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

Advertisements

The Vanishing Throne

An awesome sequel if you ask me, it takes the whole Fae concept and twist it in a way that you have never seen it done. And well, this is something new to the genre and something which I didn’t refreshing and highly addictive.

What happens in this book? Aileana becomes a prisoner for a short while before she is rescued only to come home to a broken world, one which has fell apart due to the Fae. One which experienced three years without her.

And despite it not being what I thought, this was awesome. I found the entire book an enticing and worthy read due to its plotting and most importantly, it doesn’t suffer from the second born syndrome unlike most other books.

And that its take on the fairies are rather unique and refreshing, the reason behind the war between the Seelie Queen and Unseelie King, and also the true Queen of the fairies. It is all exciting and well thought out, to give a much darker version than what we get. And one that makes a ton more sense if you ask me, but only if you prefer a slightly darker version.

And for me, this follow up had everything I wanted to. Although at times it didn’t really satisfy me, but the entire sequel delivered very well and wasn’t to my expectations at all. It was so nice for it to exceed my expectations again, it has been so long since I read a book that made me crave the next.

And the twists are rather different, it doesn’t give you much hope but the ending would too. And the ending, sets up the next book very well, where the final ending would come. And do I recommend the series? Yes, though check out the first book to see if it is to your taste. However, as long as you want to read something quite unlike what you have before, or a new angle on fairies then it is for you.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Pantheon

This was rather surprisingly enjoyable. It was a simple enough tale, and short. I found myself rather immersed in the story.

Although, I do not really like Lars that much at all. He is rather okay, readable and definitely have something that goes for him which makes me like him to a certain degree but again, he doesn’t really have much other than that reliability. And it has been a long time since I have truly invested myself in a character, but given it all, he’s not all too bad.

A very important thing to note is that the world is quite well builg and for once I don’t feel as though I’m just thrown into it with absolutely no idea what is going on. That happened to me so many times that it wasn’t funny, just annoying. Here, I think the author skillfully handled throwing me into its world. Careful, subtle and enough to keep me reading.

Also, the world is rather fascinating. They have their own unique culture, and a lot of time was invested in it to make all of it.

Overall, can’t say that I hated it. Although it does suffer a bit from having forgettable characters, but it is a rather nice tale with one that is about discovery for Lars as much as it is for Lars. My Verdict: Recommended.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Given To The Sea

I can’t even be bothered to remember who was in this book. None of the narrators are even the least bit interesting and so many are obsessed with getting Khosa pregnant so you know she can drown as a sacrifice. And even that doesn’t sound as depressing as it should, I don’t even know what is wrong with that world.

And that Khosa although I do think that being raised to think of this would have resulted in her being like this. But I never thought that it was too off, but what made it so incredibly off in my eyes. Was that she is bland as hell and doesn’t even bother trying to find anything out or even try to fulfill her destiny; you would think that being raised in such an environment would make her more willing to do what it takes. Not end up waiting for the one whose touch she can stand. Yeah, and all the other characters were almost just as bland but not as lacking in activeness as compared to Khosa.

There were four narrators; as for the complicated romance why do I even bother. As for the world, where the heck is it, and why the heck is it so twisted? And also, it is confusing, utterly pointless and too many things introduced in one time. To the point it overlaods me and I have nothing but a burning hatred for this book.

Vincent is the prince, or whatever. I didn’t find him interesting. Khosa is as lifeless and emotionless as she is in the book, and having zero ounce of personality. As for the three other narrators, why the hell are they there in the first place. None of them seemed to even make me wonder what this story was about and I found myself skimming most of the pages.

In other words, if you want a mermaid book or one about the sea, don’t look at this one.

Rating: 1 out of 5

The Clockwork Dynasty

Originally, the work came as quite difficult to really ease myself into. And it didn’t really change throughout the novel despite the excellent writing, I just didn’t feel that spark with the characters at all. Not a single one really clicked with me.

But the worldbuilding is intriguing with a lot of nods to mythological figures being altered, but I’m fine. We know so little about these figures so I’m generally a little more tolerating regarding them. Who’s to say it was different, not when they may or may not exist.

One thing I particularly liked about the novel was the way that it handled the steampunk, although it did feel a little dry at first.

Also, the plot was really intriguing and fascinating. Bringing both characters all around the world, ranging from China(however the exact city and province would have helped a little more, but since we don’t even know where Huangdi and Leizu lived, so that’s not really necessary), Seattle and Russia. In different time period as well, which was really what piqued my interest apart from the writing and worldbuilding.

The one thing I feel is lackluster is that I couldn’t really connect to the characters, especially initially when it was narrated by two characters using first person. There wasn’t much of any difference and the lack of voice to distinguish them made it really difficult to relate to them, hence making me unable to really relate and well, the characters were all more of a miss to me than a hit.

So, I guess that the characters were the point which I really found it a little hard. Although the writing, worldbuilding and plot is intriguing with enough twists and mysteries to keep you going. But, the characters just didn’t sit well with me, and that is my sole reason why I have to lower it. However, pick up this book and give it a shot, it might work better for you than it did for me.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for giving me an e-ARC copy.

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

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