Twisted: Belle’s Story Review (Destined #3)

Twisted: Belle's Story (Destined, #3)

Belle was in Ella’s story as one of the privileged students at the Royal Academy. She was also hurt in the attacks, but her family had the money to actually fully heal her. At least, that is the story told in Fated, Ella’s story.

The truth is that Belle was only pretending to act like a stuck-up privileged student to try to bring down her abusive father. She hates her father and was looking into his finances at the bank to see why her family stayed rich during the plague when all the other families took a financial hit. She thinks that she is onto something when the attack happens, and, and the brain damage she gets from the blast causes her to lose part of her memory. Her father refuses to let a healer heal her fully, and chooses to threaten her into submission. Without complete memory of what she was trying to achieve and who she was close to, Belle also has to deal with the prince trying to hit on her. He seems rather close to her, but she can’t even remember why.

I didn’t like Belle in Fated very much, but she only showed up for a brief moment. I wasn’t sure what to expect in a book that would be completely about her, but I knew that I wanted to finish the series. This book was a pleasant surprise.

Belle wasn’t as stuck up as I originally thought she was. She was only acting rude to Ella in order to make her father believe that she was on his side. Everything she did was an act to keep her father on her side, even though she was working against him. I was so sad when she lost her memories, she had been doing so well and was so close to her goal and then everything disappeared before her eyes because of the memory loss. She was one of the strongest “rich girl” characters that I have ever read in a story before, so I hope to see more of her in the books to come.

The only small complaint I had about this story was how much time Belle spent confused. It was kind of annoying after a while as a reader from Belle’s POV to know what she was supposed to be doing, and still see her wandering around, confused and in pain from her unhealed injury. I was only frustrated for a small amount of the book, but it was worth mentioning.

Another thing worth mentioning was that I couldn’t see much of the chemistry between the prince and Belle. They were an okay couple, but I didn’t love them as much as the couples in the previous two books. Overall, I think that this book would rank at the bottom of the books in this series, but because the series is so good, I think it is still a 4 star read.

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a new Beauty and the Beast retelling.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 books

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The Sparrow Review

The Sparrow (Emaji Nation #1)

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.

Overall Rating: 2 out of 5 books

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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.

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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.

Ben Galley Ultimate Blog Tour Spotlight!

@BenGalley

Ben Galley is an author of dark and epic fantasy books who currently hails from Victoria, Canada. Since publishing his debut The Written in 2010, Ben has released a range of award-winning fantasy novels, including the weird western Bloodrush and the epic standalone The Heart of Stone. He is also the author of the brand new Chasing Graves Trilogy.

The Written

Book one of The Emanska Series

His name is Farden. 
They whisper that he’s dangerous. 
Dangerous is only the half of it. 

Something has gone missing from the libraries of Arfell. Something very old, and something very powerful. Five scholars are now dead, a country is once again on the brink of war, and the magick council is running out of time and options. 

Entangled in a web of lies and politics and dragged halfway across icy Emaneska and back, Farden must unearth a secret even he doesn’t want to know, a secret that will shake the foundations of his world. Dragons, drugs, magick, death, and the deepest of betrayals await. 

Welcome to Emaneska.

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Chasing Graves

Book one of The Chasing Graves Trilogy

Welcome to Araxes, where getting murdered is just the start of your problems.

Meet Caltro Basalt. He’s a master locksmith, a selfish bastard, and as of his first night in Araxes, stone cold dead.

They call it the City of Countless Souls, the colossal jewel of the Arctian Empire, and all it takes to be its ruler is to own more ghosts than any other. For in Araxes, the dead do not rest in peace in the afterlife, but live on as slaves for the rich.

While Caltro struggles to survive, those around him strive for the emperor’s throne in Araxes’ cutthroat game of power. The dead gods whisper from corpses, a soulstealer seeks to make a name for himself with the help of an ancient cult, a princess plots to purge the emperor from his armoured Sanctuary, and a murderer drags a body across the desert, intent on reaching Araxes no matter the cost.

Only one thing is certain in Araxes: death is just the beginning.

Bloodrush

Book 1 of The Scarlet Star Trilogy

Prime Lord Hark lies dead in a pool of his own blood.

The Empire is in turmoil. The Emerald Benches are leaderless. Queen Victorious calls for justice. But none of this matters to Lord Hark’s thirteen year-old son, Tonmerion, who abruptly finds himself orphaned and now in the charge of an estranged aunt. An undertaker, no less, who lives far across the Iron Ocean, at the very brink of the Endless Land and all known civilisation. In a place they call Fell Falls, Wyoming.

In the dusty frontier town of Fell Falls, Merion finds no silverware, no servants, no plush velvet nor towering spires. Only dust, danger, and the railway. Tonmerion has only one friend to help him escape the torturous heat and unravel his father’s murder. A fae warrior named Rhin. An embittered, twelve-inch tall outcast of the Undering whose past refuses to let go of him.

But there are darker things at work in Fell Falls, and not just the railwraiths or the savages baying for blood. Secrets lurk in Merion’s bloodline.

Secrets that will redefine him.

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Heart of Stone

Merciless. Murderer. Monster. He has been called many names in his time.

Built for war and nothing else, he has witnessed every shade of violence humans know, and he has wrought his own masterpieces with their colours. He cared once, perhaps, but far too long ago. He is bound to his task, dead to the chaos he wreaks for his masters.

Now, he has a new master to serve and a new war to endure. In the far reaches of the Realm, Hartlund tears itself in two over coin and crown. This time he will fight for a boy king and a general bent on victory.

Beneath it all he longs for change. For something to surprise him. For an end to this cycle of warfare.

Every fighter has a last fight. Even one made of stone.

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Binti #2: Home

Home (Binti, #2)
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Home is the continuation of the Binti series. Binti has been at Oomza for over a year, and she has managed to make somewhat acquaintances with the Meduse Okwu. Now, Binti must travel to her home town and go on a pilgrimage with her people. She brings Okwu to her home planet to meet her people, and she struggles to find her place as a foreigner in a place that she once called home.

Okorafor does include some thoughts of Binti having panic attacks and having to go to a counselor because of the attack on the ship a year ago, but I felt like Binti and the world still don’t care about what happened on that ship! Okwu is allowed at the school as some sort of exchange student, and no one ever really questions him. He was on the ship when the attack occurred, but no one is even put in jail for killing all of those innocent students. Sure, they wanted the chief’s stinger, but surely there could have been a more peaceful way of getting it back rather than killing a ship full of students and then keeping one hostage as an ambassador. I don’t understand how they just forgave the Meduse for this and just moved to allow them into the school so easily. How are they explaining this to the parents of the children who were killed? Nothing makes sense.

On top of that, did you know Binti has turned half Meduse? Because I sure didn’t! It came as a complete shock to me when all of a sudden, her hair was some sort of tentacles. And the book doesn’t even discuss her hating herself for becoming (at least partially) one of the killers that had taken so many lives. It would have been interesting banter, but it isn’t even discussed. Clearly, she doesn’t view the Meduse as her equal though, as she repeatedly calls Okwu an “it” throughout the book. It would make sense if Okwu was called “them” for being gender non-binary, but it? IT? Okwu is clearly a sentient being worth more than just the pronoun it. So, I call Okwu he in this review and in my head as that is how other characters refer to him in the book.

It is so disappointing when Binti meets her family. I wasn’t expecting her to be welcomed home with open arms, but they are outright cruel to her at times. It’s like everyone has forgotten that she totally could have died in the previous book with the rest of the kids on that ship. Speaking of the ship, the ship is alive. Again, would have been interesting to see how a living creature would feel about having hundreds of students killed inside her own body, but that isn’t discussed either.

Overall, I would not recommend this trilogy. I am going to read the last book, but then I am not going to read it again most likely. I wanted so badly to enjoy it, but I simply cannot, unfortunately.

Overall Rating: 1 out of 5 books

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The Gate Trilogy #2: The Nowhere Gate Review

The Nowhere Gate (The Gate Trilogy Book 2)
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The Nowhere Gate by K.T. Munson is the sequel to the Sixth Gate. It follows Elisabeth and Ki from the previous novel and continues with the events after that novel. Nanette and Ethan are getting closer every day, but the is the species issue with Nanette being human and Ethan not. Ethan has to protect Nanette with his life, but Nanette wants to help him on his fight as well. Ki has landed on a strange planet and doesn’t know how to get home, and others are telling Elisabeth to give up on him but she refuses to do so.

This book suffers from some of the same issues that the previous installment did, one of them being the POV switches. I struggled for the first 100 pages or so of this novel, trying to figure out who was who and what exactly was going on. After the first 100 pages, the story starts to truly come together and I became more invested dint he individual characters.

Most of my favorite parts of this story have to do with spoilers, so I am just going to say that the last 100 pages were absolutely action-packed and were what made me sure that I wanted to read the final installment of the series when it eventually comes out. One of my favorite non-spoiler parts of the novel was the romance between Nanette and Ethan. I loved seeing how they grew together, but they weren’t so impulsive as to put one another in danger like many other book couples that I read about. Instead, they had each other’s best interests at heart, and were truly ready to wait.

The jail scenes were also pretty intense. I have to say, K.T. Munson does not shy away from having a few more graphic action scenes. Nothing so much that I would physically cringe and want to stop reading, but enough to keep me on the edge of my seat to see what could happen next to one of the characters. I couldn’t stop reading!

Overall, this was another great installment in this series. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a new upper YA or NA fantasy novel with a nice side of romance to enjoy.

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

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 books

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