Friday, August 28, 2015

Monkey High vol.4 by Shouko Akira

Haruna is convinced that school life is like a monkey mountain; all the monkeys form cliques, get into fights, and get back together again.
Macharu's best friend Atsu is really starting to fall for Haruna, especially since she's been working at the same place he works and they've been spending more and more time together. With a jealous Macharu waiting and a persistent Atsu pursuing, who is Haruna going to choose in this bizarre love triangle?
After her politician father is disgraced in scandal, Haruna Aizawa transfers to a new school. Haruna is convinced that school life is just like a monkey mountain--all the monkeys form cliques, get into fights, and get back together again. She even meets a boy named Masaru who reminds her of a baby monkey!

Published: December 2008
Pages: 210
Series: Fourth volume in the Monkey High manga
Rating: 5 stars

I started reading this manga a long time ago, I'm not even sure when, so I was very excited when I found out that my library system had gotten a new volume. I had checked several times, when I had just finished the previous three volumes, and the library only had the first three volumes. My brother pointed out the other week that they had the fourth volume on the shelf and I was very excited to hear it.

I couldn't remember exactly what the story was, only that I had quickly fallen in love with the style and the characters. In short, it's a book about a romance between a rather childish boy and a smart, pretty girl...two people that you might not have put together. It's not extremely serious, but there are little conflicts between friends and misunderstandings. It's a sweet manga and I really enjoyed it. 

This volume deals with what Haruna and Masaru do over the summer and how the deals with some slight changes to their relationship. I spread out each chapter in this volume for as long as I could, limiting myself to one a night. I'd highly suggest this manga if you like a romantic comedy and a more relaxed storyline.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick Review

Nora Grey's life is still far from perfect. Surviving an attempt on her life wasn't pleasant, but at least she got a guardian angel out of it. A mysterious, magnetic, gorgeous guardian angel. But despite his role in her life, Patch has been acting anything but angelic. He's more elusive than ever (if that's possible) and what's worse, he seems to be spending time with Nora's archenemy, Marcie Millar.
Nora would have hardly noticed Scott Parnell, an old family friend who has moved back to town, if Patch hadn't been acting so distant. Even with Scott's totally infuriating attitude, Nora finds herself drawn to him - despite her lingering feelings that he is hiding something.
If that weren't enough, Nora is haunted by images of her murdered father, and comes to question whether her Nephilim bloodline has anything to do with his death. Desperate to figure out what happened, she puts herself in increasingly dangerous situations to get the answer. But maybe some things are better left buried, because the truth could destroy everything - and everyone - she trusts.
Published: October 2010
Pages: 427
Series: Second book in the Hush, Hush series
Rating: 3 stars

The base idea of this series interests me a lot. And the characters are mysterious and have some interesting secrets and hidden pasts that slowly unfold. However...they can also be a little annoying. Nora was really annoying in this book, she broke up with Patch and then the rest of the book was either jealous, bitter, or trying to make him jealous. Honestly she was a bit of a mess. I like the whole fallen angels and supernatural aspects to the story. Sadly the characters brought things down a little (mainly Nora) and there were also some cliches that had me going Really? 

So overall, this is an okay book and I probably will be picking up the third book to try...but at the same time be forewarned that Nora is very petty and a poor heroine, in this installment of the series at least. Patch can also be a bit eh as well and there are flaws to some of the character building or how unaware Nora's mom is at times. It's an engaging read though and there are several nice turns as Nora finds clues about her father's death. So, read at your own risk depending how much you think Nora will bother you. 

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Getting Older and TBR Lists

The truth about getting older is that things change. They change drastically and you can even become a very different person then who you proclaimed to be at age eight. You'r perception of the world changes, your appearance is altered and among other seem to have less and less time on your hands.

I've begun to feel this all to much lately. I never seem to have enough time to study as much as I should. Nor do I have enough time for my hobbies, reading included. Since I've gotten into high school (I'd say the change probably happened around sophomore year) my reading has dropped to an all time low. I've never not read this much, not since I learned how to read anyway. And it's because of that annoying little problem I have. There's not enough hours in the day to get around to everything I need and want to do.

Thus far, I've dealt with this by almost ignoring it. I still check out tons of books from the library and try to get around to reading, don't laugh, one or two books a week. Yet sometimes that's all that I manage in an entire month. Yes, I'm over here shaking my head at the horror too. So with that being the amount of books that I read (roughly estimated) you can imagine what happens as I'm still checking out a lot of books. I'm having to turn back in armloads of unread books.

I have some kind of weird mentality where I almost always finish a book if I start it. In the same way, it hurts to have to return a book that I didn't even start. And in a few terrifying cases, I've started the book and gotten a few pages or chapters in when it's due, all too soon.

So here I am, in this endless cycle of checking out book after book, yet only being able to finish a few here and there that I desperately wanted to read. It bothers me, yet I'm somehow unable to do anything to change or fix the situation. Then, tonight, a thought struck me.

This must be why people have TBR lists.

I've never really seen a great need for them for myself and if I ever do make any book lists, they're generally quite long and I never take them very seriously. Now, however, I can see how great they can be. It's like a shopping list when you go to the grocery store. In my family, my mom often likes to buy extra, possibly miscellaneous items that aren't on the grocery list. That has caused my dad to have to remind her to stick to the list and really try not to get anything extra. Now, in my mind, a TBR list is much like a shopping list. If I could limit myself to only checking out the books that I've preplanned to read, why then I could stop getting a bagful of books each trip to the library. Instead I could add that book that catches my eye to the list and simply wait until I get far enough through the other books on the list to read it.

And in this way I could finally break free of the cycle of books I've been checking out and turning back in without having read them. Not only will this keep my wandering eye in check, it'll also satisfy the part of me that loves lists and planning.

So, what do you think? Have you ever come to time in your life where you've been to busy to read? Or have you just gotten sucked into the internet and fallen away from the adventures and characters that used to lure you in so easily (because I've experienced that as well). Do you use reading lists? Do they help you or do you pace yourself fine without them? I wanna know ;)

Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Opal Crown by Jenny Lundquist Review

Action, romance, sibling rivalry and court intrigue combine for a page-turning read in this sequel to The Princess in the Opal Mask, which VOYA called “engaging and action-packed.”
In the year since she was betrothed to the crown prince of Kyrenica, no one has suspected that the Masked Princess has been a decoy. That Elara, the secret twin sister, has been pretending to be Princess Wilha all along. The royal family has kept Elara’s identity hidden from the world, and for the girls, swapping lives has not been easy. Galandra is quickly declining, and the sisters continue to be a pawn in the Guardian’s ever-changing endgames.But the stakes rise when Elara and Wilha’s younger brother, Andrei, takes the Galandrian throne after their father's death, and he reveals the girls' deception to Kyrenica’s royal family. Viewed as traitors, Elara and Wilha realize they are now fighting for their lives—and for their country. However, with only one crown and one throne to overthrow, Elara and Wilha must decide who will become queen. Or rather, the next savior for their people.The sequel to the Princess in the Opal Mask.

Published: October 2014
Page count: 368
Series: Second book in The Opal Mask series.
Rating: 4 stars

My librarian recommended this two book series to me and I'm honestly quite glad she did. I love the mix of fantasy and fairy tale type, add in a bit of political drama and several characters vying for the crown and I'm very happy. I enjoyed the first book a lot and I thought there were some really good plot twists. This one, I think, didn't have as many. I felt like the main focus of this book was the crown and Elara and Wilha trying to become sort of friendly with each other. There might not have been as much action either, except for a mob or two and a few attacks and sneaking about ;) But the vibe of the story was still enticing and I finished this book fairly quickly. I was nearly finished with the book last night when I realized how late it was and decided to finish it this morning, haha. I also think this is a good sequel and demonstrates how things are changing and the twins are developing and maturing. Depending where I was in the book, I was often on one girls' side or the other. Now that I think about it, that's pretty realistic. There were times that I wasn't happy with something Elara had said or a way Wilha had handled a situation and that's how it is irl. 

The writing style fits the setting so well. I don't think that I've read any of the author's other books but she has created such a great group of kingdoms and villages for this series. Then there are legends, secret passageways and all kinds of fairy tale-esque things that I loved. Character wise, I liked both the girls (except for the few odd scenes or moments) and their love interests. At first I was rather confused as Wilha had been seeing someone when the girls were in another kingdom, yet when she returns home to Galandria she goes back to swooning over her sort-of-beau from before she left. It was explained later, but at the time it felt odd to me that she seemed to immediately forget about this other boy she'd been with for months. I liked that Wilha was quiet yet the one who could handle a sword masterfully. I liked how strong and determined that Elara often was, I felt that she also could really understand what the Galandrians are going through in this book. The ending was satisfying, although there was just a little hint of something at the end that would almost make you wonder about another book...but it seems like this is the final one so oh well :)

Overall, while this sequel wasn't quite as good as the first book, I still liked it a lot. It's got a cool setting, two fiery main characters, and turned out to be a pretty nice ending. I really liked this series as a whole and found the romances sweet and the twins (although a bit irritating in this book because they don't communicate with each other well) lovely princesses with good hearts. I'd definitely recommend if you like a good medieval/fairy tale sort of book.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

A Heart's Disguise by Colleen Coble Review

In the aftermath of the Civil War, a young woman searches for her lost love at the edge of the West.
The Civil War has destroyed Sarah Montgomery's marriage before it's even begun.
After Sarah receives word that her fiance, Rand Campbell, has been killed fighting for the Union, her brothers and ailing father persuade her to pledge herself to Ben Croftner--despite her strong misgivings. But when Sarah finds out that Rand is in fact alive--and that Ben Croftner knew it--she indignantly breaks off the engagement and goes in search of Rand.
But Ben Croftner does not take rejection lightly--and a single woman with a sick father makes an easy target. When Sarah is abducted by her treacherous fiance, Rand finally comes to her aid . . . only to reveal that he has been posted at Fort Laramie, Wyoming, and intends to take her there as his wife. But could Sarah leave her dying father's side for the love of her life? And what plans are forming in the jealous heart of Ben Croftner?

Published: March 2015
Page count: 90
Series: First book in the A Journey of the Heart series
Rating : 3 stars

It was quite interesting for to read this book. You see, it's the first book in this series and Colleen Coble explains it's actually the first series she ever wrote that's now been published at last. I've read a lot of her other books, not all because there are quite a few, and I found it wasn't quite up to their standard. Maybe it's because they were some of her first stories or maybe because it's a bit shorter and I'm used to having her books being longer. Either way, it's still a charming little read, somewhat along the lines of a Janette Oke book. 

In the little note at the beginning of the book, Colleen Coble explains that this is going to be a six book series and that she split up what was originally two books. So far, I'm quite interested in the story and there have been a few twists and turns. There are some interesting characters and I love the setting. It's just after the civil war was finished and now there was still the drive to move west lingering in a lot of people (or that was the vibe I got). So I'm pretty sure we're going to get some very scenic settings in the next few books. The romance is pretty sweet and I can't wait to see how it will develop.

Overall, it's a good book, but if you got super excited that Colleen Coble has a new release out you may be a little disappointed with this book when compared to some of her others. I liked this introduction to the characters and I plan on reading the rest of the series :)

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: Talon by Julie Kagawa (April)

Ember Hill left the dragon organization Talon to take her chances with rebel dragon Cobalt and his crew of rogues. But Ember can't forget the sacrifice made for her by the human boy who could have killed her—Garret Xavier Sebastian, a soldier of the dragonslaying Order of St. George, the boy who saved her from a Talon assassin, knowing that by doing so, he'd signed his own death warrant.  

Determined to save Garret from execution, Ember must convince Cobalt to help her break into the Order's headquarters. With assassins after them and Ember's own brother helping Talon with the hunt, the rogues find an unexpected ally in Garret and a new perspective on the underground battle between Talon and St. George.  

A reckoning is brewing and the secrets hidden by both sides are shocking and deadly. Soon Ember must decide: Should she retreat to fight another day…or start an all-out war?

Why I'm excited: I love this author. I've read every book she's written and caught most of her short stories in anthologies too. I love her writing style and she's had some great series too. There was her vampire dystopian series, her, what I would call, fey fantasy series, and now her modern-day dragon series. I liked the first book well enough, so I'm hoping that I'll get even more into the story with this book. I adore dragons so I was very excited to hear that she would have them as a main part of this series. 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: Rook by Sharon Cameron (April release)

History has a way of repeating itself. In the Sunken City that was once Paris, all who oppose the new revolution are being put to the blade. Except for those who disappear from their prison cells, a red-tipped rook feather left in their place.                                             
Is the mysterious Red Rook a savior of the innocent or a criminal?
Meanwhile, across the sea in the Commonwealth, Sophia Bellamy’s arranged marriage to the wealthy René Hasard is the last chance to save her family from ruin. 
But when the search for the Red Rook comes straight to her doorstep, Sophia discovers that her fiancé is not all he seems. Which is only fair, because neither is she.  

As the Red Rook grows bolder and the stakes grow higher, Sophia and René find themselves locked in a tantalizing game of cat and mouse.

Why I'm excited: Just based on the synopsis I'm excited to read this book. It sounds like a really fun dystopian romance mix. I've read a steampunk series by this author previously and enjoyed them fairly well. So I have hopes this one will be interesting and great dystopian book, as I do love a good dystopian story. This book is scheduled to be released April 28. 

Monday, April 6, 2015

Dead of Winter by Kresley Cole Review

Can Evie convince her rival loves to work together? Their survival depends on it in this third book of #1 New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole’s Arcana Chronicles, a nonstop action tale of rescue, redemption, and a revenge most wicked.
Heartbreaking decisions Evie was almost seduced by the life of comfort that Death offered her—until Jack was threatened by two of the most horrific Arcana, the Lovers. She will do anything to save him, even escape Death’s uncanny prison, full of beautiful objects, material comforts…and stolen glances from a former love.
Uncertain victory Despite leaving a part of her heart behind with Death, Evie sets out into a perilous post-apocalyptic wasteland to meet up with her allies and launch an attack on the Lovers. Such formidable enemies require a battle plan, and the only way to kill them may mean Evie, Jack, and Death allying. Evie doesn’t know what will prove more impossible: surviving slavers, plague, Bagmen and other Arcana—or convincing Jack and Death to work together.
Two heroes returned There’s a thin line between love and hate, and Evie just doesn’t know where she stands with either Jack or Death. Will this unlikely trio be able to defeat The Lovers without killing one another first...?

Published: January 2015.
Page count: 336
Series: Third book in The Arcana Chronicles. 
Rating: 5 stars

This is the third book in the Arcana Chronicles. I loved the first two books and I was very excited for this book, I waited close to a year or so I think for its release. And when I got it and I feel like each book gets better. Maybe it's because there's new adventures and characters and Evie's world is changing and growing as is her knowledge and strength. Plot wise...hmm the majority of the book there were things happening, whether it be their main objective or a battle along their journey to their goal. There was a very disgusting twist towards the end. That's one thing, this is quite full on dystopian/apocalyptic. There is some gore and there are some gross scenes. Especially in this book as Evie and her allies are fighting against master torturers. And then there's the ending, the last page or two just left me gaping at the book to be honest.

Evie has grown a lot. She still has her moments and I think her main struggle is her powers and how much is too much. She is very powerful and sometimes her emotions or the powers can control her. That being said, her powers are very fun and she's constantly recovering her memory of a new way to use them or mastering something new. The other characters have come a long way too. My favorite part of this book was the love triangle between Jack and Death/Aric. They have to work together and be somewhat nice to each other on Evie's behalf and not only is it hilarious but it's totally swoon-worthy as well. I myself am on Team Death, but I still love Jack. Which made the ending (where she chooses) very hard for lots of reasons. Jack really comes into his full potential in this book. Not that he wasn't amazing at being tough and a survivor, now he's organizing military movements in his own sort of rebellion. Aric we grow to know more and more about and you tell he's really trying to adapt for Evie. So it's basically a very very hard choice.

So...the characters and plot are amazing. The ending leaves you with so many questions and lots of shock over what the book ends with. The world-building is still great, since they're mainly in one area the majority of this book it doesn't come off as strong as it did in the other books for me, but it's still there and you're reminded of it. I think this book and the whole series are amazing. If it sounds interesting to you I'd 100% recommend it. Just maybe wait until close to the last book's release because this series will keep you up at night reading and make you get a "book hangover" when you finish it.

And as for my predictions of what's going on in the next book: I believe Jack is actually an Arcana. The author provides a list of the players at the beginning of the book and I've looked through them trying to figure out which on he could be. I honestly don't know which he might be but I can't see him doing all he does without being Arcana. Plus Matt said he couldn't read his future. He's also hinting at so many things. I think that the main challenge the next book will be tension between Aric and Evie. And this emperor is going to be who she's fighting most of the time. Just my thoughts ;)(Highlight to read, contains spoilers)

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Four by Veronica Roth Review

Two years before Beatrice Prior made her choice, the sixteen-year-old son of Abnegation’s faction leader did the same. Tobias’s transfer to Dauntless is a chance to begin again. Here, he will not be called the name his parents gave him. Here, he will not let fear turn him into a cowering child.
Newly christened “Four,” he discovers during initiation that he will succeed in Dauntless. Initiation is only the beginning, though; Four must claim his place in the Dauntless hierarchy. His decisions will affect future initiates as well as uncover secrets that could threaten his own future—and the future of the entire faction system.
Two years later, Four is poised to take action, but the course is still unclear. The first new initiate who jumps into the net might change all that. With her, the way to righting their world might become clear. With her, it might become possible to be Tobias once again.
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Veronica Roth comes a companion volume to the worldwide bestselling DIVERGENT series, told from the per-spective of the immensely popular character Tobias. The four pieces included here—THE TRANSFER, THE INITIATE, THE SON, and THE TRAITOR—plus three additional exclusive scenes, give readers an electrifying glimpse into the history and heart of Tobias, and set the stage for the epic saga of the DIVERGENT trilogy.
Published: July 2014
Page count: 285
Series: Short story collection based off of the Divergent trilogy. 
Rating: 5 stars

I love when author make short stories between books or little extras or rewrite a scene from a different character's perspective. The thing I love even more is when all of those stories are put together in a collection and released as a single, physical copy. It's so much easier for me to get my hands on ;)

But getting down to the contents of the book, we had six short stories, if I remember correctly. They're all from Four's point of view which I loved. He's a character that everyone loves and it's really interesting to get a feel for his inner voice and see some of his scenes with Tris from his perspective. I really liked it. It was a nice chance to gain insight to Four's world and past. I also found his POV quite enjoyable and calming haha, so I finished this book within a single morning. I really loved it.

Overall, this is a great collection of short stories and I think it's a great expansion to the world of Four and Tris and the factions. There are three short stories about Four's past in Abnegation and how he arrives in Dauntless. Then another, shorter three stories as he's meeting Tris. If you loved the Divergent series (or at least the first two because that last one, well I like to forget about it ;-;), I'd definitely recommend picking up this collection because I loved revisiting the characters and world they live in.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Endless Knight by Kresley Cole Review

In this seductive follow-up to Poison Princess, #1 New York Timesbestselling author Kresley Cole takes us deeper into the dark world of the Arcana Chronicles.
Shocking secrets Evie has fully come into her powers as the Tarot Empress, and Jack was there to see it all. She now knows that the teens who've been reincarnated as the Tarot are in the throes of an epic battle. It's kill or be killed, and the future of mankind hangs in the balance.
Unexpected allies With threats lurking around every corner, Evie is forced to trust her newfound alliance. Together they must fight not only other Arcana, but also Bagmen zombies, post-apocalyptic storms, and cannibals.
Gut-wrenching treachery When Evie meets Death, things get even more complicated. Though falling for Jack, she's drawn to the dangerous Endless Knight as well. Somehow the Empress and Death share a history, one that Evie can't remember--but Death can't forget...
Published: October 2013.
Page count: 336
Series: second book in The Arcana Chronicles. 
Rating: 5 stars

This is my second time reading Endless Knight and I think I might have enjoyed it even more than I did the first time. I got drawn into the Arcana series when I decided to try the first book, The Poison Princess, I ended up loving it and since them I've been waiting for the next book's release. This series is really unique, it's a dystopian/apocalyptic style book but it's got incredible world-building and the characters are very unique. Basically they're characters from the tarot cards and have all sorts of amazing powers and are pitting against each other with a sole winner. This happens every few hundred years or so. Basically, it's a type of story I'd never seen before and it's written very well.

There's Evie, our main character. I found her slightly annoying in the first book at times, but in this book I think she's better. The thing that's most interesting in this book (other than that they meet more and more arcana players and learn of their powers and such) is that Death comes to Evie. He's a card that has won the past few games and he's out to get her. And in this book he finally reaches her and a lot of stuff goes down. A lot. And it can really change a lot of the things you thought about the story and characters so far ;)

Overall, I think this is a great book. The world-building and plot are great, the vibe of the book is a great apocalyptic one and the world and history that the author has created about these tarot cards battling it's just amazing. I've never read anything quite like this book before. I love it. I finished this book very quickly because I couldn't put it down and I enjoyed Evie, her friends, and their adventure ^-^ I'd definitely recommend it if it sounds interesting to you and you don't mind some slight sexual content and language. And you know creepy kids who are out killing each other in almost Hunger Games style ;)

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: The Immortal Heights by Sherry Thomas

In a pursuit that has spanned continents, Iolanthe, Titus, and their friends have always managed to remain one step ahead of the forces of Atlantis. But now the Bane, the monstrous tyrant who bestrides the entire mage world, has issued his ultimatum: Titus must hand over Iolanthe, or watch as his entire realm is destroyed in a deadly rampage. Running out of time and options, Iolanthe and Titus must act decisively to deliver a final blow to the Bane, ending his reign of terror for good.

However, getting to the Bane means accomplishing the impossible—finding a way to infiltrate his crypt in the deepest recesses of the most ferociously guarded fortress in Atlantis. And everything is only made more difficult when new prophecies come to light, foretelling a doomed effort....

Iolanthe and Titus will put their love and their lives on the line. But will it be enough?

With The Immortal Heights, Sherry Thomas brings the acclaimed Elemental Trilogy to its breathtaking conclusion.

Why I'm excited: The first two books were amazing, especially the second one. I loved both of them and it's an amazing fantasy series. I'd compare it to...well I don't know exactly what. There are books that might have similar elements but this is really a series that stands alone and is very well written. And I love the cover, dragons are my weakness so I'm definitely hoping that there will be some in this book. Otherwise, it's just beautiful in general isn't it? This book releases in October 2015. 

Friday, March 20, 2015

Gathering Darkness by Morgan Rhodes Review

Love, vengeance, and greed spark a deadly quest for magic in the third book of the Falling Kingdoms series
Prince Magnus has just witnessed torture, death, and miracles during the bloody confrontation that decimated the rebel forces. Now he must choose between family and justice as his father, the cruel King Gaius, sets out to conquer all of Mytica. All Gaius needs now are the Kindred—the four elemental crystals that give godlike powers to their owner. But the King of Blood is not the only one hunting for this ancient, storied magic. . . .
THE KRAESHIANS join the hunt. Ashur and Amara, the royal siblings from the wealthy kingdom across the Silver Sea, charm and manipulate their way to the Kindred, proving to be more ruthless than perhaps even the King of Blood himself.
THE REBELS forge ahead. Princess Cleo and vengeful Jonas lead them, slaying with sweetness, skill, and a secret that can control Lucia’s overpowering magic—all so they can use the Kindred to win back their fallen kingdoms.
THE WATCHERS follow Melenia out of the Sanctuary. They ally in the flesh with King Gaius, who vows to use Lucia’s powers to unveil the Kindred.
The only certainty in these dark times is that whoever finds the magic first will control the fate of Mytica. . . . but the four element gods of the Kindred have other plans.

Published: December 2014
Page count: 432
Series: Third book in the Falling Kingdoms series
Rating: 5 stars

Where to begin...somehow I didn't get around to reading this amazing book until about a week ago. It had been out for at least 2-3 months. But I wanted to reread the first two books to refresh my memory and that put me back I suppose. When I finally did pick up this book to read it I got through it in very nearly a single morning. It's that good. Also, for some reason I thought that this was going to be the last book in the series. I was very glad to find that it won't be and there are in fact three more books to be released for this series. The ending was both painful and crazy exciting. It left me turning to my mother and telling her how in pain I was. You know those books where you just have to have the next book? This is one of those. I'd almost advise you to wait until it's closer to the next book's release (December 2015). And it's not that book ends on an extreme cliffhanger, it doesn't (as far as I remember) but you just want more. Things are sort of tied up and it's building up to things that will probably start off the next book, and you just want it so badly. 

So how I'll wait the rest of the year until the next book is released, I don't know. But for now let me persuade you to read this book and this series. Gathering Darkness has all of the things that I look for in a good fantasy book, it has romance, adventure, magic, a unique and interesting world that the author has created and the occasional heated moment, whether that be in battle or in a dark hallway of the castle. If someone asked me about my favorite fantasy series or what the epitome of what I enjoyed in a fantasy book, this is what I would point them towards. This book, I think, has the most secracy between the characters and most use of magic so far in the series. And while so much happens in the first two books I feel like this is the best book and the most action packed book of the series. I could talk all day about how much I love it and how amazing it is. But let me tell you why...

The characters For each of the books the author provides a cast of characters for each country in the kingdom of Mytica, which I think is great. I mean, by now I'm already quite familiar with all the original characters (whose fates get tangled up together and make everything fun and amazing) but I can remember how I would flip back and check who was whom when I was reading the first book. It was and still is very helpful to have. But ahem...the characters aren't perfect, but I think that makes them realistic and adds character to the story. It's not a happy, fairy tale story it's thrilling and even a bit dark sometimes. And the characters are living in that world, they are desperate sometimes and they're fighting for a better world. I like them all generally well (other than the ones that are obviously evil) but there are three or four that I'm coming to love most. Sometimes I can't even decide who I want to end up together because situations change and so do the characters. I feel like my emotions are being toyed with! The three main characters are, in my opinion, Cleo from Auranos, Jonas from Paelsia, and Magnus from Limeros. The story has been centered on them and is most often written from their points of view. And they're all wonderful. Jonas has had very strong ideals that he's generally stuck to and he's the rebel. Cleo is the princess that has had to grow up to quickly, who has had her family and kingdom ripped away and become stronger through the fire that's burned her. Magnus is the prince who has weathered a lot and done what has needed to be done in order to survive...I think one of the things I love about Magnus is that he's smart. Yes, he's done things, but because it was the logical option. And now he's seeing things in a different light and he's letting Cleo in. He's letting his mask down which is lovely, because we as the reader get to see the good he's done and what he would like to do given the opportunity, but now someone else is. And maybe that will help him become even better. So in any case, I love the characters and they're written very well.

The plot The plot moves quickly and while it isn't exactly complex and hard to understand, I feel like it has a lot of layers because of how the characters fall in and around each other with their plans. There were some great twists in this book and they make you turn the pages. The plot didn't seem inconsistent or odd in any places for me and I feel like that's because it's been looked over and tweaked here and there so much that it's become so fluid and natural. I feel like the author has really worked so well on all aspects of this book and really shows in how well written and exciting this and the other books in the Falling Kingdoms series are.

The world-building I love it. I love it so so much!! We get to expand from Mytica in this book, we learn about another land that could pose a threat and even meet some characters from there. And then there's still the three kingdoms on Mytica which I still think are amazing. There's also the Watcher's home which we visit a few times. Basically, I think the world-building has been wonderfully done. Much like the plot, you can see that a lot of planning went into it's making and it has turned out beautifully. 

In conclusion, I would definitely recommend this book. I loved the characters and how entwined they've become in each others' stories. The plot will suck you in and if you enjoyed the first books, you will no doubt love this book. I feel like everything from the first books is added to and on top of that the plot begins to evolve into something that will probably bring on some pain by the end of the book. Basically, you need to read this series. Especially if you enjoy adventurous, thrilling, books full of mysteries and secrets and romance.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: Frozen Tides by Morgan Rhodes

Rebels, royals, and monsters wage war over the Mytican throne in the shocking fourth book of the Falling Kingdoms series, from New York Times bestselling author Morgan Rhodes.
CLEO: Reeling after a bloody showdown in Limeros ending with Amara’s abduction of the water crystal, and a vacancy in the Mytican throne, Princess Cleo must cast aside her feelings and look toward her kingdom with the eyes of a Queen.
MAGNUS: With the kingdom in chaos, Princess Lucia still missing and quite possibly in danger, and a shocking realization about Cleo, the steely prince is once again torn between love and duty, leaving him wondering whether he’s strong enough to rule his people.
LUCIA: The young sorcercess has had her vengeance after the cruel death of her first and only love. Heartbroken and unable to trust anyone, she allies with the awoken Fire god, who also seeks revenge.
JONAS: After escaping death by the skin of his teeth, the defeated rebel—along with a mysterious stranger–leader reunites with Princess Cleo, only to find himself a mere pawn in a dangerous hunt for the elusive Kindred.
KING GAIUS: Abandoned by Melenia and betrayed by his own children, Gaius flees Mytica and sails to Kraeshia, where he attempts to ally with the famously brutal emperor across the Silver Sea. 

Why I'm excited: OMGASJFHUGSdgjKSjg WOW. How can I explain how much I'm dying for this book to be here already? It will be released December of this year and that's much too far away. All three of the previous books have been amazing and I can't wait to see what will happen next in this series, it's crazy and amazing. And can we just take a moment to appreciate the cover? It looks magical!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Rebel Spring by Morgan Rhodes Review

The road to paved with blood and magic.
Cleo is now a prisoner in her own palace, forced to be an ambassador for Mytica as the evil King Gaius lies to her people.Magnus stands to eventually inherit the new kingdom but is still obsessed with his feelings for his adopted sister, Lucia.Lucia is haunted by the outcome of the breathtaking display of magic that allowed her father to capture the kingdoms.Jonas watched at the palace gates a troop of rebels behind him, waiting for him to tell them how he plans to overtake King Gaius.
After a bloody siege, Auranos has been defeated, its young queen orphaned and dethroned. The three kingdoms—Auranos, Limeros, and Paelsia—are now unwillingly united as one country called Mytica. But the allure of ancient, dangerous magic beckons still, and with it the chance to rule not just Mytica, but the whole world over....
At the heart of the fray are four brave young people grappling for that magic and the power it promises. For Cleo, the magic would enable her to reclaim her royal seat. In Jonas's hands, it frees his nation, and in Lucia's, it fulfills the ancient prophecy of her destiny. And if the magic were Magnus's, he would finally prove his worth in the eyes of his cruel and scheming father, King Gaius, who rules Mytica with a punishing hand.
When Gaius begins to build a road into the Forbidden Mountains to physically link all of Mytica, he sparks a long-smoking fire in the hearts of the people that will forever change the face of this land. For Gaius's road is paved with blood, and its construction will have cosmic consequences.

Published: December 2013.
Page count: 401
Series: Second book in the Falling Kingdoms series.
Rating: 5 stars
Rereading for the second time time** This book and this series are masterfully written and I'm so glad that I picked up the first book, Falling Kingdoms, whenever ago. This is a series that's full of excitement and overthrowing and rebellion and plans and secrets and arranged marriages and attacks and magical elements. All these things set it apart from any other series I've read. It's such an original idea, the plot moves quickly and really captures your attention. The world that Morgan Rhodes has created is wonderful and the characters are ones that you grow to love or hate. I really love this book and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who likes fantasy that's full of romance, magic, and adventures.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare Review

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.

Published: May 2012
Page count: 535
Series: Fifth book in the Mortal Instruments series.
Rating: 5 stars

Cassandra Clare is an amazing author. She has this cast of characters, which you most likely are already familiar with from the previous books in the series and she's set them on another dangerous, trying adventure. The ending of the fourth book begs you to pick up the next book immediately and it's rather similar to the ending of the fourth book.

Painful and slightly dark, one that leaves you clenching your teeth but unable to put down the book. (Spoiler from the 4th book) Jace has been possessed basically by Clary's evil brother, Jonathan/ Sebastian, who their father injected with demon blood. And Clary is desperate to find him and get Jace back no matter what the cost, even running away from safety and letting her be captured by the two of them. There are a lot of things that Clary and Jace are going through and alongside that there is something hanging over the characters' entire world. There's a storm coming, to quote the dark knight rises xD There's tension building between the characters and distances forming and others lessening. 

Despite all the dark parts of the story it doesn't make it any less enjoyable. She makes it enjoyable. There's the sassy characters and the funny moments mixed in with the tense and action-packed moments. And the characters and their relationships make it worth any pain you might go through as the reader. I was talking with my best friend while reading this, we were reading it at almost the same pace at the same time and it was hilarious, reading our conversation there was a lot of complaining and desperation. This is the kind of book that you love but you're also wanting to scream throughout it because of what is happening to the characters.

Overall, I really enjoyed it. The writing and characters were amazing and I think even though it was a bit darker than the fourth book I almost preferred it, it was a bit faster paced and there was a lot going on. I would definitely recommend it if you've read any of Cassandra's books previously and enjoyed them or like supernatural drama/romance/action. It's a great book and it leaves you wanting to have the sixth book on hand.