Tag Archive | action

Review: Nemesis by Anna Banks

nemesis -anna banksPrincess Sepora of Serubel is the last Forger in all the five kingdoms. The spectorium she creates provides energy for all, but now her father has found a way to weaponize it, and his intentions to incite war force her to flee his grasp. She escapes across enemy lines into the kingdom of Theoria, but her plans to hide are thwarted when she is captured and placed in the young king’s servitude.

Tarik has just taken over rulership of Theoria, and must now face a new plague sweeping through his kingdom and killing his citizens. The last thing he needs is a troublesome servant vying for his attention. But Mistress Sepora will not be ignored. When the two finally meet face-to-face, they form an unlikely bond that complicates life in ways neither of them could have imagined.

Sepora’s gift may be able to save Tarik’s kingdom. But should she risk exposing herself and her growing feelings for her nemesis?


3 Drink Me Potions


Nemesis had a delicious slow-burn kind of romance between rival kingdom heirs that had me gripping the edge of my seat as I tore through the book. Where it mostly delivered on its promise for romance, it neglected to expand and explore the fantastical components of the story.

Who doesn’t love the kind of love story between enemies? Especially when one is living unbeknownst in the midst of the other’s household. Sepora held the key to a dangerous element that could be used against others if it fell into the wrong hands. Fleeing her home country and falling into the absolute worst place in her enemy kingdom may seem like a familiar trope, but it worked well for this novel.

I enjoyed the witty banter between Tarik and Sepora, although he only viewed her as his highest servant throughout most of the story. They may have been attracted to each other in the beginning but it wasn’t instant love for these two. They got to know each other a bit more, explore Tarik’s kingdom together and learn what it meant to rule.

Where it went wrong in this book mostly resided in a few things:

1) Sepora’s escape and initial journeys to Theoria took AGES, yet we know from the synopsis that she would end up in Tarik’s harem at some point. Did we have to spend so much time with her captors and the endless trek to their destination? I’m not sure we learned all that much about Sepora or this world in that time.

2) The lack of “real” action in this story may not be immediately evident but action only came in the sense of the THREAT of war from Sepora’s kingdom of Serubela. Nothing actually really “happens” on this front. If one didn’t come in hoping to get mostly a love story brimmed with romantic tensions, then it would very noticeable.

I know I shouldn’t be too harsh. I overall did enjoy Nemesis and the slew of several secondary characters. I’m not sure how realistic these people were (for example, Rashidi and Master Healer Cy) as they either fall under stereotypical tropes of these types of characters (grouchy old adviser) or weren’t described as someone you’d think would fit this description (ridiculously mature 13-year-old the king would consult on like, everything). But either way, they spiced up the story a bit more or else this book really would just be about Tarik and Sepora’s romantic problems.

How you’d fare with this book is pretty subjective, but at the heart of it, it would seem that Nemesis is just a romantic story like any found in a contemporary novel but set in some fantasy world with bits of special abilities in individuals.

Overall Recommendation:
Nemesis was slow to start and lacking of any true action that the synopsis may hint as the romance takes priority. While it can’t be described as any action-packed fantasy novel by any means, it can be applauded for its slow-burn romance that had my heart racing at times as I waited for sweet hot moments between enemies Tarik and Sepora. At the end of the day, I’d say this book is more recommended for romance lovers than fantasy lovers as the time allotted for each aspect is clearly unbalanced.

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Review: Fireblood by Elly Blake

Series: Frostblood Saga #2

fireblood -elly blakeAll hail the Fire Queen.

Against all odds, Ruby has defeated the villainous Frost King and melted his throne of ice. But the bloodthirsty Minax that was trapped inside is now haunting her kingdom and everyone she loves. The answers to its demise may lie to the south in Sudesia, the land of the Firebloods, and a country that holds the secrets to Ruby’s powers and past…

Despite warnings from her beloved Arcus, Ruby accompanies a roguish Fireblood named Kai to Sudesia, where she must master her control of fire in a series of trials to gain the trust of the suspicious Fire Queen. Only then can she hope to access the knowledge that could defeat the rampaging Minax—which grows closer every moment. But as sparks fly in her moments alone with Kai, Ruby no longer knows whom to trust.

The fates of two kingdoms are now in her hands.


4 Drink Me Potions


Let me just say that hands down, this novel restores my faith in authors who can make amazing sequels that may even surpass the original novel, especially one where I could see its potential for greatness. Fireblood was both exhilarating and fast-paced while building more on top of this world’s history and ideologies. I would say that is a huge feat.

This story focuses on Ruby’s journey and mission in her home country of Sudesia. I loved learning more about this place and the Fireblood masters’ abilities. There were so many more facets of Ruby’s powers and background that just became more clear in this book as she never really related to the Frostbloods.

Never fear, Frostblood lovers. There were snippets still in Tempesia, though this was mostly restricted to the beginning. I enjoyed seeing the aftermath of book 1 and how things weren’t as rosy as our protagonists had hoped. Frostbloods are still racist and probably secretly hoping for Ruby’s head on a stick!

What came with this was seeing Ruby’s relationship with Arcus now that his mission to take the throne was accomplished. The one thing that made this less than a perfect rating is the somewhat limited amount of interaction with him in this book. Clearly he’s not headed to Sudesia with her unless he has a secret death wish. That’d be irresponsible of him. While Arcus isn’t featured as heavily as book 1, for all you Arcus lovers out there, he’s still relevant as I’ll explain in a moment.

Another main thing that occurs in this book is the introduction of Kai, a charming Fireblood who I can’t decide whether I love him or not. There’s definitely an attraction of sorts between him and Ruby, but honestly, it doesn’t bloom into a hard choice for her to pick between the two suitors. So I wouldn’t necessarily classify him as a love triangle but that brings me to question why any of this was even introduced in the first place. Don’t get me wrong, I love Kai as a fun and easygoing friend in this book, but I’m not sure I see the relevance of being potential competition for Arcus when Ruby spent a lot of time pining away for him.

This is where Arcus is still relevant. He makes his appearances in the book beyond just the very beginning (don’t you worry, I’m Team Arcus all the way) although a huge part of me yearned for more interactions between him and Ruby like in book 1. There were romantic tensions that occurred near the beginning when they separated that had my heartstrings crying out for closure and it definitely hastened my page-flipping to see how it all tied up at the end. Without ruining much, I believe Elly handled it amazingly – even with the “love triangle” present for which I’m never a huge fan of in any book – and that’s not usually the case for me and love triangles. Honestly, we just don’t mix very well. So that says something.

Aside from romantic entanglements and such, the last 100 pages had me gripped in a breathless frenzy. Everything’s setting the stage for the big conclusion, and while some things weren’t necessarily unpredictable, I still really enjoyed how it got there and the revelations about Ruby that unfolded slowly. Little tidbits really are starting to fall into place and I’m so looking forward to what the last book brings! Can next year come a little closer? Please?

Overall Recommendation:

Fireblood is the rarity that excels beyond its predecessor, a marvellous feat that has shown us that Elly Blake can really craft a wonderful story that ties so well together beyond a single book. With more world building and character development in Ruby, the pages really go by fast as new revelations are made and relationships are tested. While not truly a love triangle themed story in my opinion, the additional characters introduced in this sequel gave the overall cast more diversity and molded different sides to our favourite protagonists. Honestly? I just cannot wait to get my hands on book 3, Nightblood. And you should too.

Note: meeting the author had in no way biased or affected my review on this novel as I look at a book for what it is regardless of my (positive or negative) feelings about the author.

Review: Seven Black Diamonds by Melissa Marr

Series: Seven Black Diamonds #1

seven black diamonds -melissa marrLilywhite Abernathy is a criminal. Her father’s “unconventional” business has meant a life of tightly held secrets, concealed weaponry, and a strict code. But Lily’s crime isn’t being the daughter of a powerful mob boss. Her guilt lies in the other half of her DNA—the part that can coax ancient rumors from stones and summon fire with a thought. Lily is part fae, which is a crime in her world.

From the time before she was born, a war has been raging between humanity and fae. The Queen of Blood and Rage, ruler of both the Seelie and Unseelie courts, wants to avenge the tragic death of her heir—a death that was the fault of reckless humans.

Lily’s father has shielded her from the repercussions of her ancestry…until she is sent to the prestigious St. Columba’s school, straight into the arms of the Black Diamonds.

Mysterious, glamorous, and bound together in their mission but constantly at odds, Zephyr, Creed, Will, Roan, Violet, and Alkamy are a Sleeper cell of fae, planted in the human world to help destroy it from within. With covers as rock stars and celebrity children, the Black Diamonds carry out the queen’s war against humanity. And unbeknownst to Lilywhite, she’s been chosen to join them.

Now more than ever, Lily’s heritage puts her in peril, and even the romantic attention of the fae singer Creed Morrison isn’t enough to keep Lily from wanting to run back to the safer world of organized crime.

Melissa Marr returns to faery in a dramatic story of the precarious space between two worlds and the people who must thrive there.


1 Drink Me Potion


DNF at ~25%

Sigh. I haven’t DNF’ed a book in a long while, but oh, Melissa Marr, how I’m disappointed.

Let me start off by disclosing that I wavered on her popular Wicked Lovely series after we hit the middle books. There were just too many and I was tired of the plot. That being said, I came into this book and series with an open mind and hoped to God that I would love it.

Why this didn’t happen:

A) Too many POVs and characters popping up.

Sometimes it just got downright confusing and I found it hard to connect or care about any of these people.

B) Lilywhite.

Dang, that girl just made me cringe. Clearly she’s being set up as someone special but I just couldn’t take it anymore. She wasn’t particularly nice to anyone and didn’t seem to need good opinions from others. At least that was my impression of her.

C) The writing.

It was repetitive as other reviewers have noted and it made the book drag a little. Maybe it prevented me from connecting with the characters too. Who knows. But something about it bugged me.

D) The romances.

I JUST DON’T LIKE CREED. He doesn’t seem quite like a lovable bad boy or a very nice guy to play the love interest. I’d rather Lily pick anyone else (though I probably shouldn’t care ’cause I don’t even like her).

And then there’s Zephyr who seems cool enough but I don’t particularly think that’s happening. Plus, he seems to be denying himself from feelings for another girl and it’s just a bit much to me.

While I get these things aren’t the be all, end all of a story and other books may feature these flaws too, put together it just rubbed me wrong in this book. The only element I found myself liking was Eilidh (pronounced AY-LEIGH) and her POV. I empathized with her situation a bit and the potential budding romance, but she features so rarely here that it didn’t seem worthwhile to continue.

Maybe it’s just me but I tried to love this book and I couldn’t. It may not be so bad for others but it didn’t work for me. Marr may be a great fantasy author for some, but for now; her works on faeries just don’t captivate my heart.

Overall Recommendation:

Seven Black Diamonds could’ve been a great novel on friendships, romances and political intrigue with the fae. However, with too many POVs and characters to understand – not to mention the kinda writing that just bored me too easily – this book just couldn’t execute what I had hoped for it. It may just be me, but I don’t think this book is for everyone.


Fan or foe? Do you think faerie stories are getting overrated?