Who’s Afraid? by Maria Lewis

Title: Who’s Afraid?

Series: Tommi Grayson (Book 1)

Publisher: Piatkus

Pages:  343

Genres: Urban fantasy, paranormal, fantasy

Goodreads: 4 Stars

Synopsis:

‘It was like my wolf had been there all along, waiting for me to tap its hand and step into the ring…’

Tommi Grayson’s never exactly been a normal girl. Bright blue hair, a mysterious past and barely controlled rage issues have a way of making a woman stand out. Yet she’s never come close to guessing who she really is…

When her mother dies, a shattered Tommi decides to track down her estranged father. Leaving Scotland for a remote corner of New Zealand, she discovers the truth of her heritage – and it’s a whole lot more than merely human.

Barely escaping with her life, now Tommi must return to her friends, pretending everything is normal while all too aware of the dangers lurking outside – and within. Worse still, something has followed her home…

With the clock ticking, can Tommi learn to control her new powers in time to save the ones she loves?

This book was so enjoyable! From page one, I was intrigued about what was going on with Tommi. Lewis has created a sassy, fun character, who speaks her mind and I really enjoyed Tommi’s point of view. Her references are funny and I couldn’t stop reading! It’s been awhile since I’ve read a werewolf book and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was fast paced and there was always a twist lurking around the corner!

Enter Lorcan and the story really picked up! I loved the how he entered the scene and his purpose. Although it reminded me of another series, I still thoroughly enjoyed his character and their connection. As Tommi learns to adjust to her new life and skills, she seems to master them easily. Although she does ‘master’ them quickly, I appreciate how fast paced the book is. Sometimes I prefer to read a more fast paced book, a lot of it was already focused on the training and I was quite happy to get on with the plot. Lewis also explains the reason for her fast mastery of skills due to her ancestry. Tommi also is already a fighter with her Muay Thai background as well.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book! It feels like it’s been awhile since I’ve had an urban fantasy book I couldn’t put down. Now I feel like I will be looking for other urban fantasy books to read! I’m looking forward to Tommi’s next adventures in Who’s Afraid Too? Luckily, I don’t have long to wait as it comes out in January!

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Gemina by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Title: Gemina

Series: The Illuminae Files (Book 2)

Publisher: Allen & Unwin

Published: October 2016

Pages: 659

Genres: Young Adult/Sci-fi

Goodreads: 5 stars

Holy Guacamole! What a rollercoaster ride Gemina was! This book was amazing and beyond my wildest dreams! I felt like I got tricked so many times! The format continues to capture me and is so good to look at! What an intense book, I couldn’t put it down and it was unpredictable.

First off, Hanna Donnelly. Gosh, what an amazing heroine of the story! She’s smart, beautiful, is awesome at fighting and a fashionista! I could totally imagine all this in my mind as a movie! Hanna was so clever and strong throughout this book. I loved seeing what she would do next and it amazes me how capable she was of pulling this off! I was both amazed and in doubt at the same time!

Nik Malikov. This guy. If you loved Ezra in Illuminae, you’re going to love Nik even more! I loved the way Nik was written and misunderstood. His background is very interesting and I loved reading the interactions between him and Hanna. Such an unlikely couple until halfway through the book, you start to ship them so hard!

Ella Molikova was such an interesting character. For a 15 year old, she is brilliant and funny. I loved reading what she was doing to support our protagonists. And I won’t so much more.

And can we just talk about Marie Lu’s illustrations for a minute? I loved the addition to journal illustrations in the book, they were beautiful to look at and gave us a deeper insight to Hanna’s mind. I loved the ones that told a story and scribbled notes etc. Such a great addition to the book! I hope Lu continues to do illustrations for Illuminae 3!

Throughout this whole book, the story unfolded quickly and was intense the whole time. I really enjoyed the fast pace and I loved the how it wasn’t predictable. I feel that format was so distracting and good to look at that I didn’t even have time to think ahead! The concepts in the book was brilliant and as I don’t read much sic-fi it was delightful to come across the solutions to the continuous conflicts that arise. Gosh, it never ended! I loved when the characters of the first book intercepted with Nik and Hanna, and it was so good to finally find out what was happening on Heimdall. Seriously loved every moment in this book! Now for the long wait for Illuminae 3 and what happens right after. I highly recommend this book, even if your not a sic-fi person, it’s definitely something to read if you want to try something new. I know a lot of people have converted!

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

Title: Nevernight

Series: Nevernight

Publisher:  Thomas Dunne Books

Published: August 2016

Pages: 429

Genres: Young Adult/Fantasy

Goodreads: 5 Stars

Synopsis:

In a land where three suns almost never set, a fledgling killer joins a school of assassins, seeking vengeance against the powers who destroyed her family.

Daughter of an executed traitor, Mia Corvere is barely able to escape her father’s failed rebellion with her life. Alone and friendless, she hides in a city built from the bones of a dead god, hunted by the Senate and her father’s former comrades. But her gift for speaking with the shadows leads her to the door of a retired killer, and a future she never imagined.

Now, Mia is apprenticed to the deadliest flock of assassins in the entire Republic—the Red Church. If she bests her fellow students in contests of steel, poison and the subtle arts, she’ll be inducted among the Blades of the Lady of Blessed Murder, and one step closer to the vengeance she desires. But a killer is loose within the Church’s halls, the bloody secrets of Mia’s past return to haunt her, and a plot to bring down the entire congregation is unfolding in the shadows she so loves.

Will she even survive to initiation, let alone have her revenge?

Wow, this book. This was so refreshing! Especially for a young adult/fantasy book. It brings me back to the days that I used to only read fantasy. I miss the journey books of the protagonist learning the art of what they are to become. Mia’s story was intriguing, many protagonists may start like Mia, but the magic system is what really sucked me in. Mister Kindly was such a mysterious and loyal character and he seemed like a great ally to have. But there comes a part in the book that you question all that he is. I loved this! It made us so suspicious of the shadows surrounding Mia.

The opening paragraphs of this book was so interesting. It was so confusing and I found myself rereading these paragraphs to compare the different situations written so similarly. I had to find out what was going on! And I was drawn in by Jay’s writing style. References at the bottom of the book answered some of the questions I had, gave us insight to Nevernight’s world without one character explaining it to another or heavy information all at the beginning of the book and some were quite funny. Eventually the complicated writing style evened out and it became an easier read. The flashbacks at the beginning of each chapter gave us insights to Mia’s past. I really liked this as it kept us curious the more I read and knowing how it linked to the present.
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