REVIEW: Obsidian Fragrance

41582139.jpgObsidian Fragrance
by L.C. Perry

get it here

BOOK SUMMARY

The big secret is out and now Irene must use the extra time she has to her advantage. She must get back to the hideout and warn her friends…but not everyone will be happy with the news she brings along with her. To make matters worse, the queen has finally snapped. If the king is too shaken to lead, she will just have to take matters into her own hands.

War looms ahead for Irene, Ebony, and their allies. If they want to survive this, they must prepare themselves for the final fight to win back their freedom. Everything is at stake.

Not everyone will come out alive.

But one thing is certain – the feud between rebels and royals will be settled once and for all.

In this emotionally gripping conclusion of the Bronze Rebellion series, join the epic clash between past and future, love and reputation, blood and family as the day marking the next age quickly approaches.

BOOK REVIEW

5 STARS

*A free copy was given to me in return for an honest review.*

“Remember this moment. Remember every hardship you’ve worked to overcome and remember why there are those who cannot achieve their own freedom. Remember why we fight. And promise me there will be a better future waiting at the end of this.”

Obsidian Fragrance is the last in L.C. Perry’s Bronze Rebellion series, a series that I’ve been loving and screaming into the void about since the first book.

Obsidian Fragrance introduces a lot more characters into the storyline, as if there weren’t a lot already. However, each character was very significant in the development of the story. These characters have well-developed personality and interests that makes them seem more like human than just a name. When it comes world-building, it is common to have many characters and some of them may not even stand out or you can’t remember them well. Obsidian Fragrance is nothing like that.

This entire book left me wrecked. There was so much crying, cheering, anger and worry. The way Perry made these characters and how she writes makes it seem as if you want to be their friends and their pain was your pain as well. Their friendship was forged out of bonds so strong that even blood could not even compete (hint!).

The most important part of this book was the battle. However, there were many conflicts along the way and it made me wonder how exactly will the battle play out. Most of the time, battle scenes are poorly described and lacking, however the battle scenes in Obsidian Fragrance, albeit a bit long, was focused on the characters, their skills and their teamwork. I thought the author would not spare any more time to let the readers know more about the characters and focus on the main plot but most of the backstories, teamwork and a lot of other side information was written in the battle scenes.

I really loved the closure that Obsidian Fragrance included. The epilogue was something I needed after all the pain I (and the characters) went through. It’s definitely the sun after the storm but it sadly signifies that there is no more to the series.

Overall, I really liked this series and hope that many more are able to share the love I have for it. Also, there’s a lot of character deaths, many that I loved very much and definitely shed tears over and screamed “NO NO NO NO” very loudly (sorry neighbours!).

REVIEW: The Hate U Give

The Hate U Give
by Angie Thomas

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BOOK SUMMARY

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.


But what Starr does—or does not—say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

BOOK REVIEW

5 STARS

“That’s the hate they give us, baby, a system designed against us. That’s Thug Life.”  

The Hate U Give is an important read. Especially with the numerous cases of police brutality. I recommend you to read it before the movie comes out. Of course, if you aren’t a reader, watching to movie is good too but there’s only a few parts that could be captured in 2.5 hours. 

It was a funny yet heart-breaking read. Some moments made me want to cheer, some made me ugly cry. (It happened in the college library but luckily there was no one around.) There was even a chapter that made me boil with rage. Although this book is considered fiction, it felt way too close to reality because I believe somewhere in this world, it is happening. 

Thomas writes about a community. A group of people who has each others’ backs but there’s also some threats from the local drug lord. It shares the duality of the people from the hood. My most favourite part would definitely be the part where there were many people who supported the case, using social media as a platform to get your thoughts known. The voice is a tool. Combined with social media to gain support, it’s a powerful tool.

I also loved the tiny details in the book such as minorities working together and the issue of friendships in this story. Race is a very important thing, it’s a sense of belonging to a group and we can also share and relate to one another’s pain through it. For Starr, a Black girl attending school in a White neighbourhood, she is bound to face a sense of unbelonging. She starts to realise the offensive things her friends say that she used to disregard. Making her question her friendship and relationship with her White boyfriend, Chris.

Furthermore, police brutality is one of the main themes in the book. It is terrible since they are the ones who we trust to protect us. Who can we turn to when the ones who are supposed to protect us turn against us? There’s of course, two sides to everything. Despite her lack of trust in the police after what happened, her uncle is a Black policeman and he is willing to risk it all for justice.

REVIEW: Emerald Dream

Emerald Dream (Bronze Rebellion, #2)
by L.C. Perry

Get it here

BOOK SUMMARY

After forcibly being taken away from her home, her family, and everything she’s ever known, Princess Irene has no choice but to live alongside her captors. But when a potential bloodbath encourages the rebels to act, Irene is forced to go down a dangerous path. She will have to accompany the rebels she so deeply despises including Asher, the sardonic squad leader with a haunting past and Ebony, the person responsible for her kidnapping. As worlds collide, so do beliefs and neither side will be left unscathed. Irene will have to acknowledge the consequences of her glamorous lifestyle while Ebony realizes the promises she’s made will not always be kept.

Meanwhile, things aren’t as they seem at the castle. Danger is lurking in every corner and it is up to Gavin and Aurora to find out what the king and queen are so diligently trying to hide…

With so many secrets arising and complications unfolding, the line between ally and foe isn’t as clear as it should be. The king and queen’s tyranny is gathering momentum and Irene and Ebony will have to make a decision: kill each other or work together. 

BOOK REVIEW: 


5 STARS


Say goodbye to the ignorant princess of the past and hello to the new queen with a goal.


The plot, first and foremost, was developed amazingly. So many events that happened here co-related with the first book, Emerald Dream and did not seem to be an afterthought. It really shows that the plans and the ideas were already drafted and it was executed extremely well. The first book, Gold Shadow was more focused on Ebony and Princess Irene, the background of the rebellion and the some of the newer recruits of the rebellion. Now, we find out more about Asher’s team and each individual’s past and their relationship with one another. There are also mentions of LGBTQA+ characters in the book and also a little bit of romance. Not forgetting the whole mission, there’s a ton of bloodshed as well.

In the previous book, Irene seemed to be a stuck-up and ignorant princess while Ebony seemed to be a slave who had hardened her heart and had a strong desire to bring down the ones in power. It was extremely frustrating for me to read since I wasn’t fond of the two main characters and things seemed similar to the times of old where slavery was allowed. The reason why I continued reading was that I loved the other characters. In this book, my initial feelings for the two main characters developed and became a strong desire to root for them. Emerald Dream shined a new light on Ebony and Irene, changed them from being bitter about their state to rebels who cared for their friends and wishes to help society. Talk about character development!

It turned out that the king and queen were hiding far more than slaves. They were involved in something more devious, so messed up that the rebels are increasing their pace. More people are involved with putting an end to the harm that the king and queen plan to do, both from inside and outside the castle. Things are getting messier. There are so many secrets being hidden from one another and there’s more than one way to threaten them to tell.

Lastly, there are some mentions of attempted rape, mentions of abuse, and also violence. Tons of violence.  This is a heads up for those who are interesting in reading Emerald Dream but are sensitive towards these issues. Nonetheless, Emerald Dream is extremely enjoyable with absolutely lovely characters who could potentially snap my neck but I (who have no experience in fighting or in self-defence) would love to protect them. It is also exciting to see what happens next!

REVIEW: Gold Shadow

Gold Shadow (Bronze Rebellion, #1)
by L.C. Perry

get it here

 BOOK SUMMARY: 

In the North American continent, eighteen-year-old Ebony has been living as a slave for as long as she can remember. The underground cities, the tattoo, the scars and the shackles are a part of the only world she has ever known. She knows that in order to survive, she will have to stay strong. And she will stay strong, cursing those in power, until her very last breath. She waits for a meaningful way to die as she quietly pushes her body to its limit…but that all changes when rebels from the surface drop down right in front of her. 

Now, Ebony is challenged to envision a life beyond slavery as she and the other escapees are thrown into the center of a rebellion against the monarchy. She has to embrace this glimmer towards a real life…this glimmer called freedom. But what can she contribute to a rebellion that is doomed to fail like those before it? How can they stop a corrupt monarchy that has lasted for a century? Among the lower class, those with hope are hard to come by, but Ebony has found refuge with people full of it. And through their strong desire, an idea emerges…one that has never been done before. The princess of the country is coming of age and what better way to send a message to the king and queen than to kidnap their only daughter?

 BOOK REVIEW: 


5 STARS

*A free PDF copy of this book was given in exchange for an honest review*

Gold Shadow may have a slow start but 10% into the book and you will find yourself hooked, I assure you.

We are first introduced to Ebony, a character who is cold and self-sufficient. As a slave all her life, she has learnt to harden her heart and disregard the companion of others as it could only bring more trouble. The foil character, in contrast to Ebony, is an innocent princess named Irene who was shielded from the harsh reality of the world, fed with the idea that the rebels were causing more trouble to her soon-to-be kingdom. The narrative of the story is told through the lives and experiences of the two characters, forming a clear understanding of the background of the characters.

Being at the wrong place at the wrong time, Ebony crosses paths with the rebels from the surface and is forced to go with them. As they make their leave, they are noticed by other slaves who wanted in on the escape as well. Ebony who was a slave all her life was experiencing freedom and the outside world for the first time. It was what she wanted, but yet she feels empty and wants more meaning in her life.

Gold Shadow has a variety of characters, each unique and captivating in their own way. There was diversity, which I really like. In my opinion, it wasn’t the plot that drove the story, but the characters. Every character had a past that shaped and motivated them to be a part of the rebellion. It was also the relationships between the characters that made this book so interesting. 

I love seeing the character development in the story, especially for Ebony whose life changed because of her mentor, Asher. She was constantly driven to the edge, motivated yet scared for her life. I would see why too, especially because of Asher’s personality. It was also how Perry revealed each characters’ past that made me engrossed in the story. It was done so smoothly without it seeming as if it was awkwardly inserted into the middle of the story. Furthermore, the characters were so relatable that it could make the reader feel a connection with them.

The only thing that I disliked was how it ended with a cliffhanger, however, it sure sets the mood and thrill to read the second book in the Bronze Rebellion series.

REVIEW: NIMBUS

NIMBUS (The Perfect Circle Trilogy, Book 1)
by A.C. Miller

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BOOK SUMMARY: 

It’s the year 2191 and the last known civilization hides behind a giant steel wall buried deep within a forest. For over eighty years, Nimbus has thrived under one rule: Separation. When a kid turns fourteen, they’re kicked outside the wall. For eleven years, they must survive before being given a chance at re-entry. It’s Nimbus’ way of keeping an identity the previous world didn’t have; it’s their way of preventing history from repeating itself. 

Sam Martin has spent his first thirteen years in Nimbus, but today’s different. Today is Sam’s fourteenth birthday. 

Meanwhile, Sam’s brother, Sean, was recently granted re-admittance to Nimbus after surviving his eleven years. Assigned to work as a member of the Elite Guard, Sean slowly begins to realize there’s something deeply wrong with how Nimbus works. 

Outside the wall, Elise waits. Directed by Sean to find Sam when he’s sent out, Elise sits deep in the forest fending off a series of headaches that have bothered her since her first day outside. With one year left to prove her worth, Elise must teach Sam how to survive the horrors beyond the wall. 

The outside is crawling with those willing to do anything to survive regardless of what it entails. Sam, Sean, and Elise must learn to cope with the darkness lurking both inside and outside the wall. If they don’t, those who hide in the shadows will win.

BOOK REVIEW: 

5 STARS

*A free PDF copy of this book was given in exchange for an honest review*

This book has captivated me from the start. It was a page-turner, impossible to put down. 

Miller has made it possible to hate the authorities with every cell in my body. My blood boils by just thinking about what goes on in the twisted concept of Nimbus. Sending out 14-year-olds into the outside, unequipped (well, except that they can bring only ONE thing) and expected to fight and hunt for the next 11 years.

The point of view switches between 4 characters, Sean, Elise, Abby and Sam and through it, you’re able to understand their state of mind as well as their experiences outside the wall. Each character deals with loss, love, guilt and fear but they continue to fight on to put a stop to this twisted rule. Every chapter, the characters are faced with a struggle that’s pulling them back or some motivational talk from one another to keep them sane.

There were some unexpected plot twists in the story that will keep you on your toes. You’ll begin to wonder who is the bad guy here and who else is working with him. However, you’ll still have faith knowing the fighting spirit of the characters.

The whole story was well developed, leaving no place for any uncertainty. All the questions I had while reading the book were answered in the next few chapters. It was clear that there weren’t any plot holes.

I love the way each character, despite facing so many hardships and loss are selfless, knowing that not only to stay alive for themselves but for their close ones as well. I’ve grown attached to them and wanted them to win. However, it all comes with a price.

With Nimbus, you should always expect the unexpected. Perhaps not, since it might get to you before you get to it. Nimbus isn’t the end. There’s more to come.

REVIEW: The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan

The Trials of Apollo: The Hidden Oracle
by Rick Riordan

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BOOK SUMMARY: 

How do you punish an immortal?

By making him human.

After angering his father Zeus, the god Apollo is cast down from Olympus. Weak and disorientated, he lands in New York City as a regular teenage boy. Now, without his godly powers, the four-thousand-year-old deity must learn to survive in the modern world until he can somehow find a way to regain Zeus’s favour.

But Apollo has many enemies—gods, monsters and mortals who would love to see the former Olympian permanently destroyed. Apollo needs help, and he can think of only one place to go… an enclave of modern demigods known as Camp Half-Blood.

BOOK REVIEW:

5 STARS
If I were to be honest, I thought I’d hate this book. Apollo was a selfish god, proud and narcissistic. He was easily my least favourite amongst the 12 Olympians.

Losing his powers and becoming a mortal, Apollo now undertakes the identity of Lester Papadopolos. He faces the hard life of being a mortal, a whole reality-check since he spent most of his time admiring himself in the mirror back on his throne with the other Olympians.

The start of the book was sickening. Apollo was in denial of the whole situation, being the selfish god that he is (or was) and was throwing tantrums everywhere. Riordan did a wonderful job, channelling the actions of a baby into an ex-olympian and making people find him unbearable.

Apollo faces a huge character development towards the end. He realises his mistakes, he grieves his losses, he regrets his wrongdoings. That was when I had a soft spot for Apollo and began to admire him.

This book was about how Apollo dealt with losing his powers, being completely helpless in the mortal world where he could possibly die while fighting off monsters. It was about friendships and relationships, cherishing and regretting. Most of all, it was about how people can change due to some issue they faced. It was about growth and that was extremely impactful. Apollo’s self-reflection made me gave this book 5 stars.


This review was first published on my Goodreads account.