Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young
This book has been getting quite some hype. It takes place in a world where there are Viking-like clans. The two the book centers around are the Aska and the Riki, who are arch rivals. Once every year, the two clans gather on a battle field and kill each other. Why? Because it's what their God's commanded that's what they should do.
The story is told from Eelyn, a young warrior of the Aska clan, who is shocked when she spots her supposedly dead brother fighting for the opposite clan.
I have to admit, the synopsis intrigued me, so when this book order came in the mail, this was one of the first books I decided to pick up. And while the story's idea was interesting, unfortunately there was just nothing about it that really pulled me in. I found that I didn't particularly care for any of the characters or their fates, and the plot didn't intrigue me either. It was interesting, but not totally enthralling.
While the book immediately jumps into the action in the first few paragraphs, it continued on to slow down in the middle of the book, dragging a bit. I found that I could put it down and not have any urges to pick it back up. Also I didn't know it was a standalone, which actually worked out well other than the fact that the ending felt way too easy and convenient.
Eelyn is a cool, badass character, as is her fighting mate/best friend. Myra. Then there's her brother, Iri and his best friend Fiske, who are also pretty badass. I mean, I guess they all have to be strong characters-- they are vikings who need to fight all the time, but... Yeah, while Eelyn is usually the type of character that I really fall in love with, there was just something that kept me detached from her. I just didn't care all that much, same with her romance with Fiske. I just couldn't find it in me to care, which is shocking because usually I'm all for the hate-love trope, but I guess there just weren't enough moments building to that for me to actually get connected. I think it might have to do with the fact that while it wasn't instalove, it felt like it because you don't get a lot of moments to build up and actually make it a relationship to care about.
I would have liked to see more moments between Iri and Eelyn, too. After all, their whole relationship is the reason for the book so... It didn't really seem like their issues were ever actually being fixed, instead it was bad and then it was fixed.
I dunno everything just felt too easy in this book-- and I came out of it feeing nothing. Therefore I'd give the book 6.5/10. It wasn't anything special, but it had a lot of potential and some good moments. If you're super into Vikings, you might like this one so go ahead and try it out.
Part Wonder Woman, part Vikings—and all heart.
Raised to be a warrior, seventeen-year-old Eelyn fights alongside her Aska clansmen in an ancient rivalry against the Riki clan. Her life is brutal but simple: fight and survive. Until the day she sees the impossible on the battlefield—her brother, fighting with the enemy—the brother she watched die five years ago.
Faced with her brother's betrayal, she must survive the winter in the mountains with the Riki, in a village where every neighbor is an enemy, every battle scar possibly one she delivered. But when the Riki village is raided by a ruthless clan thought to be a legend, Eelyn is even more desperate to get back to her beloved family.
She is given no choice but to trust Fiske, her brother’s friend, who sees her as a threat. They must do the impossible: unite the clans to fight together, or risk being slaughtered one by one. Driven by a love for her clan and her growing love for Fiske, Eelyn must confront her own definition of loyalty and family while daring to put her faith in the people she’s spent her life hating.
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.
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.
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?
Article 5 by Kristen Simmons
A dystopian romance in a world in which the government controls every aspect of your life-- and stepping out of line? Don't even think about the consequences.
Except, you're going to have to consider them if you're going to read this book, because, of course, as with most dystopian novels, it starts with a breaking of a rule and the government punishing the protagonist for it.
While there was nothing absolutely engrossing about this book, there was also nothing to make me hate it. Sure, the main character made some... idiotic choices that didn't really make any logical sense, but we all make dumb decisions, especially when they're powered by emotions as opposed to rationality. I guess those choices just made Ember (the main character) even more realistic.
The story follows Ember, who is content with her life of poking at the government's rules-- not dangerously, just small rebellions.
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,