Quick Review: Two Dark Reigns by Kendare Blake

two dark reigns This series was originally planned to be only a duology.  I’m glad that Kendare Blake decided to extended it two more books because it’s truly delightful.  Two Dark Reigns begins a few weeks after the end of of One Dark Crown.  Katherine is crown Queen of Fennbirn.  Mirabella and Arisone escaped the island and trying to fit in on the Mainland. Jules is reeling from the death Joseph and is back and Fennbirn.  The island is shielded by the Mist but the Mist is acting up and turning on the island.  Probably because Katherine became Queen without actually killing her sisters and still possessed by the dead queens of the past.  Her sisters escaped the Island and Jules is being propped up as the symbol of a new revolution.  I still like the original Queens Katherine, Mirabella and Arisnoe and Jules is growing me but she’s still not favorite.  Jules is legion cursed.  Meaning she has two gifts that will make her crazy because her powers are so strong.  This is partly why people think she is also a queen and that the Goddess of the Island is trying to change the bloodline of the Queens and change the course of the island.  Of course the Island has another idea.  Mirabella and Arsione may have escaped the island but the island isn’t finished with them yet.  Arisone is being sent visions about the Blue Queen who created the Mist.  She is haunted by her that forces them back.  Jules and her new warrior friends are in direct conflict with each other.  We still Queens against Queens but the battle lines are drawn and the fate of the island is at stake.  Let’s just say, the last book is going to be a doozy.

Review: WildCard by Marie Lu

img_1381 I read this as an ARC about a month ago.  Thank you to G.P. Putnam for making it available to me to read.  **May contain minor Spoilers**

Where we left off after Warcross, Hideo had betrayed Emika and really everyone else who uses his Nuerolink lenses by releasing his algorithm that effects how people think and makes it impossible to commit crimes.  Zero who was Emika’s original quarry might now be the ally that she needs to stop Hideo but can he be trusted because after all, he did try to kill her.  That would put a damper on any relationship.  Can she ever forgive Hideo for what he is doing? And who is Zero and the blackcoats?  Are their goals really the same as hers?

If that wasn’t enough, her actions in the Warcross championships has made her the hero to some and cheater to others.  Emika has a lot going on but that doesn’t stop her from doing what she thinks is the right thing to do, even if that means going against the man she loves.  A lot has happened to Emika in her short life.  Her father died and she was placed in foster care.  She ran away and lived on the streets only to support herself by becoming a bounty hunter.  She’s an incredible hacker that is what brought her into this to begin with but she’s used to everything on her own.  The greatest growth that she had was learning that she doesn’t have to do everything on her own.  That she has friends who are willing to carry some of the load for her and when things get even more complicated and she doesn’t know who to trust that friendship becomes even more important.  In Wildcard, we finally learn what really happened to Sasuke, Hideo’s younger brother and it’s even more heartbreaking than anyone assumed. More under the cut. Continue reading

Books I Can’t Wait to Read this Fall!!

Summer is over and now it’s to look forward to some fall reading.  So get your pumpkin spice latte ready as here are some of the books I can’t wait to read this fall.

  1. The Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor (October 2)-The sequel to Strange the Dreamer and left off one big cliffhanger.
  2. Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa (October 2)-Shapeshifters, samurais and Japanese mythology.  Yes please.
  3. A Very Large Expense of the Sea by Tahereh Mafi (October 16) In our attempt to read more diverse voices.  Tahereh Mafi releases probably her most personal story yet.  Shirin is a muslim girl starting a new school a year after 9/11.
  4. Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas (October 23)- The last book in the epic Thorne of Glass series.  Who will prevail and who will die?
  5. Archenemies by Marissa Meyer (November 6)-The second book in the Renegades trilogy.  The ending of Renegades really changes the dynamics of this one.
  6.  The Storyteller by Traci Chee (November 13)- The final book in the Sea of Gold and Ink trilogy.  Is the future already written for Sefia and Archer?
  7. The Reckoning of Noah Shaw by Michelle Hodkin (November 13)-Noah Shaw has done some bad things and so has her girlfriend Mara Dyer.  The consequences might be finally catching up to them.

What are you looking forward to reading this fall?

Movie Review: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

to all the boys So I finally got around to seeing To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before on Netflix and it was delightful.  It was every bit as charming as the book was and the casting was truly spot on.  Lana Candor is the perfect Lara Jean. She’s sweet, shy and romantic.  She’s unassuming and comfortable being in the shadow.  Noah Centineo is the perfect Peter.  He just oozes the big man on campus charisma.  You can’t help but fall in love with him, which it seems like everyone on the internet has.  The story is the same.  Lara Jean is 16 and is about to start her Junior year in high school.  Her big sister is going off to college making her the big sister at home.  Her mother died when she was young so it was just her and her sisters and her dad.  Lara Jean has never had a boyfriend but she’s had a few crushes.  She wrote her crushes a letter that was never meant to be read until they were.  Two of those letters went the Josh, the boy next door who dated her older sister Margot and Peter, her former friend from Middle School.  Peter and Lara Jean decide to fake date to make Peter’s ex girlfriend jealous and help her avoid Josh.  All goes well until of course she starts to have feelings for him.  The movie goes by at a pretty clip.  Establishing both Lara Jean and Peter and their relationship.  As they spend more time with each other we see what a great couple they are for each other.  They allow each other open up to each other and be honest about their feelings that they can’t be with each other.  I also love that while Peter asks Lara Jean to do things outside her comfort zone like go to parties, he never asks her to change who she is.  Obviously in the book we see more development of their relationship then we do in the movie because of time constraints it still comes out.  They relationship may have started as pretend, you can see from the beginning that there was always something there. If there is one thing I wished there was more of was Kitty.  Kitty was always my favorite character in the book and I think she needs her own series.  *cough Jenny Han cough*  I can only hope that Netflix greenlights a sequel so we get more of Kitty, Lara Jean and Peter in the future.  The movie is not earth shattering but it is so cute and charming that i feeling it’s going to be on heavy rotation in my Netflix queue for now on.

Quick Review: Restore Me by Tahereh Mafi

restore me It’s been a couple of years ago that Tahereh Mafi completed her Shatter Me trilogy but I guess she wasn’t finished with it because here we are with book 4.  I feel like I should went back and read the original series because there were so many things I forgot about.  The one thing I didn’t forget about is how the Mafi’s writing style changed as Juliette’s mind because more stable.  As she becomes less isolated and understands her power the writing style because more fluid and less choppy.  In this one, as things start to unravel for Juliette and Warner we start to see a return to the choppy phrasing from earlier books.  I knew as soon as Juliette’s journal appear that things are not going to end well.  Not to get too far ahead, let’s start at the beginning.  Restore Me begins a little more than two weeks after the end of the last novel.  Juliette has taken over as Supreme Commander of North American and soon discovers she is way over her head.  Not only does she know very little about politics but the people she trust have been keeping things from her.  Things start to spiral out of control when the kids of the other Supreme Commanders start showing up.  Juliette learns that as much as she wants to run from her past she can’t because in truth she doesn’t even know her past and what she doesn’t know just might get everyone killed.  I really enjoyed this and I’m glad Tahereh returned this world because clearly there is a lot to explore in Juliette’s story.

Quick Review: A Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir

a reaper at the gates ***Minor Spoilers***

We finally made it to the third book in the An Ember in the Ashes series and things are getting real.  Laia, Elias and Helena are basically on their own as they deal with the many crisis’ going on in the Empire.  Laia is focused on one two things, bringing down the Nightbringer and saving her people.  Elias is the new Soul Catcher but having trouble in his new role.  Helena is the Blood Shrike, trying to defend the Empire and the Emperor who she doesn’t like and defending what is left of their family.  As they go about their business, they have no idea that they are doing exactly what the Nightbringer wants them to do.  It frustrating as it is interesting to read as the reader knows that the characters are playing into their enemies hands but are unsure as to how exactly and horrified that they is nothing they can do about it.  I spent a fair amount of my time reading wanting to scream at Laia, Elias and Helena to STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING!  YOU ARE MAKING A DUMB MISTAKE!  Especially, Helena who was supposed to be one of the smartest in her class at the Blackcliff but time and time again was easily out maneuvered by The Commandant or the Nightbringer.  He biggest mistake is that she assumes that everyone loves the Empire as much as she does and will play fair and is shocked to find that’s not the case and even though she is told this many times she continues to make this mistake.  (I think a certain political party is the same way and is why it keeps losing)  Her unwillingness to believe or play that game keeps costing her and is even more frustrating because the one time she does, she won.  Anyway, this was a great set up to the final book that will definitely feature more pain.  Let’s hope our characters learn from their mistakes in this book.

Review: War Storm by Victoria Aveyard

war storm A satisfying ending to a very good series.  It starts just minutes after the end of King’s Cage, where Mare is reeling from being betrayed by Cal choosing the crown over her.  I wasn’t really all that surprised by this because as much as he loves Mare and has been open to the red plight but he is a Silver Prince that was born to rule.  He’s going to give that up?  Anyway, Victoria does a great job of balancing her Game of Thronesque story lines.  With so many families, groups and countries vying for the future of Norta the story could have been easily bogged down but it isn’t.  Alliances are clear and who is going to betray who is clear.  We all know who is on what team and when it comes down to it who is going to side with who when it comes to the end it didn’t disrupt the storyline.  At the moment, Mare and Cal are reunited in the same objective of get Maven out of power but their alliance is shaky at best.  We know that Cal has no intention of giving up his throne as he feels he is the best to reunite his fractured nation but the Scarlet Guard has no intention of putting him on the throne.  Maven has the Nortan crown but little support.  Iris, his wife from neighboring country the Lakelands, is already scheming to take the crown from Maven as soon as he depletes his army against Cal.  The western nation of Montfort that is the only democracy in this new world that has silvers and reds working together has made their intentions known that they will not have another silver king either.  So who wins? Well that would be too spoilery but I will say i like the ambiguous ending.  Victoria has definitely left enough open that if she ever wanted to return to Norta, Monfort or the Lakelands she could but if she doesn’t then she has given her characters a good send off.  Mare is broken and bruised but is working on healing.  She has been many people throughout the four books.  She’s been Mare from the sticks, a thief.  She’s been Mareena, a lost Silver and the lightning girl a leader and inspiration for the rebellion but who is she really.  Cal’s growth is quite as strong but then again I think Cal has already had a good sense of who he was.  Maven is probably the most tragic.  The abuse that he suffered from his mother is beyond cruel but that shouldn’t excuse his many crimes he committed throughout the series.  My biggest complaint is that Cameron who was one of POV characters in the last book only makes an appearance in one chapter.  Other than that, this was a satisfying ending to a very good series.