Tag Archives: New Adult

Book Review: Whispers of Shadow & Flame by L. Penelope

St. Martin’s Griffin
TBP Oct. 1, 2019
496 Pages

The Mantle that separates the kingdoms of Elsira and Lagrimar is about to fall. And life will drastically change for both kingdoms.

Born with a deadly magic she cannot control, Kyara is forced to become an assassin. Known as the Poison Flame in the kingdom of Lagrimar, she is notorious and lethal, but secretly seeks freedom from both her untamed power and the blood spell that commands her. She is tasked with capturing the legendary rebel called the Shadowfox, but everything changes when she learns her target’s true identity.

Darvyn ol-Tahlyro may be the most powerful Earthsinger in generations, but guilt over those he couldn’t save tortures him daily. He isn’t sure he can trust the mysterious young woman who claims to need his help, but when he discovers Kyara can unlock the secrets of his past, he can’t stay away.

Kyara and Darvyn grapple with betrayal, old promises, and older prophecies—all while trying to stop a war. And when a new threat emerges, they must beat the odds to save both kingdoms. – Goodreads

If you haven’t read book one, you most certainly cannot read this without it. And if you haven’t checked out my review of the first book it is here.
This is rated Young Adult but I consider it New Adult. There is stuff that happens towards the end of the book that really brings that into question. But I loved this book. It took a little bit for the ball to get rolling but once it did, I couldn’t put it down.
Kyara and Darvyn are one of my favorite FAVORITE characters I have read in 2019. I loved everything about their romance but most importantly I loved them and their individual stories and how it ties together. They are genuine characters, who struggle with their duties, loyalties (and lack there of) and their need for freedom and peace. And in the mist of all the mess, they were able to forge something together and man,I have nothing but respect for that.
Kyara is that character that a reader doesn’t pity or feel any form of bad for. Why? Because she handles it. And she handles it with such conviction, the reader instantly falls in love with her. She doesn’t self pity, which is a breathe of fresh air for tormented characters. She accepts what she cannot change, however she grows and gains an understanding of not only herself but the world that was made to fear her.
Darvyn must be protected at all costs and doesn’t deserve the hurt that came his way. That sums up everything I feel about him.
The world building in this series is skillful. Nothing felt as if the author was tying to drag the story along nor was it overly complicated where the reader gets lost. It is detailed and developed with strong imagery as well as language.
The only thing about this novel that I struggled with was the different voices. Kyara and Darvyn aren’t the only characters that have a say in this novel and at some points it was a bit hard to keep up.
Other than that, I loved book two and the sly thing the author did with tying it to book one. It made the book perfect.
Overall,
4.5 Pickles

New Adult Book Review: The Goblins of Bellwater by Molly Ringle

Central Avenue Publishing
TBP October 1, 2017
288 Pages

Most people have no idea goblins live in the woods around the small town of Bellwater, Washington. But some are about to find out.

Skye, a young barista and artist, falls victim to a goblin curse in the forest one winter night, rendering her depressed and silenced, unable to speak of what happened. Her older sister, Livy, is at wit’s end trying to understand what’s wrong with her. Local mechanic Kit would know, but he doesn’t talk of such things: he’s the human liaison for the goblin tribe, a job he keeps secret and never wanted, thrust on him by an ancient family contract.

Unaware of what’s happened to Skye, Kit starts dating Livy, trying to keep it casual to protect her from the attention of the goblins. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to Kit, Skye draws his cousin Grady into the spell through an enchanted kiss in the woods, dooming Grady and Skye both to become goblins and disappear from humankind forever.

It’s a midwinter night’s enchantment as Livy, the only one untainted by a spell, sets out to save them on a dangerous magical path of her own. -Goodreads

This story was inspired by Christina Rossetti poem, Goblin Market (which is listed below the review.) Before reading this, you need to know that this is a new adult book. This means that there is sexual content not suggested sexual content but full blown sexual content with characters under the age of 25.

I was immediately sucked into this book. The story of goblins is something I don’t touch too much. Its not as if   don’t like their story, I guess it isn’t as popular within the channels I run through to look for new books but its something I am going to look into.

Anyway… as I said I was sucked into this book but the intensity I had reading into the beginning died. . . slowly but it died. It wasn’t as if the story was not interesting. It was but the author took a little bit too much time of having the characters run around the issue. I felt that the resolution was too easy found and there wasn’t enough fight or intensity leading up to the conclusion as there was with the sex scenes.

I also didn’t think there was a enough mythology in the book. I wanted something deeper in the overall story. I wanted more history and color overall in the story. I felt that the focus was too much on the relationships and not on the goblins their story, their end game or anything such as that. The story was fairly straight-forward and I’m not a fan of that.

Despite the story hitting a slow patch, despite the lack of mythology and color, it provide a quick read and it introduced me to a new author.

2.5 Pickles (for a good foundation)

Book Review: Song of Blood & Stone by L. Penelope

St. Martin’s Press
TBP May 1, 2018
384 Pages

Orphaned and alone, Jasminda lives in a land where cold whispers of invasion and war linger on the wind. Jasminda herself is an outcast in her homeland of Elsira, where her gift of Earthsong is feared. When ruthless soldiers seek refuge in her isolated cabin, they bring with them a captive–an injured spy who threatens to steal her heart. 

Jack’s mission behind enemy lines to prove that the Mantle between Elsira and Lagamiri is about to fall nearly cost him his life, but he is saved by the healing Song of a mysterious young woman. Now he must do whatever it takes to save Elsira and it’s people from the True Father and he needs Jasminda’s Earthsong to do it. They escape their ruthless captors and together they embark on a perilous journey to save Elsira and to uncover the secrets of The Queen Who Sleeps. 

Thrust into a hostile society, Jasminda and Jack must rely on one another even as secrets jeopardize their bond. As an ancient evil gains power, Jasminda races to unlock a mystery that promises salvation. 

The fates of two nations hang in the balance as Jasminda and Jack must choose between love and duty to fulfill their destinies and end the war.- Goodreads

Firstly, the overall story is told very well. It isn’t as complicated as you would think; it is straight forward to a certain extent. But it wasn’t fast pace; you don’t feel as if the story is rushed.

Jasminda is hard to like and that is because she is a weak individual and that doesn’t really change. I don’t believe the decisions she made was because of a newfound strength but it was really due to having no real alternative. I wanted to like her. I really did but she made excuses and didn’t try.

I liked Jack more than Jasminda but he was losing focus a lot throughout the book. Compared to Jasminda, he had more substance, strength and heart.

There were two issues with this book. For one, it is heavy on the romance. I have no issue with this other than it takes away from the magic, the fantasy of the novel. I like Jack and Jasminda together but there isn’t enough history. Do not get me wrong what you need to know is there but there are holes in the story regarding Jasminda past. It is slightly touched upon but if the author added more of her past then there would have been a better balance and the questions I had after finishing the book would have been more of what next and I think someone knows something.

Secondly, Jasminda didn’t work to become better. She accepted the fact that her Earthsong was weak and did nothing to change it. But the worst part of that is everyone around her accepted that. I was disappointed in that. Did she use her Earthsong to the best of her ability to do some good? Yes, she did but was things pretty much handed to her with no real explanation? Yes.

These are two huge concerns with the book, however, I stayed up until 2:30 in the morning to finish this book. I couldn’t put it down. You get sucked into the conflict between those who have the Earthsong and those who do not. You want more and you keep reading because there is a promise of more. Does the author deliver? Yes and no. There are whole within the plot but there is a promise in book two that there will be more.

I loved the romance, loved the world this story takes place in but I wanted more details, history and fight in this book. However, I was impressed and even when writing this review, I smile with how much I love this story and cannot wait for book two.

This series with some work is going to be amazing.

4 Pickles

 

Book Review: Ensnared by Rita Stradling

TBP: Dec. 18, 2017
380 Pages

Alainn’s father has good intentions. As a genius inventor, he is hired to create a robot for a picky client. This is a mistake. Rose, who looks like Alainn is not a robot pretending to be human but is much more. 

To save her father from going to prison, Alainn takes Rose’s place believing that her life will be nothing but serving the reclusive billionaire until a replacement is built. But nothing about this is as easy or black and white, Alainn hopes it to be. 

*Short Review*

I don’t really care for Beauty and the Beast. It is not one of those fairy tale movies that I actually feel is any good. However, I do love a good retelling of it. But this book wasn’t a love for me. Creative but not a love.

I liked this book because it focuses technology to the fullest. Robots are the thing of now and the future and the idea of robots no longer following their program is something you see constantly in the movies. I appreciated this in book, although there were times I found it myself rolling my eyes because it was s stretch that she can pass for a robot.

What I didn’t like about this book and what ultimately made me give it a low score was the fact that the author was trying too hard to make it real. Building the robot and having her not fulfill her intention that is real but having a human, who is loud, not that bright and emotional. The writing overall seemed really basic and although I really enjoyed the idea behind this story, nothing in me believes it was executed in its best form.

2 Pickles

Book Review: The Cogsmith’s Daughter (Desertera #1) by Kate M. Colby

Boxthorn Press Published Oct. 15, 2015 306 Pages
Boxthorn Press
Published Oct. 15, 2015
306 Pages

200 years ago a flood destroyed most of the world. Survivors settled around a steamship named Desertera and believe that the flood was caused by a pissed off goddess and to appease her the monarchs demand the execution of anyone who commits adultery (Random, right?)

Present time, King Archon traps his wives into adultery and then executes them to move on to the next woman. As long as he does not bother their women, Nobles have turned a blind eye to this but when Lord Varick’s daughter is caught in this trap, Varick vows revenge in the form of a young woman named Aya Cogsmith. 

Aya, barley making it by after, King Archon executed her father for treason, agrees to Varick plan to seduce the King, although it may risk her life. 

I wasn’t expecting much of this book. And I am happy to say that I was pleasantly surprised throughout most of it. But there were issues. What bothered me the most throughout the entire book was how did this civilization come to the conclusion that adultery was the reason why the flood happened. I would have loved to have more of a backstory/history lesson in this book.

I liked Aya for the most part. She bite off a lot than she can chew. I was hoping she would be stronger even towards the end. She showed how naive she was more than a few times and she had my eyes rolling. I loved the pace of the novel and how honest it was. The author didn’t shy away from things and it wasn’t distasteful. I liked that.

There was an obvious wall that was hit about half way through the book but it was quickly settled. Another issue I had with this book was the ending. I feel that the author was trying to not give the ending that we all wanted but I also feel that it wasn’t the best choice especially since the second book isn’t focused on Aya but her friend.

I also believe that the ending was a prime example of Aya being naive and I would say selfish. I was disappointed.

Overall, I want to read more but I am not sure if I am going to read book two.

 

3 Pickles

Manga Review: Tasogare Otome × Amnesia by Maybe

Kaze Manga Published 2014
Kaze Manga
Published 2014

A young woman was left to died in the old building at the Academy for Sincere Teachings. Niiya Teiichi, a freshman, gets lost in that building and sees this young woman’s ghost. The two join together to find the truth about her death and past. 

*Review of the entire series. 

This manga was fantastic. If you do not mind some ecchi, then don’t read this. The plot. the pace, the mystery and the horror all moved together perfectly in each book.

I liked how the romance wasn’t over done nor was it completely obvious. It could have went either way and I appreciated that sort of “suspense.” Niiya was a character I didn’t think to like. He stayed true to himself and what he wanted and nothing stopped him from that. There was a love triangle… well other people were interested in Niiya but it was one sided. Perfect.

The artwork was great. There was horror not graphic, not bloody but certain images did provide the horror. What I really did love about this book is it was a huge game of telephone. Not everything was what it seemed, not everything was a lie. It was a great blend of what the babbling of high school students can and cannot do.

I can go on and on about this series but it would give a lot away. Overall, unforgettable story.

5 Pickles