Review: The Radical Element by Jessica Spotswood.

Title – The Radical Element
Series – A Tyranny of Petticoats #2
Author – Jessica Spotswood
How I Got It – From the publisher
Pages – 320 pages
Publication Date – March 13th 2018 by Candlewick Press
ISBN – 9780763694258
My Rating – ★★★★/5

“Twelve of the most talented writers working in YA literature today have created a century and a half of heroines on the margins and in the intersections, young women of all colours and creeds standing up for themselves and their beliefs. They are ignoring their mother’s well-meant advice and forging their own paths – whether secretly learning Hebrew in early Savannah, using the family magic to pass as white in 1920s Hollywood or singing in a feminist punk band in 1980s Boston.”

I received a copy of The Radical Element from Walker Books Australia to review. This is the second book in a series I guess. I haven’t read the first book, A Tyranny of Petticoats but I don’t really think you need to as they’re both anthologies so it’s not like the stories continue from the first book to the second. I will read the first book eventually though.

I know I’ve said this before. Probably more than once actually. But I have had problems with anthologies before. I either don’t like any of the stories or only a handful at most. I did enjoy every story in this book though. Which hardly ever happens. IMG_20180404_105943_177

A friend of mine recommended the first book a few years ago and I did buy a copy but I still haven’t read it. I will hopefully pick it up soon. I really want to read it after how much I enjoyed this.

The Radical Element was full of strong and amazing young women and diversity too. I always love reading about different cultures and countries. I don’t think I’ve read a lot of books set during these times so I did find this really interesting.

A lot of the stories were based on the years they were set in but there were two, that I can remember off the top of my head, that had magic in them. I think they’re called magical realism? I’m not really sure. I can’t remember having ever read a magical realism story before but I think I have two sitting on my shelves.

Anyway, I do wish some of the stories were longer and I wanted to know what happened to the characters after their stories were over. But that’s always the problem with short stories if you like them. I’d definitely recommend this to people who love reading about strong, independent women who dare to follow their dreams and hearts!

*Thank you Walker Books Australia for sending me a copy to review*

– Aimee.

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Review – Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend.

Title – Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow
Series – Nevermoor #1
Author – Jessica Townsend
How I Got It – From the publisher
Pages – 480 pages
Publication Date – October 31st 2017 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
ISBN – 9780316439954
My Rating – ★★★★/5

Morrigan was born on Eventide – the unluckiest day for any child to be born – and has been blamed for every local misfortune all her life. But even worse than that, the curse means Morrigan will die at midnight on her eleventh birthday.

As Morrigan waits for midnight, a strange man called Jupiter appears. Hoping to outrun the shadows that are trying to kill her, Jupiter takes Morrigan to a magical and secret city called Nevermoor.  Untitled

Soon, Morrigan discovers that Jupiter chose her to compete for a place in the Wundrous Society. For Morrigan to be accepted in the Society, she much complete four trials against other children. If she fails she’ll have to leave the city and face whatever’s waiting for her back home.

I received a copy of Nevermoor from Hachette New Zealand to review. I’d heard a lot of good things about this book but I didn’t want to get my hopes up. Especially with it being compared to Harry Potter and The Hunger Games. I love those books and I really didn’t want to compare them. But I really enjoyed it!

I did find it a bit cheesy in places but it is a middle grade book so I guess it was kind of DceEPAJVMAAFqMPexpected. I mean, it’s not cheesy in a bad way.

I liked Morrigan and her friend. I think his name was Hawthorne? But I’m not 100% sure. I found Morrigan’s story really interesting and I was totally rooting for her to get into the Wondrous Society. But there were other, very unique, characters in the book and all of them lived in Jupiter’s hotel. Even the hotel seem to have its own personality.

Nevermoor was full of adventure with all the trials Morrigan had to do and it added to the fun and magic of the book. It was dark in places, especially with the curse and Morrigan’s family (except her grandmother) But I really enjoyed this and will definitely be picking up a copy of the sequel when it comes out.

*Thank you Hachette New Zealand for sending me a copy to review*

– Aimee.

Review: This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvada.

Title – This Mortal Coil
Series – This Mortal Coil #1
Author – Emily Suvada
How I Got It – From the publishers
Pages – 464 pages
Publication Date – November 2nd 2017 by Penguin Books Ltd
ISBN – 9780141379272
RRP – $23.00
My Rating – ★★★★/5

When Cole turns up with news of Lachlan Agatta’s death, hope seems lost for Catarina. Her dad was the leading geneticist and humanity’s best hope of finding a cure for a deadly virus. But hidden in Cole’s genehacked enhancements, Cat finds a message – Lachlan created a cure!

But only Cat can decrypt it. That’s if she can figure out all the clues he left her. The closer she gets, the more she finds herself in danger from Cartaxus. There are a billion lives at stake and a handful of people who have a chance at saving them. But Lachlan has one last secret that Cat needs to unlock and it will change everything. Db-7_LfVQAAFdbx

I received a copy of This Mortal Coil from Penguin Random House New Zealand to review. I’d heard really good things about this so I was really excited to finally pick it up. I will admit that it took me a while to get into. I don’t think all the tech and science talk helped at all. Those are two subjects that bore me to read about but I pushed through it and I’m so glad I did.

Anyway, wow Cat’s father was a piece of work. It wasn’t all that obvious to me in the beginning because Cat loved her father but the more she showed of her past and her time with Lachlan I just got a weird feeling about him. I don’t really know why.

There were a lot of twists in This Mortal Coil. And I mean a lot! Most of them came as a surprise. If you’re like me and all the science and tech stuff isn’t your thing, I’d definitely push past it all because this book is so work it just for all the surprises.

Speaking of the twists, I did see the one at the end coming. I mean, when is anything ever that easy? But it has me hanging out for the sequel!

I liked both Cat and Cole and I’m also excited to find out what’s next for them. I cannot wait for the second book to come out!!

If you love books with amazing twists, mystery, suspicion and death then I definitely recommend picking up a copy of This Mortal Coil.

*Thank you Penguin Random House for sending me a copy to review*

– Aimee.

Review: Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold.

Title – Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold
Series – Kitty Hawk and the Flying Detective Agency #1
Author – Iain Reading
How I Got It – From the publisher
Pages – 262 pages
Publication Date – December 3rd 2012 by Amazon Digital Services
My Rating – ★★★/5

“Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold is the thrilling first installment in a new series of adventure mystery stories that are one part travel, one part history and five parts adventure. This first book of the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series introduces Kitty Hawk, an intrepid teenage pilot with her own De Havilland Beaver seaplane and a nose for mystery and intrigue. A cross between Amelia Earhart, Nancy Drew and Pippi Longstocking, Kitty is a quirky young heroine with boundless curiosity and a knack for getting herself into all kinds of precarious situations.

After leaving her home in the western Canadian fishing village of Tofino to spend the summer in Alaska studying humpback whales Kitty finds herself caught up in an unforgettable adventure involving stolen gold, devious criminals, ghostly shipwrecks, and bone-chilling curses. Kitty’s adventure begins with the lingering mystery of a sunken ship called the Clara Nevada and as the plot continues to unfold this spirited story will have armchair explorers and amateur detectives alike anxiously following every twist and turn as they are swept along through the history of the Klondike Gold Rush to a suspenseful final climatic chase across the rugged terrain of Canada’s Yukon, the harsh land made famous in the stories and poems of such writers as Jack London, Robert Service and Pierre Berton. It is a riveting tale that brings to glorious life the landscape and history of Alaska’s inside passage and Canada’s Yukon, as Kitty is caught up in an epic mystery set against the backdrop of the scenery of the Klondike Gold Rush.”

I received a copy of Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold from a publicity agent for the author to review. (I think that’s the right term??) 32946791

There were parts of this book that I think are great for girls to read. Like the adventure, a strong female heroine and marine life. It’s set in our world so there are no vampires or faeries which I thought was a nice change. I mostly read fantasy books. Maybe I need to mix up my genres a little more. There was a mystery to the story too which kept me reading.

There were a few things I didn’t like though. I did find Kitty and her inner voice annoying at times. Maybe because there’s an age gap between us and I don’t really know any nineteen year olds? I’m not really sure.

I also found the book had too much text for me which made reading a lot slower. So I did end up struggling to finish the book. But I did really want to finish it. I find I get through books with shorter paragraphs faster. Or maybe it just wasn’t my kind of book? I’m not really sure what it was.

Overall I thought Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold was a good adventure story for girls, or boys if they’re also interested. I’m not saying this is just for girls. But I don’t think this was for me. I’ve passed my copy onto someone I think will enjoy it more than me.

If your into adventure and mystery then maybe Kitty Hawk is the kind of book you’d enjoy.

*Thank you to the publicity ream for sending me a copy to review*

– Aimee.

Review: Scythe by Neal Shusterman.

Title – Scythe
Series – Arc of a Scythe #1
Author – Neal Shusterman
How I Got It – From the publisher
Pages – 448 pages
Publication Date – February 1st 2018 by Walker Book
ISBN – 781406379242
My Rating – ★★★★/5

“In a world where disease, war and crime have been eliminated, the only way to die is to be randomly killed (“gleaned”) by professional scythes. Citra and Rowan are teenagers who have been selected to be scythes’ apprentices, and despite wanting nothing to do with the vocation, they must learn the art of killing and understand the necessity of what they do.

Only one of them will be chosen as a scythe’s apprentice and as Citra and Rowan come up against a terrifyingly corrupt Scythedom, it becomes clear that the winning apprentice’s first task will be to glean the loser.”

I received a copy of Scythe from Walker Books Australia to review. This is the first book in the Arc of a Scythe series. DY7hJyvU8AA0rED

I’d heard really good things about Scythe so I was excited to finally pick it up. It did take me a while to get into but once I did I couldn’t put it down. I think the idea of a world without war, illness or crime was what took me so long it get into the book because it was so hard to accept. It’s just not something I find very likely but this is a work of fiction so anything is possible.

I really liked Citra and Rowan and I felt bad for what they were going through. Not only did they not want to be apprentices but then they found out that one of them would have to glean, or kill, the other.

I enjoyed Citra’s POV all the way through the book, especially with some of the twists that happened towards the end. But there was a point in Scythe when I wasn’t sure I wanted to know what was happening with Rowan. Even though I was sure he wasn’t like the other Scythes he was with.

I was actually kind of surprised that the corruption in the Scythedom wasn’t all that shocking to me. I kept thinking a quote I’d heard a few years ago – “power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Not every Scythe had an agenda or wasn’t exactly Scythe material. But I think that quote fits really well for all the others.

This book had a lot of great twists, most of them I wasn’t expecting at all. And the ending!! Especially Rowan’s POV leading up to the end… I cannot wait to pick up Thuderhead and find out what happens next.

*Thank you Walker Books Australia for sending me a copy to review*

– Aimee.

Review: Deception by Teri Terry.

Title – Deception
Series – Dark Matter #2
Author – Teri Terry
How I Got It – From the publisher
Pages – 416 pages
Publication Date – February 8th 2018 by Orchard Books
ISBN – 9781408341742
My Rating – ★★★★/5

The epidemic is spreading and there’s still no cure. Only 5% of the people infected have survived. But the survivors are apparently dangerous and they’re being hunted.

Kai is desperate to find Shay, who left him to turn herself into the army. Shay is trying to find the source of the epidemic but danger finds her wherever she goes… DYMp78qUQAAKnCL

I received a copy of Deception from Hachette New Zealand to review. This is the second book in the Dark Matter trilogy. I really enjoyed the first book, Contagion, when I read it last year and was really looking forward to picking up the sequel.

There were a few things that frustrated me while I read Deception. I’m not going to go into detail here because I don’t want to spoil anything for people who haven’t read this yet. I was expecting betrayal from a certain character. Or maybe two actually. I still like Shay and Kai. But I was still angry at Callie for what she did, or didn’t do, at the end of Contagion. I mean, I get why she did it. In a way. But I just don’t agree with it. I did end up feeling really bad for her during Deception though.

So the cause of the outbreak was finally discovered by other people. I thought it was pretty obvious while reading Contagion but whatever. So I’m wondering with what happened in Deception if this disease or whatever it is will stop spreading now? Hopefully that’ll be answered in the next book.

Anyway, some of the questions I was left with at the end of Contagion have been answered but I feel like I’ve been left with even more…

I thought the ending of Contagion left me angry but that was nothing compared to how I felt at the end of Deception! At least I understood why Callie did what she did but this? Ugh! Now I have to wait for the last book to be released to find out what’s going to happen with Shay and Kai.

I have really enjoyed both Contagion and Deception. Actually I’ve enjoyed all of the books I’ve read by Teri Terry so far. And I can’t wait to pick up a copy of the last book in the trilogy.

*Thank you Hachette New Zealand for sending me a copy to review*

– Aimee.

The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty.

Title – The City of Brass
Series – The Daevabad trilogy #1
Author –  S.A. Chakraborty
How I Got It – From the pubblishers
Pages – 544 pages
Publication Date – January 22nd 2018 by HarperCollins Publishers
ISBN – 9780008239404
My Rating – ★★★/5

Eighteenth century Cairo. The cities outcasts make a living swindling the rich Ottoman nobles and foreign invaders.

Their old stories still linger – tales of spirits and djinn, of cities hidden somewhere in the desert full of riches and magic.

Some people wish their lives could be filled with wonder. But not Nahri, she’s aware the things she can do are just tricks and sleight of hand – there’s no such thing as magic. All Nahri wants is to leave Cairo and study medicine. DXO3EIuUMAAbZey

I received a copy of The City of Brass from HarperCollins New Zealand to review. I’d heard good things about this book before I started it but it took me longer to get through than I expected. Not only because it’s kind of a big book but because I found one of the character’s POV annoying.

I put off writing this review so I could give myself time to think. But now I’m not really sure why Ali’s chapters annoyed me so much. I mean, I can’t even figure out who was worse, the djinn or the daeva? There were a lot of different tribes that were treated horribly and all because they were haf-human? But Ali wanted better for these people – or shafit I think they were called? So why did I find him annoying for wanted the place he lived to be better? To treat everyone equally? I don’t even know.

Maybe it was all the stuff Dara said to Nahri at the beginning about the djinn? But he was predictable and very annoying looking back on it. So was Nahri. I get she was put in a position she wasn’t expecting or even wanted and she was just expected to be what her mother was. But all the complaining just drove me a little crazy and by the end of the book I didn’t really care what happened to her or Dara.

Speaking of the ending… That was I think the best part. There was a great twist. It was just a pity that it took over 500 pages to get there and it really felt like it just dragged. Like there was too much information and not enough action for me. A lot of things felt unnecessary and just fillers to make the book longer which meant the story just dragged on and on. I’m not sure that I’ll be picking up the sequel. I kind of want to know what happens with the twist but I’m just not invested in any of the characters.

I did love that it was set in a country I’ve never been to, well until they went to Daevabad anyway. I think the only other books I’ve read that were also kind of set in Egypt are The Kane Chronicles. I do love reading about other countries and cultures.

I really wish I had liked this more but I guess it just wasn’t for me. I liked the magic and the fact there were djinn but again, I don’t think I’ll continue with the other two books.

*Thank you HarperCollins New Zealand for sending me a copy to review*

– Aimee.