Sorry guys, no reviews or anything this month. I really don't have time between all my other commitments (field hockey, college applications, AP courses, etc.). Honestly I haven't read all that much either-- I still have a lot of reviews to catch up on though so hopefully I'll be able to get around to that at some point! (If you're interested in knowing my immediate thoughts, friend me on goodreads).
Here's a book that's been on my TBR for years now. A decadent world filled with magic and culture, a delicate balance of power between the monarchs, wizards and clanspeople... so delicate that it's about to collapse. Filled with intrigue, action and just a dash of romance, The Demon King truly is a fun and enthralling ride.
While this book has been on my radar for years and years now, I've always been hesitant to pick it up. Why? Well, years back I tried out the Chima's other series-- the Heir Chronicles, and was not particularly impressed. I read the first and second book, bought the third, and still have yet to pick it up. Maybe one day, probably not. But then again, I felt drawn to this series, mostly because of its high rating on Goodreads (4.2-- anything above 4 means most likely a phenomenal book.) Of course, I still didn't get the push I needed to read it, until I read a recommendation for Flamecaster, which is the first book in a sequel series to the Seven Realms series (this series). I wanted to just read Flamecaster, but I read a review saying I have to read the Seven Realms series first... So here we are. And let me make this clear from the get-go: I am so glad I read this series.
The Demon King follows two main protagonists-- Raisa ana'Marianna, the rebellious crown princess, and a reformed thief Han Alister. Both characters and their separate are quite interesting-- though, if I'm being honest, The Demon King definitely is the worst/ least interesting book in the series. As is common with high fantasy books, it takes a lot to set up the world, therefore, a lot of The Demon King was exposition-- just introducing the characters and the world they live in. Still, there was something that kept me reading it. Like, while reading, it's very hard to extract yourself and put the book down (after a bit in, I'll admit the start was a bit slow), but once you put the book down, it's not all that hard to not think about it anymore either.
The most impressive thing about the book was its world. It took a lot of effort to really set it up and show where you were. I loved the political conflicts between the clans, the wizards and the monarchs. It made the world seem so much more realistic and relatable. There is a true complexity and depth written into their strained relationships-- and it was intriguing to read about.
I would give the Demon King 7/10 stars, it was fun, but like I said, when I put it down, it wasn't something that I felt tugging at me to pick back up again. If you didn't get the vibe from the review, I'm actually writing after having finished the entire series so, just take my word for it and believe me when I say the series most definitely gets better-- worth the read, especially if you enjoy fantasy / action with a dash of romance like I do.
Times are hard in the mountain city of Fellsmarch. Reformed thief Han Alister will do almost anything to eke out a living for his family. The only thing of value he has is something he can't sell—the thick silver cuffs he's worn since birth. They're clearly magicked—as he grows, they grow, and he's never been able to get them off.
One day, Han and his clan friend, Dancer, confront three young wizards setting fire to the sacred mountain of Hanalea. Han takes an amulet from Micah Bayar, son of the High Wizard, to keep him from using it against them. Soon Han learns that the amulet has an evil history—it once belonged to the Demon King, the wizard who nearly destroyed the world a millennium ago. With a magical piece that powerful at stake, Han knows that the Bayars will stop at nothing to get it back.
Meanwhile, Raisa ana'Marianna, princess heir of the Fells, has her own battles to fight. She's just returned to court after three years of freedom in the mountains—riding, hunting, and working the famous clan markets. Raisa wants to be more than an ornament in a glittering cage. She aspires to be like Hanalea—the legendary warrior queen who killed the Demon King and saved the world. But her mother has other plans for her...
The Seven Realms tremble when the lives of Hans and Raisa collide, fanning the flames of the smoldering war between clans and wizards.
Thanks for reading (sorry for such a short review, it's actually been a couple weeks since I read the book and I kinda forget the big things since I didn't take notes)
The Darkest Minds Never Fade in the Afterlight.
Three stellar novels, containing strong, complex characters and intriguing plots filled with action, adventure and high stakes. Plus a heart wrenching romance. What more could you ask for? These books are beloved to me-- one of the first series I read that helped to trigger my now insatiable book obsession.
Whenever I hear one of my favorites books are being turned into a movie, the news is always accompanied with a mixture of emotions. Excitement because it'd be amazing to see my favorite stories and characters come to life, and get the recognition they deserve... but there's also a strong sense of apprehension. See, book-to-movie adaptations have a strong history of being huge disappointments. For every amazing book-to-movie, there's tons of unsuccessful adaptations that just disappoint everyone. For example, the Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings movies are amazing, but The Mortal Instruments, Divergent Trilogy, Vampire Academy, Percy Jackson, I Am Number Four etc. were all terrible flops that really just disrespected the books.
Where does the Darkest Minds fall in all of this? Unfortunately this movie is the latter. I had such strong hopes for it-- I've been following news on the movie ever since it was even announced that the story had been picked up for adaptation rights, so this release was a big deal for me.
I wasn't able to get to see the Darkest Minds on its release day, or even its release week, but I was keeping up with it... and my heart sunk when I saw its shockingly low ratings just about everywhere. I think The Darkest Minds had only been in theaters for two weeks by the time I found the chance to see it... and it was already not playing in most of them. I had to travel an absurd distance to get to a theater showing it, and even though I'd heard all of the negative reviews, I still went in hoping for the best-- but soon enough I realized that the movie was certainly not going to be that.
I can never understand how book-to-movie adaptations go so horribly wrong-- I mean seriously! You already have a successful script in book form! I get that some things need to be changed to make the movie producible, but vital plot points plus changing things just for the sake of changing them? Ugh. I can't. Too many things in this movie were switched, and not even for the better-- I think it was just made to appeal more and be more "intense" but the book was plenty fascinating.
There were elements of the story that made absolutely no sense to me and just seemed ridiculous. Such as the fact that the kids' eyes glow their power color? Also no one even mentions that ever-- so is it just something that the viewers can see... or? But why does this make any sense at all? Because the government gave the powers their colors because of their level of danger... so why would the powers abide by the colors given to them by the government?
There were also moments where the tone of the movie was unclear. There was a serious car chase action scene going on and then it cut to this weird picture of Lady Jane bouncing to music in her car. It just couldn't seem to stick to a tone, which caused the film to be muddled-- which doesn't make it easy to really get into the story.
The whole relationship between Liam and Ruby was just... fast and wrong. It was totally rushed-- it felt like they fell in love in just about three days. When the film ended I leaned over to my companions and said, "Bet you after fifteen days they're going to be engaged." It was a joke, but it really did apply.
The book made Liam and Ruby a slow burn that made it impossible not to fall in love with their relationship. All together the movie's depiction of Ruby and Liam's connection was disappointing. In the book Liam bears the burden of being the leader of his group (Chubs and Zu), he feels responsible for them and it's a heavy weight... Ruby helps to connect with him and lift a bit of that burden away. They just have these touching moments that really make their relationship tangible-- the movie had none of that and just tried to skip ahead to the romance. It was the most insta-love-y connection I've ever seen. And I hate instalove.
Just a few more examples of weird things are when Liam and Ruby are like trying to compare themselves to Harry Potter characters-- that scene might have tried to be comedic or relatable, but instead it just turned out uncomfortable and awkward. Then there's that scene in the mall where the telepaths literally press Liam and Ruby together, why was the position needed? I think it was added to make more sexual tension between the two of them but it just... like everything else it was weird. Also the very end scene Ruby just walks up to Liam and hugs him from behind which is WEIRD because it seems like a totally comfortable movement, when they'd never been depicted doing that before. Not only were scenes made weird, but Liam's whole character from the book was just different and a whole lot more likable/ easier to get attached to than movie Liam. (Why did they make Chubs a green? So that the whole group was very color? That just makes it more unrealistic! Ugh. He's supposed to be a blue, if you didn't know.)
Actually, I could go on a rant about all the things made wrong in this movie, but... well, you all don't really want to read that. I did appreciate the characters of Zu and Chubs-- they were definitely the best part of the movie. Otherwise... Not much else was impressive. Sometimes I literally had to look away I was just so done with the movie and how it decided to depict the story. All and all, I was very disappointed. 4/10 stars. It got sucked into all the classic cliches, changing things to try and make the movie a hit, when in reality, it would've already been one if it hadn't made those changes. The cliches and attempts to make a hit movie are really what sunk that ship.
Sorry if this review just seemed long and ranty... I'm not really sure where this is going so I'm jus too to say-- thank you for reading! Sorry this review came out so late-- I started it a long time ago but then school started and well... I've been busy.
"A prince may be the subject of myth and legend, but he can't live in them. He should live in the real world, where he can create them. You should pay less mind to fairy tales, Elian, or that's all you'll become."
Vicious and clever, Alexandra Christo tears her way into the book world with her stunning debut novel To Kill A Kingdom. Loose fairytale retellings seem to be all the rage these days (Cinder, A Court of Thorns and Roses, etc.), yet I never knew I needed a wicked retelling of the Little Mermaid until I read this book. I was missing out, and I didn't even realize it until this book came along.
Like I said before, it's wicked, and it's cunning, and it's a whole boatload (haha) of fun. Usually when I'm in a deep book hangover, the only cure is to read a sweet romance to snap me out. It's usually no good to read another action/fantasy story, because my mind is still stuck in another world. I still picked up To Kill A Kingdom for some reason-- even though I knew the odds of me liking it were slimmer due to the fact I was still feeling hurt by the ending of the Wolf by Wolf. Yet against all odds, I didn't just end up liking the book. I love it.
"Royalty cannot be unmade. Birth rights cannot be changed. Hearts are forever scarred by our true nature."
It very loosely tells the story of The Little Mermaid-- and I mean loosely. Like, the main character is half fish, her love interest is a prince and she has red hair and at some point gets turned into a human. The rest is a series of twists and turns that are all their own. To Kill A Kingdom will take you on a marvelous ride, stealing your breath and yanking at your heartstrings. It has a fun and intriguing plot, and even more fun and lovable characters.
The "mermaids" of the story are not, in fact, mermaids. They are sirens, not the creepy vulturelike type of siren, but the mermaid-like sirens who sing to sailors and are their peril. Every year on her birthday, a siren will enchant some poor sailor and rip out their heart. It's brutal and it's vicious, and I love everything about them. They're solitary, cruel creatures who care for nothing but themselves. They do not bond, and they do not care. They simply exist to satisfy their own pleasures.
"I may not have my fins, or even my voice, but I am my mother's daughter. I am the most murderous creature in the hundred kingdoms."
While all sirens are feared, not many sprout as much terror in the hearts of man as the Prince's Bane, otherwise known as Lira, the princess of the sea. Lira is cruel and brutal, just as a siren should be-- or at least, she tries to act that way. I loved Lira's character because of how sharp she is. She's nothing like the sweet, naive Ariel. Nope, Lira is a personality of her own, and the only way to describe her is sharp. She's cunning, and more than that-- she has a very sharp tongue, always quick to lash out with clever words. Her and Elian's word spars are part of what made the book so enjoyable. She's a strong protagonist, able to defend or attack even when in a strange body in an even stranger setting.
The story is told from dual POVs, Lira's and Elian's. Elian is a pirate at heart, but stuck in a Prince's body. All he wants is to be out at sea with his loyal crew, hunting the creatures who hunt him-- sirens. Yet, he has a duty to his family and to his country, a duty that he despises. How can he be responsible for a nation when he feels an undeniable calling to the sea? Like Lira, he's not just clever, but he's also cunning. He comes up with the most devious plans, and never backs away from a fight.
Neither Elian nor Lira are what you'd, or at least I, expect(ed). They're both masters of sass, and clever snaps, which makes their interactions a joy to read. I found myself laughing out loud and snorting more times than I could count. Their banter just... made everything so much better.
"You can't win a war. Someone else just loses."
The world Christo has created is rich and beautiful. Not only did she create a glittering setting, but she also even went as far as to write parts of a language for the story! Now that's impressive and takes good commitment. I was shocked when I reached the end of the book and discovered it to be a standalone-- from the intricate world Christo put the effort into setting up, and the amazing characters, I assumed (and wanted) there to be more books. Yet, so far there aren't any plans for more. Unfortunately.
Every element of this story is breathtaking, not just the world. It's all so beautifully written and... Wow. This really is just a work of art. It would be impossible to know that this was the author's debut novel-- some authors have been publishing for years and still have yet to master the elegance that Christo has with her words, her characters and her storytelling. 8/10 stars, To Kill A Kingdom is a truly beautiful and exciting masterpiece.
I will admit that yes, the beginning of the story seemed a bit slow-- perhaps overly slow in my eyes because I was still fawning over Luka Lowe and Yael, but it really catches up, I promise. You just have to learn to love the characters, and then everything follows. :) I highly recommend this book to any and all, it has every element you could possibly want and more. You honestly don't know you're missing out, but you really are if you haven't read To Kill A Kingdom yet.
Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all. With the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea. Until a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own. To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen transforms Lira into the one thing they loathe most—a human. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian’s heart to the Sea Queen or remain a human forever.
The ocean is the only place Prince Elian calls home, even though he is heir to the most powerful kingdom in the world. Hunting sirens is more than an unsavory hobby—it’s his calling. When he rescues a drowning woman in the ocean, she’s more than what she appears. She promises to help him find the key to destroying all of sirenkind for good—But can he trust her? And just how many deals will Elian have to barter to eliminate mankind’s greatest enemy?
Thanks for reading,
Ever wonder what really happened during the last race between Luka and the real Adele Wolfe? Iron to Iron answers that question. Unfortunately it isn't a fully fledged novel, only about 100 pages, but any time with Luka Lowe is worth the read for me.
It was a bit of a painful read, seeing as Luka isn't falling for Yael, he's falling for Adele. Still, definitely worth the read because it's set in this world with these characters! How could you not read every last word dedicated to them?
I enjoyed this novella. It was adorable seeing Luka turn into this little puppy falling in love, and then horrible seeing him hurt. Seriously, it was leading up to the betrayal moment and I silently wished for it not to happen while also silently rooted for it to occur. Why these warring thoughts? Because if the betrayal never happened Luka would never have been hurt, and I never want to see my precious baby hurt, but if it had never happened, Luka also probably would have never fallen for Yael for a lot of reasons including the fact that Adele would have not won so Yael could never enter the race and also that Luka would still be in love with Adele, which would be inconvenient seeing as he absolutely must be in love with Yael.
After reading this book, I just need more closure with Yael and Felix... and a Wolf by Wolf from Luka's POV. That's not too much to ask for, right? Haha. Ryan, if you're reading this, please, I need more Luka Lowe. Give me a Wolf by Wolf from Luka! I'll buy all the copies if necessary to pay you the adequate amount. Haha. Well, I'd give Iron to Iron 8/10 stars. It was a fun read, of course it wasn't as good as the actual books in the series, though.
A story just as bloodthirsty and brutal, if not more so, than its predecessor. Full of action, violence, betrayal and subterfuge, Blood for Blood is an epic conclusion to the Wolf by Wolf duology. Relationships are broken, but some are mended. How do you act around the people who you bonded with as a different person? An interesting question, and one probably nobody knows how to answer-- seeing as none of us can shape shift into someone else.
Blood for Blood has an interesting balance of plot v. character heaviness. It just seemed to tip very strongly in either direction during different parts of the book. The characters, especially Luka, grew so much during this book, and it was a privilege to watch his journey. And I'm not just saying that because I'm totally in love with Luka Lowe. Sure, I would love anything that had to do with him, but his character growth in this book made him even more of a dream-worthy character.
Unlike Wolf by Wolf, Blood for Blood is told from three different perspectives. Can you guess whose? Yael, Felix and Luka's. While some books suffer when changing their POVs through a series, this actually enhanced the reading experience. It was fantastic being able to see into their thoughts-- especially their reactions to finding out Adele was not actually Adele. In fact, the book would have suffered without showing these characters because each character had their own individual journey mental & physical to overcome. (Don't read that as they're all separate during the book-- they're not!)
While the book was stellar-- the writing, characters and action superb, I found myself wishing for a few things that didn't occur. Firstly I wanted more touching/actual moments between our main duo. No, I don't mean romantic, just more talking and bonding, I guess, between them with her as Yael instead of Adele. Sure, there were a few, but my greedy heart expected and direly wished for more. Mostly with Felix-- I wanted a lot more closure between Felix and Yael than I got. It was mostly Felix that I was pondering about during the first book on how he and Yael would act together once he knew, and unfortunately I didn't get too many "touching" scenes between them to find out. What I mean when I say "actual" moments is that while the characters are together for a lot of the novel, you hardly see any actual interactions between them. You just see thoughts going through their head and then the events going on around them.
I was sort of nervous going into this book because I thought the real Adele Valerie Wolfe was going to be a bigger player and... Well, I didn't want her to be because again, I'm selfish and want all the attention for my girl, Yael. Plus, from what I gathered in the first book, Adele was not someone i would like. She seemed kinda selfish, but maybe I just thought that because I was purposely against her due to the fact that I'm totally team Yael. 100%.
But slight spoiler, we hardly even saw Adele at all during this book. How is it that she's such a looming, important presence but even after finishing the series I feel like I barely know her? (Yes, I have read Iron to Iron). While I was dreading her being a bigger character, I was somehow still disappointed when she stayed very much in the background.
I would give Blood for Blood 9/10 stars, while it was still a fantastical novel, it didn't touch me quite as much as Wolf for Wolf. Don't get me wrong, Blood for Blood was great, but Wolf for Wolf was a phenomenal work of art. Seriously, I was left with a BIG book hangover after finishing this novel. The biggest one I've had in a long time-- it left a gap in my soul bigger and heavier than I could've thought was possible. This isn't a finale you want to miss out on-- nothing that happens is what you could expect. Unlike other novels where characters get unexpectedly lucky, everything that could go wrong did go wrong, and anything that you're hoping could go wrong, doesn't. Seriously, Blood for Blood is nothing like what you would expect.
There would be blood. Blood for blood. Blood to pay. An entire world of it.
For the resistance in the Third Reich, the war may be over, but the fight has just begun. Death camp survivor Yael, who has the power to skinshift, is on the run: the world has just seen her shoot and kill Hitler. But the truth of what happened is far more complicated, and its consequences are deadly. Yael and her unlikely comrades dive into enemy territory to try to turn the tide against Hitler’s army, and there is no alternative but to see their mission through to the end, whatever the cost.
But in the midst of the chaos, Yael’s past and future collide when she comes face to face with a ghost from her past, and a spark with a fellow rider begins to grow into something more. Dark secrets reveal dark truths and one question hangs over them all—how far can you go for the ones you love?
WHY DID LUKA HAVE TO DIE? Sure, it showed his tremendous character growth, willing to sacrifice himself versus betraying Yael in the first one, but NO! LUKA AND YAEL deserved so much more. They deserved a future! NOT LUKA GETTING SHOT GODDAMNIT. Wow. Luka's character growth was just beautiful throughout this book and wow. I love everything that happened with him minus the fact that he was killed. I especially loved seeing him see Yael and still be in love with her. Seeing the slight glimpses of the race through his mind made me squeal in delight I mean...
"To Luka's (very small) credit, he hadn't meant to fall in love with Adele again. He'd plunged into the 1956 Axis Tour bent on a single thing-- revenge."
"His plan was this: Watch Adele Wolf like a hawk. Pretend he still loved her. Gain her trust, her alliance, her heart, and cement it with a kiss (which happened to be laced with a soporific that would knock her out for hours and give him a sold lead, another victory)."
"The more Luka watched, the more he realized there was a problem with his plan.... He couldn't pretend he still loved Adele Wolfe, because he did."
AH. If you aren't screaming at these, where is your heart?
"Only when they were even-- a heart for a heart, a victory for a victory-- could they be together."
Just watching them in love is beautiful. It was perfect. And I just wish there was more. Watching Luka interact with Adele when he's no longer in love with her? Wow. That was just so satisfying.
Now let's move on to the other beautiful boy. Felix, my sweet, loyal baby. Who isn't nearly as loyal anymore. Okay, yes, he's loyal to his family, but not to Yael! I could understand his plight, I really could, but did it make me feel that it was okay? No. Every moment I was hoping that he would be caught and be turned to the right side, but he never was, not until it was too late.
Unfortunately we couldn't get too many touching scenes with Yael and Felix. You basically get that one scene with the chess pieces where she makes that promise to him, but otherwise they were in the same area, but never actually had a deep talk. I get that they don't really have time-- the world is at stake-- but I STILL NEED THOSE MOMENTS. I especially craved more closure between Felix and Yael at the end of the novel, after Yael finds out about his treachery. Sure, she takes him to his family, but do they talk? NO. I JUST NEED MORE CLOSURE, OKAY? It bugs me to think about that it's not resolved...
Anyway, thanks for reading,
"Once upon a different time, there was a girl who lived in a kingdom of death. Wolves howled up her arm. A whole pack of them -- made of tattoo ink and pain, memory and loss. It was the only thing about her that ever stayed the same."
Dark and gritty, Wolf by Wolf is everything you could possibly want in a book and more. I read a lot. I read a lot of different books, and I've read a lot of great books... And this is by far one of the best books I've ever read. I'm not kidding when I say that Wolf by Wolf is everything you could imagine in a great book. It has all the elements you could possibly want-- a badass protagonist, thrilling plot and intriguing side characters.
Let me start this review by telling you a quick story. Meet the protagonist, me. When I came across this book, I was stunned by its rating on Goodreads. A 4.27/5 stars. For those of you unfamiliar with Goodreads, usually a 3.80 or above means a fairly promising book. Anything above a 4 means a fantastic book. And as high as .27? It has to be a phenomenal read. Therefore I had to add it to my TBR list.
Then I read the synopsis... And instantly lost my interest. See, the synopsis just felt really... dumb to me. It sounded like a very weird plot that I would not be into at all. I mean, come on motorcycle race to kill Hitler? How absurd does that plot line sound? (PLEASE DON'T STOP READING THE REVIEW! TRUST ME, IT'S A GREAT BOOK.) You may be feeling the same way I did then-- hesitant and ready to never think about this book again. Don't. Don't make that mistake. You don't wanna be missing out on this book. Then I skimmed my friends' reviews on Goodreads, and they were all 5 star and glowing... So I kept the book on my To Be Read list, but felt hesitant to ever pick the book up.
Skip forward a couple weeks and I'm getting on a six hour flight to go on vacation in California. Before leaving for the airport I downloaded 3 books. Wolf by Wolf was one of them. That was my way of forcing myself to read it and see what all the hype was about. Still, Wolf by Wolf was the last of the three books-- that's how doubtful I was about it.
It's extremely difficult to come out of a book with a positive reading experience when going in with negative expectations... Yet somehow I came out of this book in complete awe. I instantly got the next book, read that, cried because it was over, and then reread the series again. The point of this little anecdote is that while the plot synopsis might be a little... strange, don't worry about it. Push through and really try to enjoy the book. (Also side note, my friend thought it sounded dumb too, but I forced her to read the book and she loved it. So...)
"She-wolf. An interesting choice."
"I didn't choose it," she told him. "It chose me."
Here, I'm going to try and set up the story for you in a way that doesn't sound crazy-- but even if it does, I still really want to encourage you all to try it out. Alright, picture this-- a world where the Axis Powers won World War II. Kind of a scary thought, huh? Since the Axis won, that means their lovely leader, Adolf Hitler is still alive, leading the people of Germany-- only, it's not just Germany, it's an entire empire of conquered nations.
"Not everything was gray ashfall, yellowing weeds, withered blue hands, crimson rivers of blood....There was still beauty in this world. And it was worth fighting for."
The Axis Powers valued strength in their youth-- so as victors of the world war, they host an annual motorcycle race across their territory-- 20,000 kilometers-- to show the strength of their people and find the most promising youth to be the next face of the empire. From that perspective, the motorcycle race makes sense.
Last year, the race had its first female victor-- Adele Wolfe. When she attended her victor's ball, Hitler waltzed with her on live television. No one is able to get that close to Hitler, especially not on live television, so the resistance forms a plan to spark continent-wide rebellion. Kill Hitler on live TV where everyone can see it-- the only issue is that no one else has ever been able to get that close to him. Only Adele Wolfe can, and she can only do that if she wins this year's race and is offered another dance at the victor's ball.
Now meet Yael. She's a Jewish girl who escaped her concentration camp with the help of a unique ability. While at the camp, she was tested on, and those tests caused her to be able to shapeshift-- or skin shift, as she calls it. Yael works for the rebellion, and now she has a very important mission. She has to kill Hitler, and she's the only person who can... as Adele Wolfe.
So Yael enters this years race disguised as last year's Victor. All she has to do is win, not so hard, right? Wrong. The race is full of sabotage along with all the natural difficulties of riding a motorcycle 20,000 kilometers throughout multiple continents. Plus, there's the issue of not being discovered, which didn't seem like it would be an issue until Felix, Adele Wolf's twin brother, enters the race. Not to mention Luke Lowe, another victor hellbent on wining again, who seems to have a tangled past with Adele-- one that Yael knows nothing about. So Yael must pretend to be Adele and try to figure out what Adele's relationship is with these two boys and learn how to act towards them...
There's my best shot at giving a synopsis and setting up the story without making the plot sound completely nuts. If that still didn't win you over, here, let's talk about elements of the book.
"Not alone. It was a cruel irony that this was the message she had been chosen to deliver. She, the loneliest of all. The girl without a people. Without a face. The girl who was no one. Who could be everyone."
Yael is quite literally the perfect protagonist. She's tough, but also vulnerable. She genuinely cares for everyone-- every life matters to her. She has a lust for vengeance, but is also understanding and empathetic. She's a very easy protagonist to really root for and sympathize with.
"She thought she was ready for this mission. Ready for anything.
But not this. Not relationships.
This wasn’t something she could fake."
Now let's talk about the two main side characters that I've fallen madly in love with. Luka Lowe and Felix Wolfe. Two vastly different boys that both provide the same problem for Yael. She doesn't know them, and she doesn't know wheat's between them and Adele. Luka is another victor of the race, and a cocky bastard to top that off. (AKA perfectly my type) His lighthearted banter with Yael is one of my favorite things. He has so many layers, and it was so much fun trying to uncover the true Luka Lowe as the book continued on. Felix is the exact opposite of Luka. While it seems that Luka may or may not be out to get Adele/Yael, Felix is there to protect her. He's strong and loyal to a fault. He'll do anything and everything for his twin, and AH. I just loved him for that.
I'll admit, the plot had a pretty slow start. It took a while to get into the story, but once you get in, it's impossible to pull yourself out of the riveting world of subterfuge, lies and betrayal. The race's storyline was absolutely enthralling, it had my heart racing at all the intense moments and me squealing in excitement basically all the time. The story flashes between present and past, Yael in the race, the past-- her time in the concentration camp and then teaming up with the rebels. I mean, I think this might be an obvious comment but I preferred the present story (most books with dual stories are like that). While, yes, I did come to appreciate the flashbacks (you need them, to see where Yael is coming from. They are definitely necessary plot points), the first few just seemed to break up the momentum. (This was when I was still hesitant about the book.) As I got into the flow of things, the flashbacks seemed more well placed, and more interesting.
The race is no ordinary race. Because of the length of the journey, the race isn't solely dependent on speed. In fact, speed is a bit of an afterthought. If you're going to win the Axis Tour, you have to concentrate on survival and pay attention to your competitors. Close attention. There is plenty of sabotage that occurs along the roads, and if you're even going to think about making the 20,000 kilometers, you're going to need allies to watch your back. But who can you trust when everyone is in it to win? I loved this aspect of the plot, it was a truly exhilarating adventure-- especially with all the tricks and twists the occurred along the way to Tokyo.
While the race itself is a draw, so are the characters and their relationships. It's so intriguing to watch Yael interact with these two boys, see her attempt to uncover who Adele is, even when she doesn't know who she herself is. The relationships are so complex, and so beautifully written... Seriously, I don't even know the words to describe how much I love everything about these characters and their stories.
Graudin has written a masterpiece. It's highly unusual that I give a new book this rating, and even more unusual that I am giving this to a book that I was convinced I would dislike but 9.5/10 stars. If everything I've said already hasn't convinced you to read Wolf by Wolf, I just have to say 9.5/10. That's how amazing this story is. Sure, it has a slow start, but the novel catches up and overtakes its beginning. If you're not convinced yet, I don't have anything more to say other than READ IT.
Her story begins on a train.
The year is 1956, and the Axis powers of the Third Reich and Imperial Japan rule. To commemorate their Great Victory, Hitler and Emperor Hirohito host the Axis Tour: an annual motorcycle race across their conjoined continents. The victor is awarded an audience with the highly reclusive Adolf Hitler at the Victor’s Ball in Tokyo.
Yael, a former death camp prisoner, has witnessed too much suffering, and the five wolves tattooed on her arm are a constant reminder of the loved ones she lost. The resistance has given Yael one goal: Win the race and kill Hitler. A survivor of painful human experimentation, Yael has the power to skinshift and must complete her mission by impersonating last year’s only female racer, Adele Wolfe. This deception becomes more difficult when Felix, Adele twin’s brother, and Luka, her former love interest, enter the race and watch Yael’s every move.
But as Yael grows closer to the other competitors, can she bring herself to be as ruthless as she needs to be to avoid discovery and complete her mission?
From the author of The Walled City comes a fast-paced and innovative novel that will leave you breathless.
I don't have much spoilery talk to say. I've basically said all my opinions above. If any of you want to actually talk about the details of the book, though, I'd be totally down. I fell in love with this book and need as many people as possible to talk to about it. The moment that rings out in my mind now that I've reread it multiple times that makes me squeal with delight is at the beginning of the race when Luka is doing the pincer movement and saying "Let's have fun, Fraulein!" and AH. Emotions. I love that.
Anyway, thanks for reading,
“Sometimes I miss this. You. Me. Secrets. Stars.” His words curled out with the smoke—wisps of burning air that actually looked pretty. “I thought I was invincible. Before you.”
Set in a world where the rich are absurdly rich and the poor are living in absolute shambles, Pacifica follows Ross and Marin, two people who were born on opposite sides of the spectrum. Ross is the son of the most powerful man in the world and has lived a life of luxury, while Marin was quite literally born in a land of trash and is now living in the poorest of the poor districts.
Pacifica is an action filled novel-- but that's not the thing that really sets it apart and pulls the reader into the dystopian world of Pacifica. What really sets this book apart and lifts it up and beyond is its characters.
Ross, the boy prince with the heart of gold. He's made up of good intentions and always unconsciously just sees the best in people. He's literally such a sweetheart and while the sweethearts aren't usually the ones who steal my heart in books, Ross really won me over. He's trusting, good natured and possesses an unseen disability-- one that he has never told anyone about because he's the president's son. He has to be perfect. And wow, his imperfections really just made him more perfect and more realistic in my eyes.
Then there's Marin. The girl from the slums and a pirate at that. Her father raised her to be cruel, to be cunning-- and that's all really anyone ever sees of her, if they even bother to look past the poor clothes and the grime. She's such fun protagonist, really all you could ever want in one-- clever and self-made, having worked for what she has and what she is.
And a third character that is hardly seen in the book, but whose presence is highly important, is Adam, Ross's best friend and son of the vice president. But there's more to him than what meets the... well, not eye, the outwardly description. See, Adam and his family is from the slums, and he's never really fit in with any of the people in Ross's circle. The gap between the rich and the poor is gargantuan, and the disdain the aristocrats feel towards those from the slums is colossal. The only one to have ever accepted Adam is Ross. Their friendship is what drives the book-- after all, if Adam had never been taken, Ross would've never gone on a fantastical journey with Marin to find him.
The relationship between the characters is phenomenal. Adam and Ross's friendship is the epitome of what everyone wishes their friendships could be. Ross quite literally is willing to go to the ends of the Earth to find Adam and bring him back to safety. While this relationship is already established before the book begins, as you progress through the book, you get to see and understand more of their friendship-- which makes you able to love it even more.
Then there's Marin and Ross's relationship. This is one that doesn't exist before the start of this book and you really get to watch it build and become something beautiful throughout the book. I quite literally fell in love with them and their reactions with each other. Sure, the romance takes a back burner to the plot, but it is still there, and wow, the tension is real.
Of course, though the characters and their relationships are what elevates the book to become something truly remarkable, the plot is also quite action-filled and thrilling. It was exciting and fun and AH. This book is truly everything you could hope to find. It may have a tweed bit of a slow start, but once you get into it, you're in and it's three AM.
8/10 stars, this book was truly a work of art. Wow, I can't even express in words how taken I was by this story and these characters. I'm pretty sure that a reread is on the horizon quite soon, because I'm ready to be taken back into this world. It's unusual to read a standalone novel and get this attached, but here I am, still quite enraptured with the novel. Yes, you heard me-- it's a standalone. I actually didn't realize this when going into it, I assumed it would be a series like basically any other action book you'd pick up in the store... But it's not, which is amazing because it was able to create and wrap up an enthralling story in a satisfying manner-- but it's also a little disappointing, because I could use more books with these characters. At least I can be comforted in knowing that they're probably happy-- a new book would mean new troubles. Anyway, I hope you all give this book an opportunity and then proceed to enjoy it as much as I did/do.
Marin is corsario royalty, a pirate like her father and his father before him. Sailing the ocean to chase adventure is in her blood. But these days no one cares that the island town her people call home is named after her grandfather. They have a new leader, one who promises an end to their hunger – and one who thinks that girls are meant for the kitchen or the brothel. Marin knows she's meant for more than that, and with the sudden influx of weapons on the island, and rumors of a pending deal with the enemy oil nation in her wake, she knows a big score to gain the council's favor is the only way to save her people, and herself.
Ross lives a life of privilege. As the president's son he wants for nothing, but he longs for a life of adventure. On a dare, he convinces his best friend Adam to sneak out to the Docks, the site of local race riots between the poor Shorlings and the upper class. But when Adam is arrested along with the other Shorlings, and not even the president is willing to find him, Ross finds himself taking matters into his own hands. He journeys back into the Docks, ready to make deals with anyone, even a beautiful pirate, if it means Adam's safe return.
When Marin and Ross meet in dangerous Shoreling territory he sees a way to get his friend back and she sees her ticket home. The ransom a president’s son would command could feed her people for years and restore her family’s legacy. But somewhere in the middle of the ocean, Marin must decide if her heart can handle handing over the only person who has ever seen her as more than a pirate.
Sorry, I'm not going to be able to write full on reviews for all these books because I am so very behind on book reviews. These aren't even the only books I have left to review,they're just a few of them. Anyway, here's a quick overview of each book and what I thought go them.
The Queen's Rising by Rebecca Ross
Here's another book that has been getting a ton of hype. I've been seeing it everywhere, plus it has a 4.05 on goodreads. If a book on goodreads has something in the high 3's, that means it's probably something you want to check out. If it's above four? Definitely not something you want to miss out on. Therefore, even though the synopsis didn't grip me, I got the book.
Unfortunately, I was not very impressed. Everything was just so convenient and easy. Any challenge that occurred wasn't even worrying, because it was resolved in the next chapter or even the next few paragraphs. There just was no feeling of peril because the book's pattern showed that problems were not all the hard to overcome.
There was also the "connections" made in the novel. People bonded way to quickly. I get that there are some people that you can just click with, but the depth of the bond created between characters in a matter pages was rather off-putting. It's really hard to believe that a relationship created in a matter of pages is so deep. Not just believing, either, it's hard (if not impossible) to connect or really care all that much about the relationship because you, as the reader, can't actually feel the relationship is real. Seriously, I laughed at a line because I was like you guys can't have bonded that quickly.
Another thing that I didn't especially couldn't get into or connect with was the romance. It just made me feel sorta weird and uncomfortable. That's all I'm going to say about it in the nonspoilery section. Also just a strange side note: the "biggest question" of the book (which was pretty obvious even if you didn't read the family trees) was given right in the first few pages due to the family trees. Plus it didn't even matter that much plot-wise, anyway so... I dunno, like it wasn't a big cliffhanger keeping me on the edge of the seat because a. it was already given away b. it was obvious anyway and c. it didn't matter that much even when it was revealed.
I'm giving this book 6/10 stars. It had some good elements, but most of it was overshadowed by the rushing and easy solutions. I can't say that I'll be coming back to read the sequel.
When her seventeenth summer solstice arrives, Brienna desires only two things: to master her passion and to be chosen by a patron.
Growing up in the southern Kingdom of Valenia at the renowned Magnalia House should have prepared her for such a life. While some are born with an innate talent for one of the five passions—art, music, dramatics, wit, and knowledge—Brienna struggled to find hers until she belatedly chose to study knowledge. However, despite all her preparations, Brienna’s greatest fear comes true—the solstice does not go according to plan and she is left without a patron.
Months later, her life takes an unexpected turn when a disgraced lord offers her patronage. Suspicious of his intent, and with no other choices, she accepts. But there is much more to his story, and Brienna soon discovers that he has sought her out for his own vengeful gain. For there is a dangerous plot being planned to overthrow the king of Maevana—the archrival kingdom of Valenia—and restore the rightful queen, and her magic, to the northern throne. And others are involved—some closer to Brienna than she realizes.
With war brewing between the two lands, Brienna must choose whose side she will remain loyal to—passion or blood. Because a queen is destined to rise and lead the battle to reclaim the crown. The ultimate decision Brienna must determine is: Who will be that queen?
Okay, so the big plot point of Brienna's father is quite literally GIVEN IN THE FAMILY TREES. Plus it also didn't even matter all that much. Sure, it gave Brienna access to the laws in stone (which I forgetting the name of), but she already had the necklace, so that was just a plus. Then her dad got killed before anything even could be interesting-- like one of the plot lines that I actually was interested in was the relationship plot between Brienna, her father and her brothers. But then, you know, the mean brother and her father were killed so... Like it's just disappointing because of all the potential this book showed, and most of it was killed off. literally.
The quick relationships I was talking about? Mainly between Jourdain and Brienna. Like that father-daughter connection sprung up out of nowhere. I never saw her bonding with him, and then BOOM there was the deep, airtight father-daughter bond. And then from that, she bonded ASAP with everyone else-- like she and the Princess trusted each other and bonded real quick. Basically just all the deep relationships introduced in this book were unbelievable and quite frankly, annoying. I wouldn't be annoyed by them if they were probably constructed, but they weren't, and therefore I did not connect or feel invested in the relationships.
Just everything was so easy. Not that I necessarily need people's deaths, but it's kinda surprising that everyone survived that BIG final battle. Especially since they were riding in the front... Also surprising that Norah was able to literally predict the exact thing that would happen. I actually laughed out loud upon hearing her prediction like. HAHAHAH. It was so on point, too on point.
Also the fact that they actually followed Brienna's plan (and that the plan worked), even though they were all strategy experts and she was literally a master of knowledge (as in like, history and such), just, wow. Same with the visions. They were "hard" to find for about a chapter. And then Brienna got the perfect vision explaining where the necklace was. Also, how convenient is it that Merei could fight? Like she was trained in instruments, but suddenly she's an expert enough archer to be able to survive a big battle.
The relationship between Cartier and Brienna was just... no. Only a couple of chapters in I could tell that this was going to be a romance and I was just hoping that it wouldn't occur. But it did. Of course, it was made more comfortable by me looking at the family tree and seeing that they were actually only 8 years apart, but still... there's something about teacher romances that makes me feel really weird and just. No thank you.
Sorry this is all me ranting. This book was just so easy. No peril. it was all rushed and ugh. I can't believe it has such a high rating on goodreads. Sorry for all of you who loved this book and I just trashed it.. This just wasn't the book for me.
Defy by Sara B. Larson
Normally this book would be totally down my alley. A badass female pretending to be something else, and a love triangle between a bad boy prince with the heart of gold and a sweet guard... Hm, I take that back. I probably would've liked this book if I had read it eight years ago. Now? It was just too much cliche for me. Yes, I have been known to love cliches, but only when they put a twist on it to make the story interesting. There was nothing interesting about Defy for me. It was just a stereotypical cliche book. It didn't have anything to set it apart from all the other novels that had similar tropes-- especially considering that every element of the story was predictable and every problem was easily solved. There was nothing to enthrall the reader.
It might have impressed me a few years ago, but now I was just meh with the book. My main complaint about it, as you have already gathered, is that it wasn't fun or original. Like, if you like cliches a lot, this might be one to check out because while there is nothing fun or impressive, it still has action, adventure and romance. Not that I actually cared that much about the characters of the plot, but you know, it still had the components a good book would have. It was standard, but nothing special. I actually read this because a friend recommended it to me. She absolutely adored the story and the characters-- while I rolled my eyes about every five seconds.
My friend told me that this book was similar to Throne of Glass. It's not. The only similarity is having a main character in a love triangle with a prince and a guard... but the similarities stop there. Not that that was the reason for me to not love the novel-- I wouldn't want a recreation of Throne of Glass, that would offend me and my love for Sarah J. Maas-- but I just want to say that this book doesn't even come close to measuring up to Throne of Glass. Sorry, Defy, Throne of Glass is just a work of art.
Easy to read, but also easy to put down. That's what I'd say about the book if I could put it into one sentence. 6/10 stars. I'm sorry to say that I won't be continuing the series-- I'm just not invested or interested in it enough.
Alexa Hollen is a fighter. Forced to disguise herself as a boy and serve in the king's army, Alex uses her quick wit and fierce sword-fighting skills to earn a spot on the elite prince's guard. But when a powerful sorcerer sneaks into the palace in the dead of night, even Alex, who is virtually unbeatable, can't prevent him from abducting her, her fellow guard and friend Rylan, and Prince Damian, taking them through the treacherous wilds of the jungle and deep into enemy territory.
The longer Alex is held captive with both Rylan and the prince, the more she realizes that she is not the only one who has been keeping dangerous secrets. And suddenly, after her own secret is revealed, Alex finds herself confronted with two men vying for her heart: the safe and steady Rylan, who has always cared for her, and the dark, intriguing Damian. With hidden foes lurking around every corner, is Alex strong enough to save herself and the kingdom she's sworn to protect?
Ugh. I'm just annoyed that both boys already knew that she was female. That was the fun reveal and secret that I actually read the book to see. I thought it would be something like the movie She's the Man (Which I love), where it's a weird chemistry between the girl pretending to be a boy and her love interest (because he's a love interest and he thinks she's a he) and then getting the shock when he turns out to be a she. I was looking forward to that because I thought it would be fun to see their reactions... Unfortunately that didn't happen.
Also just like HOW TYPICAL WAS THIS PLOT? Did Rylan ever have a chance? Haha no. Is Damien the to prince that stole my heart? Nope. I was not all that interested in him. What makes him different from all the other bad boys I've fallen in love with? I have no idea. I just couldn't bring myself to care about anyone or anything in this novel.
Heart of Iron by Ashley Poston
Here's another new release that got lot of hype. Basically the story of Anastasia in a dystopian space. It seems I am at odds with a lot of my goodreads friends, because they all loved this book. I was not nearly as enraptured with it. In fact, whilst reading it I was powering through with the goal of being done with it-- never a good sign when you're reading a book.
Heart of Iron had all the right plot elements to make a mind blowing book, but the way it played out just didn't hold my interest.
Perhaps it was because the vital elements felt rushed, while the rest of the novel dragged. How can a book be both rushed and too slow? I have no idea, but somehow this book managed to do just that.
The part that was rushed was the relationship building-- mostly with Robb and the crew of the Dossier. He grows very attached to everyone on the ship very quickly. Every time he refers to them in a fond way, I would just look up and kinda pause for a moment. That just seemed so unrealistic seeing as he barely knew all of them etc. Sure, he might like them, but the way he views them is with a much deeper connection than my mind found plausible. There was also a bit of a case of instalove happening. Not quite the full instalove more like instalove with mistrust. But still, instalove. The stuff of my hatred.
The plot also felt rush during the critical moments. It just moved along hastily, so hastily I didn't have time to feel involved or become attached to either the story or the characters. Yes, I said it, I didn't care about any of the characters either. Just none of them really clicked with me. That is to say, I didn't particularly dislike any of them immensely, some of them made choices that irked me nearly to the max, but I didn't hate any of them. Not only was the plot rushed, but it was also very predictable. Foreshadowing? It was more like forelighting, I predicted everything that happened and wasn't surprised by a single "twist." While I do pride myself in being able to predict things... I do like a little suspense as well.
Other than the instalove with mistrust romance, there was also a romance that I just felt weird about. And maybe that's on me, I mean, I'm sure other readers were fine with it, but the idea of a romance with a robot... It just weirds me out. A lot. Sorry, maybe I'm not open minded enough? But yeah, that's how I felt about that romance.
I'm going to give Heart of Iron 6/10 stars. It had its moments, but failed to suck me into the world, or even really get me to care. Sorry for all the big fans of the book, but I wasn't all that impressed (if you couldn't tell from the review). I probably won't be coming back for the second book.
Seventeen-year-old Ana is a scoundrel by nurture and an outlaw by nature. Found as a child drifting through space with a sentient android called D09, Ana was saved by a fearsome space captain and the grizzled crew she now calls family. But D09—one of the last remaining illegal Metals—has been glitching, and Ana will stop at nothing to find a way to fix him.
Ana’s desperate effort to save D09 leads her on a quest to steal the coordinates to a lost ship that could offer all the answers. But at the last moment, a spoiled Ironblood boy beats Ana to her prize. He has his own reasons for taking the coordinates, and he doesn’t care what he’ll sacrifice to keep them.
When everything goes wrong, she and the Ironblood end up as fugitives on the run. Now their entire kingdom is after them—and the coordinates—and not everyone wants them captured alive.
What they find in a lost corner of the universe will change all their lives—and unearth dangerous secrets. But when a darkness from Ana’s past returns, she must face an impossible choice: does she protect a kingdom that wants her dead or save the Metal boy she loves?
That is, until her mother is arrested under Article 5, and Ember is taken to a reform school. And it wasn't just a random arrest, either, Ember's mother was arrested by Ember's first and only love interest...
Ember was a fine protagonist. Not particularly awe inspiring, but not hate-worthy either. Like I said before, she makes idiotic decisions, but nothing to fully turn me against her. Then there's Chase, Ember's ex-boyfriend. He's the serious, brooding type-- which is not exactly my type. So no, I did not fall head over heels with him, but he was still a good love interest for Ember. Perhaps a little too somber for me, but maybe that's fitting for the world that they live in. Honestly, I was more attached to a character named Sean who you meet for a solid ten seconds, but still, I like him.
I also was interested with the character Tucker, which may say more about me than the book. I always like the bad characters-- want to know their backstories and see their redemption... but it's unlikely that I'll ever find out more because, well, I'm not all that interested in following up in the sequel. This book left off in a place that I'm fine with and I don't care that much to pursue the characters, so... Sorry, probably not coming back for the sequel. I'd give the book 6/10 stars. It had its moments, but overall was not very fascinating.
I picked the book up because I'd recently read another book-- Pacifica-- by the same author and was totally in love... Unfortunately this novel didn't have the magic of Pacifica. Possibly because the writing was not nearly as good, same with the character and plot development. My review for Pacifica will be coming out soon, so I don't want to spoil you on that, but I loved it. Stay tuned to hear more of my thoughts ;).
Anyway, thanks for reading,
Imagine a dystopian future where, after twenty years of living in chaos, the world is finally coming into order. Who has risen up to bring order back into society? Superheroes, of course.
Renegades follows two protagonists leading very opposite lives. One was raised among the superheroes, and believes there is no greater cause. The other was raised to hate superheroes and everything they stand for.
Nova Artino despises the Renegades, which is what the superheroes have taken to call themselves. She is the youngest member of a fallen rebel group called the Anarchists. The Anarchists stand for freedom, freedom for the prodigies-- people with powers-- but they are, for the most part, seen as the cause that threw the world into turmoil for twenty whole years. The Anarchists are the villains of the story... or so the people think. Not only does she hate the Renegades for her cause, but she also has her own personal reasons to detest them.
Meanwhile, Adrian Everhart was brought up with two of the most famous superheroes as his parents. He believes in the system with all his heart, and has always looked down upon the villains. Still, Adrian is on a mission, and the only person who can help him solve this mission is a super villain named Nightmare. The issue is, he has no idea how to find her... but she may be closer than he thinks.
Something I really enjoyed about the book was simply the diversity and uniqueness of the superpowers, especially for our main characters. Nova (Nightmare) has the power of being able to put other people to sleep & also to not need to sleep at all. Adrian (Sketch) has the superpower of bringing any drawing to life. Then you have both of their "teams." On Nova's team, there's a character with the ability to make explosives out of the gases in their air, and another who can control any type of bee and wasp. Adrian's team has a girl who can turn into monarch butterflies and a girl whose blood, when cut, turns into weapons. I mean, those are pretty uncommon powers that you don't see very often, eh?
I also love the trope of two main characters being on opposite sides-- like a relationship (friendship or romantic) that is complicated by them being low-key each other's enemies. Sorry, bad wording but you get the point-- think of Magneto and Professor X. I also love the trope of the wolf in sheep's clothing, disguise but falling for their own con a little. This book has all of that. It's so much fun to watch this sort of relationship get set up over the course of the novel-- and I look forward to seeing it to a more extreme in upcoming books.
Renegades is fun and well written-- just as you'd expect from the author of the Lunar Chronicles. (Ah THOSE ARE GOOD BOOKS!) and exciting. The plot and characters are interesting, and I really look forward to seeing where these characters and their relationships are going-- especially after the ending of the book. While the ultimate TWIST was something I suspected, there were quite a few cliches I was expecting to happen that just didn't.
Nova had to be my favorite character-- she's a badass, and also not a good guy. She's more complicated than someone just doing things to be good, she has her own reasons and motivations. She can be selfish. I love that about her. I also love her relationship with the Anarchists. While the rest of the world views them as villains, they're her family. The people that raised her, and that makes their relationship and the way I view them all the more interesting. And while I think superheroes would be awesome, I also agree with the point she's trying to make throughout the book that powers don't make heroes, and that people need to step up and be a hero when needed-- even without powers to assist them.
Also just a little side note-- the front of the book has a cast of characters, introducing each character with their allegiances and powers, which really helps to sort out who is who and what they can do-- it was something I was flipping back to frequently during the beginning of my read through.
I would give Renegades 7/10 stars, it was a really well written and fun novel. I would highly recommend to anyone who appreciates superhero stories. While there are parts that move a bit slowly, the characters and plot make up for it.
Secret Identities. Extraordinary Powers. She wants vengeance. He wants justice.
The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies — humans with extraordinary abilities — who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone... except the villains they once overthrew.
Nova has a reason to hate the Renegades, and she is on a mission for vengeance. As she gets closer to her target, she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in justice — and in Nova. But Nova's allegiance is to a villain who has the power to end them both.
Let me just say I was really disappointed in Ingrid, not the writing of Ingrid but the character's choices. Like, I really enjoyed seeing Nova with all these "totally evil" characters who were really just people fighting for something they believed in-- and they really did act like a family together, which I thought was very sweet. The way the Anarchists were connected was probably one of my favorite if not my favorite relationship of the book. They were like a family, a very dysfunctional family. And they weren't these badass bad guys, either. Queen Bee was kinda crazy, in a lovable way-- but not what you'd expect from one of the most feared beings in the world.
Ingrid really seemed like the most down to earth Anarchist and I was hoping to get a good relationship out of her and Nova, but she turned out to be super evil and back-stabby so... Yeah, no, I'm disappointed in you, Ingrid.
The big twist at the end-- that Alec was alive wasn't too much of a surprise from me. There was some very good subtle hinting towards it, and well, I was really secretly hoping in the pit of my stomach that he would be alive. I enjoyed the brief sightings we saw between Alec and Nova, and am looking forward to seeing more.
Anyway, that's really all I have to say other than I'm really looking forward to reading he next one!
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