book · review

Black Jade : Book Review

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Prince Brat says I read too much

Black Jade is the last of them… I hope

Here is the cover of it, without Prince Brat photobombing my book.

Black Jade
Author: Kylie Chan
Series: Celestial Battle Trilogy (Book 3)
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Genre: fantasy, Chinese culture, myth
ISBN-13: 978-0062329103

Starting from her Dark Heavens series, Kylie Chan made her debut with White Tiger. Now the story I hope ends with Black Jade, because I can read the tiredness from this book. The characters are tired, the story needs to end, it has been dragging for ages! Emma has been through Dark Heavens trilogy, Journey to Wudang Trilogy and now the Celestial Battle trilogy. My patience with the series is wearing thin, and the characters seem to be lacking some shine that they had in the first few books.

I do have to admire the author’s skill to keep everything consistent, especially when there are so many growth and characters. However, all good set of characters and setting has to end somehow. The reluctance of this author to let her baby go can be worrying, it is like Sherlock Holmes keeps trying to solve more mysteries.

Like I said, this book felt tired. While the characters and settings are still consistent and the story fairly straight, you can feel the lethargy with the shortcuts and the lack of certain details. After reading all eight of her previous books, I will confess I like this book the least. Even in Black Jade, I could see that the story should end, but the author stubbornly tries to keep it alive.

Verdict

Disappointing, instead of a good closure and good bye, I got a premise for another series/ book. After nine books, three trilogies, I want to rest. I want to be rewarded for my loyalty, saying good bye and have a nice life, not see you next book! Well, the heroine wasn’t that super that I want to see her again.

The most disappointing thing? I actually waited all these years, and not get an ending.

Bah

book · review

The Four Legendary Kingdoms Review

The Four Legendary Kingdoms
Author: Matthew Reilly
Genre: thriller, action
Series: Jack West Jr
ISBN: 978-1409167129

To the cover illustrator, why did you do such a bad job?? May be read the book before drawing hmm? That is so not Jack West Jr. First of all, pretty sure you drew both hands the same, they are not.

The Four Legendary Kingdoms nice covers

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Australian cover + a heart breaker

I was recommended this author when I first arrived in Australia, that is eleven years ago now. The only book that I did not read is the Hover Car Racer, because I am not a fan of cars and it did not feature any of his heroes then. Jack West is a later hero that Matthew Reilly introduced, before then I was reading Shane Schofield.

It is not really a spoiler, because fans had been asking the author to put the two heroes together. I always envisioned a co-op scene, but never one like this. My heart just broke when I actually realized what was happening. Sure there were hints, I just refused to believe them.

The Four Legendary Kingdoms is almost like a rewrite, Reilly used the Twelve Labors of Hercules to draw up this magnificent, fast paced book that could stop hearts. As an author, he could create any world he wanted, and he created Hell, nice. We have a new Hercules, except he doesn’t have a club, only a titanium hand.

Through it all, this is actually a first book of a different series. Be warned, once you read this you will be pining for the next book. Because it not only uses classical stories, he also introduced end of the world. Basically the theme is: “if you do not do heroic deeds, the world will end.”

That guy didn’t even stand a chance, if I had pompoms I would be cheering him on. As usual, his team of family members are ready to help him save the world from burning into cinders. Hope his new friend will be in the next one too.

Verdict

This is too hard to recommend, mainly because you have to start with Seven Deadly Wonders, and we are at Four Legendary Kingdoms now. See where we are at? Although he put it as a three part series, it would make more sense to start from there instead of this book.

If you start from Seven,  you will know who is who, and why things happen the way they do. I promise you that this series will be addictive to people who like fast paced action with a lot of things blowing up. Seriously, every chapter something blows up. My only gripe with the author is his overuse of exclamation marks.

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If you are not sure about this writer and would like to read something of his without much commitment, try Great Zoo of China.

book · review

The Feral Sentence Series Review

book 1 of the series

The Feral Sentence
Author: G. C. Julien
Edited by: Nikki Busch
Publisher: Self- published
Series: Feral Sentence novella series
Genre: action, dystopian, adult

The Feral Sentence Quote:
“If you can’t contribute to this society, then your presence here is useless.”

When Lydia Brone landed near Kormace Island, her new life begins. The narration is first person, to make you experience Lydia’s fear of the unknown. Through the author’s skill, the story remains so, to keep the readers unaware of next step. You would only learn about her history, as well as how Kormace Island came to be, when she reminisces.

Apparently, in the future, the government no longer wants to support prison inmates. Through legislation, Kormace Island is born. No one knows exactly what that means, even Lydia. We (Lydia and I) assumed that the Island is just another facility, but no…

There is nothing on that island except felons and murderers. The almost good news is that it is only female convicts, I am not sure where the male prisoners go. Lydia never mentioned that fact, because right from the first chapter, she has had to fight for her life.

I was fortunate enough to have The Feral Sentence Parts 1-4 of book 1. because this book works as a serial novella. Kind of like watching Walking Dead, only this one comes in around seventy pages of intense information dump. First of all, Lydia learns her new reality. Then she learns new skill, and how everyone has a role in the new society she landed in.

Very quickly, she learns that everyone had a shady past, and there is always a struggle to stay alive. Not only they have an enemy camp, the Island is deadly too. Mother Nature provides, she could also takes away. If you are a lover of gruesome scenes (not zombies, mind you) and thrilling events, The Feral Sentence is for you.

Verdict

I could almost forgive the cliffhangers at the end of every part, this is designed to make you come back for more after all. Although this is a dystopian fiction, the world itself it not ruined or anything, but Lydia’s world has been made so. Throughout it all, I love how The Feral Sentence could make you realize that this could be our future if humans stopped caring about one another.

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book · review

Ever the Hunted: Book review

Ever the Hunted: A Clash of Kingdoms NovelAuthor: Erin Summerill
Series: Clash of Kingdoms 1
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Action
ISBN-13: 978-0544664456

I got the book from Netgalley, because the cover looked cool and attractive, yet shows no hint about the story.

All Britta Flannery wanted was to survive

Daughter of the legendary bounty hunter Saul Flannery, Britta’s life too a turn when her father was murdered. Ever the Hunted starts when Britta was caught poaching and was threatened to hang for treason. That was a good hook to draw readers in to read further. Britta was soon given an option between death and tracking down a criminal, except the criminal is no other than her best friend Cohen Mackay.

That is when things start to plateau a little, the pace slowed down dramatically, even for a young adult story. There is constant speculation about Cohen’s behavior, and Britta’s memories are making it hard for her to stay focused. For experienced readers, you will have no doubt where this story is going.

Characters are not well fleshed out, Britta constantly thinks about Cohen, her dad, and her recent experiences. Cohen is a mystery, not showing his card readily. Other characters in the book has some set personality, but not much interaction. So while I like Britta as a heroine, it is hard to have strong feelings for the seventeen year old, who is not entirely sure of herself.Not my favorite point is the tiny cliffhanger at the end. I do know that this is a series, it is not surprising to see one. But I cannot help but roll my eyes, because it was so obvious.  Ever the Hunted is not bad, put into consideration that this is not aiming for people like me.

The Verdict

If you have a tween who likes fantasy adventures, then Ever the Hunted will be a good choice. There is mystery fit for a younger person, a lot of action, and a mystery. Plenty of things to talk about like friendship, family and what is it like to serve a King.

Yes, I will recommend this book, because it is suitable YA book for kids. If you are looking for something with more substance, might have to look elsewhere.

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