Author: Samantha

Temeraire by Naomi Novik | REVIEW

Posted February 27, 2017 by Samantha in booktube, review / 0 Comments

Temeraire by Naomi Novik | REVIEWTemeraire (Temeraire #1) by Naomi Novik
Published by Harper Voyager on February 20th 2009
Genres: Adult Fantasy
Pages: 355
Goodreads

Aerial combat brings a thrilling new dimension to the Napoleonic Wars as valiant warriors ride mighty fighting dragons, bred for size or speed. When HMS Reliant captures a French frigate and seizes the precious cargo, an unhatched dragon egg, fate sweeps Captain Will Laurence from his seafaring life into an uncertain future – and an unexpected kinship with a most extraordinary creature.
Thrust into the rarified world of the Aerial Corps as master of the dragon Temeraire, he will face a crash course in the daring tactics of airborne battle. For as France’s own dragon-borne forces rally to breach British soil in Bonaparte’s boldest gambit, Laurence and Temeraire must soar into their own baptism of fire.

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The Darkest Magic by Morgan Rhodes | Review

Posted January 15, 2017 by Samantha in booktube, reviews / 0 Comments

The Darkest Magic by Morgan Rhodes | ReviewThe Darkest Magic (Spirits and Thieves, #2) by Morgan Rhodes
Published by Razorbill on June 28th 2016
Genres: YA Fantasy
Pages: 426
Goodreads

In the second installment of New York Times bestselling author Morgan Rhodes's highly acclaimed Falling Kingdoms spin-off series, danger looms and the mystery deepens as two warring evils vie for possession of one elusive, powerful book.
Modern-day Toronto: Sisters Crystal and Becca Hatcher are reunited after reclaiming the Bronze Codex and narrowly escaping death. They have no one to trust but each other, and the only thing keeping them safe is the book that sent Becca's spirit to Ancient Mytica--the same book that their enemies would kill them for.
Ancient Mytica: Maddox grapples to keep his newly discovered powers under control, while the ruthless goddess Valoria hunts him down.
Modern-day Toronto: Farrell embraces his dark side as he unwittingly falls further under the spell of Markus, the mastermind leader of the nefarious Hawkspear Society, who will stop at nothing to find Crys and Becca--and the remarkable book in their possession.
New York Times bestselling author Morgan Rhodes takes readers into exhilarating new high-fantasy territory with volume two of the Book of Spirits and Thieves series, an epic contemporary saga perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas and Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander.

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Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta | Review

Posted January 15, 2017 by Samantha in booktube, reviews / 0 Comments

Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta | ReviewFinnikin of the Rock (Lumatere Chronicles, #1) by Melina Marchetta
Published by Viking Australia on September 29th 2008
Pages: 416
Goodreads

Finnikin of the Rock and his guardian, Sir Topher, have not been home to their beloved Lumatere for ten years. Not since the dark days when the royal family was murdered and the kingdom put under a terrible curse. But then Finnikin is summoned to meet Evanjalin, a young woman with an incredible claim: the heir to the throne of Lumatere, Prince Balthazar, is alive.
Evanjalin is determined to return home and she is the only one who can lead them to the heir. As they journey together, Finnikin is affected by her arrogance . . . and her hope. He begins to believe he will see his childhood friend, Prince Balthazar, again. And that their cursed people will be able to enter Lumatere and be reunited with those trapped inside. He even believes he will find his imprisoned father.
But Evanjalin is not what she seems. And the truth will test not only Finnikin's faith in her . . . but in himself.

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Me Before You by Jojo Moyes | Review

Posted January 14, 2017 by Samantha in booktube, reviews / 0 Comments

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes | ReviewMe Before You (Me Before You, #1) by Jojo Moyes
Published by Pamela Dorman Books/Viking on December 31st 2012
Genres: Adult Contemporary
Pages: 369
Goodreads

They had nothing in common until love gave them everything to lose . . .
Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life—steady boyfriend, close family—who has barely been farther afield than their tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex–Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair bound after an accident. Will has always lived a huge life—big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel—and now he’s pretty sure he cannot live the way he is.
Will is acerbic, moody, bossy—but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected. When she learns that Will has shocking plans of his own, she sets out to show him that life is still worth living.
A Love Story for this generation and perfect for fans of John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars, Me Before You brings to life two people who couldn’t have less in common—a heartbreakingly romantic novel that asks, What do you do when making the person you love happy also means breaking your own heart?

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The Magicians by Lev Grossman | Review

Posted January 14, 2017 by Samantha in booktube, reviews / 0 Comments

The Magicians by Lev Grossman | ReviewThe Magicians (The Magicians #1) by Lev Grossman
Published by Viking on August 11th 2009
Genres: Adult Fantasy
Pages: 402
Goodreads

Like everyone else, precocious high school senior Quentin Coldwater assumes that magic isn't real, until he finds himself admitted to a very secretive and exclusive college of magic in upstate New York. There he indulges in joys of college-friendship, love, sex, and booze- and receives a rigorous education in modern sorcery. But magic doesn't bring the happiness and adventure Quentin thought it would. After graduation, he and his friends stumble upon a secret that sets them on a remarkable journey that may just fulfill Quentin's yearning. But their journey turns out to be darker and more dangerous than they'd imagined.

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The Final Empire & The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson | Review

Posted January 14, 2017 by Samantha in booktube, reviews / 0 Comments

The Final Empire & The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson | ReviewThe Final Empire (Mistborn, #1) by Brandon Sanderson
Published by Gollancz on October 1st 2009
Genres: Adult Fantasy
Pages: 647
Goodreads

In a world where ash falls from the sky, and mist dominates the night, an evil cloaks the land and stifles all life. The future of the empire rests on the shoulders of a troublemaker and his young apprentice. Together, can they fill the world with colour once more?In Brandon Sanderson's intriguing tale of love, loss, despair and hope, a new kind of magic enters the stage— Allomancy, a magic of the metals.

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A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas | Review

Posted January 13, 2017 by Samantha in booktube, reviews / 0 Comments

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas | ReviewA Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2) by Sarah J. Maas
Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens on May 3rd 2016
Genres: NA Fantasy
Pages: 624
Goodreads

Feyre survived Amarantha's clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can't forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin's people.
Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world torn apart.

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The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater | Review

Posted January 13, 2017 by Samantha in reviews / 0 Comments

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater | ReviewThe Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle, #2) by Maggie Stiefvater
Published by Scholastic Press on September 17th 2013
Genres: YA Contemporary, YA Fantasy, YA Paranormal Romance
Pages: 448
Goodreads
five-stars

The second installment in the all-new series from the masterful, #1 NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater!
Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam will be the same. Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life. Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after…

I had every intention of doing a video review for The Dream Thieves after I read it but then got nervous, since it was so close to the release of The Raven King, that I would get spoiled for later books in the series. Whether blatant spoiling or simply from people dropping subtle hints about later developments I’d be speculating about in my review… So I put it off.

I’ve already done a video review on The Raven Cycle here, and a lot of my thoughts remain the same for The Dream Thieves. The world feels magical and dark, and that atmosphere carries into everything about the reading experience. I actually liked this book far more than the first one, one of the main reasons most likely being that it was less scary for me. I walk a fine line with these books and they can creep me out at times, so I feel I have to be on guard and can’t fully connect with the story. Since The Dream Thieves takes a bit of a break from the main plot, it allowed me to connect a bit more. That may either be a plus or a minus for some people, as I know some reviewers hated that it strayed from the main plot too much. I personally liked a lot of the back story we got on various characters, and delving more into dream magic and it’s ramifications. I also found the villain enigmatic yet tragic, and the entire tone of this installment is something I wish we’d be getting more of. But sadly, for me, we will be returning to the main plot in the next book. And I’ll return to being on edge.

This second book stays true to the tone of the overall story, and the deep focus on this band of characters and their relationships. Fans of the series will enjoy this book, even if it meanders a bit more than some may like.

five-stars

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The Wrath and the Dawn & The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh | Review

Posted January 13, 2017 by Samantha in booktube, reviews / 0 Comments

The Wrath and the Dawn & The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh | ReviewThe Wrath & the Dawn (The Wrath & the Dawn, #1) by Renee Ahdieh
Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers on May 12th 2015
Genres: YA Fantasy
Pages: 388
Goodreads

One Life to One Dawn.
In a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad's dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph's reign of terror once and for all.
Night after night, Shahrzad beguiles Khalid, weaving stories that enchant, ensuring her survival, though she knows each dawn could be her last. But something she never expected begins to happen: Khalid is nothing like what she'd imagined him to be. This monster is a boy with a tormented heart. Incredibly, Shahrzad finds herself falling in love. How is this possible? It's an unforgivable betrayal. Still, Shahrzad has come to understand all is not as it seems in this palace of marble and stone. She resolves to uncover whatever secrets lurk and, despite her love, be ready to take Khalid's life as retribution for the many lives he's stolen. Can their love survive this world of stories and secrets?
Inspired by A Thousand and One Nights, The Wrath and the Dawn is a sumptuous and enthralling read from beginning to end.

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Am Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir | Review

Posted January 12, 2017 by Samantha in booktube, reviews / 0 Comments

Am Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir | ReviewAn Ember in the Ashes (An Ember in the Ashes, #1) by Sabaa Tahir
Published by Razorbill on April 28th 2015
Genres: YA Fantasy
Pages: 446
Goodreads

Laia is a slave. 
Elias is a soldier. 
Neither is free.

Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.
It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.
But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.
There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.

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