Children of the Bloodlands | Blog Tour ~ Review!

Greetings readers!

I have the great pleasure of being part of the Children of the Bloodlands Blog Tour! This book is the sequel to last year’s Scion of the Fox! (You can read my review here) This is a very special series because it is Canadian YA, partially set in Canada, with all kinds of Canadian characters…and well Canada. *Patriotic Rendz waves*

Children of the Bloodlands by S.M. Beiko

ChildrenoftheBloodlands_Cover

Publisher: ECW Press
Pub Date: Sept 25, 2018
Goodreads Link

The dazzling second book in S.M. Beiko’s Realms of Ancient series

Three months after the battle of Zabor, the five friends that came together to defeat her have been separated. Burdened with the Calamity Stone she acquired in Scion of the Fox, Roan has gone to Scotland to retrace her grandmother’s steps in an attempt to stop further evil from entering the world.

Meanwhile, a wicked monster called Seela has risen from the ashy Bloodlands and is wreaking havoc on the world while children in Edinburgh are afflicted by a strange plague; Eli travels to Seoul to face judgment and is nearly murdered; Natti endures a taxing journey with two polar bears; Phae tries desperately to obtain the key to the Underworld; and Barton joins a Family-wide coalition as the last defense against an enemy that will stop at nothing to undo Ancient’s influence on Earth — before there is no longer an Earth to fight for.

Darkness, death, and the ancient powers that shape the world will collide as our heroes discover that some children collapse under their dark inheritance, and those who don’t are haunted by blood.


Buy links:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | IndieBound


*A big thank you to ECW Press for inviting me to be on the tour and sending me a review copy!!*

Review:

This is an adventure book. A whole lot of fun. A whole lot of magic. Everything I hoped for in this sequel and then some!

What I Liked:

Characters:

Roan: Wow. I remember having mixed feelings about her in book one, but in this book I loved her. Her sarcasm, he wit and her willingness to self-sacrifice were all admirable qualities. I would be lying if I didn’t get a little frustrated with her from time to time. But I definitely enjoyed her growth from being that scared, reluctant heroine to one that was ready to face the day (albeit with some reluctance in the back of her mind still)

Natti: Forever a fave. I think it’s just the way that she viewed the world, and seized opportunities and her sass. I just loved her.

Phae: She had quite a journey in this book. She struggled finding her place in this magic system that she was not born into and instead found herself trying to prove her worth, not only to those higher than her, but to prove to herself that she was an important part of this larger movement. I thought her character growth was well done. Beiko really explores her insecurities and takes Phae down a difficult road.

Eli: I had the best time reading Eli’s parts of the book. They were definitely tragic but they were also insightful and intriguing. In regards to his character, he was still kind of a jerk. Of course he wasn’t an evil jerk like he was in book one, but after year and years of building defenses, some of them are beginning to shatter and I love it when tough characters get vulnerable.

Barton: He was kind of sidelined in the story, but apparently he is super important? I don’t know, I got a little confused along the way. Oops.

Never a dull moment:

Wow. This book just gives and gives and gives. From the very beginning this is an adventure book. The characters are moving, there is a ticking clock, there is no time to waste and I enjoyed it very much. The fast-pace really helped keep the momentum, the doom that you knew was coming, but you didn’t know when or how or exactly why either. It was sort of like a mystery. Then there great action scenes and moments where the characters got to really show off their magical skills (Which I adored). There was betrayal. Newly found allies. It was incredibly fun. A ride that was stressful for the characters but a hell of a lot of fun for me.

The Magic System Development:

Book one kept it really basic, book two stepped this up. There was more detail given on how the powers worked, the history of the magic, the deities that started it all. I was LIVING for it. However, I will say that it was a little confusing at times, mostly because I had trouble remembering things from book one, but there was a lot of information to soak up and names to remember and my poor memory never serves me in these cases.

The Plot:

Intricate and complex is a good way to put it. There are multiple subplots that tie together to the main narrative. There were so many twists and turns that gave more detail and kept unfolding more and more clues as to where this story was headed. There were many moments of crashing and burning that led to a wonderful ending. It had just the right amount of suspense and intensity to keep me hanging on the final few words.

CANADA:

Canada. And other places too. But Canada.

The Writing:

The Jokes. The Drama. Really, really, really good.

What I Disliked:

It could be a little everywhere all at once:

The chapters were super long and they switched POVs repeatedly. Sometimes I would forget whose POV it was because I didn’t notice the switch. It just got a little confusing and repetitive, especially since every character had to have their spotlight for the same event. I was relieved when they all finally got together so we could end with all these back and forths.

It’s still tropey, but a little less than book 1. And at least this time the author doesn’t point it out so much.


Overall, I enjoyed this book a lot. It was really fast-paced and there is a lot at stake for many of the characters. It was a fun ride, with great characters, interesting twists and magic! Plus it’s Canadian YA and you gotta support that CanLit!

Rating: 4 / 5 stars (Better than book 1)

Recommend: Uh yeah, read all the Canadian YA

About the Author:

SM Beiko credit Teri Hofford
Credit: Teri Hofford

S.M. Beiko is an eclectic writer and artist based in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She also works as a freelance editor, illustrator, graphic designer, and consultant in the trade book and comic publishing industries in Canada and the U.S. Her first novel, The Lake and the Library, was nominated for the Manitoba Book Award for Best First Book as well as the 2014 Aurora Award. Her fantasy trilogy, The Realms of Ancient, began with Scion of the Fox, followed by Children of the Bloodlands, and will be concluded with The Brilliant Dark (2019)

Social Media Links!

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

 

Praise for Children of the Bloodlands:

“In book 2 of The Realms of Ancient, Beiko brings the hammer down while continuing all that I loved about Scion of the Fox — the characters, the originality, and the real-world locations. I cannot wait to read the series finale. Bravo!” — Julie E. Czerneda, author of the Night’s Edge series

“S.M. Beiko’s Children of the Bloodlands is a wild, fiery, earth-shattering, sky-scraping ride. Roan and her friends, who came together so memorably in Scion of the Fox, must now follow separate paths, which lead them into realms that are both terrifying and beautiful, and truths that hurt before they heal. Book 3 can’t come soon enough!” — Caitlin Sweet, author of The Door in the Mountain and The Flame in the Maze

“The rewardingly complex mythology is deepened through parallel humanizing themes in the protagonists’ storylines, while game-changing action sequences unleash real consequences in the highly diverse world. A densely-packed, well-crafted sequel that will leave readers eager for the trilogy’s finale.” — Kirkus Reviews

Children of the Bloodlands is an exceptional instalment to the Realms of Ancient saga. S.M. Beiko injects her narrative with a passion and pathos that had me hooked from the very first page. This is a complex and compelling fantasy from one of Canada’s most exciting literary-spec writers. I’m eagerly awaiting book three.” — Charlene Challenger, author of The Voices in Between and The Myth in Distance

“[An] intricately plotted and pleasantly creepy volume. Roan, with her sarcasm, intensity, and increasing world-weariness, is a compelling, realistic protagonist . . . This action-packed Canadian animal fantasy trilogy is recommended for its unique mythology and diverse characters.” — School Library Journal online

Be sure to follow the rest of the tour and check out the previous posts!

Let me know what you think! Have you read either of these books? Are you interested in reading them? What are some Canadian YA books you are looking forward to reading?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

read

Open Mic Night at Westminster Cemetery ~ Blog Tour | Review, A Funny Clip & Giveaway!!

Greetings readers!

Welcome to my stop of the OPEN MIC NIGHT AT WESTMINSTER CEMETERY Blog Tour!! I would like to thank the lovely people at Thomas Allen & Son for inviting me to be a part of the tour. This was a book I really enjoyed, and I am glad I get to share it with the rest of you!

Be sure to keep scrolling after my review for a chance to win a copy of the book!

OPEN MIC NIGHT AT WESTMINSTER CEMETERY
by Mary Amato

Open Mic Night at Westminster Cemetery

Publisher: Carolrhoda Lab (CAN: Thomas Allen & Son)
Pub Date: Sept 1st, 2018
Price: $24.99
ISBN: 9781512465310
Goodreads Link

When Lacy wakes up dead in Westminster Cemetery, final resting place of Edgar Allan Poe, she’s confused. It’s the job of Sam, a young soldier who died in 1865, to teach her the rules of the afterlife and to warn her about Suppression—a punishment worse than death. Lacy desperately wants to leave the cemetery and find out how she died, but every soul is obligated to perform a job. Given the task of providing entertainment, Lacy proposes an open mic, which becomes a chance for the cemetery’s residents to express themselves. But Lacy is in for another shock when surprising and long-buried truths begin to emerge.


Buy It!

Chapters Indigo | Amazon.ca | Amazon.com


REVIEW

This book was a pleasant surprise for me. I have never read anything like it. Everything about it was engrossing, from the characters to the plot to the poetry. And what makes it even better is that it’s perfect for the oncoming Halloween season!

What I Liked:

Characters:

I really enjoyed the characters in this book. They were so many personalities that made this novel/play so much more fun to read. The MC, Lacy, was quite the character! As a newly dead person to be buried in none other than Edgar Allen Poe’s cemetery, she has to come to turns with her death and her new “life” as a wandering soul. Of course her welcoming committee are not that prepared for her bold persona and modern ways since they all died before the 21st century. Lacy’s bravado and her love of poetry brought out the best and worst in the other souls. I liked her a lot. She was not flawless and had this bite to her that I loved!

Her secondary characters were quite lovely too. From Sam to Mrs. Steele to the famous poet himself who makes an appearance, they all tie quite nicely together and make for some good drama and fun! They all may be old and have more conservative views of the world but I loved that *most* of them embraced Lacy and her new, modern ways!

The Atmosphere:

It was perfect. It was cold, dusky and dark setting. The author paints it perfectly with the stage directions that she gives. The cemetery, like the book, although very dark was  full of life and yet so eerie. It always went along with the mood, when characters were distraught or even happy! I just loved the cemetery setting so much!

The Writing:

I have never read a novel play. I mean of course I have read plays, but never like this. It was a mix of the two. Where I would still get those descriptive paragraphs but the stage directions and dialogue were all formatted as how a play would be. The writing was smooth and very comical. The narrator, who we don’t actually know, sometimes interrupts the story which I enjoyed. It served to give a quick backstory, which was sometimes much needed.

The Plot:

The direction of the story was great. It’s not only Lacy’s journey to accepting her death, but the journey of each soul in the cemetery. The subplots were intertwined with the main story very well, I especially loved how they all finally came tied together through the open mic towards the end of the story. The story is easy to follow, fast to get through and quite entertaining. It not only discusses coming to terms with death, but it revolves heavily around forgiveness and learning to accept past mistakes. It held many beautiful messages which I loved.

I’m not the biggest expert on Edgar Allen Poe so I cannot say how much influence or how many references there were to his work! But his character was great!

There was some romance, which I was not too focused on, but it was cute. It definitely serves for the suspense element and our dear narrator likes to remind us of it often. The ship was still very much, very cute and I loved them.

The ending was beautiful.

What I Disliked:

I’m not exactly sure why this is not a five star read. I mean it did have its boring moments, and there was this part where I found it to be a little repetitive. I think I would have to knock off a star for that. I also feel like it could have been perhaps a little more twisty, some things were very predictable and I would have liked a bigger air of mystery.

And maybe I would have liked to see more from Mr. Poe himself. He didn’t need to outshine Lacy, he just needed a little more oomph to his character.


Overall, I enjoyed this book. It has an excellent cast of characters, poetry that makes you nod your head, confessions that make give you all the feels and a stunning ending. It is a tale of heartbreak and forgiveness, but it still has its moments of comedy. I thought it was lovely!

Rating: 4 / 5 Stars!

Recommend: To all my poetry lovers and then some! Yes!

ABOUT MARY AMATO

Mary Amato is an award-winning children’s and YA book author, songwriter, and poet who lives in Maryland. Her books have been translated into foreign languages, optioned for television, and produced onstage.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Goodreads

MY FAVOURITE COMEDIC SKETCH

As part of the tour each blogger will post a clip of their favourite stand up or sketch to pay tribute to the dramatic arts element to the book. I love stand up and sketches! (Although not all are always appropriate for book blogs, if you know what I mean) But sometimes there are those gems that you have to share!

This sketch is a little old, but still  very relevant and not to mention HILARIOUS.

*cackling* I just can’t *wipes eyes from laughter*

GIVEAWAY!

Now it’s your chance to WIN the book!

One winner will receive 1 copy of Open Mic Night at Westminster Cemetery (HC) by Mary Amato.

Giveaway Details:

– Canada Only (full rules found in the T&C on Rafflecopter)

Giveaway ends on Thursday Oct. 4 th at 11:59 pm EST

– Winner will be drawn randomly through Rafflecopter, contacted via email and will have 48 hours to claim their prize

ENTER HERE!!!



Let me know what you think! Have you read this? Do you enjoy reading plays and/or poetry? Which are your favourite? 

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

Confessions of a Teenage Leper | Blog Tour // Review & Character Aesthetics!

Greetings readers!

I have the honour of being the last tour stop for this wonderful book. I would like to thank Penguin Teen CA for sending me the invite and the book to take part in this tour and I want to thank all the bloggers before me who have had such incredible posts and reviews!

Confessions of a Teenage Leper by Ashley Little

Confessions of a Teenage Leper

Publisher: Penguin Teen
Pub Date: Sept. 11, 2018
Price: $21.99 CAD
ISBN: 9780735262614
Goodreads

Abby Furlowe has plans. Big plans. She’s hot, she’s popular, she’s a cheerleader and she’s going to break out of her small Texas town and make it big. Fame and fortune, adoration and accolades. It’ll all be hers.

But then she notices some spots on her skin. She writes them off as a rash, but things only get worse. She’s tired all the time, her hands and feet are numb and her face starts to look like day-old pizza. By the time her seventeenth birthday rolls around, she’s tried every cream and medication the doctors have thrown at her, but nothing works. When she falls doing a routine cheerleading stunt and slips into a coma, her mystery illness goes into overdrive and finally gets diagnosed: Hansen’s Disease, aka leprosy.

Abby is sent to a facility to recover and deal with this new reality. Her many misdiagnoses mean that some permanent damage has been done, and all of her plans suddenly come tumbling down. If she can’t even wear high heels anymore, what is the point of living? Cheerleading is out the window, and she might not even make it to prom. PROM!

But it’s during this recovery that Abby has to learn to live with something even more difficult than Hansen’s Disease. She’s becoming aware of who she really was before and what her behavior was doing to others; now she’s on the other side of the fence looking in, and she doesn’t like what she sees. . .


BUY IT!

Amazon | Chapters-Indigo | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository


Review:

Abby was an unlikable character no doubt. She was vain, shallow and selfish. And yet, I really enjoyed reading her confessions, her journey and her redemption.  The thing is that I understood and empathized with Abby. I’m not saying I was the type of girl Abby was in high school, the flirty, pretty and popular type, but I understood how Hansen’s disease was the most tragic thing to happen to her at the time. Her whole life (not to be dramatic) kind of depended on how she looked and the disease took that away from her, so she had to come up with a Plan B. And Plan B was where the real Abby shined. Where she finds that she can care about her appearance but not make it everything, where she can be compassionate and helpful but also take care of herself.

The writing was spot on. It had that teenage, snobbish vibe to it.  Ashley Little kept me hanging ever so often between Abby’s confessions which is what I really enjoyed. The plot was really well thought out. It starts before Abby shows signs of the disease and finishes off with not exactly an ending to Abby’s journey, but the end of one chapter in her life.

This book was uncomfortable to read sometimes, not gonna lie. Ashley Little holds back only a little when it comes to descriptions and stories. And sometimes Abby’s attitude made me uncomfortable, the tragic, dramatic way in which she viewed her life. But it all added to grander impact of the story and the important message that it left behind.

The subplots were also really well drawn out. I especially loved seeing the evolution of Abby’s relationship with her brother Dean. I was seriously worried for a while for *reasons* There was also even a smidge of romance in it! Nothing too much and it was sweet. I think that for a girl who thought physical attraction trumped all else, Abby had quite a surprise.

Overall, I thought this book was unlike anything. It was interesting, addictive, tragic and heart-warming.  It was sold to me as Mean Girls-esque story and it 100% delivers!!! Not to mention that it is short, fast-paced and more entertaining with each turn of the page! For someone who rarely–and I mean rarely–reaches out for a book like this, it was quite the read!

Rating: 4 / 5 Stars

Recommend: Oh yes!

About Ashley Little:

Ashley Little
via PRHC

ASHLEY LITTLE received a BFA in Creative Writing and Film Studies from the University of Victoria and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia. Her book The New Normal won the Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize, and Anatomy of a Girl Gang won the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, was a finalist for the City of Vancouver Book Award, longlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and has been optioned for television. Confessions of a Teenage Leper is Ashley’s fifth novel. Ashley lives in British Columbia with her partner, their daughter, and her toy poodle, Huxley. (via PRHC website)

Now for the fun part!!

I wanted to leave this tour off with a little bit of pizzazz. Like many characters, Abby goes through a lot in this book. Her character doesn’t just learn to accept, she fights everything along the way, she goes through different trials, has many ups, but lots of downs too.

So I wanted to give you a little insight into Abby’s journey in this book, and what better not-so-spoilery way than through aesthetics! (LOL this is my first time making these collages so they may not be the absolute best, but a girl tries.)

Stage #1: Old Abby

abby 1

Stage #2: No Abby

abby 2

Stage #3: Still Abby

abby 3

*Disclaimer: I own none of the images used*

Each collage holds some subtle (and not so subtle) hints about what happens to Abby in the book, but in order to figure them out you are going to have to read it!


Let me know what you think! Are you going to pick up this book? Are you up for a mean girl read? What did you think of my first try at aesthetics?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

read

Give the Dark My Love | Review

Greetings readers!

Coming to you today is a review for a new book coming out next week!! I had the lovely opportunity to buddy read this with my dear friend, Angelica @ The Book Cover Girl! Even though we were both a little busy while we read it, we had a wonderful discussion that really helped cement my thoughts on this book so read on for more!

Give the Dark My Love by Beth Revis

Give the Dark My Love (Give the Dark My Love, #1)

Publisher: Razorbill
Pub Date: Sept. 25, 2018
Price: $23.99 CAD
ISBN: 9781595147172
Goodreads

When seventeen-year-old Nedra Brysstain leaves her home in the rural, northern territories of Lunar Island to attend the prestigious Yugen Academy, she has only one goal in mind: learn the trade of medicinal alchemy. A scholarship student matriculating with the children of Lunar Island’s wealthiest and most powerful families, Nedra doesn’t quite fit in with the other kids at Yugen, who all look down on her.

All, except for Greggori “Grey” Astor. Grey is immediately taken by the brilliant and stubborn Nedra, who he notices is especially invested in her studies. And that’s for a good reason: a deadly plague has been sweeping through the North, and it’s making its way toward the cities. With her family’s life–and the lives of all of Lunar Island’s citizens–on the line, Nedra is determined to find a cure for the plague.

Grey and Nedra continue to grow closer, but as the sickness spreads and the body count rises, Nedra becomes desperate to find a cure. Soon, she finds herself diving into alchemy’s most dangerous corners–and when she turns to the most forbidden practice of all, necromancy, even Grey might not be able to pull her from the darkness.


BUY IT!

Chapters Indigo | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository


*Thank you Penguin Teen CA for providing me with an ARC! All opinions are my own!*

I didn’t exactly know what to expect from this book, other than that it was going to get dark. And indeed it did get quite dark. At first I thought it would be a little more enchanting, but as I kept flipping I realized that this was the kind of fantasy that makes you thankful magic isn’t as real in our world today. (And I mean that in a good way!)

What I Liked:

Characters:

Nedra was amazing! Ugh I loved her! Her determination, her ambition, her care for the world and the people she was surrounded by were all very admirable qualities. She was thrust into this foreign society that refused to accept her and she couldn’t give a bigger damn. Her focus was on her goals. Get trained. Find a cure. Save people. BUT of course, my dear Ned was not perfect and she takes a hard turn to the left in this book. Real hard. Like a 180° spin. And honestly I still loved her. And I think it’s because I understand how she got there. Nedra experiences grief and sadness in so many ways and that constant state of being down is bound to lead to some poor decisions. A cause of desperation. By the end of the book, Nedra was, as I mentioned, completely different. It was a different kind of character growth, because it was a descent into darkness and I found it to be enthralling.

Grey was okay, ummm  I won’t lie. He was a bland love interest for most of the book. Even though I did appreciate how he stood up for Nedra most of the time. Still whenever his chapters rolled up, they were really sort of irrelevant. BUT he did get important towards the end. He had one job and he epically failed at it. (It wasn’t an easy job  in his defense, but still) I’m hoping to see more into his character in the next book!

The World was Good:

It was not based on any historical setting that I can think of, but it was really well done. The history of the island was clearly communicated and the politics were messy messy messy as they usually are. It had a magic school, which I am a sucker for! But to be one hundred percent honest, I would not make it into that academy. Too many decisions to be made.

I also liked the discussion around privilege. Nedra and Grey come from opposite worlds and he often forgot that the way Nedra saw the world was a different sort of complicated. The distinctions between the high class society and that of the lower class were starkly stated more than just their state of wealth, Revis digs deep into how the rich are able to manipulate the powerhouses and governments to work in their favour. It’s an unfair world and Nedra and Grey are two examples of how privilege has shaped who they have become and the kind of decisions they made.

The Story:

The plot was interesting to say the least. It has an ominous prologue that brings up a lot of questions once you’re done reading it. Then you read chapter one and say “How the heck do we get from this to that?!” Interesting and ambiguous is a good way to put it. But what I really loved was the way the world got darker. Not just the characters, but the actual world. Eventually while reading, it just felt like it all took place during gloomy days and pitch black nights. (I don’t recall if it actually happened like this but it felt like it!) The stakes kept rising and things kept getting worse and worse, which created lots of drama AND I LIVE FOR DRAMA.

Romance: Not a big factor. It’s like just there, but hey it was cute….while it lasted.

What I Disliked

Slow and Repetitive Beginning:

This is a big factor as to why this book got a lowered rating. The first 250 pages were of Nedra travelling to and from a hospital. With some school days mixed in. That’s it. That’s all. Half the book was just that!!! And while it did get boring, I was still interested enough to keep reading, which is a good sign, I guess.

A Few Words Here and There…:

I am not a fan of seeing modern day colloquialisms in fantasy. So seeing boyfriend and girlfriend in this book made me cringe, a lot. I know it’s not the only one, but that really stuck out at me………


Overall, I liked the book! If you like your fantasy to start of light and just get richer and darker than this is perfect for you. It’s entertaining and engrossing, a fun walk into the dark side. It has an ending twist that made me quite excited for the sequel. I have so many questions.

Rating: 3.75 / 5 Stars

Recommend: Yeah! For the dark fantasy lovers!

Let me know what you think! Are you looking to pick this up? Do you like reading dark fantasy? Do you like anti-heroes?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

Egyptian Mythology Book Tag

Greetings readers!

Here I am with the weekly tag! *jazz hands* I am coming to you with one that has been sitting in my drafts for a long while. It was created by one of my dear friends, Kyera @ Kyera’s Library!

Kyera always comes up with amazing tags, so I was so excited to see she added another one to her mythological themed group! Egyptian mythology and really all mythology are so intriguing, I love discovering new facts and new histories.

Enough of me chatting let’s get on with it!

The Rules:

  • Link back to my original post on Kyera’s Library so I can see all your answers! (Be sure to do this via pingback, I don’t get notified if you just tag my URL)
  • Thank the person(s) who tagged you… show the community some love!
  • Obviously, come up with your wonderful answers!
  • Don’t forget to tag others to keep the tag going!

Amun-Ra.png

AMUN-RA – CHARACTER WHO ENTHUSIASTICALLY INVOLVES THEMSELVES IN EVERYBODY’S BUSINESS

Ra is the falcon-headed sun god, the creator and he named five of his fellow gods.

The Nightbringer. (An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir)

No one can do anything without him knowing. Ugh. I know I was probably supposed to choose a character who is fun loving and nosy, but he is a next level kind of nosy you don’t want to meet!

Sobek (1).png

OSIRIS – FAVOURITE DOWN-TO-EARTH MALE CHARACTER

Osiris is the god of death, farming, and vegetation.

Billy from Three Dark Crowns (I forgot his last name…oops)

He is just so cute and naive and I love him. The purest of pure….but like he has seen and done(?) his fair share of bad deeds. No one is perfect.

Isis.png

ISIS – FAVOURITE FEMALE CHARACTER WITH POWERS

Isis is the goddess of magic and fertility, as well as being the mother goddess.

Cinder from The Lunar Chronicles!

I love the fact that she has magic-like powers in her glamour and her computer brain that is a magic on its own!

cinder p1

Anubis.png

ANUBIS – CHARACTER YOU WISH YOU COULD BRING BACK FROM THE DEAD

Anubis took over as guardian of the underworld from his father, so he is the god of the afterlife and death.

*SPOILERS* *SPOILERS*

Sorscha from Heir of Fire.

She deserved the world. Not a decapitation. I will never get over her death, she could have been someone great. Another reason for my disdain of the ToG series.

*End of SPOILERS*

Set.png

SET – A CHARACTER THAT IS MORE DEVIOUS THAN THE ACTUAL VILLAIN

Set is the god of darkness, chaos, and storms.

Kaz Brekker from Six of Crows

To get the bad guy, you have to be worse than than the bad guy. My man knows what he is doing, and he is doing things right.

Hathor.png

HATHOR – QUOTE THAT BRIGHTENS YOUR DAY

Hathor is the cow goddess of motherhood, joy, happiness, music, and love.

“Each day means a new twenty-four hours. Each day means everything’s possible again. You live in the moment, you die in the moment, you take it all one day at a time.”
― Marie LuLegend

ICONIC.

Neith.png

NEITH – CHARACTER YOU WISH YOU COULD RECEIVE LIFE ADVICE FROM

Neith is the goddess of the hunt, wisdom, weaving, and battle.

Mamie Rila (An Ember in the Ashes)

She always has something beautiful and wise to say, so let her guide me.

Ma'at.png

MA’AT – INJUSTICE YOU WISH YOU COULD RECTIFY

Ma’at is the goddess of truth, harmony, and justice.

The cover of Tower of Dawn. #Bitter. #ChaolShoulHaveBeenOnTheCover.

Horus.png

HORUS – FAVOURITE BRIGHT/CHEERY BOOK COVER

Horus is the god of light and the sky, as well as the god of the Pharaohs.

*realizes practically all of my books are black/have a sword on them* That doesn’t really scream cheery does it???

UMMM but this copy of Anne sure is cute!

Happy Mothers Day!  While finding books to take this photo I realized that there are not a lot of moms present in YA (fantasy to be specific). While going along the shelves and looking at my books I either said dead mom or bad mom.  Luckily today we can celebrate all the women in our lives who teach us, guide us and strengthen our hearts. Not mothers of our birth but mothers of our souls!  So special shout out to my favourite fictional motherly figures: Marilla Cuthbert, stern but kind hearted and Ximena the most kickass yet gentle nurse ever!  Once again happy Mother's Day to all the mother-like women in our lives!  Who are some of your fave fictional mothers?  #thegirloffireandthorns #raecarson #anneofgreengables #lmmontgomery #mothersday #fictionalmoms #marillacuthbert #ximena #youngadultbooks #reader #bookworm #bookaddict #readingwithrendz

THoth.png

THOTH – BOOK WITH THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PROSE

Thoth is the god of wisdom, writing, magic and the moon.

Whatever Roshani Chokshi writes!

Happy New Years Eve!  It's the last day of 2017 people, that's crazy!  On this night, my family gets together to count down to midnight and ring in the new year together! We also gobble down twelve grapes for each ring of the bell. With each grape you make one wish or resolution that you hope to fulfill in the new year. (Last year the grapes had seeds so it was a struggle 🙃) 2017 was a great year for me and the growth of my blog and bookstagram.  I got to read so many great books including The Star-Touched Queen by @roshanichokshi !  I recently bought A Crown of Wishes to complete the the series on my shelf! I featured the duology in my post today! (Plus it was fitting with the whole grape - wish thing... At least the wish part!) What plans do you have to ring in the New Year? What is your most anticipated 2018 read?  #thestartouchedqueen #acrownofwishes #roshanichokshi #ya #yafantasy #youngadultbooks #bookstagram #books #yabooks #newyearseve

Ptah.png

PTAH – BEST WORLD BUILDING

Ptah is the creator and craftsman of the gods.

The Empire in An Ember in the Ashes

Sabaa Tahir is an icon.

Khonsu.png

KHONSU – BOOK YOU WISH YOU COULD READ FOR THE FIRST TIME AGAIN

Khonsu is the god of time and the moon.

I would really love to read The Lunar Chronicles for the first time again. It would be soooo amazing!!!!!!!!

I mean….to get to fall for Carswell Thorne again *swoon*

cf7e0-15802572_634502993425026_9053865302772678656_n

Sobek.png

SOBEK – BOOK YOU WOULD SAVE FROM DROWNING (POSSIBLY OVER ANOTHER PERSON, NO JUDGEMENT)

Sobek is the god of the Nile and water.

My books by Marie Lu. THEY ARE SIGNED AND PERSONALIZED TO ME. I gotta keep them safe.

 

 

*Please ignore my ugly ass attempt to cover my real name XD*

I Tag…

Michaela @ Journey Into Books

Rae’s Reads and Reviews

*No pressure to participate, of course!*


Let me know what you think! Which is your favourite Egyptian deity? Know any good books on Egyptian myth? What mythology would you love to see represented in books?

ALSO. Would you guys mind checking out my last review for Mirage, it didn’t get as much traction as I’d hope and I would LOVE to hear your thoughts on this book!

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

read

Two Year Blogiversary | Oh my goodness what have I been doing for the past two years???

Greetings readers!

*balloons* *confetti* *cheering*

excited new year GIF

Another year has come and gone, and my presence on the internet still stands!!!

What??????Two years???? I know people out there have been doing this for way longer and their blogs are way more known and loved. But little me? Me? Has been doing this blog thing for two years??

There truly can be miracles.

Wow. What can I even say?

First:

THANK YOU. YOU. AND YOU.

The people who took their time to click on this post, to visit this site and say there hellos. Wherever you may be and whomever you may be! Thank YOU, for making me smile with your encouraging comments, your love and support.

And a special shout out to my Best Blogger Buddies. They know who they are and I love them to pieces. Thank you for sticking around with me for so long, and yelling at me to read books, and for just being fabulous. I may not know you in real life, but you have made the internet a far much more fun place to be on! SO THANK YOU!

i love you GIF by Recording Academy / GRAMMYs

Second:

OH MY GOD, THE THINGS I HAVE ACHIEVED.

Never, in a million years, did I think I would be able to achieve so many things with this blog in such a short amount of time.

I am working with actual Canadian publishers, to help advertise their books to the Canadian book people. They actually noticed little me. This speck among other specks.

They actually send me books. For free. What? YES.

I have met so many fabulous publicists from pub houses. And gone to some incredible events. I am just so happy and amazed that I get to be a part of this amazing group of people!

neon thank you GIF by GIPHY Studios Originals

Third:

HAD A SECRET, COULDN’T KEEP IT, BUT THAT’S OKAY.

So some of you know that this blog has been a secret part of my real life. Rendz is not my name and well no one really close to me knew about this blog, save my sisters. But now that I have reached two years, my family knows, my parents know, my friends know. Pretty much all the people who I care for know. And they are proud of me. They are impressed at how I’ve built this site and how I have made connections and how I had in someway *made it*

It’s a great feeling when your mom introduces you to her friends and says “My daughter is a book blogger. She works with publishers and gets books for free.” And the friends smile and are generally impressed.

It’s great when my sister says how impressed her friends are at what I do.

It’s flattery and I soak it all up.

I’ve been so fearful of other peoples reactions to my blog, that I never allowed myself to be open and honest. Let me just say that it is so much better to not have to hide books I get in the mail, or pretend to be doing school work when I was really blogging. (LOL I still do that though 😉 )

rihanna thank you GIF by Billboard Music Awards


In short, was just one big, huge, magnificent thank you post! I am excited to start this third year of blogging and I will try my best to make it even better than the last! I wish I was less poor and were able to do a giveaway or something special, but blogging doesn’t really pay does it. Hmmm. Regardless, I wanted to commemorate this anniversary in some way, so a thank you post it is!

AGAIN, I JUST WANT TO THANK EACH AN EVERY ONE OF YOU FOR MAKING THESE TWO YEARS SUPER DUPER SPECIAL AND AWESOME AND I ESPECIALLY WANT TO THANK YOU FOR YOUR FRIENDSHIP, CARE AND SUPPORT!!!  YOU ROCK!!!!!!!

thanks GIF

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

Mirage | Review

Greetings readers!

So I have been sitting on this review for a while. Sometimes it’s hard to find the right words to say. It’s even harder to rate when you know you liked it but there were also things you didn’t like. I have a mix of emotions. It’s just…a lot of….hmmmmmmmmm. (Not about that stunning cover though!)

Mirage (Mirage, #1)

Publisher: Flaitron Books
Pub Date: August 28th, 2018
Price: $24.99 CAD
ISBN:  9781250126429

In a star system dominated by the brutal Vathek empire, eighteen-year-old Amani is a dreamer. She dreams of what life was like before the occupation; she dreams of writing poetry like the old-world poems she adores; she dreams of receiving a sign from Dihya that one day, she, too, will have adventure, and travel beyond her isolated moon.

But when adventure comes for Amani, it is not what she expects: she is kidnapped by the regime and taken in secret to the royal palace, where she discovers that she is nearly identical to the cruel half-Vathek Princess Maram. The princess is so hated by her conquered people that she requires a body double, someone to appear in public as Maram, ready to die in her place.

As Amani is forced into her new role, she can’t help but enjoy the palace’s beauty—and her time with the princess’ fiancé, Idris. But the glitter of the royal court belies a world of violence and fear. If Amani ever wishes to see her family again, she must play the princess to perfection…because one wrong move could lead to her death.


BUY IT!

Chapters Indigo | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository


*I was provided an ARC by the publisher! All opinions are my own!*

I wanted to love this. A Moroccan inspired sci-fi tale of deception and discretion. How amazing does that sound???? Answer: Incredibly amazing. But there is a BUT. I could not love this one. It had so much potential every time I picked it up to read on but it just continued to let me down. Sigh. And yet I still very much enjoyed it!?

What I Liked:

The Characters:

Amani was a fabulous MC. She was fierce and passionate. After being thrust into a strange new world, where her life was on the line every single day, Amani had to learn to adapt. She was headstrong while also very compassionate. She had this love for her culture and religion which I found very admirable. No matter how much the society she was in tried to change her, she held on to her values as best she could. She made mistakes of course and I yelled at her for a bit, but she was definitely an interesting character to follow.

I was also fascinated by Maram….(?) Like I know she starts off as cruel and wicked, but I loved that Daud dug in deep into her character, her flawed past and her fears. She has to deal a lot with the “You are not enough” BS because she is biracial and Daud explores that theme beautifully. She is a character I look forward to reading more about in the next book. You’d think there would be girl on girl hate..but Amani’s relationship to Maram is much more complicated and complex which I loved!!!!

Idris was cool. Definitely swoon worthy, but I think he needed  little more character to put him on the book boyfriend list.

The World:

It was stunning. Daud spends a lot of the book–and I mean a lot of the book–explaining and describing this world. These planets and moons that are strung together, filled with different kinds of people and cultures. I’m sure the finished copy will have a stunning map to reference all the places that the characters go to! The world is so well drawn out, the messy history is clearly explained and the political motives are starkly stated. I could definitely see the Morrocan influence in this universe, which was absolutely stunning.

The mythology behind the deity in Amani’s world!!!! It was beautiful and I loved the story behind the prophetess. Daud was able to infuse it quite easily into the characters dialogue, so it added to the scene instead of shifting the focus from the characters.

The Spicy Poetry:

I mentioned this in my mini Goodreads review because it just really stuck out to me. Poetry was really important to Amani and her upbringing. It was something that she loved although outlawed and was willing to break many rules to have her chance to read it. And let me tell you, there was this one verse of poetry that was very ummm hot hot hot. Like spicy hot. It had Amani and me blushing, so I laughed just a little.

james corden flirting GIF by The Late Late Show with James Corden

The In-Between…

The romance was meh for me. Personally, I think their feelings developed too quickly. It was not long before the proclamations of love starting coming around. I mean they did have a lot to relate to, but not enough to say the three words! I mean I get it, he’s hot, I would blush too…but the chemistry??? I think a slow burn would have worked much better to add to the drama, tension and danger that Amani was in. Or maybe I’m just a cynic. Frankly I was more interested in Amani’s relationship with Maram, which although unromatnic, was far more exciting!

What I Disliked:

Nothing Happened:

Over 300 pages and most of it is Amani’s inner dialogue. The very beginning was great and I was really looking forward to continuing on and getting to the high stakes…but there were none. All she does for the first half of the book is talk to herself. Character interaction is minimal if not repetitive and when she did interact with someone else it was usually Idris and as I said the declarations of love. This frustrated me. I was getting bored and as much as I love the development of the world, I need something to happen!! Where was the action? The high stakes???

Bored Alice In Wonderland GIF

The Sci-Fi-ness was naught, this was Fantasy: 

Daud created such a beautiful world, with stunning scenery and elaborate customs…but every now an then this beautiful, fantastical image that I had in my mind would shatter when the random droid appeared. I often forgot that this was a Sci-Fi book and not fantasy. This would have been fine, but the Sci-Fi elements were really not weaved into the world well which I found disappointing. I expected to see the technology up front and center. But instead there was as I mentioned the random droid, the spaceship/pod and the use of the tablet. There was space for more elements. You know…instead of the the game the played be a board game, it could have been holographic/virtual, the doors in the palace could have been sliding doors, the references to the technology in the society could have been used more often to just remind the reader that this is a space opera!

I think the Sci-Fi elements disrupted the story more than add to it. Sorry!

The Twists:

Were there any??? The ending doesn’t count because of course something had to happen since nothing had happened in the previous 250 pages!!!


Overall, I did like this, but I am disappointed. I did not love this book and I was greatly anticipating it. It’s not that it is bad, I was just expecting so, so much more! The characters go through little risks and the plot was very mellow. It was a fast read and the world was beautiful, but I had a hard time staying attached to the story line and there were very few exciting moments. I hope the sequel makes up for much of what I didn’t get in this one.

Rating: 3.75 / 5 Stars

Recommend: Huhhhh. I’m gonna leave it for you to decide. I mean if you like your reads mellow and your characters relatively safe from much harm, then by all means.

Let me know what you think! Are you thinking of picking this book up? Which highly anticipated book has let you down lately?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

read