Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Fireblood by Trisha Wolfe

""She has fire in her blood. She's clever and fearless, burns with determination." A crooked smile tugs at his lips. "And she's stubborn as hell.""

Book: Fireblood by Trisha Wolfe
Bookdictive Categorization: YA/Dystopia
It's a LOT like Poison Study+The Selection
Rating: 4/5 stars
Procurement: Netgalley ARC
Recommend? If yes, to whom?: FO SHO, to anyone who likes dystopia and YA or even NA. There's nothing too heavy, but it holds your attention. Also, I'd highly recommend it if you liked Poison Study or The Selection, as the main character trains to fight and is randomly selected to be a princess. 

This review should really be titled Mollie and the Too Good to be True Review. This book had five star potential and then BOOMBOOM a star faded away. This does not happen often, my friends. Books don't generally tease me.
This was the most appropriate gif I could find of a "tease" but Anastasia is ALWAYS acceptable. 

No, books surprise, excite, and delight me. They also disappoint, depress, and scare me sometimes. But never tease. 
So imagine my surprise when I read Fireblood by Trisha Wolfe. (Do not be turned off by my iffy tone, which continues on in this review--I REALLY REALLY LIKED THIS BOOK! I promise!). At first, I was intrigued by the Arthurian dystopian, about a girl who is randomly selected to be the betrothed of Prince Sebastian, son of the evil King Hart and future ruler of Karm, aka Kingdom Inside of a Bubble. 
What a weird mashup, right?? But like world building, I'm ALL for mashups. And though it was odd at first, I think this one worked. 
But, simply put: Zara and her dad, who is infected by a generic dystopian virus called the Virus, live on a cloning farm on the outskirts of the kingdom of Karm. Karm is supposed to be like Camelot. Naturally, there is a Round Table (it doesn't play much of a role), electric swords, jousting, outdated speech, banned literature, a secret Rebel group that wants to overthrow the king, and lots of other dystopian tropes. The world building is awesome, but there wasn't anything new to the dystopian elements. Like, duh, of course there is a rebel group. Of course Zara was raised to doubt her kingdom, and feel unsettled about the totalitarian rule. And of COURSE she's the key element. But honestly, none of this matters. OKAY, NOW FOR THE FANGIRLING!
Zara and the first knight to Prince Sebastian, Devlan, are AWESOME. I loved them both. Devlan is one of the hottest YA/NA creations I've ever read. This book doesn't seem to be romantical at first, but it totally is. It's like Poison Study but more intense. The moment Devlan and Zara finally kissed was the happiest moment of my entire day. I WANTED TO DANCE FOR JOY!!!! (but I was laying down)
At this point, you're probably thinking, "Well, if you liked it so much, then why was it too good to be true?" 
Prince Sebastian is what makes this story too good to be true. Every. Single. Damn. Thing that made me love this book ended up giving me a whale face at the conclusion because of Prince Sebastian. Yes, my face looked like -____________-.
Sebastian is kind of underdeveloped--we never really get to see inside his head except for when he has a few soft moments with Zara and reveals that he chose her because he saw her on a video feed and admired her silent strength. There are a few other moments, but he's a character that holds a lot of intrigue. You never really know what he's going to do. Sometimes, he's like forcefully sexual, and other times, he's just cruel. But after awhile, you get the impression that he's just, well, kind of naive and hopelessly in love with Zara. 
And then....King Hart, Sebastian's father, is found dead by Zara (she wanted to assassinate him, but changed her mind, and wanted to convince Sebastian to so he could make the realm a better place. Oh btw, you learn NOTHING about Hart, except at the very end where I'm like 90% sure he's part cyborg) right after Zara reveals that she is a Rebel to Sebastian. Instead of like, I don't know, being the same character he's been, HE BECOMES EVIL! It's like he was wearing a mask and then *whoosh* he changes into a cruel, sadistic evil king. I was like
To top it all off, Sebastian is then killed. He just gets killed off, because he's evil, and that's what happens to evil dudes. There is no resolution, no redemption, just lots of fail. This was enough to sadly knock a star off of what I believed to be a five-star review. 


I would definitely recommend Fireblood. I found the characters enjoyable, the storyline engaging, and I couldn't stop reading it. This is definitely part of my Best of YA list. I would love to read it again (not that I have time to reread anymore) and especially love to see another installment! I don't know if it's a series but fingers crossed!

***an electronic ARC of this book was provided to me through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review, and in no way reflects anything beyond my gif-induced beliefs***

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Double Header: A Bookdictive REVIEW of the Grimoire Saga, Books 1 and 2

Didn't I tell you that times were changin' here at Bookdictive Reviews? I just hosted my first giveaway! I was, well, confused. I'm not a new blogger but I never thought I was ready to host anything. I need a mentor! Which sucks, because I've been getting TONS AND TONS AND TONS OF POSITIVE FEEDBACK from you guys! So before I forget...
Shout-out to all of you who participated in my Grimoire giveaway--way more than I thought would enter!--and who have recently joined the blog. At 100 followers, I'll be hosting my own personal giveaway, featuring a NYT Bestselling author! So get the word out! 

Okay, now for the reviews! SPOILERS ABOUND SO YE BEWARE!

Book: Lichgates and Treason, Books 1 and 2 of the Grimoire Saga by S.M. Boyce
Bookdictive Categorization: NA/Fantasy
Main character is college-aged, and most of the plot takes place in another realm through a magical portal.
Rating: 4/5 stars (Book 1) and 5/5 stars (Book 2)
Procurement: From the author
Recommend? If yes, to whom?: YES, but specifically to those who enjoy high fantasy and YA/NA but want something more relatable i.e. A main character they could identify with. Also to those who don't want frivolity (don't we all though?). 

Lichgates (I really liked this cover!) 

"Though it may sometimes seem as if life is decided for us, remember that in all actions before this, you made the choices which brought you here. You alone decide where to go next. There is always a choice."
And oh, what a choice! The main character Kara Magari travels through a lichgate (like a magic portal) to the world of Ourea (in my head, it's pronounced like 'aura' and I'm beyond jealous because that's a super awesome name). Kara starts out super tragically though. I found it almost unbearable because immediately, she starts talking about her mom, whom she feels like she killed. And then right away, HER DAD DIES. I can't even imagine. Can we just take a second to just FEEL for Kara? It breaks my heart. Unlike other fantasy books, Kara didn't start as an orphan. She's just living with this immense, dark guilt. And yes, she brings it up quite often. I personally can't handle it but I doubt others have this same difficulty. Okay, so she's in Ourea because she can't go back to the human world, and ENTER BRAEDEN. 
Okay, fair warning: You won't love Braeden easily. I did not appreciate him until the second book. He's kind of weak at first, but he really grows over the course of the book. So if you're like "wow this guy isn't swoon-worthy at all" TRUST ME, IT GETS BETTER.

I feel like Boyce did this on purpose, so she can set up the story and have the reader not focus on any romance at first. 
I'm not going to try and explain all of the different races of people--even I don't fully understand them. But there's a war going on, there's shapeshifting, and most importantly, the Grimoire.
If you've been following my reviews, you'll know that I reviewed a book a longggg time ago called UnEnchanted. This book featured a Grimoire, so I already knew what it was...well, kind of...this one had nothing to do with the Brothers Grimm but I DID know it was a magical book.
So the Grimoire is what tells Kara about the world of Ourea, and turns her into the Vagabond, which is an unbiased peace bringer and basically the savior of the realm.
I don't want to keep summarizing so I'll start giving my opinion now! 

Admittedly, it took me awhile to get into the book. The beginning started out fine, but then in the middle it started to drag. I think part of the problem was because the focus kept shifting to Braeden, and that there were too many species/characters thrown at me at once. However, when the action started and Braeden and Kara started traveling around Ourea, I became more invested. 
For the most part, it had a fast pace. However, sometimes it was too fast. I remember being mad at one point because I wasn't given a lot of description. Kara just sort of kept finding these lost pieces of a map that would lead her to the secret Vagabond village waaaaay too easily. Like girl, when is it ever as easy as finding a lost artifact on your first try? There were little things like this that kept happening, but I got over it because eventually, the story sucked me in.

...Treason! (Not my favorite cover--I think the theme of the Vagabond symbol should have kept going)
I read Treason way more quickly than I did Lichgates. I'm sure part of it was the blossoming love between Braeden and Kara, but I think it was mostly because I finally started to appreciate the mysticism that Boyce pulled out of thin air. This story is not one that is based on mythology or folk tales (save for the idea of a grimoire and a lichgate) and that is HARD to do! 
The other thing that drew me in OTHER THAN THE ROMANCE was the struggle between good and evil. The story focused a little more on Braeden this time, the dark prince struggling to overcome his evil father. Braeden is a good guy who escaped his father's kingdom at an early age, and therefore doesn't believe in torturing people. However, he remains "dark" because he is still a Stelian (his race) and has an inherent enjoyment in killing. Morbid? Yeah maybe, but he's a tortured soul! Why? Because the romance YES THE ROMANCE really is important to the story: Kara straight up tells Braeden that they can't be together because she is the Vagabond and doesn't want him to get hurt. And that's where all of the drama is.
Well, not all of the drama. There's betrayal, deaths, and subplots. I really liked that I got to have more than just Kara's viewpoint. But Kara IS important--there's a spoiler that I just don't feel comfortable sharing because it was the one big WOAH that happened. Every book has one, and like most books, this one is towards the end. You'll know it when you see it.

So, after reading both books, I can proudly say that I got very attached to Braeden and Kara. I'm also super interested in seeing Deidre (the evil bitch who killed Kara's father) and her backstory more. She's an interesting villain. For a first series, I was very impressed. I think that Boyce's story will develop more and more throughout the series, and I cannot wait to see how it progresses! 

***these copies were provided to me by S.M. Boyce's promotion team for her blog tour in exchange for promotion and honest reviews***

Thursday, November 7, 2013

My very first BLOG TOUR!!!!

Hello there! I am super excited to inform you all that I am a tour host for the Grimoire Saga by S.M. Boyce! This explains why my updates have been lacking--in the little free time that I have, I've been reading her books! The tour will be visiting Bookdictive Reviews on November 12th, and at the bottom of this post, you'll find my VERY. FIRST. GIVEAWAY! I am a very selective person and wouldn't dare host a giveaway for something I didn't give my approval to, so definitely enter!

Kara Magari is about to discover a beautiful world full of terrifying things—Ourea.
Kara, a college student still reeling from her mother’s recent death, has no idea the hidden world of Ourea even exists until a freak storm traps her in a sunken library. With no way out, she opens an ancient book of magic called the Grimoire and unwittingly becomes its master, which means Kara now wields the cursed book’s untamed power. Discovered by Ourea's royalty, she becomes an unwilling pawn in a generations-old conflict—a war intensified by her arrival. In this world of chilling creatures and betrayal, Kara shouldn’t trust anyone… but she’s being hunted and can’t survive on her own. She drops her guard when Braeden, a native soldier with a dark secret, vows to keep her safe. And though she doesn’t know it, her growing attraction to him may just be her undoing.
For twelve years, Braeden Drakonin has lived a lie. The Grimoire is his one chance at redemption, and it lands in his lap when Kara Magari comes into his life. Though he begins to care for this human girl, there is something he wants more. He wants the Grimoire.

Buy Links:

 Kara Magari ignited a war when she stumbled into Ourea and found the Grimoire: a powerful artifact filled with secrets. To protect the one person she has left, she strikes a deal that goes against everything she believes in. But things don’t go as planned.

Braeden Drakonin can no longer run from who—and what—he is. He has to face the facts. He’s a prince. He’s a murderer. He’s a wanted man. And after a betrayal that leaves him heartbroken, he’s out for blood.

To survive, both Kara and Braeden must become the evil each has grown to hate.

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Kara Magari isn’t normal, even by Ourea’s standards—and in a world of shape-shifters and soul stealers, that’s saying something. To the royalty, she’s a loose cannon. To the masses, she’s a failure. But Kara’s arrival in Ourea started a war, and she’s going to end it. 

An ancient isen named Stone takes an interest in Kara’s training, and it turns out he has more answers than he originally led her to believe. In an effort to unearth a secret that might end the bloodshed, Kara instead discovers an ugly truth about her family—and how much she has in common with an infamous mass-murderer. 

Braeden Drakonin has slowly rebuilt his life after the betrayal that tore it apart. His father wants him dead, and frankly, his so-called allies wouldn’t mind that either. Private alliances are formed. Secrets are sold. Tension is driving the armies apart. A single battle will end this war, and it’s coming. Braeden may be a prince, but it will take more than that to survive. He must take the fight to his father’s door—and win.

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About the Author:

International Amazon Bestseller. Fantasy Author. Twitter addict. Book Blogger. Geek. Sarcastic. Gooey. Odd. Author of the action-packed Grimoire Saga.

S.M. Boyce is a novelist who loves ghosts, magic, and spooky things. She prefers loose-leaf tea, reads far too many books, and is always cold. She’s married to her soul mate and couldn’t be happier. Her B.A. in Creative Writing qualifies her to serve you french fries.

Boyce likes to update her blog a few times each week so that you have something to wake you up in the morning.

Connect with the Author:


One Lucky Winner will get a Signed Copy of Lichgates (Grimoire Saga #1) by S.M.Boyce. 

Giveaway Open to US Residents Only.


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