Monday, May 28, 2018

Review: Ruthless Magic

Ruthless Magic Ruthless Magic by Megan Crewe
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Actual rating 3.5-stars

This book was without a doubt entertaining and it was enjoyable to read but in really did have a sever lack of originality. Think Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire mated with The Hunger Games good times, right? So, based on a World Trade Center plot device that was totally unneeded I would guess that this book takes place in the very near future, like 2024ish. A time that is so far in the future teenagers will no longer understand Star Trek references, apparently. I digress. Anyway so the world is made up of Dulls (aka Muggles), Mages (magical folk who mostly have entitlement issues), dampened magical folk (people who had magic but then were deemed too inferior to hang with the mages, were denied entry in magical university, and then had most of their magic forcibly stripped away from them.), then there's burn outs (people who previously had magic and tried to fight against 'The Man' which is actually 9 people and the Confederacy which they totally control who are basically deatheaters but still mostly on the DL we'll get back to that in a minute.) Now to further break things down Muggles (sorry, Dulls) and the various magical folk know of each other and live in the same universe. The Mages had an "unveiling" at some point in recent history and basically announced they were ready to become magical superheroes for the world. Inexplicably magic is spreading and magical kids are being born to muggles and the old school mages don't like it but the Muggles don't like the magical people so they're screwed all over the place. Magical kids are allowed into magical academies if they can afford tuition and their community has enough of a magical population to need one otherwise you just get a magical tutor which apparently is not helpful. So like normal kids the time comes when you find out whether you get into university only there's only one University and acceptance is like super corrupted. Basically kids who belong to magical aristocracy have an easy in and new magic from lower classes are undesirable. On the other hand if you aren't accepted you can compete in competitive trials and try to win your way in… supposedly. Also people have a tendency to die or simply not return from these trials and others appear to be brainwashed by the confederacy and others if they manage to survive long enough to bail out of the trials just get all of their magic burnt out of them. Shortly after the games begin everyone learns they're basically competing in the hunger games but the crazy gov't running everything is nice in the fact that they allow more than one person to live. Oh yeah these trials take place of bloody Riker's Island which in and of itself says something. Muggles and their prisoners no longer inhabit the island but still not a place that channels good vibes to all. This book is clearly the first in what I assume will at least be a trilogy.

What this story lacked in originality was made up for by the fact that it was still a fun and engaging story I was able to connect with the main characters who acted as narrators if not so much with side characters. There were parts of the world building that I felt were left gaping wide when they needed more explanation. Like why would magical folks simply go along with this "dampening" ritual. There are groups of magical terrorists (although we'll probably find out they're actually insurgents) but I was kind of left wondering why people would just go along with what was so very obviously a rigged system. There were also characters who were very predictable but *shrug* they didn't kill the story by any means they simply ended up being what I expected them to be. Anyway if a stories of social injustice, magic, and super scary obstacle courses are your thing then you should try this book out. I would definitely be willing to read follow up to this book I just hope the story gets more unique as it goes.

View all my reviews

Friday, May 25, 2018

Review: Foolish Hearts

Foolish Hearts Foolish Hearts by Emma Mills
My rating: 0 of 5 stars

Is full of great characters (even if they seem a little more deep and considerate than the way I personally remember high school kids.) Honestly it's hard to even describe what this book was about, it was part romance, part friendship, part coming of age, dealing with siblings, leaving your comfort zone and throughout all of this there's some hardcore fandom for what is basically a fictionalized version of One Direction and Warcraft and High School rendition of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Which, yeah, is about a crazy as it sounds but genuinely enjoyable too. It was funny and touching without being super intense or blatantly unbelievable the way contemporary YA often can be. Plus, it really didn't hurt that A Midsummer Night's Dream is literally the only Shakespeare that I've read and enjoyed, so I was able to get in on that. Overall this novel get a solid thumbs up from me and I would recommend it to others.

View all my reviews

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Review: Hero at the Fall

Hero at the Fall (Rebel of the Sands, #3)Hero at the Fall by Alwyn Hamilton

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

super short review until I can update at length and not from a cell phone which will inevitably cause autocorrect errors a typos. 😆 so overall I did enjoy this series. i think the author went a little too "Game of Thrones" with the killing people off and each time it was oddly unemotional. like it felt like the narrator was saying she was sad while not quite feeling sad. also I felt like the author kept getting super repetitive with her description. I hadn't noticed it as much with the previous volumes. overall it was a fun and very action packed the trilogy.

View all my reviews

Review: Daughter of the Pirate King

Daughter of the Pirate King (Daughter of the Pirate King, #1)Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I liked it. It was a really fun read. The book opens with a quote from one of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies (sorry, simply not motivated enough to go back and check which one) anyway, this story very much has that sort of Jack Sparrow quirkiness going for it. Which is actually pretty impressive because in spite of the sorta lighthearted vibe there's quite a bit of depressing darkness going on. The overall gist here is that there's a pirate king and he has a daughter (who'd have figured, right?) So he sends his daughter off to find a map that's on a rival pirate ship, at least he thinks its on the ship he doesn't actually have any proof it is there but due to the fact that he's really kind of a horrible horrible father this doesn't actually rank up the list of awful things he's done to his daughter. So the daughter who is inexplicably loyal to her father considering how badly he sucks at said position, gets herself onto this ship and from there on we witness all the shenanigans that go down whilst she tries to find the necessary map in time as requested by her father. I had some minor issues with the story, the main character spends a considerable portion of the novel be a blatant braggart about her stunning pirate and other "particular" abilities and yet for the ENTIRE book she pretty much never lives up to her constant in monologues regarding her own awesomeness. Also a pirate ship run by a bunch of 18ish year olds seems fairly unrealistic but its a YA novel so I guess we'll go with it. In spite some of these small irritants I had a good tyime reading this book and it went quickly. I look forward to moving on to it's sequel Daughter of the Siren Queen

View all my reviews

Friday, May 18, 2018

Review: Royals

Royals Royals by Rachel Hawkins
My rating: 0 of 5 stars

OK. Straight up, I liked this book! Don't care what anyone else has to say about that. It was a quick, fun read, and it finished before I was ready to leave the characters. In my opinion that’s a book that has succeeded. Yes, this is basically the YA book equivalent of a rom-com but that fine because Rom-Coms are what some people love. If you don't go looking for Hemmingway in a teen rom-com then you are a lot less likely to go full on snark with their disappointment because they just have an irrational expectation for the sort of book their reading. There is nothing intense about this book at all. It's just fun. It's a quick ready, with a sillyish plot, with entertaining characters and witty dialogue that makes me laugh. Really that's all I need from a fun summer(almost) reader. I think anyone who has enjoyed Ms. Hawkins previous work or even just enjoys the entertainment that is her social media accounts then you will also like this book. So I give this book a solid 4stars. Because I don't think a book has to get it Faulkner on to qualify as good it simply has to its a own thing and do it well. Ms. Hawkins did her Royals well and I enjoyed coming along for the ride.

View all my reviews

Review: Once Upon a River

Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield My rating: 3 of 5 stars The plot was extremely slow, there were a...