BOOK REVIEW | THE HALF DROWNED KING, BY LINNEA HARTSUYKER

Title: the Half Drowned King

Author: Linnea Hartsuyker

Series Number: 1

Publication Date: August 1, 2017

Genres: Historical Fiction

Where I received the book: I received a copy of this book from Hachette NZ in exchange for a honest review.

Star rating:★★★★

Summary: 

Since the death of Ragnvald Eysteinsson’s father in battle, he has worked hard to protect his sister Svanhild and planned to inherit his family’s land when he comes of age. But when the captain of his ship tries to kill him on the way home from a raiding excursion, he must confront his stepfather’s betrayal, and find a way to protect his birthright. It is no easy feat in Viking-Age Norway, where a hundred petty rulers kill over parcels of land, and a prophesied high king is rising.

But where Ragnvald is expected to bleed, and even die, for his honour, Svanhild is simply expected to marry well. It’s not a fate she relishes, and when the chance to leave her stepfather’s cruelty comes at the hand of her brother’s arch-rival, Svanhild is forced to make the ultimate choice: family or freedom.

Drawing from the Icelandic Sagas, The Half-Drowned King takes inspiration from the true story of Ragnvald of Maer, the right hand man of King Harald Fairhair, first king of all Norway, and his sister, Svanhild, as she tries to find freedom in a society where the higher her brother rises, the greater her worth as a political pawn.

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BOOK REVIEW | GATHER THE DAUGHTERS, BY JENNIE MELAMED

Title: Gather the Daughters

Author: Jennie Melamed

Series Number: 1

Publication Date: July 25, 2017

Genres: Science Fiction, Dystopia

Where I received the book: I received a copy of this book from Hachette NZ in exchange for a honest review.

Star rating:★★★☆

Summary: GATHER THE DAUGHTERS tells the story of an end-of-the-world cult founded years ago when ten men colonised an island. It’s a society in which men reign supreme, breeding is controlled, and knowledge of the outside world is kept to a minimum. Girls are wives-in-training: at the first sign of puberty, they must marry and have children. But until that point, every summer, island tradition dictates that the children live wildly: running free, making camps, sleeping on the beach. And it is at the end of one such summer that one of the youngest girls sees something so horrifying that life on the island can never be the same again.

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BOOK REVIEW | THE WAKING LAND BY CALLIE BATES

Title: Dividing Eden

Author: Joelle Charbonneau

Series Number: 1

Publication Date: June 29, 2017

Genres: YA Urban Fantasy, Paranormal

Where I received the book: I received a copy of this book from HachetteNZ in exchange for a honest review.

Star rating:★★★★

Summary: It’s been fourteen years, since King Antoine took Elanna hostage. Fourteen years since her father’s rebellion failed. Fourteen years spent being raised by the man who condemned her people to misery. A man she’s come to love as a father.

Now 20, Elanna is about to be taken prisoner once again… but this time by her father’s mysterious righthand man.

Her father wants to reignite his rebellion, this time using Elanna as figurehead. He will tell his followers she is the legendary Wildegarde reborn, a sorceress who could make the very earth tremble.

But what no one knows is that magic really does flow through Elanna’s veins. Now she must decide which side she’s on, and whether she’ll use her powers for mercy… or revenge.

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BOOK REVIEW | FLAME IN THE MIST, BY RENEE AHDIEH

Title: Flame in the Mist

Author: Renee Ahdieh

Series Number: 1

Publication Date: May 16, 2017

Genres: YA Fantasy

Where I received the book: I received a copy of this book from Hachette NZ in exchange for a honest review.

Star rating:★★★

Summary: The only daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has always known she’d been raised for one purpose and one purpose only: to marry. Never mind her cunning, which rivals that of her twin brother, Kenshin, or her skills as an accomplished alchemist. Since Mariko was not born a boy, her fate was sealed the moment she drew her first breath.

So, at just seventeen years old, Mariko is sent to the imperial palace to meet her betrothed, a man she did not choose, for the very first time. But the journey is cut short when Mariko’s convoy is viciously attacked by the Black Clan, a dangerous group of bandits who’ve been hired to kill Mariko before she reaches the palace.

The lone survivor, Mariko narrowly escapes to the woods, where she plots her revenge. Dressed as a peasant boy, she sets out to infiltrate the Black Clan and hunt down those responsible for the target on her back. Once she’s within their ranks, though, Mariko finds for the first time she’s appreciated for her intellect and abilities. She even finds herself falling in love—a love that will force her to question everything she’s ever known about her family, her purpose, and her deepest desires.

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BOOK REVIEW | DIVIDING EDEN, JOELLE CHARBONNEAU

Title: Dividing Eden

Author: Joelle Charbonneau

Series Number: 1

Publication Date: June 29, 2017

Genres: YA Urban Fantasy, Paranormal

Where I received the book: I received a copy of this book from Harper Collins NZ in exchange for a honest review.

Star rating:★★★☆

Summary: Twins Carys and Andreus were never destined to rule Eden. With their older brother next in line to inherit the throne, the future of the kingdom was secure.

But appearances—and rivals—can be deceiving. When Eden’s king and crown prince are killed by assassins, Eden desperately needs a monarch, but the line of succession is no longer clear. With a ruling council scheming to gain power, Carys and Andreus are faced with only one option—to take part in a Trial of Succession that will determine which one of them is worthy of ruling the kingdom.

As sister and brother, Carys and Andreus have always kept each other safe—from their secrets, from the court, and from the monsters lurking in the mountains beyond the kingdom’s wall. But the Trial of Succession will test the bonds of trust and family.

With their country and their hearts divided, Carys and Andreus will discover exactly what each will do to win the crown. How long before suspicion takes hold and the thirst for power leads to the ultimate betrayal?

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BOOK REVIEW | TALES FROM THE SHADOWHUNTER ACADEMY, BY CASSANDRA CLARE

Title: Tales From the Shadowhunter Academy

Author: Cassandra Clare

Series Number: 1

Publication Date: July 1, 2017

Genres: YA Urban Fantasy, Paranormal

Where I received the book: I received a copy of this book from Walker Books in exchange for a honest review.

Star rating:★★★★

Summary: Simon Lewis has been a human and a vampire, and now he is becoming a Shadowhunter. But the events of City of Heavenly Fire left him stripped of his memories, and Simon isn’t sure who he is anymore. He knows he was friends with Clary, and that he convinced the total goddess Isabelle Lightwood to go out with him…but he doesn’t know how. And when Clary and Isabelle look at him, expecting him to be a man he doesn’t remember…Simon can’t take it.

So when the Shadowhunter Academy reopens, Simon throws himself into this new world of demon-hunting, determined to find himself again. His new self. Whomever this new Simon might be.

But the Academy is a Shadowhunter institution, which means it has some problems. Like the fact that non-Shadowhunter students have to live in the basement. And that differences—like being a former vampire—are greatly looked down upon. At least Simon is trained in weaponry—even if it’s only from hours of playing D&D.

Join Simon on his journey to become a Shadowhunter, and learn about the Academy’s illustrious history along the way, through guest lecturers such as Jace Herondale, Tessa Gray, and Magnus Bane. These ten short stories give an epilogue to the Mortal Instruments series and provide glimpses of what’s in store in the Dark Artifices.

MIGHTYAPE

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BOOK REVIEW | THE DRAGONS OF NOVA, BY ELISE KOVA.

Title: Dragons of Nova

Author: Elise Kova

Series Number: 2

Publication Date: July 11, 2017

Genres: Fantasy

Where I received the book: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a honest review.

Star rating:★★★☆

Summary: Cvareh returns home to his sky world of Nova with the genius crafter Arianna as his temperamental guest. The mercurial inventor possesses all the Xin family needs to turn the tides of a centuries-old power struggle, but the secrets she harbors must be earned with trust — hard to come by for Ari, especially when it comes to Dragons. On Nova, Ari finds herself closer to exacting vengeance against the traitor who killed everything — and everyone – she once loved. But before Ari can complete her campaign of revenge, the Crimson Court exposes her shadowed past and reveals something even more dangerous sparking between her and Cvareh.

While Nova is embroiled in blood sport and political games, the rebels on Loom prepare for an all-out assault on their Dragon oppressors. Florence unexpectedly finds herself at the forefront of change, as her unique blend of skills — and quick-shooting accuracy — makes her a force to be reckoned with. For the future of her world, she vows vengeance against the Dragons.

Before the rebellion can rise, though, the Guilds must fall.

BOOK DEPOSITORY

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BOOK REVIEW | WHEN DIMPLE MET RISHI BY SANDHYA MENON

Title: When Dimple Met Rishi

Author: Sandhya Menon

Series Number: 1

Publication Date: May 30, 2017

Genres: YA Contemporary

Where I received the book: I received a copy of this book from Hachette NZ in exchange for a honest review.

Star rating:★★★★

Summary: The rom-com that everyone’s talking about! Eleanor & Park meets Bollywood in this hilarious and heartfelt novel about two Indian-American teens whose parents conspire to arrange their marriage.

Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?

Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.

The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?

Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.

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BOOK REVIEW | BREAKWATER BY CATHERINE JONES PAYNE

Title: Breakwater

Author: Catherine Jones Payne

Series Number: 1

Publication Date: May 30, 2017

Genres: YA Fantasy

Where I received the book: I received a copy of this book from the publishers via netgalley in exchange for a honest review.

Star rating:★★★★

Summary: A red tide is rising.

As the daughter of one of the mer-king’s trusted advisors, seventeen-year-old Jade has great responsibilities. When her fiancé murders a naiad, plunging the underwater city of Thessalonike into uproar, tensions surge between the mer and the naiads. Jade learns too late that the choices she makes ripple further than she’d ever imagined. And as she fights against the tide of anger in a city that lives for scandal, she discovers danger lurking in every canal, imperiling her family and shattering the ocean’s fragile peace.

Can the city’s divisions be mended before the upwelling of hate rips apart everything Jade loves?

AMAZON

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BOOK REVIEW | ONE OF US IS LYING, BY KAREN M. McMANUS

Title: One of Us is Lying

Author: Karen M. McManus

Series Number: 1

Publication Date: June 1, 2017

Genres: YA Contemporary, Mystery

Where I received the book: I received a copy of this book from Penguin NZ in exchange for a honest review.

Star rating:★★★★

Summary: Yale hopeful Bronwyn has never publicly broken a rule.

Sports star Cooper only knows what he’s doing in the baseball diamond.

Bad body Nate is one misstep away from a life of crime.

Prom queen Addy is holding together the cracks in her perfect life.

And outsider Simon, creator of the notorious gossip app at Bayview High, won’t ever talk about any of them again.

He dies 24 hours before he could post their deepest secrets online. Investigators conclude it’s no accident. All of them are suspects.

Everyone has secrets, right?

What really matters is how far you’ll go to protect them.

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