Posts Tagged With: ya

historical fiction | “The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy | Montague Siblings 2

5Author: Mackenzi Lee
Title: The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy
Series: Montague Siblings 2
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction
Pages: 450
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

Another book I heard warnings about, and read poor reviews of in that little collection of book blogs that I follow (not all of them). But if I set my mind on reading something, that’ll not discourage me, so here I am.

About: Felicity just wanted to be a doctor. She wanted to learn, to know, and possibly be known for her contribution to medicine. But instead, her being born a woman at this time and age, has made all the men close the door to her face before even hearing her out. Yet Montagues aren’t so easily made to give up.

Upon hearing that her former childhood friend is about to marry a scientist Felicity has admired for a while, she sets off to visit her, with a plan at hand of how to not upset the friend she didn’t part on the best of terms with; And how to possibly get a spot at her soon-to-be husband’s side. For this man is known to be an eccentric among his kind, so at the very least she’ll be heard, she’s sure. Instead she soon finds herself on yet another pirate ship, with her childhood friend at hand, off to adventures worthy of books, escaping grave danger into strange lands of myths.

Mine: Felicity is what I’d imagine Sherlock Holmes would’ve been if he was born a woman. She’s stubborn, annoyed, angry, feeling invisible. She also believes she has to prove herself to be seen, and doesn’t always choose the best ways towards those goals, thus, doing so, she hurts others and comes off as arrogant. Here her childhood friend really fits into the picture. She’s a very different kind of a woman from Felicity, yet just as strong and just as smart. Her kind clashing with Felicity creates a dynamic character development that I very much enjoyed through the whole of the book. The only big minus I got for the story is the overbearing amount of details where there was no need for so many, and great shortage of them where it would’ve been interesting to know more.

I’d really like me more books of Montague siblings. They’re real fun kids, with ability to adapt unmatched. I give this book a strong 4 out of 5, and remain hopeful.

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Categories: 4-5, Books: Everything, Books: LGBT, F/F Literature, Historical Fiction Books, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature, Pirate Books | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Laini Taylor “Dreams of Gods & Monsters | Daughter of Smoke & Bone 3

2Title: Dreams of Gods & Monsters
Author: Laini Taylor
Series: Daughter of Smoke & Bone 3
Genre: Fantasy, YA
Pages: 613
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

Ah well, it’s not like I could’ve quit a trilogy with only one book left. So as much as I didn’t enjoy the trilogy, I finished the last of Laini Taylor, “Dreams of Gods & Monsters”. It was better than the second book, but definitely not for me.

About: Ancient prophecies are coming true. Of things that will be, of things that’ll be gone. A human, child of an angel, born upon Earth with visions. A corrupt emperor of those very same, with a trice fallen creature hanging behind him, come down upon our lands: too long have you, humans, been shielded from demons and the war angels wage with them. Time you carry your weight. Time you repent your evil deeds. Time you arm the angels with mass destruction weapons. In the meantime Karou and Akiva are uniting the most unlikely allies in hopes to stop what will surely be the end of the universe as they know it. But in a larger scheme, this whole shebang is still just a puny grain in a wind.

Mine: In compare to the second book this one was pretty good. The story picked up, and there was plenty of action, turns, and twists in it. Author, in general, is very good at building worlds. I think that was the biggest barrier for me here – I just couldn’t get through the mundane. For I truly loved Strange the Dreamer, and every little bit about the different worlds here too. It just feels like choosing one or another would’ve worked better for me, personally. But I am sure that YA fantasy lovers will like this trilogy, and so I cannot stress enough – the author is great, and it was merely not my cup of tea.

I’m glad I’ve read this trilogy. I can now calmly wait for the second book of Strange the Dreamer to get into my hands. This one gets 4 out of 5 from me.

Categories: 4-5, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, Fantasy Books, high fantasy | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

V.E. Schwab – A Gathering of Shadows [2]

gatheringofshadowsI forgot I didn’t yet tell you about this book until I realized I have barely any left of the third. So do let me tell you how great was the second book in V.E. Schwab trilogy Shades of Magic, “A Gathering of Shadows” (ISBN 0765376474; 512p.; Goodreads), for it was amazing. Mind you, if you haven’t read the first one, you might want to skip this review, and just know that I loved it cover to cover.

As Kell and Rhy are now sharing one life – a lot of things pass between them via that magical link. At first it was seemingly just pain, for if one dies – the other one dies too, only natural you’d feel the deadly prick just as the other party does. But then there’s all the mental stuff too, and before they strangled each other due to constant hum at the back of their heads, Rhy makes up his mind. His brother will have to attend the magical dueling tournament and release some of that built-up magical steam. For unlike your regular mages, this one will gladly slap you if you finish off his already thin patience, or scare him too much by nearly dying if he cared about you, etc. And, of course, since he’s the most powerful magician known, that people revere and fear as a god, he’ll have to enter in disguise…

Delilah Bard turns her ears up when Captain Alucard, after long months at sea and foreign ports, turns the ship around back to London. He intends to attend this magical dueling tournament, and Lila just happens to have discovered she has powers too…

In the mean time, White London, the drained and bleak one, is stirring. A legend came true. On their throne now sits a hero, a king that fairy tales claimed to be able to restore magic in their world.

I can’t stop admiring the characters, how much each one of them is their own person, acting on their own set of mind, and not just there to ask the right questions. I love how Rhy would flirt with a chair, but then is madly in love with one person, and keeping that feeling safe from the world. I love how Kell, at points indeed revered as god due to power is actually a hotheaded spirit, ready to stomp his feet in anger, and yell at you if you chocked and nearly died in his arms, because he got so scared, and you can’t do that! And I just love Delilah Bard, I do believe she is my all time favorite woman ever written. 5 out of 5, deserved every one bit.

Categories: 5-5, Books of Occult, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Everything, Fantasy Books, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

John Flanagan – The Burning Bridge

144349I’ve read the second book of Ranger’s Apprentice “The Burning Bridge” by John Flanagan (ISBN 0399244557; 262p.; Goodreads) a few days ago, but I couldn’t seem to find the right words to describe it, and review it. So here goes nothing.

The evil warlord from the dark wastelands is raising his armies of mindless creatures, and greedy men. It’s time for him to take back what is his, no matter the price. He waited too long to worry of such petty things as lives that serve under him. And his desire to go forth with the plan grows just so much brighter when a slim chance to get the one who was responsible for his downfall before appears at hand.

Will, in the mean time, is slowly but surely becoming a true ranger, already amazing with a bow, and still in training. His abilities, and youth make a perfect combination for him to be chosen as one of the three messengers who are to go out, warn and raise other lands, for war can no longer be avoided. Some rulers already refused to help, not seeing how this is their problem. Others gave no answers, and these are the ones Will has to visit and find out what’s with all the silence. On this journey he gets a true chance to prove his worth as a ranger, bow, tracking, quick wit, and heroism one would not expect from a young lad who wasn’t even into all this ranger stuff so recently.

I liked this book a lot more than the previous one. And this book is also one of those that prove my point that I keep trying to get across to all those who quit books mid-way. Last chapter can sometimes save the whole book, and this was exactly that case. There were plenty of interesting points, but boring ones lasted ever so long. Yet the very end of it made me question whether I can really give these books away, for now I’d rather keep them. Anyway, a solid 4 out of 5 for sure.

Categories: 4-5, Books: Everything, Fantasy Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jacob Grey – Ferals: The Crow Talker [1]

25236399I love urban fantasy. It’s a good resting genre for those who love fantasy in general. And when it’s not too good in plot – it usually compensates in settings and/or backstory. “Ferals: The Crow Talker” by Jacob Grey (ISBN 978-9955-23-901-7; 295p.; Goodreads) is not a pure urban fantasy, but the fantasy part in it compensated well for everything. Truly scary bad guys, wicked “Dark Lord“, and one or two measured plot twists. I’d say this book is Nicholas Flamel meets Ranger’s Apprentice, if I had to compare it to anything.

Caw is this young orphan boy living with three crows out in the abandoned park, in a nest he made himself. He keeps having nightmares of his parents pushing him out of the window when he was but a little child, and crows carrying him away. The question of why they did so bothers him night and day. Yet soon a distraction like no other strikes. Dream changes, and becomes even more of a nightmare than before, for in the background there stands a pale tall man, surrounded by spiders, eyes black as the void. And the nightmare soon becomes reality, when the white crow, who was both mute and blind, speaks a warning: Spiders are coming, and we’re their prey.

First half of the book is not the easiest to pull through, since plot has to be explained via that time, only natural. We’re introduced to the world where among regular people walk those who speak and command other beings. Caw being one who can speak to the crows. Situation we’re hurled into soon demands others of this breed to be found, and there is where the fun begins in earnest. We learn of great war that turned their city into the ruins they live in now. We learn who did it, and how is it possible that the long dead man is a threat to the world again.

So all in all, I did like the book. Can’t say it’s my new favorite, but definitely something I would willingly look into. I am very happy we received a translation of the first book already too, since we definitely don’t get enough of this type YA urban fantasy in our shelves (I guess it could be categorized as children’s book too, since it’s child-safe, unless they’re afraid of spiders). I’ll give it 4 out of 5, but expect rate to go higher as books cease needing to explain what’s going on.

Categories: 4-5, Books of Occult, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Everything, Fantasy Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Court of Mist and Fury: Review by P.S. I Love That Book


Can’t not share. I’m not much into YA, but I’m sold on this one. Book Blog “P.S. I Love That Book” keeps me up to date at the very least, so I really recommend them to both heavy and light readers.

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Derek Landy – Skulduggery Pleasant

924062 Sometimes, when I get into a streak of books in same genre and category, I notice myself get irritated by how repetitive two books can be, being by different authors, written in different times, and sets. Yet, sometimes those same similar books can also leave me with whole different opinions, even if I did feel the irritation there and here. “Skulduggery Pleasant” by Derek Landy (ISBN 00077241615; 368p.; Goodreads) is one of those exceptional types. It sits in the shelf of “same type“, with books like Bartimaeus, Nicholas Flamel, and others, yet unlike the latter (I loved Bartimaeus, I do hope there’d be more one day), Skulduggery left me with a pleasant opinion. Devil’s in the details, ’tis true.

Skulduggery Pleasant is a detective with a very noir feel about him. He’s nothing but a skeleton with a great fashion sense, great magic abilities, and a sharpest non-existent tongue. He solves mysteries for a living, and while having a reputation of being a good detective, he’s neither well liked, nor well trusted. Thus, a dilemma arises when he finds himself in a need to convince the authorities to take action against a very old enemy of his, a powerful sorcerer who is after an artifact their world believed to be only a fairy tale. They know Skulduggery has an agenda. But the niece of his best friend, who was murdered trying to protect that artifact, has no agenda at all. Might they believe her? Would he dare putting someone so dear to his best friend at risk? Or is saving the world worth any means?

The books is written in this wonderful language, full of plays on words, fancy talk, wits, simple jokes, and so on. I promise, there’s nothing to not understand either. It’s smooth, and it’s easy. I give it 4 out of 5, and I will read the other two I already have. Well done indeed.

Categories: 4-5, Books of Occult, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Everything, Fantasy Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jill Murphy – The Worst Witch [1]

1370244  I found this book while digging in English second-hand book stores, children section, hunting down Harry Potter books. As I picked it up, I remembered that when I was little, I used to watch a tv show by same title. Thus I picked up “The Worst Witch” by Jill Murphy (ISBN 0140311084; 112p.; Goodreads), and since The Outlander is going so slow, I figured I’ll read it real quick. That was a good decision.

Mildred is surrounded by friends and a cloud of unluck. She lives in this boarding-school-like place for Witches, much like Harry Potter, or Laura. And as we learned from Harry Potter – some mistakes are hilarious. She accidentally turns her class mate into a pink pig, then makes a wrong potion, and gets a wrong kitten out of a whole lot of the right ones. And while we can laugh at these things, not all of her misfortunes are funny. Especially not those which bring shame to whole school. The cloud of unluck suddenly starts smelling of expelling.

If I had to describe this book, I’d say it’s Harry Potter for Elementary School kids, and I mean it in the best way possible. Kids who just learned to read will appreciate the simple sweet story, large letters, and plenty of illustrations. It’s a very light read for us, and the child in me demands at least 4 out of 5, so I’ll give it that. And, if found, I’ll pick up other books too.

There’s also a movie, with different actors than those in the series, but quite good too. It follows this story exactly, and since it’s still Halloween for most of us – there ya have it:

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Categories: 4-5, Books of Occult, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Everything | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Roderick Gordon and Brian Willians – The Tunnel Serie

RG_BW_tunnel_series_msg2theming  And so it ends. The ending was great and strange, but not necessarily likeable. Really depends on who you liked and loved along the way. But let us start at the start…
  Tunnels, beside Harry Potter, and mind you, these series are NOTHING alike, were probably the first series that got me out of the bed in the morning. Maybe A. Sapkowski’s Witcher Saga was before it too, but I could be wrong, thus I only named Harry Potter there.   Anyways, as I said, in the morning I would jump out of the bed to read further of the dark tunnels under the United Kingdom, with strange race of pale people down there and their odd customs. They eat these weird grey mushrooms and white, blind rats as a delicacy, hunted down for them by their overly large bald cats. Streets are light day and night with bubbles that shine with no energy source other than they themselves. Same ones are in people’s homes. They wake with the light and they sleep with the lights. And this all is uncovered by a suddenly missing father of our young protagonist, by a scientist or a professor, I don’t remember anymore, mr Burrows. His son, albino boy Will Burrows and his friend Chester, both are the outcasts, thus they befriended each other and spend time digging holes in backyards, but since mr Burrows disappeared – they started digging else where. Closer to a City Underground. Right under Will’s home. 
  The story is very dark, both literally, and the action-wise. Literally, for it’s dark down there, especially from the moment you move towards the second book. With each book they get in deeper and thus it seems scarier when one legend follows another, of monsters, of beasts and of course – of mutants down there. But worst of all are the race of military Styx, warriors silent and deadly, who travel the perimeter murdering those who were doomed to go Deeper into the depths of Earth and didn’t die by themselves yet. There Will and Chester meet a gang of rebels, led by once kidnapped scientist-soldier Drake. Now, here I should warn you, apparently that’s my type and so – stop me if I go over-the-top in describing… I fall for books with strange smart one-man-army tech people in dark tunnels under the ground. For example – Dmitry Glukhovski and his Metro 2033 books. There we had Hunter. Here we have Drake. 
  The “Fun” things beside the new race of people who hate the people on the surface and think they need elimination, is that there’s a whole damn system of life under the ground. Will, being a son of a crazed archeologist or who mr Burrows was, is of course into archeology himself. It’s through him that we are given all kinds of fantastic views with realistic details – crystals, soils, gravity and temperature, minerals and so on are very believable. Drake informs us on technologies, like Black Light or Dark Light (I had a translation, that’s why I’m unable to fit words) styxes use to brain-wash people, including Will’s mother. And then there’s Elliot. A miracle girl. Why? Because a beast like styx, apparently liked a normal woman underground (there are people and there are styxes, two different types of humans) enough to conceive a daughter with her, and since the daughter is alive, it probably wasn’t a one-night-stand either. Don’t ask, rather read, it made me think for long long days until I figured who the hell that Styx was and that he’s not the only one who is somewhat sane. 
  So, lets say I didn’t side-track us. We keep going into the center of the Earth in these books until we actually reach it. Now, I won’t say what’s down there, but it’s not what you expect, I bet. And I didn’t like it much, felt annoying, I prefered the dark holes in the ground instead, with such unbelievable places like Marta’s cabin, an actual little house in the middle of Earth-nowhere, with a slightly nuts lady Marta herself. And if it’s not enough for you to think you might want to read the books, or if you read the first one and decide you didn’t like it, well then let me ask you how many YA type of books out there are now that are not about vampires or werewolves? For these got neither. AND YET! Somewhere on the way they tell a true story of Vlad Dracula and what Styx race really is. Many great and unbelievable things happen and I can only hope that one day they make a game like Metro 2033 and Metro Last Light out of it. 
  Authors, writing in and out, forgot some things quite obviously. And they killed off some very great characters, leaving others a complete mystery. I’m not sure if one ever grows out of crushing over fictional characters, but it’s the worse when you understand he or she is dead. I tend to turn pages around, searching for an author’s note saying “just joking!”, which is never there. All in all I will give the series solid 5-5, with last book getting 4-5, because…. YOU KILLED HIM, WHY?!

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