The Wrath and the Dawn
by Renée Ahdieh Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
on 2015-05 Genres: Action & Adventure
, Ancient Civilizations
, Love & Romance
, Young Adult Pages:
#1 New York Times Bestseller A sumptuous and epically told love story inspired by A Thousand and One Nights Every dawn brings horror to a different family in a land ruled by a killer.
Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride each night only to have her executed at sunrise. So it is a suspicious surprise when sixteen-year-old Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid. But she does so with a clever plan to stay alive and exact revenge on the Caliph for the murder of her best friend and countless other girls. Shazi's wit and will, indeed, get her through to the dawn that no others have seen, but with a catch . . . she's falling in love with the very boy who killed her dearest friend. She discovers that the murderous boy-king is not all that he seems and neither are the deaths of so many girls. Shazi is determined to uncover the reason for the murders and to break the cycle once and for all.
Why didn’t I read this book as soon as I bought it? – me @ myself
The Wrath and the Dawn was oddly what I did and did not expect. I knew from reading reviews that the storytelling would be beautiful and that the romance was written in an admirably eloquent style and at times just plain swoon-worthy (of course that’s where the conflict comes in with the plot and its questions on whether Khalid is actually a monster or not).
At first, I was wary because of the hype and how often hype lets me down (not naming names but most people can think of at least one example), but The Wrath and the Dawn lived up to its hype like a champ. Even with my initial doubts (because of the heavy—but still beautiful—descriptions of just about every object in the early chapters), I came away loving this book so much.
The world building was amazing. So vivid as if I had been watching a film instead of turning the pages of a book. I loved Shahrzad and the whole cast of unique characters. Khalid was an interesting male lead with some great lines but he still feels like a mysterious shell (hmmm). With such a vast world and so many intertwined stories, I’m anxious to see how everything unfolds.
Tariq can rescue me any day.
Mad Miss Mimic
I received this product for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion or the content of my review.
by Sarah Henstra Published by RazorBill Canada
on January 3rd 2017 Genres: Europe
, Love & Romance
, Young Adult Fiction Pages:
Born into an affluent family, Leo outwardly seems like a typical daughter of English privilege in the 1870s: she lives with her wealthy married sister Christabel, and lacks for neither dresses nor trinkets. But Leo has a crippling speech impediment that makes it difficult for her to speak but curiously allows her to mimic other people's voices flawlessly.
Servants and ladies alike call her "Mad Miss Mimic" behind her back... and watch as she unintentionally scares off every potential suitor. Only the impossibly handsome Mr. Thornfax seems interested in Leo...but why? And does he have a connection to the mysterious Black Glove group that has London in its terrifying grasp? Trapped in a city under siege by terror attacks and gripped by opium fever, where doctors (including her brother-in-law) race to patent an injectable formula, Leo must search for truth in increasingly dangerous situations - but to do so, she must first find her voice.
Leo can hardly talk for stuttering and stumbling over her words but when Mad Miss Mimic, an unusual habit, takes over her tongue she can mimic voices of other real men and women alike. It has caused her trouble in the past but it may just be her savior yet. With the shady business of opium, dashing lords, and humble lock picks, Mad Miss Mimic makes for an interesting historical tale.
The pace of the story moves swiftly and smoothly. We get to know Leo quite well and a good understanding of most of the other characters like Tom and the members of Leo’s family and their respective motives. The villain was typical and his moves predictable (should have been dealt with more seriously in the end—but I can let that go). The only other issue I had was with the believability of Leo’s love for a certain someone. It seemed really sudden since at the time of her realization she only had limited contact with him and even fewer comprehensive conversations (though there were cute-ish moments later).
Despite my minor issues, I thought Mad Miss Mimic was fun and quick to read. Everything wrapped up nicely (with some room for a sequel).
Since I haven’t done a proper discussion post in an extremely long time, I decided it’s time to talk about books with open endings.
My definition of an open ending is when all the pieces of the puzzle aren’t exactly put in place, the outcomes of relationships aren’t revealed (as in those love triangle situations), and a cliffhanger that won’t be resolved (sometimes there are those endings that stop right before new action starts and you’re just left hanging, specifically when there is no sequel).
I could give many examples of books which are guilty of leaving an opening ending. Some do work well considering the context of the story and some do not work at all. However, I’m sure everyone has at least one book in mind when it comes to unsatisfying open endings.
It’s annoying when standalones do it, but it’s worse when trilogies and so on do it. I do not want to read several books in a series just to be left hanging. It feels like a waste of time and money just to be told ‘you can imagine your own ending.’ If I wanted to do that I wouldn’t read any books. I’d just imagine my own little stories with their own little complete endings.
I’d rather all the heroes and heroines be brutally eaten by a monster than be stuck wondering if he/she/they lived, and if they accomplished their mission, or if they had a happily ever after or became forgotten, drunken nobodies on a street corner. I’m not asking for an unending epilogue detailing every aspect of their lives after their great adventure or their children, just enough for a sense of closure for the main story and any important relationships.
How do you feel about open endings? Hate, love, meh about them?
First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros is a meme hosted by bibliophilebythesea, sharing the first paragraph of our current or soon to be reads.
Spindle Fire by Lexa Hillyer
It all started with the burning of the spindles.
It all started with a curse…
Half sisters Isabelle and Aurora are polar opposites: Isabelle is the king’s headstrong illegitimate daughter, whose sight was tithed by faeries; Aurora, beautiful and sheltered, was tithed her sense of touch and her voice on the same day. Despite their differences, the sisters have always been extremely close.
And then everything changes, with a single drop of Aurora’s blood–and a sleep so deep it cannot be broken.
As the faerie queen and her army of Vultures prepare to march, Isabelle must race to find a prince who can awaken her sister with the kiss of true love and seal their two kingdoms in an alliance against the queen.
Isabelle crosses land and sea; unearthly, thorny vines rise up the palace walls; and whispers of revolt travel in the ashes on the wind. The kingdom falls to ruin under layers of snow. Meanwhile, Aurora wakes up in a strange and enchanted world, where a mysterious hunter may be the secret to her escape . . . or the reason for her to stay.
~ * ~ First paragraph ~ * ~
Winter seemed to come early in 1313, the year Aurora was born. For days that July, a mass of damp white flakes clung to treetops and roofs like snow.
Some thought it was the North Faerie’s doing. They were wrong.
Long May She Reign
by Rhiannon Thomas
on February 21st 2017 Genres: Fantasy
, Young Adult Fiction Pages:
The Girl of Fire and Thorns meets The Queen of the Tearling in this thrilling fantasy standalone about one girl’s unexpected rise to power. Freya was never meant to be queen. Twenty-third in line to the throne, she never dreamed of a life in the palace, and would much rather research in her laboratory than participate in the intrigues of the court. However, when an extravagant banquet turns deadly and the king and those closest to him are poisoned, Freya suddenly finds herself on the throne. She may have escaped the massacre, but she is far from safe. The nobles don’t respect her, her councillors want to control her, and with the mystery of who killed the king still unsolved, she knows that a single mistake could cost her the kingdom—and her life. Freya is determined to survive, and that means uncovering the murderers herself. Until then, she can’t trust anyone. Not her advisers. Not the king’s dashing and enigmatic illegitimate son. Not even her own father, who always wanted the best for her but also wanted more power for himself. As Freya’s enemies close in and her loyalties are tested, she must decide if she is ready to rule and, if so, how far she is willing to go to keep the crown.
Freya, a science-loving girl, had never enjoyed the lavishness of court life and its scheming politics, but most importantly she had also never imagined herself as Queen. The Queen of a land where many were killed by the hands of an unknown suspect. With limited time and uncertain loyalties, Freya must find the killer and secure her position on the throne she still hasn’t accepted as truly her own.
The beautiful cover promised so much more than what the story really offered, and as did the synopsis. Thrilling fantasy? No. Exciting mystery? I wouldn’t use the word exciting to describe this book. It was so obvious who the person behind the deaths was, so eye-rollingly obvious. And it certainly did not help that the story followed the same pattern in the middle of the book.
Look at my very lame example:
It was an endless cycle in the middle and I’m not even going to discuss that kiss thing which nearly took a chapter of Freya wondering what it meant. Sure, there wasn’t that much romance but what was there didn’t interest me. I wasn’t even that interested in who did it, but I pushed through the book anyway. I don’t know what to think of the ending, I kind of liked it–but I had issues.