InstaReview: My Lady Jane

[Caption] ✨Take history🇬🇧, magic and just a bit of comedy, and you’ve got the formula for My Lady Jane. Written by three authors – Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows – the story is told from three different perspective – King Edward, Lady Jane and Lord Gifford (call him G🐎). There are shapeshifters (Eðians), a dastardly plot, a jealous older sister, a lot of blueberries, a trip to France🇫🇷, quite a few misunderstandings, a tad too much of Edward’s perspective, but at its core, a love story.

It sounds like a lot, and it is a rather long book, but it went by surprisingly fast. In addition to the layer of fantasy, it takes a lot of liberties with the actual storyline of Lady Jane Grey and of King Edward. 👑

On a whole, it’s highly comical. The most endearing part of the story is the relationship between Lady Jane and G, I wish I knew who wrote their perspectives because I’d go out and buy their novels right away – especially G’s!

✨Take history🇬🇧, magic and just a bit of comedy, and you've got the formula for My Lady Jane. Written by three authors – Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows – the story is told from three different perspective – King Edward, Lady Jane and Lord Gifford (call him G🐎). There are shapeshifters (Eðians), a dastardly plot, a jealous older sister, a lot of blueberries, a trip to France🇫🇷, quite a few misunderstandings, a tad too much of Edward's perspective, but at its core, a love story. It sounds like a lot, and it is a rather long book, but it went by surprisingly fast. In addition to the layer of fantasy, it takes a lot of liberties with the actual storyline of Lady Jane Grey and of King Edward. 👑 On a whole, it's highly comical. The most endearing part of the story is the relationship between Lady Jane and G, I wish I knew who wrote their perspectives because I'd go out and buy their novels right away – especially G's! #bookstagram #books #bookish #booksofinstagram #instabook #booklover #bookworm #igreads #ilovebooks #bookaholic #readingaddict #bibliophile #instaread #reader #reading #read #readingaddict #bookphotography #bookphoto #instareview #bookreview #bookrecommendation #amreading #myladyjane #CynthiaHand #BrodiAshton #JodMeadows #youngadult #historicalfiction #ladyjanegrey #fantasy

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InstaReview: Dream On

The second book in the Silver Trilogy by Kerstin Gier, Dream On, continues with the dream travels of Liv and her new friends.

From the author of my one of my favourite time-travel series, Dream On (book two in her Dream series) is a different type of travel – dream travel. Continuing from the first book, (spoilers ahead!) Liv spends time in the dreams learning to manipulate her surroundings and self with Henry. This book is a little bit sinister mystery -who's sharing Liv's personal life with Secrecy, and why is her sister sleepwalking into dangerous situations? It's also got that cheeky humour that I'm beginning to notice as Kerstin Gier's style. It keeps you tuned in and turning the pages (especially towards the end). However, it does leave quite a few loose ends which I'm assuming will be wrapped up in book three. Loved the idea of dream sharing, and very curious to see it all tied together in the last installment. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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[Caption] From the author of my one of my favourite time-travel series, Dream On (book two in her Dream series) is a different type of travel – dream travel.
Continuing from the first book, (spoilers ahead!) Liv spends time in the dreams learning to manipulate her surroundings and self with Henry. This book is a little bit sinister mystery -who’s sharing Liv’s personal life with Secrecy, and why is her sister sleepwalking into dangerous situations? It’s also got that cheeky humour that I’m beginning to notice as Kerstin Gier’s style.
It keeps you tuned in and turning the pages (especially towards the end). However, it does leave quite a few loose ends which I’m assuming will be wrapped up in book three. Loved the idea of dream sharing, and very curious to see it all tied together in the last installment. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

 

InstaReview: Heartstone

You’ve got your dragons, sassy heroine and dashing hero; but layer that on top of Pride and Prejudice and set it in an alternative historical time and you’ve got quite a fantastic novel.

If you like good retellings, Pride and Prejudice, and dragons, then you'll enjoy Heartstone by Elle Katharine White. Overlaying the well-known plot is a story of Riders and their dragons🐲 (or wyverns🐉, or other mythical creatures) who defend the country from Tekari (mythical creatures who don't care much for humans). There is a lot of history there, and while I do love a good retelling, I did wonder what would have happened if the story veered just a little, and expanded outside the scope of the P&P plot. The politics could have been intriguing, and the dragon training and bonding could have made for an exciting read. However, keeping to the limits of P&P I'm pleased with the direction the book takes. Aliza is as witty and intelligent as Elizabeth, and Daired just as caring under a snooty exterior as Darcy. The addition of the dragons did add another dynamic to the story and Akarra turned out to be my favourite characters. 🐲 I would have loved to see a bit more regarding the change in character of Daired – we definitely saw a good deal in Aliza, more than we did in the original P&P books. I'd like to know more about the hobgoblins in the garden of a certain stately house and the mysterious Pan. About Carlyle and what happened to him. And how Mari could know certain things about these creatures, but the fighters didn't. I suppose White could have gone on building the world and expanding, but that might have made for a much longer book, so perhaps that was a good choice to keep it concise. However, I hope there are more stories set in this world. ⭐⭐⭐⭐ . . #bookstagram #books #bookish #booksofinstagram #instabook #booklover #bookworm #igreads #ilovebooks #bookaholic #readingaddict #bibliophile #instaread #reader #reading #read #amreading #review #igreviews #bookreview #ellekatharinewhite #heartstone #dragons #highfantasy #fantasy #janeausten #prideandprejudice #harpervoyager #litcube

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[Caption] If you like good retellings, Pride and Prejudice, and dragons, then you’ll enjoy Heartstone by Elle Katharine White.

Overlaying the well-known plot is a story of Riders and their dragons🐲 (or wyverns🐉, or other mythical creatures) who defend the country from Tekari (mythical creatures who don’t care much for humans). There is a lot of history there, and while I do love a good retelling, I did wonder what would have happened if the story veered just a little, and expanded outside the scope of the P&P plot. The politics could have been intriguing, and the dragon training and bonding could have made for an exciting read.

However, keeping to the limits of P&P I’m pleased with the direction the book takes. Aliza is as witty and intelligent as Elizabeth, and Daired just as caring under a snooty exterior as Darcy. The addition of the dragons did add another dynamic to the story and Akarra turned out to be my favourite characters. 🐲

I would have loved to see a bit more regarding the change in character of Daired – we definitely saw a good deal in Aliza, more than we did in the original P&P books. I’d like to know more about the hobgoblins in the garden of a certain stately house and the mysterious Pan. About Carlyle and what happened to him. And how Mari could know certain things about these creatures, but the fighters didn’t. I suppose White could have gone on building the world and expanding, but that might have made for a much longer book, so perhaps that was a good choice to keep it concise. However, I hope there are more stories set in this world. ⭐⭐⭐⭐ 

… written by Libba Bray

 

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Libba Bray @ The Scholastic Store in SoHo

 

After reading the Gemma Doyle trilogy, I was absolutely enthralled with Libba Bray‘s storytelling style. It was imaginative, it was magical, it sucked me in and made me struggle to take my time to savour the tale because I wanted, so badly, to devour it.

Later, I picked up her Going Bovine standalone and was both impressed and perplexed. Perplexed with the surrealness of the story itself (what’s real/what’s in his head), and impressed by her ability to string the absolutely absurd together in such a way that makes you want to keep on reading.

Then, Beauty Queens was released by Scholastic and I was privileged to attend a signing done at the Scholastic Store (pictured above). Beauty Queens was satire and wit. There are a lot of characters, but they never felt flat. It’s definitely absurd, but that absurdity helps to expose the reader to a thoughtful narrative on popular culture, and modern society.

From this point, I pretty much vowed to buy everything Libba released, so when The Diviners came out, I was ready for anything. The Diviners had a lot of things I loved; the roaring 20s, mystery and a touch of the supernatural. Ok, a lot of the supernatural, so much so that I stopped reading this book before I went to bed because it was hard to turn off my imaginings. The main protagonist (Evie) was self-centered, and while I am not a fan of books with main characters like that, she didn’t annoy me as much as I thought she would (though she tried to really hard in the end).

So, after reading an 1800s fantasy series set in England, a surreal dark comedy set in NOLA, an absurd satire, and a 1920s paranormal/historical series set in New York, I think it’s safe to say that Libba Bray is a versatile author; and I’m probably still going to read everything she publishes.

~*~

InstaReview: Poison Study

Poison Study, by Maria V. Snyder, was a thrilling fantasy novel. It's got mystery, a brilliant assassin and a protagonist who is witty, loyal and just trying to stay alive. While it was long, it was never boring. Yelena was a strong female lead, capable of looking after herself. Valek, a complex and brilliant partner to Yelena. He was ruthless until the end and completely loyal to his Captain and cause. Absolutely no insta-love, no love triangle, no hyper-focus on romance while Yelena is fighting (often times, literally) to survive. Which left ample room for character development and world-building. My only complaint is General Brazell. As an antagonist he was cartoonish, and I'm still puzzled why he bothered educating his orphans, especially after we see how he got away with a few other incidences that I cannot get into because, spoilers! I have my theories, but I'd be curious what other readers think. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ . . #bookstagram #books #bookish #booksofinstagram #instabook #booklover #bookworm #igreads #ilovebooks #bookaholic #readingaddict #bibliophile #instaread #reader #reading #read #readingaddict #amreading #bookaddict #review #bookreview #poisonstudy #mariavsnyder #fantasy #strongheroine #leadingfemale #needmorefantasylikethis #thankgoodnessnoinstalove #absolutelynolovetriangles #seriouslygoodread

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[Caption] Poison Study, by Maria V. Snyder, was a thrilling fantasy novel. It’s got mystery, a brilliant assassin and a protagonist who is witty, loyal and just trying to stay alive. While it was long, it was never boring.

Yelena was a strong female lead, capable of looking after herself. Valek, a complex and brilliant partner to Yelena. He was ruthless until the end and completely loyal to his Captain and cause. Absolutely no insta-love, no love triangle, no hyper-focus on romance while Yelena is fighting (often times, literally) to survive. Which left ample room for character development and world-building.

My only complaint is General Brazell. As an antagonist he was cartoonish, and I’m still puzzled why he bothered educating his orphans, especially after we see how he got away with a few other incidences that I cannot get into because, spoilers! I have my theories, but I’d be curious what other readers think. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

~*~

It’s all about Time

Ruby Red trilogy by Kerstin Gier

rubyred

One of my favourite series – that incorporates time-travel – hails from Germany. In the Ruby Red (or Precious Stone) trilogy the travellers have a gene that caused them to travel back in time. All her life, Gwyneth thought her cousin Charlotte had this gene, until (of course) they realise that Gwen is the one who carries the gene.

The trilogy is well paced, has a good mystery that keeps you engaged the entire way through the story, and of course, a little bit of romance. This trilogy is one of my favourites for a few reasons:  Continue reading