Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Going Down In Flames by Chris Cannon

Going Down in Flames by Chris CannonReading Level: Ages 12 and up
Hardcover: 407 Pages
Release Date: June 30, 2014
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Narration: Third Person: Bryn
Genre: Paranormal/
Contemporary Setting
Paranormal Type: Dragons/Paladins

Going Down In Flames Series
Book One: Going Down in Flames
Book Two: Unknown
Book Three: Unknown

Order On Amazon: Paperback
Order On Barnes and Noble:
Paperback and Nook

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Goodreads Synopsis:

If her love life is going down in flames, she might as well spark a revolution.

Finding out on your sixteenth birthday you’re a shape-shifting dragon is tough to swallow. Being hauled off to an elite boarding school is enough to choke on.

Since Bryn is the only crossbreed at the Institute for Excellence, all eyes are on her, but it’s a particular black dragon, Zavien, who catches her attention.

Zavien is tired of the Council’s rules. Segregated clans, being told who to love, and close-minded leaders make freedom of choice almost impossible. The new girl with the striped hair is a breath of fresh air, and with Bryn’s help, they may be able to change the rules.

At the Institute, old grudges, new crushes, and death threats are all part of a normal day for Bryn. She’ll need to learn to control her dragon powers if she wants to make it through her first year at school. But even focusing on staying alive is difficult when you’re falling for someone you can't have.

My Review:

Going into the book, I already knew that the protagonist was most likely going to be a spoiled kid who thought the world revolved solely around her, and I was right. Countless times throughout the book, she threw tantrums, referred to herself as acting like a five year old, and raged whenever she didn't get what she wanted. Her version of rage being shooting balls of fire at people she didn't like. Another immature thing she had a tendency for was doing the exact opposite of what people told her to do. We see this often enough in other stories when headstrong female leads come into question, but her version of rebelling was absolutely ridiculous. For example, in the beginning, she refused to do something that she didn't want to do. However, after someone agreed with her and told her not to do said something, she was all, "Screw you, I'll do it if I feel like doing it!" *Facepalm* In the least, she realized that she was acting like a child, and further down along the road, restrained herself to some degree of success. I guess that counts as some sort of character development.

Dragons. Freaking awesome mythical beings. After my How to Train Your Dragon phase, I've been a bit obsessed with them, which is why I became interested in this book in the first place. However, the world building for this was....not as amazing as I had hoped. I mean, it wasn't bad, but at the same time, it wasn't great either. There was no intricacy whatsoever. Dragons are classified by their skin color, their skin color specifying their skills and talents. The protagonist, being a mix breed between a Red and Blue dragon, unsurprisingly had both their qualities, fire breathing and ice shooting. It all felt too by the book. There was nothing that was surprising or made me fangirl.

The romance was almost comical. The classic everyone starts crushing on the protagonist sort of plot, which, in my opinion, is confusing, because I really don't see anything appealing about her character. The main love interest was just creepy, at least I would think he was if I was in her shoes. You just meet the dude, and then he begins stalking you. Like literally, he was always climbing through her window, standing by her door, or doing something else vaguely alarming. Another thing that irritated me was how he ALWAYS seemed to be profusely begging for Bryn's forgiveness when he wasn't the one to blame. So many times I wanted to shake some sense into him.

The writing was pretty well done. It flowed well and the jokes here and there were funny. Nothing ever slipped awkwardly and thoughts blended very well. The only thing that stood out to me was the author's overuse of the word "growled."

Overall, Going Down in Flames was an entertaining and quick read. Although I despised the protagonist 99% of the time and thought the dragon lore was too simple, I had fun with it, and it kept my attention. I probably won't be reading the sequel, but I don't feel like I wasted my time reading this either.

Heroine- 2/5
Romance- 2/5
Action- 4/5
World-Building- 2/5
Writing- 3.5/5
Overall- 2.5/5

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Waiting On Wednesday (37)

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill over at Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we can't wait to get our hands on!

Waiting On Wednesday, The Oathbreaker's Shadow

This week's WoW is Storm Siren by Mary Weber.

Storm Siren by Mary Weber

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Goodreads Synopsis:
“I raise my chin as the buyers stare. Yes. Look. You don’t want me. 
Because, eventually, accidentally, I will destroy you.”

In a world at war, a slave girl’s lethal curse could become one kingdom’s weapon of salvation. If the curse—and the girl—can be controlled.

As a slave in the war-weary kingdom of Faelen, seventeen-year-old Nym isn’t merely devoid of rights, her Elemental kind are only born male and always killed at birth — meaning, she shouldn’t even exist.

Standing on the auction block beneath smoke-drenched mountains, Nym faces her fifteenth sell. But when her hood is removed and her storm-summoning killing curse revealed, Nym is snatched up by a court advisor and given a choice: be trained as the weapon Faelen needs to win the war, or be killed.

Choosing the former, Nym is unleashed into a world of politics, bizarre parties, and rumors of an evil more sinister than she’s being prepared to fight . . . not to mention the handsome trainer whose dark secrets lie behind a mysterious ability to calm every lightning strike she summons.

But what if she doesn’t want to be the weapon they’ve all been waiting for?

Set in a beautifully eclectic world of suspicion, super abilities, and monsters, Storm Siren is a story of power. And whoever controls that power will win.

My Thoughts:
Books focused on the elemental powers have always drawn my attention. A vestige left from my Avatar:The Last Airbender obsession. Adding to that, it's also a story of her training to control her powers, which is also something I love to read about. I find it cliche that she's obviously going to fall in love with her trainer....but ehhh.

Extra Information:
Release Date: August 19, 2014
Hardcover: 320 Pages
Publisher: Harpercollins
Genre: Fantasy

The Storm Siren Trilogy:
Book One: Storm Siren
Book Two: Unknown
Book Three: Unknown

How about you? What book are you waiting on this Wednesday?

Monday, August 11, 2014

The Kiss of Deception by Mary Pearson

The Kiss of Deception by Mary PearsonReading Level: Ages 12 and up
Paperback: 492 Pages
Release Date: July 8, 2014
Publisher: Henry Holt
Narration: First Person: Lia,
Third Person: Rafe, Kaden
Genre: Fantasy/Magic
Source: Library

The Remnant Chronicles:
Book One: The Kiss of Deception
Book Two: The Heart of Betrayal
Book Three: Unknown

Order On Amazon: Hardcover
Order On Barnes and Noble:
Hardcover and Nook

Goodreads  Website  Twitter

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Goodreads Synopsis:

A princess must find her place in a reborn world.
She flees on her wedding day.
She steals ancient documents from the Chancellor's secret collection.
She is pursued by bounty hunters sent by her own father.
She is Princess Lia, seventeen, First Daughter of the House of Morrighan.

The Kingdom of Morrighan is steeped in tradition and the stories of a bygone world, but some traditions Lia can't abide. Like having to marry someone she's never met to secure a political alliance.

Fed up and ready for a new life, Lia flees to a distant village on the morning of her wedding. She settles in among the common folk, intrigued when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive—and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deceptions swirl and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets—secrets that may unravel her world—even as she feels herself falling in love

My Review:

DNF at Pg. 336 
Because of this, my review only reflects the portion that I read.

The pacing is so unbearably slow. The whole book, at least to the point I read, basically just revolved around her everyday life. Great. You Work. And pick berries. HURRAH! The setting and the theme were both intriguing, which is why I was pretty interested in the beginning of the novel, but it went straight downhill from there. Most things weren't explained well, if they were explained at all. The book itself had more unrealistic happenings than realistic ones. I found it hard to believe how easy it was for the freaking First Daughter to escape so easy. And after she escaped, only 3 people were able to find her? Everyone goes on and on about her skills in tracking and covering her tracks, but I highly doubt it. From the way she described her getaway, concealing her path was the last thing on her mind. Screaming at the top of your lungs? Yep, that's not telling at all. 

Another thing I was irritated by was her utter lack of concern for her kingdom. Yes, she's been shaped and molded and told what to do and ignored her whole life, but even if she's had that sort of childhood, wouldn't it be decent for her to at least consider the needs of her people over her own desires and dreams? People are dying, and all she cares about is finding her one true love. Which of course brings us to the love triangle. To be honest, I spent the entire first half of the story believing Rafe was Kaden and Kaden was Rafe. So either Pearson's writing was weird or I'm terribly unobservant. I mean, in my defense, their POV titles were The Assassin and The Prince. When Lia actually crossed paths with them, the way they acted made me automatically assume that Rafe was the assassin and Kaden was the prince. Imagine my surprise when the POVs switched near the end to Rafe and Kaden instead of The Prince and The Assassin. As I said, the fault probably lies solely on me, but this has never happened to me before, so I don't even know anymore. Either way, both boys were blah to me. Insta-love connection kills my happiness. That's all I have to say to that.

Update: I finally understand that the POV names were The Assassin and The Prince for a reason and that the author wanted us to be almost as much in the dark about the characters' identities as Lia. Hitting myself at the moment, because of how slow I feel. I give props to the author for introducing the characters in such an innovative fashion; however, I still don't think it was executed well. It would've been mind-blowing if Pearson dropped tiny clues here and there about their true identities so that in the end I could've had one of those Aha! moments. But I really didn't feel it, at least for the portion I read. Maybe things were explained out better at the end? 

Cover- 6/5 Swooning over the cover. *.*
Heroine- 2.5/5
Romance- 2/5 Insta-Connection, Unrealistic
Action- 2/5
Writing- 3/5 Writing style wasn't bad, but it was difficult at times to follow the author's train of thought.
Overall- 2.5/5