Archive for the ‘Review’ Category:

Review: Six of Crows (Six of Crows #1) by Leigh Bardugo

Release Date: September 29th 2015
Published By: Orion-Hachette / Henry Holt and Company (US)
Pages: 465
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Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Synopsis: Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone…

A convict with a thirst for revenge.

A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager.

A runaway with a privileged past.

A spy known as the Wraith.

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Kaz’s crew are the only ones who might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.

 

Review: Entering the Grisha world once again, Leigh Bardugo does not disappoint with Six of Crows. With its own unique style and flare, Six of Crows is far enough away from The Grisha trilogy to enjoy separately from the original series, but with just enough of the magical Grisha world for fans to love this new and interesting story.

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Review: Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Release Date: November 1st 2015 / October 20th 2015 (US) / October 22nd 2015 (UK)
Published By: Allen & Unwin / Knopf Books (US) / Oneworld Publications (UK)
Pages: 602
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Purchase: Click here to purchase

Rating: 5 out of 5

Synopsis: This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.

This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.

Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

 

ReviewIlluminae was set to be one of the biggest YA releases of 2015 – and although I was excited for this book, I am going to be honest, the thought of reading it scared the shit of me.
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Review: What We Saw by Aaron Hartzler

Release Date: January 1st 2016 / September 22nd 2015 (US)
Published By: HarperCollins / HarperTeen (US)
Pages: 336
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Purchase: Click here to purchase

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Synopsis: Kate Weston can piece together most of the bash at John Doone’s house: shots with Stacey Stallard, Ben Cody taking her keys and getting her home early—the feeling that maybe he’s becoming more than just the guy she’s known since they were kids.

But when a picture of Stacey passed out over Deacon Mills’s shoulder appears online the next morning, Kate suspects she doesn’t have all the details. When Stacey levels charges against four of Kate’s classmates, the whole town erupts into controversy. Facts that can’t be ignored begin to surface, and every answer Kate finds leads back to the same question: Where was Ben when a terrible crime was committed?

This story—inspired by real events—from debut novelist Aaron Hartzler takes an unflinching look at silence as a form of complicity. It’s a book about the high stakes of speaking up, and the razor thin line between guilt and innocence that so often gets blurred, one hundred and forty characters at a time.

 

ReviewWhat We Saw is a story of a small town rocked by rape allegations. And while this story is not from the POV of the victim, or alleged offenders, it does not shy away from the horrors of such a situation. It shows the true horror – the bystanders. This is the backstory. The story of those who know the victim and the accused offender(s). Of those who may or may not know exactly what happened. Those who are either willing to let their personal opinion of the people involved be the judge, or those who are wanting to find true justice.

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Review: Dreamland by Robert L. Anderson

Release Date: September 22nd 2015
Published By: Hachette / HarperTeen (US)
Pages: 332
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Rating: 3 out of 5

Synopsis:Odea Donahue has been able to travel through people’s dreams since she was six years old. Her mother taught her the three rules of walking:

Never interfere.
Never be seen.
Never walk the same person’s dream more than once.

Dea has never questioned her mother, not about the rules, not about the clocks or the mirrors, not about moving from place to place to be one step ahead of the unseen monsters that Dea’s mother is certain are right behind them.

Then a mysterious new boy, Connor, comes to town, and Dea finally starts to feel normal. As Connor breaks down the walls that she’s had up for so long, he gets closer to learning her secret. For the first time she wonders if that’s so bad. But when Dea breaks the rules, the boundary between worlds begins to deteriorate. How can she know what’s real and what’s not?

From talented debut author Robert L. Anderson comes a stunning, complex, and imaginative story of the fine line between our dreams and reality.

Review: Dea walks through people dreams – that is just what she does. She doesn’t know why she is able to do this, but she knows that she needs to do it. If she doesn’t, she starts to get sick. But that is not the biggest issue that dream walking has – there are very strict rules – never be seen, never interfere and never walk the same person’s dreams more than once.

Her whole life has been filled with rules, clocks, dangerous mirrors, and dreams – and that has been okay, until she meets Connor. Connor is the mysterious new boy, and more importantly, he has mysteries of his own. And this is where Dea decides to break some of the rules. Some very important rules.

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Review: Fall (Twinmaker #3) by Sean Williams

Release Date: November 3rd 2015
Published By: Allen & Unwin / Balzer + Bray (US)
Pages: 512
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Purchase: Click here to purchase

Rating: 4 out of 5

Synopsis:The mind-bending conclusion to the Twinmaker trilogy.

Clair’s world has been destroyed – again. The only remaining hope of survival is for her and Q to enter the Yard, a simulation as detailed – and as real – as the home they have lost. But in the Yard there are two Clair Hills. The other Clair is headstrong, impulsive, suspicious – just like Clair herself used to be, and their very existence is causing cracks.

As Clair searches for a solution, a surprising new ally emerges from the ashes. Together they fight their way through the digital and political minefield in the hope of saving Jesse, her friends and the whole of humanity.

‘Williams marries accessibly explored moral ramifications of future technologies with a strong, capable teen heroine and heart-pounding action.’ Kirkus Reviews

ReviewThis review contains spoilers for the previous books in the series.

Fall, otherwise known as Hollowgirl, is the third and final book in the Twinmaker series by Aussie author Sean Williams.

In Jump (Twinmaker) and Crash (Crashland), we have been taken on a journey of d-mat, fabbers, abstainers, artificial intelligence, lost friends, unlikely alliances, betrayal, unknown loyalties, mistakes, dedication and disaster – and Fall (Hollowgirl) completes the story with all of this, plus even more twists, duplicities, turmoil, determination and action.

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Review: A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston

Release Date: October 22nd 2015
Published By: Macmillan Children’s Books / Disney Hyperion (US)
Pages: 336
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Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Synopsis: Lo-Melkhiin killed three hundred girls before he came to my village, looking for a wife. When Lo-Melkhiin – a formidable king – arrives at her desert home, she knows that he will take her beautiful sister for a wife. Desperate to save her sister from certain death, she makes the ultimate sacrifice – leaving home and family behind to live with a fearful man. But it seems that a strange magic flows between her and Lo-Melkhiin, and night after night, she survives. Finding power in storytelling, the words she speaks are given strange life of their own. Little things, at first: a dress from home, a vision of her sister. But she dreams of bigger, more terrible magic: power enough to save a king …if only she can stop her heart from falling for a monster.

Set against a harsh desert backdrop, A Thousand Nights by E K Johnston is an evocative tale of love, mystery and magic that would not feel out of place if Scheherazade herself were telling it. And perhaps she is

Review: I am going to admit, I am a little torn over A Thousand Nights. I both really enjoyed this book, as well as found some parts of it a little lacking.

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Review: Ice Like Fire (Snow Like Ashes #2) by Sara Raasch

Release Date: October 13th 2015
Published By: HarperCollins / Balzer + Bray (US)
Pages: 479
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Rating: 4 out of 5

Synopsis: It’s been three months since the Winterians were freed and Spring’s king, Angra, disappeared—thanks largely to the help of Cordell.

Meira just wants her people to be safe. When Cordellan debt forces the Winterians to dig their mines for payment, they unearth something powerful and possibly dangerous: Primoria’s lost chasm of magic. Theron sees this find as an opportunity—with this much magic, the world can finally stand against threats like Angra. But Meira fears the danger the chasm poses—the last time the world had access to so much magic, it spawned the Decay. So when the king of Cordell orders the two on a mission across the kingdoms of Primoria to discover the chasm’s secrets, Meira plans to use the trip to garner support to keep the chasm shut and Winter safe—even if it means clashing with Theron. But can she do so without endangering the people she loves?

Mather just wants to be free. The horrors inflicted on the Winterians hang fresh and raw in Januari—leaving Winter vulnerable to Cordell’s growing oppression. When Meira leaves to search for allies, he decides to take Winter’s security into his own hands. Can he rebuild his broken kingdom and protect them from new threats?

As the web of power and deception weaves tighter, Theron fights for magic, Mather fights for freedom—and Meira starts to wonder if she should be fighting not just for Winter, but for the world.

Review: This review contains no spoilers for Snow Like Ashes. Review for Snow Like Ashes can be found here.

After the events of Snow Like Ashes, Winter may be saved, but the nightmares continue. They continue in the hearts of those who survived, from the memories of those lost and betrayed, and in the struggle to break the chains of tyranny. Winter has been saved from the evil that ruled it for so long, but it has yet to be freed. Winter is still enslaved due to a great debt owed to Cordell, and while that debt cannot go unpaid, Meira does not want her kingdom to fall into ruins before it can become whole again.

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Review: Lair of Dreams (The Diviners #2) by Libba Bray

Release Date: August 26th 2015
Published By: Allen & Unwin (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (US) / ATOM (UK))
Pages: 613
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Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Synopsis: After a supernatural showdown with a serial killer, Evie O’Neill has outed herself as a Diviner. Now that the world knows of her ability to ‘read’ objects, and therefore the past, she has become a media darling, earning the title ‘America’s Sweetheart Seer’. There’s just one downside – a sham engagement to the irritatingly handsome Sam Lloyd.

But not everyone is so accepting of the Diviners’ abilities… and across town, a mysterious sleeping sickness is spreading through Chinatown, leaving dead dreamers in its wake.

Can the Diviners descend into the slumberland and catch a killer?

ReviewLair of Dreams is a fantastic instalment in The Diviners series, filled with darkness and mystery, comedy and heart, tension and determination – everything that is needed to entice you into this magical 1920’s New York.

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Review: The House of Shattered Wings (Dominion of the Fallen #1) by Aliette de Bodard

Release Date: August 20th 2015
Published By: Gollancz
Pages: 320
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Rating: 4 out of 5

Synopsis: A superb murder mystery, on an epic scale, set against the fall out – literally – of a war in Heaven.

Paris has survived the Great Houses War – just. Its streets are lined with haunted ruins, Notre-Dame is a burnt-out shell, and the Seine runs black with ashes and rubble. Yet life continues among the wreckage. The citizens continue to live, love, fight and survive in their war-torn city, and The Great Houses still vie for dominion over the once grand capital.

House Silverspires, previously the leader of those power games, lies in disarray. Its magic is ailing; its founder, Morningstar, has been missing for decades; and now something from the shadows stalks its people inside their very own walls.

Within the House, three very different people must come together: a naive but powerful Fallen, a alchemist with a self-destructive addiction, and a resentful young man wielding spells from the Far East. They may be Silverspires’ salvation. They may be the architects of its last, irreversible fall

Review: Filled with mystery and curses, ruined cities and broken angels, The House of Shattered Wings is dark and eery, where the magical war-torn element of this story is captivating, the setting is hauntingly gorgeous and the fallen have fallen very far indeed.

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Review: Night Owls by Jenn Bennett

Release Date: August 13th 2015
Published By: Simon and Schuster UK
Pages: 272
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Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Synopsis: Feeling alive is always worth the risk.

Meeting Jack on the Owl—San Francisco’s night bus—turns Beatrix’s world upside down. Jack is charming, wildly attractive…and possibly one of San Francisco’s most notorious graffiti artists.

On midnight rides and city rooftops, Beatrix begins to see who this enigmatic boy really is.

But Jack is hiding much more – and can she uncover the truth that leaves him so wounded?

A unique and profoundly moving novel, Night Owls will linger in your memory long after the final page.

ReviewNight Owls is truly lovely. I don’t use that term lightly, but it is an amazingly a sweet and well written story filled with real emotion, fun, heartbreak, first love and turmoil. It will wrap you up in a nice snugly blanket, fill your heart with feels and take you on an adventure of love, art and San Francisco.

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STRAY Blog Tour – Guest Post from Rachael Craw + Review

 

Hello! And welcome to Book Nerd Reviews’ stop on the STRAY Blog Tour!

The STRAY Blog Tour will be occuring 1 – 7 September, and there are a lot of amazing Aussie blogs bringing you posts about Rachael Craw’s next instalment in the Spark series and posts from Rachael herself!. This tour will include reviews, Q&As and guest posts!

As well as my review for Stray, Rachael is joining us here at Book Nerd Reviews with a guest post about walking the line on social media. Is she an author, reader or friend? Are you a reader or friend? Where is the line… and how blurry is it?

Welcome to the tour… I hope you enjoy the journey.

 

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Review: The Rest of Us Just Live Here

Release Date: August 27th 2015
Published By: Walker Books
Pages: 352
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Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Synopsis: What if you aren’t the Chosen One?

The one who’s supposed to fight the zombies, or the soul-eating ghosts, or whatever the heck this new thing is, with the blue lights and the death?

What if you’re like Mikey? Who just wants to graduate and go to prom and maybe finally work up the courage to ask Henna out before someone goes and blows up the high school. Again.

Because sometimes there are problems bigger than this week’s end of the world, and sometimes you just have to find the extraordinary in your ordinary life.

Even if your best friend is worshipped by mountain lions.

Award-winning writer Patrick Ness’s bold and irreverent novel powerfully reminds us that there are many different types of remarkable.

Review: As my first Patrck Ness novel, I cannot compare this book to the other titles by this popular author. But I have to say that I am impressed with Ness’ originality!

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Review: Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass #4) by Sarah J. Maas

Release Date: September 1st 2015
Published By: Bloomsbury
Pages: 656
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Rating: 5 out of 5

Synopsis: Sarah J. Maas’s New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series reaches new heights in this sweeping fourth volume.

Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she’s at last returned to the empire—for vengeance, to rescue her once-glorious kingdom, and to confront the shadows of her past . . .

She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die just to see her again. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queen’s triumphant return.

Celaena’s epic journey has captured the hearts and imaginations of millions across the globe. This fourth volume will hold readers rapt as Celaena’s story builds to a passionate, agonizing crescendo that might just shatter her world.

ReviewThis review contains no spoilers for Queen of Shadows. It does however contain spoilers for previous books in the Throne of Glass series.

Sarah J. Maas brings us another epic instalment in this phenomenal series! Filled with intricate world building, complex characters and a unique blend of danger and wonder, Queen of Shadows is storytelling at its very best!

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Crystal Kingdom Blog Tour + Giveaway!

 

Hello! And welcome to Book Nerd Reviews’ stop on the Australian Crystal Kingdom Blog Tour!

The Crystal Kingdom Blog Tour will be occuring throughout all of August, and there are a lot of amazing Aussie blogs bringing you posts about Amanda Hocking’s finale in the Kanin Chronicles. This tour will include reviews, Q&As, and giveaways! And thanks to the wonderful PanMacmillan, Book Nerd Reviews will be the hosting a giveaway for a copy of Crystal Kingdom!

Welcome to the tour… I hope you enjoy the journey.

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Review: Spark (Spark #1) by Rachael Craw

Release Date: July 1st 2014
Published By: Walker Books Australia
Pages: 464
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Purchase: Click here to purchase

Rating: 4 out of 5

Synopsis: Evie doesn’t have a choice.

One day she’s an ordinary seventeen year old, grieving for her mother. The next, she’s a Shield, the result of a decades-old experiment gone wrong, bound by DNA to defend her best friend from an unknown killer.

The threat could come at home, at school, anywhere. All Evie knows is that it will be a fight to the death.

And then there’s Jamie. irresistible. off-limits.

Review: It is books like Spark that are going to have to make me re-evaluate my “take it or leave it” attitude towards sci-fi!

I have often said that I am not a huge fan of science fiction. I am not a lover of science, and I don’t like it incorporated into stories in an unrealistic way, but Spark is a modern world sci-fi, with just the right amount of sciencey stuff in all the right places.

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