Book Review: For the Clan

I really enjoyed this book. For the Clan had so many different surprises that I consider this to be one of the most memorable books I have read so far this year! I am so thankful to Xpresso Book Tours for the chance to review this novel by Archer Kay Leah.


29470767For the Clan
by Archer Kay Leah
Release Date: May 2016
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Summary from Goodreads:

Canada, 2165 AD. The Water Wars and a decimated economy have taken their toll. Anyone who doesn’t live in a military-patrolled metropolis lives in a clan. But being in a clan doesn’t mean safety.

And for a Ven like Roan Lee, it doesn’t matter where he lives. Safety is a luxury. So is freedom.

Roan is desperate to escape the governtary’s exploitation and torture. He is nothing to them but 54σK1, an artifact born from a genetic mishap. When the chance to escape arises, he makes a run for it—and encounters the lover from his past, twisting his future into a second chance he never expected.

As leaders of Clan Teach, Jace Ama and his wife, Cayra Diega, have enough difficulty keeping their people safe. When Roan is thrown to their feet as a prisoner, their marriage becomes an additional challenge. Jace still loves Roan, but where does that leave Cayra?

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When I requested to review For the Clan, I wanted to read it because it was a dystopian novel that was set in Canada. (Yay, Canadian here!) And what’s more awesome is that my home down of Windsor got a shout out! 😀

I loved the dystopian world that Archer Kay Leah created. It has been written in such a way that it could actually seem plausible for it to happen in the near future, except for the magic using Ven people. I don’t want to leave any spoilers, but the action was AWESOME!

The bulk of this story focuses on a polyamorous romance between Jace, Roan and Cayra. (MMF) I wasn’t expecting this to happen, because the blurb does not really hint to it, but I was pleasantly surprised. The romance felt natural (maybe a little too fast, but still good) and the sex was pretty darn hot. I was a little worried for the author, considering that the romance was only briefly mentioned in the blurb, but it was categorized properly in Amazon, so I guess we’re all good.

The two aspects of the book that I feel needed work were the lack of back story and the “easiness” of it all. I feel like this novel could have easily filled 300+ pages instead of less than 200, and I would have been happy to read every single word. Though the Water Wars were mentioned, I would have appreciated a bit more back story. The rest of the plot moves quick, and their obstacles seem to be over come with little effort (relatively speaking of course).

I love, love, loved the cover. The feel of it is so dystopian, military-action, video-gamy goodness. (I really can’t think of any other way to explain it.)

In closing, I found For the Clan to be a quick, fun read. I hope that the author continues to use their skills and write more dystopian stories in the future.

A free copy of this book was provided for an honest review. Thank you Xpresso Book Tours!

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50 Book Challenge 2016 – June

June was a month dedicated to writing and editing, so not much reading got done.I’m not too confident with my reading progress this year, but I’ve been doing so much more reading for school and research that I think I’ll forgive myself for not meeting my goal this month.

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January – 4/4
1. Glass Ceiling by Julie LaVoie <SEE REVIEW HERE>
2. Library of Souls (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children #3) by Ransom Riggs
3. Cress (The Lunar Chronicles #3) by Marissa Meyer
4. The Iron Warrior (The Iron Fey #6) by Julie Kagawa

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February – 4/4
1. Immortal Beloved (Immortal Beloved #1) by Cate Tiernan <SERIES REVIEW>
2. Darkness Falls (Immortal Beloved #2) by Cate Tiernan
3. Eternally Yours (Immortal Beloved #3) by Cate Tiernan
4. Snow Like Ashes (Snow Like Ashes #1) by Sara Raasch

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March – 5/4
1. Annabeth Neverending by Leyla Kader Dahm
2. Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices #1) by Cassandra Clare
3. Godless by Pete Hautman <SEE REVIEW HERE>
4. Winter (The Lunar Chronicles #4) by Marissa Meyer
5. Queen (The Blackcoat Rebellion #3) by Aimee Carter <SEE REVIEW HERE>

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April – 4/4
1. Fairest (The Lunar Chronicles #3.5) by Marissa Meyer
2. Ice Like Fire (Snow Like Ashes #2) by Sara Raasch
3. Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices #2) by Cassandra Clare
4. Daughter of the Sun (Cult of the Cat #1) by Zoe Kalo <SEE REVIEW HERE>

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May – 4/4
1.Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices #3) by Cassandra Clare <SERIES REVIEW>
2. A Mad Zombie Party (White Rabbit Chronicles #4) by Gena Showalter
3. Offered to the Werewolves (Shifters of Shadow Falls #1) Crystal L Shaw
4. Arena (Arena #1) by Holly Jennings

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June – 3/4
1.Frostfire (Kanin Chronicles #1) by Amanda Hocking
2. Ice Kissed (Kanin Chronicles #2) by Amanda Hocking
3. A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses #2) by Sarah J Maas
4. MEH

2016 Total – 24/50

Series Review: The Infernal Devices

Ah, the SHADOWHUNTERS, a great source of debate between fan-girls and haters. As a YA fan, I felt like I was really missing out on such a hugely popular series. After trying (and failing miserably) to get into Clare’s first series, The Mortal Instruments, a friend recommended that I try The Infernal Devices.

7171637The Infernal Devices
1 – The Clockwork Angel
2 – The Clockwork Prince
3 – The Clockwork Princess

by Cassandra Clare
Release Date: 2010 – 2013
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Summary from Goodreads:

In a time when Shadowhunters are barely winning the fight against the forces of darkness, one battle will change the course of history forever. Welcome to the Infernal Devices trilogy, a stunning and dangerous prequel to the New York Times bestselling Mortal Instruments series.

The year is 1878. Tessa Gray descends into London’s dark supernatural underworld in search of her missing brother. She soon discovers that her only allies are the demon-slaying Shadowhunters—including Will and Jem, the mysterious boys she is attracted to. Soon they find themselves up against the Pandemonium Club, a secret organization of vampires, demons, warlocks, and humans. Equipped with a magical army of unstoppable clockwork creatures, the Club is out to rule the British Empire, and only Tessa and her allies can stop them…

For all of the books, I am simply torn. I feel like at least 50% of the books move too slow and are too full of filler, while the other half of the books are filled with awesome, jaw-dropping action and blush inducing love scenes. So, it’s really hard for me to say whether or not I loved the series.

I read each book in the series within a few weeks of each other, when they became available at the library. The first book, The Clockwork Angel, grabbed me from the beginning and my curiosity carried me through the more bland chapters. The Clockwork Prince did the same thing, and it was pretty much the interactions between Bane and Will that kept me going. 1000 pages later, by the time The Clockwork Princess came around, I was so burnt out that it took all my strength to get through the 500 pages – but my curiosity about Tessa’s story just couldn’t let me go.

The Clockwork Princess fell into the same formula as the former books, still continuing the main plot with several “side missions” branching off. It took me forever to get through, much like the others as well, but the ending was worth it. It was wonderfully heartfelt and satisfying and I loved how it tied in with the other Shadowhunter series.

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I appreciate this and the other Shadowhunter’s series for their world building. That is something that I believe Clare really has down to a science. The Shadowhunter world is so interesting, so unique and so well thought out that it really hurts my inner book nerd that I didn’t love the books as much as others.

Cassandra Clare is obviously a talented writer and knows how to give the fans what they want. I hope that the next series she writes is in a different world so I could jump on the Clare-loving bandwagon. I just wonder how many more Shadowhunter books will it take before people start to get bored.

With hundreds of thousands of 5 star reviews and the fresh-off-the-press Lady Midnight, Clare has this one in the bag. I think that maybe, if I had read the books 10+ years ago when the series first started, I might have fallen into the fandom hard but now it’s just not doing it for me.

 

Book Review: Daughter of the Sun

A book about Egyptian Gods, cats and magic (and it’s released on my birthday?) … I think Daughter of the Sun was meant for me! I am so thankful to Xpresso Book Tours for the chance to review this debut novel by Zoe Kalo.

28934536Daughter of the Sun
by Zoe Kalo
Release Date: May 2016
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Summary from Goodreads:

Sixteen-year-old Trinity was born during a solar eclipse and left at the doorsteps of a convent along with a torn piece of papyrus covered with ancient symbols. Raised by nuns in the English countryside, she leads a quiet life until she’s whisked away to the Island of Cats and a grandmother she never knew.
But before they can get to know each other, her grandmother dies. All that Trinity has left is a mysterious eye-shaped ring. And a thousand grieving cats. As Trinity tries to solve the enigma of the torn papyrus, she discovers a world of bloody sacrifices and evil curses, and a prophecy that points to her and her new feline abilities.
Unwilling to believe that any of the Egyptian gods could still be alive, Trinity turns to eighteen-year-old Seth and is instantly pulled into a vortex of sensations that forces her to confront her true self—and a horrifying destiny.

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As a self identifying egyptophile, I get so excited when authors choose Ancient Egyptian mythology / culture / history / religion as a base for a new book. As a practicing Pagan, I’m always a little leery about books involving the Gods of Egypt. Of course there were some artistic license when it came to facts about the Gods (eg, Apep is technically not a God and Ammit did not work for him.) However, Daughter of the Sun was a pleasing read on all accounts.

I’ll admit that it took me a while to get “into” Trinity, our heroine. After around the 30% mark I was completely won over and couldn’t put the book down. I loved her chemistry with Seth, and while there was some teenage crushing and hormones flying, I was happy that this book is insta-love free!

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It is also worth noting that Zoe Kalo is presumably a great lover of cats (and if you doubt me feel free to check out all the adorable kitten photos on her twitter). She way she writes cats into the book is astounding. Every little quirk, mew and lick is incredibly authentic. I love it when a writer is skilled at writing about the animals in the character’s story, it makes it more warm and fuzzy, no pun intended.

However, Daughter of the Sun was not without its faults. The plot moved along a bit too quickly for my liking, falling into the “telling not showing” trap that I as a reader and a writer am all to familiar with. I would have like to see things slowed down a bit so I could get to know Trinity better before her life was turned upside down. As the story went on the narration of pacing did improved a lot.

I hope as the series goes on, Trinity stops being afraid of witchcraft and magic and accepts her powers for what they are. It bums me out when magic doers are instantly labeled bad or cast as villains.

Wrapping up, this was a quick read by a new author who shows much promise. The story was wonderfully imaginative and I hope to see more authors taking inspiration from Ancient Egypt. I can’t wait to read the second installment in the trilogy – but sadly there is no indication on the author’s Goodreads page when that will be.

A free copy of this book was provided for an honest review. Thank you Xpresso Book Tours!

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Book Review: Annabeth Neverending

Anyone who knows me knows that I love books based in Ancient Egypt. So when I saw that Xpresso Book Tours was hosting this gem, I quickly put my name in for a copy.

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Annabeth Neverending 
by Leyla Kader Dahm
Release Date: December 2015
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Summary from Goodreads:

At first, teenager Annabeth Prescott thinks she’s found quite a deal when she talks down the price of an ankh pendant she discovers at a flea market. She soon wonders if the bauble is more than she’s bargained for when she faints and glimpses images from a past life in ancient Egypt.
The discovery coincides with another new find: Gabriel, a handsome young man who takes an interest in her. When she meets his twin brother C. J. at a Halloween party, she realizes they look exactly like two boys who figure prominently into her memories.
Does C. J. share the heroic qualities held by his past incarnation Sethe, her bodyguard when she was Princess Ana? Does Gabriel possess the same evil powers he wielded as Kha, the black sorcerer who sought her affection?
Love meets the supernatural in this gripping young adult paranormal romance. Readers with an interest in reincarnation, as well as ancient Egypt, will be drawn to its mystical mixture of history and hesitation as Annabeth sways between the two brothers.
Will her reincarnated soulmate win out? Or will Kha finally find the way to her heart?

This book hooked me from the description and I was extremely happy to receive a free copy for to to review. I find that the magic and mystery often gets over looked in modern media (or BUTCHERED in the case of Gods of Egypt, but I digress) .

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The book gets right into the story line with Annabeth finding the ankh and meeting Gabriel in the same day. She feels an instant connection to him and they start dating. Soon after she meets CJ and things start to get spiced up.

Annabeth is a good main character / narrator, but I would have liked a bit more backstory and set up to the plot. Annabeth’s past life flashbacks are consuming and very well written. The author has obviously done her research. I’ve done my own learning about Ramses the Second and read other books set during his reign. However,  I felt like she accepted being reincarnated much too smoothly and the fact that she had the confidence to tell her neighbor so quickly (and be completely believed) a bit unrealistic.

I knew from the premise of the book that there was going to be some sort of love triangle. It’s a common theme in YA books and I’ve come to accept that.
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As a self-published book, Annabeth Neverending could have used an editor to make it stronger. What stuck out to me the most was a novice mistake of “telling” rather than “showing”. The story moved along briskly and without much resistance by the main character. Things happened too quickly and too conveniently. However, this is the author’s first book and keeping that in mind, it was very good. We all start somewhere, and I am looking forward to see the author grow her skills.

Wrapping up, this was a quick read by a new author who shows much promise. The story was wonderfully imaginative and I hope to see more authors taking inspiration from Ancient Egypt.

A free copy of this book was provided for an honest review. Thank you Xpresso Book Tours!

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