Book Review: Flame in the Mist – Renee Ahdieh

 

This review is overdue by a week!

I really enjoyed The Wrath and the Dawn Duology by Renee Ahdieh, so I had high hopes for this book, especially for the fact that its set in Japan. How often are novels fully immersed in Japanese culture? not really.


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Name: Flame in the Mist
Author: Renee Ahdieh
Publisher(s): Putnam
Release Date: May 16, 2017

Synopsis

The daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has long known her place—she may be an accomplished alchemist, whose cunning rivals that of her brother Kenshin, but because she is not a boy, her future has always been out of her hands. At just seventeen years old, Mariko is promised to Minamoto Raiden, the son of the emperor’s favorite consort—a political marriage that will elevate her family’s standing. But en route to the imperial city of Inako, Mariko narrowly escapes a bloody ambush by a dangerous gang of bandits known as the Black Clan, who she learns has been hired to kill her before she reaches the palace.

Dressed as a peasant boy, Mariko sets out to infiltrate the ranks of the Black Clan, determined to track down the person responsible for the target on her back. But she’s quickly captured and taken to the Black Clan’s secret hideout, where she meets their leader, the rebel ronin Takeda Ranmaru, and his second-in-command, his best friend Okami. Still believing her to be a boy, Ranmaru and Okami eventually warm to Mariko, impressed by her intellect and ingenuity. As Mariko gets closer to the Black Clan, she uncovers a dark history of secrets, of betrayal and murder, which will force her to question everything she’s ever known.


Book Cover Comments

That phoenix is beautiful. Though are those peacock feathers?

Also the most gorgeous point of the cover is definitely the throwing star and flowers, and just the way they glow.

Magnifico!

The blade fonts!


The Review

The first part of the book was a bit slow, so it didn’t wow me. Also this book really drove of the Road of Expectations and First Impressions. I’m serious.

As some of you guys might know, this story is a Mulan retelling. Well, at least the basis of it. I had such huge conflict while trying to get my head to read the first part of this book, mainly because I’m Chinese.
And how does this affect it? The problem is, I know Japanese culture really well. Not necessarily history, but I know the culture well. The second problem? I KNOW CHINESE CULTURE REALLY WELL. Due to the beef and history between China and Japan, even those who love both places will never put the two together. These two are just two separate beings.
But when we spin Mulan into Japan, it was just really conflicting for me, because the idea just wasn’t right. More research into crossing cultures should probably be done prior hand, but I mean… books published in America of course set their audience to be anywhere but China…

But Renee Ahdieh successfully rescued this book. And I totally loved it.

In general, Mariko was a really strong character. I love the motivation set in her, and the fact that she knows how to put up an act so that she doesn’t show her weakness. Her knowledge in terms of weaponry was really cool in fact, and it slightly reminds me of the Winner’s Trilogy, where Kestrel also has a lot of brain power in her mind as well. One thing interesting that I noticed is that during the second half of the book, Mariko really grew out of her “i live in a wealthy family” shell. It happens a lot to main characters, but just seeing her have that realisation is really rewarding.

I don’t know what to say about Shinji and Ranmaru, honestly. I wouldn’t say that their character throughout the book thats the one that necessarily lit me up, but a plot point near the ending that actually had me in mental tears. The friendship that goes beyond this two is actually really great and amazing, and the lengths these two would go to protect each other and care for each other, and be by each other’s side.

A little bit about the world setting as well, I love how there are actually historical references to things mentioned in the book. Oh and I really loved the usage of the Jukai forest, because Jukai forest is known for its creepiness. It’s really fun to look up terms and find them on Wikipedia (yes wikipedia i know), and then absorbing a whole lot more knowledge on it.

Also, Renee Ahdieh never disappoints me with the love element. Oh how I died when Mariko and her lover just… Gods. *face goes up in flames*

Also did I mention I love roll credits?

“She was a flame in the mist…”

ROLL CREDITS!

Book Review: The Dream Thieves – Maggie Stiefvater

 

Another award wining slow as ever book that took me ages to write this review due to procrastination and forgetfulness


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Name: The Dream Thieves
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher(s): Scholastic Inc.
Release Date: September 17, 2013 (Sept 30, 2014 my edition)

Synopsis

If you could steal things from dreams, what would you take?

Ronan Lynch has secrets. Some he keeps from others. Some he keeps from himself.

One secret: Ronan can bring things out of his dreams.

And sometimes he’s not the only one who wants those things.

Ronan is one of the raven boys – a group of friends, practically brothers, searching for a dead king named Glendower, who they think is hidden somewhere in the hills by their elite private school, Aglionby Academy. The path to Glendower has long lived as an undercurrent beneath town. But now, like Ronan’s secrets, it is beginning to rise to the surface – changing everything in its wake.


Book Cover Comments

I find Ronan’s bald head, eccentric?

Still can’t get over the paintbrush technique over the heart.


The Review

 

This series surprises me.
Series’ usually go from only one person’s perspective, or even if it was from someone else, it highly surrounds the first MC. Not here though!

Right here in this book, and I thought it was Blue all along, we have Ronan playing such a huge huge huge role in this book. If I serve my memory right, over 50% of the content in the book talks about Ronan, because he has a lot of significance in terms of magical abilities, since revealed in Book 1, he is able to take things out of his dream.

What I liked during Ronan’s POV, was that we got to explore more of his fam. His fam is pretty cool honestly. And I kinda imagined his house like the Weasley’s. You’ll know why if you’ve read it or if you’re about to read it. Ronan’s parents actually really fascinate me. Stiefvater, despite having her books set in snail pace, no offence, makes up for it with all the super cool paranormal activity. And what Ronan is able to do, is connected with how the mystical place, I forgot the name, is acting.

Love fueds are born in this book, where Blue tried something that she might never be able to experience the true thing, where Blue discovers that her emotions begin to waver, and where Blue discovers that she might have always preferred someone else over her current so-called interest, and why in the world did she not think about what she saw on the night she saw the dead-people crossing back in book one. Oh Blue.

Now, I don’t think I can say much about Gansey, since this book is really Ronan and Adam based, so Adam time. Adam really shone in the last parts of the book, where he had to embrace what he has and who he is now, in order to maintain order and balance within himself (book one spoilers and secrets). Then things get real cool at the end, though I feel like things get a little bit too, non-realistic.

And a recurring problem I have is, I found myself heavily relying on book recap websites because I can’t really follow the plot sometimes. It just confuses me.

But there was that one line that was the tether to hold on to me to why I know that continuing this book is worth it:

 

In that moment, Blue was a little in love with all of them.
Their magic. Their quest. Their awfulness and strangeness.
Her raven boys.

Book Review: Pillow Thoughts – Courtney Peppernell

 

 

Oops… Overdue on three reviews… Gr8.


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Name: Pillow Thoughts
Author: Courtney Peppernell
Publisher: Pepper Books
Release Date: July 12, 2016

 

 

Synopsis

Pillow Thoughts is a collection
of poetry and prose about heartbreak,
love and raw emotions.

It is divided into sections to read when
you feel you need them most.

Make a cup of tea and
let yourself feel.


Book Cover Comments

The simplicity of it is a perfect match for the overwhelming emotions in this book. Fitting to the title, enjoy these pillow thoughts on a crumpled bed sheet at daybreak.


The Actual Review

There isn’t words to describe how beautiful this book was. And in order to describe how perfect this is, I’ll include the very first poem right here:

Before we begin, I’d like to share a story.
Once upon a time there was a jellyfish. We’ll call it
You.
You became lost sometimes
You could be a little unsure
You tried very hard
But sometimes it didn’t feel like enough.
I hate to spoil the ending
But You is fine
You is still here
You is going to make it.


Send me into a frenzy of tears right now, because that’s how I felt after I read it. Thank you illustrator Rosy Bullot for the adorable Jellyfish illustrations throughout the book! So in order to review this in the best way possible, we’ll need to see the absolutely adorable and cute-

Table of Thoughts

If you are dreaming of someone…
If you are in love…
If you are heartbroken…
If you are lonely…
If you are sad…
If you are missing someone…
If you need encouragement…
If you are soul-searching…
If you need a reason to stay…
These are for you.

For me indeed. For those poetry and proses filled with love, they send me into immense heartaches of joy, because I can taste the sweetness among those words. Having experience from reading all those YA novels with romance, I was totally ready for the love sections, and yes, it broke my heart. Ok I know I’m not making sense, but the best thing is, EXAMPLE!

I have been a little off balance since the day I met you. This is because I had never known what it is like to be perfectly aligned.

Honestly though? The death of me. And that was just a prelude. Main course on the way.

While happiness is present, sadness must be present as well. Those heartbroken, sad, longing, encouraging poems was something that really resonated with me, as I am going through some hard and emotional stages. It was really enjoyable to go through this entire book filled with poetry that I think can help me whenever I’m feeling down. There are actually proses where the waterworks came along, because they were so beautiful, I couldn’t even comprehend.

and I know you’re
a little insecure
and you think
just a little too much
but for all the times
you think you’re
not what someone
needs
I’m thinking that
you are

And last but not least: the reason why I bought this book in the first place, the reason I know the rest of this book was going to break my heart, the reason why I finished it so quickly and the reason why I healed me so quickly from a book hangover…

(thank you Common White Girl @GIRLPosts on Twitter, if you didn’t share this, I wouldn’t know about it.)

And the reason why…

This is for you.

Image result for looking for ice cream poem

Book Review: A Court of Wings and Ruin – Sarah J. Maas

I think I’ll just have to start writing up this review before A Court of Mist and Fury, before all the feelings disappear.

I’ll leave the spoiler review for my YouTube video, because I’m literally speechless right now.

Btw this is spoils for ACOTAR and ACOMAF, so read at your own risk. I’ll try to stay away from ACOWAR spoilers, but some major general concepts and details are required.


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Name: A Court of Wings and Ruin
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Release Date: May 2, 2017

 Synopsis

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s manoeuvrings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit-and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.

As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords-and hunt for allies in unexpected places.

In this thrilling third book in the #1 New York Times bestselling series from Sarah J. Maas, the earth will be painted red as mighty armies grapple for power over the one thing that could destroy them all.


Book Cover Comments

Feyre in her wonderful Night Court dress designed by darling Charlie Bowater, holding a i-assume-it-is-Illyrian blade, the mountains behind her and the mist shadows surrounding her on the US cover, and the thorns surrounding her on the contrasting seafoam green background on the UK cover. Stunning

Ugh my mosquito bite itches.


The Actual Review

“One life may change the world.”

There is literally nothing to say how beautiful this book is. How beautiful the first trilogy was.

“I see all of you, Rhys. And there is not one part that i do not love with everything I am.”

So much went on, my heart was mended and broken over and over again. This is the first final book of a series that I have read from Sarah, and she did not disappoint me at all. In fact, she might have done too well. I might not have cried as I just don’t cry a lot, but my mind and my heart is a tattered mess right now.

“I am yours, and you are mine.”

Feyre began with finding herself in Spring Court in order to set things in motion to prepare for the future. But little did she know that some actions she made might have mended the situation permanently, but not some far future plans.

“You do not fear. You do not falter. You do not yield. You go in, and you come out again.”

And that, reader, is for you to find out what exactly I am talking about.

“It is a new world, and we must decide how we are to end this old one and begin it anew.”

In this book, war looms ahead, and everyone, not just the Night Court, every single court must choose their side, Hybern or Prythian, whether they should involve the humans, call in old debts, whether to summon terrible beasts to fight with them. And the entire process of the war planning was heartbreaking. All the High Lords, all of the shrouded mysteries and secrets revealed, when we reunite with old characters in the book, when we see whether courts will join forces together, what they can offer.

“We’re all a broken, in our own ways – In places no one might see.”

There is one High Lord that I still love so much, and I knew that the hope I held for him throughout the past few books was not wasted. He is broken and shattered, but some day, I hope he finds happiness.

That was who had been running alongside us. Trying to find us.

*sobs*

“There are many types of strength beyond the ability to wield a blade and end lives.”

Many characters grow and bloom in this book, I won’t mention what, but honorable mentions must be Elain and Nesta. You’ll see why when you read it. Both of them, shook from fear back in ACOMAF, have to face their new life of adapting to what they have become. And when they find courage and friendship among those around them, so that they can hold on to something to continue living, and face the future given to them…

I understood why it had come to help me, again and again. Not just for kindness … but because it was a dreamer.

In this book, we will encounter some great great characters, those where the High Lords and Lady will ask for their help, so that they can save Prythian from the hands of Hybern and the power of the Cauldron… And when these great great characters put on their best effort to assist them, oh…

“Only you can decide what breaks you, Cursebreaker. Only you.”

Honorable mention 101: Suriel bb

“It’s a rare person to face who they are and not run from it – not be broken by it.”

There is one thing that this book reminded me about:
Don’t be afraid of who you might be deep down. Everyone has their beautiful sides, their outer shell, their inner self, their fear, rage sadness, the ugly side of them. But it is all a part of you. Learn to love yourself for who you are, and do not show fear, for your greatest enemy is yourself. Embrace the darkness in you, for where there is light, there is darkness. Embrace it, and even do not let it scare you.

“What we think to be our greatest weakness can sometimes be our biggest strength.”

Gods I feel like I’m in

oh shit.

WHY DIDN’T I SEE IT
SAILOR MOON
IS THIS ON PURPOSE
HOLY MOTHER OF JESUS CHRIST
I THINK I’M A GENIUS
I’M SORRY I’M EMOTIONAL AND HIGH RIGHT NOW

AFTER I FOUND MYSELF INSANELY QUOTING FROM SAILOR MOON IN THAT PARAGRAPH ABOVE, (and quoting ACOWAR of course, not directly though) I SAW THE HUGE CONNECTION BETWEEN SAILOR MOON AND ACOWAR. HOW DID I FORGET THAT??????!!!!!!!! YOU, READER, CAN FIND OUT FOR YOURSELF OF MY DISCOVERY. BECAUSE IT IS FUN.

“Leave this world… a better place than how you found it.”

That’s it. I’m gonna reread Sailor Moon. No doubts bout’ that. No doubts. I think it’ll help mend my tattered mind right now. And since Goodreads established the reread system, it’ll count into my Reading Challenge 😏😏😏

And none of us dared to speak as he dropped to his knees before her chair, took her shocked face in his broad hands, and kissed her soundly.

I’m staring at nothing right now. I don’t have anything else to say how perfect this ending is.

“I believe everything happens for a reason. Whether it is decided by the Mother, or the Cauldron, or some sort of tapestry of Fate, I don’t know. I don’t really care. But I am grateful for it, whatever it is. Grateful that it brought you all into my life.”

At every end is a new beginning.
The road ahead might be smooth, might be bumpy. You might encounter troubles, you might find something that will make your day.
But know that nothing in this world is of coincidence. Everything is the inevitable.
And that…
Everything is a gift.

Book Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses – Sarah J. Maas

Since ACOWAR is out, I thought I’d do a written review of ACOTAR and ACOMAF since I reread it :)


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Name: A Court of Thorns and Roses
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Release Date: May 5, 2016

 Synopsis

Feyre’s survival rests upon her ability to hunt and kill – the forest where she lives is a cold, bleak place in the long winter months. So when she spots a deer in the forest being pursued by a wolf, she cannot resist fighting it for the flesh. But to do so, she must kill the predator and killing something so precious comes at a price …

Dragged to a magical kingdom for the murder of a faerie, Feyre discovers that her captor, his face obscured by a jewelled mask, is hiding far more than his piercing green eyes would suggest. Feyre’s presence at the court is closely guarded, and as she begins to learn why, her feelings for him turn from hostility to passion and the faerie lands become an even more dangerous place. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose him forever.


Book Cover Comments

The two editions don’t have much of a difference, but one is more sophisticated background, and the other one simplistic. Both are really unique, and I really like it as how it progresses throughout the rest of the series.

And the tattoo on Feyre’s hand is really pretty.


The Actual Review

I actually don’t even know what to say about this book.

Like its just so entwined into my mind, I’m not even too sure what to talk about it.

“Don’t feel bad for one moment about doing what brings you joy.”

Ok let’s begin with “this story is inspired by Beauty and the Beast”. Yes I see it. It’s nice how the entire plot line is inspired from it, as there are some retellings where only part of it is inspired from it. Ok this is just complete B.S.

“Be glad of your human heart, Feyre. Pity those who don’t feel anything at all.”

ACOTAR started off pretty dull, until Tamlin comes in and interrupts Feyre’s life. As we see Feyre slowly adapting to the her surrounding and situation in the fae land of Prythian, learn to accept those around her, oh, everything is just sweet and romantic. (and that’s what Sarah wants us, plotted us to be in in preparation for next book.)

“I love you,’ he whispered, and kissed my brow. ‘Thorns and all.”

There are many sweet moments that Feyre and Tamlin spend together will make me fawn over everytime I read it. (yes ACOMAF readers despite it being Tamlin) Tamlin still has a special place in my heart during his time in ACOTAR.

I threw myself into that fire, threw myself into it, into him, and let myself burn.

Feyre is a really special character in the sense that, she had to be extremely independent since a young age, her sisters being, cruel, peculiar, just somewhat ignorant in my opinion. I don’t think I’d like my sisters (not that I have any) to leave all the work of living to me, but we’ll change our opinions on Nesta and Elain soon enough. They come off real different during ACOMAF and ACOWAR. Well attitude wise not so much, but still.

“We need hope, or else we cannot endure.”

Because the blurb didn’t say much, and I don’t want to spoil any of you who haven’t read it, but the last quarter of the book takes place somewhere else in Prythian, where the darkness lurks, where Feyre has to face some pretty terrible things, all in order to save her love, Tamlin.

I was as unburdened as a piece of dandelion fluff, and he was the wind that stirred me about the world.

But will that love be her savior, or her poison?

And the things that she has to do in order to save Tamlin…

And when you reread the books and find all the details entwined into the book that leads to ACOMAF and ACOWAR…

“Ah. The Suriel told you nothing important, did it?”

SURIEL BB IS THE ULTIMATE BAE OF THIS BOOK BECAUSE THE SURIEL IS LEGIT A BITACH GOSSIP QUEEN- SURIEL IS THE BEAST THAT KNOWS LEGIT ALMOST EVERYTHING AND BASICALLY A TRUTH TELLER!

If you find this review very boring, just go watch my youtube review. It’s probably better over there than this BS for the sake of OCD, so that ACOWAR won’t just be a review here, and ACOTAR and ACOMAF will accompany it. Yes I’m shallow I know. Shhh.


Ok update as of 22 May, 2017.
Let’s do a little more BS because I guess I’m a bit more in the mood.

“I came to claim the one I love.”

So let’s talk a little bit about Spring Court, and my initial thoughts on it.
Okay, who wouldn’t find Spring Court pretty, when Joanne is obsessed with flowers and just super likes nature? In Spring Court, the main people we get to see are Tamlin and his second, Lucien, who originally hailed from the Autumn Court as the youngest child of the High Lord of the Autumn Court.

“Because I’d want someone to hold my hand until the end, and awhile after that.
That’s something everyone deserves, human or faerie.

Lucien was kind of a douche in the beginning cus he just generally hated Feyre, but kind of gave up hating on her for unknown-reasons-cus-i’m-not-supposed-to-spoil-you-even-if-you-know-what-happened-reasons. And then Tamlin was just genuinely kind. I just saw so much charm in him because I like happy endings and sweet couples. Ahhh, if only life could be a dream.

As I lifted the ash dagger, something inside me fractured so completely that there would be no hope of ever repairing it.

Feyre had to face quite a ton near the ending, where everyone think is where the exciting part is, aka when Beauty saves Beast from whatever curse is on him. Yes need I remind you this is a partial retelling. And this is all just the first step into how she’s broken into tiny little pieces, and the step into how she will heal all together in the second book. P.S., what happened to Feyre is somewhat significant to book 3 ;)

“Everything I love has always had a tendency to be taken from me. I tell very few about the wings. Or the flying.”

Btw the villain in this book is pretty legendary. I mean, in the end she’s just trying to protect the one she loves, in this case, heartbroken and p much died, so she went mad and bonkers. *gods I see all the Sailor Moon references of how in the end, the villains only want to protect EERRR MAHHH GAWDDDD ETHICS AND MORALS MY MIND IS EXPLODING*

“I stepped out of the shelter of my savior’s arm and turned to thank him. Standing before me was the most beautiful man I’d ever seen.”

Anyway this book just broke my heart right after I read it, and then I decided that there was nothing I can do except to send a package to SJM because ilysm cus ToG Series also broke my heart, and I made my twitter fan account, aaandddd I reread ACOTAR the next week to celebrate the release of ACOMAF~

“Because,” he went on, his eyes locked with mine, “I didn’t want you to fight alone. Or die alone.”

Btw get ready to meet dead hot High Lord of the Night Court Rhysand and his legendary banter and kindness. Secrets remain in this supposed-non-spoiler-review until ACOMAF.

His eyes locked on mine wide and wild, and his nostrils flared. Shock—pure shock flashed across his features at whatever he saw on my face, and he stumbled back a step. Actually stumbled.

 

Honestly guys this book is amazing. For those of you who think ACOTAR is a waste of time because of what ACOMAF and ACOWAR is gonna be, shut up and learn to embrace everyone and stop being so judgemental. BE FORGIVING.

Book Review: City of Bones – Cassandra Clare

 

And here I am… reviewing the legend of legends…

aaaand being behind book blogging schedule!

Note that I will be commentating on the new covers, since that is the edition that I have and will go for.


Name: City of Bones
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Release Date: September 1, 2015 (1st published Mar 27, 2007)

Synopsis

When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder—much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Clary knows she should call the police, but it’s hard to explain a murder when the body disappears into thin air and the murderers are invisible to everyone but Clary.

Equally startled by her ability to see them, the murderers explain themselves as Shadowhunters: a secret tribe of warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. Within twenty-four hours, Clary’s mother disappears and Clary herself is almost killed by a grotesque demon.

But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know…


Book Cover Comments

Guess what.

I love it.

Shiny surface, not as creepy as the other edition with a male chest in my face-opinion, the bronze color scheme is lovely. And then there’s wonderful Jace holding a sword and touching some cards. Does it mean something hmm? hmm? hmm? ;)

Btw the new editions’ spines are ABSOLUTELY gorgeous.


The Actual Review

I never thought about reading this series, because I know how many books there are, and I was always so scared to start it because I know how much potential there would be. But here I am, thankful of my friend who basically forced me to read it by buying it as my Christmas present.

Even in the first book and it took a little bit of time to get into, Cassandra Clare’s writing was pretty amazing. The new edition comes with a forward that introduces just a little bit to what the Shadowhunter Chronicles would be like. Just how she decides to combine nephilims, vampires, faeries, all these magical creatures into one cauldron, mix it all up and pour it into one book? That was pretty amazing.

While the general plot concept was somewhat cliche about how a girl embarks on a journey to find her missing mother without knowing anything about her existing past or abilities whatsoever because her mom hid it from her (Ruby Red Trilogy by Kerstin Gier or Passenger by Alex Bracken), this series didn’t disappoint me at all. Book one begins with a lot of world and character introduction, concept building, so on and so forth. And through Clary, I get to know a lot of basically everything. Now the fact that this book was written in the old ages, there is bound to be a triangular relationship of some sort. But hey, who doesn’t like cliche plot lines? Honestly though, Clary and Jace are pretty cute, and I really want to know what happens next, because there was a plot twist regarding these two’s relationship that makes everything much more intriguing.

Other characters in the book include Simon, Clary’s best friend, Izzy and Raphael who are Jace’s companions, as well as the nephilim’s mentor. Being a regular human introduced into this gang of shadowhunters, Simon naturally felt lost, and Clary somewhat was using him as an advantage to access the human world, because I mean, Clary pretty much lost her house. There was a bit of annoyance and jealously that arose from Simon, in which I haven’t seen for awhile in YA novels, so he was a pretty fresh characters. The relationship between Clary and Simon as best friends, but including an unrequited love was pretty classic as well, but their existing bond could perhaps make them have more interesting development in the future.

Jace is a pretty cocky character to be honest. But hey lets just say this hot guy kinda got attracted to Clary, and chemistry just happened. And the way how he puts himself before others, acts without thinking, the way he just knew what he had to do in some situations in the book for the sake of Clary and not really himself, to save others around him, was pretty sweet of him.

We also get a brief introduction with Magnus Bane!!! Yes he is so significant because he literally has a book for himself (Bane Chronicles in which I have not read yet) He’s a pretty funny character in my opinion, with the way he hosted his heck of a party, but at the same time, really mysterious, because he has so much hidden power, and he only displayed a fraction of it in front of Clary and her friends.

So talking about roll credits, City of Bones refers to Bone City in the book (lol I’m just repeating myself), a place which Clary and Jace would visit, gain a knowledge to a really key information to discover the past of Clary, and how the plot moves along. I won’t spoil you (most of you here reading my review has probably already read City of Bones but whatever) because Clary’s past and family tree is what drives the conclusion to this first book and therefore leading to the plot twist that happened 75% of the way, but yea.

So that’s pretty much it because I can’t think what else to write, but I know that I must get City of Glass as soon as I finish my May Book Haul. And yes, I CANNOT WAIT FOR MY A COURT OF WINGS AND RUIN TO ARRIVE. Sarah J. Maas 4evvaaa

Book Review: Bright Smoke, Cold Fire – Rosamund Hodge

THIS WAS ACTUALLY A REALLY WOWEE READ BECAUSE OF THE MAGIC

Honestly where is the next god damn book


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Name: Bright Smoke, Cold Fire
Author: Rosamund Hodge
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: September 27, 2016

Synopsis

When the mysterious fog of the Ruining crept over the world, the living died and the dead rose. Only the walled city of Viyara was left untouched.

The heirs of the city’s most powerful—and warring—families, Mahyanai Romeo and Juliet Catresou share a love deeper than duty, honor, even life itself. But the magic laid on Juliet at birth compels her to punish the enemies of her clan—and Romeo has just killed her cousin Tybalt. Which means he must die.

Paris Catresou has always wanted to serve his family by guarding Juliet. But when his ward tries to escape her fate, magic goes terribly wrong—killing her and leaving Paris bound to Romeo. If he wants to discover the truth of what happened, Paris must delve deep into the city, ally with his worst enemy . . . and perhaps turn against his own clan.

Mahyanai Runajo just wants to protect her city—but she’s the only one who believes it’s in peril. In her desperate hunt for information, she accidentally pulls Juliet from the mouth of death—and finds herself bound to the bitter, angry girl. Runajo quickly discovers Juliet might be the one person who can help her recover the secret to saving Viyara.

Both pairs will find friendship where they least expect it. Both will find that Viyara holds more secrets and dangers than anyone ever expected. And outside the walls, death is waiting. . . .


Book Cover Comments

I think its so cool how the female POVs are highlighted on the cover: Runajo and Juliet. And Juliet’s red dress really contrasts well. The circle in the middle of course signifies something, and no I will not spoil it :)


The Actual Review

It’s a bit difficult to type with an injured hand wrapped in a cocoon-thick amount of bandages.

I really really enjoyed this book. Rosamund Hodge did not dissappoint me with her retelling of Sleeping Beauty – Cruel Beauty (you can read its review here!), and now a retelling of not a fairytale, but such a famous play – Romeo & Juliet?

Let’s begin this review by talking about the retelling elements. Unlike Cruel Beauty which wraps up Sleeping Beauty from beginning till end, Bright Smoke, Cold Fire (a.k.a. bscf) did not begin from the beginning. Instead, it begins at around where Tybalt was killed, as the relationship between Romeo and Juliet was pre-established through the reader’s knowledge. With their relationship served as a base core for the character’s mindsets and behaviours, the two pairs – Romeo & Paris // Juliet & Runajo begin their journey.

Before jumping in to the individual pairs, the world building is very very rich. The city of Viyara, the different classes and the clans, how each of them has a different belief, and the religion and history that this city was built on. This serves as such a key point for our main characters, in order to discover ways to save their city – the last place they know with civilisation. Together, they go through learning about the secrets and lies of different people, the corrupted structure of their society, both upper and lower classes, human behaviour of selfish and greed, many more.

The magic in this book is also very rich. Mainly used by the sisters (where Runajo is) who operates the island by feeding it blood to last longer and to maintain it, more secrets and histort unravels as Runajo and Juliet seeks a solution to end all this madness, to give the world another day of hope. The runes, ancient libraries, terrible looking creatures in which I made them cuter to not give my head nightmares, ancient spells written to create bindings and seals, oooh and necromancers. The roles in Juliet’s family, how Juliet is more than what she is, the spells put on her since birth, and the importance and role of Tybalt and Paris.

Romeo and Paris are stuck together in more than just one way. Not gonna spoil you here btw :P Their bond is really special in the sense that they’ll have to deal with each other’s existence way more than anyone would want to, and in the beginning, they come from opposing families. Realising that they have the same objective in mind, they travel along their journey to find a solution to save what they want to protect, and to repay themselves to the kindness they owe.

Juliet and Runajo are also really special, as their relationship, was also unintended. And it could be even worse than what Romeo and Paris are going through. But through all of this, they learn the thoughts of each other, they help each other out, become each others friend, discover pasts, and go through lies and betrayals. It’s really interesting in how this book really really heavily focuses on building a partner-in-crime, a sister, a brother, a friend.

There might be less romance than you expect, but every few chapters, there are scenes that shares the stories of Romeo and Juliet, and you just can’t help but sweetly heartache over it.


A voyage of four, each pair finding friendship in its unexpected way, Bright Smoke, Cold Fire unravels the blossoming of the relationship between the four, weaving the lines of connection to the plot, and leads up to a great cliffhanger for readers to wait for book two, when Viraya will be saved.