Hello everyone! Today I will be reviewing The Traitor's Game by Jennifer A. Nielsen, the author of one of my favorite children's series, the False Prince. I hope that you enjoy this review! Also, look how gorgeous that cover is!
Release date: February 27, 2018
Hardcover page count: 400
My rating: 5/5 stars
In the newest fantasy novel by Jennifer Nielsen, Kestra Dallisor has been in exile for three years from the kingdom where her father serves as the king’s second in command. But as she is on the journey to come home, she is stopped by a band of rebels who blackmail her into finding the Olden Blade, the one thing that could kill the seemingly immortal king that could change the kingdom forever. As she goes on this mission filled with ulterior motives and mysterious secrets, Kestra now must decide if the regime she once protected is really worth it, and if she could do what it takes to save her kingdom.
I really enjoyed this book. Filled with magic and waring families, the author was able to build up a wonderful world for the reader to be immersed in. For one thing, this book had some of the best character development I have ever read. Starting from strict loyalist to becoming an amazing heroine, the character of Kestra changed so much as the book went on, making her feel real and fleshed out. The side characters as well were like this as the author did not miss a single chance to make each character shine.
Another aspect of this book that was pretty enjoyable was the world itself. Filled with just the right amount of magic, it never felt like it was too crazy, but it also had tones of penitential. I could easily see myself reading more of this series because it is just so immersive and makes you constantly want to further explore the world.
I would definitely recommend this book for anyone who loves royal intrigue mixed with magic. Despite the novel sometimes doing things that seem stereotypical at the start, the author keeps you hooked with secrets and plot twists that you will never see coming.
I hope that you enjoyed this review! I love the The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen and when I heard that she was releasing another book, I freaked out! Though The False Prince is middle grade, I would definitely recommend the plot-twist filled book to everyone. As always, let me know in the comments it there are any books that you would like me to review!
Until next time,
Original Review posted here: http://teenreaderscouncil.blogspot.com/2018/02/review-traitors-game.html
Hello everyone, today I will be reviewing The Thousandth Floor by Katherine McGee! I hope you enjoy this review!
Release date: August 30, 2016
Hardcover page count: 448
My rating: 4/5 stars
The Thousandth Floor is the breathtaking tale of five teenagers living in the dazzling thousand floor tower of 2118 Manhattan. In this tower of futuristic technology where everything you dream is within reach, everyone has something they want, and everyone has something to lose. Take Leda Cole for example, the high floor girl whose flawless exterior hides a deadly addiction, or Eris Dodd-Radson, a beautiful it-girl whose life is ripped apart when a betrayal rips her family apart. And what about Rylin Myers whose new job as a high-floor maid fills her life with a romance that she never imagined, or Watt Bakradi, the tech genius whose simple task to spy for an upper floor girl turns out to be anything but. Above all sits Avery Fuller on the thousandth floor, a girl designed to be perfect and to have it all… except the one thing she can’t have.
Though some might say that the opening of this was slow, it definitely did not feel like that the whole way through. McGee’s writing felt electric as she took the plot into newer places with each chapter. I loved this about her writing because you never know what would happen next. Another thing that McGee did was overlap her individual character’s storylines. While this sort of thing doesn’t always work out, McGee found a way to work it out perfectly. An example of this is when one character goes to VR laser tag and at the same time meets another character. This might seem like something that happens frequently in books but in reality, the author is putting in two different character perspectives from different chapters. And as she does this, she is creating more room for surprises and plot twists as characters who might seem unconnected actually are, forming a web of interactions throughout the book. This leads me to another aspect of the book, the characters.
Though each character seemed to be steamed from a particular stereotype, each grew over the course of the book. Eris, for example, who started out as just your basic rich girl without a care in the world actually transforms into a character who some might sympatize with during her fall from grace. Though McGee did seem to be not the best at creating deep side characters in this first book, I can tell that these side characters will turn out to be better developed in the second or third books.
Lastly, I really enjoyed the setting of this book. The idea of all of Manhattan in one giant glittering tower is one that really intrigued me and made me want to keep reading. I was constantly wondering how people lived in the monstrosity of a giant tower like that so I was constantly interested in every mention the author made of it. I loved the technologies the author filled the tower with, especially all the futuristic restaurants and places to visit inside the tower. This novel was a great example of world building at its finest because McGee did not at all rely on previous ideas such as fairies or superheroes, but instead came out with an original setting for a dystopian novel without a complete government meltdown or radioactive monsters. She also made sure to ground this tower to reality by mentioning things such as the SAT or Model United Nations, something that made me feel like I can relate more to the book.
Overall, I would recommend this book to fans of Gossip Girl or One of Us is Lying because of its intricate web of lives and ulterior motives fueled by hidden secrets that each character has. Though it does have some mentions of drugs and sex, it is nothing overwhelming so readers over the age of fourteen should be able to enjoy this book greatly.
I hope that you enjoyed this review! This book was super fun to read and I am excited to read the next book. All the covers for this series are also super pretty and if you haven't seen them yet, I would definitely recommend checking them out. Please let me know in the comments if there are any books that you would like me to review!
Until next time!
Hey everyone, today I will be reviewing Honor Among Thieves by Ann Aguirre and Rachel Caine! I hope that you enjoy this review!
Release date: February 13th 2018
Hardcover page count: 309
My rating: 4/5
Honor Among Thieves is the story of Zara, a teenage girl with a nack of stealing who only barely scrapes by in the sorrowful city of New Detroit. But when her newest mark turns out to be someone much more powerful that she believed originally, Zara is forced to run from a dangerous businessman whose only plan for Zara is years is jail -or her life. But just when she thinks her time is up, she is chosen to become an Honor, one of the hundred people chosen to travel with giant sentient spaceship-aliens called the Leviathan for a year long journey around the universe. Embracing her new life, she accepts reluctantly and joins the journey that finally makes her feel at home for once in her life. But not everything is as it seems it the simmering starlight because no matter where she will travel, danger lingers in the darkness.
If you love immersive sci-fi worlds, this book is one that will gobble you up and leave you begging for more. I say this because this book was host to one of the best sci-fi worlds that I have ever read. With every new detail that the authors gave, I almost felt like writing it down so I could learn as much as possible about this world. The authors were able to paint such a detailed picture of the world that everything felt real. Every detail that they threw in felt so well thought out, I was constantly left wondering how they came up with it. This book is by far one of the books that I would most like to see turned into a movie so I could be able to see how everything would look.
It was because of this awesome setting that the plot was able to truly flourish. Starting out as a simple tale of a quirky thief, joined with the setting it was able to reach new depths as feature new twists and turns that it might not have previously been able to reach. I love it when books are like this, turning simple ideas into masterpieces. The authors were able to do this brilliantly, leaving me constantly on edge for the next plot development. Though the plot did at times seem a bit bland, the authors were able to redeem themselves by providing a sense of mystery or suspense about some strange task that the characters are given or an alarming and strange visit from someone. The authors’ writing style was great when it came to situations like this, turning things that seem commonplace into the most suspenseful scenes of the book. And though the plot did sometimes reach weird peaks (like romance with an alien ship) they still found a way to make everything seem new and interesting to even the most well-read reader.
The only thing that I disliked about the book was the characters. For each of them, it felt like the authors pulled random tropes out of a hat and called it a character. Though some can say that at some level all characters are just an extension of a book trope, this book just featured characters that just seemed too artificial. The main character for example was a quirky thief with a tortured relationship with her family who actually has a big heart. And it wasn’t only the main character who was like this, in fact several other characters throughout the book seemed like under developed stereotypes that under hurt the story.
Overall, I would recommend this book for sci-fi lovers looking for a well-developed world that you would yearn to live in and find out more about. Though, if you get easily annoyed by underdeveloped characters, you might occasionally find yourself upset with the book. I would recommend this book for fans of Illuminae for the technology and talking-ship like character. Also, if you are interested in reading book that feature different kinds of like, including that between two girls and an alien ship, you would be very interested in reading this book.
I hope that you enjoyed this review! I really enjoyed reading this book and despite the super cheesy tag line, the book is one that is a true trill ride. If you have any books that you would like me to review, let me know down in the comments or let me know by contacting me through the form on my contact page! Also, I don't think I say this enough but thank you all for reading my reviews!
Until next time!
Hello everyone, today I will be reviewing Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody! I recieved an early copy of this book from an ARC giveaway hosted by the author herself. Please keep in mind that I read an unfinished copy and the quote I included should be checked against the final version of the book. Also, this is my first 1000+ word review so I hope you enjoy! This book was truly amazing and I hope you will pick it up when it is released in April 2018!
Release date: April 10, 2018
Hardcover page count: 400
My rating: 5/5 stars
“To be frank, reader, you’d be better off not visiting the city at all.” - Ace of Shades
Arriving in the city of New Reynes, the so-called city of sin, prim and proper Enne Salta only cares for one thing: finding her missing mother before it’s too late. Alone and unprepared for the city’s dark corners, she searches for the only clue given to her, the name of Levi Glaisyer. But Levi is as far from a gentleman as you can get as he is a notorious street lord and con man. But being only one payment away from the end of an unraveling scam, he agrees to help Enne in the promise of a payout of his dreams. Yet the search for Enne’s mother is not how she expected, bringing her through the darkest depths of the city of sin. And as traps snare around them and secrets are unveiled, it becomes clear that neither of them will be able to make it out without losing something, or someone, dear to them. With lives as the prize and betting souls the token, the game of death is one that they must play until the end.
From the very first words, I was addicted to this book. Written in a descriptive style that seems to bring the words off of the page, I was in love with every word. Foody has a way of writing each and every detail in such a way that the words seem to come alive. Every detail in the book seemed purposely placed, every word adding to the meaning, and every gesture one of hidden meanings. In a book such of this with a smoky city of mystery and suspense, this only made me question what I thought would happen next. This type of writing goes greatly with another aspect of Ace of Shades, the world building.
Even within the first few pages of this book, I can already tell that the author is a queen of building new worlds. When I first read through her opening scene of Enne entering through the city and being asked about her family, I was confused. But then the author quickly explained the reason for it: each family has a particular inherited talent and while it is sometimes something like dance (like the main character) or math, it could also be something like fire or electricity, it could be magic. When I first discovered this I literally mumbled to myself ‘oh my god she’s doing this’. It’s safe to say that I was incredible impressed with this. I know that this is something often done in fantasy books and an element like this should not be something so unexpected for me; but I still found it so incredibly unique that it almost felt like the perfect fantasy element for me, if authors could create things for specific readers. Besides this, the author created this great universe with an amazing backdrop and history that went well with the setting. Foody clearly knows how to outline a story.
The next aspect of the book that I really liked was the character development. So many books nowadays have books with plain beginning to end character arcs where minimal character development is achieved. But in Ace of Shades, Foody clearly put in time and effort to make each character perfect. One example of this is Enne, who started out as a prim and proper young lady who I just could not stop despising. It wasn’t just who she was that bugged me, but her personality. But throughout the book, I actually began to like her and I felt like she truly was a main character that I can enjoy. While her personality did not change so much that she felt like a different person, it did change enough that it was clear that she grew with the story. Another character who did this was Levi whose entire moral standard changed through the book. This type of character growth is hard to come by in books and even though it is often attempted, it frequently comes off half-baked. Another thing that I enjoyed about the characters was that Foody made sure to stay away from the stereotypes that they could easily be associated with. Levi was not your typical street lord baddy whose only thirst is for guts and gold. Enne is not your typical graceful dancer who seeks grace and cleanliness over survival. Foody paid special attention to her characters to make sure that they don’t become their stereotypes and instead stay as their own personalities. And just because Foody spent so much effort on her main characters, does not mean that she spent any less on her side ones. I truly cannot imagine better written side characters. She clearly did not waste any effort with them as each grew into their own spots in the book and left it feeling like the book would be incomplete without them. Each of them were well written and incredibly entertaining leaving me to laugh, smile, and cry beside them.
Lastly, I really enjoyed the plot. With hidden agendas and unexpected betrayal at every turn, Foody keeps the reader constantly entertained throughout the book. I was so entertained that I even stayed up all night to finish it. The author also made sure not to only have one main plot as she created numerous subplots that all intertwined at some point. Reading Ace of Shades felt like I was in a giant maze and with each page, I got closer to the middle. Though one aspect of the book was a bit obvious, it was still minor and so much of the book still shocked me with each chapter.
I would recommend this book for fans of Six of Crows because Ace of Shades has a familiar atmosphere to it. If you a seeking a book that will grip you tight and won’t let you go until the last page, this one is for you. Through this book, it is obvious that Foody truly is a master of her craft. Ace of Shades is a fantastic book of mystery and suspense that will not let you go until the last page.
I hope that you enjoyed that review! If you pick up a copy of this book in April and what to discuss it with someone, don't hesitate to comment! Also, if you have any suggestions for books that you would like me to review next, please let me know in the comments!
Until next time!
Hello everyone! Today I will be reviewing The Queen's Rising by Rebecca Ross. I really enjoyed reading this book so I hope that you enjoy this review and read this book too!
Release date: Feburary 6, 2018
Hardcover page count: 464
My rating: 5/5 stars
In this fantastic debut by author Rebecca Ross, Brienna is a girl whose only wish is to master her passion of knowledge and to be chosen by a patron. But after years of studying her passion, just one of five including art, music, dramatics, wit and knowledge; she is left without one. But when strange memories begin to appear and a secretive man offers her patronage, she knows that nothing good could come of it, especially when he takes her along to overthrow the king of a rival kingdom and restore the queen.
Wow, was the writing in this book amazing. Filled with eloquent sentences and immersive scenes, it was a constant struggle to put the book down. Everything that the author wrote felt flushed out and real, making me truly feel like I was in the book with the characters. Her amazing world building went along great with this as she created neighboring kingdoms with one at the brink of civil war. Despite this being a fairly common setting, Ross found a way to breathe new life into it with hints of magic and great history that felt complete and very much real.
Another aspect of this novel that I really enjoyed was the plot. Despite it being one that is often replicated, a girl with faint ties to royalty finds out that she is key to taking down the corrupted government, the author still finds a way to put in several twists that will take readers by surprise. For example, her unique idea of passions brought a new dimension to the book as the main character struggles to master something that comes easily to most, a thing not often seen in books about royalty where the main characters are often naturally gifted at anything.
Not only that, but Ross also finds why to differentiate the characters of her story from those in similar books. Going along with her familiar plot with a new twist, her characters were a new take on the typical cast of fantasy characters. The menacing second-in-command to the king is no longer one minded, the passionate tutor is no longer the absent-minded teacher, the main character who doesn’t fit in doesn’t brood all day about her life and the rising queen is not obsessed with her looks more that her people. I loved each of these twists on the typical characters because it made the story feel so much more real as the characters no longer had flat and basic ambitions and goals. Instead, it made the reader constantly question what the characters might do next as they were equally unpredictable yet easy to follow through the tale.
I would recommend this book to fantasy lovers looking for a new twist on a familiar tale. For those looking for amazing world building and royal deceit, you will not be disappointed with this book. Fans of immersive writing like Sarah J. Maas will be instantly in love with Rebecca Ross’s storytelling abilities as she spins a tale that you will not be able to put down.
I hope that you enjoyed this review! Let me know if you read this book and what you thought of it. This is definitely one of my favorite debuts of 2018 and the year has barely begun! Let me know if there are any books that you would like me to review!
Until next time!
Original review posted on: http://teenreaderscouncil.blogspot.com/2018/02/review-queens-rising.html
Welcome to the Book Enigma! I review different genres of books from young adult fiction to sci-fi. Enjoy!
Aspiring author who, along with reading YA and with other genres, also fosters kittens, and play the piano and cello!
“A room without books is like a body without a soul.”