Review – Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

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Nevernight (Book 1 in Nevernight Chronicle)
Jay Kristoff
Publish date: August 9th


Synopsis

The first in a new fantasy series from the New York Times bestselling author.

In a land where three suns almost never set, a fledgling killer joins a school of assassins, seeking vengeance against the powers who destroyed her family.

Daughter of an executed traitor, Mia Corvere is barely able to escape her father’s failed rebellion with her life. Alone and friendless, she hides in a city built from the bones of a dead god, hunted by the Senate and her father’s former comrades. But her gift for speaking with the shadows leads her to the door of a retired killer, and a future she never imagined.

Now, Mia is apprenticed to the deadliest flock of assassins in the entire Republic—the Red Church. If she bests her fellow students in contests of steel, poison and the subtle arts, she’ll be inducted among the Blades of the Lady of Blessed Murder, and one step closer to the vengeance she desires. But a killer is loose within the Church’s halls, the bloody secrets of Mia’s past return to haunt her, and a plot to bring down the entire congregation is unfolding in the shadows she so loves.

Will she even survive to initiation, let alone have her revenge?


My Review

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Goodness, where to even begin with this book? I guess I’ll start by saying…

WOW!

Wow, this book was amazing. Really, really amazing. As a fan of Kristoff’s other work, Illuminae, I was fairly sure I’d like Nevernight. But since Illuminae was co-authored with a female author (Amie Kaufman), and since I rarely read books written by men (other than Jim Butcher), I did still have my doubts. But Jay Kristoff has once again proven himself to be a master at storytelling and world building. He is undoubtedly a fantasy and sci-fi powerhouse, and this rising author is one to keep our eyes on. On an unrelated note, he’s also quite pretty, so that isn’t exactly a burden, now is it?

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Now, this book is marketed as “young adult,” but other than the fact that many characters are young adults, I truly did not get much of a “young adult” feel from this story. It is dark. Seriously, seriously dark.  I’m talking, brutal, violent, and very explicit language and sexual content. Very, very explicit. And I finished this book in one sitting because it.was.amazing!

The first couple chapters are strange, so it takes a couple minutes to get into the story. The introduction is really cool though, I don’t know how to explain it, but its really cool. This is definitely not a light and easy read. The story telling is very complex, with multiple flashbacks (which are not labeled, so you have to stay on your feet to keep track of when in the story you are). It all connects to creating this really rich, really well developed and complex world and plot. I do have to say that it took a bit for me to get hooked, because the world is so complicated and detailed, but once I did, I could not put it down. The main character is determined to become an assassin so as to reap revenge on those who wronged her and her family, but first she has to find the den of the Assassins. And that is a challenge in and of itself. Once she finds it, she starts training. At that point its sort of like Hogwarts or Dauntless, except way more brutal and violent. Throw in friends, enemies, frenemies, mysterious instructors, dangerous challenges, and 30 people fighting for just 4 coveted “assassin spots,” and you are in for a wild, dark, and dangerous ride.

Fans of Sarah J. Maas’ Throne of Glass, Veronica Roth’s Divergent, and Tamora Pierce’s work are going to go crazy for this new series by Jay Kristoff. Anyone who has enjoyed Kristoff’s other works are sure to love this as well. And fans of dark fantasy with incredibly vivid world building will snap this right up. Plus, its about a kick-butt female assassin in training. So who isn’t going to like it?

Run, don’t walk, to pick up your copy of Nevernight on August 9th. You seriously have got to read this book.

Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen

Screen Shot 2016-05-26 at 9.47.51 AMScarlet
Release date: 2012
Author: A.C. Gaughen
Genre: YA Historical Fiction
Themes: Action & Adventure, Re-tellings, Robin Hood, Friendship, Mystery
Rating: 4 stars
Why did I read it?: Recommended to me

Gaughen, A.C. Scarlet. Bloomsbury USA Children’s, 2012. Print.  Digital.
Formats available: Digital, Hardcover, Paperback (amazon.com) **Currently only $2.40 on Amazon Digital**


Synopsis (from amazon.com)

Posing as one of Robin Hood’s thieves to avoid the evil Lord Gisbourne, Scarlet has kept her identity secret from all of Nottinghamshire. Only Big John and Robin Hood know the truth-that the agile thief posing as a whip of a boy is actually a fearless young woman with a secret past. It’s getting harder to hide as Gisbourne’s camp seeks to find Scarlet and drive Robin Hood out of Nottinghamshire.

 

But Scarlet’s instinct for self-preservation is at war with a strong sense of responsibility to the people who took her in when she was on the run, and she finds it’s not so easy to turn her back on her band and townspeople. As Gisbourne draws closer to Scarlet and puts innocent lives at risk, she must decide how much the people of Nottinghamshire mean to her, especially John Little, a flirtatious fellow outlaw, and Robin, whose quick smiles and temper have the rare power to unsettle Scarlet. Full of exciting action, secrets, and romance, this imaginative retelling of the classic tale will have readers following every move of Robin Hood and band of thieves


My Thoughts:
Re-tellings are very big right now. We are seeing a lot of fairy tale retellings in the YA sector recently, and it is a trend that I personally enjoy. I love when an author takes a story you already know, and turns it on its head. You go into it knowing that there will be major twists, but you don’t get to know what they will be. Scarlet is a re-telling of the Robin Hood legend, where Robin’s pal Will Scarlet is a girl named Scarlet, who disguises herself as a boy. One of the things I enjoyed is that is steers clear of some of the typical tropes used in the “girl disguised as a boy” storyline, which kept the plot fresh. For instance, while the average villager thinks she is a boy, her two love interests know she is a girl the whole time. So we avoid the overplayed “oh my gosh, you’re a girl!” aspect from the love interests.

One of the things I loved about this story is that we get to see medieval England through the eyes of a young woman who is living as a young man. We get to take part as she ruminates about the different avenues in life that are available to her as a “boy,” which would not be available to her as a girl. So the story includes a gentle discussion of gender roles during this historical period. Plus we get to see a pretty believable, and yet still kick-butt heroine who saves people while running from her dark and mysterious past.

An overall enjoyable read that had me reaching for the sequel in this completed trilogy.


Liked it? Loved it? Gotta have more of it?
The next book in the series is called Lady Thief.

In the meantime you might like to try:


About the Author:
Visit A.C. Gaughen’s author website to learn more about her.

(Ya Review) Their Fractured Light by Kaufman & Spooner (No Spoilers)

Screen Shot 2015-09-14 at 1.23.30 PMTheir Fractured Light
Authors: Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
Released: December 1, 2016
Publisher:Disney-Hyperion
Genre: YA Science Fiction/Romance
Rating: 5/5 stars +++
Why’d I read it?:
I have been looking forward to this book since I read the first one in the series earlier in the year. This book is the 3rd and final installment in the Starbound Trilogy.

 


Synopsis: Please note the synopsis includes minor spoilers for the first two books in the series!

A year ago, Flynn Cormac and Jubilee Chase made the now-infamous Avon Broadcast, calling on the galaxy to witness LaRoux Industries’ corruption. A year before that, Tarver Merendsen and Lilac LaRoux were the only survivors of the Icarus shipwreck, forced to live a double life after their rescue.
Now, at the center of the galaxy on Corinth, all four are about to collide with two new players in the fight against LRI.
Gideon Marchant is an underworld hacker known as the Knave of Hearts, ready to climb and abseil his way past the best security measures on the planet to expose LRI’s atrocities. Sofia Quinn, charming con artist, can work her way into any stronghold without missing a beat. When a foiled attempt to infiltrate LRI Headquarters forces them into a fragile alliance, it’s impossible to know who’s playing whom–and whether they can ever learn to trust each other.
With their lives, loves, and loyalties at stake, only by joining forces with the Icarus survivors and Avon’s protectors do they stand a chance of taking down the most powerful corporation in the galaxy—before LRI’s secrets destroy them all.
The New York Times best-selling Starbound trilogy comes to a close with this dazzling final installment about the power of courage and hope in humanity’s darkest hour.

My Thoughts:

Their Fractured Light is a thrilling and lovable conclusion to a one of a kind, and totally “out of this world” trilogy!

Love it, love it, love it, love it. Looooovvvee it!

Ok, now that I’ve gotten the fangirling out of my system I can move to the actual review. First it must be said that I absolutely adored the first book in the series, These Broken Stars. Everything from the cover down to the last word of that book just thrilled me (see my review here). I also thoroughly enjoyed the second book, This Shattered World. So I have been highly looking forward to this book’s release. In fact I even went so far as to beg the Disney-Hyperion marketing rep to please please please send me an ARC, which is when they sadly had to inform me that they were not sending out ARCs of this book at all. And so I waited. And waited. And on its release day I bought the book.

I was not disappointed. 

This was a book worth waiting for. This series has something special that I don’t often find in YA books. It just has that special combination of factors that perfectly make an excellent, epic, and really beautiful story. One of the things I love about this trilogy is that each book features a different set of main characters (one girl, one boy). While each book is, in a way, a standalone sci-fi romance, when read together they read like an epic, high-stakes, interstellar mystery. I just love the originality of the storytelling. Additionally the authors have a phenomenal way of playing with gender norms so that each set of characters feels completely unique and fully developed. All six of our heroes and heroines are their own individual character.

Their Fractured Light is the conclusion of the trilogy and it is SO GOOD! I’ve found a lot of YA trilogies either lose their steam, or the story has gotten completely off track by the 3rd book. But this book is almost as good as the first one in the series (nothing could beat These Broken Stars, in my mind). The characters are different than what we’ve seen so far, and I love how their first meeting starts out with plenty of action and plot twists right out of the gate. I wasn’t sure I was in the mood to read when I started the book, but after about 3 paragraphs I was utterly hooked. Plenty of romance, drama, action, twists (a lot of them!), and sci-fi adventures await you in this book. And we also get to spend more time with Tarver, Lilac, Lee, and Flynn.

This book is one of the best trilogy conclusions I’ve read. It delivers both a wonderful standalone story (Sofie and Gideons), and a thrilling series finale! It fully delivers on plot twists, both fun and heart-wrenching, and skillfully brings us to an emotional and yet satisfying end. Things didn’t end quite the way I expected, and yet the authors managed to convince me it was the perfect way to end. Wow can these authors tell a story! I cannot gush enough about how beautiful, captivating, and thrilling these books are. I urge you to try them if you haven’t yet!


Liked it? Loved it? Gotta have more of it? 
The previous books in the series are These Broken StarsThis Shattered World

If this is your kind of story, I’d personally recommend:

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About the Authors: Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner are the authors of the Starbound Series. Their style is a bit unique, because the books are told from the dual perspectives of both main characters. Amie writes all the chapters that are narrated by one character, while Meagan writes all the chapters narrated by the other character. Both authors have books they write individually as well.

 

(YA Review) The Storyspinner by Becky Wallace

Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 10.25.12 AMThe Storyspinner
Author: Becky Wallace
Published: March 3, 2015
Genre: Fantasy, YA, Romance
Rating: 3.75
Why’d I read it?:
According to the synopsis, this book has all of the elements I like; fantasy, action, multiple perspectives, with a dash of romance.
Wallace, Becky. The Storyspinner. Margaret K. McElderry. 2015. Print.


Synopsis: (from goodreads)

Drama and danger abound in this fantasy realm where dukes play a game for the throne, magical warriors race to find the missing heir, and romance blossoms where it is least expected.

In a world where dukes plot their way to the throne, a Performer’s life can get tricky. And in Johanna Von Arlo’s case, it can be fatal. Expelled from her troupe after her father’s death, Johanna is forced to work for the handsome Lord Rafael DeSilva. Too bad they don’t get along. But while Johanna’s father’s death was deemed an accident, the Keepers aren’t so sure.

The Keepers, a race of people with magical abilities, are on a quest to find the princess—the same princess who is supposed to be dead and whose throne the dukes are fighting over. But they aren’t the only ones looking for her. And in the wake of their search, murdered girls keep turning up—girls who look exactly like the princess, and exactly like Johanna.

With dukes, Keepers, and a killer all after the princess, Johanna finds herself caught up in political machinations for the throne, threats on her life, and an unexpected romance that could change everything


My Thoughts:

I chose this book because it sounded like it would have all of the elements I enjoy in a book; fantasy, action, multiple perspectives, romance, etc. And it did. For some reason I just never quite clicked with the story the way I usually do, but I have to be fair and say that at the time I was reading this I had a lot of family and personal troubles occurring as well, and I’m afraid it significantly affected my state of mind while reading the book. It’s highly possible that at another time I would have clicked with this story more, because as I said, it truly has all the elements I enjoy in a book.

Nevertheless the premise of the story is quite original, and I LOVE the beginning(ish) scene. The way the two main characters meet is hysterical, and is quite unlike the usual way. It really demonstrates major aspects of both of their personalities, as well. Its a great “meet cute.” The cast of characters gets pretty extensive, and basically the story follows two different groups of people. Throughout the story its unclear right away how the two groups’ stories will intersect, but eventually that becomes more clear. So overall I’d say that if you enjoy fantasy stories such as this, you may want to give The Storyspinner a try.

 


Extras:

 


Liked it? Loved it? Gotta have more of it?
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So, Sorcerer’s Stone & Chamber of Secrets are the exact same book

Ok, I was watching Chamber of Secrets last night, and it occurred to me that Chamber of Secrets basically repeats the entire basic plot of Sorcerer’s Stone. Watch this.


 

The Dursley’s lock Harry in somewhere in the house

  1. Closet under the stairs
  2. Smallest bedroom

 

Harry believes something about the school that no one else believes.

  1. That the Sorcerer’s Stone is there and Snape is trying to get it
  2. That there is a voice that only he can hear, and it’s petrifying people

 

Hagrid brings a terrifying pet into the school

  1. Fluffy and Norbert
  2. Aragog

 

Malfoy and Harry duel

  1. Malfoy invites Harry to a duel (its a fake invite though)
  2. Malfoy and Harry duel in the dueling club

 

Harry keeps secrets from Dumbledore which, if he’d been honest about, would have negated the need for his crazy dangerous exploits

  1. Doesn’t tell Dumbledore his suspicions
  2. Lies about hearing voices

 

Harry goes into the Forrest and is recued by a random “creature”

  1. Rescued by the centaur
  2. rescued by the car

 

Dumbledore leaves the school at a critical point in the story

  1. Dumbledore is “called away” at the end of the book
  2. Dumbledore is stripped of his duties by Mr. Malfoy and the school board

Hagrid's_hut_with_visitors_Malfoy_Fudge_Dumbledore.jpg

 

Hermione completely saves the day

  1. too many to list
  2. too many to list

 

Harry sneaks under the school with his friends, only to be separated from them so that he ends up facing voldemort on his own at the end.

  1. Gets past Fluffy, Ron gets hurt in chess and Ron & Hermione can’t go with harry to the end confrontation with Voldemort.
  2. Harry and Ron go under the school, Ron causes a cave in that separates him from Harry, causing Harry to have to go confront Voldemort on his own.

 

Story ends with Harry and Dumbledore talking philosophically (and dumbledore being vague)


See? Basically the same story, two different times. I’ve literally read these books easily dozens of times and never realized this until now!

Can you think of any that I missed?

(YA Review) What We Saw by Aaron Hartzler

Screen Shot 2015-11-16 at 8.28.19 PMWhat We Saw
Author: Aaron Hartzler
Published: Sept. 22, 2015
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Themes: Peer Pressure, Drugs, Alcohol, Sex, Rape
Rating: 5 stars
Why’d I read it?:
This book covers a topic that is so important, which is our societies’ tendency towards victim-shaming, blaming the victim, and generally the appalling “rape culture” we live within.
Hartzler, Aaron. What We Saw. HarperTeen. 2015. Print. ISBN-13: 978-0062338747.
Formats available: paperback, ebook, hardcover Paperback $6.87. Kindle $10.99


Synopsis: (from amazon)

Critically acclaimed memoirist Aaron Hartzler, author of Rapture Practice, takes an unflinching look at what happens to a small town when some of its residents commit a terrible crime. This honest, authentic debut novel—inspired by the events in the Steubenville rape case—will resonate with readers who’ve ever walked that razor-thin line between guilt and innocence that so often gets blurred, one hundred and forty characters at a time.

The party at John Doone’s last Saturday night is a bit of a blur. Kate Weston can piece together most of the details: Stacey Stallard handing her shots, Ben Cody taking her keys and getting her home early. . . . But when a picture of Stacey passed out over Deacon Mills’s shoulder appears online the next morning, Kate suspects she doesn’t have all the details. When Stacey levels charges against four of Kate’s classmates, the whole town erupts into controversy. Facts that can’t be ignored begin to surface, and every answer Kate finds leads back to the same questions: Who witnessed what happened to Stacey? And what responsibility do they have to speak up about what they saw?


My Thoughts:

This is such an important story to be told because it sparks discussion on a topic which is often swept under the rug and ignored. Rape Culture in the U.S. is a serious problem. Victim-shaming and victim-blaming are tendencies which run rampant in our society. This story is inspired by the true story of the Steubenville rape case 0f 2012 and also of other similar cases to arise lately. Teens throw a party in which there is a lot of drinking and drugs. One girl drinks so much she becomes unconscious and the next day accuses several members of the school’s basketball team of sexually assaulting her while unconscious. The story deals with concepts of truth and lies, perception, betrayal and trust. It also deals strongly with the idea of opening your eyes and seeing beyond the pressures of our community, and also of how to do what’s right once you’ve seen the truth. It can be very hard to see the truth, and to speak up when all of your friends and even your entire town seem to be willing you towards blindness and silence.

This book was quite excellent in the way it broaches such serious topics, and while it in no way flinches from the true horror of these kinds of events (gang-rape of an unconscious girl is discussed), the author keeps the story from being so graphic as to be distracting from the true issues of right and wrong. I highly recommend this to readers of all ages and gender, and I challenge you to consider what you would do in such a situation. Being human means doing more than spectating; it means we must act to create the world we wish to live in.

 

Silhouette of man in the fog in a forest

luther-king

the-world-is-a-dangerous-place

 


Extras:

** On a personal note: 

  • Unfortunately we live in a time where sexual assault is increasingly common, especially against women.
  • Most often, the person assaulting you is someone you know. You may be friends or even love this person. Even if its a friend or loved one, sexual assault is wrong.
    • If you said “no,” then it is wrong.
    • If you were incapable of saying yes or no, it was wrong.
    • If you were drunk, high, asleep, or even wearing “provocative clothes,” sexual assault is still wrong!
    • Every one has the right to wear, do, say, and act exactly the way they want without fear of assault.
    • Please don’t let anyone convince you that this was your fault. It is never your fault when you are assaulted.
  • Please be sure to see a medical specialist and speak with a trusted adult if you think you may have been assaulted.

Liked it? Loved it? Gotta have more of it?
You might also enjoy:

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Delirium

Oliver, Lauren. Delirium. New York: Harper, 2011. Print. ISBN-13: 9780061726828 Formats available: hardcover, paperback, ebook, audiobook. Paperback $5.72. Kindle $4.99.

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Synopsis:

It’s the future and love (and other strong emotions) have been deemed a “disease.” And they have a cure. Everyone gets “cured” when they are 18. Lena is just a couple months away and she cannot wait. She watched love destroy her family, and she doesn’t want anything to do with it. But then she meets Alex. He has no interest in being “cured” and he might just show Lena that theres more to life (and love) than she ever thought possible.


Themes include: Love, fear, deceit, grief, betrayal, friendship, identity, coming of age.


My Thoughts: Delirium has that Dystopian setting that many of us are loving. I had a hard time getting over the idea that “love is a disease” and that futuristic society would eradicate it. Perhaps if it had been all emotions, not just love, I would have found it more believable. However, once I put that aside I did indeed enjoy this book as well as its sequel Pandemonium. Lena is a relatable character, she’s trying to do what she thinks is right but finding it increasingly difficult as she learns more about Alex, and the other invalids (people who have not been “cured”). The romance is sweet and heartbreaking and the story is heavily influenced by Romeo and Juliet. Who doesn’t like seeing if two star-crossed lovers can overcome circumstances to find a happily-ever-after?


Liked it? Loved it? Gotta have more of it?
The next book in the Delirium Trilogy is Pandemonium


Extras:

  • Locate Delirium at your local library through Worldcat.org
  • Learn more about the Delirium world on its Wiki
  • If you liked Delirium, you might find something else you like on Goodreads.com

About the Author: Lauren Oliver is the author of the Delirium trilogy, as well as other YA books.


Citation & Credits
Book cover image: Courtesy of Amazon.com
LaurenOliverUK. “Delirium by Lauren Oliver *Interactive Trailer*.” Online video clip. YouTube.com. 7 July 2011. Web. 25 July 2015.

(YA Review) The Selection – Kiera Cass

The Selection (trilogy) by Kiera Cass

Cass, Kiera. The Selection. , 2013. Print. : 9780062059949. Formats available: hardcover, paperback, e-book, and audiobook. Paperback $5.17. Kindle $4.99


Screen Shot 2015-07-31 at 2.41.55 PMSynopsis:

What’s your number?

In the future everyone is assigned a number, a level in the social and political hierarchy. You are live and die with the number your parents were, unless you can marry or buy your way up. Anything less than a 3 means a difficult, often dangerous, life. A 1 means you are royalty. America is a 5. And she’s secretly in love with a 6. But if she married down, her family might not be able to make it financially. Then comes the moment where America is invited to be a contestant in The Selection, where she will compete to win the heart of the prince. Being a contestant means a paycheck for as long as she lasts. So America applies. She didn’t expect to be chosen to compete. She didn’t expect to have feelings for the Prince. Which number, which life, and which love will America choose?


Booktalk: 


Themes include: Love, duty, sacrifice, love-triangle, financial struggles, reality shows, injustice, bias, caste systems. 


My Thoughts: This is one that I have a hard time reviewing. One the one hand, I was not thrilled with the stories and felt they lacked a distinct…something. On the other hand, I did binge read all three because I had to know how it ended. So despite not loving the stories, they were gripping enough that I had to finish them. So I would say The Selection series is enjoyable and entertaining, but does not compare in depth of character, world-building, or follow through to something like The Hunger Games. The premise is quite interesting, with the multitude of Reality Television today, and shows like The Bachelor, the concept is one we are familiar with. Being set in the future and among royalty gives it a modern and unique Cinderella-esque twist. Each of the characters were likeable enough, the settings were interesting, and the stories are great for a light, easy read. But I feel that the author missed a great many opportunities to give these books the true Dystopian depth they had the potential for. The society described is actually a pretty cool concept, but once America gets to the palace, the political and social implications of the outside world quickly fall away. Although the King is set up as a tyrant figure, we never really get to see him in action, or the devastation he causes close up. It appears that the author briefly dipped her toes into the concept of political tyranny, and the potential for social revolution, but quickly found the temperature not to her liking. It definitely feels as though she had intended to go deeper into this world, but in the end decided to pull back and give us a shallow Cinderella story. America herself comes across as silly, fickle, and immature. She too never seems to live up to her potential. However, not all novels need to go quite as deep as The Hunger Games, so I would not write The Selection off entirely. Its a great choice for a light, love-triangle based Cinderella story. It’s popularity demands that this series has a place in most libraries and many young adults will enjoy these reads.


Liked it? Loved it? Gotta have more of it?
The next books in the trilogy are The Elite, and The One. A fourth book, The Heir, takes place 20 years after the trilogy.

If you liked these ones, I’d also recommend:

  • Matched by Ally Condie (dystopian, love triangle, light read)
  • Pawn by Aimee Carter (dystopian, society divided into numbered caste system)
  • Whither by Lauren DeStefano (dystopian, love triangle, ‘prince’ character versus ‘commoner’ character)

Extras:

  • Warner Bros has optioned the rights to bring The Selection to the big screen!
  • Locate the Selection series at your local library through Worldcat.org
  • Learn more about the world and characters on The Selection Wiki
  • Toucan has a great interview with Kiera Cass. **Beware of Spoilers for books 2, and 3**

About the Author:  Kiera Cass is the author of The Selection Series, including several Selection Novellas.


Citation & Credits
Book cover image: Courtesy of Amazon.com
Book Talk: Kelsey Bogan. 2015. All rights reserved.

(Review-Ya) Mortal Heart by Robin Lafevers

Mortal Heart by Robin Lafevers

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LaFevers, Robin. Mortal Heart. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2014. Print. ISBN-13: 978-0547628400.
Formats available: hardcover, paperback, ebook, audiobook. Paperback $9.18. Kindle $9.99.

Synopsis: (from amazon.com)

In the powerful conclusion to Robin LaFever’s New York Times bestselling His Fair Assassins trilogy, Annith has watched her gifted sisters at the convent come and go, carrying out their dark dealings in the name of St. Mortain, patiently awaiting her own turn to serve Death. But her worst fears are realized when she discovers she is being groomed by the abbess as a Seeress, to be forever sequestered in the rock and stone womb of the convent. Feeling sorely betrayed, Annith decides to strike out on her own.
She has spent her whole life training to be an assassin. Just because the convent has changed its mind, doesn’t mean she has.

My Thoughts:
During the first two books in this series, I thought Annith was the least interesting character, so I was not overly eager to read her book. I wasn’t dreading it, just felt kind of “meh” about it. But I’m very glad I did, because even though my feelings about Annith haven’t changed very much, in this book we get to meet her male counterpart, Belthezar, who is by far the most compelling male character in the trilogy. Belthezar “rescues” Annith after she escapes the convent one night, and she suddenly finds herself traveling with him and his band of mysterious, not-quite-human brethren. They are the Helloquins, damned souls who ride the night, hunting down and escorting lost souls to the afterworld. Although the first two books in the trilogy read more as historical fiction, with only little hints at magic or fantasy, this book seems to randomly go off in a new direction, with the addition of this almost ghostly army of Helloquins, but I didn’t care so much because they were quite fascinating. Belthezar proves an enigmatic and mysterious character, and I enjoyed learning more about his past as the book unfolds. I never really warmed up to Annith, but the other characters (Belthezar, and the Duchess included) more than made up for it, and Mortal Heart proves a satisfying conclusion to the trilogy.


Liked it? Loved it? Gotta have more of it?
The other two books in the His Fair Assassin series are Dark Triumph and Mortal Heart

You might also like:

The Kiss of Deception (Remnant Series) by Mary Pearson
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas


Extras:

  • Robin Lafevers’ website includes extras about the World of His Fair Assassin.
  • Locate Mortal Heart at a library near you on worldcat.com
  • Find more recommendations on goodreads.com

About the Author: 


Citation & Credits
Book cover image: Courtesy of Amazon.com
Kelsey Bogan. 2015. All rights reserved.

Waiting on Wednesday – Shallow Graves (YA)

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Waiting on Wednesday is brought to us by Breaking the Spine.

Its a weekly meme where we can share the upcoming releases we are so excited about!


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Shallow Graves

by: Kali Wallace

Release date: January 26th, 2016

Synopsis: (from amazon.com)

For fans of Holly Black and Nova Ren Suma, a gripping, hauntingly atmospheric novel about murder, revenge, and a world where monsters—human and otherwise—lurk at the fringes.

When seventeen-year-old Breezy Lin wakes up in a shallow grave one year after her death, she doesn’t remember who killed her or why. All she knows is that she’s somehow conscious—and not only that, she’s able to sense who around her is hiding a murderous past. In life, Breezy was always drawn to the elegance of the universe and the mystery of the stars. Now she must set out to find answers and discover what is to become of her in the gritty, dangerous world to which she now belongs—where killers hide in plain sight and a sinister cult is hunting for strange creatures like her. What she finds is at once empowering, redemptive, and dangerous.

Tense, complex, and wholly engaging, Shallow Graves is a stunning first novel from Kali Wallace.


Why am I waiting on it?

Basically the first sentence of the synopsis. It totally drew me in and it seems really creepy and different from other things I’ve read. Plus, I always love giving a debut author a chance!