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review 2018-06-20 03:18
Fatima Farheen Mirza's A PLACE FOR US

The first title from Sarah Jessica Parker's imprint for Hogarth

 

I am normally wary of hyped debut novels, but with comparisons made to Anthony Marra’s outstanding A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, I was eager to read Fatima Farheen Mirza’s A Place for Us.

 

Unlike many reviewers, I was not immediately absorbed by Mirza’s family narrative.  The prose itself was strikingly assured for a debut novelist but I struggled to truly engage with the characters, my personal feelings about the entrenched cultural-religious gender bias impacting their lives getting in the way.

 

Many of the characters’ behaviours/actions are frustrating to an outside observer also. But to Mirza’s credit, her attention to detail and absence of sentimentality in the presentation of the different character viewpoints soon had me seeing past those differences. It is with the nuances of behaviour explored, the family dynamics, and the gravity and impact of what is often left unsaid that I engaged. Continue reading >>

Source: bookloverbookreviews.com/2018/06/a-place-for-us-by-fatima-farheen-mirza-book-review.html
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review 2018-06-20 03:17
Song by Jesse Teller Book Review

Read this review on Wordpress-The Bookworm Daydreamer-Song Book Review

 

Title: Song
Series: The Manhunters (Book #1)
Author: Jesse Teller
Rating: 4/5 stars

SYNOPSIS

Some of the darkest minds in Perilisc attacked Mending Keep, releasing all its prisoners. Despite his strained relationship with the crown, Rayph Ivoryfist calls old friends to his aid in a subversive attempt to protect King Nardoc and thwart terrorist plots to ruin the Festival of Blossoms. But someone else is targeting Rayph, and even his fellow Manhunters might not be enough to save him

REVIEW

I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to Rebekah and Jesse Teller!

 

Song is a grimdark epic fantasy whose short length doesn't make it any less epic. It follows Rayph Ivoryfist, a thousands of years old wizard who was once the warden of Mending Keep and court wizard of Lorinth, and Konnon, a bounty hunter. The story is told in dual perspectives, with their paths starting to cross more towards the end until their connection to each other is revealed.

 

There is a lot going on in this book. So much that I didn't really feel like it was short. It was packed to the brim with action, lore, and worldbuilding- so much of which that it made my head spin at times and reread some passages to make sure I understood everything. Was it enjoyable? Yes! Do you need to pay attention? Also yes. As I said there is a lot of worldbuilding here. There are ancient wizards, gods, spirits, monsters, other races, and more. Overall, the worldbuilding is quite good and I liked it.

 

The characters were distinctive and if not exactly likable, then interesting to read about. Rayph Ivoryfist, for example, has lived for at least ten thousand years at the beginning of the book. The novel deftly incorporates parts of his past throughout the narrative which I appreciate. He himself is also interesting with regards to how he became a pariah and wanted man in the king's court. Despite all that, he remains loyal to the crown and wanted to see the boy prince grow up and be crowned, despite his blustering, weak, and cowardly father. The other character is Konnon. He is a bounty hunter whose name is quite well-known and seems to be regarded as a "monster" by some. Still, he is shown to us in a deeply human way- as a father desperately searching for a way for his sick daughter to survive. As with Rayph, the novel also gives us a lot regarding Konnon's background.

 

The tone is decidedly grimdark. The worldbuilding, the lore, the writing, and the pacing are all mixed together to create a dark, oppressive feel that hung through the book. All the gloom were still balanced by the hope that we see towards the end. The opening chapters involving Rayph feel a bit like vignettes, introducing us to the people who would come to form The Manhunters, with the action ramping up halfway through. That is not to say the entirety of the book is not filled with action. It is. There are a lot of fight scenes which I thought were well executed.

 

Overall, Song is a good grimdark epic fantasy. I can recommend it for fans of the subgenre and people who want to try out the subgenre.

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review 2018-06-19 16:17
Review: The Valiant (The Valiant #1) by Lesley Livingston
The Valiant - Lesley Livingston

 Fallon is the daughter of a proud Celtic king, the sister of the legendary warrior Sorcha, and the sworn enemy of Julius Caesar.

When Fallon was a child, Caesar’s armies invaded her homeland, and her beloved sister was killed in battle.

Now, on the eve of her seventeenth birthday, Fallon is eager to follow in her sister’s footsteps and earn her place in the fearsome Cantii war band. She never gets the chance.

Fallon is captured and sold to an elite training school for female gladiators—owned by none other than Julius Caesar. In a cruel twist of fate, the man who destroyed Fallon’s family might be her only hope of survival.

Now Fallon must overcome vicious rivalries and deadly fights—in and out of the arena. And perhaps the most dangerous threat of all: her forbidden yet irresistible feelings for Cai, a young Roman soldier.

 

I stumbled over this book at the my library and I thought it sounded interesting and something new.

And I’m so glad I got it, I enjoyed it even more than I thought I would.

I enjoyed the concept, the story, the world building and of course the characters. I was never a big fan of anything Gladiator, but I really enjoyed this story  and oved the modern twist she put on the pretty well known historic roman time period. And what is not to love about female gladiators lol.

Most of the book is fast paced but there are some slower parts, but overall it has a great flow to it and you never get bored with the exciting new plot . There were a few things that came over confusing but later cleared up.

I really enjoyed that while some things can be taken to a second book (checked later and there is ) most things are nicely wrapped and we are not left hanging with a giant cliffhanger which was nice.

Overall this was a nice surprise book and I’m glad I found it, I listen to it ad the audio was also very enjoyable.

I rate it 4★ and looking forward to book two now that I know there is one.

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

Buy Links

 

Amazon *** B&N *** Kobo 

 

Source: snoopydoosbookreviews.com/index.php/2018/06/19/review-the-valiant-the-valiant-1-by-lesley-livingston
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review 2018-06-19 02:45
Slow start but had me racing to the end.
False Start (McKay-Tucker Men Book 1) - Marianne Rice

This is the first book I have read by this author. It took a bit to get into the story, but once there, I did not want to put it down. Meg had been through a lot, and I understood her hesitancy to let someone into her life. She had an hard shell covering her broken center. I loved her interactions with her daughter and Connor. Connor was a sweetheart, although he was not very communicative. He was full of reaction before thought. They made a great couple and had me laughing, crying, and sighing throughout the story.

This is my unsolicited review.

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review 2018-06-18 23:08
Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass, #5)Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

*Edit: I wrote this review at midnight so there's mistakes and a lot of "I just can't even"s. Been correcting most, but some still linger....


STOP! A WARNING BEFORE YOU PICK UP THIS BOOK:

Okay now you're free to read it if you wish, but don't say I didn't warn you...


**Spoilers Ahead**


Well... this book, where to start? So, it's going to be a gif reaction then, since I just can't even even. (I didn't take any notes while reading this so I'm just commenting on the parts I found most memorable)

Sooo to be honest, I found this book at the beginning

SO SLOW
Also, I found myself skimming through Aelin's chapters just to get to Manon's because...well, Manon is amazing. I just can't even do her justice in writing how brill she is in this. I mean so much character development and just an overall brilliant character, I just love her so much.
Thank you, Ms. Maas.

Oh my word, and that scene with Manon battling her Grandmother,

That was definitely my FAVOURITE SCENE OML!

As for Aelin... I've thought this since HoF, --I loved Celaena but Aelin I found to be a now dull and kind of boring character. She really irritates me as well. So many mixed feeling about her...

Rowan is the same (I'll be honest, I've shipped Celaena and Chaol since forever, and I'm annoyed SJM ruined that ship by unnecessarily making Chaol seem like an-...um..bad person)
Anyway, the next victim of my honesty is Aedion.

KIDDING. (sort of)
What is up with his guy? HoF I didn't like him (push Dorian into a thorn bush next time when I'm around) and then in QoS I reeaally liked him and in this one.... especially during the end, he just...I can't deal with aggressive men, and this guy has anger issues. but that scene on the beach after Lysandra had finished that epic battle underwater and she had to wait in seadragon form, that scene, guys

Oh and Dorianon!

I love Dorian, so. darn. much. I'm like,

Love himmmmm

Okay I need to go back to Rowan and Aelin. (Jumpin' about in this review but it's the most coherent one I could come up with...)
So, what if they were just friends?

Would I like them better as friends? Heck yes. This is one of my (many) unpopular opinions; I DO NOT SHIP AELIN AND ROWAN. I loved their "friendship" in HoF and I thought when she gave this little speech, it was obvious that they were going to remain friends: "I claim you Rowan Whitethorne, I don't care how much you protest, I claim you as my friend"

I know you are/can be friends with your significant other, but after HoF I didn't see any chemistry between them besides them lusting after each other
And the... "mushy" scenes (as jessethereader so calls them)

I mean I was just like skimming through looking like,

Thinking,

Kill me all you want, but there was no real (I certainly didn't feel any) emotion at these scenes. "Love" scenes are meant to strengthen the character's relationship with each other and grow the reader's love for the characters too. But these scenes were just so dull and pointless. And needless to say, I hated them.

Elide and Lorcan were so cute together, loved 'em!
(btw, was anyone else getting Elide name mispronounced? I kept saying EE-LIED I didn't know it was EE-LEAD until the end when I was embarrassingly corrected...
In fact, here's a list of names I've been pronouncing wrong: Chaol (I thought CH [as in chair]-ALE), Maeve (MAY-EVE), and Lorcan (LOW-CAN)(I didn't even see that r in Lorcan D:<). Ugh dear me...


I'm writing this at midnight, nearing dropping off to sleep, so I'm going to skip right to THE ENDING.

I have to say, my opinion of Aelin has risen higher than before

Meaning I like her a lot more at the end of this book.

But SJM you really are a cruel human being, I can't even-- why would you do this to me??

I just...I can't...I'm sorry I just can't even...I cannot even even to even...no just no, I'm...I'm out



~~*Original review*
[3.5] stars THAT ENDING THOUGH

RTC (actually it might be a gif reaction review because nothing that I write seems coherent)


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