Friday, 30 September 2016

Touch of Power by Maria V Snyder

Title: Touch of Power
Series: Avry of Kazan (#1)
Author: Maria V Snyder
From: Amazon
Genre: Fantasy
Release Date: 20th December 2011
Challenges: 2016 Read the Books You Buy
Links: Goodreads - Amazon
Synopsis (from Goodreads): Laying hands upon the injured and dying, Avry of Kazan assumes their wounds and diseases into herself. But rather than being honoured for her skills, she is hunted. Healers like Avry are accused of spreading the plague that has decimated the Territories, leaving the survivors in a state of chaos. Stressed and tired from hiding, Avry is abducted by a band of rogues who, shockingly, value her gift above the golden bounty offered for her capture. Their leader an enigmatic captor-protector with powers of his own is unequivocal in his demands: Avry must heal a plague-stricken prince, the leader of a campaign against her people. As they traverse the daunting Nine Mountains, beset by mercenaries and magical dangers, Avry must decide who is worth healing and what is worth dying for.

Having read and enjoyed the first three books in Snyders Chronicles of Ixia series (along with the short stories!) I didn't quite feel that I'd had my fix yet, and I am definitely in a fantasy mood at the moment, so I dived into this one, and honestly I think its even better than the Study books! 

I loved Avry, she'd survived on her own for years and just because she'd found people she could let know who she really was, she didn't let anything slip. She worked at surviving still, and even though you could read her beginning to trust the people around her, and grow attached to them, she was still strong and independent. 

The growing relationships between Avry and the various memebers of the group she was travelling with were a really strong part of the story to me. She built friendships with Loren, Quain, Flea and Belen, while her relationship with Kerrick was so complicated it just can't be summed up in words (but I would say that the events at the end of the book were perfect for these two). 


I liked that things weren't quite black and white for Avry and the rest of the world either. A plague had decemated the population and law and order were definitely a thing of the past. She was asked to heal someone who she had heard had done terrible things, and some of the central conversations were based on Kerrick and the others trying to change her mind. It was complex and made the characters themselves more complex as a result. 

The other thing that I really liked was that the main character actually got to know the main antagonist (who I suspect will play a future role too) better than just as an adversary. Avry spent time with the main bad guy and it made his actions seem that bit more chilling. 

I loved this book, and book 2 is already on my kindle so it shouldn't be long until I dig into that one! Or at least I hope not!

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Bookish Resolutions Link Up (September)

2016 Bookish Resolutions



Bookish Resolutions is a challenge I co-host with Michelle @ becausereading.com! Yet another month has passed! So let us know how you did this September...and not to scare you but Michelle's been cracking the whip on what we're doing with the challenge next year (cracking the whip mostly because I can be terrible at responding...sorry Michelle!) 

My Bookish Resolutions Progress (which is way behind where I should be!)

Blogging Goals 
  1. Schedule posts before the day they are 'due' (especially for challenge updates!)
    I'm a couple of weeks ahead now which I'm happy with! Wouldn't want to be any further than I am no!
  2. Post a detailed update on everything on the first Sunday of each month (previously Reintroduce non-review content)
    I changed this one before I went back to posting weekend reviews when my reading picked up again, but my End of the Month round up is still on track, just for the 1st of the month!
  3. Cross post Blog Posts regularly, preferably in under a week since post date
    I've done really well at this one! 
  4. Tidy up the Trips Down Imagination Road Facebook & Twitter Pages
    This one is going, mostly because I decided I was pretty happy with where I'm at with it. 
  5. Visit other blogs regularly (I used to but this dropped off the radar a bit)
    I have done a lot of lurking this month, and managed to move it on so I'm now commenting a bit too! So hopefully back on track with that one!
Reading Goals 
  1. COMPLETED: Improve Netgalley ratio by at least 10% (if this is achieved by the half way mark then it will be upped to 20%). I did succeed in improving my ratio in 2015 and was actually quite surprised to find I'd improved it by 7% (at the time of writing).
    Up to 11% added now!
  2. COMPLETED: Finish 10 series this year. (I get distracted a little easy! I can have already started the series previously)
    So far I've finished 20 series this year;
    The Reckoners by Brandon Sanderson, Circle of Evil by Kylie Brant, Trevor's Harem by Aubrey Parker, Rook & Ronin
     by JA Huss, The Seduction by Roxy Sloane, City of Legends by Cheyanne Young, The Winner's Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski, Galaxy Playmates by Michelle M Pillow, Dark Dirty & Deadly by JA Huss, The Dukes of War by Erica Ridley, Everealm by JD Wright, I Am Just Junco by JA Huss, Things to Do Before you Die by Nina Croft, Sisters of the Moon by Nina Croft, Coded for Love by Lynne Silver, Aurora Sky: Vampire Hunter by Nikki Jefford, Midnight Masquerade by Kate Harper, Scoundrels & Secrets by Erica Ridley, Avry of Kazan by Maria V Snyder, Sisters of the Craft by Lori Handeland
  3. COMPLETED: Complete 3 year long challenges (may change the number depending on how many I sign up for). Bookish Resolutions does not count for this sub-goal.
    I've completed 4 so far!
    2016 Prequel & Sequel Challenge, 2016 New Release Challenge, 2016 Netgalley & Edelweiss Challenge, 2016 Blogger Shame
    My others are all on track too!
  4. Read 3 books a month that were already on my kindle at the start of 2016 (can be from Netgalley, Amazon etc.)
    I think I've read 9!
Personal Goal

  1. COMPLETED: Finish Cloaked (the sequel to my published Novella)
    Cloaked is not only finished, but it is now Published! (Here's the link to prove it!) 

LINK UP AND TELL US HOW YOU DID!



Pottermore Presents by JK Rowling

This review post is for all three of the Pottermore Presents books as they are only short, however they do each have their own review.


Title: Short Stories from Hogwarts of Heroism, Hardship and Dangerous Hobbies
Series: Pottermore Presents (#1)
Author: JK Rowling
From: Amazon
Genre: Fantasy
Release Date: 6th September 2016
Challenges: 2016 Read the Books You Buy 2016 Prequel & Sequel Challenge (1 point)
Links: Goodreads - Amazon
Synopsis (from Goodreads): ‘Minerva was the Roman goddess of warriors and wisdom. William McGonagall is celebrated as the worst poet in British history. There was something irresistible to me about his name, and the idea that such a brilliant woman might be a distant relative of the buffoonish McGonagall.’ – J.K. Rowling. Pottermore Presents is a collection of J.K. Rowling’s writing: short reads originally featured on pottermore.com with some exclusive new additions. These eBooks, with writing curated by Pottermore, will take you beyond the Harry Potter stories as J.K. Rowling reveals her inspiration, intricate details of characters’ lives and surprises from the wizarding world. These stories of heroism, hardship and dangerous hobbies profile two of the Harry Potter stories’ most courageous and iconic characters: Minerva McGonagall and Remus Lupin. J.K. Rowling also gives us a peek behind the closed curtains of Sybill Trelawney’s life, and you’ll encounter the reckless, magical-beast-loving Silvanus Kettleburn along the way.

This one had me welling up! The chapter on Remus Lupin was just really moving. I mean it was already clear both from his demeanor and the things that were revealed in the Harry Potter series, that he'd had a hard life, but this was putting it all in one place and in detail. It gave me a greater apprectation for a character that already struck a chord. 

I also really liked learning more about McGonagall, there was so many little extra bits that showed just how well thought out the character was and I thought that it rounded her out as a character, even more so than in the books. 

It was also good to learn more about the Maurauders in the McGonagall and Lupin chapters!


Title: Short Stories from Hogwarts of Power, Politics and Pesky Poltergeists
Series: Pottermore Presents (#2)
Author: JK Rowling
From: Amazon
Genre: Fantasy
Release Date: 6th September 2016
Challenges: 2016 Read the Books You Buy
Links: Goodreads Amazon
Synopsis (from Goodreads): No Muggle Prime Minister has ever set foot in the Ministry of Magic, for reasons most succinctly summed up by ex-Minister Dugald McPhail (term of office 1858-1865): “their puir wee braines couldnae cope wi’ it.”’ – J.K. Rowling. Pottermore Presents is a collection of J.K. Rowling’s writing: short reads originally featured on pottermore.com with some exclusive new additions. These eBooks, with writing curated by Pottermore, will take you beyond the Harry Potter stories as J.K. Rowling reveals her inspiration, intricate details of characters’ lives and surprises from the wizarding world. These stories of power, politics and pesky poltergeists give you a glimpse into the darker side of the wizarding world, revealing the ruthless roots of Professor Umbridge, the lowdown on the Ministers for Magic and the history of the wizarding prison Azkaban. You will also delve deeper into Horace Slughorn’s early years as Potions master at Hogwarts - and his acquaintance with one Tom Marvolo Riddle. 

It was really interesting to find out more about some of the characters with smaller roles in Power, Politics and Pesky Poltergeists, as well as a few who had a bit bigger role. There was more information about Azkaban as well as past Ministers for Magic, which I personally thought showed a lot of well thought out information about the wider world of magic, it has however peaked my curiosity about several areas of magic history (according to Rowling that is), including the role that witches and wizards in the various wars this hinted they got involved in.

I think the most interesting sections of this book were probably the ones about Quirrell and Umbridge. The former because so much happened since his role in the books and the latter because her motivations are fascinating but until now completely unfatherable. 


I also enjoyed Rowling's notes on inspirations and her process for characters.


Title: Hogwarts, an Incomplete & Unreliable Guide
Series: Pottermore Presents (#3)
Author: JK Rowling
From: Amazon
Genre: Fantasy
Release Date: 6th September 2016
Challenges: 2016 Read the Books You Buy, 2016 Prequel & Sequel Challenge (1 point)
Links: Goodreads - Amazon
Synopsis (from Goodreads): ‘The Ministry of Magic felt strongly, however, that to construct an additional wizarding station in the middle of London would stretch even the Muggles’ notorious determination not to notice magic when it was exploding in front of their faces.’ – J.K. Rowling. Pottermore Presents is a collection of J.K. Rowling’s writing: short reads originally featured on pottermore.com. These eBooks, with writing curated by Pottermore, will take you beyond the Harry Potter stories as J.K. Rowling reveals her inspiration, intricate details of characters’ lives and surprises from the wizarding world. Hogwarts An Incomplete and Unreliable Guide takes you on a journey to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. You’ll venture into the Hogwarts grounds, become better acquainted with its more permanent residents, learn more about lessons and discover secrets of the castle . . . all at the turn of a page.

I'm not all that sure what I was expecting from Hogwarts an Incomplete & Unreliable Guide, I was completely engrossed learning various things about Hogwarts that probably couldn't have been learnt in any other way, and it is those little details that I think makes Rowling's world so engaging in the first place. 

What I found even more interesting was that this book contained almost a commentary from JK Rowling herself, which let the reader know why things weren't included in the series or how she made a decision about what or who to include.

This was interesting and I enjoyed learning more about Hogwarts. 

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Whiteout by Nikki Jefford

Title: Whiteout
Series: Aurora Sky: Vampire Hunter (#5)
Author: Nikki Jefford
From: Amazon
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: 14th October 2014
Challenges: Summer COYER 2016, 2016 Read the Books You Buy, 2016 Prequel & Sequel Challenge (2 points)
Links: Goodreads - Amazon 
Synopsis (from Goodreads): Life on the run is no winter picnic, especially when Aurora’s partner sees himself as the sheriff, not the outlaw. It’s a cat and mouse game across the Last Frontier with agents and vampires out for revenge. Aurora has never fought so hard to stay alive, even as each day takes her further away from Fane. Will they ever be reunited? Or is Aurora destined to remain in Alaska with Dante forever?

Whiteout is the 5th book of the Aurora Sky: Vampire Hunter series and should not be read as a standalone. The plot relies heavily on events in the past books as well as revolving around already established characters. This review may contain spoilers for the previous books in the series. 

This series! There is just something about it that completely draws the reader in and has certainly left me feeling a bit addicted! The characters make mistakes and have to deal with them, the plot is gritty and in places a little dark, and it just all works together to form a book where you're not too sure quite how things will work out in the end. 

Aurora's love life seemed to finally work itself out, even if there was very little doubt about which way she'd go at the end of Hunting Season. Of the two guys the one that I've preferred from the beginning (because lets face it there's always one!) grew on me even more whereas the other one just grated on me more than he had before. Sorry avoiding names for spoiler reasons! 

There was plenty of action in this book and Aurora once again proved that she didn't need anyone there to protect her, she was fully able to protect herself. On top of that she seemed to be coming to terms with her new status as a vampire and gave Dante a couple of stern talking tos on the subject! 

I missed Noel though! But it did get made up for slightly by Fane's POV (though the book was mostly from Aurora's POV) and the introduction of his fantastic cousin! The cast was definitely small in this book though! 

I got taken by surprise by this book a couple of times and I was on the edge of my seat. Definitely a great read!

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Quanta Reset by Lola Dodge

Title: Quanta Reset
Series: The Shadow Ravens (#3)
Author: Lola Dodge
From: Netgalley
Genre: Dystopia, Sci-fi
Release Date: 27th September 2016
Challenges:  2016 Netgalley & Edelweiss Challenge2016 New Release Challenge 2016 Prequel & Sequel Challenge (2 points)
Links: Goodreads - Amazon 
Synopsis (from Goodreads): Quanta has escaped her laboratory prison, but that’s where the good news ends. Life at the Shadow Ravens’ compound is a disaster. She’s drowning in visions of the dark pasts and darker futures of her fellow Ravens and is plagued by her own panic-inducing memories, but Lady Eva still expects her to “train” and “participate in missions.” Plus, the food tastes like burnt plastic. The only bright spot is her genetic pairing to the brilliant Altair Orpheus. As their relationship grows, she’s positive that chemicals aren’t the only things drawing them together—although chemistry is definitely involved. While they test the limits of her game-changing new ability to reset time, word arrives from Eva’s agents: Doctor Nagi is still experimenting with her DNA. If he succeeds in duplicating her power…Forget the Shadow Ravens. The whole world is toast.

Quanta Reset is the third book in The Shadow Ravens series and the second surrounding the characters Quanta and Tair. While reading book 1, Cipher, isn't strictly necessary for reading this book like book 2, Quanta, is, I would recommend it as the main characters Cipher and Knight both appear in Quanta Reset as secondary characters. This review may contain minor spoilers. 

I need to start off by going into how excited I was when I saw Quanta Reset on Netgalley because I do think it's important. As soon as I finished the book I was reading I moved onto this book for several reasons, the author, the series and the publisher. Ink Monster LLC (the publisher) is yet to publish a book I haven't loved, and so dropping everything else for one of their books is a definite must for me! 

I love Quanta as a heroine. Even when she's not at her best, tired and with everything against her, she has a determination to do the right thing and to work past the things in her way. She doesn't ever really think about giving up and even when she's being selfish, there is an element of how it could affect other people too. 

Quanta's powers weren't expanded on too much, and rather were concentrated on in regard to her destablisation, but along with Tair she did work a few more things out. I liked the more complicated edge though, as well as the look into the consequences of her losing it. 

Tair and Quanta's romance is the kind that is just there. As there are first person POVs from both of them the reader knows exactly how they feel and as their relationship was established in the previous book, this one let them be more supportive of each other. It also added an interesting element to one of the plot twists as far as Tair is concerned. 

This was a fantastic read, though I had absolutely no doubt that it would be!

Monday, 26 September 2016

His Metal Maiden by Michelle M Pillow

Title: His Metal Maiden
Series: Space Lords (#3)
Author: Michelle M Pillow
From: Review Copy
Genre: Romance, Sci-fi, Space Opera
Release Date: 27th September 2016
Challenges:  2016 New Release Challenge2016 Prequel & Sequel Challenge (2 points)
Links: Goodreads - Amazon 
Synopsis (from Goodreads): Dragon-shifter Lochlann left home to avoid a war he didn’t believe in. Now as Captain of The Conqueror, in charge of a misfit crew, all he wants is to return without the label of coward. He’s been offered one chance at redemption: Find Margot, a noblewoman’s missing sister. The only problem is, the woman disappeared years ago, and his closest lead is a stunningly beautiful look-a-like droid crafted in her image. Alexis is programed to be everything he could ever desire, but getting her to reveal her secrets proves to be a true challenge for this alpha male. Being a base model pleasure droid isn’t as glamorous as it sounds. Alexis can’t remember a time when she wasn’t the property of others. Multiple surgeries, and endless tests, have amounted to a life not worth living. When a pirate crew visits her facility, she sneaks onto their ship. Desperate not to be returned to her owners, she strikes a deal with the alluring captain. Pretend to be Margot in exchange for freedom. 

His Metal Maiden could work as a standalone romance as the couple have never met before this moment, however not only is it a part of the Space Lords series, but also the wider Dragon Lords universe, and there is something added for reading it as a part of the wider series.

Whenever I read a book set in this universe it feels a little bit like watching a favourite TV show. It has that something to it that is familiar, and yet the story is new and there are some new characters. The male protaganist, Lochlann, is a dragon shifter (which were the first kind of shifters I read about from Pillow's worlds) and the lore surrounding that is explained within His Metal Maiden in a way that means reading the other books isn't necessary. However I do think that without the other background, his feelings over not having a crystal kind of get lost a bit (but ultimately aren't the keen driver in the story anyway! Its just a little bit of a nod to older readers!)

Alexis was an interesting character. She definitely had a past, and it took some figuring out exactly what that was. She had ties with a previous character from the books and it gave a good depth to the storyline. She had a lot to deal with and her relationship with Lochlann really helped with that.

I loved the side characters in His Metal Maiden too! While Evan & Josselyn and Dev & Violette have had their own books (His Frost Maiden and His Fire Maiden respectively) the other side characters, including the pilot, Rick, are fun and add a sense of friendship surrounding Lochlann and the rest of the crew.

I can't wait for more from this series, it is thouroghly enjoyable!

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Frost by E Latimer

Title: Frost
Author: E Latimer
From: Netgalley
Genre: Fantasy, Legends
Release Date: 25th August 2015
Challenges: 2016 Netgalley & Edelweiss ChallengeSummer COYER 20162016 Blogger Shame
Links: Goodreads - Amazon
Synopsis (from Goodreads): Megan Walker’s touch has turned to ice. She can’t stop the frost, and the consequences of her first kiss are horrifying. When her new powers attract attention, Megan finds herself caught up in an ancient war between Norse giants. One side fuelled by a mad queen’s obsession and an ancient prophecy about Ragnarök, the other by an age-old grudge. Both sides believe Megan to be something she’s not. Both sides will stop at nothing to have her. Fire or frost. It’s an impossible decision, but she’ll have to act soon, because the storm is coming.

In the interest of complete honesty I came close to DNFing Frost, not because it was bad but because I ended up feeling a little bored. I didn't really connect with the main character, Megan, and that made the book a little slow going for me. The concept was interesting though, and I feel like a sequel would have good potential after the ending of this book. 

I liked that there was a central female friendship in this one, and that Megan would do anything to protect and stand up for her friend. On the one hand the bond between Megan and Charlotte did seem to spring up rather quickly, but after the incident at the hotel, I actually thought their bond worked well. 

There was kind of a love triangle, though I don't think there was any doubt which way Megan really went for it (though I'm surprised that Amora didn't have more influence the other way, a comment that will make no sense if you haven't read the book!) In this case though the guys are complete opposites, down to being ice and fire kind of thing. 

The Jotun (giants of the Frost or Fire variety) were interesting and I liked the way that their society was described. It's less than perfect finish made it an interesting part of the story, though I honestly did kind of expect there to be a little bit more mythology and legends coming into play, but again this could become more apparent in a sequel. 

Parts of Frost were interesting, and I kept reading hoping that something would really grab my attention. While not a bad read, it just lacked a little something for me.

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Snow White and the Vampire by Marina Myles

Title: Snow White and the Vampire
Series: The Cursed Princes (#2)
Author: Marina Myles
From: Netgalley
Genre: Paranormal, Romance, Fairytale Retelling
Release Date: 19th December 2013
Challenges: 2016 Blogger Shame2016 Netgalley & Edelweiss ChallengeMy TBR List Meme
Links: Goodreads - Amazon
Synopsis (from Goodreads): Fog And Fascination. Alba Spencer thought her past in Romania and the dark magic that haunted it was behind her forever. She is one of the first female barristers now, safe in London. But London has its dark side, too. A man called the Ripper stalks the midnight streets. There are rumors that her hated stepmother has found her again, suggestions that the nightmares of her childhood are returning. And with them appears the cursed Gypsy boy she once loved, grown into a man more seductive and more terrifying than she ever could have dreamed...Dimitri Grigorescu has become a surgeon, a gentleman—and a vampire. The lusts that drive his body are scarcely under control, and even he does not truly know what he is capable of. To fight evil and confusion, Alba must rely only on her wits—and a desire that overwhelms her doubts…

Snow White and the Vampire is the second book in the Cursed Princes series, however I don't think you necessarily have to have read the first book in the series as I didn't, I'm also not 100% that the characters from book one made an appearance, so I think it's pretty safe to read this as a standalone. 

I'm still not all that sure how I want to sum up my feelings about Snow White and the Vampire, my main feeling is that it was okay. I wanted to know how things ended but I wasn't massively invested in the characters. I'm not sure what it was that actually led to that but that's how I ended up feeling. 

The two main character, Alba and Dimitri were both intelligent people, Alba was a trainee barrister and Dimitri was a surgeon. I think is where problem the first arrises. Alba was a woman in Victorian England trying to become the first female barrister, and yet no one really seemed to stand in her way and everyone just treated her like it was normal. Now I have no problem with what she was trying to do, it just seemed a little odd that it wasn't made a big deal of. 

The Jack the Ripper sub plot was probably my favourite part of the book for the most part. Until the very end. When there's a mystery going on I try to put the pieces together to come up with the guilty party, which I did. In fact I had a number one suspect and a back up suspect...except neither of them were actually guilty and there hadn't really been any clues to who it really was until Alba came face to face with him. 

The Snow White element of the story was pretty mild, in fact it took me about 10% to even pick up on it at all. There were moments where the evil Queen (aka Alba's stepmother who she faked her death for to get away from) drugged Alba and there was a situation surrounding an apple, however ultimately if you'd taken out the Snow White portion of the plot then the book would still have worked. 

I liked that this book didn't just focus on the two main characters, there were other players involved as well (though it did take me a fair 80% of the book to realise that Mrs. T's seven daughters were in fact Alba's version of the seven dwarves). 

This book had enough to keep me interested but didn't blow me away. 

Friday, 23 September 2016

Heart's Awakening by Nina Croft

Title: Heart's Awakening
Series: Heart of Fire (#1)
Author: Nina Croft
From: Review Copy
Genre: Romance
Release Date: 4th December 2015
Challenges:  Summer COYER 20162016 Blogger Shame
Links: Goodreads - Amazon 
Synopsis (from Goodreads): For twelve years, Jenna has dreamed of regaining her childhood home and the happiness she knew there. Now she discovers the house is to be sold to a developer and will be lost forever. She has one last chance to make her dreams come true—she must return to Middleton Manor and find the Heart of Fire, a valuable family heirloom lost 600 years ago. She’s going undercover. Keiran bought the house on a whim. As a child, his gypsy mother came here every summer to work. It was here he fell in love for the first and only time, with Jenna, the daughter of the house, and his fairytale princess. But Jenna is long gone, and it’s time to sell up and finally put the past behind him. But his last night in the house is disturbed by a stunningly gorgeous “maid” who appears to be searching the library. Jenna believes her happiness lies in bricks and mortar. Keiran in moving on. But perhaps with a little help they can discover their true hearts’ desires, and together regain the magic of the past.

Heart's Awakening is one of those books where I didn't need to read the blurb first, and I didn't even have to know what genre I was going to read to know that I'd enjoy it. Nina Croft is one of those authors where I know that I'll enjoy the book I'm reading regardless of anything, and I think the main reason for that is the characters she creates. They're always intricate and rich and even if you don't like them as people you are drawn to them. 

Heart's Awakening is predominantly a romance book, but there were some minor paranormalish elements. We're talking soul mates and family legends kind of paranormal, there's no one actually doinjg magic or being supernatural. The subtleness worked for me and I really liked it. 

I liked the relationship between Kieran and Jenna too. While they were chasing and running from each other a bit during the events of Heart's Awakening, they had m ore of a back story which was fleshed out well especially considering this is only a novella. The backstory made their romance that bit more real in my eyes. 

There were very few characters in Heart's Awakening, and even fewer that actually made an appearance. For the most part it was just Jenna and Kieran on their own and that allowed them the time to reconnect, but at the same time there were other characters that I felt were introduced for future books. 

This was a great quick read, and once again I've found that I can rely on Nina Croft for a good read!

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Fire Study by Maria V Snyder

Title: Fire Study
Series: The Study Series (#3)
Author: Maria V Snyder
From: My Bookshelf
Genre: Fantasy
Release Date: 1st March 2008
Challenges: 2016 Reading Assignment, Summer COYER 2016, 2016 Prequel & Sequel Challenge (2 points)
Links: Goodreads - Amazon 
Synopsis (from Goodreads): The apprenticeship is over—now the real test has begun. When word that Yelena is a Soulfinder—able to capture and release souls—spreads like wildfire, people grow uneasy. Already Yelena's unusual abilities and past have set her apart. As the Council debates Yelena's fate, she receives a disturbing message: a plot is rising against her homeland, led by a murderous sorcerer she has defeated before...Honor sets Yelena on a path that will test the limits of her skills, and the hope of reuniting with her beloved spurs her onward. Her journey is fraught with allies, enemies, lovers and would-be assassins, each of questionable loyalty. Yelena will have but one chance to prove herself—and save the land she holds dear.

Fire Study is the third book in the Study Series and shouldn't be read as a standalone as it relies on events in the previous books. In fact it took me a couple of chapters to properly get back into the book as it's been so long since I read Magic Study (book 2), but that really is my own fault. This review may contain minor spoilers for the previous books in the series. 

I thought that Yelana really grew as a person in Fire Study. While I've always liked her, she's matured in this one and become more of the person she wants to be. Her motivations revolve around the people she cared about, but she also began thinking about countries and the world in general instead of just about herself. 

Fire Study also introduced some different forms of magic as well as expanding Yelana's magic use. It was interesting and set the scene for one of the companion series to Study. I liked the world building and thought it really added to the story. 

There were a couple of moments that had me yelling no at my book (well in my head, I read this in two plane journeys and may have got some strange looks if I'd actually yelled no!) and I couldn't believe that the author went there! 

This was a great read, I loved seeing more from the characters and the world, as well as the fact that the ending was in some ways imperfect, it just made it all that bit more believable for me!