An Ember in the Ashes: Review

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa TahirI was super unsure if this book would be able to live up to the hype. So, I bought a kindle copy and was instantly hooked from the first page. Two chapters later, I knew I just had to buy the paperback, which I finished reading within two days.

The story has all the YA tropes, without being cliche (with I absolutely loved). It made it unique in it’s own way. The story alternates between POV’s of the main two characters, Elias the Soldier, and Laia the slave. It is a character driven story, with each chapter leaving you wanting more.

Laia, being a YA-lead was unlike other YA-leads. Laia would be unsure and lack confidence but she was determined and that is what gave her the fighting spirit she needed to survive.

Elias too, while being good-looking, caring, and what-not, was unlike other ‘brooding YA hunks who are just into girls. Elias wants to be free, but not at the cost of something he cares about.

The side characters are equally likable (Izzi, Keenan) and despicable (Marcus, Commandment). I definitely want to know more about Helene and Cook. I feel those characters were deliberately kept in shadows and can’t help but wonder their backstory.

The romance doesn’t feel forced. It has an awesome buildup that seems natural. The magical element came to me as a surprise but it also didn’t feel out of place. While several plot-points and explanations is saved for the sequel books, overall it was well-written and I can’t wait to start Book 2.

 

Overall: 4.5 out of 5 stars.

 

Wilting Mind: Featured Review

Wilting MindWilting Mind is a collection of free-verse poetry that tells about loss, anxiety and healing through faith. It’s a beautiful collection, which reminded me of my friends, those lost to the world, and those lost to God’ and I also lost few tears. Islaih tells her journey of healing by Faith, Friends and Family. Their support and belief can give you strength even in the darkest of times. It reminded me to cherish my time with them and never take any blessings for granted. The writing style reminded me of how one would write in a diary to feel better at expressing their thoughts on paper. At times I felt the poems didn’t quite flow that well, but overall it carried the feel.

 

Overall: 4 out of 5

 

*I received a free copy from the author in exchange for an honest review*

Rare Blood: Featured Review

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Did Not Finish % 32

Rare Blood is a New Adult Paranormal Romance. It is what initially made me accept the ARC of it. However, it hasn’t lived up to my expectations as far as I’ve read it.

The book starts of with a prologue set in the year 1306. It has a mysterious and dark vibe to it, and I loved it. The chapter starts of with first-person narrative of the Main female character, Miranda. She is a young author who got her first break and happens to sign another writing contract as her circumstances called for. The main male character, Tristan, is also simultaneously introduced.

Tristan, he is a conniving Vampire who does anything for his own good and has now taken interest in Miranda. Miranda is a quirky next-door girl, with a lot of attitude that was honestly too much and often went to the annoying-whiny side. Whenever they meet, it’s mostly pointless banter which issues spanning a lot of pages; He wants her to ‘work’ with him willingly – and his way to convince her includes part-harassing-part-bribing, and She would oppose him at every little thing – only to go with his wishes in the very end.

Some issues that stood out to me were: 1) Tristan is a vampire and has lived for hundred-some years, why doesn’t he know the best way to approach her, especially when he has been watching her!? 2) Miranda’s opinions would change so quickly sometimes within the same chapter that she appeared to be bipolar. At first, she would do and say anything to oppose him, yet when she would finally agree, it would be a simple ‘okay’. I felt that contradicted her character a lot and the pacing of it all, felt weird.

Other issues that made me drop it were the overall pacing of events. The plot seemed to drag on forever with no real path of where it’s headed. Also, the chapters would have third-person narrative start abruptly without any sign to where Miranda’s narrative ended and where the other scene began. Some conflicts would be introduced suddenly, while others had no clear end. As for the side characters, I think they were the only strong points of the whole plot, who acted true to their characters.

 

Overall: 2 out of 5 stars.

 

**I received a free copy from Kate Tilton Author Services in exchange for an honest review**

 

Ebba, The First Easter Hare: Featured Review

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Ebba, The First Easter Hare, is well-written for young kids under 12, and a great read just in time for Easter. The chapters are in third-person with interludes of the character’s thoughts in italics.

The story starts off with the introduction to the King of Hares, Stern, and how his empire is in darkness. The author then introduces the main characters, Atta and Hulde. Soon Ebba is born into the dark realm of King Stern. Ebba decides to go on a mission, after she comes across an abandoned bird’s nest. Meanwhile Atta has gone away in search of a Promised Land where the sun shines and where the King’s darkness cannot reach.

I would have liked to see a more proper conclusion to the story; What happens to Hulde? Does Atta return? Where is the Mother Hen? And so on. However, this was a quick and cute read. (Continues to cheer for Ebba even after the book ended).

 

Overall: 3 out of 5 stars

 

**I received a free copy from the author in exchange for an honest review**

 

This Savage Song: Review

This Savage Song

…Plenty of humans were monstrous, and plenty of monsters knew how to play at being human.” ― V.E. Schwab, Vicious

I don’t particularly like reading dystopian-fantasy stories, but this wasn’t bad.
The book is divided into 4 parts. The first two parts involves world building and character development. The other two parts are a fast-paced buildup to the climax followed by a rather soft conclusion.

The conclusion is less impactful than what I had expected, and the open plot-point towards the end of the book just made me sigh. (I mean, really, a new plot point? I get it is for a projected series, but why bait readers!?)

The writing style is easy to follow and visualize, without going overboard with the details nor dragging the story. Though I would have liked to know more about the City of Verity.

Overall, 3.5 over 5 stars, because some aspects were missing overall to make this a perfect-read, which hopefully will be addressed in its sequel novels.

This is my first V.E. Schwab read, and I’m willing to give her other books a try as well.