Sky Without Stars (System Divine #1) Review [Spoiler Free]

Author: Jessica Brody & Joanne Rendell

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Publication Date: May 26, 2019

Genre: YA, Sci-Fi, Retellings

My Rating: 2 Stars



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“A thief. An officer. A guardian. 

Three strangers, one shared destiny . . .

When the Last Days came, the planet of Laterre promised hope. A new life for a wealthy French family and their descendants. But five hundred years later, it’s now a place where an extravagant elite class reigns supreme; where the clouds hide the stars and the poor starve in the streets; where a rebel group, long thought dead, is resurfacing.

Whispers of revolution have begun—a revolution that hinges on three unlikely heroes…

Chatine is a street-savvy thief who will do anything to escape the brutal Regime, including spy on Marcellus, the grandson of the most powerful man on the planet.

Marcellus is an officer—and the son of a renowned traitor. In training to take command of the military, Marcellus begins to doubt the government he’s vowed to serve when his father dies and leaves behind a cryptic message that only one person can read: a girl named Alouette.

Alouette is living in an underground refuge, where she guards and protects the last surviving library on the planet. But a shocking murder will bring Alouette to the surface for the first time in twelve years…and plunge Laterre into chaos.

All three have a role to play in a dangerous game of revolution—and together they will shape the future of a planet.

Power, romance, and destiny collide in this sweeping reimagining of Victor Hugo’s masterpiece, Les Misérables.”

*Thank you to Edelweiss+ for the review copy!*

Story/Plot. The premise of the story and plot were A+. I mean, a retelling of Les Miserables?! I LOVE that play (I know it’s based off of the book, I’ve just never read it.)! Plus it’s a retelling in space!  That’s right up my alley! And that’s about all I liked of the book. Oops. 

Writing. Okay, I did like the writing. It wasn’t anything fancy or my favorite writing ever, but it was good. It was easy to follow along and I never got lost in the story. 

Characters. Here we go. Here’s the big one. I literally didn’t like anyone. Chantine was the only one that I liked SOMETIMES. Marcellou and Allouette were SO BORING! I didn’t care if they lived or died. Marcellou was all over the place. One minute he wanted to follow his Grandfather, the next he hated him. Even at the end of the book, I was like where are we at here, Marcellou? I also just saw him as a weak character and didn’t understand his charm. Allouette was just kind of a wuss most of the time. I guess she picked up at the end but she was so boring to read about. Chantine whined a lot but she had reason to. She literally had no one. And she was poor and starving. She has a really tough life. Hers was the only story line I was mildly interested in. She was feisty and she did literally whatever she had to to survive. My suggestion to her, forget about Marcellou. You don’t need him. Although,  if you know the Les Miserables story, she’s supposed to be Eponine, so it doesn’t really end well for her anyway. I could have done without the romance in this story, and usually I’m all about those ships!

Final Thoughts. A 2 star rating for me means I finished the book but it was hard to get through. I won’t be picking up the second in the series. I will say that this might be someone’s cup of tea, just not mine. 

Obsidio (The Illuminae Files, #3) Review (NOT Spoiler Free)

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Author: Jay Kristoff, Amie Kaufmann

Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers

Publication Date: March 13, 2018

Genre: Sci-Fi, YA

My Rating: 5 Stars

Synopsis 2

“Kady, Ezra, Hanna, and Nik narrowly escaped with their lives from the attacks on Heimdall station and now find themselves crammed with 2,000 refugees on the container ship, Mao. With the jump station destroyed and their resources scarce, the only option is to return to Kerenza—but who knows what they’ll find seven months after the invasion?

Meanwhile, Kady’s cousin, Asha, survived the initial BeiTech assault and has joined Kerenza’s ragtag underground resistance. When Rhys—an old flame from Asha’s past—reappears on Kerenza, the two find themselves on opposite sides of the conflict.

With time running out, a final battle will be waged on land and in space, heroes will fall, and hearts will be broken.”

My Review 2

I am doing something a little different today. Since this book came out like, 6 months ago, AND it’s the last in the series, I decided I’m going to do an ALL the SPOILERS review. I’ve never done one before so bear with me. Another disclaimer, I AM TRASH FOR THIS SERIES AND FOR JAY KRISTOFF. I have loved Kristoff since Stormdancer. I’ve read all of his books (except 2!) and met him. I’m pretty sure I’ve rated all of his books 5 stars. Okay, enough of my gushing, let’s get on with it.

Likes. Everything.

Dislikes. Nothing.

Just kidding. I’ll go into more detail. Nik Malikov is one of my book boyfriends. I also just adore him with Hannah. They are like the dream movie couple, the bad boy (who is not so bad) and the good girl (who is not THAT good). It’s one of my favorite tropes that I will never get sick of. I loved watching their relationship grow, and totally squealed at the end when they were engaged. And THAT KISS! Right before the battle!!! SWOON!! And his relationship with Ella is the cutest ever. AND his bro-mance with Ezra is hilarious.

Going to try and move on from Nik. Hannah is my favorite girl character. She’s everything I want to be. She knows kung fu (I mean, basically) and she’s a battle tactician.  Boo yeah, baby. Plus she has the best guy. Whoops started talking about him again. Sorry, not sorry.

Kady is also BA! I hurt so much for her when she thought Ezra was dead. She was going to sacrifice herself. I was like noooooo!!!! And then when Aidan sacrificed himself instead?! OMG. I freaked out. But sneaky Ella saved him. I actually didn’t see that one coming. It was weird / sweet that Aidan loved Kady. I think. I’m still not sure how I feel about him since he was a murderous AI but did it to save more people. But I don’t blame him for trying to do something, because Kady couldn’t think of a way to keep everyone alive on the journey to the Mining Colony. Everyone was going to die until Aidan stepped in. The character I actually hated was Ben. I’m still a little salty he lived.

Asha and Rhys were the new characters and I loved them just as much. Rhys was so sweet in trying to protect Asha! He was naive, don’t get me wrong, but super sweet. I almost cried when the little girl Asha was trying to protect, got shot!

I thought the side characters were done really well. We got some back story on them as well, and it made the Baytech soldiers more human.

Literally everything about this book is amazing. The unique writing style, the story, the characters, the ending, all of it. It was a super satisfying ending. I was afraid Kristoff was going to kill a few characters. Because he usually does in his books. But I’m super happy he didn’t kill any of the main ones! And that battle scene at the end was EPIC!! I had so much anxiety over it. I’m glad Ezra’s stupid mom got taken down. Highly satisfying.

So, in the series, Gemina was my favorite book. But obviously, I loved all of them! Also, while I own the books in HC, I listened to the audio books. THEY ARE AMAZING! Full cast and sound effects.

Okay, sorry for the jumbled mess of a review! This is the first I’ve done like this! I think I’ve covered everything!

What did you think of the book/ series?

Happy Adventuring

Star-Crossed Spoiler Free Review

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Star-Crossed 

by Pintip Dunn

Genre: YA Fantasy

Release Date: October 2, 2018

Publisher: Entangled Teen

My Rating: 3.5 Stars

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Purchase HERE

I am so excited to be on the Star-Crossed blog tour! And there is a GIVEAWAY!! Let’s dig in, shall we?

Synopsis 2

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” In a world where nutrition can be transferred via a pill, and society is split into Eaters and Non-Eaters, seventeen-year-old Princess Vela has a grave dilemma. Her father, the king, is dying, and only a transplant of organs from a healthy Non-Eater boy will save him.

Vela is tasked with choosing a boy fit to die for the king, which is impossible enough. But then Carr, the boy she’s loved all her life, emerges as the best candidate in the Bittersweet Trials. And he’s determined to win, because by doing so, he can save the life of his Non-Eater sister.

Refusing to accept losing the boy she loves, Vela bends the rules and cheats. But when someone begins to sabotage the Trials, Vela must reevaluate her own integrity—and learn the true sacrifice of becoming a ruler.”

My Review 2

Plot. I loved the plot and premise of this book. I thought it was a unique sci-fi adventure where the colony was stuck/ lost on a planet in the middle of space, hoping earth would rescue them or they could rescue themselves. They came up with a pill that gives nutrients to people. The catch is that they cannot eat and the nutrients come from “nobility” that eat 6 meals a day and then they get sucked dry of all of the nutrients. It’s an interesting conundrum. On one hand, you can taste and eat all the food you want, but on the other, you don’t get to keep any of it.

Characters. I really enjoyed Vela. She thought like a princess who wanted to sacrifice herself for her people. She has misconceptions on how things should be run, but soon finds her place among her people. Her heart is big and that something I can completely relate too. I also liked the side characters. The King made some bad decisions, but he did them with his heart in the right place. Carr, the love interest, was also self sacrificing. A lot of sacrificing people, I tell ya.

World. I think the book could have gone into more detail about the world they lived on. I think it could have been way more interesting to learn and build upon that. There really wasn’t much said about it.

Final Thoughts. This was a cute, sweet book. I enjoyed my time reading it. I felt as though the ending was left open ended enough to have more. I didn’t really feel as though a lot had changed, just that they took a step in the right direction. If you need a dessert type read after a heavy one, I highly suggest this!

About the Author

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Pintip Dunn is a New York Times bestselling author of young adult fiction. She graduated from Harvard University, magna cum laude, with an A.B., and received her J.D. at Yale Law School. Pintip’s novel FORGET TOMORROW won the 2016 RWA RITA® for Best First Book, and SEIZE TODAY won the 2018 RITA for Best Young Adult Romance. Her books have been translated into four languages, and they have been nominated for the following awards: the Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire; the Japanese Sakura Medal; the MASL Truman Award; the Tome Society It list; and the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award. Her other titles include REMEMBER YESTERDAY, THE DARKEST LIE, GIRL ON THE VERGE, and the upcoming STAR-CROSSED and MALICE.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads | Amazon | Entangled Publishing

Giveaway

Win a set of Pintip’s books HERE

Happy Adventuring

Thank you so much, YA Blog Tours!

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Path of Destruction (Star Wars: Darth Bane #1) Spoiler Free Review

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Author: Drew Karpyshyn

Publisher: Del Rey Books

Publication Date: June 6, 2007

Genre: Sci-Fi

My Rating: 4 Stars

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Amazon

Synopsis 2

“Once the Sith order teemed with followers. But their rivalries divided them in endless battles for supremacy. Until one Dark Lord at last united the Sith in the quest to enslave the galaxy—and exterminate the Jedi. Yet it would fall to another, far more powerful than the entire Brotherhood of Darkness, to ultimately realize the full potential of the Sith and wield the awesome power of the dark side as never before.

Since childhood, Dessel has known only the abuse of his hateful father and the dangerous, soul-crushing labor of a cortosis miner. Deep in the tunnels of the desolate planet Apatros, endlessly excavating the rare mineral valued throughout the galaxy, Dessel dreams of the day he can escape—a day he fears may never come. But when a high-stakes card game ends in deadly violence, Dessel suddenly finds himself a wanted man.

On the run from vengeful Republic forces, Dessel vanishes into the ranks of the Sith army, and ships out to join the bloody war against the Republic and its Jedi champions. There, Dessel’s brutality, cunning, and exceptional command of the Force swiftly win him renown as a warrior. But in the eyes of his watchful masters, he is destined for a far greater role in the ultimate Sith plan for the galaxy—if he can prove himself truly worthy.

As an acolyte in the Sith academy, studying the secrets and skills of the dark side at the feet of its greatest masters, Dessel embraces his new Sith identity: Bane. However the true test is yet to come. In order to gain acceptance into the Brotherhood of Darkness one must fully surrender to the dark side through a trial by fire that Bane, for all his unquenchable fury and lust for power, may not be strong enough to endure . . . especially since deception, treachery, and murder run rampant among the Sith disciples, and utter ruthlessness alone is the key to survival. Only by defying the most sacred traditions, rejecting all he has been taught, and drawing upon the long-forgotten wisdom of the very first Sith can Bane hope to triumph–and forge from the ashes of that which he must destroy a new era of absolute dark power.”

My Review 2

Plot. Loved the story line. I actually felt for and liked a Sith lord. Yuck. But that is the magic of a great story (and writing) when you feel for not just the good guys, but the bad guys too. Bane was actually understandable. Meaning, I understood why he made his choices. He never had anyone good come into his life and was introduced to the dark side as his only option to escape his horrible mining life. And learning about the Sith academy was soooo cool! That was my favorite part of the book!

Writing. Like I said above, it is a mark of a good writer when they can make you feel for ALL of the characters! I almost felt myself rooting for the Sith. The authors writing style was exactly the kind I like. To the point, but descriptive in a way that doesn’t lose you.

Characters. I loved Bane. I really did. I wanted to hug him. Of course he’d probably fry me with his lighting or whatever. The only part I hated him was when he killed a kid. I don’t like that kind of stuff in books. It’s too depressing. Bane had a twisted sense of a moral code. He didn’t like killing if there was no reason. But if he was weak and killing you fed his power… Then you will die. I have heard that he is top 10 most powerful beings in the Star Wars universe. He was pretty interesting to read about.

Final Thoughts. I will definitely be continuing with the series. While I am a fan of all of the movies (Original trilogy was the best. Just saying.), this was my first Star Wars book! I am very interested in the extended universe now! If you like Star Wars and you like Sci-fi, I mean, why not read this?

I am totally down for all things Star Wars discussions! Let me know what your favorite Star Wars character is or story line or just want to talk about it in general!

Happy Adventuring

*Amazon link is my affiliate link!*

Ignite the Stars Review (Spoiler Free)

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Author: Maura Milan

Publisher: Albert Whitman and Company

Publication Date: Sept. 04, 2018

My Rating: 4 Stars

Pre-Order on Amazon (Contains my affiliate link)

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Story. This was one of the best sci-fi books I have ever read. I am obsessed with it and can’t stop thinking about it. I thought the story was original, fun, creative, and adventurous! And I’m just going to go ahead and add SPACE PIRATES here. If that doesn’t get your attention then I’m not sure what will. Plus space school, plus space battles. Seriously?! Freaking cool! I am having such good luck with lesser known authors lately!

Characters. Ia was my favorite character. And usually main characters are not my favorite. They usually just don’t have that much mystery to them. But Ia is different. I want to know everything about her. She’s a criminal mastermind, but retains her femininity. She can slay you where you stand, but not know how to talk to people. I just find her fascinating. I also like that she does have weaknesses and needs help from her friends. She’s not a Mary Sue. I really liked Knives too! He was such a beef cake! I liked his gripey attitude. He had one for good reason too. It was nice he could be vulnerable too at times. And then Brinn. She was probably my least favorite to read about but only because the other two characters out shone her. But I do like her and Ia’s friendship! It’s so sweet!

Final Thoughts. If you like Sci-fi, I highly suggest this read for you! It’s got everything you could want in space, slow burn romance, space battles, advanced tech, betrayals, and adventure!!! Y’all know I’m all about that! I can’t wait to read the next book!

Find out more about the author HERE. She’s so wonderfully nerdy. Love it.

Happy Adventuring

 

 

 

 

 

August 2018 TBR

TBR

I can’t believe it is August already. I blinked and I missed July! Anyways, as per usual I am determined to read four books this month! I rarely do but it’s always my goal! And I’ve got more ARCs to review this month that I’m super excited about! I hope you are too! 

*Let me say that I finished a book in between writing my Wrap-Up post and my TBR post. The Demon Race by Alexandria Warwick. I will be reviewing that bad boy tomorrow (Fri, Aug. 3)!

First up…. The 48 by Donna Hosie. 33006920

 

I am super excited about this one! I got this ARC from Storygram Tours! (Check them out HERE )And while a review is not required, I would still like to provide one! So, thank you Storygram! This one is about time traveling assassins! It already pretty much only has 5 star reviews. Check it out on Goodreads HERE

 

 

Second…. Ignite the Stars by Maura Milan38469737

I am really loving mixing genres at the moment. Once I’m done with historical fiction, I will jump into Sci-fi! My friend, Mel gave this book a great review and she had an interview with the author on her blog! Milan seems like she’d be awesome to hang out with!

Mel’s blog HERE

Check it out on Goodreads HERE

 

 

Third… Impostors by Scott Westerfeld     37825397

 

I read the Uglies series years ago. So I am super happy to have traded an ARC for this ARC! I really enjoyed that series and am excited to see where Westerfeld will take it again!

Check it out on Goodreads HERE

 

 

 

Fourth… The Storm Runner by J. C. Cervantes34966353

 

 

I haven’t read a middle grade book in some time and am excited to get into one! This one is a take on Maya mythology! It sounds so interesting!

Check it out on Goodreads HERE

 

 

This month is pretty slow, life wise, for me so I am hoping I can get through all of these! What are you reading this month?

Happy Adventuring

Brightly Burning (Spoiler Free) Review

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Author: Alexa Donne

Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers

Publication Date: May 01, 2018

My Rating: 3 Stars

*I received an e-arc from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review*

When I first heard this book was a retelling of Jane Eyre in space, I knew I had to read it. Have I read Jane Eyre? No, but it’s on my TBR and I figured this book would give me the push I need to read that classic. It did that, but only because I’m thinking Jane Eyre would be a little bit better than Brightly Burning. This book was a whirlwind ride. It was really all over the place. There were parts all throughout the book, including the ending, that I sped read through, and parts that I took my time for fear of missing something. I really felt that some parts were written really well and others felt as though the author just needed to add filler.

Let’s start with the negatives. My first and main concern about the plot is that Hugo, the love interest, is an alcoholic. And he never stops being one. Maybe it was implied in the ending? But I feel as though the author should have put an obvious stop to that. As someone who has dealt with alcoholism within my extended family, I know how devastating the effects are. It’s truly awful. (Don’t worry, I’m not getting on a soap box.) So, yes, the author really needed a stronger plot point to end his drinking.

Honestly, none of the characters were really interesting enough for me to want to keep reading the book. Stella was dry and Hugo was basically a martyr without cause. Yes, his family was messed up but he himself wasn’t. So I didn’t really understand his martyrdom. And their relationship lacked critical communication. Hugo just kept assuming Stella would know his motives. And Stella had a love / hate relationship with him until the end where she apparently always loved him and never stopped… Even though she said she hated him a couple times… It was really the plot and mystery behind the Rochester that kept bringing me back.

The story as a whole, was very interesting. The ships can’t sustain life anymore, earth is covered in an ice age, and underneath it all there is a sinister mystery going on. I kind of guessed what was happening on the Rochester, but it was more than what I thought, if that makes sense. I didn’t think big enough. And I was happily surprised. It was the creepiness of the laughter and people almost dying abroad the ship that kept bringing me back to read. And once I found out the scope of the situation, things picked up. Without giving anything away, the ending was my favorite part. It’s where all the action happens and where you don’t know who is going to live or die. I love that kind of suspense.

Final Take: I liked this book. Y’all know 3 stars for me is a liked book. I thought the characters were boring but the plot interesting enough for me to keep wanting to read. I thought the author did a good job making the book feel completed without added questions. It has a satisfying conclusion. I liked it enough to want to check out more of her work in the future. 

Happy Adventuring!