Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Cruel Beauty: A Review (Cruel Beauty Universe #1)


Graceling meets Beauty and the Beast in this sweeping fantasy about one girl's journey to fulfill her destiny and the monster who gets in her way-by stealing her heart.

Based on the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, Cruel Beauty is a dazzling love story about our deepest desires and their power to change our destiny.

Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom-all because of a foolish bargain struck by her father. And since birth, she has been in training to kill him.

With no choice but to fulfill her duty, Nyx resents her family for never trying to save her and hates herself for wanting to escape her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, Nyx abandons everything she's ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, destroy his enchanted castle, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.

But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle—a shifting maze of magical rooms—enthralls her.

As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex's secrets, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. Even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him? With time running out, Nyx must decide what is more important: the future of her kingdom, or the man she was never supposed to love.

  My Review:

This was a very interesting take on Beauty and the Beast. It was set in the real world, on an island that had been cut off from the real world. It was fascinating to have Greek Mythology tagged to the story, along with their rituals.

I'm not sure I liked this book as much as the hype did. Nyx was selfish and cruel, as was the beast. Two awful people meant for each other.

It does make sense, as to why the book is called Cruel Beauty, but... Nyx was so mixed on her emotions, where at one point she was nice, and then she was awful. She was an unreliable narrator, and it drove me crazy at points. I liked the beast more than I liked her, because at least he stayed true to his character, whereas Nyx was just a mess.

Her whole goal was to save the millions of people who had been trapped, but she started whining and complaining about how it was too hard, and why did it have to be me? Blah, blah, blah. Like, obviously your life sucks. Get over it. Are you really going to let your petty teenager wants destroy the rest everything you know? Gosh. Ignifex was a far better person than Nyx will ever be.

The story had great potential, but I felt it could have been executed better. I only finished it because my friends insisted it was a FANTASTIC book...

I mean, the cover is beautiful. I will give her next book a try, but I don't have high hopes.

2 out of 5!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The Ciphers of Muirwood: A Review (Covenant of Muirwood #2)


From the moment she was banished by her father, the king, Princess Maia journeyed to seek sanctuary at Muirwood Abbey, the epicenter of magic and good in the land. Now safe for the first time since her cruel abandonment, Maia must foster uneasy friendships with other girls training to be Ciphers: women who learn to read and engrave tomes of ancient power, despite the laws forbidding them to do so.

As Maia tries to judge whom to trust, she makes a shocking discovery: her destiny is to open the Apse Veil and release trapped spirits from her world. Then she learns that her father is coming to Muirwood Abbey to celebrate the Whitsunday festival—and Maia’s estranged husband, whom she was forced to abandon, will join him. Torn between deadly political machinations and unstoppable spiritual forces, Maia must channel unknown powers within herself to save her friends, the abbey, and the entire kingdom of Muirwood.

My Review:

Maia is one of the best female leads I have read about in a long time. She has been through the absolute worst. Having been forced to marry, then abandon her husband, and travel a dangerous path to Muirwood Abby.

The Abby isn't the same as it once was in the original series. It is still being built (against the law) from the destruction that occurred so many years before. Yet, the power is still there. The Medium is strong, and the Aldermaston is just as strong as our original Aldermaston friend.

Maia has made some great friends, and continues to do so among the Ciphers, despite some of them being stupid mean girls. She is kind, she is compassionate, even though hardly anyone has treated her similarly.

The danger increases when Maia learns her father is to come to Muirwood. Her father, who is now threatening to name her a bastard and cut her off from her title as Princess. How will she face the father she still loves, yet hates her so much? To the point of wanting her dead.

This was another wonderful addition to the Muirwood series. I loved the original series, but following Maia has brought this incredible world back to life in ways the first series couldn't accomplish. I could revisit these books and never grow tired of the world.

4.5 out of 5!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

The Giver: A Review (The Giver #1)


This haunting story centers on Jonas, who lives in a seemingly ideal, if colorless, world of conformity and contentment. Not until he's given his life assignment as the Receiver of Memory does he begin to understand the dark, complex secrets behind his fragile community.
My Review:

I originally read this book when I was about twelve years old. I saw the movie when I was nineteen. When I saw the other books of the series for sale at this cute little bookstore, I realized it was time to begin this series again.

Now I'm a lot older and far more mature, I found The Giver had so much more meaning. Jonas was trapped in a world where they desperately wanted to control every aspect of every one's lives. There was no since of choice. Of agency. You lived, and you died. That was it. There was absolutely no substance to life.

All because of those pills they were forced to take. These pills suppressed every normal human emotion, blocked certain hormones from running through the body.

This book really opened up my mind to how we take to granted everything we have. All the choices we have. The choice we have to marry, to not, to LOVE who we want, to have as many children as we want, or to not have any, to live where we please, to enjoy what ever hobbies we love.

No wonder this book was once on the banned list, and still is in certain countries. It reminds you of the choices and freedoms life can give you.

I have never been so grateful for my life until after I read this book.

It's been a while since a book provoked my thoughts so deeply. I think everyone should read this book. Also, Lowry has mad skill with describing things without using color. I don't know how she did it, but wow; she's an incredible author.

5 out of 5!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

The Ask and the Answer: A Review (Chaos Walking #2)


We were in the square, in the square where I'd run, holding her, carrying her, telling her to stay alive, stay alive till we got safe, till we got to Haven so I could save her - But there weren't no safety, no safety at all, there was just him and his men...

Fleeing before a relentless army, Todd has carried a desperately wounded Viola right into the hands of their worst enemy, Mayor Prentiss. Immediately separated from Viola and imprisoned, Todd is forced to learn the ways of the Mayor's new order. But what secrets are hiding just outside of town? And where is Viola? Is she even still alive? And who are the mysterious Answer? And then, one day, the bombs begin to explode...

"The Ask and the Answer" is a tense, shocking and deeply moving novel of resistance under the most extreme pressure. This is the second title in the "Chaos Walking" trilogy.

My Review:

Todd now knows more than he probably ever wanted to. He has been running from the evil Mayor Prentiss and his army of men. Viola has finally become comfortable enough with Todd, only to be nearly killed.

Now that they have reached Haven, Todd and Viola are faced with a whole new set of problems. Todd had no clue people still lived this far out in this world. They start talking more about the old world and how they have come to settle this one. In the beginning, the people of Haven seem normal, kind even.

Only some of them are just as bad as Prentisstown...because Mayor Prentiss had won the race to Haven.

Todd and Viola must juggle between who is right and who is wrong. Todd is taken down a path he wanted to resist, but found he couldn't help following. Viola is worried, but she is being kept separated from him.

Mayor Prentiss is as convincing as ever, and having gathered others from the various towns he had gone through, his army is stronger than ever. He begins to use Todd, and although Todd goes along as a spy, will he really stay strong enough to resist the charismatic Mayor, who seems better every day?

Who will win? The Ask? Or The Answer?

Again, another wonderful novel by Ness. Truly, this is a series to be listened to. The narrators are wonderful and capture the fear, joy, and anguish Todd and Viola go through.

5 out of 5!