Sunday 30 June 2013

The Elite

3 Stars/5

Thanks to Netgalley and HarperCollins UK, Children’s for giving me this book to review.

Out of the 35 girls that started out in The Selection only 6 have made it to be in The Elite. America, a former 5 caste, is one of them, competing against higher caste girls for Prince Maxon and the Crown. However, she is not sure who she wants to be with, as when she is with Maxon she wants nothing more than to be with him, even if she is worried about being a princess. But when she sees her guard, and first love, Aspen, she cannot forget her feelings for him and the life they had planned to share. With the competition narrowing, and the elimination of one of the girls changing everything in the palace, will America be able to trust the people closest to her heart?

I was disappointed with The Elite, as whilst it was still enjoyable it was nowhere near as good as The Selection. However, I do like the idea behind the story of a dystopian world with hints of the medieval, but, I do wish there was more about the rebels in this book and I hope there are more of them in the next one. Another annoying thing about this book is about how predictable it is, especially about the first girl in the Elite getting eliminated.

America really got on my nerves in this book as she could not make up her mind about who to be with and treated both Aspen and Maxon quite badly, dropping one, and then the other. Also, Maxon annoyed me because as soon as America got angry at him and needed a break, for a fairly sensible reason, he starts falling for and fooling around with the other girls, even though he says he loves her and will wait for her. Surprisingly, the main character I liked the least in the Selection, Aspen, was the one I tolerated the most in this book. This is because even though he was not perfect and tried to manipulate the situation in his favour, his actions were much more understandable and less infuriating than America’s and Maxon’s.

While I did not enjoy this book as much as the last, I will still read The One but my expectations will not be as high as it was for this book. I would recommend The Elite to fans of the first book The Selection.

Thursday 27 June 2013

The Selection

4 Stars/5

17 year old America never wanted to enter The Selection, a competition where 35 girls fight for the hand of Prince Maxon. She is happy with her lower caste, caste 5, family and her secret caste 6 boyfriend Aspen, but her sister, mother and Aspen all want her to enter this opportunity of a life time. However, America’s life changes forever when Aspen breaks up with her and she is chosen as one of The Selection, but life is not as she thought at the palace as Maxon is nice and not boring, and most of the girls are friendly. However, is America able and willing to get over Aspen and be able to have a chance with Prince Maxon?

The Selection is a really good dystopian book which has a hint of fairytales to it. While the plot was a bit predictable it was an enjoyable romantic read with an interesting story.

While I got annoyed at the way in which America always thought that she was ugly even though everyone said she wasn’t, I did like how she would do anything to make sure that The Selection did not change who she is. I also like Maxon, as he is kind and na├»ve and wants to stand up for himself and what he believes in. However, whilst I like the chemistry between America and Maxon, I just could not get on with Aspen but I do not know why.

I really enjoyed this book and will definitely be reading The Elite to see what happens next. I would recommend The Selection to fans of The Hunger Games and Cinder.

Monday 24 June 2013

Weather Witch

2 Stars/5

Thanks to Netgalley and St. Martin’s Griffin for giving me this book to review.

In an alternative 1844 Philadelphia, noble born Jordan Astraea is celebrating her 17th birthday with her beau Rowen and best friend Catrina. However, her party was brought to a halt when she is accused of being a weather witch, a person who can control the weather. Jordan is sure that she is not a weather witch, but that does not stop her whole world turning upside down, never to be the same again.

I could not get into Weather Witch as the writing was not easy to read and I could not connect to the characters, which was annoying as the plot sounded interesting. I wouldn’t recommend this book as it was not my cup of tea. 

Thursday 20 June 2013

Siege and Storm

4 Stars/5

Alina and Mal are on the run from The Darkling after the events that happened in the shadow fold. However, when The Darkling manages to find them he makes it clear that he has big plans for the sun summoner involving Morozova’s amplifiers; also he has a new power to create shadow creatures that do his bidding. However, they manage to escape with the help of unlikely allies, a privateer called Sturmhond, and his unique crew. With The Darkling, The Apparat and Sturmhond all wanting something from Alina, is she able to help her country and keep the man she loves.

Siege and Storm is the second book in the Grisha series which has a really fast pace and a unique Russian inspired world, which is so different from other fantasy books I have read. However, while this book is still really enjoyable I felt it was not as good as the first book The Gathering Dark.

Alina has changed from the girl we first met in The Gathering Dark, as she is more self-sacrificing and sure of herself, but she has also has a growing darkness in her which I think will play a big part in the next book. I like the new characters but especially Sturmhond as he is arrogant and charming and I really did not see his twist coming.

However, there are two things I did not like in this book, Mal’s and Alina’s relationship was really annoying because if they had just grown up and told each other about their secrets and issues good they would had been fine, instead they decided to keep things for each other for what they thought was for the other persons good, which made it feel very juvenile and angst ridden. The second is that I missed The Darkling as he is my favourite character and such a big mystery but he is hardly in this book.

While this book did have a few things wrong with it, I still really enjoyed reading it and cannot wait to see what happens next in Ruin and Rising. I would recommend Siege and Storm to fans of the first book The Gathering Dark/Shadow and Bone.

Wednesday 5 June 2013

Fall of Night

5 Stars/5

Claire has decided to move out of Morganville and go to her dream school MIT; however, it is hard to leave her friends (even Myrnin) but especially her boyfriend, Shane, as things are a bit uncertain since he did not trust her in the last book. She is enrolled in a special advanced program with an ex-Morganville resident Irene Anderson, and together they work on VLAD, a machine which is meant to cancel out a vampire’s abilities. At the same time Shane has travelled to MIT to look out for and be close to Claire, but he does not want to interfere and endanger their rocky relationship. However, after things start to go wrong such as stalkers, mysterious government agents and VLAD not working the way she designed, Claire begins to think that leaving Morganville will be the most dangerous and last mistake she will ever make.

Fall of Night is the penultimate book in the Morganville Vampires series and it is back on form since Bitter Blood with everything I have grown to love from Morganville books (apart from Morganville as, strangely, I did miss it a bit).

I really like Claire and Shane in this book, as they learn about both themselves and each other, and it shows what a strong yet complicated relationship they have. I also liked the new characters introduced in this book but especially Jesse as I think she will have an important role to in the next book. That being said the usual characters where not in this book as much as I would have wanted as we did not see people such as Monica and Amelie, and even Eve, Michael and Myrnin were not in as much I would have liked and I really missed them.

Despite this I really loved Fall of Night and cannot wait to see how Caine ends this series in Daylighters. I would recommend the Morganville series to fans of Vampire Academy, The Mortal Instruments and The Drake Chronicles.

P.S. Thanks Rachel Caine for signing my copy of Fall of Night!

Tuesday 4 June 2013

Broken Prince

4 Stars/5

Aro, Kei, Prince, Bo and Cain are still on their journey to return Prince to his Elven home, before he weakens and dies. This is complicated with Aro having growing feelings for Prince, as well as dealing with the death of one the boys, meeting new friends and family and Aro mysterious powers seem to be gaining strength. However, there are many dangers in their journey, including a besieged city, wild fey, territorial weres and an enemy far deadlier than all the dangers they have faced combined.
Broken Prince is the second novel in the Broken Ones series, which is a really good YA fantasy book with an interesting plot, nice steady pacing and characters which make you feel like part of the plot. I really like Wylie’s ability to describe the different types of love the characters have for each other, from love between family, to the love between best friends and romantic love.

Aro and her boys just cannot catch a break as they always seem either close to death or trying to run away from danger, however, this does keep you on the edge of your seat. I love how the characters from the last book have grown and we get to find out more about them, although, I would have liked to learn more about Kei and Prince, as I feel we have only just scratched the surface of them. However, one thing I did not like is that I would prefer Aro to end up with Kei as he is nice and is a better person for her, and it also feels a bit wrong that there is romantic tension between Aro and Prince as he is decades, maybe even centuries old and she is a 16 year old girl.

I will definitely be reading the next book, even though I have no idea what will happen next. I recommend Broken Prince to fans of the first book, Broken Aro and people who like good YA fantasy.