Honor Has No Place In Survival // SPOILER FREE ARC REVIEW: Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth

 photo CarveTheMark_Roth_EpicReads_zpsl4sdxhr7.jpgCarve the Mark
Author: Veronica Roth
Series: Untitled Duology
Genre(s): Science Fiction, Adventure
Release Date: 1/17/17
Stars:
5/5

Goodreads Description

On a planet where violence and vengeance rule, in a galaxy where some are favored by fate, everyone develops a currentgift, a unique power meant to shape the future. While most benefit from their currentgifts, Akos and Cyra do not—their gifts make them vulnerable to others’ control. Can they reclaim their gifts, their fates, and their lives, and reset the balance of power in this world?

Cyra is the sister of the brutal tyrant who rules the Shotet people. Cyra’s currentgift gives her pain and power—something her brother exploits, using her to torture his enemies. But Cyra is much more than just a blade in her brother’s hand: she is resilient, quick on her feet, and smarter than he knows.

Akos is from the peace-loving nation of Thuvhe, and his loyalty to his family is limitless. Though protected by his unusual currentgift, once Akos and his brother are captured by enemy Shotet soldiers, Akos is desperate to get his brother out alive—no matter what the cost. When Akos is thrust into Cyra’s world, the enmity between their countries and families seems insurmountable. They must decide to help each other to survive—or to destroy one another.

Allegiant came out when I was in 7th grade. That was the last book Roth published and that was a fair amount of years ago. This January, Roth brings us the first book in her newest duology, Carve the Mark. Set in a world similar to that of Star Wars with multiple planets, Carve the Mark is ready to stun the eyes of readers all over the world regardless if they liked her debut, Divergent. 

Carve the Mark is undoubtedly a unique novel coming from concepts that I myself have never read in the YA world. Though it starts off at a slow pace, unlike Divergent it is clear that Roth’s writing has grown so much. The pace is slow, yet meaningful. As I was reading I could feel the story coming together and I could feel myself getting to know the characters better.

Let’s start with Akos. Akos is definitely one of those characters that I had trouble connecting with at first. In fact, I had trouble connecting with all of the characters. Though, especially Akos because he’s a dude. It kind of makes sense there. Like I said, Akos was a questionable character at first, but as the story carried onward I must admit that he quickly became one of my favorite. Cyra on the other hand is quite the opposite of Akos and though she does carry the traits of many YA heroines, her character remains unique. There was definitely something different about her that made her feel special.

The plot of the Carve the Mark was slow. It is a long book. Not super long, but definitely a decent size and being a larger book I definitely assumed for a faster paced novel. I didn’t get a faster paced novel but Roth definitely explores the world well and creates a good balance of all the characters. We don’t see many side characters that are only on the page once. I can definitely see the relation Carve the Mark has to Star Wars. With several different planets and space ships and the “Current” and all that jazz, yet the novel definitely stays true to its story and is unlike any I’ve ever read before.

Overall, I would definitely say to read Carve the Mark even if you disliked Divergent. Carve the Mark is completely different than Divergent in every way with characters that aren’t copy cats of Tris and Four not to mention it’s like in SPACE.

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Are you excited for Carve the Mark? Did you enjoy the Divergent series? Let me know down below in the comments!

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Ever the Brave // ARC Review: Ever the Hunted by Erin Summerill

 photo 28114396_zpsgkvzjgif.jpgEver the Hunted
Author: Erin Summerill
Series: Clash of Kingdoms #1
Genre(s): High Fantasy, Romance,
Release Date: 12/27/16
Stars:
3.5/5 STARS

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Goodreads Description

Seventeen year-old Britta Flannery is at ease only in the woods with her dagger and bow. She spends her days tracking criminals alongside her father, the legendary bounty hunter for the King of Malam—that is, until her father is murdered. Now outcast and alone and having no rights to her father’s land or inheritance, she seeks refuge where she feels most safe: the Ever Woods. When Britta is caught poaching by the royal guard, instead of facing the noose she is offered a deal: her freedom in exchange for her father’s killer.

However, it’s not so simple.

The alleged killer is none other than Cohen McKay, her father’s former apprentice. The only friend she’s ever known. The boy she once loved who broke her heart. She must go on a dangerous quest in a world of warring kingdoms, mad kings, and dark magic to find the real killer. But Britta wields more power than she knows. And soon she will learn what has always made her different will make her a daunting and dangerous force.


Ever the Hunted
by Erin Summerill is one of those books that though it has an interesting plot that grabs the reader in, but it lacks worldbuilding and other essentials of a good fantasy novel. Ever the Hunted holds a touch of magic, clashing kingdoms and a very interesting love story.

One of my favorite parts of Ever the Hunted was our epic main character. Britta Flannery does follow the traits of the main heroine who is brave, snarky, and and of course totally badass but though she follows these typical traits, I still liked her. Britta follows a lot of human traits that sometimes are lacking in novels like being misguided, or desperate. Sometimes, I feel like female heroines become so brave, or so sarcastic/comedic that they cross the line into stupidity. Britta does not do this. The characters of Ever the Hunted were definitely strong, they had history, they had personality and most of all almost each and every single one of them had a purpose in the story and they weren’t just there to be there. If that makes any sense at all.

The plot of Ever the Hunt for the most part was well paced. Big action scenes were appropriately placed and when there wasn’t a huge action scene, instead there was a huge revelation or a swoony moment. The beginning of the story does very well for the reader because Summerill definitely hooks the reader in and fast. There wasn’t a dull moment in the beginning. The world building I thought was average, not spectacular and not necessarily terrible. I found it to be enticing but I was not fully captured by the world in comparison to other fantasy books.

I really liked the end, in a way it kind of was a cliffhanger, but it still concluded the story very well. I think that though the end had a good conclusion, the end, or more like the climax of the story felt awfully rushed. Having more of a buildup to the climax before having the biggest part of the story happen in a chapter would have benefit the story a lot. Though the world building suffered, I thought the magic was nice. I really loved how Summerill described how the magic worked. The magic itself wasn’t the most creative method of magic, but I enjoyed the way it was described because it was just wonderful. I could truly picture it and that was what made the magic more unique if anything.

Overall, I liked Ever the Hunted a lot and though it had some flaws in it, I would be interested in reading the next one. My final rating is 3.5/5 stars mostly from the the lack of world building. Thanks for reading guys!

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Have you read Ever the Hunted yet? If so, what did you think? If not, do you plan on getting it? Let me know down below in the comments! 🙂

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Love is in the Air // ARC Review: The Secret of a Heart Note by Stacey Lee

 photo Secret of a Heart note_zpsrkfclnho.jpgThe Secret of a Heart Note
Author:
Stacey Lee
Series: Standalone
Genre(s): Romance, Magic
Release Date: 12/27/16
Stars:
5 STARS

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Goodreads Description

Sometimes love is right under your nose. As one of only two aromateurs left on the planet, sixteen-year-old Mimosa knows what her future holds: a lifetime of weeding, mixing love elixirs, and matchmaking—all while remaining incurably alone. For Mim, the rules are clear: falling in love would render her nose useless, taking away her one great talent. Still, Mimosa doesn’t want to spend her life elbow-deep in soil and begonias. She dreams of a normal high school experience with friends, sports practices, debate club, and even a boyfriend. But when she accidentally gives an elixir to the wrong woman and has to rely on the lovesick woman’s son, the school soccer star, to help fix the situation, Mim quickly begins to realize that falling in love isn’t always a choice you can make.

The Secret of a Heart Note by Stacey Lee is a perfect spice of romance and growing up. In addition, Lee adds a nice little touch of magic to the general story with our adorable main character, Mim, being an Aromateur. A type of “Witch” that has a nose unlike any other. Mim can smell the heart notes and the personality of the people around her, her ability to do this allows her to create the non-cliché version of a Love Potion.

Mimosa, the main character is what makes this book so fantastic. Her character is so unique. Not to mention, POC, and gosh yes I just loved it so much. One of my favorite things about Mimosa was that though she made mistakes, she is determined to fix them. Some books follow a similar plot, but they are written in such a way that the character sounds petulant and angsty. I felt none of this with Mim. Mim was definitely her own character. Moving on to Court (which I’ll be honest I find that a ridiculous name), he was a normal guy. Perhaps a little cute, the star soccer player, but I loved how he was quite simply just a dude. He had family problems but wasn’t a broken-hearted misunderstood teenage boy like many other teenage boys in YA. He was an extremely comforting character and I thought he supported and stood by Mim really well.

Moving to the plot, I felt like the plot was fantastic. I thought it was so much fun. I loved loved LOVED the concept of this book and the plot kept me loving it more throughout the entirety of the story. The beginning of course isn’t the fastest thing in the world especially, but it was only “slow” for about 30 pages before we get into interesting conflicts. The romance aspect of the plot was adorable and though The Secret of a Heart Note is definitely about love, it isn’t solely focused about love. Does that make any sense? I found the the romance plot mainly focused on Mim and the other characters in the story and how they developed. On a site note, I want to make sure you guys know Mim is only 15. I was stunned by this because I’m 15 and no way would I get a love story that epic at 15…hehe… anyway…

Overall, I really loved The Secret of a Heart Note. This was the first book of Stacey Lee’s that I’ve read and it has definitely convinced me to read some of her other works. Everything about The Secret of a Heart Note was epic and a definite 5 out of 5 stars. I recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a cute fuzzy romance with a spice of magic.

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Have you read The Secret of a Heart Note yet? If so, what do you think? Are you anticipating this book?

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