Monday, February 6, 2017

Closing Blogs

Since no one seem to visit my blog, I decided to only post reviews on Goodreads now. It's my senior year in college and I nee to focus on Senior Project, so I will do shorter reviews mostly.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The Black Key by Amy Ewing

Series: The Lone City (bk. 3) final book

Genera(s): Dystopian Fantasy/Sci-fi/Romance

Subjects: royalty, classes, pregnancy, surrogates, slavery, abilities, love

Setting: The Lone City, and the middle sector of the city, The Jewel

POV/Tense: 1st person POV, present tense: Violet Lasting

Age/Grade Level: Teen

Length: 295 pgs.

HC/PB: Hardcover

List Price: $17.99

Publisher: HarperTeen

Summary/ product description: “For too long, Violet and the people of the outer circles of the Lone City have lived in service to the royalty of the Jewel. But now the secret society known as the Black Key is preparing to seize power.

And while Violet knows she is at the center of this rebellion, she has a more personal stake in it—her sister, Hazel, has been taken by the Duchess of the Lake. Now, after fighting so hard to escape the Jewel, Violet must do everything in her power to return to save not only Hazel, but the future of the Lone City.”

My Review:  The Black Key is the epic finale to the Lone City trilogy. What started in The Jewel and continued in the White Rose now comes to a close. If you have not read The Jewel, I recommend the series to people who like YA Dystopias and Fantasy. Fans of The Selection by Kiera Cass, Crewel by Gennifer Albin, Divergent by Veronica Roth, Bumped by Megan McCafferty, The Red Queen by Victoria Avyard, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski, A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess, Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige, Pawn by Aimee Carter, Defiance by C.J. Redwine and Incarnate by Jodi Meadows.

When Violet finds out that the Duchess of the Lake kidnapped her sister Hazel to replace her as surrogate, Violet comes up with a plan to disguise herself as a lady-in-waiting to help rescue her sister. The rebel group known as the Black Key has a greater plan in store and the big day in the next Auction Day and Violet keeps on eye on her sister and what’s going on in the palace while she plays the new lady-in-waiting for Coral, Garnet’s new wife. Garnet is part of the plan and “hires” Violet for Coral, even thought his mother has denied any lady-in-waiting that Coral selected.

Meanwhile Ash Lockwood, Violet’s love-interest in the story and former companion (like a male escort) of Carnelian (Garnet’s cousin), is gathering other companions to help with the cause of the Back Key. Lucien, a male lady-in-waiting for the Electress, also plays a huge role in all this since he’s the basically the brains of the whole operation.

I really enjoyed this finale. My only complaint is there isn’t enough romance in it, but the awesome elemental magic abilities make for it. I really enjoy dystopian and fantasy stories that have a character in disguise for some sort of revolution. This happens in Pawn by Aimee Carter, The Red Queen by Victoria Avyard and Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige. It’s not exactly royal-espionage, but in this one it felt like it.

I loved elemental powers. It reminds me of the show W.I.T.C.H. with the guardians, and a book I recently read, A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess. Violet went from a poor surrogate to a bad-A Paladin! She used the Auguries to change her hair from black to blond and eye from violet to green, which was painful for her, but she did it for her sister. She was like Katniss fighting the Royals instead of the Capital.

I really adored the world building of this series. The Lone city has five circles, kind of like a Caste system in the Selection series, from highest to lowest: The Jewel, The Bank, The Smoke, The Farm, and the Marsh. There’s certain naming conventions I noticed for people from each place. The Jewel’s Royals are named after gemstones and mineral, The Bank seemed to be luxurious items, The Smoke were named after periodic table elements and industrial materials, The Farm people were named after plants and animal, and the Marsh people were named after color, for attributes like hair, eyes and skin. The Marsh names was something that took a while to figure out.

An overall great finale. I will miss the series and I hope to read what Amy Ewings writes next: The Cerulean (a space fantasy book?).

Cover Art Review: Lovely cover. Looks like shattered glass around the girl in the dress.

Monday, December 12, 2016

The Flame Never Dies by Rachel Vincent

Series: Well of Souls (bk. 2) Duology likely, final book

Genera(s): Dystopian/Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy

Subjects: supernatural, demons, demonology, exorcists, abilities, magic, souls, possession

Setting: Badlands of Oklahoma?, Kansas, Colorado

POV/Tense: 1st person, past tense: Nina Kane

Age/Grade Level: Teen

Length: 342 pgs.

HC/PB: Hardcover

List Price: $17.99

Summary/ product description: “Nina Kane was born to be an exorcist. And since uncovering the horrifying truth—that the war against demons is far from over—seventeen-year-old Nina and her pregnant younger sister, Mellie, have been on the run, incinerating the remains of the demon horde as they go.

In the badlands, Nina, Mellie, and Finn, the fugitive and rogue exorcist who saved her life, find allies in a group of freedom fighters. They also face a new threat: Pandemonia, a city full of demons. But this fresh new hell is the least of Nina’s worries. The well of souls ran dry more than a century ago, drained by the demons secretly living among humans, and without a donor soul, Mellie’s child will die within hours of its birth.

Nina isn’t about to let that happen…even if it means she has to make the ultimate sacrifice.”

My Review:  The Flame Never Dies is the sequel to The Stars Never Rise. The author had said this is a duology, so I guess this was the final book. I feel like this series could have been longer. The author’s Soul Screamers series lasted seven books, but a trilogy would have been nice at least.

If you have not read this series I recommend it to those who enjoyed The Demon Trapper’s Daughter series, Incarnate by Jodi Meadows, Unbreakable by Kami Garcia and urban fantasy books.

It’s written in first person point of view and the main character Nina Kane is a natural born exorcist. She can send demons back to Hell with the holy fire she can conjure from her hands. Demon eat the souls of those they posses and when exorcised the host body dies because there is nothing to occupy the body and there’s a bid burning hole in the chest. If a demon is in a body too long it starts to degenerate and become twisted. If you have not read the first book, then spoilers are ahead.

Nina, Melanie, Maddox, Finn, Devi, Reese, Grayson, and Anabelle are in the badlands (not the South Dakota one, but Oklahoma or Kansas) trying to survive, hiding from the Church. In the previous book Nina discovered the Church was ran by demons and that her mother was a demon possessing a human body. Nina is public enemy number one and a demon named Kastor wants her as a host.

Finn, a soul who doesn’t have a corporeal form, is possessing a guard temporarily. Nina is in love with Finn, no matter what body he’s in. Melanie is still pregnant and due in about a month, and since souls are hard to come by, it’s possible the baby won’t last an hour after it’s born. Nina plans on sacrificing her own soul for the baby if it comes to it.

The something unexpected happens that changes everything and sets Nina on a course for revenge and for an even more meaningful sacrifice. Can she and her friends save humanity from the demons who are destroying it?

So, this was a great sequel. I wish it was longer or that there was a third book. I really love it when there’s an interesting cast of characters, but I feel like some of them were under-used. I wanted more dialogue from them. And I wanted more romance. Despite that, it was a good sequel. Action and paranormal stuff and cool discoveries and scary twists. I enjoy the way Rachel Vincent writes. She has complex narrators that face terrible dilemmas, interesting love interests (both Todd and Finn were incorporeal most of the time), interesting world building and humor. I will miss the characters.

There was a moment I considered this being set in the same world as Soul Screamers, but in the future and that the demons were hellions, since both could posses people, but the demons in this book don’t have a natural shape in Hell, and the hellions did in the Netherworld. So that theory didn’t last long.

Cover Art Review: Beautiful cover. Too bad it’s not metallic. I love the feather, but there are no angels in this book. The title treatment is cool.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

A Million Worlds With You by Claudia Gray

Series: Firebird Trilogy (bk. 3) final book

Genera(s): Sci-fi/Romance

Subjects: multiverse, parallel universes, science, love

Setting: In multiple parallel universes

POV/Tense: 1st person POV, present tense: Marguerite Caine

Age/Grade Level: Teen

Length: 419 pgs.

HC/PB: Hardcover

List Price: $17.99

Publisher: HarperTeen

Summary/ product description: “A million universes. A million dangers. One destiny.

The fate of the multiverse rests in Marguerite Caine’s hands. Marguerite has been at the center of a cross-dimensional feud since she first traveled to another universe using her parents’ invention, the Firebird. Only now has she learned the true plans of the evil Triad Corporation—and that those plans could spell doom for dozens or hundreds of universes, each facing total annihilation.

Paul Markov has always been at Marguerite’s side, but Triad’s last attack has left him a changed man—angry and shadowed by tragedy. He struggles to overcome the damage done to him, but despite Marguerite’s efforts to help, Paul may never be the same again.

So it’s up to Marguerite alone to stop the destruction of the multiverse. Billions of lives are at stake. The risks have never been higher. And Triad has unleashed its ultimate weapon: another dimension’s Marguerite—wicked, psychologically twisted, and always one step ahead.

In the epic conclusion to Claudia Gray’s Firebird trilogy, fate and family will be questioned, loves will be won and lost, and the multiverse will be forever changed. It’s a battle of the Marguerites . . . and only one can win.”

My Review:  A Million Worlds with You is the final book in the Firebird trilogy. If you have not read this series then I recommend it to fans of series and book including: Parallel by Lauren Miller, Tandem by Anna Jarzeb, 3:59 by Gretchen McNeil, The False Memory Series by Dan Krokos, Unraveling and Unbreakable by Elizabeth Norris, Unremembered and Unforgotten by Jessica Brody.

It’s about parallel universes and traveling between them. Marguerite in an artist and her parent a physicist that built a device called the Firebird that a necklace that lets you consciousness travel into another version of you. Marguerite is in love with a young scientist named Paul who’s a grad student working under her parents. There’s another student named Theo. Marguerite has a sister named Josie, and there’s also the rich CEO Wyatt Conly, who is Josie’s fiancé in other universes.

In this final book Marguerite chases after the evil version of herself she call Wicked. Wicked is from the Home Office universe that’s very advanced. Josie, who was the perfect traveler from her universe, was splinted into many pieced, and parts of her are in other Josies. They plan on destroying the other universes to put her back together. In the previous book Paul was splintered, but only in four pieces, which only took a Firebird to put him back together. Paul is still damaged from this experience and even through Marguerite love him, he believe he is still dangerous and pushes her away.

This book is an epic saga of travel between dimensions. Wicked tries to kill the other Marguerites in ways that are slow so when our Marguerite jumps into them, she might die too. From futuristic London to an Egyptian dig to outerspace and so on. So many different Marguerites. Paul says there’s a way to prevent the destruction of a universe and builds stabilizers to save some, but it’s not easy. Can Marguerite, her family, Paul and Theo save the multiverse from the Home Office, or will someone have to make the ultimate sacrifice?

I was very pleased with this book. Like the whole series, it was so exciting I really didn’t want to put it down, but school and work go in the way, so I had to. This is best read when there’s nothing else going on, like on a snow day or something. This is probably one the best sci-fi series I’ve read. I’m going to miss it so much.

Cover Art Review: I love these cover so much. The watercolor is gorgeous, the skylines flipped are so cool. Very sophisticated typography too.