0

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

0

Recreated 


I feel absolutely nothing about this book. This didn’t make me hate it like I had with tiger’s curse, but wasn’t any better either. The main issue is that almost everything comes easily to Lily, though thankfully there is a lack of food porn or Amon trying to stuff food down her throat. That’s just about it.

Then, we have Lily and three other characters together. Who then magically falls in love with three main characters, I have no words. And if that’s not awkward, they are all literally in the same body. This is completely to a new level, of creepy and becomes a sort of love sextagon. Except it’s really creepy and awkward. 

Even more so is that Lily actually gains nothing, she still cracks jokes which are not funny, insult in a completely cliché way that has no new twist. And for once, being brought to Egypt on her own I hoped that Houck would have grown better. Except that all the hard parts are handled by Tia, and all of a sudden comes in a fairy that I’m very much certain is not from Egyptian mythology. 

Then, it’s really where it gets weird and sometimes creepy. Because it takes a love sextagon to a whole new level with three consciousness in her mind, I have literally no idea what would happen, but I guess that some magical way would be able to separate them and they will be able to live happily ever after with their love interests. Really, really awkward. I mean what’s wrong with setting up other kinds of love, or even other characters who will become important. 

And the only character that I really liked had been her awesome grandmother. I was waiting for her to show up, and then she will asked what the heck is going on and learn about them. I mean, she is one damn strong woman, and runs a farm on her own. To me, I really like her. Well, she only had a small portion in this book. 

And I wanted a better representation of females here. Well, I hoped that the grandmother had played a little more role. The tension was a little higher, and the characters a little more complex, Asten was good, he was rather well developed in my mind with his back story. And another huge issue, is that almost all the guys are rather fond of Lily, even Dr Hassan. I mean it, she has Egyptian gods helping her left and right, and one who is outright lusting after her with only one meeting. 

Those are a lot of issues. But in this case, I would admit that it is better than the previous book. Most still come to Lily easily, but not as conveniently in her previous series either. And Amon, well I won’t say since he barely has any appearances here at all. So, this is an improvement from the autbor but to me still failed to move me in the least really. 

Rating: 2 out of 5

0

The Clockwork Scarab 

This was rather okay. Though, sometimes the writing put me off in some ways. Like really put me off. The plot was decent, and well the characters quite flat. But I did like the mystery, and the possibility of having time travel together and steampunk. 

But it just seems a little messy in my mind. It really does seem rather messy when I put together everything, and that the mystery didn’t feel like a mystery to me. Just a set of deaths, that really didn’t have twists which blew my mind. 

Although both Mina and Evaline are decent characters. I can rather relate to both of them, and neither seem to be obsessed with getting married or constantly trying to prove that they are different. I’m fine with them just acknowledging and doing what’s required of them. 

As for Ms Irene Adler, I was half expecting something of her intelligence to be revealed. Like she could work out who was the Ankh in actual reality, or Mina having that moment where she revealed the Ankh for who she is. But really, I didn’t really get that sort of closure. A lot still remains a mystery, such as the motives to why the Ankh chose to do so or even why she killed so many people. 

And having Mina fail at some point made their more believable that she was still learning, and despite her lineage, she isn’t faultless. I really preferred her over Evaline Stoker, who lacked some personality really. It seems that all she really cared about was proving herself and finding the murderer. But I rather like her brother Bram. 

But really, the only letdown was the failure of really giving a good closure to the mystery. And then turning it to a rather usual route, bad guy threatens, they accept and go to the designated location. Although there was some sleuthing dine, but I was expecting something a little more clever, not having Evaline and Mina going their separate ways. And only coming together in times of need, and turning the situation into one that didn’t feel like a mystery anymore. 

Overall, my main issues was with the execution of the mystery. How the murderer was really handled. The rest was pretty decent. 

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

10

Cracked


This was a pretty enjoyable book, and gave me quite some laughter but still with some pretty good and interesting fantasy elements. 

Such as beacons, templars, and demons. All of them come together nicely here, and give a lot of depth to each other. As well as explain all the half breeds, which Meda is, it was revealed quite early, and worked well with the plot. In fact, it was way more interesting when it was introduced that early, as it allowed a lot of moments for me to think whether it will be told to them. And added a lot of depth to Meda. 

Meda is compelling, given her narration managing to get a reaction out of me many times. And that her character is extremely active, where she pretends to be a beacon and try to get some secrets out of the templars. Where it eventually then turns into her discovering a lot about her own family, more about her mother here. 

And I just loved her, she was likeable and relatable. She was rather interesting and even unqiue. 

As for the others, they nonetheless entertained. Having Jo being a cripple but still wanted to keep on fighting, that was rather interesting and knowing how she was still dealing with her own issues, and blew up. As for Chi, quite the heroic idiot, but I just liked him because he wasn’t overly so, and no matter what put others first. 

As for Uri, his death came as quite a bit of a shocker, but then still something important and his character also contributed quite a lot. 

The dynamics between them had to be one of the best I have ever seen. I always looked forward to having them talk and meet, as they were just making the absolute best use of those pages. 

And that Meda despite being funny, and badass she still has plenty of flaws. Moments where she’s weak and even her own issues. Particularly at the end, where I think it might be more like an identity crisis and a really really difficult choice. 

But nonetheless, I still enjoyed the book till its end, with the characters being compelling and with some solid plot and worldbuilding. Which I’m going to really reconmend this to those who like Urban fantasy and is really sick and tired of the usual, since after all I also gave up on the genre after a while. 

Rating: 5 out of 5

0

The Night Itself 

This book was a pretty good thing in a midst of some pretty bad books I have read recently. And I mostly stopped reading them. This was a pretty good book overall, and I found some enjoyment in it. 

Mio is a pretty good character, with her flaws at the beginning being the whole start of the process. Such as choosing to take the sword along, which results in something happening. Somehow, I didn’t find her whining too much since it was her who decided to take it out and in the end caused everything. She is rather relatable at times and quite easy too see through her point of view. 

Shinobu seems extremely mysterious as a whole, but little else made him interesting. And that I did find it quite weird that he could adapt to English in London, despite not having met anyone. The author’s own explanation doesn’t exactly work since it’s not in the book explicitly. .  

The plot was good for most part until the end, eventually it got really boring, my personal favorite had been around the middle and the eventual meeting with the fox. Though when I thought about and Midori, she felt more or less tagged on with her motives not really emphasized. And the actual villain apart form the Nekomata, didn’t have much of a presence there. 

The mythology research was rather well done, and made plenty of sense. As for how it is worked into it is also rather interesting. And that it didn’t really feel as though it was too much, and the family history here made a lot of sense. Given how the Japanese people were, it doesn’t seem that far fetched to keep a sword, though I would want to see the subsequent hooks touch upon why they knew to keep it. 

Overall, I do rather like this book but it has its own dull moments as well. But it is something that entertained me for quite a while.  

Mostly, it’s a good book but just not for me. I would have preferred a little more on the plot and a little more urgency. Here it doesn’t feel as though since the only thing that connects them together was Jack’s sister being kidnapped. It’s just not my thing, and that Mio doesn’t seem to have grown quite a lot. And being focused on romance as well, doesn’t seem to be my style of book. So, it’s a good book but just not my cup of tea. 

Rating: 3 out of 5 

0

Rebel Of The Sands 

This wasn’t a bad book. From the beginning I enjoyed it, despite not being the best I have ever read. But the setting was quite refreshing to the typical usual European fantasy. This was quite different and a change, guess Middle East do have some very very interesting mythology. 

The plot her is rather simple and quick to end, where Amani just becomes a part of a rebellion and her character was rather interesting. Where the beginning opened with her dressing as a boy and her mother as well. The history on how its women can be killed for laying with another as well as harems and princes. 

Well, the one thing I have to complain should be the scope. Although at the end, it sets it going but I would have wanted a little more, as I want to have a little more about thought provoking oind of thing. 

One thing I glad for is the lack of romance although hinted and developed, hasn’t really gone into that sort of phase yet. And that it feels more natural than most, I rather have a small relationship rather than a huge one. 

Amani is quite a typical badass heroine, which I have started to find very very bland. But when accompanied by a twist that she wouldn’t mind killing another made it slightly better, until she reaches the camp. Then, she becomes rather typical of a heroine. I mean, I guess that ya heroines have to be badass but after so many books worth of action girls, I’m tired. Can’t anyone write a female main character who displays a strong and unbending will without needing a sword or a gun? Until she realised that he’s the prince and becomes angry for being lied to, I can think of that, but enough to lose all trust in the guy who helped you escape from that kind of life, not necessarily. 

But I did like that Amani if she was a woman she would have experienced many many restrictions and that her mother being hanged as well. It makes her becoming a boy a little more by circumstance as she wasn’t granted much freedom and heck they are killed for being raped by another. And even killed for sleeping with a Djinn. 

As for the magical elements, I guess its rather normal. A fantasy book has to have a main character with some magical abilities so I’m not iffy about that, after all there were many hints left for me to put.

Overall, this was a decent read. The main character may be quite bland but isn’t a horrible character or useless. As for the setting it was rather refreshing with other countries as well. 

Rating: 3 out of 5

0

Daughter Of The Sun 

Title: Daughter of the Sun (Cult of the Cat series, Book 1)

Author: Zoe Kalo

Genre: YA mythological fantasy

Word count: 93,000 words

Release date: May 1, 2016

Daughter of the Sun, Book 1 – blurb

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.

A rather interesting murder nystery to me actually. The novel went by fast, within three days of reading this I had finsihed it(even if the deadline I set for myself was next Monday to get this review out.)

To begin the story, it didn’t blow my mind, but it made me addicted at many parts of the story. And had me hooked for the entirety of it. Although there were still holes in the story itself but I believe this is a good book, and is better. 

The Egyptian mythology, at least on my knowledge was accurate and well researched. After reading another book with Egyptian mythology, I guess I had skme knowledge. Here it was fascinating and dwelled deeper, and touched on other sides and maybe slightly less known. 

Trinity is very much a strong character here, her love for animals is logical and helps her many times. To her own weaknesses. When she loses her temper over not having any answer, after some time, that to me was realistic. All the while her questions which almost never get answered, and her caution could be attributed to her upbringing. Even if there was a lot of cliché with her, she was still interesting and compelling enough to keep me reading. As for her being a reinvsrnation, I should have seen that coming when she was beginning to develop cat-like abilities 

As for Ara, who is the next character that I enjoy, and for once I’m glad that there was a strong relationship here. Even if she did certain things at the end, but it made sense for her character. Her inability to believe Trinity’s own judgement about her mother was done well, it was realistic to be defensive against someone who proposed that your mother is evil. And her personality, she seems strong and did things to find out answers behind her crazy family. 

As for Brianna, by far one of the most mysterious character and her sudden disappearance. Eventually she became relevant, and that I completely missed her or even realised what she was hiding as. 

One thing I did enjoy, was the small focus on romance here. Her relationship with Seth doesn’t come into the spotlight here, not as much as the mystery behind her family and finding answers. Which for once I was glad. 

As for Dr Nassri, I had expected that. That she may not be someone nearly as nice, but her relavations as a villain, one which was kinda built up and the hints spreader throughout. An issue, is that she felt too evil, I didn’t know what drove her to be like that. To the degree that she hated her own daughter, just for being born three days too early. 

She just felt evil, and I didn’t understand her motivations. I would have liled het backstory, as I’m missing what is the most important to her character, why does she want to take over the world. But I do agree with what she said, that power was worth more than beauty. But her character although built up well, I feel lacks a drive that makes her the villain.

Much of the plot was well explored, all the while leaving clues and foreshadowing to twists which I didn’t pay much attention to. Even if the villain although not a cliché but I feel there is a lot lacking towards her character as she comes off as just plain evil. But for a simple read, one as a breather all the while not being too light hearted nor dark, I believe it was a nice book for me to read. 

However, this book is suited towards the young adult audiences, one which I have to agree. It would appeal to many as long as you like mythology and decently(in my opinion) well researched Egyptian mythology and a book not too heavy on romance. I would reconmend this book but it wouldn’t make to the list of the best books I’ve read this year. 

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 

Reading the sequel: Maybe, depending on whether I can borrow this from the library. 

This Review is a part of the Blogger Outreach Program by b00k r3vi3w Tours

You can purchase it here

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.