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!

    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!
    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.)
    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!
    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!
    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!

Review: Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

20983362Passenger by Alexandra Bracken
Time Travel, Romance
Published by: Disney-Hyperion
Pages: 486
Format: ARC e-book
Rating: ★
We received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Passenger was one of Sarah‘s most anticipated releases. We couldn’t really say the same, as it’s no secret we didn’t enjoy The Darkest Minds. Nevertheless, this book had a lot of hype in the BookTube community (it’s been floating round on the internet since BEA 2015!) and the premise sounded super fun. Unfortunately, we weren’t too impressed with the execution of the idea, so let’s talk about it!

Continue reading “Review: Passenger by Alexandra Bracken”

Review: Emerald Green by Kerstin Geir

14759651Emerald Green by Kerstin Geir
Genre: Historical fiction, Romance
Published by: Sqaure Fish
Format: Paperback
Pages: 447
Series: Ruby Red | Sapphire Blue
Rating: ★★.5
Where to Find: Goodreads | Amazon

Emerald Green is the final book in the Girl About Time / Ruby Red trilogy, and that means my expectations were quite high! Although I enjoyed Ruby Red , I thought the sequel was better, and on this projection I was hoping Emerald Green was going to be even better! I wouldn’t say I was disappointed with the ending, because there was plenty of plot twists, but at over 400 pages this book is significantly longer than the others, which made it very slow paced. Therefore, it read as less action packed than it actually was.

Continue reading “Review: Emerald Green by Kerstin Geir”

Review: Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier

Ruby Rruby reded by Kerstin Gier
Genre: Fantasy, Time Travel, Historical, Contemporary
Published by: Square Fish
Pages: 322
Format: Paperback
Rating: ★★★★★
Sapphire Blue (#2)
Where to Find: Goodreads | Amazon

I didn’t go into this book with high expectations because Bee didn’t immensely enjoy this book. However, due to my love of ‘Under the Never Sky’, I realise we have quite different opinions!

‘Ruby Red’ caught me completely by surprise. I didn’t know what to expect, with the time travel element and all the other lore that went into this novel, like the gemstones, the birds and the musical notes. I thought it would be all too bitty. However, I was completely wrong. I fell in love!

This book does not stop. There is always something going on, whether for a chapter or a paragraph, this book was full of content – hence why I couldn’t put it down and read it in one day. Even though the chapters are long, which normally puts me off a book, I couldn’t stop turning the pages to see what would happen next.

The characters are loveable. I really liked the fact that Gwen, the main character, had told Lesley, her best friend, about being a time traveller. It completely cut out the cliched ‘you’ve been lying to me, betrayal of trust’ storyline that I’ve read all too many times. Lesley was quirky and realistic – wouldn’t you Google search everything your friend dug up about the eighteenth century?

There were so many little things that I can’t wait to be elaborated on in the next two books. Like the possible rivalry between Charlotte, who was supposed to be the next time traveller, and Gwen, who turned out to be the real time traveller. Or the magic element. Or Gwen being able to see ghosts! Like I said, this book is choc-a-block with cool things.

Bee did say that there was some romance that came flying out of nowhere. I do have to agree that the romantic feelings between Gwen and Gideon, her male counterpart, were slightly forced, however romance really didn’t contribute much to the plot of this book. It was purely action and adventure…you know through time and space.

I thought it was especially nice to have the book set in England, despite being originally written in German. I love it when I can recognise locations in novels! The translation aspect of the book was almost flawless, with only a few irregular word phrasings, on the other hand, if it didn’t tell you on the end pages that this book was translated, I never would have known.

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars, because I loved it, but 5 out of 5 stars seems like a stretch. This book isn’t ‘Mark of Athena’, after all. However, I’d definitely recommend this book to anyone that likes historical fiction, Cassandra Clare style, and those that want a quick, fun read!