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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

REVIEW: TREASON (THE GRIMOIRE SAGA #2) BY S.M. BOYCE

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Publication Date: 21st October 2012
Pages: 430
Source: Ebook (3 books box set)

Synopsis

Kara Magari ignited a war when she stumbled into Ourea and found the Grimoire: a powerful artifact filled with secrets. To protect the one person she has left, she strikes a deal that compromises everything she believes in... and things don't go as planned.

Braeden Drakonin can no longer run from who--and what--he is. He has to face the facts. He's a prince. He's a murderer. He's a wanted man. And after a betrayal that leaves him heartbroken, he's out for blood.

To survive, both Kara and Braeden must become the evil each has grown to hate.

                       

My Thoughts

Wow!!! That was the most unexpected twist towards the end. I am just... I don't know what I am feeling. I just know I NEED to get to the third book NOW. But again my little stupid brain won't be able to keep the review exclusive to this book if I read the next.

OH MY GOD!!! What was that? How did that happen? This is just amazing. I am speechless. I just want to move on to the next book, don't wanna do anything else. I need answers Right now!!! But I also need to write my review for this book or else it won't be possible to not mix it up with next book. So much is happening that I am expecting lots and lots of drama in book 3.

STORY- DON'T READ ANY FURTHER IF YOU HAVE NOT READ LICHGATES. 
Story picks up from where we left it in Lichgates. Kara n Braeden are still in The Village where Kara is training to be stronger fighter while waiting for The Big Unity Gala day. All hell break lose on the Gala day. 

Nothing is working in favor of our protagonists. Braeden is been sent back to Stele to Carden. Braeden and Kara are kept apart. The First Vagabond won't let Grimoire help Kara neither is he helping her until she makes more Vagabonds. Kara might lose her safety net of Adele and Garret. 

Bloods have already shown their displeasure towards Kara in previous book which continues here more stronger than ever. With already so much going on Kara has more to worry about when Niccoli himself enters the picture. The growing tension between Kara n Braeden is not making anything easier.

New crucial but irritating character is introduced named Stone, who I have a feeling is going to be a regular in rest of the series. 

Amidst all this tension and drama both our protagonists evolve and emerge more stronger than ever with such new powers which they never thought themselves capable of.

CHARACTERS- Boyce is developing each and every character so beautifully that it is really exciting to know more and more about each one of them. Each character is a well-rounded individual having multiple facets, each with their own virtues and vices. Boyce reveals them slow and steadily layer by layer making them feel like real people. I even liked reading about Carden and the more I get to know him more my hate for him keeps on increasing.

Boyce have woven Ourea so beautifully that one can't stop themselves from falling deeper and deeper into it. Just like every other characters Boyce keeps on adding more layers to this enchanting world.


I am giving this book a 4.5 star rating because after how book one ended I expected this book to start in a mid-racing-speed but it was really slow until the big fight. After that I was all 'Woah! I want to kill him now?' to 'Nooo! Don't do this to him.' to 'wow! She's a real bitch, never thought she would be like this.'. Each twist or turn in the following chapters had me engaged so much that I would find myself reading those parts again because the first time I was very busy either cursing or being surprised or sad or just plain irritated. 
This part of the series had me completely invested in it and I can't wait to see what strong or mild range of emotions the next part is going to make me experience.

My rating 4.5 out of 5.

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Friday, October 21, 2016

Review: This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp

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Publication Date: 5th January 2016
Pages: 285
Source: e-book

Synopsis

10:00 a.m. The principal of Opportunity High School finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve.

10:02 a.m. The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.

10:03 a.m. The auditorium doors won't open.

10:05 a.m. Someone starts shooting.

Told from four different perspectives over the span of fifty-four harrowing minutes, terror reigns as one student’s calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival.


                

My Thoughts

Read it on 28th Jan 2016 but forgot to post my review here, so here's my review direct from my goodreads.

oh my god! I just can't stop crying. Why do people have to be so cruel, why do we humans have to make such dangerous inventions like weapons. why can't people be more open to communication? why don't they just TALK?
this book brought back all the questions. This book made me realise how horrified those people have been who have ever been in any such circumstances. This book made my heart ache! this makes me want to reach out to people like Ty in the book before they take the wrong turn in life, to hug them to tell them that it's OK to talk that u are taking it all wrong, that you are not alone and that there is someone always there for you.


Some Coherent thoughts after almost two weeks(I like to think they are coherent :P )

This is where it ends (TIWIE) was an engaging story.
Initially the juggling between more than 2povs proved challenging and even made me put down the book as a DNF once, few weeks later when it appeared again on my kindle I thought to give it another shot. I am glad that this time I made through the entire book.
Starting the book was tiring task as I just kept getting confused with those 4 POVs but once I was 15-20% into the book everything got easy and then the multiple POVs didn't bothered me et all. In fact for me multiple POVs was the highlight of the book. It was great to see thought multiple eyes as it allowed me to better know the situation and helped understanding the fears and reactions of everyone who were directly or indirectly facing that brutual attack.
It was intense, gripping and a page turner. I was glued to the story till the last word.

I had read the blurb before so knew it was about a school shooting and this has been the most inhuman disturbing reality of our world. The most close to home for me was the barbaric Peshawar school attack. This made me request the book as I wanted to know what's happens in such situations and multiple POVs was the perfect avenue to experience that. While reading the book I just couldn't stop crying when some of the scenes and students made me remember the innocent angels of Peshawar.
Initially in the story we are introduced to the people at Opportunity High their dreams hardships were gradually laid in front of the reader and a new session after winter break has just started. The incident takes place just after the first morning meeting in the school auditorium.

It was a sad novel as it was evident from blurb, it made me cry, made me think about the people who are dear to me and how I would have reacted if they were in same situation. It made me curse the human nature of not clearly communicating more with each other. It made me want to hug tight my brother and to hit those who don't consider other peoples dreams n desires.

All in all reading it was an experience that made me feel an entire range of emotions. I just wish that it had more story about the characters that it didn't had to be restricted to just those harrowing minutes but had taken us more into the lives of those involved so that it would have been clear to understand what led to the attack. Also it would have been awesome if it had the attackers point of view too.

My  Rating 3 out of 5
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Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Review: Lichgates (The Grimoire Saga #1) by S.M. Boyce

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Publication Date: 1st October 2011
Pages: 414
Source: Own the paperback.

Synopsis

The final page will leave you breathless.


When Kara Magari uncovers a secret door in the middle of the forest, she discovers (and trips through) a portal to a hidden world full of terrifying things: Ourea. She just wants to go home, but the natives have other plans for her. She clashes with immortal shapeshifters, is carried off by a dragon, nearly dies on several occasions, and somehow becomes the master of an ancient book of magic called the Grimoire. Every time she thinks she's safe, her new "friends" show their true colors.

Kara needs an ally, or she might not survive Ourea's monsters. She drops her guard when Braeden, a native soldier with a dark secret, vows to keep her safe. And though she doesn't know it, her growing attraction to him may just be her undoing. 

For twelve years, Braeden Drakonin has lived a lie. The Grimoire is his one chance at redemption, and it lands in his lap when Kara Magari comes into his life. Though he begins to care for this stranded girl, there's something he wants more. He wants the Grimoire. 

Welcome to Ourea, where only the cunning survive.

My Thoughts

Wow!!! It was exciting! loved the world building ranging from the amazing places of Ourea to the varied and unique characters. Loved It. Can't wait to read the next book in series.
After reading this I feel such an idiot that I had this book since April 2012 and it took me 4+years to finally transport myself to this amazing piece of the world.

This book was huge. I normally like to read a book in one sitting but it was not possible with this one. It took me over 3 days to finally read the last line. Those three days were amazing, all time I was either reading the book even while having my meals or thinking about the characters, latest developments, guessing what will happen next while attending dance workshops :P

STORY- Kara Magari is a 20 something sophomore from Tallahassee who loves here parents and hiking. While on one such solo hiking expedition on a completely new trail in the Rocky Mountains she walked through an unkempt Gazebo and unknowingly entered an entirely different world - Ourea.

Ourea is a magical, dangerous place hidden away from the normal human world in plain sight. Once a person steps into Ourea they can never go back to their normal lives.

Kara meets Braeden and they form a friendship. Braeden belongs to the most evil and hated kingdom of the Yakona race. He hates his kingdom and has been hoping to find Grimoire to become a Vagabond.

The story follows Kara's Journey of whether she will accept what Grimoire had chosen her to be and leave her older life for the new life in Ourea. Will Braeden will be able to fulfill is childhood dream of becoming a vagabond?

As the story progresses Kara will be facing many hardships and Braeden needs to overpower his demons if he wants to keep Kara's friendship and help n protect her in this dangerous world.

CHARACTERS- Boyce has introduced a lot of crucial characters in this book. All the characters lend certain significance to the story and take it forward with very interesting twists and turns.

All the characters carry some or the other secret, their bonds with each other and their loyalty or the enmity described is amazing. It felt like it was all so real as if they were real people who might be hiding in plain sight among us.

Apart from the lead pair I really loved Twin- she is like several of us who hides away all the sadness behind a convincing fake smile and who at the same time care for her friends and love to tease and gossip like any other normal girl.

I am looking forward to knowing all the characters more closely as the series progress and I really would love to know the First Vagabond more as he is irritating but I think there is a lot more to his story.

The world of Ourea in itself feels like a living character on its own. It has its own secrets and keeps throwing new facts about it to Kara and the readers. The people living in it, the unique variety of its very own flora n fauna and the amazing places in Ourea makes me feel like it will be very pleasant to see and know it personally with my own eyes.

WRITING- Boyce had successfully weaved a complex world with the support of very descriptive writing. She has presented everything so beautifully and linked everything so intricately that it feels like this could be a real world hidden somewhere on our planet.


I really loved the story and this beginning to the series has certainly made me eager for the other parts. I am really looking forward to living in Ourea. I am so relieved to know that there are 3 more books in this series, I will be definitely reading all of those. I really hope I get to see this book come alive on my TV someday.

The only reason I am not giving this book a full 5-star rating because It took some time to wrap my head around all the things happening and get some understanding of Ourea. With so much going on since the beginning of the story it was a bit difficult to have a clear imagery but once the story got into a flow with some idea of the characters and the workings of Ourea things started to get a little less complicated.
Now that I know how the things work in Ourea I am hoping I will be able to transport myself there and live in that world more easily in book 2.

My rating 4 out of 5.

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Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Review: Origin by Rebecca Hamilton

Publication Date: 1st September 2016
Series Sequence : The Othala Witch Collection#1
Pages: 390
Source: E-Arc.(and my own Kindle copy)

Don’t fall in love with the Doomed Queen.

ALEC KLADIVO: Soldier. Hunter. Fool.
When Alec was a boy, the border posts failed, and Ravagers infiltrated their sector. Through sacrificing his sister, he saved his city and gained the respect of Sector One’s Regent. Ever since that day, he has served his sector with unfailing loyalty and nobility. Until he met her.

ADIRA CHOVANEK: Thief. Witch. Doomed Queen.
In Sector One, there is no greater commodity than a witch. Which is exactly why each and every one of them are in hiding. Should they be discovered by the hunters, they will suffer one of two fates—both of which end in death—unless they can kill a Ravager and bring forth an heir for the sector’s Regent. The only problem is, the Regent is sterile, and would sooner exile a Doomed Queen than admit that to himself or anyone else. This is Adira's fate. 

THIRTEEN: The number of days before Adira’s death.
Alec has given Adira just under two weeks to turn herself in and accept her role as the only person who might be able to save their failing sector from certain extinction. And he’s spent each and every one of those days trying to convince her it is the right thing to do. But what happens once he’s finally persuaded her, only to find out he’d been mistaken all along?



My Thoughts 

Rebecca does it again. She definitely have some kind of magic in her. It was awesome. Right now I am cursing my limited vocabulary, I am in serious need of new words to express my awe for her story-telling skills. She never fails to amaze me. For past few instances it has been only the magic of her books that brings me out from my reading slump (or in real my laziness).

The Planet has been attacked by some kind of terrifying creatures known as Ravagers, to save humanity several years ago Othala Witches creates separate sectors and protected them with magic. This story revolves around sector one. To survive Sector One need to find a powerful witch a.k.a Queen asap. The witch has to defeat a Ravager in a gruesome fight to be proved as Chosen one.  The Reagent and Queen together use the magic to protect its people. Alec is the Reagent's guard or the Witch Hunter. Adira is a witch living in shadows hiding from the Guards. 
Alec spots the next candidate for Queen and tries to capture her, Adira puts up amazing fight and both feel a strong connection. Alec cuts a deal and gives her thirteen days to prepare. Will thirteen days be enough? Will she Prepare? or Escape? Will the Sector find their Queen in Time? or be forced to face the Ravegers?

Origin was fantastic with not a single dull moment, full of amazing twists and turns, the surprises spring up so fast that even before you settle with the first one the next thing comes up. 
Though there were some typos (which can happen in an ARC) it didn't bother me at all as I was so much engrossed in knowing the fate of the characters, of the people of Sector One that my mind could not waste its time to linger on those not so important details.

The only reason I am not giving it full 5 stars is: the instant passionate connection between the main characters (love at first sight). I have never understood the concept of love at first sight, for me it has to begin with friendship if not friendship at least some kind of interactions (you know the slow and gradual type). But its just me, I know many who say that love at first sight are real so I don't know. Other than this no other complains :P

I will be eagerly waiting for next part, as there are many more stories for all the charachters and many questions regarding the Othala witches. :)


4 out of 5

About the Author

BeccaRebecca Hamilton writes Paranormal Fantasy, Horror, and Literary Fiction. She lives in Florida with her husband and four kids, along with multiple writing personalities that range from morbid to literary. Having a child diagnosed with autism has inspired her to illuminate the world through the eyes of characters who see things differently.

Rebecca Hamilton is represented by the ever-more-amazing Rossano Trentin of TZLA.

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Friday, August 19, 2016

Review: Driving Me Mad by Lindsay Paige

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Publication Date: 6th July 2016
Pages: 314 
Source: Won in a giveaway held by author


He was my therapist.

She was my client.

He’s the person I lean on and turn to.

She’s the person who brings me relief when there seems to be none.

He makes me smile and laugh when anxiety and depression consume me.

She helps me breathe when depression is choking me.

I don't know how to live without him.

I don't know how to be honest with her.
Are we driving each other mad?


My Thoughts

I shouldn't have read the blurb for book 2 before finishing this one because it kinda ruined this book for me a little, I already knew what will be the end, there was no guessing there. So please don't even give a look to the blurb of book #2.

Though this was a bit slow paced for my taste, I liked it. I liked how things unfolded, how the lead characters looked after one another, how they always prioritized each other's careers before everything else. I like it when people not only give priority to their careers but also to their partner's careers, pushing them to do best. This story also provided me a great way to see how much people suffer from inside in anxiety and made me see how I can help these people. 

This story was not something that I usually read. I have always found myself gravitating towards more dramatic stories maybe because I think that life is already full of so many complications why to go for more sad type of complications in leisure time stories too. But I think I have to change this thinking, these type of stories could show us how there is still hope even in the darkest times.

I don't know anybody who is going through anxiety and depression of this magnitude. After reading this I am amazed to see how much strong these people are, how brave they are to continue and give it a tough fight and not give in. I just want to give them a bear hug. While reading I so wished to go into those pages and hug them so tight, tell them that everything is gonna be fine I am here with you, you just exist and I'll push you forward. 

Initially, I was able to relate to Brit's anxiety attacks, though I never had that frequent attacks but I occasionally had few when I was over worried about something and I'd just break down until my mom or a friend hold me, let me cry and tell me how I am gonna go through. 
As the book progressed I was amazed to see how strong Brittany is and I really liked her relationship with her best friend Rebecca. Rebecca was the perfect friend, she was there for Brit untill the end, knew when she need to leave her alone and when she need to stay. I also liked how understanding Britt's parents were. I just wished her parents and Rebecca had more scenes.
Trace was good. The way he looked after Brittany was endearing but I really wished that he looked after himself if not the same way at least 50% of that. I really wished me communicated more with someone in his life.

All in all, it was a good read which was evenly panned out and nicely dealt with all the themes of the plot.

Few Updates while Reading this book:

08/06 page 92 "Received the book yesterday after I won it in a giveaway by the author . started reading at midnight and now couldn't stop it. I am at chapter 10 already and loving it. I like Rebecca how she cares for her friend, I get Brittany and her attacks, and I love how Trace and Brittany get each other. it makes me feel.so good that they r there for each other."
08/06 page 111 "I love the way they end their dates :D it fill me with warm n fuzzy feelings :P"

08/07 page 182 "Oh my goodness. Brittany is like me can't seem to hide stuff from mom :P"

08/09 page 270 "everything was going great... why this sudden change in mood!!! I am really afraid that something bad is going to happen"

08/18 page 294 "I am so sad for both of them... but my heart is breaking for her parents :(" 
08/18 page 305 "he hasn't reached out to me, so I'm not going to reach out to him" I hate this 
08/18 100.0% "finished! yay! it took me long but I finished a book :D
ADVICE: Don't read the blurb for book 2 don't read anything about book 2.
I knew there is a book 2 and read it's blurb on bookmark so I kinds knew what was gonna happen, but would I certainly loved it more if I went in blind."

3.5 out of 5

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Friday, August 5, 2016

Book Blast: The Conspiracy at Meru by Shatrujeet Nath


The Conspiracy at Meru (Vikramaditya Veergatha # 2)


VICTORY IS TEMPORARY. THE BATTLE IS ETERNAL.

Vikramaditya and his Council of Nine have fought valiantly to repel the rampaging hordes from Devaloka and Patala – but Avanti has been brought to its knees. Ujjayini lies battered its citizens are scared and morale is badly shaken. Meanwhile, the barbaric Hunas and Sakas are gathering on the horizon and cracks are emerging between the allied kingdoms of Sindhuvarta.

The only silver lining is that the deadly Halahala is safe. For now.

Bent on vengeance, Indra is already scheming to destroy Vikramaditya, while Shukracharya has a plan that can spell the doom for the Guardians of the Halahala. How long can the human army hold out against the ferocity and cunning of the devas and asuras? And will Vikramaditya’s love for his queen come in the way of his promise to Shiva?

                                     Goodreads | Amazon




The Gaurdians of The Halahala  (Vikramaditya Veergatha # 1)


The deadly Halahala, the all-devouring poison churned from the depths of the White Lake by the devas and asuras, was swallowed by Shiva to save the universe from extinction.

But was the Halahala truly destroyed?

A small portion still remains – a weapon powerful enough to guarantee victory to whoever possesses it. And both asuras and devas, locked in battle for supremacy, will stop at nothing to claim it.

As the forces of Devaloka and Patala, led by Indra and Shukracharya, plot to possess the Halahala, Shiva turns to mankind to guard it from their murderous clutches. It is now up to Samrat Vikramaditya and his Council of Nine to quell the supernatural hordes – and prevent the universe from tumbling into chaos!

A sweeping tale of honour and courage in the face of infinite danger, greed and deceit, The Guardians of the Halahala is a fantastical journey into a time of myth and legend.

                                       Goodreads | Amazon 


About the Author

Door-to-door salesman, copywriter, business journalist & assistant editor at The Economic Times; Shatrujeet Nath was all this before he took to writing fiction full-time. He debuted with The Karachi Deception in 2013, followed by The Guardians of the Halahala and The Conspiracy at Meru, the first two books in the Vikramaditya Veergatha series. At present, he is writing volume three of the series. Shatrujeet lives in Mumbai, but spends much of his time in the fantasy worlds of his stories.


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