life person. And this inner conflict makes his character all the more dynamic. Making us root for him throughout.

Circumstances and the author pit them together constantly. Kate always trying to figure out the mystery that is August and him trying to blend in as his mission stated. Liked how Schwab digs deeper into the characters, lighting up their deep and dark crevices of their being. Highlighting all the good and the bad for us readers to see. Every one of these characters had it and the dialogues and monologues respectively keep us bolted to our seats, mystified at such fluid writing and the bleak images it paints before our eyes.

The best thing about this book. No Romance ... It doesn't need it to move the plot forward. There is more than enough action and drama to fill its pages and you wouldn't even notice the missing romance. Authors usually use romance to lighten the plot but This Savage Song is a noire plot and you don't need to lighten things when your trying to show the dire on-the-verge-of-war situation of the monster ridden Verity.

Very much excited for the sequel ... I recommend people, This Savage Song you don't wanna miss it out.

"A dark and enticing page turner"
Genre :     Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranoramal

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Release Date: 5th July, 2016

My Copy: publisher & edelweiss

Rate:             5/5 (It was Amazing)

Buy:         Amazon | Book Depository 

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Twisted Tales #2 Once Upon A Dream

Presenting Twisted Tales #2 Once Upon A Dream by Liz Braswell.

Here is the summary of the book:

What if the sleeping beauty never woke up? Once Upon a Dreammarks the second book in a new YA line that reimagines classic Disney stories in surprising new ways.

It should be simple--a dragon defeated, a slumbering maiden, a prince poised to wake her. But when said prince falls asleep as soon as his lips meet the princess's, it is clear that this fairy tale is far from over.

With a desperate fairy's last curse infiltrating her mind, Princess Aurora will have to navigate a dangerous and magical landscape deep in the depths of her dreams. Soon she stumbles upon Phillip, a charming prince eager to join her quest. But with Maleficent's agents following her every move, Aurora struggles to discover who her true allies are, and moreover, who she truly is. Time is running out. Will the sleeping beauty be able to wake herself up?


The 2nd story in the Twisted Tales series. Once Upon A Dream by Liz Braswell. What if Aurora never woke up from the kiss. What if instead of breaking Sleeping Beauty out of the spell, Prince Charming too gets sucked in ..... Much much better than the first story where she dealt with Aladdin. There is definitely an improvement but somehow I still got bored with it.

This story definitely has its plus and minus points. The author takes the time to set the world. That is good. She takes the time to set the mood and environment of the story. That is definitely good. But she takes too long to get to the good arts and it lags a lot. That is definitely bad. Saw a lot of influences from the Maleficient movie (attest I felt that). Definitely good.


Despite the direction the plot took to differ itself from the classic fairytale. At the end of its story remained the same. Felt disheartened there, I wanted the 3 fairies to be the bad once here as the plot first established them as but liked how the author did the twists & turns and the reveals. Aurora was a lot whinny & petulant throughout the story. And I just got bored with it ...... But hopefully it will improve more in the next story.



"A different what-if take to the Sleeping Beauty"


Genre :     Fairytale re-telling, Fantasy

Publisher: Disney Press

Release Date: 5th April, 2016

My Copy: publisher & netgalley

Rate:             2/5 (It was Ok)

Other Books by the Author(review links):
         #1 A Whole New World

Buy:         Amazon | Book Depository 

Monday, 27 June 2016

Dorothy Must Die #1 Dorothy Must Die

Presenting Dorothy Must Die #1 Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige.

Here is the summary of the book:

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.


REVIEW ==

Never really liked the stories of Oz. But I definitely loved the modern re-tellings. Be it Oz the Great and Powerful movie, the 'Wicked' play (haven't read its book series yet) and now this new re-telling ..... or rather re-imaging by Danielle Paige, Dorothy Must Die.

This is a post-apocalyptic Oz. Its dark. Its realistic. Its creepy .... Imagine what happens if the good guys turn bad. What if all that magic went to Dorothy's head. What if she came back from Kansas different. Or maybe she never left. But let me tell you this, she definitely makes for one creepy evil Queen. And she is sure not averse to ruling over all of Oz in her Gingham dress and red stilettos, leaching out all of the magic of Oz to her purpose.

Enter Amy Gumm. She is our protagonist and the other girl from Kansas. This is a world that knows the story of Dorothy's Adventures in Oz (of course they don't know if its real or not). Just like Dorothy, Amy gets transported to Oz by a tornado. But a much different Oz greets Amy. Its dark. Its desolate and upside down. Dorothy  rules this new Oz and she is just evil. Thats not all, the scarecrow, thin woodman and the Lion are just as bad as well as Glinda, the Good who is evil now too.

Amy proved to be a great protagonist too. She may not be original with the less than stellar home life. A drunk mother and being alienated at school but she steps up big time in Oz. They say Dorothy is too powerful and only she could kill her. Amy knows what Dorothy has done but taking a life is not easy and for that she hesitates to find herself in this world. But she is a definite badass with pink hair. Cool.

Of course as the title suggests she knows what needs to be done but mysteries surround Oz. Amy may have joined the revolutionary Order of the Wicked, learnt magic, weaponry and etiquette but her task in not that simple. And when you have questionable motive and sides to be chosen, the one simple mission becomes all the more dangerous and convoluted.

Danielle Paige really did a great job of setting this world. Its definitely dark and creepy and vert realistic. You can't help but cringe at the gory details in it. The pacing is well maintained. At times slow but always steady. Not much really happens in this book aside from the battles in between but this is the first book of the series and totally does a great job setting the tone for the succeeding stories. Which i'm definitely going to start as soon as possible.


"A dark and topsy turvy re-imaging of Oz. The author does a great job of toeing the line between Good and Evil"
Genre :     Young Adult, Fantasy, Fairytale, Re-imaging,

Publisher: Harper Collins

Release Date: 1st April, 2014

My Copy: bought (hardback)

Rate:             3/5 (Liked It)

Buy:         Amazon | Book Depository 

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Free to Fall

Presenting Free to Fall by Lauren Miller.

Here is the summary of the book:

What if there was an app that told you what song to listen to, what coffee to order, who to date, even what to do with your life—an app that could ensure your complete and utter happiness?

What if you never had to fail or make a wrong choice?

What if you never had to fall?

Fast-forward to a time when Apple and Google have been replaced by Gnosis, a monolith corporation that has developed the most life-changing technology to ever hit the market: Lux, an app that flawlessly optimizes decision making for the best personal results.

Just like everyone else, sixteen-year-old Rory Vaughn knows the key to a happy, healthy life is following what Lux recommends. When she’s accepted to the elite boarding school Theden Academy, her future happiness seems all the more assured. But once on campus, something feels wrong beneath the polished surface of her prestigious dream school.

Then she meets North, a handsome townie who doesn’t use Lux, and begins to fall for him and his outsider way of life. Soon, Rory is going against Lux’s recommendations, listening instead to the inner voice that everyone has been taught to ignore — a choice that leads her to uncover a truth neither she nor the world ever saw coming.


REVIEW ==

'What to wear?'
'What to eat?'
'How to dress?'
'Which subject to choose?' or
'which route to take?' and etc.

These may seem perfectly simple questions at first but imagine a world where these decisions are made by a decision making App and the human kind blindly follows this fad. Starkly real and little creepy isn't it! Well 'Free to Fall' by Lauren Miller takes this fact and gives it that fresh dystopic edge of a world where the decision making app called 'Lux' has left behind Siri and Cortana and literally conquered the world.

In parts mystery, in parts dystopia. Free to Fall is the story of Rory(Aurora) who has based her whole life on the decisions LUX has made for. Then she gets accepted to the elite Theden Academy. It looks like things are looking up. This is the school her deceased mother went to and Rory is more than to experience the Theden life. But as you would expect it things are not as the seem. Things are happening in the shadows & dark corners of the Academy that may very well destroy the world. Moreover it seems something else is the reason of her mother's death.

Rory actually irritated me at first with just how dependent on Lux she seemed. She is resourceful and determined definitely. Everyone hesitates at change. Rory is no different. Her meeting North for sure helped that along. The attraction is definitely there North has that mysterious appeal that along with Rory makes us readers want to shed away the layers and see what's within that mind of his. He is definitely attractive enough to warrant the attraction.

He challenges Rory and makes her think outside of Lux (see what I did there!). For that enough they are a tick in my opinion as a couple. The other characters also did their part well enough. Beck, Hershey, the teachers and everyone else had their role to play and are definitely not left unattended. The romance is also a slow build up and appreciated how well it was paced.

The plot is a little long. It takes its time to mature but I definitely wouldn't have it any other way. This is Lauren Miller's 2nd book after 'Parallel' and I loved it just like I did with her first book. Miller's world here is a stark and statistical representation of the real world. This is the world where the inner voice, the one we call intuition has been dubbed as the Doubt and pushed aside by the use of medication. In this world if you can still hear the Doubt are grown age then expect trouble in a big way.

My own personal feelings are a bit of a mess right now and i'm not sure how much more I can add to clearly say just how good this book is ..... because this book is really really good. A well paced storyline. Strong and evolving characters. Strong world building and well placed twists & turns. I recommend it people, go read it. You won't be disappointed.

"Starkly realistic and an exciting new dystopia you won't want to miss out on"
Genre :     Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Sci-fi, Dystopia

Publisher: Harper Teen

Release Date: 13th May, 2014

My Copy: bought (ebook)

Rate:             5/5 (It was Amazing)

Other Books by the author(review links):
           Parallel 

Buy:           Amazon | Book Depository

Friday, 17 June 2016

The Crown's Game #1 The Crown's Game

Presenting The Crown's Game #1 The Crown's Game by Evelyn Skye.

Here is the summary of the book:

Vika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters—the only two in Russia—and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the Tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side.

And so he initiates the Crown’s Game, an ancient duel of magical skill—the greatest test an enchanter will ever know. The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the Tsar’s most respected adviser. The defeated is sentenced to death.

Raised on tiny Ovchinin Island her whole life, Vika is eager for the chance to show off her talent in the grand capital of Saint Petersburg. But can she kill another enchanter—even when his magic calls to her like nothing else ever has?

For Nikolai, an orphan, the Crown’s Game is the chance of a lifetime. But his deadly opponent is a force to be reckoned with—beautiful, whip smart, imaginative—and he can’t stop thinking about her.

And when Pasha, Nikolai’s best friend and heir to the throne, also starts to fall for the mysterious enchantress, Nikolai must defeat the girl they both love... or be killed himself.

As long-buried secrets emerge, threatening the future of the empire, it becomes dangerously clear... the Crown’s Game is not one to lose.


REVIEW ==

Imperial Russia. A duel. Two Enchanters vying for the title of the Imperial Enchanter. Marvelous magic and a bittersweet romance. Very like The Night Circus, The Crown's Game by Evelyn Skye takes its queues from the livly Russian backdrop. This is Vika Andreyeva and Nikolai Karimov's battle for survival & the honor of the final reward, Pasha's journey for self discovery and equally the battle for the best mentors.

Packed with strong and dynamic characters. A lush and exotic backdrop. Solid and tight plot. Well paced and not a thread loose and twists and turns delivered in all the the right places. And all the wonderful magic and enchantments they perform really brings the plot to newer heights. It is not an all out magic duel in the general sense but more like they have to use their enchantments in ways to help Russia and Skye's prose brings that on the forefront wonderfully.

Vika was a darling. She grew up on the island with her father and is naturally very proficient with nature magic. Reckless, imaginative, decisive and resilient are some of the words I would throw out there because they describe her perfectly. Believing to be the only Enchanter of her generation, it comes as a shock that their was another. And Vika is prepared to hate the boy because failure means death and there is no coming back from that.

Nikolai is the other Enchanter and he is all kindness and resourcefulness. Unlike Vika, his prowess lies in enchanting materials. He can look through walls. He can complete a bridge without help from the raw material provided. He was an orphan as such he had to work to get the level of achievement he enjoys. It also helps that he is  gorgeous boy both inside and out. And selfless to boot.

The romance may seem insta at first (there is a bit of a triangle too) and in ways it is. Vika and Nikolai can't help but be drawn to each other since their meeting. They know they are opponents but they also can't deny what their heart tells them. Maybe it is their magic attracting each other but what they do really takes your breath away (That cruel .... cruel ending). They don't really act on their feelings but the undercurrents of it are more than enough to tether you to your sets.

Of adding the Tsarevich Pasha to the mix doesn't help matters. He is a free spirit. The future Tsar and he doesn't like being tied down with court matters and prefer to escape outside and help his people in his own way. Didn't really like him at first because he came of as a selfish and careless and sets his eyes on Vika. Nikolai, his best friend likes her too. Awkward. His actions lead to a lot of things to happen, which i am not at a liberty to tell ... But i did like him as a hole very much.

I have never been anywhere outside India (yet) but the details in which Evelyn Skye brings Russia ro life in her pages inspires an awe at the gorgeous setting, so full of life. The prose flows well enough to feel like you are actually a part of the story ... And that bittersweet and cruel (I know I said this before) ending. The passion. The swoon-worthy characters and those feels .... I am desperate for the next book very much.

"Enchanting. Heartfelt and unputdownable. Fans of the Night Circus will enjoy this"

Genre :     Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Release Date: 17th May, 2016

My Copy: publisher & edelweiss

Rate:             4/5 (Really Liked It)

Buy:         Amazon | Book Depository