King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard Review

kings-cageKing’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard (Red Queen #3)

Publisher: HarperTeen

Release Date: February 7, 2017

Pages: 528

Summary: Mare Barrow is a prisoner, powerless without her lightning, tormented by her lethal mistakes. She lives at the mercy of a boy she once loved, a boy made of lies and betrayal. Now a king, Maven Calore continues weaving his dead mother’s web in an attempt to maintain control over his country—and his prisoner.

As Mare bears the weight of Silent Stone in the palace, her once-ragtag band of newbloods and Reds continue organizing, training, and expanding. They prepare for war, no longer able to linger in the shadows. And Cal, the exiled prince with his own claim on Mare’s heart, will stop at nothing to bring her back.

When blood turns on blood, and ability on ability, there may be no one left to put out the fire—leaving Norta as Mare knows it to burn all the way down.

My Rating:★★★★☆ (maybe 4.5? Still deciding on rating!)

My Thoughts: King’s Cage expands the Red Queen world and Aveyard delivers incredible character development + will leave readers ready for Book 4!

Looking back while Glass Sword wasn’t the strongest addition to the series, King’s Cage definitely delivered!

I’m never let down by Aveyard’s writing and as always I find myself surprised at how fast I finish reading her books!

~Major Spoilers Ahead~

The story starts off with Mare as both Maven’s prisoner and pawn. She is being tortured and due to the Silent Stone, can’t use her ability!

Maven forces Mare to use her identity as the “Lightning Girl” to bring Newbloods and Reds to his side and expand his power as king.

An aspect which took me by surprise was seeing the inner workings of Maven’s rule! Mare states during her time in the palace, he looks weaker and more tired. Due to all the stress he is put under, he knows he can easily loose his grip on power, so he will do anything to keep the throne!

The Scarlet Guard doesn’t give up hope to get Maven off the throne & it was definitely a surprising twist to see them get stronger as the months passed, becoming an unexpected obstacle for him.

Mare comes to terms with how she treated people back in Glass Sword + over the course of the novel she really changes and reflects on her behavior to become a better person.

The last act mostly revolves around getting Mare comfortable with the guard/her friends & family now that she’s escaped + prepping her for to join the expanded guard ready to fight Maven!

The aftermath of the battle was definitely fast-paced and had me unsure what was going to happen next!

*No spoilers, but while I didn’t absolutely love it, I really enjoyed the ending to King’s Cage and I definitely feel the final installment will end the series off on a good note!

One of the best parts of this series is Maven! Aveyard really knows how to handle his character and we really come to know more about him and his past! While I do enjoy reading about him, I definitely applaud Aveyard for not excusing or showing redemption for his behavior!

Over the course of this story I really felt more connected to Mare than I did in GS and through her narrative it was clear that Maven’s equally expanding rule would bring trouble for the Scarlet Guard as well!

I adored getting more from the world! We know there is more beyond the Kingdom of Norta and while we get a bigger scope of RQ’s history we also get introduced to the surrounding kingdoms and their rulers.

Another interesting addition was Multiple POV! I’ll be honest, my rating is low because while I enjoyed the new perspectives and adored the characters themselves, *Which I won’t spoil* and while I enjoyed both pretty equally I felt one of the POV’s both dragged the story and just directly told us of events going on behind the scenes, instead of letting us figure it out ourselves.

As for other aspects I really loved about King’s Cage:

~What truly took me by surprise was the inner turmoil and rebelling of the other Houses! How it was developed was something I really enjoyed. I loved how Aveyard showed the costs for Maven taking the throne! I was not expecting Maven to show stress/fear from his position!

~We get more development from characters like Evangeline, Maven of course, Kilorn and it was great to see different facets to their character. (Kilorn + Cal development was also done very well!)

~I loved the Cal + Mare development! 

~Mare bonds more with the other women in this series which was awesome and I loved how they helped/relied on each other along the way!

Aside from some minor issues with the POV, I also took off a star b/c:

~I wish there more  page time with Cal + Maven! I felt this novel showed how big of a role they have in the series overall+ once Book 4 comes and overall it would have been great to get more scenes with them!

+ I tried my hardest to, but personally I just couldn’t avoid similarities between this novel and another I previously read before getting into King’s Cage! 😥

Regardless of those issues, King’s Cage is filled with fun twists and turns, expansion beyond Norta and overall this novel truly shines because of its characters! Aveyard as usual will leave you wanting the next book right away!

Book Bytes I #7

Book Bytes is a monthly feature I created to share news in the world of YA!

Each month posts can contain anything from new cover/title reveals, book-to-movie news, even the latest book deals!!

1.Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda Finds A Director!

Becky Allbertali’s debut novel Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda, was optioned to be a movie back in 2015! As of September 6, Greg Berlanti, best known for producing/writing for popular DC shows on The CW/CBS such as Legends Of Tommorow, Supergirl, The Flash & Arrow is now set to direct Simon Vs.

Additional info can be found on The Hollywood Reporter article Here!

2.Everything,Everything Officially Filming

The month of September has been filled with behind the scenes pictures from Everything Everything’s movie set!

No release date has been announced yet, so for those of you who haven’t read Nicola’s novel, what are you waiting for? Now’s the perfect time to read it!!

3.Throne Of Glass Headed To Hulu

As of September 7, Sarah J. Maas, author of the NYT Bestselling Throne Of Glass + ACOTAR Series announced her novel Throne Of Glass is in the works to become a TV show for Hulu!

A writer/company/producer are attached to the project, Queen Of Shadows (the show’s title according to news sources) 

Additional info can be found on Deadline’s article Here

4.Red Queen Coloring Book

The NYT Bestseller Red Queen have a coloring book!

Announced September 21, this coloring book will contain scenes and quotes from the series depicted within the pages

Its set to be released December 20, 2016!

 5. Heist Society Movie Updates

Ally Carter author of the Gallagher Girls, Heist Society + Embassy Row Series, recently announced that her novel Heist Society, currently under option with Elizabeth Banks & Mark Handleman at Lionsgate to be adapted as a film, will undergo script rewrites.

As of September 22  The Hollywood Reporter  stated screenwriter Dylan Meyer will “take a second pass at the script.”

Dylan Meyer is best known for her work as a screenwriter on the Netflix film XOXO.

6.Seeker By Veronica Rossi Cover Reveal

Hypable revealed the cover of Seeker, the sequel to Riders. Announced September 30, the article from Hypable contains not only the cover, but also an official summary+excerpt!

Seekers is set to be released May 16, 2017.

What Book News Have You Heard?  🙂

 

 

Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard Review

51791fac06ad83b1f20c93afe76b15dbe0df3b81

Glass Sword (Red Queen #2)

Publisher: Harper Teen

Release Date: February 9, 2016

Pages: 448

Summary: Mare Barrow’s blood is red—the color of common folk—but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control.

The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from Maven, the prince—the friend—who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.

Pursued by Maven, now a vindictive king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors.

But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat.

Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever?

My Rating: Full StarFull StarFull StarFull Starhalf star--Book Blog

***SPOILERS AHEAD***

My Thoughts:

Even while writing this review, I’m still unsure about the rating (debating between 4/4.5)! I still really did enjoy Glass Sword though!

As with her previous works, Victoria’s writing style continues to keep the story fast-paced. However, we also see character insight with just a few lines, which is what I love about Victoria’s writing style so much.

“When he turns his head, his crown slips, too big for his skull. Even the metal knows it does not belong to him” (21).

We see growth and development from the original cast of characters, but also get introduced to some new ones (mostly New Bloods).

Where this book definitely shines is in its characters. After I finished Red Queen last year, I liked Maven but didn’t love him as much as everyone else did. After Glass Sword however, he is now my FAVORITE!! ❤

He was always one step ahead and was such a meticulous planner! Because he wasn’t in many scenes, each moment w/ him was impactful and really showed his true colors as a villain!

Both Mare & Cal are different too! After RQ, they find it very difficult to trust others and question everything b/c of it.

There were also many moments that really shocked/surprised me!

1. Shade’s Death!- In RQ we are led to believe he died, but when that really does happen, I was heartbroken!

2.Maven- He is very smart and really has his plans thought out! As stated above, he really knew what he was doing and does some pretty horrible things to get to Mare!

3.The Ending- Mare gives herself up to save Kilorn, Farley & Cal! In doing so she becomes Maven’s prisoner and goes through testing/experiments!

Now to what disappointed me!

Again this was not a bad book, but there were some aspects I expected more from!

1. World Building-Yes we do visit other territories in this book, but the world still feels underdeveloped! We get mentions of various places, but there really isn’t much explanation.

2.Maven- While Victoria wrote him wonderfully in this book, I’m only disappointed b/c I really wanted him to be in more scenes. He was such a well developed character and his transition to a villain is really what made this book for me! I just wish he was more present in the plot, not just through a couple scenes & letters.

3. Tone- While this book is a great addition to the series, it didn’t have the same feel to it as RQ did! However I believe that is B/c of Mare as a character! Coming to terms with what happened, we are given many lines of how her trust has changed/reminiscing on RQ, and how she feels about Maven’s betrayal. At some points it felt quite redundant, many lines were her mentioning the same thing just in different ways.

4.Plot- While it went in a lot of directions I wasn’t expecting, I just expected more to happen.

Overall this was a wonderful addition to the RQ world. As with RQ, the ending has me eager to read the next installment and see what happens next!

If you’ve read Glass Sword let me know your thoughts in the comments below 🙂

January 2016 Wrap-Up

# Of Books Read: 8

180033001.Love&Misadventure by Lang Leav

Love&Misadventure Full Review

Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing

Release Date: September 17, 2013

Pages: 176

My Rating: Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star

Overall Thoughts: This book of poetry was wonderful! Each poem was written beautifully & was definitely a memorable read to start off the year!

frozentides_cover2.Frozen Tides by Morgan Rhodes (Falling Kingdoms #4)

Frozen Tides Full Review

Publisher: Razorbill

Release Date: December 15, 2015

Pages: 400

My Rating: Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star

Overall Thoughts: Morgan continues to develop her world & characters in this amazing series! Can’t wait for book 5!

97801475098883.Once Upon A Kiss by Robin Palmer

Once Upon A Kiss Full Review

Publisher: Speak

Released: January 5, 2016

Pages: 304 

My Rating: Full StarFull StarFull StarFull Star

Overall Thoughts:  The aspect of time travel/alternate universes made this a fun read! The plot is quick/easy to follow and overall just a fun adventure! Update (late Jan. 2016)-Since writing my review, I’ve changed my rating! It really was a fun read, but I lowered it after really thinking/realizing that this was a fun book for sure, but seems more like a 4-star read!

97800624353474.Cruel Crown by Victoria Aveyard  (Red Queen #0.1-#0.2)

Cruel Crown Full Review

Publisher: HarperTeen

Released: January 5, 2016

Pages: 208

My Rating: Full StarFull StarFull StarFull Starhalf star--Book Blog

Overall Thoughts: A great addition to the Red Queen Series! Out of both of the novellas featured in this novel, my favorite is by far Queen Song. Steel Scars was good, but I felt it was lacking. However, from Steel Scars I really loved the friendship Farley & Shade developed! This definitely has me excited for Glass Sword.

252231155.Just Visiting by Dahlia Adler

Just Visiting Full Review

Publisher: Spencer Hill Contemporary

Release Date: November 17, 2015

Pages: 348

My Rating: Full StarFull StarFull StarFull Starhalf star--Book Blog

Overall Thoughts: This was a great coming of age story! The theme of friendship is the heart of this story and seen clearly through the journey both Victoria & Reagan take as they prep for college.

9780545654845_094246. See How They Run by Ally Carter (Embassy Row #2) 

See How They Run Full Review

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Release Date: December 22, 2015

Pages: 336

Rating: Full StarFull StarFull StarFull Starhalf star--Book Blog

Overall Thoughts: A wonderful sequel! Ally continues to keep readers guessing till the very end! The plot further develops in this book and the ending has me excited for book 3!(**Additional note to review**) However, I do wish in further books, the characters would be more developed! They are interesting to read about, but I feel that the characters are only known on the surface level and should be further developed as the series continues!

97804514775387. Rebel Of The Sands by Alwyn Hamilton (Rebel Of The Sands #1)

Publisher: Penguin/Viking Books For Young Readers

Release Date: March 8, 2016

Pages: 320

Rating: Full StarFull StarFull StarFull Starhalf star--Book Blog

Overall Thoughts: A great start to an amazing trilogy! The world and characters are very developed! More to be discussed in my full review coming soon!

9780374302160_a198d8. Paper Wishes by Lois Sepahban

Paper Wishes Full Review

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

Release Date: January 5, 2016

Pages: 192

Rating:  Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star

Overall Thoughts: A thoughtful and lyrical novel which explores many themes of family, loss, and friendship!

What books did you read this month?

Let me know in the comments below! 🙂

Cruel Crown by Victoria Aveyard Review

9780062435347Publisher: HarperTeen

Released: January 5, 2016

Pages: 208

Summary: Two women on either side of the Silver-Red divide tell the stories no one else knows.

Discover the truth of Norta’s bloody past in these two revealing prequels to #1 New York Times bestseller Red Queen.

Also includes an exclusive excerpt of the hotly anticipated second book in the Red Queen series! Glass Sword transports readers to the world of Silver tyranny, a Red dawn rising, and one girl’s resolve to break down the system that will hold her back no longer.

Queen Song
Queen Coriane, first wife of King Tiberias, keeps a secret diary—how else can she ensure that no one at the palace will use her thoughts against her? Coriane recounts her heady courtship with the crown prince, the birth of a new prince, Cal, and the potentially deadly challenges that lay ahead for her in royal life.

Steel Scars
Diana Farley was raised to be strong, but being tasked with planting the seeds of rebellion in Norta is a tougher job than expected. As she travels the land recruiting black market traders, smugglers, and extremists for her first attempt at an attack on the capital, she stumbles upon a connection that may prove to be the key to the entire operation—Mare Barrow.

My Rating: Full StarFull StarFull StarFull Starhalf star--Book Blog

***SPOILERS AHEAD***

My Thoughts:

I really enjoyed this novella bind-up!

I actually already read Queen Song, back in September, so I was just focused on reading Steel Scars.

Separately I would give Steel Scars 4 Stars!

It was definitely a fun read and a great story to give you more back story on Farley and Shade before/leading up to Red Queen.

Farley is working for the Scarlet Guard and in this novella we know more about her, like her name, her past/family, and how events here lead to her meeting Mare in RQ.

Similar to RQ, Victoria’s writing style definitely kept the story immersive and action-packed, and in these novellas she continues to do just that!

I did take away a star b/c while Steel Scars was an interesting novella, the pacing of this one was quite slow especially towards the middle. I also wish there was more expansion on the RQ world in this novella. With Farley as the narrator I felt there was potential for her to give us even more background/history to better develop this wonderful world Victoria created!

However, what really made this novella a blast to read was definitely Falrey and Shade! Separately they were wonderfully developed characters, but once they were working together the novella was even more fun!

Learning more about Shade and his powers, especially from Farley’s perspective was great.  By the end in RQ, we just have tidbits of info about Shade that we gather throughout the story, but hearing Shade tell Farley about his powers/history really added more to this novella.

Overall this was an entertaining read! If you haven’t read the RQ novellas yet, or just want to get more from the RQ world, I highly recommend buying this novella-bind up! + you get 3 GS chapters! 🙂

If you’ve read any of the RQ novellas/Cruel Crown, let me know your thoughts in the comments 🙂

 

Top 10 Books of 2015

Top 10 Tuesday is a weekly post originally from The Broke & The Bookish!

Here are my top 10 books of 2015! (In no particular order)

These books ,no matter how long ago I read them in the year, have still stayed w/ me! (all of these got 5 Full Star)

  1. Bone Gap by Laura Ruby
  2. Mosquitoland by David Arnold
  3. Air Awakens by Elise Kova (Full Review Here)
  4. An Ember In The Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
  5. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
  6. All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
  7. Wolf By Wolf by Ryan Graudin (Full Review Here)
  8. Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman (Full Review Here)
  9. Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway
  10. Sacred Lies Of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes

2015 Top 10 Tuesday.jpg

 

Goodreads Choice Awards 2015

For those who may not know, every year on Goodreads, the “social-cataloging” book website, they host awards for the best books of the year in a variety of categories!

So, for this year, 2015 Goodreads Choice Awards, I thought I would share w/ you the YA winners!

For the “Debut Goodreads Author“:

red_queen_book_cover_a_p

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard won!

 

 

 

 

 

For “Young Adult Fiction“:

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All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven won!

 

 

 

 

 

For “Young Adult Fantasy“:

QOS

 

Queen Of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas won!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Congrats to all the nominees & winners! & can’t wait for the 2016 Choice Awards!

Thoughts on these winners?

Did any of your favorites make the list? 🙂

Top 10 Debut Authors Who Have Me Looking Forward To Their Sophomore Novel

As always this post was created by The Broke and The Bookish.

I can’t wait to share with you my picks for today! I love searching and reading new YA Debuts! And I read quite a lot of them this year.

Now here is the list of authors that have me eagerly anticipating their sophomore novel.

img_87691.Elise Kova- I read her debut novel Air Awakens last month and loved it ❤ I was starting to lose my love for YA Fantasy, but this reminded me why I love it so much! I can’t wait to read the sequel. If you have not read this book I highly recommend you do!

2. Sabaa Tahir-Her debut YA novel An Ember In The Ashes is a whopping 446 pages! I cannot believe I flew through it in a matter of days! The ending definitely has me counting down the days to the sequel coming next year.

3. Victoria Aveyard- Her YA Debut Red Queen was a book I was highly anticipating for this year and I absolutely loved it. Similar to the previous choices, the ending left me excited for what will happen next.

784.Stephanie Oakes- Her YA Debut The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly was a book I would definitely call a hidden gem. This novel centers around a girl who escapes a cult! I have never read a book like that before. Everything about this book was raw and emotional. This novel has put Stephanie’s upcoming book on my radar for sure.

5.Renée Ahdieh- Renée’s Debut The Wrath and The Dawn has me anticipating the sequel for sure! Her writing style was beautiful and made me love this book so much more.

6. David Arnold- His YA Contemporary Debut Mosquitoland is on my top of 2015 for sure. This novel centers around Mim Malone and how she takes a bus to reach her mother in another state. I really loved Mim as a charcter! She was quirky but relatable. Similar to Renee Ahdieh, David’s writing style really made this book great and I can’t wait to read his next book.

7. Nicola Yoon- Having read the summary and hearing great buzz before this book’s release, I was really anticipating this book. I was able to read an ARC of it and I really loved it. The way this story was told, not only through words but with illustrations, really made this book feel more real to me. From what I have seen I don’t think she is writing another book just yet, so I will be patiently waiting! 😀

728. Holly Bodger- Her YA Debut 5 to 1 is another book I would consider a hidden gem. This is a YA Dystopian, but not the typical one you would expect. Taking place in a future India, there are 5 boys for every 1 girl and a competition takes place to see which boy will get the girl. Written in verse and prose, our two main characters fight for freedom, but again, not in the way you expect. From what I have seen there is no other book Holly will release anytime soon, so I will just have to wait and see.

9.Becky Albertali- Her YA Debut Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda was a book that left a smile on my face once I finished. She writes dialogue and characters so realistically and makes each of them unique! She has a novel coming out next year & I can’t wait to read it.

6210.Aisha Saeed- Her YA Debut Written In The Stars took me by surprise! It tackles topics I know about, but have never read before. She writes topics and characters in a raw and realistic way that has me eager to read her next upcoming novel.

Which Debut authors have you anticipating their next book? 🙂

Victoria Aveyard 2-Book Deal

red_queen_book_cover_a_pI am a big fan of Victoria Aveyard’s Red Queen, which debuted earlier this year in February. She mentioned on Twitter that she had news coming Monday, which actually was delayed and released today!

The news is that Victoria Aveyard will be releasing a 4th book of Red Queen and an untitled 2nd book. 

I was so happy to hear this news! Having a 4th book added to this intended trilogy means that fans will have more insight into the unique world that Victoria created, not only that but I cannot wait to see what her untitled 2nd book will be!

And what is really cool is that Victoria’s book has a fan account on Instagram. If you have time, check it out! It is really cool and the fan-art on it is amazing!

Red Queen Instagram Fan Account:

redqueenfandom

Top 10 Tuesday l #1

Top 10 Tuesday was originally created by The Broke and the Bookish.

Top 10 (4) hyped (popular) YA books of the year so far!

With so many YA books published this year, it is obvious some are bound to get attention.

For this list, I am not necessarily listing these as “overhyped”, though for some that may be the case, but these are just books I feel have gained a lot of attention so far this year.

This will not include books published last year, etc. that became popular/hyped this year. I will only include books published from 2015.

  1. red_queen_book_cover_a_p
    Publisher: Harper Teen Released February 10, 2015

    Not only did this YA debut get #1 on the NYT Bestseller list in its first week, but it also has already been optioned for film with Elizabeth Banks attached to direct.

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2. Publisher Razorbilll Released April 28, 2015

This YA Debut also gained a spot on the NYT Bestseller list in its first week (2). This novel has also been optioned for film. 

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3. Publisher Bloomsbury Children’s Released May 5th 2015

With the Throne of Glass Series gaining a lot of attention last year, it was obvious that Sarah’s new series would gain attention as well. This novel gained a spot at No. 2 on the NYT Bestseller list in its 3rd week of release.

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4. Publisher Knopf Released January 6, 2015

This YA debut also gained a spot on the NYT Bestseller list (13) in its 3rd week of release. Similar to Red Queen and An Ember in the Ashes, this novel has also got a movie option, with the author Jennifer Niven herself, attached to write the screenplay.

Love these Top 10 Tuesdays! I have read many before, but finally having the chance to do one myself was really fun! Can’t wait to do next weeks Top 10 Tuesday.

Any additional 2015 releases you think have been hyped?