Ramblings of a Young Aussie Writer

A writer lost in her own imagination

3.5* Book Review – Iniquity by Amy A Bartol (The Premonition Series) — June 26, 2016

3.5* Book Review – Iniquity by Amy A Bartol (The Premonition Series)

Iniquity – The Premonition Series (Book 5)

Amy A Bartol

3.5 Star Review

I’ve finally finished the series that I thought would never end. I feel like it has dragged on for way too long. It just felt like overkill. I understand that as a writer, sometimes you love writing about those characters and that world so much you never want it to end but there needs to be a conclusion. It might be a bit of a spoiler but there were loose ends at the end of the book. Clearly, Amy Bartol has left a few things open just in case she wants to add a sixth book. *Groan*

Positives The cover is just beautiful – lets take a moment to appreciate that. I really enjoy Amy Bartol’s style of writing, probably most of the reason I persevered with this series (and of because of Reed). The basic storyline was great but I’ve heard that she doesn’t always plan her storyline when starting and I think that showed. I love Reed. How can you not? The ending certainly does him justice. Russell is really well developed and I wished he had had a bigger role in this book. I actually ended up liking Brennus which is no easy feat as I’ve wanted him to die from book one. You were shown very different sides to quite a few characters in this book. I did end up crying at the end of the book but that’s not too uncommon. Evie was well, Evie. There were quite a few moments where she certainly didn’t try that hard to deter some of her many admirers.

NegativesHow many admirers can one person have? Like seriously? I swear the count got up to seven. Yes you read correctly. Evie had a minimum of seven males obsessing over her. There was a lot of build up to a climax that just didn’t live up to it. A few pages and the spectacular climax scene was basically over. It was certainly a letdown. Especially considering this is the final book, the final fight scene. Buns, Brownie and Zee seemed like awkward add-ons in this book which was a shame. A lot of things that needed to be finished properly were just skimmed over. I enjoy finishing a book and still thinking about it days/weeks later but with this one I mostly just keep thinking of things that still confuse me. Whether they were unexplained or left too open, I’m not sure.

Overall I did enjoy this book and was glad it was the final one in the series. Would I recommend it to someone? Maybe. The series as a whole, I loved but it was really long-winded, that was its downfall for me (and of course the fact that there were more than a few handfuls of past, present and future lovers). The best bit – Reed. Now let’s take a moment to once again swoon over Reed. Ahhhh Reed, you gorgeous, perfect angel.

*All my reviews are on Goodreads too*

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Haze by Paula Weston #2 in Rephaim Series 4 Star Review — June 29, 2015

Haze by Paula Weston #2 in Rephaim Series 4 Star Review

Haze – The Rephaim Book 2

Paula Weston

4 Star Review

As soon as I finished the first book Shadows, I absolutely had to start Haze straight away.

PositivesI loved the first book in the series Shadows and my high expectations of Haze were delightfully warranted. Gaby was more confident and stronger in this book. Thankfully she still held her attitude which makes her a more interesting protagonist. Rafa’s bipolar moods were a bit hard to keep up with but it makes him who he is. In some ways you can understand his conflicting emotions and the reasoning behind them although we won’t truly understand it until we find out what happened between the two before Gaby lost her memory. The storyline had some very real scenes that bring you back from the fantasy world and grounds the story. I often found myself awkwardly smiling or laughing from the witty remarks of Rafa and Gaby which means reading this book whilst in the company of others may incur some strange looks.

NegativesThe cover of a book is always a huge part as to why you would select it in a sea of millions of other books. Even though I really liked the cover of Shadows this cover was not great. I understand they wanted to follow a pattern with the covers but to me it looked like a trashy guy in track pants and no top with a sword on his back. It was too badly photoshopped on to be believable. Not a great way to entice readers but the shadowy wings, similar to the first cover, improve it. As much as I enjoyed this book, I found that there were a few scenes that weren’t explained enough and it made some parts hard to understand. There are also a few concepts that are difficult to comprehend but you get the general gist of it all. The real reason that I gave it only 4 stars though, is that I felt the plot was lacking a bit. The build-up was great and I was completely lost in the story but then it didn’t seem to end well. It was as though I was missing the end chapters. It’s great to end in a cliff-hanger but I think the storyline didn’t set up for such an extreme cliff-hanger to ended with.

Overall I’m very excited to read book three – Shimmer after finishing Haze. I’m very thankful I started reading the series now that three out of the four books are published. The ending of Haze would making waiting for Shimmer to be released, unbearable but luckily I’ll be starting Shimmer as soon as I finish this review. If you want to read a fantasy series with a difference then definitely try Shadows and of course you’ll be devouring Haze and Shimmer before you know what you’re doing.

BLURB –

“But what if we can’t find Jude?” 
He leans closer. His breath is warm on my ear. “We will.”
“How can you be so sure?” I want to believe him so badly, but this is Rafa. The guy who’s all action and no plan. His smile is tired, knowing. An echo of a shared past I don’t remember. 
“Because I’m not smart enough to give up, and you don’t know how to.” 

Gaby Winters’ nightmares have stopped but she still can’t remember her old life. Still can’t quite believe she is one of the Rephaim—the wingless half-angels who can shift from place to place, country to country, in the blink of an eye. That she was once the Rephaim’s best fighter. That demons exist. That Rafa has stayed. 

But most of all, she can’t quite believe that her twin brother, Jude, might be alive. 

And Gaby can’t explain the hesitancy that sidetracks the search for him, infuriates Rafa, and sends them, again, into the darkest danger.

The Raven Boys – Maggie Stiefvater 3.5 Star Review — February 2, 2015

The Raven Boys – Maggie Stiefvater 3.5 Star Review

The Raven Boys

Maggie Stiefvater

3.5 Star Review

The Raven Boys Maggie Stiefvater

This book had some great reviews which was the main reason I picked it up. Not at all what I had expected and didn’t really meet my high expectations of it.

PositivesThe first thing that stuck out for me was Maggie Stiefvater’s writing style. I couldn’t believe it had gone through the editing process and had still come out like that. It was strange, disjointed, awkwardly put together yet I ended up enjoying it. The storyline was complicated and rather confusing. She has gone against the traditional male protagonist/lover and that made it interesting. Adam and Gansey both fit into that role but somehow didn’t. It seems to be a trend in the books I’ve read lately that rags to riches or the poor girl unexpectedly falls for the rich male, is a big drawcard. I must admit I do enjoy that sometimes. Of all the character’s Gansey was definitely my favourite, although I suspect that that’s what Maggie Stiefvater wanted.

NegativesI really felt stupid and confused during many scenes in this book. Was I not intelligent enough to understand the strange idea of Ley lines or Glendower? It took a long time to explain both things but I was still left scratching my head. I understand that in a series each book needs to end with a cliff-hanger but I feel like I don’t have any idea where she wanted to point the readers toward at the end. There was ample action and excitement but then the ending seemed to be squashed into a few short chapters. I felt cheated by the ending when the beginning held the promise of an interesting conundrum for Blue but it ended without any kind of hint of an answer. For a book that contained many, MANY unnecessary sentences and descriptions it just sort of flat lined at the end.

Overall For this book I’ll round up to a 4 stars out of 5 (probably because I just loved Gansey). The characters were great, I ended up enjoying the strange writing style and am actually interested to see where this story goes. Instead of gaining answers throughout the book though, it just snowballed into an endless amount of confusing questions. I’m hoping that book two (Dream Thieves) will accentuate the best parts of book one.

BLURB “There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

From Maggie Stiefvater, the bestselling and acclaimed author of the Shiver trilogy and The Scorpio Races, comes a spellbinding new series where the inevitability of death and the nature of love lead us to a place we’ve never been before

The Selection – Kiera Cass 5 Star Review — January 23, 2015

The Selection – Kiera Cass 5 Star Review

5 Star Review

 The Selection Kiera Cass

I picked up this book because of course the cover was gorgeous, it rated high on Goodreads and because the concept seemed different. I’m very, VERY glad I did.

Positives I realised as soon as I finished the book that a lot of the reason why I loved this book was because of Kiera Cass’s writing style. It was beautiful to read. No awkward sentences, no staggered paragraphs, it just flowed along majestically. Kiera Cass is obviously a very talented writer. Apart from the writing style, the storyline was fresh and new. Oh how I loved America. She’s a great character that has a quirky personality yet strong in many ways. Each scene was written to the point where you were completely engulfed in their world, (yes I did smile like an idiot and laugh out loud at some things). Both Aspen and Maxon were well developed characters that had strong motives and were responsible young men. Their actions were logical and suited their personalities perfectly. I really enjoyed the strong characters that stayed true to their natures.

Negatives There were hardly any negatives in this book. The one major thing for me was that I felt that the climax lacked a little. I was reading it and looking at the page numbers wondering when I’d get into the real action but it didn’t really evolve into anything memorable. Nevertheless the storyline was still enthralling and exciting. The only other thing was the lack of description for the appearance of the character’s sometimes. When America was looking into Maxon’s eyes I wanted to image that but I didn’t remember reading what colour his eyes were.

Overall­For those who love a good love story (or love triangle) this is a must read. It’s different, it’s enthralling, it’s beautifully written, it’s captivating and it should be on the top of your book list. Thankfully the next two books in the series have been released so I can move straight on to number 2 – The Elite. Really looking forward to delving into that book and I have high expectations for it.

BLURB

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn’t want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she’s made for herself–and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

Happy Reading Everyone xo

Teardrop by Lauren Kate 3.5 Star Review — October 1, 2014

Teardrop by Lauren Kate 3.5 Star Review

Teardrop 

by Lauren Kate

Teardrop Lauren Kate

Lauren Kate is most probably my favourite author so before I had even started this book, I had very high expectations.

Teardrop is certainly not one of my favourite books but I still liked it. The ideas were unique and her writing is for the most part, of a high standard. The characters were well developed and you were roped in to the story quickly.

The Good: The cover – OF COURSE! It was just beautiful in true Lauren Kate style. The strength of Eureka as a person although one could sometimes confuse her strength with a lack of emotion altogether. Brooks was a lovable character who you got very attached to. Ander was also a great character although quite confusing and sometimes his actions were downright strange. The kind of strange where most people would have kept their distance from him. The story was very engaging and made me tear up in a few spots were I felt very empathic toward the emotionally crippling situation Eureka was in.

The Bad: Firstly I hated how confusing it was in so many parts. It left me feeling stupid after having to read a few pages twice just to get my head around it. Some sentences were disjointed and didn’t make sense but that lessened as the book went on. I don’t think the whole idea of the book was explained very well at all. There were many things that just didn’t make sense and the reader was never given an explanation for. I finished the book still trying to understand the concept and the reasoning behind the character’s actions. Eureka’s dad was a feeble, under-developed character that almost didn’t really fit into the story. Ander was the kind of guy that I don’t think anyone would continue to spend time with after the first encounter. Eureka’s personality was often malleable which got annoying sometimes. I did like Brooks, he was vivacious and fun. In a real life situation he and Eureka would undoubtedly be boyfriend and girlfriend. I felt like I was really left in the dark regarding anything about Ander despite the book being so long. It did drag on a bit and the ending came on suddenly, leaving the reading wondering if their version on the book was missing chapters. There was one scene that was much too descriptively violent for what it needed to be.

OVERALL: This book only rated 3.5 stars for me because although I really enjoyed the basic storyline the bad points were numerous.

Will I be reading Waterfall when it comes out? Yes because I’m curious to see if that book is better that the first. There is real potential there so let’s just hope she’s ‘upped her game.