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Friday, June 23, 2017

June's Featured Book - The King Trilogy

I know I am bit early with my featured book post this month - I am finally getting on top of my posts yey!! - but I have a 'undiscovered' (or at least less well known) gem of a trilogy to share with you today.
Synopsis of King Hall from Goodreads
A fresh, meaty, sink-your-teeth-in-and-hold-on-tight new adult fantasy series kicks off with King Hall…

King Hall — where the Mysticals go to learn their craft, get their degrees, and transition into adulthood. And where four new Rulers will rise and meet their destinies.

Lily Ruckler is adept at one thing:  survival.  Born a Mystical hybrid, her mere existence is forbidden, but her nightmare is only about to start. Fluke, happenstance, and a deep personal loss finds Lily deeply entrenched with those who would destroy her simply for existing — The Mystical Kings.  Being named future Queen of the Shifters shoves Lily into the spotlight, making her one of the most visible Mysticals in the world. But with risk comes a certain solace — her burgeoning friendships with the other three Prodigies: a wicked Vampire, a wild-child Mage, and a playboy Elemental. Backed by their faith and trust, Lily begins to relax into her new life.

Then chaos erupts as the fragile peace between Commoners and Mysticals is broken, and suddenly Lily realises the greatest threat was never from within, and her fear takes on a new name: the revolution.
Review (4.5 Stars)
This series wasn't all what I was expecting what I first pressed the sample of King Hall, but wow it hooked me quickly. I then speeded off and bought the boxset (it was the same price as the first book on kindle at the time so I thought 'why not') and I am so glad I bought the whole trilogy. I was surprised how early on I got attached to the characters and how likeable they were. I loved the connection and interactions between Dominic and Lily they are such a great couple (as I saw in someone else review on Goodreads, it would be great to get a prequel about these two). It did take me a wee while to clock the different supernatural groups, and I was a bit confused to begin with about which king was which, but as they featured more and more it became easier to differentiate. I adored the open and deep friendship that the four protégées form and also the way that the two generations of rulers interacted (especially in the first book).

The first book was amazing - 5 star read -, just loved the school/training setting, as these four teenagers deal with their emotional, psychological and physical trials that comes with being the next ruler of a supernatural species. This first book ends with dramatic disaster which leads into book two which is full of one issue after another, yet is also full of romance and personal turbulence as the threat of all our war looms.

The final book in this trilogy -King Tomb- was the disappointment for me. After such a dramatic turn of events at the end of the second book I dived straight into this one. I did enjoy the third book for about half of it, I loved seeing how the characters had changed after the event in book two, (and there is always that anticipation as the reader of the 'big reveal', when you know something that the characters don't). Unfortunately, however, the final part of book just felt rushed and it left me so many unanswered questions and missing scenes I had been anticipating reading -it was such a shame.

Yet despite the ending, this new adult series was still a great trilogy following the next group of supernatural rulers as they come into there individual powers and strengths while under the threat of war. There friendship and the lengths they'd go for each other is such a inspiration, as they fight not only their enemies but also prejudices and their own fears and doubts.
Favourite Quotes
“Sometimes, the best results come from the worst ideas. - Ezra”
Scarlett Dawn, King Hall    

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday #17 - Top Ten Series I've Been Meaning To Start But Haven't

It has been a while since I joined in the TTT meme, but I saw this topic and I have so many book which fit this theme, so I thought this would be a great opportunity to share part of my ever growing TBR pile. So lets start with 10 series starters (in no particular order) which I already own and just need to get around to reading:
These extra 5 are book which are older series (which have sequels already released) which are still on my to-buy list:
So there is a small flavour of my unruly TBR, have you read any of these series/books? I would love to know what you thought of them.

Monday, June 19, 2017

ARC BOOK REVIEW: Enigma (Schrodinger's Consortium #2) by Tonya Kuper

Synopsis from Goodreads

The highly anticipated sequel to Anomaly will be released the summer of 2017!

Worst. Road Trip. Ever.

Escaping with Reid Wentworth should have been fun, but how can I enjoy it when I just (accidentally) killed someone, my mom and brother are in danger, and the Consortium is trying to enslave humanity? (Yeah, they aren’t fooling around.) So feeling something for Reid Wentworth was not part of the plan. Trying to help unite the Resistance against the Consortium means I can’t be distracted by hot boys.

The Resistance secret hideout isn’t exactly the rebel base of my dreams. A traitor there wants me dead, but we have no idea who it is. And with both the Resistance and the Consortium trying to control me, the only one I can trust is Reid. If we’re going to have any chance of protecting my family, controlling my unstable powers, and surviving the clash between the Oculi factions, I’m going to have to catch this traitor. By using myself as bait.

Expected publication: July 3rd 2017 by Entangled: Teen
Series: Schrodinger's Consortium #2
Source: e-ARC via Netgalley

(3 Stars)

I really wanted to love this book, I loved the first book when I first read it a couple of years ago, and have been waiting patiently since for this sequel. I re-read the first book just  before reading Enigma, and I have to admit it wasn’t as great as I remembered it, but I held out hope that with a few extra years the author would have developed and grown as a writer and as such the sequel would be better than the first. Sadly that wasn’t the case for me.
Enigma picks up Josie and Reid’s story just a few days after we leave them in a hotel at the end of Anomaly. As the blurb explains the two of them decide to join Josie’s mum and brother at the Hub, and hope to root out the traitor they believe is feeding information back to the Consortium. With the Oculi’s ability to cSohange their ability to change their appearance the traitor could look like anyone! Mean that Josie has to constantly suspect everyone and it also leads to the consistent need to check that someone was in fact that person, it reminded a bit of Marvels Jessica Jones and also Vampire Diaries (season 4). I like this aspect of the plot as it keep you on the lookout for hints of the traitor in everyone’s actions.  Another thing I loved about this book was the pop culture references, it reminds you of Josie’s ‘roots’ and inherent geekiness.
However, the second part of this book just felt a bit rushed and lack any kind of world building, maybe this was because of the decision to make this a duology instead of a trilogy. If felt as though one moment Josie and Reid were searching for the mole, the next it was over. I couldn’t connect with any of the newly introduced secondary characters they didn’t really have strong personalities, and I felt as though the short lived attempt at a love triangle was a bit unnecessary.  
So a bit of a mixed opinion of this book, although there were some good aspects which I enjoyed, however I couldn’t connect with other parts and the second part of the book just felt too rushed for me.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

ARC BOOK REVIEW: Fallen Flame by J.M. Miller

Synopsis from Goodreads
Nineteen years ago, on the island kingdom of Garlin, a girl was born. With charred skin as rough as rock, Vala was instantly feared. For how could one be scorched by magic when it had perished ages before?

Recognizing an asset, the royal family welcomed her on their Guard. Her detail: the prince.
To watch. To protect. She has grown with him, lives her life for him.

When the high kingdom’s princess comes to assess the prince, assassins of rival courtiers come to claim his life. One nearly succeeds in his mission. But with shadowy movements and charred skin like her own, Vala knows he is not like the rest.
As threats to the prince continue and questions about Vala’s life begin to rise, she faces a fear worse than fire or water, worse even than losing him.

She fears finding out who she truly is.
Expected publication: June 19th 2017
Source: Received a e-ARC from Publishers via Netgalley

Review (3.5 Stars)

I was lucky enough to get a ARC of this book in the last week and as you can read in my Waiting on Wednesday post I did recently I had high hopes for this book. I however have come away from reading it a bit disappointed.

So this story follows Vala as she protects the Prince of Garlin. Yet a series of events at the start of the novel result in her searching for who or what she is. This is coupled with a bit of political mystery as a neighbouring Princess and her mother arrive in hope of marrying the prince and joining there lands, but the Queen is looking for something more. So Vala as well as searching for her own answers she also must figure out what the foreign queen is after.

This is a very plot driven book, it is all about Vala searching for answers. I enjoyed the story there was a hint of romance and maybe even a love triangle to begin with but nothing much developed with these (although I think it is likely that the romance side of the plot might feature more in the sequels). I think the main things which let this book down for me has to be the lack of world building and the limited 3D-ness (technical term there!) of the characters. I also felt as though there was a lack of information on Vala's skin 'condition'  at the start of the novel, it did become clearer as we got seem more of Vala but to begin with I found it confusing.

Regarding the world building, well in my opinion there just wasn't any, other than some at the Sacred Lake, I couldn't tell you where the royalty live (apart from it has a conservatory, bedrooms, dining hall, kitchen and prison cells) but I can't picture it. The fog aspect of this world came as a complete surprise to me about a quarter of the way through the book, I would have through that the fog would have featured more in the earlier scenes, as much as it did from that point on ward, it almost felt as thought it was a detail added by the author part way though the writing process! I also didn't feel the personalities of the different characters, as the reader you could glean some personality traits from peoples actions but I didn't 'get to know' them that well, I didn't feel as though I could predict how they would reaction or ally themselves in situations.

Although this sounds like a negative review, I did enjoy the book, it kept me reading. My favourite aspect has to be the way that withholding just one piece of information, grew into this web of secrets and lies for Vala. This book was overall an okay start to a trilogy but there is a lot of development I would hope to see in the sequel in both world building as well as character development.