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Bex (United Kingdom)
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The Traitor: A Divergent Story
The Traitor: A Divergent Story
Price: £2.40

4.0 out of 5 stars Divergent From Four's Perspective, 31 July 2015
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The Traitor is one of four short novellas sequencing some key events in Four's, Divergents main male protagonist, life from his initiation day through to "Present-day-ish" with Tris as she becomes an initiate herself. It's at this point that I think I need to point out that this particular novella does have quite a few spoilers for Divergent so you HAVE to read Divergent first; the other novellas can be read in any order around this novella though but it is smoother to read them in order.

The Traitor details just one part of these events - the key events of Divergent through Four's eyes instead of Tris's. Now I'm not saying Roth has managed to cram ALL of Divergent into less than twelve pages from Four's perspective because of course she hasn't, but she's picked out some of the more exciting events and showed us a new perspective on them.

My favourite from this novella was the Tris in the Chasm scene where Al plays a big part, hence why you need to have read Divergent first. There's just something really cool and interesting about reading parts of Divergent from another angle - I felt like I'd had a lot of my tiny wonderings answered so I liked it.

What I didn't like so much compared to the other novellas, and the reason for my four stars, is that it did feel a little repeatitive. Partly because of having read Divergent and being privy to a lot of the conversations already so the element of surprise is gone. But, mostly, because I feel like I know Four's fears inside out now and we readers must have seen his fears two or three times now from his and Tris's perspective so it was a TINY bit boring. Easily forgiven though, just a small niggle.


Magisterium: The Iron Trial (Magisterium 1)
Magisterium: The Iron Trial (Magisterium 1)
by Cassandra Clare
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.85

3.0 out of 5 stars Don't Underestimate YA readers!, 30 July 2015
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As a fan of some of Clare's earlier work, when I saw this new on the shelves I had to give it a go. I was a little worried at first because despite having a massive love for YA, I did notice that this book was aimed at a much younger YA audience. Let me just start by saying that this in no way lessened my enjoyment of it - I've been known to curl up with a good Roald Dahl book so it was definitely worth a shot.

The Magisterium looks to be a new trilogy set within a fantastical world full of magic; many readers are comparing it to Harry Potter. But I have to tell you, that's where the similiarities stop and I wish people wouldn't compare the two because if you go into this book thinking you're going to fall in love with it like you did Potter, you will be disappointed. Not because it's rubbish! But because it's just a massively unfair comparison to make.

Within this new world, we meet a different kind of main hero, in that he isn't your typical hero at all. This was actually so refreshing - to finally read a YA book where the main character isn't always this beautiful male God! This guy is actually a bit of a clutz, but I loved it for that. I think it's a really good precedent to start setting for YA fiction. Callum, our guy in question, is heading to Wizard school, or at least he's heading there to try and fail the entrance tests. You see, Callum, again unlike most main characters in this scenario, wants to be here about as much as a gherkin should be in a hamburger (yuck). So Callum sets out to fail his tests all the other kids are trying their hardest to get through, and he does fail. Spectacularly. So much so they examiners are impressed by his explosive results. From this point we enter the weird and wonderful world of the Magisterium.

I don't want to say too much more for fear of spoiling the plots along the way. The reason for this is not solely because I'm a considerate human being and hate when people ruin books. The reason is that this book is largely predictable. Now I know, I know, I should have expected this - it's a younger YA, but I just feel like Cassandra Clare and her fellow writer Holly Black, teaming up to write this, hugely underestimated their audience. The plot was so simple and kids were literally being handed clues like they were going out of fashion tomorrow. I felt a bit disappointed by this.

Otherwise, the story was okay, if a little unimaginative, but I just expected a little bit more from authors I've seen do a lot better. Overall, a really good read for fans of fantastical YA but don't get your hopes up for a suspenseful, rip-roarer of a ride.


The Initiate: A Divergent Story (Divergent Series)
The Initiate: A Divergent Story (Divergent Series)
Price: £2.40

5.0 out of 5 stars Four vs Eric, 28 July 2015
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The Initiate is one of five novellas detailing Four's initiation process into Dauntless. I did feel that this novella successfully worked alone, so it doesn't seem to matter too much which order you read these five novella in. I did feel I benefitted from reading the five in order purely because I like things to carry on from each other and the five novella do link together nicely, but it isn't essential. However, I do think it's important that you have read Divergent so you understand the poignancy of certain things that happen and so you have a good foundation of what it is to be Divergent.

The best thing about the Initiate is that we get to see the inner workings of Four's four fears. Now I know we get to see this through Tris in Divergent, but honestly it makes such a massive difference to get that extra insight and understanding from Four's perspective. It all tied in really nicely with his backstory from the other short stories too. Additionally, I found it really interesting to hear about his relationship with Eric and how the animosity between them really started. You get to see a whole different part of Eric's story and how his relationship with Erudite played a part in the discovery of Divergents.

For those of you that are really familiar with the Divergent trilogy, you may remember a relatively minor character - Amar. The Initiate gives us a massive look at his story and what happened to him according to Four - a really good extra for fans.

Overall I enjoyed The Initiate. It really helped develop the back story for a lot of characters for me and I didn't feel like it was too short compared to some novellas.I recommend it to fans, just make sure you read Divergent first.


The Son: A Divergent Story (Divergent Series)
The Son: A Divergent Story (Divergent Series)
Price: £2.40

5.0 out of 5 stars The Beginnings of Dauntless Corruption., 27 July 2015
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Veronica Roth gives us another in her five story novellas detailing some distinctive moments in the life of her character Four. This novella takes us to the moment after Four is initiated in Dauntless.

I've found this to be the most detailed of the five short stories; there's an awful lot more information revealed to readers than in some of the other tales. In particular, we see Four coming to grips with changing from Abnegation to Dauntless and acclimatising to his new surroundings and the new traits he is supposed to demonstrate - I loved the tendencies to cleanliness and precision which Roth wove into Four's story; this made it feel much more personal.

The Son also shows readers how Four came to work in the control rooms, as an instructor instead of as a Dauntless leader alongside Eric but also more minor details such as how he got his tattoos or came to have his own room when all the other Dauntless members share rooms in Divergent. I enjoyed these aspects the most because I felt like they tied up a few loose ends and answered a few questions that I'd been wondering about when reading Divergent. I realise none of them are "game-changers" for the plot throughout the trilogy but fans of Divergent will get a nice buzz from finding out some "behind-the-scenes" details I think.

Ultimately, The Son cleverly looks at Four's relationship with his parents. Because of this it is absolutely essential that you have at least read Divergent as there are a couple of major spoilers within this novella - something to have in mind if you were thinking of just reading this to see if you'd like Roth's writing or the Divergent world. Incidentally, aside from reading Divergent, I really don't think it matters too much which order you read these novella in. I would recommend reading The Transfer before reading The Son purely because there is a small link between a faction-less character in both stories so it might be nice to appreciate this link.

I really enjoyed this novella. It was great to get to see more into Four's life within Dauntless and I was really intrigued to see how the demise of Dauntless began through Four's eyes. A very good read.


Free Four - Tobias tells the Divergent Knife-Throwing Scene (Divergent Series)
Free Four - Tobias tells the Divergent Knife-Throwing Scene (Divergent Series)
Price: £0.00

4.0 out of 5 stars An Inside Look at The Knife Throwing Chapter., 27 July 2015
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Free Four is one in a set of five short (and in this case phenomenally short) novellas associated with the Divergent trilogy. It's important to know that this particular novella is actually a chapter from Divergent but rewritten from Four's perspective instead from Tris, so I would recommend you definitely read Divergent before you give this a whirl.in relation to the remaining four novellas though, it doesn't appear to matter which order you read them in as they all stand alone.

So it has to be recognised that Veronica Roth writes really well, and this is no exception. I won't lie, I did wonder if I'd like Four's voice as a narrator as much as I did Tris, but I did - perhaps more so! Four tells us his point of view during a poignant scene from Divergent - the knife throwing scene. Of all the chapters she could have chosen, I am so glad she picked this one. I remember reading this chapter in Divergent, thinking 'Why is Four doing this?', and now I know!

Fans of Divergent will enjoy this little extract, but just keep in mind that it is short; even for a novella. Many readers have commented on it's length so just to give you an idea of quite how short it is; my kindle said 27 percent read when the extract finished and the remaining 73 percent was the first chapter of Divergent (which is especially stupid given you'd have to have read Divergent to really understand what's going on in this novella!). A really good, interesting read nevertheless. It's also pretty funny!


The Transfer: A Divergent Story
The Transfer: A Divergent Story
Price: £2.40

4.0 out of 5 stars How Four Got His Name, 27 July 2015
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The Transfer is the first novella in a set of five similar novellas related to the Divergent trilogy. The Transfer tells the story of how Four, one of the main characters from the trilogy, transfers from Abnegation to Dauntless.

I think it's important to point out that, although this could be read as a prequel to Divergent to give you a taster of the Divergent world, it would definitely be more enjoyable to those readers already familiar with the characters and the world Roth has built for us. Additionally, as far as I can tell, it doesn't seem to matter which order you read any of the short stories as they don't seem to link up but rather are small extracts relevant to a character's own story or chapters of Divergent from another point of view.

I really enjoyed this. It is very short, but it's exciting to get an insight through Four's eyes into his relationship with his father, his Aptitude test and his change of factions. What I liked the most though, and I think all fans of these novels will love this too, were the little links made between Tris and her family and Four growing up - for example, seeing Tris in the street. I know it seems so small but it's all cleverly woven through and I enjoyed spotting the links throughout. If you liked Divergent, you'll definitely like this.


Goddess (Starcrossed)
Goddess (Starcrossed)
by Josephine Angelini
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Great Ideas. Lots of Waffles., 24 July 2015
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This review is from: Goddess (Starcrossed) (Paperback)
You know when you pick up the first of a trilogy and it's just perfect? Well, I felt that way about Starcrossed in many ways. But then I read Dreamless and was left feeling slightly disappointed because of the increasingly frustrating Orion-Helen-Lucas business. So you can imagine that I had to psych myself up to read this book. And psych I did. I went in completely open-minded, hoping for the best. You know what, it was actually pretty good. By no means perfect, but I'm glad I gave it a read. Just, so much waffle. I'll get to that soon!

Goddess is a bit slow moving to begin with. We revisit Helen, the demi-God, with her developing abilities just about coming to light. Let me start by saying I found this to be the most exciting part of the book (not sure how much that says for it but..). I really loved reading about how Helen had these different powers and how she was learning to control them; it was great to see how the other demi-gods helped her to manifest them. This ties in with the second thing I really enjoyed - a bit more Greek mythology. Now I am by no means an expert in this field AT ALL, but I really like to hear about it and I found the new facts and fiction being thrown in were keeping me intrigued - particularly when I recognised stories I knew about and could make some loose ties with our story.

Unfortunately, where this final instalment fell short for me was this: It was such a long-winded approach to what could and should have been a really high action, fast paced bunch of chapters - I mean, come on, Helen is supposed to be setting out to save the world and stop a war! Or at least take part in the battle right?

Despite this, I did enjoy the story overall, but I won't lie - it took me quite a few days longer than the average read to get through purely because I just lost interest with all the boring rubbishy bits in the middle. I am really excited though to see that Angelini has a new set of books ready and waiting for us and I'll definitely give these a go because, despite her waffling on a bit, the general concept of the Starcrossed trilogy was really original and I'm happy to have been invested in her characters, even if it took me a little while longer to chew through them.


The Infernal Devices 3: Clockwork Princess: 3/3
The Infernal Devices 3: Clockwork Princess: 3/3
by Cassandra Clare
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful End to a Rip-Roarer of a Trilogy., 24 July 2015
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Well, what a rip-roarer of an ending. I've loved this trilogy from the first page of Clockwork Angel and since then I've not been able to get this world out of my head. What's interesting for me, is that I actually got so bored with Cassandra Clare's other series that, although I did read them, I thought that I wouldn't love this trilogy but it's genuinely unputdownable.

In this final installment we see Tessa, Jem and Will (and their gang of Shadowhunters and creatures) fight to protect the London Institute and each other against the dreaded Automatons that Mortmain cooked up in the previous books. Mortmain is pretty close to destroying all that the Shadowhunters hold dear to them; he's just missing one final component - Tessa.

Now, I'm not going to say I was shocked by any of the "big" revelations made throughout this book, or really by any of the little twists and turns so don't be expecting one final, shocking conclusion. Nevertheless, this is a fantastic ending to an equally brilliant story. What I really love is how real Clare makes their world seem. I can't even really put my finger on it. Just SOMETHING about her writing style really captures me and I genuinely feel (like some other readers have mentioned) a tangible connection and investment to these characters and their lives. I'm starting to think I'm insane just writing that but I'm taking some solace in the fact a few others have said the same! What you should take from that though is NOT that I'm in fact crazy, but that this has to be a good read for so many people to be so in love with the world, let alone the characters.

There's one big plot feature that we've all been waiting to find the answers to - don't worry, I'm not about to spill the beans. This book finally delivers that answer. Who on Earth is Tessa going to end up with? You know, I hate myself a little bit for falling for that stupid love triangle thing that's typical of YA writing these days but I can't help it, I HAVE to know what Tessa is going to do. Thankfully, now I know. And thankfully, I think Clare has delivered it pretty well actually; it wasn't even the outcome I was rooting for but she convinced me it was.

I do have one teeny tiny problem with this book and it's so tiny that I won't let it alter my star rating THIS time. Does anyone else think that Will is just a copy of Jace from the TMI? I mean really, I've said this before, but despite how endearing Jace and Will (and even Jem) are, I sometimes did fall back into thinking Jace was narrating. Come on Clare, mix it up a little bit!

I have to recommend this book, and if you loved this trilogy so far already I don't even need to because you'll definitely be dying to read it! If you're still on the fence though, there is an Epilogue thrown in just for us that is amazing. It's left me chomping at the bit with a billion questions and some anticipated (and overly googled) excitement for what's coming next for us readers.


Foundation: A Tor.Com Original (Razorland)
Foundation: A Tor.Com Original (Razorland)
Price: £0.76

5.0 out of 5 stars Life Before Enclave (Enclave #0.5), 24 July 2015
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Foundation is a short story set before Enclave began; for this reason I think it's safe to read as a prequel if you wanted to but you might not appreciate some of the subtle links that others who have read the book would so it could be more fun to wait.

This 218 page long extract shows us the very beginnings of how the conditions seen in book one actually came back - essentially you see the formation of the Enclave underground and how people, most specifically a young boy named Robin, were initially effected. It's funny but, the thing I found the most exciting about this book and the most interesting to read wasn't actually how this all happened but all the small things that changed for Robin in his life and how his life suddenly became much "narrower" as he lost basic amenities and then, later, the sun. This kind of world building just gave me a whole new appreciation of what life underground must have been like for Deuce.

Something I also found really endearing was the descriptions of how the general public panicked in the onset of a disease outbreak; things like wearing masks and other protective gear to try and prevent the spread of infection. My imagination ran wild with these sorts of descriptions knowing what I know now from reading the series.

I highly recommend this to anyone thinking of reading the Enclave series - it's a really lovely taster of Aguirre's phenomenal series and a great insight into whether or not you might like her ideas. For those of you who, like me, loved the series and just need a bit more of Deuce then you'll enjoy this story although sadly you won't see anything of Deuce. You will appreciate the links into her world though!


Horde (Razorland Trilogy)
Horde (Razorland Trilogy)
by Ann Aguirre
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.40

5.0 out of 5 stars Sink Your Teeth Into This!!, 24 July 2015
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I was so looking forward to reading "Horde". I can't even tell how you much. I could have eaten it whole in one sitting but I had to pace myself to make sure I got enough enjoyment out of it. It was delicious.

Horde sees us to the end of the Enclave trilogy but Aguirre goes out with one great big bang! Horde is action packed, full of blood and guts and just a sprinkle of romance too. This book brings us the real story of survival for Deuce and the gang as they finally battle it out against The Freaks. You remember those right? Those mutant creatures tearing people to pieces both above and below ground?

Well they're back. With even bigger bite. In fact, they're beginning to change. I absolutely loved this concept of the Freaks altering and essentially evolving to become stronger, faster and ultimately smarter killers. I am so impressed with Aguirre's world building and character development relative to this and found myself shocked into silence at one point.

I really can't say too much without giving the game away but I can urge you to read this final installement in the Razorland trilogy. Not only do I feel it's safe to say this has been a rip-roarer of a series from book one all the way through to book three, I've really become invested in the characters (something I never do).

If you loved the Razorland trilogy so far, pick this up and if you were struggling after the last book then still pick it up because I promise you, Aguirre will redeem herself in your eyes. Additionally, for those of you who are interested, there are a couple of short stories to accompany this trilogy and a brand new series coming soon set within the same world!! Excited doesn't even begin to cover it.


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