Category Archives: Book review

Summer reads – Kresley Cole: Dead of Winter

In preparation of the fourth Arcana Cronicles installment, I decided to read the previous ones. And now I did it, I realized I never published my thoughts on this one. Strange because this one ends with a massive cliffhanger. I won’t spoil it for you, but if you haven’t read it yet, wait until the 4th book is out so you can continue in peace. Which is August 15 (4 days from now).

What can I say, this installment is tense, we learn a lot about the Lovers card and a new Arcana comes into play.

I grew to like Evie (a.k.a. The Poison Princess) – she was a bit ‘stupid’ in the beginning, what with the naive thinking and getting angry at all the wrong things. But she’s 16 when all hell breaks loose, so I understand that it’s not easy to grow into seriousness and mature in a short space of time. But she managed it and it becomes apparent in this book.

I can’t wait to see if she’ll manage to stop the game and keep all of her newfound friends alive. I certainly hope so.

I’m not so happy about her being in love with two guys. Actually, that doesn’t bother me exactly, what bothers me that she has to choose. Why not keep them both?! 😉 She loves them both.

And, to finish this, I do hope Jack turns out to be Arcana as well, but so far nothing. There is only one card inactivated and I still hope it will be him – but chances are slim…

 

 

Ingrid Divković: J..e li vas ego?

Or, loosely translated into English, Is your ego fu..ing with you?

Well, I hope you’re intrigued by the title as I was. 🙂 jebe li vas

I was at the book signing on Monday as I thought this might be an interesting book to read and after hearing the author say how it came about, I decided to get my copy and read it. It’s a fast read as it’s not  a long book, and also, it’s not a self-help book. It’s more author’s musings on different situations that happened to her in life that made her realize how much she reacts from/with her ego than anything else. Something we can all relate to.

I find it funny that I can say that Ingrid is still young (she’s 30) and you can tell from her writing she is young. I’m not that much older than she but it feels like I am, after reading the book.She still has that naive outlook at life (which I had for quite a while as well) and it shows in her writing. Not that I mind, I just find it funny that I look it that way now.

For her first book, it’s amazingly interesting and full of thoughts that make so much sense from a female perspective. I might be prejudiced, but I somehow don’t think men would understand them as women do.

And although the book suffers from some beginner mistakes (mostly the thoughts feel unfinished), it is still a book you read in one sitting because once you start you just go on. It also makes you feel good about yourself and leaves you with a positive outlook on your future.

I really look forward to reading what Ingrid writes next because it’s rare to find a Croatian writer I like and think has so much potential.

Picture taken from ingriddivkovic.com

It’s that time of year (again)

When the linden trees are blooming in Zagreb. 🙂

I’ve been debating with myself if I should post about it (again) but walking the streets of Zgareb the last few days in the summer sun (it feels so warm) and smelling the lazy, sweet, seductive smell of the linden flowers, I just can’t help myself but share it. linden

It will last for a week, maybe two and the smell will be gone and I’ll forget again how many linden trees are in Zagreb and how wonderful it smells when they bloom.

Plus, they always make me think of my childhood. I just realized that they bloom close to the end of the school year. No wonder my memories of that smell are so positive. 😉

Lindsey Pogue & Lindsey Farleigh: Out of the Ashes (The Ending series)

Talk about wishful thinking. 🙂 I was so sure it was the last book in the series that I didn’t even notice I was approaching the end and that there were too many things left unresolved until I actually hit the end. And realized there is one more book to come.

Oh well, at least I’ll get to enjoy the adventure one more time. 🙂

I don’t know if you know but this is one my favorite dystopian series in the last few years. I really enjoyed book one and then book 2 went in a completely different direction but gave us the background. Now, Out of the Ashes feels a bit like the calm before the storm hits.out of ashes

Hope brought them together, but it’s now fear that drives them…

…and threatens to tear them apart.

Zoe and her companions succeeded in rescuing Dani from the Colony. But not without sacrifice. Beaten and broken, they head west, determined to leave behind the torment and horrors they experienced in Colorado.

As Dani and Zoe make the perilous trek home to Bodega Bay, they learn that danger can take many forms–other survivors, their friends, even themselves–and that things are rarely what they seem. Zoe is desperate to become the woman she sees in others’ memories, while Dani struggles to conceal damaging secrets, risking losing herself–her humanity–completely. Together, they must rediscover the true meaning of friendship, love, and trust, and learn just how hard they’re willing to fight for what remains of their shattered world.

As relationships are put to the test, second chances are given, and new life emerges, death lurks in the most unlikely of places. To survive, Dani and Zoe must accept that sometimes hope alone isn’t enough.

I must say I appreciated the little reminders who had what kind of an ability as at the moment the cast of characters has grown quite well.

The thing I enjoyed the most in this book is the different types of emotional experiences that I couldn’t get into but could understand them. I’m not really a very emotional person so it’s sometimes difficult for me understanding women in books, especially when they get all these illogical ideas, but here, even though I thought they were being like that (illogical), I could understand where it was coming from. Almost. 🙂

That said, I loved how the couples have to deal with issues and resolve some difficult stuff between them if they want their relationships to continue and prosper. Because it makes them seem so real.

The only problem I had with the book is that it seemed we were supposed to imagine stuff happening as we would suddenly skip to someplace in the story and I was left wondering if I missed something or it just wasn’t there, only to realize the story is continuing like it’s all been done.

That and the fact it’s always the guys who seem far more reasonable than the girls. They are just too emotional to be logical it seems.

OK, now that it seems I didn’t enjoy it, let me dissuade you, I loved it. 🙂 I do enjoy the story-telling and the characters and the whole plot.

Now only to stay patient until the last book comes out…

 

Kresley Cole: Dark Skye

I’m late. 🙂

I already forgot what I read as I read it straight away when the book came out (August 5) and well, life took its course so I’m writing about it now. Although, really, what more can be said about Kresley Cole’s IAD series that hasn’t already been said? Start reading if you haven’t already.

ETERNAL OBSESSIONdark-skye1

As a boy, Thronos, prince of Skye Hall, loved Lanthe, a mischievous Sorceri girl who made him question everything about his Vrekener clan. But when the two got caught in the middle of their families’ war, tragedy struck, leaving Thronos and Lanthe bitter enemies. Though centuries have passed, nothing can cool his seething need for the beautiful enchantress who scarred his body—and left an even deeper impression on his soul.

ENDLESS YEARNING

Lanthe, a once-formidable sorceress struggling to reclaim her gifts, searches for love and acceptance with all the wrong immortal suitors. But she’s never forgotten Thronos, the magnificent silver-eyed boy who protected her until she was ripped from the shelter of his arms. One harrowing night changed everything between them. Now he’s a notorious warlord with a blood vendetta against Lanthe, hunting her relentlessly.

CAN THE HEAT OF DESIRE BURN BRIGHTER THAN VENGEANCE?

With their families locked in conflict and battles raging all around them, will Thronos and Lanthe succumb to the brutal chaos that threatens everything they cherish? Or will the fragile bond they formed so long ago spark a passion strong enough to withstand even the darkest doubts?

Well, the best parts for me were the fact that Ms Cole quite successfully managed to insert pointers on what slut shaming is and how to deal with it. (yeah, wouldn’t expect that in a novel of this type, huh?)

And that we learn what awaits Nix in the future. 🙂 I can’t wait to learn who her partner will be… Maybe some people guessed it but I have no idea. Basically, I can’t wait for her book.

Which has nothing to do with this one. 😉

But as you could guess, Lanthe and Thronos work everything out in the end, through some amazingly hot scenes (not that much actual sex 😉 – amazing actually) and very difficult personal experiences (ha, that came at an opportune moment for me). I practically inhaled it, like every other Kresley Cole book out there…

Veronica Roth: Allegiant and Insurgent

I don’t think I have that much to say on the subject of each so I decided to do them together.

There will be spoilers ahead.insurgent

I must say I now understand why people were a bit disappointed and angry with the books. I certainly didn’t see that ending coming. Although in retrospect, it’s not bad. Just not what I’m used to. I’m guessing at this point you can guess what happens in the end? 😉

I succumbed to reading these after seeing the movie because I wanted to know what happens next. Now that I know, I’ll wait for the movies to enjoy it better. I’m wondering though if Hollywood won’t feel the need to change the end…

Anyway, if you all wonder why people seem satisfied with the factions and there aren’t rebelling against them, you will get your explanation in book 3. I know I had my eyebrows raised at certain points because I kept wondering where their intelligence and morals were. The idea behind the books and the revelation in book 3 is a rather good one (albeit a bit reminiscent of The Maze Runner) but I somehow didn’t feel it was well enough worked through (or maybe it was just me reading fast trying to get to the end).

And the whole thing about Tris being Divergent? Nah, in the end I’d say she was Abnegation through and through. Which would also hold with the idea I got that in each book one of Tris’ divergence factions was more obvious than the others. She was Dauntless in Divergent, Erudite in Insurgent and Abnegation in Allegiant.

allegiantThe books are actually full of smart and deep thoughts, it’s just, they don’t need to be pointed out and rather obviously put out there (if not exactly pointed out). I read somewhere a critique of an author’s writing saying “Don’t tell us, show us.”. Here you don’t need to worry, you won’t miss any big statements/gestures being made.

I also got a bit upset with the relationship between Tris and Four – it makes no sense how they behave. At least from my perspective. I love that they are together but for the life of me I cannot understand them.

So, there you have it. I read the books and now I can’t wait for the movies to enjoy better what I’ve read. 😉

 

P.S. Was I very mean? 😉

Dana Cameron: Seven Kinds of Hell

If you’re interested in archaeological,supernatural, crime, action packed romp, well you found your series. 😀

Yep, series. 😉seven

Although, I should say here that the story is rounded off for this book quite well.

“Archaeologist Zoe Miller has been running from a haunting secret her whole life. But when her cousin is abducted by a vicious Russian kidnapper, Zoe is left with only one option: to reveal herself.

Unknown to even her closest friends, Zoe is not entirely human. She’s a werewolf and a daughter of the “Fangborn,” a secretive race of werewolves, vampires, and oracles embroiled in an ancient war against evil.

To rescue her cousin, Zoe will be forced to renew family ties and pit her own supernatural abilities against the dark and nefarious foe. The hunt brings Zoe to the edge of her limits, and with the fate of humanity and the Fangborn in the balance, life will be decided by an artifact of world-ending power.”

I really liked Zoe because she tried to control her “beast” for quite a number of years before actually learning what she was and succeeding in it quite well.

As you start learning about what is happening to her, it becomes obvious she is not the regular Fangborn (seems both her parents are special).

One of the greatest things about this novel is that each time I thought this better be explained later because it makes no sense at the moment, it was. That was such a relief. As readers are slowly introduced into the story and many things are not obvious from the start.

One thing readers of paranormal novels should bear in mind is that these paranormal creatures are a bit different than what is “standard” in these novels. Which is always a benefit in my mind. 🙂 Especially the part where the Fangborn feel this incredible need to fight against evil.

The other thing I absolutely loved in the book is so many little life truths hidden in the story. If you’re not paying attention, you just might miss them.

Then there are some “Lara Croft” moments but I didn’t mind them, it fit with the story.

So basically like I said, a supernatural, archaeological romp. Fun! 🙂

Julie Kagawa: The Forever Song

“Allie will embrace her cold vampire side to hunt down and end Sarren, the psychopathic vampire who murdered Zeke. But the trail is bloody and long, and Sarren has left many surprises for Allie and her companions—her creator, Kanin, and her blood brother, Jackal. The trail is leading straight to the one place they must protect at any cost—the last vampire-free zone on Earth, Eden. And Sarren has one final, brutal shock in store for Allie.

In a ruined world where no life is sacred and former allies can turn on you in one heartbeat, Allie will face her darkest days. And if she succeeds, triumph is short-lived in the face of surviving forever alone.”

I’ll say it right from the start I should have seen one of Sarren’s surprises for Allie from the start but I didn’t. All the better for dramatic effect which was rather great. 🙂 And rather convenient for Sarren.

I very much enjoyed the ending to the Immortal series. forever song

The thing that annoyed me (again), is the level of stupidity teenage girls achieve in the YA novels. I think that that particular trend needs to stop. Being a teenage girl doesn’t mean you’re so emotional you lose all common sense. I don’t see it happen with young male heroes.

But in Allie’s defense, she did learn from her mistakes and in the end I was rather proud of her emotional growth. Of course, love helped.

The great thing about this book is that the story progressed rather quickly. I am always surprised how time passes quickly in dystopian worlds. It seems like something happened a long time ago only so you can learn it was actually only a year since Allie was turned. So much has happened in the meantime it feels like years passed between, although if I had given it  a bit more thought, I would recognize the fact that not so much time had actually passed.

I also kind of started liking her vampire brother Jackal. He is the bad guy with a slight tendency toward the good side. 😉

It was very satisfying to see Allie and Zeke finally fall completely in love and be together. And of course be better because of it. 😉

The ending brought some surprises – one I saw coming and one I didn’t. That is why I love Julie Kagawa’s writing, even though the type of story follows certain rules and you can guess some subplots, some, you are completely unaware of. 🙂

 

P.S. Seems humans will never learn not to tamper with viruses.

 

James Dashner: The Maze Runner

Guess how I decided to read this book? 😉

Here is the trailer:

I can’t say yet whether the movie is better than the book but I seriously doubt it, as the book is rather good (and I haven’t seen the movie yet).

It’s a bit like Hunger Games meets Lost in a maze. And a bit scary and very tense while reading. You want to know what the hell happened and why can’t they remember anything and what is going on?!maze runner

Straight from the beginning it’s rather thrilling and the suspense basically never stops. You get so many questions in your head and you just can’t wait to get them answered and most do get answered but by the end, you only have several more that will require you to read on. 🙂

Talk about a good writer… 😉

And since I got quite a lot of those unanswered questions,  I peeked a bit through the blurbs for the following installments and I am already angry with the powers that be.

That said, i really liked Thomas and his highly analytic and cool mind in the direst of circumstances. This time around I felt stupid because I had all these questions and hoped to get them answered but no, I had to wait to the end. And wonder who would be so evil as to put them all in a situation like this?!

“When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. His memory is blank. But he’s not alone. When the lift’s doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade—a large, open expanse surrounded by stone walls. Just like Thomas, the Gladers don’t know why or how they got to the Glade. All they know is that every morning the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night they’ve closed tight. And every 30 days a new boy has been delivered in the lift. Thomas was expected. But the next day, a girl is sent up—the first girl to ever arrive in the Glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers. Thomas might be more important than he could ever guess. If only he could unlock the dark secrets buried within his mind.”

 

Gail Z. Martin: Ice Forged

Book One of The Ascendant Kingdoms Saga

I don’t know if anyone else has the same problem, but after reading a lot of fantasy, it becomes difficult trying new things because so many similar characters, stories and worlds. I guess it comes with the genre. So once you had your fill, you basically stop wanting to read about more dwarves, elves, magical abilities, etc.

Imagine my surprise then when I came across a fantasy novel that both sounded interesting and was interesting from the beginning.ice forged

“Condemned as a murderer for killing the man who dishonored his sister, Blaine “Mick” McFadden has spent the last six years in Velant, a penal colony in the frigid northern wastelands. Harsh military discipline and the oppressive magic keep a fragile peace as colonists struggle against a hostile environment. But the supply ships from Dondareth have stopped coming, boding ill for the kingdom that banished the colonists.

Now, as the world’s magic runs wild, McFadden and the people of Velant must fight to survive and decide their fate …”

This description doesn’t even come near to what else is happening in the world of Mick, Connor and other characters (there are many). The story progresses quickly and we learn many different things along the way which will probably help our lost characters get to the bottom of everything (and possibly heal the world’s magic) but for that, we will have to wait for the next sequel.

I did get lost a bit amid all the Mick’s friends from Velant, as not all of them manage to separate themselves into characters you can remember but I didn’t consider that a detriment to  the book.

I must say I enjoyed the fact that magic got incorporated into everyday people’s lives in a quiet manner that gets unraveled later. The loss of that magic is felt rather badly.

I also loved the part where we learn about how resilient humans are, even in the worst of situations, most people will fight for a chance to live. Resilience seems to be a part of human nature.

 

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