Hunter by Mercedes Lackey takes place in a world that is ravaged by monsters. The most fortunate people live inside cities that have a border protecting them from the monsters. The not-so-fortunate live outside the cities, left to fend for themselves. There are some people with the ability to battle and defeat monsters called Hunters. Joyeaux Charmand is a hunter who’s lived in the mountains her entire life. One day, she’s called by her uncle to go to the city, where she finds out that things aren’t as they seem. The situation keeps getting worse and worse and Joy might be too late to stop it.
I think that the author had a really good idea. I liked the mix of dystopian fiction and fantasy; however, the story was very repetitive and there was a lot of info-dumping. At the start of the story we get page-length descriptions of things that don’t add to the story. Approaching the middle, the story becomes really repetitive, with the same events taking place every couple of chapters. It’s only in the last couple of chapters that the story gets really interesting. I was forcing myself to read the book, thinking that it would eventually get interesting, but I was wrong. Overall, the author had an excellent idea, but their execution of said idea was rather poor. Personally, I wouldn’t recommend this book.
More Than This by Patrick Ness is a sci-fi/dystopian fiction novel about a boy named Seth who wakes up in the middle of an abandoned street after drowning. He’s unsure of whether he’s dead or alive. He explores the town and finds out that not only is the street where he woke up abandoned, but the entire town is also. The town is also quite familiar to him, but that’s impossible, he thinks. As he discovers more and more secrets, he finds out his entire life might have been a lie.
The plot of this story was really interesting, and I loved the writing style. The characters are very well-written and each had very distinct backgrounds, which I also loved. The reason why I took off two stars was because it was rather slow-paced and some parts became very repetitive. The story was around 500 pages long, but I think a more appropriate length would have been around 300 pages by editing out all the repetitive attack scenes. The book switches from “before” and “after” a lot, and I found myself just skimming through the “after” scenes until the end of the book because it became rather predictable after a while.
‘When’ by Victoria Laurie is about a girl named Maddie Fynn, who has the unique ability to see the death date of every single person she sees. Her mother makes her use her ability for fortune-telling so they can earn extra income. One day, Maddie points out the approaching death date of a little boy, but as she can only see dates (and not how the person dies), the client calls her a liar and leaves. The next week, when the boy goes missing, the police come to Maddie’s school to interrogate her. As more and more people begin to go missing, Maddie and her best friend are named prime suspects of the murder and Maddie also becomes a target of the investigation. Maddie is desperate to prove that her and her best friend are innocent and to catch the real serial killer.
I loved this book. There were so many people who I suspected but the real murderer ended up being someone who I never even thought of. It was a pretty quick but amazing read. I appreciated the fact that the author was straight to the point and didn’t drag anything out. It was a genuinely interesting book and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who likes murder mysteries.
Nina Zenik, Zoya Nazyalensky and Nikolai Lantsov are all fighting desperately to save their country. Nina has disguised herself and fights hard from inside the Fjerdan capital. Zoya sacrifices a part of herself to become the weapon her country needs. Nikolai uses everything in his power to get the help he needs to win this war. A war with Fjerda, a conflict with Shu Han and wavering relations with the Kerch—can Ravka really be saved?
Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse series is one of the best series I’ve ever read. The characters in this book were amazing, and their personalities weren’t lost or changed; they were the same as the previous books, which I liked because I hate it when characters go through a sudden change in personality (because it usually makes them worse). The plot was pretty intriguing and I really liked how this book was more about the political side of ruling a kingdom. Even though this is a fictional story, I liked how the portrayal of the kingdom, government and wars were pretty realistic. Nothing was too far-fetched. The book was much longer than the previous ones but it wasn’t without reason; there were lots of things happening and it didn’t feel like a slow-paced story.
#murdertrending by Gretchen McNeil is about an app where you can stream live feeds of convicted criminals being hunted down 24/7. Dee Guerrera has been framed for the brutal murder of her stepsister. She wakes up on Alcatraz 2.0, the island where the worst criminals must fight to survive as they are hunted down by hired serial killers. The citizens can watch these executions from the comfort of their homes for free on The Postman app. Dee teams up with others on the island to prove their innocence and expose the reality of Alcatraz 2.0, but can they do it before they’re hunted down?
The idea for this book was really cool and quite unique. The representation of social media and how that influenced the island was also pretty cool. The execution of the idea wasn’t so great, though. The story was incredibly rushed and felt a little undeveloped. I feel like the author could’ve added a couple more things to the plot because it didn’t feel like there were any subplots of any kind. This story had a lot more potential. I gave it three stars because, as I mentioned before, the idea was cool, and the climax of the story is really good. I would recommend this book if you don’t have anything else to read or if you’re looking for something that you can read quickly and isn’t that deep.
#murderfunding by Gretchen McNeil is about Becca, who’s struggling after losing her mom. A couple of days later, she encounters a girl named Seth, who tells her that her dead mother was none other than Molly Mauler, one of the hired serial killers on Alcatraz 2.0. After a new reality show, WHO WANTS TO BE A PANIAC?, is announced, Becca and Stef go to audition together, both on different missions. The show is said to be a follow up to Alcatraz 2.0 without any of the real blood and death. Becca is trying to prove her mom’s innocence, while Stef is trying to prove that Becca’s mom was indeed Molly Mauler. But the reality show proves deadlier than it seems when people are killed, and Becca ends up being caught up in the middle of it.
Out of the three books in this series, this one was my least favourite. The characters are really bland and don’t have much of a personality. The story was incredibly slow-paced, and the plot was really uninteresting until the last couple of chapters. I don’t think this book added to the series in any way. The only thing I liked was the fact that it went back and forth between the main characters from the last book and the main characters of this book. Honestly, if you’re reading this series, I would recommend skipping this book and reading the other two because this one does absolutely nothing to add to the trilogy and is poorly written.
#noescape by Gretchen McNeil is about a girl named Persey and the seven other contestants who are invited to participate in an all-star escape room competition with a huge $10 million prize. But soon into the challenge, the escape rooms prove personal and deadly. Contestants die off one by one. As they complete room after room, they start to suspect that they may all be connected in some way, and that they were chosen for this competition on purpose. This book is a prequel that predates the original series by 20 years.
This was my favourite book out of all the books in this series. It gave a really interesting backstory to the series, which was much more interesting than the plots of the other books. Unlike the other books, it wasn’t unpredictable. It was also quite well-written, which is a huge upgrade from the last book. Escape room stories can be a little boring, but I thought that this one was really good and some of the escape rooms were actually quite unique. This book gives a bit of backstory to the other books, and you end up finding out who was behind The Postman app, which was super interesting.
Lilac is now the queen of Stavin. But Lilac didn’t want to become the queen. She was forced to sacrifice her relationship with the boy she loved in order to become queen. While Lilac is suffering from this, a series of magical attacks hurt the citizens, and Lilac is framed for them. The citizens of Stavin were already uneasy about having a Renovian on the throne, and these attacks threatened Lilac’s reputation as queen. Cal is sent to Renovia to get to the bottom of these magical attacks, and Lilac is left to fight for her throne alone.
This book was sort of a downgrade from the last one. Lilac was a lot more likeable in the last one; in this book, she’s rather bland, boring and whiny. She’s become quite pathetic after being crowned queen. There isn’t much to her character anymore. The book was really uneventful and a total of three major things happened in the entire book. It was pretty slow and dragged out when it didn’t need to. I don’t know what happened to all the characters after the last book, but they became really confusing because they would contradict themselves a lot (especially Lilac and Cal). The reason why this got two stars is that I liked how it reflected how much someone’s reputation can impact them, whether the rumor’s are true or not, and the ending was well-written and it tied up the story nicely.
“In the final chapter of Alex and Aaron’s adventures in the land of The Unwanteds, Alex repairs the land of Quill after it burned to the ground during the battle with the elemental Gondoleery Rattrap. Aaron wishes to head back to the Island of Shipwrecks, as everybody is still distrustful of his sudden personality change. Alex receives a special request from a creature of the sea that could create powerful and dangerous allies. News comes from the Island of Legends that Karkinos is dying and drifting to the edge of the world. Henry sets off to help the crab and will use whatever it takes to save him. Meanwhile, Queen Eagala finds allies in the Island of Fire, creates the largest army yet, and prepares for what could be the end of the Unwanteds. In the final battle, trust will be put to the test as the allies of Artime must stand together to protect the Land of the Seven Islands from the only evil that remains. In the end, the strongest power is where you will least expect it.
Island of Dragons is the dramatic ending for The Unwanteds, more perfect than fans could have asked for. It ties up loose ends in the story, with some mysteries left to solve for Fifer and Thisbe in the next series. In the final book of this series, we feel sadness and loss, but there is also excitement about what is to come in the future. This book is one of my favourites, and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a variety of characters, mysteries, and magic.”
“At the beginning of the end of The Unwanted’s sixth book, a storm is brewing, literally. After Aaron’s capture from the Island of Fire pirates, Gondoleery Rattrapp’s elemental powers are strengthened, and she is bringing the biggest battle yet. Aaron struggles at the Island of Shipwrecks as he tries to escape the island and is polite and kind to the scientists who saved him, possibly giving him immortality. Alex gives up his search for his brother and begins planning a battle strategy with his friends and allies in Artime. However, Lani comes up with a plan that involves stealth, an unlikely ally, and obliteration. Meanwhile, Alex sets sail to save a stranger, trapped on the Island of Graves, who knows more secrets about the land of the seven islands than they thought. Liam Healey, banished from the palace and sent to the Ancient’s Sector with Aaron and Alex’s sisters, betrays order and risks his life trying to fix the terrible things he has done in his life. As the world ends in ice, wind and flame, will the Unwanteds survive again? Or will Henry finally use his magic seaweed?
The island of Silence is a work of art and a masterpiece. It shows the struggles of Aaron and Liam as they try to become better people, which connects to many people’s lives and individual struggles. The author helps capture our interest when new mysteries arise and gives us grief when we lose characters we care about. In the end, one feels joy, seemingly at the end of the worst battle, as nothing worse could come. However, the end is just beginning.”