16 August 2016

Mini Review: The Flame Never Dies

Wells of Souls: The Flame Never Dies | Rachel Vincent
Published by: Mira InkAugust 16th 2016
Genre: YA, Urban Fantasy, Demons
Pages: 368
Format: Ebook
Source: Purchased (before release at YALC, heck yes!)

ONE SPARK WILL RISE

Nina Kane was born to be an exorcist. And since uncovering the horrifying truth―that the war against demons is far from over―seventeen-year-old Nina and her pregnant sister, Mellie, have been on the run, incinerating the remains of the demon horde as they go.

In the badlands, Nina, Mellie, and Finn, the fugitive and rogue exorcist who saved her life, find allies in a group of freedom fighters. They also face a new threat: Pandemonia, a city full of demons. But this fresh new hell is the least of Nina’s worries. The well of souls ran dry more than a century ago, drained by the demons secretly living among humans, and without a donor soul, Mellie’s child will die within hours of its birth.

Nina isn’t about to let that happen . . . even if it means she has to make the ultimate sacrifice.
Everything I've come to expect from a Rachel Vincent book - emotional, angsty and romantic, and dangerous. I just didn't enjoy it as much as The Stars Never Rise.

Characters 
Setting/world 
Writing 

14 August 2016

ARC Review: This Savage Song

Monsters of Verity: This Savage Song | Victoria Schwab
Published by: Greenwillow, July 5th 2016
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Demons/Monsters
Pages: 464
Format: Ebook
Source: Greenwillow, via Edelweiss

There’s no such thing as safe in a city at war, a city overrun with monsters. In this dark urban fantasy from author Victoria Schwaba young woman and a young man must choose whether to become heroes or villains—and friends or enemies—with the future of their home at stake. The first of two books.

Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives.
I have a lot of thoughts and feelings, but I'll try to say them in an orderly fashion.

- I either want to BE Kate or be WITH her. I love her so, so, so much.

- August is precious, but with the addition of being shivery-scary. I've never read a character like him before and I want to keep him.

- I REALLY like the world. I don't usually like post-America fantasy worlds, in fact they really grate on me, but this was done well - not overdone, mostly detached from the present. Thought I don't typically enjoy fantasy-as-future, I did really like the split city of Verity.

- One of my favourite things was the different types of monsters, and how different they are from each other, and how they have their own brutality and way of being.

- It's a magical, dark, glittering story with an atmosphere I fell in love with. It's rich and dense and full of secrets I'm dying to know. I just love the world and story so much.

- Schwab has firmly put herself in my top 5 authors - I know now I'll love everything she writes.


- If you've yet to read This Savage Song, get yourself a copy - you'll fall in love with its shadows, its dangerous friendships, its monsters - most human - and its bright world of dark crime. 

Characters 
Setting/world 
Writing 

4 August 2016

Monthly Round Up (7)

Monthly round up is a journal where I record my reading progress, reviews, and my favourite books/biggest disappointments of the month.

Yeah, I'm super late with this update but in my defense, LONDON and LFCC and YALC HAPPENED.

Reviews:

City of Fae, City of Shadows
One Wilde Night, Dead Town Angel
Descended From Dragons
Stolen Empire
Maggie For Hire
Darkness Brutal

ALSO:

Guest Post: Calista Lynne
Cover Reveal: Lost Girls

What I've read this month:
Still loving fantasy and urban fantasy this month! Next month I need to shift towards post apoc for Lux Guardians research but we'll see. I'm loving this too much to quit, I think.

Favourite book:


Sexy and dark and dangerous and wholly new. Loved it!

Biggest Disappointment:

None! Huzzah!

What did you read this month? Leave a comment!
~Saruuh

3 August 2016

ARC Review: Ruined

Ruined: Ruined | Amy Tintera
Published by: HarperTeenMay 3rd 2016
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Royals, Magic
Pages: 368
Format: Ebook
Source: HarperTeen, via Edelweiss

A revenge that will consume her. A love that will ruin her.

Emelina Flores has nothing. Her home in Ruina has been ravaged by war. She lacks the powers of her fellow Ruined. Worst of all, she witnessed her parents’ brutal murders and watched helplessly as her sister, Olivia, was kidnapped.

But because Em has nothing, she has nothing to lose. Driven by a blind desire for revenge, Em sets off on a dangerous journey to the enemy kingdom of Lera. Somewhere within Lera’s borders, Em hopes to find Olivia. But in order to find her, Em must infiltrate the royal family.

In a brilliant, elaborate plan of deception and murder, Em marries Prince Casimir, next in line to take Lera’s throne. If anyone in Lera discovers Em is not Casimir’s true betrothed, Em will be executed on the spot. But it’s the only way to salvage Em’s kingdom and what is left of her family.

Em is determined to succeed, but the closer she gets to the prince, the more she questions her mission. Em’s rage-filled heart begins to soften. But with her life—and her family—on the line, love could be Em’s deadliest mistake.
Loved everything about this! I didn't expect to like the romance, but it was perfect. It didn't take over the plot at all and only added to the tension. I love Em and Cas together, but their secrets almost killed me.

The spy/infiltration plot in fantasy is one of my FAVOURITES. I don't care if it's overdone or nothing new; I'll love it every single time. I think Em did a surprisingly good job pretending to be Mary, though that was doomed from the start with them being so different. Even when a close friend of hers was killed, she still kept her cover, which was super admirable.

This book has tense court drama and urgent danger, especially in the Ruined being hunted and killed, and I loved how different stories were woven together. I also liked how Em's motivation the whole way through was to save her sister (who, quite frankly, is terrifying and probably should have stayed locked up...)

Great world and characters (with a bonus gay side character) and all the good fantasy elements I wanted. I thought it would be watery fantasy with mostly romance, but it was tense and raw and brutal. I loved it!

Characters 
Setting/world 
Writing 

23 July 2016

Review: Darkness Brutal


The Dark Cycle: Darkness Brutal | Rachel A. Marks
Published by: SkyscapeJuly 1st 2015
Genre: YA, Urban Fantasy, Demons
Pages: 425
Format: Ebook
Source: Skyscape, via Netgalley

Aidan O’Linn’s childhood ended the night he saw a demon kill his mother and mark his sister, Ava, with Darkness. Since then, every three years the demons have returned to try to claim her. Living in the gritty, forgotten corners of Los Angeles, Aidan has managed to protect his sister, but he knows that even his powers to fight demons and speak dead languages won’t keep her safe for much longer.

In desperation, Aidan seeks out the help of Sid, the enigmatic leader of a group of teens who run LA Paranormal, an Internet reality show that fights demons and ghosts. In their company, Aidan believes he’s finally found a haven for Ava. But when he meets Kara, a broken girl who can spin a hypnotic web of passionate energy, he awakens powers he didn’t know he had―and unleashes a new era of war between the forces of Light and the forces of Darkness.

With the fate of humanity in his hands, can Aidan keep the Darkness at bay and accept his brilliant, terrifying destiny?
I really enjoyed Darkness Brutal. Here's what I thought:

- Interesting cast of characters, though I did confuse Lester and Jax a few times.

- I thought I'd like Rebecca the most, but I actually adore Kara. She's flawed and brave and has a tortured past, which is my type. Plus I really connect with her. 

- I loved the sibling relationship, and how they were both determined to protect each other.

- A really interesting, unique plot, with dream flashbacks and a time travel element I didn't see coming. It shouldn't have worked at all, but with it tied into the main character and their dad, it really did. I loved it!

- Bible-based religion-inspired fantasy that didn't put me off the book. It wasn't preachy or OTT, it didn't overwhelm the main story or the characters, and I was surprised by how much I enjoyed those parts of the book. It made Darkness Brutal stand out and memorable.

- I'd recommend it to anyone looking for a fresh take on demons and YA urban fantasy.

Characters 
Setting/world 
Writing