March Wrap Up + Haul

Greetings readers!

This month was…okay. As in it was just okay…?

Look, every month I dream of reading five to ten books. (That’s the amount I add to my TBR each day at least.) Anyways, I came to the realization that I am not a fast reader and that my schedule differs from those of others.

  1. I can’t read a book in a day. *Unless it is super short.* While reading, my mind tends to wonder. It is present in the story, but sometimes lines or phrases trigger thoughts, which trigger more thoughts which just gives me a whole train of thought that was not supposed to be there in the first place. Hence why reading is a slow process for me.
  2. I had a busy month. Yes, I did have spring break…but I went out, hung with the family and friends. Reading was completed, just not as much as I had hoped!

I have to stop comparing myself to others who reads 12-18 books per month. That being said, my wrap up will be short as usual. It will not be until the summer that they get super long!

Wrap Up!

The Enemy Within by Scott Burn
This was a continuation from February. I enjoyed it and you can read my review about it here!

Black Dawn by Mallory McCartney
The lovely author requested a review, I played genie and granted that wish! It was a fun book and I look forward to the sequel! You can read my full review here!

Something Secret That I Can’t Tell You About Yet!
This is not a book title please don’t search it up! LOL It’s just a teaser as to what is to come! 

The Midnight Star by Marie Lu
A series finale! I haven’t reviewed it yet so stay tuned!

Haul!

17661925_1897807037157721_6862381875193708544_n

I have a problem.

I am not the kind of person who should be left alone in a bookstore.

I have a problem.

*Note: I have big books to buy in May, they may be expensive! I plan on getting 3! I need money, which I have spent this month! Oh joy!

SO, I took a trip to the cheap bookstore (BMV) and bought myself 4 books! Some I read and some I haven’t. But I am super excited to have them anyways!

I bought…

  • The Rose & the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh
  • Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton
  • The Shadow Hour by Melissa Grey
  • Anne of Green Gables by L.M Montgomery (The Puffin Bloom edition!) 

I have to say that Anne is my favourite buy because the cover is so glorious!

Then I went to my big chain bookstore, Indigo and bought…

  • The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski

It was a little pricey, but I was too impatient to wait any longer.

However, I have such horrible timing.

I found out today that Book Outlet has a huge stock for $7 and I got mine at full price. -_-

Kehlani reactions wtf seriously excuse me GIF
via giphy.com

C’est tout pour moi! That is all for me!

Let me know how many books you read this month! I would love to know! Also, do you have any tips to squeeze in more reading time? I NEED to know!

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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Beauty and the Beast (2017) Movie Review!

Greetings readers!

Today is going to be a little different. Only ever so slightly. We are talking movies.

And not just any movie.

THE movie of the year.

That’s right you know (it is in the title of the post!)

Beauty and the Beast

credits: Disney

A Disney adaptation of their 1991 adaptation of this tale as old as time….

Like most kids, in today’s age, yesterday’s age and tomorrow’s age, I grew up with Disney movies, but most fantastical of all I grew up with Disney Princess movies! A company which has graced us with a total of thirteen (or fourteen? correct me if I am wrong) Disney Princesses, which have been enjoyed by children everywhere.

Growing up, I watched Disney movies non-stop. My favourite (cliche…but oh so true to myself) is Cinderella. I’m telling you, I had that movie m e m o r i z e d. But today we are not here to talk about Cindy! This is all about Belle!

When I first heard they were making a live action Beauty and the Beast I flipped out! (Really I get excited over any Disney movie) I had been a fan of Beauty and the Beast as a child, it did not share the same grand love as I had for Cinderella, but still! A LIVE ACTION film! Considering, I really enjoyed the live-action Cinderella from 2015, I was so excited for this one and my expectations for it skyrocketed.

This movie had to be amazing. It could be nothing less than dazzling!

I was not disappointed!

 beauty and the beast GIF

What I liked:

The Backstory:

YES! YES! YES! In this film, we get to see the Beast become a beast as well as reasons behind why the town has no idea of this mysterious palace in the woods. All our Whys? are answered. We get to know more about Belle’s backstory with her family. There are new characters introduced that fill in the missing holes from the 1991 version.  I really liked how they explained why the things became the way they were. It made sense and added the extra depth the original adaptation was missing!

 beauty and the beast GIF

The Oldies & Newbies: 

Alongside the original characters there were also new characters introduced. Let’s start with the old characters. Emma Watson’s Belle was (as expected) ever so clever and bookish. She has a grand affiliation with Romeo and Juliet in this movie, so be prepared to listen to a bit of Shakespeare. The Beast was just as hard-headed, stubborn and barbaric like the original. I mean, on the inside he is a softy and Dan Stevens did a great job of playing him. Lumiere, Cogsworth and Mrs. Pots were just the same. Nothing changed too much about them and I loved that! Then there are the new characters! Such as Cadenza and Agathe who added more humour and insight into the story! Some of the original characters got bigger roles in this movie like Madam de la Grande Bouche and Plumette. I really enjoyed watching their characters be involved more in the story and on Belle’s journey.

Also Chip is the cutest!

 beauty and the beast GIF

The Be Our Guest Scene:

This was probably one of WAS the most important scene in the movie for me. I loved, LOVED, the 1991 version because of A) the song and B) the animation. It has so much colour, fun and magic that I was worried about how they were going to replicate it to look more realistic. THANKFULLY, IT WAS AMAZING! Thank the Lord for technology and animators and colours and magic! It was a great replication of the old song. It was just as fun and fantastical. The song was changed a little in that they slowed it down in some parts, but I still really loved it!

 christopher guest GIF

 

The Cast:

Belle: Emma Watson, although not my first pick as actress, did a splendid job of acting as Belle. She was smart and brave just like Belle should be.

The Beast: Dan Stevens, did a great job as the beast. The voice was on point! The transformation is always a little odd to see because I am so used to seeing the beast!

Gaston: Luke Evans was perfect for this role! I really enjoyed his portrayal of Gaston. Evans does justice to his cocky, brute and selfish personality.

Le Fou: Once again. Perfect casting for this character. Josh Gad was amazing. They did change his character in that he had more of a conscious and was actually able to think for himself and not simply  be a fool. I really enjoyed that bit.

Mrs. Pots, Lumiere, Cogsworth: JUST PERFECT!

The rest of the cast was great too! I really enjoyed the acting and portrayal of all the original characters and the new ones as well.

The Animations:

A huge congratulations to the animators of this movie. This film required a lot of hard work in animation and special effects. From the Beast, to the live kitchen and house hold items, these people had a lot of work ahead of them. They did an enchanting job! There were so many elements that were executed perfectly and they really enhanced the beauty of this movie. (i.e. the be our guest scene)

 beauty and the beast GIF

The Music/Soundtrack:

I know that Disney released the soundtrack on YouTube before the release of the film, but I didn’t dare listen to it. I wanted to be surprised. Okay….maybe I listened to one song. But it was sung by Josh Groban and not a replication of one of the original songs. ANYWAYS….The music was amazing! Watching the film and hearing the melodies of the songs I knew gave me chills! I didn’t know all the words, but I knew enough to silently sing-along to myself. The music had a little old-french flare as well, so that was neat to hear! The only tiny thing that maybe bugged me a little was that everybody sounded a teeny bit auto-tuned……I understand that not all actors are singers and that Watson, Stevens and the rest of the crew only had a few short months of training, but still. I could tell.

The soundtrack has some extra songs that are not in the movie but still related to it! I have some favourites that I would love to share with you:

  1. Days in the Sun sung by the cast (New song added to the movie that makes me tear up)
  2. Evermore sung by Josh Groban (So good)
  3. If I Can’t Love Her sung by Josh Groban (Can you tell I have a thing for Josh…)

It is still A Tale as Old as Time:

Despite the changes made, this film was true to the 1991 version. It was magical, funny, romantic, and adventurous. The changes that were made did not take away from the story and I really enjoyed them. Watching this movie literally gave me chills! That is a good sign.

 beauty and the beast GIF

What I Disliked:

There is just one, that probably you will disagree on with me…but I speak my mind so…

THE DRESS WAS NOT UP TO STANDARDS!

As soon as I saw the movie poster, I already did not like it. Belle’s dress is one of my favourites and the version they made for the live-action is nothing compared to it. Sorry Emma Watson, but I did not like it.It is a pretty dress, but it is not Belle’s dress. It does not have the same poof, sway and pick ups. The neckline is wrong and those layers on the side are not the best, in my taste. I did like how they added extra shiny designs to it and the making of the dress was magical in the movie. However, it did not change my mind about it.

Feast your eyes on what it should have looked like…

 beauty and the beast GIF

 beauty and the beast GIF

 beauty and the beast GIF

 beauty and the beast GIF

 beauty and the beast GIF

 beauty and the beast GIF

 beauty and the beast GIF

All that poof and swoop and sway….

But in reality they made it look like this

Image result for belle's dress 2017
credits: Entertainment Weekly
Related image
via Pinterest

It is nice, but it was just not up to my standards of dress.

*End of rant*

Overall, this movie was great! I really enjoyed and I would love to watch it again. Of course, it will never replace the 1991 version, but it still gave me chills and nostalgia from watching it!

4.75 Stars! (0.25 knocked off because of some audible auto-tuning and the dress)

I’m not even gonna say I recommend it because I know EVERYONE is going to watch it. AND EVERYONE MUST WATCH IT!

So, GO ON AND ENJOY! Let your inner child come out and savour this movie that takes a childhood classic and brings it back to life!

Happy watching!

~ Rendz

*All gifs via giphy.com*

School Subjects Tag

Greetings readers!

I was tagged to do the School Subjects Tag by Mandy @ Book Princess Reviews. She has an amazing post herself, which you should definitely go check out. School may not be the most fun thing, but this tag was surely fun to do!

Math- A book that left your head spinning in circles

The Eternity Key by Bree Despain

The Eternity Key (Into the Dark, #2)
via Goodreads

It was a crazy cliff-hanger. I remember squinting at the final page because I was so unprepared for that ending. I have yet to read the last instalment, but I really enjoyed this Greek myth inspired series!

English – A book you think has beautiful written expression

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Steifvater

The Scorpio Races
via Goodreads

It’s just something about this book that makes me feel so magical. It’s as if I can actually feel the wind and smell the sea water all around me. It is honestly a beautiful book.

Physics – Your favourite scientifically minded character from a book or film

Charlotte Holmes from A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

She is super-crazy smart and she has her own private lab to carry out all her own experiments! She definitely has the mind of a scientist and detective!

A Study in Charlotte (Charlotte Holmes, #1)
via Goodreads

Chemistry – Your favourite literary couple?

No way can I just pick one! The following couples are all so adorable I just gush thinking about them! *gush…so cheesy I know*

  1. Cress and Thorne
  2. Kaz and Inej
  3. Arin and Kestrel
 heart eyes GIF
via giphy.com

Biology – Your favourite book/series/film character

I don’t have just one! There are so many!

  1. Lucy Pevensie and her siblings
  2. Laia, Elias, Helene
  3. The Rampion crew! Especially Cress!
  4. Kestrel!
  5. Inej, Kaz, Matthias, Nina, Wylan, Jesper
  6. June Iparis, Day (Daniel) Wing

And so many more…

Okay….maybe it is a close tie between Laia and Cress for number 1! Maybe…

Art – Have you ever judged a book by its cover, even if you weren’t meant to?!

EVERY SINGLE BOOK! I JUDGE THEM ALL BY THEIR COVERS!

*Bad, I know, but it is true*

Examples: The Winner’s Curse, Caraval, The Star-Touched Queen, etc

History – The last historical book you read

And I Darken by Kiersten White

*I think, I’m not completely sure….* It has been a while since I have read historical fic.

Anyways, I really enjoyed this book and you can read my review for it here.

Geography – A literary destination you would really like to visit (real or fictional)

N A R N I A 

 narnia GIF

Drama – A book you think has a lot of over-dramatic hype

*I might actually get blasted for this and I’m sorry but…..I speak my mind*

Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

*Cue: Unfollow after Unfollow after Unfollow* 

It’s not that I think this series is bad. I’ve never read them or seen the movies, so I really have no opinion of them. BUT it gets really annoying whenever something happens in the Potterverse and people blow up and talk non-stop about it. Like when that sorting quiz thingy came out, I was so annoyed. People would ask me about it and I would have no idea what they were talking about.

I was just never into this series and I don’t think I ever will be…

 tom hiddleston sorry im sorry im really sorry GIF
via giphy.com

That’s all for me! I tag anyone who wants to have a go at this!

Heads up!: A very special movie review may be coming you way…..*wink wink*

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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The Unique Blogger Award

Greetings readers!

I was nominated by two amazing bookish people for this oh-so fabulous bookish award! Thank you Mandy @ Book Princess Reviews, I think you’re amazing! I love every one of your posts. People, do yourself a favour and check out her blog! Then there is Nadwa @ Painfully Fictional. I have just recently been acquainted with her, but from the little time I have known her she is amazing and you should all go pay her a visit as well!

Thank you again both of you! I don’t know what makes me unique, but thank you for allowing me to celebrate it!

unique-blogger-award

Rules

  • Share the link of the blogger who has shown love to you by nominating you.
  • Answer the questions.
  • In the spirit of sharing love and solidarity with our blogging family, nominate 8-13 people for the same award.
  • Ask them three questions.

Mandy’s Questions

1.) What was the last song that made you want to dance? And did you actually dance or is dancing a D: face thing?

Chantaje – Shakira ft Maluma & Rabiosa – Shakira (An old song, I know…but I’ve been listening to it again)

😳 😳 😳 😳 😳 😳 😳 😳 😳

I am no dancer. I cannot dance like Shakira. My hips don’t lie when they say they cannot move. I try to dance, but I guess I do a lot more face dancing!

A lot of this…

Shakira music video shakira maluma chantaje GIF
giphy.com
None of this…

Shakira music video shakira maluma chantaje GIF
giphy.com
2.) Do you believe in one true love (the Disney Princesses would be so proud of you if you did)?

I like to think so. I like to think that there is one person out there I am destined to be with for the rest of my life. It is kind of scary to think about it. I mean one person out of billions? Will I find them? Will I know? Will I accidentally think someone else is the one..when they are actually not?

But I guess that’s the point of the one true love. You will find them and you will just know!

3.) What is your go-to snack food? And do you ever eat it while you’re reading?

CHIPS!

I cannot eat chips while I read. I am a messy eater and I KNOW I will get crumbs between the pages or oil stains on them!

 food king of the hill chips bobby GIF
giphy.com
Nadwa’s Questions

1.) What’s a book or a series you’d want everyone to read?

This is a list! But I’ll go with my current recommendation that I throw at everybody.

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. The perfect sci-fi adventure with a classic fairy tale twist! Or vice versa!

tlc

2.)Do you have a reading-related pet peeve?

Doggy-eared pages hurt my soul! Also, changing covers mid-series. I recently jut got the hardcover of Rebel of the Sands…but the US/Canada covers changed for the rest of the series…so I’ll have mismatching books which again, hurts my soul.

24934065 Traitor to the Throne (Rebel of the Sands, #2)

*via Goodreads*

3.) What’s a popular book you hate?

*Dramatic pause. Deep breathe. Sinister smile*

QUEEN OF SHADOWS by Sarah J. Maas

Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass, #4)
via Goodreads
*Ugh..gross*

Honestly, I really liked the first three books in this series. I really enjoyed Celaena’s character. She was sassy, strong and within her depths had a sense of morality and humility. Then this book rolled around and just..blah! Everyone took a 360 and Maas threw out everything I cherished about this series through the window. And for those of you who think I am just upset that Chaolaena is not a thing anymore…please, that is just one reason. There is also, the cringe-worthy Rowan character, who should have been her close friend not mate. Then there is Aelin’s new self-righteousness (yup…humility is gone), there is also the fact that every single character has to lhave romantic feelings towards her. BLAH. The fact that Rowaelin took up 50% of this book. Also, the fact that Chaol is painted as a bad guy for speaking his mind and not having any supernatural powers. The only reason I continue this series is for the side characters. I love Manon and cannot wait to see where she takes me. I love Chaol and Dorian and I want to see them reunited as brothers.

End of rant. Don’t hate me. Just remember how much Rowaelin I have to deal with in Empire of Storms 😷 😷 😷 😷 😷 😷

Nominees

Bella Blogs Because Books

Dusk Angel Reads

LILbooKlovers

Closet Readers

Maya @ Maya Hearts Books

*You don’t have to do it again*

My Questions

  1. What was the last book you bought? Have you read it yet?
  2. Do you wait until the entire series is out to read it or do you just read them as they come?
  3. Do you own a well-loved book? (One with a lot of damage to it?)

Thank you once again for nominating me Nadwa and Mandy! I really appreciate it and I hope my nominees enjoy answering my questions!

~ Rendz

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Black Dawn Review

Greetings readers!

First of all I would like to say that my March break is going great and that this is the third book I’ve finished! *Pats self on the back*

My last read was Black Dawn by Mallory McCartney. She reached out to me for a review and when I found out she was a Canadian indie author, I just had to say yes. Also, her book falls under the fantasy genre, so it’s a win-win situation pour moi!

Black Dawn by Mallory McCartney

Black Dawn
via Goodreads

The end of an Empire, The rise of a Queen

Emory Fae enjoys leading a quiet, normal life. That is until two mysterious, and handsome soldiers show up at her apartment, and the life she knew is instantly whisked away. Memphis Carter and Brokk Foster come from the magical and war ridden world of Kiero, and upon Emory’s arrival she will discover she is the long lost heir to the Royal Line and is thrown into the Black Dawn Rebellion with a dynamic role to ignite the rebels and reclaim her throne.

With both men being darkly woven in her past Emory uncovers hidden secrets, a power held long dormant, and will soon realize there are worse things than supernatural humans, love, loss, betrayal, and a Mad King.

Some things are better left in the shadows.

*I was provided a free copy in exchange for an honest review*

I was really excited going into this book and came out very satisfied. This was a great fantasy full of action, suspense and thrill. There were some things I stumbled on while reading, but overall this was a solid story. It was short, quick and I’m very excited for the sequel.

What I liked

Characters: There were a lot of great characters in this book. However, many of my favourites were side characters and not very focused on within this story. *I always fall for side characters…sigh*

Emory Fae was a great MC. She was strong, stubborn and willing to learn and discover as she navigated this world she was thrust back into, all of the sudden.  The only thing I that kind of irked me was her complete willingness to cooperate with these people who claimed to know her. Does she not have a sense of danger or insecurity? Yes, but only for two seconds.

Brokk Foster was not very present in the novel, despite being mentioned in the synopsis. His story is very much pushed to the side and overshadowed by Memphis. However, I thought he was sweet, caring, strong and his chapters gave me the most thrill towards the end of the novel.

Other characters, like Nyx and Bryd were great additions. Nyx was very hot-headed and sassy. She was a little too jealous and concerned with her faltering romance which kind of bothered me, but not too much. It added some great elements of drama!

Never A Dull Moment: Seriously this book just has thrill after thrill, twist after twist, jump after jump. At one point my heart was beating so fast that I had to take a mini pause and calm myself down. It’s a good pace, perhaps a little too fast at the beginning, but overall I was very much entertained.

That Cover: It is beautiful and glorious!!!!! Oh I just love it so much!

The Ending: Specifically the epilogue, was fantastic. The chapters that came before, held a lot of information. A lot of pieces of the puzzles were found while more went missing. I love the direction the story is taking. The epilogue opened so many possibilities, I cannot wait for to see what happens.

What I Disliked

The Romance: Let me just get this out of the way, quickly and civilized. Love triangle. Why does it have to be a love triangle? Kidding. IT’S A SQUARE! A LOVE SQUARE! I SUFFERED, A LOT! For three reasons:

  1. I did not like DETESTED the guy who Emory had a grander relationship with, in this book. It might not be the final ship, but either way I did not like their romance at all.
  2. The character actions revolved too much around this triangle/square thing.
  3. My ship sank so fast and in the worst way possible. A little too cliche for me.

Lack of World Building: This is one of my biggest complaints. I honestly had no idea what the world Emory thrust into was like. It lacked a lot of descriptions. It needed to be further developed because at one point I was very confused. In this world there was technology *I think* but they also used swords and knives instead of guns/machinery. The Academy setting needed a little bit more description and detail put in it to clear up the haze I imagined the characters were in.

Memphis: 😷😷This doesn’t actually take points off the novel, I just need to express my disdain for this guy.😷😷 I LOATHE HIM! He is a manipulative, lying, selfish rat. He is a user and plays with the emotions of all the characters around him. I didn’t like him from the fourth or fifth chapter and wish him the worst.
Who knows, maybe my opinion about him will change. But for now, NOPE!😷😷


Overall, it was a solid novel. There were great action scenes. At one point I was cringing so hard because one character had to severely mutilate another character to get access into an area. It’s fun and entertaining. It’s just a little fuzzy because the terrain and the world is not very detailed and you know, the romance.

Rating: 3.75/5 stars

Recommend?: Yes, for those of you looking for a quick, fast and entertaining fantastical read!

Thanks for reading! Let me know if you have ever been on the failing side of the ship. I have many times, I can console you!

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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My Life in Books Tag!

Greetings readers!

A very long, long time ago I was tagged by Mandy @ Book Princess Reviews to do the “My Life in Books Tag”. I’ve only just recently gotten to it because am still trying to catch up on my tags from February! 😅 But I’m getting there!

Thank you Mandy for tagging me. It is always great fun doing these special posts and are always entertaining!

Without further ado!

BOOK FOR EACH INITIAL

Rook by Sharon Cameron

E – Emerald Green by Kerstin Gier

The Chronicles of Narnia *I honestly couldn’t think of any books with N*

D – Drop Dead Demons by A&E Kirk

Z – Zodiac by Romina Russell *Yes, I found one for Z but none for N*

AGE – COUNT ALONG YOUR BOOKSHELF

The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski

The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1)
via Goodreads

BOOK THAT REPRESENTS A DESTINATION YOU WOULD LOVE TO TRAVEL TOO.

LOL

The Chronicles of Narnia

See The Narnia Tag for reasons or visit my Narnia page for more details. Or just know that my life long dream is to go to Narnia.

FAVOURITE COLOUR

Purple – The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey

Red – The Scorpio Races by Maggie Steifvater

Black – Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

The Girl at Midnight (The Girl at Midnight, #1) The Scorpio Races Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1)
*images via Goodreads*

FONDEST MEMORIES OF

Junie B. Jones and the  Stupid Smelly Bus (Junie B. Jones, #1)
via Goodreads

Junie B. Jones series by Barbara Park

In middle school, I promised myself that I would read the entire series! I read every single one of the books in my school library, but not every one in the series because not all were available to me. Still I am very proud of that accomplishment. It helped start my reading journey!

MOST DIFFICULTY READING

The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli

Boring as hell. It used twenty billion examples to explain one sentence. All those twenty billion examples were of people I do not know of. The most agonizing 73 pages to I have ever read!

WHICH BOOK IN YOUR TBR PILE WILL YOU GET THE BIGGEST SENSE OF ACCOMPLISHMENT FROM?

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Caraval (Caraval, #1)
via Goodreads

The biggest read of this year…and I have not read it yet. I have been avoiding reviews and posts about this book because I really want to go in blind. Like with no opinions on me whatsoever. I know there is a lot of excited and good hype around this, but I want to read it alone. AND DO YOU KNOW HOW HARD IT IS TO AVOID THIS BOOK, IT IS LITERALLY EVERYWHERE! Anyways, I plan on reading it soon because there is only so much time I can wait before spoilers arise!

Tag Time:

I tag YOU! Anyone who would like to take on this tag! it’s very short and fun!

Here is a clean set of the questions to motivate you! 😉

Book for each initial
Age – count along your bookshelf
Book that represents a destination you would love to travel too.
Favourite colour
Fondest memories of
Most difficulty reading
Which book in your TBR pile will you get the biggest sense of accomplishment from?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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The Enemy Within – Review

Greetings readers!

I got one of the books down on my TBR for March! But this is a book a started in February so it doesn’t really count…but I’ll make it count!

Anyways, I was contacted by Scott Burn to review his latest novel The Enemy Within. An interesting sci-fi story that will get you thinking!

The Enemy Within by Scott Burn


Goodreads Synopsis

Seventeen-year-old Max has always felt like an outsider. When the agonizing apocalyptic visions begin, he decides suicide is his only escape. He soon finds himself in an institution under the guidance of a therapist who sees something exceptional in him. Just as he begins to leave the hallucinations behind, Max discovers the visions weren’t just in his head.

There are three others who have shared those same thoughts and they’ve been searching for Max. Like him, they are something more than human. Each of them possesses certain abilities, which they’re going to need when a covert military group begins hunting them down.

As the danger escalates, Max doesn’t know which side to trust. But in the end, his choice will decide the fate of both species.

More about Scott Burn:
I’m a former lawyer turned writer. I currently have several sci-fi and action-adventure screenplays in development at various studios, including Gold Circle, Summit/Lionsgate Entertainment, and MGM/Splendid Entertainment. My comic book series AGON was published by Zenescope Entertainment. THE ENEMY WITHIN is geared toward mature YA and New Adults. The novel is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo, both as paperback and ebook.
Web: www.scottburn.xyz
Twitter: @burnaisesauz
Goodreads: Scott Burn
Amazon

*I was given a free copy in exchange for an honest review*

Scott Burn did a great job of bringing his alien species to life in the image of four teens. This novel had great perspectives and an intriguing story twist that I think many sci-fi fans will enjoy.

What I liked

Characters: I liked Max as the protagonist. I believe his backstory and morals kept him in line on his journey as the hero. He had many hard decisions to make, many of them dealt with life and death. However, he was not my favourite character. My favourite characters actually existed only in the side of the story line. First is Noah, he was charismatic and funny but definitely had his problems with addiction. But I enjoyed reading about his character and seeing his views on the situation the characters are in. Then there is Kitamura who was having constant battles with morality and duty. His banter with Colonel Jasper was one of my favourite aspects of the novel. Other characters didn’t stand out as much. I never really liked Jamie or Vincent for that matter, *with good reason that I cannot disclose 😁*.

The Aliens: This book doesn’t have alien life like how it is depicted in movies. Instead the alien life existed within the four teens with different kinds of super powers. Mind control, super strength, teleportation and shape shifting in a way. I thought that the whole aspect of using the different components of the body (i.e. neurons and molecules) to explain their powers was cool and better to understand visually. I would have to say my favourite power belonged to Max, it sounded so interesting and very useful!

The Perspective: This story is told in third person and switched from multiple points of views, sometimes within the same chapter. I know that doesn’t work for some, but for me it did. It kept the story moving forward instead of staying within the same mindset for too long. I especially liked how I got to see the thoughts from the two different sides of the battle. The humans vs. the aliens. Neither one was all good nor all bad. They each had their flaws and I got to see how those come into play when the groups come into contact.

It makes you think: This story is about Max and his journey to find a place for himself because he feels as though he belongs nowhere. However, like every story we read it also comes with other messages, like how humans react to something different or foreign. The answer is badly. We are not friendly race. If something looks threatening we attack, it’s simply our nature to do so. It’s not something great but something we do to protect ourselves, but does that make it right? This novel brings up those questions. It also deals with the choice of saving many at the cost of some. I like books that make me think, this is one of them.

The ending: I thought I was not going to like it. It just ended so abruptly. I flipped the page and realized that was the end and I was just like “Um excuse me I need more information”. But the more I think about it, the more I realize it is a great ending to the story. It left behind mystery, but also satisfaction knowing that Max would find his place. His home.

What I disliked

This weird love-triangle… that is not a triangle…but it is: You should know that I detest the triangle in every aspect…unless I am on the winning side :). Reading this and seeing the trope build up between Max, Jamie and Vincent was unnecessary and cringe-worthy. There was no need for it. I would have preferred if romance had not been a factor in the story at all and more focused on the main story. It is not a huge factor but it was unnecessary either way. Not to mention that it is a big part of Jamie’s role in the story, who otherwise did nothing. She just really irked me.

The rather boring middle: The beginning and the end were great. I thought the parts set in the Mental Asylum were interesting and kept me engrossed. I wished more time had been spent there. The ending had great aspects of suspense and action. However, the middle was just so boring and it felt like the story was going nowhere. It mainly consisted of the four teens running away, then they almost get caught and then proceed to runaway away some more. Between those scenes there was indeed important information given away, but it just wasn’t entertaining enough.

Mellow villain death: It’s not that I was blood thirsty and wanted the antagonist to die a horrible, torturous death. It’s just that he died and that’s it. How he died was pretty cool but I think it lacked some drama.

Backstory shortage: Most of the teens backstory is told within a few sentences in one scene. I wanted to know more and more about them and their relationship to the Eye. The Eye was a little vague to me too and I wanted to explore it more than in just the final chapters.


Overall, I did enjoy the book. It has great sci-fi elements, lots of action to keep you on your toes. It makes you think about humanity and how our actions impact how the world sees us. It highlights the blurred lines between what is good and bad. AND it has neat alien/super-natural power forces that make you go “cool!”

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Rating: 3.75/5 stars

Recommend: For sci-fi lovers, you should definitely go for it!

I hope you all enjoyed this review! Again, thank you to Mr. Burn for allowing me to read your work, it was truly a pleasure!

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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