True Lies and the End is Nigh So Hold On Tight (The Dark Calling – A Book Review)

The Dark Calling (The Arcana Chronicles #5)
Author: Kresley Cole
Published: 2018

Dark Calling

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

We watch. We endure. We prepare for the future. One day this game will end, and we’ll be ready.

Evie Greene is still reeling from news that will change her life and the lives of everyone she knows. It could even change the entire game, but she doesn’t quite believe it. And nobody believes her when she comes forth about it. Something is wrong. Really wrong. Somebody she trusts is lying to her.

With doubt crawling into her head, Evie makes a break out into the Ash because it’s no longer safe in the castle. With unlikely allies, she searches for anything that could help her find answers to many of her questions, including whether or not Jack really did survive Richter’s quake.

With a strange power falling over the Arcana, Evie may have to invoke the red witch to save those she holds dear. Her next move in this deadly game could give her what she needs to defeat Richter or…end her life.

In a world teetering on the edge…With enemies at every turn…Darkness beckons.

Reviews to the books previous to this one in the series are listed below.

Poison Princess

Poison Princesshere

Endless Knight

Endless Knighthere

Dead of Winter - SR

Dead of Winterhere

Day Zero

Day Zerohere

Arcana Rising

Arcana Risinghere

Congratulations to the first book ever to drive me to drink.  Well, not alcoholic status, but I did need a few drinks after this. The farther this series goes, the more I get wrecked. And baby, this installation to the Arcana Chronicles wrecked the living hell out of me. As my best friend said, “Isn’t that a good thing?”

Dark Calling

The great and dangerous game of Arcana has shifted. Evie Greene’s life is in even more peril as she learns of a great change in herself and in others, including Aric. With her life in danger, she flees, desperate and alone until she runs into unexpected acquaintances. With Joules, The Tower, and Kentarch, The Chariot, they move fast to figure out what has come over their allies and enemies and what’s turned their cards upside down.

On the verge of death out in the Ash, they run into old friends and new enemies. The Hanged Man finally comes into play and he’s not holding back. Taking many of Evie’s friends under his power, they must find a way to free them while also worrying about when Richter, The Emperor, may attack next. But, Evie’s powers are on the fritz and she may have to turn to her alter-ego, the red witch, in order to stay alive. She’s still confused about whether the one person who can pull her back from that dark abyss is alive or not.

The Dark Calling may take them all…

These characters have come so far and grown a great deal. I couldn’t be more proud of Evie. Sure, she’s still got that girly touch where she isn’t the greatest or most powerful fighter, but when she unleashes her powers she is the most deadly thing in the room, hell, on the planet. She is not somebody to trifle with. The bomb that was dropped in her lap at the end of the last book, Arcana Rising, really amps of the stress level for everyone, especially me. The young woman is a champ.

Aric’s past feelings really came back to haunt him and Evie. I have a big feeling that bothered many people, but I’m not one of those people. I figured he had lingering doubts and issues with his and Evie’s past lives and it’s why I’m not a major fan of their relationship. I can see what she sees in him, though, so I understand why she can’t fully toss him away. It’s the history. It’s always the history.

And Jack…fate has it out for this one. I couldn’t have been more excited about his return. He’s still the hothead I know and love, but he’s not the same guy he was in the very beginning when he first met Evie. He doesn’t fly off the handle as he once did. Only on those that threaten him and his. He’s more focused on the big picture: Evie and how much he cares about her.

While still incredibly young, these characters have been incredibly strong and have struggled through so much that they’ve each been on the brink of death more than once, and Cole is having me feel way too much about them.

Many reunions happened during this book and I was beyond ecstatic. So much giggling and happiness that I couldn’t contain myself. Everyone has been so scattered over the last two books and it’s had me a bit torn up.

The plot twists twisted my guts up into all kinds of interesting shapes. If you recall, I mentioned I might’ve been wrecked because of this book. The plot twists would be one of those big reasons why. I read this book from sunup to sundown on one of my only days off last week. I could not put this book down. It was amazing and heart-pounding. I’m still picking my guts off of the floor.

I’m still very convinced that Jack has a major part to play before all is said and done. He was brought into this from the very beginning for a reason. And while I am theorizing (and geeking out) here, a part of me thinks he’s part Arcana. Like, he’s been accidentally created. While human, he’s been brought into this game of life and death chess. Many Arcana have fallen, but he’s somehow still standing. I’ve got such a fuzzy feeling about him. I’m still working on my theory.

Dark Calling

The book moves fast, though over the span of weeks, just like the books previous. And you still follow through the POVs of Evie, Aric (Death), and Jack (The Hunter). The new POV that I got a new glimpse through was The Hanged Man. The man is a total creep and downright vain.

Dark Calling

The imagery always gets me. Activating my senses and putting them on high alert. The use of onomatopoeias really pulls you in closer. Cole also uses short and to the point sentences to show how quick the action scenes move, adding to the intensity of the story. It’s one of my favorite things! And the setting is all new! Evie and her gang of misfits (which they really are) travel out to the ocean, or what’s left of it anyway, and discover Jubilee; a settlement where the last remaining waters of the ocean is, and where ships have collided and capsized. This community isn’t the godsend that it seems to be. People are being offed on the plank and plunged into the dark, cold depths of the water. But, with no place else to go, Evie has to take her chances here to regroup. This place really reminded me of exploring the Titanic under water because that’s how this place works. You scavenge and get paid for it. It’s dangerous and there are always people that don’t make it back. There’s also a strange magic hanging over the place that is dangerous, so Evie and the other Arcana have to be careful with their powers.

Dark Calling

I highly recommend this series. I really do. The action, paranormal angle, romance, angst and that feeling of always being unsure which day will be your last is all encompassed in it. Cole really kept it all original here. I’ve never read anything like this. I’m enthralled and probably on an unhealthy level. So many of my heartstrings have been broken, but also mended…and then broken again. I can’t get enough. I know that when this series comes to its end I will be a complete mess. I’ve never been so in love with a series like this.

Quotables:

“Go. Out into the wastelands.” (p. 11)

“Remember: Your mind has dominion over your body.” (Kentarch to Evie, p. 113)

“My hope lied to me, whispering in my ear, ‘Believe these men, and you will reunite with your wife.’ Tell me, Empress, do you trust the whisper of your hope?” (Kentarch to Evie, p. 115)

“Noble cuts like a blade to the heart.” (Jack to Evie, p. 138)

“Now, where were we? Oh, yeah, I was telling you how every Emperor gets an Empress. Which means you ass is mine.” (Richter to Evie, p. 156)

“My mother once told me that diamonds were born of pressure, but I never understood what she meant until I met you.” (Evie to Jack, p. 180)

More to comes soon…

P.S. Song today? Into Dust by Mazzy Star.

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Wilting in an Ashen Wonderland (Fever – A Book Review)

Fever (The Chemical Gardens Trilogy #2)
Author: Lauren DeStefano
Published: 2012

Fever

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltHalf bolt

 

Escaping the mansion was just the beginning.

Getting as far as their legs can take them, Rhine and Gabriel are finally free. More dangers lurk as they make their way to Manhattan, Rhine’s home, to find her brother. With Gabriel at her side, she’s more determined than ever. It’s never felt so close. She has to be strong, both for herself and everyone else.

With Gatherers close to recapturing her and other people willing to sell her to the highest bidder, she has to do things she never though she was capable of. But when she’s struck with an ill fever, she has to rely on others to help take care of her and soon enough she isn’t sure she’ll live long enough to see her brother again or to see freedom.

The start of life is always brutal, isn’t it? We’re born fighting.

 

This book really kept up well with its predecessor: Wither. The story expanded into something even more horrifyingly beautiful. DeStefano is still using that talent she has with description to pull me in. She brings so much realism with its phenomenal detail to her characters surroundings and how she incorporates the five senses.

While on the run, something much more sinister than the virus is digging into Rhine’s bones. She doesn’t like to be weak, but can’t stop this illness that has her breaking out into a fever. Gabriel, at her side, helps her as best as he can, but wonders if they should just return to the mansion so she can receive the top medical care in the country. Rhine refuses, though secretly she shares the same thought. How can she find her twin brother in this state? Somehow. She’s giving everything she’s got.

Fever

Finally, we are out of the mansion and into the ashy world. Rhine and Gabriel end up in a lot of new places as they get farther and farther away, but the places that are focused on the most is a carnival where Rhine and Gabriel are forced into yet another form of slavery and an orphanage that becomes a kind of home. Each place is a wonder, but they’re also trapping prisons just like the mansion. I was so taken with the facade of lights and splendor in the carnival and the orphanage really showed just how hard the world is outside of wealth. It’s dark and dismal and much like a graveyard. Very reminiscent of Silent Hill in my opinion; all ashy. Each new place shows how disconnected from the wealth that Rhine had been kidnapped into and Gabriel had become accustomed to.Fever

There was so much growth for Rhine and Gabriel. Rhine really pushed her limits to new places. Even when she broke down with an indescribable illness she strives to figure out how to help her friends and worries about them, that she’s possibly destroyed their lives in the process of trying to save herself. She is no pampered princess. Meanwhile, Gabriel, who escaped the mansion with her, has totally stepped up! I’m so surprised. He still so sweet and his faith in her is never faltering, but there were moments when he threw a damn good punch. As Rhine is protective of him so is he over her. More so, if you recall me making a curious wonder about love being introduced, I was right. It’s so gradual and subtle, which I really REALLY love. These two are making me melt.

Fever

Other characters? Not so much. Linden and Cecily do make their return which made me squirm in my seat, but so does Vaughn. Then there’s the slimy Madame who sells her girls for whatever she can get. A real high class woman there. Not. There are no shortage of villains. There’s also no shortage of heroes for Rhine and Gabriel. There are a few people who help them on their journey and it renews that hope for Rhine that not everyone is an evil Judge Doom (Watch Who Framed Roger Rabbit if you haven’t. Judge Doom is super fucking creepy.).

Still on this ride from Rhine’s up close and personal POV, this book took me much further into Rhine’s head and everything she reflected back on in order to make future decisions. Seeing the gears twist and grind in her head was really heavy. This was beyond simple survival. Even more was when she hallucinated and dreamed while ill. It was horrifying and I felt so much for her. She is one strong cookie.

 

With all of that in mind, would I recommend this book? Yes. It’s horrifyingly haunting and an utter fantasy of a dark world with only a single twinkle of hope that lies within on sixteen year old girl. I was immersed more and more as I read. And I will say that there are plot twists and cliffhangers. They will whip you good.

 

Quotables:

“Ah, love. That’s what the world has lost. There’s no more love, only the illusion of it.” (Madame to Rhine, p.15)

“There are so many of us, so many girls. The world wants us for our wombs or our bodies, or it doesn’t want us at all.” (Rhine, p. 39)

“What does it feel like to know exactly when you’ll die?” (Greg to Rhine, p. 163)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

P.S. Song today? On Your Side by Thriving Ivory.

 

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Forever Until There’s Nothing Left (Wither – A Book Review)

Wither (Book #1 of The Chemical Garden Trilogy)
Author: Lauren DeStefano
Published: 2011

Wither

My Rating:Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltHalf bolt

3/25

 

What if you knew exactly when you would die?

Because of a deadly virus, women die at the young age of twenty and men at twenty-five. It’s not unheard of that girls are kidnapped right off the sidewalk by Gatherers to be sold and married off to wealthy men, but Rhine never expected it to happen to her. Then suddenly she and two other girls are married off to the rich Governor Linden Ashby and she’s brought into a life of lavish and exquisite slavery. She can have anything she desires, but Rhine is determined to escape by any means necessary so she can get back to her twin brother, Rowan.

“This is my story. These things are my past, and I will not allow them to be washed away, I will find a way to have them back.” (Rhine, p. 22)

 

This book marks 3 out of 25 authors, from my New’s Year’s resolution, that I’ve never read from before. This was Lauren DeStefano’s debut novel I was instantly drawn in because of how dark and twisted the world she created is.

 

Rhine Ellery’s life of survival turns into one of privilege and wealth overnight. She doesn’t want to be in this beautiful mansion and she certainly doesn’t want to be getting married, not at sixteen and not when she’s only got four years before the deadly virus takes her. She wants to be with her brother, Rowan. Now, she’s locked up like a princess in a tower. To get free she’ll have to act like she cares for her husband, Linden, though he genuinely loves her. One of the attendants, Gabriel, helps her with her goal and as she grows closer to them and her sister wives, she starts wondering what’s an act and what’s not. Can she escape? Is she sure she truly wants to?

Wither

Holy shit. This book was pretty good. This is a story’s structure is ruled mostly by its imagery and let me tell you, it was powerful. Everything from the buttons on someone’s shirt to bubbles in the bath to what Rhine eats for lunch is so vivid and colorful. DeStefano really sucked me into this world with all of this up close imagery. I was disturbed and horrified as I read further because this rich world became dark and twisted right quick. A place that nobody is safe in. The plot just thickens and thickens each time Rhine discovers a secret. My stomach just kept churning because of the development of the story. It wasn’t terrible! Not at all! But, a lot of what went on in this mansion was pretty messed up. There was no real love in it. This is a story of sheer survival. Later on down the road could there be feelings? Totally possible.

Rhine is such a strong and smart character. Nothing breaks her stride. While she wants to protect those she cares about, she also stands up for what she believes in and never allows herself to get close people if she can help it. I was actually very surprised with the male characters. Both Gabriel and Linden. They were the damsels; both of them were brought up with silver spoons in their mouths, believing this rich life was okay and never knowing what was underneath.  It was strange because I’ve never come across something like this. And when I say damsel, I mean damsel. They were weak minded, though had strong, kind, and loving hearts. The villain of this book was so creepy! He was nice; the kind of nice you can see right through like saran wrap and see the smart, cunning man who is capable of doing anything without remorse. It was deeply unsettling. All in all, I was greatly surprised by all of the dynamics of the characters. This is certainly a bunch I’ve never seen before. It really made this a fun read.

I have to say, the story being told from Rhine’s POV does get repetitive, but in this case there is the exception. Yes! One does exist. It isn’t DeStefano, it’s Rhine that’s repetitive. She’s clinging on to her life, reminding herself of who she is so that she doesn’t forget. She pushes herself harder because of all she’s lost. It didn’t drive away from this book, but made me even more impressed with Rhine and how strong she is. She doesn’t give up. And the pressure she is under from everything around her and inside of her increases the further the book goes. You really don’t realize the value of the small or large things until your life is put on a time limit. Then every little bit matters. You have to make it last for all it’s worth. This was a primary thought of mine as I read. She holds onto everything.

Wither

I must give praise to the cover art of this book as well. I usually don’t gush over cover art, but I can’t help it. The artwork really blends well with the story with its elegant and eerie touch to beauty. It’s quite haunting and give glimpse of what this world that Rhine’s been pulled into looks like. The geometric lines and magnified/cleared imaging over the wild and steampunk elegance reminded me of the periodic table ; element squares connecting to others. And the title itself is so subtle in reference to not only what the virus does, but what this forced life of luxury does.

Wither

This is a great book. Very different and totally unique. I usually don’t go with the elegant frilly kind of story, but this was seriously dark. I was completely enthralled with this biological, futuristic novel. It’s worth a read.

 

Quotables:

“I do not want to stand out. I do not want to stand out.” (Rhine, p.3)

 “I’ll tell you something about true love. There’s no science to it. It’s natural as the sky.” (Dad to Rhine and Rowan, p. 119)

“Make that boy happy and he’ll give you the world on a string.” (Vaughn to Rhine, p. 228)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

P.S. Song today? Thnks Fr Th Mmrs by Fall Out Boy.

 

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If The Earth Wills It (The 100: Rebellion – A Book Review)

The 100: Rebellion (The 100 #4)
Author: Kass Morgan
Published: 2016

The 100 rebellion

My Rating: Full boltFull boltHalf bolt

There’s no such thing as peace on Earth.

Things are finally beginning to look up for everybody. After all of the hardships from environmental adjustments to other survivors of the planet’s aftermath of the cataclysm things are coming together. Now, those once deemed delinquents only sent to Earth as guinea pigs are leaders of their community. The last of the dropships have come down to Earth and they’re all getting ready to celebrate in light of reunions and togetherness with neighboring villages.

Then suddenly, the celebration is brought to an end before it begin when cultists that worship the planet attack the colonists, steal their supplies and even kidnap some of the colonists. Clarke, along with Bellamy and others set out to rescue their friends. Those captured can do nothing, but go along with these people while trying to reason with them or they may end up dead.

Their rescuers have to get to them as many lives hang in the balance. More than that, they will need to do whatever it takes to call this dangerous planet home.

The 100

Yes, I know. This is book 4 of the series, which if you read my previous review—The 100: Day 21—you know I’ve skipped a book. I’ve skipped two, actually; 1 & 3. No shame. Sometimes it just happens. Though, I do have to say, this one just like the previous, didn’t hit out of the park for me. And no, it’s not because they were out of order. Kass Morgan still does a wonderful job in keeping me informed about what’s been happening. I really love a good recap because I get nostalgic every once in a while and like to relive memories of what’s happened in the past. It really shows how far the journey has come for these characters you’ve been with since the beginning, or in case you’re starting in a random place, you get curious and go back to the beginning.

There were a few characters introduced in this addition to the series. Max, a leader of the villagers that are celebrating with the colonists. Anna, who turns out to be from one to the dropships that got lost. And lastly, Soren, the big bad leader of the cult that’s out to do Earth’s will (which is super creepy.). There were plenty of other characters, but they weren’t memorable enough for me to remember them and that really sucked. There were several times that I reminded about who our main characters were, but at this point I’m skimming past it because I’ve been told the same thing already. I just wish I’d been shown more through their actions instead.

the 100

On a side note: Octavia’s character could’ve been so much more. In the midst of being one of the ones kidnapped and trying to find a way out of this cult hell, she meets Anna. The chemistry was instant and I was amped up!  But. Yup, there’s a but. The representation of LGBT with her incredibly irked and pissed me off. It’s not because she didn’t represent it correctly in some way that it felt fake. Love is love, but it moved so damn fast and was barely acknowledged ergo representation fell flat. There was nothing aside from a glance or even romance. It’s literally Girl meets Girl –> Girl and Girl automatically dating. You blink and you miss it. There was no in-between, no discovery, no depth, making it feel utterly random, like okay, let’s just add this in for the hell of it because we need a gay character. *queue my frowny face* Now, when the circumstances are you being held hostage by a cult, I get it, but there wasn’t much to go on. I wanted to know so much more about them. This was a big moment for Octavia. I was all gushy at this prospect but got upset because it was a big poof. Maybe it was just me that felt this way…

There was still a lacking in intensity, not as much as in the previous one I read, but still. I couldn’t get attached. Each character just felt flat. Aside from how they moved forward, they didn’t move upward. There was no true growth. They were still acting like petulant children and on a planet that could eat them alive. It really bugged me! They landed on the ground before everyone else and that does put them in a better spot for leadership, but they don’t act like leaders. They still bicker and bitch and blah! I know that they’re still teenagers, but still. There’s that level of maturity and intuition you get when your life is threatened on a constant basis. They didn’t have it.

I will say that there were a few surprises at a few corners. That was quite pleasant. They didn’t toss me around and spin me, but they did catch me off guard. I’ve got appreciation for them. It was a definite upgrade from Day 21 in that area.

Shattered Memories

The tone of the characters are still relatively the same. Bland. There so much lack ing in detail. Everything felt plain. This whole world they’re in is still so brand new and it’s like the place is just shrug worthy. There’s a lack of awe. It leaves me really friggin’ confused.

Unbreakable huh

Like I said, this book didn’t do much for me. There wasn’t enough distress to make me feel like these people were in any real danger. You know that feeling you get when some serious stuff is about to happen and your heart pounds, you may even sweat a little, wondering and worrying whether your characters will make it? Its predictability made me lose any excitement I had.

Also, this could all be just because I’m picky. It hits me sometimes. Some people have really enjoyed this series. It’s one of those ones on the fence. Either you really enjoy it or you don’t. I fell on the side of those who don’t.

Quotables:

“You’re young. Strong. If the Earth wills it, you’ll be just fine.” (Protector to Wells, p. 46)

“Some people look at the world and see only what they can take from it. What they can can reap, steal, carry away.” (Soren to Glass, p. 141)

“After everything they’d been through, everything they’d survived, none of them were going down without a fight.” (Glass, p. 211)

More to come soon…

-K.

P.S. Song today? Suspension by Lights.

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The New World Has Blue Corn (The 100: Day 21 – A Book Review)

The 100: Day 21 (The 100 #2)
Author: Kass Morgan
Published: 2014

The 100 Day 21

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull bolt

 

They had been sent to Earth as living test subjects, the first people to set foot on the planet in three hundred years. But they were mistaken.

Some people had never left.

Day 5. Day 11. Day 17. Day 21. 21 days since 100 kids from confinement were put on a dropship and sent down to the Earth to see whether it was finally habitable or not. To see if it’s safe for the rest of Arcadia could come down from space to repopulate the planet. It’s not. Safe that is. There are others, survivors, that survived the great cataclysm that made the world uninhabitable for the last 300 years due to radiation.

There was so much unaccounted for when this mission began so many years ago. What happens if Arcadia malfunctions, threatening the lives of everyone on board? How do you retaliate against a mutiny? How do you try to prove that you’re not foe but friend? That you’re not the delinquents that were sent to Earth just as a last chance?

The lives of those on the ground and those still up in the stars are threatened and they have to figure out a way to protect themselves. Will they resort to drastic, dangerous measures or can there be peace?

 

So this is book #2 of The 100 series. Clarke, Bellamy, Wells, and Glass are all struggling with tough decisions they’ve made, and with the ones they will make.

The 100

Okay, so let’s not yell at me. I know this is the second book. And nope, I haven’t read the first one. This came into the bookstore and the first one didn’t. The bargain store does that a lot-give you every other book in a series except the very first one. I’ve never had an issue reading out of order with a series. I did it with A Series of Unfortunate Events and that’s one of my FAVORITE series aside from Morganville Vampires, which is my #1. As it turns out, that’s all okay. Kass Morgan does a wonderful job in keeping you updated about what’s happened already during these characters’ adventures.

Arcadia (AKA The ARC in the TV show) is split up by class. Ration points determine whether you survive. The smallest infraction could land you in confinement, but only if you’re under eighteen. At eighteen and older you get floated into the dark depths of space. On the ground, 100 kids that were held in confinement for crimes committed on the ship are the ones to discover what’s changed on Earth and if it’s safe. They have no idea what to expect. Radiation? Influenza? Dangerous animals?

What they didn’t expect were other people. The 100 have to figure out how to co-exist or how will the others survive when they come down to join them on the ground?

Thumbs Up

All of that being said, this wasn’t that great of a read for me. I just wasn’t taken with the writing style. The book focuses on four characters’ POVs: Wells, Clarke, Bellamy, and Glass.

Wells is a do-gooder and just truly wants to keep peace and figure out how to make a home. Clarke, like her mom, works to keep everyone safe and in good health, but just like Wells, she doesn’t believe in violence as a solution. Bellamy, hard-headed, but protective of those he cares about and he’s well-known for jumping to conclusions (usually the wrong one). Glass, sneaky and spry, she proves that one will do anything for the ones they love, even get locked up and break out.

This is not what steered me awry though. I don’t mind getting to know multiple characters throughout a book. It’s a great close-up. What I got hung up on was the lack of intensity. These guys are on Earth where nothing is what is seems. This generation doesn’t even know what it’s like because they were raised in space, but I got the vibe that they didn’t treat this experience with enough caution. Everything was taken with a grain of salt. It bugged me. I was scowling a lot.

That also leads me to my next issue with the book. I didn’t find it all that believable. I know, sci-fi/dystopian should be enough to tell me it’s not real, but like any reader, I want to be there in the moment with these characters. I just didn’t get there. Because if I were on a planet that was once called home and I’ve only ever studied it from a classroom then I’d be overly cautious and not all that assuming that everything is okay. I wouldn’t be able to shrug it off. I’d be watching my back. You have to adapt over time, not right away.

More so, some of these plot twists that were constructed in the book were super obvious. I won’t give them away, but each one felt like a whoopie cushion getting sat on. Drawn out fart sounds and all.

The 100

I do watch the TV Show and I have to say, this is one of those rare instances where the show is better than the book(s). There were so many characters that are in the show and aren’t in the book(s). I couldn’t get enough of a visual from the imagery of the book, so I mostly went off of what I’ve seen on the show while I read. Same with what these characters looked. I had no visual to go off of when picturing what they looked like. What really got me the most was the fact that when issues arose they were immediately solved and the happy ending was inevitable. Everybody just made up and forgave each other a little too easily. You what I mean? When there’s a heavy subject approached, one doesn’t just let it go. We humans are funky that way. But by the end of the book that was the case. It made me really itchy and made me make a screwy face.

The character development was much stronger in the show as well. Characters grew stronger with each season and I didn’t feel like there was any growth within the book. Clarke’s character worried me the most in this area. So did Octavia’s. These young women are given an opportunity to be tough and solidify a place in a new world and they didn’t. They fell flat in my opinion.

However, there was one difference between the book(s) and show that was very cool. Bellamy and Clarke are together in the book(s) and when I say together, I mean very together. My heart was pattering away like hummingbird wings at that discovery. I love their relationship on the show and completely accept that they might never be romantic during the entire series. I do believe they love each other though. I totally think they’re soulmates and if one of them bites the bullet the other will, right behind them, as well. And before I go further here’s my thought on that sentence—soulmates don’t have to be romantic; they can be best friends, family, lovers, anything that creates such an intense bond that one won’t make it without the other. They’re lives are so interconnected. And if you’ve kept up with the series so far, you know what I’m saying. Anyway, back on point, in the book the two of them are very involved and it’s so sweet because I’ve wondered what it would be like if they were. They’re such great partners, very strong.

The 100

And for those of you who need that dose of them before the new season promos come up…

The 100

 

I don’t know if I’d recommend this book. I was so iffy. I’m so glad such a great show was inspired and created from it, that’s for sure. And seeing the differences between the two were very interesting and surprising. But I was so thrown off my axis. This just wasn’t my thing.

I say give it a shot, but stay on guard. You could go either way. This one is all about taste. The story isn’t terrible at all.

 

Quotables:

“She’d just saved hundreds of lives—and drastically shortened hundreds more. Including their own.” (Clarke, p. 139)

“Nothing is worth losing our chance at getting to Earth.” (Luke to Sonja, p. 194)

“Its job isn’t to time anymore. It’s to remind us of our past, of all the things that are important to us. It may no long tick, but it carries the memory of every life is recorded. It beats with the echo of a million heartbeats.” (Clarke’s Dad to Clarke, p. 208)

More to come soon…

-K.

 

P.S. Song today? Yellow by Coldplay.

 

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Vengeance Becomes Her (Arcana Rising – A Book Review)

Arcana Rising (The Arcana Chronicles #4)
Author: Kresley Cole
Published: 2016

Arcana Rising

My Rating:Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

 

He’d asked me what I would sacrifice. I hadn’t been able to answer then, but I could now.

Not Jack.

After Richter, The Emperor, wreaks utter destruction, annihilating an entire army and more, Circe, The Priestess, strikes back with a force just as strong of . Evie, giving up after such a heavy loss, nearly lets her win, lets her kill her. Only one thing keeps her going. Vengeance. She will have it.

The remaining Arcana on the board have chosen their sides and the main battle can begin. Evie struggles to fight and keep going. Evie finds herself going darker and darker after finally getting to her Gran and learning of The Empress’s chronicles. Can Evie repress the red witch inside or will she let her loose to avenge all that she’s lost, becoming what Jack helped to suppress? The true Empress.

Could it be enough to take on Richter and his allies? Evie reunites with Aric and other fellow Arcana to build up a mighty force to fight back. It may prove difficult though after the bond between her and Death has been shaken and nearly destroyed by her choices. Can she and her allies rise to the heat of battle or will they fall like those who have already been swallowed up by Richter’s fires.

When the battle is done…And all hope is lost…Vengeance becomes everything.

 

Reviews for previous books in the series can be found below.

Poison Princess

Poison Princesshere

Endless Knight

Endless Knighthere

Dead of Winter - SR

Dead of Winterhere

Day Zero

Day Zerohere

 

So…Okay.

Yes.

I’m struggling to find words. Why you ask? Because this series is completely beautiful and also very destructive on my poor heart. I’ve said it once, twice, a bazillion times. I’m completely obsessed. The aftermath of Dead of Winter lingers over this entire book.

Evie Greene is struggling with heavy losses after a brutal attack from Richter (The Emperor of the major Arcana) has left nothing but destruction its wake. Her heart completely closed off, Aric (Death) helps her to recover from her mortal wounds, promising to help her avenge those that have been taken from her. The big showdown begins now (which makes me an even bigger wreck). I’m still working on my feelings at the moment. They’re everywhere and are hard to collect.

Arcana Rising

To keep up with the basics. The tone has been completely steady and keeping me on the edge of my seat. I’m very shocked, but somehow I’m still hanging on-not in the bad sense I mean. I mean that it’s a complete roller coaster that will leave you breathless. You’re holding on for dear life while. I read this book during my whole day off last week while watching Grace and Frankie (completely amazing show and also had me on the edge of my seat). It’s been a loooong time since I’ve done that, but I just couldn’t put it down. The book was glued to my fingers. The pacing was still moving fast and with a hyper awareness, but when you’re wondering each day if it’s your last day then it’s understandable.

Unlike the previous books, except for Day Zero, this book followed multiple POVs instead of only following Evie Greene. This was really awesome because it really spread the story out and allowed me to get a look at a few other characters that I really love. Each new POV was just as intense as it’s been with Evie throughout the series. There hasn’t been a single character that I’ve hated. Well, more specifically, there hasn’t been a character that I’ve hated because it’s a terrible character that makes now sense whatsoever. I have hated a character because from person to fictional person, I just don’t like them and hope they perish. Yes, Aric, I mean you. LOL. I swear, this series is giving me the Twilight PTSD (Team Edward or Team Jacob?). I’m still Team Jack. Freaking love that human and am crying an ocean of tears for him.

Buffy - Once More with Extreme Prejudice

Of course characters that we learned about in the previous volume (Day Zero) finally make an entrance and this deadly game of thunderdome is in full swing with all of the Arcana on the board. More! Evie’s Gran is actually alive and she’s also a little (A LOT) psycho. After reading her own chronicles on The Empress, Evie comes across unsettling discoveries about her friends and past games, and is deeply unsettled and unsure about who to trust. Her friends might not be her friends. With Gran’s ill condition worsening, she isn’t even sure she can trust her. She keeps telling her to release the red witch, which is the last thing Evie wants to do. But, with Jack…missing (queue my denial)…she may not be able to keep her at bay much longer.

Also, it turns out that the major Arcana are not the only ones on the battle board. The minor Arcana are floating around as well! Those like: ten of swords and queen of cups. I’ve been wondering for the last few books if they were a part of this and I’m so giddy to know that they are. They apparently aren’t people you want to walk up and expect a buddy-buddy moment to happen. They want this game to end just like them, possibly more than them.

Did I mention that my heart is utterly destroyed? It’s been ripped out, or at least it I wish is was. It would be much better than this pain I’m in over all of the emotional dread and heartache I feel. Kresley has truly messed with my emotions.

The twists! There are so many. There were several times I turned a nasty shade of red, teared up, and cried out “NOOO!”. I was losing it, utterly upset. And no, it wasn’t because this book was terrible. Not. At. All. It was because I felt like I was being torn apart by what was happening. You know the feeling. These characters you fall in love with that have great passion and intensity go and do all of these stupid things you disagree with. They go and stomp on your heart.  But the story is so great you can’t stop, so in the end you let them. That’s Evie Greene.

Arcana Rising

Like those previous, this book was amazing. I’ve already pre-ordered the next in the series that’s due out on February 13, 2018. Usually I’m pretty patient, but not about this book. I WANT IT RIGHT FREAKING NOW. I have no idea what will be coming and I’m not entirely sure that I’m emotionally prepared either, but I can’t wait.

 

Quotables:

“The Empress’s screams had awakened the dark in me. Reverse, perverse…The Dark Calling.” (Mathew, p. 59)

“Twist, tighten, constrict.” (Evie, p. 104)

“The gods decreed this game. They set events into motion eons ago. Someone has to win. No matter what, someone will win.” (Lark, p.116)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

P.S. Song today? Eyes Closed by Halsey.

 

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The Dream Job (Entrance – A Book Review)

Entrance
Author: J J Sorell
Published: 2017

Entrance

My Rating: Full boltFull bolt

Clarissa Moone is timid and shy and has a strong passion for art and the sixties. So when she gets a much coveted job for the bachelor, Mr. Aidan Thornhill who’s well-known for his charity and is an art enthusiast like herself, she’s ecstatic. A completely new wardrobe, personal cottage, and all the food you can eat along with flexible hours? Who doesn’t want this job! But, who is Mr. Thornhill? Everybody else has seemed to meet him except her.

However, she keeps running into a mysterious man around the estate. Feeling sparks every time they meet, she begins to wonder if it’s meant to be. Then she discovers that he’s Mr. Thornhill himself. Flames form from those sparks and, though she’s told she shouldn’t, she falls head over lust over love with her new boss. What could go wrong?

This book was given to me by the author via e-book in exchange for an honest review on my blog. So here we go.

This story started out so promising. I was super excited! This is a fairytale type of story for me. I mean come on! Girl falls in love with rich guy and the sex is great? Perfection. Clarissa gets the dream. She has the gorgeous body and gets her hot guy! As I kept reading though, this feeling dwindled. I don’t have any issues with the erotica genre. None whatsoever. I just didn’t get a lot out of this.

This book begins with a warning, which is incredibly thoughtful. There are readers who don’t prefer a lot of sex in their books, which is completely fine. As somebody who’s alright with it, I can say that I hoped for more. My toes didn’t curl and I didn’t get the warm shivers as I read. I didn’t get much of anything past utter intrigue. There was sadly no book-gasm.

grimace

The story didn’t appear very realistic to me. A lot of the setting of the estate and other places seemed too vague for me at times. There were moments that I felt were very interesting, but they were cut so short. There was a moment to linger in who Clarissa was and how she felt when it came to Aidan. I just didn’t get enough of a grasp for either. It wasn’t that is was fast paced, it was that it all felt rushed.

I struggled with some of the details, too. I was shaking my head a lot because certain bits and pieces just didn’t make sense to me. For example, (and this isn’t that spoilery in regard to the story, but this is so you understand what I’m getting at,) Clarissa was gifted a company credit card so that she could purchase some clothes for her work wardrobe and later on a few ball gowns for upcoming events. Now ball gowns are expensive, plus there are shoes and jewelry to account for in addition to the dresses. Your average dress run approx. (and depending on the amount of fancy, which from how these events were described, is uber fancy) $2,000-$5,000. Then with shoes you’re looking at $200-$1,000. Then with jewelry you may be looking at least north of $150 possibly. The limit on her card? $10,000. Doesn’t make sense to me, especially with Aidan Thornhill being a billionaire. I would’ve expected a much larger card limit.  This is only one example and I’ve gone over it with a few people I know because I was utterly stumped and disenchanted.

WHAT - codigonuevo

The story came off repetitive and when that happens I tend to skip over parts. You’ve read it already, so why read it for a fifth time ten chapters later? I was really interested in the developing relationship between Aidan and Clarissa. When she and Aidan would interact it always felt the same every time nearly. They’d also repeat what the other person says and I didn’t understand why.

Ever read a story that throws you off because you can’t get a handle on the voice of the character? That happened for me here. There were times that Clarissa sounded like the up and coming young woman who was striking out on her own and then other times she came across as an eight year old girl. She’d switch between talking intensely about art and how she loved her new job and then she’d switch out and then she’d use words like tummy and yummy, coming off as baby-ish. It really threw me off trying to latch on to her voice and grasp onto what type of person she is.

The story itself was sweet and a dream. Everybody wants the perfect job and guy/girl and be able to make a good paycheck. They want everything Clarissa achieved. But it was just that. A dream to me because everything else around it didn’t really lift me up or stand out. I’m pretty sad about that. I felt deflated, which sucks because romances should yank you up into the fluffy clouds. I just had a really tough time with it. We didn’t click.

frowny face

I want to give this book so much love, but I just can’t get there. I know there are so many positive reviews on Goodreads about the book, but I just wasn’t feeling it. I couldn’t get attached. So I’m pretty sure I’m just one of those people who just didn’t get fulfilled here.

More to come soon…

-K.

P.S. Song today? Will Not Back Down by Alex Band.

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