The Sparrow by Denna M. Davis is a novel about a 16-year-old girl named Amanda whose grandparents send her through a magic portal to the Emaji Kingdom for the summer. She is told by a boy named Solomon that she is the fated Sparrow, the hero that will save them from their evil king Zorn. Solomon also claims that he is her soulmate as well, and she meets many people along her journey.
I wanted to enjoy this book, but the storyline was so
confusing that I couldn’t keep track of or differentiate between the characters.
No one was unique enough for me to remember why they were important to the story.
The only thing I enjoyed about this book were the addictive action scenes, the
rest I could do without.
I won’t recommend this book but I won’t totally write off
this author. I think that she could probably write well for different types of
books, or maybe books with a smaller host of characters to keep track of. This
was simply not the book for me.
Kill or Cure #2: Bloodlust by Pixie Britton continues the adventures of Alyx, Will, Winter, Tommy, and Colt. Tommy has been suffering as he becomes less and less in control of when the infection takes over. Winter has been dragged along on this adventure but is becoming a valuable member of the team. And Alyx, Will, and Colt are stuck in a love triangle.
Why didn’t I mention any actual story aspects about those
three characters? Well, because I don’t think they have any story aspects
besides the love triangle. Literally all Alyx is thinking about is how much she
loves Colt and how much she doesn’t want to admit that she knows that Will
likes her. Will is just pining after her and trying to ignore Colt. And Colt,
the greatest disappointment of all, is just pining after Alyx. He literally
just met her less than a month or two ago and all he did was save her and kiss
her and now he acts like a lovesick dog. Even Will wasn’t that bad, and he has been
waiting for years to get his chance to be with Alyx. The whole book was ruined
for me with this love triangle. Every time that the action would start up and I
would be excited to figure out what would happen next, one of the characters
would do something dumb for the sake of love and start acting like a lovesick
The two characters I liked the most were Tommy and Winter. Both have their own setbacks
as Winter is deaf and Tommy has to deal with the infection. But, they don’t
really have to deal with romance as much, and they both grow a lot in this
novel. I won’t spoil anything, but I definitely liked them best.
Overall, I won’t be finishing this series. I also wouldn’t
recommend it. But I do think that it could have been a really great series if
it wasn’t for the annoying love triangle.
I received a copy of this book and this is my voluntary review.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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!
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
After the battle, Reshi realized that he loved Kestral, and he left. Loving someone was too much like being owned by that person for him to accept, and so he ran. Six months have passed and Reshi has started to woo some royals in order to live in the castle and get close to his step-brother, the king’s “legitimate” child Niko. He is also in contact with his exiled mother, and is avidly trying to avoid his murderous brother Velyn. Kestral stayed with Kila and has been hunting for Reshi for the past six months as well. He is desperately in love with him and would do literally anything to have him back, but Reshi keeps avoiding him. Whenever he manages to get close to Reshi, he shapeshifts into a creature that he can’t keep track of and runs away again. Kestral has to find some way to get Reshi to trust him so that they can finish off Velyn and finally be safe, but Kestral has to get Reshi to stay in one place long enough to explain himself first.
I have to say that even though the chase may get annoying
for some readers, I truly enjoyed Kestral chasing after Reshi in this book. All
Reshi does is usually run away from a situation when it becomes to difficult or
too dangerous for him to face, and it has worked for him in his life so far.
Now, there is finally a person begging Reshi to stay in one place. Their
personalities are complete opposites, but now they are becoming more one alike
one another. Kestral used to be the quiet one who avoided Reshi’s advances, now
Reshi is forced to be quiet to stay in hiding away from Kestral. They are also struggling with being apart from
one another, even though Reshi would never admit it. I loved this couple from
the beginning of the first book to the end of this book. They had their hiccups,
but no couple is perfect. I still believed that they were a perfect match by
the time I finished this novel.
My favorite part of this book was watching Reshi bond with
his brother Niko. I wasn’t expecting them to get along as well as they did,
given that Reshi lived a stressful and impoverished life while Niko got to live
a privileged life, but Reshi was able to see through Niko that life as a royal was
not amazing either. Niko had been sick all his life and had barely been allowed
out of the castle many days. He struggled with being alone and having no friends
because of this, and he never got to experience many of the luxuries of being the
prince because of his sicknesses. Reshi originally was jealous of his brother,
but then he began to befriend and even pity him to some extent. Only thing I
was worried about was that Niko was accidentally going to develop a serious crush
on his brother before they were properly introduced, but that was avoided
completely. I would love more stories of just the two of them learning how to
be true brothers to one another!
The action of this story was intense as a lot of “final
battles” occur. I won’t spoil anything, but I will say that I was happy with
the ending. All the twists and turns leading up to that ending went perfectly,
and I was happy with how all the characters ended up. If things had been any
different, I don’t think I would have been as satisfied. I’m especially glad
that Kila didn’t get any sort of random lovers. She loved the military, and
that shone through her character entirely. She did not have time for extra dalliances,
and I respected her for that.
Overall, this was one of my favorite fantasy duologies, and
I can’t wait to read more by this author. I would definitely recommend it to
anyone looking for a new fantasy novel to enjoy, or a new romance novel with
I received a copy of this book and this is my voluntary
Alyx lives in a town of survivors with her brother Tommy, her guardian Joe, and her best friend Will. The Infected come from time to time, but they know how to protect themselves. When Tommy is infected, they know that they will have to leave. Without the protection of their walls, they are in danger when any traveler or Infected comes near to them. They have to protect Tommy, find new shelter, and avoid the Infected while they are at it.
I started off this novel truly invested in the story. I liked the characters, loved the setting, and I was looking forward to seeing how they would grow as the novel went on. By the time I reached the end of this book, my dreams were dashed. I still enjoyed the action scenes and I enjoyed most of the plot, but the romance ruined it for me.
I knew that Will and Alyx were going to be a couple from the start of the novel. I had hoped it would just be the two of them, but of course, no YA novel can go without a gold old-fashioned love triangle. I truly hated when Colt came into the picture, there was really no need for him to be there. Alyx fell for him because he “protected” her, but Will had literally been protecting her for years before that. They grew up together. Her lame excuse for wanting Colt over Will just didn’t add up, but she continued to ignore everyone that told her Will had a crush on her. This love triangle was painful to read as both boys started pining after Alyx, and the rest of the storyline seemed to die along with it.
Everything picked up again at the end of the story when the more important characters were added back in, like the deaf girl Winter that they found on their journey and a few other people they picked up. It is these characters who are making me really want to read book 2. Now that everyone is back into the story, I think the love triangle will be put to the side for more exciting story and action.
I wouldn’t recommend or discredit this book, as I think things might change in the next novel, so read it if you enjoy dystopian novels but don’t mind extremely annoying teenaged love triangles.
I received a copy of this book and this is my voluntary review.
When I received Killing Floor 2 in a mystery bundle, I was
instantly saddened. I personally am not a fan of horror games, so I thought that
I would never be touching this one. Now, after playing it for 4 hours straight on
Sunday, my opinion of this game has definitely changed for the better.
Killing Floor 2 is less of a horror game and more like COD Zombies. It has some blood and gore, but it doesn’t have jump scares and scary passageways. What also helps is that you are always playing with a team, so your focus is on the game and staying alive rather than on the creepy monsters around you. My only suggest would be to not play this game if you are afraid of clowns, this game seems to love the clown zombies the most.
I think one of my favorite parts about this game is the different maps. The first map I played with my friend was a Christmas-themed one. The zombies didn’t look festive, but you were in Krampus’ lair. Creepy Christmas rock music played throughout the match, and little threats from Krampus to the elves were written throughout the workshop. Then, there was the Santa’s Workshop map where you escort a carriage with a bomb throughout the map. This one had the epic Christmas music PLUS Christmas-themed zombies! I think my favorite zombie on this map was the gingerbread man.
There is voice chat in this game, but it isn’t used very
frequently. If you would like to just be able to play on a team without having to
talk to people, that is fine as well. You will do fine on your own as long as
you stay fairly close to your teammates or have upgraded guns. And the
teammates in this game are pretty welcoming to newcomers, and the healers seem
to also be fairly good. It was easy to get very sucked in!
This game also has a system of “perks” almost like Dead By
Daylight. The more matches you play, the more XP you get, and you can add perks
to your classes. This makes the overall game easier to play, and makes you want
to stick with one class long enough to get more and more perks for it. This
system also makes me want to play Dead By Daylight, which I have been putting
off for almost two entire weeks!
My only real complaint would be that the bosses seem a bit
repetitive. I know I have to up the difficulty, but I thought that there would be
a bit more random-ness to the bosses. I played the game for 4 hours and had
about 6 or 7 matches, and fought the same boss in 2 and then another boss 3 times
in 3 different maps. Would be interesting to at least be able to see how the
different bosses work and tick.
Borderlands is a game series known for being absolutely
hilarious. You are a person who has gone to a place called Pandora to hunt for
a mysterious “Vault” full of unknown treasures. The first thing you meet is a
little robot named Claptrap, who helps you start off your adventures in
Fyrestone. Then, a strange lady starts to speak to you, saying that she will
help you find the Vault. It is up to you to meet the people of Pandora, and
start your adventures on the planet of Pandora.
I have played this game for almost ten hours at this point,
and I would say that I am around a quarter or so of the way through. Maybe a
bit more, but it tends to take me a bit longer than average to finish games. I
am enjoying it, even though I usually don’t play FPS games. The gameplay is fairly
simple, and even as a person not skilled at FPS games I was able to pick it up
and go pretty easily. This game has actually made me better at other FPS games,
just by being able to practice in such a relaxed environment.
The world of Pandora, aka the Borderlands, is chock full of
unique characters. I guess you could say that a lot of the characters you meet
would be the “villains” of other games, but in this game they are the main NPCs.
One of the first people you meet is Dr. Zed. He is honestly one of my favorite
characters, next to T.K. Baha, but he is a doctor who has some…unconventional
practices. He got his license taken away, and now he spends his time cutting up
the corpses of those Vault Hunters who don’t manage to make it to the end of their
trip. He has plenty of business, as no explorer has made it to the end yet.
T.K. Baha is a weapons inventor who lives on his own and is missing a leg, and
who lost his wife to the skag/wild dog Scar. There are many other characters,
but these are the first two you meet, and are therefore not spoilers. But these
two characters show you just how wild this game can get.
Overall, I have had a pretty positive first experience with
this game. I am definitely planning on finishing this one.
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
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
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
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
I received a copy of this book and this is my voluntary
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.