Three Fantasies That Fell Short

Posted February 13, 2018 by lockhartbecca in Reviews / 0 Comments

3 YA Fantasies You Should Skip - unboundpages.com

I’m apparently going to go through my life this year reviewing books in threes. Hey, it works right? I have three more fantasies to talk about today that I finished in January/February! It feels quite good to clean out my e-galleys people. In fact, it feels quite good to clean out my life. I recently cleaned out my entire house and my gosh it felt good. I threw out a ton of stuff and donated even more. The house feels way less cluttered now and I can breathe again. It’s super nice. And it’s not even spring cleaning yet. I’m ahead of schedule. #winning

Anyway, cleaning out my house has inspired me to clean out some old ARCs I’ve had forever. No, literally forever. Years. It’s terrible. I am a terrible book blogger. But no more! I’m getting my shit together this year and getting back to what I love best: reading and blogging!

So without further, ado, I give you the latest three fantasies I’ve read!

Aerie by Maria Dahvana Headley

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Where is home when you were born in the stars?

Aza Ray is back on earth. Her boyfriend Jason is overjoyed. Her family is healed. She’s living a normal life, or as normal as it can be if you’ve spent the past year dying, waking up on a sky ship, and discovering that your song can change the world.

As in, not normal. Part of Aza still yearns for the clouds, no matter how much she loves the people on the ground.

When Jason’s paranoia over Aza’s safety causes him to make a terrible mistake, Aza finds herself a fugitive in Magonia, tasked with opposing her radical, bloodthirsty, recently-escaped mother, Zal Quel, and her singing partner, Dai. She must travel to the edge of the world in search of a legendary weapon, the Flock, in a journey through fire and identity that will transform her forever.

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Mini Review of Aerie:

Aerie by Maria Dahvana Headley was a disappointing follow-up to its predecessor - unboundpages.com

***I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. The review below is my open and honest opinion.

Aerie was an okay sequel to Magonia. I really liked Magonia. Mostly for the characters. But I felt like Aerie fell far short of that magic the first book had.

The Good:

  • Eli!! I loved that we got to see more of Aza’s sister. Eli was such a badass and I loved reading about her.
  • Jason is still Jason. He’s still awesome and endearing and I still really loved his character.
  • Aza’s family. I love that her family is so close. Her parents are incredible which is hard to find in YA these days and I really enjoyed seeing those relationships.

 

The Bad:

  • I felt like this book tried too hard. Some of the lines and quotes just seemed over-dramatic for the situation and I felt like the author was trying to be super eloquent and moving when it just didn’t fit with the story.
  • I hated the conflict between Jason and Aza. It felt slightly out of character for Jason and I felt like it was just a way to divide the two of them. Why do authors insist on dividing the characters in the second book??? I will never understand this.
  • The non-love triangle was super annoying. I say non because it wasn’t really a love triangle. It was a non-existent triangle that a character made up in their head. Again, more forced and unnecessary conflict.
  • The pacing was rushed. I felt like there was so much to cover and the book was so short. Everything at the end felt completely rushed. There wasn’t enough explanation and I was left feeling slightly confused and deflated. Like, that’s it?

 

Overall, it wasn’t terrible. There were definitely aspects I enjoyed, but the second book didn’t really hold a candle to the first book and that was the most disappointing part of this whole read.

Mirrored by Alex Flinn

Synopsis from Goodreads: 

Mirror, mirror in my hand…

Beauty is the key to everything. At least, that’s how it seems to Violet—ugly, bullied, and lonely. To be beautiful, in her eyes, is to have power and love. And when Kendra, the witch, teaches Violet how to use magic, she may finally get what she wants.

For Celine, beautiful since birth, her looks have been a hindrance. She discovers that beauty is also a threat—especially to her stepmother, Violet, who doesn’t want anyone sharing the attention she worked so hard to get and who will do anything to be the fairest of them all.

But beauty isn’t only skin deep and love isn’t based on looks alone. And though Violet and Celine may seem to be completely opposite, their lives are almost… mirrored.

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Mini Review of Mirrored:

Mirrored by Alex Flinn had a lackluster plot and flat, annoying characters - unboundpages.com

***I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. The review below is my open and honest opinion.

First of all, I did not realize that this book was part of a companion series. And that it’s the third one. Oops. I haven’t read the first two. But I don’t think it matters too much since it didn’t seem like the stories connected. I didn’t feel lost or anything so I kept going.

The Good:

  • I liked the way the author integrated the dwarves into this retelling. I thought it was a really unique way to do it and it showed an amazing facet of Celine’s character.
  • Um… I think that’s it?

 

The Bad:

  • This book was super boring. Nothing happened. Seriously. Nothing.
  • The characters all read super young and very over-dramatic. I felt like this book depicted teens the way society thinks they act, not the way teens actually act. It was rather insulting actually.
  • Violet was just so annoying. I mean, I get it. She’s supposed to be the villain. But my god, she drove me crazy. She was just so obsessive. Even when she was young.
  • Celine was also annoying. I mean, she was better than Violet, but again, she seemed so young. She was obsessed with her favorite singer and like wrote his name all over her notebooks with hearts. I just feel like a 17-year old (I think that’s how old she’s supposed to be) wouldn’t do that? Maybe I’m forgetting the maturity level of a 17-year old. I feel like I was not doing that at that age.

 

Overall, I was not a fan. Between the characters and the complete lack of plot, this one was not working for me.

Reign of Shadows by Sophie Jordan

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Seventeen years ago, an eclipse cloaked the kingdom of Relhok in perpetual darkness. In the chaos, an evil chancellor murdered the king and queen and seized their throne. Luna, Relhok’s lost princess, has been hiding in a tower ever since. Luna’s survival depends on the world believing she is dead.

But that doesn’t stop Luna from wanting more. When she meets Fowler, a mysterious archer braving the woods outside her tower, Luna is drawn to him despite the risk. When the tower is attacked, Luna and Fowler escape together. But this world of darkness is more treacherous than Luna ever realized.

With every threat stacked against them, Luna and Fowler find solace in each other. But with secrets still unspoken between them, falling in love might be their most dangerous journey yet.

With lush writing and a star–crossed romance, Reign of Shadows is Sophie Jordan at her best.

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Mini Review of Reign of Shadows:

Reign of Shadows by Sophie Jordan featured mad instalove and zero world-building - unboundpages.com

***I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. The review below is my open and honest opinion.

Oh boy. Where do I start with this one? I don’t honestly know if there was a single thing I liked about this one. I guess one positive was that the main character had a disability? You don’t see that a lot in YA and you definitely don’t see that in YA fantasy so that was refreshing. And that is honestly where the good ended for me.

The Problems:

  • INSTALOVE. Yes, it had to be in all caps. Because it was horrible, terrible instalove at its worst. Not only was it instalove, it was also extremely romance heavy. I like contemporaries that are romance heavy. But if I’m reading a fantasy I want to know more about the plot, the magic, what’s going on in this new world. I like romance, but it shouldn’t be the main event of a fantasy novel in my humble opinion. I just could not stop rolling my eyes at Luna and Fowler. Seriously, I think my eyes are lost somewhere in the back of my head. Everything about their relationship grated on me. It didn’t feel natural and I couldn’t get behind it.
  • The complete lack of world-building. Honestly, I have no idea what the heck was going on in this book. I got that there was an eclipse that plunged the world into darkness. How dark? Who knows? And because of this eclipse (is it because of the eclipse? I just assumed it was…) there are these creatures called Dwellers that come out and try to kill people. What do these creatures look like? I have no idea. Why? Because they are NEVER DESCRIBED.
  • Can you tell I’m very angry about this book?
  • It’s boring. Nothing happens in this book until the very end! It’s pretty much just Luna and Fowler walking through the forest professing their love for each other and how they’ll do ANYTHING to protect the other one.
  • It was super predictable. I guessed the twist and was unimpressed. I feel like all that did was cause angst which this book really didn’t need more of.

 

Honestly, I could keep going on a really long rant, but I’ll stop here. This book and I did not get along at all. By the end I was listening at 2x speed just to get through it. The instalove and complete lack of plot left me sitting there wondering what all the good reviews were for.

Have you read any of these three books? Did you feel differently? Someone commiserate with me over Reign of Shadows. Did I miss something or was it truly terrible?

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