Wednesday, 5 July 2017

My review of Wicked

Wicked (A Wicked Saga #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Release Date: December 8, 2014
Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon | The Book Depository

Wicked (A Wicked Saga, #1)
Twenty-two year old Ivy Morgan isn’t your average college student. She, and others like her, know humans aren’t the only thing trolling the French Quarter for fun… and for food. Her duty to the Order is her life. After all, four years ago, she lost everything at the hands of the creatures she’d sworn to hunt, tearing her world and her heart apart.

Ren Owens is the last person Ivy expected to enter her rigidly controlled life. He’s six feet and three inches of temptation and swoon-inducing charm. With forest-green eyes and a smile that’s surely left a stream of broken hearts in its wake, he has an uncanny, almost unnatural ability to make her yearn for everything he has to offer. But letting him in is as dangerous as hunting the cold-blooded killers stalking the streets. Losing the boy she loved once before had nearly destroyed her, but the sparking tension that grows between them becomes impossible for Ivy to deny. Deep down, she wants… she needs more than what her duty demands of her, what her past has shaped for her.

But as Ivy grows closer to Ren, she realizes she’s not the only one carrying secrets that could shatter the frail bond between them. There’s something he’s not telling her, and one thing is for certain. She’s no longer sure what is more dangerous to her—the ancient beings threatening to take over the town or the man demanding to lay claim to her heart and her soul.

Following tradition, Armentrout lures us into the story with a feisty and easy-to-love female protagonist, a unique twist on a supernatural species, and a hot, drool-worthy guy that all readers will be dying to have in their bed by the end of the book (or from the first encounter.) Like all series that I have read from JLA, I have fallen hard for every character in every story and in this start to A Wicked Saga, things are no different. 

In this story, Armentrout takes on fae, a fantasy species that have previously used in other great series such as The Iron Fey by Julie Kagawa and Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr. The premise of Wicked all evolves around our main gal Ivy, who works for an organisation called the Order who are in charge of seeing to all fae in the human world being killed or sent back to where they belong: the Otherworld. Fae in this story follow most lores; they feed off the essence of humans in order to prolong their lives to near immortality and maintain their beautiful facade. Ivy is one of the people who tackle the streets of New Orleans in order to do just that, until she encounters a type of fae that can't be banished with a simple iron stake. The fae are planning something big and with the help of the charming and cheeky Ren, they plan to find out exactly what's going on. 

If you haven't read anything by Jennifer Armentrout, that's okay there's still plenty of time to start. Both the Lux and Half-Blood series are great places to start, but if you fancy something maybe a little bit steamier I would recommend Wicked. The chemistry between Ren and Ivy is undeniable and I found myself getting caught up in their romance so easily despite the end of the world possibly looming around the corner. The author has a talent for creating an entertaining voice for the protagonist and I constantly found myself laughing at the dialogue that is formed in Ivy's head. Another relationship that I enjoyed in this book was between Ivy and her small not-so-human friend Tink. Tink is a brownie, which is some kind of creature from the Otherworld that Ivy found injured and decided to take in. They have a human form but a lot smaller, can speak just like humans, and in some cases have a talent at ordering off Amazon Prime. Yep, that was one of his qualities. He's cheeky and, I guess, kind of saucy, and when he's set with Ivy the two just made me laugh so much. I'm sure reading about their relationship could make anyone wish they knew Tink.

Another element that I must point out that I loved was the way that the author weaves in popular culture. For example, mentioning Twilight, Theo James, and Jenson Ackles. I found myself in fits at every Supernatural reference.
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Overall, I felt that Wicked is a good, strong start to this fantasy series with entertaining characters, dialogue, and irresistible plot line that will mean you finish it in one sitting; AKA the usual Armentrout recipe. I'm looking forward to seeing the direction she takes this in further and being reunited with some of my favourite characters because I genuinely can't get enough of them. I'd recommend this series to anyone who loves Jennifer Armentrout, or fantasy stories such as The Iron Fey series but slightly sexier and steamier.

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

My review of Frostblood

Frostblood (Frostblood Saga #1) by Elly Blake
Release Date: January 12, 2017
Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon | The Book Depository

Frostblood (Frostblood Saga, #1)In a land governed by the cruel Frostblood ruling class, seventeen-year-old Ruby is a Fireblood who has spent most of her life hiding her ability to manipulate heat and light - until the day the soldiers come to raid her village and kill her mother. Ruby vows revenge on the tyrannous Frost King responsible for the massacre of her people.

But Ruby's powers are unpredictable...and so are the feelings she has for Arcus, the scarred, mysterious Frostblood warrior who shares her goal to kill the Frost King, albeit for his own reasons. When Ruby is captured by the Frost King's men, she's taken right into the heart of the enemy. Now she only has one chance to destroy the maniacal ruler who took everything from her - and in doing so, she must unleash the powers she's spent her whole life withholding.

Frostblood is a fantasy tale filled with magic, danger, and a twist around every turn. Blake has created an exciting world that is just at the tipping point of a war narrated by a fiery and strong-willed female protagonist. 

The war brewing in this story is between the Firebloods, those who have power to wield fire, and Frostbloods, those who can control ice. The main character of the book is a Fireblood, one of the only ones left because they have gradually been wiped out by Frostbloods. So immediately we're thrust into a world where our hero, Ruby, is in danger and this had me stressed OUT. 
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What I thought to myself was why does everyone have to be in danger? But of course it wouldn't be a gripping book if there wasn't a something to hook you in right at the beginning. Ruby is not the easiest character to like at first, she's stubborn, hot-headed and I did find her quite annoying. But as she learns to harness her gift and develop it with the help of some monks and a mysterious and tortured boy named Arcus, I also learned to love her as well. 

In Frostblood, there is fantasy but there's also a lot of action and a twinge of romance which is what I enjoyed as well. This book reminded me of Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas and Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo, so if you enjoyed those series I'd recommend you try this one out even though the fantasy in Frostblood doesn't feel as rich, but the story line is just as interesting. The romance for me at first was a bit rocky, I didn't know how I felt about Arcus as he was the brooding and rude male interest that you know you'll fall in love by the end but just not sure about at the beginning. Arcus is a Frostblood, therefore seeing him and Ruby get over their hatred for each other and slowly fall in love was really nice. This book definitely has what I'd call a cute romance. I'm hoping that it'll spice up in the second book though, I loved scenes with the both of them in because they have great chemistry and really made my heart happy.

This didn't feel like the most groundbreaking fantasy story to me and the premise of "a war between two worlds with a prophecy saying that could it be stopped by a person born with extraordinary powers" has been used quite a lot in the young adult genre. However, I'm not deterred by this and as this is the first book out of three I do feel like the story has a lot of potential and a lot of exciting and innovative directions it could go in. I did really get hooked into this story and the wonderful world that it offered an escape into as the writing was just brilliant. Blake really brought this world to life for me and I couldn't put the book down, but I do realise that many people might want to be completely knocked off their boat by a crazy, wild and original young adult story and may not want to read a story that kind of has the same premise as a few books already out there. Therefore in that respect this one might not be for you. But if you're willing to let the world suck you in and fall in love with the characters then I do think you will enjoy this book as much as I did. 

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed Frostblood. I would definitely recommend it to those wanting a world that's similar to Throne of Glass or Shadow and Bone. And I'll also recommend this to those of you that may have watched and loved the cartoon Avatar: The Last Airbender, I think that show describes this book quite well. 
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I'm really looking forward to reading the second instalment which will be released in September 2017, so there's plenty of time to pick up a copy and fill yourself in before the sequel is released. I'm hoping Blake will take this into a completely unpredictable direction just as she did towards the end of Frostblood.