Review of A Gathering of Shadows by VE Schwab

I’ll be the first one to admit that the first book in this series didn’t feel very satisfying by the end of it. A Darker Shade of Magic seemed like the whole book had been set up much more to explain this new world –understandable since there are four variations of the same one, that are of course different, and that one of the characters (and the bad guy) can visit at will. An ability that is dying, seeing as only one person can now travel thru kingdoms.

But there was not much on the way of story, or at least not for me. It felt like the basis of a great series that had not yet been fulfilled, but just barely begging to touch how great it could be, and the many twist and turns the story could take.

A Gathering of Shadows was much better, hence the 4 out of 5 Star rating.

Four because I felt like it took forever to get on with it, and because Kell, true to character, most of the time– annoys me to no end.

This book is right after what they are now calling the black plague. Meaning the remnants of the backlash the first book left them to deal with. Kell is now more a prisoner than he had ever been. He’s been treated like a pet that is at the end of a leash, and has no escape. Only he does have an escape, but because of the fact that his life is now truly attached to that of his brothers, he can’t do much about this feelings, other than fantasize about it. Fantasize about leaving for good, about disappearing. Like Lila had done.

A Gathering of Shadows is told from several perspectives. Rhy’s, Kell, Lila, and even sometimes a new character that just happen to be Lila’s captain, he is a very interesting individual, to say the least.  One the is dangerous and refreshing in turns.

This second instalment of the series is much more entertaining and we all get to see much more of this new world, away from the capital and the palace while traveling with Lila and the charming captain and his crew. However, as fate will have it, the things that Lila and Kell thought to be hidden, are coming back to life to hunt him down in Red London. The one place where they all thought that no one would be able to follow him. The enemies that he thought long gone and defeated, where but biding their time to strike back at him, and use him to his own purposes. And the characters all converge, in one way or another at the Essen Tach. The magician tournament that is held in Red London this year, where magicians of all the three regions – of the Red World, come to this capital to demonstrate their strength and stealth, and of course, to show each other what the one next to you can do, in case a war could be on the horizon. Political tug a war at its best, only with magic.

I liked the characters much better in this one because they are coming out of their shell, and because you can see the evolution from the first book, and the backlash it caused, reflected in this one. Lila is as clever as ever, borderline reckless, and she knows it, but of course, this had never stoped her from doing what she wants. Kell is more dark and distant that ever, while at the same time haunted by everything his brother and him are doing and have done. The Essen Tach becomes his only way of blowing some steam and playing the bad boy, for once, because while entertaining his participation is highly illegal. How ever, compared to all the times the brothers have been suffering under this new “arrangement” the Essen Tach becomes the only way of letting go of some of the magic that has been strangling him for the past couple of months and; not only for him, but for Rhy, who now has to suffer along side Kell, for all one does, the other does as well, no matter if the counterpart wants to or not.

More complications, some answers and yet more questions, this book was finally the magical adventure that I was waiting for, and it delivered. I can’t wait for the next one to be out and in my hands.

A Conjuring of Light is the next and last book of The Shades of Magic Series by V.E Schwab, and it will be available February 21st, 2017; here is the link to the pre-order site in Amazon, in case you want to double check it.

https://www.amazon.com/Conjuring-Light-Shades-Magic/dp/0765387468/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1471086860&sr=8-4&keywords=A+Gathering+of+shadows

That’s all I have for y’all today. I hope you enjoyed the review, and please don’t forget to comment if you did, or if you have some other books you would like me to try. I’d love to hear your recommendations.

Stay tuned for the next week, I’ll be posting my review of Me Before You by Jojo Moyes.

Have a great rest of the day, and keep reading.

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Pre-Launch Review of Raelia by Lynette Noni. Book Two in the Medoran Chronicles

Two reviews in two days! I could not help myself, specially when this books launch is tomorrow. I wanted y’all to be warned in case you want to run to your local library tomorrow of get the Kindle edition. Stay tuned for more reviews!

I’ve literally just finished Alex’s last adventure and I am still a bit giddy about it all. The whole book is another great installment of a Series that I have now become a fan of, since I can’t wait for the third one to be released and the second is still a day away until the release date on the 23rd. So it’s going to be a tough time without them.

Here is what to expect of Realia.

Alex, Bear and Dix reunite in Realia after a summer apart with their families. Because of the events that tested them at the end of the year, they are now closer than ever. So their friendship remains intact. How ever this time we get to go into the lost -for thousands of years- city of Meya. In an effort to warn the Meyarin about Aven’s plans, and the lengths he is willing to go to, in order to get what he wants. How ever in turn, they help her just as much as she them, because Roka, the presumed dead prince –and Aven’s brother; helps her discover something else that could save her life if she had to use it in the future. A dormant, recently acquired ability, I guess you could say.

This books so far have not disappointed, they are full of adventure, action and in this one, there is even a bit of romance, if only starting to sprout, from more than one angle. It’s also great to see the characters get out of their comfort zone and fight against the odds, mostly when those are not in their favor.

Raelia has a lot more challenges than the previous one, if only because as we go, there are more encounters and the danger encompassing Akarnae, Alex, Dix, Bear and Jordan increase.

I especially like the library as a character as well, because it’s unpredictable and it also clues you in, when you are paying attention, of course. Also, the author writes the suspense for the final moments of the book very good. Building tension while also letting you pick up clues along the way that made me yell at Alex to stop and think for a second. Of course, she didn’t, but still, that means there is another book- hopefully in the near future; and I for one, can’t wait.

 

So yes, I do recommend the series, not just this book. Make sure you pick up Akarnae and Raelia if you enjoy Adventure, Fantasy and good humor. You’ll get a full plate of all, and then some more, it also does not hurt to know that there are at least five books in this series. The next one is called Draekora – I love all the names BTW. But I have no idea when is this one going to be launched.

 

You can get more info from the author if you follow her on social media –like I do. She’s also done some YouTube videos, so make sure to check that out.

 

As always, keep reading y’all. I’ll be back soon with another review.

 

 

 

Review of the Martian by Andy Weir

Review of The Martian by Andy Weir.

Compelling, captivating and intense.

Clear your schedule ladies and gents, because this book will keep you glued to the page whether you want it or not.

 

I started it thinking I was going to put it back down in two chapters. I am not much for Martians, in general. The first book I have ever being able to read related to space and the like, is Cinder, and there is a BIG difference between that and this. But I’d checked it out of the library, forgot about it, and in the absence of anything else, plus trying not to re-read any of my other “for sure” books, I stepped out of my comfort zone.

 

And I am so happy I did!

 

The Martian was nothing like I was expecting. It pulled me into the story in the fist page, and by the tenth I was telling my best friend about it, and laughing at Mark with her.

To summarize: For those of you that have not heard of the book or the movie: Mark is an astronaut – Oh no!, Yes of course, he is, duh- he is part of an expedition of a total of six people –very smart people with more than two doctorates that work for NASA- and are in the middle of an expedition in Mars, the planet. Because of weather conditions, and complications that could compromise their lives, they have to make a decision that will have them abort their mission much to early; so Commander Lewis decides the storm is too strong, and they should evacuate immediately, because they run the risk of the MAV (Mars Ascent Vehicle, pretty much the space ship that gets them to and from orbit when they have to descend into Mars and when they have to ascend to go back home, ) their ticket back home, getting damaged in the storm. So out they go, into the storm, all six of them, holding onto each other for guides to go back into the ship, aborting the mission only six days in, because of this unanticipated complication. Here is where the problem comes in. Bad luck really. Part of the antennae that the use to be able to communicate back with Huston brakes in the storm, and it sunk into Mark’s side and his suit. With the suit giving no indication of live from the last reading (their suits record this in case there is any emergency), they all look for a while, but ultimately have to leave the planet, leaving Marks body behind, and taking the only ship that could get anyone out of Mars, along with everything that they were going to use while they were up there in their mission.

The bad part; He is not dead. Not even a little bit, and now he is in Mars, by himself, with nothing but his wits, knowledge in botany and engineering plus the will to live as long as possible for a rescue to be plausible.

And so it begins, the struggle between one man, alone, fighting one planet.

I got to tell you. The planet almost won, several times. But Mark Watney went on and on…

 

I particularly enjoy the way it’s told. Very much so like a diary in which you talk to yourself most of the time. Relaying what you did in the day, explaining it in a way that all the physics, and chemistry of it does not become a big question mark, -in his words, because he hopes, that if he dies, maybe someone else would read it, if he ever figures out a way to get out- and more importantly its not a big BLAH that you just read over, hoping to get out of the technical stuff.

You are with him the whole time. Trough happy times, and screw-ups. You would not thing there could be a lot of action in a book like this, were someone is living in a planet –that’s if I leaned correctly- died millions – probably longer- of years ago. You would be wrong how ever. He gets blown up. More than once actually. He needs to make water out of gasses that are tanked, and that is more than a little tricky, which lead to him bouncing of the panels of the Hab (high-end tent they use with the ability to hold and atmosphere so that the astronauts can live in there without having to wear the suits) because he was burning hydrogen to dispose of it, since it had concentrated to much in the water making process, to what he calls: Kill-Mark-Levels.

Then there are the modifications of equipment that was simply not designed to go past the date in which they would depart and then just flat out bad luck again.

 

The whole time, this book bounces back between him, and NASA. Trying to figure out how the hell is he alive and what can they do about it?

There is not part of this book that did not leave me wanting to read more, even when I got to the end.

 

I give it a 5 of 5 stars because it’s not only a book with a great story, unique point of view and a compelling narrative, but also one that I would buy and re-read any time. It ight just have earned a place in my “for sure” list of books that are always in my back pocket when I read something that just does not cut it.

 

I just wish I could know more after the ending. But of course, it’s called The Martian. Not What the Martian did once they can get his ass back.

 

I hope you guys enjoyed the review. I –clearly- enjoyed the book, and am pleasantly surprised by how much. Of course, if you were looking for a recommendation to start it. Here it is. Read it! It’s wonderful.

If you want to listen to a comparison between the Book and its movie adaptation, here is the link:

http://www.spreaker.com/user/ccalvarez90

or you can see the review on the BookTube Channel:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcIprJqAdbUN-3hnCo6_viA

I’ll se y’all soon with more reviews, videos and audio reviews!

Until then, keep on reading!

Review of the Exile a Graphic Novel by Diana Gabaldon, Illustrated by Hoang Nguyen

Hello y’all and welcome back to another review!

Happy New Year to all, and I hope that this year is a great one!

Without further ado, here is my review on the Exile, a Graphic Novel:

I found this comic book to be a great addition for any Outlander fan, as well as something that would get a lot of other people hooked on the story, probably not knowing the size of the books.

I am not a big fan of comic books, I’ve always preferred the more full on, complex and consequently large novels  rather than the ones with illustrations. How ever, this being a Diana Gabaldon book, it was guarantied to be longer than your usual graphic novel, and the story, while still keeping in with the original, has some new tales with in it that I wanted to know, so i was sold.

This one is told through Jamie and Murtagh’s point of view gives the readers who have read the original Outlander story a more rounded view of all the events that passed without Claire knowing about them. Its refreshing, enticing and very enjoyable, and i am pleased that it was not at all repetitive, at least not in a way that makes you feel like you are reading the same book, just in another format.

While i would have loved to have the whole book in this format, I know that if that where to happen that book would be virtually uxliftable, not to mention very difficult to read. To try and tell that very complicated story in a Graphic Novel format would mean to divide it into books like this that the reader can lift without the help of a lectern or similar object.

The artistry is amazing. Not your typical two faced/two expression drawings of the characters that we know and love. But a more full range of emotions that show both in the artistry as well as the prose that companies it.

All in all, I could not have picked a better book for my first adult comic book. I give it a 5 out of 5 stars, and would recommend it to y’all.

Now if you’ll excuse me. I am going to go re-read Outlander… again.

XOX

Review of the Bloodlines Series by Richelle Mead

Star Rating: 5 stars

If you want to listen to this review click here:

Bloodline Series in order:

  1. Bloodlines
  2. The Golden Lily
  3. The Indigo Spell
  4. The Fiery Heart
  5. Silver Shadows
  6. The Ruby Circle

I wanted to wait, as I usually do, to finish the whole thing before reviewing it as a first impression and jinxing it. Since lately no matter how great a series or single book starts, more times than not, I end up disappointed. For this I had high hopes and now that it is finished I can recommend it to you all!

I loved Vampire Academy too, but in a different way. For me the books got a lot better when Adrian entered the picture, and the best part of it (although I didn’t know that when I read it) is that it created a premise for this series in witch you see the characters grow trough out all 12 books (counting both series’ together) and even so, you still want to know more. Or at least I did. That in on itself makes a great series for me.

It’s all about Sidney, the alchemist that helped Rose and Dimitri under the orders of “Smey” or the snake also AKA Rose’s father and Adrian, who is now linked to Jillian or “Jailbait”, since, that is her nickname.

Her mission now is taking care of Jillian Mastrano Dragomir, the illegitimate (now less so) daughter of Lissa’s father and her only living relative, not to mention the one person that could make the difference  in whether or not Lissa can hold the throne per Moroi law (every ruler has to at least have one more living relative in order for them to be elected Moroi queen or king) and so she is now to be hidden from rebels who think Lissa is not fit to be a ruler and the alchemist have to play a part to it.

I love Adrian in the Vampire Academy and the fact that he and Rose didn’t find there happily ever after, as predictable as that was, stung a bit. He is one of those characters that make you love him simply because he not only has the charisma but the heart to accompany it.  I felt he was owed a story, all by himself, not as someone else’s side kick and when I heard that this series was finished and it game my favorite character another chance, his chance, I had to read it.

For me it has it all:

  1. Long series with long books
  2. Great characters that you can no only empathize with, but also become while reading about them
  3. The transformation is also great; the fact that they appear in the Vampire Academy and have non-too small roles helps a lot to.
  4. The story surprises you more often than not. Just when you thought it was on one line, it changes to another. I like a book that can keep me on my toes.
  1. The best thing about the series is how the characters change.

Take Sidney for example:

She is an alchemist who was raised with a lot of hang-ups about Moroi and Damphirs. How they are all evil creatures that are not natural and there for should not exist. She is how ever forced to sacrifice herself for the good of her family, weather is by vengeance and the repayment of a debt or by going to the the Moroi’s bidding and following orders once again. She goes from having to be  here, to wanting to be there… and well, if I tell y’all more I might as well relate the books! But I am sure you get the point I am trying to make.

Ill be back soon with another review!

Don’t forget to check YouTube for videos and fun booktube tags!

Also, here are all the ways you can connect with me:

Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/igeekbooks

Twitter: @ccalvarez90

Blog: http://thesupernaturalportal.blogspot.com

WordPress:https://igeekbooks.wordpress.com

Whattpad:@CarolinaCardonaAlvar

YouTube:https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcIprJqAdbUN-3hnCo6_viA/videos

Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/168066-the-bookish-club

Review of the Lunar Chronicles Series by Marissa Meyer

The Lunar Chronicles Review of Books 1-3

Hello y’all! I know I have done reviews of the books separate until now, and I will touch on the last one individually for this review. However I did wanted to reach out to all those of you who have yet to read this books. Because is my truthful opinion that you should give them a try.

It’s got everything that you could possibly wish for in a Fantasy Series. Like what?! Well I am glad you asked!

1-    It provides you with a whole other way to see the future of earth.

2-    The characters are relatable and based on Fairy Tales, but not so much that you already know what it’s going to happen…

3-    The endings surprise you at every turn, and new characters join the book family in each new book.

4-    They’re Cyborgs, robots, Escortbots, Lunars and genetically enhanced warrior/lunar beings.

5-    Deceit, power struggles, politics, fights, romance…

6-    I am calling it the whole package.

Cress in particular was a great book. I loved that since Cinder, the author has branched out a bit more and given us perspectives of almost all characters in the book that are relevant. We get to see inside their minds and know the whys of their decisions and behavior. Understand them a bit better if you will.

This book is a whole other perspective, and it brings someone that we saw in Cinder back. Cress. The girl who is trapped in a satellite (and has been there for 7 years) and forced to do all kinds of spying for Levana and “Mistress” Sybil.

Ok, here is where if you don’t like to have some details of the book you disconnect and go read it.

Spoilers from here on!

It turns out Cress is a great Hackers and it’s the reason why Cinder and her friends have yet to be caught by the spy satellite’s that are looking for them all over earth. She is keeping them safe without the knowing of it. After all she did warned Cinder to go into the ball and tell prince Kai that Levana will most likely kill him after they get married, so she could be Empress and rule Earth as well as Luna…

Cinder remembers the girl, and since she still has the lunar chip that can safely communicate with her, she attempts contact with the one person who can help her try to stop the marriage and also, Kai’s impending death…

It’s a great book, filled with mystery, adventure, running around, planning and fights.  Cinder has to push her boundaries and her Lunar gift, now more than ever in order to save Kai. She has to put herself and others in danger again for the sake of the prince and the Eastern Commonwealth. While her friends try to help her, and altogether survive the curve balls that are thrown at them.

I found it a very pleasant read. Fast paced and interesting. Always adding more key ingredients to the mix to keep me on my toes and make me keep turning page after page.

I hope y’all enjoy it and much as I did.

Here are the links of the books that are out as of right now and the last one Winter, that will be available on November 10th of this year.

Cinder:

Scarlet:

Cress:

Fairest: Levana’s Story

Winter:

Click in any of the above links and they will take you to the amazon page of the books,

If you want to keep in touch for daily updates, read alongs, video and audio reviews you can follow me on:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/igeekbooks

Twitter: @ccalvarez90 https://twitter.com/ccalvarez90

Spreaker: http://www.spreaker.com/user/ccalvarez90

WordPress: https://igeekbooks.wordpress.com

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcIprJqAdbUN-3hnCo6_viA/videos

Talk to y’all soon!

Caro

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer; Review; Book Two in the Lunar Chronicles Series

I think I have said it before, and I will say it again. I absolutely adore this series. Its one of the few ones that I have recently read who have the power to shock me to my core while having my stomach twisted in knots depending on what Cinder, Scarlet, Iko, Thorne

and Wolf where about to do or currently doing.

This book is a bit different, in a very good way. Its in more perspectives than that of Cinder our known and loved main character, and the reason for all the trouble that’s going on around New Beijing and lets face it, since this book, the world.

I spent the whole book talking to myself and the book, trying to tell Scarlet that from the little I remember about Little Red Ridding Hood, Wolf (I mean come on, yes, that is his name, no, it does not get more suggestive than that) it’s the one that eats Granny right?

But regardless of that or maybe because of that, this book was amazing!

It’s written with a great flow that will have you going from character to character in a seamless way. Very different from the way Cinder finished, so I count that as a plus. Although I have never been a fan for cliffhangers, especially when it comes to books.

More over, I love to see characters grow into what they are destined to be, and also what they want to be, because of a culmination of events that leads them to that place. Or maybe because they are done putting up the other cheek when time and time again people disappoint them. In this case, Scarlet was as a great second book and the perfect stepping stone to show us what Cinder will do in the future. Even tough its not revealed completely since we all know that there is another book afterwards, Cress.

Here are the Books in Order:

Cinder

Scarlet

Cress

Winter (Not out yet, available for pre-order on amazon)

Click here for the Lunar Chronicles Series on amazon

The Bottom line here is that I cannot wait until I am able to sink into Cress and just completely immerse myself in this story’s next step, not just for Cinder, but all the characters involved here that we have known and loved and suffered with trough out the whole adventure/fugitive of the law thing they have going for them.

If you do not like this type of books, and by this type I mean, alien, robot, futuristic kinds. I am here to tell you that I did not either until I found the right series for me. It turns out the Lunar Chronicles are not something that I tolerate or read only because they are hip, but because I thoroughly enjoy all aspects of the books and I will sincerely recommend them.

I do hope you give them a try.

I will see you guys soon!

XOX

Caro