A Torch Against The Night – Sabaa Tahir

SYNOPSIS

Elias and Laia are running for their lives. After the events of the Fourth Trial, Martial soldiers hunt the two fugitives as they flee the city of Serra and undertake a perilous journey through the heart of the Empire.

Laia is determined to break into Kauf—the Empire’s most secure and dangerous prison—to save her brother, who is the key to the Scholars’ survival. And Elias is determined to help Laia succeed, even if it means giving up his last chance at freedom.

But dark forces, human and otherworldly, work against Laia and Elias. The pair must fight every step of the way to outsmart their enemies: the bloodthirsty Emperor Marcus, the merciless Commandant, the sadistic Warden of Kauf, and, most heartbreaking of all, Helene—Elias’s former friend and the Empire’s newest Blood Shrike.

Bound to Marcus’s will, Helene faces a torturous mission of her own—one that might destroy her: find the traitor Elias Veturius and the Scholar slave who helped him escape…and kill them both.

REVIEW

BETTER THAN THE FIRST BOOK!

I enjoyed reading An Ember in the Ashes but I wasn’t completely blown away by it and I didn’t crave the sequel. That being said… this book blew my mind! It was so fast paced as it start off exactly where An Ember in the Ashes ends. Laia and Elias are on the run and they are headed North to free Laia’s brother!

Throughout this we meet so many new amazing characters! We learn more about characters from the previous book! There are some horrific deaths throughout this book that really rattled me. The so called ‘villains’ throughout this book were not as extreme as the in the previous book, however Marcus is quite a horrific emperor (not a spoiler… it was too be expected).

If you are like me and you hate love triangles, you will love this book. I felt like the romance between Laia, Keenan and Elias was really annoying but it’s barely mentioned in these books (and there is a massive shocking plot twist) because the focus is on survival.

I loved learning more about Helene Aquilla – Blood Shrike. From coming across as very cold hearted to now being someone who loves her family, friends and the Empire. She is such a brave badass female character!

I love the supernatural element of this series and I hope to find out more about it in the next book! I want to know more about Laia, Elias, Cook and Helene Aquilla.

4,5/5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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Goodreads – Katerina Turner

* I’m hosting a giveaway on my instagram! There is a chance to win a trilogy box set! This is an international giveaway that closes on the 1st September 🖤

The 5th Wave – Rick Yancey

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Synopsis – 

After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.

Goodreads Rating – 4.16/5 stars 

My Review – 

This was a great book! Personally,  I haven’t read many books concerning alien-invasion, so I didn’t really have expectations in terms of how the aliens would be portrayed. The concept of the aliens having human bodies was interesting ( yes, I know that Stephanie Meyer’s book – The Host has a similar plot). Overall, the book was action packed and entertaining. I was pleasantly surprised by the great character development and the excellent world building, which made the plot seem so realistic, thus making it a fairly popular novel. 


In terms of the romance… It was rushed and felt awkward. I’m incredibly critical of relationships in YA novels so my opinion may oppose  others. 


As mentioned before, the characters are quite realistic both in their emotions and their actions. They act the way I would If I were confronted with tragic events. Of course, there is a hint of hyperbolism throughout the novel but that is too be expected. It is impressive that Yancey was abe to maintain a sense of humanity whilst creating extraterrestrial characters.

In conclusion, this book may seem quite large but I read it within the span of two days and enjoyed every minute of it. Remember that once you have read it there are another two books in the series and a movie to watch. Happy Reading! 

Be sure to let me know what your opinions are about this book in the comments below!

My Rating 4.5/5 Stars

Goodreads – Katerina Turner 

Instagram – Globalbookmania 

 

Backlash – Sarah Darer Littman

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Synopsis – 

He says: You’re an awful person.
He says: What makes you think I would ever ask you out?
He says: The world would be a better place without you in it.

Lara just got told off on Facebook.

She thought that Christian liked her, that he was finally going to ask her to his school’s homecoming dance. They’ve been talking online for weeks, so what’s with the sudden change? And where does he get off saying horrible things on her wall? Even worse – are they true?

It’s been a long time since Lara’s felt this bad, this depressed, this ugly. She’s worked really hard to become pretty and happy – and make new friends after what happened in middle school.

Bree used to be best friends with overweight, depressed Lara, but constantly listening to Lara’s issues got to be too much. Secretly, Bree’s glad Christian called Lara out. Lara’s not nearly as amazing as people think. But no one realized just how far Christian’s harsh comments would push Lara. Not even Bree.

As online life collides with real life, things spiral out of control, and not just for Lara. Because when the truth starts to come together, the backlash is even more devastating than anyone could have ever imagined.

Goodreads Rating – 4,15/5 Stars 

My Review – 

Backlash talks about bullying (both online and off). It is a common topic that everyone knows is serious but we usually only see one side of the story. We feel sorry for the person that is being bullied and despise the person that is the bully even though nowadays, the majority of us are aware of the fact that bullies are what they are do too personal issues. They are usually frustrated and angry because they don’t know how to help themselves so they decide to ruin someone else’s life to make themselves feel better. To make them feel like they aren’t alone with their issues and that someone has it worse than them. 

What I really like about this book, is that the characters are “humanised”.  They’re not a perfect family, in fact, their thoughts and actions shows exactly how messed up humans are. The author has highlighted humans at their worst, yet we aren’t shocked by it because we know that it is the bitter truth. There is no dramatisation or over exaggeration. 

Obviously, you’ll sympathise with Lara, the girl that has been bullied for the majority of her life but you’ll sympathise with Sydney (Lara’s sister), who’s been living in Lara’s shadow and rarely gets loving attention from her parents. This also shows that mistakes that parents make when raising their children. It’s not just about bullying but also about mental illness, the trials of parenting and how it can affect a family. 

You also end up feeling sorry for the bully because at the end you will see that all kids make mistakes. The truth of it is that the bully had their own issues and didn’t know how to deal with someone else’s success when their life was going downhill. 

Everyone should read this book, regardless of age and gender!

My rating – 4,5/5 

Instagram – Globalbookmania

Goodreads – Katerina Turner