Hey everyone, today I will be reviewing Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian! I absolutely adored this book so I hope you check it out!
Release date: April 24, 2018
Hardcover page count: 448
My rating: 5/5 stars
*I read this as an arc so some things might have been changed (hopefully not) between when I read it and when it came out*
Ever since her mother and country were taken before her at the age of six, Theodosia has lived as a captive in her own palace. Only kept alive to keep her people under control and nicknamed the Ash Princess after her murdered mother, the Fire Queen, she suffers from constant abuse and never-ending ridicule of the Kaiser and his court. But just when she thinks her grueling life could not get any worse, Theodosia is forced to by the king to destroy her last chance at returning to the crown. But Theodosia is not as alone as she thinks, making her realize that she still has one last person that she could rely on to help set her free: herself.
This book is definitely one of those that go above and beyond what is described in the summary. So many issues were touched upon in this book and so many aspects of my ideal book were featured in it, that I would not hesitate for a second to call this book my new all-time favorite book. For one, the author was able to cover issues that are often not easily talked about in YA fantasy. These are issues like sexual harassment and racism are often hard to discuss in YA because they so big and are often skimmed over or just written in a bad way. But by creating a peaceful nation of people quickly enslaved by a greedy king and his people, the author was able to discuss these topics successfully. Not only that, but she was able to integrate them into her plot in a beautiful and interesting way, not at all just thrown in for fun. This integration of these topics just made the book feel that much more real as these are topics often talked about today, connecting things that readers see in the news to this fantasy world.
The next aspect of the book that I really enjoyed was the plot itself. Far from the traditional story of a girl in need of help who just happens to discover super-powerful magic that was just buried deep inside of her (like what the summary might imply), the author was able to utilize another power for the main character to yield: her mind. Though this might seem obvious for a character to use, in YA fantasy it is more common to see girls using hidden magic as their weapon, something the main character actually flat out refuses to use because of her religion. I loved that the author wrote the main character this way because it made her both more relatable and also enhanced the plot. Because of her ‘power’, instead of going through magical battle scenes, readers instead read through brilliantly thought out plots, tricks, and conversations where the main character’s words and ability to act are her weapons. These types of scenes were common throughout the book, leaving the reader desperate to read more and creating sleepless nights of late night reading.
Another aspect of the plot that I really enjoyed was the way the author was able to steer clear of YA book tropes. At several points of this book, I thought that the author was about to fall into a trope and end up ruining the book. But boy was I wrong. Every time that she was getting close to something that would be considered a book trope, the author was able to beautifully move away from it, making the book unique and that much more interesting because it was harder to predict.
Lastly, I really enjoyed the characters in this book. Each one was able to follow their own path and each lead to their own unique plot points. I can’t say much without spoiling it, but this book was definitely one that you could not predict, a great trait for a book to have. No two characters seemed like the same and each had their own beautifully constructed story line.
I would recommend this book for YA fantasy lovers looking for a new take on the genre. Ash Princess was able to combine so many factors that makes a great book, and put it all into one. If you are interested in seeing modern day issues such as sexual harassment play out in a fantasy novel and actually done realistically to bring attention to the issue, this book is for you. I would recommend this book for readers 13 and up because of some of the issues that are discussed.
I hope that you enjoyed this review! It has been such a long time since I was able to find a book that truly had not a single thing wrong with it and I am happy that this one was the book to break that streak. Let me know if you check it out! Also, if there are any books that you would like me to review, let me know in the comments!
See you next time!
Today is my stop on the blog tour for The Progeny by Tosca Lee. This book is an awesome and quick-paced triller that will leave you obsessed and wishing for more. And don't forget to check out the giveaway for a Progeny swag pack!
Hello everyone! Today is my stop of the blog tour for The Clock Flower, the third book in the F.I.G Mysteries series by Barbra Casey. If you have not read the previous two books, worry not because the Clock Flower can be read as a standalone! Now, onto tour.
Hello everyone! Today I will be reviewing my first nonfiction book, Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer! I hope that you enjoy this review!
Release date: February 1, 1997
Paperback page count: 215
My rating: 4/5
In April of 1994, a young man by the name of Chris McCandless walked into the alaskan wilderness. From a well set family and right before an almost guaranteed admission into law school, this seemed to baffle many. Four months later, his decomposed body is found in an abandoned bus by a stray moose hunter, his cause of death being a mystery.
Throughout this book, author Jon Krakauer dives into to life of Chris McCandless and what made him, him. I loved his attention to detail as he tried his best to complete the story as much as he could, finding tidbits of information from his family members, from the people he met throughout his journey, and through the things he wrote on diaries and postcards. This sense of hyper-completeness felt through and genuine as the author went deep into his research without making the book feel simply like that: research.
Another great aspect of this book was the character himself: Chris McCandless. As this book started out simply as an article in Outside Magazine and grew to be so widely acclaimed that the author had to write a whole book for it; people were of course in love the with character of Chirs McCandless. Reckless yet full of philosophical ideas that are often uncommon in a man of his age (in his twenties) he has inspired countless debates. It is strange to talk about him simply as a 'character' as he was a real man, but at the same time his traits have been seen throughout many people in history as 'characters' often do. Krakauer even includes stories of these other people as he draws parallels between himself and Chris and shows us that he is a character that we could all identify with.
If you are interested in reading a nonfiction adventure novel full of beautiful descriptions of the wonders of the U.S paired with the tragic tale of a man who died too young, this is the book for you. You will not want to put down this book and you struggle to figure out just what happened to Chris and why, as you delve deep into his mind and reasoning. A book that has inspired many, maybe you will be able to find a piece of yourself inside the character of Chris McCandless.
I hope that you enjoyed this review! I certainly enjoyed writing it as it was my first nonfiction review ever! Please let me know if you enjoyed this new type of review and as always, let me know in the comments if there are any books that you would like me to review. I have something special coming in the next few posts so stay posted!
Until next time!
Hello everyone, today I will be sharing my stop for the blog tour for The Wish Granter, the sequel to The Cadence of Gypsies! I hope you enjoy, and don't forget to check out the giveaway!
Hello everyone, today I will be taking part in a blog tour for The Cadence of Gypsies, a trilogy featuring said book, The Wish Rider, and The Clock Flower by Barbra Casey. stay tuned the rest of this month for reviews of the rests of the books in this trilogy! Now without further ado, here is my stop on this blog tour! I hope you enjoy!
Hello everyone! Today I will be reviewing The Traitor's Game by Jennifer A. Nielsen, the author of one of my favorite children's series, the False Prince. I hope that you enjoy this review! Also, look how gorgeous that cover is!
Release date: February 27, 2018
Hardcover page count: 400
My rating: 5/5 stars
In the newest fantasy novel by Jennifer Nielsen, Kestra Dallisor has been in exile for three years from the kingdom where her father serves as the king’s second in command. But as she is on the journey to come home, she is stopped by a band of rebels who blackmail her into finding the Olden Blade, the one thing that could kill the seemingly immortal king that could change the kingdom forever. As she goes on this mission filled with ulterior motives and mysterious secrets, Kestra now must decide if the regime she once protected is really worth it, and if she could do what it takes to save her kingdom.
I really enjoyed this book. Filled with magic and waring families, the author was able to build up a wonderful world for the reader to be immersed in. For one thing, this book had some of the best character development I have ever read. Starting from strict loyalist to becoming an amazing heroine, the character of Kestra changed so much as the book went on, making her feel real and fleshed out. The side characters as well were like this as the author did not miss a single chance to make each character shine.
Another aspect of this book that was pretty enjoyable was the world itself. Filled with just the right amount of magic, it never felt like it was too crazy, but it also had tones of penitential. I could easily see myself reading more of this series because it is just so immersive and makes you constantly want to further explore the world.
I would definitely recommend this book for anyone who loves royal intrigue mixed with magic. Despite the novel sometimes doing things that seem stereotypical at the start, the author keeps you hooked with secrets and plot twists that you will never see coming.
I hope that you enjoyed this review! I love the The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen and when I heard that she was releasing another book, I freaked out! Though The False Prince is middle grade, I would definitely recommend the plot-twist filled book to everyone. As always, let me know in the comments it there are any books that you would like me to review!
Until next time,
Original Review posted here: http://teenreaderscouncil.blogspot.com/2018/02/review-traitors-game.html
Hey everyone! Today I am hosting a book spotlight and giveaway for the last post of the blog tour for Tribal Affairs by Matt Dallmann! This book is his debut so I am happy to be able to support him! Check out the giveaway at the end of the spotlight for a chance to win a paperback of the book or a $20 Amazon gift card! And of course, don't forget to pick up a copy of Tribal Affairs!
Hello everyone, today I will be reviewing The Thousandth Floor by Katherine McGee! I hope you enjoy this review!
Release date: August 30, 2016
Hardcover page count: 448
My rating: 4/5 stars
The Thousandth Floor is the breathtaking tale of five teenagers living in the dazzling thousand floor tower of 2118 Manhattan. In this tower of futuristic technology where everything you dream is within reach, everyone has something they want, and everyone has something to lose. Take Leda Cole for example, the high floor girl whose flawless exterior hides a deadly addiction, or Eris Dodd-Radson, a beautiful it-girl whose life is ripped apart when a betrayal rips her family apart. And what about Rylin Myers whose new job as a high-floor maid fills her life with a romance that she never imagined, or Watt Bakradi, the tech genius whose simple task to spy for an upper floor girl turns out to be anything but. Above all sits Avery Fuller on the thousandth floor, a girl designed to be perfect and to have it all… except the one thing she can’t have.
Though some might say that the opening of this was slow, it definitely did not feel like that the whole way through. McGee’s writing felt electric as she took the plot into newer places with each chapter. I loved this about her writing because you never know what would happen next. Another thing that McGee did was overlap her individual character’s storylines. While this sort of thing doesn’t always work out, McGee found a way to work it out perfectly. An example of this is when one character goes to VR laser tag and at the same time meets another character. This might seem like something that happens frequently in books but in reality, the author is putting in two different character perspectives from different chapters. And as she does this, she is creating more room for surprises and plot twists as characters who might seem unconnected actually are, forming a web of interactions throughout the book. This leads me to another aspect of the book, the characters.
Though each character seemed to be steamed from a particular stereotype, each grew over the course of the book. Eris, for example, who started out as just your basic rich girl without a care in the world actually transforms into a character who some might sympatize with during her fall from grace. Though McGee did seem to be not the best at creating deep side characters in this first book, I can tell that these side characters will turn out to be better developed in the second or third books.
Lastly, I really enjoyed the setting of this book. The idea of all of Manhattan in one giant glittering tower is one that really intrigued me and made me want to keep reading. I was constantly wondering how people lived in the monstrosity of a giant tower like that so I was constantly interested in every mention the author made of it. I loved the technologies the author filled the tower with, especially all the futuristic restaurants and places to visit inside the tower. This novel was a great example of world building at its finest because McGee did not at all rely on previous ideas such as fairies or superheroes, but instead came out with an original setting for a dystopian novel without a complete government meltdown or radioactive monsters. She also made sure to ground this tower to reality by mentioning things such as the SAT or Model United Nations, something that made me feel like I can relate more to the book.
Overall, I would recommend this book to fans of Gossip Girl or One of Us is Lying because of its intricate web of lives and ulterior motives fueled by hidden secrets that each character has. Though it does have some mentions of drugs and sex, it is nothing overwhelming so readers over the age of fourteen should be able to enjoy this book greatly.
I hope that you enjoyed this review! This book was super fun to read and I am excited to read the next book. All the covers for this series are also super pretty and if you haven't seen them yet, I would definitely recommend checking them out. Please let me know in the comments if there are any books that you would like me to review!
Until next time!
Hey everyone, today I will be reviewing Honor Among Thieves by Ann Aguirre and Rachel Caine! I hope that you enjoy this review!
Release date: February 13th 2018
Hardcover page count: 309
My rating: 4/5
Honor Among Thieves is the story of Zara, a teenage girl with a nack of stealing who only barely scrapes by in the sorrowful city of New Detroit. But when her newest mark turns out to be someone much more powerful that she believed originally, Zara is forced to run from a dangerous businessman whose only plan for Zara is years is jail -or her life. But just when she thinks her time is up, she is chosen to become an Honor, one of the hundred people chosen to travel with giant sentient spaceship-aliens called the Leviathan for a year long journey around the universe. Embracing her new life, she accepts reluctantly and joins the journey that finally makes her feel at home for once in her life. But not everything is as it seems it the simmering starlight because no matter where she will travel, danger lingers in the darkness.
If you love immersive sci-fi worlds, this book is one that will gobble you up and leave you begging for more. I say this because this book was host to one of the best sci-fi worlds that I have ever read. With every new detail that the authors gave, I almost felt like writing it down so I could learn as much as possible about this world. The authors were able to paint such a detailed picture of the world that everything felt real. Every detail that they threw in felt so well thought out, I was constantly left wondering how they came up with it. This book is by far one of the books that I would most like to see turned into a movie so I could be able to see how everything would look.
It was because of this awesome setting that the plot was able to truly flourish. Starting out as a simple tale of a quirky thief, joined with the setting it was able to reach new depths as feature new twists and turns that it might not have previously been able to reach. I love it when books are like this, turning simple ideas into masterpieces. The authors were able to do this brilliantly, leaving me constantly on edge for the next plot development. Though the plot did at times seem a bit bland, the authors were able to redeem themselves by providing a sense of mystery or suspense about some strange task that the characters are given or an alarming and strange visit from someone. The authors’ writing style was great when it came to situations like this, turning things that seem commonplace into the most suspenseful scenes of the book. And though the plot did sometimes reach weird peaks (like romance with an alien ship) they still found a way to make everything seem new and interesting to even the most well-read reader.
The only thing that I disliked about the book was the characters. For each of them, it felt like the authors pulled random tropes out of a hat and called it a character. Though some can say that at some level all characters are just an extension of a book trope, this book just featured characters that just seemed too artificial. The main character for example was a quirky thief with a tortured relationship with her family who actually has a big heart. And it wasn’t only the main character who was like this, in fact several other characters throughout the book seemed like under developed stereotypes that under hurt the story.
Overall, I would recommend this book for sci-fi lovers looking for a well-developed world that you would yearn to live in and find out more about. Though, if you get easily annoyed by underdeveloped characters, you might occasionally find yourself upset with the book. I would recommend this book for fans of Illuminae for the technology and talking-ship like character. Also, if you are interested in reading book that feature different kinds of like, including that between two girls and an alien ship, you would be very interested in reading this book.
I hope that you enjoyed this review! I really enjoyed reading this book and despite the super cheesy tag line, the book is one that is a true trill ride. If you have any books that you would like me to review, let me know down in the comments or let me know by contacting me through the form on my contact page! Also, I don't think I say this enough but thank you all for reading my reviews!
Until next time!
Welcome to the Book Enigma! We will be reviewing different genres of books from young adult fiction to sci-fi. Enjoy!
Along with reading YA, along with other genres, I also foster kittens, and play the piano and cello!
“A room without books is like a body without a soul.”