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The Censor’s Hand

This was the most surprising book I have read. It was the right kind of darkeness, as well as sexism and having a very relatable main character which I really connected with.

Miranda was really what kept me reading. The way that she seemed so real, she is confident and not completely the type of typical protagonist. She isn’t filled with emotions, neither is she always wanting to prove herself. I like it when a protagonist is like that, which is what really clicked with me. She is obeying orders, but she is confident in her abilities and talents, but never always needing validation or even some guy to tell that she is good. That is where this novel really did well on.

The other characters didn’t keep my interest as much as Miranda did. And the world although well developed and clearly interesting suffered due to the plot. I really couldfind many moments where I was bored, so completely bored of the novel. And moments when I was hooked. That is what I consider a flaw of the novel.

Although it has one character who really shone for me, in a world where there is a lot of injustices as well as problems. All the while suggesting some hope, I like that Miranda is not the centre of it all. But there were moments where the pacing failed to hook me, and for some part of the book I had to put it down. But overall, this was a worthwhile read.

My verdict: Recommended fod Fantasy fans, this is really written for you.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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The Ninth Circle

Well, if you want to read this book refer to the last pages where the glossary is. Otherwise, you will be like me, asking constant questions, what are the ten circles, what are the difference creatures? Wait, what since when is there a new creature? Well, the author provided a very extensive glossary, but didn’t came in useful since it was at the back.

And I was thrown into this world without any cushion and look lightheaded to figure out what they all are. Nighthunters who hunt creatures or demons or whatever.

The only thing that did manage to ground me somewhat was the main characters. They were like a vessel to read through, and they did have some personality but really, I don’t even know what to make of them since both Tala and Avia are just there. I can read through them, the narration is smooth. But is there anything else that stands out? Nope.

As for the plot, would have worked better if I was not confused, just a teensy little bit of info dumping I would not have minded. But here, I was wondering what was going on. Is there even anything to help me? And well, I could barely imagine what the demons look like, and all the hidden nuances about the demons, the back story behind the characters which never seemed to really have a place or even spurred them on until the last quarter of the book.

And really again, nothing sucked me in. The writing was okay, and readable. The characters, in my eyes don’t exactly feel real yet. And the worldbuilding, please I beg of you, just do some info dumping, I don’t even understand any of what the characters are talking about. Except the go to bars, hunt demons and whatever I could figure it out.

My verdict: up to you.

I voluntarily requested a copy from Netgalley to review.

Rating: 2 out of 5

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A Poison Dark And Drowning

I gave this a full day to see how it will go, and I have zero interest in reading it further than the first half or so. And even then, it was one of the most boring things I have ever read.

Perhaps my taste has just changed too much. Henrietta is a magician, and in any young adult book book she has the eyes of many men. I think there were plenty of love interests introduced in book one. Magnus lost almost any interest in me when this book came.

But seriously, none of the characters stood out to me. Henrietta still is that naive girl, and really I don’t even know what makes her stand out. When she does nothing, and nothing really happens in the book. She doesn’t learn anything, she isn’t threatened. All she is doing is simply training, and well frankly it is boring.

There is no stakes which makes me care for her, neither is there any of them who make me even remotely interested in this book. Although there was a witch, and some new characters. But really, I don’t even want to care about any of them because they just don’t seem interesting enough to me.

And that I really think that the author have to figure out her pacing, because for half a book nothing much happens. Henrietta doesn’t grow, she doesn’t learn, and there are virtually no stakes. Take advantage of the fact that she is a magician, and she will be blackmailed. Just make something happen, but it didn’t.

And there is where you will lose me, when a book doesn’t have any reason why it should exist. And the book is mostly made up of fluff, but never anything that makes me want to care.

I received an e-ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 1 out of 5

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Seeker

Even without the knowledge of the previous book, I enjoyed Seeker. Strangely, there was charm in the main character which attracted me to her.

The way that telepaths are treated is bound to make anyone pity them. And this book really shows the horrible treatment, although I didn’t really the point that they were dangerous. Perhaps they could learn to control their abilties instead, not have them controlled.

As for her mother, she is a little crazy. Yep, I think she is. I mean, she doesn’t care much for her daughter yet will threaten other people. Finally, she still chooses to betray her daughter. And really, I don’t know much about the destruction this telepaths caused.

However, I really enjoyed the fast paced narration. The way that the experiments went on, and the fact that Hunter went through all that.

Although I do admit that there were moments where it didn’t really get to me, or even understand why it was so. It was just telling me, yet I never really felt as though I got the full picture. Perhaps a clearer way to judge this will have been better if she had known what the telepaths had done. I just didn’t understand in the least at all.

Overall, this was a rather interesting read. Though it wasn’t without its own flaws at all.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

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Nascent Shadow

It began by having some interesting parts, before it really became a matter of confusion for me. Who was the main character? I don’t really know her, and I couldn’t really enjoy the narration.

The world was especially unclear to me, and in this case maybe a little spoon-feeding wouldn’t be so bad. Since I barely know what the world is all about, and I’m utterly confused to the mentions of dragons, enchantresses and you the sort of thing. Yet, no in depth translation is actually given to tell me about this world.

And the narration, at first was okay, then eventually became emotionless and incredibly dry. I couldn’t even care about any of them in the least. And Brooklyn was a rather interesting narrator, before she descended into one which I couldn’t click with her and neither did I enjoy her.

And something about the plot also passed me too, along with the way that writing was structured and done. It just wasn’t to my taste again, although it is rather refreshing but at the same time, it was confusing after a while. And well, you could see why I didn’t enjoy it. It just went down to how the world was never truly explained, some clues were given but there were so many parts where I wouldn’t have minded telling, since I wouldn’t be so lost.

Although, it started with a bang, but it descended into chaos and confusion.

Rating: 2 out of 5

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The Bone Witch

This was a really good surprise, since the world really went up my alley. Multicultural, and although borrowed from several cultures had a really good way of making it original.

Here, there are some interesting developments. Asha, which clearly remind me a lot of Geisha, and their customs. Although making some clear distinctions too. Not just limiting them to song and dance but also the fact that they can do magic. The also are able to draw runes.

This reminds me of an alternate world with certain cultures at the center of it. Looking at the eight kingdoms, I find that it does include a lot of different cultures, and a lot of magic intertwined to it. I was immersed with the world building of this world, for some strange reason I was enthralled by it.

The writing is another plus point, the descriptions are lovely. Although characters weren’t as complex as I expected. But the lyrical writing worked for me in this case, and clearly expressed itself and managed to keep me reading. Somehow this worked, since the world building happened to be up my alley, as were the writing. Simple, yet beautiful. Also, the one person who I found to be fully fleshed out was Tea, and certain aspect of the side characters weren’t what I predicted too.

As for the main character, Tea. She is fine, she has moments where she is a defined person. She has moments where she needs to grow. This story is about her growth, it is about her becoming powerful. It isn’t about her taking down or saving the world, even though she does it once. But also, one where she becomes the hero. One where she eventually finds her path. She isn’t set on any path as of now, and I like her for that.

All her struggles, the way that sometimes a lot of time passes. Her moments of heroism is slowly built. As for the romance, I didn’t feel it. I did however saw her falling in love, but frankly to me, that doesn’t really affect her decisions. She chose to save another, because she had close ties to her mentor and didn’t want her to die. She is selfless in that sense.

The romance was such a small part, and really to me doesn’t seem all that important. It is subtle, and a lot more telling, which I would prefer. Tea needs to grow, and this book is about her path. It isn’t about her romance, Kance sometimes appears, but he doesn’t appear all the time. Tea is left on her own just to survive, just to make the decisions herself.

And when things doesn’t go her way, when she tries to help another. She chooses to use other means, to become someone who uses her head more than her stubbornness It isn’t about the romance to me honestly, because a lot of the decisions she undertakes doesn’t have really any man she is rooting for. She is simply trying to find her place in the world, and also, eventually change it. I could relate her to the girl who narrated her entire journey, that was believable as even from the ending, Tea would sought many ways out.

She never seemed to be a person who adhered, and isn’t hopeless when it comes to lessons. I was glad they glossed over it, but also giving small glimpses which explained the world and its details.

When the ending came, there were surprising reveals. Some of it seemed convenient, while some seemed quite a bit different. She worked things out with Kalen and his hatred of her. Also, a lot of people in here tend to have a little more about them than I thought. The world isn’t just fully white and black as it seems, to me really. Towards the end, and the middle life gets easier and harder for Tea too.

To me, it isn’t purely black and white. And I liked this book since Tea struggled, she failed, she was relatable. She had many moments where she suffered, where she was forgotten. When she got power, she chose to use it carefully, to use it to achieve her own goals. Also, she would be someone that would take power and go against the customs. That to me, is where I think Tea really found herself.

The ending seemed a bit too easy, and all of a sudden a character was revealed to be that person. Although I did have my suspicions, and also, certain times when I wondered why Tea didn’t bring it up. Although given good context in the end, felt convenient. And that is a rather big flaw of the book.

I recommend this, since it takes time. There isn’t a major villain, or something big happening. Instead, it is Tea learning, growing and slowly becoming that heroine we know she is. It is like Wintersong, where it takes it time to slowly develop the world, slowly have the main character discovering herself. And at the end of the day, emerging as someone else. Someone who matured and fully grown and ready to take on the uphill battle of changing her entire world.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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The Burning Sky

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I think Fantasy and I need a long break. This is like the many books shelved in fantasy where I can’t raise it any higher than a three, and I barely remember anything from it. Again, unoriginal, bland and most importantly boring me to sleep.

I gave up by the hundredth page and began to skim read it. I can remember some stuff, but most of it is utterly useless apart from the setting in which I was right. It is Victorian England, and the Domain, Atlantis, whatever which I don’t have a clear picture about.

As for both the characters, I didn’t even bother. Iolanthe is perfect, she had that one weakness only to find out that she can control it. Also, she’s the chosen one. Titus is you know what, I don’t really care about his life. And both characters interactions flew over my head, and by the end I knew this simply wasn’t for me.

Their romance was relatively well thought out, seeing that Iolanthe doesn’t know Titus, and they really only got together at the end. But again, both characters fell on me and so, do I give a damn? No.

Simple and easy, I thought would serve the trick. But this failed in such a way that I’m considering taking a break from ya fantasy, seeing as the number of books I have read ends up either with a three or a two, and sometimes a one. And well, this just wasn’t one of them.

I have a feeling that I have grown out of the ya fantasy genre with so many books that I have either given up half way or probably cannot rate it higher than just a three.

But check it out, it may be just for you. But this isn’t for me. I guess I really should avoid anything that is too light, it just isn’t my thing.

Rating: 1 out of 5