Book Review: Trickery by Jaymin Eve and Jane Washington

Trickery by Jaymin Eve and Jane Washington

Series: Curse of the Gods #1

Published: Febraury 28, 2017

Rating: 3/5

Willa Knight: Dweller. Slave. Non-magical being.

In Minatsol, being a dweller means that you are literally no better than dirt. In fact, dirt might actually be more useful than Willa. Her life will be one of servitude to the sols, the magic-blessed beings who could one day be chosen to become gods.

At least her outer village is far removed from the cities of the sols, and she won’t ever be forced to present herself to them… Until one small mistake changes everything, and Willa is awarded a position to serve at Blesswood, the top sol academy in the world—a position that she definitely did not earn.

Under the sudden, watchful eye of the gods, she will be tasked to serve the Abcurse brothers, five sols built of arrogance, perfection and power. They are almost gods themselves, and under their service she is either going to end up sentenced to death, or else they are going to ruin her so badly that she will wish for it.

Either way, she is in trouble.

My first thought upon finishing this book was: what the hell did I just read? It’s been a while since I had this feeling – probably not since I read a more copious amount of 0.99 kindle romances in high school, which makes sense considering this book was free with kindle unlimited. (Not that I am disparaging the quality of kindle unlimited books because some of them are NYT worthy in my opinion.)

I read this book because it popped up on my goodreads suggested and I was intrigued by the idea of a reverse harem. I feel like this is a bit mismarketed for that reason because while there is hints of the romance that may come in later books, it reads mainly like a young adult novel with a really ditzy heroine who is experiencing sexual urges.

The world of sols and gods and dwellers is something straight out of any fantasy novel I’d love to read, but the heroine kind of took away some of my interest in the world and in my novel.

Willa is a bit of a Mary Sue, constantly getting into strange predicaments and being obscenely “clumsy” (you know, the trip-over-a-flat surface type). Somehow, despite putting herself in constant danger she is able to draw the attention of the hottest brothers around who decide she is under their protection. This seems like the perfect romantic setup, but…nothing really happens in this book. Willa constantly finds herself in “naked situations” where she somehow ends up undressed and oh god she wants to kiss them, but nothing ever comes of it. In fact, in reading the reviews and synopses for the other books in the series, it seems nothing really begins to happen romantically until book 3.

While I did rate this book 3 stars – mainly for the Abcurse brothers who made this story actually interesting – I do need to note that I had to DNF the second book in this series because it is just. so. freaking. stupid. Willa makes some really, really idiotic decisions and has such a whiney voice I just could not force myself to continue. It was a shame because the world that the authors built was really interesting and had a lot of promise.

Normally this is where I’d add an addendum of “if I was younger I’d like this,” but I honestly don’t think I would have then either. The tone of the book is just such a strange mix of explicit sexuality and young foolishness. If you’re looking for a quick and addicting ya-feeling-(is it even a) romance read that is free with kindle unlimited, you may enjoy this, but I can’t say I recommend anyone spends money on this series.

Review: The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

The Cruel Prince by Holly Blackcruel prince.jpg

Series: The Cruel Prince #1

Published: January 2, 2018

Rating:★★★★★ (5 Stars)

Goodreads

Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

Jude was seven when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

As Jude becomes more deeply embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, she discovers her own capacity for trickery and bloodshed. But as betrayal threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

I originally received a copy of this book in the January OwlCrate and am glad I waited this long to read it because the wait for The Wicked King is going to be EXCRUCIATING. While the beginning of this book was just a hair slow for me, from about 50 pages in I was enraptured by this amazing story.

Jude was the kind of ruthless heroine that I adore, and I loved her devious mind. My dear misunderstood faery Prince Cardan was just the kind of evil-but-slightly-misunderstood bad boy that makes my heart tick. I cannot wait to see what these wonderful characters get up to. Jude’s twin and Locke have a really interesting storyline as well that I’m super interested in seeing play out.

The twists and turns were so fun, with kernels planted throughout the story that had me thinking and trying to unravel the secrets even when I had to put the book down. I’ve tried Holly Black books before, but this is the first one that I have actually finished. Needless to say, I’ll be picking up more in the future.

Review: The Realm of the Gods

13834The Realm of the Gods by Tamora Pierce

Series: The Immortals #4

Published: January 1, 1996

Rating: 4/5

Goodreads

During a dire battle against the fearsome Skinners, Daine and her mage teacher Numair are swept into the Divine Realms. Though happy to be alive, they are not where they want to be. They are desperately needed back home, where their old enemy, Ozorne, and his army of strange creatures are waging war against Tortall.

Trapped in the mystical realms Daine discovers her mysterious parentage. And as these secrets of her past are revealed so is the treacherous way back to Tortall. So they embark on an extraordinary journey home, where the fate of all Tortall rests with Daine and her wild magic.

Overall a great conclusion to the series! There was a lot more adventuring and action in this one than in its predecessors. Even though the last half was action-packed, I did find the first half a bit slow which is the main reason for docking half a star.

One of my favorite mythical creatures are dragons, so seeing them interact with the world of Tortall was amazing. Along with more dragons, the origin story of Darkings which were characters I found out about in the Daughter of the Lioness series, was amazing. They are some of the cutest creatures ever (even if how they were made is a little disgusting).

Although I enjoyed all of the many mythical creatures, the Trickster’s (Daughter of the Lioness) series is still by far my favorite by Tamora Pierce. In fact, one of my favorite things in The Immortals series was learning more about the backstory for characters in the aforementioned series,.

Review: Wild Magic by Tamora Pierce

Wild Magic by Tamora Pierce13836

Series: Immortals #1

Published: December 1, 1992

Rating★★★★ (5 Stars)

Goodreads

Young Daine’s knack with horses gets her a job helping the royal horsemistress drive a herd of ponies to Tortall. Soon it becomes clear that Daine’s talent, as much as she struggles to hide it, is downright magical. Horses and other animals not only obey, but listen to her words. Daine, though, will have to learn to trust humans before she can come to terms with her powers, her past, and herself.

I was so excited to return to the magical world of Tortall that Pierce has built. I’m reading all of the series out of order, but I felt it was finally time to learn Daine’s whole story because I wanted to learn more about Numair before starting his new series.

Daine was such a wonderful, strong, and independent female character, especially for her age young of 13! I love how much Daine developed and grew throughout the story. Being able to observe her learning to trust others as well as grow into her own power  was an amazing experience. Numair was a witty mentor to Daine, and I felt his influence helped her on her journey.

I’ve already read the Trickster’s series so I know a bit more about the pair then I should at this point, but that makes me even more excited to see how they both develop. The enthralling storyline and strong characters reminded me exactly why I was drawn to Pierce’s writing as a young adult, and I’m so happy to be able to enjoy these still in my 20’s!

Review: Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

Rebel of the Sands (Rebel of the Sands #1) by Alwyn Hamilton24934065

Published: March 8, 2016

Rating: 4/5                                                       Goodreads

Mortals rule the desert nation of Miraji, but mythical beasts still roam the wild and remote areas, and rumor has it that somewhere, djinn still perform their magic.  For humans, it’s an unforgiving place, especially if you’re poor, orphaned, or female.

Amani Al’Hiza is all three.  She’s a gifted gunslinger with perfect aim, but she can’t shoot her way out of Dustwalk, the back-country town where she’s destined to wind up wed or dead.

Then she meets Jin, a rakish foreigner, in a shooting contest, and sees him as the perfect escape route. But though she’s spent years dreaming of leaving Dustwalk, she never imagined she’d gallop away on mythical horse—or that it would take a foreign fugitive to show her the heart of the desert she thought she knew.

I honestly enjoyed this book a lot more than I thought I would. I picked it up from the library because I saw the third book in the series is being released in March and figured, “why not read about an awesome desert-gunslinging girl?” The writing was entrancing, and I was genuinely surprised by a major plot twist, which hasn’t really been happening to me lately.

The world building was nearly seamless, with a rich history that I would love to explore more, and and is hopefully expanded upon in the next book. The magic system was intricate enough to keep my interest, and the monsters of the desert were awesome. I just wish that they had played a larger roll. A few days after reading this, and I still find myself sometimes thinking about the amazing creatures in this desert!

I absolutely adored the characters Jin and Amani, and can’t wait to see them develop (and hopefully become more romantically involved ;)) throughout the series. All of the characters were awesome, but I just felt like there wasn’t enough development with some of the minor players, which is the main reason why I rounded down in my rating – I know, I’m picky. This book wasn’t very long though, and I’m sure many details will be fleshed out further in the following installments.

Overall, I liked this book a lot and will definitely be picking up the others in the series.