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Armada By Ernest Cline

16278318Zack Lightman has spent his life dreaming. Dreaming that the real world could be a little more like the countless science-fiction books, movies, and videogames he’s spent his life consuming. Dreaming that one day, some fantastic, world-altering event will shatter the monotony of his humdrum existence and whisk him off on some grand space-faring adventure.

But hey, there’s nothing wrong with a little escapism, right? After all, Zack tells himself, he knows the difference between fantasy and reality. He knows that here in the real world, aimless teenage gamers with anger issues don’t get chosen to save the universe.

And then he sees the flying saucer.

Even stranger, the alien ship he’s staring at is straight out of the videogame he plays every night, a hugely popular online flight simulator called Armada—in which gamers just happen to be protecting the earth from alien invaders.

No, Zack hasn’t lost his mind. As impossible as it seems, what he’s seeing is all too real. And his skills—as well as those of millions of gamers across the world—are going to be needed to save the earth from what’s about to befall it.

It’s Zack’s chance, at last, to play the hero. But even through the terror and exhilaration, he can’t help thinking back to all those science-fiction stories he grew up with, and wondering: Doesn’t something about this scenario seem a little…familiar?

My Thoughts

I went into this book expecting great things after having read Ready Player One by the same author. I was not disappointed. The book is full of references from many things from video games to movies, and still does not lack on the story. The main character Zack is full of personality, he has likes and dislikes and realistically thinks that he is going insane when he spots a UFO outside his classroom window. The story keeps you on your toes, twisting through the plot as the circumstances change, and gives you a pretty sweet soundtrack to read to. The ending was very pleasing to me as it wrapped up the story nicely and tied off all the lose ends.

I give this book a 4/5, there are some areas that could be improved as some of the characters are a bit flat, and the story is more focused on the action then the interactions between people, but I enjoyed this book very much. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes Ernest Cline’s style of writing or science fiction. To really enjoy this book you would have to be okay with eh characters using pop culture references to explain many things in their daily lives, so bring out your inner nerd and enjoy.

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Roseblood By A.G. Howard

28818314In this modern day spin on Leroux’s gothic tale of unrequited love turned to madness, seventeen-year-old Rune Germain has a mysterious affliction linked to her operatic talent, and a horrifying mistake she’s trying to hide. Hoping creative direction will help her, Rune’s mother sends her to a French arts conservatory for her senior year, located in an opera house rumored to have ties to The Phantom of the Opera.

At RoseBlood, Rune secretly befriends the masked Thorn—an elusive violinist who not only guides her musical transformation through dreams that seem more real than reality itself, but somehow knows who she is behind her own masks. As the two discover an otherworldly connection and a soul-deep romance blossoms, Thorn’s dark agenda comes to light and he’s forced to make a deadly choice: lead Rune to her destruction, or face the wrath of the phantom who has haunted the opera house for a century, and is the only father he’s ever known.

 

My Thoughts

Phantom of the Opera is one of my favourite Broadway plays and when I discovered that someone had done a retelling I was excited.

Rune is the modern day Christine. Her voice is like an angel and she fights her mom ont he decision to send her to Roseblood Academy is the typical teenager way, bad arguments. She makes enemies on her first day and the mystery of why she is compelled to sing intrigued me a lot. I wanted to know why she had to and why it caused her pain.

Thorn is odd. He struggles between pleasing his father figure, Erik, and chasing after the other half of his soul. He wants to please both of them but knows he can’t. His character was intriguing and creepy. He stalks Rune around the academy and creeps her out enough that in the beginning I was wondering if he actually loved her or was going to kidnap her like the Phantom did to Christine.

The parallels to Phantom of the Opera were there, you didn’t have to try hard to see them in the story. The author clearly did her research in getting the characters to fit into the Phantom of the Opera story but also found a way to fit them into history, weaving the tales together so it would seem more real.

I would give this book a 4/5, the writing was beautiful and the characters were believable in their separate roles but when they came together some moments happened to fast.  I would recommend this book to anyone who like romance, Broadway, or Phantom of the Opera.

 

 

 

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And I Darken by Kiersten White

27190613No one expects a princess to be brutal. And Lada Dragwlya likes it that way. Ever since she and her gentle younger brother, Radu, were wrenched from their homeland of Wallachia and abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman courts, Lada has known that being ruthless is the key to survival. She and Radu are doomed to act as pawns in a vicious game, an unseen sword hovering over their every move. For the lineage that makes them special also makes them targets.

Lada despises the Ottomans and bides her time, planning her vengeance for the day when she can return to Wallachia and claim her birthright. Radu longs only for a place where he feels safe. And when they meet Mehmed, the defiant and lonely son of the sultan, Radu feels that he’s made a true friend—and Lada wonders if she’s finally found someone worthy of her passion.

But Mehmed is heir to the very empire that Lada has sworn to fight against—and that Radu now considers home. Together, Lada, Radu, and Mehmed form a toxic triangle that strains the bonds of love and loyalty to the breaking point.

My Thoughts

This book was good at the beginning. The plot was well thought out and I enjoyed all the historical aspects. I have head of Vlad the Impaler as he is the inspiration for Dracula, and reading a book from the perspective of his daughter was very interesting. The beginning of this book was very good and I could hardly put it down. Lada’s struggle to be a strong women in a world run by men was unique and horrifying.

Lada is the daughter of Vlad Dracul, and she does not like the role that is set for women in society. To gain the attention of her father she became strong, fierce and calculating. She will do anything to get her way, even if its cruel. Lada was an interesting character, the way she pushed characters into being exactly what she needed them to be was fascinating. She kept to her beliefs even when she started questioning them.

Radu was the opposite of Lada. He was delicate and beautiful. Timid in the face of danger, preferring to hide behind Lada then to fight his own battles. This caused people to forget about him, passing him off as weak. He uses this to his advantage, growing as a character as he finds his own way to fight back.

The relationship between the two siblings is often strained, filled with jealous thoughts and misunderstandings. The whole story revolved around the siblings and their relationship with Mehmed, the sultans son, and how it changes them and their feelings.

I give this book a 4/5, the beginning of this book was laid out beautifully and was hard to put down. The relationships were deep and believable and the characters developed well. About 2/3 of the way into this book I started dreading the parts that were from Lada’s point of view. She was still an interesting character, but instead of doing the things she wanted she was torn and stagnated on the possibilities until she could decide.

This was a good book and I would recommend it for anyone who likes historical fiction, strong female characters or just a good novel with complex plots and twists that are hard to anticipate.

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Hello

This morning I had one of those days where I stayed up until 5 am to finish a book. Right after finishing it I started looking for a good review where I could hold onto the book just a bit longer before I had to mark it as finished. While looking for a good review I started thinking about how I could add to the plethora of reviews scattered about the internet.

So thus begins Fairy Reviews, the name in inspired by my love of fairy tales. I hope you all enjoy my reviews, and if you have a book that you feel like recommending to me, feel free to.