Review: Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

heir-of-fire-uk

Title: Heir of Fire

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Date: 11th September 2014

Publisher: Bloomsbury Children’s

This series is incredible and it has gotten better with every book I have read. It’s been a while since I loved a series as much as this and I am so passionate about the characters and their world. I just can’t get enough! Heir of Fire is the best so far because it was tense, fast paced and I was hooked. As this is the third book in the series there will be some spoilers below so if you haven’t read the others, don’t read anymore.

Heir of Fire picks up with Celaena arriving in Wendlyn to carry out the task the King had set her, to steal military plans from the Kingdom. Going against his orders, she hides out until she meets the mysterious Fae Prince, Rowan Whitethorn, who takes her to see Queen Maeve, who can give her the answers that she seeks. But first, she must master her gifts with the help of Rowan. Together they travel to Mistborn, where the Demi-Fae live and they begin a gruelling training regime. All the while a darkness is growing in the mountains where the Ironteeth witches are gathering to help the King of Adarlan. Back in Rifthold Chaol is working with the rebels to come up with ways to help Dorian control his magic and how they can restore it to the land.

There is so much that goes on in this book that it’s hard to know where to start (and it isn’t exactly a small book either). I’m going to start off by saying that I loved the multiple POVs in this book and it was so easy to keep track of everyone’s story. My favourite, by far, was learning about Manon Blackbeak and the wyverns that had been created. I can’t even begin to explain how incredible it was to learn of their history (especially after being introduced to the Yellowlegs clan in Crown of Midnight) and Manon was one of the most badass characters I’ve seen in a while. There is definitely more than meets the eye with her and I’m excited to see where her story leads her (also, Abraxos is amazing and I got Toothless vibes).

The character growth, especially for Celaena, was amazing and learning about her past helped us to understand why she acted the way she did. I was almost crying at some parts because it was so emotional and I think it all comes down to the fact that Maas has created a character that we can all connect with in some way. The shock of finding out that she was Aelin, heir to the throne of Terrasen, stuck with me at the beginning of the novel and it was fascinating to read her interactions at Mistward and the struggles she faced regaining her power.

We were introduced to so many new characters in this novel and they all had their own voice that was distinct and unique. While Rowan seemed to be a bit of an arse in the beginning (he was just a little bit harsh to Celaena), we later grew to understand him and in the end I could feel him becoming one of my favourites. We also met Aedion, the General of one of the King’s armies, who was helping Chaol uncover the secrets of how the magic in Adarlan disappeared and how they could indeed get it back. He, too, was a bit of an arse, but in the end it all made sense and I was rooting for him, for them all really.

Dorian managed to meet someone, a healer named Sorscha, who made him happy and I couldn’t help but smile when I read his POV, although that ending had me gasping because I did not expect a thing! It was heart breaking and left me wanting to know what would happen to all my favourite characters. The last few chapters sent me spiralling and I just know that Queen of Shadows is going to start with a bang. Also, I really, really want the King to die because he’s so evil and it’s infuriating. I don’t think I’ve ever felt this strongly about an antagonist and once again, it’s all down to Maas’ writing ability.

I could go on and on about how amazing this book is and it wouldn’t do it justice. The writing is incredible as always and the world building was fantastic. We learned so much more and I could vividly picture it all. There was action, darkness, drama, romance and heartache. This book made me feel everything and I just love it. How could I not give it 5 stars?

5_Star_Rating_System_5_stars_T

 

ARC Review: Keeper by Kim Chance

Keeper

Title: Keeper

Author: Kim Chance

Date: 30th January 2018

Publisher: Flux Books

I am so thankful that I was approved on Netgalley to review this book because as soon as I read the synopsis, I knew it would be my cup of tea and I was right. Keeper was the first book that I read on my Kindle and I really enjoyed it. Kim Chance created a book that is fun, entertaining and gripping, with a hint of danger. There were a few plot twists I wasn’t expecting (some I did) and I was left wanting to read more. While it isn’t the best book I’ve ever read (I think it has to do with the fact I’m more used to older characters so a 16 year old girl was a bit different) I did enjoy reading it and found myself laughing out loud at some parts.

Lainey Styles is your average 16 year old girl, until she is attacked by a 200 year old witch who won’t leave her alone. It seems impossible and as hard as she tries to convince herself that it isn’t real, she has to face the reality she is being haunted. With the help of her comic-book loving best friend Maggie and street fighter Ty, they piece together the mystery and realise that Lainey is also a witch.

She isn’t just any old witch though. Lainey is a Keeper, just as her mother was, and she has the ability to unlock and use the Grimoire her family has spent centuries trying to protect. But the Grimoire was stolen by the Master, a dangerous and malevolent man who is hell bent on ruling the supernatural world. It’s Lainey’s job to get it back.

I will start off by saying that it does take a little while to get into the action of this book. I felt that it took a bit of time to get to all the witchy magic, but once we do it is great. There is action, drama and fighting scenes (I love those), as well as twists and turns that made me gasp (yes, they were that shocking). The writing was fun, bubbly and easy to read. Kim Chance perfectly captured the way a 16 year old girl would react to being told she is a witch and the language she used was perfect.

The characters in this book are just as good! Lainey was wonderful, smart, funny and unique. It was great to be in her mind and experience the emotions that we would be feeling in her situation. She doesn’t just accept what is happening to her and I loved that. I also enjoyed seeing her relationship with her Uncle Gareth and his girlfriend who is a seer (Lainey’s parents died when she was young) and how much they cared about her.

As for Lainey’s best friend Maggie, well…how can you not love someone who always uses superheroes for analogies (I’m a big Marvel fan). She also says ‘holy crapkittens’ which made me chuckle, and she will do anything for Lainey, something I could definitely appreciate. Ty was a little mystery that captured my heart the more we learned about him. He’s charming, a total kickass and kind towards Lainey. While they may have seemed a little cheesy and cliche, I ended up loving the characters, especially our mysterious 200 year old witch.

Yes, there are some YA tropes thrown into this book, but I felt that they were different to others and it was refreshing. I found myself flying through Keeper, especially after the halfway mark and the last quarter was my favourite part. There is a lot of action, magic usage and problems that Lainey and her friends encounter. We have an interesting villain who wants magic for himself and is ruthless when he doesn’t get his way.

Overall, Keeper was an engaging read and it has left me wanting to read the next one (let’s home Kim Chance does write it because I need answers to some things). It is not the best YA book I have read and even though it is a little similar to others, I ended up enjoying it. When it comes to giving this book a rating, I am deciding between 3 1/2 stars and 4 stars, so I’ll give it the higher one!

5_Star_Rating_System_4_stars_T

Review: One Dark Throne

One Dark Throne

Title: One Dark Throne

Author: Kendare Blake

Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books

Year: 2017

Wow. I think starting this review with that one word is a great start because this book was incredible. As soon as I finished Three Dark Crowns I dived straight into the sequel and I loved it so much more than the first (if that was even possible). The UK cover is, once again, better than the US and beautiful, with the sisters abilities wrapping around the sword.

The second instalment picks up where the first left off and Kendare Blake doesn’t keep us waiting. The action begins practically straight away. Compared to the first book, the pace is a lot quicker and not once did I feel like I was plodding through the chapters. The plot was so much darker than the first too, something that I was hoping for more of in the sequel. I got just what I wanted, with the sisters plotting each others’ demise and evil schemes falling into place. Katharine definitely shone in that department (but we always knew she was harsher than the other two from the first book alone).

In terms of character development, it was greatly improved with this book and I felt a connection with some that I didn’t care for in the first book. My favourite sister from the first book, Arsinoe, is still the one I relate to and love the most, and she definitely got her chance to shine. Mirabella grew on me, slightly redeeming herself for some of her actions in the first book, and I couldn’t help but root for her too. I even felt sorry for Katharine (which isn’t easy when she’s one of the most evil in the book). And in a story where two out of the three sisters has to die? It makes it very complicated when I care about two of them. I still couldn’t make my mind up about who I wanted to be Queen. In a perfect world none of them would die and they could live happily ever after with the people they love. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem that happy endings exist in Fennbirn.

The relationships between character were put to test throughout the book and the romantic ones in particular felt much more genuine this time round. My personal favourite has to be Arsinoe and Billy who had such a sweet friendship that was natural and made me smile when reading. I can’t not mention Jules, the kind of friend to Arsinoe that I would love to have for myself. She is strong, protective and her story definitely took a few turns along the way.

Having gotten used to the POV that Blake uses in the first book, I found it a lot easier to keep track of all the characters and the events taking place. It flowed so perfectly and there was no stopping with this book. The tension kept building, the story growing more complicated. There is violence, blood shed and so much emotion. Especially towards the end of the book. You can’t predict where this story will go and there were twists that I didn’t expect at all. I am beyond excited for the third one. I just hate that I have to wait until next year.

It is so hard to review this book without giving too much away and spoiling it, but it is definitely one of my favourite reads of the year so far. I am going to give this book 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Review: Three Dark Crowns

 

Title: Three Dark Crowns

Author: Kendare Blake

Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books

Year: 2016

I’m going to start this review off by pointing out just how amazing and beautiful the UK covers are. Part of me really wants to collect all three, but when I had a choice I went with the Naturalist cover (which worked out quite well because I think she is my favourite of the sisters).

Before I bought Three Dark Crowns I had heard so many great things about this book, it seemed that everyone was talking about it. I have to admit that the synopsis grabbed my attention and it seemed like my cup of tea. Of course, this set my expectations very high and we all know that can be a dangerous thing sometimes. I had absolutely no reason to worry because I loved this book! I can’t remember the last time I read a book in less than 5 days (life can get very busy at times).

Personally I love reading books that tell the story from multiple points of view and for this story it definitely worked (how else could we find out about all three sisters). As seen on the blurb, we all know that the sisters have different abilities. One a Naturalist (Arsinoe), able to bloom flowers and control animals, one an Elemental (Mirabella), with the ability to control fire and create storms, and the last sister a Poisoner (Katharine), being able to ingest the strongest of poisons and live. But, out of the three sisters only one can become Queen and the others will die.

Each sister is so different from the other and I definitely disliked some more than the others (Katharine, I’m looking at you). We get to find out about how they were brought up by the people around them, having been separated at the age of 6, and it was interesting to see how that had moulded them. I have to admit; this book gave me a bit of a complex. I wanted to feel sorry for certain characters, but then they would give me a reason to dislike them and at times I wasn’t sure which sister I really wanted to become Queen. I felt sorry for the way some of the sisters were treated and the struggles that they had to go through. Especially 2 in particular.

Of course, with the different points of view taking us through the story, we encounter a lot of characters (maybe too many if I’m being honest as some didn’t feel necessary). The way Blake built the world that the sisters lived in was beautiful and deadly, and so well written that I could vividly picture it all. I was completely immersed in their world and I couldn’t get enough.

But, no book can be perfect and something that slightly annoyed me were the romantic relationships. If you read this book you will realise the one that really irked me (I’m still reeling) because I am a little fed up of love triangles now and I wanted one of the characters to get her happy ending. And it seemed a little unrealistic in places, but overall, I wasn’t reading the book for the romantic aspects, I was reading it for the sisters and how they would overcome the fact that they have to kill each other to become the most powerful.

I have to say that the ending was a surprise and made me pick up the second instalment, One Dark Throne, straight away (so expect a review on that very soon). Overall, this book captured my attention and didn’t let me go. While it started off a little slow, it was definitely worth sticking out a few dull chapters to reach the ending. I cannot wait to find out what will become of the sisters now and who will come out on top.

I’m going to give this book 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Review: Red Queen

Red Queen

Title: Red Queen (Paperback)

Author: Victoria Aveyard

Publisher: Orion

Year: 2015

When I bought this book two years ago I was beyond excited to start it, so I did. But life has a way of getting in the way and I never finished it. I finally got around to picking it up again not that long ago and realised I couldn’t remember what had happened. You could even see the last dog-eared page (around ¾ of the way though). So, I started it all over again and I can honestly say that I enjoyed it more the second time (I started to remember bits as I made my way through it).

Our main character, Mare, is strong and badass, something I love in a female protagonist and she doesn’t need anyone by her side to accomplish things. She lives in a world where the Silvers, those with Silver blood and exceptional powers, rule over the Reds, people like you and me. Mare has always been Red, through and through, until one day she isn’t and her world is turned upside town. She has powers she never knew could be real for someone like her and it takes her down a dangerous path. Playing the role of a long-lost Silver princess, she has to be careful, because getting caught could be life-threatening.

Victoria Aveyard writes beautifully, creating a world that I imagined so vividly as I read the words. I flew through the book and I was kept wanting to know more. Some of the twists that happened were unexpected, making me enjoy the book all the more. I love a book with betrayal, conflict and secrets, and Red Queen definitely has all that and more. While this book reminded me of a few other dystopian novels I’d read in the past, that didn’t make it any less interesting and I thought that the fantasy element gave it something that the others don’t have.

Some elements of this book were predictable and others weren’t (I think it all depends on how perceptive you are). I would say the only downfall to this book is the romance. Personally, I love a good romance story (one that is believable, mind you) and I felt that some of the romantic relationships were a little forced and I just couldn’t love them. But, at the end of the day, this book is about much more than romance and the fantasy element is more intriguing to me.

I have the next instalment, Glass Sword, sitting on my shelf, waiting to be read. I am hoping that it is as good as the first. This book is going to receive 4 out of 5 stars from me.

Review: Into The Water

into the water

Title: Into The Water (Hardback)

Author: Paula Hawkins

Publisher: Doubleday (UK)

Year: 2017

It has been I while since I wrote a book review (almost 5 years ago when I had a blog on BlogSpot) so I may be a little rusty. Before I read this book, I picked up The Girl On The Train and it was the book that got me back into my love of reading. However, that was over a year ago and when I saw that she had brought another book out I knew I had to have it. And if anything, I loved it even more than her first. I had never read a book from the thriller genre before (apart from a failed attempt of reading IT when I was 15 and getting 300 pages in before giving up) but Paula Hawkins’ writing makes me want to read more of this type.

What I love about her writing style is that it flows at such a pace that I find myself trying to turn the pages as quickly as I can to reach the ending. I needed to find out what happened to these characters in this book. There was so much mystery surrounding this book and I couldn’t put it down. I will warn you, you must pay attention when reading this book. There are a lot of characters and with each chapter being in a different person’s viewpoint, it can be tricky to remember who is who and what their part is. Personally, I love this kind of writing style because it keeps you on edge until the end of the book.

The twists and turns that this book took me on had me guessing who the real villain was until the very end. I’m normally pretty good at sussing out who did what and I was truly surprised by the reveal. Into The Water is a dark tale that is carefully fabricated to seem so real.

There are a lot of deep, dark topics that this book covers such as murder, suicide, infidelity, rape and a lot of family issues. While these things aren’t always the easiest to read, this book shares a snippet of what happens every day. The characters in this book are flawed, very flawed, but I find that interesting because let’s face it, are any of us perfect? Yes, there were a few characters that I didn’t like but you get that with every book you read.

If you love a good thriller that hooks you in until the end, then I would recommend that you pick this book up soon. Don’t be intimidated by its many characters, for me that made it all the more interesting. You won’t regret reading this book, especially if you liked The Girl On The Train.

I’m going to give this 4 out of 5 stars.