Book Review: Illuminae (The Illuminae Files_01)

Rating: 5/5 stars.

First off, let me just say that this was the most unique and most different written fiction book that I have ever read. It was beautiful and I fell in love from the start.

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Book Review: The Winner’s Kiss (The Winner’s Trilogy: Book 3)

Rating: 5/5 stars.

Well, well, well… That was a swell ending. I’m not sure how I expected it to end, but certainly not like that. That was tricky and surprising.

Arin is convinced that he doesn’t love Kestrel. That she is now like every other Valorion. That she only wants to rule the empire. That she feels nothing for him. But if only that were true. Arin prepares for war against Valoria. He has made a treaty with the Dracan Queen to help Herran. But is there any real chance of winning? And if they do win, will the Queen take over their weakened country. Meanwhile Kestrel is in a work camp up in the northern tundra struggling to survive. She was caught and now she is paying the price of her traitorous actions. She wants Arin to know what she sacrificed for him. She wants him to rescue her, but that’s impossible. She lied too well. And Arin believed her.

Kestrel changed so much. She goes through the the lowest point in her life in this book. How she comes back, how she builds herself back up, how she puts herself back together, changes her forever. She’ll never be exactly the same. But she doesn’t have a lot of time before her skills are put to the test. And she begins to question herself, how well does she know her enemy? No matter what Kestrel did, there is still a place in Arin’s heart for Kestrel. He tries to make it not so, but that’s impossible. More and more Arin begins to listen to the god of death who whispers in his ear advice and orders. The god protects him and his hands are stained with much blood. He becomes more protective and more caring in his silent way.

The plot wasn’t as fast paced as the others, but that doesn’t mean that it was no less fantastic. There was much strategy that was so fun. There were sweet romantic moments that made me so happy that I just wanted to squeal. The battles were thrilling and intense. I was so worried for my favorite characters. They were very bloody and descriptive, so I wouldn’t suggest this for the squeamish. I wasn’t able to guess how this was going to end. It just kept surprising me all the time. By the time I got to the end, I was mind blown. What a tricky and plot twisting ending! It was perfect.

There was a bit of language. But not enough to really bother me. It was just maybe a handful of words. One man mentioned to enjoy the company of men more than women. It didn’t go into any more detail. Another problem I had were the love scenes between Arin and Kestrel. It happened about three or four times. Thankfully, it wasn’t very descriptive and it was short, so it wasn’t as bad as some other books I’ve read. But it still mentioned that at least one of them, if not both of them, taking off their clothes (or just their shirts). That annoyed me. But it hardly described the physical aspect of it, so it didn’t make me feel as uncomfortable as I could’ve felt.

Overall, this was a pretty great book. Though it may not be my absolute favorite book of the trilogy, I really enjoyed this conclusion. It was quite thrilling. I’d recommend this to older teens for the stuff mentioned above.

-G. Paige

 

Book Review: The Winner’s Crime (The Winner’s Trilogy: Book 2)

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Rating: 5/5 stars.

Whoa people. Just whoa. How could a book end like that? I must have the next one like now! This had so many plot twists. It was so intense. I loved it.

Kestrel is planning to marry the emperor’s only son. Most people would be excited and joyful about the planned marriage because soon they’d be inheriting the empire. But Kestrel knows that as soon as she marries, she’ll be trapped in a cage. She wants to Arin why she really married the emperor’s son: to save him. But she knows the decisions he’ll make if she does. So she does her best to convince him of the lies. Arin knows that Herran, now a separate territory but under the rule of the emperor, is free, but it won’t last long and he must find a more permanent way to keep the Herrani free. What he doesn’t know is that Kestrel has begun to work as a spy for Herran and is about to discover a deadly secret. If she is found out, everything is undone.

Kestrel. Oh my goodness I loved her. I understood her struggles. She made some of the hardest decisions anyone ever has to make. She kept up the lies and deception for a purpose. She was such a strategist. She was smart. She thought through her decisions. She was strong, but not in a physical way. Arin, I feel bad for him. He’s so clueless. Kestrel tells her lies too well. And he believes her. But for some reason, he still loves her. He still trusts her in a way that defines all understanding. The emperor was sly and terribly evil. He was smarter than he looked. He was definitely more than meets the eye.

This was intense. Very intense. Kestrel doing traitorous things that could get herself killed literally right in front the of enemies’ faces, scary me. How can it not be intense, when one wrong move could mean the end of all your favorite characters’ lives? It was like the quiet before the storm. Your just waiting for it to break out. The secrets were horrifying. It was shocking how cruel the empire was, how far they were willing to go to expand the empire. Then the ending. It was heart wrenching!

There wasn’t a ton of violence, but where there was violence, it was very descriptive. It was a bit disgusting, if you really thought about it. So for those who can’t stand violence, I wouldn’t recommend this.

The writing was beautiful. I loved all the metaphors and similes. It was beautiful. It was emotional. It was made my heart beat fast. It thrilled me. I really loved it, if you can’t tell.

There was maybe a handful of bad words. Not a lot at all. There looked to be the start of a sexual scene, but it was skipped over. There was one intense kissing moment, but it didn’t go any farther.

Alright. So I just loved this book and I recommend this to older teens and up. It was really amazing. I love this fantasy world.

G. Paige

Book Review: The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive: Book 1)

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Rating: 5/5 stars.

Uhhh… I am just so shocked, so amazed. Even after waiting almost a week to write this review, I still haven’t gotten over it. It was magnificent. And that doesn’t even begin to describe how great this book really was.

The true Desolation is coming. The world of Roshar is not ready to face it. The Heralds have abandoned their duties and the Knights Radiant have turned against them. Szeth, an assassin, is bound to do what his master says, even if it brings ruin to the world. Kaladin, once a respected darkeyes, now is the worst kind of slave and has no hope. Everyone he has tried to protect has died. Shallan is a girl on a mission to save her family, even if it means stealing something priceless from someone very important. Dalinar was once revered and honored, now people think he’s going insane. Is he? He can’t even trust himself.

OH. MY. WORD. Let’s start with these amazing and complex characters. Szeth, I loved him. He isn’t focused on much in this book, but the parts he is in are very important to the plot. He was so interesting. The assassin who didn’t want to kill. But he still did it, as he wept with sorrow. Kaladin was my favorite. He was so broken and it hurt my heart. It was terrible to see him brought so slow. But hope was brought back to him by the most unsuspecting thing. He was a leader, but willing to do what the lowest man did. He was caring, so much so that it hurt him at times. He wasn’t one to let go for any reason. Willing to use all her skills, she will save her family. Shallan was smart and clever. She always had a witty quip ready for any remark. But there is something about her that will shock you. Dalinar is a hardened warrior. Called the Blackthorne, he is one of the most dangerous people alive. But his views are changing. Now he hardly ever longs for battle, but only for peace. He fears that something terrifying is coming. Something that will destroy them all if they are not united. Adolin, Dalinar’s son, fears for his father. He doesn’t know what is happening to him and he definitely doesn’t understand it. He wants to get him help, but how? Adolin is his father’s son.

The world building is one of the best (if not the best) I have ever seen. The sheer complexity and uniqueness that went into it was overwhelming. You could really tell how much time the author spent on it. But thankfully it wasn’t to complicated to read. I was swept into it from the start. There were tons of interesting creatures. There were lots of diverse plants. Their money system was totally different. The different countries had separate and distinct cultures. It was amazing epic fantasy.

The plot was intricate. It could feel slow to some, but I thought it perfect. The book itself was probably the biggest book I’ve ever read. The pace gave me plenty of time to connect and get to know the characters well. And it definitely wasn’t boring. It was very exciting. When it got to the last part of the book I was literally freaking out. I never believed that it could get so intense. Whoa. I mean, whoa. THEN THOSE LAST FEW PAGES!!! I about died. What just happened?! I’m so glad that I have the next one. I can’t wait to see where all this is leading to.

For content it was pretty clean. The word b****** was in it a few times, but that was it for language. Adolin courts a different girl every few days, but it is only mentioned. One character saw a woman kicked out of a man’s house because he wouldn’t pay her for her “services”. It doesn’t go into detail. There was a lot of violence and it was very bloody, but not overly descriptive.

I just loved this book. I have always heard that Brandon Sanderson’s books are really good, but I never truly knew until I read one. It totally did not disappoint. I am so ready to read more by this author. I’d recommend this to older teens. If you even slightly love fantasy, read it. If you don’t, read it anyways. It is too fantastic to pass up.

-G. Paige

 

 

 

Book Review: A Time to Die (Out of Time: Book 1)

Rating: 5/5 stars.

Wow. Just wow. I was worried about not liking this after seeing everyone love it. But I shouldn’t have worried. I loved it!

In Parvin Blackwater’s world everyone has a Clock. On that Clock the Numbers tell how long you have to live. Parvin has a year left to live. She wamts to do something meaningful. She wants to be remembered. She begins to think she is doing something right, when she is discovered to be sharing a Clock with her twin brother. As punishment she is thrown through the Wall that divides the world in half. On the other side she may find something that can save her people, if she has the time to tell them.

Usually when I love a book, it is mainly that characters that I love. It wasn’t exactly the case for this one. I loved all aspects of this book! I only liked Parvin at the beginning, but as I read more she grew on me and now I love her. She seemed very normal, and I liked that. She had a temper, which I totally relate to, but she also had an inner strength which grew as the story went on. There were moments when she was whiny, but I thought it realistic (Aren’t we all whiny at times?). I fell much more easily in love with many of the side characters. Reid was an awesome brother. He was humorous and fun, but was serious about protecting his family. I want to learn more about him! Solomon Hawke was amazing. I loved him from the moment I saw him. He was such a gentleman. He was quiet, but his presence held authority. He was trying to do the right thing, but he might be on the wrong side. Jude, ah, Jude. He seemed to care about know one but himself, but under that hard shell he was caring and loving. He was protective and aggressive. He was mysterious and had many secrets. Willow was a sweet young girl. Elm was neat. I must see more of him! Skelley Chase was a different and unique “bad guy”. I’m still trying to figure out his motives for what he’s done. I kind of liked him, but then he stepped crossed the line. So now I love and hate him.

I haven’t read many Christian dystopians, but this was probably the best one I’ve read. The world building was fantastic and unique. I loved the feel of it. I’m still a bit confused about a few of the strange devices in the world, but I get the gist of it.

The writing was great. I really do like first person. It was gripping and I found myself really connecting with Parvin in a short amount of time.

The plot was ingenious. There were a few things that felt really coincidental, but overall it was pretty realistic for the story. It was slower paced at the beginning, but it quickly sped up. It became unpredictable, intense, scary, exciting, and terrifying all at the same time! The deaths destroyed me! How could that happen? But I think it helped make the story all the more special. But now I’m scared. How many characters are going to make it through this series? The ending was so messed up! I must have the next one! It can’t leave me hanging like that!

I’m recommending this to a bit older teens and up because some of the violence was gruesome and might be scary for younger kids. Totally everyone should read this though! It was exceptionally good and I can’t wait to read more!

-G. Paige

Book Review: The Winner’s Curse (The Winner’s Trilogy: Book 1)

Rating: 5/5 stars.

Ahhhhh! What did I just read?! Something with a lot of tension, love, betrayal, and strategy!

Kestrel is a general’s daughter, wealthy, well known, and respected. She has had the most luxurious life. Arin, now a Herrani slave, has lost everything. When Kestrel makes the impulsive decision to buy him, it sets off a chain of events that will change her and her country forever. They begin to fall in love, something neither of them expected or wanted. But to be together, it would mean betraying everything they have grown up believing and defying all law and order. More important, Arin holds a secret that, if he is to be loyal to his country, will lead him to betray her and everyone she cares about.

Kestrel, I loved her. She wasn’t this tough warrior girl as you would expect. Though she did know a lot of  different types of fighting techniques, she was only adequate with them. She wasn’t a master sword fighter or knife thrower. But she was excellent at strategy. Also, she plays the piano! As a pliant player myself, I loved it! She was smart, but she didn’t even begin to be suspicious towards Arin. It was like he was too close for her to see through to his plans. I guess loving someone can blind you to their ways. Arin, oh I so felt for him. His presence was formidable. He was a defiant person, but he went about it in a quiet way. Silently, he rebelled against where life had put him. Every once in awhile, he would speak his mind. He too, was a great strategist. And full of many other surprises.

Plot wise, it was fabulous. It was fast and intriguing. I loved how Kestrel and Arin interacted with each other. They were each inquisitive, but very sly about it. Their dialogue was very tense at some moments and funny at other moments. It was so interesting and sweet! The smaller conflicts flowed within the story perfectly. I was tense the whole book. The betrayals! Oh, I was already freaking out for when it was to come, but once it happened. No. No. No. They weren’t the same from that point. And it tore my heart piece by piece. Then the end! No, everything must work out all right. It must!

The writing was beautiful. I mean really beautiful and so moving. It made the characters have more depth, more weight. I felt so connected to them. There were so many quotable moments. I enjoyed it a lot.

There was mentions of guys having affairs with certain married women. One guy started to make a move on Kestrel, but it was stopped. There was some kissing, but nothing more.

To conclude, I’m going to say that you just need to read this. It’ll probably be best for older teens. It was intriguing, exciting, heart wrenching, and beautiful. I can’t wait to get my hands on the next book! I must have it!

-G. Paige

BLOG TOUR-Book Review + Author Interview: Defy (The Blades of Acktar: Book 3)

defy-blog-tour-header.jpgHey guys!!! I’m posting today on the newest addition to The Blades of Acktar series.

defy_coverBook Description:

The war for Acktar has begun.

With his betrayal revealed, former Blade Leith Torren flees into the Sheered Rock Hills, pursued by King Respen’s vengeful Blades.

Left behind at Nalgar Castle, Renna Faythe tries to find her purpose, yet that purpose isn’t what she expected.

Brandi Faythe has been torn from her sister, and that isn’t all right. If Leith can’t rescue Renna, Brandi will take matters into her own hands.

War demands sacrifice. Courage falters. Who will find the strength to defy King Respen?

Acktar rests on one hope:

The Leader is ready.

Author Bio:

imageTricia Mingerink is a twenty-something, book-loving, horse-riding country girl. She lives in Michigan with her family and their pack of pets. When she isn’t writing, she can be found pursuing backwoods adventures across the country.

You can connect with her on Facebook, Pinterest, Goodreads, Twitter, Instagram, her blog.

To see more posts on the blog tour, click here.

 

facebook-party-announcementJoin Ms. Tricia at the Facebook Party on June 2nd. It’s sure to be very fun! Jaye L. Knight (Another one of my very favorite authors!) will be there too! There will be  giveaways of books by Jaye L. Knight, Nadine Brandes, and Angie Brashear. Other giveaways include audiobooks of Dare and Deny, and paperbacks of the whole series! I’ll be there!

My Review:

Rating: 5/5 stars.

I loved this book. It was more intense than any of the ones before it. Woah… I’m still trying to get over what just happened. This book had me feeling like my heart was being ripped from my chest.

Leith Torren has left behind Renna Faythe in Nalgar Castle. Brandi is upset. She will take any risk to get her back. Who knows what will be done to her by King Respen? They flee towards the Resistance and away from the Blades. Leith only has one hope: that the Leader will help them somehow rescue Renna. But he knows that no matter what, he will return to Renna whatever the consequences.

The bond between Leith and Renna grew and strengthened in this book. The way they interact with each other was so sweet. Leith went through so much, I mean, so much just to protect Renna. It was very torturous to read, but I think it was vital to the story. He is no longer afraid to defy Respen. Renna is braver and stronger than ever before. She has even become a bit bold. She’s kind, but willing to stand up for herself. Martyn, oh Martyn. He will forever be a favorite. I loved how this story went with him, it felt more realistic and true. His loyalties are divided between his duty as a Blade and his friendship with Leith. Brandi goes through some tough stuff for a girl her age and I enjoyed seeing how it matured her. But she is still that adventurous and spunky girl. The Leader…let me just say, he is interesting, and not at all what I expected. He gives me a creepy feeling, but I kind of like him for that.

The pace was fast, really really fast. I love how the book started almost exactly where it left off. I was sucked in and on the edge of my seat the whole time. Boom boom boom! It never slowed down. There was maybe two or three “semi-peaceful” moments, but they never lasted for long. The decisions made by certain characters had me wanting to scream, “No! Don’t do that!”. The near to death experiences were thrilling. The battles were invigorating and moving. The book didn’t end with a bang, but with something more powerful and in a way more similar to real wars. Not everything is fixed and happy at the end, but I liked it that way and I’m betting the next book will set some things right.

Everyone who loves a good Christian fantasy book must read this. It’s not preachy and it doesn’t feel forced on the story. This is one of my favorite series and I hope that you enjoy it too.

Interview:

Was Defy an easier book than the previous books to write? Or was it harder? 

Defy was by FAR the easier book of the series to write. By the time I got up to it, I pretty much had it all planned out, and the writing just came. It was so easy, it actually made it hard to move on to writing something new afterwards since it was just SO easy.

What is a fact that most people wouldn’t know about you?

Summer is actually my least favorite season. I don’t like heat, and I don’t like humidity. In the winter, you can at least bundle up and get warm, but in the summer, all you can do is wear shorts and a t-shirt, and you’ll still roast.

Weird question: have you ever cried over your own characters? 

No. I got really tense during the infamous Chapter 42 in Deny and choked up once in writing an early scene in Book 4. Other than that, no. Then again, I rarely cry when I read other books or watch movies. Yes, I’m that emotionless person who managed to sit through Pixar’s Inside Out without tears while two of my friends were bawling their eyes out.

If you had one day to spend in Acktar, what would you do?

First, I’d like to pick a rather boring day so I wouldn’t have to worry about trying to dodge Respen’s soldiers or avoid Blades. I’d like to ride Blizzard and hang out with Renna, Brandi, Leith, and everybody. As long as they weren’t too mad at me for everything I put them through.

If Leith, Renna, and Shad were in today’s modern world, what kind of job do you think each of them would have (if they had one at all)? 

Wow, this one made me think for a bit!

Renna – she’s easy. She’d be a nurse, probably working her way up to being a surgical nurse.

Shad – He’d be a second or third generation FBI agent. His father would be high up in the agency, but Shad would still want to start at the bottom and earn his way up without his father’s help. Yet, he’d also feel burdened to live up to his father’s legacy.

Leith – Has anyone seen the show White Collar? My family binge-watched it on Netflix. It has some iffy parts that we skipped, but the overall storyline is about a criminal named Neil Caffrey who ends up working for the FBI catching criminals to earn out his sentence that way. I could see Leith ending up something like that, a kid who grew up in a bad situation, then becomes a criminal informant for the FBI. Possibly with Shad as a partner? 😉

Giveaways:

There is two Goodreads giveaways! One is for Dare. One is for Deny. You have to enter by May 31st!

Goodreads Giveaway: Dare

Goodreads Giveaway: Deny

-G. Paige

Book Review: Unwind (Unwind Dystology: Book 1)

img_1523Rating: 5/5 stars.

Ahhh!!! I’m still not sure how to put my thoughts into words for this book. It was intense. It was twisted. It was messed up. But it was good, in a way.

There has been a Second American Civil War. Pro-Life against Pro-Choice. The two sides finally reached an agreement known as The Bill of Life. A child’s life may not be aborted or ended in any way… But from ages thirteen to eighteen, the parents of the child may have him or her “unwound”. The process of “unwinding” doesn’t “technically” end his/her life, rather he/she is just living in a new way as his/her organs and body parts are given to people who need them. Connor is a rebel teen who has gotten into too much trouble too many times and now he’s a runaway. Risa is a state ward who is going to be unwound because of budget cuts. Levi is a tithe: part of the ten percent to be given to God. So he is prepared to be unwound.

Let’s start with these characters. I loved them, alright?! They were engaging and unique. Connor has a temper which at leads to him acting before thinking. He’s not a strong and buff kind of guy, but he can still be cruel when he’s lost his temper. He’s also sarcastic. Risa’s smart and inventive. She has a lot of useful skills. She is able to come up with a cover story on the spot. She can defend herself pretty well too. Levi, normally called Lev, makes some very bad decisions. Some because it was the way he was raised, others because his hatred and anger was used against him and he was led astray. But, in the end, I think he’ll turn out alright.

It was very exciting and intense right from the start. How could a runaway story not be intense (Especially when the government is after you.)? Things finally let up for a little bit, but it didn’t last. Let me just say, what an ending! It was shocking, unexpected, but totally fits this kind of story. It is a kind of sad and happy ending that gives you the feeling that better times are ahead.

The writing was not something I’m used to, but really good. It was third person, but in present tense.

This was so thought provoking. Christianity was so twisted as to make Christians see unwinding as good. Some characters struggled with believing in God since He had let all this bad stuff happen. Characters discussed questions that they didn’t necessarily have the answers to. For example: Did they have souls? If they did, when did they get their souls: in the womb, when they born, etc.? Were they alive after being unwound? These and other questions really made me think. Some of these questions could be asked even in our own time.

There was a bit of language, but not a lot. There was a time when this boy almost, almost raped this girl, but it was stopped before anything actually happened. One kid said that he had two dads, but it never went into detail. There was a few intense kisses and it was suggested that the characters wanted it to become something more, but they never went through with that. There’s violence, but I didn’t feel like it was graphic. Some kids blew up themselves to kill other people. The story shifts to a kid’s perspective as he is being unwound, but nothing was actually described because the kid couldn’t see or feel what was happening.

This was such an interesting read, I’m excited to see how the rest of this series turns out. It is not as creepy as you would think. I’d recommend this to older turn just for some of the content. If you want something different, go read this.

-G. Paige

BLOG TOUR-Book Review + Author Interview: Samara’s Peril (Ilyon Chronicles: Book 3)

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Hey ya’ll!!! Today I’m posting as part of a blog tour for Jaye L. Knight’s new book Samara’s Peril!!!!! It is the third book in the series, Ilyon Chronicles, and absolutely one of my favorite series ever. You can see my book reviews for Resistance (Ilyon Chronicles: Book 1)The King’s Scrolls (Ilyon Chronicles: Book 2), and Half Blood (Ilyon Chronicles: Prequel Novella). A few of these were some of the first book reviews I ever posted on here.

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Book Description:

When news arrives that Emperor Daican has been in contact with his chief war strategist, it signals potential doom for the country of Samara. Determined to intervene, the resistance in Landale, headed by Lady Anne, embark on a covert mission in hopes of unearthing further information. However, a shocking discovery leads to complications no one could have foreseen.

Armed with their newfound knowledge, they set out for Samara to warn the king. War is inevitable, and they must face two desperate battles—one on the walls of Samara’s great stronghold, and the other on the battlefield of Jace’s heart, where victory might only be achievable through great sacrifice.

Available now on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iBooks!

Author Bio:

JayeAuthor2015Jaye L. Knight is an award-winning author, homeschool graduate, and shameless tea addict with a passion for Christian fantasy. Armed with an active imagination and love for adventure, Jaye weaves stories of truth, faith, and courage with the message that even in the deepest darkness, God’s love shines as a light to offer hope. She has been penning stories since the age of eight and resides in the Northwoods of Wisconsin.

You can connect with Jaye on her website, blog, Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Etsy.

To see more people posting for the blog tour, click here.

My Review:

Rating: 5/5 stars.

I don’t know if I can convey to you how great this book, this series, is. It is absolutely amazing. I have loved every moment of reading this book, and I can not wait to see how this story progresses.

Finding out that Daican is planning something big against the country Samara, a group from the resistance led by Lady Anne goes on a undercover mission to get more specific information. There they discover something shocking that complicates things. But with the gathered information, they hope to head out to warn the king of Samara. There they will face a bigger battle than they’ve ever known, but maybe even more important, another battle is being fought in Jace’s own heart. One that could lose his life.

One of the best things about these books is the characters. There is such a great amount of amazing characters. Though a few may be similar, none of them are exactly the same. In this particular book there was so so so much character development with Jace. He has to fight so much darkness and heartbreaking fears. Kyrin is so amazing. She has this inner strength and bravery that is beautiful to see. I loved how Jace and Kyrin’s friendship is developing into something more. Anne had more of a part in this book, and it was fantastic. I love how she can give a harsh or scolding remark without sounding mean. She knows how to bring down people too full of themselves. Holden plays such a vital part in this book that I never expected. It has made me come to love him so much more. The brothers, Timothy and Aaron, I need more of them! Rachel, Elanor, and Charles were all great, new characters. I absolutely must know more about Elian and Balen. The Altair family is so fun and just enjoyable to see them all interacting together. Rayad, Warin, Trask, Aric, and Trev are all other characters that I love so much.

Let’s just talk more about Jace for a moment. He’s pretty much the central character in this book which I am absolutely happy with because he is my favorite character. Oh my goodness! In this book Jace stressed me out more than any of the earlier books. He is so broken and torn up inside. He has never been so lost before. His struggles were so real and frightening for him, I got very worried. He is going to be the death of me.

This felt so real. I connected with with the characters as soon as I began to read and I was just swept away into an amazing world where my heart was broken again and again.

The plot was exciting, intense, and totally not what I was expecting. The shocking reveal was very shocking. I literally screamed into pillow for like a minute. The battles were real, exciting, and so stressful. I mean with dragons and firedrakes and your favorite characters’ lives threatened with death, how could it not be?

It was surprising how allegorical this book was from its predecessors. It was something altogether neat and beautiful to see. I loved the parallels to Christianity, but it never really seemed like too much. It was smoothly blended into the story. This is not at all preachy like some books can be. The religion compliments the story and helps the characters answer some questions that many in our own world ask. It strengthens it without sounding unnatural.

I love this world. It’s fantasy, but not too much. The characters are so precious. The writing is amazing. And this series is going to kill me. Just go read it, alright? You shouldn’t need anymore convincing.

Interview:

Where is your favorite place to write? Why?

Outside. That is, if it’s warm, of course. In Wisconsin, that’s no guarantee. But I love the outdoors, so I like to be outside as much as I can. In the summertime, I write out on the porch a lot.

For you, what is the hardest part about everything involved in writing and publishing a book? How do you overcome it?

It’s probably the actual writing part that’s the hardest. I’ve been prone to bad bouts of writer’s block. The best way I’ve found to overcome it is, no matter how much I might hate and cringe at what I write, to just push through and put something down on the page. It can be just awful, but at least it can help me get past whatever part is hanging me up. Problem is, I’m also quite a procrastinator at times, so that makes it difficult as well.

What are you most excited about in Samara’s Peril?

All the many questions and issues that are finally answered and resolved. This book is a real turning point in the series, especially for a certain beloved character. 🙂 This book will answer most of the questions I get all the time.

What is your favorite part of the world of Ilyon?

I love the different societies. I had a lot of fun brainstorming what each of my different races were like. Even though the story has been centered in one country for the most part, the second half of the series explores more of Ilyon, and readers will get to experience more of the different cultures. I’d have to say my favorite of all of them is the crete culture. It’s kind of a mix of Native American, elves, and some of my own ideas. I’d love to be a crete and live in a crete city. They do have dragons, after all.

Giveaway:

Share in the excitement of the release and enter to win a themed giveaway pack! Prizes include an autographed copy of Samara’s Peril, a John 3:16 necklace by FaithWearDesigns, and a green wire dragon bookmark by Wirelings! (Giveaway is open to US residents only. Cannot be shipped internationally.)

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-G. Paige

Book Review: The Scorpio Races 

Scorpio-paperback-websiteRating: 5/5 stars.

Oh dear… I’m in love. This was an incredible book. I don’t think words can tell you how beautiful this book is.

On the first day of November, something unique happens on the island: The Scorpio Races. People race dangerous water horses known as capaill uisce in hopes of winning. Many riders die in preparation for it and in the race. Sean has raced many times, and won most of them. If he fears anything, no one knows. Kate was never going to race; she never wanted to. Now she is given no choice. She won’t flee from what she has given herself over to do.

Kate Connolly is amazing. She’s tough, but that doesn’t mean that she’s not without fear. Kate, also known as Puck, doesn’t allow her fear to control her actions. She has a lot of stubbornness to her that gets her in and through bad situations. Puck is willing to do almost anything to keep her family together for a little longer. Sean Kendrick is quiet, unmoving. Every choice, every action is deliberate. He has this way with the capaill uisce that is so special. He is not afraid. Finn is so childlike. He’s scared, but so very brave. Gabe has dealt with something for far too long. Now he has made the decision to fix the problem. Even if it tears his family apart. George Holly is another interesting character. He’s not from the island, but he starts to feel the same way for the island as any native would.

It was a slow moving tale, but that didn’t make it any less interesting. The tale was woven perfectly at the pace it was at. I loved how Sean and Puck’s relationship developed. Puck’s relationship with her brothers is very neat. The race was intense, but everything that built up to it made my heart go so fast.

It was intriguing world, depicted so that it felt very real. The smell of fish. The wind against my face. The pounding of the surf. The sand in my eyes. I felt it all. Every time I read this, it was like I had stepped into another world. The island was amazing in its own unique way. The cliffs, the grass, the horses, the capaill uisce, and the stormy weather made the tale what it is.

This is the fourth book that I’ve read by Maggie Stiefvater and I will say it time and time again: I love her writing. Whether she is writing in first person or third person, it is gorgeous! It is so elegant and rich. It gives the story this sort of depth that is beautiful and resonates with your heart. She could probably write about the most boring thing and I would read it because her sort of writing style keeps you intrigued and interested no matter how “boring” it may be.

Now there was a bit of language, but it was spread very thin. There was a few inappropriate references to things too. The religion on the island was a mix of superstition, island’s spiritualism, and Catholicism. But the book didn’t get into much of it.

I’m recommending this to older teens. It is really a masterpiece. You must take the time to read this.

-G. Paige