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The Whispers of the Fallen by J.D. Netto – Review

Title: The Whispers of the Fallen
Author: J.D. Netto
Series: Whispers of the Fallen
Book: 1
Format: Ebook
Pages: 245 (according to my Nook)
Rating: 1/5

18399878I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Isaac and Demetre are simple farm boys. They help their village and their parents on a daily basis, harvesting, planting, and anything they can do to help. Until one day when they both wake up to find their parents missing. Turns out that their parents are a part of a group of people that protect a diary. A diary written by the devil. Their lives go from simple to complicated and in a work with angels and demons, no one is really safe.

I followed the author J.D. Netto on Instagram long before I read this. First off, the covers look amazing, the idea sounds unique (an angel book told in the POV of a guy…RARE!), and I felt a pull to it. It started off well enough, but I started noticing a few things that just bothered me and as I progressed through the story, it kept nagging at me and I found more and more small little problems. It began to take away from the story.

Warning: This will probably have spoilers, so if you don’t want to see that, look away now.

1. The very first thing I noticed in the dialogue is the severe lack of contractions.
These boys are farmers, they aren’t royalty or poised in any way, they should know a contraction or two. In my mind, the lack of contractions leads to the voice sounding bland and mechanical. It sounded stiff and awkward. The more I thought about it, the more I noticed it happening. For example: “What is wrong?”. Now, I might be able to accept this if it was an exclamation, but in normal conversation, I would think someone with Isaac’s background would say “What’s wrong?” or “What happened?”. Another example: “‘It does not look so bad,’ I said in a cheerful tone”. It sounds too formal for a farm boy and happened consistently throughout the novel.

2. The use of “us” and “our” for things that Isaac alone knows he’s feeling.
This one isn’t that big of a deal. It’s mainly me focusing on the smallest, most pointless detail ever, but it bothered me for some reason. I can’t find an example straight from the text, because I forgot to bookmark one, but there was a time when Issac said something along the lines of “It made us feel safe” or “It unsettled us both” in times where they never talked to each other about their feelings and Isaac couldn’t possibly know that Demetre felt that way. Like I said, though, just me nitpicking.

3. The use of “now” and “this”.
I don’t even know if this is technically grammatically incorrect, but in a past tense book, I don’t expect to see this. For example: “I had never heard of the Kingdom of Mag Mell, but right now the only thing that concerned by was leaving”. By saying ‘right now’, to me it indicates that it’s really happening right now, not in the past, so I don’t think that fits. I forgot to mark an example for ‘this’ as well, but it’s something like “This tower is tall and obviously showed it’s age”. That’s an awful example, but it’s the best I could think up. It makes me think the narrator is literally looking at the tower, not looking back on it. As a bonus for this, I also found a part that used ‘these’ in a place I didn’t think fit. “I suppose they were paying tribute to these two beings”. I don’t know if this is technically incorrect either, but maybe if ‘these’ was replaced with ‘the’ instead it would make more sense.

4. The characters are emotionless and flat.
Issac’s life is literally thrown away and he gets all this information thrown at him, but he just doesn’t care and he goes along with it. If I was put in that situation, I would ask a few more questions, not just blindly throw trust to people I don’t know! At some point, Demetre gets killed and Isaac watches completely stone-faced as his best childhood friend gets murdered. No tears, no emotion, just nothing. How awful is that?

I wanted to like this book, really I did, but even without the grammatical stuff that I was overly focused on, the story just lacked the kind of emotion and adventure that I need in a book like this. There was too much description for little things and too little description and explanation for things I really wanted to know about. The character’s flatness just caused me to not care about any of them. When Demetre died, I felt nothing, because there was nothing to feel, we never get an emotional connection to the characters and in books, that’s very important.

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Instinct by Sherrilyn Kenyon – Review

Title: Instinct
Author: Sherrilyn Kenyon
Series: Chronicles of Nick
Book: 6
Format: Hardback
Pages: 368
Rating: 4/5

21944038Nick’s in a great mood. There’s no one out to kill him, no one is dying, and it seems like a perfect normal day where he can pose as a perfectly normal human having a perfectly normal life. For an hour maybe. That is, until an omen of death that only Nick can see goes flying through his school hallway. All of a sudden, Caleb falls ill, which is impossible for demons. Everything comes crashing down at once. Nick’s mother disappears and he begins to realize that the people he held closest to him are lying to him almost constantly. He doesn’t know who to trust or who will betray him. And with his new Malachai powers barely under control, will Nick be able to save everyone with his best friend out of commission and his slippery grip on sanity?

I didn’t think this was a particularly spectacular book. I absolutely adore the Chronicles of Nick books, I think they’re interesting and full of interesting lore, but this one didn’t catch my attention as much. Best part of this book by far – Malachai Nick. The fact that he can lose control any second and completely destroy the world is awesome, but when he uses his power to save his mother and his friends, I love it. Nick almost dies about twice and it had me freaking out both times. The first time was a little sudden and was never really explained, but the second time…phew! Overall, though, I still think this is a great book, full of action and everything I love in a book, but not as outstanding as the others. Here’s to hoping for more Malachai Nick!

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Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo – Review

Title: Ruin and Rising
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Series: Grisha
Book: 3
Format: Paperback
Pages: 422
Rating: 4/5

14061957This book demonstrated less rising and more ruin if you ask me. While the first hundred pages didn’t drag me in, it certainly more than made up for it in the last two hundred or so. I’m not even all that sure about how I feel about Ruin and Rising, there were so many twists and turns and even then I didn’t really like how it ended.

Alina Starkov is on the lookout for the third and last amplifier, the firebird. The Darkling’s forces are closing in and the need for Alina’s power is greater than ever. Torn between a life she wants and the life she has, nothing has ever seemed so helpless. People are dying left and right and no one even has an inkling as to where the firebird could be or if it even exists. Can Alina battle her heart and gain the power she needs to defeat the Darking? Or is all lost?

I usually try to keep my reviews relatively spoiler free, but for this one I can’t promise anything. There will be spoilers in here, so if that bothers you, I suggest you look away now.

The first one hundred pages was all information I already knew or didn’t particularly care about. Alina healing, angsty stuff, self loathing, the normal stuff. Things really picked up when Nikolai came into play. I cannot express my love for that prince enough. He has a silver tongue and he’s interesting, he’s just a great character. And when he told Alina he would propose to her if they survived the battle, I was all over that. It might not be the most romantic, but I really thought they’d be a cute couple. I honestly thought Nikolai was going to die. When he turned into that creature I was so upset. Next person, the Darkling. I love him. I shipped him with Alina so hard. I really think that if Alina had stayed with him, she could have changed him. In the end, I felt so bad for him, he just wanted to be loved and to share his life with someone like him. Mal. I never particularly liked Mal, I thought he was a little too needy and that he held Alina back most of the time, but I actually found myself liking the scenes between him and Alina. Now, that ending. I didn’t want to the Darkling to die. In a perfect world, Alina would have used her light to cast out the darkness in him and made him a better person so they could live together happy with their power. Instead, I got almost the exact opposite. Not only did the Darkling die, but Mal was resurrected. Biggest kicker of all, Alina lost her powers. All of them. Completely normal. That made me mad. Phew! So much happened, I couldn’t possible address all of it. Overall, I respect the action and writing and the overall amazingness of Ruin and Rising, but I can’t agree with that ending.

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Angelfall by Susan Ee – Review

Title: Angelfall
Author: Susan Ee
Series: Penryn and the End of Days
Book: 1
Format: Paperback
Pages: 284
Rating: 5/5

24936921Devastatingly heartbreaking and intense, Angelfall is the one angel book that everyone needs in their life. The second I picked up this book, I couldn’t put it down. When I finished it, I knew this was going to be going on my favourites list.

Penryn Young is exhausted. Day and night, she juggles keeping her wheelchair bound sister and her paranoid schizophrenic mother alive when the angels attack. When they get caught up in an angel skirmish on the streets, Penryn gets separated from her mother. She witnesses an angel lose his beautiful white wings and helps him fend off his attackers. All seems calm when one of the angels comes back in steals her sister out of her wheelchair. Survival becomes a rescue mission. Penryn teams up with angel Raffe, who hopes to get his wings reattached, in order to sneak into angel territory and get her sister back. Angels are then enemy, but Raffe seems almost different. He’s kinder and more thoughtful, but is he really different? Or is he just pretending for his own personal gain?

Susan Ee was born to torture me with her wonderful stories and her amazing characters that make me feel obsolete. Raffe. I cannot stress my love for that sarcastic asshole enough. And can we talk about how when Raffe first meet, before they even know each other’s names, he smiles at how funny she is when she acts like he weighs a ton. That is so cute and no one can convince me otherwise. But then, all of a sudden he wakes up and tries to kill her and sitting there reading as if I could actually reach through the pages and slap some sense into him. There are just some times where I’m wondering “RAFFE WHAT ARE YOU DOING?” and then sometimes I had to set the book down and curl up because aww cute. And then “I don’t even like you.” and I’m dead. Don’t even get me started on how they can’t be together because that would result in Raffe being sent to Punishment and possibly a Nephilim, it just breaks my heart. They so obviously belong together and it makes me so mad. The ending made me want to throw the book at the nearest wall. Luckily, I purchased book two when I got book one, so I’m going to do something I don’t do often and read the second book instead of reading what I planned to read next.

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The Colossus Rises by Peter Lerangis – Review

Title: The Colossus Rises
Author: Peter Lerangis
Series: Seven Wonders
Book: 1
Format: Hardback
Pages: 348
Rating: 3/5

16061340I had some high hopes for this book regardless of it being a Middle grade read. I try not to let things like that define how it makes the book feel. For example, Percy Jackson is a Middle grade book as well, but it doesn’t read like that, it actually has an interesting story with humour and violence and it could appeal to almost anyone. The Colossus Rises is a Middle grade book and reads like one as well.

I knew right from the beginning that I wasn’t going to fall in love with this book. The characters lack a certain something that makes them easy to connect to. Jack McKinley is the main character, he has a knack for coming up with complicated solutions to seemingly easy problems and he’s dying. Not that he knows this as first, he doesn’t find out until he’s taken to an institution that helps people just like him…all three of the others. Each of the other major characters, Aly, Marco, and Cass, are all given odd little quirks as well. Aly is a computer genius that can hack like a professional, Marco is an athletic star, and Cass is a mental genius with the ability to remember seemingly everything.

This book had such great potential, but even for a fantasy book it felt stretched a little thin. It throws odd scenarios with oddball names into a multitude of unlikely events that made my mind swirl a few times. While still maintaining a highly unique idea, it didn’t seem like it really focused on the fact that these kids are all dying which for some reason doesn’t phase any of them. That seems like a big deal to me, but clearly I’ve missed something more important than impending doom.

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The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey – Review

Title: The Infinite Sea
Author: Rick Yancey
Series: The 5th Wave
Book: 2
Format: Paperback
Pages: 300
Rating: 3.5/5

25194192The world is a clock.
And it’s winding down.

Cassie is with Ben’s gang now. Reunited with her brother Sam, the world is slightly less terrible than it was before. If she wasn’t constantly butting heads with Ringer or arguing about how Evan would be back for her and that he isn’t like the Others, things would be almost normal. For a few seconds, anyway, until it looks like Ben is taking a turn for the worse, Ringer and Teacup disappear, and the gang is being watched. Can the gang survive this time? Or has their enemy finally caught up with them?

Biggest concern with the book – Ringer. I cannot for the life of me be interested in her character or her story. I find her insufferable and annoying most of the time and to be perfectly honest, I skimmed most of the parts that focused on her. I was expecting Ben, Cassie, and Evan as the main focus and for a few chunks of the book they were, those parts kept me interested. In fact, I loved the parts with Cassie as the narrator, because everyone else made it seem like she was stupid or complaining all the time. Ben made me mad this time. He was obviously in serious need of medical attention the entire book, but continued to push himself, which I think will certainly hurt him in the next book. Even Evan’s part made me interested! We got to see more into the lives of the Others and it really shows just how different he is from the rest of them. But why, why, and I can’t stress this enough…WHY was there not more of the romance between Evan and Cassie like there was in the first book? I love that so much. Overall, I think this would have been a 4 or maybe even a 5…if there wasn’t the POV of Ringer in there. I understand her part was in there to show what the Others were up to and their plans for the human race and the planet, but I just couldn’t get into her POV.

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The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan – Review

Title: The Sword of Summer
Author: Rick Riordan
Series: Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard
Book: 1
Copy: Hardback
Pages: 491
Rating: 4.5/5

15724396There’s a select few authors where I can say I love virtually every book I’ve read written by them. Rick Riordan is the god of writing.

Magnus Chase has a normal life. Well, if you consider living on the streets for two years because your mother was killed by a pack of wolves before your apartment burst into flames normal, anyway. His “normal” life is turned upside down when…spoiler alert…he gets killed by a fire giant! Shockingly, he wakes up and finds himself in Valhalla, the life afterlife of deserving warriors that die honourable deaths. However, Doomsday is around the corner and Magnus is the only person that can stop it. Will he succeed? Or will he fail and destroy himself in the process?

I love and will probably love every book from here on that Rick Riordan writes. The way he takes mythology and history, but puts a spin on it, making it interesting and entertaining is unlike any author I’ve ever read.  Not to mention the way he integrates all races, disabilities, and almost everything else in between. Because, yes, there is an Arab girl in this book and she is badass and amazing. Yes, there is a deaf person in this book, does that slow down the plot? Not at all. Rick Riordan’s humour also never ceases to make me smile. Magnus reminded me a lot of Percy with his sarcasm and little one-liners that we all so much, but it wasn’t too similar that it seemed like they were the same person. Can we talk about the little Annabeth cameos? Because those were great and I love them. Uncle Rick, I want a novella with the Magnus and Annabeth conversation at the end, please and thank you. Can’t wait for The Hammer of Thor!

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The Program by Suzanne Young – Review

Title: The Program
Author: Suzanne Young
Series: The Program
Book: 1
Copy: Hardback
Pages: 405
Rating: 5/5

11366397The Program is a heartbreaking novel about young love and the importance of family and friendship. I picked up The Program because it sounded interesting enough. When I started reading, I intended to just read the first few pages to get a feel  for in, but what I ended up getting was a book that sucked me in so fast I finished it in one sitting.

Sloane lives in a world where suicide is an epidemic. Almost everyone knows at least one person that has committed suicide. In the hopes of ending the epidemic, the government comes up with a solution, the Program. Unfortunately, the Program isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. In order to be deemed “not infected” or “cured”, you have to spend six weeks in an institution. People that come back from the Program aren’t the same. They don’t act the same and they don’t remember any of their friends and little of their past. Some people die before getting to the Program, some are shipped away, and some kill themselves before the Program can take them, choosing to die instead of living as a shell of their former selves.

Sloane’s brother killed himself, leaving Sloane heartbroken and feeling helpless. Luckily for her, she has James. Her other half, the love of her life, and her soulmate. Together, they try to fight the Program, staying off the Program’s radar, hiding just how scared and sad they really are. When their friend commits suicide to avoid being put in the Program, James falls off the deep end, slipping into a depression that Sloane can’t pull him out of. Her attempts at making him appear normal work for weeks only to falter. James is shipped off the Program and returns with no memory of their love. Sloane’s life spins out of control, with no direction, no James, and no hope for him coming back to her.

This book is one of my new favourites. The passion between James and Sloane just makes me so happy, they’re so cute together and have such a great relationship. It’s such a heartbreaking story to the point where I found myself in tears more than a few times. If I lived in this world, I would never want to lose all my memories, no matter what the outcome. What’s the point of living, if they take the best parts of you? The good times and the bad, they make up who we are and the idea of something with the ability to take those memories away scares the crap out of me. I simply couldn’t put this book down and I read it in a few hours with the need for more. Certainly one of the best books I’ve read.

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Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard – Review

Title: Glass Sword
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Series: Red Queen
Number: 2
Copy: Hardback
Pages: 444
Rating: 3.5/5

23174274
Anyone and betray anyone.

With that quote, being one of my favourites of the whole series as of now, I can now relate somewhat well to it. I feel betrayed by this book. I loved Red Queen, but Glass Sword seemed predictable and I felt like it was being dragged out.

Mare Barrow has Red blood, but Silver powers. She has been betrayed by one of the people she trusted the most and is suddenly forced into a battle she didn’t want to be a part of. With her friends, Mare goes on a quest to find newbloods. People of Red blood, with Silver powers, like her, before they can be whipped out of existence by Maven. Throughout her quest, Mare is faced with the pain of the past, the pain of the present, and the uncertainty of the future.

I’m one of those people where I usually love the sequel novel more than the first book. This is not one of those cases. The first give or take 375 pages were dragged out and gave me information that I probably could have gone without. I could have cut out about 300 pages in the middle and it still would have made sense in the end. The relationship between Cal and Mare confuses me to no end, because they act like they love each other, but then they hate each other. Kilorn made me mad. He was jealous and sulked about most of the book without really adding any significant plot. Actually, a good portion of the middle of the book was people sulking about. Mare, I get that Maven betrayed you and that it hurts, but that doesn’t mean that everyone you meet will betray you, calm down. Spoiler here, but obviously Mare was going to end up giving herself over to Maven. It was brought up over and over again throughout the book and I guessed it within the first few hundred pages. Overall, I was disappointed in Glass Sword, it dragged on and on and was, in my mind, predictable. I still love Maven, though, and I wish we saw more of him.

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Nil by Lynne Matson – Review

Title: Nil
Author: Lynne Matson
Series: Nil
Book: 1
Copy: Hardback
Pages: 374
Rating: 5/5

17225463This book just tore out my heart and threw it on the ground like it was nothing. Nil is an amazing, unique story about love, heartbreak, survival, and friendship.
Charley’s normal life is thrown out of balance when wakes up naked on an island. Her first thought is that she doesn’t even know if she’s on Earth let alone if there’s anyone else with her. Twelve days of barely scraping by on what little things she could gather, Charley runs into Thad. Thad and Charley are instantly captivated by one another, but neither one knows it. With Thad deemed as Charley’s island guide, they have plenty of time to get to know each other. Turns out, people (and warm blooded animals) can appear on Nil any day as long as it’s noon. Being on an island with mostly nice, hardworking people doesn’t seem entirely terrible. But there’s a catch. Each person only gets 365 days to get off the island or they die. With Thad’s clock ticking, Charley realizes that she doesn’t have as much time as she thought. Will she be able to save both of them? Or will one of them die trying to save the other?
I never stood a chance against this book. With it’s stupid beautiful idea and great characters, I was doomed to love it from the start. Don’t get me started on Thad and Charley. They are amazing and beautiful and oh so very frustrating. Even if I think their liking for one another was a little sudden, I’ll let it slide for how well it was portrayed. They wasted too much time thinking about their feelings and didn’t act! If I’m on a deserted island with the guy of my dreams, I will not just stand by and think! Especially if the time is limited!
Li, Natalie, and Rives were my three favourite minor characters and I loved each one for a different reason. And each one of them made me sad for a different reason. I don’t want to give too much away because this truly is a great book and I know I say this with a lot of books, but the ending is quite spectacular. All in all, it’s a great kick ass story that lovers of the TV show Lost and The Maze Runner would probably go crazy over.
The second book is called Nil Unlocked and the last book Nil on Fire comes out May 31, 2016