Tower Of Dawn Book Review

 

img_20180604_194738_7871865508129.jpgTower of Dawn is the sixth book in Sarah J Maas’s young adult fantasy series Throne of Glass. Originally intended to be a companion novella to the series, this book follows former Captain of Adarlan’s Guard, now Hand to the King, Chaol Westfall, as he and the new Captain of the Guard, Nesryn Faliq, journey to the Southern Continent in the hopes of gaining the alliance of the Southern Continent – and of healing Chaol’s injury to his spine.

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Talon: Book Review

Talonย by Julie Kagawa is the first young adult fantasy novel in a series of the same name. The book is set in modern day California, in a world where shape-shifting dragons, under the protection of an organisation called Talon, assimilate into the human world to avoid the dragon-slaying Order Of St George. After spending their entire childhood locked away for their safety being trained by Talon, 16-year-old Ember and her twin Dante finally get their first and last taste of freedom for the summer before they must finish their training and begin serving Talon. This is jeopardised by “rogue” non-Talon dragon Riley who promises them freedom for life, not just this one summer, if they turn traitor and leave Talon.

Meanwhile, 17-year-old St George soldier Garrett is given orders to find the disguised dragon in California – and kill her. But things get complicated when Garrett and human-Ember meet and they begin to develop feelings for each other, not realising they are each others’ sworn enemies – and Ember is the dragon Garrett has been sent to kill.

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Caraval: Book Review

Caraval by Stephanie Garber is a young adult fantasy novel concerning two sisters, Scarlett and Tella Dragna, and the magical annual performance, Caraval, where the audience get to participate in the show – or, more accurately, the game. Scarlett and Tella have been enchanted by the idea of Caraval and its mysterious ringleader, Master Legend, ever since their grandmother told them stories of it as children. But when they finally receive invitations to Caraval, just days before the event, Scarlett is just days away from marrying a man who promises both herself and her sister a secure future away from their abusive father. Going to Caraval would mean putting their future and their safety in jeopardy.

Tella, meanwhile, has other ideas. Despite the risk of missing the wedding, she tricks Scarlett into going with her to Caraval with the help of sailor Julian, before promptly disappearing upon arrival. Scarlett quickly realises Tella has been kidnapped by Legend himself: Tella’s whereabouts is the mystery that this year’s participants must solve to win the game. She vows to find her sister in time to return for her wedding, but soon discovers that Caraval is less harmless than she imagined. While it might just be a game, Scarlett cannot risk that it isn’t, and that something sinister really is going to happen – or has already happened – to her sister. Not only must she figure out the clues that Legend has left for them, but also who to trust – including whether she can trust herself.

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Why Romantic Subplots Annoy Me

Since it’s Valentine’s Day, I thought I’d write something romantic… But, since Valentine’s Day also really annoys me (it’s cheesy, it’s commercialized, and why do we have to be romantic on this particular day when there are another 364 days in a year we could be romantic on?), I thought I’d write about something that annoys me too!

So, why do romantic subplots, specifically in young adult books, annoy me? Well, not all of them do. When done well, I do like romance in books. Unfortunately, a few too many for my liking seem to fall into the same pitfalls. Or maybe my standards are just too high ๐Ÿ˜›

Anyway, here are the things that annoy me most about romantic subplots!

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Heartless: Book Review

Heartless by Marissa Meyer is a standalone which tells the origin story of the Queen of Hearts. But before she was royalty, she was Cath, the daughter of a marquis who dreamed of opening a bakery with her maid. She would much prefer that to marrying the jovial but spineless king, who desires her hand, despite what her mother says about baking being below her. And when Jest, the new court joker, arrives in the kingdom of Hearts, Cath finds another reason to try to refuse the king.

But Cath’s problems aren’t the only things keeping her and Jest apart. Jest has come to Hearts for more important things than to be the court joker, and falling for Cath poses quite an obstacle…

Oh, and by the way, there’s also a Jabberwock on the loose.

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The Next Together: Book Review

The Next Together by Lauren James might look like any other romance story, but there is far more than mere attraction bringing Matthew Galloway and Katherine Finchley together. After all, they do keep on finding each other and falling in love – only to be tragically torn apart – lifetime after lifetime after lifetime. In Carlisle in 1745, Lady Katherine and footman Matthew prepare for an attack by rebel Scotsmen. During the Crimean War in the 1800s, Katy disguises herself as a boy to find work, which currently involves being war journalist Matthew’s assistant. In 2019, the married couple and biological researchers face accusations of terrorism. And in 2039, university students Matt and Kate struggle to uncover the truth about their dead relatives – and the memories of past lives that surely can’t be real memories…?
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EVE The Awakening: Book Review

Eve: The Awakening by Jenna Moreci is a sci-fi book set in the near future – 2087 – where a sub-species of human, known as a humanovus or, more colloquially, a chimera, has evolved. Chimeras are basically smarter, stronger, and faster humans – who also happen to have telekinesis, referred to as “the gift”. But as well as all the stigma chimeras face from the humans around them for being “better”, they also have the Interlopers to deal with: a race of aliens dedicated to hunting chimeras down.

Nineteen-year-old chimera Eve, who is notorious for her telekinesis powers in her native San Fransisco, sets off to university in the hopes of starting a new life where no-one knows who, or what, she is. However, Interlopers have been infiltrating her university and abducting chimeras – and dissecting them, alive. Which means that, as well as navigating the complex social circles of the smartest (and richest) young minds in the country, Eve has to try her best to avoid the Interlopers – or choose to fight them. All while trying to keep a low profile and pass as a human…

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Ice Massacre: Book Review

Ice Massacre by Tiana Warner is the first in the Mermaids of Eriana Kwai trilogy. It centres around eighteen-year-old Meela, a native of the remote Pacific island of Eriana Kwai. For all of Meelaโ€™s life, and longer, the island has been plagued by vicious mermaid attacks that are slowly killing the islandโ€™s people. In response, the islanders started sending out warriors on Massacres every year in the hopes of culling the mermaid population enough for them to be able to finally resume fishing. But in recent years, less and less men have been returning from the Massacres, instead falling prey to the mermaidsโ€™ allure, and the island is falling further and further into poverty.
Finally, the islanders decide to try a new tactic: send women, less susceptible to the mermaidโ€™s allure, instead. And so, after five years of training, Meela and nineteen other girls set out with the promise of glory and honour โ€“ but without the promise of any of them even returning home alive. But for Meela, the Massacre isnโ€™t just about saving her people from starvation. Itโ€™s also about Lysi โ€“ the mermaid she saved and befriended when she was ten, and what happened to ruin their seemingly unbreakable friendship.

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Radio Silence: Book Review

Radio Silence by Alice Oseman tells the story of Frances Janvier, a 17-year-old A-Level student aiming to get into Cambridge University. Everything she does is in aid of this goal, but her constant studying prevents her from having hobbies, bonding with her school friends, and being her true self. This begins to change when she makes friends with Aled Last, another top-of-the-class student with high aspirations, and discovers that he is the anonymous Creator of her favourite podcast. Frances’ friendship with Aled helps Frances gain confidence and have a life outside of academia, but they run into problems when Aled leaves for university.

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