Thursday, January 7, 2016

Book Review: Storms by Kevin L. Nielsen

"The Bleeder froze with his hand half way to his quiver, eyes widening slightly. Then the sword took him in the chest. For a moment, the sword crackled with surging light, the buried hilt deep in the Bleeder's chest. Then the smell of char grew stronger and the man toppled into the sand."
- Storms by Kevin L. Nielsen

{If you have't read the first book in this series, Sands, then this review will contain spoilers. Check out my review for the first book here.}

So after the crazy ride that was, Sands, we all expected it to calm down a little in the second book right? Wrong. If anything this book was crazier, and more intense than the first. Everything you believed in the first book to be true you will question. 

Goodreads Synopsis:

Storms rage across the Sharani desert. Those clansmen who survived the devastation in the Oasis take refuge in the Roterralar Warren. But just as they grew to understand in the Oasis, maybe they weren't meant to be together at all. Change is in the wind. The Orinai are coming. 

Gavin struggles to find his place within the clans while Beryl begins to recognize that what he did in calling the Orinai will have devastating consequences. In an effort to atone for that, he sets in motion events that will lead to the end of safety and, possibly, the destruction of the Rahuli people. 

After waking from weeks of troubled slumber, Lhaurel struggles with what she had to do in the Oasis and the burgeoning powers within her. As everything she holds dear begins to fall apart again she is plagued with the one, most important question. Can she save her people once again or is she unwilling to pay that price?

My Review:

At the beginning of this story, Lhaurel, is asleep and we get to see more of Gavin. At the end of the first book he brought the clans together to fight against the Genesauri and hes now trying to figure out his role in this new life while living in the Roterralar Warren. Hes one of the quirkiest characters in the book and I loved getting to see more of him. His and Lhaurels relationship is also something I loved to see develop throughout the story. Their both aware of the other and they treat each other like siblings. Something I found really sweet.

There are so many characters in this story and you'd think as the author starts introducing more, and more characters you'd get aggravated but each of these side characters add something to the story and they've all become these unique people fighting for their lives. 

When I started the book I got really frustrated with Beryl, but as the story continued I just started to feel sad for him. When he called the Orinai we got to learn more about the magic and powers all the characters in the story have and it explained so much. For some reason I really liked Samsin. He's a jerk to just about every other character but I liked him (is that weird?). The Orinai are some characters I want to see more of in book three. I need it now please!

When Lhaurel entered into the story she was different. After what happened at the end of book one when she saw what her magic could do shes worried about hurting someone and wondering just how powerful she is. She's a much more vulnerable and fragile character but I liked seeing that side of her. I felt like we were meeting a whole new person. But don't worry she's back to her usual awesome self by the end of the story. 

This story was so full of suspense. The entire story we're wondering just whats gonna happen and the ending was shocking. Literally I'm still reeling. There are so many twists in this book that it was hard to keep up at times but it was all worth it in the end.

I'm giving this one four stars and I think if you're a fantasy lover (or just a book lover) you should definitely give this one a try. Honestly this book was such a fun read. Bring on book three!

My Rating: 4/5 Stars
Author: Kevin L. Nielsen
Genre: Fantasy
Published: 2015

Book Review: Sands by Kevin L. Nielsen

"Time slowed. Something inside Lhaurel screamed out. Something deep and  primal that she had felt only twice before clawed to the surface and unleashed a torrent of seething energy and rage."
- Sands by Kevin L. Nielsen 

When Future House Publishing asked me to review the Sands and its sequel Storms I was immediately interested. The synopsis made it sound like an action packed book with people with abilities. And it was but there was a lot more to it.

Goodreads Synopsis: 

For nine months of the year, the sands of the Sharani Desert are safe. The genesauri—giant, flying, serpentine monsters who hunt across the desert in enormous packs—lie dormant. The smallest of their kind is able to take down a single man with ease, and the largest is able to swallow entire clans. The people of the desert have always been able to predict the creatures’ appearance, but this year, the genesauri have stopped following the rules. 

When the genesauri suddenly attack her clan, seventeen-year-old Lhaurel draws a sword in her people’s defense—a forbidden practice for women of any clan—and is sentenced to death by her own people. Chained to a rock and left to be eaten by the next wave of genesauri, Lhaurel is rescued by a mysterious, elusive clan said to curse children at a glance, work unexplainable terrors, and disappear into the sands without a trace. 

With the fate of the clans hanging in the balance, Lhaurel discovers she possesses a rare and uncontrollable power—one that will be tested as the next deadly genesauri attack looms on the horizon and the clash between clans grows more inevitable by the hour. 

 At the beginning of this book Lhaurel struggles to find her place in this new world and is trying to figure out what is going on with her magic. Watching her go from the meek girl being forced into marriage into the warrior facing down her enemies was surreal. The author did an amazing job on her character development and it was so refreshing. 

The magic in this book was epic! I hate using that word but I can't think of anything else to use for it.  When I read the synopsis and saw that there was magic I was expecting the typical I can control the elements or stuff like that but the magic in this book was really different. 

Okay lets just take a minute to appreciate that plot twist at the end. Not the end end but like the last fifty pages when you have a pretty good idea about how this is going to go down. No. We get the full blown craziness train. It wasn't just one thing or even two it was like the author suddenly decided to take the story in a whole new direction but it was planed and just wow okay wow. Lets just say that I was grateful I had the second book cause I wouldn't have been able to wait for it. 

There were a couple times when it was hard to keep up with the book. I think maybe there was just a little to much going on and it was to much being thrown at the main character. But just a few instances. Most of the time it was just a smooth ride on the crazy train. I swear I sound like a lunatic.

If you enjoy fantasy, magic, betrayal (oo intrigue), clans, and a crazy, awesome, strong female lead then I recommend this books to you. 

My Rating: 3/5 Stars
Author: Kevin L. Nielsen
Genre: Fantasy
Published: 2015

Sunday, January 3, 2016

My 2016 TBR List

Its 2016... It's actually the third day of 2016 so I'm a little late but i told my parents I don't feel like it's a new year until the first day of school. My life pretty much revolves around school. Everything is built around it. 

So many things are going to change this year. I'll hit my sweet sixteen in April. I'll (hopefully) learn to drive. I'll be half way through high school this summer. Movies will come out, books will be released, bands will bring out new songs and albums, and maybe Starbucks will invent a new coffee. Who knows? There is so much that could happen this year and it makes me giddy thinking about it.

So you get the picture. A lot is happening this year but I've come up with my TBR for the year. And like the amazing bookworm I am I will put all my effort into completing this book list. Yeah that was sarcasm. I'm going to share it here with you guys to try and help keep myself accountable.

Before I share this with you guys I just want you to know that my Goodreads challenge is seventy five books. I read a hundred and fifty last year but school is going to keep me so busy that I cut it in half. *cries*

  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling
  • Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne 
  • The Iliad by Homer
  • The Odyssey by Homer
  • Catch-22 by Joseph Heller 
  • Emma by Jane Austen
  • The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan
  • Moby Dick by Herman Melville
  • Winter by Marissa Meyer
  • The Aeneid by Virgil 
  • Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  • The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck 
  • Metamorphosis by Ovid
  • David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
  • The Two Towers by J. R. R. Tolkien
  • The Return of the King by J. R. R. Tolkien
  • Mansfield Perk by Jane Austen 
  • Frankenstein by Mary Shelley 
  • 1984 by George Orwell
  • The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis
  • Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  • Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
  • Villette by Charlotte Brontë
  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald 
  • Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen 
  • Hamlet by William Shakespeare 
  • Through the Dark by Alexandra Bracken  
  • Passenger by Alexandra Bracken 
  • Shirley by Charlotte Brontë 
  • The Professor by Charlotte Brontë 
  • The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle 
  • Till We have faces by C. S. Lewis 
  • Henry V by William Shakespeare
  • Macbeth by William Shakespeare 
  • A Midsummer Nights Dream by William Shakespeare 
  • The  Man in the Brown Suit by Agatha Christie 
  • The Thirteen Problems by Agatha Christie 
  • Th Murder on the Links by Agatha Christie 
  • Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers
Thirty nine books in all. Most of these were recommended by fellow readers and some are just books I've heard great things about. Hopefully I can get of them read.

Happy 2016 and good luck on all your bookish adventures in the year to come!