Book Review: Pride

NEWTS, NEWTS, NEWTS!! I have finished my third book for the Magical Readathon and it has been a wild ride so far. I had no idea that I could read this much but having this little break has been such a nice treat. The third book I finished was Pride by Ibi Zoboi.

The book Pride by Ibi Zoboi

Synopsis: Zuri Benitez has pride. Brooklyn pride, family pride, and pride in her Afro-Latino roots. But pride might not be enough to save her rapidly gentrifying neighborhood from becoming unrecognizable.

When the wealthy Darcy family moves in across the street, Zuri wants nothing to do with their two teenage sons, even as her older sister, Janae, starts to fall for the charming Ainsley. She especially can’t stand the judgmental and arrogant Darius. Yet as Zuri and Darius are forced to find common ground, their initial dislike shifts into an unexpected understanding.

But with four wild sisters pulling her in different directions, cute boy Warren vying for her attention, and college applications hovering on the horizon, Zuri fights to find her place in Bushwick’s changing landscape, or lose it all.

I enjoyed this book as a whole but I found the main character to be slightly annoying. She was very judgemental and kind of seemed like a hypocrite because she was judging people for the exact same thing she would be doing.

I will say that the author did a great job with their descriptions because it was so easy to picture all the locations and people in my mind. They had such vibrancy and all the personalities of the characters were very unique and different so it held me with a fun cast of people taking part in this story.

I have never read Pride & Prejudice and this was supposed to be a remix of it with a full cast of POC characters. I like that they did this and enjoyed seeing some of the cultural differences that the cast represented that differ from my own as a white Canadian male. Reading a book with a cast of diverse characters is always a good thing.

Zuri comes from a big family and it was nice to see what it is like to have so many people around you at all times. I am an only child so I never had the luxury of a big family with brothers and sisters so it is fun to read about it and imagine what it could be like plus it shows how a family values each other.

Overall, I liked the book but the plot was a little slow. That being said, I would recommend this to someone to read because it is worth it based on the character development present in it.

Book Rating: 3/5

You can buy this book on Amazon and find it on Goodreads.

Disclaimer: I won this book in a giveaway and read it because I wanted to.


I know I said I was on a book buying ban but here are all the books I got for my birthday!

Also for all you fantasy lovers out there, my friend Moud Adel (author of the War Remnants which I reviewed in July) has created this new game called Majority Rules where you get to decide what happens in his fantasy story. You will read the story and then vote in a poll for what you want the next scene to be. YOU take control and YOU make the decisions. Every Thursday, there will be new scene options so it is a continuous game! Check it out by clicking on the image below!

Join the game:

https://mastoperia.com/majority-rules/

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Book Review: The Warded Man

I decided to pick up this book because one of the prompts for the NEWTS Magical Readathon was to “read a friend’s favorite book”. In this case, I chose Markus and his favorite book is The Warded Man by Peter V. Brett.

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Synopsis: As darkness falls after sunset, the corelings rise—demons who possess supernatural powers and burn with a consuming hatred of humanity. For hundreds of years the demons have terrorized the night, slowly culling the human herd that shelters behind magical wards—symbols of power whose origins are lost in myth and whose protection is terrifyingly fragile. It was not always this way. Once, men and women battled the corelings on equal terms, but those days are gone. Night by night the demons grow stronger, while human numbers dwindle under their relentless assault. Now, with hope for the future fading, three young survivors of vicious demon attacks will dare the impossible, stepping beyond the crumbling safety of the wards to risk everything in a desperate quest to regain the secrets of the past. Together, they will stand against the night.

This was one of the first epic fantasy books that I have read and I really enjoyed it! The world building was great and the way it instilled fear in the reader for the characters and there lives that were at stake was phenomenal.

It was such a cool concept to have demons rise every night when the sun goes down. The people are only able to protect themselves with magic wards. The book definitely gets very dark in some areas and I thought that this added to its great storytelling ability because not everything is always rainbows and butterflies. People will live or die based upon the intense decisions they make each day and that is the feeling you get for the 3 main characters of the book.

I also quite enjoyed this it was split into 3 story arcs and unveiled little bits of each character as it kept switching perspectives each chapter. It gives you more insight into the different areas of this massive world the author has created while staying relevant to the plot.

The demons described in the book sound very cool (and very terrifying). I would not want to be up close and personal with any of them because they would probably be the last thing I see.

I would strongly recommend this book to anyone that wants to start a great epic fantasy series (there are 5 in total). I know I will be picking up the next one soon!

Book Rating: 4.5/5

You can buy this book on Amazon and find it on Goodreads.

Disclaimer: I borrowed this book in physical format to read and give an honest review.


I finally finished unpacking and getting settled and decided to do a massive unhaul of the books I have already read and probably won’t pick up again. Plus there is a GIVEAWAY at the end of the video so check it out!

Also for all you fantasy lovers out there, my friend Moud Adel (author of the War Remnants which I reviewed in July) has created this new game called Majority Rules where you get to decide what happens in his fantasy story. You will read the story and then vote in a poll for what you want the next scene to be. YOU take control and YOU make the decisions. Every Thursday, there will be new scene options so it is a continuous game! Check it out by clicking on the image below!

Join the game:

https://mastoperia.com/majority-rules/

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Book Review: Rise And Run

I have started my NEWTS for the Magical Readathon and this book was one that I read for the prompt of the first book that came to mind on my TBR. This one was called Rise And Run by RJ Plant.

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Synopsis: Felix and Conor Quinn are brothers at odds. After starting life as a less-than-ethical government experiment, the brothers now share the same body. When their adoptive father, illegal trades mogul Rian Connell, receives a tip that his niece is in danger, he sends Felix to track her down. The assignment brings up bad memories for Felix. It also threatens to bring Conor’s dark secrets to light—secrets that necessitate the manufacture of a drug to suppress his genome.

More pressing problems arise once Felix finds Kaitlyn. He soon realizes that Government Directive International (GDI)—one of the last governments of post-War 2042—has disturbing plans for him. By the time Felix realizes that Kaitlyn was only bait to lure him in, it’s already too late. GDI’s Agent-in-Charge doses Felix with a lethal, fast-acting virus, bringing Conor to the surface.

Immune to Felix’s virus thanks to his genomic difference, Conor must take up the mantle of uncovering the secrets of his past … before they get everyone around him killed. Every instinct tells Conor to run like hell, but in the end, his only choice may be to outsmart GDI. Or bring the organization crashing down.

This book was a new twist on SciFi/dystopian that I was not expecting. I found it to be a little choppy in that it jumped from scene to scene very quickly but it was interesting none the less with the two brothers fighting each other for control of the one body they shared.

The backstory was slowly revealed as time went on and I kept switching my feelings on which brother I was rooting for. I believe that it could have used a little bit more development for the cast of side characters so that they had more depth to them.

There was a decent amount of action that pushed the plot forward and kept it fun. I will say that there was a lot of Irish slang in it since a lot of it was based in Ireland (which is a cool point since I find it rare that books are set here) so be prepared to learn some fun terminology if you pick up the book.

This was a good starting novel for a series and I would continue the series based on what this book had to offer.

Book Rating: 3.5/5

You can buy this book on Amazon and find it on Goodreads.

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me in physical format by the author to read and give an honest review.


August has arrived and with it the Magical Readathon!! It is time to take my N.E.W.T.S! Watch this video to see which books I will be reading for my exams!

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Book Review: X-men Necrosha

I took some time to myself and enjoyed a graphic novel in all the hustle and bustle of readathons because I felt like I deserved a little break. This one was called Xmen: Necrosha and it is made by Marvel and a bunch of their artists.

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Synopsis: The Necrosha event hits X-Men: Legacy! Selene’s master plan is clicking into place, but she got something she didn’t plan for when destiny was brought back to life. a major X-villain snuck back into the world of the living along with destiny, and now a who’s who of X-Men are being sent to Muir Island to deal with their resurrected foe. Join Nightcrawler, Colossus, Psylocke, Rogue and the X-Men’s newest member – the master of magnetism, Magneto – as they dive into Necrosha.

This was a quick and fun read for me. I picked it up on sale at a comic book shop and decided to read it one day on a whim. It was nice to get back into the world of X-men and to see some of the newer mutants that I was not aware of up until this point. The X-men team is ever-changing in leadership and this keeps it interesting. I like that some of the mutants powers continue to evolve and that the storylines for X-men and always so fun and intense!

Overall, I would suggest this graphic novel if you want to pick something up and jump right into the story without much buildup to the main event because this one starts you off right at the main event.

Book Rating: 3.5/5

You can buy this book on Amazon and find it on Goodreads.

Disclaimer: I bought this book with my own money and read it because I wanted to.


August has arrived and with it the Magical Readathon!! It is time to take my N.E.W.T.S! Watch this video to see which books I will be reading for my exams!

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Book Review: The Grey Sisters

Welcome back bookworms! July has been quite the reading month and this was the 5th book I had finished which is pretty good for me. This one was called The Grey Sisters by Jo Treggiari. Jo was kind enough to send me physical copies of both of her books because I read her first book called Blood Will Out, loved it, and have been a huge supporter of her since. So now I am starting a Jo Treggiari section on my bookshelf 🙂 which means that you better write more books Jo!

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Book Synopsis: D and Spider have always been close friends, and they are further united in their shared heartbreak: they both lost siblings in a horrific plane crash two years earlier. A chance sighting of a beloved cuddly toy in a photograph of the only survivor spurs D to finally seek closure. She and Spider and their friend, Min, set off on a road trip to the mountainside site of that terrible crash.

Ariel has lived on the mountain all her life. She and her extended family are looked down upon by neighboring townsfolk and she has learned to live by her wits, trusting few people outside of her isolated, survivalist community. A terrifying attack sends her down the mountain for help; on her way, she comes upon the three girls — a chance encounter that will have far-reaching consequences for them all.

Jo’s books always start out with such gripping chapters and this one did not disappoint! The book starts immediately in an intense scene and the sense of urgency pulls you right in.

She is very good at telling a story from multiple perspectives. Her first book was like this too, bouncing back and forth between two perspectives and this one continued with that feeling but it was bumped up to about 4 or 5 different perspectives and the way that they all tied together was magnificently told.

The book had the perfect amount of “creepy” factor for me. I love books that can make me feel like I am being watched or that there is a hidden figure in the room. It adds so much suspense to the book and just gets me in that creeped out mood that I get when watching a well put together scary/thriller movie. This book was a success on this front. Some of the situations that the characters were put in would make me feel really scared and I absolutely loved that the book could make me feel these things.

There are definitely some twists and turns that you won’t be expecting. I sort of figured it out when I was about halfway through but that is because I have a feel for Jo’s writing style now and I look for certain cues. But that is all a part of the fun for me. If I can figure out a story before it is revealed then I feel like a badass.

This book is a great read for someone that wants a YA fiction with a little bit of thriller in it. And if you get the chance to check out her other book, Blood Will Out, then I strongly suggest it because you will be thinking about it well after you have finished.

Book Rating: 4/5

You can buy this book on Amazon or Penguin Random House Canada and find it on Goodreads!

Disclaimer: I was sent this book in physical format by the author as a gift. I decided to read and give it an honest review because I wanted to.


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Book Review: Jamie James And The Curse Of The Ancestors

I have been reading a lot lately and managed to get another book on my July TBR completed! This one was called Jamie James And The Curse Of The Ancestors by Roy Aronson.

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Synopsis: Jamie wants to become a veterinarian. He travels to Nelspruit near the Kruger National Park in order to gain work experience with a wildlife vet. He has a secret mission that is, in fact, his primary mission. Two hundred years ago an ancestor of his whipped a black slave to death. The slave’s mother placed a curse on the family whereby all the male descendants will die violently before their fiftieth birthday.

Jamie endeavors to try and have his family released from the curse. In the process, he meets Samantha, the love interest in the story, and Shadrak, who becomes his friend and who is also the son of a Sangoma.

I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about this book because ….*intense build up*…. I judged this book on its cover *audience gasping*. I had an earlier version of the book and the cover is not what the current one is now. All covers aside, the book was really good! I really enjoyed the adventures that Jamie James embarks on in Africa and all the relationships he creates with the people around his father’s Vet office.

I believe that this book would be an amazing read for the middle grade level. It is not quite advanced enough for YA or Adults but would be great for ages 9 to 14. It reminded me of these books I used to read as a kid (don’t’ remember the names now but they were about a Vet’s daughter and her rescuing a bunch of animals). With proper marketing, I think this book could be great and I think it should be read by more people.

It is very vanilla (and by that, I mean there is no swearing in it). Another great thing about it is that it has a diverse range of characters. And I learned a little about the geography of Africa.

I do believe that the name Jamie James was a little odd. This may just be my personal preference but for some reason, when I hear this name, I picture a white rapper. Yep, this is definitely just a “me” thing.

Overall, I enjoyed the book and would pass this on to my little cousins to read because I believe that they would enjoy it.

Book Rating: 4/5

You can buy this book on Amazon and Book Depository or find it on Goodreads.

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me in physical format by the author to read and give an honest review.


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Book Review: Blood Red Dust

We are just pumping out book reviews this week! It must be all the time we have to read with the nice hot weather out there! Our external reviewer Sara completed another book. This one was called Blood Red Dust by Stuart Aken.

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Synopsis: As people struggle to survive in an increasingly hostile climate on Earth, plans are afoot for the preservation of the human race. Mars, already occupied by commercial mining interests, is the only viable option. The Chosen are sent to colonize the new world and germinate the seeds of their new Utopia. But dark forces not only want to halt the plan, but they also want to see the end of all human life, everywhere. If mankind survives the divinely inspired crusade of death from dogma-driven martyrs, will The Chosen’s new Utopia be the real route to salvation?

This novel is about the first settled colony on Mars, which is designed to repopulate the human race on Mars. They soon find out that their colony may be under attack by extremists from Earth, determined to exterminate all life. Earth has become uninhabitable, and the only hope for humanity lies with a few colonies among the stars. The story is told in a report-style format, from a variety of points of view.

One of the unfortunate things about this formatting is that we don’t get very much descriptive text. We don’t get to know very much about our characters or our setting, which is really too bad, as they are specially trained, enhanced humans living in a successful Mars colony. I wish that the book had taken more time to discuss some of these more interesting science fiction aspects than it did.

Unfortunately, I didn’t much enjoy this book. Although the idea is really interesting, I would have loved it if it was more of a science fiction adventure novel than whatever genre this actually turned into. There was also a lot of awkward attempts to include “what had gone wrong with the earth” from the characters’ point of view included in their reports, which felt forced and way too obvious. Apparently, this author really doesn’t like capitalism, as that’s all he could talk about for half the book.

I wish that this idea had been fleshed out with more research and details, to make it feel more like actual reports from a future Mars colony. I feel like I just wanted MORE of everything from this book, and I didn’t get it. Too bad!

Book Rating: 3/5

You can find this book on Amazon and Goodreads.

Disclaimer: This book was sent to us in ebook format by the author to read and give an honest review.


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Book Review: War Remnants

Hey bookworms! Recently, I was approached by a bookstagrammer friend of mine to read and review the novella that they wrote. At first, I was a little hesitant because I have interacted with them a bunch on Instagram and was worried that if I didn’t like the book then it would be awkward. The book is called War Remnants by Moud Adel.

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Synopsis: When the price of Gate Magic is a shorter life spent with your loved ones, will you want to keep that door closed?

Prepared to give up all of his power for a few more years with his family, Rakamai, the leader of his faction, a Magic Master who swore to defend his people against those who possess special powers, believed the only way out was to offer peace. But in a world where factions love to be enemies, his dream would soon be shattered.

Yamen, a Forest Elder, reminds Rakamai that controlling Majestic animals is a power he should always fear, and trapped in another war, Rakamai has a decision to make. Protect the legacy of his people or save his son from the hatred plaguing his world.

Now, when the Forbidden Warriors, the strongest in his world, are hunting him down, Rakamai must first escape their wrath before choosing between a longer life for himself or peace for the next generation.

I can happily say that I enjoyed the book. I was really interested in the magic system and wanted to know more about the different factions and their powers/abilities. I believe that they could have been explored more and kind of wish that this was an actual full-length book and not a novella so that we could get that history and build more on this world.

The battle scenes were very descriptive and showed the range of powers that each adversary had. I enjoyed that they mixed modern weapons into the magic.

I did get a little bit lost with the names. A lot of them were very similar so at times I was getting confused as to whom I was reading about. And a lot of them started with the same letter so that didn’t make it any easier to differentiate them.

It is a great setup for a full on series and I would love to read the series and learn more about these characters.

Book Rating: 4/5

You can buy this book on Amazon and find it on Goodreads.

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the author in the ebook format to read and give an honest review.


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Book Review: The Serpent Bearer and The Prince of Stars

 

Serpent Bearer

Welcome to The Serpent-Bearer and the Prince of Stars blog tour! Read on to learn more about this beautifully illustrated graphic novel by C.S. Johnson, and a chance to win a copy for yourself!

The Serpent-Bearer and the Prince of Stars

Publication Date: November 7th, 2018

Genre: Manga Style/ Graphic Novel

Length: 30 Pages

A tiresome task.
A deceptive dragon.
A prince that changes everything.

Ophiuchus is a celebrated warrior of the Celestial Kingdom and a warrior among the Stars. He has been always been a dutiful servant of the Prince of Stars. So when the prince asks him to watch over the crafty serpent, Naga, Ophiuchus agrees. But as time passes and discouragement—both from Naga and others—Ophiuchus wonders if the Prince of Stars was right in asking him to take on the burdens of his task.

Will Ophiuchus honor his duty, or give into his heart’s weariness?

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Excerpt

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Available on Amazon!

Book Review

It was quite quick and it was interesting to learn about the different gods of the zodiac as characters. I believe that at parts, there was too much speech in the bubbles and it could have been split up a bit into more graphics but the overall feel was fun.

I liked Cancer the most. He was an adorable little crab. I am not sure if I would continue with the series but I did enjoy this one.

About the Author

Author Pic

C. S. Johnson is the award-winning, genre-hopping author of several novels, including young adult sci-fi and fantasy adventures such as the Starlight Chronicles, the Once Upon a Princess saga, and the Divine Space Pirates trilogy. With a gift for sarcasm and an apologetic heart, she currently lives in Atlanta with her family. Find out more at http://www.csjohnson.me

CS Johnson | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest

For a chance to win your own copy of The Serpent-Bearer and the Prince of Stars, click the link below!

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The Serpent-Bearer

Blog Tour Schedule

July 22nd

Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com

I Smell Sheep (Review) http://www.ismellsheep.com/

Tsarina Press (Spotlight) https://www.tsarinapress.com

I Love Books and Stuff (Spotlight) https://ilovebooksandstuffblog.wordpress.com

Quirky Cats Fat Stacks (Review) https://quirkycatsfatstacks.com/

Perspective of a Writer (Review) http://perspectiveofawriter.com/

July 23rd

Breakeven Books (Review) https://breakevenbooks.com

Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/

Tranquil Dreams (Review) https://klling.wordpress.com/

B is for Book Review (Spotlight) https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com

July 24th

Books Teacup and Reviews (Spotlight) https://booksteacupnreviews.wordpress.com/

Graphic Novelty2 (Review) https://graphicnovelty2.com/

Bri’s Book Nook (Review) http://brisbooknook.wordpress.com

The Faerie Review (Review) http://www.thefaeriereview.com

I’m All About the Books (Spotlight) https://imallaboutbooks.com/

July 25th

My Comic Relief (Review) https://mycomicrelief.wordpress.com/

The Bibliophagist (Review) http://thebibliophagist.blog/

Adventures Thru Wonderland (Review) http://adventuresthruwonderland.blogspot.com/

Where Dragons Reside (Review) https://kernerangelina.live/

July 26th

Sophril Reads (Spotlight) http://sophrilreads.wordpress.com

Triquetra Reviews (Spotlight) http://www.triquetrareviews.blogspot.com

J Bronder Book Reviews (Review) https://jbronderbookreviews.com/

The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Review) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com

Dash Fan Book Reviews (Spotlight) https://dashfan81.blogspot.com/

Blog Tour Organized By:

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R&R Book Tours


Watch my Small Booktuber Tag video where I talk about what it is like to be a small booktuber and all the amazing people in the community!

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Book Review: The Usurper King

Hey bookworms! I read my TBR jar pick from June (yes I know, its a little late) and this one has been on my shelf for quite a while. It was called The Usurper King by Zeb Haradon and was it ever an interesting one.

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Synopsis: The Usurper King takes place in an alternate universe where the serial killer Ted Bundy was never apprehended and is now running for president in 2016.

Jim, a sufferer of a hybrid computer-biological virus that causes premature aging, tries to pay for his treatments by winning money on the game show ‘Guts!’, which has contestants competitively predict the future by reading animal entrails.

As Jim begins to find omens in the entrails of Bundy’s victory, and details of Bundy’s murderous past are uncovered, Jim and another contestant take it upon themselves to stop his ascent to power before it’s too late.

So this book is kind of a roller coaster. It has its ups and downs. I read some other reviews after reading this book and I completely agree with a bunch of them that state that they don’t really know what genre this book is because it has elements of sci-fi, thriller, and historical fiction but none so solidified that it fits just one of them.

I honestly was captured by the author’s writing style and quite enjoyed how he expressed his characters. I wouldn’t necessarily agree with all of the decisions that the characters made but they were each unique and had a way of giving you just enough knowledge about them that left you wanting to know more.

I never knew where this book was going next. It kept taking different turns which I wasn’t expecting and I loved that. The addition of Ted Bundy as a political figure made it even more interesting. To have a character of that vicious enamour in a position of power is a very scary thing and reminded me of Donald Trump. Thank god for being a Canadian 😛

Trigger warning: Animal Cruelty

There is quite a lot of animal sacrificing for the sake of reading their entrails in this book. I do believe that it went a little overboard with the disregard for the animals lives and killing them as if they were just objects that have no value. That being said, I didn’t let it hinder my experience of the novel that much.

I think this book would be good for someone that isn’t too squeamish and wants a book that doesn’t really have a category, it is just humorous and interesting.

Book Rating: 3.5/5

You can buy this book on Amazon and find it on Goodreads!

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me in physical format by the author to read and give an honest review.


Watch my Small Booktuber Tag video where I talk about what it is like to be a small booktuber and all the amazing people in the community!

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