Bad Blood by Jennifer Lynn Barnes // Book Reviews

Hey hey!

I’ve got a spoiler free review for book #4 AKA the finale of The Naturals series. Looking for crime, mystery and mind games? This series might be for you. However, if you haven’t at least started the series, I kind of recommend doing so BEFORE reading this review. There aren’t any spoilers on major plot points in this review, but just be cautious. Anyway, let’s begin!

30635180Bad Blood by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Series: The Naturals (#4)
Genres: Mystery, Thriller
Publication: November 1st 2016 by Disney-Hyperion
Pages: 384
Source: Bought

4 stars

New victims. New betrayals. New secrets.

When Cassie Hobbes joined the FBI’s Naturals program, she had one goal: uncover the truth about her mother’s murder. But now, everything Cassie thought she knew about what happened that night has been called into question. Her mother is alive, and the people holding her captive are more powerful—and dangerous—than anything the Naturals have faced so far. As Cassie and the team work to uncover the secrets of a group that has been killing in secret for generations, they find themselves racing a ticking clock.

The bodies begin piling up, the deaths hit closer and closer to home, and it soon becomes apparent that this time, the Naturals aren’t just hunting serial killers.

They’re being hunted themselves.


GENERAL THOUGHTS

This series has been such a thrilling ride! Suspenseful and unpredictable – I love it! I wanted to finish this finale ASAP, but also wanted to savour it. It’s a bittersweet feeling but now, I’m super sad. Why does this need to be the last book of the series?

So, you can tell I really wanted another novel in this series. I think the overarching plot and character development of the series would have benefitted from an additional book. Especially since each book has previously focused on one Natural in the squad. This was more of an emotional read than the action-packed previous novels. This series’ concept is so unique in the YA world and although it’s not that believable, you’ll need to suspend your belief for a while to enjoy this series.

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The Dark Days Pact by Alison Goodman // Book Reviews

Hey hey!

WARNING: the synopsis will spoil you for the FIRST book of this series, so if you don’t want to be spoiled – go read and come back so we can discuss!

26061581The Dark Days Pact by Alison Goodman

Series: Lady Helen (#2)
Genres: Paranormal, Historical Fiction
Publication: January 31st 2017 by Viking Books for Young Readers
Pages: 496
Source: Borrowed

June 1812. Just weeks after her catastrophic coming-out ball, Lady Helen Wrexhall—now disowned by her uncle—is a full member of the demon-hunting Dark Days Club. Her mentor, Lord Carlston, has arranged for Helen to spend the summer season in Brighton so that he can train her new Reclaimer powers. However, the long-term effects of Carlston’s Reclaimer work have taken hold, and his sanity is beginning to slip. At the same time, Carlston’s Dark Days Club colleague and nemesis will stop at nothing to bring Helen over to his side—and the Duke of Selburn is determined to marry her. The stakes are even higher for Helen as she struggles to become the warrior that everyone expects her to be.


PLOT

This was such a fun and intense sequel. Unlike a lot of second book sequels, this one isn’t a filler story. In fact, it contributed so much to the progression and intensity of the series. This sequel involves a very intriguing story that’s built on a great foundation provided by the first novel. We get a wider scope of the world of reclaimers and demons, and experience it through Helen’s perspective. A large focus in the story involves the dark days club being super convinced that Carlston isn’t loyal or stable for the club, so SPYING!

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The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes // Book Reviews

Hey hey!

I’ve got a book review today of the mystery thriller The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. I’ve got a little spoiler section at the end of the review which you should definitely not look at until you’ve read the book. Read it, then come back so we can all squeal about about that. So it’s safe to read the rest of the review if you haven’t read the book. Enjoy!

22929578The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Series: The Fixer (#1)
Genres: Mystery, Thriller
Publication: July 7th 2015 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Pages: 372
Source: Library

4 stars

This thriller YA is Scandal meets Veronica Mars.

Sixteen-year-old Tess Kendrick has spent her entire life on her grandfather’s ranch. But when her estranged sister Ivy uproots her to D.C., Tess is thrown into a world that revolves around politics and power. She also starts at Hardwicke Academy, the D.C. school for the children of the rich and powerful, where she unwittingly becomes a fixer for the high school set, fixing teens’ problems the way her sister fixes their parents’ problems.

And when a conspiracy surfaces that involves the family member of one of Tess’s classmates, love triangles and unbelievable family secrets come to light and life gets even more interesting—and complicated—for Tess.

Perfect for fans of Pretty Little Liars and Heist Society, readers will be clamoring for this compelling teen drama with a political twist.


GENERAL THOUGHTS

It was a bit of a slow start but the situation was very mysterious and definitely intriguing. The plot kept me engaged, although it could be dense sometimes and I needed to reread passages. It’s just a lot to take in. Despite being very plot driven and twisty, I found that there was great development of characters and relationships.

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Outlander by Diana Gabaldon // Book Reviews

Hey hey!

I’ve got a mostly spoiler-free review of this 800 page monster, Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. Yes I read an adult novel and I enjoyed it! Now let’s dive into it…

685403Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Series: Outlander (#1)
Genres: Historical fiction, Romance
Publication: June 1st 1991 by Dell Publishing Company
Pages: 850
Source: Borrowed
4 stars

The year is 1945. Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is just back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach—an “outlander”—in a Scotland torn by war and raiding border clans in the year of Our Lord . . . 1743.

Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire is catapulted into the intrigues of lairds and spies that may threaten her life, and shatter her heart. For here James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, shows her a love so absolute that Claire becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire—and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.


GENERAL THOUGHTS

I got through this faster than I thought I would. Despite some problematic scenes, I enjoyed most of the book. It wasn’t as graphic as the impression I got from a lot of readers and I’m pleased about that. My thoughts on this  book and the characters in particular may be unconsciously influenced by the TV show adaptation as I have watched the first season of it and those thoughts may merge with my experience reading this novel.

Nonetheless, this was a truly emotional read with the many close encounters of torture, assault, rape and a whole lot of violence. I know this turned a lot of people off the book but I believe it helped illustrate the harshness of Claire’s situation. However, it did get to a point where it was a tad too much and its prevalence became repetitive.

 

 

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The Fall of Five by Pittacus Lore // Book Reviews

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I’ve got a full spoiler free review for The Fall of Five, the fourth installment of the Lorien Legacies series. BUT, you will get spoiled for the previous novels in this series. I am SO glad I’m past the halfway mark now. I think I’m liking the majority of the direction of the series at this point so I’m excited about what’s to come.

15861491The Fall of Five by Pittacus Lore

Series: Lorien Legacies (#4)
Genre: Science fiction
Publication: August 27th 2013 by HarperTeen
Pages: 355
Source: Borrowed
4 stars

The Garde are finally reunited, but do they have what it takes to win the war against the Mogadorians?

John Smith—Number Four—thought that things would change once the Garde found each other. They would stop running. They would fight the Mogadorians. And they would win.

But he was wrong. After facing off with the Mogadorian ruler and almost being annihilated, the Garde know they are drastically unprepared and hopelessly outgunned. Now they’re hiding out in Nine’s Chicago penthouse, trying to figure out their next move.

The six of them are powerful, but they’re not strong enough yet to take on an entire army—even with the return of an old ally. To defeat their enemy, the Garde must master their Legacies and learn to work together as a team. More importantly, they’ll have to discover the truth about the Elders and their plan for the Loric survivors.

And when the Garde receive a sign from Number Five—a crop circle in the shape of a Loric symbol—they know they are so close to being reunited. But could it be a trap? Time is running out, and the only thing they know for certain is that they have to get to Five before it’s too late.

The Garde may have lost battles, but they will not lose this war.

Lorien will rise again.


REVIEW

I found that this book had a much stronger start than the last 2 books. I think it helped that the characters were more established than introduced, which made the voices more distinct despite the huge amount of point of views. Like the previous books, not many significant things happen overall, but the dialogue and scenes were constructed much more clear and consistent. In a way, the action is static as it doesn’t necessarily drive the plot forward. There are plenty of turns in the story; some I found predictable and others were impressive.

There was less stupidity (or at least less obvious stupidity) which is refreshing. YAY for growth and development among characters. I’m super impressed with the improvement of the writing in this novel and the drama isn’t melodramatic.

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Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas // Book Reviews

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I think this is the longest review I’ve written and it is full of spoilers. Initially I was going to have a half spoiler-free review but there is too much to discuss and it’s very difficult without going into the story. Basically, if you haven’t read ANY prior books in this series, bye, turn around and read the first book because you will get spoiled for Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight. There is a tiny spoiler-free section under “general thoughts” but if you haven’t read this book, do NOT click “read more” i.e. quotes and below = spoilers. So many disclaimers for this series but now, let’s begin!

(I have a Goodreads version of this review that hides all the major spoilers HERE)

20613470Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

Series: Throne of Glass (#3)
Genre: Fantasy
Publication: September 2nd 2014 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Pages: 565
Source: Borrowed
4 stars

Celaena has survived deadly contests and shattering heartbreak―but at an unspeakable cost. Now, she must travel to a new land to confront her darkest truth . . . a truth about her heritage that could change her life―and her future―forever. Meanwhile, brutal and monstrous forces are gathering on the horizon, intent on enslaving her world. Will Celaena find the strength to not only fight her inner demons, but to take on the evil that is about to be unleashed?

The bestselling series that has captured readers all over the world reaches new heights in this sequel to the New York Times best-selling Crown of Midnight. Packed with heart-pounding action, fierce new characters, and swoon-worthy romance, this third book will enthrall readers from start to finish.


GENERAL THOUGHTS

There are a LOT of different subplots in this book and it’s a really emotional read, especially in terms of experiencing Celaena’s journey and her hardships. She’s only 17 and she has gone through heaps. We got to learn about the different types of fae and their history which was really interesting, and also the different clans of witches which was alright. A lot of the book consists of Celaena dealing with her grief, developing her powers and fae heritage. Also it was amazing to see how seemingly insignificant things in previous novels were explained and contributed to the story. It’s mind-blowing. This one especially killed me.

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Magic Study by Maria V. Snyder // Book Reviews

Helloooo

I’ve got a book review today on Magic Study. Am I the only person basically at the start of this series? Firstly, if you haven’t read Poison Study (the first book of this series), you need to read it. It’s one of my all time favourite books because it’s amazing! SO. GOOD. It’s also one of those young adult borderline adult books and it does go darker as you get more into it and ahhhh so so good. Getting off track… today I’m going to talk about the sequel and you will get spoiled for the FIRST book because this one starts near-ish in time after the events of the first novel. There is a going to be a spoilery section which I will clearly warn the start and end where I will talk about what I thought of the major revelations of this book. Also it’s at the end so you can keep reading the non-spoiler part until I flash signals (in words).

Magic Study by Maria V. Snyder

Series: Study (#2)
Genre: Fantasy
Publication: October 1st 2006 by Luna Books
Pages: 392
Source: Borrowed
4 stars

YOU KNOW YOUR LIFE IS BAD WHEN YOU MISS YOUR DAYS AS A POISON TASTER…

With her greatest enemy dead, and on her way to be reunited with the family she’d been stolen from long ago, Yelena should be pleased. But though she has gained her freedom, she can’t help feeling isolated in Sitia. Her Ixian background has changed her in many ways—and her newfound friends and relatives don’t think it’s for the better….

Despite the turmoil, she’s eager to start her magic training—especially as she’s been given one year to harness her power or be put to death. But her plans take a radical turn when she becomes involved with a plot to reclaim Ixia’s throne for a lost prince—and gets entangled in powerful rivalries with her fellow magicians.

If that wasn’t bad enough, it appears her brother would love to see her dead. Luckily, Yelena has some old friends to help her with all her new enemies….


GENERAL THOUGHTS

I really enjoyed reading this book and whole experience getting back into this series. We saw some cameos from the first book *excessive squealing*, although they didn’t appear until about halfway. I was actually quite surprised they came in that late. However, this gave time for us to get to know the new characters; Yelena’s family and the magicians. I think it was really cool that readers were able to discover this other side of the Ixia with Yelena and (kind of) experience her journey through this new land and her magic abilities – also because it was in first person point of view. Just look at the synopsis – that’s what I wanted in terms of the basic plot points for the sequel. Keyword: ENEMIES.

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