Books and Ashes

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Dead Girl Walking (Royal Reaper)

Dead Girl Walking (Royal Reaper) - Ruth Silver What I liked: I loved the idea that went into this book, especially with the way reaping a soul is done. The summary also is interesting, it makes you wonder what's going to happen. What's the adventure? How did she die? Why is her name changed? Who was the boy?

What I didn't like: Ophelia is supposed to be a princess, and frankly her acceptance on the fact that she no longer has anything she's grown up with (servants, the prettiest gowns, fancy balls, the best food, carriages, etc.) came way too easy. I expected her to be fussy and whine a lot about the fact she didn't have any of that anymore, because that would have been realistic since that's really all she's ever really known. Even if she was sneaking out to meet a commoner boy she liked, she wouldn't have really accepted the things they eat and drink and the way they live when she still lived in a castle. There's also quite a bit of inconsistencies within the book, especially when Ophelia starts her job as a reaper. She says something she couldn't know and maybe a few lines later she asks about the exact same thing she said a few lines earlier was true. The characters felt flat, there wasn't any real world building, and there was no emotion to drive me into continuing the book....I just kept flipping to finish because I wanted the book to be over with. No breaks between scene changes, travels seemed to just happen and we were given no sense of time passing in the book at all. The descriptions lack all the way through the book except in a few places, and of course Ophelia gets her descriptions but we know little to nothing about the others throughout most of the book. While the summary does make you ask questions, it's bland, boring, it doesn't really make me want to read the book like the summary did for Emeralds and Pearls by C. Spencer-Upton. Or The Clockwork Scarab by Colleen Gleason.

Overall Review: I wanted to like this book, especially with its high rating but it just did not work. I don't see how this book got four star ratings, much less five. I felt it deserved a two, and that's exactly what I gave it on Goodreads because it was an "okay" book. I didn't do anything to wow me, it just simply was there. It read more like a first draft than a finished book to me, and I was really upset about that. I tried, and this is the second book by this author that I've read that I didn't like. Nothing against her personally, her writing just falls flat compared to what I'm used reading every day, so this is the last book by her that I'll read.

Recommend?: For those who don't really read books, yeah. It's simple enough and short so that for someone who doesn't read a lot like some people they can breeze through it pretty easily. And maybe they'd like it.

Of Gaea

Of Gaea - Victoria Escobar, M. Simmons What I liked: I loved the setting of the story and the way everything came together by the end. Ari is a strong character who has to overcome very bad odds after an accident that leaves her in a wheelchair, though it takes a while to figure out what that accident was. There's always interesting twist to the story, characters who are not who they say they are or characters who we had no idea about. The dream aspects were really interesting as well, and the action was done fantastically in such a compelling way that I read it from beginning to end almost without pause in five hours! Everything that went into the story was compelling and the secrets that get revealed were ones that made me want to turn the pages faster to keep reading, but slow down at the same time to savor what's happening at the same time! We get the sense that not all is as it seems from the beginning but we discover things with Ari little by little as she finds out more about the people who surround her and where she comes from. Damia and Sasha are characters who stood out even when they weren't in the scenes, I was always waiting for them to show back up because they interested me quite a lot by the time the story began to pick up.

What I didn't liked: I didn't feel like in the beginning I clicked with the book, I was rather confused by what's happening, why the people had such strange names, and why a guy was called Sasha. Seriously for several pages I though Sasha was a girl because I didn't know his actual name, which only gets mentioned once, and it threw me for a loop for quite a while since I thought the masculine pronoun was a typo or there was another character who was a guy who's name I missed. I would have liked to know his actual name earlier, it would have helped. Damia was too run-of-the-mill bad, I wanted a better reason for her to be angry with Ari than the ones given. The POV also switched unexpectedly while I was reading and it would throw me off initially but I learned to just go with it after a bit.

Overall Review: I loved this book, and thought I read Victoria Escober's book Peerless first and was blown away by everything in that book, I knew I had to bring my expectations lower since this was the author's first book. I'm glad I did because it allowed this book to blow me away as well, and even though I didn't love the beginning of this book I loved the rest of the book and I'm still loving this authors writing. Seriously, the author's writing is fantastic and her stories are amazing! With characters who surprise, twist that you don't see coming, and an amazing plot this book is something everyone should read if they can get into it! The ending is explosive and parts of this book can leave you with some feels, especially during the final battle.

Recommend?: Highly. This book is wonderfully written with a plot that can and will leave you wanting more when you reach the end!


Transformed - E.V. Fairfall What I liked: I loved the concept of this book, it's different from others that I've read before. Thea is Mother Earth herself, and spends quite a bit of time in the book as an animal, and being human for her is harder than she thought since she doesn't understand them and their ways. She's only human to try and make Brice merciful to the creatures he hunts so he doesn't just hunt for fun, but for necessary food. The little pieces underneath the number of each chapter were also interesting to read, because we got a little story from them when they were put together about what happened. While a slow starting book it does pick up the pace, revealing things that even Thea had no idea about and ends up having to make tough choices. The book does have a lovely ending though, and I found myself pleased with it once it was all over. I also loved that while Thea could take on any form of an animal she wished, she generally turned into a deer, something that was peaceful and it spoke a lot about how she perceived herself. Also, her plan to make Brice become merciful didn't really make sense in the beginning, but since she wasn't familiar with Brice or humans in general it made sense in a way.

What I didn't like: I thought Brice would be one of those characters who would show he's not a really bad person but he's really not that good of a person. Arrogance and narcissism are his constant companions. He also has no respect for Thea since she is pretty and, admittedly, a little ignorant on the ways of humans. I also felt like Thea should have been more assertive and confident throughout the story, she's Mother Earth. She's thousands of years old and can turn into any animal she likes. I felt like she should have been more comfortable with her other forms in some ways that she didn't seem to be.

Overall Review: Transformed is a wonderful story, and although the summary comes off as having a love triangle the story is quick to reveal that that is not the case. This story features characters that are not always as they seem when you first meet them and can surprise you.

Recommend?: Yes! I do simply because the concept surrounding this book is different from anything I've yet read! Definitely worth the read.

Eternal Destiny

Eternal Destiny - Tahlia Newland What I liked: This book really brought the stakes to the table and showed the characters who are vastly different from book one in many ways as they've climbed the mountain together. All the challenges presented that we are presented are handled in ways that I wasn't always expecting, especially with how Nick handled Cogin. The challenges don't just stop there, they continue even as they face the Rasama to try and defeat the Rasama to help the world and destroy the Serpetine.

What I didn't like: Sometimes there was just, maybe, too many challenges to face, and too much of suffering in this book even though it is the final book.

Overall Review: I really enjoyed this book and while I can't say much in fear of giving too much about this book away, it was one engaging and thrilling ride from start to finish that I kept turning my pages to see what would happen next. After a slower paced third book all the action picks back up and goes double time as they race to the finish of the journey up the mountain!

Recommend?: Yes! A fantastic conclusion to a wonderful series!

Demon's Grip

Demon's Grip - Tahlia Newland What I liked: Ariel grows a lot in this book with how she has to learn about how she feels about Nick and both accept that she has feelings for him, and learn how to manage these feelings since they're new to her. We see her talk with Walnut and reading between the lines of their conversations as well as what's spoken explore much of the spiritual themes that have been presented throughout the series so far. This book, while not filled with action like its predecessors and much slower in pace, has its own challenges that help Ariel grow to help her learn how to defeat the Rasama she must face. She isn't constantly moving from place to place, and we learn more about her. In many ways that made this book better than the others, especially how everything falls into place. Everything that happens, even Ariel's realization that she has feelings for Nick, has some interesting ways of turning on itself inside this book. We also see some very interesting things happen inside the University of Sheldra and meet a character who I thought would never appear again, which was quite a surprise as well as being a good one.

What I didn't like: While the book works well as a slower paced novel, sometimes it was a bit too slow for my liking and it felt like it was dragging.

Overall Review: I had to take a different approach when reading and reviewing this book because while the first two books were action-y and full of danger that was trying to get her while she was on the road, the dangers in this book were no less valuable to Ariel as she grows and learns about herself. I loved Namida in this book and what she does, and the development of Emot the demon as a character was an interesting one all in itself.

Recommend?: These books keep getting better the more you read, and so I'm definitely recommending you this one if you've read the first two!

Stalking Shadows

Stalking Shadows - Tahlia Newland What I liked: There were plenty of plot twist and turns in the book to keep the reader guessing. I'm also really enjoying the was negative emotions manifest the demons and strengthen them, watching Ariel learn to control her emotions as her journey continues. I also enjoyed our new character, Twitchet who is a talking cat. I found Twitchet to be an entertaining character throughout the times he was present. There's still a large focus on the metaphysical aspect where positive thinking and clearing ones mind wins out against all the negative emotions. The writing is really nice and has some vivid moments where I can see the scenery in my mind about where these characters are.

What I didn't like: Sometimes there was too much focus on the Radiance which brought me out of what I was reading, as well as some inconsistencies and errors that were easily noticeable to me. It's not as smooth as I was hoping for it to be, especially where the ending is concerned because I felt it ended rather abruptly so it could lead into book three.

Overall Review: Stalking Shadows is a good follow-up to Lethal Inheritance, and doesn't suffer too much from the fact that it's a sequel book to what was a really good first book. While it does have some flaws within itself overall its got more of the same messages to teach inside as well as a new interesting character (Twitchet) who I adore and found quite entertaining!

Recommend?: I do! If you've read the first then you should read the second to see what happens next!

Lethal Inheritance

Lethal Inheritance - Tahlia Newland What I liked: I loved recognizing the allegories between what Ariel goes through and different religious elements that were presented, things I only recognized in the story because I had somewhat studied about the different religions in varying degrees of seriousness over the last few years, though I have to say that they weren't really in your face, it took me a while to actually catch on with them. This was executed well, with the allegories hidden behind what was happening in this fantasy realm that was hidden from others. Following Ariel as she learned about herself and the secrets her mother had kept hidden from her all these years I saw her grow and change, from stubborn and resistant because she didn't believe in herself into knowing more about what she can do and learning different lessons along the way. She doesn't give up, though sometimes it takes some prodding for her to realize she really doesn't even when she says she does. Walnut and Nick were wonderful side characters, though Nick gets his own narration parts that outweigh the other characters.

What I didn't like: Personally I didn't feel like some of the narration change was necessary, and it would have been better if narration only changed with the chapter because one moment you're reading something in someone's (likely Ariel's) POV and then suddenly you're thrust into another point of view from another character in the same chapter in the same scene. It just didn't seem necessary to do such a thing. Also, some portions were rushed when they would have worked better being drawn out a bit more than they were when presented.

Overall Review: This is a really interesting book to start a new series with some interesting concepts and ideas behind it. With Ariel learning about herself, Walnut guiding her to become the Warrior she needs to be to do what she must at Diamond Peak, and Nick who provided some humor and helped teach in some places about herself while trying to battle his own demons, this book is really engaging in most places to where you don't want to put it down!

Recommend?: I really enjoyed it, and while I do recommend it, if you decide to read it I hope you enjoy it too!

The Collectors' Society

The Collectors' Society - Heather Lyons I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review through a book tour.

The Collector's Society is a riveting tale of Alice Reeve, known for the stories written about her titled Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. This story is a far cry from what I went in expecting though. It's powerful, enchanting, and a COMPLETE page-turner like few others that I have read. From page one the story draws you in, and it drips information out about the Alice I came to love in this book. It's an Alice that I never knew, and she managed to break my heart before the end of the story because of her return to Wonderland.

Alice is all grown up but boundlessly different after returning to Wonderland for a third time, and leaving once more. There are some things that she retains that makes her the Alice we know and love from Alice in Wonderland. Noisy, curious, and stubborn are just a few. But this Alice is also much more mature, wiser, and you can tell whatever happened during her last say in Wonderland has left her with wounds that refuse to heal. For most of the story, she refuses to divulge or even think about her departure and the people she left behind in Wonderland. It leaves a bit of mystery to her, one that I wanted to know. Though there are two people she loves in this story that we meet, there is no love triangle. Alice makes it clear to herself and others that one is her past, the other her present and future. The emotions woven into the book are tangible, and that's what made this book so wonderful, so close to my idea of perfection. Truly I love this book more than words can describe. The worldbuilding, the characters, the emotions, EVERYTHING was wonderful. I loved the premise of this story and have no doubt about it that I am immensely looking forward to the next book and cannot WAIT to read it!

The Loki Variation

The Loki Variation - Sabrina James Riley I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review on a book tour promoted by Girls Heart Books Tours.

The Loki Variation is an engaging and intriguing novel about a group of survivors of a zombie apocalypse. It sets itself apart from other zombie books in its own way, not only with the zombies and how they are and look, but because of the way the virus is and works. Sasha is a woman who has everything she's ever known torn away from her and is given the responsibility to take care of a child, and even has her own faults and misgivings. Derek is is a man who we watch and see his way of handling a zombie apocalypse with his dog Riley. Both of these characters are compelling and we watch them grow and face their own struggles over the novel. Admittedly, there aren't zombie attacks every other page (a fantastic thing by the way), and that makes it all the more interesting whenever they do show up. I loved this book, even with its small faults here and there, and I can't wait to read it again!


Hidden - Megg Jensen I received a copy of Hidden from the publisher via NetGalley

Hidden by Megg Jensen was a novel I enjoyed quite a bit. The mystery of the fog that surrounds the village, why people never return from the fog. It was catching. I loved the opening for the story with Sophia, it set the premise of the novel and gave me an intense wonder about what was happening and why it had happened. Even though I liked the book overall, there were issues with the plot and characters that I couldn't overlook. The village is never really given a set size, and we have no idea how big it actually is, or even how it maintains itself since it's cut off. Though, the way marriage is done was actually interesting, it's something I hadn't seen before. Bastian, one of our main characters, is a character who ended up surprising me in a way I hadn't expected of him since he seemed to be an honest and loyal person to Tressa (our true main character) and Conner. One of the flimsy characters of the book ended up being Henry, a character met way later into the novel. At first he was enjoyable, I liked him. Later on though.....yeah he was just plain annoying. I didn't like him anymore.
Overall this book is a good fantasy book, though it could have done with a bit more revision to help it be stronger.

Tortured Souls

Tortured Souls - Kimber Leigh Wheaton Tortured Souls is a book I have complicated feelings about since for the first half of the book for me was cringe worthy and deplorable. I hated it, it was too cliché and predictable and I felt frustrated with it. I kept reading because I had to know how it played out. Some of my problems with the book was how she was friends with all the guys, and the way she mentioned it bothered me. She said she'd been "friendzoned". I'm sorry but no, just no. And the secret society in her school no one knows about? She gets in simply because of her abilities and that bothered me. Plus the writing was incredibly choppy in places. I also don't understand the mother, the mother was a really confusing person and it felt like that portion was done just for drama.

The good part about Tortured Souls? It gets better the closer to the end. The writing puts itself together and it flows better, the characters seem more than two dimensional like they appeared earlier, and despite the relationship between Kacie and the lead boy that I had no faith in since it didn't seem real at all, the date made it better. That was around when everything started to pick up all around. Everything, except the drama with her mom got much better. So by the end of the book I was happy. I just feel like there was some much needed revision for the first half to make everything smooth over.

Broken World (Volume 1)

Broken World (Volume 1) - Kate L. Mary I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review

Broken World is a story about a woman named Vivian who leaves her life behind to go and reunite with her daughter who she gave up for adoption four years ago in the wake of a deadly virus that is killing a majority of the population. Even though the government is claiming that the virus is contained, people now have to have documents to leave their city to go anywhere. In the beginning she meets two brothers, Angus and Axl, after she is stranded and needs a ride to get to where her daughter is out in California. She doesn't trust them, but she is desperate to see her daughter and make sure she's okay. After she hitches a ride with the two brothers, they end up running into various other people who they bring with them as they make their way to California. Initially, they may have had to worry about the virus but as the story progresses they learn that they are better off worrying about the people that they encounter and whether or not they mean them harm. One of the things I liked most about it was that the zombies I was waiting for didn't appear until the end of the story, and having a backstory about how it all came about was good for the story, although generic since it is a virus. The characters are all interesting, and seem to tell you about themselves when they speak and how they act towards others. I think the false sense of security at the beginning of the book when the zombies still haven't appeared and the reasoning about why it wasn't know that people turned into them after dying was very well done. Overall, a very good book!

Manga Classics: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen adapted by Stacy E. King review

Manga Classics: Pride & Prejudice Hardcover - Jane Austen

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


Manga Classics: Pride and Prejudice
Jane Austen adapted by Stacy E. King
Released: 12th August, 2014

Book Summary:

Beloved by millions the world over, Pride & Prejudice is delightfully transformed in this bold, new manga adaptation. All of the joy, heartache, and romance of Jane Austen's original, perfectly illuminated by the sumptuous art of manga-ka Po Tse, and faithfully adapted by Stacy E. King.

What I like: I loved the idea of a manga adaption of one of my favorite of Jane Austen's works, and while there was minor disappointment in it, I liked it. Taking away the fact it was based off of her book I would say that the manga adaption was really good. While the characters don't seem to match up with the way they are in the book for the most part the way they were presented they worked very well. The art style was lovely, and attention to little things such as details were paid attention to as well.Each of the characters had very nice facial expressions, and a variety to go with them. It's also a very light and quick read, so for someone who wants to understand the basis of Pride and Prejudice but can't get into the book this manga can help them understand to a point why it's so loved even today. I also enjoyed the fact that the dialogue stayed very true to the original, instead of being modernized as it would have lost something in doing so. I adored the little chibi forms of Mrs. Bennet though,


What I didn’t like: Sometimes the facial expressions of the characters were too overdone, too stressed, and it looked a bit odd and unnatural. Elizabeth was also way too emotional in a short time span which is, of course, due to the shorter length of the manga compared to the novel. Sometimes the way Mr. Collins looked also bothered me, but maybe it was just me. He looked odd to me.


Overall review: Manga Classics: Pride and Prejudice is a very lovely manga adaption of Jane Austen's novel. With lovely art that has plenty of detail and well drawn characters it is a wonderful accompaniment of Pride and Prejudice. Each of the characters falls close to who they were in the novel, and they all seem to emit their own characteristics that are unique to them in the book with they way they are in the book. Despite some drawbacks due to the limited space for the story, it's a light and fun read and something easy to enjoy.


Recommend?: Whether or not you've read the classic, seen the movie, or whatever else they've modeled after the original, I would recommend this manga to fans of the original. It's very good and entertaining.

Goodreads: 4.3/5 Amazon: —/5 Barnes&Nobles: —/5 BookDepository: 5/5


My Rating: 4.3/5


Rated Material:

Blood Red Road by Moira Young review

Blood Red Road - Moira Young

Blood Red Road
Moira Young
Released: 7th June, 2011

Book Summary:

Saba has spent her whole life in Silverlake, a dried-up wasteland ravaged by constant sandstorms. The Wrecker civilization has long been destroyed, leaving only landfills for Saba and her family to scavenge from. That's fine by her, as long as her beloved twin brother Lugh is around. But when four cloaked horsemen capture Lugh, Saba's world is shattered, and she embarks on a quest to get him back.

Suddenly thrown into the lawless, ugly reality of the outside world, Saba discovers she is a fierce fighter, an unbeatable survivor, and a cunning opponent. Teamed up with a handsome daredevil named Jack and a gang of girl revolutionaries called the Free Hawks, Saba's unrelenting search for Lugh stages a showdown that will change the course of her own civilization.

Blood Red Road has a searing pace, a poetic writing style, and an epic love story making Moira Young is one of the most exciting new voices in teen fiction.

What I like: The book has a very nice opening, and a great pace filled with suspense throughout most of the book. It's different from a lot of dystopian novels I've read, because our main character isn't a symbol of a rebellion, she isn't trying to overthrow a government, she's trying to save her brother Lugh after he's kidnapped and she's seen her own father murdered. Her only other living family member besides Lugh is her younger sister Emmi, who by the end of the book proves that just because she's younger does not mean she's an inconvenience or a burden to her sister. Yes the two sisters have a negative bond, but it's played the right way and it was actually a good arc below the main story. Saba also speaking in an abrupt, and strange way added to her character, telling you the kind of life and world she grew up in. There are also a lack of the "damsel in distress" girls, and each girl in this novel was strong in her own way while keeping them wholly themselves. While there wasn't all that much world building to the story, what little we were given was enough to shape what we needed to know about this world, while continuing on an adventure with Saba.


What I didn’t like: Originally the book was hard for me to get into because of Saba's speech pattern, it kept throwing me off but towards the end I realized that it didn't bother me as much, so it takes getting used to, but it will likely put off some readers to it. Saba also was a very good fighter, almost too good in a sense but since she never left the lake I don't know when she would have had that chance. It just didn't seem to fit in with her, even though it was sort of a cool plot point it just didn't seem to have any worth when we're never told she's even wrestled around with her brother. Fight or not fight in someone, you're not good at it without practicing around. Also, there's sort of an instant attraction between Saba and Jack and I got really frustrated by that, that trope makes me angry and I want it to burn. The ending was also too neat for me, I don't have the need to read the other two books to see what happens afterwords because it was so neat. Works well as a staunch standalone though. The ending was also a bit sloppy to me, especially when you look at the rest of the book.


Overall review: Despite some flaws to this book, Blood Red Road was a very good book to read, I quite enjoyed it. It wasn't what I expected when I started to read it, but it was hard to get into with the grammar and such that Saba exhibited. The world building was moderate, but done enough for this story, as it's less of an opening to a complex system in a dystopian series and more of an adventure that happens to take place in a post-apocalyptic world. I am still curious as to what happened to Earth to cause this though, as that was never explained I think, but it was irrelevant to the plot so that's why we don't learn it. Jack was an entertaining character, though he's a bit odd and not someone I was always fond of in the story. I did like Emmi a lot though, I found her to be a very interesting character.


Recommend?:  Definitely! It's a very good dystopian (or post-apocalyptic sci-fi) book, and an enjoyable read.

Goodreads: 4/5 Amazon: 4.1/5 Barnes&Nobles: 4.2/5 BookDepository: 4.2/5


My Rating: 4.6/5


Rated Material:

One is Enough by Love translated by Julianne Neville review

One is Enough - Love, Julianne Neville

I received this book in exchange for an honest review


One is Enough
Robert Love Translated by Julianne Neville
Released: 17th January, 2013

Book Summary:

Matsumoto-kun is just about to turn sixteen when he accidentally bumps into and injures his mysterious high school senpai, Mizushima-kun.

Now, he is bound to make it up to him. But the lines aren't clear on just how far this new angst-filled, steamy relationship will go?

What I like: It's a quick, sort of cute story. The art can be really good at some points, and the characters expressions were really nicely done as well. It does deal with some teen issues and they are sort of handled well to a point.


What I didn’t like: The art was pretty inconsistent, and the story line wasn't all that great for the most part. From having an instant love moment, to having a whiny and overly emotional character who continuously runs back to the character who hurts them sometimes on purpose, to a very stand-offish character who the main character falls instantly in love with at the beginning. The relationship the main character, named Matsumoto, and the character he falls in love with, Mizushima, seem to have a rather unhealthly relationship and while in the end everything works out I found myself counting the pages until I was finished with it.


Overall review: With inconsistent art, main characters who flop, and an easily predictable storyline this manga isn't all that memorable and certainly not something I'll read again. Interestingly enough, a side character named Sora seemed to be much more developed than either of the main characters to me and he has very few panels where he showed up and I was rather fond of him despite how little he showed up. While it definitely could have been better if it was longer, it was okay to me.


Recommend?: If you're new to yaoi manga it's sort of cheesy and it's a good intro to what many of the stories are about. For someone who has most likely read plenty of yaoi manga it isn't worth the read.

Goodreads: 2.5/5 Amazon: 2.8/5 Barnes&Nobles: —/5 BookDepository: —/5


My Rating: 2.8/5


Rated Material:

Veracity by Lindsey Stell review

Veracity (The Seven Cities Book 1) - Lindsey Stell

I received a copy from the author personally in exchange for a fair and honest review.


Lindsey Stell
Released: June, 2014

Book Summary:

I am alone in a decaying world, abandoned by the man who stole my memories, yet claimed to love me.

I will journey through the darkest parts of the old world, facing horror and death along the way. A soldier will save me, bringing me to the great walled city of Veracity. I am drawn to him, but he harbors secrets that will change my life.

Relearning the strict rules of the world I was born into will be the easy part. Figuring out I'm more than just a pawn, in a game I can't remember, will be a matter of life and death.


What I like: This story is very compelling, with much of its careful worldbuilding revealed later in the story with small hints at the beginning at what kind of world we have been dropped into. With an unconventional opening to the story with our main character Katherine having no previous memories of the world she had been raised in and a strange man named Jack who has wiped her memories. A strange way to start the story, and some can say an easy way into introducing the worldbuilding, but nevertheless it was very interesting to read and see how everything was built up. The rules we learn about this new society make for an interesting discussion, especially on the morality of some of the things you learn in the later part of the second half of the book. I thought the color coding of the different social classes was neat, and in a way threw back to old world society where certain colors were only wore by people of certain social standings, such as how purple was reserved specifically for the royal family in certain countries. Kat's brother was also interesting to meet, but it was rather quickly established that he's probably crazy and drunk with power considering he declares himself King of the Seven Cities all because his father called him and his sister his prince and princess. Felt like more of a plot device and I wasn't allowed to decide if I was going to like his character since it was shoved onto the reader so quickly, which was something I did not like in the least.


What I didn’t like: The history to how the society came about seemed a bit rushed, despite the impact its apparently had on the entire population of Earth and how few people there seem to be. It just felt glossed over and I felt it could have been expanded upon for a greater effect on those who read it, because it seemed really insignificant. Also, the whole generations thing bothered me because I think it mentioned there were at least six generations between Kat's generation (or maybe it was Max's generation? If it's Max's generation, add two more generations to get to Kat's bringing it up to at least eight generations) and the generation when the Cleanse happened. A generation is anywhere between 20 and 25 years long. Taking that into account and we use the six generations and twenty years thing the Cleanse happened over one hundred and twenty years ago. At the most using the eight generations and twenty-five year thing the Cleanse happened over two hundred years ago. Now, why am I bothered by this? The abandoned buildings Kat finds throughout the first part of the book. They should be gone, rotted, nothing should remain of those buildings, not unless someone took the time to keep them in a half-way respectable state. I doubt this though. This is a huge flaw to me because I was thinking that the world as we know it hadn't ended too long ago, at least in Kat's grandparents time things were like we know it until we learn the history from Max. I will cite Chernobyl because that happened in the late eighties, not even forty years ago and the land that was abandoned by many people has already overgrown with vegetation and humanities presence has disappeared rather rapidly. It was a glaring error and it bothers me greatly and had a huge impact on the scoring for the book. A bit of an end to tack on, Grayson's dad at the end? Like, that just seemed really out of characteristic for his dad from everything we had seen thus far. It didn't make sense in the slightest to me really.


Overall review: Despite some rather obvious (to me) flaws and some things that seemed out of characteristic and a few decisions that I wanted to make taken away from me I thought it was a rather enjoyable read. The interesting worldbuilding, the new social rules, and even the dressing customs were interesting. While it did take me a while to get through it was rather hard to put down when I had to and easy to pick back up when I got my next chance to read it. The characters were well rounded in most areas that I looked for and their motivations for the most part made sense when their actions were made. Although while I was originally rooting for that Jack character to rescue her later on when we meet him again I found that I didn't like how he acts towards her. It struck me as really odd. Nevertheless, I will definitely look into reading the rest of the series if given the chance to. The romance is sort of also a big focus in this book once she reaches Veracity, but it's not overwhelming usually which I liked. She also wasn't liked by everyone but those who didn't like her didn't have happy ends it seems. Not sure how to feel about that really.


Recommend?: I would, because it was an interesting sci-fi story, one of the more interesting ones I've read but it could do with some improvements like any story can.

Goodreads: 4.8/5 Amazon: 5/5 Barnes&Nobles: —/5 BookDepository: —/5


My Rating: 4.2/5


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