book · review

Champions: At Fire’s End


Champions: At Fire’s End
Author: Charlotte Jain
Series: Champions series 1
Genre: YA, fantasy, action

Champions of ?

At the start of the book, there is a brief explanation on how four babies were born and selected to become representatives for the Gods and Titans. This provide the basis and the whole book revolves around these beings who were tired of being at war. So somehow, four people go involved in this all or nothing, through no fault of their own.

The story starts with Kyle battling it out with his friend April, guided by God Ares. The scene is impressive, Fire and Water sparring for strength. It provides a promise that this story is going to be good, or at least exciting. This also gives the impression, telling me that if you are a Percy Jackson fan, you might like it. These two know their fate, and are training to avoid losing the fight.

It is all fine and dandy. Except these two are also dreamers, hence we have conflict number 2. By now, this is becoming a book for younger audience. Further along confirms my doubt, but I continue as this is a fellow Australian’s work I am reading.

Characters

There are two point of views in Champions: At Fire’s End: April who owns telepathy and fire powers, and Kyle who has water powers and something else that I cannot remember. Their mission is to find their enemy first, flipping between the two makes it easier to see each other’s point of view.

Then there are the Gods and Titans, and the other two Champions. I would like to say that there is some inconsistencies, and I am not feeling the people in the book. Not even the heroes, whom I find a little bit too whiny for my liking.

As this is the first of the series, I shall reserve judgement and hope that they grow into their skin a little.

Verdict

I tried to like it but failed, to be fair I find Percy Jackson a little juvenile as well. But if you have a kid who loves him, and other action type, friendship based stories, then by all means. Champion is not really an adult’s book, it is simplistic and frankly does not have much big twists. However, it is perfect for a younger reader, who will enjoy the fights and betrayal.

book · review

Silver Silence (Psy-Changeling Trinity Series) Review

Netgalley Cover

Silver Silence

Author: Nalini Singh
Series: Psy-Changeling Trinity Novel 1
Genre: Romance , Sci Fi & Fantasy
From: Netgalley

Amazon cover

The Cover

I am not sure which cover you would prefer, but I kind of like the one from Netgalley over the red one from Amazon. Even though Valentin on the cover is not the I had envisioned, the red one just has not much attraction to it.

The Story

The title is related to the story, however I do find it a little weird. Weird enough to attract curious attention, it was the synopsis that did me in. I was sold by the summary of the book in Netgalley, plus it was easier to request from an Australian publisher usually. The author minces no words, preferring a funny courtship as an opening, then BAM! shit happens.

Valentin, the alpha of the StoneWater Bear clan, wastes no time in dissecting clues and saving the day. A lot is at stake when his intended mate: Silver Mercant was attacked. Silver is no ordinary person, she is a unique born psychic who could hear people’s thoughts. She lives by a code of Silence: emotionless world to keep her gift from killing her too young. However there is much to the story than her code.

This is a series after all, it would be boring without a lot of problems to start in the first book for the readers to follow through right? Silver Silence is the beginning of a challenging and exciting series for me. There is an uneasy truce between the humans, Changelings (Valentin) and Psy (Silver). Something is going in the psy world, a lot of hints while attacks are happening around the world

Sounds familiar?

It should be, it is happening upon the real world now.

Characters

My favorite would be Valentin, Alpha of the StoneWater Bear clan. He is one of the three predatory Changeling alphas, the other being Selena of the Wolf pack (BlackEdge) and the Leopard Clan’s Lucas. As the leader of the Bears, he has a lot of bear traits like fearless, funny and playful.

Silver is harder to like due to her Silence, not that she is not likable. Despite being an adult, Silver was more fun later on as she unwittingly gets involved with Valentin. You could say that he wore her down, with disastrous results.

Verdict

Silver Silence has it all: Romance, mystery and a lot of funny banter Click To Tweet

Silver Silence has what I love: funny banter, a mystery and a unique plot despite a well worn story line. Somehow we can relate with the struggles. The theme for the book is Family, and it is heavily featured in the book. I find that it is an easy/ hard read; easy because words just flow by, hard because of the difficult things they have to face.

I do like it, it spells a wonderful start to a series that will be going strong. If you are a fan of people saving each other instead of always guy saving girl, then this one is definitely for you.

 

 

 

book · review

The Fairy Boy of Calton Hill Review

Fairy Boy of Calton Hill
Author: Sean- Paul Thomas
Series: The Fairy Boy Chronicles Book 1
Genre: Fairy, Fantasy, adventure, YA

The Fairy Boy of Calton Hill has fairies!

I have read Sean- Paul Thomas before, he is the author of Old Man and The Princess. When I was asked to review this new book, I did not hesitate. Sean- Paul does have a skill of twisting stories and moving out of the box when he tells a story. The Fairy Boy is first of its series, with a semi- cliffhanging end.

First I got to meet Liam, the hero of the story. He has his troubles, he just lost his father, and his mother has trouble coping with the loss. The story sets in Scotland’s Edinburgh, near Calton Hill. The story has two point of views, the other belongs to G the fairy. This allows the reader to understand both worlds, and when the characters converge, there is a clearer picture.

G the fairy is an annoying creature (well, she’s annoying me). But I consider her the heroine of the story at this point, because she is incredibly brave and- or stupid. Of course it was her who broke the rule, or else this story will be boring.

The characters are convincing, though I hope as the series goes there will be some growth. Liam is a guy who does not rush head long into trouble, but he is far from being a coward, while G is an impulsive fairy with a big heart. Together, things will be fun and dangerous

Verdict

The Fairy Boy from Calton is a great start to a series, where Liam finds out about fairies and magic! Click To Tweet

This book is easy to read, being a young adult genre. I think tweens might like this book, because kids can relate to big bullies and wishing to be a hero. The Fairy Boy of Calton Hill is a book that inspires people to be brave and open- minded, and I cannot wait to see what happens in the second book.

book · review

Graceling Realm Series Review

Graceling Realm Series (3 volume set) 
Author: Kristin Cashore
Genre: Fantasy, Young readers

Instead of a book by book review, I am doing a whole series review as I have finished reading the series.

Whole Series Review

A quick glance at Amazon’s reviews and you will notice that it has varied ratings. My rating for this book is low, and here is 5 reasons why:

  • Weird Heroines

Truth is, I have issues with Katsa, or with the author’s portrayal of Katsa. She is this heroine, said on the book’s synopsis to be Graced with Killing. Which is to say that she can kill things/ people really well, since she is Graced, she is the property of the King. Katsa has issues with hurting or taking a life, so she tries hard to avoid it, it would have been admirable, if the author hadn’t did the twist and ruin everything.

I would like to tell the author, or to remind her who the target audience is: young readers, Grade 8 and up. As a writer, everyone has the responsibility to educate young minds. So it is not acceptable, to justify killing people, and not feel much remorse. Telling people that as long as you have a reason, you can kill is plain wrong.

Not only Katsa, but Lady Fire in Fire, and Queen Bitterblue of Monsea in Bitterblue as well. All three heroines seem to take on a much older reader’s persona, but the content and writing aiming at young readers. Even then, the girl’s past and tragedy is only understood or shared by those who are traumatized by ones closest to them. Hence I am not sure that this is series should be in the genre.

 

    • Messy Plot

Half the time I wonder where the story is going to go, because it seems that random people are popping up at times of need. People wandering around with blank, foggy minds is a norm in the series. Not to mention really odd pieces of story turning up randomly, as though the author had them in post it notes and placed them in the wrong order.

Messy plot equals confused reader, so I spent pages wondering why I was reading a story that wasn’t going anywhere fun. Though I will admit the author had done a splendid job with the action/ suspense part, but the in between needs more work.

    • Rushed Ending

My pet hate, but in this case it was a terrible case of bad planning. It felt like the author had ran out of places to take the readers to, and promptly dump them in the ending. All three books in the series suffer the same fate, and this ruined the series even more for me.

How does it feel like? It felt like I was pushed off the cliff, wham! The End.

    • Support Characters

All the characters in the book has a role to play, including support characters who shows that everyone needs friends or enemies. It gives the story a dimension, as well as creates a world where readers can dwell in and enjoy the close relationships. In the series, you can clearly see the difference between heroes and support characters. The lack of personality and interest to describe supportive characters, clearly shows in all the book.

While I admit that you cannot actually make everyone believable, but to make all your support people sound the same is going to a new low.

    • The Villain

The villain in all three books is this guy: King Leck. Throughout the book, he is the one that readers continuously read about. He would appear in the end for first two books, but continues to haunt in the third. The author meant to paint him as an abuser, King Leck might be the only character in the book that is well fleshed out. Because I understand him, and his role in the book.

Even though King Leck is like a real person, not much is known about him as a person. Sure, you know that he is the evil mastermind with scary powers. I cannot hate someone I barely know. Main thing is, this villain is evil and does a lot of bad things. However, he does not actually appear to antagonize the heroines as a normal enemy does.

Think Lord Voldemort with less screen time, but his infamy is the source of fear. If the heroines are not battling against him, what are they fighting against? The memory and his ability, which is a lot harder to fight against. A little too deep for a young reader genre I think.

 Verdict

A promising series let down by the fact that it was meant for the wrong audience. If this is an adult or new adult, then the author would have more flexibility. There are dark elements in the story, which is quickly deflated as it does not fit for the young audiences.

Too bad.

 

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