Category: Reviews


Review: 4 stars to Magnus Chase & The Sword Of Summer by Rick Riordan

Posted 4 June, 2016 by katheryn13 in Adventure, Fantasy, Funny, Reviews, Supernatural, Updates, YA / 0 Comments

Magnus Chase has always been a troubled kid. Since his mother’s mysterious death, he’s lived alone on the streets of Boston, surviving by his wits, keeping one step ahead of the police and the truant officers.

One day, he’s tracked down by an uncle he’s never met—a man his mother claimed was dangerous. His uncle tells him an impossible secret: Magnus is the son of a Norse god.

The Viking myths are true. The gods of Asgard are preparing for war. Trolls, giants and worse monsters are stirring for doomsday. To prevent Ragnarok, Magnus must search the Nine Worlds for a weapon that has been lost for thousands of years.

When an attack by fire giants forces him to choose between his own safety and the lives of hundreds of innocents, Magnus makes a fatal decision.

Sometimes, the only way to start a new life is to die . . .

Review:
Wow. Riordan has done it again. I was, to begin with, unsure how I’d like this book, but I took to it like a duck to water. *inside joke* 
Norse Gods were new to me – I’d only ever seen Thor movies – and so I’d ultimately pictured things differently, and wow, did this turn the images in my head upside down. 
I loved the way Magnus Chase talked, I loved his sense of humour, his quick witted remarks. I saw some comments on Goodreads regarding how he ‘sounded just like Percy and Jason’  but though I agree, yeah, he sounds similar, there was one thing that helped me decide my opinion: Magnus didn’t irritate me like Percy did, and it read easier than Jason Chase because it was in first person. So, yeah.
Sure, there were moments where he made me roll my eyes, annoyed by his behaviour, but it wouldn’t be a Rick Riordan novel if that DIDN’T happen, y’know? Blitz and Hearth really gave this some life, too, and Sam was just the right amount of disciplinarian that it balanced out Magnus’s sense of ‘let’s get ourselves in as much trouble as possible’. Although…they still managed that, didn’t they?
I won’t go into much detail, but there’s plenty of giants, Elves, Dwarves, Gods and other monsters to keep you occupied and bitchy Valkyries that don’t believe you when you say you’ve been attacked by a certain God. I mean, talk about stupid? Also…talking swords? ????????? – I can’t say more, because my confusion is so vast and would last for days.
By the way, Annabeth. ANNABETH! Oh…wow. I wasn’t expecting that. And Loki…he was a rogue sonofabitch, but man is he charming. I’m not sure how else to explain how baffled I was at some of the stunts Magnus and his friends pulled off, so I’ll leave this review like this. I can’t wait for the sequel, and I’m sure it’ll be just as astounding. 
-Kat
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Review: 4 stars to Vicious by V.E. Schwab #Adult #Superpowers

Posted 28 May, 2016 by katheryn13 in Adult Fiction, Espionage, Mature, Mystery, Paranormal, Reviews, Supernatural / 0 Comments

four-stars
A masterful tale of ambition, jealousy, desire, and superpowers. Victor and Eli started out as college roommates?brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognised the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong. Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find?aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge?but who will be left alive at the end? In Vicious, V. E. Schwab brings to life a gritty comic-book-style world in vivid prose: a world where gaining superpowers doesn’t automatically lead to heroism, and a time when allegiances are called into question.
Review:
I was really surprised by how much I enjoyed this. I’ll admit, I’d not read anything of V.E. Schwab’s before Vicious and I had heard wonderful things about it. I knew it was an adult book, but I didn’t expect the back and forth “flashbacks” as it were, with the characters Victor and Eli. It helped me, because I think if it had been purely “adult” I might have struggled. I don’t know. It usually has nothing to do with the writing style, but more because I generally PREFER YA. 
In any case, Vicious was a great tale of super heroes gone rogue. Or something like that. Eli and Victor didn’t always start out as enemies, but something happened when they both took on an experiment. How were EO’s (ExtraOrdinaries) created? Were they born or made to become through death? It was truly fascinating the research that went into this on the characters behalf. Please humour me, it felt like Victor and Eli were REAL. It’s such a thrill to find a book that does that to me. To make me so invested in the characters lives. I don’t usually like superhero stories, either. Not like this, anyway. It had an element of ‘Steelheart’ by Brandon Sanderson to me, but at the same time, the story was SO much better than that. 
I had liked Eli and first, but then after a while he started getting a bit too…I wanna say preachy? I think my non-religious mind was getting too “eye-rolly” of his attitude. The whole “He made me like this for a reason.” nonsense. Um…no. Sorry but that got annoying. He did nothing. YOU did this. Anyway, my ranting apart, it was nice to have a bad character have their reasons, as opposed to just being ‘evil’. He thought HE was the hero of his own story, and he really wasn’t. Neither, admittedly, was Victor. They both had their reasons for doing what they did, and it intrigued me. At one point I was getting restless, I just wanted to know what was going to happen. But I didn’t want to skip any pages. I was HOOKED!
Sydney and Serena were like opposite ends of the pole. I instantly became attached to Sydney. I felt for her on every level, I understood her (though not from personal experience, but because she was so well written) and I stuck by her when her sister, Serena, became someone to be feared.
Serena irritated me. She seemed to think she was the exception and though she apparently hated her power, and wanted people to fight back, she still continued to do bad things. It bugged me to no end. 
Every other character was so…well done. Mitch was a person I didn’t expect to like so much, but like with the others, he made a mark. Same with the investigators. They all became important to this story. I was left stunned at the ending. I was like “What? That’s it? No!” Because of how it ended, I thought there might be a sequel. I thought this WAS a series, or something. 
Anyway, I am so glad I gave this book a shot. I think it’ll be one to reread in the future. I give this 4 stars. 1 star knocked off because of the irritating Eli and Serena. Everything else was perfect. 🙂
-Kat
four-stars
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ARC Review: 5 stars to Tell Us Something True by Dana Reinhardt

Posted 26 May, 2016 by katheryn13 in Contemporary, Funny, Reviews, Romance, YA / 0 Comments

Seventeen-year-old River doesn’t know what to do with himself when Penny, the girl he adores, breaks up with him. He lives in LA, where nobody walks anywhere, and Penny was his ride; he never bothered getting a license. He’s stuck. He’s desperate. Okay . . . he’s got to learn to drive.

But first, he does the unthinkable—he starts walking. He stumbles upon a support group for teens with various addictions. He fakes his way into the meetings, and begins to connect with the other kids, especially an amazing girl. River wants to tell the truth, but he can’t stop lying, and his tangle of deception may unravel before he learns how to handle the most potent drug of all: true love.

Review:

 

So. I received this as an ARC from Rock The Boat, but this does not sway my vote. I thoroughly enjoyed this incredibly short book. Only something like 200 pages? Honestly, I could have read another 200 pages. It was so good.

The basis of this story is that River has just been dumbed by his girlfriend – the completely and utter bitch that is Penny – and he doesn’t know what to do with himself anymore. He walks home – all 10 miles of it – and discovers a sign promising a new chance at life. Second Chances. He goes in there, completely heartbroken, lost, and confused. Only, the circle of people he comes across all have far deeper, far more serious problems than River.

When River is asked what he’s there for, he doesn’t know what to say. He can’t exactly just say it’s because of a girl. So instead he says he’s addicted to weed. I mean…why? WHY WEED, IDIOT?! I’m laughing and cringing so hard by this point, I can barely see the page. It’s unreal how deep he virtually digs his own grave with his lies. It never gets any better, and soon he’s making friends with his group and falls for girls way out of his league.

Penny dumps him for not thinking things through enough (among other reasons) and by golly does he end up thinking about everything afterwards.

Daphne is one of a kind and she grew on me the more I read of her. Whereas Penny was just annoying and so ungrateful. All the characters in this were unbelievable in the sense of brilliance and no one was left out, no one was useless. Natalie, River’s sister, was cute and fabulous. Even his parents were funny and involved in his life, unlike some parents in books.

I can’t recommend this book highly enough.

There’s humour to tickle your funny bone, heartbreak to make you cry at night, enough angst and seriousness to have you thinking and the romance is cute and adorable at every angle, that you won’t go away empty handed.

I rated this 5 stars, and I do not regret it. It’s been one of the best reads of 2016 (so far. I mean, we’re only in April.)

Guys, this is a winner! 😀

 

-Kat

 

(p.s. I was going to do a video review and then got half way and realised I suck at them so yeah…here we are. )

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Review: 4 stars to The Blood Of Olympus (Heroes of Olympus #5) by Rick Riordan

Posted 17 May, 2016 by katheryn13 in Fantasy, Reviews, Updates, YA / 2 Comments

Though the Greek and Roman crew members of the Argo II have made progress in their many quests, they still seem no closer to defeating the earth mother, Gaea. Her giants have risen—all of them—and they’re stronger than ever. They must be stopped before the Feast of Spes, when Gaea plans to have two demigods sacrificed in Athens. She needs their blood—the blood of Olympus—in order to wake.

The demigods are having more frequent visions of a terrible battle at Camp Half-Blood. The Roman legion from Camp Jupiter, led by Octavian, is almost within striking distance. Though it is tempting to take the Athena Parthenos to Athens to use as a secret weapon, the friends know that the huge statue belongs back on Long Island, where it “might” be able to stop a war between the two camps.

The Athena Parthenos will go west; the Argo II will go east. The gods, still suffering from multiple personality disorder, are useless. How can a handful of young demigods hope to persevere against Gaea’s army of powerful giants? As dangerous as it is to head to Athens, they have no other option. They have sacrificed too much already. And if Gaea wakes, it is game over.

Review:
I had ultimately delayed the end of this series, and then when it came time to reading it…It took me ages. I had left it too long. And then I fell into a reading slump. I read a few others books, and then came back to this. Finally, finally I finished it. 
This final book in the wonderful series by Rick Riordan is just amazing. Yeah, there were moments that I felt dragged, and after what so many people had claimed to be a bad ending, I was pleasantly surprised when I was grinning like an idiot with the sweet ending. 
Anyway, on with my thoughts. 
My favourite characters, Leo, Jason, Piper, Percy, Annabeth, Hazel and Nico. Oh wow what a journey they’ve been on. Not to mention Reyna, who I wasn’t sure about at first. She soon got me on her side. I think that’s the best part when character development is done well, that joy of actually liking them. The story continues from House of Hades, where Annabeth and Percy are finally out of Tartarus and Reyna, Nico and Coach Hedge are transporting the Athena Parthenos across to Camp Half Blood. I think if I didn’t like this book for anything, and this is really nitpicking, it was because there wasn’t as much of Leo or Jason in it. I know, silly, right? A lot of the chapters were from Nico and Reyna’s POV and though, yeah, they’re okay, I prefer the others. I was hot and cold with Nico, because I couldn’t get a grasp on who he was…if you know what I mean. He was always so hostile with people and it had me being all “mehhhh.” Then you have Octavian who is a complete piece of work. I swear, I thought he needed a slap upside the head because he was so stupid and gullible and ugh. In the end, he made me laugh.
I loved how the Romans and Greeks worked together to get the job done. Defeating Gaia wasn’t going to be easy, but in a way…I felt it was. I don’t know what I was expecting but she kinda…didn’t impress me. All that talk of taking over the world, bla bla bla, and then…yknow. She was pathetic. The Gods were also kind of pathetic. Sure, they kick ass, but then they have the nerve to blame the demigods for causing all this. They never get the credit they deserve. 
I’m so sad this series is over, but now I can read Apollo’s and Magnus Chase’s story. It shall be splendid. I have enjoyed this series far more than Percy’s, but I prefer Percy in this. I’ve said that in previous reviews, so I won’t go on. 
If you haven’t read The Heroes of Olympus, I implore you to start NOW!
-Kat
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Review: Splintered by A.G. Howard

Posted 22 April, 2016 by katheryn13 in Adventure, Fantasy, Mystery, Reviews, Romance, YA / 0 Comments

Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.

When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own.

 

Not gonna lie, I didn’t think I was going to finish this. I’d initially sort of given up at around the 75% stage. I set it aside, read something else, and then y’know what? I wanted to finish it. 
It had nothing to do with the story that I put it aside, no. It was more..the writing style? To me it felt quite stiff and fancy, like it wouldn’t flow well enough for me to imagine. I had trouble imagining the scenes sometimes, so I’d have to read it aloud and that got a bit tedious after a while (mostly because I ended up losing my voice! lol) But I pushed through.
The story was great, I loved the idea of a girl named Alice being the inspiration for the original Alice in Wonderland and that after her initial visit, things changed, warped to become something gruesome. Like the flowers looking like zombies and the White Rabbit being all skeleton and “rabid.” And that things aren’t as simple as you think they are. Generations down the line and the secrets get deeper.
The Caterpillar was human-ish and was charming and clever. Complete contrast to the original, which is probably a good thing. Haha. I kind of felt he was a mix of caterpillar and the mad hatter. I know the Hatter was someone different but he wasn’t in it as much so…Yeah.
Now despite all the likes, I have some dislikes. Which is mostly why I only rated it 3/3.5 stars. Jeb. Ew! Jeb! What an arsehole! He might be all “You’re my everything” toward Alyssa but seriously? He was obnoxious, controlling, patronising, and just over all ugh. I’ll admit, I liked him at the beginning. I thought he’d be a decent love interest, but no. His true colours shone bright and skewed to become something hideous. Now, Morpheus. Let’s just say he won me over in the end, but I did have my doubts. Yes he’s manipulative and sly, deceiving and deceptive, but man was he charming. I think he could have charmed the pants of a grasshopper. Maybe he even has. (inside joke.)
In any case, it was a real war between controlling and deception. Which one would win? I don’t know, I kinda wanna read the sequel just because I did like Morpheus. Alyssa wasn’t as much of a flake as she could have been, but she wasn’t exactly warrior princess, either. She stood her ground but she also let Jeb walk all over her and treat her like she was a child, and with zero respect, yet she was all “oh i love him” like seriously girl, where’s your reality check? Anyway, I guess she’s one character I don’t dislike, but I’m not exactly loving her. The banter between Morpheus and Jeb was golden, though.
I liked the whole madness aspect to her mother and how it was all in the ‘genes’. I know people claim it was portrayed wrong, but sometimes fiction is fiction and there’s a certain element of interpretation involved, so y’know…suck it. Never the less, it intrigued me, and it’s just a shame all that didn’t last. 
The truths come out in a flurry of angst and flirting and it’s so…fun. I just, have I said how much I love Morpheus? No? Well I do. I mean, yes he was everything I said above but at least he was INTERESTING! The secondary characters were fun but didn’t really stick with me, though Gossamer nearly came close, she wasn’t what we expected. 
I wish I could have rated this higher, and maybe I would have if the writing hadn’t kept me from getting sucked in as much as I’d liked. Maybe the sequel will be better? Who knows.
-Kat
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Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Of My Most Recent 5 Star Reads

Posted 29 March, 2016 by katheryn13 in Blogging Challenges, Contemporary, Fantasy, Reviews, Romance, Sci-Fi, Supernatural, Top Ten Tuesday, Updates, YA / 2 Comments

 

 

Good day, all. Here’s another TTT going and this one is about 10 Of My Most Recent 5 Star Reads (Or Ten Of The Best Books I’ve Read Recently if you don’t 5 star stuff…or you could do 5 of my latest five star reads & five of my most disappointing or 1 star reads). This challenge is set by the wonderful people at The Broke and the Bookish 
I’ll do this in order or how I read them. From most recent to furthest…if that makes sense? Sigh.
1: Angels Twice Descending(Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy, #10) by Cassandra Clare & Robin Wasserman – I mentioned this in my last post. I forgot to put the rating, though. I suck at this sometimes. Ha! I loved this final installment in the novellas. It was a wonderful ending to Simon’s time at Shadowhunter Academy. 

2: Pale Kings and Princes (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy, #6) by Cassandra Clare & Robin Wasserman – Again, this one was one of my faves from the novellas. Brilliant. I miss them already. Sigh.

 

 


 

3: This Raging Light by Estelle Laure – I adored this book. I didn’t even think I would when I first got it from NG and then later got it from the library. I read it so quick and it was so sweet and sad and everything. I love when books surprise me like that.

4: The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith – I guess I was on a contemporary streak at the time and I read this and loved it. Such a simple premise but so heartfelt and sad and happy and romantic…I love Jennifer’s books. Well, most of them. I’ve read 3 of them and they’ve been great.

 

 


5: Girl of Nightmares(Anna, #2) by Kendare Blake – I read the first of this duo a couple years ago, and I couldn’t believe it took me so long to get to this,but it was a joy to read and so pleasantly creepy. 

 

6: All Wrapped Up(Geek Girl, #1.5) by Holly Smale – Such a short novella but so so enjoyable. I wanted more. I can’t wait for Head Over Heels to come out in PB.

 

 

7: Illuminae (The Illuminae Files, #1) by Jay Kristoff and Amy Kaufman – What can I say about this that hasn’t been said by many people already? I LOVED this book and I am eagerly awaiting book 2, Gemina. It will surely be as mindblowing as Illuminae was. I might reread it soon, too.

8: You’re Never Weird on the Internet by Felicia Day – I actually got the audiobook of this and it was so much, so so much fun. She has a very quirky, interesting way of talking and brought this book to life in a way I wasn’t expecting. It took me a few days to get through it, but I found myself so saddened and inspired by what went on in her life so far. She’s brilliant!

 

 

 

 

9: Sapphire Blue(Precious Stone Trilogy, #2) by Kierstin Gier – The sequel to Ruby Red was just as great as I’d hoped. I love time travel stories and this didn’t disappoint, though there were characters that bugged me, but not in any unnatural way. Mostly I guessed they were meant to be annoying.

 

 

10: An Ember in the Ashes (An Ember in the Ashes, #1) by Sabaa Tahir – I was pleasantly surprised by this. Sure, there were moments that made me wonder why I’d rated it so high, but the overall story got me like WOAH. WOAH. WOAH. You should all go and read this. 

And so that’s it. I mean, I have loads more where that came from, because I seem to rate many books 5 stars. That’s just because if I have read it in a day or 2, or it left an imprint on my heart, then I loved it and it deserves a great score! 😀 
Let me know if you’ve read any of these and what you rated them! I’d love to know. 
-Kat
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Review: Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy by Cassandra Clare (ft: Maureen Johnson, Sarah Rees Brennan and Robin Wasserman)

Posted 25 March, 2016 by katheryn13 in Fantasy, Reviews, YA / 0 Comments

 

 

So basically. I finished the Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy novellas. All 10 of them. PURE. BEAUTY! It had been ages since I’d been involved in the world of Shadowhunters (and I really don’t count the show..) and so reading about Simon and his friends and our friends and all the friends…I can’t help but fall in love with it all over again. So. Here’s a really long post on what I thought. Ready? Set? GO!
P.S. There may be some spoilers. It’s hard to know what to put and what is considered spoiling. Everyone’s different. If you don’t intend on reading these stories, then you’ll be fine. 

 

 

Welcome To The Shadowhunter Academy: After living as a Mundane and a Vampire, Simon never thought he would become a Shadowhunter, but today he begins his training at Shadowhunter Academy

4 stars
The beginning of this journey wasn’t quite as thrilling as I thought it might be, but none the less, this was a great eye opener as to what was going on as Simon starts his training. Simon can’t bare to see Isabelle and Clary and anyone else who truly ‘knew him’ because he can’t remember any of it, and he can’t bare to see their hopeful faces, waiting for him to do something they know of the old Simon. It’s quite sad really, but also a little irritating. Simon acts really stupid when it comes to Isabelle.

The Lost HerondaleSimon learns the worst crime a Shadowhunter can commit: desertion of their comrades. In the early nineteenth century, Tobias Herondale abandoned his fellow Shadowhunters in the heat of battle and left them to die. His life was forfeit, but Tobias never returned, and the Clave claimed his wife’s life in exchange for Tobias’s. Simon and his fellow students are shocked to learn of this brutality, especially when it is revealed the woman was pregnant. But what if the child survived… could there be a lost Herondale line out in the world today?

4 stars

While fitting in the Academy, Simon discovers where he truly belongs. In this discovery, it’s obvious he wants to change things and how the Shadowhunter’s behave and treat downworlders/mundanes. Catarina, the warlock working at the Academy, tells Simon of a story about a Shadowhunter called Tobias Herondale who betrayed his fellow Shadowhunters when they most needed him. It’s a compelling story and I honestly felt so bad for Tobias. I want to know more about his son. 

 

The Whitechapel Fiend: Simon learns the truth behind the Jack the Ripper murders—“Jack” was stopped by Will Herondale, his former parabatai, and his institute of Victorian Shadowhunters.

4 stars

Oh my days, this story was so good. Will Herondale, people. Will. Herondale. Oh how I have missed him. And Tessa! Oh, Tessa! Cecily! Gideon! Seriously, guys, this is where the novellas get so so good. This time Tessa goes into the academy to tell the students a story of when Jack The Ripper was at large. We’re taken back to October 1888, where we see Will’s family, and the horrible murders going on in London. Tessa explains how these murders were actually the doings of a demon, and thankfully, Will puts it down. In among these people we love and miss, we see Jessamine Lovelace who is a ghost, looking after and protecting the London Institute. I almost teared up when she appeared. OMG.  Aside from this story, Jace Herondale is lurking around Simon and though Simon knows they must have gotten along before his memory wiped, he is unsure. Jace decides to seek Tessa out and find out more about his heritage. 

 

Nothing But Shadows: Simon challenges the setup of the Shadowhunter Academy and in doing so learns the story of James Herondale and Matthew Fairchild and the unusual way that they became friends and parabatai.

4 stars

Oh man, this story was so sad but also really sweet. We’re taken back to the 1899, where James Herondale is starting Shadowhunter Academy. He’s shy, a book lover and not very good at socialising. I really felt for him because I know the feeling. He longs to make a friend, but when he comes across Thomas Lightwood and Christopher Lightwood, he’s overshadowed by Matthew Fairchild,who has all the charm of a real charmer. He barely does any work, he manages to hold everyone’s attention without doing much effort, and James hates him. Learning about these characters instantly made me want a series just on them, and I believe we are getting a series on James. PHEW! This story turns out all right when Matthew is found to not be such an arsehole, and him and James decide to become parabatai. 

The Evil We LoveAll evil starts somewhere, and Simon Lewis learns how The Circle—led by Valentine Morgenstern—began. One of ten adventures in Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy.The Shadowhunter Academy has only just reopened following the disastrous rise of the Circle. Now the faculty can finally admit to what happened when Valentine was a student.

4 stars

Robert Lightwood – the new Inquisitor – goes to the Academy to tell them a story of when he was part of Valentine’s Circle. We discover that Robert actually wasn’t able to take his Marks at the beginning, and the relationship between him and Michael Wayland. It’s such a heartbreaking moment, and Robert behaves like such a dick that I’m sorry, but it’s going to take me a long time to forgive him, but it’s obvious he’s trying to repent his actions. Valentine is shown as the compelling man he is shown in TMI but we see deeper into how he worked.  Isabelle is present during this tale and helps her dad teach the students a lesson but then confronts her father when she shows disrespect. She makes up with Simon and it’s like…SIZZY IS REAL! 

Pale Kings and Princes: Simon has an encounter with Downworlders and is reprimanded for not following the rules for Academy students interacting with Downworlders. A story within a story: Andrew Blackthorn, while a student at the Academy, becomes enthralled by a faerie and has two children with her: Mark and Helen.

5 stars
Helen Blackthorn is brought to the academy to tell a story of how she came to be, the story of her mother and how she treated her father and uncle. It’s quite tragic, really, and I felt so bad for Helen. Since the end of COHF, there’s a Cold Peace with the Faeries and nobody trusts or likes them, not that they did much before hand. Helen is treated as garbage despite only being half Fae. She announces she’s getting married to Aline Penhallow, which is great, but she’s still banished to that island (I think it’s called Wrangle Island?) so it’s like…what? WHAT?
Since the summer holidays ended, where Simon went back to Brooklyn and had several DISASTROUS dates with Isabelle, they end up  going on another date and things nearly end badly, but thankfully, he manages to keep the dreams afloat. 

Bitter Of Tongue: When Simon is kidnapped by the fey, he’s amazed to find a friend in former Shadowhunter Mark Blackthorn. One of ten adventures in Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy.After Simon is kidnapped by faeries (why is he always kidnapped?), he uncovers rumors of a secret weapon Sebastian left behind for the faerie queen. He must escape the Fey, relying on his only ally, former Shadowhunter and Dark Artifices character Mark Blackthorn.

4 stars

Simon and his friends have a job to do and George Lovelace, his roommate, is in charge of being team leader. Things go wrong when they cross over into Fae territory and Simon is kidnapped and put into a cage. It’s quite amusing at first, but then Mark Blackthorn comes to see him and we see just how badly he’s faring. Mark was taken in COHF to join the Wild Hunt and his mind is going slowly mad. He tries his best to remember his family and their names, but it only does so much. He decides to help Simon escape but not without consequence. In other news, Helen and Aline are getting married and we see everyone together again. 

The Fiery Trial: Emma Carstairs and Julian Blackthorn become parabatai. Simon and Clary both act as their witnesses, so they can see what a parabatai bond forming looks like as they want to become parabatai as soon as Simon graduates — and because Emma asked Clary. The ritual goes unexpectedly …

4 stars

This story was a little confusing for me. The first half of it I was like “Wtf is going on?” but I think that was the point. Emma and Julian are going to become parabatai and Simon and Clary are asked to be witness. Then they’re drugged and thrown into some really strong hallucination in order to determine if they’re suited to be parabatai themselves. It lost me at some point, but because Simon was confused, I felt closer to him. Haha.
He goes on a journey, remembering bits and pieces from his life before, and is constantly drawn to Clary. The parabatai ceremony between Julian and Emma is intense and special. This was one of the less popular stories for me, though I still rate it 4 stars. Mostly because any ebook that gets me to read it in a short time deserves a high score. >_<

 

Born To Endless Night: Simon, like the rest of the Academy, is stunned when a navy-skinned warlock baby is found on the Academy steps. They hand the child over to guest lecturer Magnus Bane, who has to bring a child home… temporarily, of course… to his man!

4 stars

When Simon and George discover a baby left on the steps of the Academy, they’re left with a decision. What to do? The baby is blue, so it’s obviously a warlock baby. This story goes between Simon and Magnus’s pov’s and that was good, but I don’t know. I’ve never been much of a fan of Magnus and Alec’s relationship (I’ll point you to City of Lost Souls and Alec’s dickish behaviour…yeah) so it was a bit meh to me, but also sweet because they have the argument of whether to keep it or not. Though when I say argument I don’t mean they fight, I just mean it’s a big ordeal, especially when Magnus discovers the whole Lightwood family taking over his room the moment he goes back after a breath of fresh air. Magnus is such a great character and I always enjoy reading his scenes. Like when he arrives at the academy and clicks his fingers to fix the falling apart building. 
It’s honestly one of the funniest scenes/section of the story I’ve read so far. Mostly because after Simon asking Alec why he doesn’t like him, and then finding out he was wrong and Alec actually likes him a lot, it means Jace has trouble coming his way for saying otherwise. Then you have Robert and Maryse deciding baby names. It’s so cute.
I would tell you the name they choose but that might be a huge spoiler…lol

Angels Twice Descending:

Someone lives and someone dies at Simon’s Ascension ceremony.

Now we finally have Simon at the end of his two year shadowhunting training. It’s a daunting process when Simon has to ascend. By drinking from the Mortal Cup, he’ll become a full Shadowhunter. It’s also a really sad story because of character I absolutely loved. I guess it’s still a sore subject because I can’t say more. I don’t want to. He was my FAVOURITE (next to Simon, of course)
So over all, these novellas were a god send (or angel send?) and I’m SO glad I read them. Thank you to Christine (xtinemay) telling us all to read them, because I owe it all to her. I don’t think I’d have realised how important they are if she hadn’t. But now I have to move on, and that sucks because it’s like I’ve rediscovered my love for these adorable characters again and I’m expected to read a book on different people? NO. I don’t know how! Sigh. I guess I’ll try. But I have this need to reread TMI series (or even try writing fanfic on SIZZY!).
Let me know if you’ve read this set of novellas and what you thought. I don’t know many people that have, so it’d be nice to find those that did.
 -Kat xx
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4 stars to The Young Elites by Marie Lu

Posted 20 February, 2016 by katheryn13 in Fantasy, Reviews, Romance, Supernatural, Updates, YA / 0 Comments

I am tired of being used, hurt, and cast aside.

Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood fever. A decade ago, the deadly illness swept through her nation. Most of the infected perished, while many of the children who survived were left with strange markings. Adelina’s black hair turned silver, her lashes went pale, and now she has only a jagged scar where her left eye once was. Her cruel father believes she is a malfetto, an abomination, ruining their family’s good name and standing in the way of their fortune. But some of the fever’s survivors are rumored to possess more than just scars—they are believed to have mysterious and powerful gifts, and though their identities remain secret, they have come to be called the Young Elites.

Teren Santoro works for the king. As Leader of the Inquisition Axis, it is his job to seek out the Young Elites, to destroy them before they destroy the nation. He believes the Young Elites to be dangerous and vengeful, but it’s Teren who may possess the darkest secret of all.

Enzo Valenciano is a member of the Dagger Society. This secret sect of Young Elites seeks out others like them before the Inquisition Axis can. But when the Daggers find Adelina, they discover someone with powers like they’ve never seen.

Adelina wants to believe Enzo is on her side, and that Teren is the true enemy. But the lives of these three will collide in unexpected ways, as each fights a very different and personal battle. But of one thing they are all certain: Adelina has abilities that shouldn’t belong in this world. A vengeful blackness in her heart. And a desire to destroy all who dare to cross her.

It is my turn to use. My turn to hurt.

 

DISCLAIMER: THERE MAY BE MINOR SPOILERS. BE WARNED.

Review:

I enjoyed this book,  but it took me some time to get to that stage.  The story had a lot of potential, it was clear. But despite Adelina’s character being  dark and gritty, and a part of me wanted to know more about her, there was still something about her that wasn’t gelling with me.  She’s a malfetto yet she behaved so… Weirdly. You’d think, even at 16, she’d have more common sense but apparently not. I found myself practically screaming at her idiocy in this book and it was only the last few chapters where I could catch my breath and relax. But man, she was not an easy person to deal with.

The basis of this story is that a virus caused a lot of kids to get special powers. But because they get certain markings, they’re shunned by regular folk for not being normal and/or pretty. Adelina is one of those, since she has a nasty scar on her face. She’s nearly killed by the Inquisitors, but saved by the Daggers and from there learns to harness her powers and soon realises just how dangerous she really is. It’s quite… frightening, really. No, disturbing, is the better word. She has the ability to cast illusions on people, make them see things. She can disguise people and make them invisible if needed. It’s impressive. But before long things turn ugly and she’s losing control. 
Enzo is the Prince who became a Malfetto and therefore shunned by his family. His sister became Queen. I quite liked Enzo, even from the beginning. He had a typical mystery about him,  dark and brooding but not in an irritating way. In some ways he reminded me of the Darkling from the Grisha trilogy. Same sort of personality and I mean… He’s a prince. Not that that’s the reason. Certain things happen that really broke my heart, and I’m seriously hoping book 2 corrects these issues because…I just…NO! 

The romance between Enzo and Adelina was purrrrrfectly sweet and sort of sexy, in a deadly weapon kind of way. It helped balance out the crazy, for sure, and gave me hope.
All the while through this book I was just like ‘Adelina needs to stop being stupid. Before I throw this book.’ and believe me, I came close a few times.
There are a few moments where she’s threatened by the lead Inquisitor, Teren. Who, ugh, I despise! I mean, there are some bad guys that I can tolerate, but he was just irritating to the max. Such a hypocrite, too.

 I can understand if you’re threatened, you’d be scared and not know who to turn to,  but Adelina had new friends now. She had the Daggers. And all the whole she acted like she couldn’t tell anyone.  I was fuming. If she told them, they could help her.  She kept on complaining if they found out, they’d kill her. But I was like ‘yeah but lying to them and then them finding out, they really will kill you.’ and I figured if she went to them for help, they’d help her through it. But ugh. This girl drove me nuts.

I’m glad things sort of seemed to even out at the end, even though the events that brought her to that stage were devastating. The epilogue brings hope, and wonder, and dammit…I told myself I wasn’t going to read the Rose Society because Adelina irritated me too much, but maybe I will just to see how things pan out. ugh. Decisions. 

This is one of those books where despite what I’ve said in this review, I still rate it pretty high. The fact that I didn’t put it down half way and stuck it out and then was more intrigued and it broke my heart and set it on fire and let the ashes fall through the stupid fingers of revenge…yeah anyway, I recommend this to anyone that has a steel heart and has patience to battle through because it gets SO good and…I should go now before I start crying.

-Kat

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