Review: Three Dark Crowns (Three Dark Crowns #1) by Kendare Blake

Title: Three Dark Crowns
Author: Kendare Blake
Publisher/Year:  HarperCollings 9/20/16
Length:   307 Pages
Series:  Three Dark Crowns #1

Overview

Fans of acclaimed author Kendare Blake’s Anna Dressed in Blood will devour Three Dark Crowns, a dark and inventive fantasy about three sisters who must fight to the death to become queen. And don’t miss the highly anticipated sequel, One Dark Throne!

In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born: three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.

But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose…it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins.

The last queen standing gets the crown.

My Thoughts

I needed something new to read and this was a series that i’ve seen pop up in my feed a bunch but i’ve never gotten around to it.  glad that i did.  what we have here is the introduction to an interesting story about a world where those who live on an island have powers or ‘gifts’ and those who are on the mainland do not.  each generation of Queens born is a generation of triplets, each of whom is supposed to have a gift, and only the strongest will survive to become the reigning queen of their generation.  She must kill her sisters.

So this is the story that we go through on a journey with the triplets, Arsinoe, Katherine and Mirabella.  It’s an interesting world that they live in.  the girls are separated from one another when they are very young, taken to the town where their gift reigns so that they can grown and hone their powers.  The way that this story is written is in alternating chapters between the sisters so that we can both get to know them a bit more and see what struggles they are going through since it’s clear that they are much more similar than they knew.

Katherine is supposed to have the gift of poisoning, and what that means, i’m not entirely sure.  She’s quite skilled at creating and crafting poisons, but she’s supposed to be able to withstand all forms of poison and that doesn’t seem to be the case with her.  she’s training her body to cope with it but everyone around her wonders if she’s truly giftless.

Arsinoe is supposed to have the gift of being a naturalist- which means that she’s connected to all living things, plants and animals.  The thing here is that she’s supposed to have a familiar – an animal that is linked to her soul and she doesn’t – she’s not even able to make a simple bud bloom to life.  So there’s yet another question on whether she’s truly gotten a gift or not.

Then there’s Mirabella – the one that throws a wrench in everything.  She’s the most beautiful and enchanting by far, and she demonstrated her skills at being an elemental from day one – she’s one of the most powerful that they’ve seen and this makes everyone nervous and afraid since the triplets know that she will be the one to reign.

If that were the core to the story – then there’s so much more that’s going to come out.  What we see throughout is how others play a role in their lives.  There are priestesses who have their own agendas, families who want power, and girls who just want friends and romance.  While we think the story line is simple, really just a fight to prove gifts and stay alive, what we see in the last third is a total change in what the point and direction of the story will be.  I think that it’s no surprise to see what happens, but i also think that we’re setting up for a really great book 2 since the world as we knew it has turned upside down.  I can’t wait to see what comes next and i’m going to track down that next book ASAP.  Enjoy!

Review: Fallen Heir (The Royals #4) by Erin Watt

Title: Fallen Heir
Author: Erin Watt
Publisher/Year:  Pear Tree 8/13/17
Length:   338 Pages
Series:  The Royals #4

Overview

These Royals will ruin you.

Easton Royal has it all: looks, money, intelligence. His goal in life is to have as much fun as possible. He never thinks about the consequences because he doesn’t have to.

Until Hartley Wright appears, shaking up his easy life. She’s the one girl who’s said no, despite being attracted to him. Easton can’t figure her out and that makes her all the more irresistible.

Hartley doesn’t want him. She says he needs to grow up.

She might be right.

Rivals. Rules. Regrets. For the first time in Easton’s life, wearing a Royal crown isn’t enough. He’s about to learn that the higher you start, the harder you fall.

My Thoughts

I had forgotten about this series – and i don’t know how that happen aside from having read a ton of stuff in between.  The Royal family has had quite an interested year with the discovery of Ella and what her real father did to the Royals.  So we’ve gotten through a few bits of the family and now it’s time to see how things go for Easton – the middle child and the one who’s most like his deceased mother with her addiction issues as well as just having no real direction.

He’s not really challenged by anything at school anymore until Hartley comes into his view and well things get turned upside down.  She’s a girl who’s from a very well off family yet she’s living on her own – banished and she’s got secrets.  This story really is one of seeing how she comes out the other side from her demons and watching as Easton matures to be a friend and not just a flirt.

The story here is interesting since we only get hints for the bulk of it on what troubles Hartley and once they open up to each other, we see that it’s far worse than anyone knew.  When Easton tries to help, he makes it worse which leaves us at a really bad cliff hanger at the end.

Ms Watt gives us another really sweet YA story here – all about how you have to grow as a person, and build a foundation on trust and friendship before you can be more – and how if you have that strong base – when people threaten you, together you can be stronger.  We remember from the other stories that the girls at their school Astor are cutthroat.  They are only out to better their stature and that’s no rarity in this story either.  Hartley/Easton and even Ella are up against someone who’s out for blood and hopefully together they will come out on top.  Hopefully when the ending says that we get another book in 2018 that it means early 2018 since i’d rather not wait a year for another installment.  Enjoy!

Review: Warcross (Warcross #1) by Marie Lu

Title: Warcross
Author: Marie Lu
Publisher/Year:  Penguin Group 9/12/17
Length:   305 Pages
Series:  Warcross #1

Overview

For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game—it’s a way of life. The obsession started ten years ago and its fan base now spans the globe, some eager to escape from reality and others hoping to make a profit. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down Warcross players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty-hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. To make some quick cash, Emika takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships—only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation.

Convinced she’s going to be arrested, Emika is shocked when instead she gets a call from the game’s creator, the elusive young billionaire Hideo Tanaka, with an irresistible offer. He needs a spy on the inside of this year’s tournament in order to uncover a security problem . . . and he wants Emika for the job. With no time to lose, Emika’s whisked off to Tokyo and thrust into a world of fame and fortune that she’s only dreamed of. But soon her investigation uncovers a sinister plot, with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire.

My Thoughts

I don’t know how our author does it – yet another amazingly different series – with a basis in something htat doesn’t even resemble the other series.  It’s such a great next step.

The world that we’re in now is one in the future where virtual reality is a way to escape life and it’s a necessary thing for Emi who’s now 18, alone in the world (her father died and her mother left years ago) and she’s in so much debt that she doesn’t know what’s going to happen next.  As a bounty hunter, that’s her way to make some money since she can’t quite get a job after a hacking situation that got her arrested years ago.  That same hacking is what’s about to save her life.

Warcross is the biggest thing in the world – a game that you can go pro playing and there’s a world championship each year where you can see the best of the best play in a team situation.  Emi hacks into the game just to get a high value power-up that she can sell on the black market and ends up hacking into the game itself – causing all sorts of problems.  In doing that, her life changes forever.

Her identity which she had worked so hard to keep secret is revealed to the whole world, she’s not in the press, and she gets a call from Hideo Tanaka – the creator of the game  – which she fears means her life is over.  Quite the opposite.

Hideo is an interesting character – 18, has demons and ghosts of his own, but the most successful man in the world through the development of his neurlink glasses which allow players to play the game and even see the entire world in VR.  Its intense to think about actually.  He brings Emi to Tokoyo becuase he needs her help and her ability to hack into the game shows that maybe she’s the one who can do it.

There’s someone called ‘Zero’ who’s been hacking into the game and collecting data, and Hideo needs to stop him since he doesn’t know what the end game is.  He hires Emi as a hacking bounty hunter of sorts (along with some others) who he will put into the tournament in the hopes that they can figure out who Zero is.

Through the tournament, we get to meet a lot of characters that make the story so much better.  Emi is put on the Pheonix’s – a team made up of 3 experienced players and 2 wild cards – herself and DJ Ren.  (a well known DJ).  We start to see how close the friendships are with the players and how that really keeps things going.  especially with the competitive nature of all the other teams.

Where this story goes is an interesting journey.  We don’t know who to trust – and we don’t know who’s on what side.  The friendships that grow are great and the secrets that live within Emi tear them apart.  We see an interesting romance begin and it’s something that you really root for since it humanizes a few people, but of course there’s a lot at stake for that relationship to continue.

When we learn the identity of Zero (through a glitch) (mind you i kind of figured this one out earlier on).  we see that what we thought we knew of the hack is something completely different.  The world at the end of the book is nothing like it was when we started and it’s now up to a few to change the course of actions already set in motion in the hopes of saving everyone on the world.

I’m so bummed that book 2 isn’t out already because this was really amazing to read – especially from Marie Lu – but i’ll be patient.  Enjoy!

Review: Tower of Dawn (Throne of Glass #6) by Sarah J Maas

Title: Tower of Dawn
Author: Sarah J Maas
Publisher/Year:  Bloomsbury USA 9/5/17
Length:   586 Pages
Series:  Throne of Glass #6

Overview

In the next installment of the New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series, follow Chaol on his sweeping journey to a distant empire.

Chaol Westfall has always defined himself by his unwavering loyalty, his strength, and his position as the Captain of the Guard. But all of that has changed since the glass castle shattered, since his men were slaughtered, since the King of Adarlan spared him from a killing blow, but left his body broken.

His only shot at recovery lies with the legendary healers of the Torre Cesme in Antica–the stronghold of the southern continent’s mighty empire. And with war looming over Dorian and Aelin back home, their survival might lie with Chaol and Nesryn convincing its rulers to ally with them.

But what they discover in Antica will change them both–and be more vital to saving Erilea than they could have imagined.

My Thoughts

OMG – if you thought were the story went from the end of Book 5, when mysterious folks re-emerged, wars were fought, Aelin was taken prisoner again by Maeve was enough, well you’re wrong.  There’s still so much more to this story, and we’re now getting to see what it’s like outside of the direct battle that we’ve been in.

So we remember that Chaol’s spine was broken when Dorian’s father tried to kill him, and he and Nesryn are headed to the Torre in the hopes of finding a healer who is powerful enough to fix more of what’s wrong that Rowan wasn’t able to fix already.  The great thing here is that we know of a girl from one of the novellas that we met as Aelin was on her way to the Red Desert who had an ability to heal who she helped get to the Torre.  So it’s this girl – Yrene who we also find front and center.

This story is a really great extension off the main story since it’s happening parallel path  – but in a part of the world that’s untouched by what’s going on in the North, and is comprised of possibly the strongest kingdom or empire in the world.  So Chaol and Nesryn are there in the hopes of healing him so he can walk again, as well as getting them to side with Aelin and Dorian in the hopes that they can build an army that can take on Morath.

What’s so amazing about this story is that we are introduced to another royal family that really shows us another way of living during this time that we have.  There’s a family that seems to be untouched by the evil in the world (or are they) and while they don’t have to deal with that directly, they have their own family struggles in the sense of who will take over as heir when their father passes.

We see some new relationships build here and they really do help keep the story moving.  Chaol and Nesryn come to the Khagan together – sort of in a relationship, but there’s a really odd chemistry between them since she knows that she was never the first choice.  Then there’s Yrene and Chaol.  She hates all that he is because it was the kind of Adarlan who killed her parents, and so she therefore hates him.  it’s quite the fight that she puts up both against healing him, and against her feelings for him.  which we see grow in an odd sort of way.

Then there are the royals – kashin who has feelings for Yrene that aren’t reciprocated.  Hasar who’s close friends with Yrene and has a power/manipulation thing going.  Arghun, the eldest brother who’s tough.  Duva who is married and pregnant.  Tumulun whom we learned died (or was murdered) just before arriving in the empire.  and Sartaq.  He’s the one to watch because we see that he’s possibly the most open to listening to what they have ot say about the need for an army and how it will help them in the future.  Then there’s the way that he interacts with Nesryn – especially since her family hails from their kingdom.

When secrets come out to what’s going on truly with the Valg, and how they perhaps originated in the world – where they came and what’s being hidden from them – we start to learn things that we should have seen throughout the series but maybe just didn’t have enough of the story to know.  I know that for myself-  it’s all obvious now, and i think that we are going to go to a really dynamic place in book 7 – once that makes it certain that there’s no way that all of our favorites will survive – but that we hope for strength and love to prevail.

So all in all – i’m thrilled beyond belief again with this story and how it continues to be written by our author – i still don’t know how she does it but i’m thrilled that she does.  It looks like book 7 will pick up with where Aelin is locked up by Maeve and we can only hope that Rowan or someone will come to her rescue before it’s too late.  we have to wait now until 2018 though…..such a long long wait.  Enjoy!

Review: Avenged (Ruined #2) by Amy Tintera

Title: Avenged
Author: Amy Tintera
Publisher/Year: Harper Collins 5/2/17
Length:   416 Pages
Series:  Ruined #2

Overview

Emelina Flores has come home to Ruina. After rescuing her sister, Olivia, from imprisonment in rival kingdom Lera, Em and Olivia together vow to rebuild Ruina to its former glory.

But their fight has only begun. Olivia is determined to destroy everyone who acts against Ruina. Em isn’t as sure. Ever since Em posed as Prince Casimir’s betrothed in Lera, she’s started to see another side to this war. And now that Cas has taken the throne, Em believes a truce is within reach. But Olivia suspects that Em’s romantic feelings for Cas are just coloring her judgement.

Em is determined to bring peace to her home. But when winning the war could mean betraying her family, Em faces an impossible choice between loyalty and love. Em must stay one step ahead of her enemies—and her blood—before she’s the next victim in this battle for sovereignty.

My Thoughts

I was so happy to jump right into Avenged after reading Ruined, and now i’m bummed because Allied doesn’t come out for a bit.  NO FAIR!  there’s so much greatness going on in this story that there’s really too much time for me to have to wait.

Where we left off in the first book was that Em was able to locate her sister Olivia and free her and then all hell broke loose.  We don’t know who’s going to survive at this point, how Ruina will survive v. Olso and Lera and even against Vallos – and well the alliances that we thought were in places are showing frays at the edges.

I don’t know about anyone else who read the first book, but i loved the development of the relationship, friendship and potential romance between Em and Cas.  there’s something great that could be there but now that they are on opposing sides, it’s real a big question of what will happen.  There are others who are introduced in this second book that makes us wonder if they are fated to be together.

Consider Violet, she’s the daughter of the southern governor and upon her father’s death, she’s put into that role.  We also know that she was an original choice for Cas’s wife, so there’s tension there.  She’s clearly got an affection for Cas after their journey is rough and we see there is something coming from Cas as well.

Then there’s August, the youngest son of the King of Olso who seems to have intentions towards Em.  He’s proposed marriage and it’s something that she’s considering.

While all those are interesting and good things, there’s the fact that Olivia is a force that cannot be reckoned with.  Her Ruined power is so strong and potent that no one stands a chance against her.  She’s got so much hatred towards the world and has no regret of killing people that you know that no good can come of it.

This second book, the bridge so to speak is a great one filled with anxiety, war and romance.  I think that it’s always hard to find the linking points between the first and last stories since you want to keep momentum going.  Our author Ms Tintera does a really nice job of keeping us interested because there are so many characters that are now pulled into the forefront that you see so much more depth than before.  We’re left wondering who truly are allies and who are in it for the immediate gains instead of long term.

I’m on the edge of my seat wondering what will happen to Em and Cas, what will happen to Aren, Violet, Iria, and even Olivia.  IT seems like it’s almost impossible to stop this train of commotion that’s going on but i hope that we get to see some happy endings.  Enjoy!

Review: Ruined (Ruined #1) by Amy Tintera

Title: Ruined
Author: Amy Tintera
Publisher/Year: Harpercollins 4/4/17
Length:   243 Pages
Series:  Ruined #1

Overview

Emelina Flores has nothing. Her home in Ruina has been ravaged by war; her parents were killed and her sister was kidnapped. Even though Em is only a useless Ruined—completely lacking any magic—she is determined to get revenge.

Her plan is simple: She will infiltrate the enemy’s kingdom, posing as the crown prince’s betrothed. She will lead an ambush. She will kill the king and everything he holds dear, including his son.

The closer Em gets to the prince, though, the more she questions her mission. Her rage-filled heart begins to soften. But with her life—and her family—on the line, love could be Em’s deadliest mistake.

My Thoughts

The summary doesn’t do the story justice, but luckily it was more than enough to get me sucked into this new series.  Em, she’s the heir to the throne in Ruina, the kingdom of the Ruins, a people who have some type of power to control just about anything.  And because of those powers, they are feared.  Em’s parent’s had been murdered, along with much of the royal family and she’s now out for vengence.  She’s created this plan with a bunch of others both in her kingdom and across the warriors of Olso to avenge her parent’s death, and to get power back some how.  Em also wants to find her sister Olivia who was captured when her family was killed.

So…the plan was developed for Em to kill Mary, an heir of another kingdom and take her place to wed Prince Cas, who’s family was behind the order to kill her family.  Mary’s role in all this is that in order to wed Cas, she was ordered to kill Em’s family, Her own parents were murdered, so it seems to be going around.

Once Em infiltrates the castle, we see her role expanding.  Feelings that she never knew were possible were developing for Cas, making it that much harder since the end goal was that she was going to kill him to so that she could save her sister and overthrow the ruling family.

Throughout this story we have an interesting mix of relationships forming and developing.  There’s Em and Damian, one of the men from her home who’s in love with her, yet she’s not sure that she can reciprocate. He’s the acknowledged ruler of Ruina since Olivia has disappeared, and Em’s lack of powers makes her not worthy. Damian’s captured, and then things go all pear shaped.

Then there’s Cas – someone that you want to hate, yet a man who’s showing that he’s got different opinions than that of his family, and you want to think that he can be on the side of good.  He and Em have a roller coaster of sorts and where we see things go makes you wonder if there’s too much against them.

Then there are the sub stories.  Galo and his friend, Olivia, Aren…Iria.  All in all,lots of great stuff to take us through out.  Ms Tintera does a fantastic job of creating this world where power is the ultimate goal, either in magical power or assumed authority, and there’s really no clear sense of who’s going to make it out of the story alive and who will be in control.

Cas’s mother and cousin seem to have their own objectives, while the warriors from Olso make things tough.  It’s definitely a battle to the death and too many die at the end of book 1 to really make us feel like there’s going to be much left afterwards.  The cliff that we’re left at towards the end though is one that makes me really excited to see what’s coming next.  So on that note – i hope that you guys give this one a chance and i can’t wait until book 2.  Enjoy!

Review: Midnight Jewel (The Glittering Court #2) by Richelle Mead

Title: Midnight Jewel
Author: Richelle Mead
Publisher/Year: Penguin Young Readers 6/27/17
Length:   416 Pages
Series:  The Glittering Court #2

Overview

he Selection meets Reign in this dazzling trilogy of interwoven novels about three girls on a quest for freedom and true love from #1 internationally bestselling author Richelle Mead.

Mira is not like the other Glittering Court girls. She is a war refugee, cast out of her home country and thrust into another, where she has learned to fight against the many injustices around her. For some, the Glittering Court offers a chance at a life they’ve only ever dreamed of, one of luxury, glamour, and leisure. But for Mira, it’s simply a means to an end. In the new world, she plans to earn off her marriage contract price, and finally be free.

Mira pitches herself as an asset to one of the passengers on board the ship: the sardonic and aloof Grant Elliot, whom she’s discovered is a spy for the prestigious McGraw Agency—and her ticket to buying her freedom. His cover blown, Grant has little choice but to take her on. Mira applies herself by day, learning the etiquette and customs that will help to earn her anonymity. By night, she dons a mask and slips into the city, fighting injustice and corruption on her own terms—and impressing Grant with her extraordinary abilities and insights into a brewing rebellion. But the rebellion isn’t all they’re fighting…

Neither of them can ignore the attraction burning between them—an attraction so powerful, it threatens to unravel everything Mira’s worked so hard for. With freedom finally within her grasp, can Mira risk it all for love?

My Thoughts

After getting to see the full depth of Adelaide’s story in the first book, you knew that the story we would see for Mira would be amazing.  She was such a mystery and we got glimpses of the interesting life she led while in the court – so it’s definitely no disappointment to see what happens in this story that’s focused on her.

The summary above gives us a good idea of what we’re going to get, but there’s so much more.  We recalled from the first book how the journey from one land to another ended in catastrophe, and i have to admit that i didn’t remember all the sad and troubling details since it’s been a while since i read book 1, so it was a nice surprise to me to recall it all.

On the ship, when we had a different perspective during book 1, we get to see how Mira really lived her days there. We still met Mr Elliot, but his role was completely different here, seeing as how the attention that we saw put on Adelaide before turned into something much more devious with Mira.

Then once we got to the house, and the season started, where we saw Adelaide being pursued by so many people, we saw Mria’s different approach to it all, knowing that she was there in Adoria to find her brother and get him released from his contract and hopefully get herself out of a contract.  Where the story gets even more complex is seeing that all the times we knew that Mira snuck out of the house before, it was really because she  was an ‘asset’ in a spy network, and that she also ended up working double time for Tom Shortsleeves, who’s essentially like Robin Hood.

you can imagine how things are kept moving at a fast pace especially since Mira’s got so much motivating her that others don’t.  She’s given an out of her contract through a pairing with an elderly gentlemen and to see how that friendship grows and what the resolution there is towards the end makes you want to have faith that not everyone is motivated by money or ‘mad’.

Then there’s Grant – there’s clearly a connection between them, and it reminds me of how kids are when they have a crush but act as though they hate each other.  There’s so much animosity between them that you wonder what’s going to be the point that makes a change and forces a turning point in their relationship .

There’s more death, angst, coming back from the dead, killing, attempted killing and bits of romance peppered into this story that make it a must read.  Ms Mead does a great job of giving us two very different and dynamic installments to the series since these characters and their motives are quite different and it makes it that much more enjoyable.  Now what we need is Tamsin’s story since she’s really the one that got under the radar and under my skin.  I feel like there’s so much more to get from what she went through that it’ll make that next story so amazing.  Enjoy!

Review: Dividing Eden (Dividing Eden #1) by Joelle Charbonneau

Title: Dividing Eden
Author: Joelle Charbonneau
Publisher/Year: Harper Collins 6/7/17
Length:   284 Pages
Series:  Dividing Eden #1

Overview

Twins Carys and Andreus were never destined to rule Eden. With their older brother next in line to inherit the throne, the future of the kingdom was secure.

But appearances—and rivals—can be deceiving. When Eden’s king and crown prince are killed by assassins, Eden desperately needs a monarch, but the line of succession is no longer clear. With a ruling council scheming to gain power, Carys and Andreus are faced with only one option—to take part in a Trial of Succession that will determine which one of them is worthy of ruling the kingdom.

As sister and brother, Carys and Andreus have always kept each other safe—from their secrets, from the court, and from the monsters lurking in the mountains beyond the kingdom’s wall. But the Trial of Succession will test the bonds of trust and family.

With their country and their hearts divided, Carys and Andreus will discover exactly what each will do to win the crown. How long before suspicion takes hold and the thirst for power leads to the ultimate betrayal?

My Thoughts

I really enjoyed The Testing so i was excited to see that there was a new series – and what we get here is that it’s nothing at all like the prior series and that is interesting to me.  The only similarity is that there’s a trial to name one of the twins ruler, but that’s about it.

So the story takes us on a path of a set of twins, who are best friends at the beginning, always looking out for one another especially since Dreus has a health situation that if found out, would be a problem, so Carys has spent her entire life protecting him.

When the time comes to pit them against one another, they take it in stride, knowing that they want the same outcome, yet when other people get in their ear, we see that it’s going to all go pear shaped.

There are a few nice twists in the story that keep us really engaged.  When they are born, the Seer sees that one of the twins has a ‘curse’ and that’s something that’s going to bring down the palace.  It’s noted that Dreus is really sick, and that identifies him as the one with the curse – or does it.  Then there’s the mystery of a new seer who comes to Eden, with a background unknown, and who’s engaged to the crown prince but who really has a tie elsewhere.

Add to that a Lord Garret who has family who wants him in power and a Trade Master named Errick who shows up- and we don’t now who’s the enemy or the ally and what’s going to happen.

We see the twins go through trials, trying to survive but Dreus gets his opinion clouded by so many others that ultimately he turns on Carys.  It’s what we see her come to do throughout the story that makes you wonder what’s really going on and what the end result will be.

We’re left at a point in the story when there’s one who’s crowned and one who’s died and there are still so many people out there who have their own motives that we’re still left with too much uncertainty.  I can’t wait to see what happens since i think that things are just starting to get interesting.

Omega City (Omega City #1) by Diana Peterfreund

Title: Omega City
Author: Diana Peterfruend
Publisher/Year: Harper Collins 1/10/17
Length:   352 Pages
Series:  Omega City #1

Overview

Gillian Seagret doesn’t listen to people who say her father’s a crackpot. His conspiracy theories about the lost technology of Cold War-era rocket scientist Dr. Aloysius Underberg may have cost him his job and forced them to move to a cottage in the sticks, but Gillian knows he’s right and plans to prove it.

When she discovers a missing page from Dr. Underberg’s diary in her father’s office, she thinks she’s found a big piece of the puzzle—a space-themed riddle promising to lead to Underberg’s greatest invention. Enlisting the help of her brother, Eric, her best friend, Savannah, and Howard, their NASA-obsessed schoolmate, Gillian sets off into the ruins of a vast doomsday bunker deep within the earth.

But they aren’t alone inside its dark and flooded halls. Now Gillian and her friends must race to explore Omega City and find the answers they need. For while Gillian wants to save her dad’s reputation by bringing Dr. Underberg’s secrets to light, others will stop at nothing to make sure they stay buried . . . forever.

My Thoughts

I needed to change it up a bit and find some more YA to read and i’m a fan of Diana Peterfruend so i figured no harm in reading this series. So what we have is the intro to a story that takes us on a journey of a family that’s been broken apart because their father is an author of a book that tried to debunk mysteries behind a scientists work and his notes were destroyed so he can’t prove the facts.  Because of this, their mom left, the kids have had a rough life moving away from what they know and the father can’t seem to get a credible following for anything so he’s kind of in a bind for work and any forward progress in life.

It’s not until the dad gets this new girlfriend who seems to rub the kids Eric and Gillian the wrong way that the story gets good.  There are so many questions around the scientists Dr Underberg’s whereabouts and some inventions of his because they would have been world changing and because of that, there’s so much scrutiny around anything that involves him.  When the girlfriend Fiona starts asking questions about the dad’s research (along with the fact that she’s young and pretty), Gills starts to wonder what her motives are.

That takes us to a missing page in a journal which gives us a treasure map and then a quest to find the missing invention (a battery that will last over 100 years).  This leads us to OMEGA CITY.

From there we have a series of events that happen while the kids not only find themselves being hunted by Fiona a 2 guys, but we find Eric, Gills and their friends Nate, Savvy ,and Howard in this underground city that’s booby-trapped, and falling apart and without ease of getting out.

There’s so much interesting thinking in this book.  We have a doomsday thought process here for preparation on how to survive a nuclear war.  We see a scientist who was so forward thinking that his inventions could revolutionize the world, and honestly i wouldn’t be upset if some of that stuff came to fruition in life since i have a feeling that we’ll need it at some point or another.

I can’t wait to see what’s next though in the sequel since there has to be more – i mean, we know what happened to Dr Underberg but we don’t what’s happened to his inventions and we don’t know what else there is for the father to uncover.  there has to be more right?  Enjoy!

Review: Blood Rose Rebellion (Blood Rose Rebellion #1) by Roslyn Eves

Title: Blood Rose Rebellion
Author: Roslyn Eves
Publisher/Year: Random House 3/28/17
Length:   321 Pages
Series:  Blood Rose Rebellion #1

Overview

The thrilling first book in a YA fantasy trilogy for fans of Red Queen. In a world where social prestige derives from a trifecta of blood, money, and magic, one girl has the ability to break the spell that holds the social order in place.

Sixteen-year-old Anna Arden is barred from society by a defect of blood. Though her family is part of the Luminate, powerful users of magic, she is Barren, unable to perform the simplest spells. Anna would do anything to belong. But her fate takes another course when, after inadvertently breaking her sister’s debutante spell—an important chance for a highborn young woman to show her prowess with magic—Anna finds herself exiled to her family’s once powerful but now crumbling native Hungary.

Her life might well be over.

In Hungary, Anna discovers that nothing is quite as it seems. Not the people around her, from her aloof cousin Noémi to the fierce and handsome Romani Gábor. Not the society she’s known all her life, for discontent with the Luminate is sweeping the land. And not her lack of magic. Isolated from the only world she cares about, Anna still can’t seem to stop herself from breaking spells.

As rebellion spreads across the region, Anna’s unique ability becomes the catalyst everyone is seeking. In the company of nobles, revolutionaries, and Romani, Anna must choose: deny her unique power and cling to the life she’s always wanted, or embrace her ability and change that world forever.

My Thoughts

I wanted to like this book – really i did, but it was just ‘eh’ in my opinion.  Here’s what we have.  There’s a great set up for a story – Anna is trying to belong – when she knows that she doesn’t since her magic isn’t quite working properly – she’s able to break spells but not cast spells.  She’s also in an interesting position where her sister is the center of attention since she’s demonstrating her powers, and yet Anna is able to find a few minutes of peace through a relationship that she has with someone who is well established in society and has powers.  Of course though, their relationship is a secret since Anna isn’t really welcomed with open arms.

What we see though is that the event where Catherine ‘comes out’ turns into a mess because Anna some how breaks the spell that was being cast at the debut, and all hell breaks loose.  Anna’s relationship is revealed and we also learn that Catherine had something with this same man, and well, it all results in Anna being sent off with her Grandmother in the hopes that life will return to normal.

So you can see, a decent set up – and the idea that life could be better or different outside of England holds my attention.  Where we go wrong is that the story from there gets all mixed up.  We learn that the Binding which is what keeps all the magic with the ‘elite’ is a spell that some want broken.  Since Anna is able to break spells, she’s now the focus of a few different folks efforts so that she can go into the spell and break it.  While that’s all going on, Anna also learns a bit more about herself and who she is since she’s being used as a pawn.

Throughout this story, we meet a few new folks that are deemed Gypsies and one of whom we can see a love interest forming.  We also see a broken family relationship start to build since there’s no choice but to rely on each other.

Where things go wrong for me is that there are so many things happening that don’e really drive the story forward – so i’m left trying to jump ahead a bit to see if there’s something looming in the future to make it better.  There are monsters and creatures that are feared if the spell is broken, and there are hopes that may be lifted or dashed at the same time with this spell.

What we do have at the end of this first installment is some level of resolution for what needs to be done to either help launch a rebellion to overthrow the Circle who manages the magic, or to avoid it all together.  We also see some of our favorite characters throughout not make it to the end of the story because of any number of reasons.

So where i’m left here is a tough spot.  I refuse to let a book beat me, and this is an intro to a series, so there’s a chance that i’ll try to pick up the next one.  I feel like the Epilogue teased us with a completely new piece of the series and that in itself gives me a glimmer of hope.  So that being said – i’d love to hear if anyone else has read it and maybe has a different opinion.  Enjoy!