I’m so Sorry Winner’s Curse. Please forgive me!

Synopsis: War has begun. Arin is in the thick of it with untrustworthy new allies and the Empire as his enemy. Though he has convinced himself that he no longer loves Kestrel, Arin hasn’t forgotten her, or how she became exactly the kind of person he has always despised. She cared more for the empire than she did for the lives of innocent people—and certainly more than she did for him.

At least, that’s what he thinks.

In the frozen north, Kestrel is a prisoner in a brutal work camp. As she searches desperately for a way to escape, she wishes Arin could know what she sacrificed for him. She wishes she could make the empire pay for what they’ve done to her.

But no one gets what they want just by wishing.

As the war intensifies, both Kestrel and Arin discover that the world is changing. The East is pitted against the West, and they are caught in between. With so much to lose, can anybody really win?

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Review: Okay it’s official, I love this book, I love trilogy and I confess it to the world! Let me start off by saying, I have had my doubts about this series since the first book and I had those same doubts going into this one. Doubts of cliqued arcs and relationships. Every plotline I rolled my eyes at. Every mention of love disgusted me. But I found it harder to do with this book, until finally told myself to stop trying to find bad things in great writing, because this is a great book. And I owe the Winner’s Curse trilogy and Marie Rutkoski an apology because the last two books have been good too.

(This is the bit where I apologise):

If you’ve seen my last two review of this series you may get the hint that I don’t like it. But no more, my thoughts on this series has been quite biased and slanted and truly after reading this, I realised how much I bloody loved the last two despite what I’ve said.

(Okay back to the review)!

My favourite thing about this book is that I didn’t know where it was going, the plot lines and steps the book take, feel very organic. The same can be said for the characters, they develop and grow very realistically and it made me genuinely sit on the edge of my seat for most of the final act. I cried and jumped for joy over these characters, their journey has mention SO much to me.

However, to mar a great book, the final few chapters of the resolution really were lacklustre. I felt that a lot of loose ends were not tied up, perhaps because they couldn’t be, perhaps they were too huge for the author to deal with. But either way, it left me feeling pretty empty after what was such a good final book.

Despite this, I implore you to read this. I’ve been on such an adventure with this series that I’d invite anyone to go on it too.

Love this book, love this trilogy.

comment-belowHave you read this series? Did you like it? Comment below!!

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My Convention Experiences

I’m not a big convention goer, the only ones I’ve been to are writing ones…

Good thing I have a blog about writing!

 

Get ready for a load of free books

People love giving away books at conventions…too many books. I now have a shelf devoted to free books. You get free books on the door, then more as you go into different rooms, you better hope they’re a good read.

 

Putting this many anti-social people in one room may not be the best idea

I don’t know about you but I hate bloody communicating people…no offense. But what I’ve come to realise is that most writers are also weird shut-ins who refuse to talk. And nothing is more awkward than when EVERYONE in the room doesn’t know who to start a conversation.

 

Group workshops are definitely not the best idea

Honestly workshop are pretty good ideas. I just wish no one else was in there with me and I think everyone else’s thinking the same thing.

 

Civil war: Traditional vs. Self publishing

A strange thing happens at writing conventions, especially panels. You’re either Team ‘in it for the money’ or Team ‘putting in the effort’ and you may be able to tell which side I’ve taken if only because Traditional published author seem to be the only ones allowed on panel.

 

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So have you ever been to a writing convention? Do you want to? Or have I offended you with my team choices?

Let me know below.

 

Numen the Slayer (Review)

SynopsisNumen: Numen Magnus is heir to the castle of Magnus Keep, but has everything taken from him by a barbaric king. With his home destroyed and family murdered, Numen must fight to survive in the uncharted wilderness of Umbran. Along his journey, Numen discovers something significant about his heritage and seeks to turn his enemies to ash. Numen the Slayer is a fantasy underdog story where one young man can decide the fate of a kingdom. The Gold Phoenix rises!

Review: Numen the dragon slayer is the fantasy novel written by Grady P. Brown. The author clearly loves the world he has created as well the history of the characters’ that inhabit it and truly does wish for others to feel the same way. However this is the book’s own downfall. By trying to squeeze so many characters and so much lore in to the book, it does mean there isn’t a lot of time devoted to developing the emotions of the main characters. Despite this it isn’t a confusing book, the characters and their environments are so separate from one another that it’s easy to follow. The book does feel like it has it’s own world, it’s extensive, everything planned out from the environment to the economic income of each kingdom and the author does devote a lot of time to these kingdom developing them throughout the book. It’s a book for people who love worldbuilding over character development, which I’m certainly partial to.

Conclusion: I did enjoy this book, it is an easy read to get through and something nice to wind down with.

What do you think? Would you read it? Have you read it? Comment below!

Thanks to Grady P Brown for giving me a free copy for a honest review.

 

The Curse of Fantasy YA (Review)

A royal wedding should be a celebration, with fireworks and dancing till dawn. But for General’s daughter Kestrel, betrothed to the Crown Prince, marriage is a trap.

Just as they fell in love, Arin became her enemy. Kestrel aches to tell him the truth – that her engagement was the price she paid to save his life. But in a world of lies and intrigue, how can she trust him if she doesn’t even trust herself? The truth will come out, and when it does, Kestrel and Arin will learn the high cost of their crime…

Winner's crime

I have a confession. A horrible confession.

I hate the YA fantasy genre….

Okay granted it’s not something I keep secret but my point is, is that I expected all fantasy YA books to turn out the same. Same plot, same beats, same surprises. And this is because what feels like the same story a thousand times over. So, entering a YA book, I’m nervous and wary.

So, I feel I have to apologise to Winner’s crime because while it’s a good book, I can’t escape the worry that it’s plotline will be the same as every one of its pretentious. It’s good, even I’ll admit that. This world is immersive, it’s characters diverse. It was an interesting read for sure. Let’s try and go through it’s good point without being too biased.

  • Main protagonist: I like Kestrel, and really do understand the horrible situation she’s being put in. I like Arin for bad reasons: I like him because he isn’t a carbon copy of Kestrel, he’s actually kind of dumb, which made him interesting, but really, I never felt sucked into his storyline like Kestrel’s.
  • There’s a reason they can’t be together: I won’t go too into this, but the fact that they can’t be happily together is simple, common sense, actually. Doesn’t make it hurt any less but at least it has context.
  • It doesn’t really suffer from middle book syndrome…maybe: While the ending did essentially move the plot backwards, stuff did happen in this book and not all of it went to waste.

So yeah those are my main good points with the book, but all of that is over shadow by the looming threat of a predicable plot. I don’t want it to be predicable but…it is. It’s pretty and written beautiful but it’s predicable and I’m so afraid the next one will just ruin it all with the same finale that’s just like every other YA novel. I hope it’s not.

Only one way to find out…

In the end I’d recommend this as a great starting point for YA fantasy, it just shouldn’t be your 100th book.

 

What do you think? Would you read it? Have you read it? Comment below!

The Song of the Stork- review

Synopsis: Fifteen year-old Yael is on the run. The Jewish girl seeks shelter from the Germans on the farm of the village outcast. Aleksei is mute and solitary, but as the brutal winter advances, he reluctantly takes her in and a delicate relationship develops.

As her feelings towards Aleksei change, the war intrudes and Yael is forced to join a Jewish partisan group fighting in the woods.

Torn apart and fighting for her life, The Song of the Stork is Yael’s story of love, hope and survival. It is the story of one woman finding a voice as the voices around her are extinguished.

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Review: This book is an amazingly beautiful especially in displaying the bleakness of humanity. A lot of this book is spent talking about what is left of humanity when hope is gone and how evil anyone can become and this book never lets you forget how horrible the world is. It also creates incredicbly real, reable characters that truly drives the story. It isn’t a book of happy endings and romance, it is a book of harsh realities and this is what makes it so good.

I would recommend this book to anyone who can read and please tell me your own thoughts on the Song of the Stork.

Why YA novels suck.

I’m gonna let you in on a secret: I hate YA novel and I don’t think I’m in the minority thinking that. But I don’t think that’s fault of any YA novelist more that I’m not looking hard enough for anything good. It’s this generalised feeling that all YA novels suck and I think those feelings are wrong, even if I agree with them.

Confusing I know, but hear me out.

It’s the same story

Girl’s not very popular, meets danger, meets boy, kisses boy, finds out she’s the messiah. It’s the same plot over and over again. Or at least it appears to be. So why would anyone with creative talent create anything they have read a thousand times?

Money.

And I think that’s gonna be the answer for most of this.

As long as people love shooting stuff, COD will exist and as long as young teenagers love placing themselves in the feet of a strong heroine, shit YA novels will exist.

This doesn’t mean there aren’t stories that break the mould, it just seems there will be A LOT of middle of the road, Hunger Games copy, forgettable drivel of the same plot cut-out.

Very female centric

Okay this I do feel is any issue. Strong female leads are great…can I have a male one now? I understand that, again, girls are more likely to read but perhaps having a male lead may get boys more interested. Or maybe I’m mad.

Same genre

Fantasy and Sci-fi books are awesome in fact they are two of my favourite genres, but strong heroine can exist in the really world. Again I think this is merely due to the run of the mill cut-outs that are trying to make a quick buck that leads to this mentality. Real life heroes in the real world are harder to write than dragon riders and night elf archers and I’d like to imagine out there in the sea of fantasy books there’s a great thriller or horror YA novel for me.

The film aren’t very good

This is an odd one but I thought I’d include it. Most people don’t read, (heathens) and their main exposure to YA novels are through the movies they are based on. And some of them…are pretty shit, yeah. even the good ones don’t hold candles to the books. And how is that meant to make everyone feeling about YA novels?

 

So am I wrong? Probably, but what do you think? Pleas leave your comments below!!

 

Legend By Marie Lu

So, Legend by Marie Lu a sci-fi YA about a dysfunction dystopia where a young boy is hunted down by the establishment for unknown reasons. Could this be the new and exciting twist on the genre? Is Donald Trump really not gonna start WW3?

I really wanted to like this book, partly because I didn’t want to have to kill myself from boredom. But no, it’s dull and predictable in such a way that it infuriates me. Actually, while writing this I feel the need to get up and punch a punching bag to dust and we’re only 102 words in.

Throughout the first quarter of the book I thought it could turn everything round, sure it was predictable but I could see how a twist could develop, but more on that later. What really made me believe that this book was going to be the same junk that tries to latch on the success of The Hunger Games and Divergent was the short chapters. When a chapter is less than two pages long, you realise its suffering from Dan Brown syndrome. Short chapters are meant to trick the reader into thinking its gripping because you can read ten chapter in five minutes, but in reality its lazy and frustrating to come across.

Okay, so what is the actually story? Set in the Republic of America, Daniel “Day” Altan Wing, a rebellious 15-year-old deemed as the most-wanted criminal in the country, stages a failed attempt to steal a medicine from the Central Hospital for his younger brother, Eden Baatar, who is infected by a plague. However, he ends up becoming accused of the death of Captain Metias Iparis. Metias’ younger sister, June, a 15-year-old prodigy, vows to seek out Day in revenge and kill him.

First off there’s no emotional connection with these characters, the two main characters are such Mary Sue archetype you can feel every beat of their perfect programming. There’s no human emotion in either of them. They don’t act like normal people which, shockingly, makes it hard to emphasize with them. Which also isn’t helped by the book trying to pull at the heartstrings in third act. You know you’re supposed to feel something but that’s so hard when the characters are just ‘insert strong character here’ types.

So, most of the book June is trying to hunt down Day for murdering her brother and this is where the book could have, well not shined, but at least surprised me. She could has killed Day for murdering her brother and the story could have continued with her finding out more secrets of the Republic. But nope, she can’t bring herself to do it, she feels compelled to help him. And it’s not because he didn’t do it, nope it’s because as soon as she meets him, she sees something different in him. Just Jesus Christ.

And this is the book’s main problems it the same as every YA sci-fi, just ticking the boxes off. Strong (meaning no weaknesses) orphaned protagonists who are somehow special, an evil corrupt government to fight against, joining rebellion and becoming the figurehead of said rebellion, a love at first sight relationship, which makes me want to grab the collars of the horny teenagers and shake some sense into them. And Legend has two sequels which I’m guessing will be just as easy to predict but that’s something I’ve got to find out. (Kill me).