Ultimate Blog Tour: The Die of Death

Advertisements

Title: The Die of Death (The Great Devil War II)
Author: Kenneth B. Andersen
Rating: ★★★★☆

Philip’s adventures as the Devil’s apprentice have changed him—in a good way. Although he misses his friends in Hell, he has made new friends in life.
But when the future of the underworld is threatened once again, Philip’s help is needed. Death’s Die has been stolen and immortality is spreading across the globe.
Philip throws himself into the search—and discovers a horrible truth about his own life along the way.

The Die of Death is volume 2 in The Great Devil War-series and winner of the ORLA-Award.

The Great Devil War-series is a humorous and gripping tale about good and evil, filled with biblical and historical characters, such as Judas, Goliath, and Pontius Pilate, as well as modern figures such as Elvis Presley, Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill, and many more.

Hello my dear readers, it is finally my stop on The Ultimate Blog Tour! For this tour, a bunch of us bloggers took a look at Book 2 in The Great Devil War series by Kenneth B. Andersen.

I was pleasantly surprised by the first book, and immediately jumped at the opportunity to read the second book.

Before I begin, I just want to let you know that I received this book for free in return for an honest review.

Shall we get going?


The Character of Phillip

Phillip comes off a bit juvenile in this book, maybe even a little more so than he did in the first one. I’m hit and miss on this aspect.

On one hand, it’s nice seeing a kid be a kid and have an innocent point of view. On the other hand, it almost seems fake, because that’s now what kids are like any more.

Though he seemed a bit predictable at times, I didn’t think any of his actions were too obvious that it ruined the book for me

I think Phillip knocked Satina out of the spotlight a bit, which isn’t necessarily bad, but she was one of the things I enjoyed about the series so far, and I wanted to see her a bit more this book.


The Worldbuilding

Worldbuilding is something that I look for in books. It is one of the things that can easily turn me on or off to a book.

Andersen does a good job at worldbuilding, in my opinion. I think he did a great job in the first book, and kept that going in this book.

Though we are already somewhat familiar with Phillip’s world, we got a bit of a peak behind the curtains to Purgatory and Heaven in this book.


YA Category

Though I would consider this book Young Adult, it definitely is nearer middle years. Yes, it is a bit dark, but it comes off very child-like to me. If the dark aspect of the book wasn’t present, I think this book would definitely be middle years.

I don’t read a lot of YA these days, but I pick one up now and then, and it’s refreshing. They’re usually simple reads with interesting premises, so I enjoy exploring their pages.

This was definitely true for The Die of Death. It was a lot of fun diving deeper into the world that I enjoyed so much in the first book.


Slow and Steady Doesn’t Win the Race

Anderson’s pacing is one of his strengths when it comes to his writing. He seems to have mastered the pacing of the books in the series, knowing exactly when to press on the gas, and when to ease up just a little bit.

He makes it feel a bit stressful. Like there’s always something happening, and that the stakes are high.

This helps add to the connections you feel with the characters. You feel like they’ve achieved something, like they’ve failed or succeeded in their goals.


Advertisements

If you do a little digging, it won’t be hard to find a bunch of other bloggers with reviews out there of this book. It was a lot of fun to read, and I can’t wait till I can get to book 3!

Let’s talk about The Die of Death in the comments, or on the social media!
Twitter  | Instagram | Goodreads | Facebook 

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: An Honest Review

Title: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Author: J.K. Rowling
Rating: ★★★☆☆

The Dursleys were so mean and hideous that summer that all Harry Potter wanted was to get back to the Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. But just as he’s packing his bags, Harry receives a warning from a strange, impish creature named Dobby who says that if Harry Potter returns to Hogwarts, disaster will strike

And strike it does. For in Harry’s second year at Hogwarts, fresh torments and horrors arise, including an outrageously stuck-up new professor, Gilderoy Lockhart, a spirit named Moaning Myrtle who haunts the girls’ bathroom, and the unwanted attentions of Ron Weasley’s younger sister, Ginny.

But each of these seem minor annoyances when the real trouble begins, and someone — or something — starts turning Hogwarts students to stone. Could it be Draco Malfoy, a more poisonous rival than ever? Could it possibly be Hagrid, whose mysterious past is finally told? Or could it be the one everyone at Hogwarts most suspects . . . Harry Potter himself?

Hello my dear Potternerds. TO be completely honest with you, I will not worship Harry Potter like a lot of people do/will.

I have grown to understand the reason people worship it so much, and I will admit my dislike of the series has shrunk over the past few months, but I will not sit here and blow smoke up the Harry Potterverse ass.


Harry’s Luck

Harry is generally pretty lucky. He generally has things thrown in his lap that help him save the day. He does very little on his own to solve any issues, but I will say CoS is one of the books where he does manage to get a bit done on his own.

He still needs some help, but he sort of figures out parts of the mystery on his own, and he does manage to kill the giant basilisk.

Sure, a magical healing bird flew in to save the day with a magic sword, but I’ll give it to Harry because he managed to still kill a giant snake which would be absolutely terrifying.

If Harry is good at one thing, it’s not cowering from a fight. He doesn’t seek them out per se, but when they are thrown at him, he won’t back down.


Advertisements

The Overall Story

What’s great about this book is that it sets up the premise for book six and seven, but we don’t know it yet.

I don’t know if Rowling intended it that way, or if she was smart enough to do a little bit of word smithing, but the fact that book 2 was the set-up of the Horcruxes is really amazing.

Once you read future books, book two makes even more sense, but alone, it works perfectly fine. You just assume Voldemort has come back in another form, this time in one of his old notebooks.

I’ll give it to Rowling, other than Voldemort’s respect for Harry’s summer vacations (he only causes issues during the school year), she definitely knows how to set up a premise for a story. Each of the books follows a great idea, that may have some issues, but generally is really interesting.


Voldemort

Voldemort is obviously an important part of the Potterverse. He is the main enemy, directly or indirectly, in each book, and is the ultimate villain of the entire series.

He doesn’t have a strong presence in this book, but he is there, or rather his memory is.

Though his ultimate goal in this book is a bit off from what he normally wants, it makes sense for who he is.

Voldemort is a well-written villain, and I think CoS is a great example of his character.

What’s Next?

None of the Harry Potter books “set-up” the future books that much. Sure they have ideas or plot lines that continue through the books, but they generally end when the book is over.


This would definitely be one of my favourite Harry Potter novels. Without thinking about it much, I’d probably put it in at number three.

Where would you put Chamber of Secrets in the overall Harry Potter ranking? Let’s talk about it in the comments.
Twitter  | Instagram | Goodreads | Facebook 

Where is Perrin?!?! Winter's Heart by Robert Jordan: A Book Review

Title: Winter’s Heart
Author: Robert Jordan
Rating: ★★☆☆☆ (2.5 / 5)

Rand is on the run with Min, and in Cairhein, Cadsuane is trying to figure out where he is headed. Rand’s destination is, in fact, one she has never considered.

Mazrim Taim, leader of the Black Tower, is revealed to be a liar. But what is he up to?

Faile, with the Aiel Maidens, Bain and Chiad, and her companions, Queen Alliandre and Morgase, is prisoner of Savanna’s sept.

Perrin is desperately searching for Faile. With Elyas Machera, Berelain, the Prophet and a very mixed “army” of disparate forces, he is moving through country rife with bandits and roving Seanchan. The Forsaken are ever more present, and united, and the man called Slayer stalks Tel’aran’rhiod and the wolfdream.

In Ebou Dar, the Seanchan princess known as Daughter of the Nine Moons arrives–and Mat, who had been recuperating in the Tarasin Palace, is introduced to her. Will the marriage that has been foretold come about?

There are neither beginnings or endings to the turning of the Wheel of Time. But it is a beginning….

Synopsis found on Gooreads

Hello my dead readers. With production on hiatus for now, we are all craving some Wheel of Time content. I know you’re all excited about the upcoming TV show in the works, so I am hopefully going to have most of the series read and reviewed by the time it comes out.

There were good things and bad things about Winter’s Heart, and I’m sure a lot of you felt the same.

The Timeline

One thing about The Wheel of Time books is that they happen over a very short period of time. There’s often a “time jump” in each book, whether it’s a straight jump a few weeks later, or a few weeks go by in a matter of paragraphs.

I think this is both beneficial and a detriment to the story at times.

It’s good, because we are really getting the whole story. We are on an adventure with our beloved characters from the start right to the end, with everything in between.

This can also be bad, because if we follow the story in such a tight timeline, we might miss out on people…Perrin and Mat for example.

They each have a book so far that they are not in. They both are recovering from injuries, so they are left out of a book.

In Winter’s Heart, we get a bit of Perrin, as he is trying to find Faile and his allies that were captured by the Aiel. His part is sort of boring, because all he does is worry and get angry at people. His minimal moments of interest go too quickly, and then halfway through the book he is gone. We don’t see him again for the rest of the book, and it’s disappointing.


The Boys

This book did help me fall in love with Rand again. I liked him at the beginning of the series, but I quickly lost interest because his chapters became so bland and boring.

He has slowly worked his way back into being a likable character, and I think Winter’s Heart finally solidified that for me.

Perrin has been a bit disappointing lately, even though he is my favourite character.

Mat is amazing as always, and we get to see him in a pretty interesting situation. It definitely develops his character more, and I think his future events will be a great adventure for him, and it’s probably the part of the story I am most excited for.


The Girls

Though there was nothing too memorable for the most part in this book, I wasn’t overly disappointed with Egwene, Elayne, Min, Aviendha or Nynaeve.

Obviously there is the big moment at the end of the book, where Nynaeve solidifies her role as my favourite woman in the series.

Egwene’s story has been building up for a while, so I hope it comes to a climax soon. Elayne has a few interesting moments, but her story gets a bit boring now.

I’ve always sort of been disappointed with Min’s story. She’s sort of just a loyal dog to Rand, despite having a lot of interesting possibilities for her story. Aviendha has become too wrapped up with Elayne, so she’s gotten a bit bland too.


What’s Next

As we come closer to the end of the story, there are a lot of story lines that are building up. I can think of a few dozen just off the top of my head. Many overlap and intertwine, but with only five books left, things are getting really interesting!

Based off of other people’s opinions, “the slump” that is infamous for the Wheel of Time series should be over now, so I’m expecting a lot out of the next two books before the final three-book ending!


What did you think of Winter’s Heart? Did your favourite character get a story that they are worthy of? Let’s talk about it in the comments, or send me a message on social media.
Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

A Fitting Romance: Prodigy by Marie Lu Review

Title: Prodigy
Author: Marie Lu
Rating: ★★★★☆

Hello my fellow Prodigies, we’re looking at Book #2 of the Legend Series by Marie Lu today. This series was one I fell in love with back in high school, and enjoyed thoroughly. I followed up with it till the end, and I am happy to share my thoughts with you today.

Injured and on the run, it has been seven days since June and Day barely escaped Los Angeles and the Republic with their lives. Day is believed dead having lost his own brother to an execution squad who thought they were assassinating him. June is now the Republic’s most wanted traitor. Desperate for help, they turn to the Patriots – a vigilante rebel group sworn to bring down the Republic. But can they trust them or have they unwittingly become pawns in the most terrifying of political games?

Now it has been some time since I read this book, but there was one thing that I remember sticking out to me. I read it during the time when The Hunger Games, Maze Runner, and all the other Young Adult series were really taking off, but Prodigy stood out to me.

It wasn’t as simple as an exciting book, filled with teens getting into insane action packed fights, doing death defying stunts, and saving the world.

It was characters, solving the puzzles and hardships of their environments, trying to make it a better place. It was much deeper rooted than kids with bows and arrows, its dilemmas and principles at the forefront of the conflict. It’s making that hard choice in order to do what you think is right.

That’s what makes Prodigy so brilliant.

Prodigy doesn’t fall prey to being a sequel, which too often don’t live up to expectations. Prodigy doesn’t just live at the same level of Legend, it exceeds it. Prodigy goes deeper, and doesn’t pull its punches.


There is also the very obvious romance. Sometimes romance can ruin a book. It’s forced, or poorly executed, or unnecessary.

With Prodigy, it seems more natural. It seems like it belongs. Day and June don’t fall in love because of circumstance. That is a factor, but they fall in love, because of the chemistry they have. They see the world from two sides of the same coin.

They each grew up in different worlds, but they both analyze their environments, process the information, and come to their own conclusions.

Day and June are so similar. You could probably mistake the two of them at times, but the two different worlds they lived in makes their connection that much stronger.


What did you think of Prodigy? If you haven’t read it, it’s a great YA book to read that has a bit of action and romance mixed together.
Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

When Your Computer Has A Mind of Its Own

Advertisements

Title: 2001: A Space Odyssey
Rating: ★★★★☆
Author: Arthur C. Clark

I got through 2001: A Space Odyssey pretty quick, and it was never boring. I was actually surprised at what happened at a few times in the book.

When a book has “Space” and “Odyssey” in the title, you probably assume laser gun fights, space ships blasting off into space, and alien life forms with five eyes and four legs.

Now this book has a space ship, it has alien life forms, but does not have laser gun fights.

But, the book actually starts with a bunch of cavemen, and it was honestly some of the best writing I have ever read.

The simplicity in the cavemen’s thoughts and actions and their interactions with the alien life forms.


When we do finally get into the “modern” story line, I love that we get to see the advanced society that humans are living in, in a time that is before our time.

The story takes place in the early 2000s, and they have a more advanced society than we do in some ways, but in others it is similar.

We follow two astronauts in their trip into deep space with their trust AI computer to help them.

You can imagine what happens…the computer rises up and tries to take control of the ship.

This part of the book is the only reason I didn’t give it a five-star rating. I wanted more of a build up of tension. I wanted there to be more of a conflict between man and machine…but instead it was over just as quickly as it started.

Keir Dullea in a scene from the film ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’, 1968. (Photo by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/Getty Images)

We don’t get the build up, the conflict, and the resolution that I was hoping for. It’s not that the writing is bad. I was captivated through the entire book, it just didn’t seem quite complete.

The end of the story was interesting, and though I think it lead the story in an interesting direction, it really split it up into three very distinct parts.

Theres a beauty to a short story. It tells you an entire story, but it leaves you wanting more. It leaves you incomplete, but yet complete at the same time.

2001: A Space Odyssey has a similar feel to it, but I’d say its a step below. To put it in simple terms, a good short story tells ~50% of a story, and leaves the rest to your imagination. This book would more accurately be ~75% of a story. It tells you a lot, but it’s not quite in either category.


What did you think of 2001: A Space Odyssey? Let’s chat in the comments. Look for a review of the movie this weekend.
Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Advertisements

Blackthorn Book Tours: The Unholy, by Paul DeBlaisse III

Advertisements

Title: The Unholy
Author: Paul DeBlaisse III
Rating: 3 / 5

“A young curandera, a medicine woman, intent on uncovering the secrets of her past is forced into a life-and-death battle against an evil archbishop. Set in the mystic land of Aztlan, “The Unholy” is a novel of destiny as healer and slayer. Native lore of dreams and visions, shape changing, and natural magic work to spin a neo-gothic web in which sadness and mystery lure the unsuspecting into a twilight realm of discovery and decision.”

Before I begin, I want to say that I received this book from Blachthorn Book Tours in return for an honest review! I’m happy to be a part of the Blackthorn Book Tours team, and look forward for more tours in the future.

If this book was about only one thing, it would be about struggle. Whether internal or external, this book captures struggle in a brilliant way. 

I haven’t read too many books that delve too deep into the idea of religion, and even fewer that show religion as a bad thing, but I think The Unholy was a nice touch to both. 

The main character Claire is having a sort of internal struggle about whether she can and should embrace her culture, that she was raised with, or fall to Christianity, which rules with an iron fist in her town.


Just because one person feels relief and freedom in religion, but to others it can be the cause for abuse, suffering, and long-lasting pain. 

Personally, I’m not big on religion, but I enjoyed seeing two sides of the conflict, which were both different perspectives than my own. 

Common stereotypes about religion are broken, and the battle between good and evil isn’t as clear cut as people might assume.


I enjoyed the struggle in the book, and though this book wasn’t my favourite, I did appreciate it for what it was. It was a thought provoking piece and had very few things wrong about it. 

Other than a few parts of the story being harder to follow, some grammatical and structural issues, and a few loose ends being left at the end of the story, I don’t have much to complain about.

It wasn’t a bad story per se, it just wasn’t completely for me.

Advertisements

Have you read The Unholy, or other books by Paul DeBlaisse III? Let’s talk about it in the comments, or follow me on social media.
Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Book Review: The Fault In Our Stars

Hello my lovely lovebirds, welcome to a special Valentine’s Day themed book review.

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and since we all need a little love in our lives, I thought I’d review one of the few romance books I have ever read.

Title: The Fault In Our Stars
Author: John Green
Rating: 3.5 / 5

I read this book as a suggestion from a friend, and the only thing they really told me, other than it was good, was that I would cry.

I’m not an emotional reader, so I didn’t think I would cry at all when I first started the book, buy did I ever lose that bet to myself.

I don’t think the book was particularly well written, and the plot wasn’t overly complicated, but it did strike me in the feelings.


The plot is straightforward. We follow a couple of teenagers that have various life-threatening illnesses as the lose loved ones, fall in love, and struggle with their painful realities.

Again, not an overly hard plot, but for some reason it really hit home with me.

I’m not sure why, but I think it has something to do with the fact that it is loosely based off a real story. Having that knowledge that someone went through these things (I repeat loosely based) made it that much more emotional to me.


Maybe that’s the point of romance books. They’re not supposed to be difficult to follow, but instead they connect with you on a personal level.

I’m no expert, but maybe I am on to something (he says with a heavy dose of sarcasm).

I never expected myself to cry, but I started feeling for the characters, and I think that is what was my downfall. I fell prey to Green’s every word, until they attached themselves to my very soul, before being ripped out.

I think Green did the best job of any author I can think of in that aspect. Plenty of authors that I read do a good job of putting you in a story, right beside the characters, but I can’t think of any that made me feel quite so emotionally connected with the characters.


Thinking back on my time reading the book, I don’t know why I gave up on romance novels.

I never read a lot of them, but the limited few that I have read have left a positive impact on me. I think I might make that a self goal in the next year, to read a handful more, but I don’t mind sticking with fantasy for now.

Have you read The Fault In Our Stars, or do you have any suggestions of other romance books I might enjoy? Let me know in the comments or on social media.
Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram