0

Ravensong

 

Name: Raven Song

Series: Inoki’s Game (Book 1)

Paperback: 290 pages

Published Date: March 14, 2016

Publisher: Lucid Dreams Publishing

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1944674004

ISBN-13: 978-1944674007

 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29521339-raven-song

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Raven-Song-Dystopian-Fantasy-Inokis/dp/1944674004/

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/raven-song-i-a-ashcroft/1123510684

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/raven-song

 

Book Blurb:

A century ago, the world burned. Even now, though rebuilt and defiant, civilization is still choking on the ashes.

 

Jackson, a smuggler, lives in the shadows, once a boy with no memory, no name, and no future. Ravens followed him, long-extinct birds only he could see, and nightmares flew in their wake. Once, Jackson thought himself to be one of the lucky few touched by magic, a candidate for the Order of Mages. He is a man now, and that dream has died. But, the ravens still follow. The nightmares still whisper in his ear.

 

Anna’s life was under the sun, her future bright, her scientific work promising. She knew nothing of The Bombings, the poisoned world, or the occult. One day, she went to work, and the next, she awoke in a box over a hundred years in the future, screaming, fighting to breathe, and looking up into the eyes of a smuggler. Anna fears she’s gone crazy, unable to fill the massive hole in her memories, and terrified of the strange abilities she now possesses.

 

The Coalition government has turned its watchful eyes towards them. The secret factions of the city move to collect them first. And, old gods stir in the darkness, shifting their pawns on the playing field.

 

If Anna and Jackson wish to stay free, they must learn what they are and why they exist.

 

Unfortunately, even if they do, it may be too late.

 

Raven Song is the first of a four book adult-oriented dystopian fantasy series, a story of intrigue, love, violence, and the old spirits in the shadows who wait for us to notice them again. Readers of Neil Gaiman, Holly Black, and Charlie Human will enjoy this dark magic-laced tale rooted on the bones of what our world could become.

 

Author Bio:

​I. A. Ashcroft has been writing fiction in many forms for almost twenty years. The author’s first book, written at age seven, featured the family cat hunting an evil sorceress alongside dragons and eagles. This preoccupation with the fantastical has not changed in the slightest.

 

Now, the author dwells in Phoenix, AZ alongside a wonderful tale-spinner and two increasingly deranged cats. Ashcroft writes almost exclusively in the realm of darker fantasy these days, loving to entertain adults with stories of magic, wonder, despair, violence, and hope, bringing a deep love of mythology into every tale penned. The author also loves diverse and intriguing casts of characters.

 

When not buried in a book, one might find Ashcroft learning languages, charting road trips, and playing tabletop RPGs with clever and fun people.

Contact the Author:

Website: http://www.ia-ashcroft.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/i.a.ashcroft

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ia_ashcroft

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15077746.I_A_Ashcroft

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/I.-A.-Ashcroft/e/B01CTY42S0/

Review: 

I did find this okay. Anna and Jackson are both distinct, with their narration being relatable. But for me, it just didn’t work. It just didn’t cut. It didn’t feel like it to me. I simply could not immerse myself in the story, reading it and relating to them was the best I could do. 

As for the world, the future is rather well thought out. Facing radiation, nuclear exposure. It’s true that we would face the problem eventually, but I could have liked a little more development and exploration of this. And making feel more like that world, I didn’t feel that it was really any different. Even though over a hundred years in the future likely would change everything. 

But I just couldn’t feel with them, I didn’t find myself supporting them. It felt as though nothing was happening. Anna and Jackson have a lot more development, yet their interactions was so few and their relationship went to being very friendly really quick. I just couldn’t buy it, and that is a flaw of the book I feel about. 

The plot was also quite a letdown, there was so many ways this could have gone. Whether Anna is someone that lives forever, or whether Anna is extremely wanted because of her abilities. I could see why, she could prevent radiation. Yet, I just didn’t feel that danger here. There wasn’t any tension really driving me, and I really couldn’t feel the emotion of the characters. It just went over me. 

I would say that this is a case of it’s not you, it’s me since it is a very good book. But it just didn’t connect with me, and I couldn’t really enjoy it. But I still recommend you to check it out, and it does have good character development but to me, needs a lot on the plot, the characters interaction. 

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

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

1

Vicious 

I really like this book, with how it handled the themes of superheroes and whether they should exist or not. And even making both characters, neither actually is the better choice. Victor is quite vicious, but doesn’t think that the EO needs to be killed. Eli, on the other hand thinks that they are unnatural and deserving of death. 

In the middle of it all, it Sydney, who is important since she can revive the dead. Even till the very end. I think out of all, Sydney is the kindest of all of them. Though, I do admit that I did enjoy the fact that she had a lot of spotlight. And is extremely helpful to Victor in hunting Eli. All the more, she went through quite a lot too, when Eli tried to kill her and well, she was shot. 

I really like how it is more about the concept of superheroes and how at the same time they are viewed as monsters by Eli. And their papers, are they unnatural and should be destroyed or useful. This doesn’t give you a clear answer. But it tells you that killing people for the sake of the greater good isn’t always the best. 

And really, doesn’t justify sacrificing these lives just so the rest can live in peace. 

Particularly, I liked how Serena and Eli were partners. And how essential she was to ensuring that he remains a hero in their eyes. If not, well, we can say that it didn’t turned too well for him. Since he is a murderer rather than someone who is a hero. 

And the flashbacks were all perfect in giving depth to each character in just one book. I would say they are very relevant in revealing just what they have been true, and changes characters as it goes along. 

So, this is mostly a book about superheroes and the fact that sometimes there are really no good answers. At the end of the day, he it ends is like how this book should end. The villain gets captured rightfully under the law. So, I would say that the ending is suitable to the tone of this series. 

Overall, I would recommend this to those who want something a little more about the theme of superheroes. And see two people who are at opposite ends of each other, and one is the antagonist of the other. There is no real villain, they are just simply the opposite of each other. And well, both are neither the hero yet not completely a villain and well I relished this book on this fact. 

Rating: 5 out of 5

I normally wouldn’t add a quote, but this is probably one of the most true quotes I have ever come across. 

You don’t understand,” gasped Eli, “No one understands.”

“When no one understands, it’s a clear sign that you are wrong.”

0

These Broken Stars 


A pretty interesting kind of sci-fi. One that managed to keep my interest without me either losing it half way or completely having no interest whatsoever. 

What do I feel about this book? It’s not just about aliens, but also with romance. One which I could like and even enjoy, as they are simply stuck in a situation which they have no control of. They have no ability to control it, and they managed to do it well and controlled it. 

I really like how these two main characters have their own problems, one is a war hero and the other the richest girl in the galaxy. Lilac had plenty of weaknesses, and spent most of the first half being useless, but it’s reasonable and understandable when comapred to the soldier who spent years outside and had experience and training to handle such situations. 

But the most important thing is that they both are vulnerable, not even the Major was perfect in every way as well. He had his own moments of weaknesses, and vulnerability. 

Both have their strengths and skills, seeing as how they were brought up. Nor even Lilac had a life of luxury where she had freedom of choice. And what she does at the end is clearly well handled and even thought out enough for me to like them. 

The plot may seem simple, and ends with many questions as well. What are the secrets lying behind Lilac’s father, he is sketchy, really really sketchy. I mean what kind of father acts like he did to his own daughter. Most of the time, it felt more to me that Lilac had been his possession and no one else could have her. 

And the entire planet itself, there is just so much more than what appears on the surface. Even until the end, it is a mystery. One I hope will be explored later on. The love here for me was realistic, they are all simply surviving, not needing to kill each other, but developing feelings after who close they were, how dependent they were on each other to me was something I could understand. Well, I like them together. 

Overall, I really enjoy this book and work continue with this trilogy as well. It is definitely one of the better books I have managed to pick up in weeks, in the midst of mostly horrible books. 

Rating: 4 out of 5 

0

Carve The Mark 


My real issue with this book is that it is just so dull that I can barely remember almost anything about the story. I didn’t hate the book but I didn’t have any joy from reading it, and it was just so dull I skimmed the last part. 

Cyra, is a sort of weapon. I lost interest in her in the beginning already, she was uttelry boring having almost no emotion whatsoever, and to make it worse when narration was dull. Akos is also as dull as Cyra is, his chapters and her chapters, I couldn’t bloody care about any of them in the least. Even less about the supporting characters. Most of them went way over my head in how they acted. 

The world was so simplistic and the dialogue just boring and not intriguing me to know more about this galaxy and world. It’s just two planets, a solar system and I barely know anything else. It went over my head because of how monotonous the book was. Boring, and failed to keep my attention in the least. I couldn’t even remembered what was mentioned because I simply wasn’t engaged in this. It felt more like a chore that I have to read(I dislike dropping books). 

I can safely say that the writing was what ruined it for me, seeing as how Cyra were developed did seem interesting, except I never even saw what she was raised for. In fact, I expected it at the very beginning. I didn’t have high hopes for Akos which also seemed to be a letdown, as he could help her think about her reality and how it is completely different. And also at the same time provide another narration. 

Nope, both are just so dull that all details flew over my head, the conversations so plain that I barely remembered any of it. Overall, I cannot even rate this book highly. I can barely even remember what to recommend for this book, it’s just that I read it, and skimmed it because I wasn’t even able to connect to the characters nor even enjoy the book at all.  

Rating: 2 out of 5

0

Scythe


I would say that this was enjoyable in how the author explored immortality. Which is actually something that if possible, what are its effects and what can become of the world. Nonetheless, I do see where it’s heading in the first book, and the ending excerpt definitely hints where the book is going itself. 

The world here is I would say quite well thought out with almost everything answered for, such as revival centres, turning of corners and everything. Especially also the scythes, seeing how even now they are associated with death and symbolises it makes a lot of sense here, and their names as well. 

As usual, I like his world more than anything and his style of writing which gives a more bigger picture than if he used limited. Here, I guess it worked well with the excerpts which were interesting bits of information about the possibility of becoming like cartoons, the really disturbing mentalities of some, and the more poignant. 

As for the plot, there were plenty of twists which I simply didn’t see. Such as Scythe Faraday and his death, that twist was simply one of the most boggling either way. But nonetheless, I liked where it was heading with this, and where both Rowan and Citra went different ways at the end. It was more enjoyable than anything else. 

Rowan and Citra, they both are good jusr different as well. And where they split is when Scythe Faraday died and they went to separate Scythes which was nicer as I got a more in-depth look on Scythe Goddard, there was some moments where he was quite disturbing with his thinking and line of thoughts. And even then, there were some twists which never really affected my image of him. He is despicable and just someone who believed he is entitled but it feels as though the entire plot itself didn’t have him as a villain after all. 

This book goes down a lot of unexpected roads, and makes plenty of twists which I never saw coming, which was quite pleasant. Though I do think that this is just setting up the series for future events, despite it was enjoyable, it really couldn’t be contained in one book, even at the end some loose ends are left with us. 

But I really enjoyed this for it gave me answers to questions which is really rarely answered about immortality and death, and how do we control them after it. So, I recommend this if you’re interested in books that explore the unknown. This really was unknown and hard to guess where this would go, even though it feels like utopia, yet it is only a dystopia. 

Rating: 4 out of 5

0

The Obelisk Gate 


This was simply perfection. The second book had been much easier for me to ease into and really enjoy the story well enough. 
Essun, here she mostly remains the same. All the while she looks for her daughter, and ends up discovering a whole new lot of things. Her turn at the end, was really interesting as to how she stopped everyone from deciding who was expendable. And she has her own badass moments here. 

As for Nassun, she is basically one of the most interesting characters as she shows a lot of development. Despite only being ten, I could relate to her and her extremely warped view on her parents. It just felt normal for a child to develop that, after seeing her brother die and everything. 

Nassun grows a lot here, where she becomes more and more aware. And eventually going down a pretty dark path. And I just want to see how it would be when they reunite(their relationship does feel complicated given how Essun is)

As for orogenes, they are also considered not just evil and their treatment doesn’t really get any better. Even though it does have some fantastical elements here now, one which can be explained. As for guardians, stone eaters and the Obelisks. I really enjoyed seeing more and more tp them and slowly going deeper and deeper. 

As for science, the entire thing about Earth becoming hostile to its inhabitants once the moon was lost is a fascinating and interesting possibility. One that can be explained using science and also using the term father earth and the moon being the child. That theory was plausible and made it far more interesting. 

In the firsr book, I mentioned that this is a good apocalyptic fantasy I have read. Here it just proves it even more, and I just love it more here. The characters, the orogenes, the seasons, all of it comes nicely together. So, I would say read this trilogy even though it may not be for everyone. The first book dragged a little for me, but this didn’t and more or less was satisfying and setting up the scene for the finale. 

Rating: 5 out of 5 

0

Undivided 


This has been a really a satisfying conclusion to me. And a whole lot of things happened all at once here, which I would agree. 

But I do like the ending well enough, it makes everything feel worthwhile yet not perfect. Even though all characters survived, but some are not completely the same anymore. And some characters reappear as well. 

But with the final stamp against unwinding, and having more of the effort of everyone rather than just one person. Connor just so happens to be the one who started it all, Lev the one who made people rethink. 

But nonetheless some characters here play a vital role, even Cam and Hayden both doing things on their own to stop unwinding. 

And something major does happen to Connor, which is one of the only things which makes my heart jump in the book. And Lev’s sacrifice as well. 

I would say this is the most decent ya dystopian book I have read, not perfect but made a lot of sense with am argument that I really think it’s solid and valid and debatable. Because the society is messed, but not completely so yet at the same time some pretty horrendous things go through. Which is dystopia. 

And this is more about fighting unwinding than someone, about beliefs and misguided notions of the public. That accepted such a procedure to pass. And that is something that I really think dystopia should be more about than a person. 

Overall, I would say this is a perfect conclusion to a series and picked up by those who want to see a pretty decent ya dystopian.