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: Ruined (Ethan Frost #1) by Tracy Wolff

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Title: Ruined
Author: Tracy Wolff
Publisher/Year:  Random House Publishing 1/7/14
Length:   228 pages
Series:  Ethan Frost #1

Overview

He’s the last man Chloe Girard should love . . . but the first she ever could.
 
Ethan Frost is a visionary, a genius, every woman’s deepest, darkest fantasy—even mine. And, somehow, I am his.

He stole into my life like a dream. Turned my reality upside down and made my every desire come true—especially those I never knew I had. He demanded everything I had to give and gave me everything of himself in return.

But dreams don’t last forever, and ours is no exception. Because my nightmares are darker, and my wounds deeper, than I could ever reveal. And as much as Ethan wants to protect me, the secrets we share will only tear us apart.

My Thoughts

I’m always eager to find a new series to get into and this one gives me exactly what i was hoping for even if it was a VERY expected path.  We meet 2 very damaged characters, yet i don’t know that we even fully get to the heart of the damage. Chloe is our leading lady and we quickly learn that she’s had to grow up very quickly as a result of trauma of being raped in high school.  Ethan, his past is still a mystery but we know that there’s more to him than he’s letting on.

It’s a chance encounter in the cafeteria that brings these two together, and it’s a blender that keeps them coming back for more.  Throughout their interactions at the onset, there’s tension between them that’s undeniable, we see that they are fighting each other so much tat it’s inevitable that they’ll find their way back to one another.  The question really just becomes what will it take and how will they survive.

The nuance here that we done see in a lot of these types of stories is that Ethan’s not looking to really hide his relationship with her and that’s a piece that we always see – that there’s a fear of being ‘found out – but here – he doesn’t care.  It’s nice in a sense, but detrimental to her career it may seem.

The nice thing that our author Ms Wolff does for us is really give us a sense of what it takes to get these two together and have them stay together.  It’s sweet how they are constantly giving each other momentos of who they are so that they are building their relationship on something that’s more than just superficial, but i continue to wonder what’s still under the surface and what’s being hidden.

It’s not until the very end that we see that there’s going to be conflict and of course we come to expect that knowing that it’s a trilogy.  someone has to screw up and push the other away and then it’s a matter of understanding what the reason is and if they can repair what’s been broken.  It’s also a surprise revelation of sorts that shows up at the door – and to be honest, i was expecting it, but it’s still quite a surprise to Chloe.  That all being said, i have the next installment all ready to read – and that’s what i’m going to do.  Happy Sunday!