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Review: The Kiss of Deception

Title: The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles #1) 16429619

Author: Mary E. Pearson

Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.

Publication Date: July 8, 2014

Summary: A princess must find her place in a reborn world.

She flees on her wedding day.

She steals ancient documents from the Chancellor’s secret collection.

She is pursued by bounty hunters sent by her own father.

She is Princess Lia, seventeen, First Daughter of the House of Morrighan.

The Kingdom of Morrighan is steeped in tradition and the stories of a bygone world, but some traditions Lia can’t abide. Like having to marry someone she’s never met to secure a political alliance.

Fed up and ready for a new life, Lia flees to a distant village on the morning of her wedding. She settles in among the common folk, intrigued when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive—and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deceptions swirl and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets—secrets that may unravel her world—even as she feels herself falling in love.

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A love triangle, a special snowflake princess, and lots of drama. Yay.

Okay, maybe I’m getting a little ahead of myself. This book wasn’t all bad. There were actually some parts of it that I really enjoyed. But unfortunately the things that stuck with me the most were the bad and I have to rant for a minute before I can move on to the good components of this book.

Lia is our main character, a princess who decides to flee on her wedding day, potentially destroying a peace treaty because she can’t stand the thought of marrying someone she doesn’t love. Which I can understand. I think being married of for political reasons would be the absolute worst, and I can completely understand wanting to leave that all behind. So I support her decision, the problem is that I just didn’t really like Lia as a character. She wasn’t awful or anything, I just found her to be annoying. She willingly takes her best friend with her, risking her life as well, they ride to some town where they are going to disguise themselves and life happily ever after in. Except Lia is not very smart about it. She does literally nothing to disguise herself besides change her clothes. She doesn’t even cut her hair. Then she proceeds to loudly chew out soldiers in a very snobby and royal sort of way, discusses her situation with her friends where anyone listening could hear, and even keeps her name the same. But I enjoyed her strength and stubborn attitude and her snarky comments, and that she still had to work for things.

The two love interests in this book were Kaden and Rafe, one who is a prince and one who is an assassin. Problem is, you don’t know which one is which. And that was kind of cool, but also really frustrating. You literally go a majority of this book not knowing which is which. But at a certain point, you kind of make up your mind and decide who you think is who. The problem was, I picked wrong. Which I’m sure was probably the author’s intention except it just pissed me off. Because suddenly, everything I thought I knew about the prince was wrong. And everything I thought I knew about the assassin was wrong. It really just kind of ruined the characters for me, which in turn, make me dislike this book a little. Plus I felt like the author tried to confuse us on purpose, but it gave the guys certain attributes that didn’t seem to actually fit them.

Also, this book had the worst assassin in the history of forever. Seriously. This guy comes into town with every intention to kill Lia, sits down to have a drink, sees her and instantly falls in love with her and decides he is just going to super procrastinate so every day he falls more in love and the likeliness of him actually being able to kill her gets less and less. Bravo, that’s an awesome job you just did there Mr. Assassin. I’m confused though, aren’t you supposed to like, kill her? Maybe I missed something.

Logically, I had a problem with her escape and settling down in the town. She is a princess. A princess. Wouldn’t the king’s like entire army be out looking for her? I mean, the prince and assassin both had an easy enough time tracking her down, but for some reason, it’s impossible for everyone else. The author gave an easy excuse, Lia’s brother telling her that their father wasn’t actually pushing the bounty on her, he was just kind of keeping it within their city. But that’s totally lame and unrealistic. She is a freaking princess. People know she ran away, someone is going to try to find her and get that reward. but magically Lia, a complete amateur, is able to hide her tracks well enough that she can live in this city for months with only one person (besides the love interest) finding her. I might have to call bullshit on that one.

The plot wasn’t bad, minus as the mushy love triangle crap, I like the interesting mythology in the world and the war, even though we don’t really get much information about it. The world building was okay, I’m hoping we get more on the world and the war between the countries in the next book, since it seems like politics will play a bigger part. I was intrigued by the books that Lia stole and the weird prophecy she finds, although I don’t like that it implies that she is even more of a special snowflake then everyone already thinks.

I have to admit, despite all the problems I had with this book, I did enjoy it to a certain degree. Trying to figure out which guy was which was pretty fun and made the book a bit more interactive. The last third or fourth of the book got a lot more interesting, and I liked the introduction of new land and people. Even if I absolutely despised the love triangle and how the plot suffered because of it, I’ll confess that I found each guy intriguing in his own way.

Over all, this book did have some downfalls, but I still flew through it, eager to see what happened next. And even though I thought this book was going to be predictable, which it was in some spots, I was still surprised by certain things as I read. I wouldn’t consider this the best or the worst fantasy book  I’ve read in a while, but I enjoyed it enough that I am planning on reading the next one. And maybe rereading this one sometime just to be able to actually know who is who and see if that makes the story better for me.

RATING: 

Must-Read Monday: Throne of Glass Series

I decided to start my Must-Read Mondays off strong with some of my favorite books ever, the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas. These books are some of the most amazing fantasy books that I have ever read. Period. With one of the best heroines of all time. Possibly the best.

To start with, these characters. Holy snap, these characters. 13519397

Celaena is such an amazing character, she is so layered and realistic, and through the three books that are already out, her personality just grows and grows. Not only that, but she also happens to be one of the most bad ass people ever. She is an assassin, a great assassin, betrayed and forced to be a slave in the salt mines, only to be pulled forth and thrown into a tournament for her life. Watching Celaena in action is beyond exciting, her skills at sneaking and killing are both impressive and terrifying. But under all of that, you get to see that she has a warm heart of gold when it matters. Her sass and snarky comments dominate the pages, only adding to the complete package of amazing that is Celaena Sardothien.

All of Celaena’s friends are well written and amazing too. Dorian, Chaol, Nehemia, they all bring so much to these books. I just can’t stop gushing about how well written all of these characters are. I always find it so impressive when an author can not only make the main character great, but all of the secondary characters too. I feel like that takes some serious skills. Dorian is the smooth Prince, son of the evil King that Celaena is competing for, an evil King who may or 17167166 may not want to annihilate the world. Luckily, his son is a pretty nice guy. Chaol is the captain of the guard, even though he is so young and inexperienced. In charge of helping Celaena (and making sure she doesn’t murder anyone), he provides support and a big dose of tough love, determined to not let Celaena die. They are both handsome and swoony, possibly in love with Celaena and willing to do anything they can to protect her (not that she needs it). This sounds like the perfect set up for a long triangle right? WRONG! Well kinda… You’ll have to read to find out but let me just say that the romance is unbelievable.

The thing about these books is that every single book just gets better and better. There have only been three released so far, with six planned, last I heard. The first book is great as the beginning, introducing all of the characters, setting up the political power struggles, introducing the villains and big baddies, and bringing forth a huge mystery. The second book just adds on to all of these, giving answers and more problems, creating more complex relationships and adding a bit of world building. You can see the transformation Celaena goes through between the first and second book, how the people around her change her, making her better in my opinion. 20613470

But the third book is where it’s at. Just released in September, this book topped the other two by far. The amount of character development that Celaena goes through is mind blowing. And the world building… Dear god, the world building was beautiful. In this book we are introduced to so many new places and characters, and suddenly there is so much more going on in this world, more than you realized in the last books. This book makes you realize just how Sarah J. Maas is setting up for something absolutely epic to happen in the next three books.

If you like any books with fantasy, romance, amazing characters, a kick ass heroine, an epic world, evil bad guys out to destroy everything, mystery, fight scenes, just about everything else that makes a book amazing, READ THIS SERIES! Basically, if you don’t read these books, you’re saying you don’t like any of those things and therefore you are an awful person and should never read again.

Review: My Soul Immortal

Title: My Soul Immortal (Fated Eternals #1) 20727560

Author: Jen Printy

Publisher: Red Adept Publishing, LLC

Publication Date: February 15, 2014

Summary: An endless love, for an endless price.

Jack’s immortality is exposed when he prevents a liquor store heist, forcing him to flee to protect his secret—a secret not even he understands. But when he meets Leah Winters—a mirror image of his decades-lost love, Lydia—his very soul is laid bare. He begins to question his sanity. Is she real, and if so, what does that mean for Jack and his secret?

Jack’s not the only mystery man in town. A stranger named Artagan hints at knowledge Jack is desperate to possess. But can he trust Artagan, or does the dark newcomer harbor deadly secrets of his own?

As Jack’s bond with Leah grows, so does the danger to her life. Jack must discover just how much he is willing to risk in order to save the woman he already lost once.

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To start with, I would like to thank Jen Printy and Red Adept Publishing for sending me a copy of this book, I really appreciate it and you guys rock.

This book really hooked me in the beginning. The fact that the narrator is guy was a good start, since a majority of the books I read have girls as the main character so I was really excited with this refreshing change. Not to mention that the mystery level was at like a million after just a few pages. I was immediately interested by Death and how Jack referred to him like he was a person, and hated him for once again not showing up on time. That basically told me that Jack can’t die but he really wants to die, but none of the why. And the why was what matters.

Jack as a character though definitely wasn’t my favorite male protagonist ever. Now that’s not to say that I hated him, because I definitely didn’t, but I did have a few problems with him. First of all, he was a little whiny and mopey. Now, I obviously haven’t been alive for 170 years so maybe I’d be a huge rain cloud of depressing doom and gloom too, but it was a little annoying at times. I would think after that many years with no escape, he would at least start trying to look on the bright side occasionally. Plus, Jack felt kind of like a noob sometimes. I can’t believe I just used that word in a sentence but it fits here. He still would slip up sometimes and give away hints of what he is, and wasn’t really with the times which he showed several times with his outdated ideas and manners. You’d think he would have learned to blend in or adapt a little better after hiding for so long. But I did really enjoy how old fashioned and polite he was sometimes, I enjoy watching young men actually treat ladies with respect instead of being assholes like most YA love interests these days. And his devotion to Leah was heartwarming, listening to him explain how much she meant to him made him super swoony.

Leah I liked just fine. I actually wish we could have learned more about her, something I’m sure will happen in the next book. But I felt like Jack kept making references to things Leah was doing that reminded him of Lydia so it didn’t really stick to Leah, making her seem a little flat. One of the main problems I have with an insta-love scenario such as this, is that I feel like we miss a lot of critical time watching the characters get to know each other, and therefore learning more about them and adding depth. Leah was sweet and stubborn and funny, and I liked her spunk. Her insecurities with Jack were more than understandable, I can’t imagine ever being completely certain that my boyfriend truly loved me when I look exactly like his ex-girlfriend that he spent 170 years pining over.  I just felt like a lot of Jack’s narration about her was just swooning over her, so we missed a lot of her depth. I hope that in the next book, now with the insta-love sappy stuff out of the way, we can watch more of an actually relationship grow between them.

My favorite character in this book was Artagan. This dude was actually really cool. I loved his back story and how he was a lot darker than Jack, and how he embraced it. It was like seeing how Jack could be if he had let go of his humanity a little more. But Artagan was really clever and sinister, but in a way that made him likable, even when we didn’t know who he was. His quest for vengeance was more intense and interesting to me than the love story that was the main focus. I liked seeing a character with a tragic past that embraced it, accepted it, never forgot, and plotted their revenge while still retaining their humanity. I would absolutely love to see more of him in the next book and see what the next part of his life is going to be, especially after the ending.

The main thing that I really enjoyed about this book was the interesting lore and mythology surrounding Jack and Leah. I’m trying to not spoil anything, but everything concerning Death and the council and what exactly Jack and Leah are, it was really interesting and I really liked how it was done. I loved the tale that the author gave Artagan as his back story, and the explanation for Jacks’s prolonged life and Leah’s resemblance to Lydia was a great idea. I might be a little biased though because I love mostly anything that has to do with souls, but I thought it opened a lot of doors for this world they are being pulled into, and left a lot of potential for more interesting back stories.

I have some serious mixed feelings with the romance in this book. While I really liked Jack and Leah as a couple and felt their connection, I automatically want to hate any insta-love scenario. Which this was. I’m pretty sure Jack and Leah were saying the L word to each other after like a week. But the reason I have mixed feelings is because if any characters have a reason to be so sappy and committed after such a short period of time, it would be them. It’s hard because Leah and Jack technically only knew each other for the duration of this book. But they still kind of knew each other, so in a way, it’s unfair of me to call it insta-love. At the same time though, Jack keeps insisting that it’s Leah he loves, who he has only known a few weeks. Gah. I’m still undecided with how I feel about this.

There were only a few smaller problems I found that I had with this book. Mainly, I was disappointed with the villain choice. Vita had almost no page time in this book, so she never meant anything to me. Her motivation for wanting to kill everyone was literally just because she wanted to kill everyone, it didn’t really have anything to do with Jack personally and that was a little underwhelming. A good villain can add so much to a book, and while I’d say that was one of the weakest points of this book, I hope the author takes the clean slate with the second book and creates a more engaging and layered villain.

Overall, I enjoyed the writing of this book, it was pretty quick and easy, but the author writes in a way that’s really fitting for the more dark and mysterious parts of the story. Although I will admit that this book reminded me a little bit of mix of Twilight and The Vampire Diaries, I found the mythology and supernatural concepts more interesting and complex than either of those. Characters usually really carry books for me and that’s where this one fell a little flat, but the ending was intriguing enough that I would definitely give the second book a shot, and hopefully learn a bit more about Jack and Leah.

RATING: 

Favorite Friday: Hero

I’m starting a new thing where every Friday, I going to post a new favorite of mine, such as setting, villain, romance, etc. Today I’m starting it off strong with my favorite hero. This one is specifically male since I’ll be doing a heroine one some other time.

For this one, I’m considering guys that are actually the main character of the book, not side characters, no matter how much ass they kick. This is a really hard one for me, because so many of my favorite books feature great male characters.

But in the end there was one clear winner. 28187

Yes, ladies and gentleman, that winner is Percy Jackson. I know, I know, you all must be surprised. After all, wouldn’t Harry Potter have been the obvious choice? If you know me, yes, it would make sense for you to expect that. However, let me explain something.

Harry Potter is an amazing book series. Probably the most amazing to ever exist. And Harry is a great character. But so are Ron and Hermione and they take up a huge chunk of my love. All of the characters take up huge parts of my heart and not much is room is left for Harry. He is brave and loyal and caring, a well rounded guy. But he was never my favorite of the series, and his bad times (book five) still stick with me. I know I shouldn’t judge since his rotten attitude was basically out of his control, but it still makes me mad. I love Harry beyond words still, don’t get me wrong, but its hard to separate my love for him as a character from my love for the series.

Now Percy Jackson… There is nothing really bad to be said about him. He is funny and courageous and smart and loyal, everything you could ever want in a friend. For some reason, Percy just really stuck with me in a way that was completely different from Harry. These books are very different, as are the characters, and we get a lot more depth and development with Harry, that’s true. But right out of the gate, there was something so likable about Percy. Seeing him grow and go on these ridiculous adventures, making new friends and conquering all sort of evil, but still remaining completely Percy through everything… I love him. He always cracks me up and warms my heart and through the Percy Jackson series and the Heroes of Olympus series, I rooted for him every step. For me, Percy was the driving force behind these books, he was the character that made the books.

For those of you that are curious, some other heroes that I was debating between were:

– Eragon from the Inheritance Cycle

– Richard from the Sword of Truth series

– Nathaniel from The Bartimaeus Sequence