A book with a fierce female character; And I Darken by Kiersten White

27190613I picked this book up because Paperfury had some really good things to say about it and I couldn’t resist reading a book where a European eastern culture is dealt with.

This book is basically a take on Ottoman history’s famous- Vlad Dracula. What if he was a girl? Meet Laga Dragwyla. She and her brother Radu, have been abandoned at the hands of the Ottomans, who she despises. From a very young age, we see Lada being fierce and Radu being gentle and kind, traits that are “expected” to be in the opposite genders.

Then they meet the Ottoman prince Mehmed, and as they grow up with him in the kingdom, their friendship and loyalties are constantly at peril.

PROS: So much betrayal and female badassery. Our main protagonist, Lada was not a character that bounced off of other male characters. She was just really intriguing and bitey on her own. Way ahead of her time, where men were all the rage, she makes a place for herself and not by being a pawn.

Their story as children was all fun but as they grew up the things they were dealing with were more mature and interesting to me. There was a lot of politics, history and religion and normally I stray away from books that deal with religion (especially Islam) because it’s almost always dealt with in a negative light, this book however takes a very non-biased view on it and that was refreshing.

Also, NO LOVE TRIANGLE! That deserves a whole star.

It’s a little gory and a very unconventional Young Adult novel, but I think that’s where its beauty lies. Do be aware that this is NOT a historical fiction. It’s a just a fictional take on history.

There was not a single dull moment. The plot was constantly progressing at a good pace and the characters were so beautiful and adoptable. I loved the writing style and it was overall a really good read. A series that I’m definitely going to continue.

CONS: There was a lot of focus on the love interests once they grew up and that did annoy me a little because I wasn’t really in love with Mehmed… Yikes. Also, even though we are told how fierce she is, we hardly see her kill or go to battle. I’m not saying I want her to go around killing people but I did want more action.

But that’s about all I have to complain about this book.

Final declaration: I would definitely recommend this book for mature young adults out there because this book is a breath of fresh air.

weekend-warrior

And I DarkenNo one expects a princess to be brutal. And Lada Dragwyla likes it that way.

Ever since she and her brother were abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman sultan’s courts, Lada has known that ruthlessness is the key to survival. For the lineage that makes her and her brother special also makes them targets.

Lada hones her skills as a warrior as she nurtures plans to wreak revenge on the empire that holds her captive. Then she and Radu meet the sultan’s son, Mehmed, and everything changes. Now Mehmed unwittingly stands between Lada and Radu as they transform from siblings to rivals, and the ties of love and loyalty that bind them together are stretched to breaking point.

The first of an epic new trilogy starring the ultimate anti-princess who does not have a gentle heart. Lada knows how to wield a sword, and she’ll stop at nothing to keep herself and her brother alive.

Lots of love and bloodshed,

Raven

Why I don’t like the romance genre

I’ve been wanting to talk about this topic for a very long time but I never got around to it cause I’m a lazy shit bag. So, moving on.

I don’t hate romance. I really don’t, but when you give me a book where two characters only care about each other and no one else (or nothing else), not only is it unrealistic but it’s also uninteresting.

I prefer a mix of romance with fantasy or sci-fi because the romance is in the background. It’s not all over my face. I like it when the characters start off as any two strangers would, or when they meet up for a purpose and slowly fall in love.

Continue reading

A very late review of my 2016’s best

befunky-collage

Eileen was a great read. It was dark and isolating and a detailed portrait of a person but also a reflection. It was like a battle of the self, the anatomy of basic human feelings and thought processes with a dash of poisonous habits. It was brilliant.

The thing about jellyfish was a delight. It was little smiles and a warm heart and good wishes. It was the sweetest and it touched me and I’ll forever yell I loved that book from the rooftops. It also had the most beautiful science that reminded me of my love of science and made me sad that science is usually made boring and dry and theoretical and unloved.

Continue reading

Aliens among humans? The enemy within by Scott Burn

31439520One of the last books I read in 2016 and it didn’t disappoint.

It follows the story of a teenage boy, Max, who feels he is going crazy because he starts hallucinating the end of the world. However, when he finds out that three other people are going through the same things as him, things change. They’re different and are being hunted down by the military. Every step they take now will decide their fate and humanity’s.

It’s a very quick and fast paced novel, with some beautifully developed characters and a plot that took unexpected turns. I wasn’t very engrossed in the beginning but soon I was invested in the adventurous storyline.

Continue reading

YOU can help refugee orphans and widows: Read more to find out how

I know we are fiction-based bloggers but it doesn’t mean we ignore the harsh reality that’s out there. The war, the blood-shed, the loss is not gone unheard.

Thanks to the Vlogbrothers and their amazing “Project for awesome” we can help less known charities help more people.

Here’s a video by my best friend Beez that tells you about the great work “The Zahra Trust” has been doing for the refugees. Watch it and if you like and appreciate their work, don’t forget to vote on this link to help them: Vote for Zahra trust

 

Share the video with your friends and family and don’t forget to vote!

Review of Writers of the Future Vol. 32 by… a bunch of people

28189984This was a great read. Basically it’s a collection of short sci-fi and fantasy stories written by new and budding authors. As I read through them I felt so motivated to write because telling a beautiful story in a few pages is a crazy-cool accomplishment that these amazing people did VERY well.

There’s nothing much to discuss when it comes to this book so I’ll just quickly mention some of my favourite short stories and why I liked them.

The first one is Möbius by Christoph Weber (also loved the beautiful illustration by Talia Spencer) This one is a sci-fi. It basically follows the life of an anti-genetic engineering detective Liz Arus whose mum died because of an engineered virus. However the line between allowing genetic engineering to continue in hiding or not blurs when her father gets involved. I loved the writing style, the characters and I love the ending.

Continue reading

Esper Files by Egan Brass

32493342Publication Date: October 26, 2016

Publisher: Inkitt

Targeted Audience: Young Adult/Adult

Genre: Sci-fi – Steampunk/Fantasy

[Note: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review]

This book has been one of my best October reads. I haven’t read a lot of steampunk (something that I hope to change) and reading this has convinced me to read more of it soon.

The book is set in a Victorian era, steampunk, London and begins with a scientist (known as Professor) conducting an experiment that goes real bad, real fast and before you know it, super enhanced human beings known as Espers start popping up. An institute is set up where people with such cool powers are taught to use it for good but naturally we have some villainous peeps with villainous intentions trying to burn the world down. Cue, Nathan and James, Espers from the institute who are later joined by Freya, who wants to save her brother, an Esper,  from the evil Baron.

Continue reading

Mini Comics/Manga Reviews #1

latest.pngAvatar: The Last Airbender – The Rift by Gene Luen Yang

Illustrator:  Gurihiru

Publication Date:  February 11, 2015

Publisher: Dark Horse Comics

Targeted Audience: Young Adult

Genre: Fantasy/Adventure

I loved this book! I have been a HUGE ATLA fan and reading these graphic novels always brings back the feels in huge waves.

feels-wave

This book in particular gave us an insight into Aang and how he tries to rekindle the past by bringing his new Air Acolytes to a festival in honour of Yangchen, the previous Air Avatar. When they arrive, however, they find that the sacred meadow has been replaced by a factory co-owned by Toph’s father.

Continue reading

1 Year Anniversary!

Hello my book fellas! It’s our one year anniversary today!

*screams with joy and flips around like a dolphin*

2016-10-09-1

I can’t believe it’s been a year since we started talking about books and stuff. A year since we met all of you guys here on this beautiful bloggy world, life in plastic, it’s fantastic… what…*

Continue reading

Brian, his Grandad & the Cup of Ages by P.J. Taylor

18742093Publication Date: January 15, 2014

Publisher: Penpress

Targeted Audience: Middle Grade

Genre: Fantasy/Magic

[Note: I received a free e-copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review]

First, off lemme just say that in my opinion I think that this book is a bit too big for average middle grade students. I mean, when I was 11 I don’t think I’d have read this book because it’s just so big.

But if I did read it or if someone read it to me I think I’d have liked it a lot. It’s all about wizards and magical creatures. The story revolves around Brian and how he gets thrown into the magical world when his mom leaves him at his grandparents. And yes it did remind me of Harry Potter in a lot of places because of the characters but plot-wise it is pretty unique in its own way albeit similar.

Continue reading