Fantasy Posts

The Wrath and The Dawn

18798983by: Renee Ahdieh
Pages: 388
ISBN: 9780399171611
Published: May 12th 2015 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
From Goodreads: One Life to One Dawn.

In a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad’s dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph’s reign of terror once and for all.

Night after night, Shahrzad beguiles Khalid, weaving stories that enchant, ensuring her survival, though she knows each dawn could be her last. But something she never expected begins to happen: Khalid is nothing like what she’d imagined him to be. This monster is a boy with a tormented heart. Incredibly, Shahrzad finds herself falling in love. How is this possible? It’s an unforgivable betrayal. Still, Shahrzad has come to understand all is not as it seems in this palace of marble and stone. She resolves to uncover whatever secrets lurk and, despite her love, be ready to take Khalid’s life as retribution for the many lives he’s stolen. Can their love survive this world of stories and secrets?

Inspired by A Thousand and One Nights, The Wrath and the Dawn is a sumptuous and enthralling read from beginning to end.

This is one of those books that I just randomly found. I wasn’t looking for anything particular, I was just casually scrolling through Goodreads. This book captured my attention because everything about it seemed beautiful. I was right. Not only is the cover gorgeous, can we talk about the title? It’s like everything I ever look for in a book. I want to get swept away in a dream like world, every time I read. I rarely find something that truly satisfies my desire for that, but as long as I’m entertained that’s okay. This books completely gave me everything I look for in a book. It was so well written that I never felt myself wandering, even when there were long backstories or descriptions. I loved absolutely everything about this book and I can’t wait to get my hands on the next one. If you’re looking for a book that feels dream-like and lets you escape somewhere far away and foreign, then look no further. The characters in this book are rich and wonderfully portrayed, making you care about them, even if you think you’re not supposed to. This is a retelling of folklore that I am not familiar with, but I enjoyed it even without any background knowledge. I wish I did have some and I’m going to look into it. I seriously cannot rave enough about this book and I can’t believe I hadn’t heard of it before now. I think anyone looking for something new to read should pick this book up, it’s truly one of the most beautiful reads I’ve experienced in a long time. I also can’t believe this is considered young adult! You could have fooled me. I guess that’s because the characters are young, but wow! This book is so, so good.

Cupcakes: FantasyFantasyFantasyFantasyFantasy

Posted by juliette in Book Review and tagged with , , ,

Juliette crushes her TBR in 2016 #2!

So this one might not have been on the list I’ve been trying to read through, but it’s one I’ve been wanted to read for a while. The cover is so gorgeous and every time I found myself looking around the young adult section at Barnes and Noble this cover stuck out to me.

12558285Splintered
by: AG Howard
Pages: 371
Published: January 1st 2013 by Amulet Books
ISBN: 9781419704284
From Goodreads: This stunning debut captures the grotesque madness of a mystical under-land, as well as a girl’s pangs of first love and independence.

Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.

When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own.

****

This book was a crazy wild ride. Probably one of the most absurd books I’ve ever read, and I was an English major. The book was very plainly written but I still found myself getting lost occasionally because I wasn’t even sure what was happening anymore. That’s not saying that I didn’t like the book though. I really did. I think the author has an amazing world in her head that must be killing her trying to get out. It’s so rich and crazy and vibrant. I loved Alyssa SO SO SO much. She was so much stronger than I was as a teenager and if I’d read this book back then she would’ve been my hero. This is something I usually don’t care about, but I loved the descriptions of her clothes as well. I was so jealous of her wardrobe. Teenage me was drooling everywhere for those clothes. I think I loved this book so much because it reminded me of who I was in a simpler time of life. The world was also so descriptive and beautiful. It’s really a ton of fun. Sometimes it’s a little confusing but that’s only because it’s so different from our own world. I also loved how the author blended that world with the everyday world. It’s a quick read that let’s you escape for a while. I read it on the beach all day in Puerto Rico. I recommend this book to any YA fan looking for something different. 🙂

Cupcakes: Paranormal Urban FantasyParanormal Urban FantasyParanormal Urban FantasyParanormal Urban Fantasy

Buy this from Amazon here: Splintered (Splintered Series #1): Splintered Book One

Posted by juliette in Book Review and tagged with , , , ,

Juliette Crushes her TBR in 2016 #1: Queen of Shadows

HAPPY NEW YEAR!
The first thing I want to do is apologize to my very few regular readers out there. I’ve been gone for quite a while, but I have a good excuse! I got married and went on a Disney cruise and got into a wreck and have been dealing with that aftermath! SO… I’ve been incredibly busy and unfortunately, something had to give. Because of the Disney cruise though, I’ve been reading up a storm and am ready to continue crushing my TBR pile for you, starting with…

18006496QUEEN OF SHADOWS by Sarah J Maas
Pages: 648
Published: September 1st 2015 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
ISBN: 9781619636040
Summary from Goodreads: The queen has returned.
Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she’s at last returned to the empire—for vengeance, to rescue her once-glorious kingdom, and to confront the shadows of her past…
She has embraced her identity as Aelin Galathynius, Queen of Terrasen. But before she can reclaim her throne, she must fight.
She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die for her. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queen’s triumphant return.
The fourth volume in the New York Times bestselling series continues Celaena’s epic journey and builds to a passionate, agonizing crescendo that might just shatter her world.

I enjoyed this book way more than I expected to. I’ll be honest and say I didn’t really enjoy the last book in this series so this book has been sitting on my Kindle starting at me for a while. I didn’t want to sit down with a book this big if I was going to have to force myself to read it. But one day I gave in and started it and was pleasantly surprised. Aelin is way cooler than she was in the previous books, even though I think it would be confusing that she has so many different names for any new readers that didn’t start in the beginning of the series. But she’s so much stronger and smarter and way more fun to read about. She still annoyingly feels way too romantically about every man in her life, but even that was toned down in this book. I think it was overall way deeper and more enjoyable than any other book in this series. There’s a reason it won the goodreads choice award, and it isn’t just because this series already had a major following behind it. Each relationship is explored and deepened and a lot of decisions that had been made earlier in the series are explained. It was a lot darker overall too, which I loved. The first two books in the series are very light. (Even though there’s a lot of murder. :P) But this last one is dark and beautifully written and I’ll be honest and say I had trouble putting it down when no other book in this series had done that to me. Sarah J Maas has proven herself to be a great writer and I’m now much more likely to pick up her other series. If you’re like me and don’t quite understand what the hype is about, give it another chance and give this book a shot. It’ll be well worth it, I promise.

Cupcakes: FantasyFantasyFantasyFantasyFantasy

Buy this from Amazon: Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass)

Wolf’s Paradox

18048722by: Margaret Taylor

Published: June 2nd, 2013

ISBN: B00D553XE2

From Goodreads: Kathy Granite is not your ordinary writer. She’s a Weaver – a spinner of great tales and has the ability to write or rewrite the history of a world. Only one problem, she doesn’t know it. She’s spent the last six years telling the stories of people dragged to Earth from a variety of places by her Layren Protector, Ronon Wulfdrak.

Ronon has spent that same time keeping Kathy in the dark and only brought her people who simply want their story told. He’s carefully chosen who would appear and even though she’s become quite the sensation in our world, she’s clueless as to her effect on any others. Ronon aims to keep it that way and hopes she’s safely hidden from his own people. For, if anyone finds out what she really is, they will tear her apart to get at her power.

 

This book was awesome! I thought it was hysterical and it drew me in right from the very beginning. I’ve always loved books where the author is causing something or is involved in the story somehow. I think it’s so unique a concept and this one was better than any others with this kind of a situation. I loved the characters and I love the transformation Kathy goes through over the course of the story. I read it in almost one sitting because I didn’t want to stop. It’s a good sign when a book makes you want to ignore the rest of the world and this one succeeded. If you’re a fan of funny, fast-paced, well-written and interesting novels, then this is a good one for you. I’d recommend it to any fantasy fans. This is the second book I’ve read by this author and I loved both of them. I would be happy to read any books this author writes, so if there’s any more I hope I get a copy soon. 😉 Seriously, this is worth the read and I would definitely recommend it!

Cupcakes: Paranormal Urban FantasyParanormal Urban FantasyParanormal Urban FantasyParanormal Urban FantasyParanormal Urban Fantasy

Buy this from Amazon: Wolf’s Paradox (The Layren Series)

Posted by juliette in Book Review and tagged with , , ,

Fire of the Dragon

17838247by: Lori Dillon

Pages: 343

Published: April 21st 2013 by Amari Press

ISBN: 9780615801216

From Goodreads: Being sent back in time to the Middle Ages wouldn’t be so bad if the knight in shining armor who comes to your rescue didn’t swoop down in the form of a fire-breathing dragon. Unfortunately for Jill Donahue, that’s just the way things have been going in her life lately.

A Maiden

Wrenched back in time through the magical power of an old dragon tapestry found in a vintage clothing store, Jill Donahue lands in an ancient medieval town where the villagers decide to sacrifice her to the local dragon. As if the threat of being eaten alive by a giant flying lizard isn’t bad enough, she learns there’s a curse surrounding the tapestry and she has to break it in order to get back to her time. But she isn’t the only one whose fate is tied to the ancient weaving…

A Dragon

Baelin of Gosforth is a valiant knight who has been cursed by a vindictive witch to live as a dragon for eleven months out of each year. Now he has thirty days to break the curse or he turns back into a fire-breathing beast and, as much as he hates to admit it, he needs Jill’s help to do it.

And A Curse

Forced to face many challenges along the way—from the harsh world they travel through to the fiery passion they both try to deny—each is determined to break the curse so the other can get their happily-ever-after. And it just might work, if Jill can manage to overlook the fire-breathing, bat-winged remnants of Baelin’s dragon half long enough to see the man beneath the beast and get the job done.

 

I loved this book from the very beginning. I loved the heroine. She was someone I could relate to from the very beginning. I’m definitely someone who would be running around at the last minute looking for a present and end up in a weird little store that I wouldn’t expect to be in. I loved the concept behind this novel. Time travel has always been something that I’ve been fascinated with. Baelin was a hero that I could find attractive and that’s not something that happens very often. He had enough of his own doubts and insecurities to make him seem deep, but he was also very strong and willing to face any challenges that came his way. I really liked the writing style. I never found myself zoning out or getting bored while I was reading. And there’s DRAGONS. 🙂 I may be a little bit biased because fantasy is one of my favorite genres to read, but I definitely think this book is awesome. Anyone looking for something new to read should pick it up. I really hope I get to read the second one. I loved all the of the characters, so I can’t wait to read something in another character’s POV. Pick up this novel, you won’t be disappointed. Especially if you love dragons and time travel as much as I do. This book is just that good. I have nothing but praise. I’ve already recommended it to some people.  🙂

Cupcakes: FantasyFantasyFantasyFantasyFantasy

Buy this from Amazon here: Fire of the Dragon (Bestiary Series)

Posted by juliette in Book Review and tagged with , , , ,

The Smoke and the Flame

17741640by: Shirley McCoy

Pages: 490

Published: March 30th 2013 by Createspace

ISBN:  9781482690958

From Goodreads: In The Smoke and the Flame, Colleen O’Banyon longs for love and adventure until she encounters Darius McLinnin, one of the fabled race called the Jinn. In each other’s arms they find all the passion, all the love their hearts desire. But there is a ring, ancient and powerful, and only it can control the Jinn. As the ruler of the Jinn and their kingdom, Kaf, Darius is sworn to keep his people safe from it. Willing to protect the man she loves and guard his kingdom with her life, Colleen vows to aid him. Alaster, an evil sorcerer, will stop at nothing to make the ring and Kaf his. The battle begins in The Smoke and the Flame.

I thought this book was really interesting. From the very beginning I had reasons to care about the characters. It starts off with just Colleen and Darius, but it ends with a colorful cast of characters. I loved getting each one’s perspective at one point or another, so even if I didn’t agree with a character’s actions, I knew the reasoning behind it and could relate to it. I did think that the love story between Darius and Colleen went on maybe a little too long. A large chunk of the beginning of the book is about them and how they fell in love. After all of that happens is when the action really begins. There’s a lot of character development and a fantastic fantasy world. I really enjoyed this novel and while it is almost 300 pages, it goes by very quickly. I read it in a little over a day. I think fans of fantasy and romance would love this book. Pick it up. There’s many different characters to get attached to, including more than one love story line. It’s a great escape from reality for a while. I loved it. 🙂

Cupcakes: FantasyFantasyFantasyFantasyFantasy half

Buy this from Amazon here: The Smoke and the Flame (The Flame and Fire Series)

Sophia: Within

17609202by: Jordana Lizama

Pages: 476

Published: Feb. 17th, 2013

ASIN: B00BHMOQSC

From Goodreads: Only time will tell if Sophia, Alec and the world are ready to accept the mission that has been passed down for many generations. This is more than a story of reincarnation. This is a story that never ended following the reign of the Greek gods.

What has been hidden for thousands of years is about to surface in a small New England town. The impact on this rural village is ageless, but only the chosen time travelers know what is happening, the reason it is happening and how to control the outcome.

The Men of Ages have walked the Earth unnoticed since the time of Greek mythology and have kept their ancient war alive by transporting the lead warrior in a most unusual time machine. There is only one way to stop the cataclysmic demise of the human race and Sophia is the answer. But, Sophia is a teenage girl faced with many human and nonhuman desires that create a tortuous path from antiquity to the present day. Love conquers all; or, so it seems.

 

There were things I liked and didn’t like about this book. I liked the whole concept of the book. I don’t know nearly as much about Greek mythology as I would like to, so I’m always interested in books that are related to that. I’m also a sucker for YA romances and this definitely had all of the elements of a good romance. I just had trouble with some of the writing and the way everything was presented. I felt like the book could have been a lot shorter if a lot of unnecessary things had been cut out. I got frustrated with Alec because he never seemed to share any answers, even though he knew them all. I felt like he was just holding in all of this information just so there could be some suspense and drama. It drove me a little crazy. I also felt like there wasn’t enough of a connection between Sophia and her connection to the Greek goddess. She only struggled a little bit, but seemed to overcome it easily enough. There were also more than a few simple writing mistakes and grammatical errors. Most of the time I’m willing to overlook these if the story has completely captivated me, but since this wasn’t the case they tended to bother me. I really went into this wanting to absolutely love it. Maybe if everything was cut down and the tension was built up to be more than just someone withholding information, I would be raving about it. As it is I would say it’s a fairly simple YA romance with some fantasy elements. It does read very quickly, but it’s still a long book. I don’t think you’d be able to get through it in one sitting, so you’d have to be looking for something a bit longer to read. I know that my opinion isn’t the same as everyone’s though. So if you’re a fan of this genre, I encourage you to read it for yourself and write a review. I’d like to know other people’s opinions! 🙂 I do absolutely adore the cover though, it’s gorgeous!

Cupcakes: Paranormal Urban FantasyParanormal Urban FantasyParanormal Urban Fantasy

Buy this from Amazon here: Sophia: Within

Vala: Appointed

16006864by: J.F. Jenkins

Published: September 13th, 2012 by Astraea Press

ASIN: B009A2Q1QG

From  Goodreads: Identical twins Anj and Zes Willam have always been considered odd, even in a world where myth is real. Their magic is powerful and intense, as well as their secrets. None more so than Anj, who has the biggest secret of them all.

He’s a Fate, and he’s not allowed to tell anyone about what he sees or else the consequences will be great. Which is unfortunate, because it’s been causing a rift between him, his girl-friend Jewl, and his brother. Even more unfortunate because the demons some how have learned about his gift and have made him their next target.

 

I’ve been a fan of this series from the beginning, but this one is definitely my favorite! Anj and Zes have always been my favorite characters, so I was thrilled when I realized that this book was their story. This book pumps up the drama just as much as the other two books, but I felt like the writing was smoother. Everything flowed at a great pace, and I found myself unable to put the book down. I felt so bad for these characters. I can’t imagine dealing with even part of what they deal with in high school. I liked that we got to see so much more depth to Jewl and Anj’s relationship. When this series started, I wasn’t a fan of them together, but by the end of this book I was completely won over by the two of them and wanted them to be together more than anything. If you’re a fan of this series, pick this book up, it’s the best one yet! This author is definitely growing into her writing and I’m loving the results. I didn’t feel like the resolution was too rushed, and I loved how much we got to learn about the different story lines that have been hinted at since the beginning. I really enjoyed this installment of the series. 🙂

Cupcakes: FantasyFantasyFantasyFantasyFantasy half

Buy this from Amazon here: Vala Appointed

Posted by juliette in Book Review and tagged with , , , ,

My Wolf’s Bane

17236613by: Veronica Blade

Pages: 389

Published: January 28th, 2013 by Crush Publishing

ISBN: 9780985343460

From Goodreads: NOTE FROM THE PUBLISHER: As with any Veronica Blade book, this is a ROMANCE NOVEL, meaning it’s romance FIRST and everything else is secondary. Rated PG-13 for sexual situations and mild profanity.

Different species. Mortal enemies. It’ll never work, but they’ll die trying.

Autumn Rossi thought she was a normal teenager. Suddenly, she can outrun every critter in the forest, making her wonder if she’s even human.

When the new guy at school, Zack de Luca, witnesses a questionable scene, he unfairly pins her as stuck-up. He acts like he hates her, yet he keeps bailing her out of trouble. Not only is Zack both insufferable and irresistible, he seems to sniff her anytime he gets close.

As passion flares between them, Autumn isn’t sure which is more dangerous: her psycho ex-boyfriend, or falling for Zack — who’s risking his life just by being near her.

See the book trailer: http://youtu.be/GEXgVD1NblU

 

I loved this book. I liked the author’s take on werewolves. This was a different kind of society for them than any other I’d read before. I also really liked Autumn’s character. She wasn’t your average high schooler… and I’m not saying that simply because she finds herself with different powers. She’s someone who I would’ve wanted to be friends with in high school. She didn’t feel the need to change herself to fit in or make anyone like her. She was unapologetic for who she was and I loved that. Of course, I also found Zack to be very close to the perfect guy and it made me wonder why I never met any guys like that in high school. This novel is a great young adult that can transport anyone into a different world for a few hours. I like books that can suck you in and make you forget about the world around you for a little while. I had a few issues with this story though, the main one being that I still had a lot of questions when the book ended. I just couldn’t help but feel a little frustrated. I know that it was a romance first and foremost and that’s fine, but there were so many other elements to the story that I felt were just left hanging. I had some issues with Autumn’s parents as well.  I  didn’t really understand their motivation for doing anything they did throughout the entire book. I really wanted the ability to pause the story and find out what was going on with them. I know there’s more to come though, so that’s a good thing. I want all of my questions answered! 😛 But even if that doesn’t happen I’d suggest this book to anyone looking for a good YA romance. I know there’s lots of those out there these days, but I did feel like this one brought something unique to the table and that it was attention grabbing. 🙂

Cupcakes: Paranormal Urban FantasyParanormal Urban FantasyParanormal Urban FantasyParanormal Urban Fantasy

Buy this from Amazon here: My Wolf’s Bane (Shapes of Autumn, book one)

Storm of Arranon

13553378by: R. E. Sheahan

Pages: 287

Published by Rule of Three Press

ISBN: 1466234970

From Goodreads: Beneath Erynn’s petite build, curly red hair, and startling blue eyes, lies a deeply hidden secret.If the truth about her were revealed, her life would be in danger. Her dream to be a fighter pilot would tailspin,crash, and burst into flames.
Jaer’s wise brown eyes reflect his smoldering strength. An enigma, charismatic and moody, he is a physically powerful warrior who defends his world. A warrior afraid to love because of mistakes in his past.
When the presence of a marauding alien society is discovered on their planets, a struggle of life and death begins. Both Erynn and Jaer’s worlds face annihilation.
A mysterious force plunges Erynn into Jaer’s cold, dangerous, and beautiful world with its magical essence and living consciousness. Both the alien enemy and this strange inexplicable power purse Erynn.

There were things I liked about this book and things I didn’t. Overall, I think this novel is great for science fiction/fantasy young adult fans. It’s definitely unique, so it’s not lot any other novel you’re gonna pick up when browsing through the young adult section. This book also was beautifully written. If you’re someone who likes to visualize everything while reading, then you’ll probably really like the description. I thought it was a bit much at times. I found myself losing interest in some places, but I know that that is a personal thing and that it shouldn’t be held against the writer. A lot of people really like detailed descriptions, especially when it comes to descriptions of other worlds. I also found myself getting confused sometimes. I wanted less description of the land and more of what was going on. I had trouble keeping up with the storyline at times and I felt like the author knew a lot about what was going on, but that we as readers didn’t get to know any of it. I wanted more explanation. Erynn is a very strong heroine though and she’s smart, which is something that I think is missing in a lot of books these days. I find myself wanting to throw them against the wall because of the decisions they’re making, but I never felt that way about Erynn. I did question some of her emotions from time to time, but I never questioned her judgement. I think if you’re looking for a fresh voice in science fiction and to escape to an entirely different world/universe, then this book would be good for you. 🙂

Cupcakes: Science fictionScience fictionScience fictionScience fiction half

Buy this from Amazon here: Storm Of Arranon