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review 2018-12-01 00:56
A magically delicious start to a new adult fantasy series...
Kill the Queen - Jennifer Estep

๏ ๏ ๏  Book Blurb ๏ ๏ ๏ 

 

In a realm where one’s magical power determines one’s worth, Lady Everleigh’s lack of obvious ability relegates her to the shadows of the royal court of Bellona, a kingdom steeped in gladiator tradition. Seventeenth in line for the throne, Evie is nothing more than a ceremonial fixture, overlooked and mostly forgotten.

 

But dark forces are at work inside the palace. When her cousin Vasilia, the crown princess, assassinates her mother the queen and takes the throne by force, Evie is also attacked, along with the rest of the royal family. Luckily for Evie, her secret immunity to magic helps her escape the massacre.

 

Forced into hiding to survive, she falls in with a gladiator troupe. Though they use their talents to entertain and amuse the masses, the gladiators are actually highly trained warriors skilled in the art of war, especially Lucas Sullivan, a powerful magier with secrets of his own. Uncertain of her future—or if she even has one—Evie begins training with the troupe until she can decide her next move.

 

But as the bloodthirsty Vasilia exerts her power, pushing Bellona to the brink of war, Evie’s fate becomes clear: she must become a fearsome gladiator herself . . . and kill the queen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

๏ ๏ ๏  My Review ๏ ๏ ๏ 

 

This first entry in the Crown of Shards Series opens up with this magically fantastical and intriguing world that feels part medieval mixed with some modern flourishes.  The cover encompasses this medieval-modern-ness that it has going on, perfectly. This is billed as Gladiator meets Game of Thrones (albeit it's a whole lot cleaner than GOT) and from what I know of those works...it's a fairly apt description. 

 

This book doesn't burden you with a whole lot of info dumping, it cuts right to the action and doesn't let up until the end.  This fast-pace is paired with a 28-year-old heroine that isn't the typical teenager heroine that you get with Fantasy.  There is also only a splash of romance and it's kept fairly tame, but for me personally, I hope that the romance heats up a bit in the second book.  Overall this was exquisitely bad-ass and I couldn't stop listening and I totally can't wait to listen to the sequel.

 

 

๏ ๏ ๏  MY RATING ๏ ๏ ๏ 

 

☆5STARS - GRADE=A+

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

๏ Breakdown of Ratings ๏ 

 
Plot⇝ 5/5
Main Characters⇝ 5/5
Secondary Characters⇝ 5/5
The Feels⇝ 5/5
Pacing⇝ 4.7/5
Addictiveness⇝ 5/5
Theme or Tone⇝ 5/5
Flow (Writing Style)⇝ 4.8/5
Backdrop (World Building)⇝ 4.5/5
Originality⇝ 5/5
Ending⇝ 5/5 Cliffhanger⇝ "to be continued"
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Book Cover⇝ Love it!  It is rather badass...
Narration⇝ ☆4.5☆ for Lauren Fortgang, I liked her better in this than I did in the Grisha Trilogy.
Series⇝ Crown of Shards #1
Setting⇝ Bellona
Source⇝ Audiobook (Library)
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Goodreads
Amazon
Booklikes
 

 
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review 2018-11-09 21:49
This Cruel Design by Emily Suvada...Book #2 in This Mortal Coil Series.
This Cruel Design - Emily Suvada

๏ ๏ ๏  Book Blurb ๏ ๏ ๏

 

*Do Not Read if you haven't read This Mortal Coil (Book 1) **My review is safe to read, though.

 

The nightmare of the outbreak is finally over, but Cat’s fight has only just begun.

Exhausted, wounded, and reeling from revelations that have shaken her to her core, Cat is at a breaking point. Camped in the woods with Cole and Leoben, she’s working day and night, desperate to find a way to stop Lachlan’s plan to reprogram humanity. But she’s failing—Cat can’t even control her newly regrown panel, and try as she might ignore them, she keeps seeing glitching visions from her past everywhere she turns.

When news arrives that the Hydra virus might not be as dead as they’d thought, the group is pushed into an uneasy alliance with Cartaxus to hunt down Lachlan and fix the vaccine. Their search takes them to Entropia, a city of gene-hackers hidden deep in the desert that could also hold the answers about Cat’s past that she’s been searching for.

But when confronted with lies and betrayals, Cat is forced to question everything she knows and everyone she trusts. And while Lachlan is always two steps ahead, the biggest threat to Cat may be the secrets buried in her own mind.

 

 
 
 
 

๏ ๏ ๏  My Review ๏ ๏ ๏ 

 
I seriously loved the first book in this series...and I almost, but not quite, loved the second book, too.  When I wrote about This Mortal Coil, I said this was completely comprehensible and seriously compelling story, especially for a book involving gene hacking, splicing, decoding and lots of technical terms and such.  I wish I could say that this book was the same for me...and it almost was, I just got a little lost in the beginning (and maybe, a little throughout)...but, eventually things started clicking for me.  The storyline goes in a direction that I didn't see coming at all and the end is kind of mind-blowing.  Almost literally, so.  All I can say is, I'm not looking forward to the wait for the third book. 

๏ ๏ ๏  MY RATING ๏ ๏ ๏ 

 

☆4.5☆STARS - GRADE=A-

 
 
 
 

๏ Breakdown of Ratings ๏ 

 

Plot⇝ 4.3/5
Main Characters⇝ 5/5
Secondary Characters⇝ 4.5/5 
The Feels⇝ 4.5/5
Pacing⇝ 4.5/5
Addictiveness⇝ 4.2/5
Theme or Tone⇝ 5/5
Flow (Writing Style)⇝ 4/5
Backdrop (World Building)⇝ 5/5
Originality⇝ 5/5
Ending⇝ 4.8/5 Cliffhanger⇝ Most definitely...
๏ ๏ ๏
Book Cover⇝ Explosive...
Narration⇝ ☆4.5☆ for Skye Bennett, her voice feels right for Cat.
Series⇝ This Mortal Coil #2
Setting⇝ A Futuristic United States
Source⇝ Audiobook (Library)
Goodreads
Amazon
Booklikes
 

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review 2018-10-24 22:23
All these voices in my head get loud, I wish that I could shut them out...
I Hunt Killers - Barry Lyga

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~BOOK BLURB~

I Hunt Killers

Barry Lyga

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What if the world's worst serial killer...was your dad?

 

Jasper "Jazz" Dent is a likable teenager. A charmer, one might say.

 

But he's also the son of the world's most infamous serial killer, and for Dear Old Dad, Take Your Son to Work Day was year-round. Jazz has witnessed crime scenes the way cops wish they could—from the criminal's point of view.

 

And now bodies are piling up in Lobo's Nod.

 

In an effort to clear his name, Jazz joins the police in a hunt for a new serial killer. But Jazz has a secret—could he be more like his father than anyone knows?

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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The narration for this Audio was phenomenal, Charlie Thurston can tell a story, and what a compelling story it is.  I was honestly reminded of The Naturals, because of the whole son of a serial killer, using profiling to solve serial crimes, is also done in that series (but differently)…but this actually came out before that Series did.  I'm glad I didn't read this before The Naturals, though, because it might have ruined one of my fav series for me.  

 

With perfect plotting, that's executed in a believable way…this is one of the better YA Crime/Mysteries that I've read.  Jasper, Connie, and Howie were exceptional characters.  The kind you can root for, especially Jasper, who never really knows if he's going to end up being like his father.  His inner demons, aka the voices in his head, aka his Dad, will kind of creep you out, and maybe, it will also make you feel for him.

 

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~MY RATING~

4.7STARS - GRADE=A

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 5/5

Main Characters~ 4.7/5

Secondary Characters~ 4.5/5

The Feels~ 4.5/5

Pacing~ 5/5

Addictiveness~ 4.5/5

Theme or Tone~ 4.5/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 5/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 5/5

Originality~ 4.5/5

Ending~ 4.5/5  Cliffhanger~ Sort of…

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Book Cover~ Perfect

Narration~5 for Charlie Thurston

Series~ Jasper Dent #1

Setting~ Lobo's Nod

Source~ Audiobook (Library)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

 

I used this for Amateur Sleuth Square in Halloween Bingo

 

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review 2018-10-05 23:50
Alice in Wonderland meets Gotham..
Alice - Christina Henry

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~BOOK BLURB~

Alice

Christina Henry

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In a warren of crumbling buildings and desperate people called the Old City, there stands a hospital with cinderblock walls which echo the screams of the poor souls inside.

 

In the hospital, there is a woman. Her hair, once blond, hangs in tangles down her back. She doesn’t remember why she’s in such a terrible place. Just a tea party long ago, and long ears, and blood…

 

Then, one night, a fire at the hospital gives the woman a chance to escape, tumbling out of the hole that imprisoned her, leaving her free to uncover the truth about what happened to her all those years ago.

 

Only something else has escaped with her. Something dark. Something powerful.

 

And to find the truth, she will have to track this beast to the very heart of the Old City, where the rabbit waits for his Alice.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

A very dark, twisted and decidedly adult twist on Alice in Wonderland.  It really reminds me of the TV show Gotham.  All, or at least some, of the usual suspects, were there including the Jabberwocky.  Some of them have variations of names like Hatcher instead of Hatter.   While I didn't like this as much as The Mermaid or Lostboy, it was a decent story, except for that anti-climatic ending.  The most disappointing aspect of this was the narrator, most of the voices she did for other characters were sadly pathetic.  The narrator is supposed to put you in the story...not take you out of it.

 

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~MY RATING~

3.5STARS - GRADE=B-

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 3.8/5

Main Characters~ 3.7/5

Secondary Characters~ 3.2/5

The Feels~ 3/5

Pacing~ 3.7/5

Addictiveness~ 3.5/5

Theme or Tone~ 3/5

Flow (Writing Style)~  3.7/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 3.7/5

Originality~ 4/5

Ending~ 3/5  Cliffhanger~ It has closure, but it does end sort of abruptly.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Book Cover~ Meh…

Narration~ 2 for Jenny Sterlin

Series~ The Chronicles of Alice #1

Setting~ The Old City

Source~ Audiobook (Scribd)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

I used this for Gothic Square in Halloween Bingo 2018

 

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review 2018-09-27 23:11
In a handful of dust there is not a drop to drink...my doomy doomsday pick
In a Handful of Dust - Mindy McGinnis

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~BOOK BLURB~

In A Handful Of Dust

Mindy McGinnis

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A dangerous disease strikes the community where teenage Lucy lives. When her adoptive mother, Lynn, takes Lucy away from their home and friends in order to protect her, Lucy struggles to figure out what home means. During their journey west to find a new life, the two face nature's challenges, including hunger, mountains, and deserts.

 

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

An interesting follow-up to Not A Drop to Drink, while I didn't like it as much as the first installment, I did like it…I'm just not completely on-board with that ending.  Overall, a sadness hangs over the whole book…that never really dissipates with the ending, like the Author set out to make a series that puts the dis in dystopian.  She did have some interesting developments in this journey from Ohio to California…some I've never seen the likes of before.  One, in particular, was jaw-dropping.

 

This second book is from Lucy's pov instead of Lynn's, as it is in the first book.  I was sad that Cassandra Campbell wasn't the narrator, I really liked her, but a different narrator was the best way to keep a distinction between their voices.  

 

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~MY RATING~

4STARS - GRADE=B+

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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Plot~ 4/5

Main Characters~ 4/5

Secondary Characters~ 4/5

The Feels~ 3.8/5

Pacing~ 4.3/5

Addictiveness~ 4/5

Theme or Tone~ 4/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 5/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 4.5/5

Originality~ 4/5

Ending~ 4/5 Cliffhanger~ Not really.

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Book Cover~  I like it…

Narration~ 3.7 for Allyson Ryan, she did grow on me, eventually.

Series~ Not A Drop to Drink #2

Setting~ From Ohio to California

Source~ Audiobook (Library)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

I'm using this for Doomsday Square in Halloween Bingo 2018

 

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