Author: Lisa Maxwell
Published: February 2nd 2016
Publisher: Simon Pulse
What’s It About?
Gwendolyn and her best friend Olivia are taken in the night after by shadowy monsters and carried to another world. Neverland. But Gwen soon finds that Neverland is nothing like the stories and becomes caught between 2 beautiful boys, Pan and the Captain in a desperate race to save her friend and get back home.
Filled with lots of action, adventure and dark twists in the beloved children’s classic, this is far from the Disney musical that we all hold so dear. Prepare to become entrapped by Neverland…
What I Liked:
- dark twists on Neverland
- description of the dangerous fey
- extra mini story at the beginning of each chapter, beautifully added depth and emotion to the novel
- THE CAPTAIN
- Rowan (aka the captain)
- Hook (aka Rowan)
- when he calls Gewn ‘lass’
- EVERY SCENE WITH THE CAPTAIN
What I Didn’t Like:
- Olivia was kind of useless until the very end
- even though Pan and Rowan sound amazingly attractive there was insta-love
- everything happened so fast, I wanted more details
- felt incomplete because some storylines were not fully explored IMO
- I WANTED MORE!!…or a sequel to wrap things up
3.5/5 A really quick and entertaining read, but I needed more. It should have been longer with more details to fully capture the world and plot lines or there needs to be a sequel. This book is a MUST READ for fans of Once Upon A Time, especially if you like me, have a major crush on Killian Jones (Hook).
Allow me to leave you with these… *swoons*
Book: The Last Place On Earth
Author: Carol Snow
Published: February 23 2016
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co (Macmillan)
Genre: Contemporary Young Adult
What’s It About?
When Daisy’s best friend Henry, who is basically a 16 year old genius, goes missing one day without a trace her life is turned upside down. Only after breaking into his house to find a note from him: “Save Me” are Daisy’s suspicions of alien abduction or a witness protection program less and less far fetched. In a desperate search for her friend, Daisy traverses into the Californian wilderness following a trail of clues seemingly left by her friend and stumbles upon a discovery that may change her friendship with Henry for ever.
What I Liked:
- Likeable characters
- appocalypse feel
- surprising plot twists
- NO INSTA-LOVE (for the most part)
What I Didn’t Like:
- The fact that there were no aliens, I was convinced this was going to end up as an alien sci-fi but I was wrong
- Characters felt somewhat underdeveloped to me
- pacing was a little off at times
- all parental figures were complete idiots
I truly enjoyed this book, I give it a solid 3.5/5. With a strong protagonist I sped right through this book. The best parts were the surprise twists, they really had me going. My favourite part is a little spoilery so stop reading here if you don’t want to be spoiled !!!
“Is this some kind of cult?” I Asked Henry. His father answered. “Of course not. People in cults are crazy.”
Big thanks to Raincoast Books for the ARC! You are the best!
The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman
Release Date: January 26th 2016
Publisher: Penguin Random House
3.5/5 The Dark Days Club is the first of a new series for Alison Goodman. Her previous works Eon and Eona are epic tales involving magic and dragons featuring asian mythology and astrology. This being the first book in the new Lady Helen series ,while having a fantasy element, is in stark contrast to her previous works.
The Dark Days Club takes place in London during the Regency era in 1812. Our heroine, Lady Helen, is a part of high society and now that she has come of age is effectively being married off for the best match possible by her aunt and uncle as her mother died in disgrace when she was a child.
What appears at first to be a tale much like Pride and Prejudice detailing English society, Lady Helen is soon drawn to the darker underbelly of London where demons lurk unbeknownst to the general population. As her awareness grows we learn of the demon infiltration into every level of society and how she might be an integral part of the fight for humanity.
This book is a wonderful example of a well-written and thoroughly researched historical fantasy that should appeal to lovers of Cassandra Claire’s Clockwork Angel series, and lovers of historical fiction in general with its rich detail.
So the reason I only gave this 3.5/5 and nothing higher even though I thought it was a really good book was because for me it was a little slow. Specifically the first half of the book, the pacing was a bit too slow for my liking. The demon storyline takes awhile to weave its way into the plot. I think there is a lot of world building and setting up in this book for the rest of the series.
Goodman brings her beautifully detailed writing and a head strong, independent female lead that tries to remain true to who she is in a time where everything is against her as a woman. In this book you get the drama of high society England, female friendship, some sizzling almost romance and of course demons! So definitely keep an eye out for this one, I predict it will be a wonderful series.
This book is when Pride and Prejudice meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
If this sounds like the book for you, I would also recommend some of these other historical fiction/fantasies I have enjoyed:
The Unquiet by Mikaela Everett
3/5 I received an ARC from Harper Collins in the fall of 2015. I hadn’t heard anything about this book previously but once I got the breakdown of doppelgängers, alternate Earths and trained children assassins I was sold.
This book gave me some major Orphan Black vibes with the layers and layers of conspiracy and moral ambiguities.
I felt very conflicted about this book; there were elements that I loved and parts that just didn’t do it for me. For example I both like and dislike the cover, it both makes perfect sense but at the same time doesn’t.
Things I Liked:
- Amazingly unique premise
- Dark undertones in the novel with war, murder and deception
- Female led story (YAY)
- Haunting look into main characters tormented and contradictory thoughts and feelings
- Killer ending
Things I Didn’t Like:
- inconsistent narrator
- choppy timeline and sequence of events
- all the confusion I felt while reading this book
Overall this was an enjoyable read and I think that the often confusing and choppy narration was a device to illustrate how damaged and messed up the main character was by her upbringing. While I can appreciate that, for me it was too much and I was left with many questions and frequently confused as to what was even going on in this story. So mixed feelings for this one but still worth a read if you get the chance.
Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman 4.5/5
The best of the west including murder, horse chases, shootouts, a treasure map, gold mines and epic quests for justice.
Basically it’s a jacked up Little House on the Prairie with lots of guns and gold.
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
Kate is a 18 year old girl living with her father in a very pioneer feeling town in Arizona in the 1900’s. When her father is hung and murdered by a gang known as the Rose Riders, Kate swears revenge. Disguised as a boy she follows the Rose Riders across the hostile countryside intent to kill them all and get her vengeance.
WHAT I LOVED
- a rough around the edges protagonist who feels little to no remorse
- prospector vibe
- AMAZING COVER ART
- realistic storytelling (they mention how hot it is all the time, how sweaty they get, even sunburnt!)
- interesting myths and legends are woven into the story
- some romance that was not the whole point of the story
- a great twist at the end (*spoilers)
Let me just leave you with the one and only Clint Eastwood to show my approval of this book
Illuminae (Illuminae Files #1) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
out October 20th
Illuminae is like FIREWORKS someone morphed into book form; explosive and awe-inspiring.
I was lucky enough to get an ARC from Random House for review and I shall forever be eternally grateful.
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
Kady and Ezra have just broken up, then their planet gets blown up and they barely escape. Sounds bad right? It gets worse. They are being pursued by the enemy who will eventually catch up to them, plus there’s a potentially infectious pathogen permeating throughout the crew and refugees…and I haven’t even mentioned the crazy Artificial Intelligence system that gets a few wires crossed to say the least.
A visual delight told in reports, IMs, diary logs, electronic code and communications. Illuminae will sweep you away with all of it’s twists, turns and never ending OMG moments.
^me the whole time while reading Illuminae
WHAT I LOVED:
- action packed suspenseful sci-fi
- crazy mind altering disease
- computer hacking parkour
- SO MANY PLOT TWISTS
- “Am I Not Merciful“ catchphrase
- visually stunning page formats and art
- the fact that Leigh Bardugo’s name is somewhere in the book (you will have to keep an eye out for it)
WHAT I DIDN’T LOVE:
At the beginning of the novel you are thrown straight into the thick of things without much backstory. I was personally confused at first and didn’t really understand what was going on, but as you read on you fill in the holes and have lots of ‘AHA’ moments. So just a different style of writing and storytelling that took a little getting used to for my part.
So, another aggressive recommendation from me..JUST DO IT!!!
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
*6 out of 6 crows would recommend*
First let me just say how amazing Leigh Bardugo is. Not only is she an incredible author who wrote one of my favourite series, the Grisha Trilogy, which had me reeling at every page and constantly shifting from hating to loving each and every character, but she is also one of the most kind, funny and amazing people EVER!
I had the pleasure of seeing her panels and meeting her in Santa Monica this past year when I attended YALLWEST and OH MY LORD she is a dream.
Here I am with her in heaven….lets take a moment of silence to fangirl….
Now she has released a new book that takes place in the Grisha universe but with a whole new cast of characters!! I managed to get my hands on a ARC by borrowing my friends copy with lots of begging and tearful pleas.
What is there to say, it was spectacular of course.
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?:
Six of Crows is the story of a group of six outcasts who come together to undertake a dangerous heist with their lives and the fate of the world in the balance. In the same breathtaking universe of the Grisha we get to explore the dark criminal underground of Ketterdam, a city of international trade that also plays host to a slew of gangs, gambling dens and any other dark desires you can think of. From this city we meet our outcasts as they must come together as a team to get the job done or die trying (if they don’t kill each other first). Filled with a colourful cast of characters, action to spare, epic battles, the thrill of an impossible heist and some laugh out loud humour Six of Crows will leave you craving for more.
WHAT I LOVED:
ALL OF IT!!! But seriously it was a spectacular book. It’s like Oceans Eleven meets the Breakfast Club but with more action and Grisha!!
- dark and intense setting and story
- heist premise
- expanded view of the Grisha universe
- diverse characters and well developed
- lots of action (plus Grisha awesomeness YAY!)
- I legitimately loved every single character
- THE WRAITH (cinnamon roll too pure for this world)
- reference to St. Alina
- really hilarious character interactions and one liners
- I ship every single couple that develops
- THAT ENDING!!!
So whether you are a fan of the Grisha series or just in search of your next great read, do yourself a favour and pick up this bad boy when it comes out Sept. 29th, you won’t regret it! Also just look at how beautiful the hardcover is here !!! ❤