Air Awakens by Elise Kova Review

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Book: Air Awakens

Author: Elise Kova

Genre: YA Fantasy

Rating: ALL OF THE STARS

Goodreads Blurb

The world was alive around her, and each gust of air was like the whisper of a lover upon silk.


Let’s do this!

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Air Awakens… Where to start…

This follows the life of Vhalla Yarl, a seventeen-year-old library apprentice who has been taught to fear the Tower of Sorcerers and all of those who belonged in it, and she’d been happy to oblige and keep to the quiet of her books. But when she unknowingly saves the life of Crown Prince Aldrik Solaris, which is to say, one of the most powerful sorcerers of all, her life takes a drastic turn, and she’s forced to decide to embrace her true nature and leave all that she’s ever known, or ignoring this newfound part of herself, as she discovers that she herself has a power of her own; the rare elemental magic of a Windwalker.

This book was great. So, so, so great.


The World and the Magic Within Its Pages:

I love the way this world and the magic in it has been built. How, while having its own unique complexity like most Fantasy books, it keeps a certain type of simplicity that allows readers to take it all in and grasp every concept quickly, creating a bond between the reader, the book and the author from a very early stage in the reading experience with this book, and thus allowing this bond to get stronger and stronger as the pages turn, as well as facilitating the establishment of a stronger connection to the characters.

The world in this book works in the way of a compass. It is divided by four regions, North, South, East and West, and each region means a specific affinity for every sorcerer. The people of the North tend to have an affinity with Earth, the people of the South tend have an affinity with Water, those of the West generally have an affinity with Fire, and finally, those of the East, like Vhalla, tend to have an affinity with Air.

That means that Waterruners are most likely to be Southerners, Firebearers are almost always Westerners, Northerners tend to be Groundbreakers and Easterners tend to be Windwalkers.

Learning about this world was a pleasant experience; I learned along with Vhalla and Aldrik was as much my teacher as he was Vhalla’s.


Vhalla Yarl:

Vhalla Yarl is a very human character.

Here’s why:

You see, when presented with the fact that she had this amazing, unique ability and the chance to learn more about it, to nurture it, and to train to become a skilled Windwalker, Vhalla… Refused. She refused and she hesitated again and again, and she wouldn’t accept not being given a choice. And this, I feel, is a very human characteristic.

We, humans, don’t like being used, don’t like being controlled, and we don’t like being told that we’re wrong. We don’t like to be faced with facts that are a complete contradiction to everything we’ve known, and thus it takes us time to grasp and accept these facts, or we just don’t accept them, no matter how much truth they may hold. In addition to this, it affects us greatly when we extend our trust towards towards someone that ultimately ends up abusing of it, and losing it.

It felt completely real, Vhalla’s reluctance to trust the Tower of Sorcerers because 1) she’d been taught to fear these people, and to stay as far from sorcery as possible, thus the possibility of anything good coming out of it seemed scarce, and 2) because she extended her trust to “her Phantom,” and he didn’t value it enough to keep it the first time around.

Ultimately, Vhalla was looking out for herself. She was smart, and strong, and brave, because throughout all of it, she thought of herself. She learned to embrace herself as a sorcerer and as someone who has the power to make a difference, and she made sure that this was her choice.

This, combined with her wittiness and her undying love for reading (which I obviously found incredibly relatable), was what made me feel so connected to her character, and what made her into one of my favorite literary characters.
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Crown Prince Aldrik Solaris, an Outcast on the Spotlight:

*dreamy sigh*

How do I even form coherent thoughts about my dear, fiery,
temperamental prince?

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Yeeeeah, about that…

Prince Aldrik is misunderstood, and I’m glad we got a main character who could see that, and understand that (even if it took her, and me, a while), regardless of the perceptions of him that next to everyone had embedded into her mind.

Aldrik is what you could call… An outcast on the spotlight.

It’s hard to be a sorcerer in a world in which these are outcasts, but it’s even harder to be a sorcerer when you’re constantly on the spotlight. And even harder, you might say, when you happen to be the Crown Prince.

It’s quite an odd combination.

It was little more than the corners of his mouth curling up, but it lit his eyes in a way that Vhalla had yet to see. It made her wonder if she had ever really seen him before. It made her wonder if anyone had ever really seen him before.

That, right there, is one of my favorite quotes from this book. Just like Vhalla, I admit I failed to understand Aldrik at the beginning of this book, to see him, and it was little details like these that allowed me to truly see him, and to grow fonder and fonder of him.

A little too fond, you might say. Hehee.

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At first, I thought he was a complete asshole.

Then I understood why.

Then, I learned that he cares for those of his kind and those he loves, even if it’s in his own way. I learned that he’s passionate, and feels very deeply and very strongly. I learned that he’s simply a misfit under a microscope whose reputation has already been decided without reasoning, and is constantly reminded of this shallow, false perception that follows him around, wherever he goes, inevitably.

*sigh*

The rest is history.

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Indeed.


Vhalla and Aldrik, the definition of OTP:

Look, I don’t have much to say about Vhalla and Aldrik’s relationship except, I SHIP IT.

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It was pleasantly subtle and yet almost palpable, and I love that it was comprised of little significant moments, that slowly built their relationship.


Supporting Characters That Added a Little Something More to This Story:

 Roan and Sareem:

I think… That the presence of these two characters in Vhalla’s life made it clearer for me to see how lonely the life of a sorcerer could be. They were a nice asset to the story, presenting a stark contrast between Vhalla’s past as a library apprentice, and Vhalla’s future as a sorcerer.

Sareem was kinda giving me some Gale vibes though, trying to escape the friend-zone and all. I loved him as her best friend, and he truly was sweet towards Vhalla, if a tad bit cheesy, but I’m kind of glad their relationship ended the way it did. I couldn’t take him as a love interest, and even less after his reaction to Vhalla’s sorcery.

*clears throat*

Sorry?

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Larel:

Larel holds a dear place in my heart. She was the constant that Vhalla needed in the midst of the mess that her life had become. She didn’t pressure Vhalla into making a decision, she simply presented her with facts, with the truth, and more importantly, she was there. Vhalla needed a friend and a guide, and Larel provided her with her friendship and guidance without asking for anything in return.

I genuinely feel that there is a lot more depth to her character than we get to see in this book, and I do hope I get to see more of her in the next books.

(Fritz)nangle:

Fritz is, and I’m quoting Elise on this one, “such a cinnamon roll. Too Precious. Too pure.”

Even though he didn’t appear in this book as often as I’d liked him to, he gave me so many Kenji vibes (I’m a sucker for Kenji), and I just… *struggles for words*

FRITZNANGLE MUST BE PROTECTED AT ALL COSTS, OKAY?

Prince Baldair:

Oh, Prince Baldair, why must you be so charming?

I admit I thought I would strongly dislike Baldair, since he’s such a flirt and all. I was wrong.

There’s something so disarmingly good-natured and easy-going about his character, and he’s so sweet too, how could anyone not like him?

It was as though the golden prince wore everything on his sleeves, and his cerulean eyes promised nothing but the truth.

Master Mohned:

Do you wanna know how I imagined Master Mohned?

Are you sure?

Well, you asked for it.

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*cackles*

oOPS!


The Magic of Simplicity in Writing:

I talked a little about this on my last reading update, and I mentioned it earlier on this post, but I really, really enjoyed the simplicity in the way this book was written. I enjoyed it a lot. It allowed me to quickly fly through it, and it almost made me feel as if I was being presented with some sort of reality, instead of a fragment of fiction.

I’d most definitely recommend this book to any new reader, or non-reader (or avid reader), as the way this book is written allows readers to get a full grasp of this world fairly quickly, and thus keeping you at the edge of your seat.

Props to Elise Kova for being such a fabulous writer.


Overall Thoughts:

This. Book. Was. Phenomenal.

I loved every single part of it and, quite frankly, it’s going right up on my favorites shelf. The world was flawlessly put together, the characters were rich and believable, the romance was just right, the story was so simply, and yet intricately, carefully woven, and the ending was fantastic, giving way for this series to grow into something far, far greater.

I 100% recommend that EVERYONE give this book a try aaaaand that concludes this review.

I hope you enjoyed it, and that it made you want to pick this book up.

Happy reading!

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Adriana (4)

Which (magical) book would you like to read along with us on the month of December?

Before we get onto business, I want to excuse myself, as well as Camila, for doing this so late. We’ve been extremely busy and caught up on other things, hence the reason we haven’t posted much these last couple of weeks, so we completely forgot we had to get this done.

BUT BETTER LATE THAN NEVER, RIGHT?

Since we still wanted to try and read SOMETHING with you guys, I asked Cam for a theme or genre that we could read and you guys would like and she suggested magic.

And so we started looking for options and managed to narrow it down to these four books:


Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

12954620I’m sure you’ve heard about this book a thousand times, and seen it around a thousand more times, but in case you haven’t, I’ll tell you a little bit about it.

This book is part of a six book series (I believe) about three kingdoms in which magic has been long forgotten and and who had managed to keep peace between them for centuries. Or at least until a sort of deathly disruption breaks that hard-won peace.

As every kingdom and ruler fights for power, the lives of their subjects take a complete turn, including the lives of our protagonists, Cleo (a princess), Jonas (a rebel), Lucia (a sorceress) and Magnus (an heir), who suddenly find their fates inevitably intertwined, aaaaand that’s pretty much all I know about it. But you get the point, right?

(In case you DON’T get the point, THIS BOOK IS BOUND TO BE AN AMAZING RIDE.)

The premise of these books just seems like the perfect thing for fantasy lovers, and quite a lot of booktubers have been talking about it, including Jesse from Jessethereader (link to his review), Sam from Thoughts on Tomes (link to her review), and Laney from gingerreadslaney (link to her review), so in conclusion, it MUST be good.


Bell Weather by Dennis Mahoney

Bellweather REDO author sendNow, this book was kind of a wildcard from my part.

I’d barely seen this book around, or heard anyone talk about it, for that matter, but I randomly found it on Goodreads and was immediately drawn to the cover, and shortly after, found out it was a fantasy book. Being the fantasy lover that I am, I was sold!

(It’s a beautiful cover, don’t even deny it.)

So, as I said, I know very little about it but I will tell you what I know.

This book is set in a world called Root, a magic infused world in which the people are very closely tied to nature. It’s said to be a very unique world in which sometimes right things, like rain falling from the sky and light shimmering down on the world, tend to happen…upside down? Reversed? Seemingly (and amazingly) wrong?

I like to think of it like Wonderland, in which what is normal is not normal and what is right is actually wrong, and vice versa. I mean, I haven’t read the book (YET) but I find that to be an easy way to wrap my head around the concept. Does that make sense?

The story begins with a flood of FLOWERS (how freaking cool is that?), following the life of owner of the only tavern in Root, Tom Orange, and of Molly, the mysterious woman whom he finds unconscious amidst this flood, who wakes up to find that she remembers nothing of her past, save for her name.

This book is said to have incredible world-building, and is supposedly hilarious too. It’s described as a unique, strange take on fantasy and magical realism, and like I said, I’m sold.


Stardust by Neil Gaiman

0061689246-originalI knew nothing of this book until Cam suggested we read it and apparently it’s a movie?!??!??!? *prolonged gasp*

So yeeeeah, you probably think I’m a noob now, but it’s a thing, okay?

Anyways, the description up on Goodreads is not very long or elaborate but I think it covers everything and seems easy enough to understand, so I’ll just put that down here, as I had no idea of its existence before today and haven’t done much research on it.

Goodreads description: Hopelessly crossed in love, a boy of half-fairy parentage leaves his mundane Victorian-English village on a quest for a fallen star in the magical realm. The star proves to be an attractive woman with a hot temper, who plunges with our hero into adventures featuring witches, the lion and the unicorn, plotting elf-lords, ships that sail the sky, magical transformations, curses whose effects rebound, binding conditions with hidden loopholes and all the rest.

Now that sounds pretty cool, if you ask me, and as I was looking through reviews on it on Goodreads, I found that Ariel Bisset (you should totally check out her channel) read it and gave it a 5/5, and her reviews are usually accurate and always seem to hold true, so I trust her input.

She described it as “more adult,” “slower and whimsical,” and “more p162796_p_v7_aagrounded in reality,” in comparison to the movie, which she describes to be more “family friendly,” and “wittier and funnier and sillier and faster paced.”

That is preeeeetty much all I know about it, and I may or may not be checking out the movie later on.

(that’s the movie poster, by the way. and LOOK! ROBERT DE NIRO IS IN THIS MOVIE!)


Air Awakens by Elise Kova

air-awakens-cover-cover-reveal1This is probably the one I’m most excited about, not gonna lie.

This book is set in a a place called the Solaris Empire, and follows the life of seventeen year old, library apprentice, Vhalla Yarl, who was taught to fear the Tower of Sorcerers, a mysterious magic society, and who had been more than happy to stay immersed in her quiet world of books.

Now, this obviously takes a huuuuge turn as she unknowingly saves the life of one of the most powerful sorcerers, she discovers she has magic of her own. The rare elemental magic of a windwalker. The last windwalker.

Sooooooo, she has to decide between embracing her sorcery and leaving behind all that she had known, or getting rid of it and remain as she was before.

I’d seen this book quite a handful of times on Goodreads (I’ve barely seen it around on instagram) while searching for books to buy, but I never seemed to ACTUALLY buy it.

Let’s just say that now I feel like I NEED this book. Right now. RIGHT NOW.

As I was doing my research on this book, I felt like I needed reassurance. So, searched for a review on le YouTube and found that Caden, from @athousandbookstoread on Instagram, had reviewed it aaaaaaand she just about finished convincing me.

She described it as Throne of Glass meets Avatar: The Last Airbender and if that doesn’t convince you, I don’t know what will. On top of this, she just seemed so invested and enthusiastic and excited about this book, and just… If you’ve watched her videos, you know what I mean when I say that her excitement and enthusiasm is contagious.

(link to review)

So yeah, I’m literally gonna buy this book the next time I go book shopping, regardless of if it gets chosen or not. It sounds too good and I’m weak, I can’t help myself.

Oh, and you don’t have to wait long for a sequel because it’s already out! The first book in this series came out on August of this year, the sequel came out just a few days ago, and the THIRD book in this series will come out sometime around February of this next year.

(Not to mention that these books have stunning covers.)


Those are all the options we have for you guys! Again, we’re sorry it took us so long, but we’ll be back on track for the next time around.

The poll closes some time around Friday of this week (it’s the 27th, I think) so we can at least announce it before the month ends. As soon as we find out which book is our Read-Along Book of the Month, I’ll upload a reading schedule so you can join us and we can discuss it as we go!

So yeeeeeeeeeah, vote, VOTE, VOTE!

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Adriana (4)

 

 

The Rose Society by Marie Lu Review

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Book: The Rose Society

Author: Marie Lu

Genre: YA Fantasy

Rating: ALL OF THE STARS

Goodreads Blurb

“We are both drawn to stories,” he says in a soft voice, “and every scar carries one.”


 What has Marie Lu done to my soul????????

I’m dead.

FIRST OF ALL, if you haven’t The Young Elites (how many times will I have to ask you this, why on earth haven’t you read The Young Elites?), do me a favor, stop being a little piece of poop and leave this post, lest you read a spoiler and bring hell upon me wHEN I CLEARLY JUST WARNED YOU.

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I lied.

I AM NOT CALM.

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When I started this book, I was simply an innocent soul, overly excited to finally be able to continue reading one of her favorite stories, if not her favorite. Now… I’m deeply, emotionally scarred.

I have so many feelings and I don’t know how to organize them into coherent opinions.

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Let’s see… Where do I start…

WHERE WE LEFT OFF:

The Young Elites ends with Adelina being kicked out of The Dagger Society, thus causing her to have a… I guess you could call it a freak out. Violetta, her sister, finds her in the midst of this freak out, while she’s madly cutting her hair with a knife, sobbing. They have this beautiful sister moment in which they promise to protect each other, to stay together, for they are sisters, and they need to trust each other.

The Rose Society starts about three weeks later, when Adelina and Violetta are out in the island of Merroutas, searching for other Young Elites, for allies. Or one specific Young Elite. Magiano.

MAGIANO:

MY FIRST AND STRONGEST THEORY WAS TRUE. I KNEW HE’D BE THE ONE FROM THE MOMENT HE WAS MENTIONED IN THE FIRST BOOK.

Right away, when Adelina and Violetta see the gambling operator and she mentions his heavy purse and that he surely hasn’t lose in a long time, I knew it was him. How else would he win over and over again if he wasn’t cheating and/or tricking people.

We find out his power is mimicking other Elites’ powers! ISN’T IT AWESOME?! Oh, how useful he proves to be. Oh, how I love him.

He’s… God he’s perfect. He’s such a playful, mischievous, joyful soul. I’m a person who’s naturally drawn to joyful souls. Don’t get me wrong, I can appreciate a “bad boy,” but I personally prefer someone who’s filled with joy and happiness and everything related. And Magiano is exactly that. It’s like he can’t help laughing, or smiling, or joking around, or filling with delight and excitement, I love that. I love his appearance, from his slitted, cat-like, golden eyes, to his long dark braids. I love his whole demeanor and personality, and how he cares so much for Adelina and is so protective of her.

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“And … sapphire.” My voice fades into a whisper. “For the angel of Joy.”

“Joy?” Magiano smiles, gently this time.

“Yes.” I look down, overwhelmed by sudden sadness. “Because I can see so much of it in you.”

He’s truly stunning, and I cannot believe Adelina can’t see how good he is for her, constantly pushing him away, refusing to let him in. He brings calmness and brightens up her life, he’s able to lift up some of the darkness in her soul, and he’s the only person with which she’s felt her power be completely still and not missed it.

How can she be so blind?

Whenever she’d push him away, whether consciously or not, and she’d describe the disappointment in his face, where
there’s normally joy, my heart would break into a tiny million pieces. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. And whenever he’d get close to her, being sweet and gentle and patient, and whenever he’d appear out of nowhere to protect Adelina, my heart would melt into a warm, sweet puddle. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.content_10858134

“Something flickers in the darkness─and an instant later, Magiano appears before me, drawn out by the sight of my blood. His pupils become slits as he looks at Teren. “Keep your filthy blades off her,” he snaps. “It’s rude.”

tumblr_m72wtguufO1r0byljo1_400HOW CAN SHE BE SO BLIND?!

Just thinking about this makes me so angry. He’s pERFECT AND HE LOVES YOU AND CARES FOR YOU! HE BRINGS
LIGHT TO THE DARK, SHITTY HOLE THAT IS YOUR SOUL! HOW CAN YOU NOT SEE THAT!?

*takes deep breath*

I’M NOT FINE. I’m fine.

BACK TO THE STORY:

So, Adelina and Violetta find Magiano and ask him to join them, and he, playful as he is, decides that they will have a little competition, for he doesn’t work with the unworthy. If he wins, he won’t join them, but if THEY win, then he’ll join them. The mission is none other than stealing the humongous diamond that the king of Merroutas, the Night King, uses as a pin.

Fast forward a little bit and they have gained an audience with the king, disguised as dancers. Adelina has woven an illusion over the damaged side of her face. They are stunning. They catch the attention of the king, and when they reach him, SURPRISE, Magiano seats beside the king, pretending to be some sort of mercenary, with the intention of stealing the diamond pin first. They make eye contact. She creates the illusion of a diamond pin. He falls for it, and takes it. He gets an idea.

“This dancer is new to the city, my friend. I’ve seen her perform before. She’s very good─she is court-trained, I hear.”

Clever little mimic. Little does he know that Adelina was, IN FACT, court-trained. Trained by the greatest consort there has ever been, Raffaele himself. She dances and walks with such grace, flirts at the right moments, she’s got the king in the palm of her hand (and Magiano too *giggles*). She weaves the illusion of wine intoxication over the king, he believes himself to be drunk, he’s infatuated with Adelina. She takes the real pin.

One little slip, Adelina loses control of her powers. OOPS! Fast forward, she took her chance and killed the king, Magiano has disappeared. Mercenaries are fascinated with her, astonished, they’ve realized who she is, they pursue her. Magiano reappears and he rescues their butts.

They’ve won themselves an ally.

Fast forward, she receives a note from a mercenary. He offers them transportation to the outermost lands of Estenzia.

While on their way to meet with the mystery mercenary, Adelina has a little… Extreme insanity moment, in which her illusions start to affect her. She sees her father, she sees Enzo, burning the place to ashes, she sees herself being dragged to the underworld, and she can’t seem to realize that these are her own illusions. Violetta takes away her powers, she’s dragged back to reality.

ADELINA’S ILLUSIONS:

Throughout the whole book we see how much Adelina’s illusions are affecting her, and how, stubborn as she is, she refuses to let go of them. We have all these little episodes in which her illusions keep tearing her apart and making her suffer, or making her more ambitious, and more drawn and attached to the darkness within her, and it’s honestly quite exhausting, reading from such a dark, raw, insane, torn apart point of view. I was so, so, so mentally exhausted when I finished this book, and it was solely because Adelina’s point of view is a LOT to take in.

And the thing is, I WANT TO HATE IT BUT I LOVE IT. SO MUCH. I CAN’T.

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A NEW ADDITION TO THE ROSE SOCIETY:

Fast forward, they reach the ship. TURNS OUT, the mercenary is actually that one boy, now a guy, who Raffaele had talked about. The boy who could not control the rain. The one who had been kicked out of the Daggers, supposedly killed.The Rainmaker. And THIS, my friends, is the Rose Society.

Now, I really liked Sergio’s character. I liked that he had something against the Rose Society because I think that made the whole joining Adelina’s side a whole lot better and it was worth more. I loved the explanation of how his power worked. The whole gathering threads of moisture in the air to create storms, and the huge amount of concentration it took.

“He’s calling the rain,” she says as she approaches. “Weaving it, you might say.”

It may not seem like it, but I believe it to be a very unique power. It’s not just simply making a storm, as one would think. It’s putting it together. I love it.

SERGIO AND VIOLETTA:

Sergio and Violetta are OTP.

It’s impressive how even when Violetta attracted the attention of so many men, HER attention was attracted by Sergio. It’s very cute. They’re very cute. I ship it.giphy (1)

I wish we could’ve gotten to see more of them, and from their point of view. I wish we DO get to see more of them in the third book, although who knows if that’ll be possible with the way this book ended.

Nonetheless, the Rainmaker and the Puppet Master are OTP.

ROSE SOCIETY:

You know, I think this part was my favorite in the whole entire book. The one moment in which The Rose Society came to be, officially. It was so simple, which made it so much more beautiful and valuable in my eyes. And the fact that everyone contributed something to the pledge was so lovely, it made my heart swell up with pride and happiness and love for these characters.

“I pledge myself to the Rose Society,” I begin. “Until the end of my days.”

One by one, the others call out the same thing, murmurs at first that turn into firm words.

“To use my eyes to see all that happens,” says Sergio.

“My tongue to woo others to our side,” says Magiano with his savage smile.

“My ears to hear every secret,” Violetta continues.

“My hands,” I finish. “To crush my enemies.”

“I will do everything in my power to destroy all who stand in my way.”

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THE DAGGERS… PLUS MAEVE:

We also learn that the Daggers have made an alliance with Maeve and her Elites, aaaaaand that they want to bring Enzo back. NOPE. I loved Enzo with a fiery (pun intended), bUT THE DEAD SHOULD STAY DEAD! Bringing him back to life was seriously asking for trouble, specially if we take Maeve’s brother as an example. And even more so, when his life had to be tethered to someone else’s. NOPE.

Then there’s the Maeve factor. She’ll do whatever the hell she wants to get what she desires. And even when Raffaele wasn’t keen on the idea of bringing Enzo back, she did it anyways. AND THUS THE REASON WHY I’M NOT MUCH OF A MAEVE FAN.

I mean, how the Daggers, except maybe Raffaele, don’t realize that Maeve is simply using them to get to the throne of Estenzia is beyond me.

And then Adelina heard of their plans. Oh boy. This just… Adelina’s plan was incredibly clever. Brilliant. BUT I JUST DIDN’T WANT HIM ALIVE!

REASONS WHY ENZO SHOULDN’T HAVE BEEN BROUGHT BACK TO LIFE:

  1. Magiano. Magiano should Adelina’s ONLY love interest, and having Enzo back created some sort of love triangle that I didn’t appreciate very much.
  2. Almost every single thing Adelina did was biased by her past feelings and love for Enzo, thus making her more stubborn than she already was, and more blind to the fact that Enzo will never be the same, that he’s not there anymore.
  3. Whoever gets to keep Enzo will ultimately use him to get to the throne. No matter how much they deny it, this is all
    about getting to the throne, not about Enzo’s well being. BECAUSE IF IT WERE ABOUT ENZO’S WELL BEING, HE WOULD’VE STAYED DEAD. The only person in this book who truly cared about Enzo’s well being was Raffaele, but of course, his opinions and concerns didn’t matter. OF COURSE.
  4. If bringing back Enzo increased his power tenfold, then it’s obvious that he’ll be a danger to everyone! There was no predicting what he would do. And even with the tether to Adelina’s life, he’s ultimately too power, thus being able to control her and go against her, even if she’s the one that’s supposed to have the power over him.
  5. Having Enzo back just made the whole grudge between both sides of Elites a million times worse! They’re basically destroying each other over a dead guy! Over a throne too, but you know.
  6. Magiano.
  7. Believing Enzo would simply join Adelina’s side was stupid from her part. Completely stupid. He created the Dagger Society, for crying out loud! She couldn’t just expect him to ditch his friends, his family, to join her, past or no past.
  8. MAGIANO.tumblr_inline_mq3e38DGWq1qz4rgp

TEREN SANTORO:

MY PREDICTION. I KNEW IT. SOONER OR LATER ADELINA WAS GONNA USE HIM AS AN ALLY.

I could feel myself slowly growing more satisfied when Teren got farther and farther apart from Giulietta, because it meant he would turn to Adelina, or vice versa, sooner or later. And, I mean, Teren is not a good character. He’s very hateable, in fact. BUT, he’s a very interesting and intriguing character. This may be an unpopular opinion but I really, really want to see more of his character. Like really badly. I want to know more of him, of his past, of his reasons to feel the way he does and do the things he does. I want to know if he’s really as bad as he seems.

THE FINAL WAR-BATTLE-END-OF-THE-WORLD-CHAOTIC-MESS:

Here’s a compilation of Jack Sparrow gifs that expresses my feelings throughout this whole part quite adequately:

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There were so many things happening here and there, so much death, so much destruction, sO MANY FEELINGS, that I felt like my brain was going to explode. It was so fast paced and chaotic. I pretty much felt like I was there, right in the middle of chaos. My body was a lump of poop comprised of feelings, and angst, and tension, and I just… WHAT EVEN IS LIFE?!?!?!?!??!?!?!?!?

THE ENDING AKA WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT:

Can we just take a moment to talk about the ending? WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT?!

OKAY, VIOLETTA, LET ME GET THIS STRAIGHT. So what you’re telling me is that basically all Elites are bound to die young because of deterioration from their power? What? What??? BUT WHAT ABOUT MY DEARLY LOVED WICKED FREAK, ADELINA? AND THE NEW-FOUND LOVE OF MY LIFE, MAGIANO? WHAT ABOUT RAFFAELE, AND SERGIO, AND EVERYONE????WHAT?????? giphy (2)

WHAT DO YOU MEAN ALL ELITES ARE BOUND TO DIE YOUNG?

I can’t. I can’t deal with this anymore. My heart. My soul. Nope.

The worst part is that Adelina is deteriorating faster than the others because she keeps exploiting her powers more and more, letting the darkness eat away at her soul, slowly making herself go mad. SHE’S THE CAUSE OF HER OWN INSANITY ANd I don’t know if it’s because I’m reading from her point of view and she’s in denial, but I refuse to believe this. In my heart, I know it’s true, I know it, bUT I REFUSE TO BELIEVE IT WILL HAPPEN.

THERE MUST BE A SOLUTION, I JUST NEED TO FIND IT.

And then she just… She just… The ending… Violetta… It’s as if Marie Lu wants to make it incredibly evident that Adelina’s going insane (AS IF I DIDN’T KNOW THAT ALREADY). So insane that it’s driving her apart from her friends and family. *sobs*

It completely shatters my heart to see Adelina end up in such a dark state of isolation, and the fact that she doesn’t realize it’s her own fault. IT SHATTERS MY HEART, I TELL YOU.

“I force a smile onto my face. In the silence, I sit alone on my throne and wait eagerly for all the satisfaction and triumph to hit me. I wait, and wait, and wait.”

“But it doesn’t come”

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Look, I wish this review had been more organized and coherent but I’m still a wreck because of this book and I simply cannot be civilized about this at the moment. I probably forgot so many important things that I wanted to talk about in a civilized manner, but I just can’t get my shit together. I CAN’T. Maybe I’ll take it upon myself to write a shorter, more civilized review of this book, but for now, THIS IS WHAT YOU’LL GET. RAW EMOTIONS FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY STILL SORE SOUL.

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THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION.

GOODBYE.

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Adriana (4)

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin Review

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Book: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

Author: Michelle Hodkin

Genre: YA Paranormal/Fantasy

Rating: ★★★★★

Goodreads Blurb

“Asscrown,” I muttered under my breath as I headed to my next class. I wasn’t proud of swearing at a complete stranger, no. but he started it.
Noah matched my pace. “Don’t you mean ‘assclown’?” He looked amused.
“No,” I said, louder this time. “I mean asscrown. The crown on top of the asshat that covers the asshole of the assclown. The very zenith in the hierarchy of asses,” I said, as though I was reading from a dictionary of modern profanity.
“I guess you nailed me then.”

THERE IS NOTHING NORMAL ABOUT THIS BOOK! ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! The book starts with our main girl, Mara Dyer, and her two friends, Rachel and Claire, playing Quija on Rachel’s birthday. While Mara refuses to play, her two friends go ahead and start the game and, naturally, the first question they ask is, “how am I going to die,” cause who wouldn’t want to know how they’re going to die, right? RIGHT?

The piece settles first on the letter M. Murder? Maybe? Then it settles on the letter A. Matches? Mauling? Next, R. Silence. Complete and utter silence. Finally, A.

WHAT?! Surely it’s just asking for Mara to play, right? No biggie. No worries.

Six months later, both her friends were DEAD.

Turns out both her friends, and her boyfriend (well, ex-boyfriend) had been found dead in the remains of the Tamerlane State Lunatic Asylum, and our beloved Mara was found unconscious. When she wakes up, BAM! PTSD. She’s lost her friends, she’s lost her boyfriend, and she can’t remember how, much less why it happened. The result of this is a horrible case of PTSD that leaves her hallucinating and maybe, just maybe, losing her mind. And THIS is the beginning of a long, insane journey that isn’t even done for me yet becAUSE THIS IS ONLY THE FIRST BOOK.

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ATTEMPT #745284643 AT BREAKING DOWN THE ENIGMA THAT IS MARA DYER:

Here’s the one question about Mara that I kept pondering over and over in my head throughout the whole book: PTSD or supernatural? You see, reading from a psychotic girl like Mara’s point of view kind of feels like a dream, very hazy and hard to tell apart from reality. You read all of these thoughts and about all of these things happening, things that seem impossible, but at the same time, they seem so real, like a very vivid dream, but still just a dream. And so you read all of these things and you wonder, is it really her mind coming up with all of these things, or is it really happening? Is it something else, not entirely from this world? Sometimes its like I wanted to believe it was actually happening, as impossible as it seemed, because somehow the idea of her making all of this up disturbs me to no end.

On the other hand, sometimes Mara appears to be… Normal. A normal girl who is capable of joking around, of smiling genuinely, of crushing on someone, a girl who has talents, who is capable of loving. She’s the perfect balance of normalcy and insanity.

Mara Dyer is a puzzle, one that evolves, expands and contracts, and one that needs to be solved.

THE AMAZINGNESS THAT IS NOAH SHAW:

*sigh*

Noah, my friends, was my rock throughout this whole book. Were it not for him I’m not sure I would’ve been able to get through this whole book, as being in Mara’s mind can become very dark and burdening real fast. I’d often find myself trying to solve Mara, and figure her out, but thanks to Noah, I had something else to think about from this book, something light (but with the perfect amount of depth) and much more enjoyable.

Noah is the perfect guy for someone like Mara. Complementing her in all the right ways, and caring for her regardless of her state of mind or her mood swings. He was patient and he was gentle, and he understood her, in a way. And that’s just what she needed, someone patient who understood.

On top of that, he’s immensely charming and charismatic. He shines light to the dark tunnel that is this book whenever he jokes around or is simply present in the book.

*cough* he’s also VERY hot and British *cough*

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ROMANCE IN THE BOOK:

The romance in this book… I don’t have a lot of coherent thoughts about it other than it was perfect. It was slow and steady but not TOO slow, just right. You see, when you have a book as dark as The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, a little bit of romance is just the right thing to lighten up the burden that reading this book could feel like. Only that we got a lot of romance, slow and steady, but a lot. And I was more than okay with that! I LOVE ROMANCE, OKAY? And I certainly loved Noah and Mara’s relationship. It was hilarious, and light, and cute, yet at the same time so intense and deep. I loved their bickering and teasing. I laughed every time and found myself looking forward to these little moments quite often. And I loved their deep, serious moments. The ones in which you knew, YOU KNEW, that Noah had come into Mara’s life to stay. It was perfect, I loved it, 10/10.

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HOW IT ENDED:

YOU WANNA KNOW HOW THIS BOOK ENDED? CLIFF FREAKING HANGER, THAT’S HOW IT ENDED. The book was already hard enough to figure out, but the end just took a veeeeery unexpected (and yet somehow expected) turn that just messed everything up even more. I didn’t know what to think, I didn’t WANT to think, I felt insane and insanely lost. The way this book ends just leaves so much space for SO MANY possibilities that I literally have no idea as to what to expect from the next book.

THE WRITING AND ITS SIDE-EFFECTS:

The way this book is written is truly admirable. It’s not so much because of how “beautiful” or “mesmerizing” it is as much as because of how it makes you feel. The way this book is written makes everything feel as if almost every single word, sentence, paragraph, page and chapter were written from a very intense, chaotic place, so much so that at times I felt like I was truly insane. You don’t know what to expect, you’re not sure how you should feel, you don’t know what to believe and what not to believe. I felt what Mara felt, I felt like I was seeing everything that Mara saw, or hearing the things she heard. You don’t always fully understand what’s going on, it’s scary and exciting. Utterly confusing, completely astounding. It’s amazing how Michelle managed to write this book in such ways that made it feel so real to me.

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Being inside Mara Dyer’s mind like:

OVERALL THOUGHTS ON THE BOOK:

Entrancing, spine-tingling, powerful, breathtaking.  I loved this book to bits and I wish that everyone would give this book a chance, as a lot of people seem to be scared to go into this trilogy because of how dark and creepy it can come to be at times. IT’S SO MUCH MORE THAN THAT! TRUST ME ON THIS! It’s the kind of book, messy as it is, that you won’t forget.

I really, really, really hope you decide to give this book a try, if you haven’t already aaaaaaaand have a VERY goodnight, morning, afternoon or evening, depending on where you are.

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Adriana (4)

Daughter of Smoke & Bone Book Review

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Book: Daughter of Smoke & Bone

Author: Laini Taylor

Genre: Urban Fantasy / Parallel Universes and whatnot

Rating: ★★★★★

Goodreads Blurb

“Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love.

It did not end well.”

That quote up there? That’s the main reason I decided to pick up this baby.  I’m a sucker for angel stories and that tiny verse caught me hook, line and sinker.  But honestly, I had absolutely no idea what this book was about when I picked it up.  I’d seen a buttload of rave reviews (and some not very nice ones but lets ignore those) and the wonderful Katytastic just freaked over this trilogy so I decided to give it a go, officially.

Needless to say, I absolutely freaking LOVED it! ♡♡

324620(1)Laini (the wonderful person shown on the side with the cool hair) freaking destroyed me with her writing.  The style is so beautiful, very lyrical and fantastic and it just envelops you in way that leaves you (literally) breathless.  She breaths life into her words, I swear.  There were times when everything was just so perfect that my chest would squeeze. SQUEEZE I TELL YOU.

If that isn’t phenomenal writing then I don’t know what is.

And what world has our lovely author drawn up for us? Well, to begin with the story starts off in Prague (the capital of the Czech Republic if you didn’t already know) with a blue haired university student called Karou.  We see that our protagonist is an artist, a very talented one at that and that her sketchbooks are filled with these realistic looking monsters.  Her entire existence is very peculiar; she disappears from time to time, she know a myriad of languages and even she doesn’t know who she really is. Throughout this book we head on to unveil the mystery.

And then we meet Akiva; this otherworldly, beautiful man who will change Karou’s life, for better or for worse.  AKiva is a very stoic man but even then he made me ache.  His thoughts are very personal and through him we’ll learn about most of the mystery surrounding the black handprints hat are appearing in the doorways.

As I mentioned before, the writing is very beautiful and it has to be in order to intrigue readers into this kind of complex fantasy: a very interesting mix of myth and legend in a modern context.  Not only are there all sorts of “monsters” whose appearances may seem strange to us but not to Karou, but there is new way of understanding the world our protagonist lives in.

We meet Zuzana, Karou’s eccentric best friend who also understands that there is just something very strange about Karou as a whole.  Zuze is probably the character I relate to the most in this entire trilogy and in any other book to be honest.  Her personality is very spontaneous (like mine) and she’s also fiercely loyal to the people she loves  And while this book is very fantastical and full of magic, Zuze adds a pinch of normalcy with her friendship and all around craziness.

There are two halves to this book, I call them the before and the after.  Both are perfect, both connect very well when read completely and both leave you gasping and wanting more, which we do get in the sequel Days of Blood & Starlight.

How exactly is the romance in this trilogy? PAINFUL. EXCRUCIATINGLY PAINFUL.

tumblr_inline_n752g9egUz1qdp2ir THE AMOUNT OF PAIN I WENT THROUGH BECAUSE OF THESE TWO IS NOT OKAY.

Everything is really subtle but very very intense at first.  We see glimpses of what could be and the thoughts each of them have about each other and you just get sucked into their potential love.  THE THINGS AKIVA SAYS LORD HAVE MERCY.

AND THEN.

THEY DESTROY YOU.

The entire trilogy is very plot heavy with extensive character development and lovely dialogue and descriptions.  There is so much to learn in this trilogy about life and sacrifice and the true meaning of hope.  There is pain, suffering, hope, then more pain and despair.  I just-

I don’t even know how I finished this book.  But I did, and I loved it. And for that same reason I’m hoping that you, dear reader, love it too.  I need someone to suffer with. Please (iДi)

Camila

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab Review

*showcases both covers because is unable to choose just one*

*showcases both covers because is unable to choose just one*

Book: A Darker Shade of Magic

Author: V.E. Schwab

Genre: Adult Fantasy

Rating: 5/5

Goodreads Blurb

“Aren’t you afraid of dying?” he asked Lila now.
She looked at him as if it were a strange question. And then she shook her head. “Death comes for everyone,” she said simply. “I’m not afraid of dying. But I am afraid of dying here.” She swept her hand over the room, the tavern, the city. “I’d rather die on an adventure than live standing still.”

I don’t know how to start this review, I don’t know where to start, I don’t know anything. I’d been dreading the time to write this review because I loved it so much and have so many things I want to say about it that I’ve developed this innability to organize my thoughts and feelings about this book. When I think about this book my mind seriously becomes a mess of emotions and I don’t know how I’ll manage to organize this and express them in a coherent way in this review.

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I think I’ll start with the world in which this book is set. Seems easy enough, right? NOT! There are only a handful of books that make me fall in love with the world just as much as it makes me fall in love with the characters. This book was one of them. This book is set in London, or more specifically four parallel versions of the place we know as London.

Grey_LondonThere’s Grey London, which is where one of our main characters, Delilah Bard, comes from. It is a place where magic is a long forgotten thing. It’s an ordinary world, ruled by a mad king, in which magic is a long forgotten thing. It’s known as grey London because since they lack magic, they lack color. Everything is grey and lifeless tones, and it has the peculiar smell of chimney smoke and damp stones, of ashes to it, which is something only someone from another London could’ve noticed, as the residents of this place have long grown used to this scent.

1After Grey London comes Red London. This London is a place of strength, beauty, music and laughter, a place in which magic is almost palpable, an ever present hum. Magic is its own thing, and any outsider can sense how the magic courses through this place, and can to some extent understand that magic has a life of its own. This London is full of life and color, it has the scent of flowers and hearth fire, spiced wine and underneath, although again, only an outsider could tell you this, and it was named Red London because of the red river, the Isle, that courses through it, so vibrant and vast that its reflection gives the whole city a reddish tinge. In this place it is strongly believed that power is in balance and balance is in power, and it’s where our other main character, Kell, comes from. *resists urge to ramble on and on about how much I love Kell*

1 (1)Then there’s White London, a lovely, LOVELY place full of life and love. HA, no. Just kidding! This parallel of London is a place of greed and hunger for power because it is a place where magic is a commodity, and people are willing to do anything to gain control over it. Everyone in this place is either extremely violent and ruthless, or too scared to go out and live their lives because of the horrible reality of this place. It is a dying city, full of desperate people, of defiant magic. Their belief is that there is no future for the weak and that power bends only to those who take it. It’s called White London because since everyone is too occupied with desiring power and doing whatever they can to get it, they forget about other basic things and needs, becoming pale and frayed. This place smells of scorched metal and settling ash, and as is for the other Londons, only an outsider could sense this.

1 (2)The last London, the one that once shined the brightest but is now nothing, is Black London. Not much is explained in detail about this London in the book, apart from that it smells like wood smoke and shadow (I believe), and that it once was a lovely place until its people turned greedy and hungry for power, and so their London was destroyed, closed off from the other Londons, with the slight peculiarity that since everything that came from Black London was destroyed, not even the Antari (I’ll explain what they are later on) could visit it, as to travel into through different Londons they need a token from each one.

The story claims that the doors to each London were open, and not only the Antari could pass through, but everyone could, as magic was something that was basically available to everyone. But once the Londons started getting overruled by greed and everything related, and things started getting out of hand, Black London was destroyed, and the decision to close off the doors to the Londons was made by Red London, and since they were the ones that made the decision, and believed that balance is power, they were the only ones that got to keep magic in its entirety.

Now after the doors to the Londons were closed, only the Antari, increasingly rare people born with magic in their blood, and are therefore able to control it, were able to pass through and travel between these parallel Londons, serving as mediators to the different kingdoms. The Antari can be identify by their peculiar eyes, one of color and one completely pitch black. One of our main characters, Kell, is an Antari, so the readers really get an inside look into these types of people, and how they work. Kell has ginger hair, and has one blue eye and one black. He’s said to be rather pale, tall, and lanky, and has a sort of seriousness to him and what he does.

Our other main character, Delilah (Lila) Bard, is more of a free-spirited, wildhearted thief with a pirate’s heart, in search for an adventure, a purpose in life. Her path crosses with Kell when she attempts to rob him, and succeeds, and he looks for her, asking for what she stole, as it is a dangerous item, and it shouldn’t be in anyone’s hands, much less the hands of a person that has no control over magic. When Kell goes back to retrieve the stolen item, Lila takes notice of his eye, and once she begins interrogating him, she decides that he may be her ticket to an adventure, and the rest is history.

The world and concept of this book is as complex as it is enthralling and beautiful. From the minute I started reading this book I was sold on this book, and something that I really love and appreciate about it is that it’s not one of those books in which one tends to feel lost. V.E. Schwab does an amazing job at explaining the complexity of this world in detail that the readers can’t help but submerge themselves into this world. It has languages and customs of its own and it IS a world of its own, and I couldn’t be more content at the fact that I get to be a part of it (or at least feel like I am).

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The characters, specially the main characters, are very real and believable and you can’t not root for them. Each of them has a personality and conflicts of their own, and none of them lacks dimension. Think about two characters (from the same book) that you love. Now think about one of them ceasing to be. What is left of the other character? Is that character still the same, do you appreciate him/her the same? Would the book flop without that character? Would it not be as great? Well the main characters in this book are so real, and intricately well made that V.E. Schwab could write a book on each character alone, without the support of the other, and they would still keep the same feeling to them, and they would be just as great as they are when they’re together.

A Gathering of Shadows, the sequel to A Darker Shade of Magic comes out on February 23rd, 2016. *squeals in excitement*

A Gathering of Shadows, the sequel to A Darker Shade of Magic comes out on February 23rd, 2016. *squeals in excitement*

Delilah Bard, specially, is a character to which I grew incredibly attached, more than one would think. Her way of thinking is so intriguing, and she has this sense of freedom and adventure to her, that I found myself feeling her thoughts and even agreeing with her. Sometimes she’d think or say things that I later found myself turning over in my head, and actually reflecting upon them. If I were given the option of becoming a fictional character, there are obviously an endless list of characters that I’d choose, but she’d be one of the characters that I wouldn’t even need to think about or hesitating on choosing, because she’d be at the top of my head.

And Kell, my dearly loved Kell. Let’s just say he has his own special place in my heart. He’s so real and magical (pun intended), and I feel like he’s someone I’d love to be around with. And fun fact about me, I’ve had a thing for redheads since I was a little girl, so his gorgeous ginger hair is such an incredible plus. Also, you know when someone’s good at what they do, and takes it very seriously, you can’t help but be drawn to them? Kell gives me that same feeling. Something I value a lot in a person is if they’re passionate for what they do, and how passionate they are, and with Kell it’s impossible to overlook how passionate he is about his magic and his duties, and how seiously he takes them. He’s an outstanding character and I could ramble on and on about how much love and feelings I have for him for days and days.

Overall, this book, its story as well as the world it takes place in, is captivating and enchanting and if you’ve ever seen this book and hesitated to buy it or read it, I’ll recommend that you pick it up because I can assure you that you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find yourself immersed and invested in this fantastic world.

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Adriana (4)

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir Review

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Book: An Ember in the Ashes

Author: Sabaa Tahir

Genre: Dystopian/Fantasy

Rating: ★★★★★

Goodreads Blurb

“Life is made of so many moments that mean nothing. Then one day, a single moment comes along to define every second that comes after. Such moments are tests of courage, of strength.”

From the very beginning I had huge expectations for this book. I didn’t really know what it was about but everyone was so hyped up about it and I kept seeing all these 5 star reviews around; needless to say, I was ecstatic to start.

And. It. Did. Not. Disappoint.

To give you a little heads up, the book is about these two individuals called Laia and Elias who are bound by destiny to lead on extraordinary lives. But before any of this can happen, we meet a meek Laia, member of the lowest caste of the Empire; the Scholars. Elias is a soldier of the Empire therefore and enemy of the Scholars. The book is in dual perspective so we get to see each individual journey and how, at one point, they collide and face choices and obstacles that could change life as they know it.

The flow of the story is superb, Sabaa is a true artist when it comes to plot development. With a plot this thick, you’d expect to be confused or at least lost once in awhile but this book had me on board all the freaking time. I was on the edge, having to read the next chapter immediately because I just HAD to know what was going to happen.

 The writing is also very beautiful, sure there was a lot of action but Sabaa’s narrative is fluid and, in some places, very poetic.

This is the type of dystopia I like to see, I can’t stand vague plot points, so while there was a lot to take in from this book, it is greatly appreciated in my eyes.  It adds dimensions to the story and also strength for future installments. Needless to say, I’m anxiously awaiting the sequel!

The characters are also amazingly done. I did have a problem with Laia (the main girl) in the beginning but she grows so much as a character and heroine that by the time I read the last scenes, I was beyond proud of her. Elias was also great, lots of mental torment going on in his head but it made for a fierce and very human hero.  Another aspect I must point out about this book is the supporting characters. I loved them so freaking much. They had a story of their own, a personal strength that made you love and are for them as much as the main characters.  Helene will grow on you, I for one felt very identified with her struggle and her mentality.

The romance wasn’t very strong here though it did make it’s mark.  In these scenes is where the poetry really packs a punch. And frankly, I’m very glad for that. This book has it’s priorities straight.

If you’re into epic stories with diverse characters, thrilling action and suspense that’ll make you crawl out of your skin; look no further!

(no gifs on this review because there was an overload of awe)

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(okay I lied)

Camila