Tag «Dark Fantasy»

Series Review: The Young Elites by Marie Lu

Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:

The Young Elites by Marie Lu | The Young Elites Series

 

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Synopsis for The Young Elites (from Goodreads):
I am tired of being used, hurt, and cast aside.

Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood fever. A decade ago, the deadly illness swept through her nation. Most of the infected perished, while many of the children who survived were left with strange markings. Adelina’s black hair turned silver, her lashes went pale, and now she has only a jagged scar where her left eye once was. Her cruel father believes she is a malfetto, an abomination, ruining their family’s good name and standing in the way of their fortune. But some of the fever’s survivors are rumored to possess more than just scars—they are believed to have mysterious and powerful gifts, and though their identities remain secret, they have come to be called the Young Elites.

Teren Santoro works for the king. As Leader of the Inquisition Axis, it is his job to seek out the Young Elites, to destroy them before they destroy the nation. He believes the Young Elites to be dangerous and vengeful, but it’s Teren who may possess the darkest secret of all.

Enzo Valenciano is a member of the Dagger Society. This secret sect of Young Elites seeks out others like them before the Inquisition Axis can. But when the Daggers find Adelina, they discover someone with powers like they’ve never seen.

Adelina wants to believe Enzo is on her side, and that Teren is the true enemy. But the lives of these three will collide in unexpected ways, as each fights a very different and personal battle. But of one thing they are all certain: Adelina has abilities that shouldn’t belong in this world. A vengeful blackness in her heart. And a desire to destroy all who dare to cross her.

It is my turn to use. My turn to hurt.

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SERIESous’ Top Book Series: Must Read Author
Series: The Young Elites Trilogy
Author: Marie Lu
# of Books: 3 (The Young Elites, The Rose Society, The Midnight Star)
Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Antihero, Alternate History, Dystopian, Dark Fantasy
Heat Rating: cool (sexual references are made though)
Point of View: First Person (Single) + Third Person (Multiple)

thoughts

**This post was originally posted as a Fresh Friday review of the first book of the series. It has now been updated to include the newest publications in the series.**

As soon as I finished the Legend Trilogy my first thought was: what else has this author published? I loved the Legend Trilogy, more specifically I loved the strong, independent and willing to fight characters that Lu created and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on any other story she had written.

I always feel bad when I start a new series by a previously read author because their new series inevitably gets compared to the previous series even if they are two completely different stories. This story is completely different than the Legend Series in terms of plotline but Lu still manages to deliver a solid story with her writing.

I haven’t read many anti-hero stories besides Shakespeare and the Blood of Eden Series, though I watch Scandal, House of Cards and How to Get Away with Murder which counts to some degree 😛 So I really enjoyed reading about an anti-hero. Adelina was interesting to read about and she kept my attention throughout the novel. When I first read the synopsis, I assumed that we would be getting 3 POV characters that would alternate but that isn’t the case. Instead, we get Adelina narrating in the first person and a few other characters who have short third person POV chapters here and there. Having these little side chapters helped get a fuller picture of what was going on and I think in the end it was a wise decision to use that approach.

The plot starts off slow but I enjoyed learning more about the world and understanding Adelina. I was expecting a little more though to be honest but I felt like it built up nice enough. The last quarter of the book was non-stop fast-paced with some great twists so I loved that. I’m excited to see where this series is going to go and can’t wait to get my hands on book 2!

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–November 10, 2015– Book 2: The Rose Society

This book was getting rave reviews and I totally understand why. This book just flowed in a fantastic way from start to finish. It kept building up to the climax and I really enjoyed that. We get some fresh characters, some more plot to play with and as always, some great twists that keep the momentum going.

However, I wasn’t WOW’d with this book, hence the 4/5 and not a 5/5. It’s a solid book and absolutely very well done (probably my favourite of the two so far) but it just didn’t have that last shock factor to leave me breathless. And that isn’t to say that I don’t want the 3rd book in my hands ASAP–because I do!–I just wasn’t left absolutely blown away by it all even though I enjoyed it immensely!

–February 22, 2017– Book 3: The Midnight Star

I was super excited to read this book! The cover taunted me every time I went to the library!

This was a bit of a slow start for me. Perhaps it just took me a while to get reacquainted with a world I haven’t seen in a year. But it didn’t take long to get back into the groove of things.

This story is solid. It’s never rushed and there is plenty of action. It also has strong character moments. Adelina especially; it was great to learn more about in the third and finale book. She’s had such great development from the start of the series and I think it shows to Lu’s strength that her characters still can grow in the last novel.

Again, this book didn’t blow me away though. I just couldn’t give it a 5/5. I’m not sure if it’s the whole anti-hero thing or if I just constantly compare this to the Legend Trilogy (one of my all time favourite series). But it’s still a solid book and I think it is slightly stronger than The Rose Society.

Series Rating: 4/5

The Young Elites 4/5 | The Rose Society 4/5 | The Midnight Star 4/5

overall

Don’t read this expecting a carbon copy of the Legend Trilogy. You can expect the basic foundations like plot twists, a larger overarching plot line and strong characters; but the feeling of this series is completely different. If you want to read about a true anti-hero, this is a great series for you to pick up!

Read if You Like: villains as protagonists, dark YA
Avoid if You: dislike dark stories, characters with powers

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Series Review: Falling Under by Gwen Hayes

Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:

Series: Falling Under
Author: Gwen Hayes
# of Books: 2 (Falling Under, Dreaming Awake)
Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Supernatural, Paranormal, Romance, Dark Fantasy
Heat Rating: lukewarm
Point of View: First Person

Thoughts:

When Falling Under first came out 3 years ago, I was dying to read it. It seemed like a really cool read and I will admit I was in love with the cover. Every time I went to the library, the book was out and when it was there I wanted to wait until I could get my hands on the sequel. Eventually, I forgot about it but it stayed near the top of my to-read list until one day the eBooks were added to my library’s catalogue and I immediately swooped them up.

Falling Under wasn’t what I thought it was going to be–though to be fair, I wasn’t sure what to expect thanks to the somewhat vague synopsis. But I think that was what I loved going into the book because I really had no idea what Haden was and I liked the anticipation of the big reveal (and I wasn’t disappointed when it was revealed).  When writing this review I was very careful not to reveal anything about what Haden is because I think it would spoil the fun–so try to avoid reading tags or in-depth genre classifications.

Both Falling Under and Dreaming Awake create a very intriguing dark fantasy world that I really enjoyed. While I have read books with similar fantasy elements, this series felt unique to me because the plot would move in a direction I wasn’t expecting. Falling Under was especially great at keeping the plot interesting.

However, at the same time, I found this series to be predictable but I think that is the result of me reading too many books over the years. For the most part I clued in pretty quickly with what was happening as soon as it was mentioned. Though, as I said before, there were a few good “twists” (twists isn’t really the right word, more like plot “bumps”) that kept things from being completely predictable.

The predictability really got to me in Dreaming Awake. Because I knew exactly what was happening immediately, I got frustrated with Theia not cluing in sooner. I labelled Dreaming Awake with my “annoying-heroine” tag on Goodreads because she did grate on my nerves for the first half of the book. It isn’t really a fair label to give but I didn’t like her as much in the sequel as I did in the inaugural book. As for the rest of the cast of characters, I really liked them. I especially loved Haden: he was swoon-worthy to me and I liked that his character was consistent throughout the series (meaning he didn’t turn into a love-struck sap like some characters **coughcoughEdward**). He wasn’t really anything new–the typical young adult paranormal love interest hero–but I liked his wit and interactions with other characters. Him and Theia complemented each other well I thought so I enjoyed reading their romance.

I’m glad this series isn’t a trilogy because the two book length is perfect. Dreaming Awake was a good follow-up though I felt it started a little slower–but it was nice not having a stupid second book filled with useless drivel to build up the final climax. I did rate Dreaming Awake lower than Falling Under because I didn’t like it as much because I found it more predictable and I liked Theia more in the first book but I think it was a good way to wrap up the series the way it did.

Conclusion:

Although it wasn’t what I was expecting I enjoyed these books. They were a darker Young Adult read with serious characters and serious consequences. The best way I can summarize it is if Twilight had a child with Sweet Evil, the child would be this novel. It had the same basic elements as Twilight but had the more sinister edge that Sweet Evil has (and the better writing). If you like darker paranormal young adult reads, grab this series!

Rating: 3.5/5

Similar Reads: Everneath by Brodi Ashton (Everneath Trilogy #1); Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins (Sweet Trilogy #1); Bloodspell by Amalie Howard and Twilight by Stephanie Meyer (Twilight Saga #1)

Synopsis for Falling Under (from Goodreads):
Theia Alderson has always led a sheltered life in the small California town of Serendipity Falls. But when a devastatingly handsome boy appears in the halls of her school, Theia knows she’s seen Haden before- not around town, but in her dreams.

As the Haden of both the night and the day beckons her closer one moment and pushes her away the next, the only thing Theia knows for sure is that the incredible pull she feels towards him is stronger than her fear.

And when she discovers what Haden truly is, Theia’s not sure if she wants to resist him, even if the cost is her soul.