Kingdom from Ashes by Megan Linski

25571889

(credit)

Kindle Price: Free!

Official Rating: 3.5/5

Synopsis:

Princess Bennua is to be married. The daughter of a sultan, her duty is to marry a powerful yet cruel warlord to be her husband, sealing an alliance that will scare the desert of Sahrahn into submission. But the wedding is halted in place when the infamous Raider Prince, king of thieves and leader of the dark city Ashana, threatens to take her city by force.

Sacrificing her freedom for her country, Bennua agrees to accompany the Raider Prince on his travels if he leaves her homeland alone. Stolen from her charmed life Bennua begins to learn the truth of what lies beyond the palace walls and the suffering that plagues Sahrahn’s people. Bennua begins to plan her escape, but the more she learns from the thieves the more she finds herself becoming one of the them…all while falling hard for their leader, the Raider Prince himself.

A portion of the author’s royalties from the sale of each Kingdom Saga novel will be donated to furthering the education of girls around the globe.”

My Review:

This is the second book I read for the #MakeMeRead readathon and after a disastrous start, I’m glad that Kingdom from Ashes was able to salvage some of the leftovers of my expectations.

I don’t know if there’s a real time frame for Kingdom of Ashes, but it was definitely not modern. Truthfully, it seemed to be set in the Middle East and it had a religion that seemed similar to Islam. For example, the women had to wear veils, they followed a god called Alshams (Allah), women aren’t encouraged/allowed to be in charge (in this book), the men were allowed to have multiple wives while the women were only allowed one husband, and some other things. Although this opinion is coming from someone is who not a follower of Islam, from my perspective, the representation of the religion Alshams didn’t appear to be a mockery of Islam or anything of the sort.

Continue reading

Diamond Bonds by Jeff Kish (ARC Review)

(credit)

Kindle Price: $0.99

Official Rating: 3/5

Synopsis:

“Era cares only of surpassing his father’s infamy as a master thief – until he stumbles onto a kidnapped girl and promises to return her home.

Dreaming of a quick and easy reward, Era and his thieving partner Jem set off to return the girl to her wealthy father. However, when bounty hunters and elemental mercenaries attack to recapture the girl, her claims of ignorance begin to ring hollow. When the girl’s own elemental talents are revealed, Era begins to question what else she may be hiding.

As Era fights off foe after foe with his untrained earth shaping skills, the temptation to simply collect the reward on her head sparks an inner conflict between his moral foundation and the future he has always wanted.”

My Review:

When Kish emailed me, he (politely) asked me if I would read his book and I calmly replied to his email in the most professional manner I could. Then I texted my friend in all capital letters (in an entirely unprofessional manner) my fears of what would I do if I didn’t like his book. You see, it’s way easier to hate a book when the author is rude. But it’s way harder to hate a book, when the author, this time being Kish, is respectful and polite. It’s always so very refreshing to talk to an author who doesn’t respond with a rather unappreciative tone. Nonetheless, my feelings cannot get in the way of an honest review, which is why I am most relieved to say that I did enjoy Kish’s book, Diamond Bonds.


I’m bound to honesty (how bad was that pun?) so I have to say that Diamond Bonds didn’t really have my interest until 85% or so into the book. That was, in my opinion, when the action truly started, along with a plot twist that quietly surprised me. I say quietly because I didn’t gasp, but was no less surprised.

Continue reading

The Boy with Words by C.E. Wilson (Review)

(credit)

Kindle Price: $4.99

Official Rating: 5/5

Synopsis:

“White Frost has only ever known the darkness. Everything outside of her closed society is The Unknown – a strange and dangerous place accessible to only a chosen few. White’s only glimpse of the world beyond comes from her beloved cousin in the form of mysterious collections of words that hint at astonishing wonders. When an accident upends her simple existence, she’s given an unlikely chance to see the truth for herself. What she finds is greater and more terrible than she could have imagined, and before long she is forced to make the most important choice of her life: does she accept her safe, limited world that she’s known or take a desperate gamble in a world not meant for her with the Boy with Words?”

My Review:

The Boy with Words wasn’t what I expected it to be. I wanted to know what the backstory behind the title was, if this was going to be some bad cheesy love story, if White was going to lead some major rebellion or not…so many questions, all of them answered.

Wilson presented our world in a new light and I love how she did it. I was gently caught off guard and pleasantly surprised with her writing ability, the characters she created, and the plot that she wove. For once, there is no huge rebellion led by a severely under-qualified cardboard cut-out heroine. For once, one teenaged girl hasn’t held all the knowledge since she was born. For once, she isn’t unbearably decisive between two love interests. Gosh, what a masterpiece this was.

Continue reading

Flotilla by Daniel Haight (ARC Review)

13049800

(credit)

Kindle Price: $2.99

Official Rating: 5/5

Synopsis:

“Flotilla is a book for young adults and fans of Juvenile Dystopian Fiction about the world that is coming to our oceans. Jim Westfield is a messed-up kid thrown into the anarchic community his father lives on where they raise fish on the ocean when they aren’t breaking the law. This is a world filled with strange and dangerous characters that threaten Jim and his family’s lives when a terrorist attack hits Los Angeles. Now Jim must rise above his past if he wants to survive his future.

This whirlwind experience over two summers paints a vivid picture of risk and hardship. It takes a deeply moving look at the impact of sustainable technology on some hilariously dysfunctional characters.

Readers and reviewers are calling Flotilla ‘highly original, ‘intense and action packed’ and ‘for anyone who loves adventure.'”

 

My Review:

Today, everyone, history has been made. I remember mentioning my short attention span (at least I think I remember) a couple of times, and yes, it’s definitely still a piece of me. It cackles its way around while I’m trying to focus and oh look! If I enter this giveaway, I could win $10. But wait! Look! Here’s three more giveaways to enter, instead of completing your responsibilities! And that cycle has slurped up a good 5 hours (yeah…5 hours) of my day before. (And no, I haven’t won anything yet.) My friends roll their eyes when they send me a video and I groan, How long is it? Do I have to watch all of it? I suppose it’s pretty funny, considering how many hours I spend reading and working on this blog of mine. But, nonetheless, you didn’t click on this book review to hear about my attention span, so here’s why I mentioned it.

Flotilla took me about (and I used that word loosely) 4 hours or more to read. *Gasp* *Scream* *Evident shock!* I know, right? All the times I’ve complained about a book dragging itself across my eyes as I begged for it to speed up, and I spent 4 hours or more reading one book? And get this: The pace is slow.

Okay. Okay. These aren’t bad things, in case it came across that way. It was just a shocking revelation for me that I stuck with Flotilla. So, why did I stick with Flotilla?

Continue reading

Welcome to Sortilege Falls by Libby Heily (ARC Review)

 

29632194

(credit)

Kindle Price: $2.99

Official Rating: 5/5

Synopsis:

“Sixteen-year-old Grape Merriweather has just moved to Sortilege Falls and already she knows something isn’t right. A small pack of teenage models, too beautiful for words, holds the town in their sway. The models have no plans on making Grape’s life easy. But no matter how cruel they are to Grape and the other “Normals”, no one can stay angry with them for long.

Grape’s life changes for the better, or so she thinks, when Mandy, the only “nice” model, befriends her. But that’s when the trouble truly begins. Mandy’s friendship places Grape smack in the middle of a medical mystery that has the entire town on edge. One by one, the models fall ill from an incurable disease. Grape quickly realizes that the models’ parents are hiding a secret, even as they watch their children die. To save her only friend, Grape will have to find the truth–and that means putting her life in danger.”

My Review:

Well, if I hadn’t had my tear ducts removed and my heart wasn’t completely stone, I’d be balling right now. Welcome to Sortilege Falls captivated my interest and tore my emotions to shreds. Gosh, I can barely even talk about it.

I adore Grape Merriweather. I literally adore her. I love how much she eats and that even when she’s called fat, she continues to eat because that’s what she loves to do. It’s not in an unhealthy way either, she just has a great appetite. It reminded me of myself, truthfully, which I loved and could relate to. Grape is about as unique as her name is and if I ever have kids, I just might name one of my kids after her. She asked questions, stuck up for herself and her friends, and consistently handled herself so well. Grape was funny, serious, kind, inquisitive, intelligent, and an all around amazing character.

The other characters were great too. The Models, Grape’s brother (Brad), Mandy, the family members, and some oddballs that were included. I admit that I got attached to them, which made it even harder to let go of this book.

The plot? Gracious the plot had me spellbound. I definitely have some serious responsibilities that need to be done today (at the time I’m writing this review), but yet, I spent my day reading this book. No regrets, though. It was worth it. Welcome to Sortilege Falls has a bit of a thriller and mystery vibe, which I enjoyed. It was basically the foundation of the whole book, but it still didn’t overpower other things, like relationships and dialogue. I really enjoyed it and I’m trying my best to not give spoilers.

Heily can write well and man, I almost wish she couldn’t. There’s a certain feeling of helplessness I get whenever a book throws my heart around like a rag-doll and yet I can’t stop reading. Hats and beanies off to you, Heily.

There doesn’t seem to be a sequel, but I kind of wish there was. All loose ends were tied up, but Heily made the great decision of leaving there a possibility for another book. I look forward to hearing news about a possible upcoming sequel.

 

Would I Recommend Welcome to Sortilege Falls? I definitely would. Excellent writing, a sound and intriguing plot, well-constructed characters, and a pinch of humor, what’s not to love? It just came out yesterday on the 31st so you don’t have to wait to grab your copy. Plus, there’s currently a giveaway where the prize is a free copy of Welcome to Sortilege Falls! You can enter here.
I received this book for free via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Last Orphans by N.W. Harris (Review)

29619229

(credit)

Kindle Price: Free!

Official Rating: 1/5

Synopsis:

One horrifying day will change the life of sixteen-year-old Shane Tucker and every other kid in the world.

In a span of mere hours, the entire adult population is decimated, leaving their children behind to fend for themselves and deal with the horrific aftermath of the freak occurrence. As one of the newly made elders in his small town, Shane finds himself taking on the role of caretaker for a large group of juvenile survivors. One who just happens to be Kelly Douglas—an out-of-his-league classmate—who, on any other day, would have never given Shane a second glance.

Together, they begin their quest to find out why all of the adults were slaughtered. What they find is even more horrifying than anything they could have expected—the annihilation of the adults was only the beginning. Shane and his friends are not the unlucky survivors left to inherit this new, messed-up planet. No, they are its next victims. There is an unknown power out there, and it won’t stop until every person in the world is dead.

A spine-tingling adventure that will have you gasping for breath all the way until the last page, The Last Orphans is the first book in an all-new apocalyptic series.”

My Review:

This was just poor quality. The Last Orphans is completely devoid of substance, conviction, development, and logic, while overflowing with poor writing, poor characters, and a poor plot.

Shane Tucker is a seventeen year old kid and, I was actually interested in reading about him. Harris gives you a glimpse of Shane’s life and the daily demons he wrestles with before he whips that view away and thrusts you into the action. And it left me a very disappointed reader.

Continue reading

Alice in No-Mans-Land by James Knapp (Review)

25715016

(credit)

Kindle Price: $2.99

Official Rating: 5/5

Synopsis:

When her escape pod falls to earth, crashing in Ypsilanti Bloc, privileged seventeen-year-old Alice Walshe is dashed from the wonderland of wealth and prosperity into a ruined, walled city overrun with militias, gangs, and even cannibals. On top of this horror, her younger brother’s escape pod is missing.

Alice isn’t naïve – she’s always known blocs like Ypsilanti exist, left behind after a foodborne illness ravished the country decades earlier and left pockets of severe urban decay in its wake. Men like her father – a major player at Cerulean Holdings – renew the devastated blocs and bring stability back into the areas. But, Ypsilanti is even worse than the tales she’s heard, and rumor has it the bloc is faced with the threat of extermination by Cerulean, not renewal.

Trapped within Ypsilanti’s borders and left for dead, Alice teams up with a pair of teen scavengers who tracked the wreck of her pod. Despite their rough exterior and vulgar speech, they’re her only option for navigating the hostile and violent environment of Ypsilanti, finding her brother, and getting out of No-Man’s-Land alive..”

My Review:

Trigger Warning: Rape Mention

 

Alright, let’s be honest. I was wary. Alice in No-Mans-Lands? I had assumed it would be something like Alice in Wonderland and I was ready to roll my eyes as I read. So, thank you, Knapp, for proving my incredibly wrong.

I’m going to jump straight into it. Knapp played my emotions like a violinist plays a violin. I was sad, annoyed, angry, intrigued, surprised, and the entire book had me reeling with feelings. Hats and beanies off to you, Knapp.

Alice Walshe, oldest child and only daughter of Yuric Walshe, is stuck in no-mans land. And for once, the main female character’s mission isn’t to ‘save her people.” Instead, she is shoved into a world that was never her own, a world that she doesn’t understand and never thought she needed to, and must fend for herself.

Continue reading

Anathema by Megg Jensen (Review)

10574690

(credit) (Note: This is the older version of the cover, I liked it better than the others)

Kindle Price: Free!

Official Rating: 1/5

Synopsis:

“Forget prophecy. Make your own destiny.

Reychel is a slave girl surrounded by magic, lies, and manipulation. Her best friend disappears in the middle of the night leaving Reychel to face her fifteenth birthday, the day her master burns his brand into the back of her bald head, alone.

Sheltered from the outside world and without any hope for escape, can Reychel learn to believe in herself?”

My Review:

Maybe I’m getting old. Perhaps that’s why I often find myself guessing the plots of YA novels and essentially ruining it for myself. It’s very disappointing, but also inescapable. How do you tell your own mind “No spoilers!”?

Anathema has been on my “want to read” list for quite some time. “Quite some time” meaning since January 9th (2015), when I bought it. Why did it take me so long to read it? I can’t give you a solid reason, but from what I read, I wasn’t missing anything.

The synopsis lured me in, but the writing and plot let me down. Let’s talk about why.

Continue reading

Stone Seeds by Jo Ely (Review)

28676194

(credit)

Kindle Price: $1.66

Official Rating: 3/5

Synopsis:

“Antek is an Egg Boy from Batch 47, one of the general’s manmade soldiers. He doesn’t know what the general’s lab technicians have repurposed him for but one thing is certain: Batch 47 is an active experiment. Antek can be ‘cancelled’ any time.

Zorry is a Sinta slave in the general’s New Bavarnica, where it’s a crime to remember the dead and all surviving Sinta must bow and serve the OneFolk. She searches the killing forest every night for the predatory plants which can be ‘turned’.

Jengi is the last surviving member of the war-like Digger tribe, and the leader of Bavarnica’s resistance. But grief has changed Jengi. The Last Digger has led a double life for so long he forgets himself entirely some days. What he’s for. Who to trust.

Between the stolen rains and the encroaching desert, the living fence to catch runaways and rebels and the shopkeeper’s sinister control over the edge farms, it seems that the general and the village shopkeeper have the people by the throat. But then nothing is quite as it appears in Bavarnica.”

My Review:

This is a novel with an entirely new theme. It feels dystopian, but I’m not sure if it is. Regardless, Stone Seeds, just like the title, is incredibly original. The character names, the plot, the titles, all of it was interestingly new to me. So why three stars?

I want to discuss Antek. I liked him and his mechanical but human-like thoughts and actions. The way that he thoughtfully gazes upon his surroundings and is always asking a question in his mind, even if he shouldn’t be. The story starts with him, but doesn’t quite end with him. All that happened in between was focused on different characters, including Zorry, who, in my opinion, was extremely boring. The entire time that I was reading about Zorry or Zettie or Jengi, I found myself wishing I was learning more about Antek.

Continue reading

Children of Swan: The Land of Taron by Carol Walker (Review)

29414138

(credit)

Kindle Price: $2.99

Official Rating: 1.5/5

Synopsis:

“There is something small and peculiar in young Bo’s hand — it’s Dad’s ring. How could Dad have left without the ring?
Bo is abducted. Chasing after him, his older siblings Jack and Brianna dive into a wormhole that takes them to the land of Taron, a perilous land fuelled by hatred and plagued by vicious snake-like, man-eating bokwas.
Blue-skinned Baran people catch them and sell them to an arena where Barans entertain themselves watching slave boys fight to the death. Dad is there, staring at them like they are strangers.
The contest is brutal; the rules are clear — one game, one survivor.
There are boys as young as Jack. Can he kill?
And there’s Brianna, the one he has spent all his life squabbling with, and the last person he thought he would care about. If he doesn’t kill, she will die.
There’s no choice. He must kill, for Brianna, for Bo …”

My Review:

Have you ever lost something and you look around for it, but it isn’t in its usual place and you just can’t seem to figure out where it went? That’s how it felt reading Children of Swan: The Land of Taron because much was missing from it.

You need depth in most, if not all, things when it comes to writing. Characters, plot, worlds, even the conflict must have depth. But I couldn’t find depth in Children of Swan.

The worlds, firstly. Earth, Cygnore, and then of course, Taron. I already know what Earth is like (surprise!) but I don’t know what Walker’s dying Earth is like, but it wasn’t mentioned or explained so I still don’t know. I vaguely know of Cygnore and even more vaguely know of Taron, besides the fact that they have slaves, blue and red people live there, and they have some barbaric spin-off of the Roman colosseum/Roman gladiators only with children. You have to give more than just a few descriptions and call it a day. It is crucial to any story to build and create the world that your book is in, especially if it is a world you made up, so that the reader can explore it.

Continue reading