Hero at the Fall by Alwyn Hamilton – Spoiler Free Review

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Title: Hero at the Fall
Author: 
Alwyn Hamilton
Series Name: Rebel of the Sands
Genre: 
YA Fantasy
Publication Date: Feb 1st, 2018
Pages: 506 (Paperback)
Publishers: Faber & Faber
Rating:
5 star

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Once, in the desert country of Miraji, there was a Sultan without an heir.

The heir had been killed by his own brother, the treacherous Rebel Prince, who was consumed by jealousy and sought the throne for himself.

Or so it was said by some. There were others who said that the Rebel Prince was not a traitor but a hero…

In the final battle for the throne, Amani must fight for everything she believes in, but with the rebellion in pieces, and the Sultan’s armies advancing across the desert plains, who will lead, who will triumph, who will live and who will die?

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You can find my spoiler free review of Rebel of the Sands HERE! Don’t judge it too hard, it was my first ever review. You can also find the review for Traitor to the Throne HERE!

Warning there may be spoilers for Rebel of the Sands & Traitor to the Throne but there will be no spoilers for Hero at the Fall!

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I adore these books! They are absolutely gorgeous, especially the physical copies. The photos just don’t do it justice! I also love the image in the middle of the cover. They always show something within the story which I love!

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I absolutely love the writing in these books! They are action packed, unpredictable & amazing! I also really enjoyed the additions of the short stories/tales in this one. That just added a little extra to the book that was really well done. I also really enjoy the POV in this book. It is all told by Amani, however, some of the book was told in the first person POV and other parts were third person POV, this was mostly when the tales were being told, but also right out at the end when it was tale and reality coming together.

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As I said the book was action packed! Which made for a plot with tonnes of twists and turns. It kept me on the edge the entire time and I absolutely loved it! As this is the end of the trilogy there were no cliffhangers like in the other books that left me needing to read the next book straight away! Even though the end of the book was heartbreaking to some degree I absolutely wouldn’t have had it any other way. It was a very satisfying ending for the most part.

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Amani is one of my favourite female characters ever! She is a badass sharpshooter with awesome powers. She is quick thinking and determined. She is also loving and caring and would do anything for the people that she considered family. She was real though too. She struggled with what was right and wrong. Always trying to do right but still being tempted by what her heart wanted rather than what she knew she had to do.
Jin was another awesome character! He was strong, but didn’t want power or to be in the middle of everything. He just wanted to help however he can.
Shazad is another favourite! Her friendship with Amani is amazing! She is also just a badass character alone too. She is strong, an amazing fighter and extremely tactical! She always has a plan and can think up a plan on the spot when needed!
Izz & Maz are sarcastic an awesome characters. I love that we finally got to see some more of them in this book! They were always there when the other characters needed them.
I also liked Sam a lot more in this book than I did in Traitor to the Throne. He is funny and sarcastic which was a good break from all the seriousness. He was also strong and even though he was technically from the enemy side, he still helped the people he cared for the most.

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I love everything about this series! The writing is amazing and I loved the new tales in this one! The plot was so well done. The characters are also amazing. I loved basically all of them. Even the bad guys are done so well! I still hate them but I can appreciate how well they were written! This is one of my favourite series I have ever read! I can’t wait to see what Alwyn Hamilton does next! We already have an ‘Untitled YA Fantasy’ planned according to Goodreads and I can’t wait!

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HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK? WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON IT?!

IF YOU ARE GOING TO SHARE SPOILERS IN THE COMMENTS THEN PLEASE WARN IT SO OTHERS DON’T GET SPOILED!

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Before She Ignites by Jodi Meadows

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Title: Before She Ignites
Author: 
Jodi Meadows
Series: Fallen Isles Trilogy
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: Sept 12th, 2017
Pages: 496 (Hardcover)
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Rating:
5 star

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Before

Mira Minkoba is the Hopebearer. Since the day she was born, she’s been told she’s special. Important. Perfect. She’s known across the Fallen Isles not just for her beauty, but for the peace treaty named after her, an agreement which united the seven islands against their enemies on the mainland.

But Mira never felt perfect. She counts compulsively. She struggles with crippling anxiety. And she’s far too interested in dragons for a girl of her station.

After

Then Mira discovers an explosive secret that challenges everything she and the treaty stand for. Betrayed by the very people she spent her life serving, Mira is sentenced to the Pit—the deadliest prison in the Fallen Isles. There, a cruel guard would do anything to discover the secret she would die to protect.

No longer beholden to those who betrayed her, Mira must learn to survive on her own and unearth the dark truths about the Fallen Isles—and herself—before her very world begins to collapse.

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Before we get into this review! As some of you know I run the facebook group The YA Book Nerds and Before She Ignites is our October BOTM! So if you have read this or plan to in October and want to join in on the discussion that starts on the 29th of October then go and join the page!



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I still don’t like covers with people on them but you can’t deny that this book is gorgeous. I love the colours of the cover and how dark it feels. I also love the back cover! The forest/woods with the dragon’s tail is so simple but represents the book really well.

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This is my first Jodi Meadows book and I have heard pretty good things about her writing and I was not disappointed. For a 500 page book this was fairly quick. There were parts in the middle that was a bit slow but they were building the characters personalities and also the characters’ friendships, so they were needed and worth it.

I also really enjoyed the swap of past and future in the 2/3 or so of the book. It was good to have a break from those slower parts and it was also good to see what happened to Mira rather than just hearing it her thoughts and convos.

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So even though the basis of this plot is fairly basic, it was done really well that it didn’t feel like ‘just another …….. book’. The whole book felt like it was building to a certain event and then there was something that happened about 3/4 of the way in that threw a spanner in the works and I no longer knew what to expect. I liked that this book had those unpredictable bits, however, there were some parts that were predictable too.

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Mira was an enjoyable character. Even though she was kinda the ‘chosen one’ trope she felt a lot more realistic than most. She struggled most of the time to figure out what was wrong and right and what she should do. Also, the anxiety played a pretty big part of her life while in the pit which made her feel more real too. Even with all the struggles, she was still a strong character and I really enjoyed her.

Ilina & Hristo were also enjoyable characters. We mostly see them in the chapters that show the past. Hristo is loyal and caring & Ilina is passionate and strong. They would both do anything for what is right and their best friend.

Gerel was a pain, but the kind of enjoyable pains that you can’t help but like despite yourself. She was stubborn but smart and but also loyal to what she believes in and the promises she has made to the Fallen Isles. Aaru I still don’t know how I feel really. He is shy and quiet but also kind and interesting.

Altan is a pathetic person. He is one of those cruel characters that you aren’t meant to like. Even though he knew why Mira was in prison and knew it was a load of bull he still acting like she was no better than a murderer. It was pathetic considering he wanted the information she held.

Elbena, was also cruel. Again acting like Mira was at fault when it was actually her and her people that were doing the wrong thing. And delibertly allowing  a certain thing to happen just so she could turn the situation to fit her needs! In that moment, if I was there I would have strangled her. So much outright curelty.

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I loved this book! It is an amazing start to a new fantasy series! The writing is amazing and I loved he use of chapters from the past and future. The main character is great and so are her friends! The plot is really well done and the world is amazing! I can’t wait for book 2 to be released! The only thing this book is missing is a map! This would be the perfect book to have a map in!



HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK? WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON IT?!
IF YOU ARE GOING TO SHARE SPOILERS IN THE COMMENTS THEN PLEASE WARN IT SO OTHERS DON’T GET SPOILED!
And please join our discussion if you have read this book! I can’t wait to discuss this book!

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The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli – Spoiler Free Review

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Title: The Last Namsara
Author: 
Kristen Ciccarelli
Series Name: Iskari
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: October 3rd, 2017
Pages: 432 (Hardcover)
Publisher: Hachette Australia
Rating:
4 stars

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In the beginning, there was the Namsara: the child of sky and spirit, who carried love and laughter wherever he went. But where there is light, there must be dark—and so there was also the Iskari. The child of blood and moonlight. The destroyer. The death bringer.

These are the legends that Asha, daughter of the king of Firgaard, has grown up hearing in hushed whispers, drawn to the forbidden figures of the past. But it isn’t until she becomes the fiercest, most feared dragon slayer in the land that she takes on the role of the next Iskari—a lonely destiny that leaves her feeling more like a weapon than a girl.

Asha conquers each dragon and brings its head to the king, but no kill can free her from the shackles that await at home: her betrothal to the cruel commandant, a man who holds the truth about her nature in his palm. When she’s offered the chance to gain her freedom in exchange for the life of the most powerful dragon in Firgaard, she finds that there may be more truth to the ancient stories than she ever could have expected. With the help of a secret friend—a slave boy from her betrothed’s household—Asha must shed the layers of her Iskari bondage and open her heart to love, light, and a truth that has been kept from her.

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Generally, I don’t like people on the cover of books, but covers with part of someone’s face don’t bother me and I really like this one. I like how simple it is and how well it represents this book! I also love the design on the knife too.

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I didn’t love the writing to be completely honest. Every now and then there were a couple paragraphs that really didn’t make sense. When this happened a lot of the time it was the movement of a character. It’s hard to explain but it was just kinda contradicting itself I guess. Like they would say this person was somewhere or doing something and then the next second they were somewhere else or doing something else that shouldn’t have been possible. That’s the best I can explain it.
But as I am reading an eARC of this book, this may have been corrected for the final copy but I’m not fully sure obviously. But it was a little annoying when that happened as it just wrecked the flow of the book.

But besides that, there was also the romance. It wasn’t my favourite either. Not only am I not a romance reader but it was also pretty predictable and typical of a “forbidden love” story. But I’m really glad that the romance didn’t overtake the rest of the plot of the book.

I also enjoyed that they included some of the stories they talked about in the book. I thought that was a cool touch.

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I really enjoyed the plot of the book and I didn’t find it predictable even though I found the romance predictable. The plot was fairly unique and I loved the stories. And come on, the book has dragons!

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Asha was a little annoying at times. Through most of the book, she acted like she was better than everyone else because she was the ‘Iskari’. I get that yes she may have been a more powerful person but that doesn’t mean you have to act stuck up about it. Her personality when it came to this really annoyed me but besides that she was okay.

I really enjoyed Safire though. She was awesome and such a badass. She is also really strong! No matter the crap she had to put up with she was strong all the way and was there for her family the whole time.

Jarek was a horrible person. He is so controlling and obsessive. Honestly, at a couple points, I cringed when he came up to Asha and I’m only reading about it!

Dax I also enjoyed. He wasn’t that present for most of the book but in the end I really enjoyed him and what he did. He cared for Asha a lot and even though she was the ‘Iskari’ and was meant to be this fearless person he still saw her as his sister and looked out for her rather than treating her like a prop or a weapon like others tried.

Torwin I don’t really know how I feel about. I did enjoy him for most of it but for some parts, he just felt like ‘the forbidden love interest’ and that was it. I would have really liked if this book was in Multi POV with Torwin & Asha because seeing him through her eyes that was all he was really, the forbidden love interest. I would have liked to see him as his own person a bit more but the only time we see that is the part with the dragon and when he was telling stories about the woman who raised him.

I won’t talk about my opinions about anyone else as I don’t want to spoil anything!

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Overall I didn’t love the writing or the MC. I hope that in the next book she comes down off the high horse she has been sitting on for most of this book. The romance was not my favourite either, but I’m not a romance fan so that doesn’t mean too much. I did enjoy the plot of the book and some of the characters.

*For my rating I did not take into consideration the trouble I had understanding some parts just because I’m not sure if that is a fault with the eARC or not.*



I was provided with an eGalley of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you  very much to Hachette Australia & NetGalley for this opportunity.

You can PRE-ORDER this book as an eBook, hardback or paperback copy from the Hachette Australia website HERE!

You can also PRE-ORDER it in Hardcover from:
Book Depository  /  Dymocks (Alternate cover – Below)

Paperback:
Book Depository (Alternate cover)  /  Dymocks  /  QBD

eBook & Audiobook:
Amazon/Audible Aus
*The audiobook is only $14.95 AUD or 1 Audible Credit*



Alternate cover (as mentioned above)

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ARE YOU PLANNING ON PICKING THIS BOOK UP when it releases?! Or have you already pre-ordered!
HAVE YOU already READ THIS BOOK? WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON IT?!
IF YOU ARE GOING TO SHARE SPOILERS IN THE COMMENTS THEN PLEASE WARN IT SO OTHERS DON’T GET SPOILED!

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Thief’s Cunning by Sarah Ahiers – Spoiler Free Review

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Title: Thief’s Cunning
Author: 
Sarah Ahiers
Series Name: Assassin’s Heart
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: June 13th, 2017
Pages: 416 (eBook)
Publisher: HarlequinTeen
Rating:
4 stars

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Allegra has always had to look over her shoulder. As the niece of the infamous assassin Lea Saldana, Allegra is used to hiding from people who want her dead. Once the strongest clipper family in the Kingdom of Lovero, the Saldanas—or what’s left of them—are now the most hunted. Their number one enemy is the Da Vias, whose thirst for retaliation is almost two decades in the making.

But lately Allegra’s getting fed up with everything being kept from her—including her parents’ identity. When she finally learns the truth about her family, though—that she’s a Da Via—her world crumbles. Feeling betrayed by the people she trusted the most, Allegra turns to Nev, a Traveler boy whose presence makes her feel alive in ways she’s only dreamed of.  But getting caught up in Nev’s world has consequences Allegra never saw coming.

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I really enjoy the covers of these books. They are simple but represent the book really well! In the first one we just had the Saldana coin and the city below (I’m not sure if it’s Yvain or Lovero) and this on we have the Singura and the city Mornian (I think) at the bottom. They are eye-catching and gorgeous!

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My opinion is the same for this book as it is for Assassin’s Heart. The world building is amazing and continues in this book. I loved learning more about the other gods and other cultures in this book. The book flows really well and is very descriptive! My only small issue is I still have no idea how to pronounce the MCs name, Allegra. I am pretty sure I pronounced it differently every time it came up in the book! It’s such an uncommon name, as are many of them, but most of the other characters had easy nicknames so it was okay that I didn’t know how to pronounce Les’s full name (I don’t know how to spell it and I’m not hunting through the last two books to find it as it’s only mentioned a couple times).

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I didn’t enjoy the plot of Thief’s Cunning as much as I did Assassin’s Heart. It was still good and I enjoyed it but the first book was better in my opinion. This book was filled with a few plot twists of sorts and that was enjoyable as I didn’t see them coming.

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So, I didn’t love the MC for this one. Allegra was annoying at times and complained and whined so much. She also repeated the same thing over and over again. It also annoyed me that when she found out a certain truth that she didn’t go straight to Lea and ask for her side of the story and the truth from her. She didn’t even try and give her a chance and that annoyed me considering everything that Lea and Les had done for her. It also annoyed me that she wouldn’t listen to Lea about the truth when Lea tried to explain herself, but she listened to Les.

*Side note – I hate that it’s ‘Lea’ & ‘Les’ because if you aren’t concentrating on every single word or just reading quickly than those two names look the same and you don’t read it properly and then get confused*

I still love Lea & Les in this book. Les is so caring, awesome and calm. I wish we saw a bit more of his Clipper side as that was what he wanted the most in Assassin’s Heart. Lea is still a badass and she will always do anything for the people she loves.

Nev was a character that you are suspicious of and your thoughts go back and forth about whether he is actually a good guy or a bad guy. I won’t say anything more about that because I’ll let you figure it out yourself if you decide to read this series!

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I really enjoyed this book, however, it was not as good as the first book in my opinion. I love this world and magic system. The MC was not my favourite for this book and I prefer the POV of Lea a lot more than Allegra. The writing is amazing and I can’t wait to see what comes next from Sarah Ahiers!



I was provided with an eGalley of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Harlequin Australia & NetGalley for this opportunity.

You can purchase this book as an eBook or physical copy from the Harlequin Australia website HERE.
You can also purchase from:
Book Depository (Paperback & Hardcover)  /  QBD  /  Amazon (Kindle)

And don’t forget the First book in the series/companion novel Assassin’s Heart
You can purchase it from:
Book Depository (Paperback & Hardcover)  /  QBD  /  Amazon (Kindle)



HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK? WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON IT?!
IF YOU ARE GOING TO SHARE SPOILERS IN THE COMMENTS THEN PLEASE WARN IT SO OTHERS DON’T GET SPOILED!

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Firstlife (Everlife #1) by Gena Showalter – Spoiler Free Review

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Title: Firstlife
Author: 
Gena Showalter
Series Name: Everlife
Genre: Fantasy YA
Publication Date: February 23rd, 2016
Pages: 467
Publishers: Harlequin Teen
Rating:

4 star

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Checkout my review for Lifeblood, the next book in the series, HERE!

I’m going to do something slightly different with this review as I want to add in a section about the book covers into my review. For books that only have one cover I will just share my opinion of them and for books that have more than one I will say which I own and which is my favourite.

Cover Art:

This book only has one cover. I like the concept of this cover art, Myriad at the top and Troika at the bottom of the hour glass. Light vs Dark. I also love that they continued this same idea onto the next books cover and I hope they do that for the 3rd book in the trilogy as well.

Writing:

I did enjoy Gena Showalter’s writing. It wasn’t as beautiful and detailed as the last book I read which I just adored the writing of, but it was still well done. I loved all the little quotes at the top of each paragraph, each paragraph swapping between a Myriad and Troika quote. Some of the quotes were directly related to the realms and what was going on in the book, but some of them can be applied to everyday life as well. For Example:

“Your mistakes do not define you, only the emotion you feel.”
– Myriad

Plot:

The plot was really good and fairly unique to anything I have read before. There is some things in this book that are in most YA books, like the being treated crappily by parents, which seems to be popping up in sooo many YA books lately (or the lack of parents) and also the strong female who has some ability/power/job to do that she has only just found out about.. But besides those tropes the actual plot is different from anything I have read. And I really enjoyed it! The story did start off a little slow and a little confusing, it took a few chapters to figure out what exactly was going on, but once you got past that little bit at the start it was really good. The book also ending in a little bit of a shocking twist to do with Sloan, which I was not prepared for.

Characters:

I really liked Ten, of course another strong female character! I also enjoyed Archer & Killian and I liked that they had a backstory and history that came out strong in this book. Sloan was a character where your view of her changed a couple times and you still weren’t sure if she was on the good or bad side. But I get why she did what she did at the end, because of what she was put through. So in my opinion she was still kind of on the good side. Just a very broken good side. She gives me Draco Malfoy Vibes, doing the wrong thing for all the right reasons. There were other characters that came and went in the book that weren’t there long enough to get to know really well, like Elena, Deacon & Clay. I’m guessing we will see more of at least Deacon and Clay in the next book, which I am looking forward to!

Overall:

I enjoyed this book. I only gave it 4 stars though and that was because it was just lacking a little in a couple areas. But I can also overlook them as I enjoyed the rest of it. I will be starting Lifeblood, the second book in the series, later today.


I was interested in this series a little while ago but didn’t plan on reading it until Lifeblood came out as it was coming fairly soon and then I could read both at once. Then I saw Lifeblood on NetGalley and as it was my first time on there, i didn’t really know what to expect, I requested it and amazingly got approved. So I quickly bought an iBook of Firstlife so I could get to Lifeblood straight away!

So that will be my next review!

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