Hype or Like Friday: All’s Fair in War and Magic: Fantastical Magics

Happy Friday everyone,

Here is another Hype or Like Friday, the theme for June is All’s Fair in War and Magic

And the Book of the Month is:

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.

June 9th – Fantastical Magics… What are some of your favorite magical systems?

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Yeah, I know this is an obvious choice, but come on who can’t love the world of Harry Potter. I would have loved to attend Hogwarts, play Quidditch, and become an Auror.

The Heir Chronicles

While this is a very underrated series, it does have a good magical system , in which each child is born with a wizard stone or a warrior stone in their heart.

A Darker Shade of Magic

The idea of multiple Londons is amazing. Also with each different London has a different magical system in that London.

Mistborn 

The world of Mistborn is amazing. It is basically so good. I also love how magic is infused into the political system. I think I may reread the series again.

Those are my favorite magical systems. What are your magical systems? Let me know in the comments below.

 

Top 5 Wednesday: Books for your Hogwarts House (Gryffindor)

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

June 7th: Books For Your Hogwarts House
— Show your Hogwarts House Pride, and tell us the top 5 books that represent your house!

Last year I took the Pottermore quiz and discovered that I was a Gryffindor

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.

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

Mainly because this book deals with overcoming many hurdles, and both Laia and Elias both through pain and loss throughout the series so far, and no matter what they have shown bravery.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

From the moment Katniss screamed “I volunteer” she was a Gryffindor, risking her life to enter the Hunger Games knowing that she may die in order to protect her sister. In doing do she started a rebellion and became a symbol for that rebellion.

The Legend Trilogy by Marie Lu

In my opinion both Day and June are Gryffindors, and like Katniss both becomes symbols of a rebellion and want to make changes happen. June is very intelligent and it shows throughout the series and Day comes across as very brave.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

While the crows could vary on which Hogwarts house they belong to, I will focus mainly on Kaz. Kaz as a Gryffindor is has a leadership role and his job is to lead the crows through their heist. He also cares about every one of them in his own way.

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

Kinda like Six of Crows, most the characters can belong in many other house (Cress in Ravenclaw). But Cinder definitely belongs in Gryffindor. She is brave, intelligent and when the chips are down she keeps fighting.

Those are my books for fellow Gryffindors. What Hogwarts House are you? What books would you recommend for your Hogwarts house? Let me know in the comments below!

Empress of A Thousand Skies by: Rhonda Belleza

Summary:

The only surviving heir to an ancient Kalusian dynasty, RHEE has spent her life training to destroy the people who killed her family. Now, on the eve of her coronation, the time has finally come for Rhee to claim her throne – and her revenge.

ALYOSHA is a Wraetan who has risen above his war refugee origins to find fame as the dashing star of a DroneVision show. Despite his popularity, Aly struggles with anti-Wraetan prejudices and the pressure of being perfect in the public eye.

Their paths collide with one brutal act of violence: Rhee is attacked, barely escaping with her life. Aly is blamed for her presumed murder.

The princess and her accused killer are forced to go into hiding – even as a war between planets is waged in Rhee’s name. But soon, Rhee and Aly discover that the assassination attempt is just one part of a sinister plot. Bound together by an evil that only they can stop, the two fugitives must join forces to save the galaxy.

In this exhilarating debut for fans of Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles and Pierce Brown’s Red Rising trilogy, RHODA BELLEZA crafts a powerful saga of vengeance, warfare, and the true meaning of legacy.

The Review:

This book was on my Top 5 Wednesday: Debuts I am Excited For, mainly because I am a fan of sci fi epics, and judging by the blurb it looked like that what I was in for.

The story takes place on several different points of the galaxy, and is told through two perspectives Rhee, the heir to the empire and Alyosha or Aly, a refugee and star of a very popular TV show or Drone vision. I am of course a fan of books with duo perspectives because it gives a us a closer look at the world the book takes in from different sides. As the story starts off both characters are basically fugitives on the run, and it really dives right into the plot. It starts when Rhee almost getting killed, and realizing that she has been betrayed. Aly, is the one who is blamed for it, mainly because of he is a Wraetan, and was also set by someone he trusted.

Throughout the book, both of them are trying to figure out what’s happening and why. With Rhee, she suspects that it has something to do with a Treaty that was suppose to be ratified in order to keep peace among the galaxy. It was also because of the peace deal, that her family ended up being killed. Aly is trying to clear his name, and figure out why the assassination took place.

I like both characters of the book. Both of them have good arcs to their story and you could see them changing throughout the book, also they also don’t actually cross paths in this book, which is a strange choice by the author, but I think they will in future.

One of my main problems with the book, is how the world building was handled. With world building I want to feel as if I am in space, and I feel that a lot of the back story was kinda glossed over, and in a SFF book world building should have been better. I also felt a lot of the plot was very rushed , and the action didn’t take its time to breathe or slow down. I also felt that the supporting characters were also very thinly developed, and just sort of came and went with the plot. I think some may have a bigger role in the next book.

Don’t get me wrong, I did like the book but when compared to other books such as Red Rising, and Starflight, it just kinda feel flat.

In the end, Empress of a Thousand Skies, was good but a bit disappointing. It had good main characters but the story was very rushed and lacked a lot of the world building I like from other SFF books.

Grade: 3/5

Wonder Women Review

This was one of my most anticipated movies of the summer, and this is also one of first female led super hero movies in a while (the last one I think was Elektra), and this movie did not disappoint, in fact I think it is one of my favorite comic book movies.

This is also another movie in the DC Extended Universe, and this one focuses on the origin story of Wonder Women, who was first introduced in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. The story takes place during World War I, and Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) crash lands of Diana’s island of Themyscira. After finding out about World War I, Diana assumes that the atrocities were brought on by Ares, the God of War. Diana then goes with Steve to London to find Ares and hopefully stop the war.

After a rough start to the DCEU, this is the first film I enjoyed from start to finish, it delivered some great action set pieces. The first one was where the Germans invade Themyscira, it delivered a great action scene, and what made it great was that it involved a bunch of women kicking so much ass. My favorite is when Diana comes out of the trenches and is just holding the line, and my whole theater was clapping and cheering throughout that scene.

 

While I did have reservations about her initial casting, Gal Gadot was great as Wonder Women, and she really understood how the character is both strong, but also has emotions, which is the core of Wonder Women. Chris Pine was also good as Steve Trevor, and both Diana’s and Steve’s relationship was really well done and developed. When Diana first came to London, it provided a lot of humor which featured Diana trying to figure out the world around her.

I also did like the supporting such as Etta Candy (Lucy Davis), Steve’s secretary. She did provide some good comedic scenes, and I kinda wish she was in it more. I also liked Steve’s war buddies, which I reminded me a lot of the Howling Commando’s from Captain America. But I felt the villains were a bit underdeveloped, and I think that’s a problem with a lot of the recent superhero movies.

The direction was also very good. Patty Jenkins directed this movie, and this is one of the first superhero movies to have a female director, and she brought up the essence of Wonder Women, while some the action scenes had some slow mo, it didn’t feel like it was too much. I am so glad that she is signed up for Wonder Women 2, and I hope she could possibly direct Justice League 2.

What surprises me, was that it took this long to make a Wonder Women movie. While there has been female led super hero movies before, most of them were terrible, and the studios would see it as a risk. Hopefully thanks to the positive reception of this movie, we could see more female superhero movies, like, Captain Marvel, or a better Catwoman.

Wonder Women, was a fantastic movie that had me smiling the whole way through. It was not just a great female-led Superhero movie, but a great comic book movie.

Grade: A

Hype or Like Friday-All’s Fair in War and Magic: A Magical Duel

Happy Friday everyone,

Here is another Hype or Like Friday, the theme for June is All’s Fair in War and Magic

And the Book of the Month is:

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.

June 2nd – A Magical Duel… Choose some of your favorite fictional characters to magically duel one another. Who would win?! example – Harry Potter vs. Voldemort

 

Eleven from Stranger Things vs. Lara from Logan

While its not magical, part of me really wants to see these two characters fight it out. While Logan does have claws, Eleven can kill people with her mind

Winner: Eleven

Carrie from Carrie vs. Matilda from Matilda

Both have powers of telekinesis, that were both brought up by parental neglect. But Carrie literally killed everyone at her prom

Winner: Carrie

Caelena from Throne of Glass vs. Inej from Six or Crows

Both are highly skilled, while Caelena is a highly skilled assassin, Inej can sneak around anything, and when Inej makes a hit you will never see it coming.

Winner: Inej

Those are some of the characters I would love to see duel each other. Which characters do you want to see in a duel? Let me know in the comments below,

Some Boys by: Patty Blount (TW: Sexual assault)

Summary:

When Grace meets Ian she’s afraid. Afraid he’ll reject her like the rest of the school, like her own family. After she accuses the town golden boy of rape, everyone turns against Grace. They call her a slut and a liar. But…Ian doesn’t. He’s funny and kind with secrets of his own.

But how do you trust the best friend of the boy who raped you? How do you believe in love?

A gut-wrenching, powerful love story told from alternating points of view by the acclaimed author of Send.

The Review:

This was a book on my TBR for about a year, but since it was at my library I decided to pick it up and read it. (Also TW; this book does discuss sexual assault.

The story takes place after a young girl. Grace was sexually assaulted at a party by the town golden boy Zac, and when it comes out she is branded as a slut, or someone who was asking for it, and a liar who wants to get revenge on Zac for a break up. After her assault she was ostracized by her friends and most of school because of it.

Grace, is a very strong character, especially for someone that has been through sexual assault. There was so many scenes in the book that got me saying “you go girl”, mainly the part of her owning some dude in class who tried to mansplain “slutiness” to her. Throughout the book she tries to not be defined by her assault, even if she loses friends in the process she never backed down. She also goes through many panic attacks, especially during times of stress.

Ian, was a character I felt wasn’t really as needed. Okay, I get that the author’s intention was to show the other side of the story and Ian’s relationship to Zac and the other lacrosse players. Grace and Ian both meet during a detention of cleaning lockers during spring vacation, while they do strike up a friendship it basically gets ruined by the peer pressure of the other lacrosse players, and I really hated what he did to her at lunch. While towards the end of the book he did finally grow a brain, he wasn’t the character I thought he was going to be.

I did some of the parent characters, mainly Grace’s mom and Ian’s dad. Grace’s mom was very supporting of her daughter’s assault and trying to be a good mother that I know she was trying to be, and making sure that Grace was okay. Ian’s dad was the one that basically schooled Ian on what sexual assault is and to stop being an ass towards Grace.

The main strength about this book is how it handles sexual assault. It deals mostly with the aftermath bu it also deals with the how other students reacted. There was a few students who Grace befriended who actually believed, and I kinda wish they had more development. It also kinda paints a grim reminder of what happens when a girl comes forward along with the sexism and misogyny that goes with it. According to the author it was suppose to be about Stubenville rape case, and how it focused primarily on the “poor boys” rather than the actual victim. Grace also dealt with harassment from the other lacrosse players, calling her a slut who was asking for it. Also it talked about how when she first went to the police they kept asking; what were you wearing? How many drinks did you have? Are you slept with him before?. Those all add up to how rape culture is defined.

In the end, Some Boys was a very great read. It highlights a pretty compelling issue with rape culture and how it affects the survivor, which is also added by a great and developed main character which could also add to the discussion.

Grade: 4.3/5

Blood Rose Rebellion by Rosalyn Eves

Summary:

Sixteen-year-old Anna Arden is barred from society by a defect of blood. Though her family is part of the Luminate, powerful users of magic, she is Barren, unable to perform the simplest spells. Anna would do anything to belong. But her fate takes another course when, after inadvertently breaking her sister’s debutante spell—an important chance for a highborn young woman to show her prowess with magic—Anna finds herself exiled to her family’s once powerful but now crumbling native Hungary.

Her life might well be over.

In Hungary, Anna discovers that nothing is quite as it seems. Not the people around her, from her aloof cousin Noémi to the fierce and handsome Romani Gábor. Not the society she’s known all her life, for discontent with the Luminate is sweeping the land. And not her lack of magic. Isolated from the only world she cares about, Anna still can’t seem to stop herself from breaking spells.

As rebellion spreads across the region, Anna’s unique ability becomes the catalyst everyone is seeking. In the company of nobles, revolutionaries, and Romanies, Anna must choose: deny her unique power and cling to the life she’s always wanted, or embrace her ability and change that world forever.

The Review:

This was another book I picked up on a whim because I kept seeing it at bookstores. I also sort of like alternative historical fiction mixed with fantasy.

This book is set during the war of Austria-Hungary, but it also has magic within in that world, and those who are most powerful are of the higher class called Luminates. Anna is someone who hasn’t yet come into her powers, and her powers come to be during the worst possible moment. It sort of reminded me of what happened to Elsa in Frozen. She then has to leave with her grandmother off to Hungary to learn more about her power.

A lot of the plot reminded me of another book I recently read The Bone Witch which also involves her being trained and learning more about the magic of the world. While it didn’t have the same level of world building that The Bone Witch had, but it did have just enough amount of history and lore which didn’t feel a lot like info dumping.

This book also mixed Romani/Gypsy culture into the world of magic and fantasy. I kinda wish it also digged a little bit deeper in gypsy culture and the world of magic because I think it was written in way that for those who have an extensive knowledge of Romani culture.

Anna has a pretty good main character, she wasn’t too whiny, but there was times when she was a bit too lovey dubbey, especially towards Gabor when she is trying to kiss him or to get him to love her. It felt kinda insta-lovey. But when stuff was going down she was trying her hardest to fix everything.

The supporting characters were also really good. Her grandmother was great in her mentor role, introducing Anna to the world around her, and also making sure that she stays out of trouble, and even though she is old she can still kick some ass.

Gabor, her trainer also had a pretty good arc to him. While he was very stand offish when Anna didn’t kiss him, and was always very made at her since then. Also their love story felt a bit cliched. In which he is of a lower class, and of course they can’t be together.

The plot is starting up a rebellion within the kingdom, or at least it is beginning stages. The problem I kinda had with it was it felt a bit added towards the end without a lot of development or build up. If there was a lot more build up it could have led to a better story.

In the end, Blood Rose Rebellion was a pretty decent book, but it lacked the epicness I look for in a fantasy novel. I thought the characters were pretty well development and the world building was pretty well done. It could have dug deep in Romani culture and I felt the books ending was a bit rushed,

Grade: 3.4/5