Book Reviews

Terraformer by Colleen Houck

Tiger's Curse series – Book SnacksI’ve read the Tiger’s Curse by Colleen Houck and I did enjoy them. The first book was a little difficult to read, but things improved as the series went on. When I saw Terraformer on NetGalley, I thought why not give it a try? (Thank you to NetGalley for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.) 

This one was also rather difficult to start. The first two chapters were about Astra waking up on the ship and then just hanging around waiting for someone else to wake up. I think all of that could have been condensed to just a few paragraphs, but once the others woke up, things started moving. 

I was quite intrigued by the world that Houck built for this book. It shows an earth that has been so devastated by pollution that people can only live in specially controlled environments. The new planet, Gaia, is completely different, though. It is full of foliage and living things. I especially thought it was interesting that Uncle Harm asked the plants’ permission if he could use them for food. I’m not sure that we need to go that far here on earth, but perhaps if we were not so quick to take what we wanted all the time…would it help? 

Anyway, Astra was an interesting character; she was quite intelligent. However, I cannot say that I agreed with her choices in men. Honestly, I didn’t really like either of them. Jax seemed unhealthily infatuated with her and Thane could only think of what was best for the colony. Also, I wish that Astra’s relationship with the trees could have been more fully developed. She went from knowing little, to being super connected to them. There was not a long in between section that helped transition and develop their relationship.  

So I don’t know about this one. I enjoyed the setting and some of the ideas behind this story, but I found that it could have been coloured and shaped differently.    

Have you read any of Houck’s books? What did you think?

Anyway, by for now! Talk to you all soon.

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Book Reviews

Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard

Going into this series, I was a little skeptical. I assumed that it was just like every other YA novel. Yes, it has similarities, but it also had beautiful little nuggets which captured me. If you’re interested, here is my review of Red Queen.

“If I am a sword, I am a sword made of glass, and I feel myself beginning to shatter.”

So Glass Sword…

Again, it had some beautiful pieces. And those plot twists. Wow, some of those really surprised me! A few were foreshadowed by little phrases here and there – some more obvious than others. In a few cases, I thought, “Seriously? Just leave that phrase out.” I actually love it when something happens that wasn’t predictable. (Within reason of course.)

A trope which is present in this series and that kind of bothered me, was the whole friend from childhood who is in love with heroine. This happens all the time (ie. Hunger Games, the Selection, and Immortal Instruments). It can be done well, but to me, it’s just been used too many times in the last ten years.

Image result for the selectionImage result for hunger games bookImage result for immortal instruments

So let’s move on to Mare. In this book, Mare’s character becomes quite dark. It was depressing, but at the same time realistic. Someone doesn’t just go through all of that without being affected. I liked this conflict because heroines are often presented as strong and invincible and good, but it was hard to read. I kept thinking, “No, Mare. Don’t do it.” Still, though, these flaws gave her a color that is not often seen.

“No one is born evil, just like no one is born alone. They become that way, through choice and circumstance.”

The writing was pretty good. It was rather boring, though. It was the facts with a few tiny flourishes here and there. This style did work since the focus was on the story and action. However, I like it when a book is a piece of art, when it is a tapestry of beautiful golden threads.

This was not a really a clean read. Although there are no explicit scenes, the characters do sleep together.30226723

As for book #3… I’m not sure I’ll read it. The ending of this one left me tired of meandering around. Also, the next book is pretty predictable. Mare spends her time with Maeven and sees that there is still a little bit of good in him. I feel like the plot is stuck in a rut and book 3 is going to make it worse. So we’ll see. There are other books on my shelf that I will read first.

“Anyone, anything, can betray anyone. Even your own heart.”

 

Book Reviews

The Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

One of my best friends read this book a few years ago, but for some reason, I didn’t feel the urge to pick it up. I think part of it had to do with the mindset that this story was just like other YA novels and wouldn’t be anything new and exciting. Yes and no… I mean you have the typical romance, the gifted heroine, but there are a few twists that took me off guard and captured my attention.  

“To look powerful is to be powerful.”

First off, I quite liked Mare Barrow, she was strong, independent, and kind. But I think my favorite aspect about her was the fact that she had a family; an actual, functioning family. This is so rarely seen in YA and the change was refreshing. As a girl with five brothers, I closely related to Mare and honestly, I wish there were more YA novels with big families. Now about the two princes… I really, really like*d* Maven. Ehm, we’ll leave it at that. 

“Anyone can betray anyone.”

The writing style was quite good. It didn’t blow me away, but I wasn’t bored either. Although the latter is mostly due to the plot. One thing that kind of bugged me was Mare’s constant inner dialogue. It became rather tiresome after a bit.

The world building was gorgeous. I think it was one of the strengths of this story. The place that Aveyard created was so alive, so colorful, so unique. It was also one of the things that made this book stand out from other dystopian novels. But speaking of which… There were a lot of similarities too and I caught myself thinking, “I’ve read this before.”23174274

Finally, there was some profanity, but there was no sex. Honestly, I was expecting it to happen, but thankfully, it never did. 

I think I will definitely be reading the next book in this series so I can once more be part of this adventure. 

“Rise, red as the dawn.”

Book Reviews

Season of Glory (the Remnants #3) by Lisa T. Bergren

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I’ll be honest: going into this book, I didn’t have super high expectations. It’s the third and last volume in a young adult dystopian series called “the Remnants.” The first book of which, was pretty good; however, the second was not my favorite. I found that it was in need of some major editing and there didn’t seem to be that driving force behind the story. It’s hard to describe, but I just wasn’t drawn in. Despite this, I owned the third book “Season of Glory” so I decided I should just finish the series.

I was pleasantly surprised by this book. The writing, while not absolutely stunning, was decent. It was a little plain which isn’t a bad thing at all especially for teen fiction; although, personally, I love a colorful manuscript. In addition, the energy the second book seemed to lack, was present in this one as the Ailith battled to bring light to the kingdom of Pacifica.

Bergren used Andriana, Ronan, and Keallach’s points of view to tell the narrative and I found this rather nice. It made me feel like I got to know each of them personally and thus, gave me a chance to fall in love with them. The only thing that really, really bugged me about the different points of view was the fonts – each of the three characters had a different font for their point of view. I get what they were trying to do with this: make it clear which character was being featured. But I don’t think it was necessary and the constantly changing fonts almost came across as messy.

Moving on, though… It was amazing how Andriana’s character grew in this book. She became stronger, finding her identity in the Maker, and I definitely admired her for this. It was interesting to have the story told from Keallach’s point of view… At first, I was a little skeptical, but I grew to understand him and almost fell in love with him too. Wait what? Did I just say that?? Sorry, no spoilers. I won’t speak another word. Hehe. Ronan, was ever the loving knight. A tad protective maybe, but I guess that was part of his job as Andriana’s knight.

Now about that ending…. Wow. Just wow. There was one point near the end where I had no idea what was going to happen and I absolutely LOVED that! Yes, call me crazy, but when I’m reading a book and the author has me questioning all of the theories I have spun throughout the past chapters, that is good writing. Again, no spoilers so I won’t say anything else.

Altogether, this was by far my favorite book of the series! As for “the Remnants” as a whole, they were a clean read which was refreshing. I didn’t care too much for the incorporation of angels and demon and the sort of twist on Christianity, but it wasn’t terrible. Maybe I’m just picky though… But if you’re into dystopia and you’re looking for something decent, you should definitely give this series a try.

Ashes of Glass CoverThank you for reading,

E.J. Hill

 

P.S. Check out my novel Ashes of Glass. 🙂

You can read the Prologue as well as Chapter 2 for free!!

It’s also available on Amazon in Kindle and paperback.

    

Book Reviews

Season of Fire by Lisa T. Bergren

I was really excited about this book since I’ve read the River of Time series twice and I loved it both times. So with high hopes, I began this novel.

“The Maker is stronger than any force you come against, if you will only lean into him for support. Remember that, yes?”

The first thing I faced, was a bit of confusion. I felt like I was thrown into the story like I would be thrown into the middle of a lake – no ease into the water, no footing, no sense of direction. Which isn’t always necessarily a bad thing, I often begin like this, but what made this less appealing, was that I felt like I suddenly had a few pounds of bricks tied to my feet as well – there were words and terms and information that confused me. So long story short, (haha sorry…) it took me a while to get into it. But I think at around the halfway marker point, I was hooked.

Despite the little bumps at the beginning, I really liked Andriana. She was not perfect, she made mistakes, and she learned from them and it was nice to see character growth. I also quite enjoyed Ronin’s character, although I would have liked to get to know him better, he seemed a bit distant.

The Ailith…. They were super cool.

They were close-knit and had groovy superpowers, plus the addition of their knights made it all the more appealing. Although, I thought Ronin and Andriana’s relationship was a tad cliche. It was kind of like, “Okay, another forbidden love – they pretend not to like each other, then they admit their love, they defy the rules, etc.”

Next: the plot was great!

I enjoyed the world that Bergren created, it was a mess, but it was colorful and just exploding with potential for a great story. The corruption of man was so clear, so terrible, and it made me wonder how they were going to save the world. I mean isn’t that fantastic?! When a book gets you guessing? A lot of the time, I can give an educated guess as to what happens and I’m often pretty close to the truth.

Quick little last note… It was a clean read, there wasn’t any profanity or sexual parts so that was definitely refreshing.

And wrapping it all up in a pretty little package with a bow on it: once I got into it, I did enjoy it and I’ve already started the second book so that means something good (right?). However, I was a little disappointed, I had high hopes for this novel, but I found it a tad weird and dry at points.

 

Thanks for reading!