ARC Review: Circe by Madeline Miller

Image result for circe madeline miller

5/5 stars

Published by Little, Brown and Company

Release Date: April 10, 2018

Synopsis: In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child–not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power–the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves.

Threatened, Zeus banishes her to a deserted island, where she hones her occult craft, tames wild beasts and crosses paths with many of the most famous figures in all of mythology, including the Minotaur, Daedalus and his doomed son Icarus, the murderous Medea, and, of course, wily Odysseus.

But there is danger, too, for a woman who stands alone, and Circe unwittingly draws the wrath of both men and gods, ultimately finding herself pitted against one of the most terrifying and vengeful of the Olympians. To protect what she loves most, Circe must summon all her strength and choose, once and for all, whether she belongs with the gods she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love.

With unforgettably vivid characters, mesmerizing language and page-turning suspense, Circe is a triumph of storytelling, an intoxicating epic of family rivalry, palace intrigue, love and loss, as well as a celebration of indomitable female strength in a man’s world.

I received an advanced reader’s copy from Little, Brown and Company in exchange for an honest review.

This book takes mythology and storytelling to a whole new level. For those of you who don’t know, Madeline Miller also wrote The Song of Achilles. For those of you who do know, I have no doubt you loved that book, and this book will be no different.

the plot

The plot occurred over a long time period (like hundreds of years). It begins when Circe is born, then to her childhood, and her first love, then exile, and eventually her life alone on the island. Throughout the years, much of Circe’s life passes in monotony, she is focused on perfecting her witchcraft and becoming the witch every god and goddess fears. During her exile, she comes into contact with stray sailors and voyagers, which she takes her own wrath out on. She develops an elusive affair with a renown god, an infamous icon in Greek history, and one of the biggest names in mythology. Circe isn’t afraid of her sexuality, and takes every opportunity she has for herself. Her life becomes centered around her newborn son, Telegonus, and she outrages the goddess Athena in the process. Her whole life is filled with drama and excitement while also depicted as boring and repetitive. Hundreds of years pass in Circe’s life before she fully begins to understand her place in the world and decide what she really wants.

the characters

Circe is the goddess many of you (including me) have probably never heard of before now, but she is the goddess and story we all deserve to hear. A true witch outcast by her family and peers, she is the epitome of the demonization women have faced throughout history. On her own, she learns to not care about others and perfects her witchcraft to use to her advantage and to use to get revenge on those who have done her wrong. Viewed as a villain, as most independent women in this time were, she’s a character people can understand and relate to as all of her actions are justified. Sometimes people need to be rude and callous, women are justifiably allowed to step on others’ toes when it comes to certain things. She’s a goddess who fully embraces her sexuality and breaks the stigma that women can’t have casual affairs. As someone who always speaks her mind, doesn’t let others walk over her, and embraces herself for who she is, her story should have been told, and I’m so happy Madeline was the one to do it. Along with Circe, we are introduced to other big name people such as: Daedalus, Icarus, Odysseus and Penelope and Telemachus, Hermes, Athena, and the nymphs of Circe’s family. The character development and description in this book is some of the best I’ve ever read.

the setting

For the most part, all events take place on Circe’s island of Aiaia and her encounters with travelers. Alone on the island, much is centered around the greenery and nature aspects of Aiaia and how Circe used herbs, plants, and nectar to perfect her art. And the book contains a beautiful map in the front cover!

the romance

Early on, what Circe thought was true love turns horribly sour and sad, pushing her away from men for her entire life. A true feminist icon, Circe gives no shit what others view her affairs and relationships as (though she is exiled no one sees her often). Forming an acquaintances with benefits type relationship, she is not afraid to kick him out, tell him off, and kick him off her island. She is the woman we all wish to read about who can separate feelings from sex (because they are out there believe it or not). She develops more illicit affairs with others and eventually falls in love with an unlikely candidate who understands her and sees who she really is. Through a surprising bond formed between the two, Circe learns to love again with her whole heart, unfiltered and irrevocable. Her true love in this story is with the humans she’s been taught to stay away from, for they are only mortal.

final thoughts

It’s been a long time since I’ve loved a book like this one. It’s not the fast-paced, eventful book like many other YA books. It’s more slow-paced, thoughtful, and reflective telling of the story of Circe and her journey through life. It’s sweet, careful, and beautifully written. I read as slow as I could because I never wanted it to end. A heartbreaking, but in a good way, type of story that everyone will appreciate and understand. I loved The Song of Achilles, but this book has to be my favorite between the two. As much as I love Achilles and Patroclus, something about this book had me hooked from the beginning. Miller’s writing has improved so much from TSoA, and her writing was never even bad to begin with; it’s that good. Circe also has one of the most beautiful covers I have ever seen (the UK version), with a map (all versions), so if that isn’t enough incentive to buy it, I don’t know what is. Mythology is something we ALL need more of, and there can never be enough of it in YA. For anyone who loves witchcraft, magic, and mythology, this book is for you.

 

amazon

goodreads

 

Advertisements

ARC Review: Ace Of Shades by Amanda Foody + Giveaway

4/5 stars

Release Date: April 10, 2018

Published by Harlequin Teen

Synopsis: Welcome to the City of Sin, where casino families reign, gangs infest the streets…
and secrets hide in every shadow.

Enne Salta was raised as a proper young lady, and no lady would willingly visit New Reynes, the so-called City of Sin. But when her mother goes missing, Enne must leave her finishing school—and her reputation—behind to follow her mother’s trail to the city where no one survives uncorrupted.

Frightened and alone, her only lead is a name: Levi Glaisyer. Unfortunately, Levi is not the gentleman she expected—he’s a street lord and a con man. Levi is also only one payment away from cleaning up a rapidly unraveling investment scam, so he doesn’t have time to investigate a woman leading a dangerous double life. Enne’s offer of compensation, however, could be the solution to all his problems.

Their search for clues leads them through glamorous casinos, illicit cabarets and into the clutches of a ruthless mafia donna. As Enne unearths an impossible secret about her past, Levi’s enemies catch up to them, ensnaring him in a vicious execution game where the players always lose. To save him, Enne will need to surrender herself to the city…

And she’ll need to play.

I had the honor of receiving an early copy of Ace Of Shades, and it’s all I’ve been raving about since I finished it in November. Now that the release date is coming up, I can finally post my long-awaited review of this beautiful book. As part of the street team to promote this book, I’m so excited to share all my thoughts that I’ve had throughout the past few months and why everyone needs to pre-order/buy/read Ace Of Shades.

The setting takes place in New Reynes: a dirty, scandalous, criminal, sinful city overrun by gangs and casino crime families. Imagine Vegas mixed with Alcatraz. Imagine if the plots of Moulin Rouge, The Godfather, and Burlesque all came together to make one giant story (with also a touch of Anastasia); then you would have Ace Of Shades. It has everything from magic, cabarets, drinking, gambling, secrets, money, and death. Overall, a good time, in my opinion.

For fans of Six of Crows (who isn’t?), you’ll love this book. It starts off feeling quite a bit like SoC, but quickly takes a turn for the worst (and best) with the relationship built between Enne and Levi (it’s the slowest burn, I cried). I already created a post on a character analysis of Enne which you can read here, so I’ll skip over my praise for Enne and jump right into gushing over Levi.

I’ll be completely honest, when I was first introduced I definitely thought he was a mirror version of Kaz Brekker from SoC, but I was so completely wrong. I love Kaz, don’t get me wrong, but there was something about Levi that made him much more real in my mind. Levi has a depth to him that many authors don’t show when writing about the typical bad-boy hero in their stories. Foody gives off the impression that he’s a hardened badass, the youngest leader heading one of the notorious gangs in New Reynes, but there’s another Levi held behind the facade he shows everyone. In the end, Levi is just another teenager going through a lot. He’s trapped in a deadly investment scam that has him worried for his life, the Irons (his gang) are slowly falling apart from the inside out and he’s ridden with guilt over it, his ties to a casino family are ruining his reputation, and now he needs to help Enne find her mother without jeopardizing her life in the process. Levi cares about the Irons, which makes him infinitesimally more likable (I told you I would gush over him). You see many sides to him, not just the side he wants everyone to see. He has weaknesses just like anyone else. Levi is a to-die-for, black, bisexual main character that everyone will love.

If there is anything I love more than a good plot, it’s great character building and development, and this book has both.

Everything illegal you could’ve ever dreamt of exists in this book, plus MAGIC. I don’t know about you all, but magic is something I’m an absolute sucker for, and I really hope Foody explains more about the magic in Ace Of Shades #2.

Although, I wouldn’t be doing my job as a proper blogger if I also didn’t pick out my flaws with this book. My initial rating was 5 stars, and I think I was so caught up in the heat and angst of the book that I overlooked the parts that I didn’t like. After having time to reflect, I still love this book, hands down, but there are few perfect books in the world.  The world building was kind of off at points, I didn’t get as clear a picture of the Ace Of Shades world as I would like to have. In this, it’s also a skill that comes with experience and age just like any other. There is so much potential in this book which makes me love it so much, but there are definitely areas to improve with writing style. I don’t mean to take shots at the story because I adore it, but everyone has room for improvement, and I genuinely think within the next book and whole series, Foody has a lot of potential to elaborate more on unanswered questions and how her world came to be to make it a great book. Nonetheless, I’m excited beyond belief for the next installment to see what happens to some of my new favorite characters, and I recommend you all to check it out.

Ace Of Shades has a lush, intriguing, fast-paced plot involving deadly games, illicit affairs, and a life-changing quest for a lost mother with a hidden, dangerous past. There are new revelations at every turn, and not a day passes where Enne and Levi’s lives aren’t change forever.

 

Are you excited for Ace Of Shades? If you are, there is a huge giveaway going on on my twitter! And if you’re in the mood for some good music, check out my Spotify playlist dedicated to AoS!

ARC Review: Love, Hate, and Other Filters by Samira Ahmed

Image result for love hate and other filters

5/5 stars

Release Date: January 16, 2018

Published by Soho Teen

Synopsis: American-born seventeen-year-old Maya Aziz is torn between worlds. There’s the proper one her parents expect for their good Indian daughter: attending a college close to their suburban Chicago home, and being paired off with an older Muslim boy her mom deems “suitable.” And then there is the world of her dreams: going to film school and living in New York City—and maybe (just maybe) pursuing a boy she’s known from afar since grade school, a boy who’s finally falling into her orbit at school.

There’s also the real world, beyond Maya’s control. In the aftermath of a horrific crime perpetrated hundreds of miles away, her life is turned upside down. The community she’s known since birth becomes unrecognizable; neighbors and classmates alike are consumed with fear, bigotry, and hatred. Ultimately, Maya must find the strength within to determine where she truly belongs.

I’ve been excited for this book since hearing its expected release. It’s been on my TBR for the longest time, and I’m so happy I finally got around to reading it. To be short, this book is definitely worth the hype it’s been getting. I flew through it in a matter of a few days (a rare occurrence with my busy senior schedule), and have been contemplating and praising it ever since I finished.

The story surrounds Indian-American Maya Aziz, the only Muslim in her predominantly white town in Illinois (a concept I can already relate to as I, too, live in a very homogenous community). Maya’s passion is filmmaking and anything to do with her camera. Her parents want her passion to be becoming a doctor or lawyer or anything respectable and to find the same doctor, lawyer, respectable Indian husband. Torn between the life she lives and the life she wants, Maya finds herself at odds with her family with the exception of her modern, single, understanding (but totally shunned from her family) aunt Hina.

Other than making sarcastic comments to her parents who don’t understand her (we’ve all done this), Maya is the perfect Indian daughter. Or almost, at least. Ahmed accurately represents the struggle of having a family of a different culture compared to the one someone’s surrounded by. Maya’s whole life has been in America with white, American friends, pursuing her “American” independence that her parents have never understood or accepted. She frequently argues with her mother over what she wants for her life only to be rejected, then to have her parents small concessions, and then to repeat the cycle all over again. Maya only wants to be free to be her own person and to pursue her own goals and dreams. If any of you have families of different cultures (like me), you can probably relate to some of Maya’s struggles. Many Americans face these similar circumstances of wanting to belong but feeling like no one accepts or wants you. You’re always either “too American” or “too Indian/Asian/insert any culture” and no matter what you do, you are never able to please everyone.

Not to mention her mother’s insistence of Maya marrying a nice Indian man and starting a family. There is a constant back and forth between Maya’s parents and her from wanting Maya to go to college and focus on her studies to finding an Indian husband to settle down with soon (even though she’s only 17). Still, Maya longs after long-time acquaintance Phil, the classic homecoming king/football star/All-American boy who seemed out of reach until now. Maya’s caught between who she wants to be and the future she wants, the boy of her dreams and the boy of her mother’s, and on top of all of this, a terrorist attack strikes her town.

After every chapter, Ahmed includes a page-long detail of the events of the terrorist’s life before the attack and the aftermath regarding the destruction and death. In the beginning, it is assumed a local Egyptian man with the same last name as Maya committed the crime. With everything she’s already facing, Maya now has to face her classmates as the girl with the same last name as a suicide bomber, same claimed religion as the suicide bomber, same brown skin.

“It’s selfish and horrible, but in this terrible moment, all I want is to be a plain old American teenager. Who can simply mourn without fear. Who doesn’t share last names with a suicide bomber. Who goes to dances and can talk to her parents about anything and can walk around without always being anxious. And who isn’t a presumed terrorist first and an American second.”

Everything in Maya’s life seems to be crumbling all at the same time. She can’t go to her dream school (NYU), Phil’s ex/current girlfriend situation is confusing and unclear, and she’s facing backlash for being Muslim during the time of a terrorist attack.

She fights at every turn to get the freedom she deserves and to be the person she wants.

Samira Ahmed tells a heartbreaking, real, and beautiful story about the struggle between being American while also being connected with your culture that almost every person of color can relate to, I know I do. This book is immensely important to readers so they can see themselves represented and acknowledged in books. It only proves the point of why #OwnVoices books are so important in today’s society and times. People need to hear perspectives of other cultures and races. We need to listen to their stories and struggles so we can understand how others view life and issues. Understanding is the barrier that holds others back from accepting those who aren’t similar to us. It’s an obstacle we all need to overcome to rise above the racial prejudices and biases rooted in our society to become a better, welcoming environment where people don’t feel outcasted based on the color of their skin or their religious beliefs or their sexual orientation and preferences.

Love, Hate, and Other Filters perfectly captures all the struggles of being a PoC teen in America right now and all the obstacles they must overcome to feel accepted in a society that shuns them at every turn.

Character Spotlight: Enne Salta from Ace Of Shades

Hello everyone! Before I jump into this post, I just wanted to let you all know there is a pre-order giveaway going on for Ace Of Shades by Amanda Foody if any of you are interested (I know you all are). There are 6 days left to enter!

enter here
 
For anyone who doesn’t know, I am the Lord for the Doves on the Ace Of Shades street team which basically means everyone is going to be spammed with posts about Ace Of Shades until the release date (sorry not sorry). So, if you haven’t heard of Ace Of Shades yet, here’s a synopsis for you all:

Welcome to the City of Sin, where casino families reign, gangs infest the streets…
and secrets hide in every shadow.

Enne Salta was raised as a proper young lady, and no lady would willingly visit New Reynes, the so-called City of Sin. But when her mother goes missing, Enne must leave her finishing school—and her reputation—behind to follow her mother’s trail to the city where no one survives uncorrupted.

Frightened and alone, her only lead is a name: Levi Glaisyer. Unfortunately, Levi is not the gentleman she expected—he’s a street lord and a con man. Levi is also only one payment away from cleaning up a rapidly unraveling investment scam, so he doesn’t have time to investigate a woman leading a dangerous double life. Enne’s offer of compensation, however, could be the solution to all his problems. 

Their search for clues leads them through glamorous casinos, illicit cabarets and into the clutches of a ruthless mafia donna. As Enne unearths an impossible secret about her past, Levi’s enemies catch up to them, ensnaring him in a vicious execution game where the players always lose. To save him, Enne will need to surrender herself to the city…

And she’ll need to play.

I won’t turn this into a book review (that’s coming later), but I wanted to put a spotlight on Enne to analyze her character and share some fun Enne inspired things with everyone.

First of all, Enne is a complete badass. In YA, badass heroines are easy to come across, almost every novel has them. Now let me tell you why Enne is different.

She’s the perfect mix of feminine, vulnerable, strong, and determined. She’s proper and polished while also stubborn and tenacious. It’s stated very early on and consistent throughout the book that she is a girl with morals who holds herself to high esteem. Her whole life has been spent in dresses and skirts and perfecting good manners. This is one thing I absolutely adore about her. A lot of other YA novels discuss the hardened, ruthless girl who isn’t afraid of getting her hands dirty and roughing it up with the guys. While these girls are inspiring and amazing on their own, we often forget that girls don’t always have to be emotionless, hard asses. Enne is the example that shows YA heroines can care about how they look while still taking no shit. Enne’s morals and way of life is what makes her so successful and able to take on New Reynes.

Also, she has an amazing character arc. She begins the book naive, afraid, and a little judgmental, if I’m being honest (but aren’t we all). Enne is the definition of character development. Throughout the book, she continuously takes risks and puts her life on the line not because it’s what she does all the time, but because in order to find her mother she has to. She steps outside her comfort zone and puts herself out there and in situations that she knows she might not walk out of. She’s scared, but she knows she has to do certain things if she wants to find her mother. Going into New Reynes, she has her own preconceptions about its people and the city itself. With the help of Levi, she learns there’s more to New Reynes than meets the eye (but also that some of the horrific stories are also 100% true). She overcomes her greatest fears and discovers more about herself than she ever would have had she stayed home.

Enne made every decision in the book based on finding her mother. Her motivation throughout the whole book is her mother and finding her alive and well. She puts her own judgement aside to do whatever she needs to.

In love with her yet? No? Well, here are some of my favorite Enne inspired things.

TV Shows:

  1. Marvel’s Agent Carter (still crying it was canceled)
  2. The Nanny (Fran was a fashion ICON)
  3. Reign (Adelaide Kane my baby)
  4. How To Get Away With Murder
  5. Marvel’s Jessica Jones
  6. Sabrina The Teenage Witch

Movies:

  1. Wonder Woman (2017)
  2. Lady Bird (2017)
  3. Atomic Blonde (2017)
  4. Black Swan (2010)
  5. Legally Blonde (2001)
  6. Charlie’s Angels (2000)
  7. She’s The Man (2006)

Songs:

I am glad you asked because I made a whole Spotify playlist here

Artists/Bands:

Kind of similar to the songs, but some songs just didn’t fit Enne’s persona

  1. Little Mix (the holy grail of girl bands)
  2. Marina and the Diamonds
  3. Beyonce
  4. Alicia Keys
  5. Lorde
  6. Halsey

I hope by now I’ve convinced you all to pre-order Ace Of Shades. If not for me, do it for Enne. If you pre-order by April 9 (or enter my giveaway above) and submit a copy of your receipt to this website, then you will be sent gifts!

 

ARC Review: The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

34275232

5/5 stars

Release Date:  January 30, 2018

Published by Flatiron Books

Synopsis: Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the uncanny bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a cult-classic book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood, Alice learns how bad her luck can really get: her mother is stolen away―by a figure who claims to come from the Hinterland, the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother’s stories are set. Alice’s only lead is the message her mother left behind: “Stay away from the Hazel Wood.”

Alice has long steered clear of her grandmother’s cultish fans. But now she has no choice but to ally with classmate Ellery Finch, a Hinterland superfan who may have his own reasons for wanting to help her. To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother’s tales began―and where she might find out how her own story went so wrong.

This book was a whirlwind and a half, let me tell you. The story begins with Alice and her current life, finally settled down with her mom and step-dad after a life of constantly moving around due to bad luck. Things start getting weird, her mother is captured, and Alice reaches out to fellow classmate and superfan of her grandmother’s tales to search for her mother.

Tales from the Hinterland is an elusive book to find, few copies are made, held for insane amounts of money, and Alice’s mother has kept her from reading the book her whole life. She relies on Ellery to provide her with information on the tales until they find out some characters are showing up in her life and causing all types of problems. Despite the warnings from her mother, Alice pursues in her search for the Hazel Wood, the mysterious location of her late grandmother’s home, the base of all stories in her book.

The story is dark, creepy, mysterious, lush, and murderous. Anything and everything you could think of as unsettling shows up in this book. I’m a huge fan of horror and the macabre, and this book had all my favorite elements wrapped into one story (well, one story compiled of many other smaller stories). The book combines the two worlds of fiction and real, fairy tale and reality, lines between the two worlds are blurred as Alice ventures deeper into the Hazel Wood and her grandmother’s tales to find her mother. Throughout, her grandmother’s book consists of 12 separate stories, a few of which are mentioned and told by Ellery. Every story is dark and twisted, and Alice finds herself more involved in the creation of the stories than she ever thought she would be. Melissa Albert warps reality, time, and the universes we know in this beautiful gem of a book.

For the duration of the book, I found myself anticipating the next twist, next clue, next thing to happen to Alice and Ellery. It had me on my toes the entire time, and had many twists and turns throughout to hold my attention. The two embark on a journey that changes both of their lives forever. Any fan of horror or the supernatural should pick this book up immediately.

Melissa Albert creates one of the most unique, detailed, and interesting worlds I’ve ever read about. Seriously, I cannot stress enough how well-written and incredible this story was. It is very dark and creepy, and I understand why others who have read this were terrified. It’s the most thrilling story I’ve ever encountered and now one of my all time favorite books. There are lots of murder, blood, and disturbing references, but if you’re okay with it or like it, this book is definitely for you. I wish there were more supernatural books like this where romance was not the center of the book. The plot definitely held my interest the entire time, and I loved every second of reading this; I was shaking with anticipation or fear at every point.

Basically what I’m saying is: EVERYONE SHOULD READ THIS (at your own risk of course)

#AceOfShades Book Tag (#Doves edition)

Screenshot 2018-01-22 at 2.26.41 PM

Hey guys! I’m here with a very special post, an original book tag that our street team for the upcoming Ace of Shades novel created! More specifically, this is the Doves book tag (we rule). I hope you all enjoy my answers, and I tag everyone who reads this to complete it as well, it’s super fun! Also, our Doves team has a giveaway going on on twitter, just make sure to RT the pinned tweet there and here! Now, here are my answers….

1. Ace of Shades takes place in the very mysterious, very dangerous City of Sin. Name a fictional city with a personality of it’s own!

  • The first city/cities that came to my mind were Red London/all the other Londons in V.E. Schwab’s A Darker Shade of Magic series! There’s something about parallel universes/cities that I just love, and each city she created has a personality of its own.

2. The City of Sin is home to three ruthless gangs: the Irons, the Scarhands and the Doves. Tell us about your favorite fictional criminal family/gang!

  • It’s no secret that The Dregs are mine (and everyone else’s) favorite criminal family. Everyone loves Six of Crows, and the fab 6 are always on my mind (I love you, Inej).

3. Enne and Levi are about to be thrown into a deadly game… Name your favorite book in which the characters must play with, and for, their lives.

  • Ahh, the only book that comes to mind is The Hunger Games, but seeing as I didn’t like that series, I’m going to go with Warcross even though no one’s lives are really on the line it’s a fun virtual reality game they all partake in to win!

4. The Doves are a gang of assassins… What book would you kill to have in your hands right now?

  • So many options! I’d have to say King of Scars or The Cruel Prince #2. I’m so anxious for both of these even though Leigh hasn’t released any information on her Nikolai series yet, and The Cruel Prince just released this month. I have no patience, I want them NOW. I’m also very excited for Akemi Dawn Bowman’s new book Summer Bird Blue!

5. The City of Sin is full of people with dark and complicated pasts. Name one book or book series you used to like, but don’t anymore.

  • Hmmm… I really liked The Hunger Games, but as the series went on it got worse and I never finished it. The same thing happened with The Maze Runner, I loved it at the time, but looking back I see it’s deterioration as a series and I get even more sad thinking about Newt (he did not DESERVE).

6. With complicated pasts abound, we can find many… burnt cinnamon rolls, so to speak. Name a character that has prickly and tough exterior, but is actually a sweetheart deep down!

  • Literally every brooding hero ever?!?! Also my FAVORITE type of hero to read, so I’ll just list some off
    • Noah Shaw (when I first met him he had the whole bad boy vibe, I love him)
    • Khalid Ibn al-Rashid (I LOVE this retelling of one of the Arabian Nights stories)
    • Ronan Lynch
    • Ethan from Tell Me Three Things
    • Matthias Helvar
    • Tiberius Calore (idk though anymore I want to love him so much, I’m conflicted)
    • Julian Blackthorn
    • also any main hero in any new adult/romance novel, I love them all

7. Not only anti-heroes live in the Ace of Shades world! In New Reynes, one can find plenty of villains as well. Which bookish character do you just love to hate?

  • MAVEN CALORE, I cannot tell you how much I love him and his dark villain side. I LOVE him, he’s such an interesting character. Also, The Darkling, but I love love him, he just has some personal issues he’s going through (darklina ftw).

8. You, much like our main character Enne’s mother, went missing in the City of Sin. The main character from the last book you read is the one looking for you… How screwed are you?

  • Going off of The Hazel Wood, Alice Prosperpine would go to the ends of the world to find her mother, so I think I’d be pretty well off and found soon enough.

 

I hope you guys enjoyed this book tag! I also hope it interested you all in adding Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody to your tbr! If you pre-order it by April 9, 2018 and submit a copy of your receipt to this website, you’ll be sent some gifts!

ARC Review – Zenith by Sasha Alsberg & Lindsay Cummings

1.5/5 stars

Release Date: January 16, 2018

Published by Harlequin Teen

Synopsis: Most know Androma Racella as the Bloody Baroness, a powerful mercenary whose reign of terror stretches across the Mirabel Galaxy. To those aboard her glass starship, Marauder, however, she’s just Andi, their friend and fearless leader.

But when a routine mission goes awry, the Marauder’s all-girl crew is tested as they find themselves in a treacherous situation and at the mercy of a sadistic bounty hunter from Andi’s past.

Meanwhile, across the galaxy, a ruthless ruler waits in the shadows of the planet Xen Ptera, biding her time to exact revenge for the destruction of her people. The pieces of her deadly plan are about to fall into place, unleashing a plot that will tear Mirabel in two.

Andi and her crew embark on a dangerous, soul-testing journey that could restore order to their shipor just as easily start a war that will devour worlds. As the Marauder hurtles toward the unknown, and Mirabel hangs in the balance, the only certainty is that in a galaxy run on lies and illusion, no one can be trusted.

I did not like this book as you can probably tell from my rating. To begin with, I’m not a huge sci-fi fan, so there was probably some bias there. In any case, I still found it unenjoyable. I wanted badly to DNF it halfway through, but I mustered up the power to finish it (wish I would have DNF’d it). There were few times where the plot line intrigued me, but it faded quickly with the other events going on in it.

The first few pages were the roughest. It was basically the same lines and introduction as Throne of Glass which are already repetitive and boring as it is. Already over it, the next few chapters introduced the main heroine and her all girl crew. They give off a Guardians of the Galaxy type of vibe, but not as funny, efficient, or interesting. The only redeeming quality in this book was a past lovers turned enemies which seemed like they would have an interesting backstory, but it’s not nearly as spicy as it was built up to be; essentially a disappointment.

It just wasn’t original. It was any heist book ever just placed in space. It was a bad mix of Guardians of the Galaxy and Throne of Glass (big ass names, locked in prison wanting revenge, scrappy/kind of illegal acts of heroism), as I stated earlier. The writing at times failed to be interesting and came off as cheesy and irrelevant (the artist who thinks of everything in colors yet proceeds to explain everything in the most generic, boring, cliche/tacky way is so tiring please). In theory, the original ideas they did have could’ve been written so much better, yet they all fell flat and not developed. Also, there is a whole other backstory of a different character (the villain) they try to set up in a different point of view which was only confusing for the most part and tolerable at best. The different point of view thing in this book just didn’t work for me. In introducing all these characters and giving them short paged chapters, multi chapters ended up confusing me more and didn’t seem all that necessary (at least not yet). Anyway, so much was going on in this book that every single event was underdeveloped and quick. There was little build up before getting to the point and moving on to another problem. The focus of the book should have been one main problem, yet there were 2384 problems also going on at the same time. With all these problems, I really wanted the romance to fit into it, but it didn’t and was extremely disappointing. With all the worlds at stake, the last thing Androma needed to worry about was if she could forgive Dex or not.

They tried to hard to convey an original, interesting story that just kept dragging on. They could have focused into writing one well-developed, well-written, well-thought-out book with one major event/climax instead of 20 other insignificant actions. It was cramming too much into a short amount of time.

Overall, it had potential to be good, and it didn’t even achieve that. The ARC was 511 pages, and it was 511 pages too long. If any of you have ever watched Liv and Maddie on Disney Channel and remember when Liv starting filming that cheesy movie “Space Werewolves”, that was exactly what this book felt like.