Tag Archives: Read in 2014

Pure (Covenant #2)

Read from 3rd-4th October, 2014

Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout

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5 Stars

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There is need. And then there is Fate.

Being destined to become some kind of supernatural electrical outlet isn’t exactly awesome–especially when Alexandria’s other half is everywhere she goes. Seth’s in her training room, outside her classes, and keeps showing up in her bedroom–so not cool. Their connection does have some benefits, like staving off her nightmares of the tragic showdown with her mother, but it has no effect on what Alex feels for the forbidden, pure-blooded Aiden. Or what he will do–and sacrifice–for her.

When daimons infiltrate the Covenants and attack students, the gods send furies–lesser gods determined to eradicate any threat to the Covenants and to the gods, and that includes the Apollyon–and Alex. And if that and hordes of aether-sucking monsters didn’t blow bad enough, a mysterious threat seems willing to do anything to neutralize Seth, even if that means forcing Alex into servitude–or killing her.

When the gods are involved, some decisions can never, ever be undone.

* * * * * * * * * *

Pure is another thrilling read from Jennifer L. Armentrout. Surprising, fun, sexy, touching, hilarious, with moments that will make you cry – if you haven’t jumped on this boat already, I highly recommend it!

Seth or Aiden – isn’t that the question?

In the last book, Half-Blood, I thought I had it all figured out, but now… Pure features Seth more prominently and we get to see what he’s all about. I actually really like Seth – he’s always there, he can sense her emotions and with that comes an understanding. I have to say, I’m cheering for them – the pool scene and the one with the brew were great. Not only that, but how he just sat with her when she went through that traumatic experience? Seth’s genuine, and that’s pretty hard to get. I love how Seth and Alex argue all the time, yet have really sweet moments when they’re just together.

At first, I was loving Aiden. The zoo scene in particular was really cute. As the book pressed on, he became more reserved, even cold at times. Despite this, we know that he truly cares for Alex in the things he says and how he acts – especially as we near the end of the novel. I am aware that any intimate relationship between a pure and a half is forbidden – we’ve known that from the beginning – but Pure seemed to really hit the message home. After witnessing what actually happens to both pures and half-bloods when they’re caught together, I felt even more inclined toward Seth. Despite this, I still love Aiden – so I really have no idea. I felt that Half-Blood leans towards Aiden and Pure toward Seth, so now I suppose we’ll see what comes next.

To be honest, I had totally forgotten about the council session. That didn’t last long… Minister Tilly is such a *insert offensive word here*! The nerve of that man – I utterly loath him with a firery passion. His accusations against her (insinuated or otherwise) are absolutely despicable. And her room? You have got to be kidding me.

There were many times when the plot took me by complete surprise – as it should. There are numerous unforeseeable twists and turns, most coming out of the blue with no warning whatsoever. My only issue was that (and this is being very nit-picky) the furies were barely mentioned. When something is mentioned as part of the synopsis, it is assumed that it will be at least somewhat prominent in the story.

Pure was a brilliant read that left me eager for what is to come. Featuring a great plot, witty banter and developed, loveable (and love-to-hate) characters in true Armentrout style, this novel is a great second book in an awesome series.

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Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass #3)

Read from 1st-2nd October, 2014

Author: Sarah J. Maas

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5 Stars

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Lost and broken, Celaena Sardothien’s only thought is to avenge the savage death of her dearest friend: as the King of Adarlan’s Assassin, she is bound to serve this tyrant, but he will pay for what he did. Any hope Celaena has of destroying the king lies in answers to be found in Wendlyn. Sacrificing his future, Chaol, the Captain of the King’s Guard, has sent Celaena there to protect her, but her darkest demons lay in that same place. If she can overcome them, she will be Adarlan’s biggest threat – and his own toughest enemy.

While Celaena learns of her true destiny, and the eyes of Erilea are on Wendlyn, a brutal and beastly force is preparing to take to the skies. Will Celaena find the strength not only to win her own battles, but to fight a war that could pit her loyalties to her own people against those she has grown to love?

* * * * * * * * * *

Where do I even start? As a die-hard bookworm, I have come across many brilliant, beautiful, amazing books but I have to say – none of them top Sarah J. Maas’ Throne of Glass chronicles. Absolutely none. I know my review will not even begin to do justice to this stunning series, but I’ll give it my best shot.

Ripe with emotion and words that touch you in the deepest part of your soul, Heir of Fire will bring tears, triumph, anguish, despair, hope, loss, friendship, sorrow, laughter, understanding and joy. Sarah J. Maas will rip your heart in two, fix it, only to destroy it again, but leaving behind some semblance of hope. It will fulfil you and leave you hanging, screaming for more.

Everything comes full circle. Everything. Including new elements and characters that will become as beloved as those familiar to us.

Assassin, Fae, Queen, Friend, Traitor, Liberator, Fire-heart. To quote Tamora Pierce, “Celaena is as much an epic hero as Frodo or John Snow.” What is not to love about Celaena? She is lost and aches with a fierce darkness in her soul, that which has been stirring for over ten years, with the added loss of Sam and Nehemia. She is sarcastic, humerus, clever, witty, loyal, broken and lost, but breaks through and finds hope in herself and for a better world.

Rowan. The perfect companion for Celaena. He is just as lost and broken as she, but they forge through together “to whatever end.” He is reserved, fiercely loyal, skilled and downright hilarious when he’s fussing. I love their silent conversations – what I wouldn’t give to be able to do that, to form a bond with someone and trust them so entirely, to be able to read them and be their equal… I fell in love with Rowan just as I have with Chaol.

Manon was interesting. I’m still not quite sure what to make of her, but it was great to hear the story of someone so completely different to those we are familiar with. I enjoyed her fierceness, composure and kickass attitude, especially her rivalry with Iskra. The coven dynamics is fascinating and I feel like Maas definitely has something big planned for her.

At first I too bought into the image that Aedion was a lying, scheming, traitor who was turned on his own people, but I was pleasantly surprised that this was not the case. Aedion was revealed to be strong, loyal and have a heart of gold, willing to do anything for Aelin, his cousin, his queen. In flashbacks we see their close relationship as children and it is heart-wrenching. His only wish is to see her again one last time and we can only hope that they will soon be reunited.

My heart broke for Chaol. He was always a favourite of mine and to see him so lost, so broken, absolutely crushed me. To see him sell himself to his horrid father to send Celaena to Wendlyn (I had actually forgotten about that part of Crown of Midnight) and the repercussions of that decision – not only having to leave all that he’d strived for and worked for, but to see his relationship with Dorian all but shatter… I wept for him many times, and all I can hope for is that when he and Celaena meet again they take each other back, for they love each other and are truly a match made in heaven.

While I love Dorian, I have always preferred Celaena with Chaol, so when Sorscha came along, it was just too perfect. Dorian and her are adorable together! At first I thought that nothing would come of it, but when it did… I was totally rooting for them.

Dorian. I was so proud of him! Finding love with Sorscha, acting like the king he truly is. I could see it, clear as day – Dorian as King with Sorscha as his Queen. What happened to him… Let’s just say that Maas is truly cruel, no matter how great of a writer she is.

I didn’t actually think it was possible to despise the King any more than I already do. But no, he just had to become an even worse (or is it better?) villain. What he did ten years ago… *shakes head* And that end scene – it totally broke my heart. Sorscha, Dorian, Aedion, Chaol… I completely balled my eyes out. Everything was perfect, but then THAT STUPID, PATHETIC EXCUSE FOR A KING!!! I just-can’t. Just, no.

Heir of Fire is truly a must-read for all! If you’re new to the series, Throne of Glass is the first book, followed by Crown of Midnight. Read it! You won’t regret it.

For those of you that have read this breath-taking novel, I would love to discuss with you! Also, please let me know that you think of my reviews – constructive criticism is welcome! 🙂

Half-Blood (Covenant #1)

Read from 29-30th September, 2014

Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout

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5 Stars

* * * * * * * * * *

The Hematoi descend from the unions of gods and mortals, and the children of two Hematoi pure bloods have godlike powers. Children of Hematoi and mortals–well, not so much. Half-bloods only have two options: become trained Sentinels who hunt and kill daimons or become servants in the homes of the pures.

Seventeen-year-old Alexandria would rather risk her life fighting than waste it scrubbing toilets, but she may end up slumming it anyway. There are several rules that students at the Covenant must follow. Alex has problems with them all, but especially rule #1:

Relationships between pures and halfs are forbidden.

Unfortunately, she’s crushing hard on the totally hot pure-blood Aiden. But falling for Aiden isn’t her biggest problem–staying alive long enough to graduate the Covenant and become a Sentinel is. If she fails in her duty, she faces a future worse than death or slavery: being turned into a daimon, and being hunted by Aiden.

And that would kind of suck.

* * * * * * * * * *

Sexy, sizzling, touching, hilarious, sweet and fun. All words that come to mind when thinking about Half-Blood – a book reminiscent of Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson chronicles, but – dare I say – possibly even better. In true Armentrout style, you will be swept off your feet, laughing your head off, “aww”-ing while cuddling a pillow to your chest and much, much more.

Alex is a kick-ass heroine who isn’t afraid to speak her mind. She’s hilarious, sassy and fun.

Aiden is a hot, capable, strong, sweet character that is totally swoon-worthy.

They are absolutely perfect for each other – and have the chemistry to match – but as he’s a pure and she’s a half, it’s taboo. (Which, you know, totally adds to the sexual tension they’ve got going on).

Caleb was the awesome best friend – loyal, sweet, fun and knows how Alex is like even after all those years spent apart. He’s just great to have around and lightens up the mood when she’s down. Not to mention, his crush on Olivia is totally cute. 😉

The world-building was intense and totally believable. A corrupt society descended from the Greek gods based on blood purity determined to fight daimons that suppresses over a third of its population into slavery? Yep, totally believable.

A cross between Percy Jackson, Shadowhunters and general Armentrout awesomeness, Half-Blood is a must read for young adults.

Chasing the Valley (Chasing the Valley #1)

Read from 28-29th September, 2014

Author: Skye Melki-Wegner

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4 Stars

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Escape is impossible. Escape is their only hope.

Danika is used to struggling for survival. But when the tyrannous king launches an attack to punish her city – echoing the alchemy bombs that killed Danika’s family – she risks her life in a daring escape over the city’s walls.

Danika joins a crew of desperate refugees who seek Magnetic Valley, a legendary safe haven. But when she accidentally destroys a palace biplane, suddenly Danika Glynn becomes the most wanted fugitive in Taladia.

Pursued by the king’s vicious hunters and betrayed by false allies, Danika also grapples with her burgeoning magical abilities. And when she meets the mysterious Lukas, she must balance her feelings against her crew’s safety.

Chasing the Valley is the first book in an epic trilogy of magic, treachery and survival.

* * * * * * * * * *

Combining magic, alchemy, fantasy and adventure, Chasing the Valley is a quick, enjoyable read.

At first, I wasn’t quite sure what to make of the characters – none of them immediately stood out, there didn’t seem to be anything extraordinary about them. However, this worked in their favour, added to their appeal. The characters were very easy to relate to because, while they all had their strengths, they were thrust into an unfamiliar environment and forced to adapt. They made mistakes, fought, formed relationships, solved problems, and were so utterly human. Their talents at first seemed either irrelevant or under-developed, but the most seemingly irrelevant things ended up saving them. Maisy’s book smarts, Clementine’s sparkly clothes, Teddy’s bravado, that old song that lead them true – all of which helped them out, maybe even saving their lives. They were nothing extraordinary – just ordinary teenagers – but their experiences shaped them and forced them to grow and discover within themselves and as a team. There were certainly no Mary-Sues.

The world-building was interesting and very well-done. Information was gradually added though character interactions – they came from such different walks of life that it was only natural for them to elaborate upon the differences – as well as when the characters experienced new discoveries. The magic was prominent but not overdone, able to be used but not a first resort.

Overall, an interesting, easy read for lovers of fantasy and magic. While not my absolute favourite, I did quite enjoy Chasing the Valley and look forward to the rest of the trilogy.

Legend (Legend #1)

Read on 28th September, 2014

Author: Marie Lu

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5 Stars

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What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths – until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Eloquently written, full of unexpected plot twists and starring intelligent, relatable characters, Legend makes for a brilliant read.

June and Day were quite enjoyable characters. They were both remarkably intelligent, physically capable and extremely loyal. In other words, they had everything you could ever want in a character. Strong, quick-witted, intelligent, loyal – June and Day are who I aspire to be. They are my role models.

Tessa, Metias and John were all strong, notable characters that found a place in my heart. They were all full of integrity and had a fundamental goodness in themselves. The relationships that they had with June and Day (respectively) were so sweet, genuine and full of love.

Thomas and Commander Jameson were great in that while I initially liked them, I soon grew to loath them with a passion. In contrast, I hated Chian from the start.

“If you want to rebel, rebel from inside the system. That’s much more powerful than rebelling outside the system.”

So many books have the protagonists uprising from the “outside”, but Metias is right – it’s much more effective to rebel from inside the system. It made for a nice change and was rather enjoyable – especially given the nature of the characters.

The world-building truly was spectacular. I believed it right from the get-go and it was set up realistically. The trials were actually a very clever – if somewhat impractical – method of governing the future of the population. But questions do arise that I hope will be answered in the following books – Why did they lie about Day’s score? The Elector seems to indeed be elected, so one would think the Republic would be democratic, but it seems this is not the case. Do people actually vote? The poor certainly have no say. Indeed, it seems the Republic is more a military dictatorship than anything else. Where did they take Eden? What is this new strand of plague? Would they still have taken him if events did not play out as they did?

Highly recommended, Legend is a stunning tale with a unique spin on the dystopian genre.

The Sending (Obernewtyn #6)

Read from 25-28th September, 2014

Author: Isabelle Carmody

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5 Stars

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It came to me then, like a chilly draught from an unseen gap, that I had always known in my deepest heart that it would be like this, a slipping away from a life full of people I had come to love, in a place I had helped to shape, in a land I had helped to free.

The time has come at last for Elspeth Gordie to leave the Land on her quest to find and stop the computermachine Sentinel from unleashing the deadly Balance of Terror arsenal. But before she can embark on her journey, she must find a lost key. And although she has long prepared for this day, nothing is as she anticipated.

Elspeth’s search will take her where she never thought to go, and bestow upon her stranger companions than any she ever imagined. It will lead her far from her destination to those she believed lost forever.

And it will test her, as she has never been tested before . . .

* * * * * * * * * *

The Obernewtyn Chronicles are a favourite of mine and The Sending certainly did not disappoint. The plot twists were numerous and it was a very enjoyable read.

Old friends that we had grown to love were brought back, and new companions were introduced and well developed over the course of the story. I loved who her companions turned out to be and that she didn’t have to journey on her quest all alone.

I must say, I am more convinced than ever that Dameon is secretly in love with Elspeth. Though, I’m actually somewhat glad that she cannot see it – I love Dameon, but her knowing that he loves her might make things rather awkward… I do love him though :). However, Rushton and Elspeth are just too perfect for each other! Especially the link and what happened in the hut and his question that went unanswered that we all know she’d have said “yes” to (I’m trying to do this without spoilers, okay? So just ignore my mindless fangirl gush if you haven’t read the book yet).

Although unexpected, I SO ship Analivia and Swallow – they are just the cutest thing *awww*.

In the beginning, I really didn’t like Ahmedri. In fact, I was rather irritated by his presence. However, like Elspeth, I grew to like him over time. It’s amazing what scenarios desert knowledge can have practical applications for, and how useful he proved himself. I loved we found out the backstories of some of the characters and I particularly liked his past with Straaka (excluding the last time they saw each other, of course).

All in all, The Sending is a great addition to the Obernewtyn Chronicles that will not disappoint. As per Isabel’s style, there is a lot of focus on character development in addition to a twisting plot. Now, all we have to do is wait for the next book. But, considering she’s written six (technically seven) books in 25 years, we might be waiting a while…

The FitzOsbornes at War (Montmaray Journals #3)

Read on 24th September, 2014

Author: Michelle Cooper

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4.5 Stars

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Michelle Cooper completes her heart-stealing epic drama of history and romance with The FitzOsbornes at War.

Sophie FitzOsborne and the royal family of Montmaray escaped their remote island home when the Nazis attacked. But as war breaks out in England and around the world, nowhere is safe. Sophie fills her journal with tales of a life during wartime. Blackouts and the Blitz. Dancing in nightclubs with soliders on leave. And endlessly waiting for news of her brother Toby, whose plane was shot down over enemy territory.

But even as bombs rain down on London, hope springs up, and love blooms for this most endearing princess. And when the Allies begin to drive their way across Europe, the FitzOsbornes take heart—maybe, just maybe, there will be a way to liberate Montmaray as well.

* * * * * * * * * *

A beautiful story that will brake your heart – multiple times – and make you laugh to no end. A story of bravery, intelligence, loss, family, growing up and the realities of war. The FitzOsbornes at War is absolutely stunning, with twists and turns that will have you smiling and balling your eyes out, laughing and grieving. The characters that you’ve grown to love will not disappoint, but rather endear themselves to you further. A brilliant conclusion to a wonderful series.

I cried – boy did I cry – but I was sucked into a torrent of emotions that would not let me go. After that absolutely heart-wrenching moment (about three quarters or so in – you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about once you’ve read it), the smallest things made me remember and a new round of tears burst forth. The thing is though, The FotzOsbornes at War, while terribly sad at some parts, was not a massive sob story – so don’t let that turn you off from reading it! It was the perfect finale to the trilogy and as beautifully written as the previous books.

There was so much character development. We’d grown to love them, but now we were able to see them flourish and face the harsh realities of life and war. Losses were sustained, old friends came back, relationships were tested, new love was found and support shared. All this came full circle and made them become stronger people, a closer family. Thankfully, Rebecca was hardly mentioned, I grew to love Simon and Henry – she grew up too fast, but I absolutely adore her and couldn’t get enough of her. The other characters were brilliant as well and I just loved them all!

Wow, my eyes are still prickling with tears… But The FitzOsbornes at War is definitely high on my recommendations – it is just an absolutely stunning piece of work that deeply touched my heart and which I hope will touch yours too.