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The Wrath And The Dawn 

I just couldn’t immerse myself into this. I really couldn’t even connect with Shazi at all. I really could barely understand why all of a sudden they loved each other. Why all of a sudden she was married to him. The writing style, simply didn’t worked for me. 

I would say that it became so tedious for me to read through and I skimmed through most of it. And I really couldn’t care less about Khalid or even Shazi. Both of them were incredibly flat characters that there wasn’t anything interesting to really draw me in about them. 

As for the actual plot, I find that there wasn’t anything that drew me in. It felt as though I was reading about the romance, reading only about them. As for the actual mystery, the actual intrigue. If it happened, I wouldn’t be scratching my head as to what is happening and trying my best to not fall asleep as I read this. And be so uncaring that I completely forgot what the book is about at the end. 

So for me this didn’t work out. The style was a little strange, but rather okay. But the content was just so boring that I completely forgot about it. 

It was just so unremarkable that I can barely remember it. And Shazi and Khalid’s romance couldn’t even salvage this book, and I don’t even know why they fell in love with each other. It just seems so sudden, that he loved her. So sudden that Shazi is with him. It just became so unclear in my mind what was going on in the book. I clearly don’t care what happened in this book either. 

Except for one point where Khalid is seen revealing more about himself, and how he ended up becoming a ruler. That does seem rather plausible and nice too. And the only point where I read the story and remembered it. 

So, I would say that this book isn’t recommended by me. Since it was just so normal that I didn’t bother to remember the plot, and all the culture flew over my head. Just like Carve the Mark, which made it difficult for me to remember what just happened in it. 

Rating: 1 out of 5

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The Dark Days Pact 

This entire sequel does live up to its name. It managed to make it seem even more dangerous for Helen, and that as a woman she still needs her reputation. And it really makes the world seem rather real, with the way that a lot of things are neither black or white or even the truth. 

We do begin right after the disastrous ball, with her learning to be a full reclaimer in fact. The entire world isn’t that accepting, Helen has to face quite a bit of prejudice because she’s the first. Her mother neither had the training nor taking part in the actual reclaiming. She was merely a poor vessel used to dump all the darkness into. 

As for the constant danger Helen faces, it is indeed a rather realistic presentation. Since she is a woman and during those times, they were more or less sheltered from the world. And expected to be an ornament. 

I really liked that this felt that her struggles were real. That when she needed to be trusted, it wasn’t always a given to her. At the same time, the same goes through when it comes to her training. Some believe that she should step back, some believe that a male at her side would do her good. 

As for the ship, I don’t really care whether she ends up with Carlston or Selburn. I would rather if she became independent and tried to find another love. Both of them, just doesn’t appeal to me at all. Selburn tries to protect constantly, and it does come off as belittling her rather than actually protecting her. Carlston, I just couldn’t feel their chemistry. Here is where I would want a middle ground, a middle ground between all of them to decide and I would prefer if Helen ended up with neither. 

They just don’t feel so fitted with each other. 

As for the pacing and the plot, it does quickly moves rather than at the snail’s pace of the previous books. Slowly, Helen needs to make a decision. And every decision has its consequences. And here is where we actually see a lot of the work that Helen needed to do, and actually having to dress as a man. Which is the most interesting part of the book, seeing that men’s dressing clearly needed quite a bit of help too. They clearly couldn’t dress themselves. 

As for the way the world views Helen, I would say that it is really realistic if you ask me. She is a woman and she is a reclaimer. And more often than not, they think she would put her emotions first. But in reality, she is trying to do the best she can and making the most sensible decisions as she can. 

I would say that this sequel is up to standard with the previous book. And perhaps even better too. As for the romance, I would say it again, I ship no one. But the world is fascinating and interesting given how much it seemed gothic yet completely original in terms of abilities and worldbuliding. 

Rating: 4 out of 5 

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The Forbidden Wish 

I would say that it lives up as a retelling. Except that it explores the story from another perspective, and instead of getting the jinni we see in Aladdin. It is instead, about the female jinni. 

And all the while, I really enjoyed the way the world was structured and explored. The myths and folklores, some of which Zahra had a hand in it herself. All the more, it was about the forbidden wish. Exploring a possibility, what would happen when a jinni could be set free. 

The ending nicely ends everything. All the while the twists are revealed nicely, and at the right moment. Whether is it about the jinni or about the world as it stands. 

To also being able Zahra and how badly she wants to be free. I mean, it’s logical since you have been locked into a lamp for a very long time(three thousand years.) 

All the while, the princess managed to keep my attention as did Aladdin. Both wanted something, the princess would have done anything for her kingdom. That is what I call a future Queen. And she didn’t find having to marry a horrible man that terrible a price as long as it remained safe. As for Aladdin where he initially wants revenge, he initially wants to marry a princess. Then eventually, becomes in love with the jinni. It is so gradual, and so subtle. Even with very little declarations when they decide to sacrifice themselves for each other, it feels strangely logical. That Aladdin was willing to pay the price for Zahra’s freedom, and she in his stead willing to help him many times. 

And so, I would say that the characters who are introduced eventually had a larger role to play. Such as the jinni who was captured, to the vizier and Darian. All of them had a role, and eventually were rather well developed. 

This novel isn’t just made up of Aladdin and Zahra, it had other characters who shone. And everything had a consequence and a price, all of it coming back. 

So, I would recommend this to those who have longed for retelling. And at the same time, is a really good piece of work with a good balance between the characters and the plot.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

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Deep Blue 

I just couldn’t take how childish this story was. It didn’t feel like it was meant for young adults, it was meant for middle grade at best and I would even recommend it for children. It didn’t have a single ounce of page that was unsuitable for children, and the dialogue was childish at best. I should have known when Disney supported this. 

And what did I feel about it, I couldn’t even connect to Serafina or even any characters here. It just wasn’t my cup of tea, and the dialogue lacked any substance to make it feel more realistic. It just made me feel nothing. 

The worldbuliding was quite detailed, with plenty of details that I really like them because of how it is developed. And how the countries are called. I can even derive a certain country’s name from its origins. Although at first it sounded strange, but then it made quite a bit of sense to me(that kingdom was Qin, on hindsight it was quite smart.)

But apart from that, I could barely care about the characters. There wasn’t really anything that I cared about within the characters themselves. Even the comedy didn’t get to me. 

Although the plot was decent, and it was quite interesting on some levels. But the characters simply could not support it, it was just too light hearted for me. So I would say that the main issue of the book lies with that I simply cannot believe that so many things were so simple, and so many things were simply just so happy and easily resolved. 

So, I would say that this book simply didn’t feel convincing as a young adult. For children or middle grade, I would be able to reconsider my rating. But since this is under young adult, this was simply too light and too unrealistic to get to me. In other words, it’s not you, it’s me. 

But I still recommend it to readers who want something light, or easy. But those who want something darker and a little more down to earth, avoid this book. And really the Disney label is a good gauge whether you should read this book. 

Rating: 2 out of 5 

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The Glass Sentence 

I would say that the drawing point of this book lies in its premise and worldbuliding. The way the Great Disruption affected the world, had been fascinating to read since it threw the entire world into completely different ages and possibly different times. 

Also, all the while introducing many points about the side effects of the Great Disruption. People who came back to see that their age is lifeless and completely abandoned, and people who do not believe in the current world. 

That is really what made it for the book. Even more than the characters honestly, since they weren’t as unique as other characters from other books. But the worldbuliding is really good and level headed, with plenty of history. 

The only thing I would have wanted to complain was that I wanted much more. And how the worldbuliding was executed needed a lot more work, I was bored to tears on so many of the pages. 

The characters are okay, their interactions many a time quite dull and uninteresting. And the only thing really interesting about Sophia is her lack of having any sense of time. The rest you can find in almost any other female main character if you ask me. 

Same for Theo, Uncle Shadrack and almost the other cast of characters which I barely have an impression on. They simply didn’t compel me, and the dialogue at times was shallow and quite simplistic. It didn’t have anything really thought provoking in it, or any quotes which I would have wanted to read about. 

That is the real issue with the book. The characters are bland, the worldbuliding was basically dumped onto me. The only thing that redeemed this has to be the worldbuliding, which was fascinating to read about and the plot which was fine, giving Sophia an actual motivation to go in a journey to find her uncle.. But the rest could be done better. 

So, I would say if you want to read this, just keep in mind that you need a lot of patience and a lot of love for finely crafted worlds. If you prefer characters, I would say just move on. 

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

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Stalking Jack The Ripper 

This book is utterly perfect. The mystery of Jack The Ripper, and the main character. To me, this was perfect in my eyes. Even if I could have seen where it would head with the characters, and who would be the murderer at the end slightly before it was revealed. The murderer’s motives were at least plausible and decent enough to be real. 

And from the beginning, Audrey Rose was a fantastic female characters. She isn’t obsessed with propriety, or even about how deserving of their fate those women were. She only thought that they also had mothers, they may also have children, they would definitely have a family. They might have only done this out of pure necessity not because of their choice. And that is what I like her for. 

Also, for the fact that she is skilled at forensic science and always tries to fulfill her curiosity. At the very beginning, against her father’s wishes she finds a way to do what she likes. And all the while, she doesn’t just fall head in heels for the first guy she meets. Their relationship is a developing one, where it goes from banter and eventually he helps her when it is most needed. 

Thomas comes off as conceited and arrogant from the very first page he is introduced. He knows a great deal, and loves to show off his knowledge. But the one thing that does set him apart is that he isn’t a complete jerk, he gets it that Audrey still needs her reputation, and he respects her for who she is without ever demeaning her. The way he acts arrogant is one that is in his personality, but never sounding incredibly rude if you ask me. And having his own charm lying in the way he speaks not his good looks, which I have been waiting for years for such a character. 

As for her family, there are some issues with them. Her aunt is religious and rather pious, which was quite okay if you ask me. She didn’t play a rather important role. Liza on the other hands was slightly more interesting, given that she allowed herself to love a variety of men. And well, let’s just say I pretty enjoyed a quote that she said. That Liza chooses who she wants to be and in certain times, she shows different sides of herself. To me, that was a rather interesting side of the story too. 

As for her father, I do admit that he has his faults but at the end he redeems himself instead. I rather like the ending for his decision and realizing that he wasn’t doing a pretty good job. Well, you would find out what would make him reflect on his choices. And well, I did like the ending where Audrey would leave to learn forensic science in Romania, which is why the next book is set there. Well, I definitely will be catching and continuing this series should the next book also have the same sort of mystery this provided me with. 

Since the ending, and no matter what the murderer will be someone that hurts Audrey rather deeply. And well, I cannot wait for the next book to be released since this has given me so much of a joy. 

Rating: 5 out of 5

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The Assasin’s Curse 

I have no words for this book. It is one of the most perfect books I have read, and hopefully breaks my bad book streak I have been on recently where I hated so many books for the entire month. And well, where to begin? I think I would start with the characters. 

Anana is a complete badass, and well a really convincing pirate. She’s convincing as she steals, cheats and lies. And well, she is a badass in how she deals with things. She escapes from her marriage, except that she brings common sense with her. And that she tries to sell her dress the moment she finds it, and constantly is thinking of how to survive. 

And well, this girl basically saved the assassin and then ends up being protected by him, yet most of the time they are alive due to her. Most importantly, when it’s necessary she knows that she needs to kill and she won’t hesitate. That was what I expected of pirate. 

Naji, had revived my faith in assassins in books. So far, I only read about so many plain horrible assassins. Especially the previous book. Sure, he’s not the most dependable here, but at least he isn’t a self-righteous hypocrite. He simply trusts his heart sometimes and has his own back story. And well, he can take care of himself. 

So, this duo who were cursed and eventually forced to be together. They were believable, Anana with her knowledge of the seas and being a pirate. And Naji as an assassin. They didn’t feel like a whitewashed version of the usual pirates and assassins, who believe what they do is right.

Ultimately, to me the characters carried the story the whole way. The only complain I have is how only the three tasks were revealed at the end of the day, and that it could have also served to further their relationship. The world here to me was developed enough to pass it as a decent world building. 

So, I would recommend this to those who think that Anana and Naji are great characters. And well, if you don’t I think you should just give it a pass. 

Rating: 4 out of 5