Posts Tagged With: young adult

book review | The Marked Prince by M.A. Grant | Fantasy lit.

the marked prince m.a. grantAuthor: M.A. Grant
Title: The Marked Prince
Series: The Darkest Court 2
Genre: LGBT+ Literature; Fantasy
Pages: 305
Rate: 3-5 | Goodreads

Ah well, I couldn’t wait any longer, so I’ve read the second book in The Darkest Court series by M.A. Grant, “The Marked Prince“. It wasn’t as good as the first, but it wasn’t too bad either.

About the Book: Sebastian, on the eve of War between the Courts has to return to the Summer, one he was born into, but long as not considered home. He expected hostility, possibly even imprisonment, but still risked it all, for that was the only way to help his friends, Phineas and Roark, with whose Court lies his heart. Sebastian has to find Roark’s brother and return him home, by kidnapping or even murder if that’s what it takes. But standing before the King of Summer Court he is greeted as a long lost family member, a prince… And while that gives him hope to come closer to the target, it also puts one on his back, for there already is an heir to the throne, and she is not so happy to see him.

My Opinion: The theme of the book was a lot alike Captive Prince with the, well, captive prince falling in love with the opposing kingdom’s prince. And while it wasn’t as well written as Pacat’s work, it was still not bad, so I will continue with the series.

Yeah, so this one gets a 3 out of 5 from me.

Categories: 3-5, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, Books: LGBT, Fantasy Books, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Prince of Air and Darkness by M.A. Grant | LGBT+ Fantasy YA lit.

prince of air and darkness by m. a. grant book coverAuthor: M.A. Grant
Title: Prince of Air and Darkness
Series: The Darkest Court 1
Genre: LGBT+; YA Fantasy
Pages: 310
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

Sometimes by sheer accident I find these lovely books as “Prince of Air and Darkness” by M.A. Grant and get to wonder so how does book marketing work then? Is it all based on money? Because this book could be promoted hard as Maas’s ACOTAR series with Captive Prince characters to it. It’s not yet that level of good, but it was pretty darn nice, and is worth picking up if you like the fairy tale like stories as acotar were (I harbor no love for the author, mind you), but would like it to also be m/m romance.

About the Book: Phineas Smith is one of those rare humans with such grand magical powers that he gets to study in a School of Magick. And while that sounds great and all, it really isn’t. He’s bearing through it, hoping it’ll help his parents in the long run. But magical people, fae and alike, don’t like him all that much. Not to mention that his powers are seriously impossible to tame, so he’ll likely fail his exams. And then there’s the odd creatures who crave raw power like that and end up hunting him… But not all is bad, of course. He does have a friend of two. And his roommate, arrogant prince of Air and Darkness, Roark Lyne, happens to be there for him at the right time in the right place, whenever he really needs some ass saving. Phineas can hate him all he wants, but he has to admit… Roark doesn’t seem as bad as he plays to be.

My Opinion: While not per say anything special, the book was absolutely good enough for me to not wish to put it down. I wanted to read it cover to cover, and didn’t only because time didn’t allow for it. There’s some weak spots, like Phineas’s want to help his parents, but then, at the start of the book he doesn’t want to talk to them, and at the end of the book he doesn’t even think about letting them know he solved his own problem too. But there were some real strong points too that made all the difference. Like finding true silver lining in what seemed to be the worst possible outcome.

I give this book a strong 4 out of 5, and am looking forwards to reading the next one.

Categories: 4-5, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, Books: LGBT, Fantasy Books, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo | Grisha Trilogy 3

ruin and rising leigh bardugo book coverAuthor: Leigh Bardugo
Title: Ruin and Rising
Series: Grisha Trilogy 3
Genre: Fantasy; Young Adult
Pages: 422
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

It’s nice when books are so enthralling. Finished the Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo with the book “Ruin and Rising” and it was great. Definitely among the best fantasy tales out there.

About the Book: To win against the Darkling Alina requires the third amplifier. It would change everything! Her power would be immense, she’d be the first Grisha to wield three, and… But to find it she needs to uncover long buried past, and untangle secrets that proved too much even for Darkling, hundreds of years old grisha, so unique in his power the title hardly fits. Besides, some secrets are buried for a reason. Alina has no idea how painful they can be.

My Opinion: Darkling is one of the best villains ever written. This book digs a lot into the past, so we get to know his too, of what he was, his childhood, and what could have nudged him onto the path he is on now. Yet my favorite remains Nikolay. I’ve read that the “King of Scars” is about him, so I assume I’ll need to read all of the books in Grisha world. As for the story itself, it was good, sometimes a bit slow, but otherwise – twisting, turning, and throwing surprises out and about.

A good book that finished the trilogy well, with my favorite kind of ending, one that covers a little bit of life after the war. I give it a 5 out of 5, and can greatly recommend it to those seeking not too complex a web in a fantasy, but one that’ll keep you captivated.

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

book review | Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo | Grisha Trilogy 2

siege and storm leigh bardugo.jpgAuthor: Leigh Bardugo
Title: Siege and Storm
Series: Grisha Trilogy 2
Genre: Fantasy; Young Adult
Pages: 435
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

As much as I love the classic fantasy, with elves, dwarves, archers, mages, and lands unknown; I love the unusual fantasy too. Such as Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson. Or Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo. Just finished second book in it, Siege and Storm, and it was as good as the last one, and probably better.

About the Book: Alina and Mal escaped from the Shadow Fold and from its ruler – Darkling. But such a victory is nothing if they want to continue living a life as they know it, not in utter darkness with monsters all around. Hiding their identities they make their way closer back to Ravka, hoping beyond hope to form a good enough plan for the inevitable battle against Darkling and his ever growing powers. And while fate is kind to them, generous with powerful allies, Alina loathes the price it comes with. People worship her as the Sun Queen. They worship her as one of the saints. If she learned anything from those religious books she was made to read is that saints and heroes – don’t live long.

My Opinion: The slight annoyance was the romance-drama. Mal expects Alina to read his mind, and then, when she tries to answer his questions, he just refuses to listen. But that’s just a drop in the water, not worth a point. The story is filled with turns, twists, unexpected happiness, and unexpected despair. Characters are very well written, from thieves, to mercs, to pirates, to kings. And people actually make logical decisions, they don’t just turn coats because of reasons. It was a very good read.

It’s a good book I can recommend to those who want good fantasy, but don’t want it too complicated. A 5 out of 5 from me.

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

book review | Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo | Grisha Trilogy 1 | fantasy

shadow and bone leigh bardugo.jpgAuthor: Leigh Bardugo
Title: Shadow and Bone
Series: Grisha Trilogy 1
Genre: Fantasy; Young Adult
Pages: 358
Rate:  5/5 | Goodreads

Time to rest from all the poorly written horror literature. I’ve decided I need to lessen the unread series that I’ve got, especially the ones I got at home. And since Grisha Trilogy is being made into series (or a movie?) it only made sense to start with the first book in this trilogy, Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo. I’ve been recommended this book many times, by several people. I get it now.

About the Book: Ravka is being torn apart by wars and the darkness at its heart – Shadow Fold, full of monsters so fierce it’s getting hard to pass even for magic wielding grisha. Same goes for war. Magical warriors, even led by the terrifying Darkling, cannot stand against ever advancing, technologically ever improving enemy. Magic, after all, hardly helps against a bullet to the head. But upon witnessing the orphan Alina Starkov’s power – hope blooms in all the Ravka citizens hearts, including the black heart of the Darkling. For she has a power that can stop not only the enemy, but Shadow Fold itself.

My Opinion: The book is written really well, is consistent and uniform through and through. Reader is allowed some suspicions, but never enough to foresee the upcoming twist of events; which take place in this slavic country Ravka. Lithuania borders with slavic countries, making it all sound familiar. Like reading a more of a fairy tale version of The Witcher Saga (but completely different, and not really a fairy tale either), full of dark forests, magical stags, and magicians. A truly wonderful book I can recommend to those who want something they won’t be able to put down.

I hope to finish the whole trilogy this month. Maybe next month I can give Six of Crows, also by Leigh Bardugo, a chance too. We’ll see. And for now, Shadow and Bone gets 5 out of 5 from me.

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

book review | Capturing the Devil by Kerri Maniscalco | Stalking Jack the Ripper 4

capturing the devil kerri maniscalco book coverAuthor: Kerri Maniscalco
Title: Capturing the Devil
Series: Stalking Jack the Ripper 4
Genre: YA; Historical Mystery
Pages: 453
Rate: 3-5 | Goodreads

I sometimes get really used to series, and am then unable to quit them. Lucky for me, Stalking Jack the Ripper series by Kerri Maniscalco are absolutely bearable. I’ve just read the fourth one, Capturing the Devil, and I won’t ditch it just yet, no matter the rate.

About the Book: Quite unbelievably it seems that Jack the Ripper has returned. The infamous serial killer whose presence and deeds shook Audrey Rose’s home, London, now rampages through Chicago, America. Bodies are gruesome to look upon, and sometimes there’s not even those, just missing people, missing women. Police is reluctant to help them solve this too, especially due to them being foreigners with a reputation, and with a woman among them. But Audrey Rose absolutely must find out who hides behind Jack’s masks. For she and those close to her know well that Jack, her brother, is dead.

My Opinion: There a grave and unpleasant gap between this book and the previous one, and I have a bad suspicion it is due to the in-between half-book. In which case it’s a damn poor move, since half-books are mainly meant to those who want more out of the stories they already love. I will look into it though, for at least that character, that part of the story, got Dracula’s lineage in it. This one here, after my previous excitement with the end of the last book, began with a very annoying courting and marriage plans that bored me greatly, BUT! But. That’s a pure matter of taste, and I won’t take any points for it. Besides Audrey took her hunting real serious, so there’s props for that too.

All in all, these are neither good nor bad. I think, if you like mysteries and detectives, but grow tired of same old men solving them, these might be the perfect starter books. That is, if you are also into romance, constant reminder of their youth, and not so funny jokes of “you’re already 18, I can almost smell the grave dirt on you“. This one gets a 3 out of 5.

Coffee? | Etsy

Categories: 3-5, Books: Everything, Books: Other Fiction, Crime Books, Detective Books, Historical Fiction Books, Mystery Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

C.S. Pacat’s new YA fantasy trilogy! | Dark Rise

Not even a full week ago one of my favorite authors, C.S. Pacat, has teased us with a little image of DR on her Twitter, saying they have some huge news for us. Not gonna lie, remembering, vaguely, that Laurent signed his name as “Laurent R.“, I was thinking in terms of Damianos and Laurent’s marriage. I promise, eventually I’ll abandon hope for more of those two.

dark rise c s pacat fantasy trilgoy ya

Original Tweet: here

And as of… Yesterday? What day’s today? Oh well. We learned that it’s her new Young Adult fantasy trilogy that we can expect in 2021, which seems unbelievably far away, to be honest. But hey, we’ll be playing Cyberpunk 2077, Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines 2, and eating news on upcoming games, like possibly Dragon Age 4, which has a teaser, but no news as of yet.

The books are set in an alternate London <…>, [where] the heroes and villains of a long-forgotten war who are being reborn, ushering in a dangerous new age of magic.”

More about it can be read in Publishers Weekly, and here’s the original tweet by C.S. Pacat themselves.

I’m looking forwards, yes, even if I can’t deny the little tingle of disappointment that there’s really no more of Lamen, I mean Damen! and Laurent anymore. But hey, rereads are a thing, and might just really help with the wait too!

C.S. Pacat is one of my favorite authors, together with such magic-writers as K.J. Charles, V.E. Schwab, and a few honorable mentions there and here. Keep that in mind when in search for that good stuff.

Categories: About Msg2TheMing, book facts | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Escaping from Houdini by Kerri Maniscalco | Stalking Jack the Ripper 3

escaping from houdini kerri maniscalco book coverAuthor: Kerri Maniscalco
Title: Escaping from Houdini
Series: Stalking Jack the Ripper 3
Genre: YA; Mystery
Pages: 416
Rate: 3/5 | Goodreads

Having some really tough time, not gonna lie. Needed something easy to read, so I picked up “Escaping from Houdini” by Kerri Maniscalco, third book in the Stalking Jack the Ripper series, for I knew her writing style to be perfect for this kind of mood. And it indeed did the job.

About the Book: A luxurious liner trip, with travelers gathered to admire a show troupe full of magicians, fortune tellers, acrobats, and so on, soon becomes a nightmare, as the ship becomes a gilded cage, a prison, with all the passengers trapped inside with a killer; A master in slight of hand, for no one is the wiser, even after someone is brutally murdered among them. Victims tend to disappear just to reappear in a tarot setting, dead. And it’s up to Audrey Rose to find the killer, and find them fast, for it is not just strangers in danger…

My Opinion: The writing style is pretty good, very light, and very easy to read. If you, like myself, aren’t native English speaker, but want to practice reading books, I can really recommend Kerri Maniscalco works. They’re unique and quite interesting. But one thing I did have an issue with in this particular book. It’s the scenes that seem to exist only to add to the volume of the book. I mean, I do understand there’s an attempt to set a scene, create the false calm before the storm, but often they just flopped as scenes designed to portray an outraged lady in society where so much is forbidden to women.

It’s a good lazy read, even if not my favorite. I can give it a very solid and firm 3 out of 5, and will definitely read the next book.

Categories: 3-5, Books: Everything, Books: Other Fiction, Detective Books, Historical Fiction Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Cress by Marissa Meyer | The Lunar Chronicles 3

Cress Lunar Chronicles Marissa Meyer Cover Menulio Kronikos Trecia DalisAuthor: Marissa Meyer
Title: Cress
Series: The Lunar Chronicles 3
Genre: Sci-Fi, Fantasy
Pages: 552
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

Well, it doesn’t seem like we’ll get a translation to Marissa Meyer‘s The Lunar Chronicles series in Lithuania. They stopped after Scarlet, and Cress doesn’t seem to be happening. I’ll just finish them in English. Really, Marissa Meyer is becoming one of my top favorite authors. I’ve read her Heartless before, it was unbelievable. And so are these. Guess I’ll just have to rampage through the bibliography.

About: On a satelite in orbit lives a young woman, a girl, named Cress. She’s a lunar, a shell, sentenced to die for the crime of being born powerless. But most of those children don’t end up dead. They end up slaves to Queen Levana and her ambitions to rule the whole galaxy. Cress, for instance, is an amazing hacker. Her guardian visits her ever so often to take more blood samples and inquire on any new data about the lost princess Selene. Neither she nor Queen Levana know, that Cress is long as not on their side. With access to Earthen information feed, she learned to love those people, who didn’t just give up their kids because they were born wrong. She loves their romances and drama shows. Especially the ones where a damsel in distress is saved by a charming, morally flexible rogue. Like Captain Thorne, who is now doing his best to save princess Selene… What a hero, right?

Mine: So as you might have already guessed, this is a retelling of Rapunzel. Cress’s hair is long and prone to tangles. Her “stepmother” or guardian, rarely brings her new articles of clothes, so there she is, shoeless, in a child’s dress, hair down to her knees, erasing every trace of princess Selene’s ship from the net, covering their tracks, hoping beyond hope. I can’t put to words of how very impressed I am by the writing, how perfectly fantasy and sci-fi fit here, together, creating something so powerfully unique out of an old tale. I can’t wait to read the final book of Snow White, whom we meet near the end of this book. It’s amazing, truly.

Loved it, so, of course, the book gets 5 out of 5, and I must start remembering to put Marissa Meyer into my top tier favorite authors from now on.

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

book review | “On the Come Up” by Angie Thomas

on the come up angie thomas cover the hate u giveAuthor: Angie Thomas
Title: On The Come Up
Series: –
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Pages: 464
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

I loved “The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas, so there was no doubt I’ll pick up “On The Come Up” too, as soon as I could get my hands on it. Which isn’t very soon, but hey, not too late yet. The book was absolutely brilliant too.

About: Bri’s life was never easy. A black girl in a pretend-progressive school she witnessed her share of racial profiling, singling out and punishing the kids of color on daily basis, while white kids got away with a lot without even a comment. At home there’s other kinds of problems. Like, her shoes falling apart, gas getting turned off, late rent, constant shortage of everything. Her father was shot, her brother, with all of his education, moved back with his mother and works as a pizza maker to help them meet the ends, and their mother has barely gotten out of a drug slum which she fell into grieving. All Bri wants is to make it, become as great a rap star as her father was, greater even, so she can help everyone out, stop the struggles, get her loved ones off streets, hell, get new shoes… But we all know that path to success is rarely paved with roses. And so, one day she’s singled out, she’s the black girl who didn’t cooperate. She’s on the ground, cuffed. And every phone is pointed at her.

Mine: If you compare American white authors written YA parents, and those of an author of color… I think most of us in Europe will see our parents in the latter ones. There’s this strong love and caring, without the cliche nonsense where a parent is either too understanding, too dumbly kind, or too great of an opposition against their child. Bri’s mother did all she could, sacrificed all she had, and gave her children everything. She lived and survived for them through the worst of it. But it didn’t mean she can now read their thoughts or understand everything, and approve of everything. They spoke, like adults, like child and mother, and they figured things out. You know, the way real world works or tries to work. On top of that, the plot is so amazingly well written, with every side-story so well woven into it, that for once I was just happy to read natural, organic conversations and events. Everyone was their own person, with none of those lines where you read it, you read a response to it, and you just know author wrote all of that just so this character could say this thing. And, I know I’ve spoken in length about it now, but seriously, this is such a good book about real struggles, real poverty, real stressful guilt that you honestly need something when you’ve got nothing… I loved it.

This is a quality read. Especially if you like rap rhymes, oh boy these are nice! Just like The Hate U Give, this one too gets 5 out of 5, and I am sure going to read whatever’s next for Angie Thomas.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Contemporary Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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