Warrior of the Wild – Spoiler Free Review

Title: Warrior of the Wild
Author: Tricia Levenseller
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: February 26th, 2019
Pages: 336 (Hardcover)
Publishers: Feiwel & Friends
Rating:

Goodreads Synopsis

How do you kill a god?

As her father’s chosen heir, eighteen-year-old Rasmira has trained her whole life to become a warrior and lead her village. But when her coming-of-age trial is sabotaged and she fails the test, her father banishes her to the monster-filled wilderness with an impossible quest: to win back her honour, she must kill the oppressive god who claims tribute from the villages each year or die trying.

Writing

Let’s just get the negative out of the road straight up. I didn’t like how the romance was written. It was a very very typical YA romance and felt very forced. I didn’t mind the romance in the end, they were fine together. However everything leading up to that was just meh. I just didn’t care about it and the same thing could have been achieved better with friendship.

Now onto everything else. I loved it. The world building was really well done. Everything was so detailed and the creatures were super unique and interesting. The character development was also done well, you saw the characters progress and grow through their experiences.

Plot

The plot was very fast paced which made the book super quick to read. It was also fairly constant. I wouldn’t say it was always action packed, but there was nearly always something interesting going on. I don’t think there were very many dull moments honestly.

Characters

Rasmira was a really awesome main character. She was a badass and you soon learn how strong she is, but not just outwardly, inwardly as well. She faces a lot of inner turmoil which she battles with and learns from throughout the book. She is also a badass axe wielding warrior. So there is that too.

Soren was probably my least favourite of the 3 major characters. He just felt very typical to me. Attractive, funny, charming, etc. You know the drill.

Iric I really enjoyed. He didn’t just accept the easiest option and he actually questions things which made him feel more realistic than Soren. I also liked his sense of humour and how stubborn he was. It made for a fun clash between Rasmira and Iric as they are both as stubborn as each other.

Overall

I really enjoyed most aspects of this book. Obviously I didn’t like the romance and didn’t love Soren as a character that much but besides that it was a really solid read.

I also want to mention that this is a standalone fantasy, which is rare to find. I love a good standalone so this was awesome. It was well rounded and everything fit in nicely in the end. I wasn’t really left with any questions that I felt needed to be answered, which is a good thing after a standalone!

You can purchase a copy for yourself at any of the links below.

You could also use my affiliate links for Book DepositoryBooktopia or Angus & Robertson.

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Booktopia
Hardcover

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Hardcover

Amazon (Aus)
Hardcover / eBook

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The Vanishing Stair by Maureen Johnston – Spoiler Free Review

Title: The Vanishing Stair
Author: Maureen Johnston
Series Name: Truly Devious
Genre: YA Mystery
Publication Date: January 22nd, 2019
Pages: 369 (Hardcover)
Publishers: Katherine Tegen Books
Rating:

Goodreads Synopsis

All Stevie Bell wanted was to find the key to the Ellingham mystery, but instead she found her classmate dead. And while she solved that murder, the crimes of the past are still waiting in the dark. Just as Stevie feels she’s on the cusp of putting it together, her parents pull her out of Ellingham academy.

For her own safety they say. She must move past this obsession with crime. Now that Stevie’s away from the school of topiaries and secret tunnels, and her strange and endearing friends, she begins to feel disconnected from the rest of the world. At least she won’t have to see David anymore. David, who she kissed. David, who lied to her about his identity—son of despised politician Edward King. Then King himself arrives at her house to offer a deal: He will bring Stevie back to Ellingham immediately. In return, she must play nice with David. King is in the midst of a campaign and can’t afford his son stirring up trouble. If Stevie’s at school, David will stay put.

The tantalizing riddles behind the Ellingham murders are still waiting to be unraveled, and Stevie knows she’s so close. But the path to the truth has more twists and turns than she can imagine—and moving forward involves hurting someone she cares for. In New York Times bestselling author Maureen Johnson’s second novel of the Truly Devious series, nothing is free, and someone will pay for the truth with their life.

Writing

These books just get better and better! This series is extremely addictive. The Vanishing Stair is very fast paced and will keep you guessing the entire time. This is definitely one of those books that you will hate the author just a little bit at the end because while a lot of your questions from book 1 were answered in book 2, you will have 1000 more. Which can be a good thing, because its addicting and you are super keen, or bad because it makes you feel like slapping a bitch.

Plot

Lets just say the plot is insane. You have literally no idea what to expect next and you can guess all you want about who did what, but you will be wrong 99% of the time! I just love how unpredictable this plot is.

Characters

The Characters in this book will never be fully developed but that is just one of the aspects of this book. If you know too much about them it would be easier to figure out motives. So I’m not really mad about not connecting with any of the side characters.

As for Stevie, our main character, she is awesome. She is extremely intelligent and very realistic. She show weakness, she shows fear and that makes her super relatable in this book.

Overall

I LOVE this series. It has been added to my Top 5 favourite series of all time. It is addictive, action packed, mysterious and just fucking awesome. This is definitely a book I will always recommend.

You can purchase a copy for yourself at any of the links below.

You could also use my affiliate links for Book DepositoryBooktopia or Angus & Robertson.

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On the Come Up by Angie Thomas – Spoiler Free Review

Title: On the Come Up
Author: Angie Thomas
Genre: 
YA Contemporary
Publication Date: February 5th, 2019
Pages: 431 (Hardcover)
Publishers: Balzer + Bray
Rating:

Goodreads Synopsis

Sixteen-year-old Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. Or at least make it out of her neighborhood one day. As the daughter of an underground rap legend who died before he hit big, Bri’s got big shoes to fill. But now that her mom has unexpectedly lost her job, food banks and shutoff notices are as much a part of Bri’s life as beats and rhymes. With bills piling up and homelessness staring her family down, Bri no longer just wants to make it—she has to make it.

On the Come Up is Angie Thomas’s homage to hip-hop, the art that sparked her passion for storytelling and continues to inspire her to this day. It is the story of fighting for your dreams, even as the odds are stacked against you; of the struggle to become who you are and not who everyone expects you to be; and of the desperate realities of poor and working-class black families.

Writing

Angie Thomas has this way of creating a world so vivid that you feel like you are literally sitting on the hood of a car listening to Bri rap. She incorporates so many touchy subjects in her books but handles them in way that is real & also respectful. Same with the diversity she brings into her stories. Even though she isn’t own voices for all of the diverse characters she writes, she handles those diversities in a super respectful & tactful way. She doesn’t pretend like she knows what it’s like, but incorporates them in a way that works.
I absolutely adore her writing and she has become and auto-buy author for me. Seriously, she could write a guide to polishing furniture and I would read it.

Plot

The main issue that I usually have with contemporary books is that I get bored. 100% not the case with Angie Thomas. The plot is gripping and action packed but in a realistic way. She doesn’t just through crap at the main character simply to create interesting points. Everything just flows & makes complete sense to what is going on.

Characters

Now Bri actually isn’t my favourite person. She did frustrate me at times as she was very hot headed, stubborn & would jump into things without thinking of the consequences. But I appreciate that she was meant to be that way and I enjoyed her as a character, just not as a person.

Really there isn’t a character in the book I can fault as a character. Yes some are horrible people, but that is the point & they were written amazingly.

Overall

I friggen loved this book! Not quite there compared to THUG but still amazing. I would give THUG a 5 stars & OTCU a 4 3/4 stars if I could. They are both amazingly written, deal with important topics really well, have amazing characters & amazing diversity. I can’t fault this book at all.

You can purchase a copy for yourself at any of the links below.

You could also use my affiliate links for Book DepositoryBooktopia or Angus & Robertson.

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Escaping from Houdini by Kerri Maniscalco – Spoiler Free Review

Title: Escaping from Houdini
Author: Kerri Maniscalco
Series Name:
Stalking Jack the Ripper
Genre: 
YA Historical Mystery
Publication Date: September 18th, 2018
Pages: 431 (Hardcover)
Publishers: Little Brown (Hachette Australia)
Rating:

Goodreads Synopsis

In this third installment in the #1 bestselling Stalking Jack the Ripper series, a luxurious ocean liner becomes a floating prison of scandal, madness, and horror when passengers are murdered one by one…with nowhere to run from the killer. . 

Audrey Rose Wadsworth and her partner-in-crime-investigation, Thomas Cresswell, are en route to New York to help solve another blood-soaked mystery. Embarking on a week-long voyage across the Atlantic on the opulent RMS Etruria, they’re delighted to discover a traveling troupe of circus performers, fortune tellers, and a certain charismatic young escape artist entertaining the first-class passengers nightly.

But then, privileged young women begin to go missing without explanation, and a series of brutal slayings shocks the entire ship. The strange and disturbing influence of the Moonlight Carnival pervades the decks as the murders grow ever more freakish, with nowhere to escape except the unforgiving sea. It’s up to Audrey Rose and Thomas to piece together the gruesome investigation as even more passengers die before reaching their destination. But with clues to the next victim pointing to someone she loves, can Audrey Rose unravel the mystery before the killer’s horrifying finale? 


Writing

I absolutely adore Kerri Maniscalco’s writing! It has a way of dragging you in and hooking you from the very beginning. I love how she slowly develops the mystery and is constantly throwing possible hints at you. It leaves you guessing and in the end you still have no damn idea who to believe until the big reveal.

I promise to stand by your side through whatever comes our way. You’ll end up being the hero, no doubt, but I’ll look good beside you. And that’s what truly counts.”

Thomas Cresswell (Escaping from Houdini by Kerri Maniscalco)

Plot

The plot/mystery of this book really keeps you on the edge of your seat and I loved it! The mystery aspect is my favourite & it is so unpredictable! I did not however enjoy the side plot, if you can call it that, of the love triangle. I’m not a huge romance reader & I especially don’t like love triangles. So I wasn’t happy with that aspect and that is the reason this book didn’t get 5 stars.

Characters

I love Audrey-Rose but in this book with the love triangle I kinda wanted to slap her often. Don’t get me wrong, I do love her but I just didn’t love that aspect. Ignoring that I really like her. I love seeing how her mind works through mysteries & I love how realistically strong she is. By ‘realistically strong’ I mean that she is strong but you still see weakness at times & you see her struggling to be strong at times which makes it more realistic than some YA characters.

Of course I love Thomas, he is an awesome character & I also loved seeing Liza back in this book. I really enjoy her character, so I was really excited when she returned in this book.

I also enjoyed all the new characters we meet in this book. Everyone was super intriguing and I love that everyone has a back story and is well fleshed out.

Overall

I enjoyed every aspect of this book except the love triangle. I really love this series and can’t wait to see where it goes next! Kerri Mansicalco is an amazing mystery writer who can leave you completely confused in the best way possible!

*I was sent a finished paperback by Hachette Australia in return for an honest review!*

You can purchase a copy for yourself at any of the links below.

You could also use my affiliate links for Book DepositoryBooktopia or Angus & Robertson.

Book Depository
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Booktopia
Paperback / Hardback

Angus & Robertson
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Paperback / Hardback / eBook

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Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan

Title: Girls of Paper and Fire
Author: Natasha Ngan
Series Name: 
Girls of Paper and Fire
Genre: 
YA Diverse Fantasy
Publication Date: November 6th, 2018
Pages: 367 (Paperback)
Publishers: Hodder & Stoughton (Hachette Australia)
Rating:

Each year, eight beautiful girls are chosen as Paper Girls to serve the king. It’s the highest honor they could hope for…and the most cruel.

But this year, there’s a ninth girl. And instead of paper, she’s made of fire.

In this lush fantasy, Lei is a member of the Paper caste, the lowest and most oppressed class in Ikhara. She lives in a remote village with her father, where the decade-old trauma of watching her mother snatched by royal guards still haunts her. Now, the guards are back, and this time it’s Lei they’re after–the girl whose golden eyes have piqued the king’s interest.

Over weeks of training in the opulent but stifling palace, Lei and eight other girls learn the skills and charm that befit being a king’s consort. But Lei isn’t content to watch her fate consume her. Instead, she does the unthinkable–she falls in love. Her forbidden romance becomes enmeshed with an explosive plot that threatens the very foundation of Ikhara, and Lei, still the wide-eyed country girl at heart, must decide just how far she’s willing to go for justice and revenge.

Trigger Warnings: Rape, Detailed Violence & Murder of a pet

Another thing I want to note before getting into the review. ALOT of people are saying this is Natasha Ngan’s debut book. However it is not! She released a book called The Elites in 2013 & one called The Memory Keepers in 2014. So nope, not a debut.

The amount of detail in Natasha Ngan’s writing made the world extremely vivid! I could picture every little thing that was described. She also has a very flowy writing style which makes it easy to read and follow. You easily get lost in this world which was exactly what I needed as I was fighting a hell of a reading slump!

While I don’t usually like romance, I honestly didn’t completely hate the romance in this book. To some degree it did feel insta lovey but that had more to do with how the booked skipped weeks & months at a time than the fact that it actually was insta love. Besides that aspect I didn’t mind the romance. It felt natural and that is what made it feel normal and real compared to most YA romances.

While I didn’t hate it, the plot was a little slow for me at times. Every piece had a purpose but sometimes I was like ‘hurry up! I want some action’. This is also not a very action packed book, which accounted for why it felt slower. There is a stronger focus on the world & the characters than the plot.

This book ends on a massive cliff hanger with that epilogue! At the end you a left with a few questions that are obviously going to be answered in book 2 but then you read that epilogue and shit hits the fan!

I really enjoyed Lei as a main character. She wasn’t the typical badass female that you see in a lot of Fantasy novels. She grew & learned throughout the book and developed into an strong character.

The King was exactly what you would think he is, an arsehole. While I hated him as a person and would rather see him be thrown in a volcano, he was an enjoyable villain. He was very well developed and you could not help hate him completely but also appreciate his role as the villain.

I don’t want to talk about any of the other characters as there are a lot of mystery around most of them and you need to experience them yourself!

Overall I really enjoyed this book. It did not get 5 stars because of the slow pacing & also I’m still mad about that cliffhanger honestly! How dare you! There isn’t even a release date for book 2 & you are going to make me wait?!?!

Copy of Goodreads Synopsis

I was provided with an eARC & ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. I requested the physical book, didn’t think I was going to get it so requested it on NetGalley. I then received the physical book a couple days after release. So I had both! Thank you very much to Hachette Australia for this opportunity.

You can purchase a copy for yourself at any of the links below.

You could also use my affiliate links for Book DepositoryBooktopia or Angus & Robertson.

Book Depository
Hardback // Paperback

Booktopia
Hardback

Angus & Robertson
Hardback

Amazon (Aus)
eBook // Paperback // Hardcover

Copy of Blog titles

HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK? WHAT DID YOU THINK OF IT? LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS.

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A Curse of Ash and Embers by Jo Spurrier

Title: A Curse of Ash and Ember
Author: 
Jo Spurrier
Series Name: 
Tales of the Blackbone Witches
Genre: 
YA Fantasy
Publication Date: September 24th, 2018
Pages: 368 (Paperback)
Publishers: HarperCollins Publishers Australia
Rating:

A dead witch. A bitter curse. A battle of magic.

Some people knit socks by the fire at night. Gyssha Blackbone made monsters.

But the old witch is dead now, and somehow it’s Elodie’s job to clean up the mess.

When she was hired at Black Oak Cottage, Elodie had no idea she’d find herself working for a witch; and her acid-tongued new mistress, Aleida, was not expecting a housemaid to turn up on her doorstep.

Gyssha’s final curse left Aleida practically dead on her feet, and now, with huge monsters roaming the woods, a demonic tree lurking in the orchard and an angry warlock demanding repayment of a debt, Aleida needs Elodie’s help, whether she likes it or not.

And no matter what the old witch throws at her, to Elodie it’s still better than going back home.

So to be completely honest I didn’t love the writing. It was kinda bland but the plot made up for it. The book didn’t have a huge amount of world building as there seemed to be more of a focus on plot. So we didn’t get a tonne of background except in regard to the Aleida.
While the plot was interesting there were also a fair few places where the book felt a bit slow.
I also didn’t like the action scenes. They were kinda hard to understand which took away from the whole engaging aspect of an action scene.

The plot was my favourite aspect of the book. It was engaging and interesting. There was a lot of building up to the next plot point which kept me interested even when the book was a bit slow.

The two major characters of the book were basically opposite. One was a bit 1 dimensional and the other was interesting and thought out.
Dee who is our main character was the one that felt very 1 dimensional. Besides the arsehole of a step father and a little bit about her mother & fathers story we didn’t really get that much about Dee herself. She felt quite flat and that made it difficult to connect with her and a main character.
Aleida had a lot more background which gave her a lot more substance than Dee had in the story. I also found Aleida really interesting which helped keep me interested when reading.

So overall the book was a bit all over the place. While I enjoyed some aspects there were a fair few things that I didn’t enjoy. I enjoyed the plot and Aleida but didn’t particularly care for the main character and the writing was a bit bland. I may still continue on with the series as I am interested to see where the story goes & also to learn more about Aleida.

Copy of Goodreads Synopsis

You can purchase a copy for yourself at any of the links below.

You could also use my affiliate links for Book DepositoryBooktopia or Angus & Robertson.

Booktopia
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Copy of Blog titles

HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK? WHAT DID YOU THINK OF IT? LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS.

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Jackaby by William Ritter – Spoiler Free Review

Review Header Image

Title: Jackaby
Author: 
William Ritter
Series Name: 
Jackaby
Genre: 
YA Paranormal Mystery
Publication Date: September 16th, 2014
Pages: 294 (Paperback)
Publishers: Algonquin Young Readers
Overall Rating:
5 star

Blog titles (20)

“Miss Rook, I am not an occultist,” Jackaby said. “I have a gift that allows me to see truth where others see the illusion–and there are many illusions. All the world’s a stage, as they say, and I seem to have the only seat in the house with a view behind the curtain.”

Newly arrived in New Fiddleham, New England, 1892, and in need of a job, Abigail Rook meets R. F. Jackaby, an investigator of the unexplained with a keen eye for the extraordinary–including the ability to see supernatural beings. Abigail has a gift for noticing ordinary but important details, which makes her perfect for the position of Jackaby’s assistant. On her first day, Abigail finds herself in the midst of a thrilling case: A serial killer is on the loose. The police are convinced it’s an ordinary villain, but Jackaby is certain it’s a nonhuman creature, whose existence the police–with the exception of a handsome young detective named Charlie Cane–deny.

Doctor Who meets Sherlock in William Ritter’s debut novel, which features a detective of the paranormal as seen through the eyes of his adventurous and intelligent assistant in a tale brimming with cheeky humour and a dose of the macabre.

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“That the battles are usually in her head does not lessen the bravery of it. The hardest battles always are.”

Blog titles (29)

I absolutely loved this writing! It was captivating and dragged you into the story very quickly. I got so committed to the plot and characters because of the writing just pulling me in so much! It was also extremely unpredictable which was amazing!

I also love that it delves a little bit further than most paranormal books. In most, you see werewolves, vampires and such but this one goes a bit further into the mythical creature/being side of paranormal. There is a werewolf but we also explore beings such as Redcaps & Banshees which was quite interesting. Outside of Harry Potter, I haven’t really read about them before and this took a different take on those mythical beings compared to how they are represented in Harry Potter, so that was quite interesting to learn about.

Also, I loved the world/setting of the book! This is set in 1892 but an 1892 with paranormal elements which were quite interesting. I don’t very often read books set in this time period as I generally gravitate towards Historical Fiction that is WWII based. While there wasn’t a tonne about the world, you still felt the atmosphere of the era which was nice.

Also, this quote alone made me love the book even more!
“Pockets! I was thrilled. I have never understood the aversion to pockets in ladies’ fashion – as though it has become some great shame to appear as if one might actually need to possess anything.”

Blog titles (30)

As I said earlier, the plot was extremely unpredictable which I loved! It kept you guessing the entire time! The plot is very fast paced. Most of the book takes place within 2 days I think until the last 2 or 3 chapters which show the aftermath.

Goodreads Synopsis (4)

Our main character Abigal is really enjoyable. She defied what it was to be a typical woman in that time period by not following social norms and setting out on her own. She was a strong female character while still being feminine. She is also extremely lovable and I loved her sarcastic/witty nature. It was a delight to read from her POV.

“There were enough voices in my life telling me I couldn’t this, or shouldn’t that, or that I wasn’t up to the task – the last thing I intended to do was start agreeing with them.”

Jackaby was also extremely lovable! He is extremely intelligent but also quirky and fun. He is funny without meaning to and you can’t help but laugh at some of the stuff he comes out with, in full seriousness. It was so amusing just learning about him (note, don’t ever ask him to cook your breakfast if you like your walls hole-free).

“Does this smell like paprika or gunpowder to you?”

Also, I LOVE that there was no romance in this book. There was an attraction between one of the MCs and a side character but that was it. It’s so rare to find YA without romance so I was super happy!

Goodreads Synopsis (5)

I absolutely loved this book! It was so fun and mysterious. The characters were amazing and I had so much fun reading about them. The world/setting was amazingly done and the mystery wasn’t predictable which is a plus! Everything about the writing is just excellent. I don’t have a single complaint about this book. It’s just such a fun read!
I can’t wait to get my hands on book 2, Beastly Bones, I’ve already ordered it and will order the rest of the series soon too.

“But that’s Jackaby in a nutshell. Science and magic, beauty and bedlam, things that ought to be at odds – they just don’t follow the same rules when Jackaby’s involved.” 

Copy of Goodreads Synopsis

You can purchase a copy for yourself at any of the links below.

You could also use my affiliate links for Book DepositoryBooktopia or Angus & Robertson.

Book Depository
Hardcover  //  Paperback

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Hardcover  //  Paperback

Angus & Robertson
Hardcover  //  Paperback

Amazon (Aus)
eBook  //  Hardcover  //  Paperback

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HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK? WHAT DID YOU THINK OF IT? LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS.

Lizaxx1

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