Hello everyone & another book review

Okay, it’s been nearly a year since I’ve used this account, I’ll just go ahead and admit I forgot my password, and then promptly forgot the password to my recovery email – some advice, don’t do it.

 

Well anyway, I’m back and I plan on writing far more often now, I’ve even made it a new year’s resolution.

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I won this book in a giveaway hosted on goodreads and I’m lucky that I did. Here’s the description so you can get a bit of a sense what it’s about:

Sharakhai, the great city of the desert, center of commerce and culture, has been ruled from time immemorial by twelve kings—cruel, ruthless, powerful, and immortal. With their army of Silver Spears, their elite company of Blade Maidens, and their holy defenders, the terrifying asirim, the Kings uphold their positions as undisputed, invincible lords of the desert. There is no hope of freedom for any under their rule.

Or so it seems, until Çeda, a brave young woman from the west end slums, defies the Kings’ laws by going outside on the holy night of Beht Zha’ir. What she learns that night sets her on a path that winds through both the terrible truths of the Kings’ mysterious history and the hidden riddles of her own heritage. Together, these secrets could finally break the iron grip of the Kings’ power…if the nigh-omnipotent Kings don’t find her first.

(Source: Goodreads.com)

I’ve always been a lover for fantasy and epic novels, this one was definitely worth reading.


 

As I said, I was lucky to win this book in a goodreads giveaway, so here’s the review after I finally finished the book.

The first thing I noticed after getting the book in the mail? It’s size. About 580 pages, and the book itself is larger than average, 63 chapters and a lot of reading.

There were a couple technical issues that kept on bugging me as I read Twelve Kings:

Hyphens: I can’t be the only one who hates hyphens? What’s worse than having a word split across two lines is when you don’t even end up adding the hyphen. It can get pretty confusing.
Spelling mistakes: This is a long book, that means a lot of proofreading but that’s no excuse for spelling errors to keep popping up. It wasn’t a major issue but it was still annoying.

These issues were probably the only reason I didn’t rate this book as 5 stars. Beaulieu obviously put a lot of thought into not only the main character’s backstory but the history of the city itself – Sharakhai, and I love that.
One thing that I was especially fond of – the myths the religion. I loved the stories that were made for the Gods and Goddesses, how it fits with the Twelve Kings and with the rest of Sharakhai. It really adds that extra depth to the story which makes is so entrancing.
It resulted in some characters having long names, that’s not a bad thing, merely an observation. While I could learn some names, with so many characters I’m not going to remember such long names, and that meant there were a couple characters who I got confused with each other.

Another thing which added to the depth was the interwoven stories of all the characters. A lot of books in this genre write from multiple POV’s and it’s always so satisfying to see how all these separate characters are connected. If you’re writing an epic like this it’s really important this is all done well, and luckily it was.

I’m not sure if this is true for all editions but at the beginning of each chapter there was a picture, in total there were about five different images which appeared and reappeared. (Here are three of the below)
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It took me a few chapter to realise that each picture signifies a certain character or era. One was for a certain character’s flashbacks, another signified a side character etc. I’ll leave it to you to work out which picture corresponds to each character.
This was something I’d never seen done in a book before, I thought it was quite cute and it gave a little indication about what was coming up in the chapter.

One thing that crops up a lot in movie and books is one dimensional characters. The opposition or the ‘big bad guy’ can sometimes end up without any sort of personality except for “I’m the bad guy” and what I loved is the way the Beaulieu humanised these enemies, managed to do it in a way where we got to truly experience what Ceda (the main character) felt.

And lastly, the twist, because there’s always a twist. There have been a couple unexpected moments in this book, and these twists just keep on coming at the end of the book. I won’t spoilt anything but while it didn’t bring me to tears or anything of the sort it was very poignant.

I really hope there’s a sequel in the works, or a movie (because that would be great and I really want a face to stick to these names – for some reason I didn’t think up a solid look for the characters like I usually do?) but anyhow I would seriously recommend reading this book if you’re into game of thrones or Eragon, a must for any fantasy lover.

Day of Reckoning – My review

First of all I’d like to thank Michelle for offering to let me read her second book in what is a compelling series so far.

Here we are, following Gabby and Dawn as they carry on with their roles in the rebellion and my were there things I wasn’t expecting! That’s what I love about this book you really can’t predict what’s going to happen as new twists are coming in every step of the way.

As with the first instalment I went through a phase where I list interest in the book, it’s not enough to give a compelling opening chapter you need to hold the reader’s interest every step of the way and unfortunately that wasn’t completely there.

Gabby and Dawn really get to develop more as character’s in Day of Reckoning and we get to see their differences in much more depth. With most stories you expect the families to get on perfectly well, or at least to make up immediately after any conflict but that didn’t happen here, they both had two different views and they both stuck to them. This created a build up of suspense and tension that was there right up until the end.

I did find it a little confusing with all the characters, there were a few I knew; Officer Mills, Jonathon (the psycho) and Drew but when it came to those other secondary characters I got a bit lost unfortunately.

Overall this book is still well worth the time it will take you to read it so really give it a try, and it’s such a great interpretation on a dystopian society and the people in it. Though there’s war and rebellion it’s not overly gory and it doesn’t exclude everything either. There’s enough happening throughout the book to keep you interested but at times you may need to persevere a little. 4 STARS.

My Review of Witches of East End by Melissa de la Cruz

descriptionMy friend let me borrow this book a while back because she knows how much I absolutely love Norse mythology.

I’m feeling a little under the weather today so I’m not exactly going to do a long insightful review but I’ll give the basics:

  • I liked this book that’s easy enough to say. I’ve always been a fan of supernatural/paranormal works so this fits perfectly into that genre.
  • It’s not the easiest thing to put ancient mythology into a modern environment, Melissa de la Cruz incorporated the mythology well.
  • The way it was written was beautiful. Such descriptive detail that really gripped you from the first moment. At times it could get a bit tedious, which led to me taking a pause from the novel part way through but I do like it on a whole.

Basically, it’s a good book and one I’d definitely recommend to anyone who likes this type of genre. It balances sitcom with drama well, it has mythology as well as hot men, and you won’t realise just how gripping it is until it’s over.

Fan Fiction

I was just wondering where people stand on fan fiction?

Most readers during their time will have stumbled upon the huge thing which are fandoms and fanfics. I mean I have, both reading them and writing them.

Many authors have started out by writing fan fiction before braving it out and writing their own novel. It’s great practise and sometimes it means you can have those non-canon pairings you all secretly (or not so secretly ship).

Fanfiction.net and Archiveofourown.org are the two big websites and there are millions of works on them.

If you like Kyo Kara Maoh (anime/manga) there’s something there, if you’re more of a MARVEL fan there are plenty of stories all waiting to be read, there’s even things for Phantom of the Opera, Charles Dickens and games like Mario.

So, it’s fair to say I like fan ficiton, some I like more than the original works, because it’s like minded people that may support that pairing that’s never going to happen in the real thing and there’s always at least some works that can focus on the character you want them too. If you have any thoughts feel free to comment below. Hope everyone’s having a good start to the New Year!

Dawn of Rebellion

Just to start I want to say I’m sooooo sorry this blog has been inactive for this long, I never planned to neglect it for so long but other stuff piled up and you know so onto the review… 

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Dawn of Rebellion by Michelle Lynn

I got an ARC copy from the author in exchange for an honest review, and just a warning I have slight references towards some of the plot.

Wow, just wow.

When I was about to read this book, I thought it was going to be some historical book based in Africe or something, all patriotic, let’s free slaves, black people need rights, droughts all over the continent, but really, I couldn’t have been more wrong.
This book follows the story of three people, Gabby, Dawn and Drew (switches from their POV’s) as they go on a journey realizing the corruption of the world they live in and basically how the government are dictating everything.

To be honest, I don’t like Dawn, didn’t straight from when she was first mentioned. To me, she seems like she’s one of those characters that like a Eragon-Roran-situation. What is that I hear you ask? Basically it’s when a non-main character/less important character or a sibling suddenly decides they’re going to completely take over the plot. No. First you steal Gabby’s boyfriend you will not steal her awesomeness and leadership!

And Drew…. Okay, you’re a guy, you can have conflicted feelings, but setting up a love triangle? Really? Really?? The two of you can go ahead and do that to Gabby, it’s not like she’s been living in a slave camp with the only thing giving her hope was that you guys were safe! Those two people, just, I’m just not going to say anything else.

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See, even Obama’s walking away. The way they claim they’re doing all this for Gabby, but are they? Are they really? Perhaps it started out that way but then they just forgot all about her and decided they’d go and fall in love. Believe it or not, you can stop yourselves falling in love, I mean you guys hated each other, if you’d kept focused on what you went to do then there wouldn’t have been time for feelings.
Drew, yes I understand you’re basically the school player, you were having an affair when you were with Gabby so you decided to go for innocent Dawn instead! I’m not letting go of this! Wow… I’m type shouting at a fictional character… Ah well, that how avid readers get, or maybe it’s just me, but I doubt that. :3

Then Gabby. You’ve got to feel sorry for her? All she wanted to do was get her sister a nice birthday present, is it her fault they’re practically homeless? Though technically we should blame Drew, if they hadn’t been official his father probably wouldn’t have hated Gabby as much and she wouldn’t have been in the colonies… And then in the hotbox… And then a slave… And then tried to escape… And get put in that hotbox.. Again… Yup, it’s all on him.

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But in all honesty, I love Gabby, and the sense of will you get from her. Michelle Lynn has a big check when it comes to the character development side of the story. You really get a sense of who all the characters are, their personalities, their reasons behind why they do everything. And who can’t love Gabby’s fiery spirit?

This review is getting long but how can I not bring up a certain father?

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That’s really how you want to do things, poor Gabby, I don’t want to say much on it but I feel it’s realistic. After all, a story can’t be complete without the crappy parent can it?

So finally I’m onto the end, as in the last couple pages! TEXAS! Yes guys, there’s hot Texan people, at least I imagine the one who said the following quote to have been pretty damn fine:

“Welcome to the republic of Texas ma’am.”

Yup, that’s how my mind works, nothing but hot guys and books on ma mind! Haha. But no, Drew and Dawn… Screw them, Gabby gets to run off with Texan’s! (It is Texan’s right? Never mind that’s what I’m calling them, at least they’re out of Floridaland.)
I’d really been hoping they’d get split up somehow, and isn;t it awesome that a whole unit of British soldiers were after her! (The Texas people seemed pretty suspicious of that but they were probably impressed too, yup, they seemed impressed) Okay I know that shouldn’t be cool but I have a weird sense of priorities, adventure and drama taking top space, not sensibility, practicality, sense of danger, pfft, never heard of the words.

That’s it guys, I’m out, I cannot write any more. Except for what I’m writing now…. 4 stars losing one for Drew and Dawn because I have no sympathy for them. This book immediately grips you, though it’s a little slow in the middle adventure is a constant throughout the book, so if you’re a fan of that you’ll love this book. Would definitely recommend!

Daniel Levin: Hyde

(Courtesy of Goodreads.com)

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Are just a few of us truly wicked, or does darkness lurk in all of us? Few classics tackle this question with more pulse-pounding gusto than Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, in which a respected physician takes a potion that reveals his violent hidden self. The Jekyll/Hyde dichotomy has become shorthand for good juxtaposed with evil, but debut author Daniel Levine felt that there was much more to the story. His historical novel, Hyde, retells the suspenseful tale from the villain’s point of view, imagining how the rougher half of the doctor may have been misunderstood or even manipulated. In Levine’s gritty and chaotic Victorian London, good and evil are not so easily defined, and this moral ambiguity brings some psychological realism to Stevenson’s Gothic thriller. A creative writing teacher hailing from Colorado, Levine shares some of the visual inspiration for his mysterious, and perhaps heroic, Mr. Hyde. 

 

Goodreads: What hooked you and inspired you to write your own novel about the tortured duo Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde? 

Daniel Levine: I first read The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in tenth-grade English. Our teacher divided the class into small groups and assigned portions of the novella for us to present to the other students. My two friends and I filmed a dramatic reenactment of our scenes, which included the killing of Carew and Hyde’s subsequent “cover-up.” I played Hyde, scowling and sneering at the camera, and bucking about in the agonizing throes of transformation. Even then I recognized that Hyde was something more than the apotheosis of pure evil, as Jekyll insists. There is a wretched humanity to him, an underdog quality that captured my interest and sympathy. Similarly there is a suspicious aspect to Jekyll’s self-affirmed goodness and innocence. His actions are hardly those of a victim—he flirts with danger and exposure as if he wishes on some level to be caught. The idea for Hyde came to me 15 years later, in my sleep: I woke one morning, staring at my hand, and remembered suddenly the scene when Hyde awakes unexpectedly in Jekyll’s bed, gazing at his own transformed hand. When I went back and reread Stevenson’s novella (the same edition I’d used in high school), my original impressions were strongly confirmed. Hyde was not a mindless monster. He was a vehicle for Jekyll’s deeply suppressed libidinal urges, an avatar through which Jekyll could behave as constrictive Victorian society—and his own exacting scruples—would never allow him to behave. The story isn’t a parable of good and evil. It’s a psychological case study of a man at war with his own animal instincts and a commentary on the masks all humans must wear in order to function in civilization and appear “normal.” I am very aware of this split within myself, the battle between primal impulse and proper etiquette. I wanted to explore this schism and give the misunderstood and maligned Hyde the chance to tell his side of the story at last. 

To carry on reading the story click here.