Book Reviews

Gemina (Illuminae Files), Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff, Marie Lu

Meanwhile, while everything that could possibly go wrong, is going wrong in the Kerenza Sector on the Hypatia. Heimdall Station is going on with life like everything is normal not knowing that they are next in the clean up job being handled by BeiTech Industries. Hanna Donnelly is normal teenage girl who’s hobbies include shopping, being the best in the Dojo, war games with her Dad, the Commander of Heimdall and the occasional “party favor” from our favorite neighborhood drug dealer Niklas “Nik” Malikov. Nik Malikov on the other hand is a part of “The House of Knives” gang, and once you’re in it, you’re in it for life. Heimdall Station is the wormhole jump point that the Hypatia is hoping to make it to in order to survive, but that they don’t know is that they are having a lot of technical difficulties with the wormhole, and that all of their radio transmissions are being filtered by a BeiTech operative on the inside of Heimdall Station With the upcoming holiday of Terra Day a lot of the crew of Heimdall station are either off station with loved ones or they are taking the evening off. They never knew that this would be a Terra Day they would never forget, especially for Hanna and Nik as they try to save their homes and themselves from the BeiTech operatives meant to wipe out the entire station.
 I absolutely loved this book. I don’t know why I don’t read more sci-fi because I have been really enjoying this series. Granted I have been listening to the entire thing on Audible, which is SO MUCH FUN! They use an entire cast on Audible and it just makes it so different than other audiobooks that I have listened to. I love how these books are paced. There’s enough time to know who the major characters are and be able to visualize the surroundings. I also love in this series how the women are not afraid to do what is necessary to save the world, they aren’t waiting for someone to uplift them and make them feel stronger, they know their worth and they kick butt doing it. The men of course are not helpless and do their own things to help, but they never try to put the women down. If at any point they hint that the women are weaker than them, the women are quick to let them know who they are and that they can get this done without them. I definitely recommend this book especially if you’ve already read Illuminae Files. Until next time,
Keep turning the Pages
India
Book Reviews

An Ember in the Ashes, Sabaa Tahir

An Ember in the Ashes follows two characters Laia and Elias on their different journeys and how they end up falling in and out of each others orbits. Laia is from a group of people called the Scholars that have been oppressed by the Martials and the empire. Frequently their friends and family go missing in the middle of the night or are killed by raids conducted by the deadly and unfeeling Masks. When Laia’s world gets turned upside down she tries to seek out the group called the resistance, who her parents used to be apart of. Only thing is when she finds them are they going to be the people who she wants and needs them to be, or without her parents guidance have they warped into something different.
Elias is first in his class and on the right path to be the best Mark in Blackcliff history, but he doesn’t want it. Elias wants to be free of all of the non-feeling, brutal, and brutish ways of the Masks, he wants to desert. Punishment for getting caught deserting is death in front of the whole school, so of course Elias can’t get caught. His best friend in the entire world, Helene, suspects something is going on with him, but she has her own feelings to deal with and is loyal to a fault to Blackcliff and the Masks. Elias believes that there is another way to be and he can’t stuff down his emotions anymore.
The two of them find out that they’re lives are not their own and that they have a higher calling to do more than is expected of them. They discover that within all of the hardships they have already faced there are plenty more in front of them, but now they have the chance to do something good and something that can change the world. They just have to survive first.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book! It honestly gets straight to the good stuff which is awesome because I hate when books take to long to get to where you need to be just to add some pages.  I thought that there was a good mixture of being true to who you are while fulfilling your obligations, but at the same time pushing back at the people who are doing the wrong things. I believed that Laia’s character was believable because even though we always want the heroine in the book to be brave immediately after something bad happens that’s just not always possible. It takes a while to find that inner courage and for awhile you have to fake it until you make it. Elias on the other hand had to make some true life and death situations and then is placed in a situation that he honestly can’t turn down and I loved that we got to see his background to figure out where these thoughts came from. I loved that this book was fast paced and made me keep wondering what the other person was doing at the time. Until next time,
Keep turning the Pages
      India

 

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
Book Reviews

Illuminae Files, Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Kady thought that her life could not get any worse. She had just broke up with her boyfriend, Ezra, and she thought that she was going to be able to move on and go off planet somewhere after graduation. Little did she know that going off planet was happening a lot faster than she expected. All of a sudden while sitting in class, all of the warning bells go off alerting the planet to an invasion. It is then that all chaos breaks loose and the everything that Kady knows and loves comes crumbling down around her. Kady is forced to try and find a way off the planet and to stay close to the ones she loves, and who love her. She is forced to flee the home that she knows and grow and learn more than she ever thought imaginable. Kady has to overcome her fears and reservations and become  a leader and warrior in her own right. The system is in the hands of a 16 year old girl and a palm pad.
I absolutely loved this book! I listened to it solely on audible. I did not buy the kindle version or the paper version of the book. They did such an amazing job on the audible version with a full cast and everything that I didn’t feel the need for either of those things.  I heard that if you try and read the actual copy it might be a little difficult to do. I enjoyed the story and the twists and turns that were associated with our main character Kady. I also loved the role that Ezra had to play as kind of her humanity and her voice of reason, and of course her anchor. AIDAN was his own character who also had his own role to play, which turned out to be a giant one. Who knew a computer program system could have so much personality when they are not supposed to. If you haven’t picked up the Illuminae Files by Amie Kauffman and Jay Kristoff I definitely recommend it and do it on Audible! You’ll enjoy it even more, I promise. I can’t wait to read Gemina and Obsidio when I get through some of my TBR. I have a review up on my channel now if you want to listen to it as well. You can check it out here. If you’ve read it what do you think? Any other sci-fi fantasy novels that you can recommend? Until next time,
Keep turning the Pages
India
Book Reviews

From Twinkle with Love, Sandhya Menon

— Short Story —

Twinkle Mehra has wanted to be a filmmaker since she was a little girl. She is constantly writing in her journal to famous female filmmakers in hopes of channeling their creative energy and overall bad assery as a women in film. At her school there is an annual showcase where students can create something and present it to their  fellow students at the end of the year. When a classmate of hers, Sahil Roy, and asks her if she would like to make a film for the showcase of course she says yes. Through out her entire time in high school she has always been one of the unseen people and she thinks by doing this she can become seen through out school. Maybe she can even be noticed by Sahil’s twin brother, Neil, who is the most popular boy in school. During her time working on the film she starts to make actual friends, and also starts to receive secret admirer emails from someone with the initial, N. She is certain that it’s Neil Roy who has decided to finally talk to her, and gets herself in a love triangle of sorts. The questions becomes, is being a director of her own film, too much for Twinkle to deal with?

— My Thoughts —

I liked the book. I didn’t love it. Some of the things that Twinkle goes through and says, is honestly downright silly and mean. She becomes so self centered with herself that she does not notice the people directly in front of her, and because of that she ruins a lot of relationships that she is just forming. I would say that it’s how any high school girl acts when she is trying to find herself, but that would not be true. All in all it’s not my favorite. I felt like if you changed the names of the characters you wouldn’t even be able to tell that there are brown people in the book. It could be From Rebecca with Love and it would still feel the same, and I think that’s one reason I really don’t like it.  I break down my thoughts a little bit more in my video. What did you think of From Twinkle with Love? Until next time,
Keep turning the Pages
India
Book Reviews

Tower of Dawn, Sarah J. Maas

— Short Story–

The Glass Castle has been shattered. The King of Aderland is dead and Chaol Westfall and Nesryn Feliq find themselves crossing oceans to find a way to save their country. Chaol has sustained a spinal cord injury, which has him paralyzed from the waist down.  It is their job, as the new Hand of the King, and the new Captain of the Guard to bring back support to continue fighting this war that is waging between Duke Perrington and basically the rest of the world. It is also to try and help Chaol find a healer at the Torre Cesme to help him walk again. While spending time in another leaders court, Nesryn and Chaol both have their tasks that they need to get accomplished, and both of them start to find their ways back to themselves and who they are to the core. Chaol, with the help of Yrene, finds that he needs to heal in more ways than the physical sense, and Nesryn finds what her soul has been missing. Both are still fiercely loyal to their country, but Antica has made them stronger in who they are in so many ways that they would not have felt in Antica. This story is about rediscovery of ones self and a willingness to keep going forward through the darkness.

— My Thoughts —

Omg omg omg omg I’m glad that I read this book. There’s something about Sarah J Maas books that are starting to feel like home to me. When I started listening to it on audible I immediately felt less stressed and ready to get back into this world. I never thought that the stories of Chaol and Nesryn were what I needed until I really got into it. I have never been a huge fan of either of them, but I through their journey in growth, I grew with them too. This book touches on the topic of what it’s like to go through a massive trauma and not have time or take the time to heal. Not just the physical parts, but the mental parts as well.  As someone in healthcare I fell for Irene’s story a lot. Irene herself has been through a lot of things in her life and has not dealt with them, but she finds joy in helping others and has a passion for it. In healthcare there are so many of us, if not everyone, who finds joy in helping others, but we often times let our own lives get the better of us because we don’t seek the emotional help that we need. Often times we let ourselves succumb to anxiety and depression because we believe there’s no one to help us, but enough about my, I mean our, problems let’s talk about this book.
I loved it!! It gave such great information that is going to be necessary in Kingdom if Ash, the final installment of Throne of Glass.  It introduced some new characters and a whole land that we can now visualize and understand as we go into the next book. Without this book she would have had to do a lot of back telling of places, events, and characters.  I thought that it was interesting getting to know Nesryn so much more and being able to understand and see what it is like to be a part of two worlds, but not feel wholly a part of both. To finally feel the freedom and enjoyment of ones own culture and heritage without judgement or persecution.
Some people believed that this book was not wholly necessary, and I disagree with that. I think that we needed some parts to better understand the last installment in Kingdom of Ash. I also believe once again people went in reading a Sarah J. Maas book with a lot of misconceptions on what the book was even though it was explained long before the book came out last year. Go into it with an open mind and remember that it is a PARALLEL to Empire of Storms, so while all of those events are happening, Chaol and Nesryn are in Antica. It is literally the next book after Queen of Shadows. You can go straight from that book to this one, the references made by Hasar during the book to Aelin’s doing and whereabouts will still make sense.
Now for another fun part! Over on my Instagram page I am doing a GIVEAWAY of Tower of Dawn! It is a signed copy and it is yours if you win the Giveaway. It is in no way sponsored! I got the book last year at SJM event for the book and I’ve been meaning to give it away for a long time now, I just wanted to read it first. The rules of the giveaway are this:
  1. You must be following me on Instagram
  2. You must like the picture
  3. You must tag a friend who you want to take to Antica with you
And that’s it! I’ll be choosing a random winner on Labor Day, September 3rd. The picture you’re looking for is the one at the top of the post, or click here!
What do you think of the Throne of Glass series? Have you read Tower of Dawn? What did you think? I’ll be posting a review on my Youtube channel soon, so be on the lookout for that!! Until next time,
Keep Turning the Pages
India