Monday, 8 February 2016

Tinder Stricken

2 Stars/5

Thanks to Heidi C Vlach for giving me this book to review.

On Tselaya Mountain, all humans transform in to animals as they age. In her forties, Esha is unmarried, alone and is struggling to gather enough money for her retirement before she is more goat than human. When a wild phoenix steals her expensive heirloom, the khukuri knife, she seeks help from Atarangi, a diplomat with speaks with animals. They have to climb the mountains to reach the phoenix’s territory and are hopeful they can convince it to give Esha’s knife back but why would a phoenix want her heirloom?

Tinder Stricken is an OK fantasy with an interesting story concept, with people who turn into animals as they grow older and that eating certain foods can let a person speak another language or to animals. Even though it is a story of self-discovery and not judging others, I struggled getting into it and for a shortish novel it look me a while to read.

Esha has had to struggle for everything is her adult life and she is lonely, but during the story she becomes more accepting with the help of the other characters especially Atarangi. However, I did find it hard to connect with the other characters in this novel.

I really struggled with Tinder Stricken but I have a feeling that had more to with me than this book.

Friday, 5 February 2016

The Demon's Grave

2 Stars/5

Thanks to E. M. MacCallum for giving me this book to review.

Nora’s life is turned upside down when she and her friends go on a weekend getaway in a remote Victorian house. When they open a door on the third floor, they enter an unfamiliar world called The Demon’s Grave and to escape they must complete 6 nightmarish challenges, but those who fail will never leave. With the demon knowing about her past and her sister, Nora is not sure whether is this is real or all in her mind.

The Demon’s Grave is an OK book but I felt it was too much of a horror novel for me which meant I found it very hard to get into. Nora is a character who is struggling with a lot of issues but like with most of the characters I felt she was underdeveloped. This dark horror story was not for me but I would recommend to fans of this genre.

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Siren's Song

3 Stars/5

Thanks to Netgalley and Thomas Nelson for giving me this book to review.

With Tulla under siege from Draewulf’s army, Nym, Eogan and a handful of others rush to warn Cashlin’s queen, only to discover that it may be too late to for this eerie kingdom. With the Luminescents searching through Nym’s past, the queen is looking into her future and Nym is given 3 choices to defeat Draewulf, but none of them are guaranteed and the costs might be great. Nym is raising an army of peasants but will this along with her elemental powers be enough to stop Draewulf and his dark plans?

Siren’s Song is the enjoyable concluding book in the Storm Siren trilogy. It is action-packed, romantic and fast paced but I did not feel like it was as good as the first novel. As I had not read the first two books in a while I found it hard to remember what was happening and who everyone is.

Nym is resilient, stubborn and is determined to stop Draewulf, but she is also compassionate, selfless and wants to protect people. Eogan is brave and is still affected by being possessed by Draewulf, however, I did get annoyed at him keeping things to himself and not talking to Nym. I also like Kel as he was sweet and cute and behaved just like most 7 year olds in that situation would do.

This is a good ending to the series and I look forward to reading more books from Mary Weber. I would recommend Siren’s Song to fans of the first two novels in this series.

Sunday, 31 January 2016

The Shifter

3 Stars/5

Nya, an orphan who is struggling to survive, is an unusual taker, unlike most takers, including her sister Tali, she cannot push the pain she heals from someone into pynvium but into another person. With another war on the horizon she is desperate for work and food but doesn’t want to be used as a weapon. When Nya’s sister disappears along with other league healers, Nya has to make a difficult choices and bargains, but are they worth the cost?

The Shifter is an enjoyable YA fantasy book and while it is a fun read it does have some dark themes to it. It has a hint of romance and interesting magic but it did struggled to keep my interest. I felt like there should be a prequel novella which looks at the war, as it is a big influence in this book.

Nya is tough and wary of people, but those she knows she is very loyal to, she also has to make choices that she shouldn’t have to make, especially at her age. There are some enjoyable secondary characters in this book, such as Danello, Tali and Aylin, but I they are a bit forgettable.

The Shifter is a likable book and I would recommend to fans of YA fantasy books. 

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

The Bands of Mourning

4 Stars/5

Thanks to Netgalley and Orion Publishing Group for giving me this book to review.

When a mishap occurs on Wax and Steris’s wedding day, it prevents the ceremony from taking place.  Not long after this, Wax and his friends head out of Elendel to New Seran in search of the Bands of Mourning, the mythical metalminds allegedly owned by the Lord Ruler and said to grant his powers to anyone who wears them.  They need to find them before Wax’s Uncle, Edwarn gets to them to use them for nefarious purposes.

I had very high hopes of The Bands of Mourning but I actually felt a little bit let down by it.  It seemed to slightly lose the plot and introduce some weird and wonderful twists (but not in a good way).  At the same time, the main characters sat down, thought what they really wanted out of life, and chose to settle rather than push the boundaries, which seemed quite out of character for them.  However, saying that, I still enjoyed the book very much.

Again, I had a great deal of liking and respect for Steris, who is socially awkward and a little bit OCD, but who tries to overcome this and improve herself.  She is a good person when all is said and done.  Wax and Wayne seemed to have lost a little bit of the spark in their bromance and there was much less banter between the two of them.

While I still enjoyed The Bands of Mourning very much, I did feel that it wasn’t quite as good as the other books in the Mistborn and Allow of Law series.  I would still, however, recommend The Bands of Mourning to people who enjoyed the Mistborn series, especially books 4 and 5.

Saturday, 23 January 2016

Shadows of Self

4 Stars/5

We follow the changing lives of lawman Wax, and his sidekick Wayne as they try to adjust to life in the big city, Elendel, after having lived in the roughs for many years.  Wax (and Wayne) now have the blessing of the Constabulary, and Marasi has left her lawyer career and has joined the Constables, mainly as liaison and damage control for Wax and his activities.   Having to deal with terrorism, government corruption and religious discrimination, Wax, Wayne and Marasi are on the hunt for an elusive assassin who is stirring up civil unrest.

Shadows of Self is the sequel of The Alloy of Law and a really good book.  It is a page turner and for the most part unpredictable, but is also complex and I would suggest you read The Alloy of Law first so that this book makes more sense.

I like Wax and especially Wayne as we get to see more about their back stories and they have a good bromance. However I have a sneaky liking for Steris, she is very straight-forward, quite socially awkward and does her best to calculate how to fit into Society, and she seems to genuinely like and want to support Wax.

I thoroughly enjoyed Shadows of Self. There was a bit of a shock revelation at the end that I didn’t see coming and I’m really looking forward to see how Wax deals with this situation.  I would recommend Shadow of Self to people who enjoyed The Alloy or Law and the Mistborn Trilogy or just good fantasy.

Thursday, 21 January 2016

From the Ashes

3 Stars/5

Lucinda has become a servant in her own home since her father died, and has to put up with her cruel step-mother. However, she has a secret, Lucinda has just become the Cinder, leader of the Ashes, who are hoping to get fair treatment for the peasant class. Prince Benicio is desperate to escape the confining place life so he trades places with his double to explore the city. When Lucinda saves his life, it opens his eyes to the cruelty and corruption of some of the nobility and he can no longer ignore it. With both of them holding secrets and having big responsibilities, can they learn to trust each other before it is too late?

From the Ashes is an enjoyable Cinderella retelling, and has a story about injustice and rebellion. I found the first half of the book faster paced and more interesting than the second half.

Lucinda has a strong belief in justice and has strong convictions, she is loyal and resourceful but doubts her ability to be the Cinder. At the beginning of the book Benicio was immature and did not want to grow up and face his responsibilities, but as the story went on he wants to help others and his kingdom. There are some really good secondary character in this book, such as Leo and Ryanne, as they were brilliant friends.

Unfortunately the last few chapters bored me as there was too much talking and they seemed to be repeating the same conversations. I would recommend From the Ashes to fans of the Fairytale collection.