Sunday, January 29, 2017

Awake by Susan Beneville, Brian Hess (Illustrator) - Comic Volume 1

Awake by Susan Beneville, Brian Hess (Illustrator), Comic

Comic Book Synopsis

Awake by Susan Beneville, Brian Hess (Illustrator), Comic, Volume 1, Issue #1-#4
Twelve year-old Regn has the power to wake and heal planets. But, on her first mission, she lands on Gremon where she discovers an angry planet tearing itself apart, an irresponsible big brother, and a greedy baron who stokes the chaos for his own benefit. Her power may not be enough when she comes face-to-face with the planet’s consciousness. Awake

My Opinion

5/5 stars.
Fans of the Italian comic W.i.t.c.h. will love to read this comic. It has magic. It has people who maintain of the balance in the universe.
The art was amazing.
The story was interesting.
It is a comic for all ages.
I was engaged in the story the whole time. I read issue one through four in one day. So, it is a fun and quick read.
If you like magic, multiple worlds/planets, and adventure, this is definitely your cup of tea.
 
This is my sole opinion. ^_^
 
And, if you are interested in finding other comics to read, you can click the following links Sun Dragon's Song 1 and Sun Dragon's Song 2
 
 
Genre: Children Fiction, Fantasy, Magic, Middle grade, Sequential Art
Language: none to mild
Sexual content: none to mild (flirting)
Violence: moderate
Drugs/Alcohol: none to mild
 

Friday, January 27, 2017

Gemina Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff, Marie Lu (Illustrator) - Spoiler Free Book Review

Illuminae #2

Book synopsis - May contain Spoilers

Gemina Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff, Marie Lu (Illustrator), book, space, si-fi,fictionMoving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed. The sci-fi saga that began with the breakout bestseller Illuminae continues on board the Jump Station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of the BeiTech assault. Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy's most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion. When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station's wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands. But relax. They've totally got this. They hope. Once again told through a compelling dossier of emails, IMs, classified files, transcripts, and schematics, Gemina raises the stakes of the Illuminae Files, hurling readers into an enthralling new story that will leave them breathless. Gemina

My opinion

4.85/5
If the first book was crazy, then, this one was super crazy. Dr. Who style. This book had the craziest mix of all.
Ninja - checked
Mafia - checked
Drug dealer with a conscious - checked
Spies - checked
Terrorists - checked
Hackers - checked
Space - checked
Predators - checked
Sh*t is about to go down - checked
It was intense. The twist it had. Man, Was I shocked? Yes. Was it good? Oh, yeah! Go read it! Just DO IT!
In Gemina, we get to know our characters better than in Illuminae. Also, there is more descriptive writing than pictures/conversations/lists (physical book). The audiobook is still amazing with a huge cast. Although, compared to Illuminae, not all the sound effects from the physical book were present in the audiobook. It is not a big deal, so I would not worry about it.
I will recommend reading the book while listening to the audiobook because it is an amazing experience.
I got to see characters from Illuminae. Yay! Especially a certain... being. Wink-Wink. I know I am weird like that, but I cannot help it. When a character is complex, I root for it.
I cannot wait for the third and final instalment of this trilogy. The end was explosive!
No spoilers!
Go read it!

This is my sole opinion. ^_^

Feel free to check out my Illuminae review!

Genre: YA, Science Fiction, Romance
Language:  none because censured, mild innuendoes
Sexual content: mild
Violence: heavy
Drugs/Alcohol: moderate (especially drugs)


*More mature themes than in an usual YA

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3) by Sarah J. Maas - Cover Reveal

Hello-Hello! We finally have the cover for A Court of Wings and Ruin  by Sarah J. Maas! Aaah! I am so excited!!!
 
Are you ready?
 

Are

You

 Ready?

Drum Roll, Please...

Ta-Dah, drum roll
 

TA-DAH!


A Court of Wings and Ruin  (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3) by Sarah J. Maas, book
 
Isn't it gorgeous?
 
love emoji
 



Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Black Moon by Romina Russell - Where all your questions get answered

Zodiac #3

At least, most of them...

Book synopsis

May contain spoilers

Book 3 in the breathtaking sci-fi space saga inspired by astrology that will stun fans of the Illuminae Files and Starbound series.
One final secret stands between Rho and the enemy. But will the devastating truth be enough to destroy her first? Rho, the courageous visionary from House Cancer, lost nearly everything when she exposed and fought against the Marad, a mysterious terrorist group bent on destroying balance in the Zodiac Galaxy. Now, the Marad has disappeared without a trace, and an uneasy peace has been declared. But Rho is suspicious. She believes the Master is still out there in some other form. And looming over all are the eerie visions of her mother, who died many years ago, but is now appearing to Rho in the stars. When news of a stylish new political party supported by her best friend, Nishi, sends Rho on another journey across the galaxy, she uses it as an opportunity to hunt the hidden master and seek out information about her mother. And what she uncovers sheds light on the truth–but casts darkness upon the entire Zodiac world. Black Moon (Zodiac #3)
 

My opinion

4.5/5 stars.
Awesome world building! The images pictured by the author are amazing! This book has it all. Character development. Big reveals. Or should I say HUGE! :)) Ok. Ok. I am gonna stop the jokes. We finally get some answers regarding the Zodiac's origin. Now we finally know what happened with the thirteenth house. The big bad villain if finally revealed. And I am glad that some of my brain-storming theories were right.
yey sounddescribing picture, happy
Unfortunately, we have some deaths and betrayals. Good part is that we also have some alive and coming back to life characters too. Hint-Hint! There are twists and turns in this book... Man! I literary throw my iPad aside screaming "What!?!"
That ending thou! Clap-Clap!
How could you, Romina? How could you?!! Now I have to wait... let me see... until August. Well, it is better than December.
I love that the author brings into question a lot of the ethical problems we go through in real life. And the characters' response to them reflect the ones you, me, your friend, or a person X will give. It makes you think. You learn to see from a different perspective. The author does not present only the good option. She also offers the bad one. And... It feel more realistic that way. Opinions were not forced on me. That, dear reader, is what I love in a book.
SPOILERS Section 
- I want to say that the ending is impossible to be true because we still have narration post facto. Sooo... You who read this book get what I mean. I am glad to see our character struggling to accept their heritage, who they really are, and what they want. I am talking about Rho, Mathias,  Hysan, Rho's brother, Nishi. I wished there was more of Hysan in this book.
The master is revealed! And, why he/she has to be from my people? :))
The Zodiac gets more united!
We have a great prophecy about the Zodiac!
We get to see Aquarius, Scorpion, and Pisces! Even though I loved reading about it, the book spends too much time on Aquarius than I expected. I thought there is going to be more action on Pisces considering the pandemic issue. -
End of SPOILERS
One last note, this is a slow-ish paced book. Make sure you are in a mood for it.

This is my sole opinion. ^_^

Also, feel free to check out my other two reviews on book one and two, Zodiac and Wandering Star.

Genres: YA, Science Fiction, Fantasy
Language: mild
Sexual content: mild to moderate (kissing and the notion that two characters have sex)
Violence: moderate
Drugs/Alcohol: mild 

 

 

Monday, January 23, 2017

A Christmas Kiss (Kissed by the Bay #5) by Susan Hatler Book Review

Book synopsis

A Christmas Kiss (Kissed by the Bay #5) by Susan Hatler, book, romance, novella, holiday, contemporaryHarper Avery is a jaded divorce attorney who loves helping her clients move on to better things. After all, they’ve struggled enough being in an unhappy marriage. When one client’s soon-to-be ex-husband suddenly says he wants a second chance with his wife, Harper’s dubious, certain that her client is just going to get hurt again. Despite his career as a divorce attorney, Gabriel Hart still believes that love can work miracles. Sure, there are no guarantees, but he totally supports his client’s efforts to reconcile with his wife—even if it means Gabriel has to go head-to-head with Harper to keep her from ruining the couple’s chances. With the holidays approaching, husband and wife set out to see if they can work through their issues, while Harper decides to spend the long Christmas weekend at her friend’s cabin in Lake Tahoe. Only when she gets there, someone is already occupying her last-minute rental—Gabriel Hart. Both refuse to give up their holiday retreat. Will their adversarial working relationship make for a stressful weekend? Or will the magic of Christmas sprinkle them with a love that can beat the odds?   A Christmas Kiss
 

My opinion

2.5/5 stars rounded to 3.
This is a short love story. It is full of Christmas references. The author creates a perfect Christmas for our protagonists. Everything is perfect. Except the characters... I was not able to connect whit either of them. This is sad because the author had so much material to use. I was not able to feel the sparks from the writing. The protagonists are supposed to be complex... But... By the end, I was asking myself "Why did these characters fall in love in the first place?" The romance seemed forced. 
Also, what bothered me was the characters' inability to separate personal life from work.
All in all, the story was cute and cuddly. I had high expectations and I felt disappointed. The book had potential. It needs a revision. I love descriptions and this book was lacking in them in the emotional department.
It is a good romantic story for winter/Christmas time. If you feel like this is your cup of tea, go for it!
 
This is my sole opinion. ^_^
 
I would like to say thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Novella, Holiday
Language: none to mild
Sexual content: mild
Violence: none
Drugs/Alcohol: mild
 

Sunday, January 22, 2017

UNICEF and UN - Make a difference

spread the word about development goals 2030
Hello-Hello! This is another quick post. I just want to talk about United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). I want to spread the word. UNICEF is an important world wide organization. Why? You ask. Well, it is important because it defends the rights of children. From the womb to adulthood (18 years old). Yes, children matter. They are our future. They need to have opportunities, education and a good environment to flourish.
I was a child once. Believe it or not, I've seen both the good and the bad. Having opportunities and a wonderful mother made a huge difference in my life.
Now, I am UNICEF-USA volunteer and I want to make a change.
For more information regarding UNICEF and their programs, you can go on their website by clicking the following link UNICEF
Also, I want to make people more aware of the United Nations (UN) 17 goals for 2030 for a better world. UN - link for more information.
17 sustainable development goals for 2030
On September 25th 2015, countries adopted a set of goals to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all as part of a new sustainable development agenda. Each goal has specific targets to be achieved over the next 15 years.
For the goals to be reached, everyone needs to do their part: governments, the private sector, civil society and people like you.
Do you want to get involved? You can start by telling everyone about them.
Here is a list of what you can do from the comfort of your home List of Action.
LET'S DO THIS!

 

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Korean Drama Top Favorites

Favorites so far

Hello-Hello! It is late at night... Alright! Alright! It is almost 10:30 pm (1/20/2017 when I started writing this post). Not that late. But moving on... I feel like doing a different kind of post.
For a couple of years I've been a fan of K-dramas. Some of them are cool and some of them are cheese.
Thus, I decided to list a couple of my favorite k-dramas. They are funny and action packed with impeccable acting.
If I convince you to watch them by any chance, DramaFever is a good place to start. You can even download it as an app on your devices.
Shall we strat?
We shall shall... ^_^
These are in no particular order.

Number 1

Goblin the Lonely and Great God
korean drama goblin the lonley and great god, kdrama, love, fantasy, magic

Kim Shin (Gong Yoo) is an immortal goblin and protector of souls. He lives with an amnesiac grim reaper (Lee Dong-Wook) who is in charge of taking deceased souls. Kim Shin is able to see people's future and is considered the Protector of Souls while the grim reaper sees the dead off into the afterlife. One day, the goblin meets a girl, Ji Eun-Tak (Kim Go-Eun), who can see ghosts and is destined to be his bride. The goblin's wife is also destined to bring the goblin's life to an end. Things get more complicated when both the goblin and the grim reaper fall in love.
This k-drama is so funny and good. The chemistry between the actors is great.
Especially between Gong Yoo and Lee Dong-Wook.
Gong Yoo and Lee Dong-Wook from goblin the lonley and great god

This drama is freaking hilarious. I laughed all the time. It is that good. The special effects are cool. The soundtrack is great. The storyline is interesting without a scary big bad wolf. It deserves to be watched.

Number 2

The K2
korean drama the k2, kdrama, action, politics, love

Kim Je-Ha is a former mercenary soldier for the PMC Blackstone.
 Now, he is a fugitive and returns to South Korea where is offered to work as a bodyguard by Choi Yoo-Jin, the owner of JSS Security Company and wife of the presidential candidate, Jang Se-Joon. He accepts in exchange to get revenge on his enemy.  In the meantime, Je-ha gets assigned to guard Go Anna, the hidden daughter of Jang Se-Joon, whose life is always threatened by Yoo-Jin, her stepmother. Anna, who has been reclused and lonely all her life, starts relying on Je-Ha, who shows concern for her and protects her at all costs. They slowly fall in love with each other. Je-Ha is torn between having to work with his ally, Yoo-Jin, and protecting his new-found love, Anna.
Revenge vs. Love
This k-drama is heavy on politics, action, revenge, psychology and strategy. It is dark and somewhat cliché. But, Oh boy! It is worth it. The action scenes are awesome!!!

Number 3

Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo
moon lovers: scarlet heart ryeo korean drama remake, kdrama, love, politics, history

Oh, boy! This one it has it all. History, time travel, war, politics, lies, tortured characters, love, betrayal, fight for power. It is bloody, messy, and epic. The acting is great. The cinematography is great too. It is based on the Chinese novel Bu Bu Jing Xin by Tong Hua.
Go Ha-Jin (Lee Ji-Eun), a 25-year-old 21st century woman, is transported back in time to Goryeo Dynasty during a total solar eclipse. She wakes up in the year 941, in the body of Hae Soo and there, she encounters the many royal princes of the ruling Wang family. She initially falls in love with the gentle and warm 8th Prince Wang Wook (Kang Ha-Neul), and later Wang So (Lee Joon-Gi), the fearsome 4th Prince who hides his face behind a mask and is given the derogatory label "wolf dog". Meanwhile, rivalry and politics ensue among the princes, in a fight for the throne, as Hae Soo finds herself unwittingly caught between it all.
It differently deserves a second season.

Number 4

My Love from Another Star
korean drama my love from another star, kdrama, love, humor, aliens, sci-fi

Hmmm. Put in a blender an obnoxious and funny actress with a serious alien with superpowers and you get this k-drama. It is funny and dangerous with drama from the show biz world. It is a must watch. The characters have a great chemistry together.
 Do Min-Joon (Kim Soo-Hyun) is an alien that landed on Earth in the year 1609, during the Joseon Dynasty. By mingling in humans' businesses, he gets stuck on Earth for centuries. Now, in present day South Korea, Do Min-Joon works as a college professor. With only three months left before his long-awaited departure back to space, he meets Cheon Song-Yi (Jun Ji-Hyun), a famous Hallyu actress who suddenly becomes his next-door neighbor. Slowly, he finds himself entangled in Song-Yi's crazy and unpredictable situations, and finds out that she looks like the young girl he fell in love with in the Joseon era. Min-Joon tries to keep himself away from Song-Yi as he needs to leave the planet, but often finds himself failing to do so.

Number 5

Faith
korean drama faith, kdrama, time travel, love, politics history

This one is similar to Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo. Time travel, a warrior, a surgeon from the future, politics, intrigue, magic, love and war.
The queen of Goryeo is fatally injured. The king orders royal bodyguard Choi Young to pass through a mystical portal ("heaven's gate") and find the "heaven's doctor". Choi Young travels to the future and brings back Yoo Eun-Soo, a modern-day doctor from Seoul. Eun-Soo gets trapped in the past. Problems arise as others become fascinated with her as the "Heaven's doctor" and she becomes a pawn in the political power plays.
An awesome fantasy-time-travel drama!

Honorable Mentions

Uncontrollably Fond
korean drama uncontrollably fond, kdrama, love, drama, tragedy

This is a cry worthy one. Sweet. Romantic. And Tragic. This is a well done cliché story. Lots and lots of tragedies and secrets and intrigue.
Shin Joon-Young (Kim Woo-Bin) and No-Eul (Bae Suzy) were a couple who were separated during their teenage years due to an ill-fated relationship, but later meet each other in adulthood. Shin Joon-young is now a top actor-singer while No-Eul is a documentary producer. No-Eul had a tough childhood. Her father died in a hit-and-run forcing No-Eul to quit school and make a living for her and her brother. Shin Joon-Young, on the other hand, had his life planned out for him until something unfortunate happens.

Let's Fight Ghosts / Hey Ghosts, Let's Fight
korean drama let's fight ghosts, hey ghosts, let's fight, kdrama, ghosts, action, romance, scary

Funny. Scary. And Action. Good story arc. Awesome CGI effects! It is scary. You have been warned!
 Park Bong-Pal (Ok Taec-Yeon) has grown up with ability to see ghosts and uses this ability to work as an exorcist, banishing ghosts. Called to a haunted school, he encounters Kim Hyun-ji (Kim So-Hyun) a feisty middle high-school student who, because of a traffic accident, became a wandering spirit the day before her college entrance exams. The two accidentally kiss and Hyun-ji discovers that Bong-Pal holds the secret as to why she is a spirit. In order to be freed from endlessly wandering the earth as a ghost and to ascend to the next life, Hyun-Ji convinces Bong-Pal to allow her to live with him and the two become ghost fighting partners.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Sun Dragon's Song #2 by Joyce Chng, Kim Miranda; Comic Review

sun dragon's song comics issue 2, children, fantasy, magic
 
Publication Date: 01 March 2017
 

Book synopsis - May contain spoilers

Yo Hi's life's dream has finally come true: He's been accepted into the Dragon Riding Academy. While his life will never be the same, unfortunately, some things may never change. Sun Dragon's Song 2

My opinion

5/5 stars.
The second issue was beautiful. It was better than the first one. We learn more about the dragons and the academy. The art is gorgeous. I loved the color scheme. The storyline is captivating.
I recommend this if you love a quick read with and interesting story about war, dragons, magic, and will power.

This is my sole opinion. ^_^

I would like to say thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Coming Soon

Also, feel free to check out my review on the first issue Sun Dragon's Song 1

Genre: Children Fiction, Fantasy, Magic, Sequential Art
Language: none to mild
Sexual content: none
Violence: moderate
Drugs/Alcohol: none

Sun Dragon's Song #1 by Joyce Chng, Kim Miranda

 

sun dragon's song issue 1. comics, fantasy, children

Book synopsis

More than anything, young Ho Yi wishes to become a Sun Dragon Rider, the courageous human guardians of the magnificent beasts that roam the sky and keep watch over the land. But confined to crutches, bullies giving him a hard time, and his parents being away at war, Yo Hi is up against almost impossible odds! Can he still keep hope alive, while suffering in his tiny village, to become the valiant hero only he feels he's destined to become? Sun Dragon's Song
 

My opinion

4/5 stars.
This is a cute quick read. The art is great and cute. The storyline is interesting and it deals with powerful themes like hard work, never give up, bulling, and being invisible or singled out in the society because of a defect. Oh! I forgot about the war and warrior parents themes.
I will recommend this if you are a fan of dragons and fantasy.
 
This is my sole opinion. ^_^
 
Genre: Children Fiction, Fantasy, Magic, Sequential Art
Language: none to mild
Sexual content: none
Violence: moderate
Drugs/Alcohol: none

Thursday, January 19, 2017

A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess

Kingdom on Fire #1

 
a shadow bright and burning book, magic, fantasy, romance, young adult
 

Book synopsis

I am Henrietta Howel. The first female sorcerer. The prophesied one. Or am I?
Henrietta Howel can burst into flames. When she is brought to London to train with Her Majesty's sorcerers, she meets her fellow sorcerer trainees, young men eager to test her powers and her heart. One will challenge her. One will fight for her. One will betray her. As Henrietta discovers the secrets hiding behind the glamour of sorcerer life, she begins to doubt that she's the true prophesied one. With battle looming, how much will she risk to save the city--and the one she loves? A Shadow Bright and Burning

 

My Opinion

3.5/5 starts.
Overall, I liked the book. The author basically chose tropes seen in other big fandoms, put them into a big cauldron, added her own magic to them, mixed them and... Poof! A Shadow Bright and Burning was born.
The writing is good.
The story on the short side. It needed more development aka more pages, more words.
We are not given a lot of explanation about the magic system or enough of world building.
I liked the main character Henrietta. She had strong personality, very powerful, naïve sometime... ok a lot of times.
Weird on the romance thou. There was a love square-ish. I like more mysterious guys than flirtatious guys. I love when the suppose love interests hate each other in the beginning and then fall slowly in love, not become friends but who knows. At the end, the love square becomes a love triangle. Spoiler - So, the flirt guy and the childhood love come to be the main focus of the romance while the mysterious guy... let's just say that he is still mysterious. - Spoiler end.  We do not have a lot of details about him.
I need to know more about the origins of the magic and the Ancients (the hideous magical creatures from another world).
And, we also need to know more about witches, sorcerers, and magicians (ok more about witches and magicians). The sorcerers were so self-centered and ignorant about other types of magic and magical creatures. Just because they were privileged, it does not automatically make them better than others.
Let's see what the second instalment brings to the story in September 2017.
The series has potential. I liked it. If you like historical fiction mixed with fantasy and magic, then, this is your cup of tea.

This is my sole opinion ^_^.
 
Genre: YA, Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Romance, Magic
Language: mild
Sexual content: mild to moderate
Violence: moderate to heavy-ish (more in some sections)
Drugs/Alcohol: mild to moderate (drunk characters)

 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Storm Siren by Mary Weber

Book synopsis

storm siren, book, mary weber, fantasy, magic, romance, chosen one, young adult“I raise my chin as the buyers stare. Yes. Look. You don’t want me. Because, eventually, accidentally, I will destroy you.”
In a world at war, a slave girl’s lethal curse could become one kingdom’s weapon of salvation. If the curse—and the girl—can be controlled. As a slave in the war-weary kingdom of Faelen, seventeen-year-old Nym isn’t merely devoid of rights, her Elemental kind are only born male and always killed at birth — meaning, she shouldn’t even exist. Standing on the auction block beneath smoke-drenched mountains, Nym faces her fifteenth sell. But when her hood is removed and her storm-summoning killing curse revealed, Nym is snatched up by a court advisor and given a choice: be trained as the weapon Faelen needs to win the war, or be killed. Choosing the former, Nym is unleashed into a world of politics, bizarre parties, and rumors of an evil more sinister than she’s being prepared to fight . . . not to mention the handsome trainer whose dark secrets lie behind a mysterious ability to calm every lightning strike she summons. But what if she doesn’t want to be the weapon they’ve all been waiting for? Set in a beautifully eclectic world of suspicion, super abilities, and monsters, Storm Siren is a story of power. And whoever controls that power will win. Storm Siren
 

My opinion

3/5 stars.
This book is another type of "the chosen one sees its talent as a curse" story. The story has great elements of magic, interesting world, and good characters. It has a lot of religious/spirituality elements. Nym wants to use the "kill them with kindness" approach for everything which becomes unrealistic after a certain point. I understand it. I know her gift is dangerous and she has a lot of blood on her hands. But... She is naïve. A war is a war. There are casualties. In my opinion, Nym needs more backbone. You are a badass girl with a badass gift. Live up to it!
The magic system in this world was amazing. Although, we do not get a lot of foundation for it. Why are abilities and magical powers different in different geographical regions? I was listening to the audiobook and I got a little confused when some "magic origin" info was discussed.
Romance... Hmmm. It was ok. I kind of got annoying listening to Nym telling me how gorgeous Eogan is. I mean really. I get it. Girrrl! I know he is drop-dead-gorgeous. ^_^ Move on. Ha-ha-ha!
Eogan as a character was good. I liked him. Although, I was not able to see the sparks or the "umf" (What up New Girl reference? ^_^' ) It was choppy. Apparently there is a love triangle, I was not able to see it. For me, Nym looked attracted only to one guy.
The side characters were great along with the villains.
The battle scenes towards the end were epic. The end was great. What a twist!!!
This story had a lot of potential. It needed to be longer and have everything sorted out better.
I liked the beginning of this new trilogy. I am going to continue it.
if this series sounds promising for you, go for it!

This is my sole opinion.

Genre: YA, Fiction, Fantasy, Romance
Language: mild
Sexual content: mild
Violence: heavy (war, death, slavery)
Drugs/Alcohol: mild

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Mer by Joelle Sellner (writer), and Abby Boeh (artist)

Graphic Novel

 
mer, comics, mermaids, atlantida, fantasy, romance, joelle sellner, abby boeh
 
Publication Date: 19 April 2017
 

Book synopsis

Twilight meets the legend of Atlantis in this gripping graphic novel from writer Joelle Sellner and artist Abby Boeh. After the death of her beloved mother, Aryn’s father has moved her family to a new town hoping for a fresh start. At first things seem to be going well—Aryn is making friends and has even caught the eye of one of the hottest guys in school. But there are dark forces moving under the surface that Aryn cannot see; and her new crush may not be … human. Mer

My opinion

3.5/5 stars. Rounded to 4 stars based on Goodreads rating.
Mer is a good graphic novel. It has great art and a captivating story. The story is great for a quick read. I liked that at the end of the novel the artists and the author offered more information about the characters' design and the myths behind mer people.
Although, the story felt rushed and there is not enough character development. It feels like the characters are jumping from one emotional/psychological stage to another. Because of this, the storyline does not flow and it is rather... chunky... if this is an actual word. :D
Before publishing, the writing does need some polishing to make the characters' dialogue to flow also.
This graphic novel has a lot of potential if it is going to have more instalments. (Let us hope that that is the case based on the ending.) We need to learn more about the mer people and their world.
Overall, this graphic novel does not have something we have not seen before; although, it has the power to captivate you. Which, in my opinion, that is a good thing.
I am looking forward for the finished product and the possible next instalments.
If you love graphic novels, good art, mermaids, young adult, and romance, this might be your cup of tea.
This also reminded me a lot of the TV shows H2O - Just Add Water and Mako Mermaids - an H2O Adventure.
 
This is my sole opinion.
 
I would like to say thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
 
Genre: Sequential Art, YA, Fiction, Fantasy, Romance
Language:  mild
Sexual content: mild
Violence: moderate
Drugs/Alcohol: mild
 
 
 



Sunday, January 15, 2017

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

The Illuminae Files #1


Book synopsis


illuminae, amie kaufman, jay kristoff, book, space, fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, romance, space travelThis morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.
This afternoon, her planet was invaded.
The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.
But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet's AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it's clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she'd never speak to again. Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes. Illuminae
 

My opinion

 

5/5 stars. A MUST READ!
Illuminae is not your regular type of book. It is basically a case file full of documents and recordings from the spaceships. Yes, the whole story is told through files and reports. I know it sounds crazy. I know some people might be skeptical about this. Trust me. It works. Some people might complain that there is no character development and character depth due to the lack of description. Personally, I was not bothered. I saw the character development even without description and long narrations. The way I read this book was by listening the audiobook while following along with the physical book in front of me. By doing this, I had the sensation I was watching a Si-Fi movie unfolding in my head. The visuals in the book were awesome. It had blueprints of the spaceships, drawings, lists, imagines… It was amazing. Oh! Let’s not forget about the audiobook. IT HAD AN ENTIRE CAST!!! Different voices for different characters. Sound effects. All you want! It was…I do not have words to describe it. That awesome it was. So, I highly recommend listening the audiobook while reading the actual physical book. Each, character becomes unique and it is much easier to remember who is who and what he/she/it does. The story is action packed. When you think you solved one problem a million, more problems appear out of the blue. At some point, the book gets some freaky horror vibes. You know, Walking Dead (TV show) horror type of vibes. It is just sooo rich in the feels. Oh-Oh! Let’s not forget about the Terminator (movie) vibes too!
Small spoiler section
Is it wrong to say that my favorite character was AIDAN, the artificial intelligence software gone rogue? For a computer program, AIDAN was the most complex character in this whole story. I am so glad AIDAN appears in the next book too.
End spoiler
This is a survival story in space. How cool and tariffing is that! You do not need more information! Just go read it!
This is my sole opinion!
 
Genre: YA, Science Fiction, Romance
Language:  none because censured, mild innuendoes
Sexual content: mild
Violence: heavy
Drugs/Alcohol: mild
 

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Emerald Green by Kerstin Gier - Movie Adaptation


emerald green, smaragdgrun, movie adaptation, kerstin gier, time travel, fantasy, magic, romance
 
 
4 out of 5 stars
 
 
 
Hello! I just got the chance to watch the last movie from the Ruby Red/ Precious Stone Trilogy franchise. Smaragdgrün (Emerald Green) is the last book/movie.
I read the books two or three years ago. I absolutely loved them. (I will leave a link to the Goodreads page of the first book for more details after my review.)
I've seen the previous two movies too - Ruby Red and Sapphire Blue. And I loved them also.
The people working on the movie adaptation did a great job to stay true to the books while adding their own twists to the story.
Although... When it came to the third movie... Things got complicated. The storyline followed the one from the book but with some major changes. Some of them were good because I would have liked to see them in the book too. While... Some of them... Eh... Let's just say they created more confusion. It had great visual effects.
The movie is worth watching. I liked it.
As a warning, think twice if you want to watch it. You might be over frustrated if you like movies to strictly follow the book storyline.
Oh! This whole thing is about time travel. :D
There are two families carrying this time travel gene: Montrose and de Villiers family lines.
Time travelers come in pairs (at least in out time). There is a secret order which takes care of the time travelers.
Gwen Shepherd and Gideon de Villiers are the last pair of time travelers.
The order is keeping secrets from them. Gwen and Gideon have to obey the order, no questions asked. The only problem is that, until recently, Gwen did not know she is the gene carrier. She was not raised by the order like Gideon. She does not trust the order and the order does not trust her.
 
 
This is the end of my non-spoiler section.
If you have not watched it yet, you should stop reading.
Watch the movie.
 Come back later and then we discuss it together.
 
Spoilers
 
Sooo... What just happened? After I finished watching it, I was confused asking myself, "What just happened?"
First half of the movie was fine. Everything was by the book. And then, BAM! Complete confusion. Time-travel-paradox-complete confusion.
Important family-background characters are missing with no explanation. There were some scenes where I was expected them to appear. For example, Gwen's mom when people from the order came to brutally search for the second Chronograph.
They never complete the circle of blood for both Chronographs. 
One Chronograph is destroyed after it gives that florescent green liquid - the equivalent of the philosopher's stone. After that, the remaining Chronograph is completely forgotten. What? They have the chance to get two elixirs.
The fact that Gideon can become immortal and live forever with Gwen is never explored. I mean, the count can become immortal but Gideon can't. What? But, Gwen can give up immortality by drinking the elixir.
The second half of the movie got confusing at the end. Gideon dies. The count becomes immortal. Gwen hides from the order - since the count has taken control of the order - and she finds out she is an immortal and can time travel at will with no Chronograph. 
Then she is determined to save Gideon so she makes a plan of action. This part was cool. Up to this point, the movie is great. She learns to fight and time travel when and where she wants without the Chronograph.
She goes back in time to save Gideon from dying. He still dies but he is resurrected by the green elixir. In this scene, Gwen fought like a pro. I was so excited while watching. The count is defeated. He never becomes immortal thus he disintegrates. One Chronograph is destroyed. The other...?(question mark). Because Gideon does not ingest the elixir is only resurrected but does not become immortal. The past-present-dead Gwen disappears while the future-present-alive Gwen stays. This is the point when things got messy. They (Gwen and Gideon) return to the same point in the present time as before (the moment when Charlotte, Raphael and Mr. Bernard find that Gideon is dead for good unlike Gwen). So... no special training session happened in a sense. The future Gwen became the present Gwen. So basically dead-Gwen never existed/returned from the past? But she had to because she needed to discover her abilities, train and prevent Gideon from dying.
See where I am going with this? Quite confusing.
Let's not forget about the count's own time line. Since he did not become immortal, all the things he did for the order should not have happened. He never existed. Things should have changed. People should not be able to remember him at all in the present. But nooo... These things did not count.
The movie did not do a good job resolving the story. It made it messier. It confused me. It created a paradox.
Also, there were some characters who deserved more screen time (e.g. Gideon, Lesley). Although, I loved that I got to see more of Charlotte and how se redeemed herself. She was an excellent ally. I do not remember if she was the same in the book thou. (I will check it out.)
 
End of Spoilers
 
Overall, it was great to watch - with few exceptions. As a separate story the movie was great. I wished it kept the book order of events. The book did a better job wrapping up the story with less confusion.
Let me know what are your thoughts!
And if you are interested in the story and you did not read the books, here is the Goodreads link for the first book Ruby Red.
 
This is my sole opinion.^_^
 
Movie Trailer



Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by John Tiffany (Adaptation), Jack Thorne, and J.K. Rowling

Book synopsis

harry potter and the curse child, play, book, j.k. rowling, fantasy, magic, children, adventureBased on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, a new play by Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. The play will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on July 30, 2016.
It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.
While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

 



My opinion

3/5 starts
The story had its flaws. It felt forced in some places and inconsistent in other places. It had some great moments too.
I did not quite care for the main "Potter" characters throughout the story, except at the end. I cared more for Scorpius and other characters. Ron was just there the same as the two Potter kids and Granger-Weasley kids...
I understand that it is a play. It worked overall, although I wished it had more detailed in the characters' reactions/emotion description section. On stage, it might work but, when reading the play itself without the visual, it does not.
I understand why some people see it as fan-fiction. And, I agree with the fact that Harry seemed off and Albus was a - b-r-a-t - brat. :)
This book is not for younger readers due its more mature content (aka heavy on dark themes) similar to the last books in the Harry Potter series (e.g. books 6 and 7).

This is my sole opinion.
 
 
Genre: Play, YA, Fiction, Fantasy,
Language: mild
Sexual content: mild
Violence: moderate to heavy-ish
Drugs/Alcohol: none to mild
 

Monday, January 9, 2017

Plus One by Elizabeth Fama

Book synopsis


plus one, elizabeth fama, book, dystopian, fiction, romance, young adult A dying wish. A family divided. A love that defies the law.Sol Le Coeur is a Smudge--a night dweller in an America rigidly divided between people who wake, live, and work during the hours of darkness and those known as Rays, who live and work during daylight. Impulsive, passionate, and brave, Sol concocts a plan to kidnap her newborn niece--a Ray--in order to bring the baby to visit her dying grandfather. Sol's violation of the day/night curfew is already a serious crime, but when her kidnap attempt goes awry, she stumbles on a government conspiracy to manipulate the Smudge population. Sol escapes the authorities with an unexpected ally: a Ray who gets in her way, a boy she might have hated if fate hadn't forced them on the run together--a boy the world now tells her she can't love. Set in a vivid alternate reality and peopled with complex, deeply human characters on both sides of the day/night divide, Elizabeth Fama's Plus One is a brilliantly imagined drama of individual liberty and civil rights, and a fast-paced romantic adventure story.  Plus One

 

My opinion

4.85/5.0 STARS AND NEEDS A SEQUEL because it has potential!
I liked the book. I started reading it without knowing anything about the story. Based on the cover, I was expecting a Sci-fi book, but I was glad it was a dystopian in the end. I feel this book needs a sequel because there are so many questions left unanswered at the end of the book.
** Spoiler Alert **
What is going to happen two Sol? What is going to happen to D'Arcy? What is going to happen to Sol's and D'Arcy's relationship? What is going to happen to D'Arcy's family? What is going to happen to Ciel and his family and crew (they were just left there on the boat)? What is going to happen to Gigi? What were Noma gang after, because they just disappeared from the picture? What is that remote program because it was kind of confusing? And the most important question: What is going to happen to the system and what Night Minister's decision will be? And another important question is: What is Ciel going to decide to help the Night Minister or get Sol free and how D'Arcy is going to be involved?
End of ** Spoiler Alert **
Like I said, lots and lots of questions for which I would like a closure.
Plus I loved the book because it used the metric system and Celsius :))) I don't understand miles, yards, and Fahrenheit scales, I am too European for those. I also loved the fact that French was used in this book, it made things more personal, more intimate between the characters showing how the world outside their homes and families affects their personal life and the decisions which they have to make.)

This is my own personal opinion... you can love it or hate it!
Original review: Plus One - Goodreads Review
 
Genre: YA, Fiction, Romance, Dystopian
Language: mild
Sexual content: moderate (understanding of characters having sex)
Violence: moderate to heavy (not graphic)
Drugs/Alcohol: mild

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch

Snow Like Ashes #1


Book synopsis

snow like ashes, book, sara raasch, fantasy, romance, fiction, chosen oneSixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was conquered and its citizens enslaved, leaving them without magic or a monarch. Now, the Winterians’ only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape, and who have been waiting for the opportunity to steal back Winter’s magic and rebuild the kingdom ever since.
Orphaned as an infant during Winter’s defeat, Meira has lived her whole life as a refugee, raised by the Winterians’ general, Sir. Training to be a warrior—and desperately in love with her best friend, and future king, Mather — she would do anything to help her kingdom rise to power again.
So when scouts discover the location of the ancient locket that can restore Winter’s magic, Meira decides to go after it herself. Finally, she’s scaling towers, fighting enemy soldiers, just as she’s always dreamed she would. But the mission doesn’t go as planned, and Meira soon finds herself thrust into a world of evil magic and dangerous politics – and ultimately comes to realize that her destiny is not, never has been, her own. Snow Like Ashes

My opinion

3.5/5 starts
Great book. It has some Falling Kingdoms' vibe to it. And to be sincere, I did not quite feel the romance in this book. Yeah right. She is attracted to Mather because he was the only male at the camp at her age. He is the "heir" to Winter's throne. I get it. It's forbidden so of course she would have feelings for him. I understand the situation; although I did not get too many details to feel connected and care about the romance. When Theron was introduced, I was like "whatever" again. He was better because I was able to see layers of Theron by the end of the book. I think that by himself, Theron, is great character. I felt sorry for Mather because he was turned more into a background character. And from what I learned about him, he had so much more potential.
Meira was a badass. I loved her. We connect 85% of the time. Her voice as a narrator was great. The vivid details which she used to tell the story made everything come to life in my mind.
Also, I kind of guessed the major twist of the book. It was quite obvious. ;)
        
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Magic,  Romance
Language: mild to none
Sexual content: none to mild
Violence: moderate to heavy
Drugs/Alcohol: mild to none

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Meet the Author - Veronica Roth

veronica roth, author, divergent series, carve the mark
 
Hello, Reader Fans! I have a quick announcement!
VRONICA ROTH is coming to OHIO USA to promote her new book, Carve the Mark!
She will be in CINCINNATI
JANUARY 19, 2017
7 PM - 9 PM
Location: Joseph-Beth Cincinnati
If you live in Ohio and you want to meet the author of Divergent,  this is your chance.
The original news post can be found on the Epic Reads website. Just click the link for more details.
I am posting the link to the event page on Facebook which is also provided by Epic Reads. Facebook event - Carve the Mark
 
MARK your calendars folks!
No pun intended :))  
 
carve the mark, book, veronica roth, space, fantasy, fiction, young adult
 
On-Sale Date: January 17 2017
 
Book synopsis - Carve the Mark
 
On a planet where violence and vengeance rule, in a galaxy where some are favored by fate, everyone develops a currentgift, a unique power meant to shape the future. While most benefit from their currentgifts, Akos and Cyra do not—their gifts make them vulnerable to others’ control. Can they reclaim their gifts, their fates, and their lives, and reset the balance of power in this world?

Cyra is the sister of the brutal tyrant who rules the Shotet people. Cyra’s currentgift gives her pain and power—something her brother exploits, using her to torture his enemies. But Cyra is much more than just a blade in her brother’s hand: she is resilient, quick on her feet, and smarter than he knows.

Akos is from the peace-loving nation of Thuvhe, and his loyalty to his family is limitless. Though protected by his unusual currentgift, once Akos and his brother are captured by enemy Shotet soldiers, Akos is desperate to get his brother out alive—no matter what the cost. When Akos is thrust into Cyra’s world, the enmity between their countries and families seems insurmountable. They must decide to help each other to survive—or to destroy one another.
  
 
 


Strands of Bronze and Gold by Jane Nickerson

DNF Zone O_o

Book synopsis

strands of gold and bronze, jane nickerson, book, fairy tale, history, fictionThe Bluebeard fairy tale retold. . . .
When seventeen-year-old Sophia Petheram’s beloved father dies, she receives an unexpected letter. An invitation—on fine ivory paper, in bold black handwriting—from the mysterious Monsieur Bernard de Cressac, her godfather. With no money and fewer options, Sophie accepts, leaving her humble childhood home for the astonishingly lavish Wyndriven Abbey, in the heart of Mississippi. Sophie has always longed for a comfortable life, and she finds herself both attracted to and shocked by the charm and easy manners of her overgenerous guardian. But as she begins to piece together the mystery of his past, it’s as if, thread by thread, a silken net is tightening around her. And as she gathers stories and catches whispers of his former wives—all with hair as red as her own—in the forgotten corners of the abbey, Sophie knows she’s trapped in the passion and danger of de Cressac’s intoxicating world. Glowing strands of romance, mystery, and suspense are woven into this breathtaking debut—a thrilling retelling of the “Bluebeard” fairy tale. Strands of Bronze and Gold

My opinion

1.5/5 starts according to Goodreads
DNF
I start reading the book and listening the audiobook in the same time. I got bored with the narrative. I start reading some reviews (good and bad) about it and it lead to me browsing through the book. I know it is not a good thing... I am not sorry for doing that. :))
The story was not able to captivate my attention. It dragged and I was not in mood for that. I was attracted to the book by its cover and by the fact that it was a fairy tale retelling. I was not able to connect with the heroine either.
I am probably not going to pick it up again in the future even though I blame my mood for not giving this book a shot. :')
If you like fairy tales retellings, go for it! Although, the beginning is slow and a turnoff.
 
The following comment is from when I was reading the book:
 
"a little annoyed by this book; the story was not for me; frustrated by the main character acting like a naïve fan-girl over the guy(she might change by the end of the book), and like a damsel in distress(sad cause she had other good qualities).I was not the mood for this book and I had other expectations when I started it. I read just 11 chapters in case I want to turn back to it someday."

Genre: YA, Retellings, Fairy Tales, Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Romance
Language: I do not know (IDK)
Sexual content: IDK
Violence: IDK
Drugs/Alcohol: IDK