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review 2018-08-13 19:38
Aru Shah and the End of Time
Aru Shah and the End of Time (A Pandava Novel Book 1) (Pandava Series) - Roshani Chokshi

The first book in a planned quartet by Roshani Chokshi. I thought this was wonderful and could see this being a life long favorite with children just like His Dark Materials and Harry Potter. Aru Shah is a heroine for the ages and I was so reluctant to put this book down. Not going to lie, there were a few rough spots here and there with flow and a few times I may have went, well this just seems like an obstacle to keep the story going. I loved the mythology, the characters, and the setting. Any book that returns to the Night Bazaar is always going to be an instant win for me.


"Aru Shah and the End of Time" is about 12 year old Aru Shah. She and her mother live in a museum (I know, I may have squealed with delight) called the Museum of Ancient Indian Art and Culture in Atlanta, Georgia (I maybe squealed again). Aru feels a bit lost. Her mother is always gone looking for antiquities, she is at a new school where she feels like she doesn't fit in, and she lies (and feels bad about it). One of her lies catches up to her and three of her classmates arrive at the museum to confront her. Feeling pressured, Aru does something she has been told to never do, she lights the Lamp of Bharata which causes her world to turn upside down. Soon Aru finds out she is one of a reincarnation of brothers (soul, not biological)  who are children of the gods. Aru is to seek out her fellow family and see about going against someone called "The Sleeper" before he wakes Lord Shiva and the world ends.

 

Aru made me laugh. However, will admit that at times I got frustrated with her. Her trying to make excuses for her lies didn't really sit well with me. Chokshi has her face some repercussions for that, but still. She also does something I thought was a necessary cruelty that sounds like it's going to come back at her later in her life. I honestly don't know what choice I would have made.

 

Not going to lie though, my favorite in this story had to be her fellow soul sister Mina. Mina is me all over. The two of them going off on a quest to save their families and the world was great. I also maybe laughed at the dismay everyone had that girls were doing the saving of the world thing and not boys.


Aru due to being kept in the dark about her past is going purely on instinct. Mina is going based on the fact that her family has known about the pandavas. I also loved that Mina is Filipino and Indian. Her talking about her family and grandmothers was pretty cute. 

 

We have other characters we meet (gods, their chariots, The Sleeper, the Seasons, and the two sisters teacher/mentor/flying pigeon called Boo).

 

I do have to say that it was kind of a cop out for Chokshi to show us parts of Aru's mother's history but not have them discuss it. 

 

The writing was so good. I became familiar with some of the figures mentioned in this book because I have read and devoured "The Star-Touched Queen" "A Crown of Wishes" and "Star-Touched Stories." 


The flow wasn't that great though after the initial start, I think the chapter endings needed to be tighter IMO. It did feel after a while though a little bit to me that Chokshi threw too much in this first book. It just read as overly long in places. Plus a few times Aru and Mina would be upset with each other and it felt like it was just done away with too fast. I get it's the first book though so I let that go.


This book is the same setting as the "Star-Touched Queen" series. We hear about the Night's Bazaar (and get to see it again too!) but we get a new adventure that we realize is going to be dealing with these mythical brothers (now girls it seems) who are going to be reunited. We also get an inkling that something dark may be coming for Aru. 

 

The ending set things up nicely for the next book in the series, very interested to see where that book goes next. 

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review 2018-08-02 18:25
Review: To Kill a Kingdom
To Kill a Kingdom - Alexandra Christo

I  received a copy from Netgalley.

 

I honestly don't quite know what to make of this book. Initially I was absolutely blown away with it, I have a weakness for mermaid themed stories and anti-heroines. Don't recall seeing the two combined before.  Even better when it twigged this was dark Little Mermaid retelling. 

 

I loved Lira right from the start - not a mermaid, but a siren. Deadly, fascinating and a total unapologetic bad ass. What's not to love? Known as The Prince's Bane Lira uses her siren gifts to lure unsuspecting Princes on ships to their death - where she rips out and collects their hearts. Her mother is the ruthless and unforgiving Sea Queen. The Sea Queen is a cold nightmare and nothing Lira ever does is good enough, no matter what.

 

Though despite her front of emotionless bad-assery, Lira has one weakness. Her beloved cousin Kahlia. Which comes in to play several times early on in the novel in Lira's battles with her awful mother. All Lira strives for is to be good enough to be named her mother's Heir. So far...not happening. Despite all the drama and attitude, there's an impression given that there's a lot more to Lira under the surface. 

 

On the other hand, we have Elian, a Prince who has no interest in being a prince, he's an infamous siren hunter/pirate who would rather sail round the oceans with his crew ridding his world of the siren threat. After his first encounter with Lira, something of a disaster for both...it's completely obvious where the romance is going. Problem for me was on reflection, I really just don't like Elian at all. I found him flat and annoying. One thing I really liked was Elian's crew, tie deep camaraderie and friendship, their banter and absolute loyalty.  

 

Elian learns of a mysterious crystal that will give him the power to rid the sea of the Sea Queen, there's a prophecy/curse to defeat. Problem is - the crystal is damn near impossible to find. Lira finds her path crossing with Elian, and when she finds out about the crystal, she wants it for her own purposes. They rub each other the wrong way - they are antagonistic as hell and bitching at each other for the first moment they meet. Lira is not happy finding herself with legs surrounded by humans. Who are naturally very suspicious of her - she has retained a few of her Siren talents - and uses them to her own advantage. 

 

It's still obvious where the romance is going, but its so so slow while Elian and Lira figure each other out. Their characters both develop as the plot does, the search for the crystal and the means to find it. There's deals to be made with dangerous kingdoms, several unseemly and villainous characters come in with a role to play. There's twists and turns.

 

The world building is fascinating and very well written. The problem I found was after half way through I was getting more and more bored and it was taking longer and longer to get around to finishing it. 

 

I'm not sure what to make of the end either. It concludes pretty well, though before then it got a bit messy in my opinion. I liked it, and would definitely read something by this author again, but I'm not as blown away by this book as I initially thought I was.

 

Thank you to Netgalley and Hot Key Books for approving my request to view the title. 

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text 2018-07-31 04:15
July reading wrap up
Cockroaches - Jo Nesbø
Introducing Teddy: A gentle story about gender and friendship - Dougal MacPherson,Jess Walton
Turtles All the Way Down - John Green
Split Second - David Baldacci
Stormbreaker: The Graphic Novel - Yuzuru Takasaki,Kanako Damerum,Anthony Horowitz,Antony Johnston
Stormbreaker - Anthony Horowitz
Norse Mythology - Neil Gaiman
How to Break a Dragon's Heart (Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III #8) - Cressida Cowell

Totally failed in diminishing the TBR pile. Bought 24 books in 5 day. 

 

Image result for Slap forehead

 

Couldn't really help myself. It is the annual book fair and found so many books that I have missed. 

 

The 8 books read this month is not going to make that much of a dent. 

 

Two 5 stars read in July 

 

Cockroaches - Jo Nesbø  Cockroaches - Jo Nesbø  

Introducing Teddy: A gentle story about gender and friendship - Dougal MacPherson,Jess Walton  Introducing Teddy: A gentle story about gender and friendship - Dougal MacPherson,Jess Walton  

 

Five 4.5 stars read 

 

Turtles All the Way Down - John Green  Turtles All the Way Down - John Green  

 

Split Second - David Baldacci  Split Second - David Baldacci  

 

Stormbreaker - Anthony Horowitz  Stormbreaker - Anthony Horowitz  

 

Norse Mythology - Neil Gaiman  Norse Mythology - Neil Gaiman  

 

How to Break a Dragon's Heart (Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III #8) - Cressida Cowell  How to Break a Dragon's Heart (Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III #8) - Cressida Cowell  

 

One 4 stars read 

 

Stormbreaker: The Graphic Novel - Yuzuru Takasaki,Kanako Damerum,Anthony Horowitz,Antony Johnston  Stormbreaker: The Graphic Novel - Yuzuru Takasaki,Kanako Damerum,Anthony Horowitz,Antony Johnston  

 

Summary

 

Enjoyable read. 

 

Doing some volunteer work on weekend and lessen the time available for reading. Want to start reading non-fiction books but got tired and escape to fictional book world instead. 

 

 

 

 

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review 2018-07-15 12:36
Thor and Loki origin stories
Norse Mythology - Neil Gaiman

Greek mythology is a rewritten of old stories about Odin, Thor and Loki. It is entertainment enough as some of the stories seems new. It is old and from myths of the old days. 

 

Neil Gaiman is a good storyteller. The only complaint is the stories are a bit disjoined. 

 

Still very readable. Thor didn't have any character development as we get to know him in Marvel comics. the stories themselves are bounded by stories written before this. 

Loki is much less likable as in the Marvel stories. His motivation is more like a sociopath than a witty and canning god. 

 

Like it enough to finish it. 

 

 

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review 2018-06-05 20:51
4.2 Out Of 5 "don't look into my eyes" STARS
The Deep End of the Sea - Heather Lyons

 

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~BOOK BLURB~

The Deep End of the Sea

Heather Lyons

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What if all the legends you’ve learned were wrong?

 

Brutally attacked by one god and unfairly cursed by another she faithfully served, Medusa has spent the last two thousand years living out her punishment on an enchanted isle in the Aegean Sea. A far cry from the monster legends depict, she’s spent her time educating herself, gardening, and desperately trying to frighten away adventure seekers who occasionally end up, much to her dismay, as statues when they manage to catch her off guard. As time marches on without her, Medusa wishes for nothing more than to be given a second chance at a life stolen away at far too young an age.

 

But then comes a day when Hermes, one of the few friends she still has and the only deity she trusts, petitions the rest of the gods and goddesses to reverse the curse. Thus begins a journey toward healing and redemption, of reclaiming a life after tragedy, and of just how powerful friendship and love can be—because sometimes, you have to sink in the deep end of the sea before you can rise back up again.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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Heather Lyons is one of my favorite Authors, because of her series The Collectors Society.  If you haven't tried this series yet then you should.

 

I'm not mythology junkie, so I went into this knowing what the average person knows about Greek Mythology.  Which are only the basics.  With that being said…I thought this a deftly done and modern take on Medusa and the Greek Gods, one that I rather enjoyed reading.  The romance was sometimes on the bland side, but for those haters of insta-love, this could be just what they are looking for.  My only qualm was I really wanted more intensity throughout the story instead of only at the very end.

 

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~MY RATING~

4.2STARS - GRADE=B+

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 4.3/5

Main Characters~ 4.3/5

Secondary Characters~ 4/5

The Feels~ 4/5

Pacing~ 4.5/5

Addictiveness~ 4/5

Theme or Tone~ 4.3/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 4.5/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 4.5/5

Originality~ 4.5/5

Ending~ 4.3/5 Cliffhanger~ Nope.

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Book Cover~ It's okay

Setting~ Island of Gorgona, Olympus, Jackson (Wyoming), and Paris

Source~ KU Kindle eBook

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