Category

Fantasy

Category

Coming Soon…

An invisible force pushed me back to the solid forest ground. The portal sealed off with
one last burst of light, and then I was left alone with the eerily tall trees.
I lay on the forest fl oor for a moment, shuddering from the encounter with
the woman. I pushed myself off the ground and crossed the dirty forest path to the
twins’ house, still jittering. It didn’t take long for me to register the familiarity of the
woman: her black hair, charcoal eyes, venomous tone.
The headmistress was back.



AFTER AN UNTHINKABLE BATTLE, Arica Miller is bursting with questions.
The last thing she expected was to go to the source of all magic—the Sorcerers
Underworld. She soon realizes the magical world is facing an immense threat:
Th e king’s crown, also known as the Jewel, has been stolen by an unknown thief.
And what’s worse, the gemstones have been taken by a magical flood that has a
suspicious link to the headmistress.
Now Arica and her cousins are summoned to go on a dangerous search
that leads them to the waters of the Bermuda Triangle. If Arica wishes to return
home, she must find the gemstones and unlock the mystery of the Jewel’s thief;
but what she doesn’t realize is that the culprit could be closer to her than she’d
ever imagined….


Their biography:

Sarena and Sasha Nanua are teenage twins living
in Mississauga, Ontario. They love reading books
in their spare time and enjoy science fiction and
fantasy novels. They have been writing books since
they were nine years old. You can visit them online

In the second book of the Arcana Chronicles Evie has now fully come into her powers as the tarot Empress. And Jackson was there to see it all. In the aftermath of killing Arthur, the tarot Alchemist, Evie realizes that a war is brewing between the other teens that, following the apocalypse, have been given powers and its kill or be killed. 

Things get even more complicated when Evie meets Death, the mysterious, sexy Endless Knight. Somehow the Empress and Death share a romantic history – one that Evie can’t remember, but Death can’t forget. She is drawn to the Endless Knight, but is in love with Jack. Determined to discover why she’s been granted these powers, Evie struggles to accept her place in a prophecy that will either save the world, or completely destroy it.


(Synopsis from Goodreads)


Expected: 1st of October

So I heard about this book about a year ago. I read an excerpt and searched through the official website, where there are a few extra stuff, and I was hooked ever since. Now that I’ve finally got my hands on a copy and finished it, here’s my review!

For this one, I’m bringing out the GIFs!!!

The first thing you need to get used to about this book is Dante’s voice. I found like a breath of fresh air. It’s not something I’m used to. It’s a bit like marmalade. You either love it or you hate it. (But seriously? How could you hate it?!) I found myself loving it, even though I knew that of I met this character in real life, I’d hate him. He’s a prick, through and through. He’s selfish and arrogant. He’s hot and he knows it. And yet somehow Victoria Scott gets me to like him. So basically, he’s a bit like Loki. An anti-hero, verging on villainy (yes! I know Loki was painted as the villain, but really he’s just MISUNDERSTOOD!) Besides, like Dante, he’s just sexy.

The Plot:

Dante is dead. He has been for 2 years. He makes a deal with the devil (literally!) and is allowed to walk the earth so long as he collects seals and steals souls. When Boss Man tells him to steal Charlie’ soul in exchange for remaining permanently on earth- as opposed to in hell, where he belongs- it’s a no brainer. Just one job and he’ll be free from hell. Unfortunately he learns that Charlie is practically an angel. How can he get her to sin enough in 10 days to collect her soul? And as he gets to know her, he fears that he may not be able to complete his assignment.

Three things I liked about this book:

No insta-love: The inevitable relationship that grows between the main characters was never an instant attraction. Dante is too arrogant to want to be with someone like Charlie. She’s the goody-goody dork to his cool rich boy stereotype. They get to know each other gradually- over 10 days. Okay, 10 days is pretty short, I know, but hear me out- their love was real! Sure, Dante starts out as a jerk. But things change eventually. Oftentimes I want to do this to him though:

An interesting mythology: Can I call it that? Well, Dante is a Collector. His job is to collect souls and stuff. So basically whenever a person does something bad, he “seals” it a little. That means that it becomes tainted. Once it is fully consumed, he can collect it. It all draws from rather Christian beliefs what with “Big Guy”- AKA God and “Boss Man”- AKA the devil. It’s even hinted that Dante has other abilities he is not aware of. Can’t wait to see those in the second book.
A not so Mary-Sue: Charlie may seem a little ‘meh’ at first. I mean, she seems to pale in comparison to Dante at first, but then that’s because we’re getting everything from his perspective. And clearly, he thinks she’s a dork. But she is interesting. Part of me thinks she’s a little too goody-goody, but then so am I. I got awarded with the title “Teachers Pet” in my High School Yearbook for goodness sake! Charlie is a girl with aspirations, which I commend, but she sometimes has difficulty making them happen, due to low self-esteem. And Dante doesn’t really help with that. You’ll find out what he does later on. I won’t spoil the surprise. But she does gain confidence as the book progresses, and perhaps you will find that you will be able to identity with her, just as I have. 

My favourite quotes:

“In this trunk,” she says with a serious face, “is God’s gift to women.”“Chocolate?”“No.”“Midol?”“What? No.”“Tampons?”“Stop guessing,” she says.

“Because I see you. Even though you try so hard to hide, I see you, anyway.” 


And my personal fave, on a more lighthearted tone-

“Girl, I got swag for days.”

I rate this book 4/5 stars

Thank you Victoria Scott! You are a fabulous author. What’s more, she’s one of a few authors who’s actually replied to my tweets 😀 I think you deserve a Loki GIF:

But now I must wait for the next book, to come out 🙁

Happy Valentine’s Day!
Here’s my review of The Lost Prince

When I finished The Iron Knight, I was very happy for our protagonists. They were finally getting the happily ever after treatment. But I was distraught that the adventures into the Nevernever were finished. Kaput. Finite. Over…
Then I heard about Kagawa’s upcoming novel and the setup novella and I was ecstatic.
You have no idea how excited I was for this sequel series! The possibility of Meg and Ash having a kid? It’s something fans only ever dream about. Authors don’t usually oblige this fantasy and string it into words.

But before review the book, let me briefly comment on the covers. First is the UK version:

It was not the first to come out but it was the one I had to purchase, as I reside in England. After first seeing the US cover I was prepared to be completely underwhelmed by the UK version. I was astounded by the what was eventually produced, however.

Intro

TLP was written from Ethan’s point if view. A 16 year old Ethan. I found it hard to believe that he was now 16, and not that sad-eyed, frightened four year old from the first book. And boy had he grown. I felt a little pervy, ogling at at his exposed torso on the cover. Oh well…

Now the problem with this book is that after the previous series, we as readers already have such high expectations. For the most part, Ethan was a sound, well rounded character. Sure, he was a jerk most of the time, especially at the beginning to Kenzie. But the ass hole thing was just the mask he wore so he didn’t get hurt, or hurt others around him. I think it’s quite curious that he can see faeries, and in turn they know that he can see them.

My concern with this book was a slight lack of orginality. The Iron King featured Meghan plunging into the Nevernever with Ash and Puck in order to find her missing brother, who as we all know (Should know!) was kidnapped by- you guessed, the Iron King. The Lost Prince featured our all grown up protagonist, Ethan, braving the Nevernever with a friend to find another friend, who like Ethan all those years ago, was kidnapped by one of the fey. So what’s different?

New Characters

Ethan
Meghan’s once sweet little brother has grown into a brooding teenageer. I’m sad to say, I don’t think that’s just a phase. Of course Ethan doesn’t WANT to push everyone he cares about away, but he has to. I really liked Kagawa explaining the memory he had of a friend he let get close to him. Of course I don’t like what the fey did to her, but it made me understand. I understand why Ethan loathes Ash but I get rather defensive when it comes to the former Ice Prince, now Prince Consort and Iron Knight. But then, he lost a sister. At least if she were dead he would have some sort of closure, but he has to live knowing that They took her and made her one of Them.
Ethan is skilled in Kali, this type of martial arts that I’ve never heard of. Which is totally awesome. I once tried kickboxing. I loved it but my mum couldn’t afford to pay for me any longer, which was a sad time. But for Ethan, self-defence is the difference between life and death because They are out there. I’m not really sure what Ethan saw in Kenzie, but I’m glad it wasn’t insta-love. They got to know each other gradually.

Kenzie
This girl is tenacious. She gets what she wants, eventually. I don’t mean that in a spoilt little rich girl kind of way, even though she is a rich girl. Kenzie wants to be a reporter. She’s one of those people who has to know as much as she can, always seeking for knowledge- the latest scoop. And boy has she got some questions for Ethan Chase. (Too bad they never do that interview). She’s the one who thinks up quick, logical minded plans when the team get into a jam. These plans tend to be non-violent ones which is good because you can get seriously injured when fighting the fey. Love her or hate her, it’s clear she’s here to stay. I’ve heard some fans of Goodreads say that Kenzie gets on their nerves and to be honest, I don’t blame you. She also has this secret that is mentioned later on in the book. If I’m honest, I didn’t see the need for it.

Final Thoughts…

Like it’s predecessor series, The Call of the Forgotten is exploring the rise of a new species of fey. This idea would be all too boring and samey-samey if not for the fact that it was a very DIFFERENT kind of fey. Another good thing about this one is the air of mystery it still poses at the end, and the fact that there in NO LOVE TRIANGLE! So happy about that one 😀 I would have liked it if there had been more humor, but there was still enough action to keep be going.

Also, everyone looks 16. Ethan is 16. Meghan, Ash and Puck look 16/ 17, and their son IS 16! Can you imagine if your father looked the same age as you? But I guess when he has mad Unseelie/ Winter powers like Ash you’d still be a little scared of him. All I had to deal with when I was younger was beats. I’m African man but ICE?! ICE?! Don’t talk to me about ice.

My Rating



New year, new targets. This year, I aim to read at least 40 books. Last year it was 30. I’d aim for 50 but what with exams coming up, I have too much at stake to get side tracked. The next 5 months will determine where I end up for the next FOUR years. University here I come!

So far I’ve read 6 books. Here’s the list:

#1 The Goddess Hunt by Aimee Carter

Unlike my other reads, this one is a novella. This one was multi narrative. It wasn’t always necessary though. What I don’t understand about Kate is how she can just go off on a holiday with James just like that after everything that has occurred. He was going to replace Henry! The Castor and Pollux story was cool but I think it needed a bit more but seemed to me that Zeus was overreacting, even for him. What a dysfunctional family!

#2 Endure, by Carrie Jones

And so the countdown to Ragnarok begins.

Zara is now a pixie, and is also Astley’s queen. But she still loves Nick. It’s hard to believe that this character is the same one who used to whisper phobias to herself all the time. Little Miss Peace is now she is fighter trying to save her town, and potentially the world, from a pixie invasion. I know a similar transformation that occurred in a favourite book series of mine. It was the Iron Fey series’ Meghan Chase. By the Iron Queen, she was there with the rest of them, fighting it out, much like Zara does. I liked how Jones resolved the love triangle in this book, although I think she took a bit of a risk. Still, I liked it and I found it believable. I also really like Hel. She was pretty nice and I like how Jones incorporated Norse Mythology. If I had made as many transformation as Zara had, I think I’d be even more messed up than she was if I’m honest.
#3 Poison Princess by Kresley Cole

This one was a strange book. The origins behind it, The Arcana cards, was unfamiliar to me, which excited me. Yet at the sane time I was a big unnerved. But that might have been my reaction to the whole post-apocalyptic thing, and if course the romance which had me cringing from time to time.
Jack was a strange fellow but I loved how Cole used his background to shape him. The MC (what was her name? Evie? I’ve read too many books this month.) got in my nerves from time to time. Jack wasn’t all bad and sometimes she treated him like dirt and I didn’t like that. But then again, he had faults if his own, especially his lustful nature. I’m convinced that the only reasons Cole went for the post-apocalyptic thing is because they’re really trending, it gives the characters a reason to be travelling extensively, and it somehow justifies all the male character’s REALLY uncontrollable lust. Like seriously, can’t they control themselves!
I didn’t like the post-apocalyptic thing because Cole didn’t really explain how it had gotten that way. I mean I guess neither did Evie but at the moment I don’t think that even the author has that part figured out either.
#4 Intertwined by Gena Showalter

I’ve already written an extensive review about this book so you should go over there to check it out. I don’t want to reiterate myself but basically it’s a story about a guy with four different voices in his head, who he believes are different souls. And one of them predicts is death. He seeks to set them free so that he can live a normal life… And falls in love with a vampire along the way.

#5 The Lost Prince by Julie Kagawa

Ethan Chase has grown up now. He isn’t the same helpless boy who kidnaped by faeries anymore. He’s 17 now, but the fey are still a part of his life because he has the Sight. The fey are constantly making his life miserable which wouldn’t be so bad if they didn’t hurt the ones he loved too. When a mysterious new species of fey emerge and kidnap a halfling, Ethan embarks on a quest to get him back.
Mmm… Does this plot seem familiar? Yes I thought so too. But do not fear, there are enough twists and turns to keep this story interesting, with appearances from out fave characters from the previous series as well.

#6 Gates of Paradise by Melissa de la Cruz

So the final book in the Blue Bloods series has finally come out. After reading Wolf Pact I was definitely ready to see Bliss again. GoP finally tied up all the loose ends in the series. I really enjoyed it, with the exception if the very last chapter which I thought was very odd. I’m happy for all the characters and Cruz did a good job portraying Lucifer, which I had been wary about before. There is enough suspense, action, and of course romance to keep you going. My only problem was thy the characters would occasionally get distracted. I mean, this is an end I the world situation and you’re busy doing what? (I will not be spoil sport and tell you what Sky gets up to). It’s a shame that it’s the end, but what a great ending it was!

#7 Supernaturally by Kiersten White

After yearning for a normal life for so long, Evie finally gets her wish. She’s left a little bit disappointed by high school, but she loves her locker. Although she may have escaped IPCA, they are in need if her again. And of course there’s the relationship problem. She’s worried about how Lend is immortal and whether she should tell him. In this department, I think she gets on my nerves a little. Why can’t she decide? Still, I sympathise.

I wish Reth appeared more often, but I kind of liked Jack. He was an interesting addition. Some say the villain was obvious, but it wasn’t obvious to me. Overall, with the lack of Reth and Lend, there was quite a lot to be desired in this sequel by I have hope for the final book of the trilogy.

I haven’t posted any artwork in a long time so I thought I’d post a few Iron Fey stuff in celebration of Julie Kagawa’s latest book, The Lost Prince. And because they aren’t many, I’ve added some of my favourite character quotes.

Puck, by mseregon

Quotes:
“Oh, so we’re playing nice now? Shall we have tea first? Brew up a nice pot of kiss-my-ass?” (The Iron King)

“Me? Die? Didn’t they tell you, princess? I’m Robin Goodfellow.” (The Iron King)

“Crazy Ash doesn’t have the same ring as Don’t-bother-me-or-I’ll-kill-you Ash.” (The Iron Knight”

Grimalkin, by RottonNymph

Quotes:
“I am a cat”

“The Winter prince and Oberon’s jester agreeing on something. The world must be ending.” (The Iron King)

“Do try and stay out of trouble, human. I will be terribly annoyed if you manage to get yourself killed.” (The Iron Queen)

Meghan Chase, by AllicynLeiaAllen

Quotes:
“Good God, the Ice Prince was making jokes now; the world must be ending.” (The Iron King)

“Right, cause I’m bleeding all over the place for shits and giggles” (The Iron King)

“I could handle goblins and bogeymen and evil, flesh-eating horses, but giant freaking spiders? That’s where I drew the line. (The Iron Daughter)

Prince Ash, by lilgrimmapple

Quotes:
“Touch her, and I’ll freeze your testicles off and put them in a jar. Understand?” (The Iron King)

“Insult her again and I’ll cut your ***** into so many pieces they’ll never find then again.” (The Iron Queen)

“You made me feel alive again” (The Iron King)

There’s something about the new guy at Crossroads High…

Most sixteen-year-olds have friends. Aden Stone has four human souls living inside him:

One can time travel.
One can raise the dead.
One can possess another human.
One can tell the future.

Everyone thinks he’s crazy, which is why he’s spent his entire life shuffled between mental institutions and juvie. All of that is about to change, however. For months Aden has been having visions of a beautiful girl—a girl who carries centuries-old secrets. A girl who will either save him or destroy him.

Together they’ll enter a dark world of intrigue and danger… but not everyone will come out alive.

 

I recall first hearing about this book at the back of The Iron King by Julie Kagawa as an advertisement by Mira INK. The synopsis sounded interesting but I more or less dismissed it, instead determine to Kagawa’s sequel. I never would have guessed that I would have ended up liking this book as much as I did. It was utterly addictive. I finished within 2 days, and that is no easy feat when you’re stuck up to HERE with A level coursework and examination preparation. It’s no wonder my friends think I’m insane.

Anyway, on with the review…

Haden “Aden” Stone has 4 souls in his body + his own. Each of these souls has their own power, which makes him a beacon for trouble. Diagnosed with schizophrenia, he has been sent from one mental instituion to the other, even being adopted from time to time. All he wants is to find a way to free the souls inside him. I really admired the relationship he had with the souls, and found it a little touching that he helped them pick their names. Things would have been far easier if they had remembered who they had been in their previous lives. It isn’t until one of them remembers their past life that Aden can really confirm that they are the spirits of dead people. It might have been a bit more interesting if one of the souls had been antagonistic, but their family banter was great all the same.

Being a YA book, romance was always going to have a part to play. Aden has being having dreams of a mysterious girl. It’s pretty clear that he’ll be having a romanic relationship of sorts with this girl and I’m not surprised when she finally appears. Victoria is a vampire princess. Sorry, minor spoiler there. She is strong, powerful and of course, beautiful. I’ve read a lot of YA books so really I find her a type-cast with not much in her to make her particulalry unique. She has the slight “Oh- I’m- A- Monster” thing that a lot of vampires are represented as going for her. She is often disgusted with herself and doesn’t want Aden to see her for what she is- a blood thirsty parasite. So yeah, she’s essentially the female Edward Cullen. It’s pretty ironic too considering that her name is Victoria, the name of the vampire who wants to kill Bella for revenge. Did I hate Victoria? No. Did I like her? Not overly. I regard her with a cool indifference. It’s funny because I think I kind of liked her before, but my opinion has changes slighlty upon reflection.

The other main character is Mary-Ann. First thing you should know about her? She’s a complete Mary-Sue. She hasn’t got a lot of depth to her. Her life starts off more or less perfect. She’s in the popular crowd, dating the popular guy. She’s even a straight A student, even though she pretty much seems to hate working. She does it so that her dad can be proud of her. At least that’s one insecurity she has. One step to becoming more flawed and understandable. When we first meet her, I’m afraid that she’ll fall in love with Aden, but thankfully the one thing this book does not have is a LOVE TRIANGLE. I think I’d die or at the very least chuck this book back at the library I found it in if it did.

There is even a romance between Mary-Ann a certain wolfman but I think I’ll let you discover that on your own. Team Riley <3 The plot mostly consisted of trying to uncover the secrets surrounding Mary-Ann and Aden’s lives. For some reason, Aden is very powerful and has attracted the attention of lots of different magical creatures. And I mean lots. The vampires were the first, but then there came the witches, faeries, demons and goblins. Even angels and a motley of other creatures were mentioned. Were all these supernatural creatures necessarry? No. Did they add to the story? Not really. I mean, sure they make the whole situation seem more dire, but in Aden’s point of view it was scary enough jut to have caught the attention of vampires. My advice would have been to choose only two or three creatures. Perhaps vampires, werewolves, and the witches. There is of course a way of having multiple creatures in a book series, but you have to make it believabe. Of course the other issue is the fact that Aden is apparantly fated to die in the near future. So how about you pick up this book and read about his fate? Overall, I enjoyed this book and I would recommend it, but at the same time, I did find it slightly lacking in some areas. Aden was a likeable character. He was both brave and vulnerable. Cute (even allegedly hot) but not conceited. And Mary-Ann was Meh. I give it 3 1/2 stars.

Liyana has trained her entire life to be the vessel of a goddess. The goddess will inhabit Liyana’s body and use magic to bring rain to the desert. But Liyana’s goddess never comes. Abandoned by her angry tribe, Liyana expects to die in the desert. Until a boy walks out of the dust in search of her.

Korbyn is a god inside his vessel, and a trickster god at that. He tells Liyana that five other gods are missing, and they set off across the desert in search of the other vessels. For the desert tribes cannot survive without the magic of their gods. But the journey is dangerous, even with a god’s help. And not everyone is willing to believe the trickster god’s tale.

The closer she grows to Korbyn, the less Liyana wants to disappear to make way for her goddess. But she has no choice: She must die for her tribe to live. Unless a trickster god can help her to trick fate — or a human girl can muster some magic of her own.
– Synopsis from Sarah Beth Durst’s Official Website

I loved Durst’s idea. Gods needing human hosts in order to walk the earth. The nomadic life of the desert people, who depended on the gods in order to survive was also well thought out. So when the Great Drought threatens to kill them all, each clan must sacrifice one boy it girl, a vessel, who will give up their body for their god or goddess. In turn, this deity will look after the clan. Our protagonist, Liyana, is ready to make the ultimate sacrifice but on the night of her ceremony, her goddess does not come. Abandoned by her clan, she is left distraught. Eventually she embarks on a quest with the trickster god, Korbyn, to find the missing gods.

Sounds promising, right? And it was. Unfortunately we spend half of the book gathering forces with the other vessels, which to be honest gets very dull after a while. I know finding the others was necessary but couldn’t Durst have spiced things up a not with an interruption? They could have made another detour or two to liven things up a bit.

My other complaint would have to be the segments with the emperor of the Crescent Empire. It wasn’t clear that he had some sort of involvement with the rest of the story and I was often tempted to skip his chapters near the beginning. Some hint that he was even in the same timeline would have been helpful.

Liyana was a strong character. She was smart, wise, and resourceful. I read a review on Goodreads that criticised her viewpoint in the ethics of gods killing mortals in order to inhabit their body. For the majority of the book, she is perfectly fine with this sacrifice and so this reader was frustrated that she didn’t question it and change her mind. Liyana is a very loyal character so if she believed that this was the only way to save the ones that she lived, the that’s what she would do. If you look at it that way, then you can only admire her. But towards the end, she does take a different perspective on things when she discovers that there is another way.

Atmitedly, the ending was not to my liking. A brief love triangle appears and after a showdown with some super pissed sky serpents, it’s all over. I don’t like how her relationship problem is solved but I’m glad that she didn’t die. It’s pretty clear to me that there won’t be a sequel which saddens me. No more Korbyn. Can I just state that he was my favourite character?! For a long time he was my only reason for continuing this novel.

So what do I rate it?