Viper

By Bex Hogan

Destined to become the next Viper after her father. She must either become a killer or be killed.

This book has been sitting on my TBR list for the best part of a year. I tried to read it once but I wasn’t in the mood so it got put back into the pile.

But boy, now that I’ve read it I’m completely shocked at how past me just put this book aside! This book is a truly amazing piece of YA fantasy.

Firstly I should add, this book is definitely aimed at young adults (a category that I sadly, do not apply to anymore) but as someone who reads books as a means of escapism from the real world, I find this book highly entertaining and for anyone wanting to escape reality for a time and head into a lovely world of fascinating islands and magic then this book is for you!

Set in a fictional world of the twelve islands, a young girl must decide if her future lies with her murderous father the feared Viper. Assassin of The King of the six Eastern Isles or if she should follow her heart.

This book is fast paced and action packed. Although quite a short book it has so much stuffed into it I couldn’t put it down. And certainly did not want it to end!

Each character has their own arc, and each one you fully believe in. The protagonist, Marianne is loveable despite her difficulties in life. Through her own beliefs you find yourself in her. Her steadfast heart is just so likeable you end up feeling an instant connection to her.

I honestly love this book and can not wait to dive into the next one (I’ve already looked and it’s been released!!!)

If you’re a fan of YA fantasy then you will LOVE this book. One of the things I love most about it is it doesn’t have love triangle!!! Whoop!!

🌟🌟🌟🌟 (4.5 stars) from me! I just wished the book was longer!

The Red Scrolls of Magic

By Cassandra Clare and Wesley Chu

I finished this book last night, and if you’ve seen of my other posts regarding Cassandra Clare and her shadow hunter stories you will know just how much I love these stories.

I was so excited to learn more about Magnus and Alec, I wanted a true love story with action and I wanted to see Magnus and Alec working together and applying their skills together.

What actually happened was a really soppy “will he/won’t he” I’m a shadowhunter / warlock and how can they possibly like me. Storyline going on throughout the ENTIRE book.

To say I was underwhelmed would be a slight understatement.

We start out in Paris where the book starts on a high, they’re vacationing around Europe! Yey! They manage to destroy a theatre with a hot air balloon whilst fighting demons.

But them after that the story goes downhill and in my opinion there’s a lot of gaps and meaningless babble. There doesn’t appear to be a solid plot, and the love story becomes forced.

Add in two more characters with not much background story, who fall in love with next to no character arc and I lost interest.

It is a real shame as I really wanted to be blown away by Magnus and Alecs relationship. I wanted to see them battle against the prejudices of downworlders and being in a relationship with a shadowhunter but although it was mentioned regularly it was never really addressed.

Overall I just wanted more.

I wanted more relationship between the protagonists.

I wanted more action.

I wanted more back story to Magnus bane.

The cult that they were chasing didn’t seem to have a solid background either and it diminished how ‘dangerous’ it was supposed to be.

I still enjoyed it. But it wasn’t one of her best works.

3🌟s from me on this one I’m afraid!

Ghosts of the Shadow Market

By Cassandra Clare and others

This is follow on book from her Shadowhunters series, it spans the times between The Infernal Devices Trilogy, The Mortal Instruments and The Dark Artifices. If you’re looking for more information on Jem and Tessa then THIS is the book that you NEED to read.

After I’d finished CCs main books (I binge read them all) I definitely needed more information on Tessa and Jem, and this book did not disappoint! It fills in blanks where the books missed because, well, after TID Tessa and Jem took more of a back seat in the stories, and quite rightly I guess, they already had a trilogy, they didn’t need to take up more… but I have never been so glad to have a companion book written. J+T are my favourite characters and their love story is just heartbreaking.

I think, the only thing that (in my opinion) lets this book down is you can tell that it’s not all Cassie Clares writing. In one of her stories, where you’re introduced to Matthew, Lucie, James and the gang from The Last Hours (which came out this year and is a MUST READ for anyone who enjoys YA fantasy) they ALL say “Papa” continuously… I think I counted the word like, 8 times on one pages and it ended up just bugging the heck out me.

Despite this, I still loved the book, I loved the extra information it gave on some of the characters we’d met previously. And for anyone looking for more Shadowhunter stories I implore you to read this!

🌟🌟🌟🌟

4*s from me for this book. But only because some repetitive prose

The Beautiful

By Rénee Ahdieh

Before I start I just want to say. I love Ahdiehs works. Her Flame in the Mist duology has me hooked, she writes beautiful, lyrical prose that make your heart weep. So I had very high expectations for The Beautiful.

Alas, I was sorely disappointed.

A young girl, Celine, travels from France to New Orleans, running away from her murky past. But the past catches up with her and death follows in her path. Throwing Celine into murky shadows of a dark underbelly hidden behind the beautiful faces of the undead.

When I first read the synopsis of it this book I thought ‘yes! Vampires!’ It’s been an age since I got my hands on a fabulous YA vamp book! And because it was Ahdieh I was hugely excited!

But the book is not all it’s cracked up to be and I found myself hating the idea of picking it up. The prose, that I have previously described as lyrical, we’re lacking in her usual beauty, they were repetitive and dull. The amount of times the protagonist described *one of the love interests* (ahem, really bad love triangle going on here) as a “devil” had me retching at some parts.

The characters were half formed piles of goop with pretty faces, you never really got to know any of them properly except Celine.

Odette had so much potential, but throughout the long-winded paragraphs of inane description of dresses and devils with pretty faces, you don’t get to know her half as well as you should, and this is the same as the majority of the characters.

Sebastien (or Bastien as his friends refer to him), also has potential, but you see so little of his character, except his handsomeness, that you end up caring very little about him in the end.

My main dislike about this book was Celine herself, now, I am a HUGE lover of strong female protagonists, but Celine does no justice to this.

Instead of being strong Celine is deceitful, small minded, self-loathing and self-loving all at once. Treating her one and only friend with disdain, believing herself better then her actual betters. This is a girl who is running from her past instead of facing it head-on and then treating others as if they are common idiots and she the queen. She regularly describes herself as being a ‘goddess’.

Overall I found her extremely hard to like, and ended up hoping the killer would shut her up.

The plot itself was slow. With so many needless and endless descriptions of shadows and gut feelings and pretty, devilish faces and feelings of ‘other’ (which apparently only Celine can figure out because she’s oh so smart). The book could easily have been half of its length had Ahdieh not been using so many adjectives to describe one thing. Over and over again!

Another irritation was the fact that this book is supposed to be set in the 1800s. But there was nothing in the story that made you feel like this was needed. You had a protagonist that spoke like she was from the modern world and had ideals of that of many a modern female. These ideals would not have been so openly expressed back then as they are in this book. None of the writing sat well with the era in which it was supposed to be situated in.

Overall, the book was a huge disappointment.

Although, from page 340 to the end, it did pick up in pace and I found myself wanting to finally read it instead of put it off. But there are only 425 pages of the book….

I’m still debating whether or not to give Ahdieh the benefit of the doubt and attempt the second book when it is released later this year.

I have it 3 🌟s

Warrior of the Wild

By Tricia Levenseller

A young trainee warrior fails her test to become the first female Warrior in her tribe. She is banished to the wilds to complete an impossible task. She learns about herself, the wild and the truth about the evil god.

This book is so simple yet so good. I highly enjoy Tricia Levenseller’s works, mainly for their straightforward, easy prose. I read this book in a day, same as her 3 previous works, and loved every second of it.

There’s no heavy plot points or twist and turns that wrench the heart and make your eyes leak (ahem, looking at S.J.Maas right now). Sometimes you just need a nice easy book to get you through a book slump and Tricia Levenseller sells it every single time!

If you’re looking for a heavy, in-depth fantasy book with too many characters and side plots, this is not the book for you. Levenseller has a unique way of writing beautiful story’s without all the drama of full-blown betrayals, twist and turns that hurt your head or characters that you’re not sure whether to trust…

She can work character growth through simple, yet eloquent sentences and make you fall in love with characters without them having an amazing, all out turn-around character arc.

She traditionally writes about strong female protagonists, and Warrior of the Wild is no exception. Rasmira, daughter of the Chief, is a strong warrior and has her own sense of right and wrong, her fall from grace and her banishment from the tribe leads her on a journey of self-discovery. Where she grows stronger both in physique and in mentality. Although I find Rasmira hard to relate to, I find her refreshing and an easy character to like and want to read about.

Other books from Levenseller include:

  • Daughter of the Pirate King
  • Daughter of the Siren Queen
  • The Shadows Between Us

If you enjoy Warrior of the Wild, I promise you’ll enjoy all her other works too!