#BookReview Gold Shadow by L.C. Perry

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Gold Shadow is an enchanting story full of contrasts.

If I had to use metaphors to explain this book, I would use contrasting words – light and dark, the sun and the moon, soft and tough, etc. This story follows Ebony, a rough-around-the-edges type of girl who is apart of the rebellion, and Princess Irene, an innocent princess. While Ebony has seen the darkness in the world and is matured beyond her years with a tough exterior, Irene is quite the opposite! She is a foolish princess who doesn’t understand how the world works because she’s been ‘locked in her tower’ (in a sense).

Ebony’s story is more centered around dystopia and rebellion (it reminded me of Divergent and The Hunger Games, for references) and Irene’s a was a royal fantasy (think The Selection). I liked having the two separate stories within this world, but sometimes I got confused on who I was following. Most chapters said the lead character’s name in it, but some took pages for me to be able to tell who was being followed. My only request would have been for the chapters to have titles or names to make sure I didn’t get lost or confused when I pulled myself away from the book.

This book has serious potential to be the next big YA novel. It touches on many topics that most YA readers like – dystopia, destiny, romance, fantasy. It also has a diverse cast of characters that draw you in and make you feel for them. Irene was my favourite, but Ebony, Gavin and Aurora also stood out. There is also some massive world building within the book, since L.C. Perry is clearly setting up an epic series for these characters to partake in.

If I was to have any major cons about this book, it’s that it took me a while to really sink my teeth into it. This is because of the world building with L.C. setting the scene for the reader. This shouldn’t be much of a problem when the series continues, so it’s only a ‘minor’ con in relation to the whole series. I also found there were many characters to follow, so when I pulled myself away from the book and threw myself back in, I couldn’t fully remember all of them (similar to my Game of Thrones problems – so many characters, so many back stories – it can get tough!). That being said, I’d recommend binging this book. I read it in bits and pieces, and I found it really hard to remember some of the lesser viewed characters.

The book is a little bit dark at times – there are swear words, there is beating and humiliation and torture – but it is a dystopia. If you keep that in mind and you aren’t a soft at heart reader, then you’ll easily be able to enjoy this novel.

L.C. Perry’s writing style is very easy to fall into and read. She’s great with descriptions and character development. I haven’t dipped my toes into YA for a while, so it was a bit of an adjustment for me, but the book was absolutely fantastic! I’d highly recommend this book if you love YA and fantasy (with a pinch of dystopia).

Finally – the ending. If you like books with cliffhangers, this one is for you! This book is definitely meant to be read in a series and not as a standalone. The ending closes enough to make you feel settled to wait for the next novel, but not enough to leave the book alone and be happy with the ending. There’s truly no finale for these characters (yet).

Overall, this book was fun! It’s a nice, YA dystopia that will be a great addition to your shelf!

Three out of five stars.

I received a free copy of this book from the author L.C. Perry in exchange for an honest review.

 

Check out this book on:

Goodreads – Gold Shadow – Goodreads

Amazon.com – Gold Shadow – Amazon.com

Amazon.ca – Gold Shadow – Amazon.ca

Check out L.C. Perry on:

Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/L.C.-Perry/e/B01H4Z1N0Y/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/LPanimefreak5

 

If you read this review, give me a shout out on Twitter using the hashtag #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

And comment below – what is your fave YA novel?

 

Photo from Goodreads.

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#BookReview Poison Princess by Kresley Cole

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Now is time for a #ThrowbackThursday review – AKA I’ve gone back to reading a book on my shelf from years ago and reviewing it. Enjoy!!

 

 

Poison Princess is one of those books that takes you by surprise, pulls you in and won’t let you go until you finish it.

I actually found this book (originally) via Gena Showalter. She was always talking about her author friend Kresley Cole on Twitter, so I decided to pick this book up. They seemed to get along so well, so why not pick up her book? I doubt author friends who hated each other’s works would talk so great about each other. And to no one’s surprise, Gena’s suggestion was on point. (Keep in mind I love Gena Showalter. I’m quite sad I haven’t been able to read any of her books recently, due to my busy schedule).

This is a dystopian, apocalypse novel is for sure a YA novel – but that doesn’t mean adults can’t enjoy it. It’s not R rated, if anything it’s more of a PG/PG-13-esque novel. It’s an easy read, and it’s totally addicting. There are some cringy YA moments (silly romances, ironic comments, and all the joys that come with being a teenager) but it’s still an enjoyable book. If you keep in mind it’s a YA novel made for a YA audience, it’s not to heart breaking when silly teenage plot lines go on. It’s like a soap opera – if you understand that some extraordinary things happen that are out of the line of reality, then you can thoroughly enjoy it.

Keeping in mind that I have read the next novel – the character development in this book works. You begin to fall in love with these sassy characters and they do grow! Their story is continually built on into the next book, and to me it’s a worthy read worth a recommendation. It’s probably one of the better YA novels I’ve read – and one that I’ve been able to come back to and enjoy.

Overall, Kresley Cole is an amazing story teller. She’s great at her adult series and her YA series, and it’s a worthy read for those looking for some YA or dystopian drama in their lives.

Five out of five stars.

#BookReview – Apocalypse the Memoir by CS Oliver

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Apocalypse the Memoir by C.S. Oliver

I am sad to say this book somehow got swept up into my house and disappeared for a while. I remember writing it down on my “to read” list and then being unable to find it. I went through all of my book shelves (there are many) and was annoyed and confused on where it could have gone. I gave up the search until I did a little spring cleaning and found it deep under a couch that didn’t seem like anything could have fit under it. Interestingly enough, I decided it was still in beautiful working condition and that my cats must have stolen it. So, many many reads later – here it is! My review of a book I’ve been dying to read for far to long.

This story centers around Indy, our 15 year old narrator who seems to be in a zombie apocalypse in Canada. It’s a humorous take on what seems to be a very common story now, but this book is unique. This book not only has crazy zombies, but a funny narrator, sassy side characters and an interesting back story.

This novel is brutal and definitely R-rated, but it’s fantastic in a sort of Deadpool way. While you’re cringing at the blood and gore, you’re laughing along with Indy’s thoughts and descriptions. The zombies aren’t exactly your typical slow moving, “let me eat your brains” zombies – they are nasty, predatory creatures that give you a movie-monster-esque vibe. I liked that aspect – slow moving zombies always seem kind of boring to me.

Bonus Points: Canadian cities (I’m a Canadian, what can I say?).

“Are hot dogs miracles?”

If that line doesn’t explain the whole book, I don’t know what does. Reading from the view of a 15 year old narrator, I can definitely say that thought is accurate. I am almost certain at that age that sort of thought would be randomly popping into my head.

This entire book seemed to be written with my sense of humour in mind. I don’t see all readers understanding it, but as I read along I couldn’t help but chuckle. I rarely find books funny, but I related with Indy, our main character, far to much. I really enjoyed her spunky thoughts and I wish more novels had narrators like her – different, odd and absolutely hilarious.

There were two “downfalls” to me for this book:

The biggest downfall of this book was that the conversations in this novel did not have quotation marks around them. That was probably the worst part of this novel – the story was fantastic, the humor was on point, but the lack of quotation marks threw me off a bit. To someone like me, it’s slightly annoying. To most readers? Probably not something that would turn them away from the book.

The second downfall or question I have – was this book all a metaphor? The first half of the book seems like an epic, film ready novel for a zombie dystopia/apocalypse. The second half seemed so interesting and more like a 1984 novel ready to be dissolved and taken apart in an English class. I loved seeing these two kind of smashed together into one book, but it gave me far to many questions. I want to march up to CS Oliver and ask so many questions… But maybe that’s a good thing.

Overall, this book is deemed worthy by me. I definitely want to read more by CS Oliver and I hope any more books created by CS are just as sassy and thrilling!

Four out of five stars.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

#BookReview SpaceMan by Tom Abrahams

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SpaceMan by Tom Abrahams

I’m not much of a space person – I wasn’t impressed with The Martian (film, not book. I will eventually get to the novel…), and I have never been super into the whole “space” thing (unless it’s Star Wars). But, I love reading books in different genres! I don’t like reading the same old read every single time. I like spicing it up to see what authors are doing and how genres are changing! So SpaceMan seemed like the right kind of fit for me. It looked different, space-y and had a cool cover (come on, admit it, we all judge books by it’s cover).

This novel is set in a post-apocalyptic time and our main character is on on the Space Station. You see both Clayton in space and his family down on Earth, which gives some interesting points of views from all angles. I’ll be the first to admit I know almost nothing about the Space Station, so I cannot tell you how accurate the accounts of it are – but they seemed uber cool!

This novel is a fast moving, easy read, action-adventure. I enjoyed that aspect of it, despite not totally loving this novel in general. It’s a great read for those interested in space, action and adventure and who want a novel that sounds like it knows what’s it’s talking about (not random made-up babble about space. Tom seems to have researched some of this!). It’s a refreshing, different type of space novel – people are comparing it to the Martian, and I would compare it to the hype of the Martian. It’s smart, funny and different. It’s not just a Star Wars/Trek spin-off, it’s got it’s own vibe.

There is a sequel to this novel, and while I might not be reading it I would absolutely suggest this novel to other people. It’s just not my thing. I do think this could have been one stellar novel if the entire story would have been concluded in this book. My rating might have been higher if that had happened. I really enjoyed this book, but I felt it was just to incomplete. I like when a series has a story “complete” at the end of each book, but the universe is continued in the next novel.

Three out of five stars.

I received this novel from Goodreads First Reads.

#BookReview – Strungballs by Mike Russell

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Strungballs by Mike Russell

This book by Mike Russell is another short story. It’s a great read for those who want a short, exciting read (and for those like me who didn’t want to commit to another Games of Thrones book right away…).

This book is weird, if I put it lightly. The thought of a strungball was not something I have ever dreamed up in my life, but Mike Russell somehow thought this up and created a story about it! It’s unique and enticing to me when someone can create such interesting thoughts, which is why I enjoyed this book.

Getting to see this unique and different world through out main character’s eyes was great! It’s kind of sci-fi/dystopian-esque, which would be great for readers who are interested in those topics! It’s such a utopia that it’s a dystopia…those books are always interesting!

The book is so precise, and so fantastical, it’s hard to explain it in my own wording without ruining it. This utopia, perfect world that is so perfect that it’s not is probably the best way I can word it. I love how Mike made this world so perfect, because it makes you feel uneasy and thrilled by each turn this short story takes.

Our main character seems to be the only person questioning or going against the true perfection in this novel. While this has been done a hundred times over, it’s very fitting in this novel. Normally I would be annoyed and disgusted by seeing this trend over and over, but I liked it here. Mike makes it fit just well enough that I’m not questioning it.

Like Mike’s other books, you will begin questioning reality and life itself. It raises so many thought provoking questions in such little space, but that’s why I found it to intriguing. I have to say this is definitely my favourite book by him and I want to come back to it at a later date to see if my feelings change on this novel or not.

Overall, this maddening book will drive you over the edge with peculiarity! It’s a great read!

Five out of five!

Quick Book Review: Jacob’s Odyssey by Russ Melrose

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Photo via Goodreads.

Jacob’s Odyssey was an interesting zombie apocalypse novel.

I found this book to be well written, but the first half of the book left me rather bored. The main character, Jacob, does not speak to anyone for the first half of the novel. Without any conversation the novel seemed rather bland. It’s like watching someone play a video game of trying to survive the zombie apocalypse – it can be an interesting read, but it wasn’t something I enjoyed.

Jacob’s first contact with someone other than zombies is half way into the book, once I got there I thoroughly enjoyed the novel. The mixture of conversation and action worked perfectly well.

If anything, I think the author could work on putting more speaking roles in the beginning of a novel. Perhaps the sequel to this book will be different, but I was left feeling cheated. Half of the book was boring, always reading about how Jacob was moving around just trying to survive. The lack of conversation made it incredibly boring for me.

Overall, I did enjoy this novel. It is well written and is a good fiction read. Anyone who likes fantasy, supernatural or zombie apocalypse dystopias would enjoy this book.

Three out of five stars due to the first half of the novel.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.