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sâmbătă, 24 ianuarie 2015

Review: Seeker (Seeker #1) by Arwen Elys Dayton

24 ianuarie 0 Comments

Seeker (Seeker #1)

448 pages
Expected publication: February 10th 2015 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers

Quin Kincaid has been put through years of brutal training for what she thinks is the noble purpose of becoming a revered ‘Seeker’. Only when it’s too late does she discover she will be using her new-found knowledge and training to become an assassin. Quin's new role will take her around the globe, from a remote estate in Scotland to a bustling, futuristic Hong Kong where the past she thought she had escaped will finally catch up with her.

(e-book ARC received from NetGalley - this does not influence my review in any way)

Before I begin, let me just take a deep breath. I have a lot of mixed feelings about this book.

Did I enjoy reading it? Definitely! It was different than what I usually pick up when it comes to the Fantasy genre. And I did expect that. The blurb, not revealing too much information, clearly suggested it (or I simply had a good instinct when I thought it would be an intriguing read and requested it from NetGalley.) However, there were some things about it that really frustrated me for all the right reasons. 

Quin, John and Shinobu are training to be Seekers. They have been since they were kids, though John started later than he was supposed to because of reasons you'll find out later in the book. So, what are these Seekers you are talking about, you might ask. Well, you'll also discover this later in the book. Much, much later... towards the end. And it still isn't very clear. 

The concept of the book is very interesting, however and I was very excited to learn more. The story is told in third person narrative, each chapter focusing on the perspective of a different character - Quin, John, Shinobu, Maud (or the Young Dread)... Which brings me to the most mysterious, intriguing characters - the Dreads. While at first it sounded weirded to me and I didn't get their purpose, it was a lot clearer with each action or explanation from the Maud chapters.

A little warning, there's a love triangle in there. Quin and John are supposedly a couple, but John turns out to be manipulative and abusive. Shinobu is a distant cousin of Quin's, though barely related to her since one of their relatives remarried and he was in love with her since the beggining. I personally didn't mind this particular love triangle because of how the author dealt with it. The only problem I had was with John actions - I hated him more and more with each chapter. 

Seekers have their unique weapons - whipswords, which change their form at their will. There are also Disruptors, which are as scary as they sound, and are mostly used for this reason only: to induce fear. A hit from such a thing... destroys people; it doesn't kill - it's worse than that but I don't want to give you any spoilers. Each family also has its own athame (which I just now learned it is a Wiccan ritual tool) with a carving of an animal, and a lightning rod. They use it to get "There" - yes, another thing you will ache to know its meaning.

I like puzzles, I love being kept in the dark and introduced to bits of truths, and as much as I enjoyed being clueless when I started the book (heck, even when I passed half of it,) I wasn't pleased with the vague answers I was finally given. Imagine it like this: your friend tells you everyday how she is learning to make the best cake you could ever imagine from *insert-famous-chef's-name-here*. Okay? She tells you this thing over and over again, until you start drooling whenever you see her. Alright. So then she finally invites you over. She has made the cake. You see it for only a milisecond, and it's the most delicous deliciousness you have ever seen and you can practically taste it. You know it's gonna be good, you know there's a lot more to it. But you are just not allowed to take even the tiniest bite. Yet, I want it so bad. That's how I feel about this book. I am willing to risk it all and read the rest of the series, even if it turns out to be an average "cake". Are you? :)

miercuri, 21 ianuarie 2015

Blitz & Giveaway: Blood, Milk, and Chocolate

21 ianuarie 1 Comments

Blood, Milk, and Chocolate 
Cameron Jace 
(The Grimm Diaries #3) 
Publication date: January 19th 2015
Genres: Fairy Tales, Fantasy, Young Adult
I have been accused of being malicious and evil. I, the Snow White Queen, have a story to tell. The true story and what has really happened. How it all happened. Why the Brothers Grimm altered the truth, letting you think it was a fairy tale. When and how the tale took place. And above all, why I did what I did. Why you haven’t been told the truth for centuries. The truth about me and the truth about the not-so-innocent Snow White. Here is my side of the story. You will never look at Snow White the same way again.

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joi, 15 ianuarie 2015

Blitz & Giveaway: Lover Divine by A. Star

15 ianuarie 1 Comments

Lover, Divine 
A. Star 
(Mythos: Gods & Lovers #1) 
Publication date: February 25th 2014 
Genres: Adult, Mythology, Romance

WARNING: For readers 18+ only. Contains adult language and sexual situations.

For fans of the Oracle of Delphi series…and for those who aren’t… Born into one of the wealthiest families in Ireland, Siobhan Law has status, privilege, and a secret: The Greek gods of Olympus and their kingdom in the clouds are real, and her family acts as one of their agents on Earth. When the beautiful immortal celeste Liam Argyros shows up claiming to have come to Earth to deal in the affairs of the divine, Siobhan finds herself unable to resist his charms. New to the game of passion and seduction, she quickly ends up in over her head, sinking deeper with every attempt Liam makes to win her over. But Liam’s divine mission is far more complex than she ever imagined and nothing is truly as it seems. Because Liam has a secret of his own: He is Apollo, Olympian god of the Sun, and his mission will never be complete until he has claimed Siobhan’s heart forever.

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sâmbătă, 10 ianuarie 2015

Review: Love Volume 1 - The Tiger by Federico Bertolucci

10 ianuarie 1 Comments

Love Volume 1: The Tiger

Federico Bertolucci

Hardcover80 pages
Expected publication: February 10th 2015 by Magnetic Press (first published May 19th 2011)

A day in the life of the king of the jungle, this lavishly illustrated story follows a single majestic tiger through a wordless adventure of survival as it hunts prey and defends itself from other would-be killers defending their territory. This exciting tale is told without narration or dialogue, conveyed entirely through the beautiful illustrations of Federico Bertolucci. A beautiful, all-ages title that explores genuine natural behavior through the dramatic lens of Disney-esque storytelling. Like a nature documentary in illustration.

The times when I used to watch documentaries with animals together with my grandfather have long gone. I simply have other priorities, plus I don't get to see him that often. Still, I really missed something like this - because this is exactly how this graphic novel felt like.

The story has no dialogue, no written text whatsoever (except for a little quote at the end that summed up my feelings perfectly), but instead it follows a tiger's hunt through images alone.

In matters of drawing style, this reminded me of the way Eastern fairytale books were enriched by simple paintings - yet they were so stunning! Being used to all that colourful digital graphics, this was a welcome change.

I really enjoyed this, and the fact that it shows how the tiger's actions influence other animales, his prey or not, fits the pace perfectly, allowing you to have a break from the tension his hunt makes you feel. Nature is impredictable and this was geniously portrayed - frames that seem random and out of place, seemingly in no relation to the story, yet somehow connected to it all.

This book was absolutely gorgeous and I definitely recommended to everyone. 

miercuri, 7 ianuarie 2015

Carti asteptate in 2015 | Top 5 Wednesday

07 ianuarie 0 Comments

Asa-i ca va era dor de un top 5? :D


Ma gasiti si pe:


Melodia de fundal:
“Ice Cream” (by Jahzzar)

sâmbătă, 3 ianuarie 2015

Review: The Gondola Maker by Laura Morelli

03 ianuarie 0 Comments
The Gondola Maker
by Laura Morelli
335 pages
Published March 3rd 2014
In 16th-century Venice, the heir to a family boatyard rejects his destiny but is drawn to restore an old gondola with the dream of taking a girl for a ride. Venice, 1581 Luca Vianello is the heir to the city’s most esteemed gondola-making family. But when an accidental tragedy strikes the boatyard, Luca believes his true calling lies elsewhere. Readers will appreciate the authentic details of gondola craftsmanship along with a captivating tale of artisanal tradition and family bonds set in one of the world’s most magnificent settings: Renaissance Venice.

Morelli creates poignantly convincing characters in this handsome coming-of-age novel about adoration, pain, and destiny.
--Publisher’s Weekly starred review

Historical fiction at its best.
--Midwest Book Review

Laura Morelli holds a Ph.D. in art history from Yale University and is the author of Made in Italy.

If you are anything like me, then when you hear the word "gondola", this is the image that comes to mind:

But how many of you know about the art of crafting such a fine boat, how it was a family business, passed from father to son? Or the fact that rich people had their own gondolier, and that this boat was their main means of transport in old Venice, having a special passenger compartiment?

Laura Morelli's "The Gondola Maker" paints a well-documented image of 16th century Venice, the story being centered on Luca Vianello, the heiring son of a gondola-making family. When his moher dies, he blames his father and because of an accident at the boatyard resulting in everything being burned down, he feels he no longer belongs and tries to recreate his life.

This is how Luca becomes from a craftsman, a simple gondolier. But it is very clear that he doesn't belong, he is destined for something more. He draws the attention of a successful painter and becomes his private gondolier. In the meantime, he is working on restoring an awfully damaged gondola of this painter, that was probably crafted by Luca's grandfather. 

Luca also becomes obsessed with a young woman, daughter of a patrician by first seing her portrait in the artist's room. While he does strange side jobs for this woman, they fall in love with each other. But they clearly belong to two different worlds, him a gondolier and she a rich woman.

The story is told from the perspective of Luca Vianello, 1st person narrative, but there are also a few short chapters in 3rd person narrative, following "The Councillor", and while they somehow interrupt the flow of the book, the information that they provide is vital for a better understanding of what is happening.

I really enjoyed this book, though I felt it was slow in some parts and I was a little bit confused by the overuse of Italian words. I definitely recommend it for readers who are passionate about History and crafts, but also for the ones like myself, who are in search of something that they don't normally read.

If you want to support my work, please leave a comment with your thoughts about this review/book :)