Tag: Harlequin Teen

Review: The Impossible Vastness of Us by Samantha Young

Posted July 12, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 4 Comments

Review: The Impossible Vastness of Us by Samantha YoungReviewer: Rowena
The Impossible Vastness of Us by Samantha Young
Published by Harlequin, Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: June 27th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 384
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

I know how to watch my back. I’m the only one that ever has.

India Maxwell hasn’t just moved across the country—she’s plummeted to the bottom rung of the social ladder. It’s taken years to cover the mess of her home life with a veneer of popularity. Now she’s living in one of Boston’s wealthiest neighborhoods with her mom’s fiancé and his daughter, Eloise. Thanks to her soon-to-be stepsister’s clique of friends, including Eloise’s gorgeous, arrogant boyfriend Finn, India feels like the one thing she hoped never to be seen as again: trash.

But India’s not alone in struggling to control the secrets of her past. Eloise and Finn, the school’s golden couple, aren’t all they seem to be. In fact, everyone’s life is infinitely more complex than it first appears. And as India grows closer to Finn and befriends Eloise, threatening the facades that hold them together, what’s left are truths that are brutal, beautiful, and big enough to change them forever…

The Impossible Vastness of Us is the first contemporary YA that Samantha Young has written and at first, I wasn’t sure if I was going to read it. Any of her younger stories gives me pause because of my rage after reading Out of the Shallows. I’m scared to try any other NA books by Young because of my experience with Jake and Charlie.

I’m still not quite sure why I picked this book up, other than it’s a Samantha Young and I enjoy most of her books so I caved and boy am I glad that I did because I enjoyed getting to know India, Finn and even Eloise.

India Maxwell is moving across the country, away from her friends and everything she’s ever known because her mother met someone and got engaged. She moved away from her California suburban home to the upper crust of Boston society. She went from being the popular poor girl to a rich newbie that nobody knew and then thanks to her soon to be step-sister, the rich newbie that nobody wanted to get to know. India hasn’t had an easy life. She’s dealing with a bunch of stuff from her past and having to build defenses against a new school and a new life isn’t easy for her. Her mother is happy with her new love and he’s got a daughter that is India’s age but she’s made it very clear that they won’t be besties. So India does what any normal person would do. She keeps her head down and gets on with life.

She has no interest in becoming a part of the family that her Mom is trying to blend. She’s got issues with male figures of authority and her step-sister isn’t an easy person to be around, especially since she’s got a boyfriend that India is way attracted to.

Against India’s better judgement, she becomes entangled in a friendship that can’t go anywhere and she’s put in a situation that she can’t get out of and there’s so much going on in her new life that she starts to flounder a bit and the reader is treated to some real character growth in India. I thought Samantha Young did a great job of showing us just how much India, Finn and Eloise grew from the beginning of the book to the end. They became a unit that I wasn’t prepared for and the secrets they kept were some pretty big secrets.

I came to learn that not everything is as it seems and pain hits everyone, no matter how poor or rich you are. India had her issues that she was working through and so did Finn and Eloise. I thought Samantha Young did a great job of portraying India’s mothers struggles to fix her relationship with India. I loved seeing India really come into her own and accept her new life and deal with her issues with Theo and separating him from her past. India was a great protagonist that wasn’t perfect but was relatable.

Finn and Eloise were great characters in their own right. Sure, they frustrated me from time to time, especially Finn’s hot and cold attitude but once everything is out in the open and they warm up to India (who never deserved their scorn), my attitude toward them changed. Eloise’s situation was a hard one to read about because I just wanted to hug her close and keep her safe from everything but I was really glad with the way that her story wrapped up.

Overall, this was great addition to Samantha Young’s backlist. I really connected with all of the characters, even bitch ass Bryce and I was cheering them all on to get their happy endings. This was an entertaining read from beginning to end and I definitely recommend this book to anyone wanting a fun contemporary YA with characters that are put through the wringer and come out on top in the end. It’s good, I promise!

Grade: 4 out of 5

four-stars


Tagged: , , , , , ,

Review: Walk the Edge by Katie McGarry

Posted March 31, 2016 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Walk the Edge by Katie McGarryReviewer: Rowena
Walk the Edge by Katie McGarry
Series: Thunder Road #2
Also in this series: Nowhere but Here
Published by Harlequin
Publication Date: April 1st 2016
Genres: Young Adult
Pages: 304
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars

One moment of recklessness will change their worlds

Smart. Responsible. That's seventeen-year-old Breanna's role in her large family, and heaven forbid she put a toe out of line. Until one night of shockingly un-Breanna-like behavior puts her into a vicious cyberbully's line of fire—and brings fellow senior Thomas "Razor" Turner into her life.

Razor lives for the Reign of Terror motorcycle club, and good girls like Breanna just don't belong. But when he learns she's being blackmailed over a compromising picture of the two of them—a picture that turns one unexpected and beautiful moment into ugliness—he knows it's time to step outside the rules.

And so they make a pact: he'll help her track down her blackmailer, and in return she'll help him seek answers to the mystery that's haunted him—one that not even his club brothers have been willing to discuss. But the more time they spend together, the more their feelings grow. And suddenly they're both walking the edge of discovering who they really are, what they want, and where they're going from here.

Walk the Edge is the second book in McGarry’s Thunder Road series, a series that follows the children of MC brothers. This book follows Thomas “Razor” Turner, the newly patched in brother to the Reign of Terror MC.

Razor hasn’t been the same since his mother died a few years ago. The whole thing seemed off to him and he hasn’t been able to move on from it. When a detective starts sniffing around, planting theories in his head about his Mom’s death and with those theories come a whole lot of doubts that surround the MC. His issues throughout the entire book center on him learning to open himself up to trust those around him that love him. It’s not an easy road, especially when those people that are supposed to love you making it so hard to trust them.

Breanna is #5 of 9 children. She’s stuck in the middle and doesn’t fit in with her older siblings and is too old for her younger siblings. Her parents rely on Breanna to pretty much raise her younger siblings and her older siblings are a bunch of assholes that are too busy to help her. Breanna takes the cake when it comes to being smart. Her brain works in a very special way and it has made her the laughingstock at school. The whispers, the laughing and everything gets pretty bad at school that she has spent a number of years hiding how smart she really is so that she could fit in.

Being laughed at and made to feel like a freak show at school is bad enough but a kid should not have to live with it at home. When Breanna comes across Thomas Turner, known around town as Razor from the Reign of Terror Motorcycle Club, she isn’t expecting the relationship that blossomed between them. Razor wasn’t prepared it either.

Their lives are night and day. His is filled with motorcycles, parties and girls but her life is nothing like that. Her life is filled with kids and obligations and responsibilities that shouldn’t be hers but are anyway. They shouldn’t have been right for each other but they were and I really enjoyed the romance between them. McGarry really shines at writing the complicated romances that will gut you with feelings.

Two completely imperfect characters, young characters at that really get put through the wringer in this book and it was a hell of a ride. The book itself was compelling as I couldn’t put it down but I was frustrated as shit throughout a huge chunk of this book.

There’s a lot tackled in this book and I enjoyed it but more than once I wanted to punch someone’s lights out and it was a different person every time. The MC and their idiotic ways of “protecting” their own. Breanna’s never around parents and her older siblings (Clara especially). The whole blackmailing thing. Everything comes together in a complicated way to end the book but when I closed the book, I was still frustrated with Breanna’s family. I was still frustrated with the whole Kyle thing but the one thing that I absolutely loved was the love between Razor and Breanna. It was the one thing that completely worked for me.

Razor really came into his own in this story and I liked seeing him come to terms with his mother’s death. My heart hurt for him. I wanted to hug him close and never let him go.

Breanna’s story is one that I connected with. It’s something that I understood being one of 9 children myself. Getting lost in a crowd of kids, fighting for attention and more often than not, losing. Where her siblings kept her at arms lengths, my siblings supported me and each other through everything. Dance recitals, soccer games? All of my siblings were there to support me while my parents were busy with work but Breanna didn’t have it like that so my heart hurt for her as well.

I was really glad that Razor and Breanna had each other. I loved seeing them fall for each other because they were there for each other when nobody else was and we all need someone in our corner so I was glad that these two had each other. They were great characters on their own but they were better together and I dug their romance.

It’s saying a lot about McGarry’s writing style that I can still be completely obsessed with this series even after being frustrated with this book. Its saying a lot that I cannot wait for the next book to come out and I hate the heroine right now. I wanted to karate chop her in both this book and Nowhere but Here but damn if I’m not excited to tackle her and Chevy’s book. So while this book wasn’t without its frustrating bits, I still liked it enough to want to continue the series.

3 out of 5

three-stars


Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Review: Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry

Posted March 30, 2016 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarryReviewer: Rowena
Nowhere but Here by Katie McGarry
Series: Thunder Road #1
Also in this series: Walk the Edge
Published by Harlequin
Publication Date: June 1st 2015
Genres: Young Adult
Pages: 304
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

An unforgettable new series from acclaimed author Katie McGarry about taking risks, opening your heart and ending up in a place you never imagined possible

Seventeen-year-old Emily likes her life the way it is: doting parents, good friends, good school in a safe neighborhood. Sure, she's curious about her biological father—the one who chose life in a motorcycle club, the Reign of Terror, over being a parent—but that doesn't mean she wants to be a part of his world. But when a reluctant visit turns into an extended summer vacation among relatives she never knew she had, one thing becomes clear: nothing is what it seems. Not the club, not her secret-keeping father and not Oz, a guy with suck-me-in blue eyes who can help her understand them both.

Oz wants one thing: to join the Reign of Terror. They're the good guys. They protect people. They're…family. And while Emily—the gorgeous and sheltered daughter of the club's most respected member—is in town, he's gonna prove it to her. So when her father asks him to keep her safe from a rival club with a score to settle, Oz knows it's his shot at his dream. What he doesn't count on is that Emily just might turn that dream upside down.

No one wants them to be together. But sometimes the right person is the one you least expect, and the road you fear the most is the one that leads you home.

When I first heard that Katie McGarry was writing an MC series that followed not the adults in the MC but their kids, I was mighty intrigued to see how she’d pull it off. I bought the first book with every intention of reading it but a year passed and nothing. Then the second book popped up on my radar and I read the blurb and my interest in the series picked right back up, only this time I read the first book.

I liked it.

I like the MC world that Kurt Sutter created for Sons of Anarchy and I’m happy to say that I like the MC world that McGarry has created for her characters. These Reign of Terror kids are complex and gritty in a way that will keep you turning the page and I was all about that in this book.

Emily’s father is in a motorcycle club and lives a life that she knows nothing about. She grew up in Florida and loves her life there. She’s close with her Mom and Stepdad, she stays out of trouble and she’s got a good life but when her biological father’s Mom gets cancer and dies, Emily is shipped to Snowflake, Kentucky to attend the services. Things escalate quickly in the Motorcycle Club world and when danger presents itself, Emily finds herself not just attending her Grandmother’s wake but staying for the entire summer…for her safety.

Oz is so close to becoming eligible to join the Reign of Terror. He’s wanted to be a part of the brotherhood for as long as he can remember. He grew up in the MC world so he was around and knows all about Emily’s history with the club. More importantly, he remembers who Emily’s mother was and he doesn’t want to have any part of either of them. When Emily shows up for Olivia’s wake, she’s all hoity toity and snooty so he dislikes her on site, he doesn’t even care how hot she is but when her safety is threatened, Oz is put on babysitting duty and his summer just got a whole lot complicated because with each passing day, he softens in his attitude toward this girl.

I really enjoyed the whole forbidden romance between Oz and Emily. I liked that they grew from strangers who didn’t like one another to semi-friends to friends to something much more than either was expecting. Oz knew that Emily was off-limits because Eli (Emily’s real Dad) laid that out for him but there’s no telling your heart a damn thing. It wants what it wants and his wanted Emily.

The romance between Oz and Emily was great. It slowly unraveled and I was a huge fan of the two of them together. I loved seeing Oz struggle with his feelings for Emily and his loyalty to the club. I also really enjoyed seeing Emily come into her own. The life she knew back in Florida was so far gone but she bounced back and adjusted well for someone so young.

The one gripe that I had were the adults in this book. They were really dumb. They kept secrets to protect the kids but those secrets put the kids in danger. I felt that if they had warned the kids instead of kept them completely in the dark that the kids wouldn’t have been in as much danger as they were. I mean seriously! Emily’s curiosity and Eli and her Mom’s refusal to tell her the truth is what landed her in all that trouble to begin with. Ugh, it was so frustrating but holy cow was there a lot of drama that had me sitting up and saying, “HOLY SHIT!” a lot of times. I was highly entertained and my heart hurt for Eli and Olivia and Emily and Oz and just…everyone. Everyone except Emily’s Mom and Violet. I wanted to punch the both of them repeatedly throughout this book.

But overall, this was a great read and it’s got me all anxious for more. I’m even anxious for Chevy and Violet’s book and I hate Violet right now. Haha.

Grade: 4 out of 5

four-stars


Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Katie McGarry’s Chapter One Reveal for Walk the Edge

Posted March 4, 2016 by Rowena in Promotions | 1 Comment

Walk the Edge - Chapter Reveal banner

I was really interested in reading this series because it’s an MC romance for YA readers. The main characters are the kids of MC members. Nice little twist on what I’m used to so I was all about reading this.

Walk the Edge is the second book in the Thunder Roads series and today we’ve got a Chapter One reveal that is pretty awesome.

Walk the Edge - cover
Walk the Edge (Thunder Road #2) by Katie McGarry
Releases on March 29, 2016 by Harlequin Teen

Pre-Order the Book:

AMAZON || BARNES AND NOBLE || KOBO

One moment of recklessness will change their worlds.

Smart. Responsible. That’s seventeen-year-old Breanna’s role in her large family, and heaven forbid she put a toe out of line. Until one night of shockingly un-Breanna-like behavior puts her into a vicious cyber-bully’s line of fire—and brings fellow senior Thomas “Razor” Turner into her life.

Razor lives for the Reign of Terror motorcycle club, and good girls like Breanna just don’t belong. But when he learns she’s being blackmailed over a compromising picture of the two of them—a picture that turns one unexpected and beautiful moment into ugliness—he knows it’s time to step outside the rules.

And so they make a pact: he’ll help her track down her blackmailer, and in return she’ll help him seek answers to the mystery that’s haunted him—one that not even his club brothers have been willing to discuss. But the more time they spend together, the more their feelings grow. And suddenly they’re both walking the edge of discovering who they really are, what they want, and where they’re going from here.

Chapter One

THERE ARE LIES in life we accept. Whether it’s for the sake of ignorance, bliss or, in my case, survival, we all make our choices.

I choose to belong to the Reign of Terror Motorcycle Club. I choose to work for the security company associated with them. I also choose to do this while still in high school.

All of this boils down to one choice in particular—whether or not to believe my father’s version of a lie or the town’s. I chose my father’s lie. I chose the brotherhood of the club.

What I haven’t chosen? Being harassed by the man invad­ing my front porch. He’s decked out in a pair of pressed kha­kis and a button-down straight from a mall window. The real question—is he here by choice or did he draw the short stick?

“As I said, son,” he continues, “I’m not here to talk to your dad. I’m here to see you.”

A hot August wind blows in from the thick woods sur­rounding our house, and sweat forms on the guy’s skin. He’s too cocky to be nervous, so that dumps the blame of his shiny forehead on the 110-degree heat index.

“You and I,” he adds, “we need to talk.”

My eyes flash to the detective badge hanging on the guy’s hip and then to his dark blue unmarked Chevy Caprice parked in front of my motorcycle in the gravel drive. Twenty bucks he thinks he blocked me in. Guess he underestimated I’ll ride on the grass to escape.

This guy doesn’t belong to our police force. His plates suggest he’s from Jefferson County. That’s in the northern part of Ken­tucky. I live in a small town where even the street hustlers and police know each other by name. This man—he’s an outsider.

I f lip through my memory for anything that would jus­tify his presence. Yeah, I stumbled into some brawls over the summer. A few punches thrown at guys who didn’t keep their mouths sealed or keep their inflated egos on a leash, but noth­ing that warrants this visit.

A bead of water drips from my wet hair onto the worn gray wood of the deck and his eyes track it. I’m fresh from a shower. Jeans on. Black boots on my feet. No shirt. Hair on my head barely pushed around by a towel.

The guy checks out the tats on my chest and arms. Most of it is club designs, and it’s good for him to know who he’s dealing with. As of last spring, I officially became a mem­ber of the Reign of Terror. If he messes with one of us, he messes with us all.

“Are you going to invite me in?” he asks.

I thought the banging on the door was one of my friends showing to ride along with me to senior orientation, not a damned suit with a badge.

“You’re not in trouble,” he says, and I’m impressed he doesn’t shuff le his feet like most people do when they arrive on my doorstep. “As I said, I want to talk.”

I maintain eye contact longer than most men can manage.

Silence doesn’t bother me. There’s a ton you can learn about a person from how they deal with the absence of sound. Most can’t handle uncomfortable battles for dominance, but this guy stands strong.

Without saying a word, I walk into the house and permit the screen door to slam in his face. I cross the room, grab my cut off the table, then snatch a black Reign of Terror T-shirt off the couch. I shrug into the shirt as I step onto the porch and shut the storm door behind me.

The guy watches me intently as I slip on the black leather cut that contains the three-piece patch of the club I belong to. Because of the way I’m angled, he can get a good look at our emblem on the back: a white half skull with fire raging out of the eyes and drops of fire raining down around it. The words Reign of Terror are mounted across the top. The town’s name, Snowflake, is spelled on the bottom rocker.

He focuses on the patch that informs him I’m packing a weapon. His hand edges to the gun holstered on his belt. He’s weighing whether I’m carrying now or if I’m gun free.

I cock a hip against the railing and hitch my thumbs in the pockets of my jeans. If he’s going to talk, it would be now. He glances at the closed door, then back at me. “This is where we’re doing this?”

“I’ve got somewhere to be.” And I’m running late. “Didn’t see a warrant on you.” So by law, he can’t enter.

A grim lift of his mouth tells me he understands I won’t make any of this easy. He’s around Dad’s age, mid to late forties. He gave his name when I opened the door, but I’ll admit to not listening.

He scans the property and he has that expression like he’s trying to understand why someone would live in a house so small. The place is a vinyl box. Two bedrooms. One bath.

A living room–kitchen combo. Possibly more windows than square footage.

Dad said this was Mom’s dream. A house just big enough for us to live in. She never desired large, but she craved land. When I was younger, she used to hug me tight and explain it was more important to be free than to be rich. I sure as hell hope Mom feels free now.

An ache ripples through me, and I readjust my footing. I pray every damn day she found some peace.
“I drove a long way to see you,” he says.

Don’t care. “Could have called.”

“I did. No one answered.”

I hike one shoulder in a “you’ve got shit luck.” Dad and I aren’t the type to answer calls from strangers. Especially ones with numbers labeled Police. There are some law enforcement officers who are cool, but most of them are like everyone else— they judge a man with a cut on his back as a psychotic felon.

I don’t have time for stupidity.

“I’m here about your mother.” The asshole knows he has me when my eyes snap to his.

“She’s dead.” Like the other times I say the words, a part of me dies along with her.

This guy has green eyes and they soften like he’s apolo­getic. “I know. I’m sorry. I’ve received some new evidence that may help us discover what caused her death.”

Anger curls within my muscles and my jaw twitches. This overwhelming sense of insanity is what I fight daily. For years, I’ve heard the whispers from the gossips in town, felt the stares of the kids in class, and I’ve sensed the pity of the men in the Reign of Terror I claim as brothers. It’s all accu­mulated to a black, hissing doubt in my soul.

Suicide.

It’s what everyone in town says happened. It’s in every hushed conversation people have the moment I turn my back. It’s not just from the people I couldn’t give two shits about, but the people who I consider family.

I shove away those thoughts and focus on what my father and the club have told me—what I have chosen to believe. “My mother’s death was an accident.”

He’s shaking his head and I’m fresh out of patience. I’m not doing this. Not with him. Not with anyone. “I’m not interested.”

I push off the railing and dig out the keys to my motor­cycle as I bound down the steps. The detective’s behind me. He has a slow, steady stride and it irritates me that he fol­lows across the yard and doesn’t stop coming as I swing my leg over my bike.

“What if I told you I don’t think it was an accident,” he says.

Odds are it wasn’t. Odds are every whispered taunt in my direction is true. That my father and the club drove Mom crazy, and I wasn’t enough of a reason for her to choose life.

To drown him out, I start the engine. This guy must be as suicidal as people say Mom was, because he eases in front of my bike, assuming I won’t run him down.

“Thomas,” he says.

I twist the handle to rev the engine in warning. He raises his chin like he’s finally pissed and his eyes narrow on me. “Razor.”

I let the bike idle. If he’s going to respect me by using my road name, I’ll respect him for a few seconds. “Leave me the fuck alone.”

Damn if the man doesn’t possess balls the size of Montana. He steps closer to me and drops a bomb. “I have reason to believe your mom was murdered.”

If that’s not a great set up for a book, I don’t know what is. If you’re a fan of YA books and MC romances, you’ll want to add this book to your to be bought lists.

Thunder Roads Series

Walk the Edge - preorder graphic

About the Author

Katie McGarry - author pic

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

Katie McGarry was a teenager during the age of grunge and boy bands and remembers those years as the best and worst of her life. She is a lover of music, happy endings, reality television, and is a secret University of Kentucky basketball fan.

Katie is the author of full length YA novels, PUSHING THE LIMITS, DARE YOU TO, CRASH INTO YOU, TAKE ME ON, BREAKING THE RULES, and NOWHERE BUT HERE and the e-novellas, CROSSING THE LINE and RED AT NIGHT. Her debut YA novel, PUSHING THE LIMITS was a 2012 Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction, a RT Magazine’s 2012 Reviewer’s Choice Awards Nominee for Young Adult Contemporary Novel, a double Rita Finalist, and a 2013 YALSA Top Ten Teen Pick. DARE YOU TO was also a Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction and won RT Magazine’s Reviewer’s Choice Best Book Award for Young Adult Contemporary fiction in 2013.


Tagged: , , , ,

Guest Review: Legacy of Kings by Eleanor Herman

Posted August 20, 2015 by Whitley B in Reviews | 0 Comments

Legacy of Kings
Whitley’s review of Legacy of Kings (Blood of Gods and Royals #1) by Eleanor Herman.

Imagine a time when the gods turn a blind eye to the agony of men, when the last of the hellions roam the plains and evil stirs beyond the edges of the map. A time when cities burn, and in their ashes, empires rise.

Alexander, Macedonia’s sixteen-year-old heir, is on the brink of discovering his fated role in conquering the known world but finds himself drawn to newcomer Katerina, who must navigate the dark secrets of court life while hiding her own mission: kill the Queen. But Kat’s first love, Jacob, will go to unthinkable lengths to win her, even if it means competing for her heart with Hephaestion, a murderer sheltered by the prince. And far across the sea, Zofia, a Persian princess and Alexander’s unmet fiancée, wants to alter her destiny by seeking the famed and deadly Spirit Eaters.

Weaving fantasy with the salacious and fascinating details of real history, New York Times bestselling author Eleanor Herman reimagines the greatest emperor the world has ever known: Alexander the Great, in the first book of the Blood of Gods and Royals series.

Legacy of Kings has some rich worldbuiling and plots, complex characters, enormous potential…and some pretty severe pacing problems. I didn’t really notice how bad it was until I finished the book, because the writing was engrossing enough that I was carried along anyway, but the rushed ending really ended up highlighting how slow the rest of the book was. Overall not a terrible thing, but it left me with a bit of a sour note, and unfortunately the last note in a book is what stays with me after I’m finished reading it…

The book is told in seven different POV’s, and it could have been done easily in four. On the one hand, I really did enjoy the variety in views that we got, as all the characters are distinct and (most) had a great layer to add to the story, giving us insights and showing different aspects of court life in ancient Macedon. There was a ton of backstory in the early part of the novel, but there were so many characters and everything was so vivid that it fit rather well. We had a lot to get used to, so a slow pace and plenty of introduction was fine. I enjoyed the various plots going on: Cyn’s rather novice attempts at treachery, Kat slowly learning about her mother’s past, the little flecks of magic that kept popping up.

And then the ending came, where a whole war from concept to first battle was thrown into the last 25% of the novel, and I that’s about the part where I started thinking “you know, we probably could have replaced some of those backstories with more setting up for this.” If the book had maintained the same pacing throughout, I probably wouldn’t have even noticed, but with the sudden shift into “oh shit, let’s throw all this in,” it was kind of obvious. Kat suddenly traveling three countries over and getting one chapter’s worth of ‘training’ didn’t help matters, either. I mean, I liked those plots; I would have been perfectly happy to spend more time with them.

I could have done without Zophia’s POV entirely. Her story didn’t intersect with the rest of the cast at all, it wasn’t a complete arc, and we went so long between her chapters that I kind of forgot she existed in the interim. Plus there was a lot about her story that just squicked me, especially the “I’m going to chuckle while I’m sadistic to you” guy she meets at the end. Just…I’m never comfortable reading that sort of a character, and doubly so when it doesn’t seem to serve much purpose. Even without that, her story was just one round after another of rape threats and captivity, and I didn’t see the point since there was zero conclusion to her side. Not even a cliffhanger conclusion, just a fizzle of a pause.

The rest of the characters were interesting, but none of them really leapt out at me. What really had me hooked was the sense of history to the writing. There were lots of details and references that kept the story well-grounded in its historical setting, and stuff like that just always tickles me. That, and trying to figure out what happened to Kat’s mother. I did end up guessing correctly, but not until a couple chapters before the reveal, which just the way I like it. Lets me feel smart but not frustrated. 😛

Overall, I’d recommend it to fantasy and history fans alike, but if you prefer your books with lots of activity, this might not be for you.

Rating: 3 out of 5

This title is available from Harlequin Teen.  You can purchase it here or here in e-format.


Tagged: , , , , , , , ,