Review: Banished by Liz De Jager

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Title:  Banished (The Blackhart Legacy book #1)

Author: Liz De Jager

My Rating: blog 5 leaf rating

Buy from Amazon – Buy from Waterstones – Buy from The Book Depository

sumary finalKit is proud to be a Blackhart, now she’s encountered her unorthodox cousins and their strange lives. And her home-schooling now includes spells, fighting enemy fae and using ancient weapons. But it’s not until she rescues a rather handsome fae prince, fighting for his life on the edge of Blackhart Manor, that her training really kicks in. With her family away on various missions, Kit must protect Prince Thorn, rely on new friends and use her own unfamiliar magic to stay ahead of Thorn’s enemies. As things go from bad to apocalyptic, fae battle fae in a war that threatens to spill into the human world. Then Kit pits herself against the Elder Gods themselves – it’s that or lose everyone she’s learnt to love.

– Summary not mine; taken from Banished’s goodreads page.

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Banished is one of those books that is simply so awesome, so enjoyable, and so imaginative, that you have to take a break every hour or so while reading to just absorb its beauty. With a soul-gripping beginning, and amazing characters, this book will quickly rise up onto your favourites list whilst reading.

One thing that I really enjoyed were the excerpts of what seemed like lore books, or some kind of text book Kit might have studied from. It added to the story without adding too much, or spoiling anything. It gave the reader a better sense of Kit’s world, making it feel more whole and more enjoyable. Because of this, you can easily get lost in the story.

Another of Banished’s strengths is its amazing cast of characters. There’s Kit, main girl, who’s perfectly trained in kicking butt. Then there’s Thorn, faery prince, who you wouldn’t want to give coffee to (well actually, you might). There’s also Aiden, the sassy werewolf. Each quickly gained a place in my reading heart.

To break it down, Banished has everything a good story needs – mystery, the right kind of drama, the perfect amount of action, and the kisses that had to happen sometime (or risk the reader having a heart attack from the stress). The ending will leave you baffled, and at a loss, and most importantly, crying desperately for more.

However, when you try and review this book, you will come up short. It’s hard to formulate thoughts on something you loved so much.

 

 

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ARC Review: The Dark World by Cara Lynn Shultz

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Title: Dark World (The Dark World, Book #1)

Author: Cara Lynn Shultz

My Rating: blog 3 leaf rating

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Paige Kelly is an outcast at high school, mainly because of her ability to talk to ghosts. Her best friend, Dottie, is a ghost who haunts the building. But, when the high school gets an influx of new students, including Logan, things start to get weirder.

Logan isn’t phased by the stories he hears of Paige. To Paige, this is what constitutes as definitely strange, especially when Logan has to protect her from a fire demon that attacks during detention. Soon, Paige is thrust into the strange and age-old war between warlocks and demons, since it turns out that she is actually very valuable to either side.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I was drawn to The Dark World because of the beautiful cover, and I’m so glad that I requested it on NG!

The books has a very different take on the whole ‘talking-to-ghosts’ power there is in some books. Normally, it is someone’s biggest secret and blah blah, but this was different. People know that Paige talks to supposed ‘imaginary’ friends and she has to suffer for it. I was very sympathetic towards her, and I couldn’t believe that people would be so horrible after her traumatic experience.

I really enjoyed the book because of the action that happened. There were some very epic demon battles in it, which I enjoyed reading very much. They kept me on the edge of my seat, and I found the book hard to put down. It was  a nice, easily read story and I found the pages just flew past.

The characters were likable (well, the ones you were supposed to like!), especially Dottie and Logan. Dottie was an adorable girl, and definitely the kind of best friend every girl needs. Even though I found she was a bit needy sometimes, I knew this was because she had been so lonely before. Logan was this book’s hotshot, and wow! I may have a new book boy crush.

Review: Fire Study by Maria V Snyder

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I N F O R M A T I O N

Title: Fire Study (Chronicles of Ixia, Book 3)

Author: Maria V Snyder

My Rating:

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S U M M A R Y

The third installment in Yelena’s journey is just as action filled as the previous two. Running between both Ixia and Sitia and trying to keep the peace, Yelena must also come to terms with the fact she is a Soulfinder, one of the most powerful types of magical being. While the Sitian council worry the power will corrupt her, Yelena springs into action against Ferde, a Soulstealer guilty of murdering eleven girls. He escaped prison with the help of Cahil, another of Yelena’s many formidable enemies.

R E V I E W

I still really enjoyed this part of the series, but I had a few more problems with it than I did with the first two books.

I thought the story was getting a bit repetitive and predictable, and when there was an actual interesting plot point involving the Commander, it was explained away too easily and became uninteresting. So much more could have been done with that twist; and since it was made to seem very dramatic and important, I was a bit disappointed. Although, there were a few times I got rather involved with the story and forgot things I wanted to note down and talk about in my review. It was very much a mixed-feelings book for me.

Another thing that was different was that in this installment of the series, the story had definitely taken a dark turn. There was a lot more mentions of sexual abuse and rape that were either unnecessary or could have just been hinted at rather than said outright.

However, I still love Yelena and the way she isn’t a typical, all powerful heroine – she does need her friend’s help sometimes.She still had her headstrong character, even if sometimes she let her emotions override logical sense, which happened a lot in this novel.

While this book was less enjoyable than the others, I am still interested in the rest of the series and where Maria V Snyder will take the story next.

Review: Dead Jealous & Dead Silent by Sharon Jones

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Title: Dead Jealous/Dead Silent (Poppy Sinclair Series 1&2)

Author: Sharon Jones

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Dead Jealous

Dead Jealous introduces sleuth Poppy Jones, who is attending a pagan festival with her parents who are later becoming handfasted during the festivities. However, when Poppy discovers the dead body of a girl she met less than 24 hours before her death, she takes it upon herself to figure out who murdered the girl, and why. With paranormal elements and pagan beliefs questioning Poppy’s faith in science, she has a limited amount of time to discover what went wrong before the culprit is left to roam free…

Dead Silent

Taking place mere months after the events of Dead Jealous, Dead Silent opens with Michael and Poppy taking a trip to Cambridge University, for an interview that will hopefully secure Michael a place in the prestigious university. However, things start to go awry when Poppy finds her father in the chapel, cradling a student who has been murdered. Again, Poppy is thrust into a murder investigation that doesn’t completely rely on usual methods of sleuthing.

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I received Dead Silent as a review ARC on NetGalley, so I had to buy Dead Jealous as I hadn’t heard of the series before. Thankfully, I wasn’t disappointing!

I’ll start off with my thoughts on Dead Jealous. I was a bit wary at first because I don’t usually enjoy mysteries, but I did really like Dead Jealous. I think it was because Dead Jealous was set in such an unusual place – there are not many books set in a pagan festival, much less in YA, which gave it a paranormal air. It touched on psychic abilities as well, and as I was reading I thought that maybe there could be some kind of development regarding this – but, by the end of the book, I was still questioning this, which isn’t a bad thing.

I found Dead Jealous hard to get into, but I think that was mostly because of my own reluctance for mysteries. Once I got into the book, however, I was very anxious to find out how the book was going to end, and I kept guessing at who the murderer was (I wasn’t right, at least until it became so obvious that it would be embarrassing if I didn’t notice). I really enjoyed this book, but the only thing that let it down was the romance. It was overplayed, and I feel like it was unnecessary and didn’t really add anything to the plot. I knew that Poppy and Michael would end up together, and I wasn’t really interested in any of the troubles that they encountered regarding their situation.

Dead Silent however, was a fairly different story for me. I found the first quarter fairly boring, since it mostly focused on Michael and Poppy’s relationship. I pushed through however, because I knew that it would pick up very soon. And pick up it did! I was immersed in a murder mystery that was quickly turning very sour, especially for Poppy and Michael. I loved how like Dead Jealous, there was a rich history and other-worldly feeling in the book. However, I also feel like Poppy did a lot running around and not a lot of problem solving in the last part of the novel.

I like how Sharon Jones manages to balance the paranormal and the ordinary world perfectly. It leads to a very interesting read, and teemed up with the murder mystery aspects of the novel, it is a great premise for a good series.

I did enjoy both of the novels, but I much preferred Dead Jealous to Dead Silent. I would still recommend them both because they were very enjoyable, and a much different take on paranormal aspects in YA.

ARC Review: Book of the Crowman by Joseph D’Lacey

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Title: The Book of the Crowman (Black Feathers #2)

Author: Joseph D’Lacey

My Rating: blog 5 leaf rating

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The second installment in the Black Feathers duology follows Gordon Black and Megan further into their journeys to find the Crowman. Gordon still struggles in an apocalyptic world, where Wardens rule all, but the Green Men are quickly gaining power. Even so, it seems like Gordon will forever be chasing black feathers with very little result. Megan continues to follow the Keeper’s path, rewriting the Book of the Crowman as she witnesses it in the Weave like thousands before her.

But will Gordon find the Crowman? Or were his sacrifices and hardships in the first book be in vain?

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I loved the first book in this series. Joseph D’Lacey’s prose flows off the page just like poetry, and creates vivid, ethereal worlds and images that you almost believe in. The world is beautiful and violent and I loved immersing myself in the novel. Some points are gritty and disgusting; a few of the Wardsmen literally filled me with revulsion, and I’m assuming that was the authors intended reaction. The books are so rich and in-depth, so spiritual that these books could almost become a religion.

I fell in love with Gordon Black in the first book. The second book was tragic and heartbreaking for me, but at the same time instilled so much hope. The characters in the book are so incredibly real, so unique and human, that they take their places in the reader’s heart and brain and don’t ever let go.

I simply cannot express just how much I loved these books, since it is so difficult to put into words. The novel was filled with emotions, and events that jumped out of the pages. The switches in point of view work perfectly, with each character having their own voice and very different world.

My only complaint is that after reading the book, I was filled with an empty hole, since I realized it actually was the end.

The Book of the Crowman comes out in UK print on the 6th of March. Check it out on Angry Robot’s Website!

Review – Legend by Marie Lu

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Title: Legend

Author: Marie Lu

blog 3 leaf rating

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Fifteen year old June lives in the Republic, a nation torn by war.She has been born into an elite family, and is hoping to rise to success in the Republic’s most prestigious military circle. Day, a boy living in the slums, is the Republic’s most wanted criminal. When June’s brother is murdered, Day becomes a prime suspect, but when the two meet they will discover just how many lies the Republic tells it’s people.

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I did enjoy Legend, as I found it was a quick read with a lot of action. However, I also found that I had a few problems with the book.

I found that the voices of both of the characters were fairly similar, and it seemed like Day and June were the same person a lot of the time. Another thing that I found slightly annoying was that it was very emphasized that both that prevented me from becoming as immersed and obsessed with it like a lot of other people.

of them were extremely attractive, and it seemed like both the characters knew it as well. The romance seemed rushed to me, since one moment Day and June were just

talking and then all of a sudden they were kissing. Because of this, I felt that other parts of the story that should have been focused on, like the plague and and Thomas’s character, were left undeveloped and I felt slightly cheated at the end. I would have liked to have learned more about him and why he did what he did. I also felt that some parts of the plot were left underdeveloped, and while I understand this book is part of a trilogy, I felt like after reading the book, I knew just as much about it as I had before I started it.

Mostly, I enjoyed it because it was a quick read that was rather short, and though the first half was fairly slow and I did have a few problems with it, it was okay. I doubt I will read the rest of the series though, unless I suddenly find myself desperate to know whether Ollie the dog was harmed or not.

Review: Uglies by Scott Westerfield

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I N F O R M A T I O N

Title: Uglies (Uglies Trilogy #1)

Author: Scott Westerfield

My Rating: leaf rating buttonleaf rating buttonleaf rating buttonleaf rating button

S U M M A R Y

Tally is an ugly. But soon, it’s her sixteenth birthday, and she will undergo plastic surgery to make her pretty, where she can join her older bestfriend and go to the best parties with all of the pretty people.

But then she meets Shay, who wants to show Tally a man called David, who she says lives permanently ugly outside of society. Tally doesn’t believe the story, but then Shay goes missing… And Tally is given a choice: Find Shay, or stay ugly forever….

R E V I E W

I really enjoyed the unique world that Scott Westerfield created. I thought that Uglies was very tense and suspenseful, and I ate the whole book up in just a day. The novel was very plot and character driven, with Tally not being the most likable narrator, but that only reinforced how much she had been brainwashed into thinking she was ugly. I loved how clear the personality changes were in the uglies and pretties, and I loved how there was so much going on at once.

I thought that the world was very well developed and unique, and I can’t wait to get started on Pretties.