Descendants of War: Magic’s Demise by Ruby Fitzgerald

I was sent a review copy of Descendants of War: Magic’s Demise by the author in exchange for an honest review. 

40670181Title: Descendants of War: Magic’s Demise
Author: Ruby Fitzgerald
Publisher: Soldier Bear Entertainment
Pages: 110 pages
Publication Date: June 27th 2018
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Rating: 4

GR   amazin

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Thousands of years ago, the Ancients bestowed the Nine Energies of Magic to certain humans known as Descendants. When Aurora, briefly in possession of all Nine Energies, defeated King Zagan during the Battle of Venom, peace returned to the war-torn queendom of Thurnadan. However, a new adversary has emerged: The Jinx. Far more threatening than Zagan and his army, The Jinx is a disease with a one hundred percent mortality rate. The race to find a cure is on; it is only a matter of time before the disease mutates and becomes capable of killing every living thing in its path. Terror spreads. The Jinx seems to be unstoppable, especially when fate rests in the hands of the disheartened. A disturbing Seer’s vision and long-neglected maps are the only guidance the people of Thurnadan have in their frantic search for a cure. Turning to lore of the Ancients for answers, a dark Prophecy threatening the end of mankind’s reign is discovered, but a sliver of hope is also found within its riddle of verses. Do the Ancients still live? Will the disease mutate and grow more powerful? And how much time does the queendom have before all are certain to perish?

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I didn’t realized that this is actually the second book from a series, even though the story is not connected to the first book but I feel really lost at first because the characters are already developed and I don’t know their history at all.

Months after Thurnadan win the Battle of Venom and defeated King Zagan, a new mysterious disease is spreading and killing every Descendants. A prophecy from a long time ago predict that humanity will someday perish because of the disease called Jinx, the prophecy might come true if they don’t find a cure soon. Panic and terror are spreading, the Queen gather her best army to search for the cure that lays in the riddle of the prophecy.

I think the story is quite unique because in this book human are facing the battle with a powerful unseen force instead of with their own kind. Because I grew tired of the story in which people betraying one another for crown or the uprising of the oppresed people, or any trope that YA fantasy usually used. So this kind of story is kind of refreshing and make me really curious to find out how the story will end. However the plot is rather slow which make me slightly bored. The adventure is thrilling, it kinda remind me of PJO with the prophecy and people with magic to fulfill it, but in a more mature, intense and serious way.

It’s hard for me to understand the world at first because I haven’t read the first book, and the story is a little bit connected with the Battle of Venom in the previous book so it took so long for me to finally understand it. The magic system is pretty basic, nothing new, there are nine elements of magic like Water Weaver, Fire Sculptor, Wind Whisperer, Earth Grounder, Seer, Mind Handler, Shape Shifter, Healer, and Spell Spinner.

I didn’t feel connected to any of the characters because there are a LOT of main characters in this book and all of them have the same amount of important role, nobody really stands out. I also often got confuse by the transition of the PoV.

All in all I think this book deserve more attention because it’s a great book with a good plot and worlbuilding. I think you’ll like this book if you like adventure, prophecy, magic, a squad with badass men and women, and morally grey characters.

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Chicago-based author, Ruby Fitzgerald, grew up in a small town in Oregon, As a teenager, Fitzgerald turned to writing as a outlet for her thoughts and emotions. Her stories served as an escape from what she would later find out were bouts of depression alongside chronic anxiety. Stories, books, and grand tales grew to be her way of analyzing and coming to terms with many of the more difficult details of reality. And they still are.

 

 

 

 

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City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab

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Title: City of Ghosts
Author: Victoria Schwab
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Pages: 282 pages
Publication Date: August 28th, 2018
Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy, Paranormal
Rating: 3,5

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Cassidy Blake’s parents are The Inspectres, a (somewhat inept) ghost-hunting team. But Cass herself can REALLY see ghosts. In fact, her best friend, Jacob, just happens to be one.

When The Inspectres head to ultra-haunted Edinburgh, Scotland, for their new TV show, Cass—and Jacob—come along. In Scotland, Cass is surrounded by ghosts, not all of them friendly. Then she meets Lara, a girl who can also see the dead. But Lara tells Cassidy that as an In-betweener, their job is to send ghosts permanently beyond the Veil. Cass isn’t sure about her new mission, but she does know the sinister Red Raven haunting the city doesn’t belong in her world. Cassidy’s powers will draw her into an epic fight that stretches through the worlds of the living and the dead, in order to save herself. 

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PLOT

Cassidy is a weird kid, she has an old camera that she bring everywhere, she has weird parents who wrote books about paranormal activity, she has a ghost as a best friend, and yes, she could see ghosts. Her supernatural ability began when she was drowned in the river and almost die, a boy named Jacob saved her, but later she found out that Jacob is a ghost. Ever since Jacob saved her, they become connected to one another. Cassidy not only could see ghosts, but she also could enter the veil, where the ghost live in their own world and memory.

The story become interesting when Cassidy’s parents get a chance to shoot a show in Edinburg, the most haunted city on earth, and Cassidy has no choice but to follow along. Cassidy and Jacob’s thrilling adventure starts here as they discover so many scary and powerful ghosts that could actually harm them if they’re not careful.

Although the idea is not very original but I really enjoy the story, I love how we could also get a thing or two history lessons of Edinburg. The adventure is thrilling and fun, the story is nothing new and very predictable, but this is a great and entertaining story.

WORLDBUILDING

I loved but also a little bit confused of the world that Schwab created in this book, I feel so weird reading about things I could not understand but this is a really personal opinion, for example like how Cassidy could feel the veil and the tap tap tap feeling in her shoulder, and I’m really confused of how this veil works, ghosts in their own timeloop and memory and all. Well maybe I was overthinking this, again, this is only my personal opinion. But weirdness aside, I found myself enjoying the stories behind each ghosts they encounter, like how they died and what has been keeping them in the veil.

The world is also a little bit darker than I expected, there are slightly disturbing issues such as, death in general and the various ways of death which I’m not really sure are appropriate for Middle Grade.

WRITING

This is the first V.E. Schwab book I ever read so I couldn’t compare the writing style with her previous books (which I’m sure it’d be different from her YA books). I love the writing style, it’s light and easy to follow. Although I feel like the HP references are a bit too much.

CHARACTERS

Cassidy and Jacob are two lovable characters. Cassidy is a brave kid with so many curiosities and Jacob is usually the voice of reason, to restrain her from doing something reckless and stupid, he’s not brave but he should be brave for Cassidy. I love how heartwarming their friendship is, how they really depend and understand each other.

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Victoria “V.E.” Schwab is the #1 NYT, USA, and Indie bestselling author of more than a dozen books, including Vicious, the Shades of Magic series, and This Savage Song. Her work has received critical acclaim, been featured by EW and The New York Times, been translated into more than a dozen languages, and been optioned for TV and Film. The Independent calls her the “natural successor to Diana Wynne Jones” and touts her “enviable, almost Gaimanesque ability to switch between styles, genres, and tones.”

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Have you read this book? What do you think? Do you agree or disagree with my opinion?

carolina

 

 

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The Gilded King by Josie Jaffrey

I was sent a review copy of The Gilded King by the author in exchange for an honest review. 

40127369Title: The Gilded King
Author: Josie Jaffrey
Publisher: Self Published by Josie Jaffrey
Pages: 303 pages
Publication Date: June 25th, 2018
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal
Rating: 2,5

GR   amazin

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In the Blue, the world’s last city, all is not well.

Julia is stuck within its walls. She serves the nobility from a distance until she meets Lucas, a boy who believes in fairytales that Julia’s world can’t accommodate. The Blue is her prison, not her castle, and she’d escape into the trees if she didn’t know that contamination and death awaited humanity outside.

But not everyone in the Blue is human, and not everyone can be contained.

Beyond the city’s boundaries, in the wild forests of the Red, Cameron has precious little humanity left to lose. As he searches for a lost queen, he finds an enemy rising that he thought long dead. An enemy that the humans have forgotten how to fight.

One way or another, the walls of the Blue are coming down. The only question is what side you’ll be on when they do.

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TRIGGER WARNING!

Gore, violence, murder

 

Silver and human live together in Blue, the last city on earth. Silver provide protection to the people in Blue. Human serve the Silver by working for them and provided blood for them. Julia was a kitchen server and she was fine with it. Unlike any other girls, she never wanted to be an attendant, but the noble need an attendant so she was assigned to the nobility named Lucas, a boy who’s like no noble she ever seen.

Outside the wall of the Blue, there’s a world called Red, where dangerous creatures hunt the remaining humans. Cameron is one of the Solis Invicti (an elite army of Blue), he’s been searching for a long lost Queen in Red for decades and never got a single clue, until he met a human named Felix. Together they venture through the dangerous world of Red to rescue their friends.

To be frank, I don’t really understand what was going on in this book but I’m really drawn to this lost Queen, I’m curious to find out her backstory and the history of the Silver. But the pace is dragging, it’s really painful for me to read it.

I was confuse as hell. I didn’t understand a single thing until I reached half of the book. The author explained the history and worldbuilding bit by bit, but even so there are still so many things left unexplained. I now it’s supposed to make me curious but instead it make me unmotivated to continue to read it.

The story is told from 2 PoVs, Julia in Blue and Cameron in Red. Julia’s chapter is easy to read, we get to understand the life as a human under the monarchy of the Silver, but it’s a little bit boring because there’s literally nothing happen except for the romance which I think a little bit rushed. Cameron’s chapter is full of action and thrilling adventure but also really confusing. I don’t really understand the importance of Julia’s character in this book because she contribute nothing to the story, but I still hope for the character development and I know there’s more to her than meets the eye.

I really can’t stand Julia, she’s the “I’m different from other girls” girl which make me rolled my eyes so hard they almost fell from their eye sockets. And she repeatedly remind herself that she’s different! I can’t say much about both Julia and Cameron because I didn’t feel connected at all to any of them and I couldn’t care less about them. I’m more interested in Lucas, that boy steal my heart! He’s polite and have a great self control, he’s not abusing his position even though he absolutely can. He’s so gentle and so lovable and I want to protect him.

I can’t say that I loved this book, but despite the confusing worldbuilding and forgettable characters, I’m still eager to find out about the lost Queen and the sleeping King. So overall it’s an okay read for me. Maybe if you love dystopian, vampire, and paranormal story you’d enjoy this book more than I did.

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Josie lives in Oxford, England, with her husband and two cats. When she’s not writing, she works as a lawyer, specialising in intellectual property and commercial law. She also runs a video book review club, The Gin Book Club, through her website.

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At the very furthest point of the temple, at the end of the double row of pillars that processed towards it, there was a pedestal mounted on a stepped dais. A figure was laid out on top of it. For a moment, Julia froze, thinking it was a real person lying there, slumbering in the temple, but something didn’t fit.

The figure wasn’t breathing. It wasn’t moving at all.

‘Come on,’ Lucas said, leading her down the aisle towards it.

‘Is it a statue?’ she asked.

‘A tomb, really.’

As they walked, he snuffed out the lamps that lined the walls, until finally the only illumination came from the rounded alcove into which the dais rose. It was a bright island in the centre of the darkness, and in the middle of it the statue shone: a man, wearing fine clothing in an unfamiliar style, with a blanket of stone covering his body. His exposed skin was tinged with a sheen of gold that glowed like the walls of the temple.

‘He looks so real,’ she said, reaching out to touch the golden curls that crowned his head. They were slick under her fingers, so intricate they might have been moulded from a real person.

‘They say he was.’

‘You mean this is his coffin?’ The pedestal certainly looked like a tomb. It was wide and deep enough to accommodate a body.

‘No,’ Lucas said, ‘I mean that this is him, that this statue was once alive.’

Julia’s hand had been tracing the lines of the face, but now she snatched it away. ‘You’re not serious.’

‘I am.’

‘This is why you brought me here,’ she said.

‘Of course. You want to hear the fairytale, don’t you?’

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carolina

 

 

 

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The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

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Title: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
Author: Taylor Jenkins Reid
Publisher: Washington Square Press
Pages: 400 pages
Year of Publication: June 13th, 2017
Genre: Adult, Historical Fiction, Romance, Contemporary
Rating: (1)

GR   bd

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Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one in the journalism community is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?

Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband, David, has left her, and her career has stagnated. Regardless of why Evelyn has chosen her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.

Summoned to Evelyn’s Upper East Side apartment, Monique listens as Evelyn unfurls her story: from making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the late 80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way. As Evelyn’s life unfolds through the decades—revealing a ruthless ambition, an unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love—Monique begins to feel a very a real connection to the actress. But as Evelyn’s story catches up with the present, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.

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You guys, I don’t know where to start, I think I could start by saying how beautiful and powerful this book is but that would be an understatement.

When Monique was offered to do an exclusive interview for Evelyn Hugo by the Evelyn Hugo herself, she was confused but also thrilled. Evelyn Hugo has been shut herself from the media for years, so why now? Why her? What could Evelyn possibly wants from her? She’s just an amateur and unknown magazine reporter. This question is also the big mystery we’re going to find out aside from Evelyn Hugo’s secret life story and her seven husbands.

This book is told from two different PoVs and timelines, one is Monique in the present time, and the other one is Evelyn as a narrator for her own story jumping from year to year from the beginning of her career until the very end.

We get to hear Evelyn as she got out of her miserable life in Hell’s Kitchen and make her way to Hollywood, we get to hear her struggle and everything she has done to get her to the spotlight, and it’s not an easy ride. She has done so many things, good things, terrible things to get what she wanted and she did not feel sorry or ashamed about it because she knew it has to be done. Evelyn is a very brave, ambitious, and complicated woman, she has so many flaws and sometimes I even feel disgust about her, but that’s what I like about her character, she’s real, she’s so very real I almost think I read an actual autobiography. Evelyn Hugo is the most empowering woman I’ve ever known and has become one of my inspiration.

This book is about a struggle to get a better life, in which including so many issues along the way like racial discrimination, sexuality, physical and mental abuse but above all else, this book is about finding family, friendship and one true love. Despite her seven husbands, people has been wondering about who her true love might be and we’re about to find out as she tells us the true story of her life and her seven husbands which had been twisted by people and the media back in the day.

The relationship in this book is NOTHING like I have ever read before, her love stories are breaking my heart to million pieces and I was a sobbing mess the entire time, especially after the second half of the book, it’s painful to see her hiding who she really is to get ahold of the life she has been created. The friendship is the purest, the most honest relationship I ever read in a book, she and Harry are perfectly made for each other.

As much as I love the story, it’s nothing compare to my love for the writing. OH MY GOD, I’m hooked by the way Jenkins write, she wrote with great amount of rich and lush words I can’t even remember how many times I wanted to write down quotes from the book but the problem is, I can’t put the book down. So I think I’m just gonna look for the luxurious passages and quotes in Goodreads now and write them on my wall. I look for her other books immediately after I finished this and add them to my TBR, she easily become one of my favorite author and I will buy whatever piece she has written and will write from now on.

Honestly I expected nothing from this book because this is not the kind of book I usually enjoy but I was wrong, I was dead wrong. And I bet everyone who are not enjoying this type of book will eventually fall for Evelyn. This book has literally change me and my way of thinking, this masterpiece deserve every glowing stars in this world and beyond. So I beg you please, read the damn book and you’ll thank me later.

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Have you ever fall so hard for the book that’s clearly not your type? What book is it? Have you read this book? What do you think? If you haven’t, do you plan to read this sometime soon?

carolina

 

 

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My Lady Jane

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Title: My Lady Jane
Author: Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows
Publisher: Harper Teen
Pages: 491 pages
Year of Publication: June 7th, 2016
Genre: Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Romance
Rating: 4

GR   bd

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Edward (long live the king) is the King of England. He’s also dying, which is inconvenient, as he’s only sixteen and he’d much rather be planning for his first kiss than considering who will inherit his crown…

Jane (reads too many books) is Edward’s cousin, and far more interested in books than romance. Unfortunately for Jane, Edward has arranged to marry her off to secure the line of succession. And there’s something a little odd about her intended…

Gifford (call him G) is a horse. That is, he’s an Eðian (eth-y-un, for the uninitiated). Every day at dawn he becomes a noble chestnut steed—but then he wakes at dusk with a mouthful of hay. It’s all very undignified.

The plot thickens as Edward, Jane, and G are drawn into a dangerous conspiracy. With the fate of the kingdom at stake, our heroes will have to engage in some conspiring of their own. But can they pull off their plan before it’s off with their heads?

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PLOT

I’m clearly not an expert in this Tudor period so I did a looot of googling right after I finished this book, and turns out every historical events in the first half of this book are true, well minus the shapeshifter thingie of course. And the second half of the book is an alternative story for Lady Jane which is really funny and unexpected.

I’m so glad to read a fascinating and refreshing twist of this history, I can’t believe the authors found an interesting way to make me learn history!

WRITING

There are 3 POVs in this book, Jane, Edward, and Gilford which are written by three different authors. I was a bit skeptical about a book written by multiple authors because I hate the transition between different writing styles, but to my surprise, I have no problem with this book at all. The transition is smoothly done, I definitely could not tell that this book is written by different people!

There are some terms, language, and things that are historically wrong. There are even some modern words used in the book, and things that I think hasn’t invented yet in that era. I know I wasn’t supposed to take this book seriously but to be honest this kinda annoyed me.

WORLDBUILDING

We have been warned from the start that this history will be all twisted. So I dived blindly into this book (like really blind, I mean, I don’t read the synopsis and the reviews at all) and I was so shocked by the magical element added in this book (I didn’t even know that there will be magical element). I love the idea of replacing the religion issue in the original history with ridiculous shapeshifting, and how England is divided by two different beliefs, one is Ethian, the shapeshifter, and the other is Verity, who believes Ethian was a curse. This idea surely make this book a lot more fun!

It is a really surprising and unique story, not only the twisted history, but also the alternative story of Lady Jane.

CHARACTERS

I like to think Jane is a mixed between Elizabeth Bennet and Rapunzel from Tangle! She has the same curiousity and intelligency as Liz and plenty of humourous and witty banter as Rapunzel! She is, brave, independent and kind-hearted, I really love her character. She definitely makes it to one of my favorite literary woman list!

Gilford, or G is the sweetest cinnamon roll and has all the greatest husband material! He’s so caring and has a heart as soft as cotton ball! He’s so damn funny, I love reading his banter with Jane, and the slowburning relationship between them really melt my stone cold heart!!

Edward is my least favorite character in this book. There are not a single moment when he actually thinks about his fallen kingdom, all he could think about was to hooked up with a girl, and all the little things he does is to impress a girl! You’re a damn King of England for God’s sake!! Do your job!

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Have you read this book? Is this book in your TBR? What is your favorite historical fiction book?

carolina

 

 

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The Weeping Books of Blinney Lane

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Title: The Weeping Books of Blinney Lane
Author: Drea Damara
Publisher: BHC Press/Indigo
Pages: 400 pages
Year of Publication: September 27th, 2018
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Magic
Rating: 2,5

GR    amazin

 

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Welcome to Blinney Lane, a historical Salem shopping district controlled by a witch’s curse.

Sarah Allister just wants a normal life running her bookstore and daydreaming about the handsome deliveryman. Contentment seems within reach, even if she has to deal with the daily phenomena that occur in her shop.

But when her spirited nephew shows up to spend the summer, all bets are off. Now Sarah must keep Ricky from discovering the curse of Blinney Lane and awakening its full power.

Will Ricky heed Sarah’s warnings? Or will he accidentally awaken the magical weeping books and send Sarah back to a land she swore to forget?

Get ready for a modern fairy tale that will sweep you away to lands beyond your imagination.

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Drea Damara grew up in Illinois working on her family’s farm. Raised in a home of seven with only one television, she spent her free time reading and roaming the woods. She set writing aside to join the Army and later returned to the Middle East, conducting similar work as a civilian. Drea enjoys writing in multiple genres and is currently working on additional installments of her Blinney Lane series.

 

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I think you’re going to love this book if you like a fantasy story about magical land from a magic book, medieval setting, adventure, and love story in it! I’m sorry I can’t write a review like I usually do because I’ve been in hospital this past few days, my bronchitis is acting up again. I wish you all well and hope you read a great book!

carolina

 

 

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Song for a Lost Kingdom

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Title: Song For a Lost Kingdom
Author: Steve Moretti
Publisher: DWA Media
Pages: 316 pages
Year of Publication: July 16th, 2018
Genre: Fantasy, Historical, Romance
Rating: 4

GR    amazin

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Music is not bound by time…

Adeena Stuart is a struggling cellist ready to give up on her dream of landing a spot with the National Arts Centre Orchestra. All that changes when she receives a musical score, lost for almost 300 years in a Scottish castle, sent by her dying grandmother.

When the score is played on the oldest surviving cello ever made in the UK, the music connects Adeena directly to the past as Katharine Carnegie, struggling to find words to complete her symphonic tour-de-force in the midst of 18th Century political rebellion that is tearing apart Scotland and England.

But Adeena is not a scientist or historian. What she wants more than anything is to create and compose. As she is buffeted back and forth between the past and present, she grows to want more of the past, even though the promise of her most yearned-for professional dream is coming true. 

With a clear voice that sets us in modern day Ottawa and old world Scotland, Song for a Lost Kingdom, Book I, begins a journey of discovery between two women who share the same musical soul and love for the same doomed man.

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TRIGGER WARNING

CLICK HERE!

sex scene, sex abuse, violence

PLOT

The book took place in two different lifetime, three hundred years apart, which somehow connected by one musical intrument. Katharine in 1745 and Adeena in 2017 both are really passionate Celist. It all started when Adeena received an ancient musical score that has been hidden for hundred of years, from her grandmother, the grandmother which everyone believe is delusional because her constant rambling about she being haunted every night by some long lost family. Turns out the woman from Adeena’s father side always went through the same thing which make everyone think it’s a family trait.

Adeena was taken back to 1745 as Katharine, when she played the score with an ancient cello, she found out later that she went back in time for a reason that could change the future forever. And of course nobody believes her, and her parents think she went nuts, just like all the women before her in their family.

I really like the concept of time travelling with a musical instrument, although I really find it unusual when it’s only her mind which travel back in time and her body stays in the present time, it makes me wondering what happened with the “real” Katharine in 1745 when Adeena’s mind take control of her body. The author also didn’t explained why this strange phenomenon happens now after three thousand years and why it’s happened only to Adeena. This book mixed up two unique concept about time travelling and reincarnation, it’s confusing but I still enjoy it.

WRITING

The story is very engaging, although the start is a little bit slow and it annoys me because I really can’t wait to read the historical part, the pace found it’s perfect rhytm in the middle of the book, it flows so easily but then the pace get a bit rushed at the end.

The writing style is so good, especially the dialogs in the historical part. The author does know how to make the reader curious, the conflicts are not solved until the very end of the book and it makes me flipping the pages like crazy! And not to mention that ending, the cliffhanger is killing me, so cruel!

WORLDBUILDING

It’s a mixed up between reality and fantasy and the author did a very great job to differentiate both world. I love the historical part of the story, everything sounds so realistic, from the language, the dress, the situation, and the people, it makes me feel like I was there at the moment.

CHARACTER

Adeena is a very ambitious and stubborn person, she kinda remind me of myself. She works hard to get what she wants, and she won’t let her personal life dragged her down from her dream and her ambition. I really admire her for stood up for what she really wants in her life, something I could never do.

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Author pic I have always been drawn to passion and creativity in all its forms. I am equally fascinated by the mechanics of the universe and the characters of history. I have a special affection for the power of music which I believe is the universal language of human emotion.

My writing journey started in journalism, public relations and advertising then continued into software development (yes that involves writing)! Recently I finished a screenplay and my first novel, and am now embarking on this a full-time career.

I grew up in London, Ontario and also lived in Pompano Beach, Florida as a teenager. I moved to Ottawa and attended Carleton University many years ago and now live just south of the city with my wife, daughter and four dogs with attitude.

I look forward to your feedback. Sign up for my mailing list at stevemorett.ca and I’ll send you a FREE copy of the Prequel to the Song for a Lost Kingdom

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Scotland, 1746

Katharine’s only concern was for the new life taking hold in her womb. Only yesterday she had felt its first wondrous kick and now it stirred again, as his dirty fingers penetrated her roughly.“Ahh,” the drunken Redcoat grunted. “Ye want it, don’t ya bitch?”

Katharine struggled to break free of his choking hold around her neck. But he only gripped tighter and pushed his thick fingers into her deeper. She felt another tiny kick in her belly as if in response to the gross violation.

“Stop!” she cried. “You’re hurting the baby!”
The soldier laughed and withdrew his fingers. “Yer traitor’s bastard?”
He kept one hand around her throat as he raised the other, showing her the filthy fingers that he had used so horribly inside of her. He brought them to her lips and her stomach wrenched.

“My brother’s coming.” She gathered all her strength into a warning glare.
He ignored the threat and shoved two foul fingers into her mouth, feeling around her tongue. “The Captain knows what you’ve done. And with who.” He paused a moment before retracting his fingers to her bottom lip, peeling it down as if he were examining an animal.

“Yer a strong wench. But I’ll no marry you, like he asked me to.” He let go of her and stood up. “I like your music, and I just want to ride you. My mate wants a turn too.” He started to unbutton his tunic and she knew she had to do something. Her mind was racing.

Her tone softened. “Can I undress first?”
He grinned, exposing his jagged brown teeth. “Yeah. Like ta see what I’m getting.” He sat down on the bed and began to remove his boots.

Katharine looked around to see where she had left her violoncello. She had brought it upstairs after tonight’s performance in the main hall of the Inn. Now it sat in the corner of the room and the bow lay on the table beside it, near a candle that provided the only light. She began to undress, a plan forming in her mind.

“Come over here wench,” the Redcoat called to her. He lay flat on the bed, his engorged organ standing at attention. “Get on me.”
She blew out the candle, gathered herself and walked slowly towards the man who waved his organ like a sword, grunting for her. The room was dark with only a faint moon outlining her shape. She came to the bedside, sickening herself with a faltering smile, displaying her bare breasts and crotch to him. As he reached to pull her on top of him, she took the bow from behind her back and in one swift movement, drove the end of it into his right eye.

He screamed in agony as she jumped away.
Katharine grabbed her dress off the floor, bolted out the door, down the stairs and out of Culloden House into the cold Scottish night.

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Do you love historical fantasy? Do you want to read this book? Would you recommend me your favorite historical fantasy? Thanks in advance!

carolina

 

 

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Otherwood

I got this e-ARC from Candlewick Press through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!

I really don’t know how to express my feeling about this book and I think I wouldn’t be able to write a proper review because this book has so many twists and turns that I’m afraid that I would unintentionally gave the plot away. But I love this book so so much and this is my attempt to persuade you all to read this amazing book! Although, it’s best to read it without knowing anything at all because I did and look what this book made me feel!

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Title: Otherwood
Author: Pete Hautman
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Genre: Middle-Grade, Fantasy
Pages: 320 pages
Year of Publication: September 11th 2018
Rating: 4,5
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synopsis
“Hatred combined with lies and secrets can break the world.” Grandpa Zach used to say that before he died, but Stuey never really knew what he meant. It was kind of like how he used to talk about quantum physics or how he used to say ghosts haunted their overgrown golf course.
But then one day, after Stuey and his best friend, Elly Rose, spend countless afternoons in the deadfall in the middle of the woods, something totally unbelievable happens. As Stuey and Elly Rose struggle to come to grips with their lives after that reality-splitting moment, all the things Grandpa Zach used to say start to make a lot more sense. This is a book about memory and loss and the destructive nature of secrets, but also about the way friendship, truth, and perseverance have the ability to knit a torn-apart world back together. 
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PLOT

Stuey and his new best friend Elly Rose are not only share the same birthday, they also share the passion and interest of wild life. They spend a lot of time playing in the wood and they even have a secret basecamp in the deadfall right in the middle of the wood. They somehow attracted to that place, it’s enchanting and sometimes they can hear music and people talking inside it, it’s creeping them out but they can’t help to love the place. Grandpa Zach told him that the wood is haunted, is it the ghosts that they’ve been hearing?

One day, Stuey told Elly Rose about their old family secret, about how their great grandparents was connected to one another. In the middle of his story, something unbelieveable happened right in front of Stuey’s eyes. And finally all of Grandpa Zack told him make senses.

And that’s when the story become interesting! The pace is rather slow in the beginning but it was gripping me from the start, so tight that I can’t get my eyes off the book. I finished the book in one sit, less than 5 hours!! That’s the fastest I can finish a book since forever!

I could tell you what was happening in the wood but then I’d totally ruin the fun. This is the book that you HAVE to read yourself!!

WRITING

The writing is out of this world! The mystery was really well written and I can’t guess where the story would lead me, will this lead me to a ghost story? Another magical land? Is this a thriller book? Or was the main character simply lose his mind? I really can’t guess!

WORLDBUILDING

The worldbuilding is the most interesting part of this book. Pete Hautman created an entirely different world from most MG fantasy books. This is actually a pretty common theme but I just rarely seen another MG books with similar theme, so I found this really unique and interesting. I love the concept and I love the way the mystery resolve toward the revealing. Although the ending kinda confuse me and make me questioning all how and why but this book is beautiful nonetheless.

This book bring out so many deep and slightly dark topics, about a dark old family secret, loss, grief, and guilt. But also a heartwarming topics about friendship and family.

CHARACTERS

Stuey and Elly Rose has a really great chemistry, their relationship is one of the most heartwarming friendship I’ve ever read. Although I feel like both characters lack emotions when the “thing” happened and ended, I mean, if I were them I’d totally freak out and questioning my sanity. I kinda expected a big dramatic scene in the end but there weren’t any.

I love that they still believe in each other despite all the circumstances and always try to get back to each other, to get back to the way they were.

OVERALL

This book is nothing like other MG books I’ve ever read, the theme is so unique although it’s a little bit confusing at the end but if you could just enjoy it and not asking so many questions, you would totally like it. There are some slightly dark contents in this book which I don’t think suitable for middle graders but that’s not the main focus of the book. I love the mysteries and the friendship, it’s totally a friendship goal!

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Do you know about this book before? Is it on your TBR? Does my review make you want to read this book?

carolina

 

 

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Sleeping Giants

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Title: Sleeping Giants
Author: Sylvain Neuvel
Publisher: Del Rey
Pages: 320 pages
Year of Publication: April 26th, 2016
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Sci-Fi
Rating: 4,5

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synopsis

A girl named Rose is riding her new bike near home in Deadwood, South Dakota, when she falls through the earth. She wakes up at the bottom of a square-shaped hole, its walls glowing with intricate carvings. But the firemen who come to save her peer down upon something even stranger: a little girl in the palm of a giant metal hand.

Seventeen years later, the mystery of the bizarre artifact remains unsolved – the object’s origins, architects, and purpose unknown.

But some can never stop searching for answers.

Rose Franklin is now a highly trained physicist leading a top-secret team to crack the hand’s code. And along with her colleagues, she is being interviewed by a nameless interrogator whose power and purview are as enigmatic as the relic they seek. What’s clear is that Rose and her compatriots are on the edge of unravelling history’s most perplexing discovery-and finally figuring out what it portends for humanity. But once the pieces of the puzzle are in place, will the result be an instrument of lasting peace or a weapon of mass destruction?

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PLOT

I didn’t expect that I will love this book with all of my heart! Sci-fi is not exactly my thing after all but this book exceed way above the expectation I ever had about this book. The idea of thousands years old giant metal lying around on earth really make my brain sweat, who made it? How did they made it? Is there actually a more advanced being on this planet before us? And what the hell did this giant for exactly? I’m so curious to find out about all this but the plot is so painfully slow, but surprisingly, I love every minute of this torment!

There are some unexpected twists in this book that will leave you speechless and gasping in horror! And that twist in the end, boy I DID NOT EXPECT IT AT ALL!

WRITING

This book was told in a series of interview. So we got this mysterious interviewer who interviewed a lot of different people from different background in this project. The only narration is the journal in which the characters sometimes record their progress on the research. This is one of the most unique format I’ve ever read in a book, and I think this format really suit the story. I admit that at first I thought this is gonna be boring but I can assure you that it is not boring at all! What I love the most about this interview format is that there are no unnecessary scenes, no flowery language and confusing purple prose necessary to make this book epic! All that is told in this interview are important and are the key to the story!

My only complain is sometimes the timeline is a little bit messed up, there sometimes months or even years gap from one interview to another new interview and it’s a little bit confusing.

The writing is surprisingly good! There are so many heavy topics in this book like politic, science, philosophy but they are all so well written even an ordinary human with an average size of brain like me could understand and actually enjoy them!

WORLDBUILDING

Let me put it this way. An advanced tech in a form of giant metal robot buried deep on earth for thousands of years and there’s a probability that this thing was from outer space. Sounds familiar? I’m sure you realized by now that the world is so similar to Transformer right? But the similarity ends there, this giant has no conciousness and has to be operated from the inside,

There are still not much explanation about this alien robot yet, not it’s history, it’s use, it still remain a mystery until the end of book one but it’s actually a good thing because it gave the chance to expand it in book two and three. It makes me so eager to immediately read book two.

CHARACTERS

The author built so many different characters just through interviews! It took a little time to get used to every characters but then you can totally differentiate who’s talking even if you didn’t read the name. They are each so unique I can’t believe that they all was created by the same person, it’s almost like reading the real interview with real people! There are five main characters from different background, military, linguist, physicist, and geneticist and the writer nailed them all!

Rose and Kara are my favorite, you know I’m weak when it comes to smart, strong and independent female character. And these two are easily become my favorite woman character ever! Rose is the project leader, she’s so smart, loving, kind, and she has the best quality of a leader. Kara is our military girl, fierce and cold-hearted. I’d like to portray her as the female version of Jay Pritchett (from Modern Family, LOL). Her interviews are the best, she’s a pain in the ass but I can’t help to fall in love with her character. I love the other characters as well, but this review will be too long if I write my every opinion about them!

OVERALL

I don’t read much Sci-fi book but this is hands down one of the best I’ve ever read! There are not much action scenes in this book but it is hella tense even without it. So if you ever want to read a good Sci-Fi book please pick up this book. I might listen to the audiobook soon because people keep saying that the audiobook is the best!

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Have you read this book? If so what do you think? If not, is this book in your TBR? Also, would you recommend me some great Sci-Fi books? Oh and one more thing, do you know where I could listen to audiobook with cheaper price? Thanks in advance!

carolina

 

 

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Mirage

Mirage

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Title: Mirage
Author: Somaiya Daud
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Pages: 320 pages
Year of Publication: August 28th, 2018
Genre:Young Adult, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Romance
Rating:3

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In a star system dominated by the brutal Vathek empire, eighteen-year-old Amani is a dreamer. She dreams of what life was like before the occupation; she dreams of writing poetry like the old-world poems she adores; she dreams of receiving a sign from Dihya that one day, she, too, will have adventure, and travel beyond her isolated moon.

But when adventure comes for Amani, it is not what she expects: she is kidnapped by the regime and taken in secret to the royal palace, where she discovers that she is nearly identical to the cruel half-Vathek Princess Maram. The princess is so hated by her conquered people that she requires a body double, someone to appear in public as Maram, ready to die in her place.

As Amani is forced into her new role, she can’t help but enjoy the palace’s beauty—and her time with the princess’ fiancé, Idris. But the glitter of the royal court belies a world of violence and fear. If Amani ever wishes to see her family again, she must play the princess to perfection…because one wrong move could lead to her death.

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I love how this book was inspired by North African culture and history, it really adds the color to YA fantasy books. There are so many exciting things to discover about this new (to me) culture and history, about how they live, their tradition, inheritance, and the impact of colonialism. And I love all of the ideas but unfortunately it was not well executed.

I love the body double idea but I didn’t expect that this WHOLE book is basically Amani trying as best as her could to be Maram. I mean literally nothing happened except Amani went to parties, meetings, and family gathering as Maram which is boring and dull. Well it does has a climax, for a really short moment in the last few pages, but I didn’t feel any tension, in fact I didn’t feel anything at all.

The worldbuilding is the one thing I didn’t like the most. It’s so weird, like super weird. The story is set in space and they have all the futuristic technologies like droid, air space, and all the super techs but they still lives like ancient history. Empire government? Horse carriage? Please, the space thing and futuristic techs didn’t contribute to the story in any way at all so why can’t it be the normal, ancient, fictional kingdom like most YA fantasy? It’s like this book is trying to be unique but instead turn out to be a weirdo.

The writing is beautiful though, it’s actually pretty great considering it’s a debut. I love that this book included some beautiful and breath-taking poetry. The pace is so slow and there’s not much happening in this book. It makes it hard for me to be fully engage with the story, it’s dragging so much I even dozed off several times! It was entirely my fault to expect so much. Well I admit when I first read the synopsis I kinda expected some thrilling adventures and nerve-racking rebellion acts and uprising scenes but hey, it’s only the first book!

Now let’s talk about the characters, Amani is a scared girl when she was kidnapped but she quickly recovered and try her best to be tough, or at least pretend to be. She plays the role of Maram perfectly just for the sake of her family and her people. Princess Maram is a teenage brat who actually confuse with her life (hey, we’ve been there too!), which made her all moody and indecisive, but also real and relatable. I love her character and the development of her character throughout the story, and also love the ups and downs relationship between the two of them. Idris is Maram fiancee, I think he’s totally insignificant in this story. The romance feel forced and I hate the insta-love, but luckily the romance was not the main point of the story.

I’m not saying the book is bad, it’s an okay read for me, it’s just didn’t lived up to my expectation that’s all. But if you love a more strategic and political fantasy with a little bit of romance, character driven story, a tough heroine, and a villain who you could relate to, then you have to give this book a try!

Thanks to Aimee, Always for organizing this blog tour and gave me a chance to be one of the host! And thank you to NetGalley, and Flatiron Books for providing me an eARC in exchange for an honest review! 

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Somaiya Daud author photoSomaiya Daud was born in a Midwestern city, and spent a large part of her childhood and adolescence moving around. Like most writers, she started when she was young and never really stopped. Her love of all things books propelled her to get a degree in English literature (specializing in the medieval and early modern), and while she worked on her Master’s degree she doubled as a bookseller at Politics and Prose in their children’s department. Determined to remain in school for as long as possible, she packed her bags in 2014 and moved the west coast to pursue a doctoral degree in English literature. Now she’s preparing to write a dissertation on Victorians, rocks, race, and the environment.

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Have you read this book? If so what do you think? If not, is this book in your TBR? Are you excited to read this book?

carolina

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