Frozen Tides by Morgan Rhodes

First review of 2016! Happy New Year, everyone! Unfortunately, this review has a lot of complaining. Hopefully that’s not a sign of things to come.
Author:
 Morgan Rhodes
Series: Falling Kingdoms (#4)
Read: December 26th-27th
Publisher: Razorbill
Release Date: December 15th, 2015
Genre: high fantasy
Rating: ½

In short: As usual, the newest Falling Kingdoms book doesn’t impress me until the very end. Spoilers for the first three books, so I’m putting the blurb under the cut. There’s mild spoilers throughout, and a spoilery discussion of the ending right at the end, so avoid if you haven’t read Frozen Tides yet!

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Becoming Jinn by Lori Goldstein


Author:
 Lori Goldstein
Series: Becoming Jinn (#1)
Read: April 25th-May 3rd
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Release Date: April 21st, 2015
Genre: fantasy, YA
Rating: ★★☆

In short: underwhelming. I wish the Jinn had come with a cultural background, and I wish this book hadn’t come with a bratty main character.

Goodreads: Forget everything you thought you knew about genies!

Azra has just turned sixteen, and overnight her body lengthens, her olive skin deepens, and her eyes glisten gold thanks to the brand-new silver bangle that locks around her wrist. As she always knew it would, her Jinn ancestry brings not just magical powers but the reality of a life of servitude, as her wish granting is controlled by a remote ruling class of Jinn known as the Afrit.

To the humans she lives among, she’s just the girl working at the snack bar at the beach, navigating the fryer and her first crush. But behind closed doors, she’s learning how to harness her powers and fulfill the obligations of her destiny.

Mentored by her mother and her Zar “sisters”, Azra discovers she may not be quite like the rest of her circle of female Jinn . . . and that her powers could endanger them all. As Azra uncovers the darker world of becoming Jinn, she realizes when genies and wishes are involved, there’s always a trick.

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Nameless by Lili St. Crow


Author:
 Nameless
Series: Tales of Beauty & Madness (#1)
Read: April 19-22nd
Publisher: Razorbill
Release Date: April 4th, 2013
Genre: paranormal, fantasy, fairytale retelling
Rating: ★½

 In short: An enchanting world and slow pacing—but an ending that left me fuming

Goodreads: When Camille was six years old, she was discovered alone in the snow by Enrico Vultusino, godfather of the Seven—the powerful Families that rule magic-ridden New Haven. Papa Vultusino adopted the mute, scarred child, naming her after his dead wife and raising her in luxury on Haven Hill alongside his own son, Nico.

Now Cami is turning sixteen. She’s no longer mute, though she keeps her faded scars hidden under her school uniform, and though she opens up only to her two best friends, Ruby and Ellie, and to Nico, who has become more than a brother to her. But even though Cami is a pampered Vultusino heiress, she knows that she is not really Family. Unlike them, she is a mortal with a past that lies buried in trauma. And it’s not until she meets the mysterious Tor, who reveals scars of his own, that Cami begins to uncover the secrets of her birth… to find out where she comes from and why her past is threatening her now.

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The Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury


Author:
 Melinda Salisbury
Series: The Sin Eater’s Daughter (#1)
Read: March 29th-April 3rd
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Release Date: March 1st, 2015
Genre: high fantasy
Rating: ★★☆

 In short: underwhelming, plotless, and carrying all the tragic promise of a great premise. Why?!

Goodreads: I am the perfect weapon.
I kill with a single touch.

Twylla is blessed. The Gods have chosen her to marry a prince, and rule the kingdom. But the favour of the Gods has it’s price. A deadly poison infuses her skin. Those who anger the queen must die under Twylla’s fatal touch.

Only Lief, an outspoken new guard, can see past Twylla’s chilling role to the girls she truly is.

Yet in a court as dangerous and the queen’s, some truths should not be told…

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The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey

Author: Melissa Grey
Series: The Girl at Midnight (#1)
Read: March 9th-10th
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release Date: April 28th, 2015
Genre: urban fantasy
Rating: ★★☆

 In short: reminded me far too much of other books that were far better. A love triangle with a bonus of cheating! Disappointing altogether.

I’ve tried to keep this as spoiler-free as possible, but because I discuss how this reminds me of other books, I couldn’t avoid some hints. Sorry!

Goodreads: For readers of Cassandra Clare’s City of Bones and Leigh Bardugo’s Shadow and Bone, The Girl at Midnight is the story of a modern girl caught in an ancient war.

Beneath the streets of New York City live the Avicen, an ancient race of people with feathers for hair and magic running through their veins. Age-old enchantments keep them hidden from humans. All but one. Echo is a runaway pickpocket who survives by selling stolen treasures on the black market, and the Avicen are the only family she’s ever known.

Echo is clever and daring, and at times she can be brash, but above all else she’s fiercely loyal. So when a centuries-old war crests on the borders of her home, she decides it’s time to act.

Legend has it that there is a way to end the conflict once and for all: find the Firebird, a mythical entity believed to possess power the likes of which the world has never seen. It will be no easy task, but if life as a thief has taught Echo anything, it’s how to hunt down what she wants . . . and how to take it.

But some jobs aren’t as straightforward as they seem. And this one might just set the world on fire.

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The Conspiracy of Us by Maggie Hall

Author: Maggie Hall
Series: The Conspiracy of Us (#1)
Read: February 4th-5th
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Release Date: Jan 13th, 2015
Genre: mystery, contemporary
Rating: ★★☆

 In short: pretty average. An annoying heroine, hints of a love triangle, insta-love…you name it, this book’s got it. Not in a good way.

GoodreadsA fast-paced international escapade, laced with adrenaline, glamour, and romance–perfect for fans of Ally Carter

Avery West’s newfound family can shut down Prada when they want to shop in peace, and can just as easily order a bombing when they want to start a war. Part of a powerful and dangerous secret society called the Circle, they believe Avery is the key to an ancient prophecy. Some want to use her as a pawn. Some want her dead.

To unravel the mystery putting her life in danger, Avery must follow a trail of clues from the monuments of Paris to the back alleys of Istanbul with two boys who work for the Circle—beautiful, volatile Stellan and mysterious, magnetic Jack. But as the clues expose a stunning conspiracy that might plunge the world into World War 3, she discovers that both boys are hiding secrets of their own. Now she will have to choose not only between freedom and family–but between the boy who might help her save the world, and the one she’s falling in love with.

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Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

 Title: Isla and the Happily Ever After

 Series: Anna and the French Kiss (#3)

 Author: Stephanie Perkins

 Genre: contemporary

 Rating: ★★½

 In short: could’ve been so much better, knowing Stephanie Perkins. The characters left much to be desired.

GoodreadsLove ignites in the City That Never Sleeps, but can it last?

Hopeless romantic Isla has had a crush on introspective cartoonist Josh since their first year at the School of America in Paris. And after a chance encounter in Manhattan over the summer, romance might be closer than Isla imagined. But as they begin their senior year back in France, Isla and Josh are forced to confront the challenges every young couple must face, including family drama, uncertainty about their college futures, and the very real possibility of being apart.

Featuring cameos from fan-favorites Anna, Étienne, Lola, and Cricket, this sweet and sexy story of true love—set against the stunning backdrops of New York City, Paris, and Barcelona—is a swoonworthy conclusion to Stephanie Perkins’s beloved series.

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Bright Side by Kim Holden

Author: Kim Holden

Series: Bright Side (#1)

Genre: contemporary

Rating: ★★☆

 In short: just didn’t work for me. Storylines that were all over the place, and a character I just couldn’t bring myself to care about.

Goodreads: Secrets.
Everyone has one.
Some are bigger than others.
And when secrets are revealed,
Some will heal you …
And some will end you.

Kate Sedgwick’s life has been anything but typical. She’s endured hardship and tragedy, but throughout it all she remains happy and optimistic (there’s a reason her best friend Gus calls her Bright Side). Kate is strong-willed, funny, smart, and musically gifted. She’s also never believed in love. So when Kate leaves San Diego to attend college in the small town of Grant, Minnesota, the last thing she expects is to fall in love with Keller Banks.

They both feel it.
But they each have a reason to fight it.
They each have a secret.

And when secrets are revealed,
Some will heal you …
And some will end you.

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ARC: Ticker by Lisa Mantchev

 Title: Ticker

 Series: Standalone

 Author: Lisa Mantchev

 Genre: steampunk, fantasy

 Rating: ★★¾

 In short: definitely not what I was looking forward to. Characters I couldn’t really connect to, world-building that is heavy but in-your-face, and romances I didn’t care for.

GoodreadsA girl with a clockwork heart must make every second count.

When Penny Farthing nearly dies, brilliant surgeon Calvin Warwick manages to implant a brass “Ticker” in her chest, transforming her into the first of the Augmented. But soon it’s discovered that Warwick killed dozens of people as he strove to perfect another improved Ticker for Penny, and he’s put on trial for mass murder.

On the last day of Warwick’s trial, the Farthings’ factory is bombed, Penny’s parents disappear, and Penny and her brother, Nic, receive a ransom note demanding all of their Augmentation research if they want to see their parents again. Is someone trying to destroy the Farthings…or is the motive more sinister?

Desperate to reunite their family and rescue their research, Penny and her brother recruit fiery baker Violet Nesselrode, gentleman-about-town Sebastian Stirling, and Marcus Kingsley, a young army general who has his own reasons for wanting to lift the veil between this world and the next. Wagers are placed, friends are lost, romance stages an ambush, and time is running out for the girl with the clockwork heart.

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ARC: Time After Time by Wendy Godding

 

 Title: Time After Time

 Series: Standalone

 Author: Wendy Godding

 Genre: paranormal romance

 Rating: ★★☆☆☆

 In short: so problematic it cancels out any good that might have been in the plot.

GoodreadsShe has died countless times before, and she is not going to let it happen again.

Abbie Harper dies just before her eighteenth birthday. It has happened before, more times than she can remember — and always at the hands of the same man. Her dreams are plagued with past lives, cut short.

But this latest dream feels different. Her past life as Penelope Broadhurst — an English pastor’s daughter in 1806 — keeps bleeding into her present life in ways both sinister and familiar. As Penelope meets and falls in love with the dashing Heath Lockwood, so too does Abbie meet the brothers Marcus and Rem Knight. One wants to love her; the other to kill her.

Time is running out for Penelope, but as Abbie mourns her inability to change the past, she chases the slim chance to save her future. To survive, she must solve the puzzle of an ancient love story…and Penelope just might be able to help.

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