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Fierce like a Firestorm (Hibiscus Daughter #2) : Book Review

Fierce Like a Firestorm (Hibiscus Daughter, #2)Fierce Like a Firestorm by Lana Popović

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am so glad I read this series.

The thing is, I get why people may not like this duology. It might seem kind of slow, and I get that not everyone will like these characters. For me, however, these books were a conglomeration of all of my favourite things.

Things I liked:

– The setting. Montenegro??? Eastern European mountains????

– The characters, especially Iris. Iris is not a likable person, but she was very realistic and not a Mary-Sue at all. She is confused and quite mean and I could understand her at a spiritual level. I also loved how amazing Malina’s character turned out to be in this book. None of them go through any particularly revealing epiphany about themselves, nor do they change a great deal, but they grow stronger with every tragedy life throws at them.

– The magic. I like how it began as something very frivolous, something only capable of generating beauty, but ended up having the potential to save the world.

– The romance(s). I kept comparing this duology to the Shadow and Bone series (The Grisha Trilogy), mainly because of the romance arc. Fjolar made me feel almost everything the Darkling did, and whatever he lacked was made up for Luka. I had hated Mal in Shadow and Bone, but Luka made me laugh and cry and hurt. Plus, you have Niko and Malina, perfect together and complete cinnamon rolls.

– The writing. Lots of reviewers have criticised the author for her “purple prose”, but I found the language just perfect. It was not overtly flower-y and poetic to the point where it lost meaning (*cough*The Star-Touched Queen*cough*). It had better language than the usual simplistic or at times cliche YA novels.

What I did not like:

*I* didn’t dislike ANYTHING. But, once again, I get that it is possible to find this book slow, and if you do not like the characters, you possibly may not like the story.

Overall:

I’d say this book has a very specific kind of target audience. If you like a sort of witchy, dark vibe to fantasy novels where the characters may not be always likeable, and if you like descriptive writing and beautiful settings, read this book. As a biased fan I would say that even if you aren’t sure you like these things, just give this series a go. I’ll go buy the hardcover for the first book, practice wiccan rituals, and move to Montenegro now, thank you.

– Sreepurna.

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Salt for Air – M.C. Frank : Book Review

40119041Salt for Air by M.C. Frank

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

(Genre: YA romance, urban fantasy)

I started this book yesterday, then woke up at 4 a.m. today to finish it.

I don’t know why, but I was a little scared to pick this book up. I had already delayed reading it because of several other preoccupations in the last few months, and I planned to read it this winter for sure. But when I finally opened the book, I felt like I might not like it. I have LOVED all of M.C. Frank’s books, and it was possibly the high expectations that felt intimidating to me as a reader. I am also not much of a fan of YA novels, but made an exception for M.C. Frank’s lovely writing. Salt for Air did not disappoint.

What I liked about this book:

– The plot and the world-building was great. I am obsessed with fairy-tale retellings of all sorts, and this one was perfect.

– One thing I love about M.C. Frank’s books is how intense the stories are. The characters are brimming with all sorts of emotions and I love reading about them trying to figure it all out. I like my romance novels a bit angsty, and Frank’s books have all the angst I need.

– I adore the setting of this book and how the author deals with it. Ellie keeps comparing American contemporary YA fiction to her own life, and her tone is very similar to what I, as an Indian, think every time I read one of those books. Although Greece and India are very different countries, they both carry a rich cultural heritage and an ancient history. It was very easy for me to relate to Ellie in that sense. If you like your YA books to be set in places other than a small town in North America, Salt for Air is a great choice.

– The characters and the settings are really vibrant and real. Although half of them were mythological creatures come to life, they were still very humane, despite their attempts to act like they weren’t.

What I didn’t like:

– I think the narrative focused on Ellie a lot, and sometimes too much. I would have liked to know more about Ky especially – his feelings, his motivations – not to mention about the realm that he is supposed to be king of. I am keeping my fingers crossed for a sequel, because I really think this book has potential for a continuation.

Overall:

I am so, so happy with this book and its characters. Whatever flaws I thought it had also has the potential of being erased with a sequel. If you are a fan of Cassandra Clare’s world-building or Roshani Chokshi’s mythology-based fantasies, this is a great YA read for you.

Grab your copy here: https://www.amazon.com/Salt-Air-M-C-Frank/dp/1722339969/

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Happy reading!

– Sreepurna. ❤

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Inkredia (Luwan of Brida) – Sarang Mahajan // Book Review

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(Goodreads summary after the review)

Genre: Fantasy, Adventure

Rating: 3 stars / 5

Review:

What I didn’t like:

  • The portrayal of women (or in this case, woman?): There was only one female character in the entire story and I did not like how she was portrayed. She was scared and anxious and crying and nervous and always the last one to figure things out, and although a character like that is nothing out of the ordinary, I didn’t like that the sole girl in the book was made to look like that.
  • The story line was way too close to the Lord of the Rings series for me to accept it without question. Apart from the whole journey motif that runs through both tales, there were many fundamental similarities in plot. The scene where Luwan and Meg meet Killiarn is basically the same as that of Frodo and Co. meeting Strider/Aragorn, and the shape of Inkredia seems too much like Middle Earth.

What I liked:

  • The story was fast-paced and hooking, not boring at all, with the action scenes almost Bollywood-like in their descriptions, but in a good way.
  • I liked how Luwan and Meg aren’t perfect killing machines the moment they are in danger. It keeps them human and realistic.
  • I still would rate the 2 stars if not for the twist at the end that changed a lot of things. That was very smartly done, and it made me reconsider my rating.
  • Fantasy is not an easy genre to write, and the world-building in this series seems pretty solidly done.
  • I must mention the beautiful coloured map and the clear, solid print which made the book much easier to read.

Overall:

While this wasn’t exactly what I had hoped for, I won’t say it was a bad book. I wish it was more original, and the characters more unique and nuanced. However, if you are looking for a traditional fantasy series, then this book is a good pick. There is still scope left in the upcoming installments, so I hope the author does something about Meg’s character and turns the tale into his own narrative with more twists and turns.

Goodreads Summary:

In Fal Doram, also called as the great empire of Inkredia, a conspiracy begins to unfold. The first step is an easy one – kill a simple, villager named Luwan. When Luwan suddenly faces an enemy straight out of the folklore, he is left dumbfounded by the mystery why they are after him. As he makes a daring run to survive, journeying through the unknown world outside his village, new mysteries emerge, some closely concerning him. Riddled with questions and hunted by legendary assassins, and by the nonhumans made of the darkest element in the nature, Luwan makes a dangerous journey through the incredible empire of Inkredia.

Click here to buy a copy of Inkredia (book 1) : https://www.amazon.in/gp/product/8193365801/ref=x_gr_w_bb?ie=UTF8&tag=x_gr_w_bb_in-21&linkCode=as2&camp=3626&creative=24790 

~ Sreepurna.

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Lyrebird – Cecelia Ahern : Book Review

413 pages

Published: November 3, 2016

ISBN13: 9780007501861

Summary: 



Life is in two parts: who you were before you met her, and who you are after.

A documentary crew discover a mysterious young women living alone in the mountains of West Cork. Strikingly beautiful she has an extraordinary talent for mimicry, like the famous Australian Lyrebird. The crew, fascinated, make her the subject of her story, and bestow the nickname upon her.

When they leave, they take Lyrebird with them back to the city. But as she leaves behind her peaceful life to learn about a new world, is she also leaving behind a part of herself? For her new friend Solomon the answer isn’t clear. When you find a rare and precious thing, should you share it – or protect it…

Review:

Rating : ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5 stars

At this point I have blind faith on Cecelia Ahern. I went into this book knowing that it’d be good, and I obviously wasn’t disappointed.

Ahern’s writing has always had a very lyrical quality to it, and somehow the atmosphere and characters in Lyrebird just enhance this, and give the story a whole lot of added magic.

The concept, as usual, was really unique. Laura, the beautiful mysterious woman Solomon and Bo discover living alone in a mountainous locality, is the lyrebird. She literally can mimic any sound she hears, and tends to do so more when she is upset or anxious. This magical girl is brought to our noisy world and the story shows her transfer from the solitary life in the wilderness to the hustling and bustling city, while she discovers more about life and people.

I loved Laura, and I could relate to Bo, somewhat. I sometimes found Solomon a little weak, though. But somehow these just made them all so real.

Overall, I would definitely recommend this book. The thing about Cecelia Ahern is that her books don’t fit into any particular genre, and I feel like most people should give her books a try.

If you still aren’t sold, take a look at the cover of the book. And judge it by this cover.

~ Sripurna.

Review: Soundless by Richelle Mead

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Soundless
Richelle Mead
Penguin Books
YA, Fantasy

Summary:

In a village without sound…

For as long as Fei can remember, no one in her village has been able to hear. Rocky terrain and frequent avalanches make it impossible to leave the village, so Fei and her people are at the mercy of a zipline that carries food up the treacherous cliffs from Beiguo, a mysterious faraway kingdom. 

When villagers begin to lose their sight, deliveries from the zipline shrink. Many go hungry. Fei and all the people she loves are plunged into crisis, with nothing to look forward to but darkness and starvation.

One girl hears a call to action…

Until one night, Fei is awoken by a searing noise. Sound becomes her weapon.

She sets out to uncover what’s happened to her and to fight the dangers threatening her village. A handsome miner with a revolutionary spirit accompanies Fei on her quest, bringing with him new risks and the possibility of romance. They embark on a majestic journey from the peak of their jagged mountain village to the valley of Beiguo, where a startling truth will change their lives forever…

And unlocks a power that will save her people.

Review:

2 stars

Things I liked about the book:

The concept. Its pretty nice. A world without sound, and then one girl who can hear. Potential: high. Did it meet my expectation: No.

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• The cover is really pretty. But yes, don’t judge a book…

Things I did not like about the book:

The beginning itself is not catchy.

• How a book so small can be so painfully boring is beyond me.

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• I don’t like the main character (Fei).

• Unrealistic explanations of “scientific” phenomenon (like: cause of deafness).

• Li Wei is definitely beta, and so is Fei. Its weird.

Overall:

If you like fantasy set in mystery world and light (very light) romance, and (hardly) adventure — Soundless is it.

~ Sripurna.

Book Review: Wildest Dreams (Fantasyland #1)

Celebrating the end of one round of exams, here’s a review for this amazing book I read last week. Or was it this week? (You lose track of time when exams are on)…

Wildest Dreams (Fantasyland #1)

Kristen Ashley

Seoafin “Finnie” Wilde was taught by her parents that every breath was a treasure and to seek every adventure she could find. And she learns this lesson the hard way when they perish in a plane crash. But she never forgets and when she discovers there is a parallel universe where every person has a twin, she finds a witch who can send her there so she can have the adventure of a lifetime.

But upon arrival in the Winter Wonderland of Lunwyn, she realizes she’s been played by her twin and finds herself walking down the aisle to be wed to The Drakkar.

Thrown into inauspicious circumstances, with years of practice, Finnie bests the challenges and digs into her adventure. But as Frey Drakkar discovers the woman who is his new wife is not Princess Sjofn, a woman he dislikes but instead, his Finnie, a free-spirit with a thirst for venture just like him, without her knowledge he orders his new bride bound to his frozen world, everlasting.

But at the same time Frey plunges Finnie into a web of political intrigue that includes assassination plots, poison, magic, mystery and… dragons.

See, at first, I was in this phase where I only wanted to read vampire romances. Yes, you read it right- ME, reading vampire romances. I know. Impossible things have happened.

So I somehow came across this book, and then I realized it has no vampire, so I was like, “Meh, lets skip it.” Then, a few days later, I ran out vampire books and then I was like SINCE this IS a Kristen Ashley, why not give it a try.

And Ho Boy (book reference, btw), I’m so glad I did. 🙂

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CAUTION: Read only if you are a true romantic at heart.

Frey. What do I say about him. Okay, he’s a jerk. Toootal jerk. He’s bossy. Alpha male *shrugs* But when he looks into Finnie’s eyes and says “My wee Finnie”, how can you NOT say “Awwwww…”??

And Finnie..Okay, she’s kind of irritating and wayyy stubborn, but she’s also a typical Kristen Ashley heroine, you can’t help but find them adorable.

If you ask me the truth, maybe the story isn’t perfectly written, it has flaws, its too (and I mean TOO) dreamy and unrealistic. But reviews and opinions are really personal stuff, I can’t tell you whether you’ll like it, but I can say that I loved it. The girl-gets-married-to-angry-young-man-and-the-they-fall-in-love formula always works for me.

Here’s hoping that you’ll be swept by its enchantment too. ^_^

*sigh*

Love,

Sripurna.