Book Review: The Queen´s Assassin – Melissa De La Cruz

Caledon Holt is the Kingdom of Renovia’s deadliest weapon. No one alive can best him in brawn or brains, which is why he’s the Guild’s most dangerous member and the Queen’s one and only assassin. He’s also bound to the Queen by an impossible vow–to find the missing Deian Scrolls, the fount of all magical history and knowledge, stolen years ago by a nefarious sect called the Aphrasians.

Shadow has been training all her life to follow in the footsteps of her mother and aunts–to become skilled enough to join the ranks of the Guild. Though magic has been forbidden since the Aphrasian uprising, Shadow has been learning to control her powers in secret, hoping that one day she’ll become an assassin as feared and revered as Caledon Holt.

When a surprise attack brings Shadow and Cal together, they’re forced to team up as assassin and apprentice to hunt down a new sinister threat to Renovia. But as Cal and Shadow grow closer, they’ll uncover a shocking web of lies and secrets that may destroy everything they hold dear. With war on the horizon and true love at risk, they’ll stop at nothing to protect each other and their kingdom in this stunning first novel in the Queen’s Secret series.

 


 

The Queen´s Assassin ( The Queen´s Secret ) by Melissa De La Cruz is a fantasy gone bone dry.

Think of being served an overcooked turkey and having to eat that without drinking a sip of water during or after- That´s how this book felt.

` Bound by fate… Broken by love. `

The tagline on the front cover sounds cheesy as hell but that´s exactly what I was looking for. A fantasy romance with a bit of abracadabra or voodoo majoojoo that would ruin my emotional household. So, I bought it and… fell asleep after a few pages.

The next day I gave it another go. I fell asleep again. It took me a full week to finish The Queen´s Assassin because it was so sober. So dry. So utterly matter of fact. Not the multifaceted story I imagined it would be. It´s never a good sign when I fall asleep so often when wanting to read a book.

With that being said, I didn´t like the writing. I liked how the story started and I loved the world build but not how the story was told. The exciting moments weren´t exciting. The drama wasn´t dramatic. The romance wasn´t there. The mysterious parts weren´t gripping. The big reveal at the end didn´t faze me one bit.


Would I recommend this book? Not if you´re looking for something that´ll knock your fantasy romance world.

Will I continue the series? Nope.


The Cover – 3 Stars: It´s decent. Nothing special.

The Story – 2 Stars: Less adventurous than promised. Less gripping than I thought it would be. Plus, the writing did nothing for me.

The Characters – 2 Stars: Both did nothing for me as individual figures or as a couple.

My emotional state after finishing this book – Ready to move on.

 


This book is available online on Amazon.com

Book Review: Give The Dark My Love ( Give the Dark My Love #1 )- Beth Revis

synopsis single

When seventeen-year-old Nedra Brysstain leaves her home in the rural, northern territories of Lunar Island to attend the prestigious Yugen Academy, she has only one goal in mind: learn the trade of medicinal alchemy. A scholarship student matriculating with the children of Lunar Island’s wealthiest and most powerful families, Nedra doesn’t quite fit in with the other kids at Yugen, who all look down on her.

All, except for Greggori “Grey” Astor. Grey is immediately taken by the brilliant and stubborn Nedra, who he notices is especially invested in her studies. And that’s for a good reason: a deadly plague has been sweeping through the North, and it’s making its way toward the cities. With her family’s life–and the lives of all of Lunar Island’s citizens–on the line, Nedra is determined to find a cure for the plague.

Grey and Nedra continue to grow closer, but as the sickness spreads and the body count rises, Nedra becomes desperate to find a cure. Soon, she finds herself diving into alchemy’s most dangerous corners–and when she turns to the most forbidden practice of all, necromancy, even Grey might not be able to pull her from the darkness.


 

My Thoughts 2

 

Puuh * pushes glasses up nose * I´m kind of struggling to find the right words to describe this YA fantasy novel. I have feelings. Strong ones.

`Give The Dark My Love` ( Give The Dark My Love #1 ) by author Beth Revis is definitely a game-changer in the YA fantasy niché. It´s dark. It´s graphic. Adventurous and a tad brutal. I really enjoyed this story. Give The Dark My Love

A young aspiring alchemist on a mission to find a cure for a deadly disease. FINALLY, something to read that can´t be compared to other YA fantasy bestsellers. FINALLY an anti Heroine. I´d be highly shooketh if it wasn´t for one thing. Mind you, this is the only thing I could have done without. The romance. It seemed as if the romance was added only for good measure. Totally unnecessary. I truly believe the story is strong enough on its own and would have been even greater without the insta-love. ( and this is coming from a romance advocate ). Aside from that, I appreciated the rest.

 

  • The title. Can we just stop for a moment to appreciate the title? Give The Dark My Love. I´m not blown out of my socks but it´s still a great title.

 

  • The anti Hero. It´s been so long since I came across an anti-heroine. Nedra ( Heroine ) is a well-developed character. Her journey from being an innocent young lady to becoming something like an evil doctor was great to read about. Her motives, her actions, what she suffered through and the way her life panned out in this book… I have no complaints. Absolutely none. Truly not bad for a YA fantasy book.

 

  • The writing was clean and sharp. Not too over the top.

 

  • The darkness. I love it when books have a certain aura. This one was set out to be dark and boy did that energy grow with the story.

 

All in all I can´t really say much about this story other than I enjoyed it and am willing to start the next one ASAP.


 

Would I recommend this book? For YA fantasy readers who don´t mind necromancy – Sure. I didn´t have a problem with it. It´s an interesting story.

Would I reread this book? I´m going to say it depends on how the story pans out. If book #2 is a disappointment and I end up discontinuing the series I won´t reread this one.


 

The Cover – 2 Stars:  The cover image is not for me. It´s very YA fantasy-ish.

The Story – 3 Stars:  It was the romance that kept me from doing a rain dance around the table. And the dual POV. I just don´t think those are worth it.

The Characters – 4 Stars:  Grey ( Hero ) should have been the first victim ever of The Wasting Death. But Nedra- Well done.

My emotional state after finishing this read: Satisfied.

3 stars

 

You can purchase `Give The Dark My Love` by Beth Revis on Amazon.com

 

Book Review: Frost Blood (Frostblood Saga #1 ) – Elly Blake

synopsis single

 

Seventeen-year-old Ruby is a Fireblood who has concealed her powers of heat and flame from the cruel Frostblood ruling class her entire life. But when her mother is killed trying to protect her, and rebel Frostbloods demand her help to overthrow their bloodthirsty king, she agrees to come out of hiding, desperate to have her revenge.

Despite her unpredictable abilities, Ruby trains with the rebels and the infuriating – yet irresistible – Arcus, who seems to think of her as nothing more than a weapon. But before they can take action, Ruby is captured and forced to compete in the king’s tournaments that pit Fireblood prisoners against Frostblood champions. Now she has only one chance to destroy the maniacal ruler who has taken everything from her – and from the icy young man she has come to love.

 


 

My Thoughts 2

 

`Enter a world where fire and ice are mortal enemies…`

 

There are two problems here. 1) The synopsis sounds familiar. Like, Red Queen  by Victoria Aveyard familiar. 2) That backside tagline- Sounded also a little familiar.

The fire and ice thingy immediately had me thinking of the Starks and Targaryens. Was I going to read about that in this YA – Fantasy – Romance saga? Good God…

Will this Ruby chick in `Frost Blood` be another Katniss / Feyre / Mare copy? Hmm…

Frost Blood 2
Cover version I don´t have

I mean- We´ve seen this happen before, right? Authors will latch onto the trend-wagon, creating their own versions of an already successful bestseller. Which is fine, I guess. You can´t reinvent the wheel. But you can try to perfect it.

I´m going to keep this nice and simple:  I wasn´t too mad about this book.

Yes, it´s exactly like every other dramatic YA fantasy book. It has almost the same elements: A young badass ( and also slightly annoying ) world-changer Heroine, good vs. evil, arguable romance, bla bla bla… Despite having already read this type of story many times before I can say without a doubt that I enjoyed this one more than I did others. As in – Other popular YA fantasy romance bestsellers.

I enjoyed `Frost Blood ` so much more that I´m willing to give the next book a try.

Frost Blood
Cover version I have

I will say, though, that the writing didn´t knock me out of my socks. It was clean and simple. Nothing to go nuts over, in my opinion.

All in all not a bad read.


 

Would I recommend this book? Yeah, I would. I would even recommend reading `Frost Blood` before reading all the other similar bestsellers. It´s easy on the mind and entertaining.  A great introductory book for anyone new to the YA fantasy romance world.

Would I reread this book? Maybe.


 

The Cover – 3 Stars:   A rose. A frosted rose. * sigh * Not terrible but also not what I would consider fabulous, either.

The Story – 3 Stars:   Been there. Done that. Bought the book 5x before. But still a decent adventurous read.

The Characters – 3 Stars:  I was going to rate the characters with 4 stars but then I remembered how little I knew of the Heroine. I would have liked a little more background info on her. Fingers crossed I´ll get more of that in the next book.

My emotional state after finishing this read:  Relatively happy.

 

3 stars

 

You can purchase `Frost Blood` ( Frostblood Saga #1 ) by author Elly Blake on Amazon.com

Book Review: Lucian Divine – Renée Carlino

synopsis single

“My guardian angel is a drunk.”

Evelyn Casey’s life is at a standstill. She’s in her mid-twenties, struggling with the dating scene in San Francisco. Nothing seems to be working out, and she’s starting to think that she’ll live out her days in her crummy apartment with her overbearing roommate, Brooklyn. It’s absurd, but sometimes Evey longs for a guardian angel to show up and save the day.

And then he does. Seriously. His name is Lucian and he’s a guardian angel, been on the job for two thousand years. His sudden presence in her life is both good—he’s brilliant, witty, and warm—and bad—he’s brilliant, witty, warm, and hot as —-. But as perfect as Lucian seems, he’s got problems of his own. He’s taken up drinking and he’s brazenly inserted himself into Evey’s life, going against the greatest cosmic law ever created.

For Evey, the rules are simple: You are not allowed to hook up with your guardian angel. But sometimes fulfilling your destiny requires a leap of faith, a confrontation with God. 

Yes, God as in God.

 


 

My Thoughts 2

 

`Lucian Divine` by author Renée Carlino is what I like to call an unsure read.

The beginning is cute and interesting. You get sucked in to the story pretty quick and can´t wait to read more until you reach the point where you´ve read more and start asking yourself questions. Lucian Divine

I´m not a stranger to Renée Carlino´s work so I was familiar with her writing. But this one? I´m not sure I can consider `Lucian Divine` a favorite.

The story concept is great: A young woman falls in love with her guardian angel. Only that angel has luggage. They fall in love and together they create and carry their special brand of luggage.

Not bad when seeing it from that point.

 

And all was well until the speed picked up. 

The main reason that kept me from giving this book all my shiny 5 stars was the pacing of the story. There were parts that felt rushed. Then there were parts that really sped up. I wasn´t confronted with this issue from the previous book I read from the author and it slightly bugged me.

 

With a story idea like that there could have been more. 

This is not to say I was completely unsatisfied with everything. As I´ve said, the concept is great. Even the characters were good, but good is never enough. A reader gets some character info but sadly not enough to actually know a character. Kind of like:

“Here´s a bit. There´s a bit. That should be enough. Now you can work out the rest.” 

If I´m not offered enough character detail then I can´t really form a bond with said figures.

 

Maybe not standalone material.

It would be rude of me to say the author could have turned this standalone in to a trilogy… Meeh, I´ll say it anyways: `Lucian Divine` could have easily been a great trilogy.  Because I felt I was missing big chunks of the story.  Big chunks that would have beautifully stretched the story. Instead I felt like I received a chopped off version of something grand. Granted, this isn´t necessarily a reason to give a book a lesser rating, yet I couldn´t shake the nagging feeling of needing more pages to appreciate this type of read.

 

One of those endings.

The ending wasn´t shocking or surprising. I´d say it was your typical “this is what happens to characters when they make secret deals with “God”. Mind you- A reader isn´t in the know about what goes down, and never will be. This makes the ending feel extra rushed. I´m not really a  fan of these semi happy endings but it worked for the story.


 

Would I recommend this book? Sure. `Lucian Divine` is a quick and light read that offers topics about faith, love and life. A nice romance for in between.

Would I reread this book? I wouldn´t, no.

 


 

The Cover – 3 Stars:    It´s okay.

The Story – 4 Stars:    Great story but too fast paced.

The Characters – 3 Stars:  I thought both were okay. They would have been better if a reader got more insight on them.

My emotional state after finishing this read – Not blown away.

 

3 stars



 

You can purchase `Lucian Divine` on Amazon.comLucian Divine


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Book Review: Angelfall – Susan Ee

synopsis single

It’s been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back.

Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel.

Raffe is a warrior who lies broken and wingless on the street. After eons of fighting his own battles, he finds himself being rescued from a desperate situation by a half-starved teenage girl.

Traveling through a dark and twisted Northern California, they have only each other to rely on for survival. Together, they journey toward the angels’ stronghold in San Francisco where she’ll risk everything to rescue her sister and he’ll put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies for the chance to be made whole again.


My Thoughts 2

Well, this book was certainly a positive surprise. Sheesh. Who would have thought that a simple book could be so mentally exhausting.

I feel like I´ve run a week-long marathon and now need like a month to recover… just because of this book.

I´m so flustered I have no idea how to sort out my thoughts.  `Angelfall`by Susan Ee knocked the wind out of my sails. Angelfall

Maybe we should begin with my first thought: This is huge. Not the book itself because it´s only 288 pages thin, but you can tell by book #1 that this story is going places ( namely, in the trilogy direction ) Because there´s so much to tell. So much that has to continue.

It´s an adventure that needs to spread it´s wings ( see what I did there? *wink* )

Yes. This is an older book. And yes, I don´t care about that because the publication date has nothing to do with the story.

The story, yes ( I got sidetracked for a second there )

In a town infested with Angels we find a young girl fighting for survival and trying to find her sister, who´s been abducted by… ( Yeah, find that out yourself ) and turns to the only being who she thinks can help her-  Raffe… the angel. ( He´s not THE angel. He is for me, though )

And after that it´s all BOOM and BANG and more BOOM. Not a moment of boredom popped up.  There was so much going on and I had little time to catch my breath.

And the best part? The story was so well thought through and cleverly executed. I don´t want to know how long the author needed to set the plot and draw out the specifics. It feels like she needed years because nothing was left out.

The story was so great that I ditched my zombie apocalypse preparations and started mentally preparing myself for an angel apocalypse ( because you always have to be prepared ).

As for the characters:

We meet a young girl who was forced to mature fast due to her family situation. Penryn is tough, brave and bold and so… committed. She´s a great role model for readers of all ages. And the way our young protagonist goes about the world and her situation is fantabulous.

Raffe is… an angel ( no pun intended ). He´s literally an angel. A broken one at that. Aside from his stunning appearance his positive traits stink to high heaven ( I´m on a roll tonight, aren´t I? ) He´s kind, compassionate but also slightly mysterious. Shit… He´s just a great character. And from now on I´m going to compare Raffee´s character to every other book angel.

Now, with all the action and excitement going on in this book ( trust me, there´s plenty ) there´s still a romance. It´s faint but it´s there. And it´s just grand because for once (!!!) an author decided to focus on a story instead of turning a story into a sappy romance ( * giving stinky evil eye * yes, I´m looking at you, A Court Of Thorns And Roses ). Y´all know by now that I do love me some great romance but when there´s a lot at stake you don´t need to focus on love. You need to focus on not getting your ass grilled.

FYI: Brutal cliffhanger. I hate cliffhangers, especially this one. It means I have to buy the next book or else I´ll be in a pissy mood.

I´m just happy. Be happy for me that I´ve finally found some happiness with a read. It´s been so long * insert dramatic cry*


Would I recommend this read? Yes. It´s a young adult that doesn´t feel like one. It´s a survival story with a hint of romance that has great characters. And angels. Well, it has Raffe. And I´m his new cheerleader. Just buy the damn book. And buy the others as well.

Would I reread this book? Yes!


 

The Cover – ? :  I´m not really sure what to think of the cover. At first glance it looks pretty. But if you take a closer look the wings look cheap and the wood wall confuses the flippin´ foo foo out of me. That tagline, though. OOOOOOOH, Imma loving that.

The Story – 5 Stars: Because it´s just one of those epic stories.

The Characters – 5 Stars: Yes. The angel got to me. Everyone else was great.

My emotional state after finishing this read: My heart… It´s all over the place.

5 stars

Buy the book! Amazon.com     ◊    Amazon.co.uk