Saturday 30 May 2015

Shadows on the Moon

3 Stars/5

Suzume has lived a happy life until her father is accused of treason and him along with her cousin are killed. Now she has left almost everything she has known to live with her mother and soon to be step-father. But Suzume is not a normal 16 year old as she has a magical gift. When she discovers she has been betrayed she uses her ability to escape and recreate herself, but who is the real Suzume, the lowly Drudge or the beautiful courtesan. With her unwavering resolve to get revenge, she is determined that nothing will get in her way, not even love.

Shadows on the Moon is an enjoyable standalone fantasy novel inspired by Japan which is a dark fairytale book about revenge. While it is based loosely on Cinderella, none of the characters are morally black or white. It is a quick read and is easy to get into this book which has suspense and romance, and deals with self-harm.

Suzume/Rin/Yue is a very likeable character but does not have an easy time, she has many different personalities in this book from the lively Suzume to the shy Suzu and others, while I didn’t agree with some of her decisions I could understand her need for revenge. Otieno is a really good character as he never gives up and is a bit innocent to the way of the world, and is a strong silent type. I also love Akira as she is caring and not your average YA character.

Shadows on the Moon has a sweet ending and I would recommend it to fans of fairytales.

Wednesday 27 May 2015

A Noble's Quest

3 Stars/5

When Thomas kills a co-worker, he and his best friend, Sarentha leave everything they have known, and in the dead of night they are offered a job they cannot refuse. As they become part of a nobleman’s plans, they meet Eliza and together they go on quests across the Tamorran Empire. With grand plans in motion, will the trio be able to withstand what faces them and discover the truth?

A Noble’s Quest is an enjoyable fantasy adventure, which is fast paced and has a well-developed world.  It is similar to classic fantasy novels but it also has influences of video games. However, this gaming influence does not work well in a book as in a game one of the main aims is killing things but in books you want more depth and internal debate over killing people, rather than randomly slaying things, and it didn’t feel like this book did that.

Thomas is a classic fantasy hero as he is brave and strong but he is a fantasy stereotype. Sarentha is a funny and rogue-like character but like Thomas he is clichéd. There are some good secondary characters, especially Eliza, and it was interesting to learn more about the different races.

I did not see the truth coming and while the book had some issues I look forward to reading the next book. I would recommend A Noble’s Quest to fans of classic fantasy books and fans of fantasy RPG games. 

Sunday 24 May 2015

Chasing Ravens

2 Stars/5

When orphan Anouk is arranged to marry the worse man she could imagine at the age of 15 she decides to run away, and stumbles upon a village called Devya which she could make home. When a curse threatens Devya, Anouk ventures into the neighbouring magical forest to save them. In the Dark Woods she meets a handsome woodsman but it will take all her strength to survive.

Chasing Ravens is an OK light fantasy novel which has a Russian fairy tale feel, and is a quick read, but the pacing was very slow in the beginning of the book. It has action, adventure and a bit of romance. While the story idea was interesting, I didn’t particularly care what was going to happen next.

Anouk is a nice character, as she was courageous and determined to help those who were kind to her. I also liked most of the town folk of Devya but I wish we could have spent more time with them. However, the romance did not feel necessary and I did not feel any spark between the two of them.

Chasing Ravens is an OK read, and I would recommend to fans of very light fantasy novels. 

Thursday 21 May 2015

Witch Hunter

2 Stars/5

Thanks to Netgalley and Hachette Children’s Books for giving me this book to review.

16 year old Elizabeth doesn’t look dangerous but she is one of the best witch hunters in Anglia, and the price for doing witch craft is death by fire. However, when Elizabeth is accused of being a witch, she is declared a traitor and is throw in prison until her execution. Hours before death she is rescued by Nicholas Perevil, the most powerful and wanted wizard, and in return he asks her to track down the person who has cursed him. As she discovers more about the curse and about witches and wizards she begins to question everything she has known.

Witch Hunter is an OK book but I did find it hard to get into. Also while it was well written but I just did not care about the story.

Elizabeth is an annoying and dull at the same time and it felt like she had no personality, apart from at the beginning in which she is a hypocrite. However, I did like Nicholas and his group of wizards and witches.

I sure most will like this book but I just struggled a lot with it. 

Tuesday 19 May 2015

Hidden Huntress

4 Stars/5

Thanks to Netgalley and Angry Robot for giving me this book to review.

Cecile is free of Trollus and she has been living with her mother for 3 months in Trianon, singing in the opera every night but her true goal is to find the witch who has trapped the trolls for 500 years and free her husband. In Trollus, Tristan has been imprisoned for treason but now he is free.  All of his hard work of gaining the half-bloods trust has now been destroyed but he is still determined to fix the injustices for the trolls. With Cecile making an ill-considered deal with the King, she has to find the witch before she goes mad, but can she do it in time?

Hidden Huntress is the really enjoyable sequel to Stolen Songbird, with action suspense and romance. The first half of this book was really slow and not much happened, but the second half did pick up. However, this book was predictable, especially the villain as it was so obvious who it was, but throughout the novel I thought it was a red herring.

I struggled a bit with Cecile in this book, not that there was anything wrong with her, she was still stubborn and compassionate, I just was not as interested in her side of the story. I much preferred Tristen as we got to see more of him than the other book and see how responsible he is but also that he is willing to acknowledge his mistakes.

This book definitely suffers from second book syndrome but I am still looking forward to the next book. I would recommend Hidden Huntress to fans of the first book in this series Stolen Songbird.

Friday 15 May 2015

From a Distant Star

3 Stars/5

Thanks to Karen McQuestion, Netgalley and Skyscape for giving me this book to review.

17 year old Emma is the only person who has not given up hope for Lucas, her boyfriend, as everyone believes that his cancer has killed him, but she is willing to do anything to save him. When Lucas miraculously recovers everyone is surprised and exultant, but Emma notices that Lucas is not the same person. However, she could have never guessed the truth, that an alien, Scout, has temporally taken over Lucas’s body and is desperate to get back home. With government agents poking around, Emma and Scout set out to find help and save the boy she loves.

From a Distant Star is a likable YA sci-fi book, which is a quick read, with romance and suspense. While this book deals with some big issues it is not dark.

While I liked Emma as she was determined and never gave up, she did irritate me as she was very clingy and believed in aliens way too easily. However, I really liked Scout as he was adorable and naïve, who is just lost in a strange world and just wanted to go home. I also like Eric as he was a good kid, but I did feel sorry for him as his parents didn’t believe in him. But while they did not seem the kindest parents, it must be hard for them having a son dying of cancer, and that may explain why they acted a certain way.

I enjoyed From a Distant Star and I would recommend to fans of YA sci-fi novels. 

Tuesday 12 May 2015

Siren's Fury

3 Stars/5

Thanks to Netgalley and Thomas Nelson for giving me this book to review.

Nym has saved Faelen with her elemental powers, but has discovered that the Draewulf is not dead as everyone believed, but has taken over the body of Eogen. With Draewulf having destroyed her powers, Nym feels powerless and decides to sneak in with the delegates to Bron, with her new friend Rasha. While in Bron, Nym tries to discover Draewulf’s plans and Lord Myles offers her a chance to get new powers. But is this new power worth the cost?

Siren’s Fury is an enjoyable sequel to Storm Siren, but it did suffer from middle book syndrome. It has action, suspense and magic but it does not have as much romance as the last book and is slower paced.

Nym has changed since the last book as she is much tougher and determined, but she does make a lot of rushed decisions and mistakes, however, her reasoning does make sense. I did miss Colin in this book as he added charm and humour that was missing. But I did really like Rasha as she really helped and supported Nym, but did act like they had known each other for more than a few days.

This book ends on a smaller cliff-hanger than the last book and I am looking forward to reading the next book. I would recommend Siren’s Fury to fans of the first book Storm Siren.

Saturday 9 May 2015

From a High Tower

4 Stars/5

After Freidrich is caught by Annaliese stealing vegetables from her garden to feed his starving children and pregnant wife, she makes a bargain with him. He and his family will be able to eat their fill from her garden, and she will take his unborn child. Giselle grows up in an isolated tower, but with company from the Bruderschaft and her mother, learning about the uses of her magic. After Annaliese dies, and Giselle is left to make her own way. She takes the guise of a young man, and travels the festivals earning prizes for her marksmanship. At one festival she catches the eye of the local recruiter, who gets violent whilst trying to conscript her into the army, and Giselle’s Sylph’s accidentally kills him, she goes on the run. She comes across a Wild West show, where Captain Cody, the ringleader, and Leading Fox, the Native American’s medicine man also have magic. Will she evade the law, and make a home for herself?

I really like From a High Tower, as it has Mercedes Lackey’s usual mix of action, fantasy and hints of romance. It is a bit slow paced, with the villain only being known about in the last third of the book.

Giselle is a very predictable character, and I found her character to be a bit boring. This however, was offset by Captain Cody, who is a womaniser and a bit of a cad, whilst wanting to do the best for his troop, and being a genuinely good hearted person.

I will definitely be reading the next book in this series, and I like what Mercedes Lackey is doing with regards to the romance in her books, it is not as obvious, and a bit more realistic. I would recommend From a High Tower to fans of Mercedes Lackey, and those who like re-imagined fairy tales.

Wednesday 6 May 2015

Sing For Me

2 Stars/5

Thanks to Netgalley and Xpresso Book Tours for giving me this book to review.

Madeline has fled war-torn heaven and is hiding in the mortal world, in a theatre company, she is unable to use her full voice for fear of harming or killing others. She is protected by the demon hunter, Damascus, who has vowed to guard Madeline from the evils hunting her, but are they able to deny their attraction and desire for each other.

Sing For Me is an OK New Adult paranormal novel, but while it had an interesting plot idea, I just could get into it. I got really confused at parts of this book as it did not have good world building.

I could not connect to any of the characters in this book. Madeline is a determined character but she did send mixed message to Damascus, and I just could not get on with her as a character. Damascus is brave and protective, but is full of angst. The romance in this book was established before began and therefore I was not invested in it and didn’t care what happened.

This was not a bad book but I just could not get into it and had to DNF at 57%.

Sunday 3 May 2015

From the Ashes

4 Stars/5

Thanks to Shelby Morrison for giving me this book to review.

18 year old Aia has lived practically all her life as a high born in the Kingdom of Tharien, but she has a secret, she is a Bender, a person with powers, who are feared and hunted by Breakers. When her powers accidently break free, she has to run from everything she has worked towards and hide for her life. She is being hunted by a young ambitious Breaker, Cole, but he has secrets of his own. When Aia meets another Bender who is determined to destroy Tharien, she finds she has the fate of her Kingdom in her hands.

From the Ashes is a really good older YA fantasy novel. It is fast paced and has lots of twists and turns. This book is action-packed, well written with a bit of violence, but not too much.

Aia is a nice character who was caring and willing to sacrifice herself for what is right, however, while it was said in the book that she loves her parents, I felt she did not act like most people would at her parent’s fate. I preferred the character of Cole as he was protective and has a lot of hidden depth to him. I was expecting more romance in this book but I am glad there wasn’t because it would have come across as unrealistic and rushed, but I there is potential for some in the next book and I hope it does.

I really enjoyed this book and I am looking forward to reading the next book. I would recommend From the Ashes to fans of Witch Song by Amber Argyle and The Shadow Soul by Kaitlyn Davis.