Review: All the Stars Left Behind

All the Stars Left Behind

by Ashley Graham

(This is a series, but I can’t find any info about it)

Source: Netgalley – Thank you Entangled Teen for the opportunity to read this book. Receiving this book for free in exchange for a review in no way affected my opinion of this book.

Stars: 3.5 out of 5

Description:

Relocating to Arctic Norway would put a freeze on anyone’s social life. For Leda Lindgren, with her crutches and a chip on her shoulder the size of her former Manhattan home, the frozen tundra is just as boring as it sounds. Until she meets her uncle’s gorgeous employee.

Unfortunately, no matter how smoking hot the guy is, Roar comes with secrets as unnerving as his moving tattoos. And Leda doesn’t trust him.

Roar shouldn’t be drawn to the moody human girl with eyes that leave him weak in the knees. But when Leda gets shot by one of his enemies and survives, Roar finally understands why he’s drawn to her: Leda is exactly what he was sent to Earth to find. A weapon of immense power capable of saving his planet.

She just doesn’t know it yet.

Review:

I read this book a while ago, but I had to stop and thinking about it before I could decide how I felt about it. There are a lot of issues that are dealt with like insta-love, not knowing who you are, transgender, loss of a loved one, physical disabilities, and many other things. There was a lot that I liked, but a lot I didn’t like at the same time.  Let’s dig into it.

What I liked:

  • The alien side characters were complex. Interesting with their quirks and personalities.  There was clearly a lot of time spent behind the scenes making them into what they were and the book was better for it.
  • I like how Leda was not perfect. I like that she had physical disability that left it so she had a strong personality that wasn’t going to let that stop her, but at the same time she would occasionally worry about being imperfect and how it would make her feel real.
  • Aliens are just awesome.
  • I loved some of the tech they had. It wasn’t so technical that I couldn’t follow it, but was still cool.

What I didn’t like:

  • Insta-love. Now, it has a purpose here so I can’t totally hate on it, but it wasn’t may favorite either. I just feel like it’s an over done topic. Even though there’s insta-love for a reason, they could have developed the romance a lot more to make it more enjoyable. Gave time for the characters to get to know each other outside of their intense feelings.
  • The description gives too much I think. It describes the book into the second half of the story which is frustrating. I want enough to be enticed, but not so much I know so much.
  • I wish the villains were better developed. I think I would have hated them more if there was more information about them upfront.
  • Was the cover white washed? I’m not sure, so maybe this is nothing, but Leda is described twice as having darker skin and the cover she looks like the same color as Roar, though in its defence, it’s hard to tell with the purple overlay.
  • Also needing to be developed was some of the information that Roar knew. Something would happen and then he would be like, oh the Elders told me something to do with this before. Surprise how it’s different. If we would have had more foreshadowing, this would have made a greater impact.
  • Sometimes things were confusing and I felt the need to reread so I could understand it better. Maybe it was me? But it was frustrating whatever it was.

While I’d say this book isn’t bad, in fact there were parts that were quite enjoyable, it wasn’t one of my favorites. It’s still worth reading if you like sci-fi romances with insta-love. I think if you go into aware of the problems, it’s easier to like.

Have you read this book? What’d you think? If you haven’t read this book, does this sound like something you’d enjoy reading?

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Review: Dragonwatch

Dragonwatch

Fablehaven Adventure #1

by Brandon Mull

Source: Hardback sent from an anonymous person. If it was you–THANK YOU!!!

Stars: 5 out of 5

Warning: This series will make more sense if you first read the Fablehaven series

Description:

In the hidden dragon sanctuary of Wyrmroost, Celebrant the Just, King of the Dragons, plots his revenge. He has long seen the sanctuaries as prisons, and he wants nothing more than to overthrow his captors and return the world to the Age of Dragons, when he and his kind ruled and reigned without borders. The time has come to break free and reclaim his power.

No one person is capable of stopping Celebrant and his dragon horde. It will take the ancient order of Dragonwatch to gather again if there is any chance of saving the world from destruction. In ancient times, Dragonwatch was a group of wizards, enchantresses, dragon slayers, and others who originally confined the majority of dragons into sanctuaries. But nearly all of the original Dragonwatch members are gone, and so the wizard Agad reaches out to Grandpa Sorenson for help.

As Kendra and Seth confront this new danger, they must draw upon all their skills, talents, and knowledge as only they have the ability to function together as a powerful dragon tamer. Together they must battle against forces with superior supernatural powers and breathtaking magical abilities.

How will the epic dragon showdown end? Will dragons overthrow humans and change the world as we know it?

My Review:

So excited that someone sent this to our family! We’ve loved it so much. It came at a perfect time. We were just reading the last book in the Fablehaven series when this arrived at our doorstep–signed!!! So cool. I enjoyed reading it aloud to my children.

What I liked:

  • Kendra is still my favorite main character. She’s just so real. She wants to do what’s good and right, but she’s scared. Doesn’t matter though, she’ll step up and do what needs done. I just love her.
  • Dragons. Need I say more?
  • Knox is so annoying. I like it though. Fits right in, lol.
  • Tess is sweet. I love how she’s obsessed with fairies and is convinced about them even though she doesn’t know the “bugs” actually are them.
  • Like most of the other Fablehaven books, this one is full of adventure keeping us wanting to read more and more instead of just the one chapter a day we usually read aloud with my kids.

What I didn’t like:

  • Seth still needs to use his brain more, but he’s doing better than he used to. I have hope for him in the future that he’ll be able to use his extreme ideas for good instead of stupidity. He did have some good moments in this book. There’s a lot of hope for him.
  • Grandma and Grandpa Larsen never say how they explained to their nonFablehaven family how they came back from the dead. I would have liked to know how they managed that one.
  • I wish Bracken was in the story more. I understand why he wasn’t, but I missed him.
  • I also missed some of the other characters from the last series that didn’t show up in this book. That’s alright. We got to meet some cool new ones.

Although this is kind of a middle grade novel, it’s definitely bordering on YA. One of the main characters is 15 and has an almost boyfriend. I think YA topics are bound to start coming up.

Needless to say, both I and my children loved this book. We are sad we have to wait for other ones to come out, but know it will be worth the wait. This is a great book for anyone that’s read the Fablehaven series. And if you haven’t read it yet, you should pick it up if you like fantasy/adventure books.

Review: Cage of Darkness

Cage of Darkness

Reign of Secrets #2

by Jennifer Anne Davis

Source: Purchased eBook

Stars: 4 out of 5

Warning: May contain spoilers if you haven’t read the first book!

Description:

While traveling to Fren, Allyssa and Odar are hijacked by a ruthless assassin who divulges a stunning secret that changes everything.

Trying to come to terms with this newfound revelation, Allyssa is taken to Russek and delivered into the hands of a malicious and twisted royal family. She finds herself an unwilling pawn in a risky political game that will either end with her death or the annihilation of her beloved kingdom. Unsure of where the lies end and the truth begins, she must survive the brutal family and escape the fortified castle, all the while coming to grips with her feelings for Odar.

In a kingdom filled with darkness, Allyssa enters a game where one wrong move means death, secrets hide around each corner, and it will take every ounce of cunning she has to survive.

My Review:

It’s hard to think about how I feel about this book. It’s complicated. The last quarter had me feeling all sorts of emotions. It was very well done. The rest of it was good too, but not as good as the first book or ending.

“She’d always played the part of the dedicated princess. The Russek court was no different. Allyssa was just playing a different part in the game this time. And this was one game she couldn’t lose.”

What I liked:

  • Allyssa is tough as steel in this book. Sure, she was tough in the last book, but in this one she has to face some horrendous things that would leave most people weak and giving up, but she resolves to stick up to what she knows is right no matter how hard it is.
  • Kerdan was a fascinating character in both good and bad ways. I wasn’t surprised with what happened with him in end, but still really enjoyed his character throughout the novel.
  • There’s a lot of angst in this book, which I really enjoyed. I liked following all the action and plot along as it went.
  • Soma. Gak! He’s such a bad character in a great way. He made me feel like I needed to take a shower. Poor Allyssa having to deal with him.
  • Russek has some good world building. It’s different than what Allyssa is used to and made for a cold read.
  • Not gonna lie. I cried. Always a sign of a well written book.

What I didn’t like:

  • Prince Odar. Sad to say. I really liked him in the first book, but this time around, he’s not around much. And then how he acts at the end of the book, just gah! Couldn’t take it.
  • For the series being named Reign of Secrets, there wasn’t much secret to me. The twists were all expected. I suppose they were secret to Allyssa, but I found it an easy guess. Maybe I was just really in tune with the book? I know others said they thought it was surprising, so…?

“The crown used to feel heavy—like a cage tying her to her destiny. Now, without it, she felt naked and yearned for the one thing she’d fought so hard to break free from.”

This book goes by its title and is really dark. Torture and violence. Just an FYI.

While I didn’t like this book as much as the first, I still loved this book so hard. It’s an awesome, gritty book that left me feeling gutted–in a good way. I can’t wait for November for the third book in the series. I would highly recommend this series for anyone that likes YA fantasy that turns a little gritty.

Review: Cage of Deceit

Cage of Deceit

Reign of Secrets #1

by Jennifer Anne Davis

Source: Bought ebook

Stars: 4.5 our of 5

Description:

Sixteen-year-old Allyssa appears to be the ideal princess of Emperion–she’s beautiful, elegant, and refined. She spends her days locked in a suffocating cage, otherwise known as the royal court. But at night, Allyssa uses her secret persona–that of a vigilante–to hunt down criminals and help her people firsthand.

Unfortunately, her nightly escapades will have to wait because the citizens of Emperion may need saving from something much bigger than common criminals. War is encroaching on their kingdom and in order to protect her people, Allyssa may have to sacrifice her heart. Forced to entertain an alliance through marriage with a handsome prince from a neighboring kingdom, she finds herself feeling even more stifled than before. To make matters worse, the prince has stuck his nosy squire, Jarvik, to watch her every move.

Jarvik is infuriating, bossy and unfortunately, the only person she can turn to when she unveils a heinous plot. Together, the unlikely pair will have to work together to stop an enemy that everyone thought was long gone, one with the power to destroy her family and the people of Emperion. Now the cage Allyssa so longed to break free from might just be the one thing she has to fight to keep intact. In order to save her kingdom, she will have to sacrifice her freedom, her heart, and maybe even her life.

Review:

First, I fell in love with the cover, then I read the synopsis and knew I wanted to read this book. I’m sure glad that I did. I enjoyed it thoroughly. Warning: It ends in a cliffhanger. No HEA for this book, but there are more to come.

“I’m afraid you’re locked in this cage of deceit with me. When you break free, you’re going to hate me.”

Things I liked:

  • Allyssa is a great character. She’s strong and has room to grow. I really liked following her story along the way. There were a few times when I felt like she kept complaining about being in her “cage” too much, but it got the point across. She’s a tough chick that’s willing to do what’s right even when it’s hard to do.
  • Grevik is awesome. I wish there was more of him in the book. He is a great friend. And I so want to say more, but–my lips are sealed!
  • Jarvik. Oh Jarvik. He’s surly and ornery in all the right ways.
  • Allyssa’s parents were interesting characters. I want to go back and read their stories now after reading this book. They took really good care of their daughter, keeping her feelings in mind and loving her.
  • The romance is a slow building burn that I totally feel for and was rooting on the entire time.
  • After the initial beginning, it’s fast paced and kept me glued the entire time. I finished it in one sitting and am anxious for more!

Things I didn’t like:

  • It took a little bit to get in to. It ended up being fine because what you learn in the beginning makes a difference down the road, but it was still a little slow moving at first.
  • The big twist at the end of the book, I had it guessed right off the bat. Usually, this bugs me, but with this book, it was interesting to see what was going on knowing what I did.
  • There were a couple conversations that got started but never finished. I couldn’t figure out a good reason for it other than as a plot device. If something is that important, you don’t let things get in the way of telling your daughter/girl you love. Nuh-uh. You say what you gotta.

“She was a princess, elegant, refined, and all that the position implied. At least, that was she kept telling herself. Because, truth be told, she hated being stuck in this cage, playing this game.”

Despite the difficulty, I think I managed to stay spoiler free, lol. Seriously, there’s so much I want to talk about but can’t without ruining it for someone. So go read the book so I can! I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys YA fantasy.

Review: Prince of the Moon

Prince of the Moon

Stella and Sol #2

by Kimberly Loth

Source: Purchased eBook

Stars: 3.5 out of 5

Description:

Zwaantie enters Stella with only one goal—find Phoenix and run away. Only she discovers that Phoenix has disappeared—without her.

Stella is unlike anything Zwaantie has ever experienced. From the bright lights to the moving pictures, it’s all overwhelming. The moment she steps foot in the country she wants only one thing—to go home.

Her plans go awry when Leo reveals to her the real reason he needs to marry her—to thwart an awful prophecy and save his sister’s baby from the flesh eating monsters. Not only that, but the Voice has somehow followed her into Stella and wants her dead. She can’t go home.

Trapped in a world where her every move is on display, engaged to a man she doesn’t love, and with death around every corner, Zwaantie seeks solace in newfound friends and magic she never believed possible.

Will Zwaantie rise as the powerful princess she should be and do the right thing or will she forsake all for her own happiness?

My Review:

I liked this book, just not as much as I hoped I would. There were some good things, but there were some things that I had a problem with. Maybe it was just me though.

A little warning for those of you who are concerned about sexual content. This book doesn’t have anything graphic in it, but there are repeated talks of premarital sex and multiple partners.

Things I liked:

  • The world-building is awesome! I loved it so much. Especially compared to Sol, Stella was a fascinating mix of always night and magic. It was well done.
  • This will contradict a point I have below, but at one point Zwaantie was really strong. She took charge and made things happen that possibly saved two lives. I just wish she could have been more like this through the rest of the book.
  • Sage is a really cool character. I wish we actually got to see her kick some butt like I know she can. She’s a little quirky which is always fun to see, but she cares too which I like about her.
  • The vipers were a nice touch. I liked the development of them in the book. They would totally freak me out in real life, lol!

Things I didn’t like:

  • Zwaantie was a little whiny in this book. She was always talking about what she didn’t like and what she couldn’t have. Now, I know she was coming from a hard situation, but I just wanted her to be like, this sucks–now what am I going to do about it? I wanted her to face the hardness and take it on instead of mostly complaining about it.
  • Like the last book, it’s a little short. I was expecting it this time so it didn’t bother me as much, but I still wanted more descriptions to make the story longer.
  • Twists weren’t very twisty. I saw them coming so, yeah. Never a happy thing.
  • The romance was lacking. I wanted more and from a different source than it came from. I guess I’m all right with where it’s going, but it’s kind of hard when it’s thrown in book two with no warning in book one as to what direction it’s going to take.
  • All the deaths/missing persons happens from afar. I would have liked to have seen it up close so we could be more invested in it.
  • The end was very abrupt. I should have guessed it from the last book, but it’s really annoying having it cut off out of no where.

Despite my problems with the book, I’m eager for the next book which comes out in May. I think it will be better than this one if several of my guesses about where it’s headed are correct. There’s enough invested in the story that I want to know more. I just hope Zwaantie is ready to be a strong character. I would recommend this book to anyone who read the first books and wants to continue the series, or for YA Fantasy lovers that want some quick reads to pick up the first book and then this one.

Have you read this book? What did you think? Do you have plans to start the series?

Review: Fablehaven Series

Fablehaven

The Complete Series

by Brandon Mull

5 out of 5 stars

Source: Hardback from the Library

Description:

Series includes Fablehaven, Rise of the Evening Star, Grip of the Shadow Plague, Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary, and Keys to the Demon Prison.

Review:

It’s taken a while to get through this entire series, mostly because I read it out loud to my kids. I don’t usually take to MG books, but these are one of the few exceptions. I thoroughly enjoyed joining on the adventures with Kendra and Seth.

“Being butchered by monkeys is pretty low on my list of ways to go.”

What I liked:

  • Kendra. She’s a good main character. I like how she’s uncertain about things and nervous to try scary things, but does them anyway. She’s brave in a very real way.
  • The action. Once it gets going, it’s a ride that takes you on a great journey that I always found myself wanting more of.
  • Brandon Mull does a great job with details. There’s things in earlier books that tie into later books perfectly. I love how they all come together.
  • The characters have depth, not just the main characters, Kendra and Seth, but the other characters too. There’s a lot to them, sometimes more than you would guess.
  • The magical creatures are awesome! A lot of them are familiar in some way or another, but they’re made perfectly for this series.
  • The fourth and fifth books are my favorite! They are incredibly good! Even though the fifth book is gigantic, it’s hard to put down. My kids were always asking for “one more chapter.”
  • After the first book, it’s a fast moving series. You’re constantly jumping from one adventure to the next in a very real, good way.

What I didn’t like:

  • The first book is a little slow, but worth plowing through to get to the other books.
  • Seth’s stupidity drove me nuts! I was always groaning over his choices. Of course, without some of his choices, the plot wouldn’t be what it is. Despite that, I hope in the new Fablehaven Adventure series he’s a little less rash.
  • That it ended. lol! Really though, I’m so excited that he decided to write a follow up series because I enjoyed this one so much. Just wish I didn’t have to wait so long between releases of them all.

“Was life like that? You could look ahead to the future or back at the past, but the present moved too quickly to absorb.”

I really enjoyed this series, and my kids did as well. It was one we could easily enjoy together. I highly recommend this book to people who love fantasy. Whether or not you’re a middle grade reader or not, I think you’ll find something to enjoy about this series.

Have you read any books in this series? What did you think? Do you plan to read any books in the series? Do you usually like MG novels?

Review: Hunted

Hunted

by Meagan Spooner

Stars: 4 out of 5

Source: Won from Shanah from Bionic Book Worm

She has an awesome blog! If you haven’t already checked it out, you definitely should.

Description:

Beauty knows the Beast’s forest in her bones—and in her blood. Though she grew up with the city’s highest aristocrats, far from her father’s old lodge, she knows that the forest holds secrets and that her father is the only hunter who’s ever come close to discovering them.

So when her father loses his fortune and moves Yeva and her sisters back to the outskirts of town, Yeva is secretly relieved. Out in the wilderness, there’s no pressure to make idle chatter with vapid baronessas…or to submit to marrying a wealthy gentleman. But Yeva’s father’s misfortune may have cost him his mind, and when he goes missing in the woods, Yeva sets her sights on one prey: the creature he’d been obsessively tracking just before his disappearance.

Deaf to her sisters’ protests, Yeva hunts this strange Beast back into his own territory—a cursed valley, a ruined castle, and a world of creatures that Yeva’s only heard about in fairy tales. A world that can bring her ruin or salvation. Who will survive: the Beauty, or the Beast?

Review:

In this beauty and the beast retelling, I felt like it was almost more philosophic than romantic as I’m used to it. I still enjoyed reading the story though. The writing was well done and Yeva’s story kept me engaged.

“I will call you Beauty, for that is what you are.”

What I liked:

  • Asenka, Yeva’s sister. There’s something about her that really drew me. I wouldn’t mind reading her story even though it’s pretty much wrapped up in this book. She was an interesting character that left me wanting to get in her head.
  • There are little notes from the beast in between certain chapters, and I really enjoyed reading these. The insights into his thought process was engaging.
  • Yeva is tough and has great skills with the bow and arrow that grow through the book. I didn’t felt like her character changed much through the book though, just her skill set.
  • Yeva’s father. I really liked him and the thoughts Yeva has of him. The quotes she thinks of are always good ones and help tie the story together nicely.
  • The setting was well done, what with all the winter surroundings. The snow and crisp winter air were well described. Made me want to go crunch some snow underfoot. Luckily, it’s spring so it’s actually nice and warm after I got done reading parts of this chilling read.

What I didn’t like:

  • The romance was minimal. It’s the biggest reason I knocked off a star. The book was much more about Yeva and her journey than her falling in love. With a description that it has, it shouldn’t be a surprise, but it still had me wanting more from the love department.
  • The pacing was mostly good, but there were a few spots I found myself able to put the book down and not have a pressing need to come back to it. That’s never a good sign, but despite this, I still really enjoyed the read.
  • I thought there would be more to the end. Once it gets there, everything is rushed through. If it was a problem of the book being too long, there were some other spots I felt like could have been cut or shortened from the book to be able to lengthen the end.

“She moves like beauty, she whispers to us of wind and forest—and she tells us stories, such stories that we wake in the night, dreaming dreams of a life long past. she reminds us of what we used to be.

She reminds us of what we could be.”

All in all an enjoyable read. Also, I forgot to mention, I liked the cover, then I received the book in person and it’s even prettier. All shinny and what not. Fits well with the setting inside the book. Anyway, I would recommend this for someone who wants a different take on Beauty and the Beast without a lot of romance.

Have you read this book? What did you think? Do you want to read this book? Why?

Review: Heir of Illaria

Heir of Illaria

The Illaria Series #1

by Dyan Chick

Source: Bought ebook

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Description:

In Illaria, there is a fate worse than death.

As long as I can remember, I’ve been taught to fear the Necromancer King. He controls the kingdom of Illaria with dark sorcery and the constant threat of his undead army. I never thought I’d have reason to cross his path. Everything changed the day his guards tried to kill me. That’s when I found out my whole life has been a lie. By joining a resistance group called the White Ravens, I’ve claimed new roles. Princess of Illaria, sorceress in training, and threat to the Necromancer King.

Review:

Doesn’t that first line of the blurb just grab you? It totally did me. I found this book from Teacher of YA. She has some great reviews, so if you’re not already following her, you should be!

I really enjoyed this book! Was it perfect? No, but then no book is. With how much I enjoyed the book, I was easily able to overlook any minor problems I had with it.

What I liked:

  • The cover is gorgeous! I totally love it!
  • Wilona’s character growth is great. At the beginning of the book she bugged me a little, but it totally fit her personality and where she was coming from. Then as the book progressed, so did she. It was fun watching her grow.
  • The action scenes were fun to read!
  • I love the world Dyan Chick created. It was a creepy world, one I wouldn’t want to spend any time in until it got fixed up, but perfect to read about.
  • I enjoyed Wilona’s love interest. He was there without being too much or too little.
  • The magic was interesting to read about. I wanted a little more explanation about it, but I’m sure that will come in later books. I liked seeing the growth of magic throughout the book.
  • Saffron. Can I just say she kicks butt? But there’s more to her than just being a tough chick. I really enjoyed her character.

What I didn’t like:

  • My biggest complaint is that the book moved too fast. That’s why I knocked off a star. I wanted more time with everything, but it rushed by so swiftly, I had a hard time keeping up with it. It does make for a quick read though. More details would have really made it.
  • The ending. *Spoiler Warning* I wanted to know why the villain thought his plan would work. Why did he think Wilona would agree to marry him? Totally didn’t get that, and I wanted a clearer explanation of what was going through his mind.  I know that he had her grandmother brought back from the dead, but that didn’t seem like enough of a reason for me. *End of Spoiler Warning*

Overall, this was a great book. An excellent debut novel! I highly recommend it to any YA Fantasy lover that wants a quick read.

Have you read the book? What did you think? Do you have plans to read the book? What interests you about it?

Review: Endure

Endure

Defy #3

by Sara B. Larson

BEWARE! Even the description is a spoiler!

Description:

At last, Alexa and King Damian are engaged to be married. But their lives are far from safe. The kingdom of Antion is under siege, and Rylan is a prisoner of the enemy. Even worse, Alexa remains at the mercy of the evil Dansiian Rafe, who controls her mind and can force Alexa to kill or harm Damian at any moment. Despite this, Alexa is determined to rescue Rylan, which soon leads her far from Damian and deep into enemy territory.

When she arrives, what awaits her is deadlier than anything she could have ever imagined: an army of black sorcerers and a horrifying plot to destroy the world as Alexa knows it. Will she be able to gather the strength to free herself, protect the love of her life, and save the land? Will there ever be true peace?

Acclaimed author Sara B. Larson has woven a stunning, romantic, and evocative finale to the Defy trilogy that is sure to leave readers breathless until the very last page.

Review:

I so wanted to like this book, but it wasn’t meant to be. After the last book, I had high hopes for this one, but they weren’t realized. I had a problem with one decision that spiraled into the plot for the entire book, ruining it for me. Someone else that wasn’t upset with the decision may have enjoyed the book better than I.

“Above us, the sky was an endless expanse of velvety black, with millions of stars spreading like glittering diamonds spilled across the dark canvas.”

What I liked about this book:

  • The epilogue. I really like what the author did with the end. It turned out good for me.
  • If I hadn’t had a problem with the decision, the middle would have been very intense, full of all sorts of angst and worry. I think it was very well done.
  • Some of the writing was just pretty

 

What I didn’t like about the book:

  • That decision I mentioned earlier, yeah, it was thoughtless and stupid. Alexa didn’t really think things through, she just jumped in not realizing it that it would have been a bad idea not matter how you looked at it. The problem is, this ended up being the basis for the entire plot. Frowny face. I think the author could have taken it in a direction that I would have liked better, but still stayed true to the story.
  • There wasn’t enough romance. Damian just wasn’t in the book as much as I wanted and it was kind of a bummer.
  • The cover. I know, superficial of me, but I liked the other covers. Something about this one seemed off. Like it was almost cartoonish. I know others like it, but it just didn’t do it for me.
  • There was something never explained about why the villain wanted Alexa. I mean, they gave a reason, but we never found out if that reason was true or not. I would have liked to know and not just guessed at it.
  • The end. Sigh. Spoiler Warning: Alexa only sorta ended the battle with the King. I mean, she killed him, yay her! But the real fight with all the black sorcerers and everything with the King being killed was able to happen because of the Unseen power giving it to them. I just wanted to see more of the people overcoming this and not have it magically taken care of. Also, why we have to spoiler warning here, why didn’t Alexa ever tell Damina Rafe had power over her. It was just silly that she didn’t. No reason for it. *Spoiler over* -Note: if you want to read the spoiler, just highlight the section of text.

“I am Damian, the king of Antion, and no one will ever take someone I love from me again and live.”

I hate not giving more positive things about this book, but it just wasn’t there for me. Honestly, after reading the last book, I would not recommend this series. On the other hand, lots of people didn’t seem to have the same problems as me reading it. There’s some great reviews out there of it. So if you’re a fan of YA fantasy, this may just be the series for you.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Source: Library

Review: Descendants

Descendants

Book #1 of the Arete Series

by Rae Else

Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars

Source: NetGalley – This in no way affects my review. I still provide an honest opinion

Description:

There are lots of stories about the children of gods. But what about those cursed by the gods, and their descendants…

El, a seventeen-year-old has inherited an ancient and deadly power. She loses control of it, causing a horrific accident, and becomes the prey of a secret organisation, known as the Order.

Forced from her family and home, she hides in plain sight amidst the crowds of London, and is thrust into a world she never knew existed; one full of arete: beings with extraordinary powers like hers.

Arete are beings that can trace their lineage and powers from ancient Greece. They do not claim their inheritance comes from the gods, rather legend says they are descended from cursed beings, such as Medusa.

At the heart of their world is the kerykeion, the symbol that protects them from the humans and the humans from them. El is trapped between two factions, one that has built an empire around the kerykeion and another that is determined to bring it down.

As she is drawn deeper into the conflict, the only way to find the truth is to take matters into her own hands, and the line between friend and foe becomes dangerously blurred.

Review:

This one I picked out because I really liked the sound of being Medusa’s descendant. I thought it could have some really cool tricks up its sleeve. Unfortunately, for me it just didn’t work out quite as well as I hoped.

Things I liked:

  • I enjoyed the world building. In parts, it could have been described better, but you could tell the author had a deep and thorough world built.
  • I liked El’s grandma, though I wish we would have got to know her better.
  • The idea of having powers of control over people is the basis for a really cool thought. Just wish it had been explored more.

Things I didn’t like:

  • The start is rather abrupt. It would have benefited from some introduction to the world. And as the story progressed, the more I wanted that little bit of introduction at the beginning to tie things together. There were parts of the story that she looked back on that if we would have seen in the first place, would have really made it a lot cooler.
  • When El is introduced to the world, she doesn’t ask any questions. We go through two long drives without her saying anything. Sometimes she thinks a question, but she doesn’t say it aloud.
  • I wish El was stronger. I’m good with tears, but she had a lot of tears. I wanted to see her become a kick butt character. To have her grow through the story, but there wasn’t much of that. Just a lot of crying when things went bad.
  • I didn’t like the good guys or the bad guys. No one in this story was someone I would want to side with. I like that they weren’t perfect, but it’s like they didn’t care that they weren’t perfect. They didn’t want to try and be better. One scene in particular with the “good” guys had me wondering what was wrong with them
  • The characters didn’t have much depth. There were a few twists and turns, but without real depth, it was hard to care about them.
  • The romance was almost non exsitant. What was there was an almost love triangle. I don’t know it was hard to tell because there wasn’t a lot of details which brings me to…
  • The whole book was lacking in details. We jumped from one thing to the next that there was hardly time to feel anything.

Overall, this book just need more time in the cooker I think. I doubt I will read more in the series, but I would be willing to give the author another chance once she’s gotten more books under her belt. I think she has a lot of potential with her world building and basic story idea. I would recommend this book for someone who like YA urban fantasy, and who wants a quick read without all the details explained.