Posted in Young Adult

Caraval Book Review

Caraval by Stephanie Garber caraval

Published: January 31st 2017 by Flatiron Books

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:

Whatever you’ve heard about Caraval, it doesn’t compare to the reality. It’s more than just a game or a performance. It’s the closest you’ll ever find to magic in this world . . .

Welcome, welcome to Caraval―Stephanie Garber’s sweeping tale of two sisters who escape their ruthless father when they enter the dangerous intrigue of a legendary game.

Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the far-away, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nevertheless becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever.

Caraval (Caraval, #1)

Before you enter the world of Caraval, you must remember that it’s all a game . . .

Wow, just wow. I received my book the day that it came out and I finished it in one sitting! This book had me hooked from the very first page! It is actually taking me longer to write this review, than it took me to read the book!

No one is truly honest. Even if we don’t lie to others, we often lie to ourselves. And the word good means different things to different people.

Garber wrote basically almost everything you would want in a book! It had a mystery, magic, a slight romance (thankfully no love triangle (for the most part)), and murder. This starts off with Scarlett and her sister living on a tiny island with their abusive father, they escape and go to Caraval to experience everything before Scarlet gets married. Once arriving on Legend’s island, everything is not what they seem and Scarlet spends her time trying to find Tella after she has been kidnapped. She must then follow the rules of the game and try to find her sister before any of the other players do in order to win a wish from Legend.

Not quite sure how far she’d already fallen, she imagined loving him would feel like falling in love with darkness, frightening and consuming yet utterly beautiful when the stars came out.

Without giving things away, I just want to say that when you think you have figured everything out. Garber throws in a twist that has you rethinking everything that you have read so far. For instance, with their father you wonder for most of the book why he is so abusive and controlling of the girls. But, then at the end things get explained and you can’t help but think oh. It still doesn’t condone what he did, but you get a better understanding of where he was coming from.

But Scarlett had already been broken. For years her father tore her down. Over and over, she had let him. She’d allowed him to make her feel worthless and powerless. But she was neither of those things. She was done allowing her fear to make her weaker, to eat away at the meat on her bones until she could do nothing but whimper and watch.

Overall, I really loved this book. I don’t think my review has done it justice. But there is only so much I can say without giving anything away! It probably could have been more detailed if I wrote it soon after I read it, but life gets in the way sometimes. For those of you that like magical fantasy mysteries, then I definitely suggest you check out this book!

Posted in Young Adult

Emergence Book Review

Emergence (The Infernal Guard #1) by S.G.D Singhemergence

Published: January 30th 2016 by Glory Press

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Emergence (The Infernal Guard Book 1)

Goodreads Summary:

Seventeen year-old Asha’s days are spent training in martial arts, attending homeschool classes, and helping in the kitchens of a luxurious Miami resort which she seldom leaves. Until the night her grandfather arrives home mysteriously injured, accompanied by a terrifying stranger. Asha begins to suspect that nothing is what it seems when she is abruptly sent to Punjab, India to live with relatives she never knew she had.

Joined by her best friend, Lexi, and her newfound cousin, Nidhan, Asha is soon drawn to an unusual place where the three of them learn that our World is much more than it appears. And there is a good reason people are afraid of the dark.

Meet The Infernal Guard: Shape-shifting Jodha warriors, Seers of various psychic Talents, Healers, Illusionists, and weapons-creating Tvastars. They are the gifted few who fight to protect our realm from demonic Underworlders escaping the seven lower dimensions of Hindu Mythology’s Fourteen Worlds.

As the next generation of heroes from around the globe gathers to begin training, Asha discovers true love and a family in her friends and instructors. But something in the darkness knows that she alone possesses the rarest Talent of all. Now Asha must find the courage and strength to risk everything she has gained before a devouring evil like no other The Infernal Guard has ever faced destroys our realm’s very existence.

First, I would like to thank the Lunar Chronicles Facebook group for hosting a Q&A with the author, where I was able to win a free copy of this book. This in no way impacted my opinions and review of the book.

This story follows 17 year-old Asha, who is sent off to Punjab without any explanation from her grandfather. This book starts off with quickly with Asha’s grandfather being injured and then the next thing you know we’re on a plane to India. There she quickly learns that she is part of the next class of the Infernal Guard, and she starts her training. All throughout the book, Asha and her friends are attacked by demons from Hindu mythology at various locations and she has to figure out why.

Since this story is mainly set in India, the author inserted a lot of cultural terms that I did not know. At first it was a little overwhelming, just because I didn’t know what it was referencing. After awhile though, I finally figured it out and it didn’t bother me as much. I did enjoy being immersed in a new culture that I had hardly any previous knowledge about. Singh’s writing style is very beautiful and very descriptive. She included basically almost every nationality and had them interacting with each other all the time.

With that being said, there was probably way too many characters to remember. They each had their own separate personality, so it wasn’t that difficult to remember who was who. I can’t say the same for the adults in this story. They still had their own personality, but it was just so many that I couldn’t remember who was who and what their role was in the Guard.

Asha as a main character was basically our “chosen” one. There was a mention of a prophecy and everyone seems to think that she is the one that will lead everyone. This was especially evident when she started to develop multiple talents, that hasn’t been seen in hundreds of years. Personally, I thought that she wasn’t very smart. She would jump into situations without thinking everything through and when bad things happen she would blame herself. If she only waited for more people to accompany her or something, then a lot of situations could have been avoided.

At first I didn’t like Asha’s romantic plot with Aquila, mainly because I thought it happened way too fast and all of a sudden they were in love with each other. After awhile though, they grew on me and I ended up liking them as a couple. They obviously had eyes only for each other, so when another trainee all of a sudden liked her it didn’t make much sense. At least though it was a small portion of the book, and wasn’t one of the main dominating theme throughout.

Lexi (Asha’s best friend from Miami) was probably my least favorite character in the whole book. She is your stereotypical blonde teenager whose father travels a lot and has so much money she doesn’t know what to do with it. So what does Lexi do? Buys anything and everything she wants and gives things away to people even if they don’t want it. It made her seem very superficial, especially when she didn’t want people to compare her to Barbie or Britney Spears. It also bothered me that it seemed she would get jealous of Asha every time she discovered a new talent. Since Asha is a seer, you would think Lexi would just agree with her and follow instead of arguing every step of the way.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. The world building and diversity was probably my favorite parts of the book. As well as the originality of the story. I can’t wait to pick up the second book to see how Asha’s story continue, maybe she’ll pick up another talent or two on the way.

Posted in Arc, NetGalley, Young Adult

Wanted eArc Review

Wanted (Spelled #2) by Betsy Schowwanted

Publication: February 7th 2017 by Sourcebooks Fire

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

This eArc was provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Goodreads Summary:

In the sequel to Spelled, can Robin Hood’s daughter, Rexi, stop the Wicked Witch from finding Excalibur?

Fairy-Tale Survival Rule No. 52:
No matter how difficult the obstacles or all-powerful the evil villain, one can rest assured that the hero of the story never dies. The sidekicks though…they should be worried.

Rexi Hood is proud to be an outlaw. After all, she’s the daughter of the infamous Robin Hood. But sidekick? Accomplice? Sorry, that wasn’t in her story description. Yeah, she and Princess Dorthea of Emerald have been inseparable since they teamed up to fight the wickedest witch. But if Rexi doesn’t figure out how to break the curse that binds them, forget being overshadowed by the spirited princess, Rexi’s going to become a Forgotten, wiped from the pages of Story and reduced to a puddle of ink.
Not happening. No way in Spell.
Rexi’s plan? Steal the sword Excalibur and use its magic to write her own tale. But Gwenevere has opened a new Academy of Villains in Camelot and danger lurks behind every plot twist. And you know how it goes in Story: keep your friends close and your enemies closer…

Wanted
I read the first book a little over a year and a half ago, and I don’t really remember it all that much. Which after reading this book, I probably should have reread beforehand. I was a little lost in the beginning, but once Schow moved away from it and more into Rexi’s story I started to really enjoy the book.
Probably for half the book I couldn’t help but feel a little sorry for Rexi and all the situations she was put through. Half of the time it wasn’t even her fault, but Rexi was the one who had to deal with the fall outs. For instance, in the first book Rexi sacrificed herself for Dorthea and then Dorthea brought her back to life. The catch was that Rexi’s life is now attached to Dorthea’s. In this book, Rexi seems to be dying a lot. At least 10-15 times, and each time she has to give up a memory to the Grim Reaper and eventually she started to become more and more like Dorthea. This unfortunately created a love triangle between Dorthea, Rexi, and Kato. Although, I am not really sure how Kato was developing feelings for her since he is “in love” with Dorthea. The whole situation didn’t make much sense (except from Rexi’s point of view) and Dorthea’s jealousy was just uncalled for.
One aspect that I didn’t like about this book was the fact that it seemed to jump around a lot from situation to situation. It seemed a little chaotic and not flushed out completely. At some points it even got a little confusing. Especially since I was reading an eArc copy, in the beginning of each new chapter the first letter of the word would be somewhere else in the sentence. This book definitely suffered from the middle book syndrome. All it really did was set up for the final book in the trilogy without really advancing that much plot-wise.
Overall, I did enjoy this book. I liked that Schow incorporated different legends instead of just fairy tales into this story. She also created some very interesting curve ball situations that was very creative. I hope in the third book Rexi gets to be involved with the love interest I want her to be with. ::crosses fingers::

Posted in Arc, NetGalley, Young Adult

Shadows of the Forest eArc Review

Shadows of the Forest by Emma Michaelsshadowsoftheforest

Published: November 4th 2016 by CHBB Publishing

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

This eArc was provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Goodreads Summary:

Everyone is dying to live in the Shadows of the Forest.
They gave me three rules to follow in exchange for my brother’s life:
1. Do not enter the West Wing;
2. Do not go outside after darkness falls; and
3. There is only one exit; The Gates.

This is what happened when I broke them…

Shadows of the Forest

What drew me to this book was the premise and the cover, lets be honest its gorgeous! I have never heard of Emma Michaels before, so I thought I would give her a shot. It was definitely not what I thought it was and for a 144 page book, it seemed to drag on in some places making it seem much longer.

This book is heavily influenced by Lily’s abuse from her father growing up, and how she is dealing with it now that her parents are dead. This would have been fine if it didn’t define all of Lily’s actions for the first half of the book. In the beginning it’s understandable how her past would define her, I get it, but for it to continue for half the book and then all of a sudden she’s over it it doesn’t make sense. There was no character development whatsoever, one minute she was “don’t touch me” and the next she was all over Arro (or whatever his name is, I don’t remember anymore =/).

I liked that Lily wanted to make sure that her brother lives and that she would do anything for him. It’s understandable that she has no idea where she is and that she keeps getting information at each new step instead of all at once. What would have been better for the book is if we weren’t reminded of it on every single page. Not only is this the driving force of the plot, it is also very confusing. Mainly because we will be in one scene where we get confusing descriptions and half sentences, and then next will be a flashback. Nothing is ever explained coherently or in an order that makes sense. There was a heavy mix of Japanese folklore in this, and unfortunately I don’t know enough to know if it was done properly.

Overall, this book needs a major edit overhaul. The way it is now, I wouldn’t suggest reading it. Just enjoy the cover and go enjoy another YA fantasy book.

Posted in Young Adult

January Wrap Up and February TBR

I know it’s a few days past January, but I’ve been super busy with school this week so I had little to no free time after I got home. So today is the day that I will be playing catch up! I have about 4 book reviews to write and at least 2 books to read (okay, I have more than that on my TBR shelf).


This month  I read:

  1. The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid
  2. Dorothy Must Die Stories Vol. I by Danielle Paige
  3. Lock & Mori: Mind Games by Heather W. Petty
  4. Truthwitch by Susan Dennard
  5. Eon by Alison Goodman
  6. Wilder by Lena North
  7. Talking As Fast As I Can by Lauren Graham
  8. Shadows of the Forest by Emma Michaels
  9. Wanted by Betsy Schow
  10. Caraval by Stephanie Garber

I read a fair amount of books this month, which is a lot better than previous months. So far I am 1 book ahead of my Goodreads challenge, lets see how long I can stay ahead! I am 4 reviews behind, so hopefully this weekend I will be able to catch up on them.


My January TBR was to read Truthwitch and Lock & Mori: Mind Games. For once I can say that I finally accomplished a TBR list for that month! This month I will like to read:

Two books seems to be a good limit for me to dedicate to actually reading. Lets see if I can accomplish two months in a row!


How did you do this past month? What books should I look out for this month?

Posted in Arc, Young Adult

Wilder Book Review

Wilder (Birds of a Feather #1) by Lena Northwilder

Published: December 14th 2016 by FAB Publishing

This eArc was provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:

Wilder’s wonderful grandfather is dead, and so is her mother, but Grandpa Willy gives her one final gift in his will – the knowledge that her father is only her step-father.

Once she meets Hawker, the scary man who turns out to be her real dad, her life takes an unexpected turn. She finds out about a heritage she never knew she had, and secrets from the past are uncovered as she fights to save her part of the world from destruction.

And then there’s Mac, with his green eyes and a soft voice that flows through her like sweet honey. He’s there to help Wilder as she struggles with how to fit into the group of people around her dad, and with every bad thing that happens it becomes more important to have Mac in her life .

“Wilder” is the first in the Birds of a Feather series and a spin-off from the Dreughan trilogy. It’s set in modern time and can be read stand-alone.

Wilder (Birds of a Feather #1)

It is a little hard for me to write a review for this book. I enjoyed it for the most part, but it’s also something that I thought was kind of just meh. It has a lot of potential that I think a good editing session could take care of.

This book starts off with Wilder dealing with her mother and grandfathers death at a lawyers office. There she finds out that Paolo is not her real father and that’s why he has always treated her with disdain. Wilder gets mad and storms out of the office and decides to head to Norton to see her real father. When she gets to Norton, Wilder fights with probably every single person she runs into (this should have been a hint for how the rest of the book would go). As a MC Wilder did not grow at all. Yes, she eventually grew to accept her family and get over the fact that they weren’t there for all of her life, but she didn’t grow as a person. She would fight with everyone even if she had a good reason or not. Mac would say she was being childish and then Wilder would get mad at him. Rinse, lather, repeat.

The dialogue was also super awkward in about half the conversations. For instance, Wilder will be in an argument with someone and then all of a sudden they are all laughing it off like nothing happened. And this happened about 90% of the time!!! I’m all for it happening occasionally, but it shouldn’t be used in every single situation. Especially when this situation happened every other page.

The pacing in this book could have been better as well. It was so slow in some parts that I was dragging to continue reading. North didn’t even bring in the supernatural aspect until about half way through the book. Then North barely explained what it all meant and the prophecy they found was all very confusing. Even at the end when it was supposed to have all come together, I have no idea what happened and why.

Overall, this wasn’t a terrible book to read. I wish that the pacing was better and that there was even a little bit of character development. Wilder could have sure used it.

Posted in Young Adult

Eon Review

Eon: Dragoneye Reborn by Alison GoodmanEon

Published: December 26th 2008 by Viking Books for Young Readers

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:

Also Known As: Two Pearls of Wisdom, Eon: Rise of the Dragoneye, and Eon (All the same book just published with different publishers)

Swordplay, dragon magic–and a hero with a desperate secret

Twelve-year-old Eon has been in training for years. His intensive study of Dragon Magic, based on East Asian astrology, involves two kinds of skills: sword-work and magical aptitude. He and his master hope that he will be chosen as a Dragoneye–an apprentice to one of the twelve energy dragons of good fortune.

But Eon has a dangerous secret. He is actually Eona, a sixteen-year-old girl who has been masquerading as a boy for the chance to become a Dragoneye. Females are forbidden to use Dragon Magic; if anyone discovers she has been hiding in plain sight, her death is assured.

When Eon’s secret threatens to come to light, she and her allies are plunged into grave danger and a deadly struggle for the Imperial throne. Eon must find the strength and inner power to battle those who want to take her magic…and her life.

My friend suggested this book to me about 3 years ago, and I finally picked it up and read it even though it has been on my shelf for ages!! At first I couldn’t get into it. I didn’t really like the main character that much and thought she wasn’t being very smart. For the first half of the book, Eon blamed being crippled for everything! And would always look to someone else for guidance. She (being a he) was so annoying I wanted something bad to happen to her!

Even a cornered rabbit will fight with teeth and claws

What drew me to this book (other than being set in Asia) was the fact that the main character was hiding as a male in order to become the possible next dragoneye. (As I think about it it kind of reminds me a little bit of Mulan, and it has dragons in it.) As the story went on, I thought it was kind of ridiculous the lengths that Eon went to keep up the facade. Especially when Eon didn’t know the true name of the Mirror dragon, he decided to take the sun drug to “snuff” out any womaness in him so that the Mirror dragon would appear. He should have realized that every time he did something to make him more Eon and less Eona, that the Mirror dragon would disappear. I couldn’t but help think that if Eon couldn’t see the parallels then maybe he didn’t deserve to be a dragoneye.

When finally finally Eon finds out that the Mirror dragon is in fact female, and that Lady Dela told Eon that the compass was written in woman script, did things start to make sense. After the discovery Eon lashes out at her servant to keep quiet, so of course Lady Dela figures out that Eon is actually a girl (she seems to be the only smart one in the group). Lady Dela and her guard were rightfully mad and I was happy that Eona was getting what she deserved. This is the part of the book that I started to really enjoy it (and unfortunately it was about the last quarter). From this point on everything is happening fast pace. Eona tells the prince (who is now the emperor) that she is a girl, but that she could still protect him. Lord Ido (the villain of the story) started his rampage against the other dragoneyes and starts killing them off one by one. I could go on, but then I would spoil the ending for you.

I found power in accepting the truth of who I am. It may not be a truth that others can accept, but I cannot live any other way. How would it be to live a lie every minute of your life.

Because of all the action in the last part of the book (not to be confused there was a lot of action all throughout) is what really drove up the stars. I was going to give this 3/5 but I enjoyed the ending so much, I gave it an extra star. I hope that the second book goes more smoothly than this one for me. The world building was very lack luster in this book, and it kind of felt like it was more of a second book than the first. Character development was also a bit lacking as well. Eon(a) was pretty flushed out as well as Ido, but the others could have had a little more. The fantasy aspect of this book was phenomenal and was probably the only aspect that I enjoyed all throughout the book!

 

Posted in Young Adult

Truthwitch Book Review

Truthwitch (The Witchlands #1) by Susan Dennardtruthwitch

Published: January 5th 2016 by Tor Teen

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:

On a continent ruled by three empires, some are born with a “witchery,” a magical skill that sets them apart from others.

In the Witchlands, there are almost as many types of magic as there are ways to get in trouble—as two desperate young women know all too well.

Safiya is a Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lie. It’s a powerful magic that many would kill to have on their side, especially amongst the nobility to which Safi was born. So Safi must keep her gift hidden, lest she be used as a pawn in the struggle between empires.

Iseult, a Threadwitch, can see the invisible ties that bind and entangle the lives around her—but she cannot see the bonds that touch her own heart. Her unlikely friendship with Safi has taken her from life as an outcast into one of reckless adventure, where she is a cool, wary balance to Safi’s hotheaded impulsiveness.

Safi and Iseult just want to be free to live their own lives, but war is coming to the Witchlands. With the help of the cunning Prince Merik (a Windwitch and ship’s captain) and the hindrance of a Bloodwitch bent on revenge, the friends must fight emperors, princes, and mercenaries alike, who will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.

Truthwitch (The Witchlands, #1)
 I can’t believe I have this on my shelf for months before I picked it up!!! Although now I wished I waited until my copy of Windwitch arrived in the mail so that I could just binge read them both. Unfortunately, I have to wait until the middle of February before my copy comes in because I pre-ordered another book. =( Lesson learned. One pre-order per order!
Each Well was linked to one of the five elements: Aether, Earth, Water, Wind, or Fire.
This book had all of the elements in a fantasy novel that I love most! It was action packed, had some light romance, magic, and a strong connection of friendship and family. The setting starts off when a 20 year peace treaty is about to end, and there are players who want it to continue and others who want it to end. Somehow, after years of keeping her witchery a secret, everyone seems to know that Safi is a Truthwitch.
It was the circle of perfect motion. Of the light-bringer and dark-giver, the world-starter and shadow-ender. Of initiation and completion.
Since everyone seems to be after Safi because of her powers, you kind of wonder what makes her so special. In the beginning, Safi was just your typical “special” snowflake main character who has a knack for getting herself and Iseult into a lot of trouble. Character wise I didn’t see what was so special about her. Thankfully, though Safi starts seeing the world isn’t all about her and that her actions could have some serious consequences. When Safi started changing about halfway through the book, I started to like her more as a character.
If you wanted to, Safiya, you could bend and shape the world.
The character I liked most in this book was Iseult! She was more level headed and more caring between the two. Iseult seemed to also have more of a backstory in how she got where she was before her and Safi went on the run. The one aspect that bothered me throughout this entire book was how everyone had a prejudice against Iseult, and we were never told why! Everywhere the pair went, someone would always say something insulting to Iseult and the extreme racism bothered me. Hopefully in the second book it will be explained! ::crosses fingers::
An epic fantasy is nothing without the villain! And the Bloodwitch, a mercenary for hire, made a fantastic villain. All he cared about was working for the highest payer, and why he couldn’t smell Iseults blood like everyone else. The premise from the second book sounds like him and Iseult are going to have a very interesting time together tracking down Safi. It seems as if our villain might not be a true villain and those make the most interesting of villains in my opinion!
I would definitely recommend this book if you haven’t had a chance to read it yet! It’s full of political scheming, action packed scenes, and sea monsters! The world building could have been a little bit better, but since there will be about 4 books in the series, I guess we have time for that?

Posted in Young Adult

The Diabolic Review

The Diabolic (The Diabolic #1) by S.J. Kincaidthediabolic

Published: November 1st 2016 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:

Nemesis is a Diabolic. Created to protect a galactic Senator’s daughter, Sidonia. The girl who has grown up by her side and who is as much as sister as a master. There’s no one Nemesis wouldn’t kill to keep her safe. But when the power-mad Emperor summons Sidonia to the galactic court as a hostage, there is only one way for Nemesis to protect Sidonia.

She must become her.

Now one of the galaxy’s most dangerous weapons is masquerading in a world of corruption and Nemesis has to hide her true abilities or risk everything. As the Empire begins to fracture and rebellion looms closer, Nemesis learns that there is something stronger than her deadly force: the one thing she’s been told she doesn’t have – humanity. And, amidst all the danger, action and intrigue, her humanity might be the only thing that can save her, Sidonia and the entire Empire…

The Diabolic (The Diabolic, #1)

Wow. What can I say about this novel by S.J. Kincaid?! This was going to be a standalone novel, personally I think it would have been great it Kincaid ended it there, but it looks like this will be a trilogy. I can see where the author can go to take this into a trilogy, but honestly it was such a great novel that it could stand on its own.

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

At first, I thought that the beginning was very drawn out and kind of boring. The only part I liked about the beginning, was how Nemesis became a diabolic and her transition to being Donia’s protector. After awhile though it starts to pick up and people start dying left and right! There are so many different people plots you have to try to keep track of, you never knew if one was an ally or not! Especially with everyone trying to throw blame at someone else. It kind of reminded me a little bit like The Hunger Games, in the aspect that Nemesis is trying to survive in a place where killing is seen as a sport (but that’s about it comparison wise). Others have said it is similar to Red Queen and I can kind of see it, but if I compared the two, then the plots would basically be the same.

Nemesis is not your typical YA heroine, and I really liked that about her. She is a genetically engineered super human, whose sole purpose is to protect the person that she was bonded to (which in this case is Sidonia). Nemesis has a backbone, isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty, and is very perceptive (well most of the time). She doesn’t second guess herself most of the time and always knows her abilities and limitations.

“Tyrus!” rebuked the Emperor. “What have I told you about killing people?”

“Yes, yes ask you first, Uncle,” grumbled Tyrus, sweeping into a bow. “But in my defense, she was irritating me.”

“Oh, you,” said the Emperor fondly. “She was dead anyway. Why hasten it?”

Tyrus tilted his head up, his pale-lashed blue eyes gleaming, his lips curling up in a lunatic’s smile.

Tyrus on the other hand, is a more than meets the eye type of character. When we are first introduced to him, he is naked in the virtual reality forums and everyone always talks about how crazy he is. When Nemesis meets him in person for the first time  he killed her servitor. You think that he is a crazy mad man who is second in line to the throne. In reality, Tryus is a cunning, deceitful, and very clever man who will do anything to ascend the throne so that he can revolutionize the empire.

Together, they make a very good team. Nemesis proved to herself that she has humanity in her after all, even though Donia had been telling her the entire time that she had one. Tyrus finally had someone that he could trust with all of his secrets. Although the ending had me worried for a second there, and I don’t know if Nemesis made the right choice or not. The explanations seemed a little bit too neat and tidy to not question if something else happened. If this book didn’t already have a lot of back stabbing and conspiracies, I might not have questioned it and took it for face value. I do like that she ended up choosing Tyrus in the end despite everything that happened (well to an extent, I also wouldn’t have mind if she chose herself and walked away from everything but then there wouldn’t be room for a trilogy).

Overall, I enjoyed this book. I would recommend it to fans of dystopian and sci-fi novels. It did take me awhile to get into it, but I am glad that I stuck with it because it does get better!

Posted in Young Adult

Howl’s Moving Castle Book Review

Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Joneshowlsmovingcastle

Howl’s Moving Castle #1

Published: April 22nd 2008 by Greenwillow Books (first published in 1986)

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:

Sophie has the great misfortune of being the eldest of three daughters, destined to fail miserably should she ever leave home to seek her fate. But when she unwittingly attracts the ire of the Witch of the Waste, Sophie finds herself under a horrid spell that transforms her into an old lady. Her only chance at breaking it lies in the ever-moving castle in the hills: the Wizard Howl’s castle. To untangle the enchantment, Sophie must handle the heartless Howl, strike a bargain with a fire demon, and meet the Witch of the Waste head-on. Along the way, she discovers that there’s far more to Howl—and herself—than first meets the eye.

Howl's Moving Castle (Howl's Moving Castle, #1)

I think we ought to live happily ever after.

I honestly did not know that this was a book until a few months ago when my friend mentioned it after I told him I watched the movie for the first time. I can’t believe that this book has been around for nearly 30 years and I just finally read it!! I noticed right away that this was much more involved than the movie was and a lot if interconnecting side plots that came together in the end.

In the land of Ingary where such things as seven-league boots and cloaks of invisibility really exist, it is quite a misfortune to be born the eldest of the three. Everyone knows you are the one who will fail first, and worst, if the three of you set out to seek your fortunes.

Sophie starts off working in her fathers hat shop with her stepmom and sisters. After her father dies, her sisters goes to apprentice somewhere else and leaves Sophie in the hat shop by herself. Sophie has a reason for everything, such as she can’t do a lot of things because she is the eldest and therefore she will be the one to always fail. She brings this up multiple times when something goes wrong or she is blamed for something, and my only complaint is I wish she had another excuse. As the oldest in my family, I didn’t like that she was constantly putting herself down. Although, she does have a lot of character growth by the end and hopefully in the next book she won’t use that as a crutch anymore.

If I give you a hint and tell you it’s a hint, it will be information.

Howl was much more vain and shallow in the books than in the movie. The movie kind of glossed over it, but in the book you could really see all of Howl’s flaws. For a wizard who claims to be very cowardly, he always stepped up when someone was in trouble. Which I thought was very noble of Howl, and almost made up for his other character traits. Almost.

Look. Survey. Inspect. My hair is ruined! I look like a pan of bacon and eggs!

The plot in this book was very fast paced and constantly moving. It seemed as if there were 3 or 4 scenarios going at one time and then at the very end they all came together. The Witch of the Waste was a much more formidable opponent than she was in the movie, and I liked her character a whole lot more. It made more sense for her to put a curse on Sophie than in the movie (maybe I need to go watch the movie again).

Overall, this book was highly entertaining, and I recommend it to everyone!