15 June, 2017

{ Mini Reviews } Magic & Mayhem!

Hello friends! Two more mini reviews today, both of which have a little bit of magic and maybe a lot of bit of mayhem!

The books featured are Avenged by Amy Tintera, which was an ARC, and The Animal Under the Fur by E.J. Mellow!


Avenged by Amy Tintera
Ruined, book 2
Published May 2, 2017 by HarperTeen
e-ARC provided by Edelweiss
With the romance of The Selection and the epic stakes of Red Queen, Amy Tintera’s New York Times-bestselling Ruined trilogy continues with the thrilling young adult fantasy Avenged.

Emelina Flores has come home to Ruina. After rescuing her sister, Olivia, from imprisonment in rival kingdom Lera, Em and Olivia together vow to rebuild Ruina to its former glory.

But their fight has only begun. Olivia is determined to destroy everyone who acts against Ruina. Em isn’t as sure. Ever since Em posed as Prince Casimir’s betrothed in Lera, she’s started to see another side to this war. And now that Cas has taken the throne, Em believes a truce is within reach. But Olivia suspects that Em’s romantic feelings for Cas are just coloring her judgement.

Em is determined to bring peace to her home. But when winning the war could mean betraying her family, Em faces an impossible choice between loyalty and love. Em must stay one step ahead of her enemies—and her blood—before she’s the next victim in this battle for sovereignty.

♫ ♫ ♫ ♪

I had such, such high hopes for this book. The synopsis was basically everything I wanted from a book. So the fact that it was disappointing was a terrible reality.

3.5. Marginally better than the first but I was bored a lot throughout, so yikes. The writing is still weird for me—some of it seems so colloquial, which is out of place for this sort of fantasy setting. I wasn't a fan of it—the writing, in general, seemed underdeveloped and boring. In any case, this was definitely fast-paced, despite my lag to finish it.

I also liked Em more in this novel! She truly shined—shone? Is that the right term?—in this sequel and it was great seeing her as queen, as someone who would fight for her people. Reading about the Ruined following and trusting her was amazing. 

Then there was Olivia. For a lack of a better term, Olivia was just bat shit crazy. I didn't like her character at ALL. She was wild, and not in a good way. I honestly didn't understand her obsession with killing everything in her way. Yeah, okay, it makes things easier in the present? But in the long shot? Nope. Reading her parts made me grimace.

The romance, to my surprise, was sweet. It was the thing that bothered me most about Ruined—I was tired of seeing princesses going for revenge falling for the enemy. I still am. But that isn't the story arc anymore so Cas and Em were really adorable together. I was also hoping to see something with Iria and Aren, but was disappointed in that regard.

Hmm. A lot of things happened in this book but since it took me nearly a month to finish, not much stands out to me anymore. This series, really, isn't anything too special. If you liked book one, I think you'll like this one as well. It wasn't a bad sequel—definitely a super boring one or one that's just a placeholder, for lack of a better term, between book one and book three. Sooo, yeah, 3 and a half stars. Kinda curious where the final book is going to take Em and her allies.


The Animal Under the Fur by E.J. Mellow
Standalone Novel
Published March 30, 2017 by Four Eyed Owl
Add it on GoodReads!

From award-winning author E. J. Mellow comes an action romance dripping with vengeful delight.

Orphaned on the streets as a baby, Nashville Brown, a.k.a Kill Operative 3, knows better than to rely on anyone. With heightened senses and superhuman strength to survive, she’s been raised as the perfect assassin.

The trick to her success? Keeping everyone, even her best friend, at arm’s length.

Losing his entire family in the span of a year, Carter Smith left his ability to love buried deep in their graves. His only concerns now are completing his missions and effortlessly charming the next temptress to warm his bed.

The key to his accomplishments? Working alone mixed with a Casanova smile.

But when a deadly weapon needs to be stopped from falling into the wrong hands, the lone wolves find themselves thrown into an explosive partnership. Can Carter and 3 lower their guns aimed at one another long enough to succeed, or will their unwillingness to compromise end up destroying more than their perfect records? Whatever their differences, both agree on one thing—in the game of lies and deceit, the line between friend and foe is often blurred by blood splatter.

The Animal Under The Fur is a hate-to-loath-to-love standalone novel filled with savagery, secrets, and enough angst to wrinkle the pages you’ll find gripped in your hands.

♫ ♫ ♫ ♪

The book wasn't bad. Between the two characters, their voices stood out and each one was distinguishable from the other. Their development was well written, just as the rest of the book.

Buuuut... I didn't like Carter. I don't know what it was about him, but he started off on the wrong foot for me and stayed that way, even after he began to change.

3/Nashville was strange, but not in a bad way. I liked what the author did with her narrative, sometimes making her 3, sometimes her being Nashville. There was a real difference between those two even though they were the same person. She was definitely a complex character and I admired her for it.

Overall, the book really reminded me of the show Nikita. I loved the secret government agency and trained assassins taking down drug cartels and other bad people. I wasn't fully on board with the romance but the whole hate to love thing was well done and I enjoyed the banter!

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