Friday, June 23, 2017

Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi (Star-Touched Queen Series - Bk 2)

Crown of Wishes
by Roshani Chokshi
367 pages
Published by St. Martin's Griffin

Plot: After Guari, the princess of Bharata, is betrayed by her own brother, she is banished to Ujijain where she is a held prisoner and sentenced to death.  Refusing to give up, Guari accepts the offer of Prince Vikram of Ujijain to be his partner in the mysterious and magical Tournament of Wishes.  If Guari and Vikram win, they will each be granted a wish, which is what Guari desperately needs in order to save her kingdom from her brother and ensure the safety of her best friend Nalini.  She'll do whatever it takes, even it means working with the enemy.  But the trials of the Tournament of Wishes starts as soon as you accept the invitation, and at every turn Guari and Vikram are constantly challenged and running for their lives.  But obtaining victory in the tournament is nothing compared to the growing feelings they start to feel for each other.  And to Guari, that is more dangerous than anything she's ever faced before. With the unpredictable Lord of Treasures not guaranteeing that both of them will be able to leave after the tournament is over, Guari and Vikram come up with a backup plan.  But, taking the Serpent King's venom is not without it's consequences, and you can't win a wish if you are dead.

Review: Crown of Wishes has everything you could want in a story.  Suspense, action, romance, and absolutely gorgeous storytelling.  I am in awe of Roshani Chokshi.  Her writing is like poetry and you can't help but think what an amazing writer she is!  I loved the story, loved the characters, and just pretty much loved everything about this book.  It is actually book 2, in the Star-Touched series.  Book 1 is the Star-Touched Queen, which I must admit I have not read yet! But, I do have it now and will be reading it soon! I received a drc of Crown of Wishes and so I read it first.  You do not have to read them in order.  Each book is it's own story.  I loved the gradual romance between Guari and Vikram.  Both are strong characters with a lot of depth to them.  You can't help but love Guari's resilience and Vikram's charm.  Clean Y.A. Romance/Fantasy and recommended for ages 14 and up!

*Received a DRC for an honest review.

Rating:  💖💖💖💖💖

Rise of Fire by Sophie Jordan

Rise of Fire
by Sophie Jordan
294 pages
Published by Harper Teen

Plot: After Fowler is taken by the Dwellers, Luna goes down in the underground after him and what she finds is even more terrifying than anything she's ever heard before. Eager to save Fowler and escape back to the world above, Luna rescues Fowler, but he is gravely injured by Dweller poison.  Luna is sure she has lost Fowler forever.  Desperate to save him, Luna agrees to have Fowler taken to a neighboring kingdom for help. But, when Fowler and Luna's true identities are discovered by King Tebald of Lagonia, the calculating king has plans of his own.  Soon, Prince Fowler is required to complete his previous marriage betrothal to the King's daughter, Princess Maris. While, Luna is forced into an engagement with the King's only son, Prince Chasen.  Either way, King Tebald is determined to secure the uniting of Relhok and Legonia.  But Luna and Fowler have no plans to be apart of either of these weddings and must find a way to escape.  But, with enemies around every corner and Fowler's father, King Cullen, seeing Luna as a threat to his throne, leaving the protection of Lagonia is just as dangerous. Refusing to be pawns in the game of kings, Fowler and Luna are determined to make their own future no matter the cost. 

Review: Rise of Fire is the sequel to Reign of Shadows (review posted August 2016).  There is an epilogue at the end of this book, so it leads me to believe that this is a two-book series.  Reign of Shadows leaves with you a bit of a cliff hanger at the end, but I'm happy to say this book picks up right where the first book left off.  Great storytelling, although there are some questions left unanswered.  You never know why the eclipse happened or if/how it will ever stop.

Most of the story takes place in Lagonia and the threat to Fowler and Luna are no longer the Dwellers, but King Tebald and his political agenda.  He wants to secure his ties to Relhok to strengthen his throne and he figures that if both his children marry the true heir (Luna), or the current heir (Fowler), then he is set either way.  Lots of action, drama, romance and suspense!  I'm not sure what I would call this - a Y.A. romance/horror genre? The story continues with the POV of Fowler and Luna in first person, which I really enjoyed.  The ending felt a tiny bit rushed, but overall a great story.  If you liked/loved Reign of Shadows than you will not be disappointed with Rise of Fire. Clean romance. Recommended for 14 and up!

Rating: 4.5 Hearts!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Fate of Flames by Sarah Raughley

Fate of Flames 
by Sarah Raughley
368 pages
Published by Simon Pulse

Plot: Sixteen-year old Maia Finley lives in a world where Phantom monsters terrorize humanity.  Thankfully, the world’s answer to this threat are the Effigies.  Four girls who are able to control the four elements - water, fire, wind, and earth.  Only four can be alive at any given time, so when one dies, another Effigy is chosen.  By what, Maia doesn’t know, but that still doesn’t stop ‘it’ from choosing her as the next Effigy of fire.  Maia grew up idolizing Effigies along with her twin sister June.  But, it wasn’t until she becomes one that she realizes it’s not all it’s been hyped up to be.  Soon, Maia is thrust into a world of monsters, conspiracies, and mortal danger.  She may be an Effigy, but unless she learns how to wield her power, she isn’t going to survive very long. With the help of the other Effigies, albeit reluctantly, and a sect agent names Rhys, Maia is somewhat able to adjust to her new life.  But, when a terrorist named Saul is discovered to be able to control the phantoms, everything anyone thought they knew about phantoms and Effigies is shattered.  It’s up to Maia and the other Effigies to stop Saul before he uses the phantoms to kill again.

Review: Fate of Flames was definitely action packed and fun to read.  The concept of the Effigies and their ability to control the four elements was pretty interesting. Maia’s character is very relatable and down to earth, but her character really doesn't change much towards the end.  She doesn't overcome the emotional anxiety she gets when she thinks about her family (who were killed in a house fire), nor does she really become any stronger or braver throughout the story.   This causes her to be sort of useless throughout the majority of the book when fighting the phantoms. 

It seems like this story was more a set-up for the next book in the series, since the backstory is weaved throughout the book - revealing a little more all the way to the end.  And, even at that there are still some questions left unanswered that should have been answered in the first book - like the origins of the phantoms and Effigies. The other Effigies (Belle, Chae Rin, and Lake) are diverse and have distinct personalities of their own, and Raughley does a good job in showing how different they are compared to the other.  Raughley also did a great job in humanizing these girls even though they have super powers.  Their emotions and actions really do show how a normal girl- turned superhero would react to her new life and duty to fight dangerous creatures. They each have their flaws and it’s what makes them so interesting to read about - even if they can be a little frustrating, annoying, or pitiful.  But, that's their character! They are suppose to make you feel that way.  Hopefully these characters can show "why" they were chosen to be Effigies in the next book.

If you are looking for a Fantasy/Romance, then this book is really not for you.  There is a light romance between Maia and agent Rhys, but you probably won’t see that develop into anything more until the next book.  The focus really is on the four girls and the relationship they have with each other and trying to work together as a team.  I’m not a big fan of cursing in dialogue, but I understand it’s used for that emotional punch.  But, I especially don’t like it when “Jesus” or “Christ” is used as a curse word.  I think there are plenty of curse words that could be used instead and still get the emotion across. That was something that offended/bothered me that happened more than once.  Overall, it was a fun and interesting story to read.  Recommended If you like Fantasy or manga/anime such as Sailor Moon that’s a little more dark.   For ages 14+up

*Recieved a DRC for an honest review.

Book 2 - Siege of Shadows to be released November 2017

Rating: 3.5 Hearts

Thursday, June 8, 2017

The Book Jumper by Mechthild Glaser

The Book Jumper
by Mechthild Glaser
Published by Feiwel & Friends
371 Pages

Plot: When Amy Lennox visits her grandmother on an old ancestral estate in Scotland, she finds out that she is a Book Jumper - just like her mother.  And she is not the only one.  Betsy and Will are book jumpers that live on the island of Stormsay too.  And just like their ancestors, they have been helping to keep the book world safe for years. So, when a classic book character is murdered and ‘fundamental ideas’ start missing from some of Amy’s beloved books, it’s up to her and Will to find and stop the person responsible before the book worlds are destroyed forever.  

Review:  Let me start off by saying that this hardback cover edition is just beautiful. That was the first thing that caught my attention, and then of course the title!  I think I had different expectations for this book when I first started reading.  I originally thought it was more of a romance, but that really didn’t start until the latter end of the book.  So, for me It was a little slow to start and I found myself speed reading through several parts of the book. I think it was a good story overall, but I would have been more intrigued if Amy had jumped into more interesting books.  I was disappointed when the first books Amy jumped into were The Jungle Book and Oliver Twist. I was thinking a teenage girl would probably be jumping into fairy tales.  Or, at least I was kind of hoping she would.  She did jump into Pride and Prejudice, Alice in Wonderland, and The Wizard of Oz, which are much more interesting in my opinion -but her visits seemed brief. The story line did pick up towards the end as Amy and Will find out more in their quest to catch the thief.  Great plot twist towards the end which had me glued to the book until I finished.  So, overall it was a good read if you are not looking for a heavy romance themed story, but love a good mystery and enjoy classic literature. Recommended for ages 13 and up.

*Recieved a DRC for an honest review.
Rating: 3.5 Hearts!