Review | Mirage by Somaiya Daud

Mirage by Somaiya Daud

Published by: Flatiron Books

Publication Date: August 28, 2018

Genre: Science Fiction

Page Count: 320

Rating: 4.5/5

Source: Purchase

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In a world dominated by the brutal Vathek empire, eighteen-year-old Amani is a dreamer. She dreams of what life was like before the occupation; she dreams of writing poetry like the old-world poems she adores; she dreams of receiving a sign from Dihya that one day, she, too, will have adventure, and travel beyond her isolated home.

But when adventure comes for Amani, it is not what she expects: she is kidnapped by the regime and taken in secret to the royal palace, where she discovers that she is nearly identical to the cruel half-Vathek Princess Maram. The princess is so hated by her conquered people that she requires a body double, someone to appear in public as Maram, ready to die in her place.

As Amani is forced into her new role, she can’t help but enjoy the palace’s beauty-and her time with the princess’ fiancé, Idris. But the glitter of the royal court belies a world of violence and fear. If Amani ever wishes to see her family again, she must play the princess to perfection…because one wrong move could lead to her death.


“You do not kneel or bend, I told myself. To anyone. You continue.”

I never anticipated I needed a book in my life until I started reading Mirage. This slow-burning Moroccan-inspired fantasy is the breath I’ve been waiting for. And I can’t imagine why I waited so long to experience this marvel. How can I possibly explain my love for Somaiya’s debut? I don’t know if I can convey my love for it. I want to pass it to children who haven’t found a book they can relate to, can’t see themselves in, but want to be proud of reading.

You know I’m traversing the science fiction genre. For years, I haven’t given it credit. But Somaiya is why I’m thrilled to explore the genre further. She takes YA court intrigue, feminism, and a tantalizing love story and transforms these elements into a uniquely written space opera.

She also reveals these multi-dimensional characters who fight for life, survival, and acceptance and somehow makes you sympathize over others you never thought you’d understand. Amani, an eighteen-year-old Andalaan aspiring poet, soon discovers she’s a mere image of Maram, the Vathek princess, whose father colonized Amani’s peaceful moon. Whisked away from her family, she must now learn how to survive in a world where one mistake will get her killed.

As the story progresses, you get a sense of who Amani truly is. She’s more than just a dreamer. Even throughout her naivety, she thrives and transforms into her own character. You don’t know how much I loved reading her development. She soon uses her influence and tries to bond with Maram, who has another side that readers may not expect. And throughout this growth, she somehow finds love with the princess’ fiancé, Idris. At times, I was saddened by their unexpected love story, their past, and their heartache.

I’ll be honest with you. I’ve never been this surprised by a debut novel. Somaiya transports you to a bleak, colonized backdrop rich with Moroccan culture. She taught me about a civilization I admired from afar, but I’m proud to know a piece of it now. This character-driven treasure is abundant in culture, beautiful storytelling, and opulent worldbuilding. I hoped for a bit more action, but that issue doesn’t take away from the storyline.

I didn’t want to stop reading this novel. It dominated my every thought when I cracked open the book. If this review hasn’t convinced you to take a risk on Mirage, I don’t know what else will. But don’t wait any longer than I did. It deserves to be heard. It deserves its own voice. And you deserve this treat.

“You are not defined by the men in your life, no matter how powerful. You lived before them and you shall live after them.”

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Most Anticipated March Reads

Morning, book lovers!

Honestly, I don’t believe this winter will end any time soon. So I need some positive vibes to keep me from the gloom and doom of the next few weeks. Do you feel the same?

Anyways, I want to try something new on my blog. I’ve seen a lot of similar posts. But I’ve never dabbled with this one though. So here is my first official “most anticipated reads” post.

Now, I’ve included only the upcoming titles that have either snagged a spot on my TBR list or captivated my attention. This list isn’t complete, and I don’t want to bore you with an entire one. What’s the point? So hopefully, you find some new additions to your TBR list. I sure have!

I hope you all enjoy.

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Review | Archenemies by Marissa Meyer

Archenemies by Marissa Meyer

Published by: Feiwel & Friends

Publication Date: November 6, 2018

Genre: Science Fiction, Superheroes, Fantasy

Page Count: 471

Rating: 4.5/5

Source: Purchase

Goodreads | Indigo | Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Book Depository


As Insomnia, she is a full-fledged member of the Renegades, a syndicate of powerful and beloved superheroes. She works with Adrian’s patrol unit to protect the weak and maintain order in Gatlon City.

As Nightmare, she is an Anarchist—a group of villains who are determined to destroy the Renegades. Nova wants vengeance against the so-called heroes who once failed her when she needed them most. But as Nova, her feelings for Adrian are deepening, despite the fact that he is the son of her sworn enemies and, unbeknownst to Nova, he has some dangerous secrets of his own.

In this second installment of the Renegades trilogy, Nova, Adrian, and the rest of their crew—Ruby, Oscar, and Danna—are faced with escalating crime in Gatlon City, while covert weapons and conflicting missions have Nova and Adrian questioning not only their beliefs about justice, but also the feelings they have for each other.

The line between good and evil has been blurred, but what’s clear to them both is that too much power could mean the end of their city—and the world—as they know it.


“Once we have total power, what’s to keep us from becoming villains ourselves?”

Have you ever anticipated reading a book but were afraid of doing just that? I didn’t know how to prepare for when I read the sequel to Renegades. How could I since I didn’t want it to disappoint me? So even though I went in with no expectations, Archenemies is the story I was hoping for and more.

Moral dilemmas, internal battles, and questionable beliefs play pivotal parts in the sequel. And characters are often challenged and tested by them. Although the storyline is slow in some places, I feel that character development and growth will keep readers demanding more from the Gatlon City foes and heroes.

I eagerly dived into this superb universe. I never thought I’d like reading about superheroes, but Marissa makes you love them all the more though. Archenemies quickly takes off from the explosive ending in Renegades. Gatlon City is seeing an increased crime wave while Nova battles with her duty and responsibility as a Renegade and as an Anarchist. Drugs and weapons flood the streets, but the Renegades, the idolized heroes of the city, uncover a new weapon that may stop crime for good, Weapon N.

I love finding storylines that make readers question what they’d might do. And Archenemies excels at that inner conflict. While the first novel gives you some development, the growth with the two protagonists will intrigue Marissa’s following. And I’m happy to say that I enjoyed seeing how Adrian (Sketch and the Sentinel) and Nova (Nightmare and Insomnia) play into their roles. Each character sees how their worlds clash against each other, but now they aren’t naïve by just trusting in their own views.

While this growth takes the spotlight, some of the action and other characters are pushed into the background, which I hope wouldn’t happen. Marissa’s main characters are compelling, but I wanted more substance with the secondary ones. I love how Nova transitions from one life to the next. She is my favourite out the roster. And the inner conflict she faces gives you an inside view of how difficult her need to avenge her family and her duty as a friend will quarrel with each other.

This sequel is more character driven than anything else. And I can’t help but commend Marissa for pulling off this feat. The characters will always stand above the action scenes, I say. I want to see how this world unfolds, how Adrian and Nova’s budding relationship will turn out, and if Gatlon City will survive when the Renegades and the Anarchists finally confront each other again. I wasn’t expecting to love Archenemies, but now I can’t wait for the final novel!

Out of My Comfort Zone Book Tag

Do you know how long I’ve been dreading this tag? I love tags. You all know I do. But I’ve been wondering how long I’d push this one off. The lovely Kathy from Books and Munches tagged me. Or should I say torture me?

One Major Rule

You have to pick ONE GENRE that you frequently read about and then you can’t use ANY books from that genre while answering the questions!

WHY WOULD ANYONE MAKE THIS RULE?! Okay, okay. I’m fine. I always read YA fantasy, so I’m screwed for all of these questions. 😅 Let’s get to the post, yes?

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Review | Wildcard by Marie Lu

Wildcard by Marie Lu

Published by: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

Publication Date: September 18

Genre: Science Fiction

Page Count: 352

Rating: 3.5/5

Source: Purchase

Goodreads | Indigo | Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Book Depository


Emika Chen barely made it out of the Warcross Championships alive. Now that she knows the truth behind Hideo’s new NeuroLink algorithm, she can no longer trust the one person she’s always looked up to, who she once thought was on her side.

Determined to put a stop to Hideo’s grim plans, Emika and the Phoenix Riders band together, only to find a new threat lurking on the neon-lit streets of Tokyo. Someone’s put a bounty on Emika’s head, and her sole chance for survival lies with Zero and the Blackcoats, his ruthless crew. But Emika soon learns that Zero isn’t all that he seems–and his protection comes at a price.

Caught in a web of betrayal, with the future of free will at risk, just how far will Emika go to take down the man she loves?


“That’s the difference between the real and the virtual. Reality is where you can lose the ones you love. Reality is the place where you can feel the cracks in your heart.”

I believe everyone all knows how much I adore Warcross. I never knew that I’d fall that hard for a science fiction book. But here I am, marveling at Marie’s creation. So Wildcard ended up as one of my top most anticipated sequels to read. While I enjoyed this hi-action, colourful, and thrilling read, I’m left wanting more.

Emika knows the truth behind Hideo’s NeuroLink algorithm. And with the help of the Phoenix Riders, she realizes she must stop him from releasing it to the world. But a bounty on her life causes her trouble, and she may be forced to rely on Zero and the Blackcoats, which are hellbent on controlling Hideo’s new toy.

Even though my thoughts are clashing with each other, I must admit that I’m in love with Marie’s worldbuilding. This author knows how to make a flashy virtual reality look utopic, but in reality, it conceals a deadly and hidden underworld. The premise of the book impresses me. It also terrifies me though. Emika travels through more of the Dark World. And with that comes the risks she never anticipates. We aren’t in the rainbow-filled Toyko anymore.

Marie explores the consequences of technological advancement. And I couldn’t get enough of that storyline. Unfortunately, the execution at the end feels rushed and hastily put together. I wanted more substance from this arc. And I didn’t find it. This sequel relies heavily on the plot, not the characters. And I believe that part is where the two books differ. I loved meeting the characters. And even though we get more backstory of some, they weren’t the pinnacle of the finale.

However, some stood out from the static. Emika will always be one of my favourite characters. Being thrown into a dangerous world, she feels the responsibility to set it right. She knows the dark path Hideo is taking to avenge his brother, and yet she can’t let go of her feelings. By the end of Warcross, I was swaying back and forth with Hideo. Some part of me doesn’t, nor will ever, trust him. But Marie shows us why he chose this direction. Zero may be on the most conflicting character to understand. But I love yet hate him.

I wanted to set my excitement high for this sequel. I wanted the Warcross world to engross, tease, tempt, and impress me. But this time, I didn’t login into this virtual reality. I’m left questioning the book more than loving it. If you’re in need of another championship fix, check your expectations. But I’d give it a chance if you fell in love with Warcross.

Review | Lifel1k3 by Jay Kristoff

Lifel1k3 by Jay Kristoff

Published by: Knopf Books for Young Readers

Publication Date: May 29, 2018

Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopian

Page Count: 402

Rating: 4.5/5

Source: Purchase

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On a floating junkyard beneath a radiation sky, a deadly secret lies buried in the scrap.

Eve isn’t looking for secrets—she’s too busy looking over her shoulder. The robot gladiator she’s just spent six months building has been reduced to a smoking wreck, and the only thing keeping her Grandpa from the grave was the fistful of credits she just lost to the bookies. To top it off, she’s discovered she can destroy electronics with the power of her mind, and the puritanical Brotherhood are building a coffin her size. If she’s ever had a worse day, Eve can’t remember it.

But when Eve discovers the ruins of an android boy named Ezekiel in the scrap pile she calls home, her entire world comes crashing down. With her best friend Lemon Fresh and her robotic conscience, Cricket, in tow, she and Ezekiel will trek across deserts of irradiated glass, infiltrate towering megacities and scour the graveyard of humanity’s greatest folly to save the ones Eve loves, and learn the dark secrets of her past.

Even if those secrets were better off staying buried.


“Your past doesn’t make calls on your future. It doesn’t matter who you were. Only who you are.”

I’ve survived my first Kristoff book. And when I closed it, I didn’t know if I wanted to cry or what I should do with myself. Lifel1k3 is a brilliantly crafted novel I never knew that could exist. And yet, here I am writing a review for it. Now, I understand why so many readers love Kristoff’s work. I’m an instant fan.

Rarely do I find a book that offers everything to readers: a stellar cast, captivating writing and storytelling, explosive worldbuilding, and heartbreaking character growth. But Kristoff exceeds those expectations. I was close in dnfing Lifel1k3, but I’m thrilled that I pushed on to find one of the best books of 2018!

Eve lives with broken memories and in a shattered country once named the US. But in this post-apocalyptic world, she wants nothing more than to survive the next day with her bestie, Lemon Fresh; her logika, Cricket; and her dying grandpa. But when she uncovers Ezekiel, a lifelike, that life is over when she attracts the wrong gang that wants to see her dead.

Other than the worldbuilding, the characters are what win me over with this book. I grew to love Eve. She’s a badass, tough female lead who takes nothing from no one. And as the storyline progresses, I empathize with her once she discovers her past and the lies surrounding it. She may rock a fauxhawk and a cybernetic eye and fight robots in death matches. But by the end, I couldn’t help but feel sorry for her. Her character growth rivals that of well-written characters.

The lifelike, or android, displays more empathy, compassion, love, and humanity than most humans do. Ezekiel is swoon-worthy, but he’s the moral compass to the book. And I love that about him. Lemon Fresh—yes, that’s her name—may be the finest sidekick a woman can ever dream of. I loved the banter and sarcasm she brings to this colourful gang. And I can’t forget to mention Cricket. I can’t imagine I’d love a robot this much, but I never rooted so hard for one in my life!

Kristoff combines Tank Girl, Romeo and Juliet, and Mad Max in this outlandishly wild journey. What excels in this chaos is the worldbuilding. Eve and her cohorts live in the destruction of what was known as Kalifonya, now called the Dregs. Corporations now fight over what is left of the country after the annihilation of lifelikes, which refused to follow the Three Laws, which govern all robotics. Unfortunately, she has attracted unwanted attention from the Brotherhood. This mayhem just enhances the intricate design of the story. And with every chance I got, I reveled in it. Kristoff makes you want to love science fiction all over again.

I’m not sure if I can put into words of my admiration of this author. Even though Lifel1k3 is the first book I’ve read of his, I need the rest so I can tame my need for his writing. Not many authors have that kind of writing power. But Kristoff does. His writing enthralls your imagination from the start. You need to know how the world fell, how society made it this way, and if these characters will survive to the next chapter. This must-read science fiction needs to be on your TBR list.

Beyond the Blurb | Genres I Hope to Read More Of

Happy Friday!

This topic has floated around in my mind for some time. I’m more of a predictable reader when it comes to genres though. But I want to change things up. I want to explore more I usually don’t read and take a risk. I typically stay with fantasy, then venture into sub-genres from there. However, I want to find more authors, stories, and fandoms. But I’m always wary over new series I’m not sure I’ll love or am worried to waste my time and my money on. But no more.

So do you feel the way as I do? I don’t blame you for not taking the plunge. There are so many genres out there, so what ones are you looking to venture into? Which ones are you still not sure of? Stick to the tried-and-true ones. See which ones fellow bloggers love the most. And from there, find a book that interests you.

So here are some of the few genres I want to read more of eventually:

 

Science Fiction

I haven’t always enjoyed reading sci-fi. I’m more of a sci-fi movie lover (oddly enough). For me, I feel it has typically been an iffy genre to love. I can’t remember the reason why I fell out of love with it but have been seeing more sci-fi books come out lately, and I can’t help but gravitate toward them. I love how they’ve evolved over the last few years.

 

Romance (Particularly the Sub-Genres)

I’m starting to love romance, even though, for a long time, I’ve avoided it at all costs. I enjoy reading romance in other genres, especially paranormal. But until this year, I never took the big leap into it. However, I’ve just been too judgemental over it for no reason. Or perhaps, my tastes in books have changed.

I find romance overwhelming, and I don’t blame readers who aren’t sure where to start.

 

High Fantasy

Yes, I caught the TOG bug (god help my credit card with all the KOA book boxes I’ve just bought 😭). And I need to find more high fantasy books, stat! I never stuck with high fantasy. For years, I’ve stayed with urban fantasy and just fantasy. But I’ve been loving the detail and the complex plots and characters. I know I need to catch up.

 

Thriller

I sometimes find thrillers to be predictable. I don’t like when the bad guys go off ranting about the reasons why they commit these heinous acts. I. Don’t. Care. That’s sloppy storytelling. And it just kills the entire atmospheric tone to the book. But I hope I can find books that don’t do this.

So find a series that stands out from the rest, then go from there.

 

Historical

I rarely read this genre, and yet it’s one of my favourites. But I rarely find a great story I want to jump into. However, more authors are exploring it and making it into their own.

 

I’d love to find more series, so let’s chat! Do you have a recommendation I might like? Which genres are your go-to books? And what ones do you not like?

Review: A Gathering of Shadows by V. E. Schwab

A Gathering of Shadows by V. E. Schwab

Published by: Tor Books

Publication Date: February 23, 2017

Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Adult

Page Count: 512

Rating: 4/5

Source: Purchase

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It has been four months since a mysterious obsidian stone fell into Kell’s possession. Four months since his path crossed with Delilah Bard. Four months since Prince Rhy was wounded, and since the nefarious Dane twins of White London fell, and four months since the stone was cast with Holland’s dying body through the rift–back into Black London.

Now, restless after having given up his smuggling habit, Kell is visited by dreams of ominous magical events, waking only to think of Lila, who disappeared from the docks as she always meant to do. As Red London finalizes preparations for the Element Games–an extravagant international competition of magic meant to entertain and keep healthy the ties between neighboring countries–a certain pirate ship draws closer, carrying old friends back into port.

And while Red London is caught up in the pageantry and thrills of the Games, another London is coming back to life. After all, a shadow that was gone in the night will reappear in the morning. But the balance of magic is ever perilous, and for one city to flourish, another London must fall.


 

“Magic and magician must between them balance. Magic itself is chaos. The magician must be calm. The fractured self must be a pure vessel for power, spilling power without focus measure from every crack.”

I never thought I’d love this series this much when I first picked up A Darker Shade of Magic. But as I write this review, I know Shades of Magic will be one series I’ll cherish over others. The magic, the thrill, and the friendship will always bring me back. And I want more time to revel in Red London.

Victoria is an author to marvel at. She creates these complex and highly detailed magical worlds and systems. She unravels an intricate and layered story that makes you love storytelling all over again. And her characters stand on their own yet complement each other beautifully. I adore how each character has developed from the aftermath of the first book.

Kell must live with the actions of saving his brother, Rhy, and bringing a deadly magic to their world. Both the king and queen have lost their trust in Kell, and he feels that loss and resentment when they force more restrictions on him. Rhy and Kell’s bond though is what anchors the both of them, and I loved their interactions together. I also enjoyed how Kell’s entire perspective of his life changes. He struggles with his choices that bound his life with Rhy’s. And that internal battle builds depth to his character.

Lila, the stab-happy and would-be pirate, adapts well to Red London. She is one character who I loved reading in the ADSOM. And even though I want to rant about how her stubbornness gets in the way of growth, I can’t help but admire her badassery. Alucard Emery, the captain of Night Spire, just adds a little flare to everyone’s life. I thought I’d hate him, but he’s such an exciting addition.

The worldbuilding expands in this sequel. As the Essen Tacsh begins, magicians compete against each other. Over five days, thirty-six contenders must battle each other out until a competitor is crowned the winner. I absolutely loved seeing different magicians from other regions of Red London. You see how each country wields magic. But while people are enchanted by the Element Games, an old threat reappears.

What stands out the most is Victoria’s writing. She ensares your love of magic and shows you how beautiful yet dangerous it is. I was entranced the entire time, and I knew I need more from this world. Victoria doesn’t rely on romance to tell her story. She allows the magic to envelop her readers, and I’ll forever respect her series.

Review | Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Published by: Feiwel & Friends

Publication Date: February 5, 2013

Genre: Science Fiction

Page Count: 464

Rating: 4/5

Source: Purchase

Goodreads | Indigo | Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Book Depository


Cinder is back and trying to break out of prison-even though she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother, or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana.


“She did not know that the wolf was a wicked sort of animal, and she was not afraid of him.”

Did I have big expectations with this sequel? Yes. Has Marissa surpassed them? Hell yes. She gives her readers secrets, politics, alpha females, genetically modified beasties, and squeal-worthy love stories. And I can’t help myself with falling in love with this sequel.

I’ve been dreading reading Scarlet’s story. Some readers didn’t like her, while others loved her. Clearly, I’m the latter. So fight me if you think otherwise. Marissa ties together both Cinder’s storyline with Scarlet’s. I wasn’t too sure if I’d like duo arcs, but she effortlessly blends the two together, and I enjoyed how Cinder and Scarlet are connected.

Cinder escapes from jail and is on the run, yet she leaves her heart with Kai. With the help from Wolf, a mysterious street fighter, Scarlet discovers her grandmother is missing and must find her, but the woman she loves may have kept a hidden life. I was hoping for Cinder and Thorne to meet up with Scarlet and Wolf much earlier in the story. Their eventual connection seems to drag on, but the individual storylines make up for that.

Marissa creates multi-dimensional characters. Her characters are flawed yet believable. You can easily relate to their fear, pain, and determination. I did not anticipate liking Scarlet as much as Cinder. That cyborg has a small little piece of my heart, yet Scarlet slid right in there as well. These two female characters are what keep me loving YA series.

While the plot is phenomenal, I feel this sequel is more character driven. What Marissa exceeds in are her characters. You don’t get flat, uninspiring ones; you find ones who make you want to read more. Scarlet is an alpha female who, even when she’s scared, doesn’t stop fighting, and I admire that drive in her and Cinder. But they don’t let their potential love interest overshadow who they are.

One love interest I adore the most is the silence yet deadly type. And Wolf is the epitome of that. He’s dangerous, complex, yet somehow, in his own way, perfect for Scarlet. Yes, I wanted to punch him in a few scenes, but he deserves love as much as any other person. And now, I can officially swoon over Captain Carswell Thorne. I’ll always love the cocky, sarcastic male characters. I’m predictable, but I know what I love. I’ve been waiting for this book since I first heard about him, and he doesn’t disappoint. I also find Cinder and Thorne’s friendship refreshing. It’s what sealed this book for me. It had me laughing well into the night.

I don’t know how some readers rated this book lower. Scarlet offers just enough spunk, sarcasm, science fiction, and love to keep readers screaming for more. Then Marissa adds adrenaline, then heartbreaking yet thrilling scenes. I’m a Lunar fan through and through. This is one fandom I’m here to stay.

“But you’re the only one, Scarlet. You’ll always be the only one.”

Review | Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Published by: Feiwel and Friends

Publication Date: January 3, 2012

Genre: Science Fiction, Young Adult

Page Count: 400

Rating: 5/5

Source: Purchase

Goodreads | Indigo | Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Book Depository


Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . .

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.


“I’m sure I’ll feel much more grateful when I find a guy who thinks complex wiring in a girl is a turn-on.”

Cyborgs, the plague, moon people (I’m freaking out right now!), an adorable romance, and deadly politics perfectly entwine to create a memorable start to an equally unforgettable series. And I’m about to have a fangirl attack.

Give me a second to process my emotions, especially my regret for not reading this series sooner. But if I don’t let out my giddiness, I may explode. I’ve avoided science fiction series for years. Why? I had too many high expectations and didn’t want to be let down. But with this glorious book, I feel it has restored my love of science fiction. So if you have any recommendations, here is your moment to nerd out with me.

Cinder has awoken something my inner nerd has been craving lately. Yes, cheesy as it may seem, this book has. I understand I came to the fandom late, but I can’t help but become an instant fan. I don’t usually reread books, but I want to crack open that cover again. So get ready for a review with fangirling cranked to high.

Living in a new world where she has little to no rights, Cinder, a cyborg mechanic, somehow doesn’t let her miserable life prevent her from dreaming. And I respect that strength. She uses sarcasm as a way of coping with and living in this society. Not many people know that I come from poverty. So I instantly connected with her. And throughout this page-turner, I relished seeing her growth by standing up to her guardian. The budding relationship with Kai, the prince, had me turning the pages quicker than I could read it. I loved their brief interactions, and I need more in the sequels. Their banter had me snorting with laughter.

Marissa magically threads together different arcs in her story. Not every YA will perfect political intrigue. Some authors will dabble in it, but others don’t succeed. But she does. I enjoyed the politics. It is a growing threat in the background, and that effect creates suspense, which I loved. And in some way, she also merges an atmospheric future with a well-loved fairy tale. Her storytelling kept me enthralled for the entire time I read Cinder. I forget the last time I read a book in just twenty-four hours.

I feel like I missed out on waiting for the next installments. And I wish I were a part of that experience. But I don’t regret reading this beautifully crafted sci-fi. This futuristic story adds just enough sarcasm, intriguing storylines, and a new twist on retellings. So don’t be a fool like me. Read this book. Now.