Hunted by: Megan Spooner

Summary:

Beauty knows the Beast’s forest in her bones—and in her blood. Though she grew up with the city’s highest aristocrats, far from her father’s old lodge, she knows that the forest holds secrets and that her father is the only hunter who’s ever come close to discovering them. 

So when her father loses his fortune and moves Yeva and her sisters back to the outskirts of town, Yeva is secretly relieved. Out in the wilderness, there’s no pressure to make idle chatter with vapid baronessas…or to submit to marrying a wealthy gentleman. But Yeva’s father’s misfortune may have cost him his mind, and when he goes missing in the woods, Yeva sets her sights on one prey: the creature he’d been obsessively tracking just before his disappearance. 

Deaf to her sisters’ protests, Yeva hunts this strange Beast back into his own territory—a cursed valley, a ruined castle, and a world of creatures that Yeva’s only heard about in fairy tales. A world that can bring her ruin or salvation. Who will survive: the Beauty, or the Beast?

The Review:

This was another book I had on my TBR for quite a long time, mainly ever since I saw the cover at a bookstore and also the fact that it is a Beauty and the Beast retelling, which if it is a fairy tale retelling it will be on my TBR.

As a retelling of the story of Beauty and the Beast, it did follow a few of the same beats of the original story. Yeva, is the Belle stand in, and instead of being a bookworm, she likes to hunt. She also like Belle, always rejects the social norms such as marrying a wealthy gentleman. She also has sisters who I felt were a bit thinly developed and weren’t as fleshed out like I wanted them to be.

The story begins to pick up once her father goes missing, and Yeva, is going to try to find him in the forest, and that is where she meets the Beast. I like how in the book, at the beginning of each chapter, features a lot of the Beasts inner thoughts, and it made him more of a character in the book.

The relationship between Beast and Yeva was a bit different from the original. This time he is training to hunt , and as the story goes on, you find out the Beast is cursed, but the curse is very different and with the added twist to the curse adds a lot to the story.

One of my main problems is how this story, really feels like Stockholm Syndrome. While yes, the original did have aspects of Stockholm syndrome, Hunted had a lot of elements of that. and I really didn’t care about their relationship, and it reminded me of the worst parts of Tamlim, from ACOTAR, and I would have preferred if Yeva, was just alone at the end of the book.

In the end, Hunted was a good read. I didn’t love as much as I thought it was. While it does follow a lot of aspects of the original, but the added twists makes the story stronger. Making Yeva a hunter made her a better character, but I did feel like the aspects of Yeva and the Beasts relationship was on of the weaker aspects.

Grade: 3.6/5

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Eliza and Her Monsters by: Francesca Zappia

Summary:

In the real world, Eliza Mirk is shy, weird, and friendless. Online, she’s LadyConstellation, the anonymous creator of the wildly popular webcomic Monstrous Sea. Eliza can’t imagine enjoying the real world as much as she loves the online one, and she has no desire to try.

Then Wallace Warland, Monstrous Sea’s biggest fanfiction writer, transfers to her school. Wallace thinks Eliza is just another fan, and as he draws her out of her shell, she begins to wonder if a life offline might be worthwhile.

But when Eliza’s secret is accidentally shared with the world, everything she’s built—her story, her relationship with Wallace, and even her sanity—begins to fall apart

The Review:

This was a sort of recommendation via Amazon, after making some book purchases and it sort of stood out to me, mainly because of the premise and how it reminded me a lot of Fangirl.  Also if you have been following my blog for a while, you should know that I rarely read contemporary.

The main premise of the book deals with Eliza, who writes a webcomic called Monstrous Sea under the screen name LadyConstellation. She is also very popular online with her webcomic. In her normal world however, she is basically seen as weird and keeps to herself most of the time. Her two friends, Mark and Emmy are basically her online friends and they mostly talk about a show called Dog Days, that they obsess over.

Even though Eliza never meet either Emmy or Mark, you still give a sense of their friendship through their IMs and chats. Especially in this day in age in which your online friends can actually be your real friends and could still from a good relationship with one another.

She also meets Wallace, who is a fanfiction writer of her Monstrous Sea webcomic and doesn’t know that she is the author. I really enjoyed following their relationship. It did start off as bonding over mutual interests, but I think their was a lot of development between them to get me invested. I also liked that Wallace was a fleshed out character rather than just you typical YA love interest.

There is a lot of comparisons one could make with Fangirl, especially how it deals with the online communities and fandom in general. But I like that it deals with the mental health aspect a lot more than Fangirl did. Eliza, throughout the book finds out that she has anxiety after she kind of fainted in school.

I also loved seeing excerpts of The Monstrous Sea, which gives us a little more background of what Eliza created. I also really loved the artwork that the author included. It makes me want to read The Monstrous Sea.

In the end, I really enjoyed Eliza and Her Monsters. It was a nice read that dealt a lot with Fandom and online communities. I really enjoyed the relationship between Eliza and Wallace, and also the relationship between Eliza and her online friends.

Grade: 4.5/5

Children of Blood and Bone by: Tomi Adeyemi

Summary:

Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zelie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.

But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were targeted and killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.

Now, Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.

Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers—and her growing feelings for the enemy. 

The Review:

This was another of one of my anticipated reads for 2018, ever since this book was announced. You don”t really see a lot of fantasy novels set in Africa, unless you read N.K. Jemison and Nnedi Okorafor. I also believe that the hype is definitely well deserved for this book.

The books setting is mainly in West Africa in a Orisha. A place in which magic was been suppressed and the maji, has been killed by a ruthless king. Zeile, is a young maji, whose mother was killed in the raids of the king, and her death was to serve as a reminder for the maji.

The world building was extremely well done. You get a sense of the world it is set, and the history within that world. Different clans has their own maji title and deity, for example the Iku clan are reapers who deal with souls and worship the Oya. Also tied within the world building is a sense of history, learning that long ago the maji were seen as corrupt so there was a reason why the king decided to eliminate the maji. With its world building it didn’t feel like info dumping like most books does and it brought up a lot through conversations that the characters had with one another.

The book also has 3 POVs, Zeile, who is the main character, whose mother was a powerful maji. Amari, the daughter of the king who flees from her ruthless father after he does something that traumatizes her. Inan who is the prince and next in line to become king who is tasked to bring back Amari.

Inan is one my favorite of the POVs. His POV chapters deals a lot with his inner struggle of basically if he should do what he is tasked to do, especially when dealing with his father.

The story mainly deals with Zeile and Amari trying to bring back magic to Orishi by bringing an ancient scroll to the temple, and would deal with teh world around them. While it does seem like a cliche, the world is so magnificent and throughout their journey you get a good scope of the world and its magic system, along with its politics. A lot of the book could serve as a racial allegory dealing with oppression, especially dealing with a light skinned vs. dark skinned context.

There is also a romance in the book. Mainly between Zeile and Inan, and Amari and Tzain. I did like that it wasn’t the forefront of the book, and both romances I felt was actually developed. With Zeile and Inan, you constantly see Inan dealing with his inner turmoil. It did lead to a few funny moments with both of them wondering if they should actually kiss each other. It was a nice twist on the enemy to lovers trope.

In the end, this book definitely lives up to the hype. It was a great book that had an amazing story especially with a YA fantasy set in West Africa. It features a good magic system and excellent world building. The characters are extremely well developed and I cannot wait to see how this series continues, because it was that good.

Grade: 5/5

Top 5 Wednesday: Autobuy SFF Authors

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

April 11: Auto-Buy Scifi and Fantasy Authors – Booktube SFF Awards Babble Crossover Topic! 
— This month’s crossover topic is your auto-buy authors that write SFF.

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.

VE Schwab

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Author of great books such as Vicious, This Savage Song, and Shade of Magic series. I have a read most of the books she has published, but I need to read A Conjuring of Light. I am also very excited for the sequel to Vicious, which is Vengeful. Her worlds are magnificent, the characters are engaging and well developed, and her stories are amazing.

Marie Lu

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She wrote the Legend trilogy which was amazing. The Young Elites trilogy which I really liked. Warcross was one of my favorite books of last year, and she wrote Batman Nightwalker, which I loved. I love that she is willing to write different genres and go from dystopia, to high fantasy and futuristic Sci Fi. I am very excited for Wildcard this year.

Leigh Bardugo

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While I did enjoy Shadow and Bone, my main reason for loving Leigh Bardugo, was the Six of Crows duology. The characters, the worlds and the story, drew me in. While I am disappointed that I won’t see those characters again I am excited to read what she has written.

Cindy Pon

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She is, in my opinion a very underrated author. I loved the Serpentine duo-logy, especially with the use of Chinese mythology into a fantasy world. I loved Want, which was another favorite book that I read last year. I loved all of the characters she has written and I can’t want for the sequel to Want,

Marissa Meyer

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For those who have been following blog for a long time,should know how much I love the Lunar Chronicles. Sci Fi retellings mixed with fairy tales are my jam. I loved Heartless which was a stand alone retelling of the Red Queen from Alice in Wonderland. I also loved Renegades which dealt with the superhero genre. Her characters are amazing and I am excited for Archenemies.

Honorable Mentions: Jay Kristoff, Amie Kaufman, Megan Spooner, Holly Black, Susan Dennard, Sarah J. Maas, Sabaa Tahir, Cinda Williams Chima

Those are my SFF auto buy authors. Who are your SFF auto buy authors? Let me know in the comments below.

 

Obsidio by: Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Summary:

Kady, Ezra, Hanna, and Nik narrowly escaped with their lives from the attacks on Heimdall station and now find themselves crammed with 2,000 refugees on the container ship, Mao. With the jump station destroyed and their resources scarce, the only option is to return to Kerenza—but who knows what they’ll find seven months after the invasion? 

Meanwhile, Kady’s cousin, Asha, survived the initial BeiTech assault and has joined Kerenza’s ragtag underground resistance. When Rhys—an old flame from Asha’s past—reappears on Kerenza, the two find themselves on opposite sides of the conflict. 

With time running out, a final battle will be waged on land and in space, heroes will fall, and hearts will be broken.

The Review:

If you have been following my blog, you should know that this book, Obsidio was one of my most anticipated reads for 2018.

Obsidio, sort of picks up right where Gemina ended, in which Nik and Hannah escape the Heimdall and meet up with Ezra and Kady on the Mao with the refugees. From the beginning I love the interactions between those characters , especially with how Gemina ended seeing them all come together and work together has a definite highlight of the book. Even with some new characters introduced they still were able to have some great development.

Than we are introduced To Asha (Kady’s cousin) and Rhys, a soldier for BeiTech. I was a little concerned that we are introduced to new characters especially for this being the final book. But they are fully fleshed with the time they have in the book. With the character of Rhys, we get a lot of background with the Beitech soldiers and their operations. Asha just sort of got caught up during her internship in the conflict with Beitech. Even though she does not have the skills that Kady and Hannah had, she does have a good heart which helped on Kerenza.

Than there is AIDAN. Oh, AIDAN, never have I seen such great character development for an AI. You really get a sense of his moral conflict and wondering if what he is doing is right.

The book still has the format of being seen through IMs and chats. But I still love the surveillance summary, The narrator is always just so snarky and kind of breaks the forth wall.

Obsidio, as a final book of a trilogy, and really lets it be known that. For a final book, everything is going down and it sort of ends in a nice giant space battle, perfect for an ending.

In the end, Obsidio is everything I wanted a final book to be. It was paced really well, action packed and managed to give us a great ending. I am very sad to let these characters go, but I am glad that I read it.

Grade: 5/5

Top 5 Wednesday: Favorite Jokesters

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

April 4: Favorite Jokesters
— In honor of April Fools (a bit late but hey, I don’t control when Wednesdays fall), talk about your favorite jokesters, pranksters, and funny characters.

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.

Fred and George Weasley from Harry Potter

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I know its a very obvious choice, but I can’t help it. They are some of my favortite joksters. I loved their drop out scene from Order of Phoenix and they even own their own joke shop.

Merry and Pippin from Lord of the Rings

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While they did start off as jokesters and pranksters in Fellowship of the Rings, they did manage to grow a lot throughout the trilogy and had some well rounded arcs to them.

Carswell Throne from the Lunar Chronicles.

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A captain who befriends Cinder while in prison. He is basically Jack Harkness meets Malcolm Reynolds. He always provides comedic relief throughout the series. I also love his relationship with Cress

Deadpool from Marvel Comics

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The “Merc with the mouth”. He is one of the only comic book characters that knows he’s in a comic book. He always cracks jokes right as he is killing someone.

Tyrion Lannister from A Song of Ice and Fire

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An imp, who is seen as basically a bastard by his father, but he always has time for some snarkiness. Also when he drinks he knows things.

Those are my favorite funny, jokester characters. What are your favorite funny characters? Let me know in the comments below.

 

April TBR

Happy April, and Happy Easter for those who celebrate it.

I haven’t done a TBR in a while, and March wasn’t quite a good reading month because I got busy. So here is my TBR for April.

Obsidio by: Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman

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I have waited so long for this book. I loved both Illuminae and Gemina, so I am excited to see how this series ends.

Children of Blood and Bone by: Tomi Adeyemi

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This was another book I was very excited about since it was announced. I was suppose to see her in Boston, but the snow kept me going, I at least got the book personalized for me.

Wicked Like a Wildfire by: Lana Popovic

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My girlfriend gave me this book for Valentine’s Day and I still haven’t read it. I feel bad because I got her Legend and kept asing if she has read it yet.

Hunted by: Meagan Spooner

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A sort of Beauty and the Beast retelling. Its a book I really wished I got to back in 2017, but it is sitting on my bookshelf.

Dove Arising by Karen Bao

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This is an underrated book that I heard some good things about. I got it from the Diversity in YA tumblr and it sounded interesting.

Those are the books on my April TBR. It may be subject to change. Which books do you plan on reading for the month of April? Let me know in the comments below.