Novella Reviews- Cruel Crown (Red Queen 0.1-0.2)

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Cruel Crown by Victoria Aveyard
Published by HarperTeen on January 5th, 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Dystopia
Novellas: Queen Song and Steel Scars
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Queen Song


Queen Coriane, first wife of King Tiberias, keeps a secret diary—how else can she ensure that no one at the palace will use her thoughts against her? Coriane recounts her heady courtship with the crown prince, the birth of a new prince, Cal, and the potentially deadly challenges that lay ahead for her in royal life.

Steel Scars

Diana Farley was raised to be strong, but being tasked with planting the seeds of rebellion in Norta is a tougher job than expected. As she travels the land recruiting black market traders, smugglers, and extremists for her first attempt at an attack on the capital, she stumbles upon a connection that may prove to be the key to the entire operation—Mare Barrow.


25005214.jpgQueen Song (Red Queen 0.1)

Pages: 53

This novella follows Coriane from when she is 16 to her death.

The story feels a little cramped, and I wish there was a lot more detail, but then again it is a short novella, so I didn’t expect it to be super detailed. I loved to learn more about Coriane, and Tiberius (or Tibe) as they met and got married and eventually had Cal.

This novella definitely gave me a lot more of the King’s background, and it’s so interesting to see him in this vs. how he is in the Red Queen books. It just goes to show how much Coriane’s death and Elara really affected him.

It was also really interesting to be able to see into Coriane’s head, through her diary entries, as she spiraled into Elana-induced insanity. It did feel a little rushed, but again, it is a short novella, so I didn’t expect it to be too detailed.
Although I don’t think this is a “must-read”, I am glad I read it, and it gave me a lot of insight into some of the less explored characters of the Red Queen series.

I am going to give Queen Song four out of five hearts.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥


untitledSteel Scars (Red Queen 0.2)

Pages: 94

Farley is one of my favorite characters from the Red Queen books, but sadly this novella fell a little short for me.

Farley was as cool as ever, but this story was a little confusing. There were these correspondences between the Scarlet Guard that took me forever to figure out how to decipher, which was pretty frustrating.

And then there was Shade. Beautiful, lovely Shade who I seriously love so much. I just don’t feel like this novella did him justice at all. Yeah, it was cute seeing how he and Farley met and started working together and stuff, but it felt like I was reading about a different Shade who kind of had the same characteristics as the Shade from the main novels… if that makes any sense.

This novella wasn’t bad at all, it just wasn’t as amazing as I hoped.

I am going to give Steel Scars three out of five hearts.

♥ ♥ ♥

Thanks for reading!!

And don’t forget to check out my reviews of the rest of the Red Queen Series:

Red Queen
Glass Sword
King’s Cage

Book Review- King’s Cage

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King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard
Published by HarperTeen on February 7, 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Dystopia
Pages: 528
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Mare Barrow is a prisoner, powerless without her lightning, tormented by her lethal mistakes. She lives at the mercy of a boy she once loved, a boy made of lies and betrayal. Now a king, Maven Calore continues weaving his dead mother’s web in an attempt to maintain control over his country—and his prisoner.

As Mare bears the weight of Silent Stone in the palace, her once-ragtag band of newbloods and Reds continue organizing, training, and expanding. They prepare for war, no longer able to linger in the shadows. And Cal, the exiled prince with his own claim on Mare’s heart, will stop at nothing to bring her back.

When blood turns on blood, and ability on ability, there may be no one left to put out the fire—leaving Norta as Mare knows it to burn all the way down.

If you have not read my review for the first two books in this series, click these links: Red Queen, Glass Sword

MY HEART!!! NOOOOOOO

Okay so I have so many feelings about this book. Like my heart has actually been destroyed.

Mare allowed herself to be captured so the ones she loves could get away. AND OH MY GOSH DOES SHE PAY FOR IT. I knew Maven was bad, but damn this took it too a whole new level. And then there were moments when I felt so bad for Maven and liked him and then I was reminded about what a bad person he is. The feels are too much here guys, it’s killing me.

My love for Mare is ever growing, and I just think she is an amazing character. She is so strong and resilient, even though she has been through so much. I just want a great ending for her. She deserves it.

The plot of this book was AMAZING too. It had me on the edge of my seat THE WHOLE TIME. There was a little foreshadowing, but for the most part I had no idea what was going to happen next and I NEEDED TO KNOW. Which meant yet again, I was up all night finding out the fate of Mare Barrow and the Guard.

Can I just take a second to address the FEELS IN THIS BOOK?!?! Everything was so raw and real. The love, the anguish, the heart break, the hope… it just all was too much for my poor heart. King’s Cage just ruined me. Completely.

The ending of this book (no spoilers, I promise) wrenched my heart out. WHY?!?!!?! HAS MARE NOT BEEN THROUGH ENOUGH?!?!?! I guess not. But I can not wait for the fourth book to find out what is going to happen.

If you love dystopia and have not read this series….. YOU DON’T LOVE DYSTOPIA. If you want a good dystopian series to read: LOOK NO FURTHER.

As you probably guessed, I am going to give King’s Cage five out of five hearts.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Book Review- Cress

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Cress by Marissa Meyer
Published by Feiwel and Friends on February 4 2014
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Dystopia, Retellings
Pages: 552
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In this third book in the Lunar Chronicles, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.

Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl imprisoned on a satellite since childhood who’s only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.

When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a higher price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.

Yet again I fell in love with the Lunar Chronicles.

This book introduced Cress to the team of Cinder, Scarlet, Wolf, Captain Thorne, and Iko (can’t forget the awesome android). Cress again added a new side to this wild ride of a story, and I was not let down. Her story (Meyer’s version of Rapunzel) was super cool (if you can call being locked in a satellite “cool”) and really interesting. And, at one point I literally stood up and starting screaming “WHAT???? NO… WHATTTTTT??” but I’m not going to tell you why because that would be giving away too much. You’re just going to have to read it to see what I’m talking about.

Again I loved both the character development and the plot progression. I loved that Kai’s struggle was also well integrated, and his character was not forgotten among all of the other stuff going on. I loved how everything was tied together, and now I need to get my hands on Winter so I can find out what happens because I am going slightly crazy with not knowing.

So, as you can see, I really enjoyed this book, and if you have read Cinder and Scarlet, I don’t know what you are waiting for. Read Cress. Just do it.

I am going to give Cress four out of five hearts.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Book Review- Glass Sword

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Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard
Published by Harper Teen on February 9 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Dystopia
Pages: 444
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If there’s one thing Mare Barrow knows, it’s that she’s different.

Mare Barrow’s blood is red—the color of common folk—but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control.

The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from Maven, the prince—the friend—who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.

Pursued by Maven, now a vindictive king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors.

But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat.

Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever?

The electrifying next installment in the Red Queen series escalates the struggle between the growing rebel army and the blood-segregated world they’ve always known—and pits Mare against the darkness that has grown in her soul.

*If you haven’t read my review of The Red Queen, click here

This book was every bit as exciting as The Red Queen, if not more. Quick warning: if you have not read The Red Queen, this review will probably contain some spoilers.

Mare, now on the run, is attempting to build a New Blood army to face King Maven. Everything about her journey is filled with heart pounding danger, and taunts from the new king. I love how Victoria Aveyard not only included physical struggles, but emotional and mental struggles. Mare is heartbroken. Cal is heartbroken. They struggle with Maven’s betrayal and struggle with the fact that now they are being hunted by the boy they once–and still–love.

There is a bit of a love “v” in this book, between Mare, Cal, and Kilorn. But it wasn’t in the cheesy-to-the-point-its-unbearable. It was actually very realistic, and wasn’t overplayed. The romance kind of took backseat, even though it did add a romantic element to the book that was very well done.

Lots of characters were introduced in this book; which makes sense considering Mare and her gang are trying to build an army. All of the characters, no matter how small they were, each had a distinct personality that made the story all the more interesting. I loved the interactions and the tensions and fights and battles and closeness and love and need. Everything felt honest and real. Also, not gonna give away too much here, but I definitely cried at the end. This book wrenched my heart out.

It’s really hard to hate any of Aveyard’s characters, and when I do hate them, I love to hate them. The Red Queen series so far is much better than I expected, and is a must-read for anyone who loves dystopia or anyone who wants to try a dystopian series.
I am going to give Glass Sword four out of five hearts.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Book Review- As I Wake

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As I Wake by Elizabeth Scott
Published by Dutton Books for Young Readers on September 15 2011
Genres: Young Adult, Dystopia, Romance,  Fantasy
Pages: 269
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Ava is welcomed home from the hospital by a doting mother, lively friends, and a crush finally beginning to show interest. There’s only one problem: Ava can’t remember any of them – and can’t shake the eerie feeling that she’s not who they say she is.

Ava struggles to break through her amnesiac haze as she goes through the motions of high-school life, but the memories that surface take place in a very different world, where Ava and familiar-faced friends are under constant scrutiny and no one can be trusted. Ava doesn’t know what to make of these visions, or of the boy who is at the center of them all, until he reappears in her life and offers answers . . . but only in exchange for her trust.

I really don’t even know where to start with this book. It was just “blah.” There was nothing.

The synopsis of this book makes it sound really cool. I was excited to read a book that I haven’t really seen around before, and I was hoping that I would be uncovering a hidden gem. I WAS WRONG.

From beginning to end this book was just confusing and weird. The characters had nothing special about them, and everything about all of them just felt forced and fake. There is honestly not a single character that I liked. I didn’t necessarily HATE them, there was just nothing there. Ava, the main character, was boring and not inspiring at all. She was just kind of “eh.” All of the characters were just kind of “eh.”

There was nothing necessarily bad about this book. I just didn’t feel anything. I was bored reading it, and I almost put it down too many times to count. But I kept reading because I had to believe that at some point there would be something about this book that made me feel something. Anything.

SPOILER ALERT: there wasn’t.

So would I recommend this book? Nope. Never. I’m sure that someone out there will feel something for these characters, but I wouldn’t inflict this level of boring while reading a book on anyone. Its just cruel.

I am going to give As I Wake one out of five hearts.

Book Review- Scarlet

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Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
Published by Feiwel and Friends on February 5, 2013
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Dystopia, Retellings
Pages: 454
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Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.

After reading Cinder, I knew that Scarlet was going to make or break this series for me. I was pleasantly surprised.

Scarlet, Meyer’s version of Little Red Riding Hood, turned out to be AWESOME. Her character was tough and determined, and the combination of her and Cinder (even though they are not facing the world together) make for a very interesting story.

I was worried (mostly based on the title of the book) that the continuation of Cinder’s story wouldn’t be explored in detail. But I was wrong. Both Scarlet and Cinder went on awe inspiring and heart pounding journeys, along with some pretty awesome side kicks. I loved the mystery of Wolf and Captain Thorne’s personality.

The character development in Scarlet really surprised me (in a good way), and the plot was amazing. This is one of the few books where both the characters and the plot drew the story onward. There was this beautiful balance of the two that made Scarlet a wonderful read that I had a hard time putting down. And even then I finished it in two days!

If you read Cinder and aren’t quite sure if you should read Scarlet, DO IT. SCARLET WAS SO MUCH BETTER.

I am going to give Scarlet four out of five hearts.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

 

Book Review- Cinder

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Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Published by Fiewel and Friends on January 3 2012
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Dystopia
Pages: 390
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Sixteen-year-old Cinder is considered a technological mistake by most of society and a burden by her stepmother. Being cyborg does have its benefits, though: Cinder’s brain interference has given her an uncanny ability to fix things (robots, hovers, her own malfunctioning parts), making her the best mechanic in New Beijing. This reputation brings Prince Kai himself to her weekly market booth, needing her to repair a broken android before the annual ball. He jokingly calls it “a matter of national security,” but Cinder suspects it’s more serious than he’s letting on.
Although eager to impress the prince, Cinder’s intentions are derailed when her younger stepsister, and only human friend, is infected with the fatal plague that’s been devastating Earth for a decade. Blaming Cinder for her daughter’s illness, Cinder’s stepmother volunteers her body for plague research, an “honor” that no one has survived.
But it doesn’t take long for the scientists to discover something unusual about their new guinea pig. Something others would kill for.

So, not the most original book in the world.

Let me introduce you to Earth, hundreds (?) of years in the future. We have new nations and new laws. We have a prince and an evil foreign queen who is threatening war on Earth. We have a not-so-common girl with a hostile step-family (minus, of course, her younger step-sister) who might just become a savoir. But, what was I expecting? I knew what I was getting myself into when I picked Cinder up.

To be fair, I actually enjoyed this book a lot. It was entertaining, even if it was slightly (read: totally) predictable. I could see the “twist” at the end from a mile away, and there was nothing super surprising. But, the characters were interesting and multi-dimensional, and I liked learning more about them. 

What I did really like about this book (that set it apart from other dystopias) was that it is a kind of retelling of Cinderella. I thought that was pretty cool. I also really liked the technology in the book, and the fact that Cinder was a cyborg.

I would recommend this book to anyone who loves dystopia and is looking for another series to dive into. This also would be a great first dystopia, for those of you who are looking for a place to start.

I am going to give Cinder three out of five hearts.

♥ ♥ ♥