Through the Dark Review

25453426Through the Dark by Alexandra Bracken

Published: October 6, 2016 by Disney Hyperion

Genre: Dystopian/Science Fiction

Rating: 4.5/5

Don’t miss this breathtaking collection of stories set in the world of the New York Times best-selling Darkest Minds trilogy. Featuring ebook original novellas In Time and Sparks Rise, and a gripping, brand-new novella, Through the Dark is a must-have for fans of the Darkest Minds. This collection contains three novellas: In TimeSparks Rise, and Beyond the Night.

The Darkest Minds is one of my favorite series of all time, however, for whatever reason I did not read the collection of novellas from the series, Through the Dark, until recently. They were all a delightful addition to the series and I especially loved the ones with Sam. Instead of reviewing the book as a whole, I’ll go over each novella separately.

“In Time”

This is the perfect fill-in for what Zu was doing when she left the squad after The Darkest Minds. It was also cool seeing things from the eyes of a reluctant skip-tracer, highlighting that not everyone is this dystopian world is horrible. Some are just trying to survive whatever way they can.

If you were wondering about some Zu’s development, her experiences during this little novella really contributes to her change in view during In the Afterlight.

“Sparks Rise”

I always was wondering about what Sam experienced after Ruby left her, and her two novellas were really wonderful. A good love story against all odds is always amazing. At times, it did get a little graphic but I feel like it really made the torment that the children went through in these camps more present and real.

Lucas is a character which many people will see a shard of their childhood in, and was perfectly lovable. He overcame impossible odds in an attempt to save his family.

“Beyond the Night”

So glad I got to see the Squad after the end of the official story. How the world was treating the children after the collapse of the camps was an important part of this story, and a question that readers were left with. I’m glad that Bracken took on this difficult topic of children being treated as other because of outside circumstances.

This also provided closure for Sam’s unfinished story. Although I absolutely loved these last two, Beyond the Night was a little less engrossing to me, just because it kept flashing back to the Squad. While I absolutely loved them, some interactions between them did distract from Sam’s story.

This book did provide me with more closure for this series, and I do recommend it for any fan of the series.

Another shameless plug for my side business: if you like Darkest Minds check out my bookish bracelets on Etsy (link in the navigation bar).

I am also so excited for the movie that is coming out with Amandla Stenberg playing Ruby!

Thank you for reading!

Emily

Wanderlove Saga by Belle Malory

I’ve decided to take this time on #throwbackthursday to write a review of one of my favorite series of 2011 and 2012. Without further ado, here is my review of the wonderful, extraordinary Indie Series, The Wanderlove Saga!

12698959

Wanderlove by Belle Malory

Genre: Magical realism/science fiction

Published: September 20, 2011

Rating: 4.5/5

Blurb: Lola Moori is hiding a secret she doesn’t know she’s keeping.

She begins to remember someone.

Someone important.

His name is Gabe. . .and whatever they shared, she could feel that it was epic.

Yet it seems Gabe wanted her to forget him. Forever.

The curse that repressed Lola’s memories for the span of several lifetimes is coming undone. But unfortunately, she discovers that some secrets are better left buried.

Review:

The world that Malory creates in Wanderlove is absolutely enchanting. The idea of a somewhat secret society of Gypsy’s, as well as long lost and forgotten love pulled in my middle-school-aged heart. It’s also refreshing to read a mystery love story without a love triangle. And that’s the awesome thing about this book, while it is a wonderful love story, it is also a fantastical mystery based in magic.

I especially love the flashback to Lola’s life so many lifetimes before. I have to admit I cried a few times reading this book, and have gone back to read it multiple times.

Gabe is also the perfect love interest, a compassionate and hard-working man who wants nothing but the best for his love. The way he treats her is some portions of the book is somewhat reminiscent of Daniel Grigori in the Fallen series by Lauren Kate, however I believe it is a tad more relatable in this instance.

While Wanderlove is an amazing book, it was really the second one in the series that really blew me away. Remember how I said that it was a mystery mixed in with a love story? Well that mystery doesn’t get resolved in the first one; for that you have to read on….

13506975Fortell by Belle Malory

Published: June 24, 2012

Rating: 5/5

Blurb: If you could provide anyone with the path to their deepest, darkest desires, would you?

Estelle Spencer has no choice.

With just a simple touch of her hand, wishes and dreams are instantly fulfilled. Her voice speaks of its own accord, lighting the way to good fortune.

But not everyone’s fortunes are desirable.

For most of her life Estelle hides in fear, living as a recluse in her sister’s shadow. Until the day comes when her existence is remembered.

Forced into running, Estelle meets Rex, a Romanian gypsy, and the only person who can help her hide. Together they search for a way to end the curse that controls Estelle’s life.

Before she destroys the world.

Review:

While Wanderlove was a sweet story of eternal love, this story focuses on Rex, the brother of Gabe, who is hung up on a past love of lifetimes past. Insert Estelle, a charming a cursed individual who has always done what is best for everyone else, until she becomes hunted for her gift.

It is not really necessary to read the first book to understand this storyline, but if you choose to skip it, some of the people and other background info might be a bit confusing. Lola and Gabe show up again, as I said this book is basically the resolution of that mystery from Wanderlove, and it’s great to be able to revisit certain aspects of their past that remain unanswered as well as see them find happiness. While they do show up and are instrumental in beginning the events of the book, they are not really seen throughout. Instead, it focuses on the characters mentioned earlier, Rex and Estelle.

Rex is a cynical person, and somewhat of a bad boy (and artist) which is always appealing to me. I mean, who doesn’t want to root for the bad boy? I also loved how this book was not about a first, eternal love, but in many ways overcoming an old one to welcome the new. There still isn’t a real love triangle though, as the book is told in Estelle’s view, and she is only ever interested in Rex. The only real thing holding them back is the curse, and to defeat that Estelle cannot rely on anyone else.

I will have to say that I sobbed multiple times during this book, but I am also a complete sop for love stories. Especially ones where the female finds herself and comes into her powers.

As always, feel free to comment with your thoughts. Happy reading!

Emily

Fairest by Marissa Meyer

224891071Series: Lunar Chronicles #3.5

Author: Marissa Meyer

Genre: Science Fiction

Rating: ✪✪✪ 1/2

Goodreads                               Amazon

Blurb: In this stunning bridge book between Cress and Winter in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles, Queen Levana’s story is finally told.

Mirror, mirror on the wall,
Who is the fairest of them all?

Review: I absolutely love the Lunar Chronicles, (at least the first three books, which are the ones that I have read) and I also love villain formation stories. When I heard about the combination of these two, manifested in Fairest, I couldn’t wait to read it.

This is also not a story where you will feel sorry for the protagonist. Rather than focus on making Levana a likable character, Meyer sets out to reveal how truly twisted she is inside. I cringed more than a few times from her awkward encounters with other characters, particularly her love interest. While I never really felt sorry for her, I did come to understand her motives more, although they really just further contribute to her insanity.

A nice thing about this novella is that you get a view of Princess Selene with her mother, which is a relationship that I hadn’t really thought a lot about. This provided a nice little addition to the Lunar Chronicles, adding more depth to an important character previously unexplored. And my overuse of the word “nice” kind of sums up my feelings on this book. While it was okay, and added some interesting elements, I wasn’t really drawn into the story or invested in the characters. For most of the 220 pages, I felt very uncomfortable with the situations that were unfolding. That was the point of this novella though. It provides a look inside of a disturbed persons mind. I would be more worried about being comfortable in a villains mind than uncomfortable.

Overall I would recommend this book to someone reading the series, although I would say you should read it in the order it was published (after Cress) as there are some minor spoilers for earlier books. I have also been told it provides important backstory for the next book in the series, Winter, which I will be starting after I hit the publish button on this post ;D.

As always, feel free to comment with your own thoughts, and thank you for reading!