BOOK REVIEW: Spells and Sorcery by S. Usher Evans

29933704

You have magic.

One sentence, three words, four syllables. Enough to change my life forever. And I’m not talking about the whole spells and sorcery thing.

Lexie Carrigan thought the weirdest thing about her was she preferred watching documentaries and reading the newspaper to reality TV and Twitter. But on the eve of her fifteenth birthday, her aunt and sisters drop a bomb–she’s magical.

Now the girl who never made waves is blowing up her nightstand and trying to keep from wreaking havoc on her school. When a kind stranger shows up with all the answers, Lexie hopes he’ll be able to help her control her newfound powers. But Gavon may not be as kind as he seems, and soon Lexie finds out that being magical is the least weird thing about her.

Spells and Sorcery is the first YA fantasy from S. Usher Evans, author of the Razia series, the Madion War Trilogy and Empath.

Seriously, I have no idea where time goes because it feels like yesterday when I received an ARC of The Island and here I am, reviewing another series from S. Usher Evans. Whew! I received an email from the lovely author/ her own publisher as well, about a new series she has written and if I might be interested in reading it. Of course, seeing how The Island and The Chasm and Double Life (hey Razia girl!) worked out super well for me, I was in.

like

The magic system, though not astoundingly unique, is well thought of. Now we all know about witches and the variety of things they can do. However, the world that the author created made for a unique system where the witches are categorized according to their talents, essentially complementing each other. The societal and institutional aspects of the magic system is well developed and I like that about it.

The suspense and mystery regarding the plot twist (twists? gotta read it if you wanna know *wink*) was were not dragged on for too long yet not given too soon. Now if you have read some of my previous reviews you might know that I hate, HATE, frustrating books that keep too much for too long that by the end you just don’t care anymore.

Ms. Evans, as usual, is able to give natural reactions to her characters. I mean, you could just relate to them, because they seem natural. They could just be the usual person you walk past along the streets. They are flawed, they try, they cope up and they learn. The development of the characters was very discreet, but relevant.

Now, I want you to pay attention to what I am going to say. EVERYBODY loves a bad ass grandma. Do you? I do. Come on, when you are inches away from dying and you find out you kept your precious life because your granny “claimed you”, you gotta bow to the queen bee that is your Nana. And just like that, I described my favorite scene in the book.

I am usually good at having hunches regarding twists and stuff but honestly, I think I was too busy about the other stuff going on that I only realized it about 3 pages before the big reveal. Still caught it though *wink* Well played Whitney, well played.

dislike

Something about it just doesn’t settle with me completely. And I know this is stupid, but it didn’t just hit it with me like The Chasm or Double Life did. I know I shouldn’t compare them because they are TOTALLY different books, but I hope you get what I am saying.I think maybe it is because this book is for a younger crowd?  Maybe.

The synopsis fell flat for me. The first 2 lines that is.

The pacing was slow at first. And I understand why it had to be that way, explaining a lot of stuff and showing how Lexie will react to her newfound powers but personally, I would have wanted it to have picked up speed early on. It did pick up, about 1/3 into the book and all was well 🙂 Well not all well because she almost died but you get what I mean.

Despite these, I am really curious what comes next, and will definitely read the next book in this series. I also want to read it to see if it will be a better fit for me. I like that this book is not like anything I have read before, with witches having concrete limits to their powers. And I think people will enjoy it too.

3.5star

**I received an ARC of this book from the publisher for free in exchange of an honest review. All opinions are my own and have not been influenced by anyone or anything.

**Spells and Sorcery (Lexie Carrigan Chronicles #1) releases on October 4, 2016.

Advertisements

BOOK REVIEW: Cinderella Theorem by Kristee Ravan

cinderellatheorem

Fairy tales are naturally non-mathematical. That is a fact, and fifteen-year-old Lily Sparrow loves factual, mathematical logic. So when her mother confesses that Lily’s deceased father is (a) not dead, (b) coming to dinner, and (c) the ruler of a fairy tale kingdom accessible through the upstairs bathtub, Lily clings to her math to help her make sense of this new double life (1 life in the real world + 1 secret life in the fairy tale world = a double life).

Even though it’s not mathematical, Lily finds herself being pulled into a mystery involving an unhappy Cinderella, a greasy sycophant called Levi, and a slew of vanishing fairy tale characters. Racing against the clock, with a sound mathematical plan, Lily attempts to save her fairy tale friends while proving that normality = happiness.

Hello guys! Today I have another review for you. This was a book I saw on YA Bound Book Tours that was open for review but at that time, I had a totally different idea of what it was about even after I read the synopsis of the book. So I requested it, and as soon as I was accepted and got the book, I read it and boy was I surprised.

like

The world building was really unique and interesting. Now at first it might not be too obvious, but as you go along, you see that this is another spin to fairy tales. The stories and the characters in them are given personalities, more than what they are made to look like in the tales. Don’t get me wrong though, they retain their signature characteristics they are known for in the stories, but there is just more to them than what is told. This new spin to the usual re-telling is refreshing, kind of how Shrek has different fairy tales in one movie.

The “magic system”  is quite unique. I don’t know if I should call it a magic system even. Lily does not have magical powers, and what she does doesn’t exactly call for magic. However, there is looking deeper into the story of what “magic” really is in this story, I think that finding happiness, true happiness, is what it actually means. In essence, Lily has magic because she is able to see and understand what makes people happy, by looking into the root of their sadness. Yes she is a bit immature, but you see talent.

There were some parts of the storytelling that I was not comfortable about which I will discuss later. What I want to tell you now is that as I went farther into reading, I felt comfortable with the jargon (except the equations and math stuff), and the style of how the story was told. For me, the choice of telling it in a point-of-view style worked perfectly. It suit Lily’s personality well, which brings me to my next point.

I like how Lily is so rational, because I for one am. I like thinking about stuff, a lot. And seeing how this world confuses her, I could totally relate to Lily. I would have freaked out too if my dead father just appears in front of me standing in my tub. Oh and I just adore her nickname for her dad. “King Tub”. Gets me every time haha!

Although there were certain things that didn’t work out for me while I was reading, the last 50 pages or so were the ones that got me really interested. I was really intrigued and excited honestly. Honestly, I am looking forward to what is next, and I would definitely read the sequel if only to know what can take off evil Levi’s greasiness.

dislike

Three things.

One. I am as irritated as I can get with Lily’s parents. I mean it people, IRRITATED. I cannot believe these people! You drop a truth bomb right in front of your teenage girls face and you expect her to be calm and okay about it with just a few words and ice cream with every flavor she wants? I mean, the ice cream sounds like a good idea but come on! Fairy tale parents are supposed to be loving and caring and overly explanatory!  Give her time people! Actually talk with her about it. That is what adults do. Or is that just me? Seriously, I am so glad Lily is rational because clearly, her parents have lost their minds.

Two. The math. MATH! Oh the bane of my existence. This part, I can only blame myself for. I hate math. I just do. And seeing how parts of the book is represented in letters corresponding to values and equations and whatnot seriously almost threw me off. I think I would have liked it better if it were told in paragraph form, explaining probabilities and limits and stuff.

Three. I am kind of not too sold on the Calo story. I get it, but I think I need more proof? I mean there is the circumstantial evidence but I needed something more. Although yes, it served the purpose of solving a mystery.

I kind of am sad about this rating. I know that if I hadn’t despised math I would have given it more. But oh well, it is still a good one right? It is a casual, easy to read type of book. If you want to read stress out, then I think this book can help you.

3star

Before I go, one more thing I have to say is that I do think this book will be enjoyed by those in the younger age bracket of YA. This book is cute and I think they will like it better. And I fully agree with how this book refers to Cinderella. Yes girl, Cinderella is not a fairy tale. Cinderella is THE fairy tale.

*** This Ebook was sent to me for free in excange of an honest review. My opinions are my own and have not been influenced by anyone or anything.

*** Cinderella Theorem was released May 2016.

BOOK REVIEW: Tainted by Alexandra Moody

23429291

The ARC: the world’s last chance for survival, but this underground fallout shelter is the last place you want to be.

At the tender age of two Elle Winters lost everything, when the day of impact transformed Earth’s surface into an icy, desolate wasteland. Fifteen years later, all she has ever known are the cold, artificial confines of underground fallout shelter, the ARC. Under the Council’s rule, ruthless officials roam the hallways and community comes first. Everyone lives in fear of failing their annual testing and those that do are deemed tainted—taken away without any warning or a word of goodbye.

No one has been taken in over six months and the remaining citizens of the ARC have slowly begun to forget the danger. Elle remains wary, but even she is beginning to wonder if it’s finally safe to succumb to her feelings towards her closest friend, Sebastian.

But, no one is ever truly safe in the ARC. Elle is about to experience her own personal apocalypse and with nothing left to lose, she will finally attempt to uncover the truth about the tainted.

Will she find what she’s looking for or are some secrets better left buried deep underground?

I am feeling super productive and I didn’t want to waste my creative juices so I just typed this as a word document and will be posting this as soon as I get home. I read this book even before I read the ones in my 3 previous posts so this is a long overdue review in all honesty. I really wanted to review this book as well, because I think it had an interesting premise. Initially, I thought that it wasn’t compelling enough of a story. However, with some time in, I realized that it was an interesting story, though if I may say so, the idea of having the entire population contained into a dome/space/refuge/whatever you might want to call it because the world has been destroyed is not new in the world of science fiction. Also, I swear I read a synopsis of another book which sounds eerily similar to this, but I can’t remember the title of the book to save myself.

like

Her struggles seem to be real. At some point, her emotions feels like they come from a genuine place. I guess, in technical terms, you can say that the emotions that the characters were assigned to represent were cleverly melded into the story, and you tend to feel for the characters as well.

What struck me the most were Elle’s relationships with the people around her. Although she may not notice it, or may not want it, it is evident that she has formed lasting bonds. They were relationships that felt natural to her, so avoiding forming relationships only applied to other people outside her circle. She had a special relationship with the boy’s father, which was platonic of course, but nevertheless true.

The writing was fine. It didn’t make me swoon, but it didn’t turn me off as well. It did a good job of carrying the story and that is what’s important right? Also, the character development was slow but sure. I think the author ensured first that the characters were introduced as to who they are now, and then they are introduced to a new light every so often, developing the characters as they go. The pacing, was a little slow for me. I would have wanted more action but hey, I didn’t fall asleep.

I think out of the entire book, the part where I was most excited was during the last few pages.  It was one of those I-thought-I-knew moments for the characters but then nothing was what it seems.

dislike

The ending was not a giveaway, but I kind of guessed it 2/3 into the book. It was not an ending where I was just waiting for the book to blurt it out. BUT, I wasn’t surprised, AT ALL, about how it ended. You get what I’m saying?

I am not sure if I connected to the Elle that much. Look, I get that she has issues, and that she has lived a terrible fate but managed to survive it all but I just can’t get myself to love her as much I want to. For what it’s worth though, I like her bad ass roommate. And although I feel detached, I know that if I were somebody else reading, it would have been heartbreaking to me.

Overall, I guess what I was looking for was intensity, and richness, especially with a book playing on post-apocalyptic world and betrayal. I wanted it to keep me on my toes. Especially since this was a first book to a series/trilogy, I would have preferred that it pack a solid punch.

2.5star

I don’t think this is a horrible book. It just isn’t for me. I think people who are really into this genre will find this a delight to read. Unfortunately, I will not be reading further into this trilogy.

Have you read this book?

What did you think about it?

 

BOOK REVIEW: The Chasm by S. Usher Evans

28822404

This is happening. This is really happening. It seems like a short time since I reviewed The Island in my blog and here I am, reviewing it’s sequel for you people of the bookland! Listen, when I read The Island, I have told you that I loved it. Loved it. But this book. THIS BOOK! Dare I say it? I love it even more! Honestly didn’t think it was possible, and after reading the first one, I wasn’t sure how the story would progress. But lo and behold, progress it did and beautifully at that! But because I always say that I will try to be a better blogger which spares you wonderful people of endless flailing and fangirling, I will try my best to point stuff out as clearly as I can haha!

like

ALL OF IT! 

Well there is one teeny tiny detail I could do without but we could talk about that later and for now let us just bathe in this glory of a book. The premise of this book, in my opinion, was better than the first one. But then of course, I would admit that the first book and its premise is absolutely essential in building up what came about in this sequel. I think it also helped that I was really waiting for this book, so much that when I received the email asking if I will review this book I jumped with joy! And people, it DID NOT DISAPPOINT.

I think the dynamics in this book was better. Whether between the characters or the circumstances surrounding them, the movement in the story in relation to the general plot was better, smoother I would say. And the twists and turns in this book! I was on my toes! The book was so fast-paced I didn’t know I was near the end.Things were constantly happening and I wasn’t prepared to leave the world just yet when it ended!

I think that the character development on all the characters was significant. Especially on Galian. Oh that man! In this book, we see more of what kind of a man Galian really is. He finds his niche and his voice in the political battlefield and is becoming his own man so to speak. Theo has always been this strong, kick-ass girl but here her fears and insecurities were shown. She was shown as a regular girl like everybody else, afraid and in-love. But then you also see this sense of responsibility on both of them which endeared me to them even more. Frankly, they’ve got good heads on top of their necks.

And can we just talk about Kader? I always knew something was up with him! In a good way anyway. I knew from the start there was more to him than meets the eye and man was I right! Like Kader, other characters in the book were also brought to light fairly well. They were relevant, and I appreciate that. I mean, even the king was shown in a different light even just for a few lines.

In my previous review of The Island, I said that by the end of the first book, you tend to doubt the side you choose. Well, in this book, my point is explored and elaborated, and you wouldn’t know where your loyalties will lie. If I may say though, I am all for Queen Korina and all her glorious beauty. Just saying.

The political game, the conspiracies, the pressure, and just the intensity of the scenes was so good I could not stop flipping the pages. The political battlefield was very well laid out and executed perfectly. What I also like about the storyline is that it displays the complex of choices and their consequences.Often, books may tend to let the main characters go on a lot of things regarding their decisions whether they are genius or not because they are the hero/heroine of the story. I like how Galian and Theo are treated as who they are. Young and needing mentors.

Oh the feels and the action. THE ACTION. When a book reminds you of the movie “Executive Decision” by Steven Segal, you know it’s action-packed! Being filled with so much action, this might be weird to say but this book made me weep. Yes. Weep. How? By a death that is so unexpected and so unfair that it just devastated me that’s how!

dislike

This is, like I said, a teeny tiny detail but that girl. That girl I could do without to be completely honest. I just think that the girl was useless, and the effect she had in the end was too insignificant for me to care.

Before I end this review, I think that one of the reasons this book just gripped me was it’s attachment to some form of reality. It was closer to how things are, and that adds to the charm of the whole story. By this second book, I just ship Galian and Theo really, really hard I can be in a fans club.

4.5star

Told you I loved it!

***The Chasm (Madion War Trilogy #2) releases today July 12th!!! If you want to know more, below is the synopsis of the book as well as buy links if you are interested in purchasing this book.

***I was provided an ARC by the Sun’s Golden Ray Publishing for review purposes. All opinions are my own and have not been influenced by anyone or anything.

***There may or may not be a giveaway below from the lovely author. Plus a snippet from the book!

Would you date a doctor or a pilot?

 

thechasmebook_600x900They survived The Island, but can they cross The Chasm?

Four months after Prince Galian was discovered alive on a remote island, he’s adjusting slowly to life at the hospital under the Kylaen media’s glare. His promises to Theo remain unfulfilled as fear of his father keeps him from taking concrete action. And the more he learns about the machinations in Kylae, the less sure he is that it’s possible to make a difference.

Across the great Madion Sea, Major Theo Kallistrate struggles to navigate the tricky political waters of Rave’s presidential staff. To make positive change for her people, she must remain relevant and interesting to the Raven media and to the president. When he asks her to deliver a speech on her supposed two-month imprisonment at Mael, she’s not sure she can stomach the lies.

The Chasm is S. Usher Evans’ breathtaking, fast-paced follow-up to The Island, which readers say is “not to be missed.”

 

<a Rafflecopter giveaway


 

Sneak Peek

Theo_Ravelogo_h500

Theo

“Bayard won’t be back for at least two hours,” Emilie said, glancing at her watch. “We will probably need to tweak his talking points based on his discussions with the Jervan president. Wesson, take the lead on that.”

He nodded and scribbled in his book.

“Aruna,” Emilie said, nodding at a younger girl I’d seen in a few meetings. She paled at being called on, but held her pen ready. “Find Cannon and tail him. Make sure he stays on message and doesn’t dally in anything…embarrassing.” She paused, a disgusted look crossing her face. “And if he does, make sure nobody knows. Talk to Wesson for crowns if you need it.”

She nodded with a small smile. She might take that mission a little too seriously.

“And ‘neechai,” Emilie said, grabbing my attention. “You and I will spend the afternoon working on your speech. I trust that you’ve resolved whatever…issues you were having.”

I dipped my head, even as dread coiled in my stomach. Emilie moved on to someone else, so I pulled the speech out from the calf-pocket of my jumpsuit. I’d practiced it once or twice while sitting in the pool, reading quietly to myself and envisioning what it would be like to speak in front of the Madion nation leadership.

But even in my head, I still stumbled through the parts about Mael. Stumbling wouldn’t cut it for Emilie, so I prayed for a miracle.

“What’s going on out there?” Emilie said, squinting to her left. I followed her gaze and saw a crowd of people standing at the hotel’s entrance, craning over each other to get a look at whatever was outside.

I stood with the rest of the Ravens and walked into the lobby. The crowd grew more frenzied and then the front doors of the hotel opened.

The crowd pushed in then parted, and in strolled the last person I’d ever expected to see again.

“Amichai.”

He was beautiful, a wide smile on his face and his gait confident. His brown hair was clipped shorter and he no longer wore the beard I’d grown accustomed to seeing on our island. He paused in the middle of the lobby to talk to two journalists who’d approached him, then threw his head back and laughed.

Then his eyes locked with mine.

It was as if everything and everyone disappeared. The corners of his mouth turned up and I suddenly forgot how to breathe. Electricity crackled in the hundred steps that lay between us, and I could’ve sworn I knew exactly what he was thinking. If I’d had any doubt about his reason for arriving in this city, in this hotel, on this day, it vanished in that moment.

As desperately as I wanted to run to him, for some reason, my legs wouldn’t move. Something was keeping me from going to him, but for the life of me I couldn’t remember what it was…

“What in the world is the princeling doing here?” Cannon’s voice pierced my bubble, and I wrenched my eyes away from Galian’s. Where I was, who I was with, and my purpose rushed back to me like waking from the best dream into a nightmare.

I found my voice. “I have no idea.”

“I doubt he’s meddling in the summit. He’d be stupid to disobey his father.” Cannon shrugged mightily. “Then again, the princeling’s never been too smart.”

“Right, he’s an idiot,” I said.

Stupid, stupid princeling. How could he be so irresponsible as to come to Jervan? Especially after his father had forbidden anyone from Kylae to attend, or so Emilie had told us in a meeting earlier that week. And he just walked through the front door, announcing to the entire world that he was there.

I realized I was still watching him when Cannon’s voice again interrupted my thoughts. “Come now, kallistrate, don’t be star struck. He’s just a prince.”

I nodded hastily and turned away from him so I wouldn’t be tempted to stare. “Just a prince, right.”

And my amichai.

Galian_KylaeLogo_h500

Galian

She was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen.

I drank in the sight of her: the way her velvet lips parted, how her big brown eyes widened slightly. Her hair pulled back into a bun, her Raven uniform immaculate. The shape of her body. How her dark skin had grown pale. 

“If you’re trying to pretend you don’t know her, perhaps you shouldn’t stare,” Martin snickered beside me. “I’ll stare at her for you. She’s a lot cuter than I remembered.”

“Right,” I said, turning away. “So do you think it worked?”

I had just finished talking to a reporter, feigning ignorance about any sort of summit or why the leaders from three of the four Madion nations were in this city. I’d made sure to talk about my plans to drink heavily and meet some hot Jervanian girls, just to play the part.

I attempted to keep the giddy smile off of my face as I checked into the hotel. When I snuck another glance at her, she’d turned away from me, but the rest of the Ravens kept staring at me, pointing and discussing amongst themselves. I wondered what they were saying.

“I apologize, Your Highness,” the clerk said with all the sincerity of a wet mop. “All of our suites have been reserved by delegations to the summit. The only rooms I have are the basic rooms.”

“I doubt I’ll be sleeping in my own room anyway,” I said with an overly confident grin.

The clerk, predictably, rolled his eyes in disgust.

I caught Martin’s eye, and he snorted.

“Your keys, Your Highness,” he said, sliding over two access cards. “Please be advised that there is a two hundred crown cleaning fee for any…destruction.”

I winked at him then motioned for Martin to grab our bags. I would’ve carried my own, but it would’ve been contrary to the part I was playing.

“You sure faked that well,” Martin said, tossing my bag to me once we were safely in the elevator.

“I wish I could say I’ve never been that much of an asshole before,” I said with a small grimace.


About the Author

View More: http://ashleyvictoriaphotography.pass.us/whitneyevansS. Usher Evans is an author, blogger, and witty banter aficionado. Born in Pensacola, Florida, she left the sleepy town behind for the fast-paced world of Washington, D.C.. There, she somehow landed jobs with BBC, Discovery Channel, and National Geographic Television before finally settling into a “real job” as an IT consultant. After a quarter life crisis at age 27, she decided consulting was for the birds and rekindled a childhood passion for writing novels. She sold everything she owned and moved back to Pensacola, where she currently resides with her two dogs, Zoe and Mr. Biscuit.

Evans is the author of the Razia series, Madion War Trilogy, and Empath, published by Sun’s Golden Ray Publishing.

Check her out on the below social medias:

BOOK REVIEW: Inherited by Freedom Matthews

27991136

If saying ‘I love you’ meant death, would you still say it?

The Wilted Rose, of faery-tale and folklore, is a pirate ship filled with unfortunate souls-each forbidden to love. One such soul is Valencia ‘Lennie’ Roux. Raised in a brothel and an heir to a curse; Lennie never expected to pique the interest of any man. Yet with the arrival of vivid-eyed Nathaniel, she is torn between wanting to know him better and fearing what that knowledge would mean.

With Nathaniel bringing the crew’s total to six, the Wilted Rose sets off in search of the remaining two heirs. They hope that in reuniting, they will convince the faery Sorceress responsible for the curse, to end it. However lurking beneath the water is a long standing enemy of the Wilted Rose; who is determined to thwart their quest and bring down its leaders.

Together the eight heirs fight for survival, friendship and love.

Hey guys! Today I have another review for you. From the synopsis and the cover above, you might think that this is yet another pirate novel. But nope, you are wrong… well not entirely. There are pirates in this novel, and there are ships and guns and sword fights, but the main characters aren’t EXACTLY pirates. But then again, reading into this novel, I got this Pirates of the Caribbean vibe to it which if I’m completely honest, I absolutely love (hey there Jack Sparrow). So I guess we can call it a pirate novel after all haha! Okay, so since this book is yet to be released, this is going to be a spoiler-free review because I am a good girl like that. Shall we dive into it then?

like

The writing was good. It wasn’t mind blowing but it was clear and I appreciate that, a lot. Sometimes with fantasy novels, the way the story is written cloud the story itself. You get what I mean?  I like how the author keeps descriptions simple, and easy to understand. Which leads me to my second point.

I love, LOVE, how the places and situations were described by the author. Her descriptions are crisp and vivid, but not lacking in the entire feel of the scene. Reading, I could almost smell the salty sea air and feel the warm Caribbean sunsets.It was spot on. The pacing was good, there were moments when I felt could have gone a bit faster but it didn’t make me impatient enough to just skim through them.

There was enough character development for the characters. ALL OF THEM which was good. Surprisingly, these developments weren’t just thrown into the story. I could see that it was planned meticulously, and they were all woven into the plot so that you wouldn’t really notice it happening. Also, I am a fan of the back stories for all the characters. I love how there was one general back story from which all branched out, but then it reconnects beautifully to the present point of view. The flashbacks were poignant. They were gritty, but still appropriate for being categorized as Young Adult.

I would say that the greater plot twist comes at its ending. There were revelations throughout the story like I said and things that were a bit shocking but it is the few last pages that I felt intrigued. And speaking of shocking things, that death though! I mean, I was reading one moment and the next… what the!

Thinking about it, the curse and the mission was very simple, though vague. And I think ultimately, that was what gave the story’s impact. I think it was how it dealt with something so simple yet so powerful that it has so much impact on a person’s happiness and existence. It asks the question of are actions really enough? How much can words mean or change? The mystery, the fight scenes, the dynamics between the characters is well thought out. No two relationship/interaction was the same. Especially dealing with a lot of characters with varying intensities but almost equal importance, that is hard to do.

And can we just talk about our power girl? She just rocked. She went through a lot and bossed at life!

dislike

The almost insta-love. I felt iffy about it honestly. Well, let’s be fair. It wasn’t really insta-love but still. Iffy about how things started out.

Remember I said that the ending was what gave me the twist? Well, as it is, I don’t really know how I feel about how it generally ended. I don’t exactly hate it, and honestly I couldn’t think of a better one, but I think it lacked mystery. There wasn’t much pull from the ending.

I also have this love-hate relationship with the Sorceress/— (not gonna spoil her ‘true’ identity). I just found her petty, you know, like a whiny tween who finally gets it and makes amends for her temper tantrum. At the same time, I wasn’t sold on the villain. Was she too soft? Maybe. Hardcore as it may sound, I kind of wanted her to be much more evil than what she was made to look/ feel like. Sinister people, that is the goal.

Finally, and I want to say that this is all due to me being a weird human, I just felt that it lacked something. And don’t even bother asking me to explain because I have tried countless times and I just can’t. I tried people. There was just this feeling of disconnect with me and this story and the characters. It’s not that this is a bad book, because it is not a terrible book. I think the best way I could explain it is it wasn’t able to just suck me in. It wasn’t able to pull me in and just envelope me and get a tight grip on me that I have to slap myself to reality. That.

So amidst all this banter. I would say give this book a go. This is my first pirate novel and I liked it.

3.5star

** This book releases on July 12, 2016. If you want to know more about the book and Freedom Matthews, click on the cover picture to go to it’s Goodreads page.

*** This ARC was provided by OfTomes Publishing for review purposes. All opinions are my own and have not been influenced by anyone or anything.

Do you think this is something you would want to read in the future? Why or why not?

BOOK REVIEW: Omen Operation by Taylor Brooke

28240333

After an epidemic spreads through the country, Brooklyn Harper’s high school years come to an abrupt end.

Implanted in a rural camp, Brooklyn and her friends are cut off from their families and the outside world. Each day is filled with combat training to assure their safety against the crazed, belligerent, and deadly— those infected with a mysterious virus.

If the world couldn’t get any crazier, a letter ups the insanity…

After being assured day after day that the world outside their little camp had been compromised, Brooklyn’s cabin-mate, Dawson Winters, finds a letter that turns everything they’d known upside down. There is a world outside the trees that surrounds their camp, and the virus they all feared seems non-existent.

Determined to see it herself, Brooklyn plots with others to attempt an escape…

On the outside, Brooklyn finds the world is as normal as ever. But when they are attacked in the city, they dispose of their attackers far more efficiently than any normal human.. Is there more to Brooklyn and her friends then just being highly trained?

As their exploration continues, the group is faced with impossible feats. Betrayal, love, death, and a powerful sense of camaraderie lead Brooklyn and her friends to fight for their life, their freedom, and most of all, each other.

I have been such a poop… More than a month ago, Taylor reached out to me through my Goodreads account if I would be willing to receive a copy of her book in exchange for an honest review. Of course, as a blogger, I got really excited and said yes. Fast forward to today and I am just typing this review, I honestly feel bad that it took me this long So Taylor, if your are reading this, I am terribly sorry for the delay, but here is the review I promised, and as early in this review as it is, I can say that your book was a surprise for me.

like

If asked what is my general thought about this work, I would say that I was really surprised that I took a liking to it. From the moment I saw the premise of the novel, I knew it was something different from what I usually read, but I was always willing to give stuff a try you know? And Taylor did not disappoint me.

Although the idea of making super humans to be used as weapons for warfare is not a new thing in books or in movies, I think what drew me in was that this was kind of a new take on it. I liked how it dealt with genetics, and science that I could actually believe and follow. Some just seem too far out to be ever believable, or imaginable for that matter. Now I know that fictional books are allowed that kind of freedom, however, there are times like in this particular case where some form of attachment to reality benefits the story.

The writing was fluid as well. I could understand what was happening very clearly. The mystery wasn’t in the storytelling but in the plot itself. I like that about it. Even the scenes with much “action” wasn’t too overwhelming to read. How the world was introduced, with flashbacks and all was clear. Even those with absolutely no background in science can enjoy this book. Sometimes when books offer different perspectives of provide flashbacks and the likes, one can get lost and need to retrace your steps. Like I said earlier, the story’s roots to the real world added to this book’s charm.

On some level, I could understand the characters and their actions. I could see where the confusion and survival instincts come from. There was also this underlying rational voice throughout the story which I liked very  much. They weren’t a bunch of stupid, stubborn kids thrown in together because they could kill monsters effectively. They were thinking, calculating, talented teenagers. They were sensible as they are lethal.

dislike

While I appreciate the power dynamics between the teenagers especially the heroine and her male counterpart, I could not say that I ship them as hard as I do those from other novels. I don’t know. Maybe their relationship will develop in the next installments. But as it is right now, I wouldn’t mind if they didn’t end up together, just sayin. Now this is by no means me telling you guys that the tandem is horrible and that they have no chemistry together because they do. There is just something I think lack luster about their interactions in this book. They make a good power couple, but not enough to make me root for them,  at least not yet.

As long as you enjoy bad ass females (and males) kick some monster butt and survive while running from people who want to make you heartless assassins, then I think you should give this book a shot.

3.5star

*  Omen Operation is the first book in The Isolation Series by Taylor Brooke. It was Published January 26, 2016. Click here if you want to know more!