Category Archives: Reviews

Review – Cal Leandros Series by Rob Thurman

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There are monsters among us. There always have been and there always will be. I’ve known that since I can remember, just like I’ve always known I was one … Well, half of one, anyway.

Welcome to New York City – a troll under the Brooklyn Bridge, a boggle in Central Park, and a beautiful vampire in a penthouse on the Upper East Side. Most humans are oblivious to the preternatural nightlife around them, but Cal Leandros is only half human.

His father’s dark lineage is the stuff of nightmares – and his entire otherworldly elf race are after Cal. His half brother, Niko, gave up college to keep them on the run for four years, but now the Grendel monsters are back. And Cal is about to learn why they want him. He is the key to unleashing their hell on earth. The fate of the human world will be decided in the fight of Cal’s life…

My Review: So, this is my review of the series up to book seven, which is where I currently am … this series has destroyed me – as in, can’t get any writing done, total nuclear bomb going off in my brain at the thought of it ending, etc., etc.

Let’s face it – I’m a total sucker for the tragic ‘I need to fight my inner evil’ type of character. Those are the books I write, and those are the books I love to read the most. I need to devote an entire fan fiction archive to Cal, and another to Cal and Niko’s relationship – because that’s my other trope trap – the ‘we are brothers and that is sacred’ bond.

*Pause to insert Supernatural gif*

dont you give up on me dean winchester GIF

 

 

 

 

 

In the case of this series, the stories themselves are secondary to the characters and their interactions and development. I’ve heard the series was discontinued and left on a cliffhanger, and that I am to avoid the final book because it ruins an otherwise more or less wrapped-up ending. Any advice would be appreciated. And Rob Thurman, if you’re out there, help! Finish this series for me. Pretty please…

#Calleandros #Robthurman #amreadingfantasy #amwritingfantasy

Wicked Fox Review

 

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Wicked Fox (Gumiho #1) by Kat Cho

Eighteen-year-old Gu Miyoung has a secret–she’s a gumiho, a nine-tailed fox who must devour the energy of men in order to survive. Because so few believe in the old tales anymore, and with so many evil men no one will miss, the modern city of Seoul is the perfect place to hide and hunt.

But after feeding one full moon, Miyoung crosses paths with Jihoon, a human boy, being attacked by a goblin deep in the forest. Against her better judgment, she violates the rules of survival to rescue the boy, losing her fox bead–her gumiho soul–in the process.

Jihoon knows Miyoung is more than just a beautiful girl–he saw her nine tails the night she saved his life. His grandmother used to tell him stories of the gumiho, of their power and the danger they pose to humans. He’s drawn to her anyway.

With murderous forces lurking in the background, Miyoung and Jihoon develop a tenuous friendship that blossoms into something more. But when a young shaman tries to reunite Miyoung with her bead, the consequences are disastrous . . . forcing Miyoung to choose between her immortal life and Jihoon’s.

 

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This was a brilliantly vivid journey into the rich world of Korean folktales and mythology. I enjoyed being submerged in the Seoul landscape, rich in detail with its food, traditions, and monsters.

The characters were well fleshed out and three-dimensional, complete with fatal flaws and shimmering imperfections. I was very fortunate to have received an ARC of this book and would recommend it to fans of exotic fantasy and classic monster stories.

The Wicked King by Holly Black

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The Wicked King

(The Folk of the Air #2)

by

You must be strong enough to strike and strike and strike again without tiring.

The first lesson is to make yourself strong.

After the jaw-dropping revelation that Oak is the heir to Faerie, Jude must keep her younger brother safe. To do so, she has bound the wicked king, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. Navigating the constantly shifting political alliances of Faerie would be difficult enough if Cardan were easy to control. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her even as his fascination with her remains undiminished.

When it becomes all too clear that someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her own life and the lives of everyone she loves, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a Faerie world.

My Review
Ah, Holly Black…. how I love your worlds! I’ve been waiting for this one for a long time, because I’ve been feeling a lot of withdrawal from Holly’s rich words, revels, and debauchery. She paints a vivid image of magic rules, unearthly figures of terror and beauty, and most importantly, the complexity of human emotions entangled among the cruelty of immortals.
Jude isn’t my favorite of Holly’s characters, if only because, just like the warrior girl herself, I need her to be soft when she cannot be soft. Her stubbornness and inability to trust became a hindrance to some of the relationships I needed to see in this book. My other request – more Cardan!!!! The subtleties of his rich, complex character were wasted on cameos.
I’m hoping for Cardan to become the major player he deserves to be in the third book. Yikes….the wait!!!
4 stars

Review – The Half Bad Trilogy

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*Warning: This review contains spoilers

Half Bad (The Half Bad Trilogy #1)

by Sally Green

Sixteen-year-old Nathan lives in a cage: beaten, shackled, trained to kill. In a modern-day England where two warring factions of witches live amongst humans, Nathan is an abomination, the illegitimate son of the world’s most terrifying and violent witch, Marcus. Nathan’s only hope for survival is to escape his captors, track down Marcus, and receive the three gifts that will bring him into his own magical powers—before it’s too late. But how can Nathan find his father when there is no one safe to trust, not even family, not even the girl he loves?

Half Wild (The Half Bad Trilogy #2)

by Sally Green

In a modern-day England where two warring factions of witches live amongst humans, seventeen-year-old Nathan is an abomination, the illegitimate son of the world’s most powerful and violent witch. Nathan is hunted from all sides: nowhere is safe and no one can be trusted. Now, Nathan has come into his own unique magical Gift, and he’s on the run–but the Hunters are close behind, and they will stop at nothing until they have captured Nathan and destroyed his father.

Half Lost (The Half Bad Trilogy #3)

bySally Green

The Alliance is losing the war, and their most critical weapon, seventeen-year-old witch Nathan Byrn, is losing his mind. Nathan’s tally of kills is rising, and yet he’s no closer to ending the tyrannical rule of the Council of White Witches in England. Nor is Nathan any closer to his personal goal: getting revenge on Annalise, the girl he once loved before she committed an unthinkable crime. An amulet protected by the extremely powerful witch Ledger could be the tool Nathan needs to save himself and the Alliance, but this amulet is not so easily acquired. And lately Nathan has started to suffer from visions: a vision of a golden moment when he dies, and of an endless line of Hunters, impossible to overcome. Gabriel, his closest companion, urges Nathan to run away with him, to start a peaceful life together. But even Gabriel’s love may not be enough to save Nathan from this war, or from the person he has become.

My Review:

Where to begin? If the best books are the ones that evoke emotion in us, then this was a powerful piece of work. With that being said, there was a definite bell curve of quality, that peaked in the second book. Half Bad took me a little while to get into. Nathan is a great character, and I really enjoyed being inside his head. He speaks with unparalleled honesty, in an interesting stream-of-consciousness style, with a strong voice. Still, it took some time for the story to really begin to a point where it held my interest. I kept reading for Nathan.

Half Lost rocked my world! It was action from start to finish, and the relationships between all of the characters got richer and deeper. Nathan stayed true to who he was as a character, and the psychology of him was fascinating! I would read a whole book about Nathan’s thoughts on the world. Marcus was also great to meet, and that was a fun relationship to explore. And Gabriel… well, what can I say, except I’d fall for a love like that (sorry hubs!). I KNEW things had to turn tragic for Nathan. I just felt it coming from a mile away. But here’s the thing… I knew it would hurt me, and I almost wanted to stop reading because of it. He’d worked too hard to overcome his obstacles, and I couldn’t bear to see him lose himself after all that…

…which he did (insert huge frowny face), in Half Wild. The ending is DEVASTATING. The book seemed to lose a bit of steam here, as the bell curve of greatness reached its apex and began to plummet once again. I won’t tell you what happens, but suffice it to say that I hated the ending. Okay, one thing… a tree? Are you f*#@ing kidding me?

All in all,  4/5 stars

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Human Cure Review by Fani

Human Cure Review by Fani

4/5 Stars  Image result for 4 out of 5 stars

fani
Reviewer
I was quite surprised by how much I enjoyed this story! I didn’t felt bored in any part of the book, the plot was fast paced and it kept me entertained from the beginning to the end. “The Human Cure” might have vampires in it but it uses this theme in a unique way and gives its own twist for these creatures. I loved all the main characters, Hunter’s kindness and altruistic personality was so touching, he might be the one who kidnapped Kate but as we read on and learn more about him it is obvious that he was one of the better characters in the underground village. We see the way he sacrificed himself for the happiness of other people in many parts of the story and I think it was such a shame we couldn’t see more about what he was thinking and feeling when he made those sacrifices especially a very important one. Thankfully we see a bit about his emotional turmoil in the very end of the book. A nice contrast to Hunter’s character was Chase, he really didn’t fit in the vampire community and that is evident when we see that the only person who is spending time with him is Hunter. His interactions with the heroine were very entertaining to read and I loved his cynical and a bit bitter personality. “There was something special about endings, even bad ones. In his own life, nothing ever ended.” Kate was also an enjoyable heroine, her life was a dead end but we experience through her how some people have the biggest improvement in their lives after ending up in an environment with even harsher conditions than where they lived before. I was afraid after reading the premise of the book that this story would have a love triangle were Kate would being confused and would love two people at once but I was happy to see that the story didn’t take that direction instead, Kate was always clear about who she had feeling for. One thing I would have liked to see was more world building, this story was a bit short and I think it still had some space for world exploration without losing its fast pace. I would have liked to see the main characters interact with other vampires and witness what kind of similarities and differences they had compared to Hunter and Chase. I would have also liked to see how everyday life is in the underground village, beyond the few scenes where we see the villagers run away when the vampires enter the village we don’t see any interactions between them when they are all by themselves without the presence of their masters. If the author had added more details about the life in the underground village the world in “The Human Cure” would have felt a lot more complete.

Review – Red Rising (Red Rising #1) by Pierce Brown

Red Rising (Red Rising, #1)Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations.

Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children.

But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity already reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and sprawling parks spread across the planet. Darrow—and Reds like him—are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class.

Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow sacrifices everything to infiltrate the legendary Institute, a proving ground for the dominant Gold caste, where the next generation of humanity’s overlords struggle for power. He will be forced to compete for his life and the very future of civilization against the best and most brutal of Society’s ruling class. There, he will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies… even if it means he has to become one of them to do so.

My Review – 

Oh, thank you Red Rising for coming to me at just the right time! You did a better job of exemplifying the societal divide that tried to come across in Red Queen, and had just enough Hunger Games in you without being too much of a rip-off. And… wait for it… you were so well written that I didn’t mind reading you in the present tense!

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I thoroughly enjoyed the voice of this book. Darrow spoke from a really sincere place, and the voice remained true on both sides of his transformation. It was a nice change of pace for me to see through the eyes of a male protagonist (it’s been awhile). The secondary characters were also well thought out, for the most part. I love Sevro! And Pax! And Mustang was enjoyable as well.

While Brown’s writing was sharp and definitely dragged me right into this world, some of the battle scenes were a bit drawn out. The plot took a long time to evolve somewhere around the middle of the book. There was constant action, and I wanted some more downtime and dialogue with my man Darrow.

First book in quite awhile that is: Image result for 5 out of 5 stars

Review – Red Queen

Red Queen (Red Queen, #1)

This is a world divided by blood – red or silver.

The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change.

That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.

Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime.

But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance – Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart.

My Review 

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When I opened this book and saw that it was first person present tense, I had to laugh at the irony after my last blog post. My first instinct was slam it shut with a “Damn you, present tense!” But I hung in there.

Aveyard’s initial worldbuilding was impressive. I really got the feel of the downtrodden reds nd the elite silvers. Despite the present tense, I was hooked.

***************SPOILERS BELOW***********************

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