Starflight by Melissa Landers

Summary:

Life in the outer realm is a lawless, dirty, hard existence, and Solara Brooks is hungry for it. Just out of the orphanage, she needs a fresh start in a place where nobody cares about the engine grease beneath her fingernails or the felony tattoos across her knuckles. She’s so desperate to reach the realm that she’s willing to indenture herself to Doran Spaulding, the rich and popular quarterback who made her life miserable all through high school, in exchange for passage aboard the spaceliner Zenith.

When a twist of fate lands them instead on the Banshee, a vessel of dubious repute, Doran learns he’s been framed on Earth for conspiracy. As he pursues a set of mysterious coordinates rumored to hold the key to clearing his name, he and Solara must get past their enmity to work together and evade those out for their arrest. Life on the Banshee may be tumultuous, but as Solara and Doran are forced to question everything they once believed about their world—and each other—the ship becomes home, and the eccentric crew family. But what Solara and Doran discover on the mysterious Planet X has the power to not only alter their lives, but the existence of everyone in the universe…

The Review:

This was another book on my TBR, mainly because it had at space pirates, and anything set in space is a must read for me, and I was pleasantly surprised about how much I liked the book.

First of all, the setting, I always like books set in space, mainly its just the Firefly fan in me, it reminded me of Firefly especially the bits of the outer realm being lawless and ruthless.

The character  also really liked. I like Soloara’s no-nonsense attitude throughout the book. She is very street smart and it works when she has to work with Doran. Doran is sort of the over privileged prince character who really has a heart of gold. While it does seem cliched, the character was framed a lot better, and it seemed like a fish out of water story with him having to evade arrest with the help of Solara.

I also liked some of the action the book had especially when the ship is going through space running from the Enforcers.

A negative that I kinda had with the book was sort of the pacing. While the plot picks up in the beginning of the book, it was the middle of the story is where I felt the story started to slow down, but it did have some great character moments between Solara and Doran, which actually made me care about their relationship when it starts to develop.

I also felt that some of the supporting characters could have some had development as well. Mainly the crew of the Banshee, which reminded me a lot of the crew of Serenity from Firefly. They each had a role of the ship and I would have liked to learn more about them.

I also thought the twist at the end was actually well done, and it was telegraphed throughout the book.

In the end I thought Starflight was a great read, especially if you are a fan of science fiction. I will be continuing the series hopefully soon.

Grade: 4/5

 

 

Hype or Like Friday: Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

Happy Friday everyone,

Sorry I haven’t done these in quite a while, school and work got a little backed up but I was able to read Truthwitch and finally do a Hype or Like Friday review of the book.

Hype or Like Friday is a meme created by Jillian, Larkin, and Britt to discuss about hyped books and see if they’re hyped up or not. There would be book of the month that you can read, and the post your review for it on the end of the month, then rate it whether it’s a hype it or like it.

Summary:

In a continent on the edge of war, two witches hold its fate in their hands.

Young witches Safiya and Iseult have a habit of finding trouble. After clashing with a powerful Guildmaster and his ruthless Bloodwitch bodyguard, the friends are forced to flee their home.

Safi must avoid capture at all costs as she’s a rare Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lies. Many would kill for her magic, so Safi must keep it hidden – lest she be used in the struggle between empires. And Iseult’s true powers are hidden even from herself.

In a chance encounter at Court, Safi meets Prince Merik and makes him a reluctant ally. However, his help may not slow down the Bloodwitch now hot on the girls’ heels. All Safi and Iseult want is their freedom, but danger lies ahead. With war coming, treaties breaking and a magical contagion sweeping the land, the friends will have to fight emperors and mercenaries alike. For some will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.

The Review:

While this wasn’t on my TBR, I did see this book a lot at bookstores and even the blogoshphere, and I decided to read the book because I do like fantasy novels, and this book is totally worth the hype.

First of all, I love the setting of the book and how it deals with an impending war and how it would effect both Safiya and Iseult, two friends. What I love is seeing the friendship between Safi and Iseult because you never see much female friendships in YA and even though they did spend parts of the book away from each other, you still get a glimpse of their relationship. Both Safi and Iseult also deal with how the impending war impacts their family. Safi has to deal with her uncle trying to broker a peace deal and using her to do so and Iseult is dealing with the fact that she has powers and was basically lied to her entire life, and learning how to use her powers.

The world building is also really well done. It wasn’t a lot of info dumping which most fantasy books, and was able to introduce us to this world without dealing with exposition and it did it more organically through the characters. I also like how the witches are described in the book, they had different factions and being a Truthwitch meant being so powerful that many either want to use or want her dead. There was a few times in the middle of the book where the story started to drag a bit

Safi spends a majority of the book being on the run and is guided by Merik, Merik is an awesome character. He is basically Malcolm Reynolds meets Nathan Drake. While he is reluctant at first he does help her and you even like the relationship between the two. While it did feel a bit rushed, both characters were at least developed enough to cheer them on.

In the end Truthwitch was a book worth the hype, it was a real engaging read that did a great job world building but also developing its characters. I look forward to reading more of this series.

My grade is LIKE

Grade: 4/5

 

Top 5 Wednesday: Books to Get you out of a reading slump

Happy Wednesday everyone, and here is another Top 5 Wednesday and the topic is:
February 22nd: Books to Get You Out of a Reading Slump
–Winter is a hard season for a lot of people and many of us are slumpy. Let’s talk about some books that are great for getting you out of a slump!

Top 5 Wednesday is a group in Goodreads and was formerly created by Lainey at gingerreadslainey and is now done by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes. It is open to everyone.

Another great topic, mainly because I have reading slumps and it took a really great book in order for me to get back on track.

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

I read this book during one of my reading slumps in which before that, the previous books I read I either DNF or was just plan bored by them. An Ember in the Ashes got me back on track. I was action packed, had well developed characters and left you wanting more.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Another great read, especially if you haven’t read anything in a while. While it may seem like a beach read. It is a very dark and disturbing book that you wouldn’t want to put down.

Legend by: Marie Lu

Another great and action packed book with a lot of twists and turns, especially if you haven’t read something in a while or was just burned by the previous books you read.

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

If you are looking for something unconventional to read, I would recommend Illuminae because of how different it is from everything else that I have read and it seems refreshing to read a book like that.

The Shadow Queen by: C.J. Redwine

As a fan of fairy tale retellings, of course this you get me out of a slump. I read it just last summer and really loved the book and it got me back on track with reading. Also the cover looks amazing.

Those are the books that I would recommend to get me out of a reading slump. What books are great to get you out of a slump? Let me know in the comments below.

 

Passenger by: Alexandra Bracken

Summary:

In one devastating night, violin prodigy Etta Spencer loses everything she knows and loves. Thrust into an unfamiliar world by a stranger with a dangerous agenda, Etta is certain of only one thing: she has traveled not just miles but years from home. And she’s inherited a legacy she knows nothing about from a family whose existence she’s never heard of. Until now.

Nicholas Carter is content with his life at sea, free from the Ironwoods—a powerful family in the colonies—and the servitude he’s known at their hands. But with the arrival of an unusual passenger on his ship comes the insistent pull of the past that he can’t escape and the family that won’t let him go so easily. Now the Ironwoods are searching for a stolen object of untold value, one they believe only Etta, Nicholas’ passenger, can find. In order to protect her, he must ensure she brings it back to them—whether she wants to or not.

Together, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the traveler who will do anything to keep the object out of the Ironwoods’ grasp. But as they get closer to the truth of their search, and the deadly game the Ironwoods are playing, treacherous forces threaten to separate Etta not only from Nicholas but from her path home… forever.

The Review:

Passengers was a book I picked up on a whim, (it was $.99 for the e-book), and also since Wayfarer was coming out and I wanted to know what the hype was about.

What intrigued me about the book was the concept of time travel mainly as a fan of Doctor Who, and going through different periods of time.

Let’s discuss the characters. I like Etta, I like that while she was basically being transported to a different time period, she was asking questions without being too whiny, and she was able to hold her own against any dangers. I also liked Nicks story, and how he also shares a name of a certain Backstreet Boy (haha). Even though it felt a bit cliched. Him being the son of a slave who was raped by her master. I also liked he was the captain of a pirate ship, and seeing him run his own crew.

As a story about time travel, I liked some of the time periods like colonial times, early Damascus and the beginning stages of World War II. I would have liked to see more time periods, but I hope the sequel will do that.

I thought the plot was pretty good, even though it was basically a macguffin chase, in which the Ironwoods want the the device but I never really got a reason as to why they wanted it so badly, maybe I missed something in the book. But I did like the concept of a secret society trying to take over, I would have liked to see more development of the villains.

I also felt that the relationship between Etta and Nicolas was very rushed and it didn’t have any build up and it just happened rather randomly, with not much build up and I felt that they got together mainly because that it is YA and they are suppose to be in love.

Another problem I had was the pacing. There was times when I felt that there was time that the story focused way too much on Etta and Nicolas’s love story rather than the plot of the story. While some may like the cliffhanger ending, I felt that it should have been better written.

In the end, I felt Passengers was a good book but it was a bit over hyped. I wish there was more focus on the concept of time travel and how it fits into the world. I did enjoy the book and will be reading the rest of the series.

3.3/5

Favorite Fictional Couples

Hello and Happy Valentine’s day to you all.

In order to celebrate I will be telling you my favorite fictional couples from books, movies and TV shows. As it is the day of love it will be nice to celebrate some great romances.

Cress and Thorne from The Lunar Chronicles

I know there are other couples like, Cinder and Kai, Scarlett and Wolf and; Winter and Jacin. But I loved those two together because they had a great connection, especially in when Cress ad Throne were stuck in the desert trying to get rescued.

Jesper and Wylan from Six of Crows duology

Another great couple from one of my favorite series. They also had a lot of great chemistry in the book. With Wylan trying to find his place in the group with Jesper helping him through it all.

Day and June from Legend trilogy

While it did start off as little bit of insta-love. I loved Day and June as a couple. They worked really well together in the series and you actually wanted them together and to stay together till the end.

Sandy and Kirsten Cohen from The OC

One of the epitomes of relationship goals, who always know what is best for their family and each other. Plus they created Seth Cohen and that is just awesome already.

Eric and Tami Taylor from Friday Night Lights

Like Sandy and Kirsten, they show that married people can be awesome and stay together. They also work really well together both in the school and at home.

Chandler and Monica from Friends

I know would say that Ross and Rachel, but I think Chandler and Monica were the better couple in Friends, mainly because it wasn’t a will they won’t they. They actually stayed together until the end of the show and had children. I especially loved it when they first started dating that they had to hid it from everyone.

Those are my favorite fictional couples. What are your favorite fictional couples? Let me know in the comments below, and have a Happy Valentine’s Day

 

 

Top 5 Wednedsay: Book Trends You’re Tired Of

Happy Wednesday everyone and here is another Top 5 Wednesday and the topic is:

February 8th: Book Trends You’re Tired Of
— What are some things you are tired of seeing that are trends in publishing? Maybe something that pops up on a lot of covers these days, or the popularity of certain tropes in a particular genre? Let it out!

Top 5 Wednesday is a group in Goodreads and was formerly created by Lainey at gingerreadslainey and is now done by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes. It is open to everyone.

Another great topic because while I do love my YA books it is starting to become a problem when tropes and trends keep popping up. Also if you like any of these trends and tropes that is fine as well.

Bad YA Adaptations

There used to be excitement when finding out that one of your favorite books is going to become a movie. Seeing your favorite book translated on the big screen just brings you joy. Now every time you find out your favorite book is going to become a movie you now wonder what are they going to mess up. My How to Fix YA Adaptations post will give you my thoughts on the issue.

Love Triangles

I feel like its almost a requirement that every YA book has to have a love triangle in it. But I see it as a way for authors to not properly develop a female protagonist so they give them two boys to fight over them for most of the book series. There are also times when the plot stops in order to address that a love triangle is happening which really ruins the book.

Abuse portrayed as romantic

Ever since Fifty Shades of Grey came out it started the trend of abusive boyfriends who are really romantic. The problem is that it promotes unhealthy relationships and it gives women a poor outlook on relationships.

Elongating a series when there was an definitive end

Sometimes when a series ends, loose ends are tied up and they all lived happily ever after. Than there is the another book which takes the story in a completely different direction and you wonder why the book needed to continue. There is also the forced prequel that wasn’t really needed.

Insta-love or poorly developed romances

Another semi requirement in most YA books is insta-love, in which a character falls madly in love with someone else only after a page or two and suddenly they are destined to be together. While romance in books isn’t bad he problem is how poorly developed it is.

Those are the trends I am tired of seeing. What trends are you tired of seeing? Let me know in the comments below.

Jackaby by:William Ritter

Summary:

Newly arrived in New Fiddleham, New England, 1892, and in need of a job, Abigail Rook meets R. F. Jackaby, an investigator of the unexplained with a keen eye for the extraordinary–including the ability to see supernatural beings. Abigail has a gift for noticing ordinary but important details, which makes her perfect for the position of Jackaby’s assistant. On her first day, Abigail finds herself in the midst of a thrilling case: A serial killer is on the loose. The police are convinced it’s an ordinary villain, but Jackaby is certain it’s a nonhuman creature, whose existence the police–with the exception of a handsome young detective named Charlie Cane–deny.

Review: 

Another book from my TBR list, I remember seeing it at bookstores and how it was a combination of Doctor Who meets Sherlock. two of my favorite shows and it actually felt like I was watching a WhoLock episode, with a little bit of supernatural.

R.F. Jackaby is basically the 10th Doctor with a little bit of Sherlock in him. He is a genius but he has a lot of arrogance in him and thinks that he is smarter than everyone. There was times when I felt he was a little bit unlikable, mainly towards the middle of the book but in the end is was a very good character to follow.

Abigail Rook is basically the Watson or companion role. I like that the book was told through her perspective because it makes it easier to follow the world it is based in. I like that she also wanted to be apart of the adventure and willing to learn from Jackaby. A major strength of the book is the relationship between Jackaby and Abigail which reminded me a lot of the Doctor/Companion relationship from Doctor Who. The back and forth between the characters has really good.

The supporting characters were also really like such as Inspector Marlowe, and Charlie Cane who I really want to see have more development in the next few books.

The plot, I felt was a little like a 2 hour pilot. It did a good job at introducing the two leads, and it has about a random case that Jackaby had to solve. But it was great trying to solve the case. I actually really liked the supernatural elements in the book, but I did feel that the twist felt a little tact on and not developed as much and even the conclusion I felt was a bit rushed. I did like the mystery element and mainly the setting which is in the Victorian era. I always did like mystery novels growing and I do feel that the genre is a bit lacking in the YA community so it was nice to read about.

In the end, Jackaby was a very good first book of a series that did a good job at introducing characters and the world where the story takes place in. While I felt that the twist could have been much better developed I do plan on reading the rest of the series.

Grade: 4/5