Source: owned

ARC Review: The Chasm by S. Usher Evans

Posted July 11, 2016 by Emily in Review / 0 Comments

ARC Review: The Chasm by S. Usher EvansThe Chasm by S. Usher Evans
Series: Madion War Series #2
Published by Sun's Golden Ray Publishing on July 12th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, romance, Young Adult
Pages: 296
Format: hardcover
Source: Free for Review
Buy on Amazon
four-stars

They survived The Island, but can they cross The Chasm?
Four months after Prince Galian was discovered alive on a remote island, he's adjusting slowly to life at the hospital under the Kylaen media's glare. His promises to Theo remain unfulfilled as fear of his father keeps him from taking concrete action. And the more he learns about the machinations in Kylae, the less sure he is that it's possible to make a difference. Across the great Madion Sea, Major Theo Kallistrate struggles to navigate the tricky political waters of Rave's presidential staff. To make positive change for her people, she must remain relevant and interesting to the Raven media and to the president. When he asks her to deliver a speech on her supposed two-month imprisonment at Mael, she's not sure she can stomach the lies. The Chasm is S. Usher Evans' breathtaking, fast-paced follow-up to The Island, which readers say is "not to be missed."

As you might know, I really enjoyed The Island. There’s something special about two enemies, shipwrecked on an island and then fall in love. The romance is woven into a larger and more complex fantasy tale about an ongoing revolution that really worked for me. Plus, I absolutely adore Theo Kallistrate. She’s strong and snarky and stubborn… maybe I identify a little (a lot) with that. I love it when she is so stubborn that she cuts of her nose to spite her face. That’s something I’m know for, much to my husband’s dismay.

The Chasm really builds on the story that’s already in place. Theo grew up a poor orphan; conscripted into the army as soon as she was old enough to hold a wrench. She has seen so much of the fight from the trenches that she thought she knew everything about the war. However, now that she’s back in Rave as a famous war hero, she discovers that there is a definite class system in Rave and maybe everything isn’t quite what is seems.

In Chasm, all of the political undertones and information about the conflict between Kylae and Rave that was in the background in The Island comes rushing in. Theo and Galian are no longer in their island oasis and they have to deal with the real live ramifications of their secret love. On the island, they struggled with outside forces but were together. They had to rely on each other to stay alive. Now they are separated and forced to act independently. It’s a totally different situation.

I love how this book is almost completely opposite of The Island. The main characters are apart for almost the entire book (separated by a Chasm, maybe) and yet the romance is so strong and beautiful. You can really feel Theo and Galian’s connection and their desire to be together, despite outside forces and events keeping them apart.

I can’t wait for Union now!

four-stars

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Review/Discussion: The Crown’s Game

Posted May 30, 2016 by Emily in Discussion, Review / 0 Comments

Review/Discussion: The Crown’s GameThe Crown's Game (The Crown's Game, #1) by Evelyn Skye
Series: The Crown's Game #1
Published by Balzer + Bray on May 17th 2016
Genres: Historical, Fantasy
Pages: 399
Format: hardcover
Source: owned
Buy on Amazon
four-stars

Vika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters—the only two in Russia—and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the Tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side.
And so he initiates the Crown’s Game, an ancient duel of magical skill—the greatest test an enchanter will ever know. The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the Tsar’s most respected adviser. The defeated is sentenced to death.
Raised on tiny Ovchinin Island her whole life, Vika is eager for the chance to show off her talent in the grand capital of Saint Petersburg. But can she kill another enchanter—even when his magic calls to her like nothing else ever has?
For Nikolai, an orphan, the Crown’s Game is the chance of a lifetime. But his deadly opponent is a force to be reckoned with—beautiful, whip smart, imaginative—and he can’t stop thinking about her.
And when Pasha, NikolaiÂ’s best friend and heir to the throne, also starts to fall for the mysterious enchantress, Nikolai must defeat the girl they both love... or be killed himself.
As long-buried secrets emerge, threatening the future of the empire, it becomes dangerously clear... the CrownÂ’s Game is not one to lose.

I love book reviews. I love reading them and writing them. I know some people who won’t read a review until after they’ve read the book. I never really understood why. Positive reviews are usually fun yet still vague. People are so careful not to spoil anything. Negative reviews are sometimes more specific. Wherein lies the problem.

Reading The Crown’s Game, I learned an important lesson about myself and the way I think. I read a negative review about this book before I read the book and I was fascinated. Up until that point I had only heard good things. I was so surprised to see a negative review from someone who’s opinion I really respect. Plus, I love dissenting opinions. It’s always interesting to see why people disagree. So I read this negative review. Then another. Then a different one.  The whole time I was thinking, “Wow, this is so interesting. This is an entirely different take on this book that I haven’t read but have been looking forward to immensely.” Each negative review commented on a small specific thing that annoyed the author. Not a spoiler but something much more specific than would be mentioned in a positive review. I got excited, reading reviews and I got my preorder in. I immediately picked it up and read through it.

I won’t be reading negative reviews before a book again.

I wasn’t spoiled by the negative reviews because there was nothing plot specific in them. However, I did find myself comparing the book to the opinions of others. I found myself looking for whatever small annoyance that this person or that person found objectionable. I’m not sure if anything they were bothered by would have bothered me on my own but since I was looking for it, I found it.  Some issues I agreed with, some I didn’t. In the end, it doesn’t matter because I was thinking about what other people thought of the book instead of enjoying it.

I’m really mad at myself for letting other opinions influence the way I feel about this book when I was so excited about it. This has turned more into a discussion post than a review.

How do you feel when you read reviews? Have you ever had a review that you read affect your opinion of a book?

As for The Crown’s Game, I liked it. Just not as much as I had hoped I would. I’ll never know if i would have felt like this if I hadn’t read those review’s first. Still, I won’t do this again.

four-stars

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Review: Malus Domestica by S.A. Hunt

Review: Malus Domestica by S.A. Hunt

Malus Domestica by S.A. Hunt Series: Malus Domestica #1 Published by Createspace on July 21st 2015 Genres: horror, Action & Adventure, paranormal Pages: 448 Format: ebook Source: owned Buy on Amazon Robin Martine has come a long way. She’s not your usual college-age girl. More often than not, Robin’s washing a load of gory clothes at the laundromat, or down at the lake throwing hatchets at pumpkins. She lives in an old van, collects swords, and dyes her mohawk blue. Also, she kills witches for a living on YouTube.You see, Robin’s life was turned upside down by those hideous banshees from Hell. She spent high-school in a psych ward, drugged out of her head for telling the cops her mother Annie was murdered with magic. Magic from a witch named Marilyn Cutty. After a 3-year warpath across America, she’s come home to end Cutty for good. But she’ll have to battle hog-monsters, a city full of raving maniacs, and a killer henchman called the “Serpent” if she wants to end the coven’s reign over the town of Blackfield once and for all. This novel is the most unique book I have read in years. Books are filled with familiar stories. There are some stories that come around so often, we have a name for them; tropes. When we read, we look for these tropes. We expect them. We have […]

Posted March 10, 2016 by Emily in Review / 3 Comments
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