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.

Saturday, 16 January 2016

Stone Ram

2 Stars/5

Thanks to T A Uner for giving me this book to review.

When the holy artefact, the Golden Mane, is stolen from the kingdom of Rek, blind shepherd boy Fabian SilverSword goes on the gold quest to revive it from the Blood Reaper. Along with his new allies, Lager, an exiled Starfighter from Earth, Marella, a mysterious stealer from Pazland and Matilda, his loyal dog.  Fabian and the others must navigate the dangerous lawless domain of the Darklands and unknown dangers of the Hellion Doors, but will they be able to complete their quest.

The Stone Ram is an OK YA adventure novel, with a mixture of sci-fi and fantasy. It is not the fasted paced book and had a bit too much info dumping. However, I did remind me a bit of the Fable video games, especially with the Hellion Doors.

I did not like Fabian, as he was meant to be the stereotypical farm boy who turns into a hero, but he was too much wanting to be a hero, no matter what it costs others. Also I was confused with him, as even when Fabian was not able to see, it came across that he could. I liked Marella as she was street wise, courageous and quick. Lager is a drunkard from earth who is wise and wants to help Fabian.

I am guessing that is you have read the other books in this series the ending probably makes sense, but if you are reading this book as a standalone, the ending was very confusing and comes out of nowhere. I would recommend The Stone Ram to fans of the Leopard King Saga.

Tuesday, 12 January 2016


3 Stars/5

Thanks to Edelweiss and William Morrow for giving me this book to review.

Suze wants to make a good impression at her first job since graduating from her college at her old school. She comes across a decade old murder involving a young girl, and Suze has to use all of her mediator skills to solve this case. At the same time, she is being stalked by her evil ex-boyfriend Paul Slater, who is threatening her soon to be husband, Jesse. Will Suze be able to figure it all out before it ruins her plans for the future?

Remembrance is the 7th book in the mediator series, and the first which is an adult book, and has just as much humour, romance and ghosts. It is fast paced and predictable, especially with the Paul storyline. I did not read the original books when they first came out, so I didn’t get the sense of nostalgia that most of the other readers did.

The main issue I had with this book is that none of the characters have matured as they still acted like teenagers, rather than adults in their twenties. Suze is still self-reliant, witty and impulsive but she is a fun heroine. Jesse is protective, sometimes over-protective, as well as being respectful and moral.

Remembrance is a fun book and I would recommend it to fans of the first 6 books in the mediator series.