Review: Witch Emerging by Mona Hanna

Witch Emerging (High Witch, #2)

Witch Emerging
(High Witch #2)
Author: Mona Hanna
Publisher: Createspace
Published: September 27, 2013
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal, Young Adult, Romance
My Rating:

three point five

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Synopsis new

Sequel to High Witch.

After surviving being hunted by Julius, Brayden and Ariel settle into their married life. Ariel is determined to find the other High Witches to make sure they’re alright. But there’s something going on with her pregnancy, something unusual, and she needs to find out what.

In the meantime, Hallie, an eighteen-year-old witch, is being pursued by Nicholas, a strange young man who knows about her past. What does Nicholas want with Hallie, and how are they both connected to Ariel? And what about Sean, the man Hallie loves? Will they end up together, or will Nicholas’ plan hurt all of them? The two witches will need to work hard to save those they love, and each other.

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There’s a bit of an improvement in this second sequel of the series. Like the first book High Witch, Witch Emerging is a quick and easy fantasy read that you can finish in one or two sittings. This time, there are additional important characters to read about.

The storyline of the book expands when Brayden and Ariel, now a married coupe and are expecting a child, are on a quest to find the other existing High Witch in order to protect her against possible threats. However, it’s difficult to trace her when the baby in Ariel’s womb is exhibiting some strange power that troubles them. Meanwhile, the other High Witch known as Hallie is being pursued by a warlock named Nicholas who is on a mission of revenge.

There were things that I liked in this book including the writing of the author which apparently improved. The characters were given much depth and there was also enough “creep factor” that kind of made my hair raise on the back of my neck. (I started reading this witch book at 2AM so you can basically imagine the freaky feeling I’ve had.)

“Watch out for the little witch, with golden hair on her head. She’ll say your name and your fingers will twitch, and then you’ll end up dead.”

I wasn’t fully convinced by the action in this book, though. For me, that aspect fell short. I was looking for a real elaboration of action scenes, like how the casting of spells are done, how they fight an enemy using their power, etc. And I’m not just talking about the descriptions via characters’ dialogues. I want more showing and less talking.

All in all, it was a good sequel. It was better than the first book for sure. Although there were elements that were missing here, a few things however, stood out. For fans of witch and fantasy books, I recommend you to check this series out. 🙂

(Thank you to the author Mona Hanna for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!)

Rating:

three point five

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Review: A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2)

A Court of Mist and Fury
(A Court of Thorns and Roses #2)
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury Childrens Books
Published: May 3, 2016
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, New Adult, Romance
My Rating:

5 stars new

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Synopsis new

Feyre is immortal.

After rescuing her lover Tamlin from a wicked Faerie Queen, she returns to the Spring Court possessing the powers of the High Fae. But Feyre cannot forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people – nor the bargain she made with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court.

As Feyre is drawn ever deeper into Rhysand’s dark web of politics and passion, war is looming and an evil far greater than any queen threatens to destroy everything Feyre has fought for. She must confront her past, embrace her gifts and decide her fate.

She must surrender her heart to heal a world torn in two.

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“To the people who look at the stars and wish, Rhys.”

Rhys clinked his glass against mine. “To the stars who listen— and the dreams that are answered.”

First of all, can we take a moment to glorify the perfection that is Rhysand?

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No doubt, A Court of Mist and Fury tops my favorite sequels this year. It basically owned me, took my heart, broke it into a million pieces, and mend it all back together. Sarah J. Maas sure doesn’t stop giving me goosebumps. I’ve just realized that there are so many reasons why I need to stick to her works and never let go, because she does it better. Always.

Notable things to expect in ACOMAF:

> remarkable plot
> character development
> new setting
> new characters
> romantic development
> series of revelations
> sizzling romantic scenes
> deep, tear-jerking dialogues
> plot twist

and of course–

> Rhysand and lots and lots of Rhysand

These things are more than reason enough for me to rate this 5++++ stars. There was just too much goodness that happened in this book. So much improvement, especially when it comes to Feyre’s character. I loved how she handled and basically maneuvered all the rough situations here, how she listened not only to her heart but to her mind as well, and how she was able to use her critical thinking in the end. I’ve just witnessed a new Feyre and with that, I was more than happy.

I guess it’s already quite obvious and it’s fair to say that this book is about Rhysand, isn’t it? Yep. Where is Tamlin? What is Tamlin?

He’s gone. Figuratively. And this isn’t a spoiler. Tamlin (in ACOTAR) was non-existent here. He basically changed– or so I thought. I admit that it was so hard for me to accept his character changes because I rooted for him in the first book. I kept asking, why? Why did the author change his character? It was when I reached the near-end part of the book when I finally realized that he didn’t really change. I just saw the REAL him. He was in my opinion, a good character. It’s just that… He’s weak and his love for Feyre and the need to protect her was all-consuming, to the point where he became so manipulative and territorial.

That’s why in the end, my vote goes to Rhysand. I’ve known his character in the first book as someone who’s cocky and literal bad boy, but I didn’t know anything about him, really. In this book, I saw him as a well-developed, wholly different character. I didn’t know that behind his pretty face and sexy grin lies dark secrets full of pain which made me feel for him.

“He thinks he’ll be remembered as the villain in the story. But I forgot to tell him that the villain is usually the person who locks up the maiden and throws away the key. He was the one who let me out.”

The best thing about this sequel apart from the character and romantic development was also the setting. The Night Court was so beautiful it’s too much! I loved how the place was described in a vivid and captivating way. I found myself really dreamy just by imagining those beautiful stars and sunsets *sigh.

This is what I imagine The Night Court to look like:

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I had a lot of favorite scenes here, too. Like the Starfallfestival scene, the Court of of Nightmares smexy and full-of-sexual-tension scenes, and the scene when Feyre said:

“You love me? Then eat. “

Did I say that I also love it every time Rhysand calls her,“Feyre darling?” 😉

In addition to my favorite scenes, the new characters also rocked! Amren, Cassian, Mor, and Azriel for the win!!! I like the Inner Circle and their bad-assery and I need more of them soon, in the third book.

I actually have a lot more to say, but they’re going to be really spoilery so I am just going to leave it here:

FEYSAND IS LIFE.

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If you haven’t read this sequel yet, do it already. If you haven’t started this series yet, do yourself a favor and read it. BEST ONGOING SERIES EVER. . 🙂

“Then I learned your name. Hearing you say it… It was like an answer to a question I’d been asking for five hundred years.”

(Note: I would like to say thank you to my dear friend, Allie who gave me a physical copy of this book. You are such a wonderful person with a generous heart. Best of all, you are a sweet soul! <3)

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Rating:

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Buy this book at:

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Review: Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass, #3)

Heir of Fire
(Throne of Glass #3)
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury Childrens
Published: September 11, 2014
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
My Rating:

5 stars new

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Synopsis new

Consumed by guilt and rage, Celaena can’t bring herself to spill blood for the King of Adarlan. She must fight back…

The Immortal Queen will help her destroy the king – for a price. But as Celaena battles with her darkest memories and her heart breaks for a love that could never last, can she fulfil the bargain and head the almighty court of Terrasen? And who will stand with her?

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“She was the heir of ash and fire, and she would bow to no one.”

I have no words that will serve this book justice. This sequel is spot-on perfection!

We all know Sarah J. Maas’s writing power can’t be debated, so let me just tell you that once again, I was beyond amazed with the way she delivered this sequel using her usual scheme– surprising her readers with a series of twists.

Things got more and more interesting in Heir of Fire. In this sequel we can see Celaena’s different side– her vulnerable and helpless side. She’s now delving into a new world called Wendlyn, the land of the faes. From there she met the ferocious Queen Maeve and her devotee, Prince Rowan Whitethorn who later on trained her to unfold her fire abilities. Meanwhile, Chaol and Dorian are having conflicts in Adarlan. Chaol is trying to protect Dorian from unleashing his magical abilities and exposing himself to the King and at the same time, he’s allying with the King’s General Aedion Ashryver, treading in dangerous waters in order to fight back against Adarlan.

The character development of Celaena in this book truly amazed me. It’s nice to know that she isn’t a complete Mary Sue. She is brave yet at the same time she is flawed. In this book, I saw a Celaena who was haunted by her past and was constantly visited by those nightmares that will forever etch her mind. What happened to her when she was a child opened my eyes and made me understand her even more. The moment those flashback scenes were narrated– I died a thousand times. I wasn’t able to help myself but cry and feel so sorry for her. What a cruel, cruel experience it was for Celaena!

What also impressed me was the establishment of the new world, Wendlyn. Wow. It was utterly refreshing. I loved how SJM described this magical land and all those faes and demi-faes that are living there. Not only did the author give us a new setting but she also introduced a bunch of new characters that in a way, changed the entirety of the book– like Rowan, Aedion Ashryver, Manon, Sorscha, and Ren.

I especially loved Rowan. For me, he is character-driven and full of mystery. And I loved the way he’s too brave to protect Celaena and guide her all the way to becoming what she is. He is simply… adorable. 🙂 Aedion, on the other hand, also enthralled me with his masculinity (Am I too shallow? Lol). Actually, I kind of hated him at the start but later on I warmed up to him when I discovered what his true motives are. His dedication towards his people and his queen was truly remarkable.

And Manon. This witch is so kick-ass! I have never fangirled over a female antagonist before but there was something in her fierceness that strangely gave me goosebumps. She’s still a mystery to me, though, and I can’t wait to read more about her character in the next books.

Now on to Chaol and Dorian. Their friendship was tested big time here but I was amazed to find out how deep their bond is and how they’re both willing to give up everything just to save one another. Dorian’s character development was great here. Where’s the weak Dorian we’ve met in the first two books? NON-EXISTENT. I loved how he stood up against his father. I also loved the way he schooled Chaol and said these things to him:

“You cannot pick and choose what parts of her to love.”

Oh, Dorian, I LOVE YOU EVEN MORE! Now while I saw a huge development in Dorian’s character, I found it lacking in Chaol. I don’t know but it seemed as though his character only shined in the final chapters.

The action scenes in this book, on the other hand, were too terrifying and so beautiful I can’t help but gasp. I particularly loved those scenes where Rowan trained Celaena. I loved the banters and the way their friendship bloomed.

What I also loved was how secrets were slowly unfolded. Celaena’s past and roots, the missing Wyrdmarks, Maeve and her sister’s history, what really happened before the magic in Erilea was vanished… Wow, there were really lots of things that were unraveled here and I’m so glad. It was definitely a huge improvement.

So I wrap everything up by saying that this sequel lived up to the first and second book. There were so many things that happened here that wowed me. I’m now excited to dive into the fourth book, Queen of Shadows. I know there will be a lot of huge obstacles that need to be overcome by Celaena and the rest of the characters, so I’m crossing fingers that they will get through it and defeat the King.

Rating:

5 stars new

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Review: Transition by Paige Walker

Transition

Transition
Author: Paige Walker
Publisher: College Boy Publishing, LLC
Published: December 1, 2015
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal
My Rating:

2 Stars smile

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Synopsis new

Nichole Roberts is a beautiful young woman with a bright future ahead of her. It is her eighteenth birthday, and she cannot wait to celebrate it at what will soon to be known as the party of the year. With her family and best friend by her side, everything seems perfect, that is, until that night. A romantic evening with her handsome and mysterious boyfriend turns tragic, and Nichole’s life takes a turn for the worse. Confused about what has happened to her, Nichole wakes up to find everything that she holds dear has been taken from her in a way she never knew existed. Will she ever come to terms with what she has become? Or, will she seek revenge against the one person that has wronged her.

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From the book:
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The sun descends and the moon rises, giving the only light that illuminates the darkness. Wind blows silently as if it is trying to tell me a secret. Our steps are quiet, we move like the wind walking along the forest floor, as we make our way to the hole I crawled out of just a few months ago.

We whip past the trees, rocks, and grass like we are floating in the air. The animals in the forest are neither seen nor heard. They are hiding, but I know they are out there. I can hear the steady pace of their hearts and the blood flowing in their veins.

We make it to our destination. No words spoken, no sentiments given. There is just quiet contemplation and preparation churning in our minds. I look at Jade and she nods. She quickly turns and climbs the tall tree, near me, looking like a spider silently climbing up a wall.

I turn my attention away from Jade. She is now invisible to me. I will neither give away nor tell her whereabouts. She is a secret, one that I will pretend not to know.

I look around through the darkness of night, taking my place, waiting for this game to begin. My stance is confident. My mind is calm. I survey my surroundings, like a predator who feels threatened, bracing for an attack. My eyes land on remnants of the trash bag that once held me inside. I laugh, Nate will have to do better this time if he wants to get rid of me.

Nate is going to come into the forest confident and cocky. He doesn’t realize that the girl he is coming to kill isn’t the same one he had attempted to kill before.

my thoughts new

A Young Adult vampire book, Transition opens up when Nichole Roberts celebrated her eighteenth birthday and was turned into a vampire when her boyfriend Nate Blackwood transitioned her. All throughout her relationship with Nate, she didn’t know that he was a vampire. Not until his bad side suddenly showed up and she realized that he’s not at all the perfect boyfriend that she thought he was. It was too late when she decided to end their relationship though, because she already became a creature of the night.

I really tried to like this book but I felt underwhelmed in most parts. The plot was a little bit cliché to me. I’ve read this kind of vampire story before so maybe that’s the reason why it felt unoriginal to me.

I believe this book will not be so bad at all if it also wasn’t because of the female lead. Nichole kind of ruined it. I was fairly unimpressed with her bratty attitude. She was unnerving, whiny, and difficult to like. The moment she said these things, I knew she and I wouldn’t get along…

“Casey and I aren’t the most popular girls in school but we are likeable and easy to get along with so that gives us a substantial amount of popularity.”

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Another problem that I encountered was Nichole’s over-the-top and perfect character. Literally perfect. She grew up in a rich and loving family, has a tall frame and beautiful face, has a boyfriend who’s also tall, good-looking, and wealthy (he even gave her a jewelry with real diamonds in them on her birthday), and even her boyfriend’s friends are perfect. She has many admirers and everybody in school loves her. In short, everything was unrealistic.

I also had an issue when it comes to the characters’ dialogues which sounded awkward. At times it even appeared repetitive. The world-building and the descriptions of actions were also vague and it was difficult for me to imagine what I was reading.

I give this book 2 stars though because of the interesting things that started to appear in the final chapters. The ending, which was a cliffhanger, was also strongly delivered. It gave the readers a glimpse of the exciting things that will happen in the next book.

(Thank you to the author Paige Walker for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.)

Rating:

2 Stars smile

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xo pearl

Review: A Thorne for a Crown by Lorel Clayton

A Thorne for a Crown (Eva Thorne, #2)

A Thorne for a Crown
(Eva Thorne #2)
Author: Lorel Clayton
Publisher: LC Books
Published: December 8, 2015
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
My Rating:

4

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Synopsis new

The first real case femme fatale turned private eye, Eva Thorne, has had in months may be more than she can handle. King Rutgard has been kidnapped, only he’s not entirely alive, which makes finding him difficult. What’s more, dwarf men are joining the suffragist movement in droves to win freedom from the matriarchy, and there’s a werewolf terrorist in town causing chaos. Eva needs a case like this to make her reputation, but she has problems of her own. Dark magic is rising in her, the Thorne legacy, and she can’t control it. She has to find a way or risk imprisonment by the jackbooted elf soldiers who are cracking down on illegal necromancy and worship of the Dead God. Worse, the God of Death wants her soul, as does her twin sister, so Eva denies her magic and hides from her family. But some things are impossible to hide from, like the tax collector … and love.

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“You only fear what you do not know.”

My reaction after reading this book:

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After reading Ate Claire’s (I call her Ate Claire, “ate” as big sister in Filipino) review of this book months ago, I felt so giddy to start it because I found the previous book really enjoyable. (Click her name to read her thoughts! :))

A Thorne for a Crown is the second installment of Eva Thorne series. I expected this book to be a lot more action-packed. I was right. It was filled with particularly exciting action scenes and adventures. What I didn’t expect was how it’s going to be better than the first book, Tangle of Thorneswhen it comes to the storyline and the mc’s character development. In this sequel, our heroine Eva Thorne begins her journey as a detective, investigating the reported disappearance of the dwarf king, King Rutgard. She’s now smarter, confident, and independent. More developed compared to her character in the previous book.

What made me appreciate this book more was the thrill it gave me when magical creatures such as werewolves, beasts,and even dragons were highlighted apart from dwarfs. The authors sure did an amazing job in engaging me with its mythical characters, dazzling plotline, and lots of humor. In addition, I appreciate Eva’s romantic involvement with certain characters. I personally ship Eva and Conrad, by the way. I thought they look cute together and the way they work as a team was remarkable. Can they just end up together, please?

I have to give the authors credits for that cliffhanger in the end. That totally stunned me. This book, as a whole, offered a real surprise to me. It was better than what I’ve expected. I’m looking forward to reading the third installment. 🙂

(Thank you to the authors for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!)

Rating:

4

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xo pearl

Review: High Witch by Mona Hanna

High Witch (High Witch, #1)

High Witch
(High Witch #1)
Author: Mona Hanna
Publisher: Createspace
Published: December 2, 2012
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal, Young Adult, Romance
My Rating:

3 Stars

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Synopsis new

Brayden dreams for thirty nights, tortured by the vision of a beautiful woman. When Ariel Williams walks into his inn, he sees that she’s the one he’s been obsessed with in his night time journeys. But Ariel is fleeing an arranged marriage and keeps shyly to herself, until the worst happens and by mistake she casts a spell on a guest. Brayden works with Ariel to help her control her magic but discovers she’s a High Witch – one of only three witches in the world with a rare kind of power.

Immediately the two must flee; evil warlock Julius wants to enslave Ariel – mind, heart and body. Julius and his lover the High Witch Nadia will stop at nothing to capture Ariel, and the danger threatens to tear Ariel apart from Brayden. Ariel’s only hope is that her love for Brayden and her newly-discovered powers are strong enough to save them.

This is a NOVELLA of approximately 25,000 words.

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Mixed feelings. I really loved the premise of this novella but I was expecting something different. I thought it would be more on the fantasy and supernatural side than romance.

High Witch, the first installment of High Witch series, was actually short (87 pages). It’s about a guy named Brayden who has been dreaming about a mysterious girl for a very long time. He fell in love with that girl even though he only saw her in his dreams. When he unexpectedly met her in flesh one day, he eventually learned that her name’s Ariel and she’s in fact, a High Witch, a powerful sort of witch. He was not really that dumbstrucked upon learning Ariel’s true nature because he came from a long generation of witches. He soon learned that Ariel is hunted by an evil warlock named Julius who wanted her powers in order for him to enjoy unending youth.

At first I found myself getting lost in the story so easily. The plot was promising. Although the writing was not that perfect, I had high hopes that the author can still pull it off. But when I got into the part where the romance was introduced, and not just simple romance but over-the-top, I-will-die-for-you romance, I found it quite off. The romantic development came a little too quickly. I love it when there’s romance in a fantasy book but I also wish it wasn’t the main focus of the story.

Despite my issues, though, I still found this novella quite promising. It had lots of potentials and the characters were likeable and very independent. The writing may need a little polishing and some improvements but I’m impressed ‘coz the author was able to think of a concept that will draw fantasy-lovers in. If you want a quick read with witches as main characters, then I recommend this novella! 🙂

P.S. Really loving the cover of this book. So pretty!

(Thank you to the author Mona Hanna for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!)

Rating:

3 Stars

Buy this book at:

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xo pearl

 

Review: Must Remember by Colleen S. Myers

Must Remember (Solum, #1)

Must Remember
(Solumn #1)
Author: Colleen S. Myers
Publisher: Champagne Books
Published: November 3, 2015
Genre: Romance, Science Fiction, Fantasy, New Adult
My Rating:

3 Stars

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Synopsis new

Nineteen-year-old Elizabeth ‘Beta’ Camden is a survivor. When the E’mani-those pale alien freaks-destroy Earth with a plague of madness and scoop up the remains, Beta is one of the ‘lucky’ ones. For years, she endures their tortures, experiments and games. Then one day, she manages to escape their ship with her life, and no memory of her time with them. Stranded on their world, Beta wanders the mountains, looking for a way home. She stumbles onto the Fost-the E’mani’s ancient enemy. Their war with the Imani is old and rooted in magic that the Fost once had and the Imani crave. Magic Beta soon discovers she’s developing along with strange tattoos and disturbing glimpses of her past. The Fost take her in and train her in their ways. As she spends more time with them, she falls in love with their culture and with Marin-he of the hot hands and slit eyes. But the E’mani took her for a reason and they want her back-dead or alive. If Beta doesn’t remember that reason soon, they’re all going to die.

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A promising introduction to a New Adult sci-fi series!

This book is something new to me. Not because of its genre but because of how the author, Colleen S. Myers, was able to deliver a very original concept. I haven’t read a lot of alien books but usually in a book like this, aliens invade the earth, live in it, and rule over the humans. In this book, however, we see a different scenario. Aliens invade the earth, take random humans and bring them to their planet. Then their planet will be the main setting. Isn’t is refreshing in a way?

Must Remember follows a life of a 19 year-old girl named Elizabeth “Beta” Camden. One day she fell victim to a group of aliens called E’mani who took her away after creating a devastation in the earth. While in E’mani’s world, she undergone horrible experiences and then one day, she woke up in a place resided by a group of another aliens called Fostwho are otherwise known as the enemy of the E’mani. It would’ve ended Beta’s misery but then she has no memory of what happened to her while she was captured by the E’mani, only her memory when she was on earth. Difficult situations soon arrived when she met two Fost men that completely changed her life, Finn and Marin.

I loved how this book started off. It immediately captured my attention because of its interesting premise and the neat world description and its history. The writing of the author was also decent. But while there were some interesting things in the book, there were also some negative ones that didn’t sit well with me, such as the heroine. I found Beta somewhat annoying. I kind of don’t like her POV and her ramblings and I’m so sorry to say that I can’t stand her attitude, especially when it comes to interacting her men. Yes, ladies and gents. Love triangle. Ugh. Okay I’m not really against love triangles as I have a lot of favorite books and series where there are swoony love triangles but in this book, I didn’t want the heroine to delve into this complicated thing because I think it’s not necessary.

Also, it kind of lacked when it comes to action scenes. I wished there were lots and lots of it. The ending, however, was nicely done. I loved how the story was closed with an indication of what the sequel will offer. Hopefully the second installment will be better than this. All in all, this was a good start to a series. I can a sense a huge revelation in the upcoming books.

(Thank you to the author, Colleen S. Myers, for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!)

Rating:

3 Stars

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xo pearl

 

Review: City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare

City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6)

City of Heavenly Fire
(The Mortal Instruments #6)
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Walker Books
Published: July 2, 2015
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance
My Rating:

5 stars new

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Synopsis new

In this dazzling and long-awaited conclusion to the acclaimed Mortal Instruments series, Clary and her friends fight the greatest evil they have ever faced: Clary’s own brother.

Sebastian Morgenstern is on the move, systematically turning Shadowhunter against Shadowhunter. Bearing the Infernal Cup, he transforms Shadowhunters into creatures out of nightmare, tearing apart families and lovers as the ranks of his Endarkened army swell.

The embattled Shadowhunters withdraw to Idris – but not even the famed demon towers of Alicante can keep Sebastian at bay. And with the Nephilim trapped in Idris, who will guard the world against demons?

When one of the greatest betrayals the Nephilim have ever known is revealed, Clary, Jace, Isabelle, Simon, and Alec must flee – even if their journey takes them deep into the demon realms, where no Shadowhunter has set foot before, and from which no human being has ever returned…

Love will be sacrificed and lives lost in the terrible battle for the fate of the word in the thrilling final installment of the classic urban fantasy series The Mortal Instruments!

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“We are all the pieces of what we remember. We hold in ourselves the hopes and fears of those who loves us. As long as there is love and memory, there is no true loss.”

This is going to be a very emotional review fangirling so please bear with me….

I knew the conclusion of The Mortal Instruments will be beautiful. What I didn’t expect was how it’s even better than what I’ve expected. It was epic. The best of all the best. The kind of book that was well-molded from start to finish, closing the entire series with a huge impact to the heart.

DEFINITELY THE PERFECT ENDING AND THE PERFECT SERIES. EVER!

To Cassandra Clare, you have no idea how much I cried after finishing this book. With your brilliant writing and exceptional imagination, you simply hooked me. I loved how you created your characters and the Shadowhunter world. The way you designed this fictional world with so much love was so overwhelming. And no matter how dark it was, still, its overall greatness was worthy enough. I could read this series all over again!

“If people have a spark in them, yours is the brightest I know.”

City of Heavenly Fire Cassandra Clare is the longest sequel in this series. All the while, I thought City of Glass was the best book, but in my opinion, City of Heavenly Fire was everything. It was simply satisfying. I loved the carefully constructed plot as well as the series of twist and turns.

“The wishes of our hearts are weapons that can be used against us.”

Some of my favorite scenes in this book:

> The real Brother Zachariah – If you have read this book and the TID series, then you will know what I mean. The feels!

> Bat and Rufus’ fight and Rufus’ and Maia’s battle – Talk about a phenomenal battle of werewolves! This scene is not to be missed!

> The drunk Simon moment – This was the scene where I did laugh like a mad woman. Those funny and corny yet super swoony things that he said to Izzy were my undoing!

> Jace and Clary when they were at the cave of Edom – THIS. I’ve waited for this moment. NUFF SAID.

I’ll stop now. I couldn’t go on anymore without spoiling everyone but let me just tell you that there were so many amazing scenes in this book!

“You were the wrong person for the Jace that I was, but not the Jace that I am now, the Jace you helped make me.”

Now let me express my feelings and opinions toward the beautiful major characters that made up the whole series.

Clary – I loved her character development here. Gone was the reckless Clary Fray that we saw in the previous books. The Clary Fray that we see here is braver and wiser and so much careful with her actions and decisions.

Jace – He was phenomenal here and his character development was also remarkable. I think it’s about time to see a Jace that truly accepts and embraces his own self and not just his demons. Also, he was way sweeter here. This is the guy that I was looking for in previous books and because of that, I couldn’t be any happier.

Simon – Of all the characters, Simon is my most favorite. He just couldn’t stop being awesome! And what happened to him in the final chapters of this book… ugh, it made me feel emotional!

Alec – I didn’t quite appreciate his character until now. He was way better here! And not just because of his epic action stunts but because in this book, he loved Magnus so fiercely and unselfishly. Like the rest of the characters, he will be hard to forget!

Isabelle – Always such a sexy badass character and I couldn’t stop admiring her! I have always been a fan of her character since City of Bones. In this book, she became even stronger. And she was always a true friend and a sister.

Magnus – This man. This powerful warlock. He’s the reason why this entire series kept getting interesting. Life would be dull and boring without him, to be honest.

Maia – Who would’ve thought that this girl will impress me? She simply rocks! She has this hidden fire in her that was unleashed in this book. So surprising!

“Weapons, when they break and are mended, can be stronger at the mended places. Perhaps hearts are the same.”

To say I was amazed by this series’ conclusion is an understatement. I was left completely awed and emotional and even starting to miss the characters. 😦 The good thing is that there’s Lady Midnight waiting which I will be reading soon! If you haven’t started this series and The Infernal Devices yet, what better time? They’re ultimate favorites of mine!

I’m going to leave you with my most favorite quote from this book…

“We Shadowhunters, we put ourselves in danger, every hour, every day. I think sometimes we are restless with our hearts the way we are with our lives. When we give them away, we give every piece. And if we do not get what we so desperately need, how do we live?”

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Rating:

5 stars new

Buy this book at:

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xo pearl

Review: Oleah Chronicles: Justice by Michelle Johnson

Oleah Chronicles: Justice

Oleah Chronicles: Justice
Author: Michelle Johnson
Publisher: Michelle Johnson
Publication: May 15, 2016
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Paranormal, Science Fiction
My Rating:

3 Stars

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Synopsis new

After discovering the truth about her Oleah origins, Angel thought she could still have a normal life, consisting of normal things – like her seventeenth birthday party. But there is no such thing as normal for Angel anymore. She learned that the hard way after Sindrell – the most powerful sorceress in the universe – crashed her party, destroyed the city, and took her best friend, Julie, captive. Determined to defeat Sindrell for good, Angel must risk her life, along with the fate of the entire universe to get Julie back…alive. The only way she can do this successfully, is to embrace her Oleah instincts and learn what it takes to become a true warrior. Problem is, Sindrell has an insurance policy of her own that will put millions of lives in danger – including Zander’s – to ensure her quest for power is brought to fruition. One way or another. In order to protect Zander, and save Julie, Angel has to make a choice… but will it be the right one?

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Oleah Chronicles: Justice picks up where we left Angel Seriki in Oleah Chronicles: Truth. This time our heroine is doing everything she can to rescue her best friend Julie and to become stronger by training under the guidance of her Oleah parents and of course, together with the love of her life Zander.

I loved that the sequel was a light read and it introduced a whole new premise. The introduction of new characters was also a great thing since it offered a refreshing feel to the readers. What I just didn’t quite enjoy was how some scenes became abrupt. I thought the world building here also lacked and fell flat. Also, I was expecting a lot of romantic scenes between Zander and Angel, but… 😦 Then there’s Julie who kept annoying me most of the time. 😦 However, there’s this Zander line that made me swoon. 🙂

“Sometimes, you don’t realize you’re broken until someone brings you the piece that’s been missing in your life. You are my missing piece, Princess. Going back to a world that you’re not in, is not an option. My life belongs to you.”

The book was still beautifully done and though it lacked on some levels, the plot was spot-on and Angel’s character development was evident. In addition, the book’s ending was a BANG and it certainly made a difference. It made me question what will happen to Julie and Angel’s friendship now that there’s a huge change between them. 🙂

(Thank you to the author Michelle Johnson for sending me an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review!)

Rating:

3 Stars

Buy this book at:

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xo pearl

Review: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling

 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter, #2)

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
(Harry Potter #2)
Author: J.K. Rowling
Publisher: Bloomsbury Childrens
Published: September 1, 2014
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
My Rating:

4

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Synopsis new

Harry Potter can’t wait for his holidays with the dire Dursleys to end. But a small, self-punishing house-elf warns Harry of mortal danger awaiting him at Hogwarts. Returning to the castle nevertheless, Harry hears a rumour about a Chamber of Secrets, holding unknown horrors for wizards of Muggle parentage. Now someone is casting spells that turn people to stone, and a terrible warning is found painted on the wall. The chief suspect – always in the wrong place – is Harry. But something much more terrifying has yet to be unleashed.

These new editions of the classic and internationally bestselling, multi-award-winning series feature instantly pick-up-able new jackets by Jonny Duddle, with huge child appeal, to bring Harry Potter to the next generation of readers. It’s time to PASS THE MAGIC ON …

my thoughts new

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I think there’s no need to make a proper review for this book because everyone knows how great this book and this series is. So I have to put everything through GIFs. 🙂

Things I loved in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets:

THE AWESOME FLYING CAR!

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THE WHOMPING WILLOW! (I couldn’t even imagine how cute and hilarious this tree when it punched Ron and Harry in the earlier chapters. Ha!)

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MOANING MYRTLE (I haven’t seen the movie yet, but is this Moaning Myrtle? The character grew in me and I felt sad for what happened to her. :(( )

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HAGRID (One of the best characters ever!)

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THE BATTLE BETWEEN BASILISK AND FAWKES (I think this one is the best part here. It was pure epicness!)

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What I didn’t quite like:

Not much happened in the first half of the book which brings me to realize that I enjoyed Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone a lot better. Needless to say, I did have fun going to Harry’s adventure here. His character continues to amaze me and his friendship with Ron and Hermione are goals! I have to read the next books ASAP!

Rating:

4

Buy this book at:

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xo pearl

Review: Sweet Temptation by Wendy Higgins

Sweet Temptation (The Sweet Trilogy, #4)

Sweet Temptation
(The Sweet Series #4)
Author: Wendy Higgins
Publisher: Harper Teen
Published: September 8, 2015
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance
My Rating:

4

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Synopsis new

Bad boy Kaidan Rowe has never wanted for anything—money, popularity, musical talent…hot girls—but seducing them is part of his duty as a Nephilim, slave to the demon Dukes. As the son of the Duke of Lust, Kaidan has learned his father’s ways, becoming a master of passion, a manipulator of chemistry. Disobeying his father would mean certain death. Thankfully for Kaidan, he’s good at his job. And he enjoys it.

Until he meets Anna Whitt—smart, feisty, and inexplicably good—the one girl seemingly immune to his charms. The daughter of a guardian angel and a fallen one, she makes him wish for more than he could ever deserve.

Determined to save all the Neph from their dark lives, Anna joins forces with Kaidan to overcome the Dukes’ oppressive ways. In the light of her affections, Kaidan must undergo his toughest test of all, a battle of the heart.

Sensual and swoonworthy, this companion volume to the Sweet Evil series, told from the perspective of the mysterious Kaidan Rowe, gives readers revealing insights into the true emotions that drive him.

my thoughts new

 

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(Buddyreading this book with my sissy Avy)

Reading this book was reminiscing everything in Sweet series and bringing back the feels! I am not really fond of reading a book that rehashes the entire series using the voice of the male mc but this one was an exception because, *sigh It’s KAIDAN ROWE’S POV and why not?

I knew Kaidan was sexy in Sweet Evil, Sweet Peril, and Sweet Reckoning but I think he’s way sexier here. Lots of naughty things were running inside his head and I can’t help but blush. LOL. I think I even loved him better here because I was able to really see through his thoughts and his emotions and the way he regarded Anna. Right in the feels!

“Anna has ruined me with a craving for something far more substantial. She possesses the only thing that can fill the deep void within me, and nothing else comes close.”

Anna and Kaidan have always been one of my favorite OTP’s that’s why it was kind of difficult for me to read this book without missing this couple so bad! But I’m really glad because I already forgot lots of scenes in the series and I’m happy to rewind all of those, especially those scenes I consider my favorites. All in all, it was a worthy somewhat-reread of the entire series. Kaidan Rowe is truly worth it all!

“I can’t simply have a tiny slice of Anna. I’m no masochist. It has to be all or nothing.”

Rating:

4

Buy this book at:

READ ALL MY REVIEWS HERE

xo pearl

 

Review: The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh

The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn, #1)

The Wrath and the Dawn
(The Wrath and the Dawn #1)
Author: Renée Ahdieh
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Published: May 12, 2015
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance, Historical Fiction
My Rating:

5 stars new

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Synopsis new

One Life to One Dawn.

In a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad’s dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph’s reign of terror once and for all.

Night after night, Shahrzad beguiles Khalid, weaving stories that enchant, ensuring her survival, though she knows each dawn could be her last. But something she never expected begins to happen: Khalid is nothing like what she’d imagined him to be. This monster is a boy with a tormented heart. Incredibly, Shahrzad finds herself falling in love. How is this possible? It’s an unforgivable betrayal. Still, Shahrzad has come to understand all is not as it seems in this palace of marble and stone. She resolves to uncover whatever secrets lurk and, despite her love, be ready to take Khalid’s life as retribution for the many lives he’s stolen. Can their love survive this world of stories and secrets?

Inspired by A Thousand and One Nights, The Wrath and the Dawn is a sumptuous and enthralling read from beginning to end.

my thoughts new

I AM AT A LOSS FOR WORDS.

This book is a thousand times worth the read! I’d say, it deserves the hype! The synopsis alone is irresistible and the cover is gorgeous. Even way better when we talk about the overall story which permeated a magical and captivating writing that left me beyond amazed.

The Wrath and the Dawn is a retelling of A Thousand and One Nights. To be honest, I don’t have any idea what the original tale was about and after reading this book, I felt the sudden urge to read A Thousand and One Nights because of how The Wrath and the Dawn was perfectly crafted.

The book introduced the heroine Shahrzad, otherwise called Shazi by her friends, who volunteered to become the new wife of the formidable Khalid Ibn al-Rashid, the caliph(ruler) of Khorasan who was known for his reputation of killing his previous wives after the wedding night. Shahrzad’s sole purpose was to find revenge for what happened to her friend Shiva who fell victim in the hands of Khalid. Little did she know that Khalid was not a monster that she originally thought but a troubled ruler who hid secrets that she eventually wanted to uncover.

I loved that even if it’s YA fantasy, a huge part of the book focused on romance. I’m a fan of YA books with a romantic element and perhaps you already know that by now. 😉 It’s basically part of my deal! So when Shahrzad and Khalid’s romantic interactions were played out spectacularly here and not just once or twice but as many as I’ve counted, I swooned so hard! This kind of YA book is my undoing!

The fantasy element was vaguely defined here but I don’t have any issue with it because I’ve read way heavy fantasy books lately and I guess the light volume of fantasy here best suited me.

“Some things exist in our lives for but a brief moment. And we must let them go on to light another sky.”

What even astounded me most, of course, was Renee Ahdieh‘s writing. God, this author is new to me but she already captured my heart! She weaved her words beautifully and she perfected the art of captivating her readers with the way she built the world and created the characters.

“You are not mine.” He dropped his palm from the door. “I am yours.”

The setting was simply beautiful! I loved that it was established in a deserted land which was something new to me and I adored the way the map was designed in the first pages of the book.

When it comes to the characters, I loved both Shazi and Khalid. Shazi was a tough and feisty character, not necessarily badass like the heroines other YA books were trying to convey, but a vivacious, witty, and alluring character.

“Shahrzad is a difficult girl, and I am a monster. I suppose that makes for a good match.”

Khalid, on the other hand, was PERFECT. No words needed. If you’ll ask me right about now who’s my newly added book boyfriend on my list, that would be KHALID. Y’all know for sure how I love royal characters the way I love Dorian Havilliard, Cal, and Nikolai Lantsov so yes, that’s one of the many reasons (besides him being so gentle and sweet yet a very strong character) why Khalid knocked me off my feet!

“There is no one I would rather see the sunrise with than with you.”

The ending was bittersweet and somewhat a cliffhanger which left me longing for more! Thankfully the second book will be released this month, so yay!

Honestly, I have no negative things to say about this book. That’s because I was 100% entertained. I enjoyed the writing style and the way the story was framed as a whole. If you haven’t read this book yet, I suggest you to give it a try. Don’t be intimated with the hype because as I’ve said, it’s worth it!

“For nothing, not the sun, not the rain, not even the brightest star in the dark sky, could begin to compare to the wonder of you.”

Rating:

5 stars new

Buy this book at:

READ ALL MY REVIEWS HERE

xo pearl

Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1)

A Court of Thorns and Roses
(A Court of Thorns and Roses #1)
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children’s
Published: May 5, 2015
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance, New Adult
My Rating:

5 stars new

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Synopsis new

Feyre’s survival rests upon her ability to hunt and kill – the forest where she lives is a cold, bleak place in the long winter months. So when she spots a deer in the forest being pursued by a wolf, she cannot resist fighting it for the flesh. But to do so, she must kill the predator and killing something so precious comes at a price.

Dragged to a magical kingdom for the murder of a faerie, Feyre discovers that her captor, his face obscured by a jewelled mask, is hiding far more than his piercing green eyes would suggest. Feyre’s presence at the court is closely guarded, and as she begins to learn why, her feelings for him turn from hostility to passion and the faerie lands become an even more dangerous place. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose him forever.

my thoughts new

 

“He’d shown me pools of starlight… He’s saved my life like some kind of feral knight in a legend, and I’d gulped it down like faerie wine…”

I was completely blown away after finishing A Court of Thorns and Roses. I finally realized why this book has hit the shelves with a storm and became an all around hype in the entire book community. Apart from the fact that it’s the work of a genius in a person of Sarah J. Maas, this book is a complete deal.

The plot. Everything was so perfect in terms of its plot. I loved how Sarah J. Maas based the fairy concept on such a popular tale as “Beauty and the Beast” that she plotted the majority of its storyline into ACOTAR’s story and used Beauty and the Beast’s main characters as the basis for this book’s characters.

The pacing. There was no such thing as slow-paced here. Ever. I couldn’t even remember if there was a single part of the book where I felt bored or sleepy. Every chapter, every paragraph, every single line, screamed intensity.

The world-building. Stunning. I am at a loss for words just thinking about how Sarah J. Maas built the amazing world of this book. How everything started as a myth when a lady was holding a Cauldron and the whole fairie continent was magically created. I also loved how the whole continent was divided into different courts: Spring, Summer, Autumn, Day, Night, Winter, and Dawn court and how they were all managed by High Lords. Speechless.

The characters. Feyre is one unique and well-developed character. Better than Celaena in my opinion. She’s strong-willed and very responsible. I liked her character so much that I found myself teary-eyed at times because of the knowledge that she’s the only one who feeds her family, thus her hunting at the woods. Even when she felt so terrified of the forest and the creatures lurking in it, she braved her soul because of her obligations. And with no whining on her part. Also, she’s the kind of character that you will like because she’s simply not annoying. She takes responsibility in her every decision. She’s also cunning and wise despite the fact that she’s illiterate. Yes. We’re having an imperfect, no-Mary Sue character here, guys.

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On the other hand, I loved Tamlin. A High Lord fae with an air of mystery and well, sexiness. Who doesn’t want to sign up? He was described so beautifully and intricately here that I couldn’t help but sigh at the sheer perfection of his characterization.

“I love you. Thorns and all.”

The romance. I have been looking for books that balance both the fantasy and romantic aspects and never have I expected that this book was it. WHY??? WHY did I resist the temptation of reading it? This book basically has been sitting on my shelf for months! Now I see what I’ve totally missed all this time. The romance was all kinds of beautiful. There were swoony and even steamy scenes which kind of… surprised me. (Really, Sarah J. Maas? You could definitely write intimate scenes that are way beyond my imaginings in a fantasy book?) I didn’t know this was sort of a New Adult book– which was good, because it just made the romance all the more compelling.

“I don’t want you to live somewhere else. I want you here, where I can look after you– where I can come home and know you’re here, painting and safe.”

The later part of the book hinted a love triangle because… *sigh Rhysand.

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Yes, we are meeting the other piece of the love triangle! And what a delicious piece, too. I don’t normally root for two guys in a love triangle but here I am, shipping either Tamlin or Rhysand for Feyre!

“Each of us has a beast roaming beneath our skin, roaring to get out.”

The ending. The final chapters of this book proved to be a big and epic surprise. WOW, I was so amazed by the things that took place… especially when Amarantha, the evil Queen, was introduced. That’s when the whole lot of action took place and everything became too overwhelming for me to take. I ended up panting and my heart was beating loudly because I got so nervous.

Now that is how you start a series! Sarah J. Maas, you did it again. You truly are a queen. Rightfully so! A Court of Thorns and Roses is another one of those books one will shelve as a new favorite. It’s beautiful in every single way and it’s complete with all the elements you are looking for in a fantasy retelling. If you haven’t read this book yet, do yourself a favor and start it now.

Rating:

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Buy this book at:

READ ALL MY REVIEWS HERE

xo pearl

 

 

Review: The Power by Jennifer L. Armentrout

The Power (Titan, #2)

The Power
(Titan #2)
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Published: February 23, 2016
Genre: New Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Paranormal
My Rating:

3 stars new

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Synopsis new

With any great change, there is always strife, and the Covenant University has become the frontline between pure-bloods who want the Breed Order reinstated and the half-bloods who want the right to control their own destinies.
Fate has other plans.

The violence is escalating and war between the races seems inevitable, and it couldn’t come at a worse time. Hyperion may be out of commission, but Josie and Seth know they have only earned a reprieve. Seth must get Josie fully prepared, which means controlling her newfound abilities, and they need to find the other demigods before the Titans do.
But the gods are sensing a greater threat.

Only one thing is more dangerous than a bunch of starved Titans, and that’s an out-of-control Apollyon. The aether in Josie is drawing Seth in deeper, and when lust mixes with love and gives way to power, he knows being close to her is not only dangerous to her, but to everyone around them, but letting her go requires a level of selflessness that just isn’t Seth’s style.

The paths taken in the past are becoming the roads of the future.

Just as chaos breaks out, familiar faces from the past return, complicating the already strained bond between Josie and Seth, and when the danger from the Titans erupts with devastating consequences, the dark allure of power calls to Seth again, but this time Josie might not be able to pull him back.

And when the struggle between power and love becomes the deadliest battleground, there may be no salvation.

my thoughts new

This book is one of my most anticipated sequels this year. I loved it and I enjoyed some parts, but it didn’t quite meet my expectations.

The Power picked up where The Return left off. We get to finally see Seth once again and this time he’s continuing his mission to protect and train Josie against the Titans who became an absolute threat to them. They’re also preparing for their mission to find the lost demigods and to convince them to become their allies.

What I loved about this sequel was the writing. Of course, we’re talking about the Jennifer L. Armentrout. Give it to her when it comes to engaging her readers through magnificent writing style laced with humor and wit. Another thing was SETH. Apparently this guy is the main reason why I read this spin-off in the first place. I fell in love with him ever since the Covenant series. In this book, he still gave me butterflies because he’s so frickin’ sexy and the way he cared about Josie was PRICELESS. Perhaps there were times when he started to become a douche but I understood him because he had reasons.

Josie’s character, on the other hand, improved here. I saw some developments in her character and I think she’s on her way to becoming a badass heroine! Another thing that I loved about this book was the romance. Seth and Josie’s romantic development was awesome! And my, those sexy scenes… *blushes

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I also loved the cameo appearances of my favorite characters from the Covenant series. WOW…. THEY’E BACK!!! And hopefully for good. 🙂

The thing that I disliked, however, was the pacing of the book. It was sooooo sloooooow….. especially the first-half where nothing much really happened.

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Also, I was looking for a much better action scenes. The action scenes in the first book were epic but here… they were kind of lame. I wasn’t really that thrilled compared to how I freaked out in the first book. And when it comes to the ending… Jeez, another cliffhanger!

For me, this book was just okay. So-so. Not really an epic continuation. I hope the next book in the series will be better though. I am crossing my fingers to that because I am not giving up on Seth! 🙂

 

Rating:

3 stars new

Buy this book at:

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xo pearl

Review: Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard

Glass Sword (Red Queen, #2)

Glass Sword
(Red Queen #2)
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Publisher: Harper Teen
Published: February 9, 2016
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Dystopia, Romance
My Rating:

5 stars new

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Synopsis new

The thrilling second book in the #1 New York Times bestselling Red Queen trilogy follows Mare Barrow on her mission to defeat the traitorous Maven.

Mare Barrow’s blood is red—the color of common folk—but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control.

The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from Maven, the prince—the friend—who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.

Pursued by Maven, now a vindictive king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors.

But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat.

Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever?

The electrifying next installment in the Red Queen series escalates the struggle between the growing rebel army and the blood-segregated world they’ve always known—and pits Mare against the darkness of her own heart.

my thoughts new

 

Gripping, intense, and an achingly beautiful comeback. This sequel to the Red Queen is Victoria Aveyard at her very best!

Sequels have always been very crucial in a series because they can either be a success, a failure, or in between. Thankfully, this sequel fell to the success side.

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Red Queen ended up with a promise. Glass Sword started off by fulfilling that promise.

It’s actually hard not to love this book because first and foremost, everything started with a BANG! Lots of actions were already happening even at the very first pages that I found myself gripping the edge of my seat.

I was particularly amazed by how Victoria Aveyard weaved the plotline of this book with so much thrill and adventure. The searching for new bloods and the painful, action-packed experiences Mare and the gang experienced as they journeyed from places to places. The introduction of new characters that are so interesting and with unique traits and abilities. So exceptional!

Yes, there were parts that are dragging, but who cares? They actually gave so much time to take it all in and anticipate what’s about to come. Was I surprised? Hell, yes! There were so many shocking scenes and revelations here. Even heartbreaking ones that made me cry.

“I stare at the polished metal, examining my reflection. The girl I see is both familiar and foreign, Mare, Mareena, the lightning girl, the Red queen, and no one at all. She does not look afraid. She looks carved of stone, with severer features, hair braided tight to her head, and a tangle of scars on her neck. She is not seventeen, but ageless, Silver but not, Red but not, human–but not. A banner of the Scarlet Guard, a face on a wanted poster, a prince’s downfall, a thief… a killer. A doll who can take any form but her own.”

Mare’s character development, I admit, was kind of an on-and-off here. Sometimes she was so weak and hopeless but most of the time her strength was the one that made sense to everything. On the other hand, CalHoly freakin’ Cal! This guy– *sigh This brooding prince, ONCE AGAIN, swept me off my feet! His character development in this book amazed me to no end! Seriously, I love him even better here! He was indeed born a leader as the way he acted always had an air of command. And when he brought the “That’s my girl” line to Mare…. *squeals! Who wouldn’t swoon over?

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The romantic parts in this book was my most favorite, of course. I was so happy that there was a bit of a romantic development here between Mare and Cal! MY SHIP! It was certainly sailing in all its glory!!!

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The ending, however, made me flinch and cry and feel a bit of frustrated. WHAT ON EARTH JUST HAPPENED? I was screaming at the top of my lungs because once again, CLIFFHANGER! And we all have to wait another year before the third book comes out!

All in all, Glass Sword is a beautiful, satisfying, made-me-swoon-and-cry sequel. Everything that happened here was remarkable and right in target.

“If I am a sword, I am a sword made of glass, and I feel myself beginning to shatter.”

 

Rating:

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Buy this book at:

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xo pearl

 

 

 

Review: Tangle of Thornes by Lorel Clayton

Tangle of Thornes (Eva Thorne #1)

Tangle of Thornes
(Eva Thorne #1)
Author: Lorel Clayton
Publisher: LC Books
Published: January 15, 2015
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
My Rating:

3 stars new

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Synopsis new

When Eva’s brother is murdered in a city of rude elves and matriarchal dwarves where humans have no rights, she is forced to investigate the crime herself. What she discovers brings her up against a powerful slave-trading cartel, dark gods, and—worst of all—her twin sister. Both her family and the elven authorities want her hushed. She has no money and no magic of her own with which to combat them, but she does have an illegally-freed slave, a senile nanny, and an ex-almost-boyfriend on her side. Even when she nearly loses her job and almost loses her head in a sword fight on the same night, she isn’t deterred. It’s when the nanny goes missing that she really starts to worry.

Femme fatale turns hard-boiled investigator in this first Eva Thorne novel. Set in a fantasy world where magic and machines can’t stand against the God of Death, humans are on the run from the god’s invasion. Highcrowne is the only refuge, but that means living in the Outskirts of an ancient city ruled by Avian mages, indifferent dwarves, and elves who’d prefer to see humans as their slaves. It’s worst for Eva’s people, Solhans, because they were the ones who summoned the Dead God into the world. No one wants her kind in Highcrowne and there are plenty who would be happy to see her brother dead. There are too many motives and not enough time to unravel them, because other people are dying … and Eva is fast running out of vacation time.

my thoughts new

Tangle of Thornes by Lorel Clayton

I find Tangle of Thornes a refreshing fantasy read. It’s a story about a girl named Eva Thorne who had a brother named Viktor who was brutally killed by an unknown person. Determined to find out who the culprit behind her brother’s death, she went to a particular world to seek for help– a world enriched with dwarfs, elves, dark gods, and every otherworldly creatures. Because Eva is a Solhan, a human who is below the level of everyone in this world, she wasn’t able to easily get the needed help. Thus, she went through every corner of the place in order to attain her goal– which led her to various people who played critical roles in her journey.

This book is fantastic when it comes to its concept. It has rich characterization plus a witty writing style that will keep you entertained. I loved how the authors’ writing made everything light because of the solid-rock humor in it. However, I had a problem with the world-building. The image of the world the authors created was easy to perceive but as I went through the pages, there were a lot of questions that kept bugging me. Like, how did this world become like this? Was there a story behind the elves’ indifference towards humans? How and where did they get those slave humans? Maybe I needed more explanations on these things.

But as a whole, this book is beautiful and enjoyable in a way. I loved Eva’s character and how vibrant and strong-willed she became while carrying out her mission. She’s the kind of character that is so easy to like and relate to. The side characters were also funny and with depth. This book may not be that perfect, but it’s not that bad at all. It’s actually a promising start to a great series! If you love fantasy with entertaining mythical creatures, I know you will love this book, too.

Rating:

3 stars new

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xo pearl

 

Review: City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare

City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5)

City of Lost Souls
(The Mortal Instruments #5)
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Walker Books
Published: July 2, 2015
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance
My Rating:

4 stars new

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Synopsis new

The New York Times bestselling Mortal Instruments continues—and so do the thrills and danger for Jace, Clary, and Simon.

What price is too high to pay, even for love? When Jace and Clary meet again, Clary is horrified to discover that the demon Lilith’s magic has bound her beloved Jace together with her evil brother Sebastian, and that Jace has become a servant of evil. The Clave is out to destroy Sebastian, but there is no way to harm one boy without destroying the other. As Alec, Magnus, Simon, and Isabelle wheedle and bargain with Seelies, demons, and the merciless Iron Sisters to try to save Jace, Clary plays a dangerous game of her own. The price of losing is not just her own life, but Jace’s soul. She’s willing to do anything for Jace, but can she still trust him? Or is he truly lost?

Love. Blood. Betrayal. Revenge. Darkness threatens to claim the Shadowhunters in the harrowing fifth book of the Mortal Instruments series.

my thoughts new

The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare

Cassandra Clare did a wonderful job once again!

City of Lost Souls, the fifth book of The Mortal Instruments series, picks up where City of Fallen Angels left off. I don’t want to give anything away by describing the things that have happened here, but the series already becomes more and more interesting. This sequel is actually a much better response compared to the City of Fallen Angels because all the events here were pretty much powerful and more remarkable.

I love how it started off as a bang!, eventually giving a slow-burn feels when the Shadowhunters were trying to figure out how they can come up with a solution to the dilemma, and ending up with a great and action-packed resolve. Although all throughout the book I must admit that I was really getting frustrated especially because of how badly things were turning for Jace. I mean, c’mon, why does Cassandra Clare keep torturing Jace and making him suffer all the time? It’s fricking unfair!

The best part of this book is SIMON. My boy always saves the day! He played a great part here and I think this is the book where he really shines best! When it comes to Clary, her character improved here (although I prefer her character development in City of Glass) but still, I like how bold she was here and how she resorted to critical-thinking. Alec and Magnus’ relationship here was tested big time and I don’t know what to feel about what happened to them here. As for Isabelle, once again this chick astounded me. As usual, she’s a fierce, in-your-face character and that’s what I loved about her! Maia and Jordan’s relationship was also highlighted here. I love the sweet reunion! And of course,Sebastian . Blimey, I am not usually a fan of villains but it’s so ironic how I fangirled over a bad guy all throughout the book!

The action scenes were great and although it happened at the final chapters, they still didn’t fail to bring out the adrenaline rush. The ending, on the other hand, was a blast and was well-executed. It had a surprise factor that will leave you wanting for more. All in all, it was a great come back. Cassandra Clare writes beautifully, but then I have always thought so! This book is really a world I could get lost in!

Rating:

4 stars new

(I’ve recently did a reread on books 1-4 of this series. Check out my mini reviews here:

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xo pearl

 

Review: Cruel Crown by Victoria Aveyard

Cruel Crown (Red Queen, #0.1-#0.2)

Cruel Crown
(Red Queen #0.1 – #0.2)
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Publisher: Harper Teen
Published: January 5, 2016
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
My Rating:

3 stars new

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Synopsis new

Two women on either side of the Silver-Red divide tell the stories no one else knows.

Discover the truth of Norta’s bloody past in these two revealing prequels to #1 New York Times bestseller Red Queen.

Also includes an exclusive excerpt of the hotly anticipated second book in the Red Queen series! Glass Sword transports readers to the world of Silver tyranny, a Red dawn rising, and one girl’s resolve to break down the system that will hold her back no longer.

Queen Song
Queen Coriane, first wife of King Tiberias, keeps a secret diary—how else can she ensure that no one at the palace will use her thoughts against her? Coriane recounts her heady courtship with the crown prince, the birth of a new prince, Cal, and the potentially deadly challenges that lay ahead for her in royal life.

Steel Scars
Diana Farley was raised to be strong, but being tasked with planting the seeds of rebellion in Norta is a tougher job than expected. As she travels the land recruiting black market traders, smugglers, and extremists for her first attempt at an attack on the capital, she stumbles upon a connection that may prove to be the key to the entire operation—Mare Barrow.

my thoughts new

Cruel Crown by Victoria Aveyard

 

Cruel Crown consists of two novellas, Queen Song and Steel Scars. While I loved Queen Song, Steel Cars disappointed me in an epic level. I’m still glad I was able to experience them, though– Queen Song, especially, because it was simply amazing. 🙂

My reviews for both novellas:

 

QUEEN SONG

“There is nothing so terrible as a story untold.”

Queen Song is one of the novellas of Red Queen series. Here, we are told about the backstory of Queen Coriane, the mother of Prince Cal from Red Queen. Coriane belongs to the Silver blood, under the House Jacos— a not-so-well-endowed clan compared to other Silver bloods. She writes her life events in a dairy and conveys her emotions there. Her ordinary life changed when Prince Tibe, heir to the court of Norta, fell in love with her and asked her hand for marriage, which of course, became the reason why the traditional Queenstrial was never realized. This led to conflicts and certain intrigues that tested Coriane’s strength and belief while carrying her crown as a Queen.

It’s Victoria Aveyard’s flawless and breathtaking writing style that made me embrace this novella. Once again I was amazed by how she was able to bring this story in an epic level. There were no action scenes here but all the events were simply engaging. I loved how the simple plotline surprisingly became extraordinarily beautiful in the end.

The romance between Coriane and Tibe was sweet and raw, heartbreaking at times. There was also a good pacing here and the Silver blood’s powers were drawn neatly.

Perhaps Coriane’s character development was the one that’s lacking here. She came out fragile and weak in the beginning but she was starting to get tough in the near-end. Unfortunately, she went back to being weak again in the end, surrendering to her fate and accepting her vulnerability that she couldn’t do anything to save herself and the people she cared about.

All in all, this novella is totally compelling despite some minor flaws. It’s nice to know Coriane’s story after she was mysteriously mentioned in Red Queen. It was written in a poignant yet beautiful prose, something that holds you together to read it. When it comes to the ending, it was a bit hazy and mind-boggling, thus leaving us with a big question: WHO DID IT?

Rating:

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STEEL SCARS

I thought by reading Steel Scars I would be in for a badass story. Nope.

It was the most boring novella I’ve read for a YA fantasy book. Farley’s character is dull and boring. The only one that made this novella quite interesting is Shade Barrow, but everything is disappointing.

I don’t know if I’m the only one who has this problem, but the narrative reports by the Scarlet Guard are too difficult to comprehend. I don’t even know what those are all about. They are too technical!

I expected some revelations and actions scenes. There are NONE. 😦

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Rating:

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CRUEL CROWN OVERALL RATING:

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xo pearl

 

Review: Amaranthine by Lanie Jacobs

Amaranthine (Willow Shadows #1)

Amaranthine
(Willow Shadows #1)
Author: Lanie Jacobs
Publisher: CreateSpace
Published: August 7, 2015
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult, Paranormal, Mystery
My Rating:

4 stars new

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Synopsis new

With Graduation only weeks away, Khalida’s normal everyday boring life is turned upside down in one day. One day is all it took to change everything she ever knew. Never knowing her past, Khalida, is thrown into a world of vampires and just not any vampires, ones who will hunt to the end to kill her. Everyone around her is in danger and she must fight to protect those she loves. Thrust into the chaos, Luke, a boy whom she could never walk completely away from, one who would give his life to protect hers. And Carey, the ex-boyfriend who will stop at nothing to make sure that the darkness that surrounds Khalida succeeds in taking everything away from her. Though, Luke, would take on the world to save her, can he help Khalida save her from herself?

my thoughts new

Amaranthine by Lanie Jacobs

“Khalida was always his heart, but based on the rippling pain that scored across his heart, she was his soul.”

Gripping, intense, and charged with a combination of action and mystery. This debut novel is wonderfully written. It’s about a girl named Khalida who didn’t know she’s a hybrid vampire until she was nearing her 18th birthday and she accidentally bit the neck of her boyfriend Luke who’s also a vampire.

This book started so strong that even if I was still at the beginning chapters I was already on the edge of my seat. It was fast-paced and every chapter brought out some surprises. The characters were also introduced in a mysterious and interesting way. What I greatly noticed about this book was the author’s writing style which was surprisingly good for a debut novel. It wasn’t Stephenie-Meyer-and-Richelle-Mead-writing-style-perfect but if this author continues to do her thing, then I guess she’s on her way to becoming one of them.

I had a bit of a hard time adjusting with Khalida’s attitude, though. I admit I was really annoyed with her most of the time because of her aggressive and careless decisions which led her and other people to trouble. Nevertheless, I was glad her character developed in the last few chapters and she came out strong in the end. Never too late for that! Luke, however, was a great character for me. I loved how he continued to protect Khalida and kept his patience under control in dealing with her attitude. Also, this guy’s a caveman! He’s very territorial with his girl, which was kind of cute. 🙂

I also enjoyed the romantic plot here. It’s quite amazing how the author didn’t exert a great effort in initiating the romance between Khalida and Luke because they’re already lovers (although on and off) so the romantic build-up was already there.

The huge plot twist was the book’s ultimate strength here.. WOW, I DIDN’T SEE THAT COMING! Not at all. And that cliffy ending! Ugh. Why did it happen? Overall, this book was a great read. Definitely waiting for the sequel to come out. 🙂

(A free copy of this book was given by the author Lanie Jacobs in exchange for an honest review.)

Rating:

4 stars new

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xo pearl