A Darker Shade of Magic Book Review (Spoiler Free)

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“I’d rather die on an adventure than live standing still.” 

Author: V.E Schwab (Victoria Schwab)

Publication: February 24th 2015 by Tor Books

Pages: 400

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Rating: 5/5

Alright FAM, I did it! After prolonging this for ages, I finally read A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E Schwab and OMG this is a masterpiece. A STUNNING MASTERPIECE. Although I would say that it takes a few pages (60-70 pages) for the plot to thicken but OMG once it does, you are in for a fantasy thrill ride since the pacing just keeps you on the edge of your seat! Even when I reached the half point of the novel I knew this would become one of my favorite books of all time and yes, it has! As of now, I still have yet to read the other books in the series but so far, this is a phenomenal start. I am so happy I picked this one up!

Summary:

Within the A Darker Shade of Magic, there exists parallel Londons identified as Red, Grey, White, and Black and each world/society is very different from one another. Red London is the world which thrives with magic, White London suffers due people’s urge to control magic and Grey London is the world where magic does not exist. The fourth parallel universe is called Black London and this world used to exist long ago but it has been closed off from the rest of the Londons.

Kell is from Red London and he is an Antari or beings who have the rare ability to jump between the different worlds. His role is to serve the Maresh Empire as an ambassador to deliver messages between the leaders of the different worlds. Kell also tends to smuggle tokens from one world to another until one day he smuggles something which he is not supposed to and this sparks a magical but also dark adventure across the different worlds.

Characters:

Kell – Reserved, Understanding; Protective; Sassy, A sweet darling OMG – it is impossible not to like him; Kell was such an interesting character to read about. You could almost feel the loneliness he goes through each day but even though he carries this burden, he is very protective and shows his empathy and care for those around him.

Lila – Brave, Ambitious, Cunning; Lila was an absolute pleasure to read about. She is so fierce and adventurous and always tends to get into dangerous and crazy situations but she is smart enough to know when to run and when to fight back.

Prince Rhy – Overconfident, Charming, Adorable lol; We do not see a lot of his character in this book but I hope to see more of him in the future since although he is a Prince and tends to be spoiled at times, he has a lot of empathy as well and you can’t help but love him.

Holland – A very complex character with layers and I found myself on the border at times. There were moments where I would pity him and other moments where I would have nothing but anger towards him but he is a very interesting character and I did like reading about his role in this book.

Final Thoughts: 

Overall, there are so many things to love about this novel: Those nail-biting action sequences, the witty banter between the characters (seriously though, the moments with Kell and Lila – I couldn’t help but laugh out loud), the mystery and intrigue of the parallel worlds, the unpredictable and dark magic system, the list is endless.

The writing is also so well done! It had the perfect blend of details to paint the image of the various Londons but also simplistic to keep the plot fast paced. Victoria also adds a lot of heart and raw emotion to the book which is why she does exceptionally well at storytelling. The world-building is spectacular. When sculpting a world within fantasy novels, one of hardest things to do is to make your world/society believable but Victoria does this effortlessly. Everything is explained so well that there is no confusion at all.

All the characters have multiple layers to their personality and some of them tend to be not fully good or bad – they would sometimes operate in the grey area but you still can’t help but cheer for them. I think this is partially why the characters are so well loved in this series, they have their strengths but also some flaws as well but that it what makes them human and relatable to readers.

In all honestly, this book definitely lives up to the hype. I strongly recommend it!

Also, if you all are up for a bit of fun, check out Buzzfeed’s Quiz:

Which London Do You Belong To? 

YAYY MEEE ❤

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Until next time, keep reading and I will see you all again with another bookish post!

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Children of Blood and Bone Book Review (Spoiler Free)

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“No matter how much I crave peace, the gods have other plans.” 

Author: Tomi Adeyemi

Published: March 6th 2018 by Henry Holt Books

Pages – 525

GoodReads

Rating – 5/5

OH 

MY

GAWD

If you have not read this book . . . please do. IT IS PHENOMENAL!

Children of Blood and Bone had serious hype before the release date and one of the reasons why was it already received a movie deal! I am so excited on how it will play out in the big screen! Everything about the book is so special – the characters, the plot, the world, the magic system, the deeper message and themes – and I can safely say that this book is probably the best read of 2018 so far and it has also been added to my top books of all time!

Summary: 

A long time ago, the land of Orïsha was filled with magic but ever since the Raid where countless Magi were targeted and killed, magic was never seen again. Zélie Adebola is a divîner – a maji whose abilities lie dormant – and she harbors a hatred for King Saran and the Noble class who brought her family and her people to a state of destitution. When Zélie suddenly has the opportunity to bring magic back and the downfall of the monarchy, she is determined to embark on the perilous journey. Accompanied by her brother and a rogue princess, Zélie must outrun an adamant prince who wants to destroy magic once and for all.

Characters: 

Zélie – A fierce warrior who had my attention from the start! Although she is seen to be character who jumps into trouble with her fiery personality, Zélie holds a lot of love for her family and would do anything to keep them safe. As bold as she is, her limits are tested and she faces numerous challenges throughout the book which kept me at the edge of my seat but also broke my heart at some moments as well.

Amari – I LOVE AMARI; OMG she is probably my favorite character since I was able to relate to her so easily. Despite starting off as a scared princess, her character grows throughout the novel and eventually becomes a strong leader/warrior while still maintaining her values and morals and I LOVED THAT!

fistjlawTzain – Ok, another one of my favorite characters! Tzain is basically BF goals OMG! He is strong, courageous and caring to those he loves and you cannot help but love his character. I can’t wait to see more of his character in the next book.

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Inan – “Broken little prince” Inan is a complex character and I love how Tomi added multiple layers to his personality. This is what made him so interesting to read about since we are provided his constant internal struggles such as trying to live up to the expectations of his father.

Final Thoughts: 

The plot of this novel is very dark and intense but that makes the journey so gripping and powerful and it forces the reader to think of how the world parallels our own with the themes of racial violence and oppression. The writing style is amazing! Everything from the descriptions of the world, the history details and epic action sequences was brilliantly executed! It was very fast paced to the point I had difficulty placing the book down. I am so mesmerized by this world and I cannot wait to learn more about it in the upcoming sequel.

Another aspect of the book which I enjoyed was the strength and growth of the female friendship which we do not tend to see a lot in YA novels. Zélie and Amari do have a rough start due to the clash between classes but then they grow to understand and respect each other. I loved watching the relationship grow and it was refreshing to see this in the YA genre. The romance was a slow burn and did take a back seat to all the politics/action and I also loved that since it did not slow down the pace of the novel.

Overall, with so many unexpected twists and turns, Children of Blood and Bone is a fantasy which you will not be able to put down. It definitely lived up to the hype and I am so happy that we as readers were given something so diverse and special to read about.

Thank you Tomi! ❤

Have any of you read Children of Blood and Bone?  What are your thoughts on it?

Until next time, keep reading and I will see you all soon with another bookish post!

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Renegades by Marissa Meyer Book Review (Spoiler Free)

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“One cannot be brave who has no fear.” 

Author: Marissa Meyer

Published: November 7th 2017 by Feiwel & Friends

Pages – 556

GoodReads

Rating – 4/5

Summary

The Renegades are a subdivision of prodigies who are humans with extraordinary abilities/powers that rose during the destruction/ruins of society in order to establish peace and justice. At present day, they are viewed as saviors and champions of the world except to the Anarchists, the villains they overthrew.

Renegades follows the perspective of two prodigies, Nova – an anarchists who is determined to bring the downfall of the Renegades – and Adrian – a renegade who believes in order and justice.

Characters

  1. Nova – Fierce; Resourceful; Alias Nightmare; I love the twist Marissa Meyer added to the plot to have the female lead be part of the Anarchist group. You generally do not see this within a lot of YA novels but is was refreshing to read from her perspective. As a reader, you do understand the reasons as to why she feels the way she does.
  2. Adrian – Selfless; Brave; Alias Sketch; Adrian’s character resembled a typical superhero but for his age he is very eager to prove himself and that he deserves to be a renegade who can take on complex missions. His team members (Ruby and Oscar) were also very fun to read about 🙂

Final Thoughts:

One of the main reasons I love Marissa Meyer’s work is because although she writes novels which are within the fun sci-fi/fantasy genres, you can always pick out the stronger message/subtext that she is trying to deliver and she does so within this novel as well.

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To begin with, there are a lot of characters within this novel so it helps that there is a character page in the beginning which breaks down the members of the two groups with their powers. You would have to remember both the real names as well as the hero/villain names but it gets easier as you continue reading. Regarding content, the first few chapters really do grab your attention as a reader since it is very intense and action packed but I will say that the plot did not thicken until 200+ pages into the book so I do think a lot of the novel could have been condensed since it is about 556 pages in total.

The world of the prodigies are split between the Renegades and Anarchist which is basically good vs. evil but everything is not as simple as it seems. I love how Marissa Meyer dives deeper within the two groups and adds layers to the branches of society. Not everyone who is a renegade are considered “good.” And there are times when you see some Anarchists operating within a gray line.

As you continue reading, a lot of secrets are dispersed throughout the novel which does help with engaging the reader. I also enjoyed reading about the various types of powers the prodigies had which included elemental manipulation, super strength, invisibility explosive generation etc. The romance was definitely a slow burn (which is the type I prefer in novels) and their relationship is still developing but the focus was more between the building tension between the renegades and the anarchists. Overall, I will definitely recommend this novel if you are a fan of Marvel/DC comics and movies or if you love a fun dystopian/superpower novel.

AND OMG! THAT ENDING THOUGH!

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How about you guys? Have you read Renegades? What did you all think of it?

Until next time, keep reading and I will greet you all with another bookish post!

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Prisoner of Night and Fog Book Review (Spoiler Free)

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“If you think love means secrecy, then you don’t understand what love is at all.” 

Author: Anne Blankman

Publication: April 22nd 2014 by Balzer + Bray

Genre: Thriller/Historical Fiction

Pages: 401

GoodReads

Rating: 5/5

I often don’t pick up historical fiction novels since I am more interested in high fantasy and science fiction genres. However, I wanted to try something new so I picked up Prisoner of Night and Fog since I heard so many great reviews about it and I wanted to read it for myself. And I have to say, this is book is phenomenal!

Summary: 

Gretchen Müller is a German girl living in Munich during the 1930s under the the National Socialist Party and her “uncle” Dolf, or otherwise known as Adolf Hitler. Ever since her father had died protecting him, she and her family have always been revered and guarded within the party. However, everything changes once she meets a Jewish reporter, Daniel Cohen, who claims to have evidence supporting that her father’s death was in fact murder. Despite whatever she had been taught about the Jews, she can’t help but be intrigued by him and his story and finds herself growing closer to him. Together, they work to reveal the secrets within Hitler’s inner circle and by doing so discover her father’s killer.

Characters

Gretchen Müller – Naive, Kind, Goal-Oriented; Gretchen growth within this novel is commendable. I love the fact that she is goal oriented and values her education and her ambition of becoming a doctor. You also see her slowly becoming braver and stronger as the novel progresses and you can’t help but cheer for her.

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Daniel Cohen – Brave, Adventurous, Smart; Daniel does at first clash with Gretchen since they both technically are on opposing sides. However, he does see that she is different from the other Party members and grows more and more surprised by her actions. Their relationship slowly progresses from adversaries to friendship and eventually a sweet yet forbidden romance.

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Final Thoughts:

When I first started reading this novel, I found the beginning to be quite mysterious yet intriguing and at some times a bit slow; however, the author does this for a reason. You see her slowly placing pieces together bit by bit which lead up to some terrifying events enough to make your skin crawl.

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Although a general summary of this novel may lead one to believe this is a romance novel, please do not that fool you. It is actually a fantastic thriller and mystery book with a sprinkle of romance which takes a back seat to the action and I loved that aspect of the book. The main mystery surrounding Gretchen’s father was what kept me so intrigued and the character development is absolutely stunning.

By the end of the book, Gretchen is not the same person we meet in the beginning. And the transformation happens in a gradual pace which makes this more realistic. Because of this, she has become one of my favorite female leads of all time. Our male lead, Daniel, also deserves some praise since he was an absolute pleasure to read about. He is portrayed as smart, courageous, and adventurous and you can’t help but fall in love with his personality.

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Overall, if you are looking for some historical fiction novels I highly recommend you pick this one up! And if you happen to read it, definitely look into the author’s note in the end. You can tell that she placed a tremendous amount of time and effort researching Hitler’s inner circle and learning every small detail which is probably why this book feels so real.

I hope you all will give this book a chance! It will make you tear up, it will make you smile, it will make your heart race and it will most certainly make you absolutely terrified!

Until next time, keep reading and I will be back with another bookish post!

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