[Review #123] Don’t Judge A Girl By Her Cover by Ally Carter

Don't Judge a Girl by Her Cover Cover - Review Title: Don’t Judge a Girl By Her Cover
Series: Gallagher Girls
Book three
Author: Ally Carter
Genre: Espionage, Mystery
Young Adult
Rating: 
[Goodreads | Book Depository]

Summary

When Cammie “The Chameleon” Morgan visits her roommate Macey in Boston, she thinks she’s in for an exciting end to her summer break. After all, she’s there to watch Macey’s father accept the nomination for vice president of the United States. But when you go to the world’s best school (for spies), “exciting” and “deadly” are never far apart. Cammie and Macey soon find themselves trapped in a kidnappers’ plot, with only their espionage skills to save them.

As her junior year begins, Cammie can’t shake the memory of what happened in Boston, and even the Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women doesn’t feel like the safe haven it once did. Shocking secrets and old flames seem to lurk around every one of the mansion’s corners as Cammie and her friends struggle to answer the questions, Who is after Macey? And how can the Gallagher Girls keep her safe?

Soon Cammie is joining Bex and Liz as Macey’s private security team on the campaign trail. The girls must use their spy training at every turn as the stakes are raised, and Cammie gets closer and closer to the shocking truth.

Review

Don’t Judge a Girl by Her Cover surprised me. I highly enjoyed it and was not expecting the story to take this kind of turn. Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy wasn’t as good as I thought it would be despite loving I’d Tell You I Loved You but Then I’d Have to Kill You. Don’t Judge a Girl by Her Cover was a game changer I think, I was told this series got darker with each book and they were right; this isn’t just a chick lit series anymore, it’s getting deep, dark, scary and way more serious.

In Don’t Judge a Girl by Her Cover Cammie visits Macey in  the middle of her father’s campaign for running for vice president. While Cammie is attending Macey’s appointments with her, Cammie and Macey find themselves alone and locked on top of a roof, suddenly helicopters are racing towards where there are and people dressed in black from head to toe are sailing down and fighting them. Of course their first thought is its a surprise assignment from Gallagher Girls, but as things get serious very fast they realize this isn’t a test and it’s real; someone is trying to kidnap Macey.

In Don’t Judge a Girl by Her Cover Cammie starts to find out she and everyone else really have no idea what’s going on. I was confused by the end of this book just like everyone else was, I didn’t see the twist coming and now I just want to know why. This book has me asking questions and I have no idea where this story is going, although I’m gearing up for heart-break.

This book was more about friendship and mystery than it was about Cammie’s love life. The first book in this series makes you think it will be a light series about Cammie navigating her way through spy school while trying to keep a normal love life. That is so wrong. Zach is kind of in the picture in this book but Cammie realizes she knows nothing about him except that she keeps bumping into him, she keeps discovering him in one form of disguise or another and she doesn’t know why he’s there. Zach is illusive and makes me feel suspicious about him and who he really is. For some reason Josh makes a brief appearance in this book, it was so brief that I have no idea why he was even there. Which makes me wonder if something is going to happen with him later in this series and all of these ‘appearances’ are to remind the readers who he is and what he means to Cammie. After realizing how dark this series is going to get my mind is coming up with all sorts of things.

I loved that this book felt more like a real spy story where real things were happening, not child’s play like Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy felt like to me. Don’t Jude a Girl by Her Cover definitely felt like the beginning of something dark and serious. It only took three books to get there!

Overall, I really enjoyed Don’t Judge a Girl by Her Cover. It was surprising, serious, dark and confusing. I’m dying to know what happens next and where this story goes. It was an easy read and had me sailing through the book within one night.

In Summary:
Don’t Judge a Girl By Her Cover felt like a game changer. It changed the direction of this series and turned it down a dark path. I’m rather excited to see where this story leads.
– I loved that this story was scary and serious, it felt like people were actually in danger, not like the child’s play I thought book one and two felt like. This book set up the rest of the series.
– The romance wasn’t a big factor in this story which was fine because there was so much else going on that it just didn’t need it, the mystery was way more exciting. There were bits here and there that kept the romance portion alive though.
– I highly enjoyed reading this!

Miss J

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[Review #114] Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers

Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers Cover - Review Title: Dark Triumph
Series: His Fair Assassin
Book two
Author: Robin LaFevers
Genre: Fantasy
Young Adult
Rating: 
[Goodreads | Book Depository]

Summary

Sybella arrives at the convent’s doorstep half mad with grief and despair. Those that serve Death are only too happy to offer her refuge—but at a price. The convent views Sybella, naturally skilled in the arts of both death and seduction, as one of their most dangerous weapons. But those assassin’s skills are little comfort when the convent returns her to a life that nearly drove her mad. And while Sybella is a weapon of justice wrought by the god of Death himself, He must give her a reason to live. When she discovers an unexpected ally imprisoned in the dungeons, will a daughter of Death find something other than vengeance to live for?

Review

Wow. Dark Triumph was very different to Grave Mercy, it was darker and more tortured. Sybella’s story was more personal than what Grave Mercy was. Grave Mercy focused more on the political doings of the country and what was happening at the time, while Dark Triumph focused more on Sybella and her secrets. I really liked this book.

Dark Triumph was exciting and entertaining from page one, twists were revealed throughout the book with the first one that I personally did not know already within the first few chapters. I really liked this because I never guessed any of the twists or any of Sybella’s secrets until they were revealed. Sybella was tortured and dark, she was haunted by her past and her childhood. Yet she was still likeable, understandable, and interesting and I found myself really starting to care for her.

The romance between Sybella and the certain soldier was heart warming. To be honest I did find it happened a little too fast, sure they travelled together for a few days but then they didn’t see each other or have a proper conversation for a while afterwards. So when the romance was trying to subtly make its way known I was instead a little disbelieving of it. I guess the word love felt like it was being felt too soon. But I was able to forgive this because this story was so very interesting.

I was addicted to Dark Triumph, I found it hard to put down and stop reading, I had wanted to read it from cover to cover within one go. Which wasn’t possible unfortunately. So I picked this book up every spare moment I had. I am dying to read book three; Mortal Heart already, but I have to be honest that I have no idea what story Mortal Heart will tell. The end of this book left me with questions about the state of the country but it also left questions about what book three entails. I’m intrigued to find out!

Overall, I highly enjoyed Dark Triumph. It was addicting, fascinating, dark yet exciting and intriguing.

In Summary:
– I absolutely loved Dark Triumph.
Dark Triumph was a darker and more personal story than its predecessor Grave Mercy. Making this book different and even more interesting to read.
– I loved that there were twists and turns revealed throughout the book. I never guessed any of them.
– Sybella was tortured yet she was also relate-able and likeable.
– The romance did feel a little sudden with the amount of interactions her and the soldier had. But I was able to forgive this because the rest of the story was thrilling.

Miss J

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[Review #113] The Crown of Embers by Rae Carson

Crown of Embers by Rae Carson Cover - Review Title: The Crown of Embers
Series: Fire and Thorns
Book two
Author: Rae Carson
Genre: Fantasy
Young Adult
Rating: 
[Goodreads | Book Depository]

Summary

Elisa is the hero of her country. She led her people to victory against a terrifying enemy, and now she is their queen. But she is only seventeen years old. Her rivals may have simply retreated, choosing stealth over battle. And no one within her court trusts her-except Hector, the commander of the royal guard, and her companions. As the country begins to crumble beneath her and her enemies emerge from the shadows, Elisa will take another journey. With a one-eyed warrior, a loyal friend, an enemy defector, and the man she is falling in love with, Elisa crosses the ocean in search of the perilous, uncharted, and mythical source of the Godstone’s power. That is not all she finds. A breathtaking, romantic, and dangerous second volume in the Fire and Thorns trilogy.

Review

The Crown of Embers surprised me, I liked The first book; The Girls of Fire and Thorns but I didn’t love it like I loved this. I knew this book was going to be good but I didn’t realise this book was going to be amazing. I loved it, I highly enjoyed it and now I’m dying to read The Bitter Kingdom.

The Crown of Embers follows Elisa as she tries to rule a country that is in ruins from the war that has just ended. I loved this book mainly because this book has a bigger picture. Elisa learns through choices and mistakes she makes, she learns by doing the wrong things but at least she’s decisive about it. I loved watching her grow throughout the book, discover herself and gain confidence. The character development that was weaved throughout the story was amazing.

The romance in this book had my own stomach flipping. Stolen glances, forbidden feelings, secret moments. The way Elisa falls in love is deep, she truly cares for the man she has fallen for yet for her country she knows it is not possible and never will be for her to be with him. The pain she suffered from the fact of this was heartbreaking, yet she would put her country first and always. I loved that about her. She was strong and even in times of fear she was still able to appear strong.

Elisa is a strong character, she steadily grows throughout the book as she learns how to be queen of a country she has only recently become a part of. She was a very well rounded, deep character and I felt for her. I was able to connect with and understand her which I always find is incredibly important. All of the characters in The Crown of Embers were well rounded, I loved that. I loved everything about this book.

Overall, there were many, many things I absolutely loved about this book and nothing that I didn’t. The Crown of Embers flew past the first book in the series and is a definite read. It’s exciting, thrilling, interesting, addicting and one of the best books I have read.

In Summary:
The Crown of Embers was amazing, I loved every minute of it.
– Elisa’s character development was astounding and the way it was weaved through the story was enthralling.
– I loved how Elisa grew and learned from her mistakes throughout the book. I loved that she made mistakes when thinking she was making the right decisions. It was realistic.
– The romance had my own stomach in flips, it was captivating and exciting seeing the romance grow.
– This is definitely one of the best books I read in 2013.

Miss J

[Review #107] I’d Tell You I Love You But Then I’d Have To Kill You by Ally Carter

I'd Tell You I Love You But Then I'd Have To Kill You by Ally Carter Cover - Review Title: I’d Tell You I Love You But Then I’d Have To Kill You
Series: Gallagher Girls
Book one
Author: Ally Carter
Genre: YA Contemporary
Young Adult
Rating: 
[Goodreads | Book Depository]

Summary

Cammie Morgan is a student at the Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women, a fairly typical all-girls school-that is, if every school taught advanced martial arts in PE and the latest in chemical warfare in science, and students received extra credit for breaking CIA codes in computer class. The Gallagher Academy might claim to be a school for geniuses but it’s really a school for spies. Even though Cammie is fluent in fourteen languages and capable of killing a man in seven different ways, she has no idea what to do when she meets an ordinary boy who thinks she’s an ordinary girl. Sure, she can tap his phone, hack into his computer, or track him through town with the skill of a real “pavement artist”-but can she maneuver a relationship with someone who can never know the truth about her? 

Cammie Morgan may be an elite spy-in-training, but in her sophomore year, she’s on her most dangerous mission-falling in love.

Review

I’d Tell You I Love You But Then I’d Have To Kill You is actually a really fun story. I’ve been trying to read Heist Society for two weeks now but I’ve barely read ten pages as for some reason I just keep on putting it down. As this series is from the same writer I had a feeling I would feel the same way about this book. I was wrong. I’d Tell You I Love You But Then I’d Have To Kill You may be one hell of a title to type, but it’s also one hell of a fun story to read. 

I really liked that my suspense of belief was able to stretch for this story, the facts and the history we heard are made to feel believable which makes me believe that Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women really is a spy school. This was fun to read with the most enjoyable parts being all the spy stuff that Cammie, Bex, Liz and Macey do.

Overall I enjoyed this and I’m eagerly waiting to read the next books in this series.

In Summary:
I’d Tell You I Love You But Then I’d Have To Kill You is one hell of a title to type, but it’s also a pretty fun and entertaining book to read.
– I really liked that my suspense of belief was able to stretch as far as this book wanted.
– My favourite parts were the spy things the girls had to do.
– While this was believable I have yet to feel like the spy business is actually a dangerous business to be in.

Miss J

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[Review #76] Shadowfell by Juliet Marillier

Shadowfell by Juliet Marillier Cover - Review - High fantasy, adventure Title: Shadowfell
Series: Shadowfell
Book one
Author: Juliet Marillier
Genre: High Fantasy
Young Adult
Rating: 
[Goodreads | Book Depository]

Summary

Sixteen-year-old Neryn is alone in the land of Alban, where the oppressive king has ordered anyone with magical strengths captured and brought before him. Eager to hide her own canny skill—a uniquely powerful ability to communicate with the fairy-like Good Folk—Neryn sets out for the legendary Shadowfell, a home and training ground for a secret rebel group determined to overthrow the evil King Keldec.

During her dangerous journey, she receives aid from the Good Folk, who tell her she must pass a series of tests in order to recognize her full potential. She also finds help from a handsome young man, Flint, who rescues her from certain death—but whose motives in doing so remain unclear. Neryn struggles to trust her only allies. They both hint that she alone may be the key to Alban’s release from Keldec’s rule.

Homeless, unsure of who to trust, and trapped in an empire determined to crush her, Neryn must make it to Shadowfell not only to save herself, but to save Alban.

Review

I am a huge fan of Juliet Marillier’s writing and I love nearly all of her books. I think because of this I loved Shadowfell, like absolutely loved it. I’m used to her style of writing and as for the plot this reminded me of her Sevenwaters books and I love that series. So I do have to say that this book felt typical of her. The travelling, the good folk, the element of suspense of wanting to know why Neryn is running from the Enforcers, why she can’t ask for anyone’s help etc. It did feel like I had read this book because of all of those elements. This is Marillier’s style.

Shadowfell is a high fantasy book about Neryn, a fifteen year old girl, travelling to find a safe haven after her father is killed. She has a canny gift, a gift that is against the law and if she were turned over to the Enforcers; the kings men, she would be turned into a loyal follower against her will. 

At first I was a little disappointed to see that this book was mainly about Neryn travelling, but then as I read on I grew more excited to see what troubles Neryn faced. I grew to like Neryn although I wished she would just open up to someone and at times she really annoyed me because of it. The good folk were very interesting and diverse. I loved this world and the magic that it held.

Another thing that I love about Juliet Marillier’s books are the romances. They are always deep and never shallow. You would never find insta-love in Marillier’s books. The romance in this book slowly grows, Neryn has to overcome her fear, doubt and hesitancy towards Flint. Watching  them slowly fall for each other is exciting.

For me Shadowfell was one of those books that I absolutely adored. I was simply enchanted by the world and by Marillier’s writing that I needed to read more and more, and when I had finally finished I felt sad. This book left a lasting impression and had me thinking about it way after I had finished reading.

Similar: Graceling, Shadow and Bone, The Girl of Fire and Thorns, Grave Mercy

Miss J
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[Review #46] Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Title: Graceling
Series: Graceling Realm
Book one
Author: Kristin Cashore
Published: 1st October, 2008
Publisher: Harcourt
Genre: High Fantasy
Young Adult
Rating: 
[Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository | Whitcoulls NZ]

Summary

His eyes, Katsa had never seen such eyes. One was silver, and the other, gold. They glowed in his sun-darkened face, uneven, and strange. She was surprised that they hadn’t shone in the darkness of their first meeting. They didn’t seem human….

Then he raised his eyebrows a hair, and his mouth shifted into the hint of a smirk. He nodded at her, just barely, and it released her from her spell.

Cocky, she thought. Cocky and arrogant, this one, and that was all there was to make of him. Whatever game he was playing, if he expected her to join him he would be disappointed.

In a world where people born with an extreme skill – called a Grace – are feared and exploited, Katsa carries the burden of the skill even shedespises: the Grace of killing. She lives under the command of her uncle Randa, King of the Middluns, and is expected to execute his dirty work, punishing and torturing anyone who displeases him.

When she first meets Prince Po, who is Graces with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change.

She never expects to become Po’s friend.

She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace – or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away…a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone.

Review

I have to say that when I decided to read this book it was only because I read a great review of it from a blog that I love. Then when I came back to it it sounded pretty interesting yet I still didn’t quite expect this book.

The many reasons I loved this book!

The idea:
The whole idea of the ‘Graced’ was just pretty cool. Someone who has been ‘graced’ is someone that has some sort of special ability therefore the King they serve gets to choose whether he would like them to serve him and his lands or not. That was an interesting take on it, I like that this book wasn’t just about being ‘graced’. The abilities are all different and vary from graced to graced yet a graced person has two different coloured eyes so they are easily distinguishable.

It was interesting and the way this was done was exciting. The world that Cashore has created is exciting and thrilling. I was nose-in-book the whole time!

The kick ass main character:
I LOVED that Katsa was so strong, that she could fight and defend herself. It’s refreshing getting to read a female protagonist that doesn’t need anyone to protect her because she’s perfectly capable of doing it herself. I found Katsa fun to read because of her logic, because of the way she thought and because even though she was strong she wasn’t without flaws.

Katsa was brought up as a fighter and a killer thanks to her Uncle, whom is the king of Randa. That’s all she has known most of her life pretty much. Everyone has feared her since her grace of fighting was made known and no one is able to look in her eyes for very long because of that fear. So Katsa has steeled herself away from others, believing she is the killer everyone see’s her as. Yet she is a very interesting character that grows and matures throughout the book. Reading Katsa was a lot of fun.

It kept me guessing till the end:
I found myself trying to figure out what was going on, but every guess I had turned out to be wrong as more information was given. I loved it! I loved that it kept me guessing and that by the end I was still surprised. 

The pacing is well done:
One thing I hate in books is slow pacing, the very short amount of time that it is written in – For example: In one week the MC falls completely in love after having said two words to the guy and nearly dies three times. When this happens it’s very annoying and unrealistic in my opinion. And the fact that not a lot is going on till the last quarter. Well this book is the complete opposite from that.

  • The pacing is great, there aren’t any really slow moments, there’s always something happening that it kept me interested. There were a few times that were slower than others but it didn’t make me put the book down.
  • The time span of the whole book is actually over a long period of time, quite few months? I’m not sure as it never states it, but it’s refreshing to read a story that takes place and develops over time and you never get bored in the process.
  • The pacing of the events is good because it’s happening the whole way through. One after the other. The plot build up is exciting and it actually progresses from one ‘event’ to the next, it doesn’t just stand still till the last quarter where everything blows up and happens all at once.

I really did enjoy reading this book but Graceling does feel like two books. The first half is admittedly not as exciting or action packed as the second half but I was still very interested in what was going on. There was a hook that stopped me from wanting to put it down. I had the feeling of needing to know what happened next. And that’s a great thing. 

The second half was packed with action and events that made my stomach twist in anxiety. By the end of the second half the first half of the book felt like it had been a year since I had read it because it felt like so much time had passed in between the very beginning of the first half and the end of the second. In my opinion that was thrilling.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book, I was taken on an exciting journey and that’s something that I don’t feel very often. I will definitely be reading the next book in the series. I do know it’s quite different but the whole world that Graceling is set in is so interesting and has so much potential that I really want to read more stories that are set in it.

Graceling had me furiously turning page after page until I could no longer hold my eyes open to stay awake. I was thrown into the world and thoroughly enjoyed reading Katsa’s journey.

I recommend reading this book if you enjoy fantasy! It’s a must read!

If you liked books like The Belgariad by David Eddings, The Baker’s Boy by J.V Jones, Grave Mercy or pretty much any fantasy adventure then you will definitely love this!

Miss J

[Review #43] Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

Title: Grave Mercy
Series: His Fair Assassin
Book one
Author: Robin LaFevers
Published: 3rd April, 2012
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Genre: Historical Fantasy
Young Adult
Rating: 
[Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository | Whitcoulls NZ]

Summary

Why be the sheep, when you can be the wolf?

Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.

Ismae’s most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?

Review

What a story! I don’t even know where to begin.


I loved this plot. It was so interesting to read about a religion that believed in the Saint/God of death, yet those people weren’t murderers, they believed that they killed that men that were traitors to their country. They killed for the good. What an interesting aspect to look at.

I really liked this book. I loved the whole idea of it. It just fascinated me really.

But I did feel like that it was a little bit too much based on the romance in some points. For example once Ismae left the convent, she didn’t get to do much work that her God Mortain wished. I wanted more assassination! More fighting! More action!

I found Ismae to be interesting only in the way because of her background and how she was desperate to never be in that situation again. I really liked that she was strong and could defend herself. But then I had wanted her to be stronger and I guess more cruel in her decisions. She felt like such a good girl, only ever acting if her God Mortain willed it, only if she was ever instructed to do so by the convent. At first that was how I felt. That did change and I liked her more, I liked that she didn’t just follow instructions without questioning as well.

At first I really liked how strong and opinionated Gavriel seemed. How angry he got over the things that he believed in was somehow an attractive quality. His love for his sister was heart warming to see and just added to the mysterious Gavriel. For most of the book I thought he was going to be the strong character that never let anyone in simply because he had no room for them, all the space was taken up by the people he loved and cared about and his duty to them. But then it became obvious just how nice he was, how much he actually did care, his bad boy status dropped off quite sharply after that. I guess by ‘bad boy status’ I mean his strong interior suddenly felt more like desperation therefore rendering him a normal human being. I liked him more when he sounded untouchable. Is that horrible of me?

In the end I still really liked Gavriel,  my opinion just went from ‘oh-my-god-what-a-swoon-worthy-guy’ to admiration for his actions. He was a strong character and I liked that everything he did was for his sister and the situation.

I had really, really wanted to learn more about Beast and De Lornay! They were the mysterious, strong and interesting friends of Gavriel. I felt like they were in the story for a reason but that this story was not actually their story. I had wanted more interaction with them, more scenes with them in it, deeper personalities. I really wanted to know more about them, their backgrounds and their lives!

Beast reminded me of Barak (Also known as ‘Bear’) from David Eddings’ The Belgariad, and De Lornay reminded me of Lelldorin from the same series. So for some odd reason I really liked De Lornay, I really wanted Ismae and him to ‘click’, I wanted them to like each-other and be at least friends. I’m not sure what drew me to him, probably the way he treated Ismae when he first met her. So as the best friends of Gavriel I felt like they were hardly around or mentioned as often as I felt like they should have been. Well wanted them to be.

Anne was the duchess to be in Brittany. I thought this was shown quite well, I loved that she had such a personality! And Isabeau, her younger sister, I thought was cute. But I’m sure if we had been shown more of her or more about her than I would have been able to really like her and really feel for her and how sick she was.

Even though I really liked all the characters I do feel like the only two we really got to learn about and really see / connect with was Ismae and Gavriel. This isn’t bad in anyway, being able to connect with the main characters is a great thing. But I did kind of feel like all the other characters were outer shells to us, we didn’t get the chance to learn about or connect with anyone else. I had really wanted to. For example I felt like characters dropped off the face of the earth when they weren’t in the plot line, like Annith and Sybella, when Ismae left the convent these two characters suddenly felt like they weren’t a part of the story any more. Same with a certain character that I found was very entwined in the plot, when he left it felt like he didn’t matter any more. Ismae just forgot about him. Well not to that extent but it was in that general direction.

The world was beautifully created in my opinion. There wasn’t one moment where I was drawn out because something didn’t feel right or I couldn’t understand it. The world was constant and very believable. I loved the saint’s and religion aspect that wasn’t forced down your throat. It was a very interesting and well built world.

This book was very beautifully written. It was nice and easy to read and it was constant with the style it was written in. I loved that it was narrated the way everyone spoke, it would have weird otherwise.

The romance. At first I was very excited for the prospect of the romance, there was no insta-love, Gavriel and Ismae disliked each other a lot and there seemed to be some sort of chemistry between them. Then once they left the convent the romance felt too predictable. Gavriel became nicer and you could just see there was no way he was not going to fall for Ismae. Ismae was so naive and inexperienced on the subject that it felt like all she felt towards Gavriel was trust, simply because even she didn’t know what she was feeling. Then the chemistry between them disappeared somewhere along the way. So it was once exciting, but then by the end it was what I expected.

Overall I really, really liked this book! It was entertaining, fun to read and very fascinating. I couldn’t put it down, even when I knew I had to I found it so hard to stop reading.

The rating for this book is four and a half because there were quite a few small things that I think brought it down from being a full blown five. It was definitely worth the read and I recommend giving this book ago!

When I first read the summary I wasn’t too fond of it, but then there were many people saying it was really good. So I thought I would give it a go, I’m really glad I gave this one a chance because I loved it!

Miss J

[Review #34] Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

Under the Never Sky by Veronica RossiUnder the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

Title: Under the Never Sky
Series: Under the Never Sky
Book one
Author: Veronica Rossi

Published: 7th February, 2012
Publisher: Atom

Genre: Adventure, Romance, Dystopia
Young Adult
Rating: ♣♣♣♣

[Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository | Whitcoulls NZ]

Summary

Since she’d been on the outside, she’d survived an Aether storm, she’d had a knife held to her throat, and she’d seen men murdered. This was worse.

Exiled from her home, the enclosed city of Reverie, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland – known as The Death Shop – are slim. If the cannibals don’t get her, the violent, electrified energy storms will. She’s been taught that the very air she breathes can kill her. Then Aria meets an Outsider named Perry. He’s wild – a savage – and her only hope of staying alive.

A hunter for his tribe in a merciless landscape, Perry views Aria as sheltered and fragile – everything he would expect from a Dweller. But he needs Aria’s help too; she alone holds the key to his redemption. Opposites in nearly every way, Aria and Perry must accept each other to survive. Their unlikely alliance forges a bond that will determine the fate of all who live under the never sky.

Review

When I picked up this book I had no real interest in the blurb that was on the back, I only decided to try it because everyone kept saying they loved it. I am so glad I decided to give this book a chance!

Aria lives in the pods, she lives her daily life in the realms which everyone can access through their smart eye. In the realms she can explore any world or time she wants, learn any skill or sport she wants. She meets her friends in the realms to hang out, she meets her mother in the realms even though her mother is literally thousands of miles away in another pod. She can still talk to her mother in her mind. She’s barely ever in the real.

But when the link to her mother is disconnected and doesn’t go back up again she gets extremely concerned and decides to take matters in to her own hands. She has to find out if her mothers okay. This decision puts her in a lot more trouble than she realises was possible.

Peregrine lives in the Outside. He is a hunter for their tribe, a rare Scire that has the sight and is a seer, he is also the younger brother of the Bloodlord of their tribe. There’s nothing more that Perry wants than to be the Bloodlord, he wants to move the tribe to another land, he knows they’re not safe where they are any longer with the Aether. The Aether storms get worse and worse every winter and he’s sure that this winter their tribe might not make it out of the storms. There is hardly any game left in their area any more. Of course his brother sees it differently.

Aria was at times whiny and selfish but only in her memories of her mother. When it came to the present she was very likeable although I didn’t find her or her actions to be too memorable. Still I liked her and enjoyed reading her point of view. I really liked that she changed through out this book, she had grown and developed at the end of the book from who she was at the beginning. That was really important I find. I really wish I could hear her sing! From the reactions of every character in the book she sounds amazing at it.

Peregrine was so interesting. At first when we’re introduced to his point of view, I thought he was in his twenties. The way he thought and acted seemed older than the age he really was. I think that’s probably because of the way he has to live and his past. I liked reading his point of view because it was so different to Aria’s and, I feel guilty saying this but, I thought he was the more interesting character. I loved hearing about his special abilities and they way he thought of Aria. I loved even more how he changed through this book.

This world is so believable and amazing that I am actually surprised. I did not expect that when I picked up this book. Don’t you just love pleasant surprises? The Aether sounds so weird and interesting yet to be honest I’m not exactly sure what it is or even what it completely looks like. The descriptions of the aether aren’t very descriptive of it’s physical appearance, it’s more they way it moves and how it’s acting up at that moment. So I find myself interested in it, I really want to know how it became and why!

Still this world was believable and I was able to picture it, even without the complete Aether.

I was in love with the writing style. It was the style that reminded me of books like The Baker’s Boy trilogy by J. V. Jones, it had an epic adventure feel to it, it felt polished and wonderful to read. It flowed well, I was drawn in to each characters’ thoughts and worlds and I believed everything that was happening. It was easy and comfortable to read as well as interesting and exciting!

The beginning of this book was exciting and mysterious, I wanted to know more about the world Aria lived in, more about the technology, more about Aria herself. Then we met Peregrine and I wanted to know more about him and his world, more about their abilities and way of life. I found myself very intrigued with everything. I got rather excited as I read on and that’s very rare for me.

The first three quarter’s of the book was fast paced, exciting, and very interesting. I loved the adventure side that made it feel like an epic fantasy of David Eddings proportions, then I loved that there was the side that felt like a YA Dystopian with romance stirred in to the pot. This story was made up of the best parts of adventure, fantasy and dystopian with an underlying romance slowly building its way through. I felt thrilled when reading it.

The only thing that I didn’t like, the reason I brought this book down to four clubs (It would have been a unanimous five if it hadn’t been because of the following), which is a terrible shame, is the ending. The last quarter of the story. Everything about that quarter screams rushed or only written because it had to be. It felt like Rossi wasn’t having any fun with it, like she just wanted to get it over and done with so she could move on to the next book or something. The ending felt rushed, boring, not written even half as well as the first three quarters and I lost interest fast. Getting bored at the ending of a book is very weird and has never happened to me before. I don’t know what happened. I really don’t understand what happened at all. I kept wondering where the adventure and excitement went. It just felt like a forced ending.

It also got confusing because it felt like the story suddenly had legs of it own and didn’t need readers to really know what was happening. Things weren’t outright stated, they were only hinted at as if we already knew, as if we were in on the secret already. It got a little confusing because it felt like we should have known something already as it sounded like we did yet it was never stated in the book as a fact. I found myself going “It sounds like this person has this but I can’t be sure because it hasn’t said that they do yet, even though they’re acting like they know as well.” I was waiting to be told but it never came. It felt like the character had discovered it away from the book, away from the readers’ eyes.

Other than that very disappointing point which was the only reason I could not give this book a rating of five, I loved it and can not wait for the second one, Through the Ever Night! Seriously. This book is one of my favourites that I will now recommend to everyone to try!

I would definitely recommend this book to read and own. I had fun reading it and could barely put it down. It’s a book that I now want to own on my own shelves!

Miss J