Skyward Review

36642458Brandon Sanderson has done it again!

This story follows Spensa who lives on a world that is constantly under attack by aliens. In this world being a fighter pilot is deemed one of the most honourable and sought after positions in their society. Spensa’s father was a fighter pilot and was highly respected until one day when she was seven he deserted and was killed forever branding him as a coward. Now nine years later Spensa is trying to step out of her father’s shadow and become a pilot herself.

This is another example of how amazing Brandon Sanderson’s writing skills are. The world was built up wonderfully and the characters are flawed and highly developed.

Spensa is another strong female protagonist that isn’t afraid to speak up and voice her opinion. She has had to overcome so much adversity in her life, always having to defend herself and work so much harder to fight for what she wants because of what her father supposedly did. Her arc throughout the storyline was wonderful to read. She starts off as this cocky, overconfident cadet who is trying to prove herself worthy to a strong, self aware, more grounded (lol) pilot. The fact that she is able to acknowledge her flaws and express her emotions showed great growth in her character.

I also quietly enjoyed Jorgan as well. I thought he was a great contrast to Spensa, he was more rigid and by the book where she kind of flew off the cuff and was more spontaneous and prone to disobeying orders. I like that we get a look into his life and how different it was to Spensa’s, seemingly being handed everything to him on a silver platter as opposed to Spensa’s battle to belong. I like the subtle shift in their relationship as the story progressed and how it evolved into a more companionable and mutually respective friendship. Though the banter between them was fun and very entertaining to read.

The fact that the flight group kept dwindling really added a layer of urgency and pressure to the storyline. Every time they took off you didn’t know if everyone was going to make it and that really kept me engaged in the plot.

M-bot added a nice spark as well. The communication between him and Spensa was witty and light in comparison to some of the darker tones that the book was evoking. The same with Cobb, he really had Spensa’s back from the start and he was a great buffer to the Admiral. He kind of acted as a lifeline to Spensa’s father and added some insight to that day he defected, I like that he still honoured his friendship to her father by being her mentor.

All in all I was very much invested in the characters and the plot. The battles and the simulation were exciting and precarious. There were definitely rumblings of political schemes in play so I can see it really evolving and expanding a whole lot more in the books to come! Some of the flight jargon and manoeuvrings slowed me down and bored me a little but the overall plot and storyline was very captivating to read!

⭐️4.5/5 stars from someone who isn’t a great fan of sci-fi this was GREAT!!

Truthwitch Review

truthwitchI loved this!

Safiya is a Truthwitch and is able to discern truth from lies and Iseult is a Threadwitch, she is able to see the threads that are bound to everyone showing their emotions and bonds to those around them. Ever since Safiya saved Iseult’s life when they were children then have become bonded and will do anything to protect each other. Safiya’s powers are highly sought after, especially amongst the nobility in which she was born, so she has to keep it a secret or else she could be used as a political pawn. All they want is to live their own lives free of the war that is about to break out in the Witchlands.

It was a little hard to get into the book at the start as there are lot of facts and information and names thrown at you from the get go and it took me a minute to get established in the story. But after I found myself situated I was swept away into this world. I love the distinguishing characteristics between all of the witches and their different abilities and the varying levels of power and respect given. There are multiple storylines and POVs throughout the course of the book and it really kept me invested.

Iseult and Safiya are now among some of my favourite female protagonists. I love their companionship and loyalty that they share. You can really see the depth of their friendship and how much they mean to each other. They both value and complement each other perfectly in my opinion.

Safiya’s tenacity was soo entertaining to read. She really shone for me in this book and I love her single-mindedness in terms of Iseult’s safety and health. I also loved seeing her subtly evolve throughout the story as well. She realises some of her flaws and actively tries to adjust herself for the better.

Iseult’s backstory really captivated me as well. I found myself really engaging and empathising with her as she is quite ostracised from everyone because of where she comes from. She still holds her head high and really embraces herself, which made me like her even more!

I love that the story starts off pretty basic and continues to grow and become more convoluted and complex and the plot unfolds. We are introduced to a lot of different characters with different magical abilities with everyone really having their own political agenda’s and reasoning. It makes for a very fast paced and action packed story that I highly enjoyed!

⭐️4.5/5 slow start but a wild ending!

The Evolution of Mara Dyer Review

91YuaCtgoILI think the title really set the tone of the book.

Mara Dyer has woken up in a psychiatric hospital after blacking out at the police station. She is adamant that she did indeed see Jude and he wasn’t a hallucination, but no one other than Noah believes her. How did Jude survive the asylum collapsing and why has he resurfaced now?

This was a rollercoaster ride from the beginning to the end. The pace was slow at the start but there was a gradual build up as the story continued. There was a sense of urgency and fear woven throughout the plot and desperation to find the answers to various questions surrounding Mara’s mental health.

Mara I feel did evolve a lot from the first book. She is more self aware and even afraid of herself and what she could potentially do to those around her. I like that she is trying so hard to fight through and overcome her condition and figure out what is happening even though she is terrified.

Noah again I really enjoyed. He also showed a different side of himself than what we originally seen. He is more open and unreserved and shows more emotion as he digs deeper into the connection of his and Mara’s powers. I just find him to be so engaging and captivating and I feel as if there is so much more to his story than what we’ve been given so far.

The introduction of the new characters in the outpatient clinic I felt added an extra layer of unpredictability to the story. I love that Jamie made a reappearance and I was happy that Mara had a friend that she could lean on whilst she was being evaluated at every turn. Someone who is normal and could still somewhat relate to what she is going through at the moment.

I really could not predict what was going to happen in this book and it really took a turn that I did not see coming. The last hundred or so pages was very thrilling and suspenseful and it really kept me turning the pages. I like the paranormal twist to this series and how it is not just solely focused on Mara. It has become a lot broader and expanded the plot to a point where anything can happen.

With that being said I do feel like this book was longer than what it could have been. I feel like for a good third of the book it is just centered on Mara agonising and overanalysing every situation. It could definitely have been condensed and still wouldn’t have lost any of the major points of the plot.

There are still so many questions that haven’t been answered and I am eagerly anticipating picking up the third book in this series ASAP!

⭐️4/5 stars Entertaining, thrilling & suspenseful!! 

Always and Forever Lara Jean Review

9781534406674Ok Kavinsky has finally won me over.

I’m not going to go too in depth with this review as it is the concluding novel to a series, but I did have some feels after completing this book.

Lara Jean and Peter Kavinsky have been dating now for nearly a year and their lives have settled into this cute little bubble of happiness. However, the future looms over them with some difficult choices that they are eventually going to have to make.

I thought Jenny Han perfectly captured the mood. The real life realities and decisions that Lara Jean and Peter have to make could definitely relate to a lot of people. You could feel the emotion and the hesitation and doubt start to creep into their lives and it didn’t feel contrived in any way.

I was very proud of Peter in this book. I started to see a more three-dimensional side to him and I like that he showed different, more genuine feelings. I think in the first two books he felt a little too good to be true and I couldn’t really imagine their kind of relationship in real life. But the miscommunication and the misconceptions was heartfelt and true and it was really endearing. He didn’t give up on Lara Jean and the fact that he wants to fight for their relationship solidified his position in my eyes.

I love that Lara Jean distracts herself with baking and scrapbooking, she is such a unique female protagonist and I like that she isn’t cookie cutter (lol). She maintains her identity throughout her relationship with Peter and she is doesn’t try to conform in any way.

Everything came together so wonderfully. I was honestly soo entertained; I didn’t know what was going to happen next. There were some very real familial issues being dealt with throughout the story in both Peter and Lara Jean’s lives that added a layer of complexity to the plot. I really enjoyed this series, Lara Jean especially grew a lot and became a lot less naïve and a lot more forthright, which I loved.

⭐️4/5 stars I really liked it!

Smoke in the Sun Review

31394243Okami has been captured and Mariko will stop at nothing to rescue him. She tricks her brother and her betrothed Prince Raiden into believing she was being held by the Black Clan against her will and decides to play the part of the innocent bride to be and follow through on her plans.

I like the multiple perspectives given in the book, I felt they added more layers to the storyline and wove together the plot well. I felt each character was very distinguishable and had a distinct role to play in the storyline.

Mariko really matured a lot for me in this book. I felt she handled herself very admirably under immensely high-pressured scenes and maintained her focus and drive throughout the course of the book. Her tenacity and ingenuity was a highlight and her compassion really shone through the pages.

I actually quite liked Prince Raiden. Even though he is fiercely loyal to his brother as the Sovereign he still managed to display empathy and subtly defy his brothers orders without being traitorous. Even though he is made out to be quite unlikeable throughout the course of the book the fact that he got to redeem himself and his family was very satisfying to me.

Kenshin and his subplot was another aspect of the story that I was invested in. The fact that he is made out to the unwavering Samurai and the ‘Dragon of Kai” yet still succumbs to his own demons and the grief over the loss of his love was endearing and made him more genuine.

The build up and pacing of this book was very well done. There wasn’t really any point in time where I was bored and it was a very quick engaging read for me. The political and royal intrigue was very captivating and the plot really progressed in a way that I could not guess the outcome. I felt it kind of wrapped itself up a little too quickly and cleanly. There was definitely more opportunity to draw it out and build up the anticipation to more of a crescendo. It was just a little too rushed at the end. There are just a few components in the plot that wasn’t really finalised for me and there were moments that hinted that there was more to the story and this just didn’t feel like the ending to a duology more so a second book in a trilogy. I would pick up a third book in a heartbeat!

⭐️4/5 stars I was highly invested in these characters, loved this duology, wanted a trilogy!