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review 2017-09-12 01:16
Golden Son by Pierce Brown
Golden Son - Pierce Brown

Genre: Science Fiction


Year Published: 2015


Number of Pages: 691 pages


Date Read: 8/4/2017



Publisher:   Gale Cengage Learning (Large Print)

 

 

Series: Red Rising #2


Source:  Library

 

Golden

“Home isn't where you're from, it's where you find light when all grows dark.” 

It has been awhile since I had last read “Red Rising” by Pierce Brown and when I found out about the rest of the books in Pierce Brown’s “Red Rising” trilogy, I just has to pick up the next book “Golden Son” as soon as possible and man, was I in for one intense and shocking ride!

Darrow used to be a Red, but when his beloved wife Eo ends up dying in the last book due to defying the high and mighty Golds, Darrow then decides to disguise himself as a Gold in order to infiltrate the Gold Empire and fulfill Eo’s dying dream to live a life of freedom. While in the Gold Empire, Darrow starts making friends at the Gold Academy and after he wins the deadly competition in the last book, he becomes Augustus’ most cherished warrior. However, Darrow soon realizes that the Sons of Ares are starting a rebellion against the Gold Empire and Darrow realizes that the only way he can take down the Gold Empire is if he causes a war between the Golds themselves. As Darrow becomes Augustus’ champion and puts his plan to action, he will soon learn about the importance of true friendship while discovering several betrayals within his army that might eventually break him.

Wow! Just wow…. After I had read the first book in the “Red Rising” series, I never would have thought that the second book “Golden Son” can beat the brutal, intense and shocking nature of “Red Rising.” But lo and behold, “Golden Son” managed to beat out “Red Rising” in terms of having the most brutal and shocking twists to ever happen in this series! Pierce Brown has done a fantastic job at writing this story as it is much more intense and shocking than the first book and I was quite surprised by the number of betrayals that happens to Darrow throughout this book as the characters that I expected to betray Darrow were not the characters that I was expecting. But probably the best part about this book is the characters themselves and how much they had developed from the first book, whether it is a positive or negative progression for them. Pierce Brown has done a great job at developing all of these characters from the first book, especially Darrow himself as he went from being a weak protagonist who was not sure about his goals in life and whether or not he can succeed in infiltrating the Gold Empire to being a strong protagonist who eventually went up the ranks of the Gold Empire and even had the courage to lead an army to take down his enemies. I also loved the progression that both Sevro and Mustang take in this book as they go through the most amazing development among Darrow’s other allies and I like the fact that Darrow and Mustang’s relationship actually progresses further in this book and I cannot wait to see more of Darrow and Mustang in the next book! I also loved the friendship shared between Sevro and Darrow as they have one of the most unique friendships I have ever read in any science fiction novel!

Golden

Anyone who does not like strong language and gory violence should be warned that there is some strong language in this book, such as the usage of the “s” and “f” word and it would probably be best to skim over these words if you are offended easily. Also, the violence is pretty strong in this book as it features massive slaughter of many people and the gory fights between the characters are told in great detail.

Overall, “Golden Son” is a truly intense and shocking second book in the “Red Rising” series that fans of dystopian fiction should definitely check out and now, I am going to read the third and final book in the series, “Morning Star” because the ending of this book is seriously killing me and I got to know what is going to happen to Darrow in the third book!

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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review 2017-06-18 00:34
The Love That Split the World by Emily Henry
The Love That Split the World - Emily Henry

Genre: Science Fiction Romance


Year Published: 2016


Number of Pages: 390 pages


Date Read: 4/23/2017   



Publisher:  Razor Bill

 

 

Love


“Love is giving the world away, and being loved is having the whole world to give.”


I must admit that I rarely read romance novels that deal with time traveling since time traveling stories tend to confuse me due to trying to figure out what events are going on in the present versus what events are going on in the future and sometimes, the line between past, present and future can be blurred in certain stories. One such novel that I had read called “The Love That Split the World” by Emily Henry actually dealt with time travel and I have to tell you that it was one doozy of a read!

Natalie Cleary was your average high school student who is friends with her ex-boyfriend Matt Kincaid and Megan and lives in a happily adopted family with her siblings Jack and Coco and life was going well for Natalie. One night however, Natalie meets up with a mysterious boy named Beau at her high school football game and the two instantly fell in love with each other. But then, Natalie starts noticing some weird things going on around her small town in Kentucky, such as a preschool suddenly appearing where the garden store should have been and when the people in town suddenly disappear before her very eyes. It was then that a mysterious old woman called “Grandmother” came to Natalie’s dreams and gave her a warning that she has three months to save someone she really cares about. So, Natalie spends the majority of the book trying to find out who she is going to save while spending some time with Beau and trying to figure out these weird events happening around her town.

I have to admit that for a time traveling story, Emily Henry has definitely done a great job at putting a unique spin to the usual time traveling story as its core focus is the romance between Natalie and Beau and how they try to stay together throughout the different time rifts that goes on throughout their worlds. I also enjoyed the relationships between the characters, especially between Megan and Natalie and Natalie and Beau. I loved the fact that Natalie usually confides in Megan about her various visions that she has and how Megan is so understanding about Natalie’s “odd” dreams and visions as it is nice to have another character who knows about the main character’s secret abilities without having the reader go through the entire book wondering if the main character will ever reveal their secrets to anyone else. I also enjoyed the relationship between Natalie and Beau, although I found it a bit too contrived at times that Natalie suddenly thinks that Beau is her true love upon their first meeting. I loved the fact that Natalie and Beau truly love each other and I really like their cute little bantering with each other, despite the turbulent situation that they are stuck in.

The reason why I gave this book a three-and-a-half-star rating is because while the story had a strong start at the beginning, the story got a bit confusing once the time travel elements got introduced and I started to lose a bit of interest in the story due to being constantly confused about what is really going on with Natalie and Beau’s time traveling shenanigans. I also got a bit annoyed with Natalie throughout certain parts of the story as it seems like all she does is whine and complain about how bad her life is and how she is indecisive about her feelings about Matt when it is obvious that she would rather be with Beau in pursuing her relationship. Also, there were times where the pacing was a bit slow, especially during the scenes where the time traveling aspects were being explained in full detail and I was hoping for these scenes to be shorten so that we could get to the action sequences much faster.

Overall, “The Love that Split the World” may had had a strong start, but the story came apart once the time traveling aspect was introduced and it might be difficult for some fans of time traveling stories to get into. However, it is an interesting read for anyone who is a fan of time traveling romances!

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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review 2016-05-05 23:28
Red Rising by Pierce Brown
Red Rising - Pierce Brown

Genre: Science Fiction


Year Published: 2014


Number of Pages: 639 pages


Date Read: 4/25/2016  



Publisher: Thorndike Press (Gale Cengage Learning)


Series: Red Rising #1

 

Red

"I live for the dream that my children will be born free," she says. "That they will be what they like. That they will own the land their father gave them."

"I live for you," I say sadly.

Eo kisses my cheek. "Then you must live for more."


I have read many books that were similar to “The Hunger Games” and they all had the same setup as the main character has to take down an oppressive government to save their people from a life of ruin. But, Pierce Brown’s book “Red Rising” proved to be something quite unique in the Dystopian future genre!

Darrow was known as a Red, who are a group of people that are set at the lowest caste in their society and they are constantly shown to be mining away in the caves to make the surface of Mars a place for everyone to live in. Darrow was also married to a young and beautiful woman named Eo who made his life worth living for. One day however, Eo shows Darrow a forbidden forest that they were not allowed to go into and it was there that she explains to Darrow that he needs to save their people from the oppressive government controlled by the Golds. Even though Darrow did not want to go through with starting a rebellion, he soon changes his mind when his beloved wife Eo ends up being executed due to them breaking the laws, which included Eo defiantly singing a forbidden song in front of the Arch Governor Augustus. It was then that Darrow decided to sneak into the Gold Institute by disguising himself as Gold and as soon as he gets into the Gold society, he is immediately thrown into a violent game where the Proctors will determine who the strongest Gold member in the game is and who will become Primus in this game. Now, Darrow has to use his wits and strength to survive this savage game in order to take over the Gold society and save his people from a life of hardship.

Wow! I have to tell you that Pierce Brown has most certainly written a truly unique Dystopian future book of the century! Now, even though I have read plenty of young adult books that has a setting where the characters have to fight an oppressive government to save their people, this book was unique as it took place on Mars and yet, the society that the characters lived in resembles ancient Rome where the characters are forced to participate in violent games where only the strongest will survive. Pierce Brown has done an excellent job at making this world unique as I was impressed with some of the phrases being said in this book such as “ghostCloaks,” nanoCams,” and “Gas Giants” and it made the book seem authentic in what kind of phrases would be said if humans lived on Mars or another planet. I also loved the way that Pierce Brown wrote each character in this book as they were truly interesting characters and I like the fact that we get to learn each character’s backstory as it made me get attached to these characters and their goals in life. Probably my most favorite character in this book was none other than Darrow himself as I loved the character progression that he goes through in this book. It was interesting seeing Darrow go from being unsure of himself in regards to whether or not he can make Eo’s dream come true to eventually commanding his own army to rise up against the Government, which made him into a character I truly root for! I also loved the characters Mustang and Sevro as they were extremely interesting characters as you truly do not know whether or not they are loyal to Darrow and when you think that they are either betraying Darrow or stay on Darrow’s side, they would pull up surprises that the reader would never suspect!

Red

Anyone who does not like strong language and violence might feel a bit uncomfortable with the fact that there is some strong language in this book, including the “p” word and the “f” word being dropped a few times. Also, the violence in this book is pretty gory, especially with many scenes of people having their throats or their stomachs sliced by various weapons used in the story.

Overall, “Red Rising” is a truly fantastic book that would make the Dystopian genre proud and I will definitely be looking forward to reading the second book in the “Red Rising” series, “Golden Son!”

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2015-10-05 00:49
Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Obsidian - Jennifer L. Armentrout

Genre: Urban Fantasy / Science Fiction / Paranormal Romance / Family

Year Published: 2012

Number of Pages: 335 pages

Date Read:  9/30/2015  

Publisher: Entangled Publishing, LLC.

 

Series: Lux #1

 

 

Now, I have read many paranormal romances that have vampires, werewolves and angels as main characters, but this is seriously the first time that I had read a paranormal romance that has ALIENS in it! Jennifer L. Armentrout’s first book in the “Lux” series “Obsidian” is seriously one novel you should check out right away!

 

Katy Swartz was the new girl who moved to West Virginia from Florida with her mom so that they could start a new life after Katy’s dad died a few years back. After they settled themselves into their new home, Katy goes to meet her next door neighbor Daemon Black and it turned out that Daemon was being a complete jerk to her. Just when Katy believed that she and Daemon will never get along, Katy is suddenly attacked by a mysterious and dangerous force one night and Daemon ends up saving her life. It was then that Katy discovered that there is something…supernatural about Daemon and because Daemon saved her life, she ended up having a trace on her that could lead the enemy right to her. The only way to get the trace off of her is if she spends some time with Daemon…provided that she does not kill Daemon first!

 

Wow! Seriously, it took me this long to check this book out? Anyway, I seriously ADORED this book to death! Jennifer L. Armentrout has done a fantastic job at building up the tension between Katy and Daemon and also layering hints throughout the story about Daemon’s mysterious supernatural abilities. I really enjoyed all of the characters in this book as they all have their funny moments and their tragic moments and I loved the way that Jennifer L. Armentrout was able to balance the drama and comedy in this book! I also loved the supernatural elements in this story as they give this story lots of tension as you are wondering what will happen to these characters next if they are not careful of their surroundings. Probably my most favorite characters in this book are Daemon and Katy themselves as they are the main characters of this book and I found their constant bickering amongst each other to be hilarious and witty at the same time. I really loved Daemon himself, as he is shown to be a gruff and rude guy, but is willing to protect everyone that he cares about. Now, sometimes whenever a hero or a heroine is too much of a jerk to be a likable character, then I tend to get turned off by the book because I could not get into the characters. However, in the case of Daemon, I really enjoyed his character as his rude behavior made him a bit more complex due to the need to keep his true identity a secret and his need to protect the ones he loves, especially his sister Dee. I also love the constant attention we get to Daemon’s good looks (especially his ripped pecs) as I was practically swooning every time they mention Daemon’s good looks! Katy was another character I really enjoyed as she, like Daemon, can be a bit rude towards some people, but is generally a nice person and is also willing to protect the ones she loves. And last but not least, we have Dee, Daemon’s friendlier twin sister and I really love Dee because she is probably the nicest and most positive character in the entire book as she tries to get Daemon and Katy together and she always sees the good in people, even if other people do not see it.

 

 

For anyone who does not like strong violence and language, this book has a surprising amount of strong language that you normally would not see in most young adult novels. There are also some moments of intense violence and one near rape scene that might be uncomfortable for some readers to handle.

 

Overall, “Obsidian” is a truly fantastic novel that fans of paranormal romance will enjoy and now, I am checking out the second book of the “Lux” series “Onyx!”

 

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

 

 

 

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review 2015-09-12 00:20
Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers
Grave Mercy - Robin LaFevers

Genre: Historical Romance
Year Published: 2012
Number of Pages: 549 pages
Date Read: 8/8/2015
Series: His Fair Assassin #1 
Publisher:  Houghton Mifflin

 

 

Now, I have read many historical romances during my time reading various romance novels, but I rarely read romance novels that deal with war and assassins all in one package! “Grave Mercy,” the first book in Robin LaFevers’ “His Fair Assassin” series, is seriously one action packed and intense story that I immediately fell in love with!

 

When Ismae was seventeen years old, she was forced into an arranged marriage by her father to the brutal Guillo, who would constantly beat her to death. Ismae then thought that there would be no way to escape this horrible life until a handmaiden from the convent of St. Mortain told her about the convent and that she could live there to escape her life of misery with Guillo. Ismae then goes off to live in the convent for many years and was taught the ways of following St. Mortain the God of Death’s will which included learning how to be an assassin and using different kinds of poisons to kill their victims. One day, the abbess of the convent sends Ismae on a secret mission to the high court of Brittany to seek out the traitor amidst the Duchess’ company and it is there that Ismae meets the mysterious duke Gavriel Duval, who is regarded with suspicion at every turn. Even though Ismae is trying to do St. Mortain’s will throughout her mission, will her love for Duval blind her from her faith in St. Mortain and the convent?

 

Wow! I am quite impressed with how exciting and intense this book was! Now, many of my book friends have been telling me forever to check this book out and when I finally did, I was not disappointed! Robin LaFevers’ writing is truly beautiful and mesmerizing as the story is written in an ancient manner that really captures the society of 1485 Brittany and it felt like I was experiencing this culture through the writing itself! I also loved the fact that Robin LaFevers was writing this story from Ismae’s point of view as we get to see the world of Brittany through her eyes and hear her thoughts on what she thought about her beliefs in St. Mortain and her growing love for Duval. Ismae is an extremely fantastic heroine as I was quite impressed with her assassin skills and I also loved the fact that she is a cunning character as she easily figures out what is going on in the high court of Brittany and tries to come up with many strategies to protect the Duchess from any harm. I also loved the fact that we get to see Ismae struggle with her faith in St. Mortain and her love for Duval as it made her character even more complex and I was wondering throughout the entire book about who will Ismae choose: her faith in St. Mortain or her love for Duval? I just loved Duval! I will admit that at first I found his character to be a bit obnoxious at the beginning, especially with how he was treating Ismae, but as the story progresses, we start to see more dimensions to Duval’s character as he proves to be a caring character who cares about his family and Ismae eventually and those personality quirks just made me love his character! I also loved the bantering between Ismae and Duval as it was hilarious as well as heartwarming and I always believed that these two were just made for each other!

 

For anyone who does not like graphic battle sequences, this book does have some scenes where people are killed in gruesome ways which includes getting shot in the head by an arrow and getting cut up by a sword and that might be unsettling for some people.

 

Overall, “Grave Mercy” is one book that you should definitely check out if you are a fan of lady assassins! Now, I am off to read the rest of Robin LaFevers’ “His Fair Assassin” series!

 

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

 

 

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