Tuesday, 17 October 2017

IMPORTANT INFORMATION!

This blog is no longer active, I decided to start over so I made a new blog:

stolenbybooks.wordpress.com

I would appreciate if it you check it out!

Sunday, 3 September 2017

The Blood Mage - Aimee Davis

General Info
Rating: ★★★★★

Where I got it: An ebook version was given to me by the author herself in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion in any way.

Short reaction: ASDFGHJKL OMG

Fav Quote: “I belonged to no one and nothing but myself.”

Synopsis
Monster. Murderer. Oathbreaker.

Three years after the events leading to the deaths of her friend and lover, twenty-one-year-old Alena Kozlov is still trying to outrun her past. But the darkness within her is not something she can simply leave behind.

The nightmares plaguing her become reality when a familiar face seeks her out in her isolated desert home bearing news that awakens all she’s tried to keep locked inside. There’s a promise she made long ago she’s determined to keep, even if it means she will have to tear what remains of herself, and her world, apart.

To save her friends, she may have to become the monster once more. But fear is not for the damned. 

Review
I recently read the first book of this series in exchange for an honest review and when I finished it I just had to read the sequel as soon as possible and WOW, just OMG, this book was one wild ride from start to finish and it was sooo gooood!!! I really loved the first book and this one was even better! I just could not put it down!

Let’s talk about the writing first. Like in the first book the writing style is very fast paced but really manages to capture the setting at the same time! This makes for a perfect combination that just draws you into the story! It immediately grabs your attention from the first sentence and it doesn’t let you go until the last one!

“Fear is not for the damned.”

The story picks up three years after the events of book one. Naturally, this gives the reader a lot of questions about what happened in those three years and immediately sparks your interest. And ahh the story was full of even more unexpected plot twists and it left me shocked so many times! It was also a lot darker and grittier than the first book and I really loved that! And the book also leaves you with so many unanswered questions! I simply cannot wait to find out what’s next for Alena and all the other characters!

The setting was already beautifully captured in the first book and now we got to see even more of this unique and intriguing world! We got to learn more about the history of some countries and the mages and I thought that was really interesting! The way magic works is also really fascinating and really well done in my opinion! It just all feels so real even though it isn’t possible in real life!

“This was what the urge to move was. This feeling, this deep, hollow yearning to cover up my shame. This desire to conceal what a monster I was. To hide from everyone including myself.”

The characters were especially well done in this book. They are probably the best part! We got to read about some old characters and new characters and they were all so different and unique. Alena was extremely well written, she was so real with all her problems and nightmares from the past. She went through some amazing character development! I won’t anything about the other characters because I don’t want to give any spoilers but trust me when I say that all the characters have such depth to them. It makes them feel like real people!

So, if you loved the first book in this series, I’d definitely recommend reading this one as well! It has even more world building, unique new characters, it’s darker, grittier and just overall and amazing read! It’s even better than the first book and the first book was already perfect!

Friday, 28 July 2017

The Wheel Mages - Aimee Davis

General Info
Rating: ★★★★.5

Where I got it: An ebook version was given to me by the author herself in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion in any way.

Short reaction: Holy sh** I did not see that coming at all….. Where is the second book!? I need it!

Fav Quote: “The past is over and the future is unknown. We can only affect the present.”

Synopsis
Alena Kozlov is one of the last of a dying kind. As the first water mage to be inducted into the Sanctum in over fifty years, she has the opportunity to help the old order destroy a band of rebel mages who threaten the principles the Sanctum is founded upon.

Blinded by loyalty to the Sanctum and love for her master, Alena and three other mages set out to investigate the rebels, but the more she discovers, the less she understands.

Confronted with hard truths about the Sanctum she once believed in and the corruption she sees within it, Alena must make one of the most difficult decisions of her life: follow the path she’s trained for or leave the Sanctum behind.

Whatever the answer, she knows one thing for sure—the old Sanctum saying is true: It is a rocky road she must travel.

Review
This book was so different than from what I expected! I actually have no idea what I even expected but definitely not this. And I mean this in a positive way. The Wheel Mages kept surprising me with all it twists and turns! I could not put it down and I absolutely cannot wait to read the sequel! I can’t believe it took me so long to start reading it…. I’m really glad I did though and I regret not reading it sooner! Also, the cover is stunning!!

First, I would like to talk about the writing of this book. The writing in this book was amazing! Unique, easy to read and the pace was very fast which really keeps you hooked to the story! For me, that makes a perfect combination! She also really managed to perfectly capture the setting with her words so it was almost as if you were there in the world with the characters and I really loved that!

“It is a rocky road we travel.”

Ahh the story was incredible! I really loved the ideas of the mages and I think Aimee Davis really managed to give an original twist to elemental magic. Talking about twist, omg this story is full of it and I can honestly say that I did not see them coming at all! They left me shocked every single time! So, the story is very interesting and extremely suspenseful! It will certainly keep you from closing the book. I almost read it in one sitting! :)

The world in which this story takes place is also very intriguing. I’m a little confused as to what kind of time the characters are living in but other than that the world and its magic system was described very well! The mages and rules and laws were very interesting and I love Davis’ take on elemental magic! I definitely can’t wait to see more of this world!

“We would never be anything other than what we were”

All of the characters were also amazingly written! The main characters were Alina, Nikolai, Catalina and Filipe. They are all unique in their own way and they went through some major character development. Especially Alina and Felipe. I wasn’t a fan of Catalina at the start but I really grew to love her as much as I did the other characters!

There is one thing about this book that I didn’t really like at the beginning and that was the supposed love-triangle… But apparently, I was wrong in thinking that as I found out later while reading the book, it is not a love triangle at all! :) So, if you read this book and think: ‘ugh another love triangle…’ please read on because it is very different than what you might expect! In my opinion, the romance in this book was extremely well done!

So, in short, this book has an amazing world, believable and relatable characters, the writing is wonderful and the plot really keeps you hooked to the story! I’d definitely recommend this if you are a fan of YA fantasy! :)

Monday, 10 July 2017

The Crowns of Croswald - D.E. Night

General Info
Rating: ★★★★

Where I got it: I received this book from JKS communications along with an amazing box in exchange for an honest review. This, however, does not affect my opinion in any way.

Short reaction: It was a really fun and interesting read! I’m definitely excited for the sequel.

Fav Quote: “She loved his books and stories more than anything, tales of deep magic that were so far from her reality.”

Synopsis
In Croswald, the only thing more powerful than dark magic is one secret…

For sixteen years Ivy Lovely has been hidden behind an enchanted boundary that separates the mundane from the magical. When Ivy crosses the border, her powers awaken. Curiosity leads her crashing through a series of adventures at the Halls of Ivy, a school where students learn to master their magical blood and the power of Croswald’s mysterious gems. When Ivy’s magic––and her life––is threatened by the Dark Queen, she scrambles to unearth her history and save Croswald before the truth is swept away forever.

Review
The Crowns of Croswald was such a fun and magical read! I definitely want to know where the story is going! It is similar to Harry Potter but also very different at the same time. The author gave her own unique twist to the idea of a magic school and I really loved her take on it! And the cover is absolutely stunning like OMG look at it!!

First, I’d like to talk about the writing. I really loved D.E. Night’s writing style. It was very descriptive which gives the reader a beautiful and clear image of the world of Croswald but it wasn’t too much! In my opinion, there was a perfect balance which gave the story a very magical feeling. It even felt like I was in the world with the main character! I always love it when writing manages to pull me in like that!

The story itself was really interesting! You might think: ‘ah a magic school, this will just be exactly the same as Harry Potter.’ But like I mentioned before that’s really not the case with this story! D.E. Night really created a unique and amazing story! And apart from the somewhat slow beginning, it really kept me hooked and I couldn’t stop reading! I just had to know what would happen next every time a chapter ended. And the further you get into the story the more it pulls you in!

Ahh the world of Croswald and its magic was so interesting!! I was really intrigued by the magical system, especially the part about scrivenists and their quills. It was just such a different take on magic! I certainly hadn’t seen it before! By far my favourite thing about the book and the story were all the magical creatures mentioned in it. From hairies to scaldrons to shorehorses, all of the creatures were so fun and unique! I liked the hairies the most! They are some sort of fairy like creatures with glowing hair, they are also pictured on the cover of the book.

The characters were also amazingly written! There is Ivy, the main character of the book, I really loved her! She is such a likeable character! The same goes for a lot of other characters though I won’t really mention them I my review because I don’t want to give any spoilers. They’re all amazing, trust me! :)

So, if you are a fan of Harry Potter and really enjoy fun and magical reads then this is the book for you! It has an intriguing magical system, amazing characters and it is set in a beautiful world! I’d definitely recommend it to all YA fantasy lovers!

Friday, 23 June 2017

Cute Contemporary Reads for on a Hot Summer Day!

Unfortunately for me, It’s officially summer again…. I am one of those persons who absolutely can’t stand heat… please don’t hate me ;) I like a little sun, don’t get me wrong but I’m more a fan of the shy kind of sun that sometimes shows itself on a cold winter day. I’m not really into the bright, stifling-hot summer sun we have been getting here in the Netherlands for the past few days… No, I’m definitely a winter and autumn kind of person. These past days I have seriously been considering to just move to north pole :) There is one thing I do like about summer though (aside from summer vacation of course ;) ) and that is reading contemporaries! I hardly ever read contemporaries because I’m more into fantasy but for some reason the summer is the perfect time to read contemporaries! At least, in my opinion. So here are some perfect and cute contemporary reads for on a hot summer day.

The Unexpected Everything – Morgan Matson
I read this book during the summer last year and I loved it so much! The story in this book also takes place during the summer break so isn’t that perfect! It’s about Andie who has to spend the summer with her dad with whom she doesn’t have the best relationship. Instead of doing the internship she really wanted, she finds herself getting a job as a dog walker. This book is just such a fun and light read! It’s about friendship, family, romance and dogs. What else can you wish for! It’s so cute and all the characters are extremely well written! I’d definitely recommend this book if you are looking for a great summer read with a cute romance! 



Dreamology – Lucy Keating
If you are looking for a cute and fluffy contemporary then this is the one for you! This story is about Alice who has been dreaming about the same boy for as long as she can remember. Together they travelled the world in her dreams and fell in love. But when she walks into class on her first day at a new school she finds out that the boy, Max, is very real and nothing like the Max in her dreams. Of course this changes everything. Lucy Keating really managed to perfectly combine the realistic and dream elements of the story! The dreams were described to vividly and wonderful! I’d definitely recommend this to all contemporary readers! :)



Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe – Benjamin Alire Sáenz
And last but not least, one of my all-time favourite books: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. I know, it is a mouthful but this book is so so good!! It’s about two boys, Aristotle and Dante, when they meet in the swimming pool they seem to have nothing in common but they start spending time with each other and start sharing a special friendship. The story is so cute and witty and perfect! It sure had me crying a couple of times! So please read this book! Even if you’re not into contemporary. You’ll loved it, trust me! :)

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Flame in the Mist - Renée Ahdieh

General Info
Rating: ★★★★★

Where I got it: got it in the may Fairloot box

Short reaction: ASDFGHJKL I need the second book!!!

Fav Quote: “I believe the stars align so souls can find one another. Whether they are meant to be souls in love or souls in life remains to be seen.”

Synopsis
The only daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has always known she’d been raised for one purpose and one purpose only: to marry. Never mind her cunning, which rivals that of her twin brother, Kenshin, or her skills as an accomplished alchemist. Since Mariko was not born a boy, her fate was sealed the moment she drew her first breath.

So, at just seventeen years old, Mariko is sent to the imperial palace to meet her betrothed, a man she did not choose, for the very first time. But the journey is cut short when Mariko’s convoy is viciously attacked by the Black Clan, a dangerous group of bandits who’ve been hired to kill Mariko before she reaches the palace.

The lone survivor, Mariko narrowly escapes to the woods, where she plots her revenge. Dressed as a peasant boy, she sets out to infiltrate the Black Clan and hunt down those responsible for the target on her back. Once she’s within their ranks, though, Mariko finds for the first time she’s appreciated for her intellect and abilities. She even finds herself falling in love—a love that will force her to question everything she’s ever known about her family, her purpose, and her deepest desires.

Review
First of all, I would like to mention the absolutely STUNNING cover!! I mean, look at it!! It’s gorgeous!! In my opinion, that alone is enough reason to pick up this book. But not only the cover is truly amazing, the story is just as incredible! I enjoyed reading this book so so much! I simply cannot wait for the sequel, the end left me craving for more!

“Be as swift as the wind. As silent as the forest. As fierce as the fire. As unshakable as the mountain. And you can do anything...”

The writing is one of the most important aspects of a book, if the writing doesn’t draw you in you can’t really enjoy the story, right? But that was definitely not a problem with this book! I already knew that Renée Ahdieh is a phenomenal writer as I have read het the Wrath and the Dawn duology but she truly outdid herself with this book! The writing was just so beautiful! The way she puts words together to create touching and beautiful sentence or a meaningful and powerful one. I fell in love with the writing from the first page and that didn’t change throughout the entire book.

Another thing in this book that is extremely well done is the story itself, the plot. Some people say that the start of this book is a bit slow, I didn’t experience that at all! To me, there never was a dull moment in this book. I mean bloodsucking trees, magic, secrets, betrayal, samurai warriors, thieves and so much more! There was nothing slow about it! The pace was perfect, not too fast, not too slow but just right. So, naturally it kept me hooked! This book is described as being a loose Mulan retelling and I’d like to put an emphasis on ‘loose’ because this story is so different! The only aspect that is the same is the girl dressing as boy part, the rest of the story is all Renée Ahdieh. And she managed to create such an original and intriguing story! And OMG that ending… I did not see that one coming! Looking back now I can see the signs but she hid them so cleverly! Like I mentioned before, this book and its story, they left me craving for more!

The setting of this book was also so perfectly captured! It is set in feudal Japan and you get to learn so much about Japanese mythology. Renée Ahdieh really knows how to create an amazing atmosphere for her story. To me it felt like I was dropped in the world she created, she just wrote it in such a beautiful and realistic way!

Mariko, Ranmaru, Okami, Kenshin and all the other characters were all so interesting and realistic. I love all of them so much! Even the side characters like Yumi and the emperor are all so fantastic and well developed! Imperfect, Realistic characters are really important in a story, at least in my opinion, and Renée Ahdieh managed to write them perfectly. I mean, yes, some characters make some stupid decisions but they are realistic, you can see where they come from. It shows that they’re not perfect, but nobody is. Their imperfections are what make them such perfect characters!

“To me, you are magic.”

Ahhh the romance part of this book was so swoon worthy! Renée Ahdieh has already shown us that she can write beautiful and epic romance stories through her the Wrath and the Dawn duology. The romance in this book was a lot quieter and subtler and that’s precisely the thing that made it so perfect!

So, in case you haven’t noticed, I truly absolutely loved this book! I loved every part of it! It was pure perfection, from the writing and story to its setting and its characters. Everything was so well done! Naturally, I’d recommend this book to everyone! Just read it! You’ll love it, trust me! :)

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Snow Like Ashes - Sara Raasch

General Info
Rating: ★★★★.25

Where I got it: Bought it online

Short reaction: Aahhhh Sooo Goood!!

Fav Quote: “That's why literature is so fascinating. It's always up for interpretation, and could be a hundred different things to a hundred different people. It's never the same thing twice.”

Synopsis
A heartbroken girl. A fierce warrior. A hero in the making.

Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was conquered and its citizens enslaved, leaving them without magic or a monarch. Now, the Winterians’ only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape, and who have been waiting for the opportunity to steal back Winter’s magic and rebuild the kingdom ever since.

Orphaned as an infant during Winter’s defeat, Meira has lived her whole life as a refugee, raised by the Winterians’ general, Sir. Training to be a warrior—and desperately in love with her best friend, and future king, Mather — she would do anything to help her kingdom rise to power again.

So when scouts discover the location of the ancient locket that can restore Winter’s magic, Meira decides to go after it herself. Finally, she’s scaling towers, fighting enemy soldiers, just as she’s always dreamed she would. But the mission doesn’t go as planned, and Meira soon finds herself thrust into a world of evil magic and dangerous politics – and ultimately comes to realize that her destiny is not, never has been, her own. 

Review
This is one of those books you decide to pick up because everything about is just seems perfect. The cover is STUNNING, the synopsis sounds amazing and it has a high rating on Goodreads. And oh man, it did not disappoint! It was so so good!! I can’t wait to start reading the second book to see where the story goes!

“Even the strongest blizzards start with a single snowflake.”

Let’s talk about the writing first. The writing of this book was perfect, Sara Raasch has a really wonderful writing style which is easy to read, it just sucks you into the story and doesn’t let you go. The book also has tons of beautiful and inspirational lines like the one above. I don’t highlight my books but if I did I definitely would have highlighted a lot in this one! :)

“Someday we will be more than words in the dark.”

Ahhh and the story was so interesting and amazing!! It’s about hope and fighting for your freedom, fighting for what you believe in. It was beautifully written and the pace of the story was exactly right. Not too slow and not too fast either. It was full of all kinds of twists and turn which I did not see coming at all! It was mind-blowing! Every chapter left me craving for more!

The world the story takes place in is really interesting! I love the idea of the 8 kingdoms, 4 rhythms and 4 seasons. And its history is fascinating! The magic is explained really well and I can’t wait to see some more of the world in the sequel. In this book we only really got to know three of the 8 kingdoms and I’m really curious about the other ones as well! Sara Raasch did an amazing job at world-building which, in my opinion, is a really important aspect of a fantasy novel.

The main character of this book is Meira, an orphan, refugee and fierce warrior. She is such a strong and badass female lead! What I really loved about her was that her weapon of choice is a chakram. That’s a weapon you don’t see very often in books as everyone always has swords or bow and arrow. It was a nice change from the usual and it really made her unique. Other characters I really love are Mather, Theron and Sir ( or William). Especially Sir is a really interesting character!

There’s one thing I didn’t really like about this book… it has a love-triangle… I won’t say that it wasn’t good but those love-triangles are just so predictive and cliché. Sara Raasch did a good job on it don’t get me wrong… I’m just not a fan of love triangles…

So, all in all, this book was amazing, beautiful and just magical! It has a stunning cover, wonderful writing, strong characters and a really interesting world! The plot is really good and well done! The only thing I didn’t like about it was the romance part… I’m just not too keen on love triangles. But other than that it was definitely worth the read and I’d recommend it to anyone who loves fantasy and YA!