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review 2018-07-26 02:23
’The Brilliant Death’ turned out to be a brilliant book, filled with gender-bending, shape-shifting magic, and a surprising love story
The Brilliant Death - Amy Rose Capetta

‘The Brilliant Death’ just quite simply is a beautiful book. It defied and exceeded my expectations for it, and I could barely put it down once I started. I didn’t actually even mean to read it right now, and what I mean by that is, my plan was just to ‘read a little bit’, ie. The Prologue, and well…suddenly, I’d read the whole book.
The premise of the book rolls some themes together but once you start reading ‘The Brilliant Death’ you find it’s more than a sum of shape-shifting magic plus warring Mafia-style crime families.


The story revolves around this wonderful character Teodora, and the book opens with her remembering the first time she saw her father kill someone, in order to protect ‘his family and his mountains’. She learns early on that her father is a powerful man.
Teodora di Sangrò is the daughter of the ‘great Niccolo di Sangrò’, who has control of the Uccelli region and heads a loyal family. One day Niccolò is suddenly poisoned by a letter he receives from the Capo, who has taken over the governance of all of Vinalia.
The Capo has summoned ‘the heirs of the five families’ as these poisonous letters have left the fathers for dead (except Niccolò, who is barely grasping onto life), to his home in Amalia, but Niccolò had wanted his second son, Luca, to become the heir.


Before Luca sets off on his trip to Amalia, Teodora/Teo catches the ruthless eldest son Benaimo, brother to them both, skinning Luca alive, so she dares reveal her greatest secret to them both, which is how she’s managed to carry out her ‘work' (ridding the kingdom of ‘bad people’) for her family for so long without a drop of blood being shed: Teo is a strega, and she has been turning nasty human beings into (mostly) inanimate objects for years. This time though, she manages to turn her brother into a vicious owl.


Luca and Teo set off on their journey to Amalia, set on finding an antidote to their father’s poisoning and to fulfill the Capo’s Summons, with a plan in mind, and luckily they meet another dashing and knowledgeable strega, Cielo, which means they have hope.
I don’t want to reveal much more of the plot beyond that because once Teo, Cielo, and Luca start their journey to Amalia, the story really gets going and it’s hard not to become fully invested after that point.


The storyline builds from the journey that the trio take, and this involves Teo learning more of her magic (and her self-discovery), to a novel that involves the deception and intrigue we often see in a royal court. Yet this time, these ‘families’ who are convening are basically feared mobsters in an Italian-style court of old, and the lush world-building that the author Amy Rose Capetta has conjured up for them is vivid and so different from every other court or castle I’ve read of lately.


The magic that is central to this book is a very special kind of magic, it’s shape-shifting, and that’s important to the most wonderful, surprising, and probably groundbreaking part of this novel: Teo (and Cielo) learns to change from a girl to a boy, and back (as a strega), and the conversation about how she/he feels in that body at different times. The power to change the body, and how Teo learns to harness magic is a fascinating part of this book, and Capetta approaches it with a delicateness, and at the same time, boldness, which makes the ‘gender-bending’ so unique and so wonderful to read.


The love story that is wrapped up in the magic, as well as the danger and adventure, is so original, that it’s hard to describe. I found myself loving these ‘odd’ characters, and even though I found a few holes to pick at and a few slight issues with pacing (slight rushed parts), the writing is beautiful; my eyes didn’t want to leave the page, plus I enjoyed the different sections Capetta used to divide the book up with.


This is an absolute stunner of a fantasy for this coming Fall (the cover even stands out in its lush Autumn tones), and this is sure to capture lots of peoples’ attention with its enthralling magic, and uniquely wonderful gender-bending love-story. A ‘Brilliant Book’.

Source: www.goodreads.com/review/show/2382952474
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review 2014-12-27 13:44
Unmade (Entangled #2) by Amy Rose Capetta
Unmade - Amy Rose Capetta

Unmade is book two in the Entangled series and really needs to be read in order.  It continues the story of Cade and her friends as they try to defeat the Unmakers and find a new home for the humans.  It is very reminiscent of Battlestar Galactica at times with a little bit of Firefly thrown in when it comes to the crew.

 

There is some tragedy - people die that I really, really didn't want to die and it tears the remainder of the crew apart.  At times it went a little over the top with the drama, especially with Mother - but this does allow us to see a different side to many people, a darker emotional side that we really didn't know existed at first.

 

This is a great sci-fi series for young adults that may be new to the genre.  The types characters and a lot of the emotional concepts will be familiar to them, while the story will show them how much fun it can be to visit new an far away places.

 

*ARC provided by Amazon Vine in exchange for an honest review*

Source: unrepentantbibliovores.blogspot.com/2014/12/unmade-interesting-mesh-of-fun-and.html
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review 2014-09-15 14:31
Entangled (Entangled #1) by Amy Rose Capetta
Entangled - Amy Rose Capetta

This was an amazing sci-fi adventure with a nice theory about music behind it. Cade is unique - she lives in a world filled with static, and only the right kind of music from her guitar can make it fade for a little while. Then one day she seems to break through and it all goes away - but a strange man shows up with a bit of a history lesson for her. The history of her life. And it isn't anything like what she thought.

She is one of a pair of babies - bonded in a strange new molecular way called entanglement. And her pair, Xan, is out there somewhere and she needs to find him before he is killed by the un-makers. The un-makers are a strange new race that Cade has never seen before, and they are after her. Her only hope is to trust in a strange group of new friends.

These new friends were amazingly written. They had such unique personalities and ways of looking at life. I loved how even the spaceship was portrayed - she was great! Their search for Xan leads to several little side adventures and new information about Cade's past. Each step closer, Cade manages to somehow unlock strange abilities that no one really knows how to control.

The ending was an odd mixture of sadness and hope. At one point in time, I thought this was going to be a tragedy, but the author managed to miraculously turn it around just in time. Not everyone comes out at the end unscathed, but their world is not a much better place because of what they've done.

*This book was received in exchange for an honest review*

Source: hotofftheshelves.blogspot.com/2014/09/review-entangled-by-amy-rose-capetta.html
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review 2014-03-22 00:00
Entangled
Entangled - Amy Rose Capetta Enjoyed this one a lot. Fun sci-fi. Great cast of characters.
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review 2014-02-20 00:00
Entangled
Entangled - Amy Rose Capetta This is exactly what I've been wanting from YA Science Fiction. With a deliciously unique flavor and a fantastically written narrative, ENTANGLED is setting the bar high for teen sci-fi.

What I loved: Cade. She is such a fascinating protagonist. From her troubled upbringing to living off her music, her rocker style to her no-nonsense attitude, Cade is one hell of a girl. She also has flaws, makes mistakes, and can't make up her mind. Despite Cade being a super-special human with super-special abilities she isn't annoying, whiny, or entitled. Her quirky voice, interesting slang, and authentic outlook on life kept me turning the pages.

I also loved: The romance. Or should I say, lack thereof? Don't get me wrong, there is romance in this story. It is tertiary to the two more important plot points - Cade finding and rescuing Xan, and Cade's own journey of self-discovery. The romance is extra. It's delightful, and a little weird, and completely tantalizing, but it's not that big of a deal. And I really respect that in a YA novel.

And even more love for: The sci-fi elements! Quantum mechanics can often seem wonky or cliched in fiction, but it was not that way here. Big, fancy, sciency words weren't just thrown around to sound cool - the author knows what she's doing. Spaceships and aliens, quantum entanglement and telepathy, holograms and spacesickness. The science in this fiction is delightful.

I wanted more: Everything! Which I shall receive in the upcoming sequel.

Recommended: Highly! To all fans of science fiction and fantasy, aliens and spaceships, music and friendship.
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