Sunday, July 29, 2018

Dark Tide by Jennifer Donnelly

Dark Tide by Jennifer Donnelly is an excellent continuation of the series. It is a bit darker, but the elements the girls are battling are darker as well. There is more split POV in this book as the girls split up and find the different talismans and learn important information about their enemies. There is also the POV of Lucia, Sera's evil cousin and new 'heir' as well as Mahdi's public fiancee. Sera has to deal with her new allies, the goblins, and keep her fighters from getting killed as well as worry about a spy in their midst. All in all this book is a good read that draws the reader in from the start.

I really enjoyed that more of Astrid's character was shown in this book. She is a strong person but she has her own insecurities and I thought that her trying to overcome them was well done. It was neat to see Sera's brother and to have him there to help Astrid(after she rescues him, of course). He thinks differently than the rest of the people in her country and therefore treats her differently when he learns about her weakness. Becca finds the new duca, a human who aids the merworld, as well as her talisman and Lynn is able to escape the slave camp with her own secrets. I liked that we got to see more of Lucia as well, see into her character and what drives her. She's more than a little crazy, in my opinion, seeing as how she reacts to things and who all she is involved with. I am actually rather excited to see her defeated in the next book.

The only thing I was a little iffy on was the romances started in the book. Both Becca and Astrid had romantic encounters and I know that high-stress situations can make it easier to have emotions set in, and they were both interesting ideas, but at the same time, I feel like Sera and Madhi are enough. But then again the relationships are both significant so maybe they will be key! I just don't know if there's enough chance to develop in the last book or if that's something she'll pursue in side stories.

Overall I give this book a 9 out of 10 and recommend it readers of YA fantasy and mermaid stories. Note: It is a little dark so I recommend parents read it before letting their kids do so. Each person has a different tolerance for dark things.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Rogue Wave by Jennifer Donnelly

Rogue Wave by Jennifer Donnelly is the 2nd book of the Waterfire Saga(Which I think is an excellent series name) that follows the lives of 5 of the 6 descendants of the original leaders of the merfolk. In this book, the girls learn about treachery, betrayal, and themselves. They discover their own strengths and learn how to make decisions they never thought they'd have to. Overall Rogue Wave is full of character building and is a very enjoyable read.

This book starts with the girls being in the mirror realm, which is how they left the Iele when the mermen began to attack the merwitches. The story goes between different POVs as they somewhat split up. Each girl needs to find her talisman so that they can open the monster's prison and defeat it. Some of the girls are lucky enough to be together for a bit, others have the struggle of going home and having no one believe their story. They each have to struggle both with their own confidence and the confidence of others in them. Sera sees Madhi, her fiance, working for the people who attacked only to find out he's undercover. Neela, when she goes home, is confined because she doesn't act how people in her realm normally do and they all believe she's delusional. She is able to escape just before her country is taken over and she goes to a friend for help who ends up helping her with her talisman search.

The most interesting thing that I love is interwoven throughout the book is the bloodbind and the effect it has on the group. The girls each have their own skills they were born with, but now they share the powers the others have and it is an immense help as they have to overcome a lot more challenges.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book as well, there was a lot more plot and character development which I enjoyed. The suspense and finding of their abilities was very enjoyable to read as well. I honestly haven't been able to find anything I dislike about this book as of now, it's a very enjoyable read and I am very excited to continue the series.

I give this book a 9 out of 10 and recommend it for readers of YA fantasy and mermaid novels.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Deep Blue by Jennifer Donnelly

Deep Blue by Jennifer Donnelly is the beginning of an excellent series of a mermaid world. It's divided, not unlike the world above, into different kingdoms with different rulers who all have their own agenda. This book focuses mostly on Serafina, the heir to the throne, and how her life is completely changed. She learns lessons and has to face truths she doesn't want to in order to help her people.

The book starts off with Sera being concerned with how she's going to prove herself as her mother's heir at the ceremony later. She's also worried about her fiance because she's heard worrying rumors about him, not to mention her dreams are unsettling. The ceremony goes off very well until the palace is attacked. Sera and her cousin Neela have to flee, and they learn they've been summoned for a much larger cause than taking Cerulea back from the people who have attacked. They are descendants of 2 of the original 6 merleaders and they have to work together with four others to defeat a vile monster. This book is their main journey of going to find the Iele, sea witches, and the others with whom they can work together to defeat the monster and go after the people who are causing so much war and pain.

I really enjoyed the world building, plot, and characters of this story. I think Jennifer Donnelly does an excellent job using this book to set up the world and story without making it too dry. I can't really think of anything I want to complain about for this book, nothing stood out to me as being glaringly annoying or something that didn't make sense within the world.

I give this book a 9 out of 10 and recommend it for readers of YA fantasy and mermaid stories.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Darkbeast Rebellion by Morgan Keyes

Darkbeast Rebellion by Morgan Keyes was another great adventure to read. I must say that I was a bit more disappointed with this one compared to the previous one, though. The story itself was fun to read, I rather enjoy Morgan Keyes' writing, but the story didn't go like I'd hoped. In this story, the group is on a journey to find the rebellion, which is full of people who feel the same way about their darkbeasts, and they have some issues along the way.

The first issue is the rebellion. There are only a few people trying to find the Darkers, others who keep their darkbeasts. However, when they get to the rebellion it's an elaborate ruse. I don't know if they use it all the time or if they just set it up for these few people, but the place is in the middle of nowhere and it seems a ridiculous and expensive ruse to capture just three people. After they are captured they are taken to work in a temple to try and correct their ways. However, they are able to escape and find the actual rebellion, which I was excited about. However, when they got there(and it was much closer than the fake one) the only one who was suspected of not truly caring for her beast was Keara. I know I mentioned in the previous review that she seemed to want her darkbeast to take away the badness and not because he deserved to live, but I didn't think she needed to be singled out. That part rather irritated me so it may have colored my view of the book overall.

This book is an enjoyable read, but know you may have some questions during and after reading it. It is definitely not a standalone book and I recommend reading Darkbeast prior to reading this book.

I give this book a 7 out of 10 and recommend it to readers of YA Fantasy.