Review| A Bird! No, a Plane! It’s a Dragon!

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Kindle Price: $2.99

Synopsis:

A desperate Knight. An imprisoned dragon. What will crossing fates of the two bring about?

I have slain countless monsters as a Shirai Knight. I have gained great wealth and high status over many years. But so what? If I can’t even protect the one thing I truly care about, then it’s all meaningless.
However, I will not give up. That is not an option. Not when I have one last hope of making things right.
Dragon, I don’t know if you’re ready for me, but I’m coming for you.

“Dragon’s Avatar” is the first book of the “Crossing Fates” series, an action-fantasy story set in a medieval world of magic and monsters created by the author Marc Ingram.
The POV style of writing is inspired by Japanese Light Novels and Visual Novels, so it may seem unique, but western audiences should be able to enjoy themselves as well. This book is for anyone who likes well depicted characters and vivid fighting scenes with tension hanging in the air. ”

My Review:

I’m almost not even sure what I’m supposed to be reviewing, but, as always, I’ll give it my best shot.

I don’t know what or where the plot was? The book just seemed to continue on and on without a real “end result”. There was an end result, but you don’t know what the end result is until you almost finish the book. If I’m not making any sense, it’s kind of like this: In dystopian books, the end result is often a successful uprising and the government is taken down. In sci-fi war books, there’s a war and the good guys win. Even in TV shows and comic books, the Joker is wreaking havoc and we already know that Batman is going to take him down and win. We already know the end result of the plot, it’s getting to the end result that makes the plot so interesting.

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Review | Dragons and Grudges

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Kindle Price: $3.82

Synopsis:

Her vengeance. His vision.

Ari lost everything she once loved when the Five Guilds’ resistance fell to the Dragon King. Now, she uses her unparalleled gift for clockwork machinery in tandem with notoriously unscrupulous morals to contribute to a thriving underground organ market. There isn’t a place on Loom that is secure from the engineer turned thief, and her magical talents are sold to the highest bidder as long as the job defies their Dragon oppressors.

Cvareh would do anything to see his sister usurp the Dragon King and sit on the throne. His family’s house has endured the shame of being the lowest rung in the Dragons’ society for far too long. The Alchemist Guild, down on Loom, may just hold the key to putting his kin in power, if Cvareh can get to them before the Dragon King’s assassins.

When Ari stumbles upon a wounded Cvareh, she sees an opportunity to slaughter an enemy and make a profit off his corpse. But the Dragon sees an opportunity to navigate Loom with the best person to get him where he wants to go.

He offers her the one thing Ari can’t refuse: A wish of her greatest desire, if she brings him to the Alchemists of Loom.”

My Review:

Oh, my gosh. Hello? Is this thing on? It needs to be on. You need to hear (read) this!! I LOVED The Alchemists of Loom. I wasn’t sure that I would! I didn’t know what was going to happen, but I loved it.

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Review | In Which a Dragon Isn’t Enough

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Kindle Price: $6.99

Official Rating: 3/5

Goodreads Synopsis:

“When a hero emerges in the Kingdom of Teravinea, he often rises from the ranks of the dragon riders. In the past, only one female has fit the profile. Until now … Fifteen-year-old Amáne finds herself witness to the hatching of a dragon egg. The painful linking rite creates a bond between the two that cannot be broken. She and her dragon, Eshshah, become the only dragon and rider in a kingdom that once abounded with the beautiful creatures and their riders. Amáne and Eshshah are thrown into a conflict that they do not yet understand. One thing is for certain — the fate of the kingdom rests upon their shoulders…”

My Review:

Ugh. I’m on a 3-star rating streak that I really do not want to be on. What I wouldn’t give to find a couple of 5 star books…or even 4 stars. Anything.

I wanted so badly to be impressed by this book. The synopsis looked great, the cover was great too, but I just felt that the writing let me down.

I don’t really have much to say about the characters. I didn’t really connect with any of them. It might be because Amáne is fifteen and I’m eighteen, going on nineteen, but I just couldn’t relate to anything she struggled with. I also felt that she lacked character development. Amáne has an anger issue and that was clear, so I thought that maybe Trimble was going to have her develop a better temper, but instead her anger issue just goes away. One minute she’s a raging ball of anger and needs to learn how to control herself, next she’s just in control. What gives? Go through the stages like the rest of us, Amáne!

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Acne, Asthma, and Other Signs You Might Be Half Dragon by Rena Rocford

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Kindle Price: $4.99

Official Rating: 4/5

Synopsis:

“Allyson fights acne, not trolls. As an inhaler-carrying member of the asthma society, she just wants to meet the father who turned her mother into a paranoid, move-across-the-nation freak. Now she’s trying to fit in at yet another school, but for the first time in her life, she has a best friend, Beth. When Allyson accidentally spits fire at kidnappers in the mall, she realizes why her father isn’t in the picture: she’s half dragon. Her acne? Emerging scales. Her asthma? The side effects of her dragon’s fire breath. Instead of freaking out, unflappable Beth reveals her own troll heritage and explains how things work with the supernatural creatures hiding within the modern world of smartphones and skyscrapers.

When trolls kidnap a unicorn, Beth gets blamed. Allyson is determined to prove Beth’s innocence and keep her friend off the unicorn chopping block. When they start looking for the kidnappers, they get a call from the last person they expect: Allyson’s father. He tries to warn them off, but he’s been put under a spell by the kidnappers to keep the victims from escaping. Nothing short of death can stop him. Now Allyson must choose between killing the father she’s always dreamed of, or letting her best friend die for a crime she didn’t commit.”

My Review:

I was drawn in by the title and I thought the cover was absolutely gorgeous, although I still do not understand why there is a crown of what appears to be barbed wire around her head. Even so, I definitely wanted to take a chance on Acne Asthma, and Other Signs You Might Be Half Dragon. It took me about two hours to read and to describe it in two words it was ‘mellow’ and ‘adventurous.’

Sometimes in fantasy (or anything with adventure in general) books, there’s a constant urgency feeling. At least, that’s how it is for me. Even though my heart-rate might be steady and normal, my mind is tense, as if I’m wading through an ocean of suspense. And you know? That can be stressful. So I liked the mellow feeling that I got from, Acne, Asthma, and Other Signs You Might Be Half Dragon (which is hereby shortened to AAOS).

Please welcome Allyson Takata to the stage. Allyson is in high-school and extremely insecure over the acne, later learned to be scales, on her face. She hasn’t had much adventure in her life farther than evading the bullies in her school and snatching hurtling objects out of the air before they can kiss her face.
I liked Allyson. She was intelligent, courageous, and tried her best to save people who she didn’t know. Many people are insecure about acne on their faces, so I found no fault in her applying makeup. The only fault I found in her was that she was disrespectful towards her mom. Rarely has my mom been wrong about things that matter and Allyson’s blatant lack of respect towards the only parent she’s ever known, the same parent who has no doubt been trying to protect her for years (which should have been obvious to Allyson after a while), was terrible. I won’t lie and say that Allyson not having many flaws bothered me since it didn’t. Because of the pace, there wasn’t time for meticulous character development, no matter how realistic it may be. There was still character development, but it wasn’t the kind that I’m usually writing about.

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Mercy’s Prince by Katy Huth Jones (Review)

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Kindle Price: $2.99

Official Rating: 5/5

Synopsis:

“As second son of the King of Levathia, seventeen-year-old Valerian desires the quiet life of a scholarly monk. But when he fails to save his older brother in battle, Valerian must instead become crown prince. While a traitorous knight schemes against him, Valerian meets Mercy, a pacifist Healer with whom he can speak mind-to-mind like the great dragons. Their bond emboldens Valerian to seek out the legendary dragons and ask for their help against the monsters who killed his brother. Can Valerian survive the traitor’s assassins long enough to find the dragons? And if he does, can he convince them to lay aside their hatred of humans and help him save the land from destruction?”

My Review:

I’m honestly impressed with Mercy’s Prince. The title is beautiful and unlike other titles I’ve seen and the plot, characters, and writing were just as wonderful.

Ever tried to cut a pie for people who are insistent on everyone having the same sized slice? It’s pretty difficult. But Jones perfectly managed to slice this “book pie” in equal parts for character development, romance, and adventure. There was still one thing that made me feel a bit sick, but as you can see, Mercy’s Prince still received a perfect rating.

Mercy was a valiant and a young woman worthy of the title heroine, despite being the youngest I [believe I] have read about (she’s fourteen). In every situation, she is thinking ahead and thinking critically. No matter the circumstances, even if she was grieving, Mercy picked up her burdens and persevered until things got better. She constantly used the knowledge she had gained from her elders and just by living as she did and used it to her advantage. I especially admired that Mercy neither gave up her pacifist ways nor broke her oath. She had many opportunities to do so and given everything she had gone through, she could have dropped it and blamed it on others. But I admired her all the more for honoring her promise and doing her best to continue to live as usual. I don’t recall very much development, but considering Mercy’s natural personality, I didn’t find it ‘gripeable.’

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Wings of Arian (The Solus series) by Devri Walls

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Official Rating: 4/5

Synopsis:

Kiora thought she had never heard a lie until she was sixteen. But she was wrong. Her entire existence was based on nothing but. She thought that evil did not exist. Lie. That magic was not real. Lie. And that the land of Meros was all there was. One more lie.
With Aleric telling her that evil is knocking on the door and that she is the only one who can stop them she has a choice to make. Refuse, or start the wildest most painful ride of her life.
She reluctantly dips her toe into her new existence of magic and threads, dragons and shapeshifters, and the person who wants to take control of it all: the evil Dralazar.
However, this journey was never meant to be hers alone. She will be accompanied by a Protector. To her disbelief, and utter irritation they name the hotheaded, stubborn, non -magical, (albeit gorgeous) Prince Emane. They will have to trust each other with their lives, but right now Kiora would settle for a non hostile conversation.
And now it comes down to this, If you had never heard a lie, would you know when you heard one? Is knowing good from evil innate? Kiora finds herself having to decide who lives and who dies on those very questions.

My Review:

I seriously enjoyed this book. It had me screaming with delight at so many points. However, I feel there was, once again, no reason to have a sequel. Will the sequel be good? It’s very possible. Will I read the sequel? No. The ending felt very “fake”, so to speak. As if Walls thought, “Hmm, I know this is written well, so let’s make a cliffhanger and make more books!” Am I saying that Walls did it for the money? No. Maybe she really did want to continue writing it, which is valid. Maybe it can’t fit into one book, and I can respect that. But, besides that, let’s talk about the book.

Kiora FINALLY. A realistic heroine I can admire. Kiora is powerful and she knows it, yet, she feels unqualified and unprepared for such a great burden. She doesn’t see herself as magnificent and magical as everyone else seems to see her and when she makes mistakes she seems herself unfit to lead. I sincerely appreciated that about her. She didn’t know she could do it, she didn’t expect everyone to follow her, she was just herself, slowly coming to terms that she must lead. I admire that she had weaknesses, made quite a lot of mistakes, some that hurt people, had the capacity to feel more than one emotion, and had the “I don’t understand, but I want to.” kind of mentality. She sincerely was a leader, and I would want to follow her. She didn’t insult her looks whenever she could, I don’t remember her insulting them at any moment. Unless, of course, she was muddy and bloody. While she was unsure of her capabilities, she was still willing to try. She did her best, even if it was hard. Kiora holds a past that brings her guilt, it explains why her parents are dead and why her sister is how she is. Yet, she refused to allow it to cripple her. I say all of this to say, Kiora was an excellent heroine. She had flaws, a pure heart, a mind willing to listen to wisdom, and the natural born gift to lead. A completely admirable character.

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A Dance of Dragons: Series Starter Bundle by Kaitlyn Davis

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Price: Free!

Official Rating: 4/5

Note: I received the Series Starter Bundle which came with “The Golden Cage” (Dance of Dragons #0.5) and the first official book of the series (“The Shadow Soul”).

Synopsis:

The Golden Cage (Dance of Dragons #0.5)

“In the land of Ourthuro, cruelty is a way of life. The king rules with an iron fist and no one dare defy him–no one except his daughter. Princess Leena is keeping a dangerous secret, she has fallen in love with a soldier and it would mean both of their lives if her father ever discovered their affair.

But Leena will risk it all to be with the man she loves–her heart, her life, her freedom. And when her brother’s birthday celebration takes a dangerous turn, Leena is forced to make a decision that will change the fate of her nation and eventually the world.”

The Shadow Soul (A Dance of Dragons #1)

“When Jinji’s home is destroyed, she is left with nowhere to run and no one to run to–until she meets Rhen, a prince chasing rumors that foreign enemies have landed on his shores. Masquerading as a boy, Jinji joins Rhen with vengeance in her heart. But traveling together doesn’t mean trusting one another, and both are keeping a deep secret–magic. Jinji can weave the elements to create master illusions and Rhen can pull burning flames into his flesh.

But while they struggle to hide the truth, a shadow lurks in the night. An ancient evil has reawakened, and unbeknownst to them, these two unlikely companions hold the key to its defeat. Because their meeting was not coincidence–it was fate. And their story has played out before, in a long forgotten time, an age of myth that is about to be reborn…”

My Review:

I loved both the book and the short story and I’m sorry that the whole collection wasn’t free, otherwise I would have continued it. I bought this book thinking that it was about dragons, but for the most part, a dragon was only mentioned once and it wasn’t in the fire-breathing-angry-dragon way I was expecting. Nonetheless, Davis wrote this book in a graceful way, using magic and deep secrets that the two main characters possessed in a way that I was hooked. I loved how Davis gave the reader a short story that gave a tiny background for some of the characters. Once I connected them to the second book, I gasped on the inside.

I also adored Rhen and Jinji’s relationship. Jinji had a certain spice to her and Rhen had a careful love to him. I liked the secrets that Jinji held specifically from Rhen and how he never knew the truth until the very end (which I will get back to later). There were plot twists and I couldn’t guess any part of the book, it was completely original, I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I recommend it.

I still gave it a 4/5 instead of a perfect score because of how the ending was delivered. I realize that in order to lead the way to the second book, you need a cliffhanger, but it felt rushed and “empty”. As if Davis ran out of the usual descriptive and engaging writing style she usually had and went with a rather stale ending.