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Book Review: King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard (Red Queen Book 3)

Kings

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Amazon.com – King’s Cage (Red Queen) by Victoria Aveyard

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Bookdepository.com – King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard

Barnesandnoble.com – King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard

Genre: YA/Adult/Fiction/Fantasy

Plot: In this breathless third installment to Victoria Aveyard’s bestselling Red Queen series, allegiances are tested on every side. And when the Lightning Girl’s spark is gone, who will light the way for the rebellion?

Mare Barrow is a prisoner, powerless without her lightning, tormented by her lethal mistakes. She lives at the mercy of a boy she once loved, a boy made of lies and betrayal. Now a king, Maven Calore continues weaving his dead mother’s web in an attempt to maintain control over his country—and his prisoner.

As Mare bears the weight of Silent Stone in the palace, her once-ragtag band of newbloods and Reds continue organizing, training, and expanding. They prepare for war, no longer able to linger in the shadows. And Cal, the exiled prince with his own claim on Mare’s heart, will stop at nothing to bring her back.

When blood turns on blood, and ability on ability, there may be no one left to put out the fire—leaving Norta as Mare knows it to burn all the way down.

Opinion: We’ve made it to Book 3 guys, and s**t just got real…kind of. This installment of the Red Queen series has action, misfortune, and a little bit of that romance. King’s Cage is upping the ruthlessness and deceit, and fans of Maven are finally going to get another taste of who he is and what he can do. Books 1 and 2 are just kindling compared to the real war that comes about in book 3. For those who are loving the battles that consume this story, this one is for you.

Assuming that you guys have been reading along, let’s start where book 2 has left off…shall we? For those of you who haven’t read the series yet, I will do my best to keep the spoilers to a minimum. Except for this paragraph, sorry. So, Mare is imprisoned and her hopes of escaping are pretty slim wouldn’t you say? Finally her character makes a little sacrifice for others instead of thinking about herself! I think we can all agree that we saw this coming, because this seems to happen in every YA/Fantasy story doesn’t it? Self-sacrificing one’s self has become QUITE the fad! I think what was really unclear when Mare gave herself up to Maven, was what Maven was going to do with her. This guys is the EPITOME of unpredictable, and I still don’t feel like I have a grasp on his character. Whether this is intentional or accidental by the author, I don’t care. I love it.

As the first half of this book is dedicated to Mare’s imprisonment, we get a fairly suitable glimpse into her time under Mavens watch. She is locked away in a surprisingly comfortable room, fed some very un-prison-like food, and obviously but confusingly…kept alive. Though we have witnessed Mavens unusual obsession with Mare, it still seems so stupid of him to keep her alive as she is such a powerful weapon. Though in true Maven fashion, it all ends up being for a bigger purpose: to use Mare as a pawn for Maven to begin to collect newborns. Not only must mare cope with her abilities being blocked by her guards and constantly trying to find a way to escape, but now she is being forced to tell the public that she is against the scarlet guard and everything they stand for.

I have to tell you guys, I am loving how the author has introduced so many different levels on mind games into this story. From book 1 the main character is lied to and manipulated by everyone around her, and still it continues. The fact that this series can become quite dark and really question your faith in humanity, is brilliant. Though the constant pattern of characters throwing each other under the bus is apparent, in book 3 we finally get to see some characters switching sides and supporting the cause. For one character in particular, I did NOT see that coming.

For the romance seekers who have been waiting patiently for the face-impaling and heart-lurching whirlwind that is Mare and Cal, you are finally rewarded. Ahhh yes…those many months have ignited the fire in these two young characters, and has finally blown up like a box of dynamite on Fourth of July! Picture it guys: an intense eye-lock from across the way, the release of doves, a slow-motion gallop to each other’s arms, a passionate kiss…blahhh blahhh blahhh. I mean, it was okay. For being pretty disappointed in this relationship from the start of this series, I’m not really surprised that their reunion fell flat for me. Once again, I just didn’t buy it. The story between these two feels like one that I was told in a 3 minute summary, and I’m still pretty uninterested. Oh well.

So apart from the reunion of Mare and Cal and Mare’s imprisonment, the rest of this book focuses on the battle of the ages. Just like before, and probably much more, I was skipping over the fighting. Like I said in my previous reviews for this series, I love a great action/battle scene in a Fantasy story. They get me amped up and hooked to the point where I can’t put the book down. However, I keep losing interest when it comes to the action scenes in the Red Queen series. There is too much fluff in it, and not enough of the author getting straight to the point. I feel like there should be more detail, not more of saying the same thing in three different sentences. I skimmed through the last part of the book, and stopped at the very end to see how everything got wrapped up.

In regards to the ending, saw that one coming didn’t we? It is obviously another cliff-hanger for what is to come, but it ends on a pretty emotional note. Or…what is supposed to be an emotional note. Again, I am left feeling nothing from it. I just CANNOT connect with Mare or really any of these characters. It’s driving me crazy! I am honestly not even sure if I will continue on with this series at this point, and I don’t think I will even miss out on much. With that said, I saw some improvements in the story and writing but it just isn’t enough for me. When I see a positive and get excited about one small aspect of the story, two things are thrown at me that I can’t stand. Unfortunately, I think this is where I end the Red Queen series. Good luck readers.

3-stars

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Books · Reviews

CRYSTAL KINGDOM (Book 3 in The Kanin Chronicles) by Amanda Hocking

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Bookoutlet.com – Frostfie (Book 1 of The Kanin Chronicles)

Bookoutlet.com – Ice Kissed (Book 2 of The Kanin Chronicles)

Amazon.com – Crystal Kingdom (Book 3 of The Kanin Chronicles)

Genre: YA/Adult/Fiction/Fantasy

Plot: Cast out by her kingdom and far from home, she’s the Kanin people’s only hope.

Bryn Aven-unjustly charged with murder and treason-is on the run. The one person who can help is her greatest enemy, the gorgeous and enigmatic Konstantin Black. Konstantin is her only ally against those who have taken over her kingdom and threaten to destroy everything she holds dear. But can she trust him?

As Bryn fights to clear her name, the Kanin rulers’ darkest secrets are coming to light… and now the entire troll world is on the brink of war. Will it tear Bryn from Ridley Dresden, the only guy she’s ever loved? And can she join forces with Finn Holms and the Trylle kingdom? Nothing is as it seems, but one thing is certain: an epic battle is underway-and when it’s complete, nothing will ever be the same…

Opinion: This is the FINAL book in The Kanin Chronicles, and I am so sad to see it end! I wish there were twenty more books to go along this these, but unfortunately there isn’t. Crystal Kingdom wraps up the ever-growing turmoil in the Kanin kingdom, but not without bringing a full-fledged war that Bryn finds herself in the heart of.

After being charged with treason, Bryn Aven is on the run from the Kanin kingdom. But after only a few days in hiding, Konstantin Black finds her and persuades her to join forces to protect each other. Though Bryn is still unsure if she can fully trust Konstantin, she realizes that she could use all the help she can get in order to get back to Doldastam and protect the people she cares about. In an effort to clear her name, Bryn travels to different kingdoms in the hopes that she can persuade them in fighting against Queen Mina. But soon the Kanin Queen declares war on the Skojare kingdom, and Bryn has no other choice but to enlist in the fight against her home. Soon alliances are formed, and the kingdoms break out into a war for the ages.

I just LOVED this series. Crystal Kingdom perfectly wrapped everything up, and I was very happy with everything that happened. In this installment of The Kanin Chronicles Bryn is on the run because Queen Mina has charged her unjustly with treason. She teams up with Konstantin Black, and we are shown how much his character really has changed. I knew I was right in my reasoning for why Konstantin was always finding Bryn and protecting her, but I am more than a little disappointed in the final events. I won’t elaborate on that for a reason…read the books to know what I’m talking about! 😉 I found the character of Ridley to be a little…off in this book. Considering the things that happened to him in this book, I still think his character was just a little out of it. He was such a strong presence in Frostfire and Ice Kissed, so I think he fell a little flat in this one and I kind of forgot about his character. With so much going on in Crystal Kingdom, I don’t think I can be blamed for that one.

The reader is once again introduced to all new characters to love and hate, as well as “seeing” other places besides Storvatten and Doldastam. I enjoyed how the author showed many differences between the other kingdoms, in their ways of life and their royalty. We also FINALLY get to find out what has been really going on, and trust me, it ALL comes back around full circle. The author did a really fantastic job of tying everything together. She is so fantastic in her descriptions and small details, I felt like I was watching a movie unfolding in my hands.  The character of Bryn really shines in this final book, and she grows up a lot. I was so proud to see her character realize that honor and duty aren’t the only important things in life, but I do love what a strong and fierce warrior she is. Though I loved this series and this final book, I do have a qualm with how rushed the ending felt. So many times I’ve read a well-written and imagined story, with an ending that just feels too quick. I wish the author could have elaborated on some of those final scenes, because the pace of the series really needed there to be a strong ending to seal the deal for the reader.

With that said, AMAZING series! Maybe I just really like getting lost in fantasy stories about a strong female lead taking names with a badass sword in her hands. Or maybe, this series is just that addicting, who can really say? In any case, GO OUT AND GET THIS SERIES READERS! It’s a great way to get lost in another world for a few days, and who doesn’t love that?!

4 Stars

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Books · Reviews

BELIEVE IT OR NOT by BOB KAT

CUL8R BION #3

Amazon.com – Believe It Or Not (CUL8R Time Travel Book 3)

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the author, Bob Kat, for an honest review.

Genre: Young Adult/Fiction/Adventure/Mystery

Plot: Change the past, Save the future.

Four high school friends are able to do two things no one else on the planet can do . . . talk with dead people and time travel to the past. However, Kelly, who lost her phone during their last adventure, is temporarily grounded. She worries that her new friends will time travel without her, leaving her all alone in her new home in Ft. Myers Beach, Florida.

But they surprise her on her birthday and soon they are back in Scott’s lab, listening to the old radio that Thomas Edison had invented and called “The Telephone to the Dead”. As they slowly turn the dial Kelly, Scott, Austin and Zoey hear hundreds of sad, lonely voices of souls that have passed but apparently never moved on, pleading for help. When they first discovered the radio in Kelly’s aunt’s garage, they had been touched by the cries and pleas coming from its speakers, but they had no way to go back in time to help them. That is, until Scott reveals an invention of his own . . . a time travel app. They’ve already tested it twice, with both trips being very successful, but not without danger. Even though they returned with a few scrapes and bruises, and even a gunshot wound, they are eager to go on a new adventure and help solve a mystery.

A young woman’s voice comes through and asks them to find her twin brother, Jesse, who had run away to the circus in 1927, then disappeared and was never heard from again. Going back and living with a circus sounds like fun. Plus an old book written by his sister provides a glimpse into the past . . . as well as a photo of Jesse, a photo that grabs their attention and sets the girls’ hearts racing.

They land in a cornfield in Wichita Falls, Texas as the circus is setting up. It doesn’t take them long to discover that circus life is not all glamour and fun; it’s a lot of hard work. As usual, they jump in and quickly find jobs, places to sleep and new friends. But most importantly, they find Jesse. Now all they have to do is keep him alive.
For Zoey and Jesse, it’s love at first sight. It’s a first romance for both of them and their love blossoms as they travel from city to city. Zoey knows she’s too young to settle down and that Jesse is from a different time and culture, but her feelings for him are strong. Her and her friends’ time travel mission has taken on a new dimension. Should they be successful and save his life, will Zoey be able to let him go? Is it possible for him to come to 2013 with her? Is it possible for her to stay in 1927 with him? Ultimately, can she give up everything she has in the present for true love in the past?

Opinion: This is book 3 in the CUL8R series by Bob Kat, and these books are just getting better and better. Not only does each book have a new adventure that our four main characters go on, but the danger only grows with each installment.

Kelly, Zoey, Scott, and Austin are about to embark on another time traveling adventure, and this time they are going back to 1927. After the four teens hear a woman named Josephine pleading for her brother Jesse to be found over their Spirit Radio, they decide to embark on yet another task to save someone from an unfortunate fate. Not only are they going back to 1927, but they are going right into the heart of the circus life that dominated entertainment in that era. But soon after the four arrive in 1927 and find Jesse, things turn for the worse when feelings start to develop between Zoey and Jesse. Now not only do the teens have to worry about how they are supposed to save Jesse’s life, but they also need to ensure that Zoey knows the risks of bringing Jesse back with her to 2013.

First of all, what a very unique place for our time travelers to go to next…the circus! I found this setting to be very interesting and entertaining, especially when it came to the difference in lingo between 1927 and 2013. As this is the third time that our main characters have time traveled together to save someone’s life, they are quickly learning how to adapt to their new surroundings to get to the bottom of their mystery. I feel like each character is also becoming more memorable as the series goes on, and I find myself becoming very attached to each one…even Zoey! The reader gets to really know Zoey on a more intimate level in this installment, and that is because of how hard she falls for Jesse. I thought their romance was absolutely adorable, but from the beginning I was feeling sad in preparation for what might happen between them. I think the ending was just perfect for both of their stories, and the way the authors wrapped it up felt just right. However, I did think that Zoey would be having a harder time with everything than she did. I mean she IS a teenager, and this IS her first love. Her emotions should be all over the place and feel way more dramatic in my opinion, but I will admit…how annoying would that be?!?

Not only is there a romance between Zoey and Jesse, but the feelings between Austin and Kelly start to grow as well. Of course, I was waiting and WAITING for the two to finally explain to each other how they feel. I found myself wanting them to get together so badly throughout this book, especially because they both have obvious feelings for each other but think the other doesn’t…UGH! Typical teenagers, gotta love em 😉 The story line in this book had a nice steady flow, but I did find that the ending felt a bit rushed. I wish I could have seen the “villain” doing a bit more planning and for there to have been more buildup for the ending. But that aside, I found the circus to be a great place to take our characters. There was a perfect role for each teen to play there, and I loved that the writing moved around to each of their point of views instead of just staying on Kelly.

This series is a fantastic young adult read but definitely has some mature themes and scenarios that the characters go through. As I have ALREADY read book 4 in the series, Rest In Peace, I can honestly tell you that this series only gets better. Not only was I searching FRANTICALLY for book 5, but I had to email the authors and ask where I could find it! Thought there will be a bit of wait for book 5, I know I will be waiting for its release! Once again guys, if you haven’t given this series a chance then you need to! It is a great teen YA read but is great for any readers that love this genre as well.

4 Stars

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Books · Reviews

BLOOD BEYOND DARKNESS by Stacey Marie Brown

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Amazon.com – Fire In The Darkness – Book 2

Amazon.com – Dwellers of Darkness – Book 3

Amazon.com – Blood Beyond Darkness – Book 4

Genre: Mature/Adult/Fiction/Fantasy/Romance/Adventure

Plot: After months of searching, Ember and her friends have finally located the Sword of Light, the only weapon capable of destroying Queen Aneira and ending her rule. This is Ember’s destiny. Or so she thought. Now a pact to save the man she loves changes everything.

In this final installment in the Darkness Series, when the truth comes to light, Ember will learn some things are better left in the dark as her world is ripped even further apart. It is no longer a rabbit hole, but a never-ending black void full of endless lies, betrayals, and secrets.

The fight for Earth has begun, and Ember will have to make the ultimate sacrifice to save millions of innocent lives and those she loves.

But this price may be too high—even for her.

Opinion: This is book 4 in the Darkness series by Stacey Marie Brown, and let me tell you…it’s on f*****g fire. I did a review on book 1, Darkness of Light, where I ranted and raved about how AMAZING the first book was. Though I did receive the first book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review, I naturally had to order the rest of the series on my kindle right away. So instead of giving you a play by play of each book, and because I honestly didn’t want to take the time to write a review in between each book (yeah, it’s that good), I decided that I would just review the last book in the series. This way I can give a general review of the entire series as a whole.

This series started out with our main character, Ember, discovering the truth about why she is so different from everyone around her. Not only is there actually mythical creatures and demons in the world, but she is a mixed breed that is called a Dae – a half demon and half Fae (fairy). This series takes the reader into the life of Ember as she struggles to find out about a world that she should be calling home. As Ember struggles to grasp her new reality, she and her fellow dark dwellers are forced to now deal with the war that is slowly brewing between the creatures of the darkness and the creatures of the light. Soon Ember is taken under the wing of Lars, the Unseelie King of the Dark, to be able to control her powers and defeat Aneira, the Seelie Queen of the Light who wants to steal her powers and destroy Earth. Soon the first knight of Queen Aneira, Torin, tries to help Ember and claims that he would do anything to keep her safe. But Ember has to decide who she can and cannot trust, and in this world, just because creatures are from the light…it doesn’t mean they are good. As the complicated relationship between Ember and Elighan starts to grow and become something more, Ember discovers that she has a much deeper past into this other realm and with Torin than she might think. This series is full of blindsiding twists, heart wrenching drama, and magnificent adventures that will keep readers on edge until the very end.

I finished this series a few weeks ago, but I have just now gotten around to finishing up my review for it. This series definitely has a lot of the same themes as The Mortal Instruments, but ends up having more mature content in it once you get past the first book. I could not put this series down, and the only time I did was so that I could eat, sleep (very little sleep was involved I will admit), and go to work. Since I have already compared this series to The Mortal Instruments, I might as well give a few more options as to how they are similar and different. Firstly, the obvious fact that the Darkness series ventures from being YA Fantasy in the first book to Mature Adult Fantasy throughout the rest of the series whereas The Mortal Instruments stays in the YA genre. Secondly, the overall storyline is about demons, Fae creatures, gnomes, magic, and a yearning for the realm of the magical to want to abolish Earth for making them hide for so long. Thirdly, we have a love triangle between our main heroin and two VERY different brooding male characters. Elighan is very much like Jace from The Mortal Instruments in the sense that they are both arrogant, obnoxious, and have an overly fantasized notion in their heads that they are the most terrible thing to walk any realm. So be prepared for the exciting, and at times annoying, flying emotions that surround Torin, Ember, and Elighan. Fourthly, deaths are not always as they seem to be. No, I will not explain further. 😉

I loved this series, but of course I wish there was A LOT less sexual content. I am not one for that genre at all, so the fact that I so willingly and easily looked over those parts of the series and can STILL claim my love for it…must tell you how amazing it really is. I am honestly very surprised that this series is not more popular or more well-known. These are books that you can get completely lost in and that will make you forget what a social life even is. Though I do wish the main character, Ember, could be a bit less melodramatic about everything, I still think she is one fierce female and a force not to f*** with. I thought the ending was perfect, I loved the twist and how the author showed that not everything is what it seems or about one character.

If you haven’t bought this series yet, YOU NEED TO GET ON IT!! I cannot stress this enough, you NEED to read this. It’s a YA/Adult Fantasy that has the volume on full blast and refuses to be turned down. Enjoy this as much as I did, you need it in your life!Stars

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