The Smoke Thieves #1 Blog Tour Plus Review

The Smoke Thieves (The Smoke Thieves, #1)

Smoke Thieves

A shrewd princess whose father is plotting against her. A loyal servant on a quest to avenge his family. A streetwise demon smoke hunter in desperate need of money. A charming thief whom everyone is hunting. They are four teenagers whose lives would never intersect, until a war between kingdoms bubbles up, and the dangerous truth aboutdemon smoke intertwines all their fates. It’s a tangled web of political intrigue, shifting alliances, and forbidden love, in a world where sometimes no amount of magic can keep you safe.

Pre-order Here:

https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/551385/the-smoke-thieves-by-sally-green/

In The Smoke Thieves, you learn the stories of three different pairs of people. First, you have Catherine and Ambrose. Catherine is a princess who is about to be forced into a marriage that she doesn’t want to be in, but she is in love with her best friend and personal guard Ambrose. Her brother Boris is a spy for her father and wants to make sure she stays in line until she is married off to a foreign prince. Then you have Tash and Gravell, a young girl and an old man who hunt for demon smoke to sell. Lastly, you have March and Elyon, the servent of a prince and the charming thief. These stories will overlap for one another, but they will mostly take place in these pairs for the majority of the story.

My favorite character in the story was probably either March or Catherine. March was one of the last of the Abasks, and he found out what had really happened on the day that his family was massacred. He didn’t know much about his culture and was the odd one out in the prince’s court, so he has a lot to learn. Catherine was in love with Ambrose, but she didn’t act foolishly about it. Her country came first, and she was determined to do her best to keep her kingdom safe. Even if it meant that she would have to go against her father.

The only reason why I rate this book 4 instead of 5 stars was because things really started to slow down in the middle of the book. I read the first 200 pages in around 2-3 hours, but the next 150 pages took me over 5 hours of intermittent reading to get through. If it wasn’t for the drag in the middle, I would have loved every minute of this novel.

Everything else in this book was great. The characters were all unique and everything connected well. I never got confused as to whose POV it was as I read through the book. There was romance but it didn’t take over the novel until I didn’t want to read it anymore. And the action scenes were addictive and yet realistic.

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a new upper YA/NA novel to read.

I received a copy of this book and this is my voluntary review.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 books.

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Demon World

A princess. A soldier. A servant. A demon hunter. A thief. When we last saw them, this unlikely group was heading into the Northern Territory of the kingdom of Pitoria, on the run from the sadistic and power-hungry King Aloysius of Brigant. The Smoke Thieves have discovered that demon smoke is not only an illegal drug used for pleasure, but in fact, when taken by children, demon smoke briefly gives its users super-human strength. Aloysius’ plan is simple and brutal: kill the demons for their smoke, and use that smoke to build an unstoppable army of children to take over Pitoria, Calidor, and then the rest of the world. The Smoke Thieves are the only ones who understand this plan–but can they stop it? Catherine, Aloysius’ daughter, is seen as a traitor from all sides; Tash is heartbroken after the loss of her one friend and sees nothing left for her in the human world; Edyon is wanted for murder; March is carrying the secret of his betrayal of his new love; Ambrose is out for revenge–and all the while, the demons have plans of their own…

Pre-order Here:

https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/551386/the-demon-world-by-sally-green/9780425290248/

AUTHOR BIO

Sally Green lives in Cheshire, England. She has had various jobs from her first paper-round to a career as an accountant, but in 2010 she started writing a novel and that changed her life. She still runs most days despite several attempts to give it up.

The Hunger Games #1 Review

The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1)

I read the Hunger Games Trilogy once many years ago, but I don’t really remember any of it. In fact, I don’t remember what happened in Mockingjay at all, just bits and pieces of what I read online, even though I know for a fact that I finished the novel. So, I decided to start from the beginning and reread the entire trilogy, and I noticed quite a few things that I didn’t notice before.

For starters, wow, I don’t like Katniss’ mom. I didn’t think she was that bad from the little I remember of her in the movie, but she made me want to scream in this one. Katniss barely ever spoke back to her mother, even though her mother went into a depressive episode and left an eleven-year-old to take care of an adult and a seven-year-old for almost an entire winter. It wasn’t her mom’s fault, but Katniss suffered for those months trying to feed her family until her mother would come back mentally. Katniss finally breaks down and yells at her when she is about to leave for the Hunger Games, begging her not to leave mentally again. Instead of apologizing for not being there all those years ago, she makes an excuse like “well I have my medicine now and if I had had my medicine back then I wouldn’t have left.” Your daughter was hurting because she had to become a mother at only 11, and your only comeback to her asking you not to do that again is “well if I had my pills.” This may be realistic, parents who have depressive episodes never really apologizing or understanding how much strain they put on their children, but boy it was so frustrating to read. The mother clearly prefers Prim, even though that daughter hasn’t been doing much (besides her goat milk business) to support the family, and just treats Katniss like she is the breadwinner for the family because she can hunt. Nevertheless, I felt that this truly gave Katniss more character than she would have had otherwise. It was interesting to see that she didn’t come from a perfect family with a perfect life. Therefore, it actually improved the story for me, in a way.

I really liked how the Capitol’s greediness was compared with the poverty of some of the districts. One of my favorite parts of the book was when Katniss got upset FOR the kids who Effie shamed in the previous year for eating like “animals.” Katniss remembers that these children had come from some of the poorest families in the District, so of course they would have eaten as if they were never going to see food again with such a rich meal being placed in front of them. District 12 is one of the poorest if not the poorest districts in the nation, so Katniss and Peeta have never seen such opulence before they got to the games. The scenes with the stylists were also very well written, and I was happy that they weren’t disrespected like other tributes.

I have to say that I hate love triangles, so I just didn’t appreciate the romance in this book. I understand that they did it because of a plan, but it just didn’t sit well with me. This book would have been perfect without the romance for me, but I am going to take a star off for that. Like what if they had teamed up to be partners, killed everyone, then decide to kill each other so that no one would win the games? I think that could have made for a more powerful book than this one was.

Overall, this book was better than I remember it being, but I still didn’t like the romance. For someone who is interesting in the worldbuilding and the fighting action of the game, this is the perfect book! If you are here for the romance…I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it completely. Onto the rest of the trilogy!

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 books.

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The Mage-Born Anthology Review

The Mage-Born Anthology

The Mage-born Anthology is full of short stories discussing the lives of Reshi’s siblings before and after they received their powers. Some of his siblings lived together while others lived on their own, not knowing that they had any siblings. They were all raised in different locations across the country, they all have different personalities, and they all develop very different powers. I’m not going to be able to review all the stories without including major spoilers, so I am just going to focus on my favorite story and the story that surprised me the most.

My favorite story was Velyn’s backstory. He was also raised in an orphanage like Reshi, but when he aged out of the orphanage, he was placed in a halfway house with his best friend Tawni. They both want to be fishermen and Velyn as a wind-mage would guarantee that they would be successful. All they have to do is save enough from the money they make off the catch of rented boats to buy their own and start their own business. Even though Velyn is pretty evil in the main series, he seemed genuinely sweet to his friend and an honest worker in this book. Now I need to know what happened between this short story and the beginning of the Mage-born Chronicles to make him into the man he was!

The story that surprised me the most was Eagan’s backstory. I knew that one person would have had to be just genuinely bad, and I guess Eagan was that person. I almost cried while reading the end of this story, and then that was it! I don’t need to read more of his character, but it would be interesting to see how he reacted to meeting the rest of his siblings.

Overall, one or two of the short stories were a bit disappointing, but they were all good for the most part. I just hope that there is more to come from this universe, as I love this lore and these characters so much! The novellas were also written in chronological order, from the time the oldest child got her powers to the point that the mage hunters started hunting the 7 siblings. Through these stories you are able to see to see how the world slowly became more and more hostile towards mages over time, and how the younger siblings were raised in worse conditions than their older siblings. I would not recommend reading this before the other two books in the Mage-born Chronicles, but I would recommend reading it after for a bit more backstory.

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for the novellas to the Mage-born Chronicles, a fantasy series with LGBT+ characters.

I received a copy of this book and this is my voluntary review.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 books

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Shadow Eyes #3: Sacrificial Souls Review

Sacrificial Souls (Shadow Eyes Series, #3) #bookblogger #bookreview @dustycrabtree
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Iris has been given a leadership role by Gregory, and Gregory is starting to leave everything up to her guidance and her team in missions. Iris doesn’t think that she can do everything on her own, and begins to resent Gregory for putting them in danger. Donovan keeps showing up, and now she has to try to fight him by herself. Him, on top of all the other shadows that Iris and her friends have to fight. She is glad to have a team behind her, but it would still be nice to have some guidance from her mentor.

I have loved the Shadow Eyes series from start to finish, and I am sad to see it end. This wasn’t the absolute best ending in my personal opinion, but it was the only one that made sense given the circumstances. I didn’t understand why Gregory was pushing Iris so hard, but by the end of the book I guess I kind of understood. I just felt like this was very out of character for him, which made it hard for me to connect with his character under these circumstances.

What I did enjoy was that all the ends seemed to be tied up with this story. I understood the shadows, I understood what Iris’ job was as a light warrior, and I think that Iris did too. It seemed like a very final conclusion to what had been a very long adventure with Iris and her friends. I was happy to see that the drama had mostly disappeared with Iris’ relationship with Patrick and they were able to just enjoy being together. One of my favorite parts of the book was watching Iris help her mother and her mother’s boyfriend plan for their wedding. The simple domestic things that allowed me to see how these characters were transitioning into a new stage of their lives made me enjoy this book even more.

The story flowed well, there were no dead moments that bothered me as I was reading it. The author perfectly balances the action with the main narrative, and I couldn’t put it down. I didn’t see any plot holes that distracted me from enjoying the book. There were no grammar errors or formatting errors as I read the ebook version of this novel. Everything except for the out of character Gregory made this a perfect ending to the series for me!

I would recommend this series to anyone looking for new YA fantasy novels to enjoy.

I received a copy of this book and this is my voluntary review.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 books.

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Insperience: Meditation Unbound Review

Inspirience: Meditation Unbound: The Unconditioned Path to Spiritual Awakening
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Inspirience is an audiobook by Richard L. Haight that describes his journey with meditation. He teaches his readers how to properly meditate and become one with their surroundings to gain inner peace. I would suggest that you read the book rather than listening to the audiobook, as the audiobook still has several audio glitches where the volume will increase and decrease between chapters. This made listening a chore as I had to remember to constantly turn my sound up and down. Other than this, it was an enjoyable listen.

I would recommend the book to anyone looking for a real guide to meditation, and I would recommend the audiobook to anyone looking for a more sound-led version of the book but who can ignore the glitches.

I received a copy of this book and this is my voluntary review.

Read my full review on Online Book Club.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 books

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The Chosen (Contender #1) Blog Tour Plus Review

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The Chosen (Contender #1)

by Taran Matharu
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Release Date: June 4th 2019

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Science Fiction

Introducing an epic new trilogy from Taran Matharu, author of the New York Times–bestselling Summoner series. 

Throughout history, people have vanished with no explanation. A group of teenagers are about to discover why.

Cade is settling into a new boarding school, contemplating his future, when he finds himself transported to another realm. He soon discovers their new world is populated with lost remnants from the past: prehistoric creatures, ancient relics, and stranger still — people. Overwhelmed by his new surroundings, Cade has little time to adjust, for soon he and his fellow classmates are forced to become contenders in a brutal game, controlled by mysterious overlords.

But who are these beings and why did they choose these teens? Cade must prepare for battle . . . because hiding is not an option.

Cade was convicted of a crime he didn’t commit. He has been spending the last six months of his life at a boarding school for troubled boys, but he doesn’t fit in there. He never committed a crime, he actually enjoys learning and History class, and he isn’t “troubled.” As he counts down the days until he will be able to get out of the school, he sees his dreams slipping away. He will no longer be able to go back to the advanced school he was in, he will probably be unable to go to a good college, and his parents’ lives have been ruined as they have to pay for this school and for his court case. Just when Cade thinks things couldn’t get worse, he wakes up on some foreign planet. Something called a Codex follows him around and tells him that they have some sort of battle coming up. Cade doesn’t want to play these games, but the more he explores the planet, the more deadly things become. Cade has an important choice to make, one that could lead to either life or death.

I love Taran Matharu’s books! I thoroughly enjoyed the first two books in the Summoner series, and I have the last two sitting on my shelf waiting to be read. When I found out that he had a new book coming out, I knew that I wanted to be one of the first to read and enjoy it. Matharu definitely didn’t disappoint!

I truly sympathized with Cade from beginning to end. He never wanted to be a hero, and he never was a criminal. All he was a kid that happened to be in the wrong room at the wrong time, and who was racially profiled on top of that. This one case had ruined his and his parents’ lives all at once, and it wasn’t his fault in any way. It was sad because it seemed so realistic, like some boy in a rich boarding school could actually have this happen to him. I completely forgot about the “traveling to another world” storyline as I read this part of the book. I honestly could have read an entire book about Cade in his boarding school, and even though it wouldn’t have been happy, it would have been interesting.

Once Cade was in the new world, things really got exciting. I won’t spoil anything as this is the majority of the book. All I will say is that I was on the edge of my seat for most of the book once he landed on the foreign planet.

The only thing that I disliked about this story was the middle. The transition from the real world to the new planet was not as smooth as I thought it could have been, and I felt like I was confused as it kept dragging on. After I got over this part of the novel, everything else went smoothly and I enjoyed myself.

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a new YA fantasy/dystopian novel!

I received a copy of this book and this is my voluntary review.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 books

BOOK LINKS

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31557553-the-chosen

Amazon https://amzn.to/2GIudjG

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-chosen/id1439079557?mt=11

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-chosen-taran-matharu/1129098221?ean=9781250249753#/

Bookdepository: https://www.bookdepository.com/Contender-Chosen-Taran-Matharu/9781444938975?ref=grid-view&qid=1556265959093&sr=1-1

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/es/en/ebook/contender-the-chosen

Google Books: https://books.google.es/books/about/The_Chosen.html?id=bWxVuQEACAAJ&redir_esc=y

AUTHOR INFORMATION

Taran Matharu is the New York Times bestselling author of the Summoner series, which has been translated into 15 languages and has sold over a million copies. He was born in London in 1990 and found a passion for writing during early adolescence, beginning his first book at 9 years old.

Straight after graduating with a First Class degree in Business Administration, Taran was keen to explore a new avenue and get inside the publishing world, landing an internship in Digital Sales at Penguin Random House, from June to September 2013. 

Thereafter, while taking time off to travel, Taran began to write ‘Summoner’ in November 2013 at the age of 22, taking part in ‘Nanowrimo 2013’ and sharing his work on Wattpad.com. The shared sample of the story went viral, reaching over 3 million reads in less than six months. Taran went on to launch his professional writing career, and has never looked back.

His SUMMONER series is published by Hodder Children’s (Hachette) in the UK, Australia and Commonwealth, Feiwel and Friends (Macmillan) in the US and Canada, Hachette Jeunesse in France, Heyne in Germany, Planeta in Spain, Crown in Taiwan, Record in Brazil, EKSMO in Russia, Jaguar in Poland, Ecliptic in Bulgaria, Alpress in the Czech Republic, Ithaki in Turkey, Forlaget Forar in Denmark and Unieboek in the Netherlands.

AUTHOR LINKS

Website: https://authortaranmatharu.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7979840.Taran_Matharu

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TaranMatharu1

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authortaranmatharu

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/taranmatharuauthor/

TOUR SCHEDULE

https://fantasticflyingbookclub.blogspot.com/2019/05/tour-schedule-chosen-contender-1-by.html

Moodboard!