Tag Archive | action

Review: Ever the Brave by Erin Summerill

Series: Clash of Kingdoms #2

ever the brave -erin summerillEver the Divided. Ever the Feared. Ever the Brave.

After saving King Aodren with her newfound Channeler powers, Britta only wants to live a peaceful life in her childhood home.

Unfortunately, saving the King has created a tether between them she cannot sever, no matter how much she’d like to, and now he’s insisting on making her a noble lady.

And there are those who want to use Britta’s power for evil designs. If Britta cannot find a way to harness her new magical ability, her life—as well as her country—may be lost.

The stakes are higher than ever in the sequel to Ever the Hunted, as Britta struggles to protect her kingdom and her heart.

3 Drink Me Potions

Ever the Brave brings this duology into a satisfactory ending with bits of action, romance and girl-power stances.

Moving a while after the end of book 1, this novel continues to develop the conspiracy angle and the mystery behind the magical attack on the king. While it doesn’t remain a mystery for long (like, it’s literally given away in Britta’s first POV), that little twist was a nice add-on. I’m not sure if I liked having it given away so early on, or knowing the fact of who it is but trying to figure out where the author is going with this little tidbit of information.

The action gets a little slow at times what with POV transitionings. A few newer characters are introduced here, with familiar faces from book 1 making appearances. However, they seemed a bit two-dimensional at times as the focus was on the 3 main characters.

That’s right. THREE main characters.

I will admit that the previous novel left me in a tizzy as there were hints of a love triangle blooming. Well guess what? I was RIGHT. Erin added in the king as a separate protagonist. I’m not sure how I feel about it, but I suppose it wasn’t so bad as it wasn’t a true triangle.

What do I mean by that? Well, Britta was somewhat easy to like still but I had trouble connecting with her on this book. Maybe it had to do with 3 POVs instead of 2, but she didn’t really stick out to me. However, I adore her for standing firm to her feelings, and taking the time to decide who was the one for her without dragging both boys along.

Of course, a lot of that good thinking came from Cohen. Ah, Cohen. If he was the protagonist in this whole series, I would’ve gobbled up this novel so much faster. Erin does well in writing out both his flaws and his abilities. I felt I didn’t get enough of him in book 1 so I’m quite satisfied with how it went with his character development here.

While I enjoyed Ever the Brave enough, sometimes I felt like it was missing something. That extra umph you know? The plot was fine, the 3 protagonists were fine (aside from those weird scenes with the king whose name I shall not even bother mentioning – but he was a nice guy otherwise), and the ending was pretty great – all wrapped up in a bow.

Then what was I missing? I’m not sure. Maybe a bit more action, or a few more unexpected twists to keep readers on their toes. The solution to all their conflicts wasn’t as amazing or dramatic as it was set up to be and that was a bit of a letdown.

Would I recommend this then? Well, I’m a sucker for YA fantasies, especially those with cute romances and happy endings. Ever the Brave checked both these things off although I may have had some issues with it overall. But the answer would still be yes. I suggest coming into this with an open mind. Maybe it’s just me very used to high fantasies and unpredictable story lines. I think this series was worthwhile reading in the end.

Overall Recommendation:
Ever the Brave smoothly brought forth a happy ending for this duology, and while that sounds like a good thing, it could have done a bit better. From a love triangle that almost seemed unnecessary to the inability for me to connect with Britta, I had some issues getting through the book. The plot is simple and sometimes predictable, but if you love a book that brings out good and heartwarming feelings in you, then it more than does the job. Maybe a little lacking compared to high fantasies, this series at least put a smile on my face at the end of the day.


Review: Everless by Sara Holland

Series: Everless #1

everless -sara hollandIn the kingdom of Sempera, time is currency—extracted from blood, bound to iron, and consumed to add time to one’s own lifespan. The rich aristocracy, like the Gerlings, tax the poor to the hilt, extending their own lives by centuries.

No one resents the Gerlings more than Jules Ember. A decade ago, she and her father were servants at Everless, the Gerlings’ palatial estate, until a fateful accident forced them to flee in the dead of night. When Jules discovers that her father is dying, she knows that she must return to Everless to earn more time for him before she loses him forever.

But going back to Everless brings more danger—and temptation—than Jules could have ever imagined. Soon she’s caught in a tangle of violent secrets and finds her heart torn between two people she thought she’d never see again. Her decisions have the power to change her fate—and the fate of time itself.

4 Drink Me Potions

**Everless comes out January 2, 2018**

Thank you HarperCollins and Edelweiss for this copy in exchange for an honest review

I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about Everless at first, but boy was my opinion changed in a matter of moments. This book was one quick and easy read, filled with intrigue and a new, unique twist on a magic system in fantasy.

Jules has always hated Everless and the privileged people who lived there, where their vaults were filled with blood-iron that captured the essence of time to prolong one’s life if ingested. Where she now lived with her sick father, time was only taken instead of received.

Enter the Gerling boys, Roan and Liam. I wasn’t sure if this book initially vied for a love triangle but thankfully it wasn’t really such a thing. The romance was minimal, as some other reviewers noted, but there was one whom she felt attracted to and another whom I was secretly rooting for as there are some sort of strong feelings geared towards him.

Either way, no matter if the romance wasn’t as heavy in this fantasy, the storyline very much made up for it (or if you’re the kind of person who doesn’t love a huge dollop of romance in their fantasies, then this is EVEN better for you!). Secrets abounded as Jules made her way to Everless. Vague memories and dreams that didn’t seem to have any meaning.

Then there’s the mystery of who created the first blood-iron and the legend surrounding these individuals. How did this relate to what was happening in Jules’ time and the upcoming nuptials of Roan to the Queen’s heir? Although the plot initially seemed simple enough, it had a surprising amount of twists that I didn’t quite foresee. Everless definitely didn’t quite fit into a straightforward formula for fantasy writing, and I was more than pleasantly surprised.

Sara Holland’s debut novel seems to have started off with a big bang, and I look forward to reading more in this series and from her!

Overall Recommendation:
Everless was different than I had initially expected, beyond just a simple fantasy story filled with magic and a girl who doesn’t fit in. Surprising twists in the plot and intrigue upon intrigue as we follow Jules on her journey to Everless topped everything while the unique magic system on ingestible time pieces kept me fascinated. I’m the kinda girl who loves a good romance, and although the romance wasn’t much in the book, it was enough that I could root for someone to be with Jules. Overall, I liked this book more than I thought I would, and that really says volumes.

Review: The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell

Series: The Last Magician #1

the last magician -lisa maxwellStop the Magician. Steal the book. Save the future.

In modern-day New York, magic is all but extinct. The remaining few who have an affinity for magic—the Mageus—live in the shadows, hiding who they are. Any Mageus who enters Manhattan becomes trapped by the Brink, a dark energy barrier that confines them to the island. Crossing it means losing their power—and often their lives.

Esta is a talented thief, and she’s been raised to steal magical artifacts from the sinister Order that created the Brink. With her innate ability to manipulate time, Esta can pilfer from the past, collecting these artifacts before the Order even realizes she’s there. And all of Esta’s training has been for one final job: traveling back to 1902 to steal an ancient book containing the secrets of the Order—and the Brink—before the Magician can destroy it and doom the Mageus to a hopeless future.

But Old New York is a dangerous world ruled by ruthless gangs and secret societies, a world where the very air crackles with magic. Nothing is as it seems, including the Magician himself. And for Esta to save her future, she may have to betray everyone in the past.

5 Drink Me Potions

If you want action, excitement, mystery, intrigue and plot twists, then The Last Magician is completely for you!

First off, I need to say that Lisa Maxwell is absolutely phenomenal in her storytelling. I fell in love with this 1900s version of New York and I never wanted to leave it. It’s so very hard to write a good historical fantasy that stays true to the time and location that was chosen. I absolutely loved this, and felt completely immersed in this land as much as Esta did.

Mystery and intrigue are high up there as we follow Esta back to the past to stop this elusive man known only as The Magician from destroying a book of magic that held secrets to protecting all those born with magical abilities in the future. What a tall order that was, but this girl was courageous – if not a bit too reckless at times. She was an amazing protagonist to follow as she navigated a world that wasn’t completely her own yet felt somewhat familiar at the same time.

If that wasn’t enough, the pacing of the book always felt just right. Yes, it could get a little slower in some places, but this gave room for introducing new characters and building relationships. Although a good romance is always forefront on my mind whenever I read a book, I enjoyed the friendships made along the way in this past time. And the book wasn’t completely devoid of romance!

The Magician, as it turns out, was no other than Harte Darrigan, an intriguing guy to follow in the book as well. Although it wasn’t always clear what his intentions and plans were, he’s a character that you can totally put your faith in and support no matter how sketchy others may have viewed him at times. And his chemistry with Esta was tangible, especially when they were at odds with each other. No matter that she’s supposedly his enemy and would have to betray him at some point to get the book, there was so much anticipation for what could be between them. And let me just say, it was enough to satisfy, although I honestly can’t wait for book 2 to come out already.

Even if none of the above has gotten your heart pumping by now, how about this? At the heart of the story, it’s a complicated con and heist that the crew Esta joins would need to pull off in order to steal from the horrendous Order that is hunting all magical people. Who doesn’t love a good villain, first of all? What’s better than some elusive and secretive group chasing the good guys? Honestly, this book HAS IT ALL.

Whether you’re looking for romance, action, suspense, plot twists, good world building or character development, The Last Magician really does have it all . It’s been a long time since I felt this way for a new author, but this feeling Lisa Maxwell induced in me is akin to reading some of Cassandra Clare, J.K. Rowling and Julie Kagawa’s books. No matter what you love more, or if you aren’t the biggest fan of historical books, trust me, you have GOT to give this a try.

It just may change your entire perspective. Or engulf a good portion of your time as you escape into New York, 1902.

Overall Recommendation:
Words are no match to the strong feelings that The Last Magician has invoked in me. Full of intrigue, suspense, action, character development and romance, Esta’s mission into the past to steal back a book that could save other magical people is both daring and more complex than it initially seems. Along the way, you’ll fall in love with the people she meets there, from a magical crew who becomes like family and a certain Magician who is more than meets the eye. And if not the people, you’ll come to love New York as it was in 1902, with magic as normal as your average person. Lisa Maxwell has created a world that I fell completely into and never wanted to leave. Book 2 is on my most anticipated list for 2018!