Monday, 27 June 2016

Dorothy Must Die #1 Dorothy Must Die

Presenting Dorothy Must Die #1 Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige.

Here is the summary of the book:

I didn't ask for any of this. I didn't ask to be some kind of hero.

But when your whole life gets swept up by a tornado - taking you with it - you have no choice but to go along, you know?

Sure, I've read the books. I've seen the movies. I know the song about the rainbow and the happy little bluebirds. But I never expected Oz to look like this. To be a place where Good Witches can't be trusted, Wicked Witches may just be the good guys, and winged monkeys can be executed for acts of rebellion. There's still a yellow brick road - but even that's crumbling.

What happened? Dorothy.

They say she found a way to come back to Oz. They say she seized power and the power went to her head. And now no one is safe.

My name is Amy Gumm - and I'm the other girl from Kansas.

I've been recruited by the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked.

I've been trained to fight.

And I have a mission.


REVIEW ==

Never really liked the stories of Oz. But I definitely loved the modern re-tellings. Be it Oz the Great and Powerful movie, the 'Wicked' play (haven't read its book series yet) and now this new re-telling ..... or rather re-imaging by Danielle Paige, Dorothy Must Die.

This is a post-apocalyptic Oz. Its dark. Its realistic. Its creepy .... Imagine what happens if the good guys turn bad. What if all that magic went to Dorothy's head. What if she came back from Kansas different. Or maybe she never left. But let me tell you this, she definitely makes for one creepy evil Queen. And she is sure not averse to ruling over all of Oz in her Gingham dress and red stilettos, leaching out all of the magic of Oz to her purpose.

Enter Amy Gumm. She is our protagonist and the other girl from Kansas. This is a world that knows the story of Dorothy's Adventures in Oz (of course they don't know if its real or not). Just like Dorothy, Amy gets transported to Oz by a tornado. But a much different Oz greets Amy. Its dark. Its desolate and upside down. Dorothy  rules this new Oz and she is just evil. Thats not all, the scarecrow, thin woodman and the Lion are just as bad as well as Glinda, the Good who is evil now too.

Amy proved to be a great protagonist too. She may not be original with the less than stellar home life. A drunk mother and being alienated at school but she steps up big time in Oz. They say Dorothy is too powerful and only she could kill her. Amy knows what Dorothy has done but taking a life is not easy and for that she hesitates to find herself in this world. But she is a definite badass with pink hair. Cool.

Of course as the title suggests she knows what needs to be done but mysteries surround Oz. Amy may have joined the revolutionary Order of the Wicked, learnt magic, weaponry and etiquette but her task in not that simple. And when you have questionable motive and sides to be chosen, the one simple mission becomes all the more dangerous and convoluted.

Danielle Paige really did a great job of setting this world. Its definitely dark and creepy and vert realistic. You can't help but cringe at the gory details in it. The pacing is well maintained. At times slow but always steady. Not much really happens in this book aside from the battles in between but this is the first book of the series and totally does a great job setting the tone for the succeeding stories. Which i'm definitely going to start as soon as possible.


"A dark and topsy turvy re-imaging of Oz. The author does a great job of toeing the line between Good and Evil"
Genre :     Young Adult, Fantasy, Fairytale, Re-imaging,

Publisher: Harper Collins

Release Date: 1st April, 2014

My Copy: bought (hardback)

Rate:             3/5 (Liked It)

Buy:         Amazon | Book Depository 

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Free to Fall

Presenting Free to Fall by Lauren Miller.

Here is the summary of the book:

What if there was an app that told you what song to listen to, what coffee to order, who to date, even what to do with your life—an app that could ensure your complete and utter happiness?

What if you never had to fail or make a wrong choice?

What if you never had to fall?

Fast-forward to a time when Apple and Google have been replaced by Gnosis, a monolith corporation that has developed the most life-changing technology to ever hit the market: Lux, an app that flawlessly optimizes decision making for the best personal results.

Just like everyone else, sixteen-year-old Rory Vaughn knows the key to a happy, healthy life is following what Lux recommends. When she’s accepted to the elite boarding school Theden Academy, her future happiness seems all the more assured. But once on campus, something feels wrong beneath the polished surface of her prestigious dream school.

Then she meets North, a handsome townie who doesn’t use Lux, and begins to fall for him and his outsider way of life. Soon, Rory is going against Lux’s recommendations, listening instead to the inner voice that everyone has been taught to ignore — a choice that leads her to uncover a truth neither she nor the world ever saw coming.


REVIEW ==

'What to wear?'
'What to eat?'
'How to dress?'
'Which subject to choose?' or
'which route to take?' and etc.

These may seem perfectly simple questions at first but imagine a world where these decisions are made by a decision making App and the human kind blindly follows this fad. Starkly real and little creepy isn't it! Well 'Free to Fall' by Lauren Miller takes this fact and gives it that fresh dystopic edge of a world where the decision making app called 'Lux' has left behind Siri and Cortana and literally conquered the world.

In parts mystery, in parts dystopia. Free to Fall is the story of Rory(Aurora) who has based her whole life on the decisions LUX has made for. Then she gets accepted to the elite Theden Academy. It looks like things are looking up. This is the school her deceased mother went to and Rory is more than to experience the Theden life. But as you would expect it things are not as the seem. Things are happening in the shadows & dark corners of the Academy that may very well destroy the world. Moreover it seems something else is the reason of her mother's death.

Rory actually irritated me at first with just how dependent on Lux she seemed. She is resourceful and determined definitely. Everyone hesitates at change. Rory is no different. Her meeting North for sure helped that along. The attraction is definitely there North has that mysterious appeal that along with Rory makes us readers want to shed away the layers and see what's within that mind of his. He is definitely attractive enough to warrant the attraction.

He challenges Rory and makes her think outside of Lux (see what I did there!). For that enough they are a tick in my opinion as a couple. The other characters also did their part well enough. Beck, Hershey, the teachers and everyone else had their role to play and are definitely not left unattended. The romance is also a slow build up and appreciated how well it was paced.

The plot is a little long. It takes its time to mature but I definitely wouldn't have it any other way. This is Lauren Miller's 2nd book after 'Parallel' and I loved it just like I did with her first book. Miller's world here is a stark and statistical representation of the real world. This is the world where the inner voice, the one we call intuition has been dubbed as the Doubt and pushed aside by the use of medication. In this world if you can still hear the Doubt are grown age then expect trouble in a big way.

My own personal feelings are a bit of a mess right now and i'm not sure how much more I can add to clearly say just how good this book is ..... because this book is really really good. A well paced storyline. Strong and evolving characters. Strong world building and well placed twists & turns. I recommend it people, go read it. You won't be disappointed.

"Starkly realistic and an exciting new dystopia you won't want to miss out on"
Genre :     Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Sci-fi, Dystopia

Publisher: Harper Teen

Release Date: 13th May, 2014

My Copy: bought (ebook)

Rate:             5/5 (It was Amazing)

Other Books by the author(review links):
           Parallel 

Buy:           Amazon | Book Depository

Friday, 17 June 2016

The Crown's Game #1 The Crown's Game

Presenting The Crown's Game #1 The Crown's Game by Evelyn Skye.

Here is the summary of the book:

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, Nikolai’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 Crown’s Game is not one to lose.


REVIEW ==

Imperial Russia. A duel. Two Enchanters vying for the title of the Imperial Enchanter. Marvelous magic and a bittersweet romance. Very like The Night Circus, The Crown's Game by Evelyn Skye takes its queues from the livly Russian backdrop. This is Vika Andreyeva and Nikolai Karimov's battle for survival & the honor of the final reward, Pasha's journey for self discovery and equally the battle for the best mentors.

Packed with strong and dynamic characters. A lush and exotic backdrop. Solid and tight plot. Well paced and not a thread loose and twists and turns delivered in all the the right places. And all the wonderful magic and enchantments they perform really brings the plot to newer heights. It is not an all out magic duel in the general sense but more like they have to use their enchantments in ways to help Russia and Skye's prose brings that on the forefront wonderfully.

Vika was a darling. She grew up on the island with her father and is naturally very proficient with nature magic. Reckless, imaginative, decisive and resilient are some of the words I would throw out there because they describe her perfectly. Believing to be the only Enchanter of her generation, it comes as a shock that their was another. And Vika is prepared to hate the boy because failure means death and there is no coming back from that.

Nikolai is the other Enchanter and he is all kindness and resourcefulness. Unlike Vika, his prowess lies in enchanting materials. He can look through walls. He can complete a bridge without help from the raw material provided. He was an orphan as such he had to work to get the level of achievement he enjoys. It also helps that he is  gorgeous boy both inside and out. And selfless to boot.

The romance may seem insta at first (there is a bit of a triangle too) and in ways it is. Vika and Nikolai can't help but be drawn to each other since their meeting. They know they are opponents but they also can't deny what their heart tells them. Maybe it is their magic attracting each other but what they do really takes your breath away (That cruel .... cruel ending). They don't really act on their feelings but the undercurrents of it are more than enough to tether you to your sets.

Of adding the Tsarevich Pasha to the mix doesn't help matters. He is a free spirit. The future Tsar and he doesn't like being tied down with court matters and prefer to escape outside and help his people in his own way. Didn't really like him at first because he came of as a selfish and careless and sets his eyes on Vika. Nikolai, his best friend likes her too. Awkward. His actions lead to a lot of things to happen, which i am not at a liberty to tell ... But i did like him as a hole very much.

I have never been anywhere outside India (yet) but the details in which Evelyn Skye brings Russia ro life in her pages inspires an awe at the gorgeous setting, so full of life. The prose flows well enough to feel like you are actually a part of the story ... And that bittersweet and cruel (I know I said this before) ending. The passion. The swoon-worthy characters and those feels .... I am desperate for the next book very much.

"Enchanting. Heartfelt and unputdownable. Fans of the Night Circus will enjoy this"

Genre :     Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Release Date: 17th May, 2016

My Copy: publisher & edelweiss

Rate:             4/5 (Really Liked It)

Buy:         Amazon | Book Depository 

Wandering Wild

Presenting Wandering Wild by Jessica Taylor.

Here is the summary of the book:

Raised by Wanderers, sixteen-year-old Tal travels the roads of the southern wild in her Chevy by day and camps in her tent trailer at night. Hustling, conning, and grifting her way into just enough cash to save her fifteen-year-old brother, Wen, from bare-knuckle fighting was once enough to keep her dreams of traveling the whole world at bay. Everything changes when the Wanderers set up camp in a little town called Cedar Falls.

There, Spencer Sway, a boy Tal tried to hustle at a game of billiards, keeps popping up into her life—and worst of all—into her scams. Buttoned-up, starched-and-ironed Spencer talks of places where Tal’s truck can’t take her. His promises of traveling across oceans are almost enough to shatter her love of the Wanderer life.

When a boy shows up at camp, ready to make good on a nearly-forgotten arranged marriage to Tal, Tal and Wen make a pact: No matter the cost, they will use their limitless skills of grift to earn the bride price and buy back her future—even if Spencer Sway gets used along the way.


REVIEW ==

A bit hot and cold this book. Wandering Wild by Jessica Taylor tells the story of Talia and her brother Wen, raised by the gypsies. In a way the book serves to tell us of the illusive life of these people and because I have never really read a book like before. So I decided to give this a go. It wasn't my favorite by far but I quite liked the story as a whole.

They are wanderers. With no real roots just the need to travel and they hustle innocent folks as means of making money. Definitely not a life I want to live and it made me feel rather sorry about Tal and Wen whenever they conned innocent bystanders in their acts. Things speed up when they meet Spencer and Tal fails to hustle him. Add to that their community had already decided Tal's wedding and if she wants freedom then she needs to somehow pay that hefty bride money back before the inevitable happens.

Call it fate. Call it destiny or magic but somehow Tal and Spencer's meeting sets a chain reaction through their lives. The odds are stacked against the Wanderers in this town. The townies less than friendly due to past grievances and their members almost arrested. But still they stayed put in that town against omens.

The pacing is rather slow. The characters sometimes felt stagnant but I liked Tal and Spencer. Although how they would stay together till the end felt sketchy but how they clicked so nicely together that I liked very much. Jessica Taylor's story felt very realistic I tell you. Not really my favorite but I appreciates what I learned.

"Its light. Its real and a subtle stumble through life"

Genre :     Young Adult, Contemporary, Magical Realism, Romance

Publisher: Sky Pony Press

Release Date: 3rd May, 2016

My Copy: publisher & edelweiss

Rate:             3/5 (Liked It)

Buy:         Amazon | Book Depository 

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Magonia #1 Magonia

Presenting Magonia #1 Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley.

Here is the summary of the book:

Maria Dahvana Headley's soaring YA debut is a fiercely intelligent, multilayered fantasy where Neil Gaiman's Stardustmeets John Green's The Fault in Our Stars in a story about a girl caught between two worlds . . . two races . . . and two destinies.

Aza Ray Boyle is drowning in thin air. Since she was a baby, Aza has suffered from a mysterious lung disease that makes it ever harder for her to breathe, to speak—to live. So when Aza catches a glimpse of a ship in the sky, her family chalks it up to a cruel side effect of her medication. But Aza doesn't think this is a hallucination. She can hear someone on the ship calling her name.

Only her best friend, Jason, listens. Jason, who's always been there. Jason, for whom she might have more-than-friendly feelings. But before Aza can consider that thrilling idea, something goes terribly wrong. Aza is lost to our world—and found, by another. Magonia.

Above the clouds, in a land of trading ships, Aza is not the weak and dying thing she was. In Magonia, she can breathe for the first time. Better, she has immense power—but as she navigates her new life, she discovers that war between Magonia and Earth is coming. In Aza's hands lies fate of the whole of humanity—including the boy who loves her. Where do her loyalties lie?


REVIEW ==

Magonia .... Magonia ..... At a loss really just how to begin enunciating how grateful i am for this literary gem. Adorned in its gorgeous cover. Its started slow. It was really really slow but when we catch up to this illusionary world the payoff is simply so interesting and so immersive that just might end up forgiving its shortcomings.

Literature is filled with works of authors making their characters fly, floating islands in the sky, or it 'Fie, Fi Fo, Fum' .... the famous fairytale of Jack and the Beanstalk and the Kingdom of Giants above the sky .... But Maria Dahvana Headley does something new. Mixing Peter Pan like elements with a whole kingdom above the clouds, sky ships, its shape shifting denizens and of course magic.

This is the story of Aza Ray and Jason. Friends since they were young. Oddities of their generation. And they just love to quote pi (π) But the cinch in all, Aza Ray ha been terminally ill with something no Doctor knows to either diagnose or cure. She has been drowning on air as long as she has been alive. But it all begins to change when she starts hearing her name coming out of the sky. Accident & coding on the ambulance bed, later she wakes up in a new world.

There really is a world above the clouds. Magonia is very much real and turns out it is true home. Turns out something happened above for her to be placed with her Earth family ..... For the most part I really liked Aza Ray. She is resourceful, powerful, spunky and all round gumptious. She also sometimes felt lacking in resolution and decisiveness but that can be understandable as she gets to be in Magonia what she wanted down below. And those round her have their own agendas to fulfill, some dangerous beyond compare.

Jason on the other hand was definitely a sweetheart. He had loved his best friend Aza Ray for all their lives and when she dies or disappears above the clouds he somehow knows that its not over. He somehow knows that his Aza Ray Boyle is still alive and he is prepared to go to the ends of the Earth to find her ..... And did I mention he is a wiz at finding things out? Well he is definitely that. Doesn't know when to quit, I liked that about him.

Couple this wonderfully compact plot with the author's lyrical prose and Magonia is the finished treasure. Of course I can understand the comparison with The Fault in the Stars but it doesn't feel like that at all. Also it dragged a lot and the pacing was all over the place as well. I took really really long breaks between reading this book .... but really I wouldn't have it any other way at all. I may have given it a 3/5 but this is definitely a book you should make time for.

"A captivating ensemble and an equally interesting voyage above the clouds"
Genre :     Young Adult, Fantasy, Adventure, Paranormal, Romance

Publisher: Harper Collins

Release Date: 28th April, 2015

My Copy: bought (paperback)

Rate:             3/5 (Liked It)

Buy:         Amazon | Book Depository 

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Ruined #1 Ruined

Presenting Ruined #1 Ruined by Amy Tintera.

Here is the summary of the book:

A revenge that will consume her. A love that will ruin her.

Emelina Flores has nothing. Her home in Ruina has been ravaged by war. She lacks the powers of her fellow Ruined. Worst of all, she witnessed her parents’ brutal murders and watched helplessly as her sister, Olivia, was kidnapped.

But because Em has nothing, she has nothing to lose. Driven by a blind desire for revenge, Em sets off on a dangerous journey to the enemy kingdom of Lera. Somewhere within Lera’s borders, Em hopes to find Olivia. But in order to find her, Em must infiltrate the royal family.

In a brilliant, elaborate plan of deception and murder, Em marries Prince Casimir, next in line to take Lera’s throne. If anyone in Lera discovers Em is not Casimir’s true betrothed, Em will be executed on the spot. But it’s the only way to salvage Em’s kingdom and what is left of her family.

Em is determined to succeed, but the closer she gets to the prince, the more she questions her mission. Em’s rage-filled heart begins to soften. But with her life—and her family—on the line, love could be Em’s deadliest mistake.


REVIEW ==

Think 'Revenge' in an epic fantasy setting. This is my first book from Amy Tintera and i'm happy and ecstatic to report it bloody well fits all the excitement. I devoured it essentially and loved every bit of it. This is the story of Emelina Flores, the eldest Princess of Ruina and magic-less. This is her story as she decides to avenge and nation by infiltrating Lera, finding her younger sister and destroying those who destroyed her family.

They say you are seeking revenge, then dig two graves and keep one for yourself. Emelina proved a worthy protagonist. She knows what she wants. She is ruthless enough to achieve her mission. Infiltrating the enemy kingdom and marrying the Crown Prince Casimir, after murdering the real fiancee, that takes guts and a mean & calculating streak to achieve. She is strong and unscrupulous enough to be thus.

But falling in love? That didn't factor in her plans. Prince Casimir is definitely not what she expected him to be. He is kind, considerate, aloof and awkward at first but as we progress we see he is not like his parents at all. He shows no cruelty for the Ruined, and is willing to let them go if they committed no crime. That shows real strength of character. Of course he starts to change his views after his marriage to Emelina.

Instead of just writing the story through Emelina's perspective, she puts in both Cas and Em's perspectives in alternating chapters. A good different from all the tales in this genre. Not only do we see things from Em's side but also Cas' views of his new wife and all that happens does wonders for readers to understand the character better.

The romance was of course subtle and slowing building up to a crescendo towards the end. And Tintera beautiful paces it all to bring the best of all the characters. They are standing on opposite side, Em and Cas but they are also insanely in love with each other. Some might not wish it but the romance plays a pivotal role in the tale. Em never expected to fall for the enemy. She only wanted revenge on Lera for destroying her life and the writing graciously enunciating her conflict .... Very excited to see what happens next *fingers-crossed* Hopefully Em and Cas will stay together in the end.

"Revenge meets epic fantasy. It hooks you in and reels you further till your hanging on for dear life" 

Genre :     Young Adult, High Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance

Publisher: Harper Teen

Release Date: 3rd May, 2016

My Copy: publisher & edelweiss

Rate:             5/5 (It was Amazing)

Buy:         Amazon | Book Depository 

Sunday, 29 May 2016

Queen of Hearts Saga #1 Queen of Hearts

 Presenting Queen of Hearts Saga #1 Queen of Hearts by Colleen Oakes.

Here is the summary of the book:

As Princess of Wonderland Palace and the future Queen of Hearts, Dinah’s days are an endless monotony of tea, tarts, and a stream of vicious humiliations at the hands of her father, the King of Hearts. The only highlight of her days is visiting Wardley, her childhood best friend, the future Knave of Hearts — and the love of her life.

When an enchanting stranger arrives at the Palace, Dinah watches as everything she’s ever wanted threatens to crumble. As her coronation date approaches, a series of suspicious and bloody events suggests that something sinister stirs in the whimsical halls of Wonderland. It’s up to Dinah to unravel the mysteries that lurk both inside and under the Palace before she loses her own head to a clever and faceless foe.

Part epic fantasy, part twisted fairy tale, this dazzling saga will have readers shivering as Dinahs furious nature sweeps Wonderland up in the maelstrom of her wrath.

Familiar characters such as Cheshire, the White Rabbit, and the Mad Hatter make their appearance, enchanting readers with this new, dark take on Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.


Review ==

Another twisted re-telling of Alice in Wonderland. There has been many done before in books, tv series, movies and games (namely Alice Madness) but Colleen Oakes' Queen of Hearts offers something different, something new. It offers us a Wonderland without Alice, a much darker place it is too and puts the Queen of Hearts or rather Princess of Hearts, Dinah (the future Queen) as the protagonist. And succeeds in making us feel sorry for her.

This is not your fluffy, whimsical Wonderland but a darker and much twisted image. There is palace politics, cruel and murderous kings, unknown magic and secrets that have their ways of shaking us to our cores. Princess Dinah is a spoilt, insolent and intelligent girl. Hated by her own father and the whole palace. She is afraid that would never amount to everyone's expectations. Always looking to impress her father, the King of Hearts. It all goes crashing when her father takes in this delicate slip of a waif, Victoirre, proclaimed her his bastard and a Duchess of Wonderland.

Her new sister is everything she is not. Delicate, glowing and graceful, everyone seems to like her already and Dinah fears what is to happen to her. Things are changing for Dinah and the future doesn't seem good. Of course the unforeseen happens. Tragedy knocks on the doors and she must run, run for her life ....

Colleen Oakes' terrific, vivid imagery produces a vibrant Wonderland with its own brand of mysteries and dark magic. Cheshire Cat is no longer a cat but the devious adviser to the King, you just never know on whose side he really is. White Rabbit is Dinah's tutor and the Mad Hatter is her younger brother. The romance also felt non-existent and dry, Dinah clearly had it bad but her person of interest may not feel the same.

Too bad for her but the biggest downfall, there doesn't seem to be much happening in the plot. While I appreciate the amount of time the author takes to visualize her vision of Wonderland, the progression of the plot felt negligible at best. Although this is the first book of the series, so I definitely want to see what happens next because too many questions are left unanswered and unexplored and the book feels incomplete ..... Will I recommend it? Maybe wait for the series to finish to read the books would be my answer.

"Vivid imagery and twisted new look to Wonderland"

Genre :     Young Adult, Fairytale re-imaging, Fantasy, Mystery

Publisher: Harper Teen

Release Date: 3rd May, 2016

My Copy: publisher & edelweiss

Rate:             3/5 (Liked It)

Buy:         Amazon | Book Depository 

Friday, 27 May 2016

Hunter #1 Hunter

Presenting Hunter #1 Hunter by Mercedes Lackey.

Here is the summary of the book:

They came after the Diseray. Some were terrors ripped from our collective imaginations, remnants of every mythology across the world. And some were like nothing anyone had ever dreamed up, even in their worst nightmares.

Monsters.

Long ago, the barriers between our world and the Otherworld were ripped open, and it’s taken centuries to bring back civilization in the wake of the catastrophe. Now, the luckiest Cits live in enclosed communities, behind walls that keep them safe from the hideous creatures fighting to break through. Others are not so lucky.

To Joyeaux Charmand, who has been a Hunter in her tight-knit mountain community since she was a child, every Cit without magic deserves her protection from dangerous Othersiders. Then she is called to Apex City, where the best Hunters are kept to protect the most important people.

Joy soon realizes that the city’s powerful leaders care more about luring Cits into a false sense of security than protecting them. More and more monsters are getting through the barriers, and the close calls are becoming too frequent to ignore. Yet the Cits have no sense of how much danger they’re in—to them, Joy and her corps of fellow Hunters are just action stars they watch on TV.

When an act of sabotage against Joy takes an unbearable toll, she uncovers a terrifying conspiracy in the city. There is something much worse than the usual monsters infiltrating Apex. And it may be too late to stop them…


Fantasy, Dystopia, Post-Apocalyptic and sci-fi, Hunter by Mercedes Lackey is a mash-up of everything mentioned.... I really really wanted this book to work for me too.The cover is eye-catching. This is also my first time reading Lackey and the plot sounded really good... Ultimately this just didn't work for me. Too much info-dumping on every other paragraph. The style of presentation is rather clumped together, I prefer cleaner shorter paragraphs.

The protagonist Joy was also your already seen before special snowflake. Your typical case of a simple girl with too much powers. I definitely liked the battles with the creatures and the way the major city works. Apparently Hunters are celebrities there with their own channels that posts a live updates of said Hunter's daily activities.

But everything just felt so dry. Its got a rich plot and an epic genre mash-up but somehow the balance isn't there. The story seems so lifeless and dragging that you start to lose interest after a while I also expected to see a sort of a bestiary of all the creatures, we encountered. The disarray and the breakthrough opened the Earth to invasion by the beasts from well known mythology and lore. So I expected illustrations because really this is a dry plot and in livening it up a bit.

"Good epic fantasy mashup that fails in its delivery."

Genre :     Young Adult, Fantasy, Sci-fi, Post-Apocalyptic, Dystopia

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Release Date: 1st September, 2015

My Copy: publisher & netgalley

Rate:             2/5 (It was Ok)

Buy:         Amazon | Book Depository 

Thursday, 26 May 2016

To All The Boys I've Loved Before #2 P.S. I Still Love You

Presenting To All The Boys I've Loved Before #2 P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han.

Here is the summary of the book:

Lara Jean didn’t expect to really fall for Peter.
She and Peter were just pretending. Except suddenly they weren’t. Now Lara Jean is more confused than ever.
When another boy from her past returns to her life, Lara Jean’s feelings for him return too. Can a girl be in love with two boys at once?

In this charming and heartfelt sequel to the New York Times bestseller To All the Boys I've Loved Before, we see first love through the eyes of the unforgettable Lara Jean. Love is never easy, but maybe that’s part of what makes it so amazing.


Like the first blush of spring and the warmth of summer, Lara Jean Song Covey and Peter Kavinsky were. Their endearing tale rose on a calm and us gullible readers couldn't help but be swept away by the innocence and sweetness of their shenanigans in 'To All The Boys I've Loved Before'.

Just like Lara Jean didn't plan on falling for Peter K, so were we not looking towards loving them both .... but it seems inevitable that just like we fell for these two, Lara Jean also fell for Peter K ... Of course we weren't going to be satisfied with a 'Dear Peter' ending to their beginning so the sequel 'P.S. I Still Love You' is both the finale we want and the finale we needed.

Playing pretend and doing it for real are hugely different things. now Lara Jean and Peter are together for real. And she is not sure what the perimeters of their relationship are. Peter still talks to Genevieve and she (Genevieve) still relies on him. So while they are definitely not together, it still scares Lara Jean because she was his ex. When that ex is a class 'A' manipulative bitch, you tend to feel insecure in your other half.... Can't blame Lara Jean for that, it happens to everyone.

But their best quality, no matter how much they fight ... they also know to talk it out and resolve to learn from said mistakes. The hot tub scene plays its opportune havoc and the other guy - John Ambrose McClaren makes his entry .... Really we have known the endgame since the start but DAMN, the new guy almost carves a niche for himself when he makes himself a place during Lara Jean's low moments... But really there was never a chance for him.

As far as our power couple are concerned, really they have both come a long way from when they began. They grow to trust each other and rely on each other fully as the story progresses. In any relationship you can't go in by half-measures, you have to contribute your due and Lara Jean and Peter get that ... And they just complement each other so well and loved how Jenny Han makes them work for it.

Some of the best moments of this book, illuminated some very important topics across. Family. The bond of sisters. Relationships and Sex. The connection between Lara Jean and her sisters Margot & Kitty and her Dad always remained in the front of the mind. You don't really see this level of commitment in a family unit in YA these days. That in itself is a marvel to behold.

Of course Lara Jean has always been the dreamer. She wants simple things in life. She sees life in a much different way than those around her do. And when Peter and she start to date, she wonders about sex. She is not ready for that big leap and Peter, sweet, beautiful confident boy ... he gets it ..... Sex is something you shouldn't take lightly and kudos to the author for stressing on it.

I loved this book. I loved everything about this book. Its sugary, its sweet, and all that is nice with the realities of life messed into these pages. I am definitely going to re-read these books a lot because Lara Jean and Peter Kavinsky have carved a stronghold in my mind and ..... I'm not ready to say goodbye to them at all. I highly recommend it readers, you need to get this duology ..... 'cause its worth it.

"Subtle, sweet and tantalizing. You won't be able to put it down once you start"


IMPORTANT NOTICE = Not duology anymore .... YAY ...... There is another book coming soon in the series.... SO HAPPY..... MORE LARA JEAN and PETER K ..... According to Goodreads, its titled, "Always and Forever, Lara Jean"  

I wrote the review way before this news was announced so i decided not to change anything up there !!




Genre :     Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Release Date: 26th May, 2015

My Copy: bought (hardback)

Rate:             5/5 (It was Amazing)

Other Books in the Series(review links):
           #1 To All The Boys I've Loved Before 

Buy:           Amazon | Book Depository

Friday, 6 May 2016

The Illuminae Files #1 Illuminae

Presenting The Illuminae Files #1 Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff.

Here is the summary of the book:

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.

This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet's AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it's clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she'd never speak to again.

Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.



Review:

ASDFGHJKL ....... WOW ..... FREX-ING AMAZING. This book proved to be a supernova of awesomeness and I am just about to state to you all ..... Just why you need this book. Because you really really need this book. - in Pros and Cons .....

Pros:-


  • Amie Kaufaman and Jay Kristoff. Those name alone warrant a buy. Kaufman's Starbound series (with Megan Spooner) and Kristoff's Lotus War books are just simply brillaint.
  • Its a sci-fi romance.
  • The narrative is wholly in Epistolary format - Letters, IMs, emails and official reports and found transcripts.
  • The year is 2575
  • Its a war between the mega-corporations over a planet.
  • Stunning and graphic world building. Like its happening right infront of us and we are a part of it.
  • Its a high speed chase across the silent universe and the love story of Kady and Ezra desperately fighting for survival across two different space vessels.
  • The style of presentation also scores pints in the pursuit of buying the tome.


  • Kady is a genius hacker. She is antisocial. Doesn't work well with groups. Fierce, spunky and a spitfire are some of the points to describe her.
  • Ezra was a sweetheart. Cocky, self-confident, athletic and very very goofy he may be but he also carries a big secret that brings him down. But points to him, he is resilient. 
  • Even if he and Kady aren't talking at the beginning and they are on two different evacuation ships, he would keep trying to reconnect with her.
  • Nothing like world destruction to get your priorities straight and keep your near and dear ones closer.
  • Both Kady and Ezra show such tremendous character growth as the page keep turning.
  • Life and death. 
  • Death defying acts.
  • Sentient AI gone crazy. "Am I Not Merciful"
  • A killer contaminant turning people into mindless zombies. Ax-ing them off one by one.
  • Blood
  • Gore
  • The ticking countdown of the approaching enemy vessel, Lincoln.
  • The military as always trying yo keep a lid on things. In the misguided attempt to keep the peace.
  • Heartbreaking and heart-stopping twists and turns that keep us on the edge of our seats. As we sift through the pages at the speed of light.
  • The raw data more than enough highlighting their dire circumstances.

  • And that perfect ..... perfect finale that sets things in motion for the sequel.

Cons:-

  • Its quite big in size. 

Really not much of a con if you think about how the narrative is styled.

Come to think I didn't really find a single things bad about this book.


Closing One-liner:-

"Engrossing. Immersive. Action paced. Heart Pounding"

Genre :     Young Adult, Dystopia, Sci-fi, Romance

Publisher: Knof Books for Young Readers

Release Date: 20th October, 2015

My Copy: bought (hardback)

Rate:             5/5 (It was Awesome)

Other Books by the Author(review links):
         Newsoul Starrbound #1 #2
         The Lotus War #1 Stormdancer

Buy:         Amazon | Book Depository 

Gris Grimly's Tales from Brothers Grimm

Presenting Gris Grimly's Tales from Brothers Grimm.

Here is the summary of the book:

The Brothers Grimm’s enduring fairy tales are brought to life for a new generation of readers in their original, uncut, uncensored form, in a lavish new edition by the master of the gothic macabre—bestselling illustrator Gris Grimly.

Grimm.

The name alone is enough to call to mind any number of the timeless fairy tales collected by brothers Jacob and Wilhelm in the early nineteenth century. These folktales have been told and retold in many forms for over two centuries, and while the particular mix of fantasy, adventure, and wonder that defined their seven-volume collection has endured, the terror, violence, and darkness of the original stories have often been lost in translation.

Enter Gris Grimly, the modern master of gothic horror, who has faithfully reproduced the original text of a selection of tales—including “Rapunzel,” “Hansel and Gretel,” and “Little Red-Cap”—and adorned them with his own inimitable artwork. The result is a Grimm collection unlike any other, set in a world that is whimsically sinister, darkly vivid, and completely unforgettable. Gris Grimly’s Tales from the Brothers Grimm is the definitive illustrated compendium of these classic stories for a new generation of readers.


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Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, Charles Perrault or Han Christian Andersen (and etc.), these are literary giants where fairytales are considered. You all know of the Frog Prince, Cinderella, Hansel & Gretel and others. You all grew up reading, fantasizing and analyzing these fairytales. Even coming across the tale depicted in various mediums relevant to the time. This here is another such gem.

Accompanied by the gorgeous & darkly whimsical water color illustrations of well known artists Gris Grimly ...... You have something old, in a something new style. The art is definitely the bonus of this edition and I very much loved re-reading all those stories alongside Grimly's marvelous artistry.

"The wonders of fairytales and the eye-catching water colors of Grimly's brush strokes. A well matched combo"

Genre :     Fairytales, Classic

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Release Date: 26th July, 2016

My Copy: publisher & edelweiss

Rate:             4/5 (Really Liked It)

Other books by Artist(only those reviewed on blog):
         Sherlock Holmes in A Study in Scarlet 

Buy:         Amazon | Book Depository