The Charismatics

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Title: The Charismatics

Author: Ashley R. Carson

Type: Fantasy, Adventure, Suspense, Action, Romance

Rating: 4 stars

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I can’t shake this feeling that I’ve been lied to, nor that I’m partly to blame. I’ve spent my life following orders, never questioning Legalia’s decisions for me, for the world. I had food, shelter, better living conditions than most-why rock the boat?

Because you can choose between doing what is comfortable, or doing what is right, answers the small voice within me.

I was afraid of that.

An arranged marriage. A corrupt government called Legalia. A forbidden spiritual realm.

Duchess Ambrose Killaher was just seventeen years old when exiled to Shinery-a city of snow and darkness-to marry a man who despised her, finding her only solace in an invisible companion named Roan.

Now as the poor starve in the streets below and rebellious acts become a frequent occurrence, Shinery holds its yearly celebration to commemorate Legalia’s rule. But when Ambrose stumbles into a hidden courtroom and witnesses a violent murder, she is thrust into a secret world of the supernatural-one that could endanger everyone she’s grown to care for. With the help of a handsome stranger, Ambrose learns of the past Legalia has covered up, and that she alone possesses the power to stop their unspeakable plans for the future.

This book made me feel ecstatic, anxious, enraged, and depressed, not necessarily good for my mental health. Reading this book turned out to be one hell of a roller coaster ride, and I seriously wanted to either hug the book, or throw it on the wall :D. If you enjoy books that make you feel, this is definitely a read for you.

The book starts off with Duchess Ambrose, who lives a privileged life in Legalia. She has riches, beautiful dresses, and is sheltered from the outside world. However, her husband hates her and she has an invisible friend that no one else could see. Truth to be told, I was a bit puzzled by the first chapter of the book, since I had no idea how the author will build upon the story from this point. But I stuck to the story, and so far that was the best decision I have ever made this month.

In the beginning of the book, I first disliked Duchess Ambrose because of her cluelessness of the struggles of her people. I revised my point of view of her later on and started cheering for her throughout the whole story. I soon loved her character, even though she had her less-than-pleasant moments (crying about Vasser). Out of all the characters in the book, she had the best character development, and when she started fighting back against the government instead of being a puppet, I was elated to say the least. Duchess Ambrose is certainly one of the main reasons why I love this book.

The other characters are well-written as well, and their personalities shone throughout the whole book. There was such contrast between the characters, and their interactions towards each other kept me at the edge of my seat the entire time I was reading. Add to that the steampunk setting, and heaps and heaps of suspense and political intrigue, it was safe to say I was hooked on the storyline. One more thing about the characters. Evelyn. If there was a character that I would choose to hate on for the rest of my life, it would be Evelyn. I hated her so much, that I loved her. If that did not make any sense, pick up this book and read it. You will understand.

There were a few things that I wanted to change in this book. The first and foremost thing I wanted to edit in this book was the pacing. The pacing…just no. The moment I was introduced to the Charismata and Roanie, I wanted to bust out of my seat and find out more about them. This was not to be the case. I waited for one half (one half!) of the book to get on with the plotline. I could wait for a little while, sure, to read more about them, but to wait for one half of the book? No. No. Not happening. Moving on, the second thing I wanted to change ties back to my first point. The writing gets off track sometimes, and that makes me feel confused about where the storyline is going.

Other than that, this book receives 4 whole stars from me, since it’s just that good (one star off because of the pacing). I would certainly recommend this to my friends and family, and will look forward to the continuation of the series.

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B|t|B : How Well do you know your Literature Challenge #1

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Test your knowledge here!

Between|the|Blurb

Hello my fellow bookworms and page turners, today’s post is a little bit of fun!

Now I know you all think you know your literature, but exactly how well do you know it? well I have derived a small fun test, simply distinguish what popular work of fictional literature these maps are from. There are Seven wonders of the world, so naturally there are seven magical and wonderful worlds to Identify!

Simply submit your answers from the multiple choice options for each map in the comment section below. I will reveal the correct answers in 1 weeks time! and will also congratulate anyone who get all 7 correct!

Map No #1

book maps 11

The Dario of Christopher Columbus – Christopher Columbus
Around the world in 80 days – Jules Verne
The Hobbit – J. R. R. Tolkien
Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea – Jules Verne

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Map No #2

Lev Grossman’s “The Magicians

The Magicians by Lev…

View original post 200 more words

The Last of the Firedrakes, Blog Tour

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The Author, Ms. Farah Oomerbhoy~

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Title: The Last of the Firedrakes

Author: Farah Oomerbhoy

Type: Fantasy, Adventure, Romance

Rating: 3.5-4 stars

When I first read the blurb, I was all like, “Epic fantasy!!! I need this!”. Thankfully, I wasn’t disappointed by this book ;D. The concept (although the names of the characters and places seemed borderline cheesy), and the relationships between the main characters are well-written. Also, the decisions made by the characters seemed realistic, although there were some questionable choices the characters made that detracted some of the characters good qualities.

The main protagonist, Aurora, is bullied in school and is verbally abused by her terrible aunt and cousin. Her uncle does not seem to care about her either, which is just another thing to add to the list of why her life is miserable. But when her uncle trades her for money, she is brought to a different and more magical world than ours, and finds out that she is the lone heir to an incredible kingdom.

Aurora, at first, seems like a pitiful human being at first, since she longs to be accepted by her adopted family and her classmates in school. This all changes when she realizes she doesn’t have to live in her perfect cousin’s shadow and that she has her own special power. After being transported into the new world, Aurora develops into an independent and strong character who knows what she wants and what her responsibilities entail. I really liked how Aurora admitted that she didn’t have the capabilities to rule a whole kingdom despite having loads of magical power. However, she stood up to her duties and didn’t let them overwhelm her. She had some bad moments too, like her infatuation to Rafe (I’m not a big fan of insta-love 😦 ), and she made some decisions that created bad outcomes. Still, I really liked her. 

The other characters in this book are also well-written. I really liked Snow, Aurora’s pegasus, and Aurora’s friends, Kalen, Vivienne, and Erien. The side characters weren’t swept to the side and completely ignored in the story, they actually had their own lives and their own responsibilities. I loved Erien and Vivienne’s relationship, they may be my favorite couple in the book despite not really being a couple. The grown-ups in the story are also mature and supportive, and they actually behave like actual grown-ups!

Then why did I give a 4 star rating? There were two reasons, first was that there was an overuse of fantasy names. There was a lot of things that was overused in fantasy books, like mages and being the savior of the whole universe gig. The second reason was that I really, really, really, didn’t like the love interest of Aurora, Rafe. It may be just me, but he seemed like a jerk to me as a person, even if he did some good things to help his kingdom. Maybe his attitude towards Aurora will change later in the series :).

Overall, I really liked this read. I would recommend this book to fantasy lovers, and people who just want to read a warm, feel-good book.

About the Author:

For Farah Oomerbhoy, writing is a passion and reading her solace. She is a firm believer in the fantastic and magical, and often dreams of living in Narnia, Neverland, or the Enchanted Forest.

Farah lives with her husband and three children in their family home in Mumbai, India. She has a Master’s degree in English Literature from the University of Mumbai. Her first novel, The Last of the Firedrakes, Book 1 of the Avalonia Chronicles will be published worldwide August 15th, 2015.

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A fantastic adventure story that will transport you to a dazzling world of myth and magic.

16-year-old Aurora Darlington is an orphan. Mistreated by her adopted family and bullied at school, she dreams of running away and being free. But when she is kidnapped and dragged through a portal into a magical world, suddenly her old life doesn’t seem so bad.

Avalonia is a dangerous land ruled by powerful mages and a cruel, selfish queen who will do anything to control all seven kingdoms—including killing anyone who stands in her way.  Thrust headlong into this new, magical world, Aurora’s arrival sets plans in motion that threaten to destroy all she holds dear.

With the help of a young fae, a magical pegasus, and a handsome mage, Aurora journeys across Avalonia to learn the truth about her past and unleash the power within herself. Kingdoms collide as a complicated web of political intrigue and ancient magic lead Aurora to unravel a shocking secret that will change her life forever.

Amazon | B&N | Apple | Kobo | Smashwords | Itasca Books | Goodreads

***This ARC was provided by Netgalley***

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Tour Wide Giveaway Codes:

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Blog Tour Schedule:

August 14th – Reads All The Books – Review

August 15th – Dizneeee’s World of Books – Review / Guest Post

August 15th – Melissa Martin’s Reading List – Review / Top 5/10 Post

August 17th – Ya Fiction Queen – Guest Post

August 17th – Christine Abee – Review

August 18th – Books, Stars, Writing. And Everything In Between – Interview

August 18th – EndlessReading – Review

August 19th – Motif by Tanya – Author Interview

August 19th – Ramblings of a Perpetual New Girl – Review / Guest Post

August 20th – Ramblings of a Perpetual New Girl – Review / Guest Post

August 21st – Book Addict – Guest Post / Author Interview

August 21st – Author of The Not So Public Library – Review / Interview

August 24th – Miranda’s Book Blog – Review / Guest Post

August 25th – BookishFever – Review

August 26th – The Reader and the Chef – Review / Top 5 or 10

August 27th – The Power of Three Readers – Promo

August 27th – Ashley Martinez – Review

August 28th – Bookish – Review

August 31st – The Renegade Zombie Reviews – Review / Author Interview

September 1st – Beauty’s Library – Review / Guest Post

September 2nd – Pixie Vixen Reviews – Character Interview

September 3rd – Creatyvebooks – Review / Author Interview

September 4th –

September 7th – serenastone – Author Interview

September 8th –

September 9th – Read with Royella – Review

September 10th – Reading with AngelaRenea – Review / Author Interview

September 11th – Atomic Pirate Girl’s Book Worm Booty – Review

September 11th – Triple T Tots tweens and teens – Review / Teasers

September 14th – Anything but Vanilla Book Blog – Playlist

September 14th – Rockin’ Book Reviews – Review

Liebster Award

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Hello my fellow bookworms!

Today I found out I was nominated for the Liebster Award by the amazing @BetweenTheBlurb! Thank you for nominating me!

The Liebster Award is a great way to promote and support other bloggers’ blogs and share more ideas in the WordPress community. There are some rules you have to follow, but they could be easily accomplished :).

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So here are the rules:

1.) Each nominee must have less than 200 followers.

2.) You must thank the person who nominated you and put their link in your post.

3.) Answer 10 questions given to you, give 10 of your own for your nominees to answer.

4.) Nominate up to 10 blogs.

5.) Write a post containing your questions and in that post, write your answers to the questions asked by the blogger who nominated you.

6.) Include these rules in your post.

Here are the questions asked by John @BetweenTheBlurb:

1. In your own words, what do you think makes a good storyteller?

A good storyteller is someone who can paint a clear image using only words. Also, they should make any story sound interesting.

2. Where is your upmost favorite place to read, and why?

In a coffee shop! There’s this soft background noise in coffee shops that just helps me relax a lot. Also, you can buy coffees and pastries while reading!

3. What is your snack/beverage when reading?

Usually some kind of pastry, water, or coffee if I can get my hands on it. 😀

4. Do you think an illustrated cover plays a part in the book buying process?

For me, yes. The main reason why I usually pick up a book is the cover art. However, that is only one step of the process. If the first chapter or the blurb doesn’t capture my attention, then I usually put the book back. Then again, that is just my preference.

5. If you could live any book, which one would it be?

I’ve thought about this question a lot, but I would probably want to be part of Alice’s hunting group in Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter, or an Orange in the Darkest Minds series by Alexandra Bracken.

6. If you could change one thing in your favorite book what would it be?

My current favorite book, the Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard, is an amazing book, but it lacks humor. If there was a little better, I would definitely add it to my “Books I Will Love For The Rest Of My Life” list!

7. What is your favorite genre to read?

I think this is pretty obvious, but YA fiction with some sci-fi, fantasy, and a little bit of romance is the best genre for me!

8. Do you have a rating system for your reviews?

Yes, I use a five star rating system.

9. What is your top read of the year thus far?

The Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard, followed closely by An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir and A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah Maas.

10. What are you currently reading/reviewing?

The Last of the Firedrakes by Farah Oomerbhoy.

And here are my own questions:

1. What makes a book a “movie-worthy” book?

2. What do you do when you don’t have any books to read?

3. If there is one character you would delete in any book, who would it be and why?

4. If you were to write a book, what would the plot be?

5. What makes a good villain for a story?

6. If you could be any character in any book, who would you be and why?

7. If you wrote a book, what would be the first sentence of the first chapter?

8. Who is your favorite fictional sidekick in any book?

9. What ending in any book would you change if you were the author?

10. What is your main reaction/feeling when you finish a really good book?

Last but not the least, here are my nominees…

1. @Ahck!Furball!

2. @Geo’sBookBlog

3. @LoveAndOtherBookishThings

4. @DreamingThroughLiterature

5.@TravellinginmyBookcase

6.@FeatherBookmark

Until next time,

The Renegade Zombie

As Red As Blood

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Title: As Red As Blood

Author: Sally Simukka

Type: Suspense, Mystery, Thriller

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

 In the midst of the freezing Arctic winter, seventeen-year-old Lumikki Andersson walks into her school’s dark room and finds a stash of wet, crimson-colored money. Thousands of Euros left to dry—splattered with someone’s blood.

Lumikki lives alone in a studio apartment far from her parents and the past she left behind. She transferred into a prestigious art school, and she’s singularly focused on studying and graduating. Lumikki ignores the cliques, the gossip, and the parties held by the school’s most popular and beautiful boys and girls.

But finding the blood-stained money changes everything. Suddenly, Lumikki is swept into a whirlpool of events as she finds herself helping to trace the origins of the money. Events turn even more deadly when evidence points to dirty cops and a notorious drug kingpin best known for the brutality with which he runs his business.

As Lumikki loses control of her carefully constructed world, she discovers that she’s been blind to the forces swirling around her—and she’s running out of time to set them right. When she sees the stark red of blood on snow, it may be too late to save her friends or herself.

 I was really surprised by this book. I wasn’t really expecting the detailed writing and the interesting plot in the book, which made the book much better in my opinion. There are some flaws in the writing of course, but the overall concept is admirable.

 The main character, Lumikki, is an enigmatic girl who likes to keep to herself and avoids all ‘useless and tiring’ interactions with others. She was an unexpected character in the book because unlike other protagonists in other books, she really treasures her peace. I felt like I can relate to her about some points, and disagree with her about others. Lumikki felt like a Sherlock Holmes character to me, she was smart and isolated, and was pulled into others’ affairs without wanting to be involved. Overall, I admired the main character’s role in the whole book.

 The side characters were also an unexpected treat. The three kids who brought Lumikki into their mess were surprisingly relatable and human. Elisa, despite being a rich kid, still wants company and her family be faithful to her, and Tuukka and Kasper were delinquents who didn’t understand the consequences of their foolish actions. I liked how the side characters were not perfect despite their importance to the story. The antagonists were also engaging. They admitted their own faults, but continued to commit crime anyway.

 The concept of the story was loosely based on Snow White and other fairy tales, with a mix of suspense and action. There were gang bosses, crime lords, and other shady characters in the book that made the fictional part of the story realistic, which, in my opinion, is a good mix for a mystery novel. I also liked the setting of the story, and how it stayed true to its origins (Lumikki had a Finnish name).

 After reading this book, I give the book four out of five stars. I would recommend this title to my friends who enjoy mystery and suspense books, with a dash of fantasy.