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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synopsis

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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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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synopsis

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.

Amazon I Website I Instagram I Twitter I Goodreads

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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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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

GR  bd

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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

bd    amazin

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synopsis

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.

Website I Facebook I Goodreads I Instagram I Twitter I Tumblr

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Carolina – fictionologyst (That’s me!)

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Click the link below to win one finished copy of MIRAGE! Only for one lucky winner (US only).

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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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The Raven Boys

Title: The Raven Boys
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: Scholastic Ltd
Pages: 419 pages
Year of Publication: 2012
Rating: 3,5
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lineI’ve been dying to read this series for a very long time, so many people love this series and my friends keep encouraging me to read this and now I finally have!

The story follows Blue, the only normal being in a family full of psychics. She can’t read tarot cards, make predictions, and whatever it is psychic does. Until one day she saw a spirit of a soon-to-die boy, Gansey.

Gansey and her posse Adam, Ronan, and Noah are students at an elite all-boy school, Aglionby. The students known as The Raven Boys. To Blue, all Raven Boys are trouble so she always stay away from them but something those boys are looking for draw Blue’s attention and little did she know, she join their adventurous journey to find a spiritual alignment of land form called Ley Line.

Continue reading “The Raven Boys”

Children of Blood and Bone

Title: Children of Blood and Bone
Author: Tomi Adeyemi
Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books
Pages: 525 pages
Year of Publication: 2018
Rating: (1)
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lineI just woke up from a decent sleep that I haven’t had for three days because I was flipping the pages of this book like a mad woman. And guess what, I have a new favorite series and a new favorite author! Is it too early to give this book “BEST READ IN 2018” title? Because I just did!

Seriously guys, this book has everything you love in a fantasy book. It has bad ass female characters, complex male characters, a great West African mythology, a rich worldbuilding, heartwarming relationship between siblings and friends, heartbreaking events, and ONE HELL OF ADVENTURE that remind me a lot of Percy Jackson series but in a Young Adult way!

Continue reading “Children of Blood and Bone”

The City of Brass

Title: The City of Brass
Author: S.A. Chakraborty
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Pages: 533 pages
Year of Publication: 2017
Rating:  (1)
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lineThe City of Brass is hands down my favorite book of 2017 and has become my new favorite series!

When I was younger I was so captivated by the world of Djinn, thanks to Bartimaeus Trilogy and The Children of the Lamp series. And when I found out that this book is a Young Adult book about Djinn I was sold right away!

Continue reading “The City of Brass”

Strange The Dreamer

Title: Strange The Dreamer
Author: Laini Taylor
Publisher: Little, Brown Book for Young Childre
Pages: 536 pages
Year of Publication: 2017
Rating: 4,5
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WOW. I. NEED. MUSE. OF NIGHTMARES. RIGHT.NOW.

I have a habit to join the party very late, so my excitement probably won’t affect you anymore. However, I’m still gonna rant about how great this book is.

This book is about an orphan of unknown origin, found by a monk and raised as one, his name is Lazlo Strange. When he was a child, one of the monk always told him stories about Weep, a forgotten city that people haven’t seen again for almost two hundred years. People say it’s just a fairytale, but not to Lazlo. He believes the city was real and the curiousity led him to years of research with hope that someday he could find The Unseen City. Seventeen years of research later, he was given the opportunity to see it himself, but it’s nothing like he ever imagined.

Continue reading “Strange The Dreamer”

Nevermoor

Title: Nevermoor
Author: Jessica Townsend
Publisher: Orion Childrens Book
Pages: 374 pages
Year of Publication: 2017
Rating: (1)
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lineI get asked a lot which fantasy world I’d die to visit, and for years my answer will be “ J.K Rowling’s Wizarding World, duh.” Until Jessica Townsend introduced me to a whole new magical world called Nevermoor.

It’s not like I would replace Harry Potter series with this book, but for all this time, it’s been the ONLY books I always came back to. But not anymore! Nevermoor now hold a special place in my heart too.

I was always waiting for my Hogwarts letter you know, but now, a patron to get me to Nevermoor sounds as promising too. Okay enough rambling, I’m gonna tell you how amazing this book is.

Continue reading “Nevermoor”

Origin

Title: Origin
Author: Dan Brown
Publisher: Bentang Pustaka
Pages: 516 pages
Year of Publication: 2018
Rating: 3,5
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lineI just finished Origin yesterday, I always enjoy myself when reading Dan Brown’s book, it makes me feel like I’m reading an educational, non fiction book instead of fiction.

Like his other works, this book is full of art, only this time it has more modern arts than the usual classic arts, but less codes and symbols than the previous books. Honestly, I can’t enjoy modern arts, I just can’t understand them (well I’m not a creative person so excuse me 😅). I expect to see more symbols and codes in this book, but there wasn’t much.

But the riddles and mystery are well written, I can’t guess ‘who dunnit’ until the last few pages of the revelation. Brown didn’t leave a single clue behind so this keeps me going. There are so many shocking twists that I didn’t see coming and leave my jaw dropped.

Overall, I really enjoyed the mystery but feel a little disappointed because the codes and symbols are not as much as the previous books. At first I wasn’t comfortable reading a book with an atheism theme but that quickly goes away as I focus more on the mystery instead of the religion conspiracies. It’s a 3.5 stars from me!

carolina