Monday, August 31, 2015

2. When Celaena Decided to Stay and Fight in Heir of Fire

We're down to the top two! And the number two spot goes to the point in Heir of Fire where Celaena fights as the compound is getting raided, but she does it by using her magic and nearly killing herself.

I really love this particular scene because it really shows her newfound character in this story. She hates her magic. She hates the fae side of herself, but here she is, embracing it, for the safety of the people inside the walls of the compound.

This entire book is extremely important to the story for many reasons. The entire story is taking a completely different turn by bringing in magic and Rowan (hello, dreamboat) and we get to see all of these things affecting our beloved protagonist as she transforms from Adarlan's Assassin to the hero, and rising queen, she was born to be.

I am so incredibly excited for the release tomorrow! Number 1 on the countdown will be shared with you then, and remember to get your copy of Queen of Shadows as soon as it goes on sale! I have a feeling this installment is not one to be missed!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

3. When Celaena and Chaol Finally Ended Up Together

Eek! We're so close to the release day, I can almost feel the book in my hands! Queen of Shadows is about to grace our hands! Just a few more days, people! Technically two, if you don't want to count today. And as we're approaching that lovely release day, we have finally hit my top three favorite moments from the series.

Today on the countdown is dedicated to that moment in Crown of Midnight, I believe, where Celaena and Chaol finally end up together, which up until this point has all been under the radar and neither of them ever admitted it. So, yes, I practically screamed when I read that scene, if you know what I'm talking about.

This made this list, and I wish I had some profound reasoning, but really I was shipping them from the first chapter of the first book and was so excited. Of course, I kind of change my tune later on, but you'll get that news on September first.

Anyways, this was the moment all those on Team Chaol literally lost it and screamed. Yes, I am still screaming. Of course life had to go and complicate their relationship and now I'm not sure which boat I'm shipping, but I do know that this moment really made me happy.

Check back tomorrow for number two on the countdown and be sure to by your copy of Queen of Shadows on September 1st if you haven't preordered it already.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

4. That Moment We Realize Celaena isn't Really Working for the King

Number four on the countdown to the Queen of Shadows release is the moment in Crown of Midnight  when we see that Celaena isn't really killing all the people the king is sending her out to murder. She's helping them escape and fake their death.

Celaena is Adarlan's Assassin. She's renown for her skill, her killings, and her dramatics. She's incredibly talented and she has killed before. One would figure that several more deaths on her hands wouldn't be too much of a problem for her. All she has to do is kill these people and move on with her life after four years. But she's not! Instead, she's saving them. She's giving them a chance at life and to get away.

This speaks volumes to Celaena's character, which is why this moment made the countdown. I remember squealing in delight and pride for this character that I have grown so attached to. There starts to be this detachment from Adarlan's Assassin and Celaena Sardothien. The girl that existed before Endovier seems to be gone or going. She's growing as a person. And it's still mind-boggling that she's so young, yet that means that growth is expected for her character. The person she is now, is probably not who she's going to be in the far future.

Check back tomorrow for number three on the countdown! And remember to get your copy of Queen of Shadows September 1st!

5. When Celaena becomes the King's Champion

Sorry this post is a little late, guys! But number five on the countdown goes to the end of Throne of Glass when Celaena wins the competition and becomes the King's Champion!

This moment was so important. Notice, she wasn't ecstatic about winning. It's no fun to win when everyone else dies. The competition put a real strain on her, plus she absolutely hates the king for what he has done to her family. He's her sworn enemy, yet she has just won a competition that puts her at his feet. But she does it not for the honor of winning, but because after four years she will be free from him. And that's all she's ever wanted.

I like this scene because it is crucial to the series plot development. And of course, as a reader, I get this weird feeling in my chest at the end when I realize what she's going to have to be doing and all the many levels that are associated with the simplicity of winning a tournament.

Check back until the Queen of Shadows release to see the official Cover to Cover Reviews' favorite moments from the series!

Queen of Shadows is available September first!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

6. Celaena's Flashback to When She Totally Lost It

Number six on the countdown to Sarah J. Maas' Queen of Shadows release day is the time where we get a flashback to the infamous day in Endovier where Celaena hit her breaking point.

Celaena is probably the most interesting character I've ever read about. She's an assassin, who's actually a good person, but is completely strong and her own person. Let's not remember the times when YA heroines were completely dependent. And it's hard to when Maas has created characters like Celaena.

But so far in the story we've only seen the Celaena that has tried to put her past behind her. She doesn't think or talk much about her times in Endovier unless she's bragging about how she made it to the wall in an escape attempt when most don't. There's this mythical day that Celaena really pushes down and I was incredibly curious about what happened that day. But when we finally get insight into that day, it was more than I expected.

In this flashback, probably one of the most important flashbacks in the entire series, Celaena had broke. She killed plenty and tried to escape, but if you were to analyze this section of the book, you'd ask if she was really trying to escape, or if she wanted to get caught. Celaena was ruthless and readers got to see the darkest side of her that she has been trying to hide since Throne of Glass opened up.

Celeana is incredible at putting on a face and trying to be this tough person. And for the longest time, readers believed she could do no wrong. Even her mistakes were admirable. But then we get this flashback and suddenly everything is different. Sadder. It's not that we start to see Celaena any differently, but there is a definite newfound respect for her that grows after this scene.

Not only is it crucial to the storyline, but it's crucial to Celaena's character development and for that it has become one of my favorite moments in the series, even though it's not as bright and cheery as some of the other scenes.

Remember to check back tomorrow for number 5 on the countdown and get your copy of Queen of Shadows available September 1st!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

7. When Celaena First Meets Chaol and Dorian

And the countdown to Queen of Shadows begins!

Today, I am sharing with you one of my favorite moments from the series as part of Cover to Cover Reviews's countdown to the Queen of Shadows's release!

**Warning! Potential Spoilers**

Now this moment comes from the first book and happens literally right away. Mainly, I like this because it sets us up for a very interesting love-triangle, yet we don't really know it, yet (we have our suspicions, however). We get to know Celaena and Chaol and Dorian more than just their names. We start to see dynamics between them forming, plus Celeana is completely badass in this scene as she always is. For me, meeting this people in this moment, just opened the doors to this beautiful story, so how could I not put it on the list!

Check back tomorrow for #6 on the countdown and feel free to share in the comments some of your favorite moments from the Throne of Glass series.

Queen of Shadows is on sale September 1st 2015!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Queen of Shadows is Coming!


So, I'm fairly new to the blogging universe, particularly the reviewing realm. So, if you look at the reviews I have done or the books I am currently reading, they don't do me justice. My collection expands much further than what's on this website, so there is something that you may not know about me. I am a hard-core fan-girl of the Throne of Glass series. I read the first three books in one weekend, thinking that was it, and was immediately thrilled when I finished Heir of Fire and realized there were more to come!

Personally, I don't know how it's possible to make six books out of this series, like this fourth one could easily wrap up the entire series, so I'm kind of scared with what she's going to do next. But in a good way. I am so excited for this book that my insides are screaming all the time. No joke. I actually have to tell my liver to calm down sometimes.

Anyways, since there is exactly one week until one of the most highly anticipated days of the year (not to mention Victoria Aveyard, author of The Red Queen, has a novella being released that same day that I will also be buying) I've decided to host my very own countdown. Each day between now and September 1st, I will post my top seven moments from the entire series! On September 1st, my favorite moment from the entire series will be posted to get everyone in the mood to start reading!

Now, this task is going to be extra difficult for me, because it's so hard to pick out of so many pages, which one or ones are my favorite. Regardless, I am dedicated to this task. While my favorite moment will be posted on Queen of Shadows's release day, the rest are in some kind of order, but not a very strict structure to them, if you know what I mean.

So check back tomorrow for the first post in the countdown and get ready for the Queen of Shadows release!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

10 Reasons Why Splintered Should Be Your New Favorite Book

Splintered by A. G. Howard is one of my favorite book series. I constantly “stalk” the author online in hopes of finding out any cool new information. And I’m not the only person out there that has fallen in love with the twisted new version of Alice in Wonderland tales. If you read it, you are guaranteed to fall head over heels. And here are ten reasons why you should be falling in love just like the rest of us.

1. It’s Inspired by Alice in Wonderland

Alice in Wonderland is a story that has been used to inspire countless pieces of art. Whether it be physical art, musical art, or the art of writing, Alice in Wonderland literally cannot die. And while there are so many artistic interpretations all over the world, A. G. Howard has taken the cake for one of the best novel renditions of this story.

2. It’s dark and creepy

I say this with every ounce of love. It’s so dark, so twisted, so creepy, but it’s done perfectly to where I’m not having nightmares, but dreams of being drawn in to that world. Howard weaves a world where bugs can talk and things are scary and I loved every second of it.

3. The characters are incredibly unique

I could write an entire post, better yet a senior thesis paper, on the characters in this book. Alyssa Gardner is literally goals in her courage and madness. Morpheus is not only the bad boy stereotype, but he’s got so many layers that are revealed throughout the course of the series. Jeb is just a guy who got involved with the wrong girl, but that doesn't stop him. Alyssa’s mom is probably one of the most interesting characters because she sacrificed her life and went into an asylum to protect her daughter and her family as a whole. Her father is so dedicated to his family that it makes one’s heart swell. And the characters introduced to us in “Wonderland” are so different from what we had always thought (I’m looking at you White Rabbit). She makes the creepy and slightly disgusting adorable and I literally want a White Rabbit of my own, now.

4. The world is incredibly unique

A. G. Howard creates a world that is so complex, that I can’t really explain much further without ruining the book for you. Let’s just say, you’ll feel the familiarity of the world when you first enter it, but when you leave, you’ll start to question reality in and of itself. Just take my word for it.

5. The romance in this book is perfection

While love triangles are super present in YA and kind of cliche these days but we still love it, the love triangle in this book is unlike any you have ever read. Sure there are similarities to other best selling books with love triangles, but these characters make it entirely their own. And everyone needs a little twisted romance in their life, right?

6. The family is not forgotten and is, in fact, the most important part of this story

A YA tactic often used is when the protagonist disconnects herself from her family. While Alyssa may try to go that right, she shows us that family will always be there and you can’t just write them out. In fact, her family is so important to the story that they can’t just disappear. This is such a complex story and the family is only one layer.

7. The bad guys have a story too (and you most likely end up feeling for them)

Red Queen. Enough said.

8. There is plenty of action and adventure to curve even your strongest craving for it

Ah, I love action. I love fight scenes. And A. G. Howard does not disappoint. And the entire story is just one giant adventure that if I elaborated on, I would ruin for you.

9. The fashion reminds you of a time that we all went through and {now} remember fondly

Do you remember seventh grade? When wearing all black and/or steampunk clothing was ideal. You literally wanted to be taken out of a dark Alice in Wonderland themed drawing. Let’s be honest, not all of us grew out of that phase. This story brings all of it back in to perspective and you get the urge to go pull out those black and white striped tights.

10. The protagonist is one we can all get behind and support throughout the entire story

Alyssa Gardner, as I said, is courageous even when she succumbs to the madness of Wonderland. She is willing to do anything for her family and the ones she loves. And that’s someone we all can aspire to be like.

It’s a novel I’m sure my kids will be reading and I’ll be trying not to spoil it for them. It’s one I plan on reading again when I have the time just to relive every incredible moment. Splintered is one that reignites imagination, and I believe that is something we need in our lives now-a-days. So do yourself a favor and go read this book, if you haven’t already. If you have read it, feel free to read it again! There’s nothing to regret by either choice. Unless you choose not to read it…

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The Last of the Firedrakes by: Farah Oomerbhoy Review


Ah, how do I put this lightly. This book was cheesy, to say the least. Think Harry Potter meets Twilight with dashes of medieval times. Needless to say, I felt like the author was trying too hard with this one. Ask anyone, Harry Potter and Twilight don't mix.

First, I would like to comment on the cover of the book. I really liked it. It was part of what inspired me to read this book. That and the summary. It captures the story perfectly and was just the right kind of cover to capture the eye of readers as well.

So let's start with aspects I didn't like. There was too much telling and not enough showing. The author would just say that something was and everyone (characters) would automatically believe it. But then later, she would show something that completely negated what she had said earlier on.

I felt like a lot of times the story line got way too cheesy for my taste. Like "Oh! Rafe!" was a bit too much for me. And while I'm all for a knight in shining armor, Rafe's character definitely felt too good to be true. And - for the record - I called him on being the crown prince like a long time ago.

Another problem I had was the naming. Now, I'm a huge supporter of weird names. I like the unusual and always have. However, there were some names in this story that I couldn't shake. Two, in particular, kind of sat wrong with me because all I could think about was Disney. 1) Aurora. Now this one didn't bother me too much because they called her "Rory" for the majority of the story, but all I could think about was Sleeping Beauty. The other Disney flashback was 2) Morgana. First, she was playing the villain and with a distinctive name like Morgana, all I could think about was Ursula's evil sister from The Little Mermaid II. Like, I literally was waiting for some underwater ice cave to pop up out of nowhere. Other than that, some of the names were just really hard to pronounce and I kept getting tripped up on them, but that's nothing new for me. Sometimes, I wonder if I'm pronouncing "Cassia" right (and yes Ally Condie and I'm looking at you).

Now, every person in this book just seemed to go along with the crazy. Aurora would explain something to them and they would be like "Oh, yeah, you totally have my trust." I kept waiting for one of them to turn on her (besides the obvious like Damien and Leticia). But no, everyone was so cool with everything, even once they found at she had like fae-mage powers.

And that brings me to the parallel between Harry Potter and Twilight. Obviously the mage aspect of the story with a special mage school just screamed Harry Potter to me, but in a definite cheesy voice, because it didn't fit right in this world. The fae part reminds me of Twilight because I've learned that fae seem to be the new vampires. Like Stephanie Meyer who altered the vicious version of vampires into these sparkly fairies (yes, pun intended), the author chose to ignore the more vicious side of the fae that I've kind of gotten used to, and made them happy powerful people. It took me a long time to warm up to fae in my beloved novels. But as long as they like killing people, I'm totally good with it.

(I would like to make a note that I do not hate Stephanie Meyer or her vampires or Twilight! That is the book that got me reading again and I owe my gratitude to that woman!)

As if the magical folk in this book couldn't get even more outlandish, the author has this pegasus. I like flying horses as much as the next eight year old, but in a YA novel, I expected more from the horse. Like, why couldn't it spit fire? While Snow, the pegasus, was probably one of the more badass characters in this story, when she talked, all I could hear was this majestic lady voice that was even more prestigious sounding than the dragon in Eragon and that dragon was a badass.

Literally, this book reminded me of drunk college girls on a very basic level. It was like, if one person said, "Hey! I'm a fae-mage!" Everyone else would shout, "I totally support you!" in a high pitched squeal that would have everyone sober within a five-mile radius covering their ears.

However, the story at its bones was good. I liked the concept of a strange new world with a girl who discovers she's heir to a throne and has all these powers she has to control, plus that forbidden romance blooming. It's the bones of most YA books, which is why I appreciate it. There definitely could have been more done to it to enhance the book. The meaty part was lacking. The execution of the storyline could have been better. Maybe all it needed was the right eye to look at it and help the author, because I feel like this story definitely had potential.

The Last of the Firedrakes is the first installment in this series, and I will probably read the rest just because I want to know how this story ends and it was a quick read. I also look forward to seeing how this author's writing grows the more she writes and the more books she puts out. 

Writing is a process, I know, and I hate judging books when I realize how much effort an author has put in to this story. I appreciate that. I didn't fill those pages, the author did. But I promise honest reviews and I would be betraying that promise if I sugar-coated everything I wrote.

And that is all I have to say on The Last of the Firedrakes. I hope you like what I discovered, as I read this book from cover to cover!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

The Winter People by: Rebekah L. Purdy Review

On September 22nd, 2015 the sequel to The Winter People by Rebekah L. Purdy The Summer Marked will be out, and so will my own review of the book. So to prepare us all for that, I have decided to write a review for the first installment. Yay! Book Reviews!


So let me just say that I really love this book. It started off perfectly. It was dark, creepy, mysterious, and I literally had no idea what was going on and that was beautiful. There were these two mysterious hot guys and snow. Like, who could think of a better combination of things to write about?

So the main character Salome is like terrified of winter because when she was younger she almost drowned in a pond. She has this best friend Kadie (who isn't that important in this book compared to the sequel, which you will soon see) who supports Salome in her fear because she's a good friend and understands (also, Kadie is probably my favorite character, which will be explained further in the review for The Summer Marked). Yet, Kadie still likes to force Salome to push the boundaries of her comfort zone.

Anyways, Salome frequently is over at her grandmother's house and her grandmother is pushing Salome out in to the cold to go do chores out at this shed where she meets hottie number one: Nevin. This is the first guy Salome thinks she could really have feelings for and she looks forward to seeing him as often as she can. But then there's Gareth (swoons) who's like Salome's knight in shining armor on more than one occasion, so it's no surprise that she picks him in the end. Anyways, Gareth is mysterious but not in the way Nevin is. Nevin doesn't really go places besides that little spot on Salome's grandmother's property. Gareth is like in a band and Salome is instantly drawn to him.

Well, anyways, it turns out that there's this curse on Nevin and he's been using Salome to break it using magic, so she doesn't really love him, she just thinks she does. And there's this witch in the woods behind Salome's house trying to kill her. So there's tons of action and twisted romances.

I cannot say a bad thing about this installment until the very end of this book. And it's not really a bad thing. I don't know if I was just too stupid to realize it, or what, but I did not realize this book was about faeries until near the end. Salome also didn't until that point, and I think we both were a little shocked. I thought this was just a dark story and I loved that, but then Purdy had to explain it with fae and it just kind of felt like this bubble I created popped and I was brought into her story. And the ending was really abrupt and I just felt like it took so much away from the entirety of the story that I fell head over heals for.

Regardless, I'm not holding the faerie part against the author or the book. This is a definite recommend read and I can't wait for The Summer Marked!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Crystal Kingdom by: Amanda Hocking Review

First, happy Book Lovers Day! As a treat, and due to my impeccable timing, I have finished Crystal Kingdom the final book in Amanda Hocking's The Kanin Chronicles!

I would like to begin by saying that I really do love this series and this author. I was so excited for this final book to be released because I felt like it was wrapping up two stories set in this world (Trylle series) that I have read and lived through.

(But don't worry, I won't reveal too much for those wanting to read it still)

In this installment, Bryn Aven (the nineteen-year-old protagonist Kanin/Skojare troll) is fighting for the safety of the Kanin, even though they have branded her as a traitor. As a reader, I like that she has her priorities straight and is true to her heart on these aspects. She isn't trying to clear her name, she's trying to save the Kanin people and I think that is super noble.

It starts off where the last book left off with Bryn having no clue where to start, what do to, or where to go, but Konstantin Black (the man who tried to kill Bryn's father, but before that Bryn had a "superstar" kind of crush on him) shows up and proposes that the two join sides. Allegedly he has disbanded from the enemy and is on the run for his life - much like Bryn is doing. With no other choice, the two embark on this journey together. At this point, I am wondering about Ridley (Bryn's possible boyfriend) and kind of excited for the weird twist with Bryn spending so much time with her sworn enemy. I also like how believable their relationship is. Not once does Hocking make it sound like Bryn easily accepted being so close to Black. Bryn always has her suspicions, which I like.

The story continues on with Bryn and Black seeking out help from tribes like the Omte, which doesn't go over well, and then the Trylle, which I was so excited about. Hocking brings us back into the world from the Trylle series and it kind of felt like there was a secret in those scenes that only those who read her Trylle series could grasp. So for someone who read both series, I really liked bringing them back into focus, but she didn't make it feel like mentioning the Trylle would confuse any new readers, or readers who have yet to read that series. 

Something that Amanda Hocking does really well is believability, whether she means to or not, and especially in this series. The protagonist is one that people can relate to and she makes decisions that are relatable. When Bryn goes and sees the Trylle king and queen, Queen Wendy doesn't automatically offer amnesty or offer to help or anything, like I've seen done in some novels. No, Wendy waits and weighs the situation like any queen would. I think the fact that this book has relatable and believable characters in it is what draws in readers into Hocking's world.

Now, I can't say too much more without giving a lot of the story away, and I don't want to give it away. I want you to read it and then read her other stuff because you read this and loved it. But I can say how I felt about Crystal Kingdom overall to wrap up this review. This book had me reading start to finish in one sitting. I didn't want it to end because that would mean ending the series, but I did want to know how it ended and get to that point at the same time. If you've been following the whole series, then you're going to love this one. However, you are going to have a love/hate relationship with the end of it. There were parts that I was like, "No! Amanda! Why?" in a very whiny drawn out voice because I just didn't want what happened to happen, but there were parts where I was very happy with the end of this book. I especially liked the very end of it where she focused on the right thing. Most authors would focus on the romantic aspect and the happily ever after, and while Hocking did touch on it, she also was giving the attention to the bigger picture, much like how Bryn Aven was the entire series. Bryn didn't focus in on the romance - in fact, she could have done away with it had she not fallen for Ridley. She did worry about the people around her and their wellbeing. Hocking wraps up that side for us readers nicely and I'm very sad that the Kanin Chronicles have come to an end.

Since I can't really recommend just this book out to readers who have yet to read the series, I'm going to recommend that everyone read this series. Bryn Aven is a protagonist you can root for, and the plot is is one that will have you on the edge of your seat up until the whee hours of the morning finishing the entire series in one sitting and not even realizing it.

Check back often for more reviews and follow me on twitter at @c2cbookreviews!

Friday, August 7, 2015

End of Summer Reading Recommendations

Hello, fellow readers!

The best time of the year - summer - is coming to a close. As many of you prepare to go back to school, work, or whatever other reluctant tasks greet you when the seasons change, know that you still have a few more weeks, give or take. 

Summer is the best time to sit back with a book and read until your heart's desire. For a few short months, it feels like you have all the time in the world. If you're anything like me, not even the oncoming pressure of school can stop me from reading all the books! 

So, without further delay, here is a list of books I recommend reading now to get you even more excited for the coming months!

1. A Court of Thorns and Roses by: Sarah J. Maas

If you're in to a non-traditional romance novel, fae, a dark twisted story based off the classic beauty and the beast tale, and a female lead that isn't cookie-cutter, then this book is for you. It's the first in a series by the best-selling author, and it's sure to make these last few weeks of summer a bit better.

2. Throne of Glass series by: Sarah J. Maas

Another series by Maas is the TOG series. With four books (one of which a collection of novellas) already out and the official fourth book in the series coming out on September first, you are sure to find the next series to fangirl (or fanboy) all over. 
The lead is renown assassin who's gotten sucked in to working for the crown to save her own life. In-between killing, fighting for her life, fighting her own heart, and fighting to run away from her mysterious past, the series is one that will suck you in and take you on a journey you won't soon forget.

3. The Light Key Trilogy by: Tracy Clark

Irish lore is being brought to light in this interesting trilogy. The third and final book is set to be released late in September, but the first two books are sure to satisfy until then. 
The story surrounds Cora Sandoval as she discovers that she has a unique ability to see auras. This strange new ability comes with trouble as she realizes that her unique aura of solid silver is actually what will put her in harms way. On her journey to uncover the truth, she discovers hidden family secrets and love as she journeys to Ireland.

4. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

Set in a country based off ancient Rome, Laia and Elias live two completely different lives, but are fighting for their own freedom. Laia has lost her family, her brother being held prisoner by the capital,  and she needs the help from the rebels to save him. They send her undercover as a slave into the military academy where she runs into Elias - one of the best soldiers soon to graduate from the academy, but he has been planning to run away for months. 
This story is new and different from the traditional books that line YA shelves, but it's definitely a good one.

5. The Night Circus by: Erin Morgenstern

This story follows two magicians, one boy and one girl, who have been locked in a game for years, not knowing who their competition is, as they time and time again prove their capabilities through the stage of a night circus. As the circus grows and the magic gets complicated, so do their lives. They discover who the other is and end up falling in love. But the game isn't over and there is no way out of it.
The strange story is compelling and I found myself completely enthralled with all the stories inside it. Not only did I follow the lines of the competitors, but also of the other people involved in the circus during its past and future endeavors. It ropes you in and the writing style is to die for. 

6. The Selection Series by: Kiera Cass

If you haven't heard of this series, you might be living under a rock. It's one of the best-selling novel series currently and it's unique take on a dystopian world has captivated the hearts of readers all over. America Singer is incredibly relatable and the romance will have readers completely torn (in a good way).

7. Splintered by: A. G. Howard

Alice in Wonderland is a story we all know and love. Howard has taken the story so dear to our hearts and twisted it, convoluting and darkening the story in a deliciously enticing way. Readers will love the dark story, find themselves engaged in the twisted romance, and find the world Howard created enveloping around them. A little escape that lasts a few novels is just enough to wrap up the end of the summer.

8. The Kanin Chronicles by: Amanda Hocking

Amanda Hocking returns to a familiar world with this new series. All three books in the series are available for purchase, so readers can binge read through these last weeks and not regret the decision at all.
Following Bryn Aven, a tracker in the Kanin kingdom and a troll, the magical world we are brought into is familiar to fans of Hocking, but completely enthralling to newcomers in Hocking's world. As her kingdom is falling apart, it is up to Bryn Aven to save the Kanin, Skojare, and more. Complete with all the romance a reader could desire and a lead character who knows how to prioritize, it's a great read.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

The Kanin Chronicles #1 and #2 Review

I am about to start reading Crystal Kingdom by Amanda Hocking. In preparation for the final book in the series, let's take a trip down memory lane through the first two books in the series and see what I thought about them.

I'm going to start off by saying that I love Amanda Hocking. I fell in love with her Trylle series and when The Kanin Chronicles hit shelves, I was quick to buy and read them. The author's personal story is one of my favorites, so if you don't know what it is, I suggest you read the interviews with her and her self-publishing turned traditional publishing success. It's truly inspiring for any aspiring authors.


Frostfire is the first installment in The Kanin Chronicles. We are introduced to a nineteen-year-old Kanin (type of troll in the Trylle universe Hocking established in her previous trilogy) that happens to be a troll. Now, Bryn Aven is not your average Kanin. While she has troll blood, she also possess the blood of the Skojare. The genes from her mother's bloodline has her blonde hair and blue eyes sticking out in the Kanin kingdom, making it very hard for her to fit in. 

Bryn has a job as a tracker - she goes out and acquires the switched children and brings them back to their real homes with the Kanin - but she dreams of being one of the elite guards that guard the king. When a ghost from her past shows up, Bryn is given the opportunity to prove herself worthy. You see, years ago, Konstantine Black tried to kill her father, who is an important figure-head in the Kanin kingdom. Black attacks once again and Bryn is on the mission of her life to take him down. Once and for all.

Of course, none of this can ever be easy. Aside from Bryn's determination and the level of difficulty of her tasks, Bryn is growing fonder and fonder of her boss Ridley Dresden.

This first book introduces readers to a group of rather unique set of characters that one can immediately connect with. Bryn has spunk and is so enjoyable to read about. She's incredibly headstrong and it's refreshing to see YA female leads focusing so hard on their mission and their own lives instead of the romance, although there is plenty of that, too. I'm a huge fan of romance, but not cheesy romance. The fact that Bryn is willing to put her feelings for a boy second, is already showing just how awesome she is.

Besides romance, the second thing that sells books is action. People love reading about people falling in love and people kicking people's butts. Frostfire does not disappoint in either of the two areas. There is just the right amount of action that doesn't make you feel like you're in a war novel, but is plenty to satisfy.

The world in general that Hocking has created in this new series is brilliant. It is familiar enough thanks to the Trylle series, but different enough that you still get those first-time feelings readers get when they enter a brand new world. The Kanin are much different than the Trylle, but also similar enough that readers who read both series can see where they do have similar traits. If you haven't read  the Trylle series, yet, you are not going to be lost while reading this one. In fact, it'll make you want to read the other one even more!

This first novel leaves readers anxious for the sequel!

Following where the first left off, Ice Kissed immediately drags readers into the story. Everything Bryn Avery has thought she knew is turned upside down. Bryn had Konstantine Black within her grasp and he got away, and the more she pursues hunting him down, she finds that maybe everything she thought she knew isn't what it seems.

Bryn is half Kanin and half Skojare. It has always set her apart from the Kanin where she lives, but when the Skojare become threatened with a common enemy to the Kanin, Bryn's King thinks it best to send Bryn out to help them. The Skojare princess has gone missing and Bryn is sent to help find her, only the journey to finding the princess, leads Bryn to more questions than answers. And the readers are on the same page as her.

When Bryn finds the princess, after supposedly being separated from that particular mission, she starts to wonder what side of the war brewing she is standing on and which side she wants/needs to be on.

For the reader, it's nice to see Bryn's other life that she  could have lived with the Skojare. Hocking infuses a lot of mystery and danger in Bryn's journey as she wanders into strange waters (pun-intended). Of course, this complicates the storyline a lot. Bryn's budding romance with Ridley is strained and her hatred for Konstantine Black wavers. You start to wonder what is going on, and that is just what Hocking wants.

At the end of this book, readers are left with answers to some previous questions, but even more new questions. I honestly can't wait until the final book in the series Crystal Kingdom