Friday, 25 October 2013

Book Review: Allegiant by Veronica Roth

What if your whole world was a lie?
The thrillingly dark conclusion to the No. 1 New York Times bestselling DIVERGENT trilogy.
What if a single revelation – like a single choice – changed everything?
What if love and loyalty made you do things you never expected?

The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered – fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she's known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.
But Tris's new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature – and of herself – while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice and love.
Told from a riveting dual perspective, Allegiant, by #1 New York Times best-selling author Veronica Roth, brings the Divergent series to a powerful conclusion while revealing the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers in Divergent and Insurgent.

Faction-based society is over. A dictator stands in charge but an uprising is brewing. When Tris and her friends are offered a chance to escape, to go beyond the fence and see the outside world, she is ready to accept. 

They were told the outside world was in danger and they needed the Divergent to survive. But this proves to be just one more lie to influence decisions. The reality is far graver than Tris or Tobias could ever have imagined. All of them will have to face the bottom of human natures, and closely examine themselves. They must decide which is a lesser evil and if betrayal can ever truly be forgiven. 

There has been a lot of hype over Allegiant and I can honestly say this book did not disappoint me in the slightest. We have alternating view points from Tris and Tobias, and both are equally enjoyable to be shown the story through. 

It has been a pleasure to watch Tris grow during this trilogy. She has turned into a strong, resourceful and independent young woman. She is brave and truthful and loyal to the select few she lets in. By getting his POV, we learn a lot more about the inner workings of the stoic and mysterious ‘Four’. I have been a major fan (okay, embarrassingly eager) of his since the beginning and it was brilliant to get inside his head. Tobias takes a lot on himself and I think the hardest person he finds to forgive, or give a break to, is himself. He has leadership qualities and he feels responsible for everyone around him.

Tobias and Tris clash quite often, especially in this installment. Both are stubborn and headstrong which more often than not is a recipe for disaster. But together these hard, broken people come together into something beautiful and unyielding. 

We get quite a lot of new information in Allegiant. It has less action that the previous two books and it comes across quite political at a few points. Tris and her friends are essentially in the middle of civil war that is pulling the world as she knows it apart. So while there is a lot of details, it didn’t feel like an information dump. My mind whirled with every page as I tried to keep up with the characters and figure out what move they could possibly make next.

In a lot of ways, I feel so proud of the characters in this series. The road hasn’t been easy and a lot of mistakes have been made. But each of them have been shaped by the events, by their decisions, and mostly by each other. 

You could describe this series as a dystopian novel about a flawed government with a tender romance. And it is, but it is also a story about love and courage and bravery and betrayal and forgiveness and good versus evil. This series has a huge beating heart at its centre and I will truthfully mourn that it is over. 

I adored this series, and I adored this book. It always feels like the end of something special when a treasured series comes to an end and it is no different in this case. I will miss these characters and while I can always re-read it, you can only read a book for the first time once. 

And really, they were magnificent. 


Monday, 14 October 2013

Book Review: Storm Glass by Maria V. Snyder

  • Print Length: 432 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0778314553
  • Publisher: MIRA Ink (6 Sep 2013)
Untrained. Untested. Unleashed. With her unique magical abilities, Opal has always felt unsure of her place at Sitia's magic academy. But when the Stormdancer clan needs help, Opal's knowledge makes her the perfect choice - until the mission goes awry. Pulling her powers in unfamiliar directions, Opal finds herself tapping into a new kind of magic as stunningly potent as it is frightening. Now Opal must deal with plotters out to destroy the Stormdancer clan, as well as a traitor in their midst. With danger and deception rising around her, will Opal's untested abilities destroy her - or save them all?

Opal has never felt totally secure in her place at the Keep, the magical academy in Sitia. She feels isolated from her peers and has never really gotten over the brutal events of her kidnapping and torture. But there is one thing in her life that she understands and controls above anything else - glass. She has been making her glass animals for the masters and the small amount of magic she traps inside allows the owners to use them to communicate. 

When a powerful Stormdancer clan approaches the Keep for help, it is Opal’s unique abilities that can save them. And it is there that Opal meets the strongest Stormdancer, Kade, who carries with him an unbearable load of grief and guilt. Opal understands him in ways few others can and as she helps the rest of his clan, their bond deepens. 

As she tries to get to the bottom of the Stormdancer’s problems, it forces Opal to push her own magic and develop her powers which are frighteningly strong and has the potential to make Opal an unbeatable force. 

Storm Glass was an absolute pleasure to read. I am a massive Maria V. Snyder fan and thoroughly enjoyed the first three books in the Chronicles of Ixia series. Opal makes her first appearance in the third book, so it was a delight for her to get her own spinoff. 

Opal herself is a complex character. She struggles with what happened to her when she first met Yelena and doesn’t really know who she is or what her place is at the Keep. I really enjoyed seeing Opal begin to discover herself and form real bonds with other people. 

Storm Glass was an exhilarating adventure story that had me on the edge of my seat. It has a softer side with a love triangle. It’s a slow burner that will more than likely take the length of all three books to fully develop. Opal still has a lot of growing to do...and some decisions to make. 

This stunning fantasy book will please all fans who adore Ixia and all her people. 


Wednesday, 9 October 2013

I'm Back!!!!!

Hi everyone,

Just a quick note to say...I'm back! 

I took a little leave of absence from my little blog. Totally unplanned or expected, but as with life, it sneaks up on us when we aren't looking. Lots of exciting things going on and I can finally take a breath and get back into the swinging blog of things.

I hope to start posting lovely sparkly shiny reviews again very soon.

See you all soon!



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