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Amethyst Bookwyrm (Essex)

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Cruel Beauty
Cruel Beauty
by Rosamund Hodge
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 10.48

4.0 out of 5 stars Cruel Beauty, 13 Mar 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Cruel Beauty (Hardcover)
Since birth Nyx has known she will be sacrificed to the Gentle Lord because of a bargain her father made, and she loves yet resents her sister, Astraia, as she is the daughter her father chose to live. On her 17th birthday Nyx is married to the Gentle Lord and is sent to live with him in his castle. However, she has a plan, as with her Hermetic powers she must find a way to break the 900 year old curse on the people of Arcadia. But the Gentle Lord, also known as Ignifex, and the castle are not what she imagined and she finds herself drawn to him as she does not have to hide who she is. Is Nyx able to complete her mission to destroy Ignifex even as she grows to love him?

Cruel Beauty is an enjoyable YA book but I found it hard to connect to and it seemed too complicated. The book is kind of based on Beauty and the Beast but only loosely, and I felt it was more inspired by Pandora and other mythologies.

I found it hard to like Nyx as she was not a nice person, I could understand why but it did make it hard to connect to her, plus she was so conflicted and the whole book was her having an inner battle with herself. Ignifex is a mysterious character as you could see how evil and heartless he is yet at some points he was sweet and kind of compassionate, and he reminded a lot of The Darkling from the Grisha series.

This is a good book but it was let down by the characters, I would recommend Cruel Beauty people who want to read a Beauty and the Beast retelling with a unique mythology.

Into the Dark: The Shadow Prince
Into the Dark: The Shadow Prince
by Bree DeSpain
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 10.70

4.0 out of 5 stars The Shadow Prince, 11 Mar 2014
Haden is the shunned prince of the Underrealm, but he, instead of his favoured twin brother, is chosen by the oracle to be sent to the Olympus Hills in the mortal realm. His job is to gain the trust of one girl in 6 months and bring her back as the boon to the Underrealm. All Daphne Raines want to be is a singer and move away from her tiny town. Her wishes are granted when her absent rock star dad sends her to Olympus Hills and the schools renowned music programme. Haden has to find a way to woo Daphne, but this is difficult as she distrusts him, he is new to this world and might have to become more human. Fate has Daphne and Haden's destiny's entwined and their decisions could affect both their worlds.

The Shadow Prince is a good paranormal novel with interesting Greek mythology. However, while good, it is predictable as there was no unexpected surprises and a bit forgettable.

I like Daphne as she likes to be in control but, like Lexie says in the book, she is a natural and finds everything easy which makes her really hard to relate to her. Haden grew on me during the book, as at the beginning I did not really like him, but as he struggled with becoming more human he got better.

I am interested to find out what happens next to Daphne and Haden in the next book. I would recommend The Shadow Prince to fans of YA paranormal book or books about Greek Mythology.

The Beautiful and the Damned
The Beautiful and the Damned
by Jessica Verday
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 10.69

4.0 out of 5 stars The Beautiful and The Damned, 11 Mar 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Cyn Hargrave is on the run after blacking out, and waking up covered in blood and her boyfriend, Hunter, dead next to her. After hiding out in a small town for a few months, things start to go downhill for her with her blacking out more often and a cop from her home town, Sleepy Hollow. With her being able to influence people, her blacking out and seeing other people's faces in the mirror Cyn finally turns to an unlikely ally. Avian, the thirteenth Revenant, has always felt like an outsider and has had an unfortunate history with Echo's like Cyn. Together they try to break her connection to the evil soul inside her before it destroys her.

The Beautiful and The Damned is a companion book to the Hollows trilogy, and is a quick read, which, at first, the story is a bit uninteresting but it definitely picked up and I was on the edge of my seat to see what happens next. It has been a while since I have read the Hollows trilogy and while I was a bit lost with some bits, I was able to follow the story.

Cyn is a strong chick as she has been through lots and yet she still fights to survive, and also she could also easily abuse her powers, but she doesn't as she is a good person. Avian is a complex character as he is scarred from his past, and is dealing out justice to though who deserve it, but is very loyal to those he cares about. I thought there would be more romance in this book than there was, as it was really subtle. I really like that there is a cameo of Abby and Caspian as it was good to see them again.

I did not expect the ending and it was an interesting twist. I hope there is more books in this series as I would like to see more of Cyn and Avian. I would recommend to fans of The Hollows trilogy.

Cornerstone (Souls Of The Stones Book 1)
Cornerstone (Souls Of The Stones Book 1)
Price: 0.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Cornerstone, 7 Mar 2014
When Emariya learns that an enemy country has been holding her father captive for years, she will do anything to rescue him. She travels to Thalmas to marry Prince Torian, someone she has never meet before. However, on Emariya's journey she is confronted by her mother's killers and discovers that if she marries the Prince she will fulfil a prophecy which could curse everyone she cares about.

Cornerstone is a likable book which is fairly quick and enjoyable YA fantasy novel. However, I felt the prequel story, Jaded Stone, was more enjoyable as I felt there was more of a plot and intrigue.

Emariya is a nice yet nave girl, but I liked her as she wants what is best for her kingdom and those she loves. We don't get to see much of Torian in this book but he was a good hero as he was very charming.

I would recommend Cornerstone to fans of YA fantasy books such as Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson.

Knight Assassin (Entangled Teen)
Knight Assassin (Entangled Teen)
Price: 2.17

4.0 out of 5 stars Knight Assassin, 4 Mar 2014
17 year old Zayn and her mother have never fitted in their town, especially as Zayn has supernatural powers which are unpredictable. After some Templar knights burn her mother at the stake for witch craft and Zayn is raped by local knight Guy de Molay, she is about to kill herself until a mysterious figure offers her another option, to become the first female assassin and be able to seek her revenge. After she completes her training, she is sent to Jerusalem to assassinate Guy, but there she meets childhood friend Earic Goodwin, who is also a knight. Will she be able to get her vengeance at the cost of the person who holds her heart?

Knight Assassin is a good YA historical fantasy book, full of political intrigue vengeance and romance. It is a unique setting as most historical fantasy books I have read are set in Europe not the Middle East. I found it hard to get into this book but when I got about halfway though I was really interested to see what happened next.

I just could not connect with Zayn as, although I felt very sorry for her and she was described as being a very strong person, at some points she can across as really weak, even in situations that she should have been strong. I also found it hard to connect to Earic, even though he seemed nice, he was not in this book much and they seemed to close to each other, considering they had not seen each other in years.

I would recommend Knight Assassin to fans of Grave Mercy by Robin LaFever

Price: 3.08

4.0 out of 5 stars Songstone, 25 Feb 2014
This review is from: Songstone (Kindle Edition)
Kita has always been an outcast in her village, as she was found in the forest as an infant and is believed to be one of the mysterious Huwi tribe. The village medicine man, Makito is her master, but though everyone in the village likes and respects him, he is hiding a dark secret, he uses black magic with Kita's blood. This is why she has never told anyone that she can meld song into stone, for fear that Makito will be able to use it for evil purposes. That is until Pono, a journeyman from a tribe on the other side of the island come to take back a storyteller to his village, Kita sees this as her opportunity to escape. But there journey is fraught with danger, will they survive to complete their mission.

Songstone is an enjoyable book based around the New Zealand Maori traditions. This book is very describitve as you could really see the island, however, the plot was a bit slow and it felt like there were two different stories in one, the mission to go to Pono's village and their time with the Huwi.

I liked Kita as she was nice yet very much struggled to fit in anywhere, but I did find her a bit weak as I felt she relied too much on Pono to save her. Pono is brave and is willing to fight against those who put him down, but I felt we did not know him very well. The romance felt forced as there was no spark between Kita and Pono.

I would recommend Songstone to fans of Broken Aro by Jen Wylie and Unknown by Melissa Pearl.

by Alethea Kontis
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 9.89

3.0 out of 5 stars Enchanted, 23 Feb 2014
This review is from: Enchanted (Hardcover)
Sunday is the over looked youngest daughter in the Woodcutter family, who is meant to be powerful as she is the 7th daughter of a 7th daughter. One day she meets an enchanted frog and they soon become very close, until when she kisses the frog goodbye and he turns back into Prince Rumbold. However, Sunday’s family hate both him and his family for what happened to their brother. Back at the castle he must find a way to woo Sunday and stop a plot which could tear the Woodcutter family apart.

Enchanted is a quick, cute fairytale read, but, it did come across a bit disjointed as there were too many references to different fairytales. However, I did like how days of the week poem was incorporated and how they fitted with the sisters personalities.

I found it hard to connect to Sunday and Rumbold as, both them and most of the characters, felt flat and unbelievable, the one person who really captured my interest was Thursday and I wish were was more of her in this book. Even though it is a fairytale and you expect quick romance, this was just too quick and unrealistic. I was confused quite a bit in this book as Jack and other plot points were mentioned and came across as being important only to never come up again.

This is a nice light book which is good to read if you are feeling under the weather. I would recommend Enchanted fans of fairytale retellings.

The Bone Season
The Bone Season
by Samantha Shannon
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 9.09

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Bone Season, 20 Feb 2014
This review is from: The Bone Season (Hardcover)
In an alternative England, 2059, being a Voyant is illegal in Scion controlled London. That’s why 19 year old Paige is in the underground criminal cell called Seven Seals, where her boss likes to collect rare Voyants like Paige who is a dreamwalker. When Paige is captured and arrested, she finds out that there are things more sinister than the Scion, when she is taken to the prison city of Sheol 1. It is ruled by creatures called Rephaim and they keep Voyants as their army, entertainment and food source. Paige is assigned a Rephaim keeper called Warden who will look after her needs and will train her. To get her freedom and protect her friends, Paige might have to learn to trust someone who is meant to be her enemy.

The Bone Season is a really good and original dystopia/fantasy novel with action, mystery, tension and a hint of romance. I knew there was a lot of hype about this book when I started it and I recommend that you take it with a pinch of salt as, while I really liked this book, comparing it to JK Rowling does not help it, as it is completely different. This book is really descriptive and fairly dark and is a quick read considering how long it is however, the beginning of the book was slow as there is a lot of information given. However, by the second half of the book the story is really addictive and I did not want to put it down.

Paige is a mature, loyal and tough girl who is surer of herself than most YA heroines and does not go weak at the knees around a good looking man. However, she is not perfect as she does pick fights, for no good reason that I can tell, which she cannot win and puts others in danger. Even after finishing the book Warden is a big mystery and is a really intriguing character.

I like how this book did not really have a love triangle as I am really getting sick of them, but like another review has said, the romance is a lot like the one in the Black Magician Trilogy, but not as good. While I like that the romance was slow building instead of insta-love it felt a bit forced to me as there was no romantic chemistry between them two. I hope in the next book we get to see more of Jaxon and the rest of the seven seals as the bits and pieces we saw of them were very interesting.

If reading the physical book form, like me, you will need to flick to the glossary at the back of the book as there are a lot of new weird words which was confusing if you did not know what they mean. I also got confused by the time line in this book as this book felt like it took only a few weeks whereas it is actually months.

This novel is a Marmite book as people seem to either love or hate it, but I feel this series has a lot of potential and with a lot of unanswered questions and I am looking forward to reading the next book. I would recommend The Bone Season to people who like unique books with both dystopia and fantasy elements in it.

Into the Deep
Into the Deep
Price: 3.81

3.0 out of 5 stars Into the Deep, 18 Feb 2014
This review is from: Into the Deep (Kindle Edition)
After losing her leg in a shark attack when she was 6, Zoey has always been wary of the ocean, yet at the same time is drawn to it. On her 16th birthday she is accidentally swept into the sea and is turned into a mermaid and finally feels whole. Zoey decides to find out more about her mermaid half, and finds a kingdom full of danger under the sea and her father who did not know she existed and is also the king. However, both the mermaid and human world is under attack from a merwitch called Calandra and Zoey may be the only person able to defeat her.

Into the Deep is an ok paranormal book which is a quick romantic read, but it is a bit predictable. It felt like this is book was just the first half of a whole book as, even though it is not a long book, it had a lot of filler in it.

Zoey is a likable YA heroine but I thought that she was a bit flat and I found her character hard to connect to. This book has a love triangle, which I am not a fan of but while I really liked Xander and I hoped she would end up with him, I did not like Nerio as he was moody and very judgemental. I know I was meant to not like her, but I felt very sorry Eustencia, as she was ignored and overlooked by her father, who seemed much more interested in his other daughter, so no wonder she did not like Zoey.

Into the Deep is an ok paranormal read which was let down a bit by the drawn out story and flat characters.

The Seers
The Seers
by Julianna Scott
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.32

4.0 out of 5 stars The Seers, 13 Feb 2014
This review is from: The Seers (Paperback)
After almost dying, Becca has only one clue to find the power mad Darragh, and that is a man called Ciaran Shea. Becca, her boyfriend Alex, her estranged father Jocelyn and Cormac set out to meet the Bhunaidh, an aristocratic pure blood group of the Holders who Ciaran is rumoured to be a member of them. However, it seems they are not the only ones after Ciaran, and that the Bhunaidh might not be as uninvolved with Darragh as they seem.

The Seers is a quick, enjoyable and fun paranormal book. It is also not as predictable as The Holders, as I did not see most of the twists coming.

It was enjoyable to learn more about Becca's powers and she is the same person we grew to like as she is protective and caring, apart at the end of the book, as she is not there for someone when they need her, which seems out of character. I really like Alex as he seems kind and caring, but is also comes across as a regular guy, and I love the romance as it is really sweet and normal. My favourite new character is Bastian as he is witty, arrogant and really interesting.

With the cliff-hanger ending I really want to know what happens next. I would recommend The Seers to fans of The Holders.

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