Review + Spotlight: Labyrinth Lost

NER REVIEWS (labyrinthlost)

Author: Zoraida Córdova
Release Date: September 6th, 2016
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Pages: 336 (Hardcover)
Format: PDF
Genre:
 YA | Magic | Witches
Idiom: English
Series: Brooklyn Brujas #1
Read: from August 19 to 23
Source & Shelf: NetGalley | Kobo
ISBN: 9781492620945
(Hardcover)
Cups:
4 Cups
GoodreadsTBDAmazon

Synopsis

“Enchanting and complex. Every page is filled with magic.”-Danielle Paige, New York Times best-selling author of Dorothy Must Die

Nothing says Happy Birthday like summoning the spirits of your dead relatives.

Alex is a bruja, the most powerful witch in a generation…and she hates magic. At her Deathday celebration, Alex performs a spell to rid herself of her power. But it backfires. Her whole family vanishes into thin air, leaving her alone with Nova, a brujo boy she can’t trust. A boy whose intentions are as dark as the strange marks on his skin.

The only way to get her family back is to travel with Nova to Los Lagos, a land in-between, as dark as Limbo and as strange as Wonderland…

My Opinion

Disclaimer: Thank you NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Let me begin by just saying that I never read anything like this before. At first I thought this was a different kind of witchcraft, of religion and when I finally picked it up and submerged in the story, I realised I was wrong. And I loved it because it made me enjoy the story even more.

Labyrinth Lost is about Alex who is a Bruja – a specific kind of witch based on the Latin witchcraft. On her Deathday (in celebration of her powers finally appearing), she casts a spell to eliminate her powers but instead she sends her family, dead and alive, to Los Lagos, a parallel dimension where Gods, spirits, strange beings and much more dwell. With the help of a strange boy, Alex embarks in an adventure that will surely change her.

Alex was a great character to read about. Her past helps build her trepidation when it comes to her abilities but the way she develops throughout the story made up for her fears. When we first met her she’s a scared teenager who kept her powers hidden from her sisters because she’s scared of them. What she doesn’t know is that her powers are special and she’ll need them later on the book in order to save her whole family. In Los Lagos we see this other side of Alex that was hidden behind her fears and I adored watching her grow, watching her develop not only this amazing magic she has but also herself as a person.

I have to admit that I’m super curious about Nova, the boy Alex meets and tells her about what to do to block her power during her Deathday. He’s a lost soul who is trying to find himself in the world and what we find towards the end of the book was, for me at least, completely unexpected. I’m pretty sure there’s much more to his character than meets the eye and I hope he’ll be able to redeem all his wrong-doing in the upcoming books.

The romance in this book wasn’t your typical boy-meets-girl love. This book explores a romance that grew from friendship and tries to break boundaries. It wasn’t the romance I was expecting but I was so happy with what I got. I’m trying not to spoil you because I found it refreshing to discover it by myself instead of instantly knowing what it was about. Zoraida Córdova really broke some lines writing this romance and I can only respect her for doing so and doing it amazingly well.

The magic, as I mentioned right in the beginning of the review, wasn’t what I was expecting nor was it something I knew in details. This particular kind of witchcraft, more based on the Latins beliefs and religions, centred in Gods and spirits, was a gulf of fresh air. There are so many kinds of magic in the world and being able to emerge myself in a different felt amazing. At times I would be slightly lost since I am not accustomed to this particular kind of witches. But then Alex would explain it and as soon as I found the flow, it was easy to be mesmerised by it.

I dare say that even though I enjoyed this book, only when Alex and Nova enter Los Lagos did I became completely hooked in it. Los Lagos sounded like such a thrilling rollercoaster of fantasy. This parallel world was filled from top to bottom with everything fantastical. It reminded me of the movie Book of Life minus the songs.

The book ended in a cliffhanger that had me gasping for more. It ended with a figure from the past that I’m pretty sure will have a huge impact in Alex’s life. This might sound a little bit unfair but one of the reasons I couldn’t rate this book higher than 4 cups/stars was the cliffhanger. So many questions! So many theories! So little answers and I have no idea when the sequel comes out.

Zoraida Córdova‘s writing was easy and it flew with the story. The author managed to give Alex a voice that some of us could relate to and at times her sarcasm was a delight to read. The little bits of excerpt from songs, prayers and others at the beginning of each chapter was a nice touch since it connected really well with what was going to happen.

Overall I think Labyrinth Lost was a great read set in a different spectrum of magic. There is loads of fantastic elements to the story, some creepy moments, characters that are unique since they are so different and a lesson at the end that I think pretty much everyone will relate to. I recommend this book if you want something magical yet different and if you like pure and raw fantastical adventure in a completely different universe.  

Book Spotlight

NetGalley and Sourcebooks were kind enough to send me material to host a Spotlight for Labyrinth Lost and I’m super excited to share an excerpt of the book and a giveaway. There’s also the booktrailer to present you to this creepy and magical world 😀

In the meantime, if you guys like colouring like I do, check out the amazing colouring page that Sourcebooks has available for Labyrinth Lost here. Need to print my own so I can colour it! If, or when, you have coloured it, leave me a link down below on the comments so I can see it 😉

Praise for Labyrinth Lost:

“This work is a magical journey from start to finish… A compelling must-have for teens” –School Library Journal, STARRED review

Córdova’s (the Vicious Deep series) magic-infused, delightfully dark story introduces readers to an engrossing, Latin American–inspired fantasy setting and an irresistible heroine” –Publishers Weekly

A brilliant brown-girl-in-Brooklyn update on Alice in Wonderland and Dante’s Inferno.Very creepy, very magical, very necessary.” Daniel José Older, New York Times bestselling author of Shadowshaper

 “Labyrinth Lost is more like reading Paradise Found. Zoraida Córdova brings us a new generation of witches, enchanting and complex. And every page is filled with magic.” Danielle Page, New York Times bestselling author of Dorothy Must Die

Córdova’s world will leave you breathless, and her magic will ignite an envy so green you’ll wish you were born a bruja. Delightfully dark and enchanting. An un-putdownable book.” -Dhonielle Clayton, author of The Belles and Shiny Broken Pieces

“Córdova’s rich exploration of Latin American culture, her healthy portrayal of bisexuality and her unique voice allow this novel to stand out among its many peers.” –RT Book Reviews

“Cordova draws inspiration from Ecuadorian, Spanish, African, Mexican, and Caribbean folklore and mythology to craft a page-turning tale about a young bruja unsure of her place in the world.”Bustle.com

“Córdova pulls elements from Greek mythology and Spanish and Latin American legends to craft a memorable world in Los Lagos, a supernatural realm that is as fascinating as it is threatening. The history and customs of Alex’s family’s type of witchery are also carefully constructed, giving readers a complete world to sink into with satisfaction and wonder.” -Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

“This succeeds with its lush use of Latin American mythologies, an unexpected love story, and, above all, in Alex’s complicated relationship with her family. Alex is a necessary heroine, and this dark fantasy nicely” -Booklist

Excerpt:

1

Follow our voices, sister.
Tell us the secret of your death.
—-Resurrection Canto,
Book of Cantos

The second time I saw my dead aunt Rosaria, she was dancing.

Earlier that day, my mom had warned me, pressing a long, red fingernail on the tip of my nose, “Alejandra, don’t go downstairs when the Circle arrives.”

But I was seven and asked too many questions. Every Sunday, cars piled up in our driveway, down the street, and around the corner of our old, narrow house in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. Mom’s Circle usually brought cellophane–wrapped dishes and jars of dirt and tubs of brackish water that made the Hudson River look clean. This time, they carried something more.

When my sisters started snoring, I threw off my covers and crept down the stairs. The floorboards were uneven and creaky, but I was good at not being seen. Fuzzy, yellow streetlight shone through our attic window and followed me down every flight until I reached the basement.

A soft hum made its way through the thin walls. I remember thinking I should listen to my mom’s warning and go back upstairs. But our house had been restless all week, and Lula, Rose, and I were shoved into the attic, out of the way while the grown–ups prepared the funeral. I wanted out. I wanted to see.

The night was moonless and cold one week after the Witch’s New Year, when Aunt Rosaria died of a sickness that made her skin yellow like hundred–year–old paper and her nails turn black as coal. We tried to make her beautiful again. My sisters and I spent all day weaving good luck charms from peonies, corn husks, and string—-one loop over, under, two loops over, under. Not even the morticians, the Magos de Muerte, could fix her once–lovely face.

Aunt Rosaria was dead. I was there when we mourned her. I was there when we buried her. Then, I watched my father and two others shoulder a dirty cloth bundle into the house, and I knew I couldn’t stay in bed, no matter what my mother said.

So I opened the basement door.

Red light bathed the steep stairs. I leaned my head toward the light, toward the beating sound of drums and sharp plucks of fat, nylon guitar strings.

A soft mew followed by whiskers against my arm made my heart jump to the back of my rib cage. I bit my tongue to stop the scream. It was just my cat, Miluna. She stared at me with her white, glowing eyes and hissed a warning, as if telling me to turn back. But Aunt Rosaria was my godmother, my family, my friend. And I wanted to see her again.

“Sh!” I brushed the cat’s head back.

Miluna nudged my leg, then ran away as the singing started.

I took my first step down, into the warm, red light. Raspy voices called out to our gods, the Deos, asking for blessings beyond the veil of our worlds. Their melody pulled me step by step until I was crouched at the bottom of the landing.

They were dancing.

Brujas and brujos were dressed in mourning white, their faces painted in the aspects of the dead, white clay and black coal to trace the bones. They danced in two circles—-the outer ring going clockwise, the inner counterclockwise—hands clasped tight, voices vibrating to the pulsing drums.

And in the middle was Aunt Rosaria.

Her body jerked upward. Her black hair pooled in the air like she was suspended in water. There was still dirt on her skin. The white skirt we buried her in billowed around her slender legs. Black smoke slithered out of her open mouth. It weaved in and out of the circle—-one loop over, under, two loops over, under. It tugged Aunt Rosaria higher and higher, matching the rhythm of the canto.

Then, the black smoke perked up and changed its target. It could smell me. I tried to backpedal, but the tiles were slick, and I slid toward the circle. My head smacked the tiles. Pain splintered my skull, and a broken scream lodged in my throat.

The music stopped. Heavy, tired breaths filled the silence of the pulsing red dark. The enchantment was broken. Aunt Rosaria’s reanimated corpse turned to me. Her body purged black smoke, lowering her back to the ground. Her ankles cracked where the bone was brittle, but still she took a step. Her dead eyes gaped at me. Her wrinkled mouth growled my name:Alejandra.

She took another step. Her ankle turned and broke at the joint, sending her flying forward. She landed on top of me. The rot of her skin filled my nose, and grave dirt fell into my eyes.

Tongues clucked against crooked teeth. The voices of the circle hissed, “What’s the girl doing out of bed?”

There was the scent of extinguished candles and melting wax. Decay and perfume oil smothered me until they pulled the body away.

My mother jerked me up by the ear, pulling me up two flights of stairs until I was back in my bed, the scream stuck in my throat like a stone.

Never,” she said. “You hear me, Alejandra? Never break a Circle.”

I lay still. So still that after a while, she brushed my hair, thinking I had fallen asleep.

I wasn’t. How could I ever sleep again? Blood and rot and smoke and whispers filled my head.

“One day you’ll learn,” she whispered.

Then she went back down the street–lit stairs, down into the warm red light and to Aunt Rosaria’s body. My mother clapped her hands, drums beat, strings plucked, and she said, “Again.”

Book Trailer:


About the Author:

zoraida-head-shotZoraida Córdova was born in Ecuador and raised in Queens, New York.

She is the author of the Vicious Deep trilogy, the On the Verge series, and the Brooklyn Brujas series.

She loves black coffee, snark, and still believes in magic. Send her a tweet @Zlikeinzorro or visit her at zoraidacordova.com.

Author Website | Labyrinth Lost Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Author Tumblr | Labyrinth Lost Tumblr | YouTube

Giveaway:

  • 2 (two) copies of Labyrinth Lost with signed Labyrinth Lost bookmarks (ends September 19th – US & Canada only)

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Ner

Review: And I Darken

NER REVIEWS (andidarken)

Author: Kiersten White
Release Date: June 28th, 2016
Publisher: Corgi Childrens
Pages: 484 (Paperback)
Format: PDF
Genre:
 YA | Historical | Romance
Idiom: English
Series: The Conquerors Saga #1
Read: from July 16 to 25, 2016
Source & Shelf: NetGalley | Kobo
ISBN: 9780552573740
(Paperback)
Cups:
4 Cups
GoodreadsTBDAmazon

Synopsis

No one expects a princess to be brutal. And Lada Dragwyla likes it that way.

Ever since she and her brother were abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman sultan’s courts, Lada has known that ruthlessness is the key to survival. For the lineage that makes her and her brother special also makes them targets.

Lada hones her skills as a warrior as she nurtures plans to wreak revenge on the empire that holds her captive. Then she and Radu meet the sultan’s son, Mehmed, and everything changes. Now Mehmed unwittingly stands between Lada and Radu as they transform from siblings to rivals, and the ties of love and loyalty that bind them together are stretched to breaking point.

The first of an epic new trilogy starring the ultimate anti-princess who does not have a gentle heart. Lada knows how to wield a sword, and she’ll stop at nothing to keep herself and her brother alive.

My Opinion

Disclaimer: Thank you NetGalley and Penguin Random House UK Children’s for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

It took me a while to come to terms with myself when it comes to this book. And I Darken was a book I couldn’t rate straight after finishing it because I was conflicted. I mean, I liked it, a lot, but there was something I couldn’t put my finger on that just didn’t allow me to rate it. I had to distance myself from it in order to organise my ideas. And, now, after almost a month, I can say that this book was amazing!

Before advancing into the review, I need to say that I felt a little bit bipolar while I was reading this. If you follow me on Goodreads and have been up to date with my reading status there, you might have noticed that while I was reading And I Darken, I kept switching from “not entirely sure about this” to “ok, this is getting super interesting” in a matter of pages. I think it just took me a while to get into the writing style, to follow the voice of the narrator and the story itself. In the end, I couldn’t actually see this book written in any other way.

This book is pretty much the beginning of Vlad the Impaler’s story but with a twist – it’s a gender swap story and it’s Lada the hero. Set in the Ottoman Empire in the fifteen-century, Lada and Radu are pretty much abandoned by their father in this huge and intimidating Empire, leaving their home, Wallachia, behind. As they grow up, Lada begins to plan her revenge and a way for her to reclaim her home back. Until she meets the Sultan’s son, Mehmed, and Radu and Lada are torn between their home and their friendship.

Lada was a character that I found hard to understand at first. I mean, she’s a kick-ass character indeed, managing to be more than a woman in such a close-minded empire where women pretty much don’t have any right. She loves her brother Radu and would rather hurt him to protect and save him than let him enter her heart and see him in pain (she prefers to be the one hurting). When she meets Mehmed, she becomes more of a determined young woman than a scared child. And when she falls for Mehmed, she reveals another side of her that spent most of her life locked. But for me, the best aspect of Lada was her want to be a warrior, her determination to be more than a concubine in a men’s world – she wanted to be someone worth following. Her insecurities are part of her will to protect both her brother and Mehmed. Under her mask of bad-ass hero, she’s a human being trying to save those she loves.

Radu was, in my opinion, the most developed character in the story. He is the opposite of Lada. He’s frightened, pretty much her shadow while growing up. Until he meets Mehmed and his determination is to save, protect and love him. He grows into this young man that is no longer afraid. And though his relationship with Lada has its ups and downs, there’s always this bond between that is unbreakable no matter what.

Actually, Radu’s story ended up hooking far more than Lada though I enjoyed both of them. Why? Radu has a secret that in such a medieval period and part of the world is pretty much tabu – Radu falls in love with Mehmed! And that, ladies and gentlemen, is a twist I admit I did not see coming. And somehow it was a twist that made the story and the relationship between siblings so more interesting and intense. Was it a weird love-triangle involving siblings? Yes, but the fact that both of them love the same person in different ways was very interesting and gave Radu such depth I couldn’t help but feel for him.

Mehmed was the character that helps the siblings as they are thrown into this new world where they’re nothing more than leverage. He helps Lada and Radu have a place, a meaning and even though he wasn’t my favourite character, he played a big part in their lives. Without Mehmed, Lada and Radu wouldn’t develop the way they did and wouldn’t grow up to become such powerful players in this big empire. I think his character has a lot more to offer in future books and I’m waiting for him to understand Radu a little bit more.

The writing at first sounded strange to me. The narrators voice sounded off, distance. Only when Lada and Radu finally meet Mehmed and their friendship blooms, I began to feel the narrator’s voice. I guess that was one of the main reasons I was, at first, reluctant in continuing reading this book.

But when I finally got into the narrator’s flow and found its voice, I began to enjoy the book so much I was pretty much hooked. 

The historical aspects of And I Darken were somewhat knew to me since this is part of history we barely know that much and getting into this new world was slightly strange. The Ottoman Empire really gives the story such a complex background to the book that it makes it even more interesting.

Overall, And I Darken is a great book filled with action, political intrigue, religion diversity, secrets, betrayal and history. I dare say this is an intense book that will make you curious about history, determined as Lada and cunning as Radu. I became attached to the siblings and will be waiting for the continuation of their story. I cannot wait to see Lada as the Impaler.
Ner

Blog Tour Stop: Review + Guest Post + Excerpt: Zaria Fierce and the Enchanted Drakeland Sword by Keira Gillett

Blog Tour Stop:
Review + Guest Post + Excerpt

Zaria Fierce and the Enchanted Drakeland Sword

ZariaAuthor: Keira Gillett
Illustrator: Eoghan Kerrigan
Narrator (aubiobook): Michele Carpenter
Release Date: November 6th, 2015
Publisher: Keira Gillett
Pages: 270 (Paperback)
Format: 
Epub
Genre:
 MG | Fantasy | Adventure
Idiom: English
Series: Zaria Fierce #2
Read: from November 1 to 5, 2015
Source: Author | Kobo
ISBN: 9781942750031
Rating:
4cups1

Get the Book:
Amazon (e-book) | Amazon (print)
atmbaddbook70x25

Synopsis

Princess, you are needed.

If Zaria Fierce had her say, being a princess would mean you’d never have to wait for news. In the eight months since Olaf tricked her, Zaria has felt a near constant mixture of restlessness, listlessness, and hopelessness. When the time comes to fix past mistakes, she is more than ready to climb aboard the ship sailing towards the giants. Summertime in Norway promises many more adventures, but also many more perils… something sinister lurks beneath the surface following her every move, haunting her, disturbing her dreams, and stealing her peace. Can Zaria figure out what it is and stop it before it’s too late?

NER REVIEWS

Disclaimer: Thank you again Keira Gillett for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I was honoured to be invited by Keira Gillett to be part of her debut book blog tour, Zaria Fierce and the Secret of Gloomwood Forest, a fantastic book set on the Scandinavian folklore. It was a delightful book with beautiful illustrations and a story that had me hooked. The sequel is just as good as the first one, perhaps better and I’m so happy to be part of Keira Gillett‘s Blog Tour for Zaria Fierce and the Enchanted Drakeland Sword.

This sequel happens a few months after the events of the first book and Zaria and her friends are of to try to find a sword that will help them rescue Hart. One of the things I found amazing was the fact that the characters developed a great deal since the first book. I found them quite mature and definitely determined and loyal. Their friendship is something quite remarkable to read and Keira did an amazing job portraying each individual character. I had previously adored them all but in this book I became truly connected with them.

In this second book the friends and Hector travel through various different realms in search of this enchanted sword. I loved reading about these magical realms. The Norwegian folklore and lore are really present in these books, the fairytale side of Northern Europe simply giving the story a remarkable side that is unique. I’m beginning to get really interested in the Norwegian folklore because it’s so rich and so vast. Simply wonderful and Keira really knows how to transport it into her stories.

I liked having the opportunity to met new characters and go even deeper into the story. We slowly begin to unfold several things that were not explained in the first book. The pieces of the puzzle are fitting together and it only makes me super excited about the third book. I admit that I created a bond with these characters and with the story that can only be explained by recommending you the book.

Of course that Eoghan Kerrigan did a fantastic job with the illustrations again. They makes us not only visualise the story, but they also make the story real and alive, to me at least. I adore books with illustrations. Check them out:

zaria2chapter5b zaria2chapter6

I loved how he portrayed Mrs. Brown, a character I hope to get to read more about in the continuation.

In my opinion, I think Keira‘s writing in this book also developed. Her descriptions of not only the characters and their feelings but also of the setting was more detailed and, in a way, more beautiful. Just like the characters and the story are growing, her writing is also becoming quite amazing.

I congratulate Keira Gillett because her series only gets better. Not only are the characters growing with their adventures as we are as readers. As I mentioned on my previous review, this is definitely a story worth sharing with our family. And if I had previously said that this series was a delight to Narnia and Spiderwick fans,I will consider The Enchanted Drakeland Sword as a potential children’s version of The Lord of the Rings.

PS – just a side note: my blog is quoted on this book. Thank you so much Keira Gillett for such an honour ❤

Guest Post:

Magical Norway by Keira Gillett:

Hi everyone! I’m so grateful to be back at Ner’s wonderful blog. My name is Keira Gillett and I just published my second novel in the Zaria Fierce Trilogy. The trilogy is about a thirteen year old American girl who is transplanted to Norway and encounters the magical world when a river-troll kidnaps her best friend.

I love the world of Zaria Fierce, which crisscrosses all over Norway. In Zaria Fierce and the Enchanted Drakeland Sword, Zaria and her friends learn more about the magical realms hidden from human view. There are so many things to see, to do, and to discover. I thought I would give a brief description of each of the places Zaria and her friends have visited or heard about in the course of their travels.

Nicer map of #ZariaFierce world with glimpses into the adventure that is book two.

A post shared by Keira Gillett (@keiragillett) on

Glomma – The Glomma is a river that bisects the city of Fredrikstad and is the home of a nasty river-troll named Olaf. It was somewhere along this river where Christoffer was held captive in Zaria Fierce and the Secret of Gloomwood Forest.

Trolgar – The mountain-troll kingdom is hidden from humans. It lies deep underground and is formed from the cave system. The Wild Hunt is a tradition amongst these trolls. Don’t give them a reason to call one on you.

Álfheim – This royal city is home of the elves. They’re located north of Trolgar and near their allies, the ellefolken. The city is built into the trees themselves and the walkways look like spun spider webs. They’re masters of illusions, so who knows exactly what trickery they’ve done to keep humans out.

Under Realm – Not to be confused with the underworld, this magical void was the result of a great collaboration to imprison the dragons of the world. Why dragons? Because they are truly terrible and evil beings.

Jötunheim Is the region at the top of Norway where the sharp eyed observer can spot a giant. There are five tribes, three of which reside in Norway’s borders, the greatest of which is the Seiland Court. The other two Norwegian tribes are located even more northerly and touch the borders of Niffleheim and Jerndor.

Niffleheim – Once upon a time Niffleheim was connected in many places to the world, but after the Vikings and the Dragomir Wars they cut off the world, except directly over their territory.

Jerndor – As the High Court of the Dwarves, Jerndor is a gem of a city located just shy of Vadsø. They work closely with the southern dwarf society known as Malmdor to produce magical items from a special ore.

Malmdor – Not a very nice group of dwarves, they use slaves to run their mighty forges and furnaces. They also equipped a certain river-troll with chains to capture a young prince of the ellefolken.

To learn more about these magical kingdoms read Zaria Fierce and the Secret of Gloomwood Forest and Zaria Fierce and the Enchanted Drakeland Sword. Or check out my website.

Which kingdom is your favorite?

Thank you so much Keira for this amazing post about these wonderful places. It was one of my favourite things in this book to know these realms. Jötunheim and Niffleheim are two places I would love to see for real but I have a great attraction for the Under Realm… I blame the epic darkness 🙂

Excerpt:

Filip slung his window open and tossed out his backpack. It landed in a thump in the hedgerow. Aleks pulled it out and slung it over his shoulder with his own bag.

“How’re you getting down?”

“Hopefully with your stargazer.”

“Then why toss down your bag?” Aleks asked, exasperated.

“Just in case,” Filip said with a wink at Zaria.

She suppressed a smile. She looked to the others, “Does anybody have rope?”

Aleks and Geirr both nodded. Then Geirr unzipped his bag and pulled out a neat coil from on top. He tossed it to Filip, who snatched it up as it sailed by the window. He disappeared into his bedroom and reappeared moments later slinging the coil out the window. It unraveled to the ground.

“Good,” Filip said briskly. “It’s long enough. Now let’s see if it holds.”

Filip quickly scaled the side of the house and they gathered their belongings preparing to dash. Without warning, Mrs. Storstrand stuck her head out of a bottom window and shrieked at the sight of them.

“Just what do you think you’re doing?” she demanded.

“Run!” Filip shouted, grabbing his friends’ sleeves and rushing for the street.

Aleks cursed and threw Filip his backpack while slinging his own around to the front and unzipping a pocket. He looked frazzled as he dug inside the opening. Mrs. Storstrand was quick. She was already out of the house and chasing after them. She threatened life and limb and the most terrible of all – letting Filip’s father know what he was about.

At last Aleks found the stargazer – a shiny purplish egg-shaped object perforated with stars – and almost dropped it in his haste. After a brief fumble, Aleks located the largest star, and hastily jabbed his finger into the hole. Just like that, Mrs. Storstrand froze mid-run. But so too did Christoffer, Filip, and Geirr.

Aleks looked at Zaria and to the others. “Damn,” he hissed. “Wait! How are you not frozen too?”

About:

Keira Gillett (Author):

Keira_Gillett_Author_2Keira Gillett is a technical publications librarian, book blogger, world traveler, artist, and now author.

She graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Arts in Drawing and Painting.

From an early age her mother instilled a love of the written word, as such she has always been a big reader.

Her first book, Zaria Fierce and the Secret of Gloomwood Forest, is about a young girl who must complete a quest to save her friend from a nasty river-troll.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest 

Eoghan Kerrigan (Illustrator):

Eoghan_Kerrigan_Illustrator_1Eoghan Kerrigan is an illustrator from Kildare, Ireland who draws primarily fantasy characters and creatures.

He studied illustration in Ballyfermot College of Further Education and has produced work for various independent projects.

He has two cats and a soft spot for trolls.

Website Twitter | Facebook

Michele Carpenter (Narrator):

Michele_Carpenter_Narrator_2Michele Carpenter is an artist at heart, with a passion for acting.

She and her husband (also a voice actor) often work on projects together and help one another through the journey.

Together, they have three kids. Michele’s children love to hear her read stories and beg her to edit her narrations in the same room with them so they can listen too.

It’s partially for this reason that Michele has come to feel a personal responsibility to only record books that aren’t inappropriate for children or young adults–at their respective age levels and according to the maturity levels of the books they’re able to read.

“We never know how long we have on this earth and I’d rather leave behind a legacy of books that I’m not ashamed to have my friends, family and even future grandchildren, listen to forever.”

Website | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube
Ner

Review: Dead Beautiful

Ner Reviews - Dead Beautiful

Dead Beautiful

Authors: Yvonne Woon
Release Date: September 21st, 2010
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Pages: 464 (Hardcover)
Format: PDF
Genre:
 YA | Paranormal | Fantasy
Idiom: English
Series: Dead Beautiful #1
Read: from July 24 to 27, 2015
Source & Shelf: NetGalley | Kobo
ISBN: 9781423119562
(Hardcover)
Cups:

Amazon

 my opinion

On the morning of her sixteenth birthday, Renée Winters was still an ordinary girl. She spent her summers at the beach, had the perfect best friend, and had just started dating the cutest guy at school. No one she’d ever known had died. But all that changes when she finds her parents dead in the Redwood Forest, in what appears to be a strange double murder.

After the funeral Renée’s wealthy grandfather sends her to Gottfried Academy, a remote and mysterious boarding school in Maine, where she finds herself studying subjects like Philosophy, Latin, and the “Crude Sciences.”

It’s there that she meets Dante Berlin, a handsome and elusive boy to whom she feels inexplicably drawn. As they grow closer, unexplainable things begin to happen, but Renée can’t stop herself from falling in love. It’s only when she discovers a dark tragedy in Gottfried’s past that she begins to wonder if the Academy is everything it seems.

Little does she know, Dante is the one hiding a dangerous secret, one that has him fearing for her life.

Dead Beautiful is both a compelling romance and thought-provoking read, bringing shocking new meaning to life, death, love, and the nature of the soul.

my opinion

Disclaimer: Thank you NetGalley and Disney-Hyperion for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Dead Beautiful was such a great book I cannot believe it took me a while to finally pick it up. Although there were some similarities with Twilight and a bit of Harry Potter, I loved the concept of this book, the idea of dead people trying to find their soul and a school that prepares both dead people and human to live in harmony. Seriously, I had rather low expectations for this book but when I finished it, I was extremely surprised with how much I enjoyed it.

Renée Winters finds her parents dead in the woods on her sixteenth birthday. Since her grand-father is the only family left, she’s now under his guardianship and he soon sends her to Gottfried Academy, the same school her parents went to. Actually, there are several things from her parents past she doesn’t know, and becoming a student in this school makes her realise that she barely knows them. And then there’s Dante, a mysterious boy who immediately attracts her and they soon become romantically involved. Or as involved as Dante allows them to be for there’s something sinister about him that Renée can’t figure out.

And when she does, her whole life and past turn upside-down and everything she once knew, comes tumbling down.

When I mentioned that this book has some resemblances to both Twilight and Harry Potter, I mean that sometimes there were parts I felt unoriginal and that lacked something unique, picking up pieces from these two books. The relationship between Dante and Renée has its moments that were too Twilight-ish – the mysterious and dangerous boy trying to get the girl away from him. Actually, there was one of Dante’s speech that literally screamed Edward Cullen when he says he might be dangerous. And as for the Harry Potter bits, it has more to do with the school, boarding school in this case, environment than anything else. The way Yvonne Woon describe the academy and the classes reminded me a lot of Harry Potter.

However, despite these traits, this book has something makes it unique and makes me forget the similarities with other books: the concept of death. This book deals with death, with living a half-life, half-death and the search for souls. Latin also has a very important part in this book as the Language of the Dead and, I’ve always been interested in Latin, I found that connection simply amazing.

I loved the way Yvonne Woon managed to add both Dante, author, and Descartes, uniting them with the main character. After reading the book I marvelled at how clever it was of her to name them Renée (from René Descartes) and Dante (from Dante Alighieri, the author of Dante’s Inferno).

At first I didn’t particularly enjoyed Renée’s voice, the way she told the story. I admit that only after she met Dante and became aware of what was going on did I began to enjoy her character. She was a bit slow in creating a connection with the reader but it does happen later on. Even with what happens to her in the very first chapter, it was slightly hard for me to connect with her. Yes, I did felt bad for her since she lost both her parents in a very peculiar way, but she didn’t made me extremely sad for her loss.

As for Dante, it was one of those characters who immediately struck you with his sense of humour, his mysteriousness and darkness. Until Renée finds the truth about him you want more and more of him. You want to know why he won’t kiss her, why his touch is always cold, why Renée’s skin and body feels numb whenever he touched her. And why he’s in a advanced Latin class with these weird group of people who are part of his past – a mysterious past. Really, mysterious is basically the certain word for him.

But the character I adored was Eleanor. At first you think she’s going to be this shallow character who will make Renée’s life a living hell or something but she ends up being this amazing character that becomes an important piece of the puzzle and a great friend of Renée. And with what happened to her in the middle of the book, I’m certainly curious to know what’s going to happen.

And speaking of what’s going to happen… the ending!!! That cliffhanger had me on edge!! It certainly makes you super eager to pick up the second book with what happened and all… I’m still not completely sure of what happened to be honest. It all happened a little bit too fast but that was the brilliancy of it. It didn’t gave it all away, only enough to make you thirsty for Life Eternal.

Dead Beautiful was indeed an amazing surprise and a very good book. If you just let you mind open and ignore the fact that certain parts feel like a rip-off of Twilight, you’ll thoroughly enjoy this world that Yvonne Woon created. Everything is connected and it also makes you consider death in a different way. I am really excited for the sequel.

Ner

Review: Powerless

Ner Reviews - Powerless

ASfUG

Authors: Tera Lynn Childs & Tracy Deebs
Release Date: June 2nd, 2015
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Pages: 308 (Hardcover)
Format: ebook
Genre:
 YA | Superhero | Sci-Fi
Idiom: English
Series: The Hero Agenda #1
Read: on June 6 to 10, 2015
Source & Shelf: NetGalley | Kobo
ISBN: 9781492616573
(Hardcover)
Cups:

Amazon

Synopsis:

Kenna is tired of being “normal”. The only thing special about her is that she isn’t special at all. Which is frustrating in a world of absolutes. Villains, like the one who killed her father, are bad. Heroes, like her mother and best friend, are good. And Kenna, unlike everyone else around her, is completely ordinary— which she hates.

She’s secretly working on an experiment that will land her a place among the Heroes, but when a Villain saves her life during a break-in at her lab, Kenna discovers there’s a whole lot of gray area when it comes to good and evil and who she can trust.. After all…not all strength comes from superpowers.

My Opinion:

Disclaimer: Thank you NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire for providing me with a copy.

This book was such an awesome surprise. I simply loved the whole concept of this book, the action, the characters, the superheroes vs. villains plot… absolutely everything. Powerless was the superhero book I needed in my life since I haven’t read that many in this particular subject – I had been rather unlucky with superheroes books. .

Imagine a world where superheroes and villains were your daily neighbours. In Kenna’s world, she’s the daughter of a famous super-hero who died at the hands of villains. She was brought up believing in the goodness of the heroes and the evilness of the villains. But when one night, three villains break into her laboratory and one of them saves us, she’s thrown into a world that will make her see that there is this grey shade in between good and evil. She learns the truth about her adoring heroes and that truth is hard and cold. She units with the three villains that broke into her lab and together they try to expose the cruelties of the superheroes.

You start the book with a brief log of some sort of experiment that was probably what caused the humans to have powers and, consequently, lead to the creation of superheroes and villains. Not much is told about how these people are born with powers, what did scientists do to create them and so forth. You are literally thrown into this world without really knowing anything about it. You only know that when someone develops a power, they are immediately identified as hero or villain.

But, it didn’t bothered me at all since the action on itself managed to hook me straight away. This was one of those books that started with a bang and it didn’t stop until the very end. As soon as you set foot into this book, it’ll be complicated for you to leave.

Kenna was a smart and easy character to like immediately. Though her narration is sometimes dispersed and she ends up repeating herself too much, she was a kick-butt strong female character that has all the potential to be great. She was funny, fearless and with a twist in the end that will leave you slightly taken aback (I sure was!).

The villains that end up working with Kenna were simply amazing. Actually, the whole group of villains, heroes and ordinary people that end up trying to rescue someone was the best. There was a lot of varieties in personalities and some bickering between characters that made it even the more amusing. 

Draven, the ‘villain’, was a true delight. Though in the begin he and Kenna would be always arguing and despite being an almost insta-attraction – attention to the almost – their romance was sweet and super cute (see what I did there?).

I loved Nitro! This Scottish villain that can throw fireballs was simply delicious. Though he only appears as a main member of the group almost in the middle, I adored him deeply. I blame the fact that his Scottish and had this ironic sense of humour that was contagious.

The plot itself was also very interesting. And I also liked the fact that they failed their rescue a few times before the end. I felt like they were learning a lot from failing and facing their obstacles. It was a fast-paced plot with a lot of action, romance, humour and a few twists that were unexpected – some other ended up being quite expected but it didn’t bother me that much.

There was only one particular character that had me doubt her substance in the book. Rebel was hilarious at times but I always felt her slightly pushed aside and her power weak. Plus what happens at the end, it didn’t help me care that much for her.

Powerless was a fun, fast, easy and amazing book. This is that sort of book you can almost see as a TV-Series for The CW – it has the potential for it. It had good characters, a good plot, action all the way and super-powers. Great job Tera Lynn Childs and Tracy Deebs, great job!

Ner

Review: Station Eleven

Ner Reviews - Station Eleven

Station Eleven

Author: Emily St. John Mandel
Release Date: September 10th, 2014
Publisher: Picador
Pages: 384 (Hardcover)
Format: Hardcover
Genre:
 Adult | Dystopia | Science-Fiction
Idiom: English
Series: —
Read: on June 2 to 6, 2015
Source & Shelf: Giveaway | Own
ISBN: 9781447268963
(Hardcover)
Cups:

Amazon

Synopsis:

DAY ONE

The Georgia Flu explodes over the surface of the earth like a neutron bomb.

News reports put the mortality rate at over 99%.

WEEK TWO

Civilization has crumbled.

YEAR TWENTY

A band of actors and musicians called the Travelling Symphony move through their territories performing concerts and Shakespeare to the settlements that have grown up there. Twenty years after the pandemic, life feels relatively safe.

But now a new danger looms, and he threatens the hopeful world every survivor has tried to rebuild.

STATION ELEVEN

Moving backwards and forwards in time, from the glittering years just before the collapse to the strange and altered world that exists twenty years after, Station Eleven charts the unexpected twists of fate that connect six people: famous actor Arthur Leander; Jeevan – warned about the flu just in time; Arthur’s first wife Miranda; Arthur’s oldest friend Clark; Kirsten, a young actress with the Travelling Symphony; and the mysterious and self-proclaimed ‘prophet’.

Thrilling, unique and deeply moving, this is a beautiful novel that asks questions about art and fame and about the relationships that sustain us through anything – even the end of the world.

My Opinion:

Disclaimer: Thank you Ula (@Blog of Erised) and Picador for providing me with a copy of this book.

I launched into Station Eleven with some high expectations, wondering what’s so magnificent about this book that had everyone loving it very much. I can honestly admit that it was indeed different than what I had expected but it did exceed those same expectations: it was better.

Station Eleven is a straightforward book about the strength of human kind while facing the end of the world and how that same world is small. How a group of people are connected by something so simple yet so complicated such as Shakespeare.

The book isn’t set mainly in the post-apocalyptic disaster that killed most of mankind. It’s a shuffle of what happened days, hours before the epidemic spread, the main setting of this new world and the characters’ background story. At first I found that quite unsettling, making me loose myself in the story but as soon as I found the connection between everyone and everything in the book, it became a satisfying read.

One of the things I found it quite remarkable was how the title, Station Eleven, isn’t an actual real station. This is mainly the name of a comic book that one of the characters – Arthur’s first wife – creates and which is rather important to other character – Kirsten who is connected to Arthur by having played King Lear with him when she was a child. Though Arthur is definitely one of the solid links between the pre-apocalyptic world and the post-apocalyptic one, the comic is perhaps the strongest.

The characters were diverse and pretty much contained to themselves. There wasn’t that much of a dialogue between them but I didn’t mind that. The whole setting was enough and it spoke tons of what went through their minds, their feelings, their ideas and remembrances. Also, since this book is told from different perspectives each during a particular time in space, it’s a little difficult for you to have a character you appreciate the most. I guess I would like to have read a little bit more about Jeevan after the epidemic since the little we got was exactly that – little.

Other thing I found fascinating was how Emily St. John Mandel managed to add the density of Shakespeare’s work and wrap it in her book. Shakespeare is also another link between the characters with two of his plays – King Lear and A Midsummer’s Night Dream – being the main focus when connecting the post-apocalyptic world with the old world (both our world and the Shakespearean one). The few references to the plays were so well explained, so well explored that those who’ve never read or studied Shakespeare in their lives will not miss a thing. It was simply part of the book, the characters, the Travelling Symphony and the setting..

There were only a couple of things that had me slightly disappointed with the book – hence the 4 cups and not the initial 5 cups I was inched to rate the book – the “Prophet” and the ending itself. I found the image of the Prophet ambiguous and somewhat infuriating. He is a religious fanatic who thinks he was saved from the end of the world by God and whose job is to preach that they are the Light. Though his background story is not immediately told – and what is told is very brief and doesn’t tell much – the identity of his character was, in my humble opinion, quite obvious despite the fact that we only get a proper reveal almost in the end. Though what we know about his past might explain his twisted mind, I found him mostly irritating.

As for the ending, though it was the perfect end for a story like this and I did, however, enjoyed it, I also wanted more. I cannot explain it properly but when I read the very last sentence, I felt empty and wishing for two more chapters that would tell me more about that bit of discovery in the end.

Overall, Station Eleven was an astonishing story about the strength of human kind when facing the severity of life. Reading this book felt as if I was reading a piece of timeless classic of pure literature (as I commented once when someone asked me how I was enjoying the book :P).

Ner

Review: A School for Unusual Girls

Ner Reviews - ASfUG

ASfUG

Author: Kathleen Baldwin
Release Date: May 19th, 2015
Publisher: Tor Teen
Pages: 352 (Hardcover)
Format: ebook
Genre:
 YA | Historical Fiction | Fantasy
Idiom: English
Series: Stranje House #1
Read: on May 24th, to June 2nd 2015
Source & Shelf: NetGalley | Kobo
ISBN: 9780765376008 
(Hardcover)
Cups:

Amazon

Synopsis:

It’s 1814. Napoleon is exiled on Elba. Europe is in shambles. Britain is at war on four fronts. And Stranje House, a School for Unusual Girls, has become one of Regency England’s dark little secrets. The daughters of the beau monde who don’t fit high society’s constrictive mold are banished to Stranje House to be reformed into marriageable young ladies. Or so their parents think. In truth, Headmistress Emma Stranje, the original unusual girl, has plans for the young ladies—plans that entangle the girls in the dangerous world of spies, diplomacy, and war.

After accidentally setting her father’s stables on fire while performing a scientific experiment, Miss Georgiana Fitzwilliam is sent to Stranje House. But Georgie has no intention of being turned into a simpering, pudding-headed, marriageable miss. She plans to escape as soon as possible—until she meets Lord Sebastian Wyatt. Thrust together in a desperate mission to invent a new invisible ink for the English war effort, Georgie and Sebastian must find a way to work together without losing their heads—or their hearts…

My Opinion:

Disclaimer: Thank you NetGalley and Macmillan-Tor/Forge for providing me with a copy.

A School for Unusual Girls wasn’t exactly what I first expected but it did surpass my expectations. Initially I thought this was going to be a gothic tale with a paranormal twist to it but it turned out to be a speculative fiction with a very nice and intriguing plot – plus the bit of magic in it which is very subtle.

You start this book with Georgiana being sent off to a boarding school dedicated to reform troubled young girls. The methods we are introduced to Georgie’s parents really scare you – a sarcophagus with spikes? a stretching rack? who wouldn’t want to run away from that? – but as Georgie begins to settle into the school, we finally understand the true reality of it. It is indeed a school, but to teach them how to be, what I call, spies. Well, not actual spies but with enough knowledge to help them get out of a tough situation.

Georgie’s reason from being sent to Stranje House has to do with her passion with chemistry. She burnt down her father’s stables while trying to create a different sort of ink – invisible ink. This ink will be extremely important throughout the whole book and probably one of the reasons why she’s sent and accepted into Stranje House. Miss Emma Stranje alongside a group of, let’s call them, rebels, intend to restore order in the monarchy now that Napoleon was exiled to Elba.

I’ve never been one to read much speculative fiction though I’ve always been quite interested in knowing how author’s would change the world we know into something different. And this book explores the idea of how things would be like if the group supporting Napoleon and his empire would win and conquer. I really enjoyed that idea – plus, the whole Napoleon aspect of history isn’t one that I’m deep into, I know what I’ve learnt a long time ago in school and that’s it! It was nice to learn a few things about it.

I really enjoyed the characters, all of them. I found them quite believable, well developed and created. Georgiana and Sebastian were simply delicious to read about. Though their romance was almost instantaneous, the way they connected was rather sweet. The other girls were also a plus in the book, making it not only about Georgie and her ink and Sebastian, but also about them as pupils in Stranje House and human beings. However, I really hope to be able to learn more about Miss Stranje and her background history. She sounds like a character that deserves her own story.

Kathleen Balwin‘s writing was also very easy to read and rather captivating. The author managed to write a story with a classic twist to her writing which I found quite appealing. The only thing I wished was knowing what sometimes happened inside Sebastian mind and the other girls. 

However, I found the ending quite abrupt, anti-climatic and lacking something. After spending so much time creating the ink and then trying to save someone (not telling you who it is), I found that the whole ending was a bit rushed and just a way to create a cliffhanger.

Overall, A School for Unusual Girls was pleasant read. It does a bit of paranormal in the air enough to keep it interesting but not really dwelling on it. It’s a book that explores the what ifs that normally happens in speculative fiction (me thinks!) and it has a lot of funny moments to it. It might remind you of other stories but it manages to be quite original at the same time. If you like books with rather interesting female characters, history wrapped in paranormal and a bit of romance, then I believe you’ll enjoy this book.

Ner

Review: Key Trilogy

Ner Reviews:
The Key Trilogy

Spinning Starlight

Author: Nora Roberts
Release Date: 2005 (originally January 1st 2003)
Publisher: Flamingo | Jove
Pages: 359 (Paperback)
Format: Papaerback
Genre:
 Romance | Contemporary Fantasy
Idiom: Portuguese
Series: The Key Trilogy #1
Read: from August 2 to 6, 2009
Source & Shelf: Borrowed
ISBN: 9786130094
(PT Edition) | 9780515136289 (English Edition)
Cups:
3 Cups
Amazon

Synopsis

The pleasure of your company is desired for cocktails and conversation. 8 pm, 4th September. Warrior’s Peak.

When Malory Price is issued with the above invitation she is naturally suspicious, especially as Warrior’s Peak is a local mansion straight out of a Hollywood movie. But with her overdraft at crisis limit and on the verge of losing her job at a local art gallery, she has little to lose by attending the event.

Only Malory is about to get more than she bargained for. At Warrior’s Peak she finds that she and two other women are the only guests of their mysterious hosts. They are told an amazing story of magic, gods and goddesses; and of three demi-goddesses who have been cast into an eternal sleep, their mortal souls placed under lock and key. And in every generation, three women are born who alone have the power to free them – if they are prepared to accept the challenge.

Three women. Three keys to find. If one fails, they all lose. If they succeed – money, power and a new destiny awaits. It will take more than intellect, more than determination. They will have to open their hearts, their minds, and believe that everything is possible.

My Opinion

This is going to be a very small review.

A good book and well written with characters that could be a little well developed. The story unfolds itself fast but it’s efficient. It draws the readers’ attention even though the target being women.

I admit having read this book for quite some time now and haven’t kept reading the trilogy, but I remember being hooked despite thinking that the story was going too fast in some moments. Overall, I think it’s a fluid and easy writing with character that, we might not enjoy at first, we learn to appreciate.


Spinning Starlight

Author: Nora Roberts
Release Date: January 2010 (originally January 1st 2003)
Publisher: Bertrand Editora | Penguin USA
Pages: 432 (Paperback)
Format: Papaerback
Genre:
 Romance | Contemporary Fantasy
Idiom: Portuguese
Series: The Key Trilogy #2
Read: from July 17 to 22, 2011
Source & Shelf: Borrowed
ISBN: 9789722520805
(PT Edition) | 9780739439067 (English Edition)
Cups:
4 Cups
Amazon

Synopsis

You are the Key. The lock awaits.

What happens when the very gods depend on mortals for help? That’s what three very different young women find out when they are invited to Warrior’s Peak.

To librarian Dana Steele, books and the knowledge they hold are the key to contentment. But now that search for knowledge must include the second key needed to release three souls held captive by an evil god. In each generation three are chosen who have the power to release them – if they dare accept a challenge that could promise them great riches but also grave danger…

And now it is Dana’s turn.

She won’t be alone, for she’s formed fast friendships with two very different women. But she can’t allow herself to be distracted by the return of the man who broke her heart so long ago, for a danger beyond anyone’s imagination is determined to keep her from completing her quest.

My Opinion

*This review might contain spoilers!*

This was a second strong instalment for Nora Roberts’ trilogy. This book introduces us to Dana Steele, a librarian who quitted her job after an argument with her boss and whose fate is to find one of the three keys to free the souls of three daughters of a Celtic god. To make things worse, her ex-boyfriend who has broken her heart by leaving to New York to became a best-seller author, has return and intends to win her heart again.

After book one about Malory Price quest to find the first key, this book delivers us a strong, independent character with a down-to-down personality though difficult to deal with. Dana submerges herself into research while trying to ignore Jordan Hawke, her ex, and into her new store which she’ll be sharing with Malory and Zoe.

Of course that each book is about one good quality of the characters or something they dream about. Dana’s passion, compulsion is books so she’s sure she’ll find the key on a book important to her. What she didn’t know was that the past, the present and the future were going to be the major key in finding the object.

In this book the pace is less fast; you can enjoy the relationship between Jordan and Dana without having the reaction that they’re jumping into something faster than normal. Because of their past together, they’re relation came easy and familiar. There was tension and sensuality between the two of them resulting of great sexy scenes well written without being too much.

The main plot develops also in a slow pace but easy to follow. Roberts leaves clues here and there matching all together in the end.

The final action sequence between Dana and Kane, happening inside Hawke’s book where a character was based on Dana, is an amazingly described scene where you can almost feel what the characters are feeling.

However, I think that some moments in the book were a bit rushed; like Jordan and Flynn’s proposal. In a month the two of them found love and are engaged. I think it was too quick.

Overall, I think this was a strong continuation for a trilogy and the characters are all changing and showing us other facades.

Now, bring me book three.


Spinning Starlight

Author: Nora Roberts
Release Date: March 2010 (originally 2003)
Publisher: Bertrand Editora | Jove
Pages: 424 (Paperback)
Format: Papaerback
Genre:
 Romance | Contemporary Fantasy
Idiom: Portuguese
Series: The Key Trilogy #3
Read: from July 22 to 28, 2011
Source & Shelf: Borrowed
ISBN: 9789722521192
(PT Edition) | 9789722521192 (English Edition)
Cups:
4 Cups
Amazon

Synopsis

What happens when the very gods depend on mortals for help?

That’s what three very different young women find out when they are invited to Warrior’s Peak.

Light and knowledge have succeeded in their quest, and two of the keys have been found. Both Malory and Dana had taken their turns. The final, and last, test goes to Zoe McCourt – valor.

Now it was her burden, her risk. Her chance. She had to be brave enough, smart enough, strong enough, or everything they’d done before her would be for nothing.

Zoe has the courage to raise her young son alone, and to face all the adversity life has thrown at them. But will she have the courage to face a foe determined to do anything to stop the third key from being found – even destroying everything – and everyone – she loves?

My Opinion

*This review might contain spoilers!*

This was a good and solid conclusion to the Key Trilogy by Nora Roberts.

Being the most human character of all, Zoe McCourt finds herself the last of the three girls to find the key. She has to look inside her heart, to face her fears and overcome her insecurity to allow her heart to see the true location of the last key to open the box where the souls of three young girls are locked. 

If I had enjoyed the last one, Key of Knowledge, this made me realise how good and perfect this trilogy is. Zoe is a strong and independent woman who loves her son more than anything and who would do anything to protect him. However, due to her broken-heart, she doesn’t fall in love too easily and when Bradley Charles Vane IV shows some affection, she closes herself away. What she doesn’t know is that she must free her spirit to love him and those around her so she can defeat Kane.

The entire story unfolds slowly with Zoe trying to figure out the clues Rowena and Pitte gave her. She battles against herself and her past to see beyond her reason. She’s the kind of woman we all would love to be in the future.

This book had more action, more confrontation with Kane which made everything all excited. She has an ordinary life like all women does and we can almost she ourselves and our daily routine reflected in her story. I think this is the character that teaches us more from the trilogy due to her past life – taking care of her family and leaving home when she was 16 while pregnant – and to her present relationship with her son. And the relation between Simon and Brad was well explore though sometimes too fast for a kid who never knew what having a father was. 

As I said, a strong and solid conclusion to an amazing trilogy that introduced me to the world of Nora Roberts. I couldn’t be more pleased.

Ner