Thursday, May 18, 2017

Book Review: Last Stand by Rachel E. Carter

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Last Stand by Rachel E. Carter
For the past couple of months I've been reading and reviewing Rachel E. Carter’s The Black Mage series and I've got to thank her for sending all four books and the Non-Heir novella to me for free because this has become my favorite YA Fantasy series.

Last Stand, the last book of the Black Mage series, is about Ryiah and her fight against herself, the Crown, and almost everyone in the Kingdom of Jerar. War is impending and Ryiah has chosen her side but not everyone she loves is beside her.

From the moment the book starts, we find Ryiah marrying Darren, the prince of Jerar, but her life in the palace will be nothing like a fairytale. People closest to her have been killed as the rebels rise and Ryiah has a plan to save the kingdom but it involves betraying the most powerful mage in the kingdom, her husband. Ryiah battles her own mind to save the kingdom or throw the cause away and confess her betrayal. But when the truth comes out, she and Darren are on opposite sides and there is no choice but for one or both of them to go down. A sacrifice must be made, someone will die and Ryiah has always been the one who was too reckless.

Heartbreaking, beautiful, gut-wrenching, romantic, adventurous and horrifying are words I’d say fit this book. Last Stand was a beautiful conclusion to a fantastic series! Rachel E. Carter is so talented and I can’t wait to read more of her work in the future!


Recommended age:
14+


On to the ratings!

Stars..
0 = None 10 = Tons


THE FEELS:
Last Stand made me cry at least twice. So much pain and heartache litters this story and I felt it all with the characters. Each character was believable and I think that made it even easier to slip into the emotions they were feeling.
8/10

Violence:
There is a lot of fighting, gore, and torture.
9/10

Sexual content:
Ryiah and Darren are now married in this book. They sleep together, but nothing is too detailed once they finally have sex.
6/10

Crude language:
Minimal.
2/10

Other elements/comments:
This book deals with depression a lot and I think it does a good job at conveying it without going into too much triggering detail. Lying is a theme throughout Last Stand.

Overall:
Overall this was probably the most emotional instalment of the series. The characters go through absolute Hell and its heartbreaking but it made for a beautiful story! The Black Mage series will forever be one of my favorites now.  I loved how realistic the characters are and how Rachel made me feel like I was a part of the story too.
10/10

Xoxo
- Sarah

Monday, April 24, 2017

Book Review: Candidate by Rachel E. Carter


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Candidate by Rachel E. Carter

Okay, I want to keep this short and sweet because I don’t want to spoil anything!

BUT THIS WAS MY FAVORITE SO FAR! Oh my goodness! The drama, stakes and action are absolutely sky high in Candidate! This, the third book focuses on Ryiah and her training, and journey as she reaches for her dream of becoming THE Black Mage. Ryiah works so hard and is facing new heartaches, promising promotions and so many new experiences, including being a part of Jerar’s royal family!  Ryiah has been so focused on her personal goals and Darren though that she almost misses the worst thing happening right under her nose, the start of a rebellion. The enemy lurks and draws closer to overthrowing the kingdom of Jerar, but only when tragedy strikes does she get a closer look and starts to see that there are more than two sides to the war which is about to break out.

This book is full of action, which is why I loved it so much. Rachel has a true talent for writing fighting scenes that are believable and are at the same, easy to follow along with. She continued to make me feel as if I were right there with Ryiah in the arena fighting with my magic! The training and competition for becoming the Black Mage is so interesting, entertaining and, although it feels a bit reminiscent of The Hunger Games, it stands on it’s on. Which is another thing I am really impressed with. Rachel is in a HUGELY popular genre and somehow manages to outshine the other fantasy//dystopian stories for me. I may have to petition her for an interview! ;)

Recommended age:
13+



On to the ratings!

Stars..
0 = None 10 = Tons


THE FEELS:
So many feels! This book seemed to be way more emotional than the first two. There were several times where I was gasping and shouting at the book. LOL! I was happy and very sad at a lot of things and that doesn’t happen often with me while reading!
9/10

Violence:
There is a ton of good classic battle-style fighting! If you're into it like myself you'll appreciate the realistic feel. If you're not keen on fighting and realistic fighting and gore then this book isn't for you.
9/10

Sexual content:
Talk of potions for preventing pregnancy are present in a scene where Ryiah and Darren are making out, but nothing further.
4/10

Crude language:
Very mild.
2/10

Other elements/comments:
Like I said, a ton of violence. Blood, death and fighting.

Overall:
Over all I loved this book! It’s the best book I've read in a while and I can’t wait to read book 4!
10/10

Xoxo

- Sarah

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Book Review: Apprentice by Rachel E. Carter

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Apprentice by Rachel E. Carter

(Non-spoilery review)

“She survived a trial year at the Academy of Magic, but that was the easy part…

Now sixteen-year-old Ryiah is an apprentice of Combat, her school’s most notorious faction. When she finishes, she will be a war mage, but in order to do so, she has to survive four years traveling across Jerar, training with a master she hates, her old nemesis, Priscilla, and Prince Darren, her sometimes-rival sometimes… more?

Ry’s new apprenticeship is nothing like what she prepared for. War is on the horizon and her lessons aren’t just for practice anymore.

It’s time to fight.” – Goodreads.com

Apprentice (book 2 of the Black Mage series) continues to follow Ryiah through her time at the academy, over a four year span, training to be a Black Mage. This book is absolutely phenomenal for a second book in a series! It was fast paced and the characters, except Prince Darren, were all very consistent, personality-wise, which I love. Ryiah is relatable and still determined to get what she wants. Rachel writes in a way which makes the reader feel like they are right there with Ryiah, Ella and the gang, at their school and fighting alongside them. I really loved the new characters and loved getting to see new sides of ones from book one! The mock battles were def one of my favorite parts. I am absolutely stoked for book 3, Candidate, and book 4, Last Stand…….omg that title though terrifies me.


BUT I NEED MORE IAN.




Recommended age:
13+


On to the ratings!

Stars..
0 = None 10 = Tons


THE FEELS:
I have become invested in these characters. I felt for and with them as they went through a lot of struggles, shockers and happy times.
7/10

Violence:
There is a lot of fighting and death. A few scenes are bloody and slightly gory.
6/10

Sexual content:
There are a few kisses.
3/10

Crude language:
Very little to none.
2/10

Other elements/comments:
One character in particular lies a lot. They're hot then cold and just not very nice in my opinion. I personally wouldn’t be so quick to forget that type of betrayal over and over and I think it is too easily looked over and goes unpunished because of the motives explained for this bad behavior. Also for Ryiah being written as such a strong, brave character, she is too quick to fall for whoever is showing her the most attention at the time.

Overall:
Overall I think this book was great! There were times I was a bit taken back by choices made and I think some motives for certain actions were weak but as a whole book I enjoyed it. It was face paced and I never lost interest. I hope to get to book 3 soon!
8.5/10

Xoxo

- Sarah

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Book Review: First Year by Rachel E. Carter


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First Year by Rachel E. Carter

First off I want to say a huge thanks to Rachel for sending me this book for free!
On to the review!
Okay, so I have had my eye on this book for a while. I remember reading about it a couple of years ago and wanting to read it at the time but for some dumb reason I didn't. A month or so ago I saw on the wonderful world of bookstagram that Rachel was giving copies away for reviews and I was like “YAASSSS! Totally getting on that train.” If you know what I mean. Anyway, I loved it a lot and although it was a plot that I feel has been done a thousand times, this story will stick out to me against the others. I loved the characters, I thought Rachel did a good job describing them and their personalities, along with their looks.

First year is about Ryiah and her journey to becoming a Black Mage of Combat, who are country’s most fierce warriors. Only one thing is missing, the magic required to even go to the academy where she and her twin brother will train to become Mages. When Ryiah finally gets her magic it’s only through injury.  Ryial fights to stay afloat at her new school and has more to prove than anyone there. The odds are stacked against her and her friends as one of the kingdoms Princes loathes her and casts stones at every opportunity. Ryiah has the choice to back out or press on and hope that maybe just maybe, she can learn to control the magic inside her without killing herself.

That’s probably a poor description of the story BUT I don’t want to give too much away. I honestly loved this book. I thought it was cute and entertaining and I found myself rooting for Ryiah and feeling sorry for her loses. I think the world building could have been better and I would have LOVED a look into her brother’s life at the academy or her friend Ruth, both of which had different majors than combat. I really liked how realistic and relatable Ryiah and her friends were. She is extremely hard working even though she knows she isn't as good as the others at both school and wielding her magic. I think Ryiah is a good example to young girls and she seems like a total baddie!



Recommended age:
12+



On to the ratings!

Stars:
0 = None 10 = Tons


THE FEELS:
I didn't get emotional while reading//listening to First Year but I did really hate having to stop reading and looked forward to every time I got in my car to start the book reading to me again. I went over my lunch break time a couple of times because of reading this book! So is day I had MY feelings wrapped up in the story. I did hurt for Ryiah when she was embarrassed or hurt by the actions of others, also I loved the sibling interaction with her and her brothers.
5/10

Violence:
The story is about fighting. Fighting physically and mentally. I would have loved to see more mental struggle with her but there was just more physical violence. Nothing too graphic but there was a lot of talk about crushed bones, blood and just combat in general.
6/10

Sexual content:
Very little of this happening. There was one kiss which wasn’t graphic but the character talks about not having control over their body. Lol. Natural though.
2/10

Crude language:
Not much crude language at all. One of the things I liked about this book. Clean enough for young readers and felt mature without the profanities.
2/10

Other elements/comments:
Bullying, some rule breaking.

Overall:
I just really enjoyed the book and luckily there are like 4 others for me to indulge myself with! Again thanks to the author for sending me the ebook!
9/10

Xoxo

- Sarah

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Book Review: Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider


Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider

This book was one of the types that make you think about life and the purpose of everything after it’s over.

Extraordinary Means is about Lane and Sadie, two teens who, having previously met at camp as kids, find themselves at the same sanatorium for Tuberculous, Latham House. Lane sees Sadie’s group of friends there and immediately wants to be their friend but he doesn’t plan on being there long. He has plans for his future and as soon as he gets better, he’s gone from Latham House. Latham House isn't his future, Stanford is. All Lane wants it to keep his grades up and not fall behind in school, but once he gets to know Sadie and her group of friends, that changes. Lane begins to start living in the now as Sadie does, she doesn’t seem to mind that she may not have a future and that makes her embrace the present.

Unavoidably, Lane and Sadie fall in love and with the promise of a new drug to cure them of the awful disease, the chance of a future together comes into view, but TB looms and the possibility that any of them could be taken by TB before they get the drug is always an option.

I’ve never read a John Green book, but I assume this is a lot like one. I liked it a lot, I thought it was realistic and the characters were diverse and likeable. To be totally honest, I bought the book because of the cover. I thought it was super cute and I was drawn to it. But the inside was just as good!

Recommended age:
15+



On to the ratings!

Stars: 0 = None 10 = Tons


THE FEELS:
I found myself wanting them all to live and to be happy. I went into this book knowing characters would die. It’s basically on the cover “Life goes on, until it doesn’t.” I’d really like to know what happened to the ones left in the end though. Did they keep in touch?
5/10

Violence:
There wasn’t much violence at all. One kid hits another, and one person slams another into a tree.  The effect TB has on these kids though, is violent and to think that this happens to people, has happened to people, is just sad.
3/10

Sexual content:
Sex is implied, several kisses.
3/10

Crude language:
There is a ton of crude language. Every “curse” word is used multiple times. Including the F-word, GD and all minor profanities.
10/10
Other elements/comments:
God is mentioned once or twice, implying that one character may have been religious. One character is caught masturbating to gay porn. (lol.)

Overall:
Overall I liked the story. I thought it was thought provoking and just cute, although sad. Again I’d love to know what happened after the story more.
7/10

Xoxo