(Netgalley Review) Corruption and Politics, Princes and Princesses, and Handsome Assassins

 

The last thing Lia wants is to be a First Daughter, or at least the First Daughter of the King and Queen of Morrighan, a country trying to form an alliance with their enemy Dalbreck with an arranged marriage– her marriage. But Lia isn’t having any of it. Instead of being married to a pompous prince she had never seen before, she and her maid make a break for it, escaping to the small town of Terravin. Lia knows this will get a bounty on her head and people will be looking for her. But she didn’t know the prince of Dalbreck would come after her himself, nor did she expect an assassin from the barbarian Vendans, whose futures depend on an alliance between Morrighan and Dalbreck never being made.

 

This book definitely made a good impression on me and I’ll be looking out for its sequel which comes out in 2015. I loved the plot and characters for the most part and I think Lia is a very strong character. I’m glad they showed how Lia had more freedom growing up and how she was influenced on her brothers because that explained why she was so headstrong. After all, if she had lived a more sheltered life, her character would just seem like a phenomenon produced by mediocre writing. I also like the Prince, Rafe. He is definitely a fantastic character and so attractive. This book has a love triangle between Rafe, Lia, and the assassin, Kaden, but I am rooting for Rafe all the way.

I did have some problems for the plot, however. I think Lia jumped to conclusions on the prince’s age way too quickly. She had enough reasons for not wanting to marry him without adding that into the mix, and it just seemed strange for her to conclude that he was twice his age based off of seeing his father. After all, if the men marry old, which seems like the norm here, then there will be a huge age gap between them and their children. Also, I thought the reason for the assassination was a little weak. A bride running away on her wedding day is a huge slap in the face and things were tense as it was between Morrighan and Dalbreck. Even if Lia did return, the king of Dalbreck would probably refuse to let them marry anyway. Why kill her?

Also, I don’t like Kaden’s character at all. Yes, he’s supposed to be flawed, but does he have to be a hypocrite? He has so many pity parties for himself throughout the story, like when he is sure Lia regard him as an animal, or when he is thinking about all the injustices done to him (granted his life hasn’t been a walk in the park for sure) but he has no compassion for Lia even though he kidnapped her, one of the barbarians wants to rape her, and she finds out her captors killed her pregnant sister-in-law. Also, he is very prejudiced against royals in general and makes a lot of disdainful remarks about them in front of Lia and yet he thinks it’s incredibly unfair of her to be prejudiced even though he was going to kill her, but they kidnapped her, and they have given her no reason at all to like them. Really, Kaden? Don’t be a dick.

Aside from the above complaints, though, A Kiss of Deception is a fantastic book that will appeal to Lord of the Rings and Great and Terrible Beauty fans alike.

http://www.indiebound.org/book/

 

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Teaser Tuesdays: The Chronicles of Narnia

This week I unfortunately haven’t had too much time to read, but I did finish a book that I’ll be reviewing later in the week, and I’m taking the time to reread one of my favorites, The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. I came across the whole series in one book and I’m incredibly excited to be rereading them. So, without further ado…

 

Crows and crockery!” muttered the Dwarf as soon as he had done so. “

What are they? Huge people– beautiful  people– like gods and goddesses and giants.

Hundreds and thousands of them, closing in behind us. What are they?”

“It’s the Dryads and the Hamadryads and the Silvans,”

said Trufflehunter. “

Aslan has wakened them.”  (The Chronicles of Narnia, pg 403

http://www.indiebound.org/book/

 

(Netgally Review Copy) Bobby Ether and the Academy

Bobby Ether didn’t know there was anything special about him until right before his life went to Hell, when he made an impossible shot in the last few minutes of his middle school basketball game. Then he was taken by a woman named Cassandra who was supposedly there to protect him. When he escaped, he found himself in the safety of a place in China  for gifted individuals called the Academy, where the Headmistress told him his parents had died in a car accident arranged by Cassandra. Bobby enrolls into the Academy, determined to avenge his parents. But soon it is evident that the Academy isn’t all that it seems, and he begins to wonder how safe he is there.

I chose this book from Netgalley because the description sounded really cool, and I was hoping the interesting adventure-promising blurb had more validity than the rather boring cover. However, it took a little persevering for me to really enjoy this book. I mean, I’m all for action-filled beginnings, but there was so much action in the first part of the story, that I couldn’t really get any sympathy for Bobby, not even after his parents died. Then after the action is gone, the story drags a little and it was still hard for me to like Bobby. It wasn’t until he befriended Jinx that I got any real interest for the storyline. However, after that, it’s all awesome adolescent-fantasy-adventure. Jinx is cool in his own nerdy way, and Bobby liking him finally lets me see him as a likable character. The storyline after that gets better as we see that something shady is going on behind the scenes of the Academy and has been for years, and after the great cliffhanger ending, I would definitely read a sequel. So, if this genre is your cup of tea, and you have the ability to power through the beginning, then I definitely recommend it.

You can buy Bobby Ether and the Academy here:

http://www.indiebound.org/book/

An Appointment on the Edge of Forever by Perrin Pring

There are two types of heroes: those born into the role, and those who kind of stumbled across it and have no idea what they’re doing. Fillion Ker III falls into the latter of these categories. As one of the top Dream Searcher in the world, he was just doing his job chasing a particularly hard and interesting Summons through the Tierameng, a different dimension that dreams get connected to. But when he caught the Summons, he was told that he couldn’t report it or he would be dead in a few days, and he had to go to a locker and he would have all he needed to find a girl that needed to be found. With the help of a Living Document and the captain and crew of a mostly legal transport ship he needed to find the last of the Chozen, who are were  the universe’s only hope against the Tioris, fallen god-like beings who  are enslaving the entire universe.

This was a really good story. All of the characters were well-developed and the plot was complex but at the same time easy to follow. I loved Fillion’s bungling nature and the back and the back and forth between him and the first mate, Red. It was a really funny story and I can’t wait to read the sequel. The only thing I had a problem with was the constant switching of POVs. Sometimes it worked, but there were a few times where it made it hard to focus. Aside from that, it was a good story.

 

You can find the book here: <a href=”http://www.indiebound.org/book/9781909224711?aff=KaraSkinner”>http://www.indiebound.org/book/</a&gt;

 

<a id=”rc-b46c170″ href=”http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b46c170/” rel=”nofollow”>a Rafflecopter giveaway</a>

Elixir by Hilary Duff

On January 12, 2001, the first episode of Lizzie McGuire was aired. After that, Hilary Duff was the teen celebrity every teen should wish to be. After being a TV and a movie star, as well as making several albums, Duff never resorted to drugs and alcohol. In fact, she has done a lot of charity work, including Blessings in a Backpack, an organization dedicated to giving children proper nutrition when they would otherwise not get it. Definitely not the typical teen celebrity.

So it should come as no surprise that she would write a book.

Elixir doesn’t have an original concept. It’s about an immortal man falling in love with the reincarnation of his fiance century after century and enduring the pain of watching her get murdered over and over. However, it is well written with a style that tends to alternate from humorous to dark easily and gradually. But her main character, Clea, is a little too contradictive to be realistic. She’s a photojournalist who loves her job and can see poetry and magic in the scenery around her, and she can be fascinated by the human emotions she captures with her camera. But she is very skeptical of mythology- like the Elixir of Eternal Life for instance- even after seeing the wonder in the world around her and having a father who believed in mythology like fact. Her disdain for myths and magic seems out-of-character and poorly judged on Duff’s part.

Aside from Clea’s flaw, the characters are well-planned and they interact with a great chemistry. Reyna, Clea’s best friend is especially lovable with her romantic view of the world and the way she can see an adventure- and a hot guy- at every turn. Her protectiveness of Clea as well as her ability to guess Clea’s feelings just shows how close the friends are.

Hilary Duff definitely has writing talent. With some more experience, she can easily be an exceptional writer.

Elixir is for teens who like romantic fantasy and the idea of immortality. 

You can find Elixir here: http://www.indiebound.org/book/