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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-08-19 11:24
To Kill A Kingdom
To Kill a Kingdom - Alexandra Christo

Beware the sea queen, she'll squeeze the pitiful human life out of you.

 

Two kingdoms that come with responsibilities we each have trouble bearing. Him, the shackles of being pinned to one land and one life. Me, trapped in the confines of my mother’s murderous legacy. And the ocean, calling out to us both. A song of freedom and longing.

 

I am still torn between loving this book wholeheartedly despite its flaws and being honest with myself by openly pointing out the things I now regret to have noticed.

 

Inner me: Choose the latter and deal with the comments later.

 

People labels this as a retelling of The Little Mermaid but I still think of it as its creepy pasta version. Reading the first page mentally unprepared – when Lira was casually talking about her freaking heart collection hidden in the sand of her room – legit sent shivers down every nerve endings in my body. Talk about collectibles and siren trends.

 

To Kill A Kingdom is a creatively dark and vicious story of two people who each have their own goal to make their worlds better. Narrated by two point of views, we are introduced to Lira, the renown Princes’ Bane who aims to out-power her mother by claiming the Crystal of Keto and to make a better Sea Queen. And Elian, the heir of the Midas throne who chooses to sail with his crew over the throne and become the heroic stray prince in children’s storybooks who hunted down the Princes’ Bane to stop the siren madness.

 

Well I think you get the gist. Lira and Elian ought to loathe each other from the very beginning yet we all know where this leads the two only characters to have switching point of views in the entire book. Hence, the enemies to lovers trope butts in.

 

I admit the romance aspect was a bit awkward if it weren’t for the snarky comebacks that flows all too naturally from our main characters’ mouths. I also wish Elian could have fell in love with Lira not just for seeing the ocean in her eyes. It only convinces me that there was no real bond between them at all. They were just two strangers who used each other to achieve their goals and along the way – they might have mistaken their curiosity for the foreign as actual love.

 

In spite that, you know what made me love  To Kill A Kingdom so much that I’m ready to shut down my own criticisms on this book is the world building and Alexandra Christo‘s straight forward and addictive writing. I love how nothing was out of order. Especially in distinction between cities: Midas the city of gold, Eldyllio land of romance, and Kleftes land of thievery. I just wish she did the same for the undersea. I really want to know what caused the barrier between mermaids and sirens.

 

Moving on to the characters, I know there are a lot of essential characters who contributed to 1/3 of the plot but these three characters are the ones I’m pretty sure who will stay with me for a very long time.

 

1. The Sea Queen. The best epitome of a villain who stays in-character the entire book. Cruel to the vulnerable side of Lira and physically and emotionally abusive to her own family. Ursula is nothing compared to this Sea Witch and I love how she made this book more thrilling.

 

2. Lira. Full of bad assery – number one attribute I am looking for a female character. She’s smart and clever. She strategizes first before making a move. I love her so much.

 

3. Elian. Really didn’t made an impression on me. However, I still enjoy his point of view especially when he’s in the mood of ticking off the people around him. Aside from that, nothing really. I also think as an experienced siren hunter, he could have already tell Lira is a siren given the fact that she was floating naked in the middle of a vast sea with no other ships in sight, she can barely use her legs, and she used a language to speak with the other siren they caught. [shakes head in utter disappointment]

 

Things went smoothly as planned and a fantasy is not fantasy when it does not have an epic fight scene near the end. This book offered that and the battle between the Sea Queen’s armies and Elian’s crew was certainly very gripping.

 

It should have ended there though because the next chapter was absolute cringe-worthy. Sure, I like how things got better for both worlds – treaties signed and goals achieved but when Lira emerges from Diavolos and the crew putting on their wetsuits, I can’t help but to laugh out loud. After all that brutality in the beginning and the snarky comebacks – the ending is so off and cheesy. I felt like I was watching a Disneyland theater play finale with all the singing and fireworks. It was a very happy ending and I’m also happy that I was done with it.

 

It was a great read considering it’s a debut standalone but I just did not love it as much as the majority here. These are my sole thoughts and opinions only and it won’t matter if you love this book and think it’s perfect. Anyway, I will surely check out the future works of Alexandra Christo because her writing is really 5 star worthy.

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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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review 2018-07-26 21:28
4.7 Out Of 5 "Pirates vs Sirens" STARS
Daughter of the Siren Queen - Tricia Levenseller

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~BOOK BLURB~

Daughter of the Siren Queen

Tricia Levenseller

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The capable, confident, and occasionally ruthless heroine of Daughter of the Pirate King is back in this action-packed sequel that promises rousing high seas adventures and the perfect dash of magic.

 

Alosa's mission is finally complete. Not only has she recovered all three pieces of the map to a legendary hidden treasure, but the pirates who originally took her captive are now prisoners on her ship. Still unfairly attractive and unexpectedly loyal, first mate Riden is a constant distraction, but now he's under her orders. And she takes great comfort in knowing that the villainous Vordan will soon be facing her father's justice.

When Vordan exposes a secret her father has kept for years, Alosa and her crew find themselves in a deadly race with the feared Pirate King. Despite the danger, Alosa knows they will recover the treasure first . . . after all, she is the daughter of the Siren Queen.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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What an awesome ending to this duology.  I love these characters Alosa is a fiery girl pirate, whose not afraid to do what needs to be done.  I love how she interacts with her crew. Rilen is freaking adorable…love him.  I also loved the sweet, but not sickly sweet, romance between these two.  If I have any complaints about this second book at all, it's Alosa's indecisiveness or waffling regarding her feelings for Rilen.   How could anyone doubt his loyalty?

 

It feels like the author really loves the Pirates of the Caribbean and this story was born from that love.  I recommend it for your pirate fix, as long as your not looking for the bodice-ripping pirates, because this keeps it pretty PG…maybe, slightly PG-13.

 

๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏

~MY RATING~

4.7STARS - GRADE=A

๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏

 

 

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 4.5/5

Main Characters~ 5/5

Secondary Characters~ 5/5

The Feels~ 4.5/5

Pacing~ 5/5

Addictiveness~ 5/5

Theme or Tone~ 5/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 5/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 4.5/5

Originality~ 5/5

Ending~ 5/5 Cliffhanger~ Nope. I believe this is a duology.

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Book Cover~ Love it…reminds me of my fav scene in Finding Nemo…"I wanna touch the butt…"

Narration~5 for Marisa Calin, she was quite amazing, actually.  Perfect for this series.

Series~ Daughter of the Pirate King #2

Setting~ The Ocean

Source~ Audiobook (Scribd)

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review 2018-04-28 14:30
Book Review of Blood Shadow: an Eye of the Storm Companion Novel (Blood Never Lies Book 1) by Dianna Hardy
Blood Shadow: an Eye of the Storm Companion Novel (Blood Never Lies) - Dianna Hardy

Blood Shadow is a companion novel to the Eye of the Storm series and also acts as a PREQUEL to a brand new series to come. You don't have to read Eye of the Storm to enjoy this novel (some background is given). However, we always recommend you do in order to gain full understanding of how the characters have arrived at this point.

 

Five years after her life changed forever, Jennifer Warren has put her past firmly behind her - at least, she's tried. A few sweaty nightmares here and there are a small price to pay for the freedom she won. No longer a werewolf, but human, she works as an office manager for a health and beauty spa in York, and keeps herself to herself. It's barely enough to pay the bills, but it's quiet and safe, and the clique of the staff means she's left well enough alone - no one asks her questions; no one wants to get to know her better.

 

David, her tender, kind boyfriend of two years is all she needs ... and she doesn't really need him, which suits her just fine. Never mind the occasional guilt that she doesn't really love him; he'd never hurt her in a million years - that's worth its weight in gold.

 

But Jennifer's just received another note - one of those that her mysterious, anonymous 'friend' likes to leave her every now and then; warnings of things to come, people not to trust... Her elusive friend has saved her more than once the past five years.

 

Only this note has left her breathless; her chest tight. A Supermoon is coming - the first in thirty years - and with it, a total lunar eclipse.

 

Jennifer's disowned her past, but it hasn't disowned her. As the earth shadows the full moon, her own shadows threaten to turn on her.

 

Can you ever escape what you truly are?

 

Blood never lies.

 

This is a dark urban fantasy novel of approx. 70,000 words containing scenes of a sexual nature and some violence, which may disturb some readers.

 

Review 5*

 

This is the first book in a new companion novel to the Eye of the Storm series. I loved it! You don't have to read the Eye of the Storm series to read this book, but I recommend that you do, so you have a good grasp of where Selena has been and where Jennifer is heading.

 

Jennifer Warren (aka Selena Smith) is an extremely complex character. I felt for her as she hasn't had an easy life. This is a woman I loved to hate in the Eye of the Storm series, as she was a real *i*ch. Five years after being given a new name and a new life from her ordeal at the hands of the Tridents, she is trying to put her life back together as best she can. However, there's a bad moon rising (okay, it's a super blood moon, but you get the idea) and her saviour sends her an ominous warning. As the life she's tried to build slowly unravels, will she find her inner strength once more, or will the changes coming break her?

 

I have been eagerly awaiting the release of this book. Told through the eyes of several of the characters, we get to see their thoughts and feelings. Selena has had a really raw deal being a female wolf in a male dominated world; she has had to fight for what she wanted. Now as Jennifer, I found her to be slightly more tempered and, even though scarred mentally if not physically anymore, she has more vulnerability than Selena ever showed. This could be because being human, Jennifer cannot draw on her wolf's strength. However, her experiences have left her damaged emotionally and she struggles every day with nightmares. I do wish she had spoken to someone about her ordeal, but can understand her reluctance, as they would probably have committed her into an asylum when she told them she was a wolf.

 

Besides Jennifer, we are also introduced to several characters, such as David - Jennifer's boyfriend, Roman Dalton - Jennifer's saviour who has secrets of his own, Hai - Roman's surrogate father and mentor, and Prisha Patel - David's best friend and work colleague. I have mixed reactions to the various characters. I like David and think he's a wonderful man; Roman is still a bit of an enigma but I like him too. He's also not had an easy life growing up. There's a definite chemistry between him and Jennifer that fairly radiates off the page, so am interested to see where they, or the author, takes us as the series progresses. Hai is a character I love. He is full of Chinese proverbs and wise sayings that annoy Roman and confuse Jennifer, but I found him to be a loving man who took a scared boy under his wing and gave him much needed love and attention. Then there is Prisha. I found her to be similar in her attitude and characteristics as Selena. She may be another character that I may love to hate as the series progresses. Watch this space!

 

I don't want to give any spoilers and this book is so hard to describe without giving huge ones. Therefore, I will try to keep this as short as possible by saying: READ THIS BOOK! Blood Shadow is not always an easy read, especially if you or someone you know has gone through an abusive relationship, as the main character has gone through hell and it may cause a triggering event. Having said that, there is one scene between Jennifer and Roman that is serious but light at the same time. It's incredibly hard to blame Roman for something he did accidentally when he was trying to save her life and he's horrified about it, but it's still a violation of sorts. I'll leave it to you to decide for yourself if you'd be amused or horrified by his actions. There are also some rather touching scenes, so you may need a tissue or two.

At the end of the story, we get to meet a new character who will be one of the main characters in the next book in the companion series, Aftershock. Her name is Jasmine. However, if you've read Reign of the Wolf, the sixth book in the Eye of the Storm series, you would have been briefly introduced to her as a baby. I can't wait to get my hands on this book, but I'm dreading it too. This is because I know it'll be an emotional roller coaster ride and I'll end up feeling like I've been put through the wringer, just like this one - a book hangover in the making!

 

Dianna Hardy is one of my favourite romance authors (she writes both paranormal/urban fantasy and contemporary romance). She has a way of expressing so much emotion through her written words; ripping your heart out with them, but also filling you up with them too. I love her writing style, which is fast paced and exciting. The flow is fantastic too. Reading her books are a joy, and I will continue to read them for as long as she keeps writing them.

 

Unlike other books by this author, this book doesn't have any romantic scenes of explicit content. However, there are flashbacks from Jennifer/Selena's past that are explicit, as well as scenes containing some bad language and violence that may offend some readers, so I do not recommend this book for younger readers or those of a nervous disposition, or those who may have a triggered event by reading this book. Having said that, I highly recommend this book (and series) if you love contemporary or paranormal romances, dark fantasy and/or urban fantasy genres. - Lynn Worton

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text 2018-04-11 02:19
Anyone watched SIREN?

 

Mermaids and Sirens seem to be one of the new latest book and TV trends. I had never read any books about mermaids/sirens until I read the Daughter of the Pirate King series and I loved that series and found the sirens and Siren Queen enchanting! I hardly ever watch TV because I'm too busy reading but I wouldn't mind watching this show if it's any good.

 

Has anyone tuned in to this yet or do you know of any other really good books, movies or TV shows featuring mermaids/sirens? 

 

Picture is also linked to FREEFORM

  

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