Book Reviews

Origin (Professor Langdon #5) by Dan Brown

Origin (Robert Langdon, #5)Origin by Dan Brown
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Honestly, when I was about three quarters way through this book, I suddenly started founding it lackluster. I was even contemplating to give it three stars! For a Dan Brown book. I know, I couldn’t believe myself either. It was because the thing that we had anticipated in the most of the book, and I stayed up until four in the morning to get the big reveal, was obvious.
It wasn’t a ground-breaking new insight in the world that I have come to expect from Brown.
But THAT END THOUGH.
The whole reasoning behind the lackluster third act was to not over-shadow the ending. Which was done so subtly, hints dropping with such delicacy; the foreshadowing was subtle yet done really well. And the ending revelation was the classic Brown morphine we have all have came to love.
Definitely a must read!

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Book Reviews

Enchantment Lake (Northwood Mystery #1) by Margi Preus

Enchantment Lake (Northwoods, #1)Enchantment Lake by Margi Preus

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

3.75/5 stars.
Copy provided to me by the publisher for review.

Enchantment Lake is the story of a young girl, Francie, in pursuit of the acting career in New York when during an audition she receives a call from one of her Great-Aunts. The mysterious call hints on something relating to a murder, she is terrified and gets off to her hometown. That being a small settlement near a lake. The settlement is so remote that they don’t even have a road yet.
There is a talk about making a road going around the town, but most of the old dwellers are against it as they rightfully believe it will ruin the charm of this town and taint it with the same technological era.
But most of those old people are dying, mysteriously. Francie gets drawn to the whole mystery without even wanting to, mostly because her eccentric great-aunts has started a rumor that she is a big detective in New York. While in reality, she only played the role of a detective in a sitcom. A situation which I found quite amusing.
I was actually quite surprised how subtly the theme started playing out in the second half of the book. The theme of forest destruction prevention. I think it was done really well.
The protagonist herself, and most of the other characters in this book is quite eccentric and fun to read. The smalltown setting was done really well, to an extent that I almost knew most of the town myself and seeing those characters would always bring that sense of familiarity. Managing to do that in so little pages is quite a feat in my opinion.
The one issue I had with this book was the small romance aspect. I didn’t like the character mostly because he was the only normal and sane one among all the weirdness. But also because he was just so perfect and boring. The romance aspect wasn’t much explored though, so maybe in the future installment, that particular subplot will enrich. For now, I am not interested in the two of them.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I found it whimsical and magical, albeit being set in our world and had no speculative aspect in it, the feel was still magical.
So I would definitely recommend this book to read. 🙂

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Book Reviews

Our Dark Duet (Monsters of Verity #2) by Victoria Schwab!

Our Dark Duet (Monsters of Verity, #2)Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It’s clear that I am unable to give Schwab any fewer stars. Her fault, she writes such perfection.
Our Dark Duet took off from exactly the point TSS left off. I can’t delve much into the plot without spoiling anything, but basically, in this series, we follow two main characters, August and Kate, who lives in a futuristic dystopian-isque world where acts of violence have started manifesting into actual monsters. We have Malchai, who drink blood, Corsai who stays in shadows and eat flesh and bone. And lastly, the Sunai, who eats soul through music. The concept alone is awesome, right?
I was at first vary to dive back so suddenly, I even played with the idea in my mind to reread the first book. Alas, my schedule was hectic and I had no self-control thus I picked it up. The whole first book was hinted upon in this sequel in a way that didn’t felt on the nose while all the backstory got clear in my head.
This world was dark, to begin with, but in the second part, it got so much more gruesome. The writing style of Schwab was something that I always adored, but it shone especially bright in this book. Every word was chosen to precisely fit in a melody, each paragraph break was a part of a poem. That is also why it took me so long to finish this book because I savored and reread pages that were especially delicious.
Newer and more interesting were introduced, yet the characterization on the previous ones was not compromised.
My favorite part would be the expanding on the world-building. Not only we saw another city at the beginning of the book, which added much more richness to the story. But we also got to see the world through a Malchai’s perspective. Looking at North city and the actual dirty world of monsters through the perspective of their own was such a great addition.
The ending was as dark as it should be, as this story deserved, yet entirely believable and amazing.
Overall, I just adore this whole series and this writer. And highly recommend it.

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Book Reviews

Nyxia (Nyxia Triad #1) by Scott Reintgen!

Nyxia (The Nyxia Triad, #1)Nyxia by Scott Reintgen

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

First of all, this is my first ever ARC review. This book is not coming out until September, and I’ve already read it. Yay!
Now with celebrations out of the way, let’s talk about the story.
In this story, we follow a slightly futuristic world. And we as humans have finally discovered a faraway planet named “Eden” (this term alone makes me like something, I am biased towards the word Eden). A company named Babel Corp is in the forefront for researching about this planet. Their first couple of expedition, whilst encompassing a lot of life losses, has resulted in a discovery that the people of Eden have stopped reproducing. Women in them are scarce. And by default, they are softer towards kids. Babel Corp comes with a plan to use that to their benefit and hire a bunch of kids from all over the world.
The only merit required is for the kid to be broken and dirt-poor and enough of a need for money. Emmett is one such kid.
He comes from a small community in Detroit. His mother is suffering from a terminal disease and his father is broke inside out. This is Emmett’s only chance. So he leaps at his first chance to hop in the spaceship.
But only later he and the other kids in his group of ten realize that what Babel has in mind is far darker and deadlier than they had realized at first. The first catch to the offer is that only eight out-of-ten kids will be allowed to land on Eden.
A competition is set up for them in the spaceship. A gruesome and deadly competition.
This book questions morality. Things like the big picture questions like right and wrong aren’t so clear when you look it from up close. Albeit after a slow and slightly boring start, this story picks up and once it catches the pace, this is a hard to put down.
I can’t wait to see it as a finished copy and watch it reach new heights. This book deserves it.

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Book Reviews

City of Glass (Mortal Instruments #3) by Cassandra Clare!

City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3)City of Glass by Cassandra Clare

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

4.5/5 star, but I am rounding up in honor to how much this book pleasantly surprised me. First, let me share with you guys a little story, I started reading the first MI book a couple of years ago. Back then, I wasn’t much into YA genre as a whole. I read it and found the concept interesting but not thoroughly executed. Ever since I had been hammered all around about how amazing Shadowhunters world is and how amazing these books are. And I kept wondering had I read the same book as everyone else? It was good, sure, but not that good. I picked the second book, this time knowing the hype. And was sadly disappointed. Afterwards, I heard that the third book is where the series actually takes off, and I started reading it in hopes that it might be the mind-blower everyone said it was. But the first half of reading turned out to be pure torture for me. Especially because of the hype, I really wanted to find the stuff that everyone else loved so much but was failing to do so.
Exactly through the halfway point, I DNF’ed it.
Fast forward some months, and Lord of Shadows came out. Again the social media was in an uproar. I was trying to escape hype this time since I had made up my mind and believed that this series is not right at my alley. Then I heard some of the reviewers I really trust and some of my friends told me that the MI is a weak series overall, but if you believe the concept is powerful, try pushing through the first series and it will get much better. I decided to read it again but didn’t have the energy to reread the first half and started where I had left off.
Somehow, it caught me completely this time. The second half of this book was so good and so well executed, the problem had raised to such an extent and the conclusion was so satisfactory. With so much good action. I had also been slightly spoiled about something but that was the reason I continued on with this series in the first place. (view spoiler)
And the story and characterization and the world just really gripped me and I kept reading until 4 a.m yesterday. So yeah, I would say that this series is actually worth the hype, it just requires way more patience than a series should. But the wait is worth it, I am already excited to jump in the first book of Infernal Devices, its concept and setting look way more exciting to me in the first place.

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Book Reviews

The Dark Days Club (Lady Helen #1) by Alison Goodman

The Dark Days Club (Lady Helen, #1)The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Politics, it seemed, did not stop to mourn.

4.5/5 star
A really amazing setting, great cast of deep and uncliched characters, and a good mystery. A great book to read all in all. But then, why did I gave it 4.5 stars?
Because the beginning of this book was super-dense. And things kicked of awfully slowly, at least in my opinion. But once the story took on full swing, there was no stopping the action.
In this story, we follow a girl named Helen who lives in a posh society in the era of Regency England. She is a daughter of someone who is considered to be a betrayer of the kingdom, though no one knows the real story behind it, Helen is always haunted by the past of her mother’s bad-reputation. Especially so because of her uncle, also her guardian, always holds her mother in such a bad light and has a biased opinion towards Helen because of that too. Though her aunt is really nice and gracious, with bland priorities expected from a mother-figure. To marry Helen to someone respectable.
Although Helen is different in most ways, and her priorities aren’t much focused on getting married. She believes this is the better course to go, and for the most part, tries to do as is expected from her and is living a restless, yet comfortable life.
Until strange things start happening. And she discovers this under-world where there are creatures lurking as humans and she is one of those few with the power to stop them.
This plot is intriguing, and the setting makes it way more gothic and fun to read.
But what got most stars were the characters. Especially of Lady Helen. I really like how unlike most novels with female leads I normally read, Helen was a girl with priorities to actually stay in the bounds put on her by society and actually do what her family wanted. I really enjoyed how the duty by having powers and the reputation of her family kept fighting inside her. She never was selfish on both ends. She genuinely wanted to help protect the world through her powers, yet she also wanted the happiness and safety of her own family. That really got the most points from me, her internal struggle. The pressure of who you are supposed to be and who you can be was just done the right way if that makes any sense.
Every other character was just as intriguing and memorable too. For the most part of this book, especially the third half, I really enjoyed how delicious the whole mystery aspect was.
There is not a single poor character whom I have not doubted to be against Helen, everyone felt slightly grayish and shady. Something I really appreciate.
Lord Carlston reminded me of Rhett Butler, which was awesome. He just has that cool vibe in him and I loved reading the scenes where he got the forefront attention. He was one of those characters who really didn’t give a damn about how he was considered as in the society and was arrogant yet kind. So awesome.
But other characters were amazing too. Darby, Helen’s maidservant, and confidante. Her brother Andrew, and the Duke of Selburn (I don’t remember his name, Regency books make me dizzy with remembering not only names but titles too). Although I still believe there is something going on with this particular character, so far nothing much is revealed aside from his blind love and undying need to marry Helen, no matter how things go. Which does makes me question him. That’s a huge reason why I can’t wait to pick up the next book real soon.
The only slight complaint I have is the dense beginning, and I am sure it will put off most of the readers when they first start it. Some of my friends have DNF’ed it too, that’s why I know. But trust me guys, once the story picks up, the wait will seem like worth it.
Overall a great book, I highly recommend it.

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Book Reviews

Wires and Nerve! (Wires and Nerve #1)

Wires and Nerve, Volume 1 (Wires and Nerves, #1)Wires and Nerve, Volume 1 by Marissa Meyer

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book got one additional star just because of the nostalgia alone. Not only that, but also the fact that this volume encompassed a lot of Thorne, my most favorite character in the whole Lunar verse.
So, I can’t tell much about this graphic novel. Since it is sequel series to the Lunar chronicles. And no, you can’t read this without completely spoiling Lunar chronicles (in fact, there are a lot of recaps riddled all over the book which tells the whole story of the Lunar chronicles).
I loved this graphic novel. I don’t read them much. But the format suited it pretty nicely. I liked seeing all of the characters I loved. Most of all, I loved seeing Iko in this new light.
It was a small novel, you can easily finish it in a single sitting. But if you liked and enjoyed the Lunar chronicles, this is a definite worth read.
The first volume mostly focused on kicking things off though. Just when it felt things would start, the book ended. But still, so much fun. Highly recommend it. (But if you prefer reading it when the series end, I think that would be a smarter move since I had no idea how small graphic novels are)

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Book Reviews

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon!

When Dimple Met RishiWhen Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Dare I say that I didn’t hate it, or *gasps* I ended up enjoying it?
Haha, I was just messing around. When Dimple Met Rishi is one of the most mixedly opinionated books I have read recently. It was so hyped before coming out, thanks to the premise. Afterward, a lot of people adored it. But more than those were the ones (especially in my feed) who hated and despised it.
To me, it felt like a throwback to cheese filled Bollywood movies I grew up watching. There are a ton of references riddled in this book too. So reading an English novel with a glimpse of that culture was fun.
This is a book about a girl whose mother is pushing her to get married and she is just interested into going college and find freedom. And the guy she is arranged to marry is one who finds a lot of comfort in his traditions and is totally on the ship ready to set sail with the girl of her mother’s dreams.
Their parents arrange them to meet on a internship programme but Dimple has no idea about the arrangement. She is in there only for coding and the result is quite a bit of drama.
Albeit having some problems, especially the bad writing style. I liked the character relationships in this book a lot.
Especially Rishi’s. He is the kind of character a lot of guys need to read and learn something from. lol
As for Dimple, well she is fiercer than it suits me. Not liked her character much, but the way Rishi complemented her growth was worth reading.
This book followed the theme of choice, between career and love. Especially in women. How the decisions are hard but making a sacrifice is not necessarily obsolete. It also touched upon the subject of the worth of pursuing one’s passion. Being different than norm was also a topic discussed with maturity. Which brought back a lot of memories from angsty teenage years, haha.
The weird thing I found in this book was such overuse of Hindi. For a fluent like me, it wasn’t an issue. But a majority of the readers must not have understood a single word, I wonder how they fared through those parts?
Also, I have heard of unreasonably excited for marriage kind of brown parents. But never have I heard of parents who would be so hopping on their feet to become grandparents right when their children turns eighteen. The most impractical ones also starts thinking along those line only after twenty-five. But still it was cute, though a bit emateur.
So that’s it for this review. I was in the mood for it and ended up enjoying it, but I can tell why a lot of people didn’t like it. So take my opinion with a grain of salt. 😀
Thanks for reading and share your thoughts about this book with me as I would love to know. 🙂

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Book Reviews

The Way of the Warrior (The Young Samurai #1) by Chris Bradford

The Way of the Warrior (Young Samurai, #1)The Way of the Warrior by Chris Bradford

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

4.5 stars.

‘Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.”

So amazing, it had all the tropes in a book that I love. So I loved it a lot.
Based on the feudal era Japan, this story takes off when a ship from England, searching for this mysterious land, catch up with a really nasty storm and ends up being dragged to a smaller piece of land. While trying to repair the ship, they are attacked by Japanese pirates and all of them are killed except a twelve-year boy named Jack who somehow survives.
Who is dragged to the land by a savior, he is a really looked up to Samurai of the village that’s near this port.
His own son was killed by a ninja exactly two years ago, so he considers it a sign and takes Jack into his adoption.
Things happen and Jack is taken to the Samurai school in Kyoto, where he has to learn all the arts of being a Samurai while dealing with quite a lot of racism.
I just love myself a book with Japan. I have grown up watching solely animes, so it was like a throwback to my early middle-grade life. I also will always love a book with Academy aspect. Especially I enjoy reading about training though it is always in the danger of being dragged. Luckily, Bradford was really good at keeping it minimal and interesting. The pacing of this book was really strong.
Though the beginning felt like a retelling of Shogun is middle-grade version. the story did improve and escalated quickly. A nice, breezy book with really interesting characters, I loved it. Though as I mentioned, it’s a me situation. I love all of these tropes and Bradford played with them nicely thus I adored it. I will still recommend it but read it with that in mind. 😀

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Book Reviews

The Way of Kings (Stormlight Archives #1)

The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive, #1)The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“My father used to say that there are two kinds of people in the world,” Kaladin whispered, voice raspy. “He said there are those who take lives. And there are those who save lives… I used to think he was wrong. I thought there was a third group. People who killed in order to save.” He shook his head. “I was a fool. There is a third group, a big one, but it isn’t what I thought…. The people who exist to be saved or to be killed. The group in the middle. The ones who can’t do anything but die or be protected. The victims. That’s all I am.”

This book… and the series as a whole can be easily considered the new face of the fantasy genre. Plotted so intricately, written so nicely, and overall so well done. My thoughts are in a jumble as I desperately try to make sense of them and write a review.
I am amazed that once I heard somewhere about Sanderson that his characterization is weak. Since I doubt those peoples have read Kaladin (or Kelsier for that matter). He is one of the most well-crafted and amazing characters I have ever stumbled upon.
He is broken, yes he does spend a lot of time being sulky over it. But it all fits the plot and the situation so well. And never does it compromise the pace.

He was a slave. But he didn’t need to think like one.

Aside from him, this book was filled with characters who will stay with me long after I have finished this book. Dalinar, Syl, Szeth, and Jasnah being among my favorites. This is going to be an almost ten book series, and each book will focus more on a single character. This one was about Kaladin. This might be the first time in a book where I found myself looking more forward to the backstory scenes. Those were done so well. Kaladin’s past has so much richness, his life as a whole is so amazingly crafted which makes us really think and be appreciative of our privileges and feel bad for making any sort of excuses regarding anything. If Kaladin could manage what he did if he didn’t give up than others are just being petty. I won’t apologize it is sounds like gushing since I loved his character so much.
The behemoth size served the story extremely well, only then did the ending had the impact it held. Every character got the due characterization.
The world-building just needs a moment of silence, from different grasses to the big historical events, everything was done just so perfectly.
I usually read two or three books at a time, switching between them. But I read this one almost in its entirety. Although its size is enormous and intimidating. The story just hooked me so much that I couldn’t stop.
The only minor con I had was a small romance aspect in this book, Dalinar’s. Although it got next to no coverage or page space, it did bug me considering how perfect the rest of the book was.
Overall, this is a definite must read and I believe Sanderson has yet again challenged the norms and raised the bars for not only the genre as a whole but for himself too. (Since I have definitely started expecting a lot from him)

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