BOOK REVIEW: Brittni Chenelle “Cold Kingdom”

419tsE4RbKL._SX337_BO1,204,203,200_Title: Cold Kingdom

Author: Brittni Chenelle

Genre: YA/Fiction/Action

My Rating: 3/5 stars

 

First of all, I have to say that this cover is stunning! It captures the essence of the book very well, so props to the designer!

Brittni Chenelle is a very promising writer. Her style and flow was so easy and I really enjoyed the prose. The story was promising also, but I found I couldn’t get on board with the characters, particularly Charlotte. I realize that the characters were supposed to read younger, as they were as young as 16. However, there was a pettiness about Charlotte I couldn’t stand. She was snobby and annoying, and it made it difficult to read anything from her point of view.

The representation in this book was awesome! I understand the author lives in South Korea and is very influenced by the culture; it shines through in her writing. The cast of characters were diverse and colorful, which I appreciated.

The political intrigue the author was trying to infuse here didn’t quite work for me, but I appreciated it nonetheless! Plus, there were some funny moments that keep the book light-hearted despite some of the darker tones.

Chenelle is on my radar after this read. Even though I may not have loved Kingdom Cold, I can’t wait to see what else she writes in the future.

An e-arc was provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

 

Purchase the book: Amazon

Meet the Author: Wattpad | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

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BOOK REVIEW: Marie Rutkoski “The Winner’s Curse”

thewinnerscurse-marierutkoski__spanTitle: The Winner’s Curse

Author: Marie Rutkoski

Genre: Romance/Action

My Rating: 3.5/5 stars

 

The Winner’s Curse is your classic enemies-to-lovers story about the daughter of a high-ranking general and her slave.

Kestrel’s people, the Valorian, conquered the Herrani and made them their slaves. Kestrel’s father has tried to convince his daughter to enlist in the military, but her skills lie not in combat but in her strategy; she has a mind for military tactics and planning.

When she sees Arin for sale at the slave market, Kestrel feels a pull toward him and bids. And wins.

Unsure of what to do with her new slave but in need of an escort due to the backwards rules and traditions of her home regarding women, she asks Arin to fill this role. Soon, rumors begin to circulate between the two of them, and feelings begin to develop, yet their stations in life make it impossible to choose. Loyalty to family, culture and country? Or love?

My thoughts:

Sadly, I almost didn’t finish this. I have many books to read and no enough time to dedication to reading books I’m not loving. The Winner’s Curse wasn’t measuring up in the beginning, no matter how intriguing the concept was. It did start to pick up toward the end but ultimately, this debut novel was very slow.

It wasn’t all bad. I enjoyed both main characters very much, making it easy to continue and remain invested in their lives and their star-crossed attraction. Kestrel was tough, and while she was fairly open about her lack of skills on the battle-field, she constantly proved her intelligence and calculating nature.

Arin was continuously at war with himself and his feelings for Kestrel while also planning a revolution against the Valorians. It was interesting to be in his head.

I loved reading any interactions between Kestrel and Arin; their chemistry was flamin’, and Arin was absolutely precious. So basically any fall-backs that this story had, the romance and the main characters more than made up for it.

While this first installment may not have been my favorite, I can see how it can be improved on in sequels and I am very excited to see what happens considering I’ve seen many rave reviews for the rest of this series. I’ll keep you all posted!

 

Marie Rutkoski: Website | Facebook |Twitter

BOOK REVIEW: Tricia Levenseller “Daughter of the Pirate King”

33643994Title: Daughter of the Pirate King

Author: Tricia Levenseller

Genre: Fantasy/Action Adventure

My Rating: 3/5 stars

 

Sent on a mission to retrieve an ancient hidden map—the key to a legendary treasure trove—seventeen-year-old pirate captain Alosa deliberately allows herself to be captured by her enemies, giving her the perfect opportunity to search their ship.

More than a match for the ruthless pirate crew, Alosa has only one thing standing between her and the map: her captor, the unexpectedly clever and unfairly attractive first mate, Riden. But not to worry, for Alosa has a few tricks up her sleeve, and no lone pirate can stop the Daughter of the Pirate King.

Goodreads Synopsis

My thoughts:

This had all the makings of an entertaining, action-packed read: snarky female character, swoony love interest and unique magical elements. Instead, all I felt was frustration throughout this entire reading process.

Alosa is, as the title mentions, the pirate king’s daughter. This makes her incredibly well-trained, smart and quick, so her father sends Alosa on a mission to steal a piece of a map which is hidden on board an enemy ship. To do this, she purposely allows the ship’s captain to take her prisoner so that she can then escape and search for the map piece. At any point, Alosa could supposedly easily escape if she wanted to, except she obviously wants to stay on board until she completes her mission.

See, but here’s the thing: if she could so easily escape undetected, why is it that every time she broke out of her cell to search the ship, she ends up getting caught? If she’s so dang good, why does she continue to be found out? Every time someone finds her out of her cell, she makes some half-hearted attempt to escape so that the crew continues to think that she truly doesn’t want to be there. Yet after the third, fourth, fifth time, it just became pathetic.

So in this barely 300-page book, Alosa spends practically the first 225 pages escaping, unsuccessfully searching for the map piece, getting caught and being thrown back in her cell. Over and over and over again. It just became so old and repetitive that it took away much of the enjoyment for me.

Otherwise, I feel I would have loved this. Alosa and Riden (the captain’s brother and first mate) exchanged some hilarious flirtatious banter that made me laugh out loud several times. I loved the siren abilities that Alosa is eventually revealed to have later in the book; her ability to see people’s emotions as colors in her siren vision and the things she was able to do with her song was so cool.

Things finally started to pick up and start happening in the last 75 pages or so of the book, but by then I was so done that I couldn’t bring myself to care. It’s really unfortunate that I didn’t like this more. However, I’m fully planning to read the sequel, Daughter of the Siren Queen, because I have hopes that it will be a significant improvement on the first book. Hopefully Levenseller focuses more on Alosa’s abilities and on creating a more engaging plot. For now though, this remains an unsatisfactory debut.

 

Tricia Levenseller: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads