Saturday, December 26, 2015

Fire Falling by Elise Kova

Soldier… Sorcerer… Savior… Who is Vhalla Yarl?

Vhalla Yarl marches to war as property of the Solaris Empire. The Emperor counts on her to bring victory, the Senate counts on her death, and the only thing Vhalla can count on is the fight of her life. As she grapples with the ghosts of her past, new challenges in the present threaten to shatter the remnants of her fragile sanity. Will she maintain her humanity? Or will she truly become the Empire’s monster?

Fire Falling is the second book in the Air Awakens Series.

Rating: 1/5 Stars

DNF at 53% and skimmed to the end, because that was my Christmas present to me.

Despite its promising premise, Air Awakens fell flat for me, there was little of it that I liked besides the similarities to ATLA and it had been a pain to read through it all.

However, I read numerous reviews claiming Fire Falling as a fabulous book, much better than its predecessor and my damned curiosity got the best of me. After all, I had really liked the premise of the series, could it be that it was in Fire Falling that we finally see it to its full potential?


I couldn’t even manage to complete this sequel and I chose instead to skim until the end to see if something interesting happened. It didn’t.

Fire Falling begins soon after the end of the first book with Vhalla marching to war as property of the Solaris Empire. I wasn’t exactly thrilled to be back in Vhalla’s selfish head but I was, however, curious. If well she didn’t went through any sort of character development in the first instalment, something to be expected of a character who has her world turned upside down, there was the promise of change in the last paragraph of the novel.

I was really looking forward to that, so imagine my surprise when I start reading… and Vhalla is even worse! I’m not even sure how that’s possible, but it happened. Despite her inner monologue of being a new person with dead friends and what else, Vhalla turns into a desperate, whining creature obsessed with the Prince.

You can’t do that, you can’t promise decent character development at the end of a book and then regress Vhalla back to her fricken infancy! Her entire purpose in this novel is to cry, feel bad about Sareem’s death (a character she gave to figs about when he was alive), feel bad about the Prince who is ignoring her (even though being with her would put both of their lives in great danger), that useless love triangle (rectangle??) and crying again.

I don’t know why Sareem’s death was made into such a big deal, considering how we barely knew the guy. That was a major flaw in the story, the author wanted to create this traumatic event that would change Vhalla and so she chose to kill her friend, the problem was she didn’t spend any time grounding Sareem as a character. In fact if we go back we see that he only has four scenes, six if we are pushing it and during all that time Vhalla treated him like dirt, not even paying attention to him when he spoke. Yet I’m somehow supposed to believe that his death was something that marked her? If the character doesn’t care, then the reader won’t care either.

That was it, Vhalla doesn’t want to do anything war related even though it may KILL her. Her obsession with Aldrik truly baffled me. I didn’t buy it in the first book, but now? For the love of God, I’m pretty sure this girl can’t take a dump without angsting over her precious Aldrik. Her entire thoughts consisted of “Aldrik, Aldrik, Aldrik, My Prince! My Prince! My Prince!” and I just sat there, thinking WHY? Why is she so obsessed with him? Why am I supposed to care about that half-thought of “romantic relationship” with no chemistry or logic?

The real thing Vhalla is in dire need of is a hug… by a force jacket and sit in a room with cushioned walls.

Aldrik was the same, still boring, still “brooding” and the sun still shone out of his ass. Everything that happened to Vhalla, was in fact a plot to show his skills/feelings/bullshit. The story is still orientated so that, despite Vhalla being the main character, nothing is about her but rather her bland love interest.

Larel… oh my sweet Larel! You had so much potential but the writing made you into a Refrigerator Woman, only there to serve a purpose to the main characters and no plot of your own. Back in Air Awakens we knew that her only purpose was to heal Vhalla’s wounds, clean her vomit and make Vhalla jealous due to her relationship with the Prince (though Vhalla is so obsessed she couldn’t believe they were just friends).

In FF she becomes a toy, going as far as to say that she would go to war with Vhalla and die for her… for a girl she has talked to five times, tops. Sounds legit.

 I was looking forward to seeing more of this world, considering how little we got at first and the entire novel would be about heading to war. This would be a fantastic opportunity to expand the world-building! And yet we spent all of that time with a dreaded love triangle that makes no sense, since Vhalla has no doubts who she’s obsessed with-I mean, loves.

The editing was still lackluster. There weren’t so many horrible errors like in the first one, but there were still plenty and it was certainly not up to publishing level.

Clearly, this series just isn’t for me.

Friday, December 25, 2015

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

Tana lives in a world where walled cities called Coldtowns exist. In them, quarantined monsters and humans mingle in a decadently bloody mix of predator and prey. The only problem is, once you pass through Coldtown's gates, you can never leave.

One morning, after a perfectly ordinary party, Tana wakes up surrounded by corpses. The only other survivors of this massacre are her exasperatingly endearing ex-boyfriend, infected and on the edge, and a mysterious boy burdened with a terrible secret. Shaken and determined, Tana enters a race against the clock to save the three of them the only way she knows how: by going straight to the wicked, opulent heart of Coldtown itself.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is a wholly original story of rage and revenge, of guilt and horror, and of love and loathing from bestselling and acclaimed author Holly Black.

Rating: 4/5 Stars

“We all wind up drawn to what we're afraid of, drawn to try to find a way to make ourselves safe from a thing by crawling inside of it, by loving it, by becoming it.” 

I'm sorry for this sad excuse for a review, I think finals and college has taken my ability to write properly... if I ever had such ability.

This book was nothing like what I'm used to in typical YA, and that's probably the reason of why I liked it so much.

Probably the stellar point of The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is its characters; from our main one, Tana, who lived forever haunted by the scars her mother left her when she was infected, and almost killed her. She would always push her luck, risking her wellbeing and doing dangerous stunts to play with death, blaming herself for her mother's death and fearing that she might become her.

“She wished it was an unfamiliar feeling, that ache, the urge that made her hit the gas when she ought to hit the brake.” 

To Aidan, her ex-boyfriend and now Cold friend. I didn't know whether to hate him or feel sorry for him. He was manipulative and selfish but ultimately a good person and desperate to make people like him and don't leave him to the point where he did stupid things to ensure that. He was constantly battling his need for someone to love him with doing what was right, and often failed.

Gavriel, the vampire that had been tortured for over a decade to the point where he couldn't distinguish what was real and what wasn't, his relationship with death and pain had become so mixed up he couldn't live without either.

“But there's nothing you like better than when it hurts a little, is there?" Lucien asked.

Gavriel's bloody mouth lifted in a voluptuous smile. "Sure there is. I like it when it hurts a lot.” 

Midnight... screw her. Yes, yes I can't hate her entirely because just as the rest she was broken, but she was the proof that vampirism didn't turn you into something else but rather showed who you really were, underneath.

Valentina was amazing, her desire to be a vampire esteemed from wanting to remain in her body forever rather than having to depend on hormones and treatments she couldn't afford. I loved how she was so kind and brave, how even though she thought that the boy she loved was in love with a vampire, she still went out of her away and risked her life to make sure that that girl she barely knew lived.

I loved all of the characters, even the ones who had barely a line or no line at all felt real, as if there were a story behind them ready to be told. I loved the diversity both cultural and in sexuality and how it wasn't frowned upon or made a big deal out of it, rather stated as something natural as it should be.

Very few books can do what The Coldest Girl in Coldtown did and pull it off so effortlessly, and it's funny how with it being a book about vampires it dealt with social situations of our daily lives as it main focus, our relationships, our passions, and especially our fears. The writing was fantastic I wish I could quote it all.
The ending was a bit abrupt though, but besides that it was wonderful I absolutely recommend it to everybody!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

The Girlfriend Request by Jodie Andrefski

Updating best friend to girlfriend is more than a change of status…

Emma has been best friends with Eli since she moved to his neighborhood ten years ago. Tired of being cast in the role of the girl next door, Emma creates a fake Facebook profile in the hopes of starting an online friendship with Eli, which would hopefully lead to more. Like...way more. From friend request to In a Relationship--it all seemed so completely logical when she'd planned it.

Eli can't figure out what Emma is up to. He’s pretty sure she's the one behind the Facebook profile, but then again, why would she do something so drastic instead of just admitting she wants to be more than friends? And who the heck is this new guy he saw her with? Eli starts to think that just maybe...he missed his chance with the girl next door.

Two best friends, one outlandish ruse. Their status is about to become way more than It’s Complicated…

This Entangled Teen Crush book contains one fake Facebook profile, two best friends who secretly crave each other, and a dreaded sex talk with parents…boy crush in the room included. Pushing a relationship beyond the friend zone has never been so crazy…

Rating: 2/5 Stars

I was kindly provided with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review via Netgalley.

When reading The Girlfriend request I was pretty sure of what I’d find, a cute and fun love story between two friends filled mishaps and goofy moments and, in a way, that was delivered, I’m just not very happy with it.

Emma and Eli have been best friends since her family moved to their neighbourhood when she was six, and ever since then her love for him grew. The problem is, Eli is perfectly happy with her as a friend which is the reason she creates a fake facebook profile so she can talk to Eli and hopefully get him to fall in love with her.

My issues with the book were a few but, one of the biggest one was its lack of excitement. Sure, as a contemporary romance I knew pretty much everything that would happen, no aliens coming down from the skies or anything, it was a classic romance story but that it’s no reason for it being boring. It was pretty much a knock off of so many other contemporary romances out there, there was nothing about it that could set it apart, no message, humour or idea that made me think this was something else.

Another problem was the characters. Emma could be a little dumb and naïve at times (let's face it, creating a fake Facebook profile for your best friend to fall in love with wasn't exactly genious) but also, she didn’t sound much like a teenager but more like what a grownup imagines a teenager sounds like. Just look at this quote:

“I’d made up an entire Facebook profile in the hopes of starting an online friendship with Eli, which would hopefully lead to more. Like… way more.”

What is this? Does anybody speak like that all the time?

The relationship, although I could see the love from Emma’s side, it lacked substance from Eli. The book is told in two different POVs and to the writer’s credit they don’t blur together and you can actually tell the two voices apart. The thing is Eli has no feelings for Emma. We see how he is happy with their friendship, in no moment does he say that he wants something more or implies that he has different feelings, on the contrary, and yet the second he sees her talking with another boy he’s super-duper in love? I don’t really buy it, he went from zero to 12324234234 in a second.

Probably my biggest issue was the mean girl stereotype.

“Everyone at school is afraid of you because they know what a two-faced vindictive bitch you are, and they don’t want to get on your bad side.”

As a classic romance story with no surprises, the two love birds are meant to have an obstacle, something to keep them apart and build the tension (even though it failed here) and that something was Carissa, Eli’s ex and Emma’s arch nemesis. Carissa had no depth or personality; she was simply mean because beautiful girls are all evil and backstabbing monsters, duh! Except our main character, of course because despite the fact that she has two guys crushing on her and is constantly told to be beautiful, she’s not mean because she has no confidence in herself.

So remember girls, if confidence and self-esteem you have, a bitch you will be called.

That’s the only message I can get from The Girlfriend Request, and when I read a contemporary romance I’m in for the cuteness, not the slut-shaming. 

Monday, December 14, 2015

Air Awakens by Elise Kova

A library apprentice, a sorcerer prince, and an unbreakable magic bond...

The Solaris Empire is one conquest away from uniting the continent, and the rare elemental magic sleeping in seventeen-year-old library apprentice Vhalla Yarl could shift the tides of war.

Vhalla has always been taught to fear the Tower of Sorcerers, a mysterious magic society, and has been happy in her quiet world of books. But after she unknowingly saves the life of one of the most powerful sorcerers of them all—the Crown Prince Aldrik—she finds herself enticed into his world. Now she must decide her future: Embrace her sorcery and leave the life she’s known, or eradicate her magic and remain as she’s always been. And with powerful forces lurking in the shadows, Vhalla’s indecision could cost her more than she ever imagined.

(Ignore my crappy photoshop skills)

Air awakens is the first book written by Elise Kova and set in the fictional world of the Solaris Empire. It tells the story of a library girl, Vhalla who suddenly discovers she is a windwalker, a rare kind of sorcerer that was believed to be extinct.
Unwilling to leave her tranquil life for the mysteries of the sorcerers’ tower, Vhalla will have to make a choice over what life she wants to lead; does she want to be a quiet girl with little aspirations, or a powerful creature beyond anybody’s imagination?

There were a lot of aspects that played against my enjoyment of this book but, certainly the biggest one was its overreliance on clichés.

Quite frankly, I’m getting a bit tired of the typical tropes that plague Young Adult. I understand why it is that they are popular and I don’t judge anyone who enjoys them, but after some time I start craving something different. You can read the same things over and over again before they start trying you, and that was what happened with Air Awakens, despite the promise of a fantastic fantasy world and intriguing plot, this book ran along the usual themes of YA books without paying too much attention to world-building, characters or the plot. The common themes are as follow:

-Young girl who thinks she is plain looking. Why must we always fall into the “plain” girl trope? If only were it used to show that the society’s focus on beauty was wrong and that you have to learn and earn your own self-worth, this trope is often used to show that the plain girl was actually never plain but quite beautiful, therefore conforming herself to the ridiculous beauty standards society holds on them and pinning her self-steam and sense of self-worth on the opinions of others.

-She is incredibly powerful, without doing anything to earn it. She never practices, yet she is better at sorcery than most.

-A romantic plot line that takes over the story, leaving little time and effort for things like… idk a plot.

-Love triangle- rectangle? The more the merrier, I guess.

-Any character arc the main female protagonist gets is always second to that of her male love interest. Her life and traumas will be a way to show his pain and compassion by feeling sorry for her and what he should have done to protect her, making it all about him and not, you guessed it, the actual main character.

It was a shame, because there were so many aspects that I liked and could really connect with, like Vhalla’s feeling (reinforced by her society) that she should please men who were nice to her, that sense of owing a man something simply because they didn’t treat you like less than a human being.
 That, and many more were aspects related to today’s society that could have sent a powerful message, but they were lost in the heavy romantic element and in many cases, were often reinforced by it. Like Vhalla apologizing to the man who almost killed her, because after he pushed her off a cliff he had the “delicacy” of taking her to be healed. Therefore Vhalla completely disregards his attempt on her life because she had a crush on him and wanted him to like her, and he healed her which in her mind makes her grateful for saving her life… when he was the one who endangered it in the first place and even claimed he didn’t really cared whether she lived or not.

Air Awakens is a self-published book, so I’m not particularly picky when indie books have editing issues because I know how much it costs to have them edited and stuff (not to mention how many well respected publishing houses have released popular books with HUGE mistakes on them).

However, when the issue comes to a point when I have to stop every (kindle)page to try and make sense of it, then it’s a serious problem because a simple re-read could have fixed them easily enough. 

The errors went from weird phrasings (either not making sense or the incident when a Prince carried Vhalla to lunch by grabbing her butt), to words missing and to plot inconsistencies; for instance, one minute two characters could be walking out in the fields and the next they were inside the palace, with no explanation on how they got there. Another thing was when Vhalla started to communicate with a mysterious sorcerer who taught her about magic, we as readers knew that they communicated through letters, but never how the exchange happened; did she find notes in her bedroom? Was it like Tom Riddle’s journal where they wrote each other through magic? Later on, as we keep on reading we learn through a conversation that the exchange happened through notes left on books as an off-side comment.

Now, onto the world.

The Solaris Empire, what little of it was explained reminded me a lot of the ATLA universe combined with our own history. We’ve got the different regions, each with a particular set of sorcerers connected to an element, Fire, Earth, air and water. We don’t really know why it is that the powers are separated by regions:

“No sorcerer seems to know why Affinities favor geographical regions. It is known that the majority of Firebearers are from the West, Waterrunners from the South, and Groundbreakers from the North.”

So I’m just gonna go with the Lion Turtles then, until this is explained. (And if you have no idea of what I’m talking about, do yourselves a favour and go watch Aang: The Last Airbender series. NOT the movie.)

Vhalla is the first Windwalker (not bender, it took me a lot of time not to say bender) in over a hundred years.

But no, she does not make cool air tricks, she barely even uses her powers.

Her kind was eradicated for reasons… that are not entirely clear. Apparently people thought they were too powerful? Or… something. The thing was, the fire nation Solaris Empire got them eradicated.


Nobody knows why Vhalla is the first one to be born in such a long time, especially since sorcerers are born out of commoners the same way they born from sorcerers, but nobody seems to care either.

For some reason, sorcerers are feared and considered creepy and mysterious beings. And I say for some reason because I’m still trying to understand why. The heir prince of the Solaris Empire is a sorcerer! They go to war just like everybody else and yet they are treated as pariahs, even though their inventions and services have helped the empire greatly.

The only thing that was explained was the fear in the West, where Vhalla comes from. After Windwalkers were eradicated, people were taught not to speak of it again, books were burned, knowledge was lost until they became little more than a myth, something to invoke fear and subdue people into the power of the Empire. But the rest of the world hasn’t, so I really don’t see why they are so hated other than to cause Vhalla’s conflict over joining the tower. She doesn’t want to be one of them, because she doesn’t want to be weird and stuff, she doesn’t think she belongs there and is afraid of them even though she knows literally nothing of their kind and doesn’t even care to ask.

There is a war going on, because the empire wants to conquer the world, I guess? And spread the word of the “Mother Sun”, their goddess and even though it affects their everyday life and it’s the major historical situation going on at the moment, we never see any of it and barely hear little mentions of it up until the end.

The religion, which could as well be compared to ours in the way that people use it to twist the truth and gain power, is not fully explained. We get a glimpse of history at the very end of the book, a little story while Vhalla is inside a church but nothing else, and nothing during the duration of the novel. It was disappointing that for something that was so essential to the world to be no mention of it in the story.

The characters:

Vhalla is the main character, a quite library girl who discovers she is a sorcerer after she accidentally saves the Crown Prince’s life. To be frank I was wary about her from page 1 thanks to this:

“Vhalla was not the type of girl Prince Baldair would be interested in, she was far too plain

I always cringe when I see female characters believing to be plain because as I’ve said before, what’s really the point? Instead of being used to show character growth by moving past this, Vhalla never changes her mind about her appearance and keeps defining herself more than ever by the opinions of others (particularly, one guy). It reminded me of Alina Starkov from The Grisha Trilogy and her focus on beauty but, at least our Sun Summoner had the decency of staying plain, unlike Vhalla who went through a makeover and realized, she was beautiful! But don’t worry, she’ll still place her value in the appreciation of others.

But beside that , Vhalla had unfortunately a combination of character traits that I don’t find very appealing in people so instead of rooting for her I found myself wishing some serious character change or to at least choke her with the frizzy dark hair she complained so much about.

Vhalla was:
Immature: I know that a lot of people find it cute, but the moment an eighteen year old girl starts throwing temper tantrums and behaving like a six year old, my patience is done. I don’t like childish people, Vhalla cried, literally cried every time some responsibility was laid upon her. She didn’t think or reasoned but rather complained, cried and screamed when things frustrated her.

“I want to go home.” She finally breathed.
“I am sorry Vhalla but you should stay-“
“I want to go home!” Vhalla’s cry interrupted him.

After her friend was surprised to learn that she was a sorcerer but never insulted her or tried to harm her, he was simply shocked, she reacted like this:

“She grabbed Sareem’s stupid gloves. With a cry they were on the floor, her feet jumping upon them.”

When she receives a note telling her to consider not getting rid of the gift that could save thousands of lives:

“She stared numbly at the antagonistic note. With a cry she crumpled and threw it across the window seat, watching it bounce off the opposite wall.”

crying emma roberts chanel oberlin not fair scream queens

You are an eighteen year old woman who lives alone and work for crying out loud!

Dumb: I’m always a bit wary of characters when they are shown to love books, since it tends to be a way for authors to try and get sympathy from the reader without making the effort of giving them a personality. Something of the sort happened here. Vhalla is shown to read as a proof of her intelligence, she’s so knowledgeable because she has read more books than the rest of the library apprentices and yet we are never show proof of this amazing intellect, quite the opposite actually.
The fear of sorcerers in this world comes from ignorance, like in anywhere else. Indiscriminate hate comes from fear of the unknown and that is why knowledge, and therefore books are so important; the more we read the more we learn, the more we learn the less we are inclined to the ignorance that brews hate. And yet, Vhalla despite all of her knowledge she still fears sorcerers, even though she knows nothing about them!

Magic is the pillar of this world, it is a great part of the empire’s history (history being one of Vhalla’s favourite subject, allegedly) and of its everyday life, and yet you tell me that Vhalla never picked up a book and read about it despite the fact that there were plenty of books on the subject?

I don’t buy it.

But it’s not just the ignorance, it’s common sense. Vhalla can’t put two and two together even if her life depended on it which, in many occasions it does which leaves for other guys to come at her rescue.

Her complete blindness to obvious things is used to cause both conflict and surprise but considering how you can see the obviousness ten feet away, it loses the shock factor.
Like when she was talking with the crown prince about sorcery. They spent her free day together talking and when it was over he asked to see her again the very next day, but she refused because she had work the very next day. I literally cringed during this scene, it went something like this:

Vhalla: Even though I want to, I can’t spend time with you tomorrow because I have to work.

Prince: At the imperial library, which I command as crown prince? *winks*

Vhalla, surprised: The very same!

Prince: So if you could have a day off, and because I’m the crown prince I could take you out of there under an excuse, you would like to spend the day with me? *wink wink*

Vhalla confused at his insistence: Emmm yeah, I told you but I have to work, there is no way that we can spend the day together!

*The next day*

Library Master: Vhalla come here, this royal soldier, a soldier under the command of the crown prince has a new task for you in the royal library, the one the crown prince uses and the one he had promised to show you today but he won’t say why he is here for.

Vhalla: Me?! What task could I possible do in the royal library??

*Goes to the library and the prince appears*

Vhalla: Oh howdy dude, fancy seeing you here, do you happen to know what my task is?

Prince: Well yes, there is no task! I said it as an excuse for you to spend time with me!

Vhalla, utterly shocked: Wha- it was you?? Why would you do that???? *swoons*

And this continues throughout the book. It became annoying, especially when it was used over and over again as a plot device to cause drama.
She constantly wonders why on earth everybody is so surprised to hear that she is a windwalker when it is repeated over and over again that they were believed to be extinct centuries ago. Of course they would be surprised!

Or when she spends the day eating lunch in the chambers of the “heartbreaker prince”. She knows his reputation and how every girl who goes to his place goes to sleep with him, and even though a good amount of people saw her there, she’s shocked to learn that there is a rumour she’s sleeping with the guy?

She is selfish and self-centered:
Vhalla had friends who loved her like crazy, and yet she never cared about them or worried for their well-being. Everything always had to be about her, her pains her worries they were all more important than her friends. Even spending time with them seemed like a punishment for her, it was wasted time that she could have used to complain about how her friends never cared about her (even though they went out of their way to make sure she was alright) and what a simple-looking girl she was and why the prince didn’t like her.

Her “closest” friend is almost killed during an attack where she had to watch the love of her life die in a horrible way, and all she does is ask if she is alive but never goes to see her or ask anybody else whether she is alright and never cares about her again, apparently since she never thinks about her.

She is a hypocrite:
Despite all the time she spent judging sorcerers and calling them monsters and abominations, Vhalla is pissed off when her friend is surprised to learn that she is one of them. Even after she learned about sorcerers and how it was all mindless hate but nothing wrong with them, one of them had to barely sneeze in her direction and she would start screaming what a monster they all were and how she never wanted to be with them.

Yet when she tells Sareem that she is a sorcerer, and he is understandably shocked, she screams and rages and tears apart his super expensive birthday gift because he is, merely surprised. All that time I kept waiting for Vhalla to acknowledge that she had done the same and worse, but that it had taken time for her to adjust to the new idea that it was just mindless hate. And yet she never did, she acted as if she had always been a saint, the saviour of sorcerers and the only one who never judged anybody in her entire life. Her friend never even hurt her, but sorcerers were said to be monsters and when he found out that his best friend was one he was evidently shocked and took some time to think, after which he apologized to her saying that he still had a lot to learn but if she was a sorcerer than it couldn’t be so bad, because she was his friend and he wanted to be there for her. Even after that, Vhalla kept telling herself that Sareem wasn’t worth her time, that because he was scared for a moment and didn’t accept her like the most especial snowflake that she believed herself to be, she had to cut him out of her life.

She is special without making an effort:

Despite Vhalla never practicing after discovering that she was a sorcerer and barely reading any books on the subject, she is somehow super amazingly powerful, more than anybody has ever been… ever!
She is so special in fact, that you’ll be reminded of that every chance you get, and so powerful that she bends the rules of her own canon story to be shown as incredibly special.

You see, after her discovery as a Windwalker, the tower master gives her a month to decide on whether she wants to be eradicated or train and be a sorcerer. This is because, once awoken the powers start manifesting at random and she could be exposed, hurt herself or others.

“I am sure you can now appreciate the dangers of having an Awoken and untrained sorcerer around the palace.”
 “But wasn’t the majority of the danger from not knowing how I would wake?” Vhalla asked timidly. “Now that I have Awoken, there’s less of a risk.”
 “No, you have seen how your emotions can influence your magic without training to suppress that natural response.” The minister shook his head, and her heart sank. “I will need you to make your decision today.”

And yet, when she’s with the crown prince and accidentally uses magic to flip between the pages of a book, this happens:

“He nodded. “You kept flipping the pages only by moving your hand over the book, but you never actually touched them. You did not even notice.” His tone was a mix of excitement and severity. “Your powers are showing, Vhalla.”
 “That’s impossible.” She shook her head.
 “For other sorcerers, but not for you, clearly.” He crossed his arms on his chest.”

No it isn’t! It has happened to every sorcerer, always! And yet it’s sued to make Vhalla seem especial. 

Despite her being the main character, the story wasn’t about her:
This is not so much a criticism to her character but rather the way it was constructed. A main character is a main for a reason; this is their story, their journey and yet everything Vhalla ever went through was never about herself but rather about her love interest.

If she is being tortured, insulted and about to be killed, this traumatic experience is about how she has to keep the pain locked in so that the prince won’t suffer because of her. Again, this is the worst moment of Vhalla’s life, and it isn’t even about her.

If she is tortured in her cell by judgemental guards that call her a monster, it’s not about how she copes with it and tries to get through her abuse but rather about how badly the prince feels because he wasn’t there to protect her.

Vhalla’s major arc was to make a decision that would change her life, after spending so long being passive this was her chance to grow and be the person she wanted to become. However, at the end of the book this choice is ripped away from her and it is proven she never even had a choice at all, and she is perfectly fine with that. She doesn’t change or grow, this was her plotline and it was all about someone else.

The rest of the characters were alright, though we don’t really get to see much of them since Vhalla hardly ever has time to think in any other than Prince Aldrik, a person who I honestly didn’t care much about.

Aldrik was the crown prince of the solaris empire. He was never well accepted because of his abilities as a sorcerer and people much preferred his younger brother Baldair, the charismatic and noble one.
After he arrives from the front lines with a poisoned wound, everybody in the library is set to work in finding a cure. Vhalla, thinking him to be Baldair, tries so hard to find a cure that her powers begin to manifest without her even knowing it.
After learning what she is, Vhalla wants nothing to do with that. So the Prince convinces her to follow him to a secret place… and pushes her off a cliff.

He does this to Awaken her powers as a windwalker, even though it is never explained how he knew she was a windwalker (before awakening there is no way to know) and she wakes up three days later in horrible pain.

So, clearly, the guy is an asshole. There were many other ways to ensure she would awaken and they wouldn’t had hurt her, in fact the tower master said that, if well awakenings could be confusing they never hurt.
The Prince later tells her that, because she saved his life while looking for a cure, they were bonded and that meant that not one could harm the other. But the Aldrik had no idea of how the bond worked, and yet he risked her life almost killing her because:

“Because air cannot hurt Windwalkers, like fire cannot hurt Firebearers,” 

It wasn’t the wind that broke nearly every bone in her body, it was the ground she crashed onto. I say we push Aldrik from a tenth floor building into a fire, after all the fire won’t hurt him, right? Only the solid pavement underneath it…

There were some who compared him to the darkling, I don’t see it. I liked The Darkling, he was crazy and possessive but a lot of fun, Aldrik was merely a prince and an ass but he felt sorry for it!!! And that was pretty much all we get to know from him. For Vhalla to think so much about him, we really didn’t get to know him that much.

The romance:
Usually I would call the relationship between Vhalla and Aldrik insta-love but I think I’m gonna go with insta-obsession, since Vhalla is instantly obsessed with the crown prince and I have no idea why.

This “romance” takes over the entire book, leaving aside aspects that I would have very much liked to see developed but weren’t because the sole focus was in Vhalla wondering whether the prince liked her or not, and what it would mean if he liked her or not, but never quite actually believing him when he said he liked her… or not.

You see what I mean?
I didn’t see any chemistry between them unlike with the darkling/alina, probably because none of the two were very developed to begin with, I knew them very little and therefore I didn’t care what would happen to their “relationship”.

Overall, Air Awakens was a book that promised a lot, but the delivery was lackluster. I might try the second book, fire falling since people say things get better!

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Nexis by A.L. Davroe

In the domed city of Evanescence, appearance is everything. A Natural Born amongst genetically-altered Aristocrats, all Ella ever wanted was to be like everyone else. Augmented, sparkling, and perfect. Then…the crash. Devastated by her father’s death and struggling with her new physical limitations, Ella is terrified to learn she is not just alone, but little more than a prisoner.

Her only escape is to lose herself in Nexis, the hugely popular virtual reality game her father created. In Nexis she meets Guster, a senior player who guides Ella through the strange and compelling new world she now inhabits. He offers Ella guidance, friendship…and something more. Something that allows her to forget about the “real” world, and makes her feel whole again.

But Nexis isn’t quite the game everyone thinks it is.

And it’s been waiting for Ella.

Rating: 3/5 Stars

I received a copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I was pleasantly surprised by Nexis and the world the author created.

In the future people live in the virtual world called Nexis, an invention of Ella’s father that she uses to interact with other people. As she is the only “Natural Born “amongst genetically altered aristocrats, Ella spent her time in this virtual world as a way of living and staying away from real human contact.

I liked the main character, she tended to dwell a bit in her sad situation yes, but once it was time to act she took matters into her own hands and went for it.

The side characters were alright, though I wished they had been developed a bit more. They seemed more like stereotypes than real people.

One thing that bothered me to the point where I started considering to stop reading it was the pace. It would start super-fast and action packed, only to get to a snail pace out of the sudden with little action going through each chapter, and then it would pick up again. It was like a roller coaster but I wished the transition had been made a little smoother instead of providing this sharp contrast.

To sum up, Nexis is a creative story with likeable characters and an interesting plot. I’d recommend it to anybody who is into futuristic tales.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Angels of Moirai by Nicole Salmond

Since man first walked the earth, the Angels of Moirai have watched over them. Born human, they are taught never to feel, never to become attached, and never to become emotionally compromised. 

Eighteen-year-old Lila Kingston is haunted by dreams of a mysterious angel. Suddenly the dramas of her broken family and the snobby rich kids at her school fail in comparison to the challenges she must face. 

Hailing from the Angels of Moirai, James Taylor has been entrusted with the fate of lives from around the world for over a thousand years. His sole purpose is to ensure every mortal follows their designated path, but when Lila puts that very purpose at risk, he must make a choice—a choice that ultimately leads to the devastating consequences of a love never meant to exist. 

The choice was never easy. Those kind of choices never are…

Rating: 1/5 Stars

I was kindly provided with a copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.


It's been a long time since I've experienced Twilight nostalgia, and frankly I've kind of missed it, especially these memes, they were the shit back in the days. I loved how people always came up with ridiculous and over-the-top ideas to make new weird-ass jokes.

Angels of Moirai reminded me of a meme similar to this but regarding Fifty Shades which said "And you can't even use "Better love story that Twilight" with this one." (Sorry, I can't seem to find the original one!).
The similarities came from the fact that this reads pretty much like Twilight fanfiction but with more slut-shaming, girls going against girls for no reason at all other than sexism, and abundant dozes of teenage drama that makes me wonder if I was ever as annoying as these guys when I was their age.

The story is as follows; the main character, Lila, starts the book crying inside a pool because her life is miserable. She's a beautiful eighteen year old with loaded parents who give her and her sister all the freedom and money they could ever desire so, clearly, Lila is devastated by her crappy life.

Nobody understands her and honestly, I don't blame them. Lila could have everything and yet there always something "missing", my guess is a brain and common sense, but this is YA so, of course that what is missing is a brooding and mysterious guy who has a unique connection to the MC, and who she’ll fall in love with after two encounters... BUT! He will immediately turn cold on her to cause drama and she'll desperately worry about their super-special love being lost forever, and her life totally ruined.

I was honestly surprised by the Twilight similarities, there were just too many to be a simple wink at the Twilight culture. From the meeting with the love interest, to the full obsession caused after sharing one conversation and her idea that, after they talked, the guy was somehow so affected that he stopped going to school, only to return and be cold and indifferent to her, much like Edward with Bella.

Lila was a character I could not connect with. Maybe I'm getting too old for Young Adult, or maybe the characters are getting more stupid and over the top with each book, or both, but for the life of me I could not understand this girl’s problems!
Her parents work hard to provide for her and her sister so they could have a nice life, and Lila never appreciated the sacrifice that they made. She could only think of what she wanted and whined over why her parents wouldn't just put everything on hold to please her every whim. She even goes as far as to demand her parents to quit their jobs on the spot so "they would prove they care about her" and when they, thankfully, don't Lila turns into a mess and is absolutely convinced that her parents don't love her and resents them for it.

I didn't really care about the plot since I felt like I had read it a thousand times before. All you need to know is that there is a hot and mysterious dude who cares about Lila and Lila only... even though he treats her like crap. Every girl besides her friend is a "slut" (which is baaaaaad, say it like a sheep would) and that even includes her little sister... yikes.

“No matter how strict the school uniform was, there would always be those girls who found a way to make it sexy somehow. Unfortunately, my sister happened to be one of those girls.”

There is a mean girl who wants to have the hot and brooding James all by herself (why the hell would she, I wonder?), so she's of course threatened by our MC with no personality or remarkable traits. 

Then, it turns out the hot guy doesn't even like her after all? 

“I looked straight at him, wondering if his return meant something, and also feeling some sense of relief that he was ok, but he looked at me like I was nothing… like I was no-one.”

Unbelievable! they spoke three motherfucking times!!! 

But then, he does like her? Funny how he shows interest in her again when another guy shows up in Lila’s life...

And more drama! Fated to be but somehow not because it’s forbidden... ish.

I would recommend Angels of Moirai to Hardcore Twilight fans or hardcore angel lovers, that is probably the intended demographic instead of me, who would be more than happy to have Lila's financial estability and loving environment. 
Sue me.