Friday, 27 January 2017

The Kingdom of Oceana (Charles Mitchell)

The Kingdom of Oceana
Rating: 4.5/5

Genre: Fantasy & Action
Length: 222 pages

It's the last Friday of January and I somehow managed to post every single Friday this month. Not too shabby considering I hadn't posted at all in November and December! From this point forward, the pacing will likely drop to every other week again for reviews, but I might add some different book-related posts in between. Speaking of different, this book is unlike anything I had read before and clearly that paid off based on my rating. I couldn't put the book down! Thank you to the author for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review.
Five centuries ago, on the island now called Hawaii, there was a kingdom filled with adventure, beauty, and magic. When 16-year-old Prince Ailani and his brother Nahoa trespass on a forbidden burial ground and uncover an ancient tiki mask, they unleash a thousand-year-old curse that threatens to destroy their tropical paradise. As warring factions collide for control of Oceana, it sparks an age-old conflict between rival sorcerers that threatens to erupt-just like Mauna Kea, the towering volcano. With the help of his ancestral spirit animals, his shape shifting sidekick, and a beautiful princess, Prince Ailani must overcome his own insecurities, a lifetime of sibling rivalry, and a plague of cursed sea creatures brought forth by the tiki's spell. Can peace be restored to the kingdom? Can Prince Ailani claim his rightful place as the future king of Oceana? Only one can rule. (From GOODREADS)
What I found fun about this book was the use of native language, because it added an element of education and immersion to the story. I've never been to Hawaii but it's a place that's always been on my bucket list due to the nature and the culture. Charles Mitchell's novel captures both of those things really well and combines that with an ancient legend that could threaten the beauty of the Kingdom. The plot is intricate and filled with unexpected twists and turns. Once you hit 1/3 of the way into the book, it's like you become entranced by a spell that makes you want to finish it in one quick sweep.

The two brothers in the story are so real to how I feel brothers usually are: competitive. Though they have grown up together in a loving family, they still fight for the inevitable battle of who will be King; something they both have different views upon in terms of style. In was such a captivating dynamic that made you feel like you knew these two brothers really well.

Overall, I would highly recommend The Kingdom of Oceana 

Happy Reading!

Friday, 20 January 2017

Children of Eden (Joey Graceffa)

Children of Eden
Rating: 4.5/5
Genre: Science Fiction; Distopian
Length: 278 pages
I don't often buy books - instead I'll borrow from a library - but this book was most definitely one I wanted on my shelf. Joey's choice of artwork is incredible and the texture of the front cover is a nice added bonus. This was the only book I pre-ordered in 2016 and I'm so glad that I did!

Rowan is a Second Child in a world where population control measures make her an outlaw, marked for death. She can never go to school, make friends, or get the eye implants that will mark her as a true member of Eden. Her kaleidoscope eyes will give her away to the ruthless Center government. Outside of Eden, Earth is poisoned and dead. All animals and most plants have been destroyed by a man-made catastrophe. Long ago, the brilliant scientist Aaron al Baz saved a pocket of civilization by designing the EcoPanopticon, a massive computer program that hijacked all global technology and put it to use preserving the last vestiges of mankind. Humans will wait for thousands of years in Eden until the EcoPan heals the world. As an illegal Second Child, Rowan has been hidden away in her family's compound for sixteen years. Now, restless and desperate to see the world, she recklessly escapes for what she swears will be only one night of adventure. Though she finds an exotic world, and even a friend, the night leads to tragedy. Soon Rowan becomes a renegade on the run – unleashing a chain of events that could change the world of Eden forever. (From GOODREADS)

First off, I absolutely fell in love with Rowan within a few paragraphs of reading about her. She has a spunk to her despite being hidden away in one location for her entire life. I mean, let's be honest, if any of us were locked inside our homes for 16 years we would probably be miserable; but not Rowan. She still has faith in her chance to live among society, even if it means a few risks. 

The plot was also very enjoyable and was paced well, until the final 50 pages or so; then it became too rushed and abrupt. Despite that discrepancy in pace at the end, the entire book was well thought out and even had a few plot twists that I did NOT see coming at all. Some of those twist had me close to tears and others had me mentally yelling at my book. Good job Joey... well played!

If you haven't read this yet, definitely pick up a copy

Happy Reading!

Friday, 13 January 2017

Kitty Hawk (Iain Reading)

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold
Rating: 4/5 
Genre: Mystery & Adventure
Length: 336 pages

Welcome to the first review of 2017! This is a book that I was approached to read in exchange for an honest review; they kindly sent my a physical copy and it's a gorgeous book. There are illustrations and maps to help the reader understand the locations of events that occur during the plot.
After leaving her home in the western Canadian fishing village of Tofino to spend the summer in Alaska studying humpback whales Kitty finds herself caught up in an unforgettable adventure involving stolen gold, devious criminals, ghostly shipwrecks, and bone-chilling curses. Kitty's adventure begins with the lingering mystery of a sunken ship called the Clara Nevada and as the plot continues to unfold this spirited story will have armchair explorers and amateur detectives alike anxiously following every twist and turn as they are swept along through the history of the Klondike Gold Rush to a suspenseful final climatic chase across the rugged terrain of Canada's Yukon, the harsh land made famous in the stories and poems of such writers as Jack London, Robert Service and Pierre Berton. It is a riveting tale that brings to glorious life the landscape and history of Alaska's inside passage and Canada's Yukon, as Kitty is caught up in an epic mystery set against the backdrop of the scenery of the Klondike Gold Rush. (From GOODREADS)
 I was extremely excited to start this book, mainly because it takes place in Canada. Being a Canadian, I was happy to see that an author wanted to showcase the beauty found along the Western coast. The second reason I wanted to read and review this novel was because it has an independent, female lead. I love books that let females use their own mind and take nothing from other people.

The plot and characters for Kitty Hawk were unique, as I can't say I've ever read a book that uses the history of the Yukon gold rush in a modern story line. The plot followed a logical order and timeline which I definitely appreciated. The only downfall to this novel was that a chapter consisted of no more than four pages; I find excessive chapter breakage to be disruptive to the flow of the story. I wish the author had of decided to create longer chapters instead.

Overall, I would definitely recommend Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold

Happy Reading!

Friday, 6 January 2017

A Year In Review: 2016

Good Morning Bookworms!
I figured the best way to start off the year would be to look back on the books I reviewed last year, that way if you're new then you know what I've recommended in the past year; gives you a sense of the types of books I enjoy. So let's get started!

5 Star Novels

4+ Star Novels

3+ Star Novels

2+ Star Novels

1+ Star Novels

Overall, 2016 was a pretty good year for books and my only regret is that I didn't find time to read more of them. As mentioned in the 2017 update post, there are 3 more reviews for 2016 to go live but then after that, it's onto 2017 reading. I've set myself a Goodreads goal to finish 15 books this year. 
What's your goal for 2017?

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

2017: A Fresh Start

Happy New Year!

It's now 2017 and I think it's time for a fresh start for this blog. My posting fell off the rails last year, especially in the last two months where I didn't post anything at all. I guess I got caught up in the whirlwind that is the end of the year but I want to come back stronger for 2017.

There are a few reviews I need to post for books that I read in 2016. You can expect to hear my thoughts on:

Children of Eden - Joey Graceffa
Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold - Iain Reading
The Kingdom of Oceana - Mitchell Charles 

After those three reviews go live, I plan to get back into actively reading with more emphasis on books of my choosing. If you followed me on Instagram, then you'll have seen my post about a lost interest in reading because it began to feel like a "job" rather than a hobby. Therefore this year I will still be taking author requests, however I won't be saying yes to every single one like I did in 2016. I hope you'll understand!

If you sent me a request last year, I will still try my best to read and post about it, but no guarantees. The exception to that is if you sent me a physical copy, in which case I will most definitely read and review it. I promise!

Let's make 2017 a good one :)

Until next time, 
Happy Reading Bookworms