Review: Invictus by Ryan Graudin

*Note: We received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Because we’re just going to be shouting about how incredible this book was from now until the end of time, we thought instead of writing a review that would be 100% incoherent, we’d shuffle our thoughts into a Reasons To Read Invictus. So, without further ado, let’s get into it!

  1. PACING
    Invictus is heart-pounding, edge-of-your-seat fast, but at the same time it has slow moments for you to savour things like the tentative conversations between the couples. There was not one moment where I thought, ‘this needs to speed up’ or ‘wait, I’ve lost what’s happening.’ It’s literally crafted to perfection so you’ll never want to put it down!
  2. FOUND FAMILIES
    If you’re a fan of The Heroes of Olympus series, or Six of Crows, basically anything where a group of kids have to come together and save the world/steal some stuff, then you’re going to love this book. Invictus has the wholesomeness of the Percy Jackson series and wicked sense of the Grishaverse. With some strong Firefly and Doctor Who vibes as well, but that just comes with the sci-fi territory. (Side-note for other influences: the recent Star Trek films. The prologue is very Star Trek opening realness, and I was living for it.)
  3. MIND BOGGLING REVEALS
    OH MAN. The twists and turns in this story were off the scale good. Like, I didn’t see any of them coming. It’s really not something you can put together yourself, and even when I thought I had a one-up on the characters, I really didn’t. I’d like to think than Ryan thought of the ways a reader could construe things and then was like ‘haha nope! They’re not going to guess this!
  4. ROMANCE
    There are two main romances. You’d got Far and Priya, and Imogen and Gram. The first are the most true-love destiny pairing you’ve read since Percy and Annabeth. They communicate and it’s pretty glorious. And even though they’re young, they’re really serious about their feelings which is so joyful to read. As for Imogen and Gram, they don’t communicate and that’s the best thing too. Like, unrequited love that isn’t actually unrequited has got to be everyone’s favourite relationship dynamic ever right? It’s like love/hate but with more angst and emotional tension rather than sexual tension. Basically, it pulls on your heart strings and turned me into a puddle of love and tears. The romances aren’t over done, they’re secondary to the action plot, but they’re pivotal to the adventure so, sign me up!
  5. ACCOMPLISHED WRITING
    It literally blows my mind that Ryan Graudin came up with both Wolf By Wolf (a stunningly original idea) and Invictus. Seriously, one person should not be allowed to be this clever at plotting books. Everything I’ve read by Ryan has been different, but all her books have the same tone and beautiful crafting. I need Ryan to run a webinar on plotting, for sure!

Also, thought we’d give a shoutout to our friends Carys, Kate and Lily who we buddy read this book with. It was super fun to discuss it with them, so maybe another pro of this book is that it’s great for a book club pick – there’s a lot of talk about!

So, obviously, Invictus is getting 5 stars from us! I so wish this was the first in a larger series, but it’s also such a rewarding standalone (and you don’t get many sic-fi ones!) that it’s perfect on it’s own! We hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

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Review: Blood For Blood by Ryan Graudin

31116030Blood For Blood by Ryan Graudin
Genre: Historical, Action
Published by: Orion Children’s Books
Pages: 496
Format: ARC e-book
Rating: ★★★
Series: Wolf By Wolf (#1)
Note: We received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

So, what I didn’t realise was that Blood For Blood is the last in this series. It was only a DUOLOGY! I was a little suspicious when it felt like things were wrapping up and I was like ‘wait!’ While I am extremely excited that it meant I could unexpectedly finish another series before the end of the year, I’m really sad that I won’t be off with Yael on another action-packed adventure!

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Review: The Walled City by Ryan Graudin

18196040The Walled City by Ryan Graudin
Genre: Realistic Dystopian
Published by: Indigo
Pages: 424
Format: Paperback
Rating: ★★.5

I was super excited to get my hands on The Walled City considering Wolf by Wolf was one of my absolute favourites of the year. However, this book has showed me that just because you gelled with an author on one of their books, doesn’t guarantee that you’re going to like them all. I put my distaste of this book mostly down to the subject matters – it’s not exactly what I would describe as enjoyable.

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Review: Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin

25907472Wolf By Wolf by Ryan Graudin
Genre: Historical
Published by: Orion Children’s Books
Pages: 390
Format: e-book
Rating: ★★★★

I received a copy of this book from the publishers in exchange for an honest review.

WOW. Like, seriously. Wow. Wolf By Wolf has to be one of the best books I read in January. I was hooked from the very beginning, and I have a feeling that Yael will quickly become one of my favourite heroines. Luckily for me, this is going to be a trilogy – even though I do have some concerns about where this could go – so we’ll be seeing more of Yael soon! If you haven’t heard of this book, it’s about Yael who is a skin-shifter, after being experimented on in a concentration-camp-like environment, and as part of the rebellion against the Nazi regime, she is going to adopt Adele Wolf motocross champion’s identity and try to win the race from Germany to Japan, because it will give her the perfect opportunity to kill Hitler. If you don’t think that sounds like a crazy wild time, definitely worth a read, then I don’t know does!

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