Son of the Dawn by Cassandra Clare

GSM01_coverTitle: Son of the Dawn
Authors: Cassandra Clare & Sarah Rees Brennan
Series: Ghosts of the Shadow Market
Date Read: April 17
Format: Kindle book from my collection

The Lightwoods, the Shadowhunters who run the New York Institute, are expecting a new addition to their family: the orphaned son of their father’s friend, Jace Wayland. Alec and Isabelle aren’t too sure they want a new brother, and their parents are not assuaging their fears, too occupied with the dark news that Raphael Santiago, second-in-command of the New York vampire clan, has brought from the Shadow Market.

Do you ever just want to reach through a book and hug a few characters? Because that’s what I felt like doing in this short story. Son of the Dawn is the first of Cassandra Clare’s stories from the Ghosts of the Shadow Market. This one follows Brother Zachariah (otherwise known as Jem) in the year 2000 when Raphael Santiago was still a horrible vampire, Maryse and Robert Lightwood were just starting their punishment of running the New York Institute and Jace Wayland was coming to be a part of their family. This story was cute and adorable, and the whole time I was reading it I wanted to reach through and hug not only Jem but Jace as well. Jem, because he’s reflecting on his old life as a Shadowhunter including Will and Tessa. And Jace, because he’s so used to his old ‘father’ that he can’t allow himself to be taken care of. Seriously. There was this one scene where he’s cut and he’s so afraid of telling anyone that he tries to take care of it himself… *sigh* Damn it, Clare. Stop messing with my emotions.

Final Rating: 5 out of 5 stars. I’m intrigued to see where the next tale takes us.

Bookshelf worthy? So far, only available digitally, but will be published with the other tales later on next year.

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To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

34499221Title: To Kill a Kingdom
Author: Alexandra Christo
Date Started: April 12
Date Finished: April 17
Format: ebook from the digital library

Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all. With the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea. Until a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own. To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen transforms Lira into the one thing they loathe most—a human. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian’s heart to the Sea Queen or remain a human forever.

The ocean is the only place Prince Elian calls home, even though he is heir to the most powerful kingdom in the world. Hunting sirens is more than an unsavory hobby—it’s his calling. When he rescues a drowning woman in the ocean, she’s more than what she appears. She promises to help him find the key to destroying all of siren kind for good—But can he trust her? And just how many deals will Elian have to barter to eliminate mankind’s greatest enemy?

Oh, how I wanted to like this book. From the summary it sounded like something right up my alley. A complete retelling of The Little Mermaid with sirens and intrigue. And sure, it kind of started out okay. I was more into Elian’s chapters than Lira’s, but then I just got bored really quickly. I mean. Lira is not a killer, she was made into one by her cruel bitch of a mother the Sea Queen – think Ursula if she had continued to rule the Seven Seas. Elian was a one hundred percent better version of Prince Eric, but his whole blood thirst to kill sirens was kind of a turn off. To Kill a Kingdom got slightly better when Lira rescues Elian from drowning instead of taking his heart, and Lira’s mother punishes her for it by turning her into a human without her singing voice.

Once Elian rescues Lira from the ocean, I got really invested into the story. The plot picked up. Apparently there is a stone that matches that of the Sea Queen’s trident. The person who controls this stone will have the same powers as the Sea Queen. Elian wants it to destroy the Sea Queen and the sirens. Lira…well, she’s just there to take Elian’s heart so she can become a siren again. At first. I won’t give the plot away, but I’m really glad that I stuck with this book until the end.

Final Rating: 3 out of 5 stars. This was an interesting take on The Little Mermaid story. Elian was a wonderful character and Lira had her smart ass moments that I loved. I’m not too big of a fan of the romance, or the abusive mother that powers the characters decisions. But the ending was one that I really didn’t see coming.

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Crystal Storm by Morgan Rhodes

51nxuc5gxzl-_sx331_bo1204203200_Title: Crystal Storm
Author: Morgan Rhodes
Series: Falling Kingdoms
Previous Books in the Series:
1. Falling Kingdoms
2. Rebel Spring
3. Gathering Darkness
4. Frozen Tides
Date Started: April 7
Date Finished: April 14
Format: Hardcover from local library

The ruthless Empress Amara of Kraeshia has taken the Mytican throne, and now uncertainty looms over the three kingdoms. Since Lucia unleashed the fire Kindred, wreaking havoc throughout the land, Myticans have been looking for someone—anyone—they can trust. They believe in Amara, not knowing her grand promises are built on lies.

In Paelsia, Magnus and Cleo reluctantly follow King Gaius to the home of his exiled mother, Selia. Selia is a powerful witch and claims she can help unlock the magic of the Kindred—if the visitors agree to her terms. When Jonas arrives from Kraeshia, he is shocked to find that his rebel army now includes his sworn enemies. Along with Nic, Felix, and the mysteriously resurrected Ashur, the contentious group agrees to cast aside old grudges—for now—and united against their common enemy: Amara.

Meanwhile, bearing the child of a Watcher and feared by all, Princess Lucia travels across Mytica to find her family. But time is running out. The impending storm signals the dark prophecy Timotheus warned her about. Her fate is written, and it includes none other than the rebel Jonas. When their paths collied, Jonas and Lucia must decide between blindly following their destiny or fighting for their own free will. The battle for power culminates at the Paelsian palace, where Amara resides. Rain pours. Blood spills. And soon all will discover that the darkest magic comes at an even darker price.

I just when I have a feeling I know where this series is going to go, Rhodes throws in some plot twists that throws me completely off course. There will be a lot of spoilers so please be wary as you read this review. The first twist I didn’t see coming, after the horrible fall that King Gaius took at the end of the last book, I thought for sure that he would be dead, Magnus would be king and everything would be somewhat okay. But I guess I should have known better since there were two more books left in the series and it just can’t end happily. Gaius lives, because the King of Blood being that arse that he is just won’t die. So Magnus, Cleo, and the king go on a journey to make sure that he stays that way. And more people who are thought to be dead end up being alive ( *cough* Magnus’s grandmother *cough*).

Lucia is coming to terms with the fact that she’s pregnant, and that she has to atone for everything that she did while with Kyan. And the best way apparently for her to do that is to make sure that Kyan gets locked up again in his crystal prison. Which should be completely easy. Not. This pregnancy is a real bitch for her to go through and reminded me a little bit of Bella’s pregnancy in Breaking Dawn just without all the blood (thank god). Jonas may or may not be a Watcher or a conduit. It’s still very unclear what’s going on with him. Felix, Tarun, and Nic are all out for revenge. Amara is power hungry. And Cleo…she confuses me the most during this novel.

Her and Magnus continue their love story from the previous book, but things get complicated when Jonas and the gang show up and she isn’t yet comfortable telling people about her new feelings. On one hand, I get it. There is a lot of bad blood between Jonas, Nic, Tarun and Magnus, and considering they need to work together to take back the kingdom from Amara, it’s smart not to tell them. But on the other hand, it created for a lot of unnecessary drama that I could have honestly have done without.

Final Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. So, I’m a little miffed that this book ended the way it did. The other Kindred have been released from their prisons. Nic is now Kyan. Olivia is now the Earth Kindred, and Cleo and Tarun are now housing the water and air Kindred, but still have their souls. And oh. Yeah. Magnus has been buried alive. I won’t be able to get my hands on the final book for at least three weeks. Why is fate so cruel?

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Restore Me by Tahereh Mafi

9780062676368_p0_v3_s550x406Title: Restore Me
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Series: Shatter Me
Previous Books in the Series:
1. Shatter Me
2. Unravel Me
3. Ignite Me
Date Started: April 4
Date Finished: April 12
Format: ebook from the digital library

Juliette Ferrars thought she’d won. She took over Sector 45, was named the new Supreme Commander of North America, and now has Warner by her side. But when tragedy strikes, she must confront the darkness that dwells both around and inside her. Who will she become in the face of adversity? Will she be able to control the power she wields, and use it for good?

I have to admit that when I found out that there was going to be a continuation of this series I was a little bit wary. From what I remembered, everything had been tied up relatively neatly. And sure there was a lot of unanswered questions, but I felt like for the most part Juliette’s story was done. And when I started reading Restore Me…well…I’ll be honest, I was a little bit distracted while reading this book. It was right after Spring Break at work and things got really busy really quickly. So whenever I had a minute or two, I would read a few chapters. And the whole time I was doing that I found that I might have needed a refresher about what happened in the previous three books. Because it had been a while since I had read them.

But from what I did remember, even I knew that Juliette was in over her head with becoming the new supreme commander. Considering most of her life had been lived in an asylum? What could she possibly know about politics? And watching her try to fumble her way through everything just made a little bit sad. Even sadder? Warner! I knew his father’s death would have an impact on him, but add on everything else and I just… I wanted to reach through and give him a huge hug. And thank goodness that I saw a tweet that Mafi had sent out earlier in the week about Warner or else I would have been really concerned about him considering his last chapter in this book.

Final Rating: 5 out of 5 stars. Since most of my problems with this book were on me and not Mafi, this book is getting the full five star rating. It was a wonderful continuation of the series, and it left a lot of suspense. Like, seriously. How can the book just end with Juliette going into unconsciousness after seeing… I need the next book!

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The Wish Granter by C. J. Redwine

30255943Title: The Wish Granter
Author: C. J. Redwine
Series: Ravenspire
Previous Book in the Series:
1. The Shadow Queen
Date Started: April 4
Date Finished: April 7
Format: Hardcover from local library

The world has turned upside down for Thad and Ari Glavan, the bastard twins of Súndraille’s king. Their mother was murdered. The royal family died mysteriously. And now Thad sits on the throne of a kingdom whose streets are suddenly overrun with violence he can’t stop. Growing up ignored by the nobility, Ari never wanted to be a proper princess. And when Thad suddenly starts training Ari to take his place, she realizes that her brother’s ascension to the throne wasn’t fate. It was the work of a Wish Granter named Alistair Teague, who tricked Thad into wishing away both the safety of his people and his soul in exchange for the crown.

So Ari recruits the help of Thad’s enigmatic new weapons master, Sebastian Vaughn, to teach her how to fight Teague. With secret ties to Teague’s criminal empire, Sebastian might just hold the key to discovering Alistair’s weaknesses, saving Ari’s brother—and herself. But Teague is ruthless and more than ready to destroy anyone who dares stand in his way—and now he has his sights set on the princess. And if Ari can’t outwit him, she’ll lose Sebastian, her brother…and her soul.

The Wish Granter was an odd book for me. It’s another one of those novels that is apart of a series, but which can stand as a stand alone. And at first this novel started out great. I liked Ari’s character. She was no nonsense. She didn’t want to be royal, she would rather just stay in the kitchens and bake. I even liked Sebastian’s character too, in fact I down right loved him. Because of his childhood he has PTSD and some minor anxiety. He didn’t like to be touched and when he gets hired on as the kingdom’s new weapons master and starts training Ari she realizes that and tries not to touch him. I loved it.

I even loved the whole mystery surrounding Teague. A powerful fae who had Thad and Ari wrapped around his finger. I couldn’t figure him out, which was really sad considering I should know better. There were all kinds of small details that I should have been picking up on. The contracts. The fact that Teague didn’t really sound like a fae name. And it wasn’t until Teague told Ari that story about how he got banished from his original homeland that I realized. DUH. Of course, he’s THAT character.

Final Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. So why was this book odd for me? Well, I did like the characters and the story line was really good. I just, the novel started to lose it’s special near the end. It could have been that I was rushing to finish the book, but the ending felt a tiny bit rushed to me.

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The Dazzling Heights by Katharine McGee

51cyxergxnl-_sx329_bo1204203200_Title: The Dazzling Heights
Author: Katharine McGee
Sequel to: The Thousandth Floor
Date Started: April 2
Date Finished: April 4
Format: Hardcover from local library

All that glitters is not gold. New York City, 2118. Manhattan is home to a thousand-story supertower, a breathtaking marvel that touches the sky. But amid high-tech luxury and futuristic glamour, five teenagers are keeping dangerous secrets…

Leda is haunted by memories of what happened on the worst night of her life. She’ll do anything to make sure the truth stays hidden—even if it means trusting her enemy. Watt just wants to put everything behind him…until Leda forces him to start hacking again. Will he do what it takes to be free of her for good? When Rylin wins a scholarship to an upper-floor school, her life transforms overnight. But being there also means seeing the boy whose heart she broke, and who broke hers in return. Avery is tormented by her love for the one person in the world she can never have. She’s desperate to be with him…no matter the cost. And then there’s Calliope, the mysterious, bohemian beauty who arrives in New York determined to cause a stir. And she knows exactly where to begin. But unbeknownst to them all, someone is watching their every move, someone with revenge in mind. After all, in a world of such dazzling heights, just one wrong step can mean a devastating fall.

Well, that was definitely not what I was expecting. To be honest, I didn’t really remember The Thousandth Floor all that well, and when I went back to read my review some of the pieces came flooding back. I remembered that it was kind of like Gossip Girl meets Pretty Little Liars only set in the future. And when The Dazzling Heights started, it was still like that. Leda is lording all the secrets that she has on Rylin, Avery and Watt to have them keep quiet about what really happened the night that Edris fell from the Tower. And really after a while, Leda’s threats just became down right sad. I felt sorry for this girl. She goes from having a lot friends to none, and it isn’t until her trip back to her old rehab with Watt that she starts to become like the old Leda. Her relationship with Watt is really interesting. They are a lot a like and I’m really curious to see how that progresses.

If there was one character I wish that would be written off it’s Avery. Her story is just downright boring. I mean, here’s a girl who could literally have it all – and does in some respects – and she’s getting so hung up on the fact that her and her adopted brother can’t be together because the world thinks of them as blood related. I mean, considering everything else going on in her life? She really needs to get a grip. I was more interested in Rylin and Calliope’s story than Avery’s. Rylin is the downFloor girl who fell for Cord, the highFloor guy, but betrayed his trust. And seeing those two interact again, makes me all warm and tingly inside. I’m shipping them hard. And am really disappointed that things might not work out because of something Rylin saw that involves Avery. Grr. Calliope is just mysterious in the best ways. Her and her mom are con artists and they had their sights on people in the Tower, but once Calliope started to fall for Atlas – Avery’s brother – she wanted to stop being on the run. Now, that Avery and Leda know the truth though, I’m curious to see how that plays out.

Final Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. These books keep surprising me. Just when I think I know where a story is going to go there’s a twist that I didn’t see coming. So, I guess my question is who killed Mariel? It had to be one of the Four, right?

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Daughter of the Siren Queen by Tricia Levenseller

36682619Title: Daughter of the Siren Queen
Author: Tricia Levenseller
Sequel to: Daughter of the Pirate King
Date Started: March 31
Date Finished: April 2
Format: Hardcover from local library

Alosa’s mission is finally complete. Not only has she recovered all three pieces of the map to a legendary hidden treasure, but the pirates who originally took her captive are now prisoners on her ship. Still unfairly attractive and unexpectedly loyal, first mate Riden is a constant distraction, but now he’s under her orders. And she takes great comfort in knowing that the villainous Vordan will soon be facing her father’s justice. When Vordan exposes a secret her father has kept for years, Alosa and her crew find themselves in a deadly race with the feared Pirate King. Despite the danger, Alosa knows they will recover the treasure first . . . after all, she is the daughter of the Siren Queen.

I’m in shock. Really. Normally when I read duologies where I liked book 1, book 2 doesn’t live up to the hype. But that was not the case for Daughter of the Siren Queen. If anything, this book was slightly better than the first one. And yes, you did read right. Slightly better. I’m a little bit annoyed that we lost some of the sassy Alosa that was present in the first book. But considering she was no longer a captive on another pirate ship, and instead the captain of her own, I’m not too surprised by that. I kind of liked Captain Alosa a bit better anyway. Instead of seeing the sassy, sarcastic side, we get to see the caring, selfless side that she was hiding in the last book.

And while there were a few moments where I think she let her temper get the best of her, the rest of this novel was wonderful. I liked that we got to meet Alosa’s mother and that the reason that Alosa turned on her father was because of the lie he’d been hiding from her for seventeen years. And then there’s Riden…I didn’t think I’d ever fall for another fictional pirate. Apparently, I’ve been proven wrong. Every time this guy showed up on the page, I flew through the words. He is amazing. He’s kind and compassionate. And he’s everything that Alosa needs.

Final Rating: 5 out of 5 stars. I’m really sad to see this series end. It would have been fun to see Alosa set up her life as the new pirate queen. Not to mention her life with Riden.

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