Blog Tour and Book Review: The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Title: The Inheritance Games
Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Thriller
Pages: 384
Rating: ★★★★☆

Avery Grambs has a plan for a better future: survive high school, win a scholarship, and get out. But her fortunes change in an instant when billionaire Tobias Hawthorne dies and leaves Avery virtually his entire fortune. The catch? Avery has no idea why–or even who Tobias Hawthorne is. To receive her inheritance, Avery must move into sprawling, secret passage-filled Hawthorne House, where every room bears the old man’s touch–and his love of puzzles, riddles, and codes. 

Unfortunately for Avery, Hawthorne House is also occupied by the family that Tobias Hawthorne just dispossessed. This includes the four Hawthorne grandsons: dangerous, magnetic, brilliant boys who grew up with every expectation that one day, they would inherit billions. Heir apparent Grayson Hawthorne is convinced that Avery must be a con-woman, and he’s determined to take her down. His brother, Jameson, views her as their grandfather’s last hurrah: a twisted riddle, a puzzle to be solved. Caught in a world of wealth and privilege, with danger around every turn, Avery will have to play the game herself just to survive.


A Thrill Ride from the Start

The Inheritance Games puts you in the action right from the start. You don’t have a chance to catch your breath because after a few pages something puts you right in the middle of the drama.

And the ride doesn’t slow down. There is intrigue and deception, red herrings and puzzles thrown at us left and right, there is hardly a chance to slow down.

Barnes jams a fun puzzle solving story into 384 pages, and it fits perfectly. Any less or any more, and the story would seem forced in either direction.

The characters push the plot forward and we never know who we can truly trust, and who is against the protagonist.


Well-Written Characters

The characters development in this book are some of the best I have seen in such a short piece. Too often, characters are either too developed where they become unbelievable, or they are underdeveloped where they are as interesting as a soda cracker.

We get introduced to just over a dozen different characters that are prominent in this story, and the only one we can trust completely is the protagonist.

The characters are often simply written, but that simplicity is explored to its fullest extent.

I wouldn’t say any of the characters are deeply explored, but each of them has an idea or personality that they embody, and Barnes develops them perfectly.

There are a handful of characters we should be able to trust in the story, but Barnes’ writing makes it so that we can’t trust anyone else in the story. This only adds to the tension that the story already had.


A Simple but Effective Mystery

I don’t often read mystery books, but when they are written well, they can be a lot of fun and thrilling.

Barnes’ gives us an escape room type mystery that takes place on the land of an impossibly large mansion.

With almost anything as a possibility in the mansion, The Inheritance Games follows the protagonist and a group of four brothers as they try to get in the mind of their now deceased grandfather.

A mystery doesn’t have to be world ending, or life saving. A mystery can be as simple as finding the answer to the final puzzle your grandfather gave to you.

Barnes takes that simple idea, and expands it into a simple but fun mystery. Her character’s story doesn’t save any lives, but to her, it’s everything. Her world is torn apart, and that means we are invested in what happens to her.


Final Thoughts

The Inheritance Games is fun and fast-paced read. You’ll be hooked by it from the start, and it will take you for a thrill ride right up until the end.

The ending of the book sets up a good sequel, and the reactions from people online point to a lot of excitement around the sequel when it comes out.

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

As I finish up the Harry Potter series of reviews, we come to the second last book in the series: Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.

If you want to read my other reviews on the series, you can find them here:

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Title: Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
Author: J.K. Rowling
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Page Count: 652

The war against Voldemort is not going well; even Muggle governments are noticing. Ron scans the obituary pages of the Daily Prophet, looking for familiar names. Dumbledore is absent from Hogwarts for long stretches of time, and the Order of the Phoenix has already suffered losses.

And yet . . .

As in all wars, life goes on. The Weasley twins expand their business. Sixth-year students learn to Apparate – and lose a few eyebrows in the process. Teenagers flirt and fight and fall in love. Classes are never straightforward, through Harry receives some extraordinary help from the mysterious Half-Blood Prince.

So it’s the home front that takes center stage in the multilayered sixth installment of the story of Harry Potter. Here at Hogwarts, Harry will search for the full and complete story of the boy who became Lord Voldemort – and thereby find what may be his only vulnerability.


Another Story-less book

This is the second book in the Harry Potter series that really doesn’t have a lot to do with the main story. The other is the Prisoner of Azkaban.

Half Blood Prince has more to do with the overall Harry Potter story, with Horcruxes being introduced and Dumbledore dying.

I feel like without most of this book, the story wouldn’t change too much. The same plot points could have been introduced in other books, and at least 75 per cent could have been removed.


Harry is Still Useless

I will always argue that Harry isn’t a good wizard. He doesn’t really excel at much other than flying on a broom.

He isn’t particularly gifted and he needs a lot of help with pretty much everything he does. Without his friends and mentors, Harry would have been dead half way through book one if it wasn’t for his friends helping him.

He has some interesting moments in the series, but more often that not, he defeats his enemies because of some magical abilities or a plot device.


This World Makes no Sense

There is this job in the Harry Potter world called an Auror correct? They are tasked with being the magic police basically, right? Am I wrong in remembering that?

How is it that an entire world’s worth of Aurors and wizards can’t root out Voldemort’s whereabouts and stop him and his allies?

I get they are infiltrated and you can’t really trust a lot of people, but Death Eaters seem to be fairly well-known. Couldn’t they be arrested?

It seems like there is a lot of plot holes in the world that don’t make a lot of sense.

It doesn’t necessarily make the book bad, but when you think about the rest of the world, it doesn’t add up.


Final Thoughts

This is a mediocre book in the series. The only interesting part of the book is the last 10-20 per cent, where Harry and Dumbledore hunt for the locket.

The series reaches its ultimate finale after this book, and though this one is a bit on the boring side, it’s title is even worse. The “Half Blood Prince” ultimately leads to a pointless conclusion that has zero effect on the story.


What were your thoughts on the Half Blood Prince? Let’s talk about it in the comments or on social media!
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Book Review – Calamity by Brandon Sanderson

Hello dear readers, I hope you are all doing well. Today I bring you the final book in The Reckoners’ Trilogy. If you haven’t yet, check out my review for the first two books; Steelheart and Firefight.

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When Calamity lit up the sky, the Epics were born. David’s fate has been tied to their villainy ever since that historic night. Steelheart killed his father. Firefight stole his heart. And now Regalia has turned his closest ally into a dangerous enemy.

David knew Prof’s secret, and kept it even when the Reckoners’ leader struggled to control the effects of his Epic powers. But facing Obliteration in Babilar was too much. Prof has now embraced his Epic destiny. He’s disappeared into those murky shadows of menace Epics are infamous for the world over, and everyone knows there’s no turning back. . . . 

But everyone is wrong. Redemption is possible for Epics—Megan proved it. They’re not lost. Not completely. And David is just about crazy enough to face down the most powerful High Epic of all to get his friend back. Or die trying.

Title: Calamity
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Rating: ★★★★.5☆

Buy it here.


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Good Guy Gone Bad

The main storyline in this book has what’s left of the Reckoners fighting against Prof and Calamity (the epic that started it all). Prof has obviously been a good guy since the beginning, but we knew he was hiding something. There was always something mysterious about him, but Calamity finally gives us a chance to explore it more.

I like Prof’s character. I think we get a good glimpse into his descent to the dark side.

This isn’t a trope that I usually come across, but I would argue it is one of my favourite ones, when it is done well.

Sanderson does it well in this case, making Prof go bad over three books instead of just one. His turn makes readers hurt that much more. The turn becomes more painful to his allies and the reader is right alongside them with their anxieties.


Megan and David Romance

Their romance actually seems to have a bit of ground in this book. The last two books seemed like David chasing after Megan like a lost puppy dog, and she was leading him on with a piece of steak tied to a string.

In Calamity, Megan gives David a chance, and we get to explore what the relationship is like, and it actually seems like it might work.

Their romance doesn’t seem out of place. It’s natural, and helps drive the story forward.


More Superpowers

Sanderson does a fantastic job of creating new Epics. Calamity doesn’t shy away from creating new Epics this late in the story, and giving us more depth to some Epics that we already knew about.

We also get the mother of all Epics: Calamity. We learn about Calamity and how the Epics were created. We learn the truth to what creates Epics, and how they can overcome their fears and weaknesses.

I think Sanderson does a great job of exploring this new power system in such a short amount of time.


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Ties in with other works

Sanderson has confirmed that all of his books are related; they’re all a part of the same universe or something. Personally I don’t catch the small moments where the connections are made, but reading people’s thoughts, it is truly magnificent that Sanderson is able to create such a beautiful book universe.


Final Thoughts

I love the Reckoners series, it is a great YA read, and you can finish it really quickly if you’re as hooked as I was into it.

Honestly the only thing that stopped me from giving this book five stars was the David Metaphor storyline. It had its moments, but at times it was annoying and eye-roll inducing.


What did you think of Calamity? If you were in that world, what type of Power would you like to have? Let’s talk about it in the comments, or send me a message on social media!
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Book Review: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Hello dear readers, we are now more than halfway through the Harry Potter series. Obviously there are seven books in the series, and I am reviewing them once a month in order to eventually get them reviewed and never talk about them again ideally.

Title: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Author: J.K. Rowling
Rating: ★★★★☆

Harry Potter is midway through his training as a wizard and his coming of age. Harry wants to get away from the pernicious Dursleys and go to the International Quidditch Cup with Hermione, Ron, and the Weasleys. He wants to dream about Cho Chang, his crush (and maybe do more than dream). He wants to find out about the mysterious event that’s supposed to take place at Hogwarts this year, an event involving two other rival schools of magic, and a competition that hasn’t happened for hundreds of years. He wants to be a normal, fourteen-year-old wizard. But unfortunately for Harry Potter, he’s not normal – even by wizarding standards.

And in his case, different can be deadly.

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Second Best of the Bunch

If you don’t know by now, I do not worship at the shrine that is Harry Potter. I respect their place in society and the effect they have had on people, but they do not resinate with me the same way they do with a lot of other people.

Despite that, GoF is my second favourite book in the series, closely behind The Deathly Hallows.

GoF is the start of the end of the series in my opinion. Prisoner of Azkaban is the book that flips a switch in the series, but GoF is where it all really begins.

The stakes are much higher now that Voldemort is back, and we get a bit of world building with the TriWizard tournament.


Go to School!

What I liked best about GoF was that it felt like we were actually in school more than most of the other books.

I know that each book takes place during the school year, and some things are related to different classes or professors in the school, but GoF seems to take it further.

I would say that Philosopher’s Stone has the most “schooling” in it, but I liked that GoF had Harry struggling to learn spells and struggle with classes while managing the tournament.

A lot of the focus is on the different stages of the Tournament, but Harry can’t do it on his own and needs others to help him.

The actual schooling moments are some of the best parts in the story, and I appreciate Rowling sticking to the idea of a school year.


The Mystery

Each of the books have a lot of mystery to them. Harry and friends always have to solve some mystery in order to defeat the version of Voldemort in that book. They are usually simple mysteries, but allow the reader to learn a bit about the world.

Goblet of Fire does it even better in my opinion. While giving us a bit of information on different magical schools, Rowling manages to give us some mystery revolving around the Tournament.

Each round of the tournament has its own riddles, and the ever growing mystery happening behind the scenes always finds a way to keep the story rolling.


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Final Thoughts

There are minor issues with the book, but overall this was actually a good read. The overall mystery of the book and the background events happening helped me enjoy this book a lot more.


What were your favourite parts of Goblet of Fire? I have to say mine was probably the final round of the tournament and the events after Cedric’s death.

Let’s talk about it in the comments, and make sure to follow me on social media!
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Book Review: Rebel by Marie Lu

Hello dear readers, we have come to the end of an era. We have covered the rest of the Legend series by Marie Lu. If you want to read my reviews of those, you can find them here:
Legend
Prodigy
Champion

This was a series I started many years ago, and I knew I had to pick up this book when I found out it was going to be released.

What did you think of the Legend series? If you haven’t picked it up yet, I definitely recommend it.
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Title: Rebel
Author: Marie Lu
Rating: ★★★★☆

Respect the Legend. Idolize the Prodigy. Celebrate the Champion. But never underestimate the Rebel. 

Eden Wing has been living in his brother’s shadow for years. Even though he’s a top student at his academy in Ross City, Antarctica, and a brilliant inventor, most people know him only as Daniel Wing’s little brother.

A decade ago, Daniel was known as Day, the boy from the streets who led a revolution that saved the Republic of America. But Day is no longer the same young man who was once a national hero. These days he’d rather hide out from the world and leave his past behind. All that matters to him now is keeping Eden safe―even if that also means giving up June, the great love of Daniel’s life.

As the two brothers struggle to accept who they’ve each become since their time in the Republic, a new danger creeps into the distance that’s grown between them. Eden soon finds himself drawn so far into Ross City’s dark side, even his legendary brother can’t save him. At least not on his own . . .

With unmatched suspense and her signature cinematic storytelling, #1 New York Times—bestselling author Marie Lu plunges readers back into the unforgettable world of Legend for a truly grand finale.

Was this book necessary?

We got an ending to the Legend series after the third book; Champion. Whether readers liked it or not, it was an ending. Day might not have remembered a lot of what he had gone through, but that was the way his story came to an end. Eden got an end to bis story, Tess too, and June got the most developed ending of them all.

So was Rebel really needed in the series?

I’d say no, but a lot of sequels aren’t needed.

Rebel added a nice touch to it all. It gave more depth to the story, and I like the ending better than Champion.


Passing the torch

The first three books we got to see Day and June’s perspectives. Two brilliant, super athletic people from different sides of town.

With rebel, we still get Day, but we also get Eden, his younger brother.

I like Eden’s perspective, because it’s no longer Day’s story. He passes the torch to his younger brother, who finds his own story to tell.

Eden’s story is a nice relief from Day, who is quite confident and and capable. Eden is also quite capable, but he’s less confident, more passive than Day.

Plus, he doesn’t see the world as Day does, he sees it from a more scientific perspective, and it’s a nice addition to the story.


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Is it a better ending?

If I had to pick, I would choose Rebel’s ending over Champions. I was more than okay with Champion’s story when it came out, and would have had no issue if that was where the story was over.

But, when I read Rebel, it almost seemed like the intended ending. It made the rest of the world seem incomplete in a way, and without Rebel there would be an incomplete story.

Maybe deep down, I wasn’t happy with Day’s ending, and Rebel gave me one that I felt better about.

I am not sure what it is, but I think that Rebel’s ending makes the story more complete for me.


Was Rebel a nice addition to the story for you, or did you think it was unnecessary? Let’s talk about it in the comments, or shoot me a message on social media.
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Book Tour: The Girl Who Found The Sun by Matthew S. Cox

Before we begin, dear readers, I want to let you know that I received this book as part of a Book Tour with Blackthorn Book Tours in exchange for an honest review, which I am happy to give.

I had a lot of fun reading this book, and I want to thank Blackthorn Book Tours for the opportunity!

If you’ve read this book, or are interested in it, let’s talk about it in the comments, or send me a message on social media!
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Make sure to check out the other Blackthorn Book Tours Reviews for The Girl Who Found the Sun

Title: The Girl Who Found the Sun
Author: Matthew S. Cox
Rating: ★★★★☆

It started with the insects. 

The mass die-offs had been a warning unheeded. Before society realized the danger, the Earth had inexorably begun a transformation into a place where life could not survive. A small group found shelter in the Arc, an underground refuge safe from the toxins ravaging the surface. 

After centuries of darkness, humanity’s second chance is running out—and Raven Wilder knows it. 

Her job fixing the machinery in the Arc makes her aware of how close everything is to breaking down. When the systems fail, the last survivors of the human race will suffocate in the tunnels meant to protect them from the deadly air outside—starting with the most vulnerable. Unfortunately, in an example of history repeating itself, those in charge dismiss her concerns. 

When her six-year-old begins showing signs of oxygen deprivation, Raven refuses to go quietly into oblivion. 

She will break every rule to keep her daughter alive.


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I Like When the World Ends

No, I am not actively trying to pursue the end of the world, but I don’t mind when others do it. I am a sucker for an apocalyptic or dystopian novel because authors are so creative when it comes to telling those stories.

There’s always new takes on the same stories, and I like exploring the author’s mind with the decisions they make.

In this case, I think Cox had a very real idea of underground government bunkers and used it as the main storytelling piece.

Doomsday Preppers during the doomsday is what this book is. We see the results of earth’s decision to hide from their own mistakes and a very real reality that could come of it.

I think Cox’s take on the apocalypse is a lot more real than other authors. He doesn’t take some idea of zombies being real, meteors hitting earth, or some AI robot rising up. Instead it’s something simple and very possible, but it’s also a book that makes you look at some of your own life choices.


Is Too Fast A Bad Thing in Books?

I’ve come to realize that I have a bit of a problem when it comes to reading books. I always want more.

When it comes to a short story, I realize that the point is to give you just enough to get you hooked and you fill in the rest.

But when it comes to a full book, there should be more than just the story.

Or at least that’s how I feel.

I’m always wanting the characters to be explored more in-depth. Always wanting more reactions, more supporting information, more slow burning enjoyment.

I found that The Girl Who Found the Sun was missing in this department, and that is its one flaw to me. It seemed like everything was in the book entirely to be a part of the story. There were basically no moments of supporting information to help immerse you in the world more.

I still think Cox did a great job of giving us the information on his world, telling us the history and the mystery. I only think that there could have been more to make the story more immersive.


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The Mind of a Child

There is a lot that I could say about Cox’s skills. He is a great writer, and he got me hooked on this story in the first few chapters.

One thing I think he did that was exceptionally beautifully though, is give us the mind of a child.

The protagonist’s daughter is one of the characters we get to see the most, and though she is a bit too smart for a regular 6 year-old, she is one of the best parts of the entire book.

She adds a sense of fear, wonder, and she slows down the main protagonist. Without her, Raven’s story would be a lot more fast-paced. She would have no sense of fear to hold her back. She wouldn’t have to worry about abandoning her kid if she didn’t have one.

Exploring a six-year-olds mind watching her shape the story was something I haven’t really enjoyed in movies or books, but in this case I think it was a brilliant way to keep the story in line and not have it go off the rails.


Final Thoughts

The Girl Who Found the Sun was a lot of fun to read. There was never a time where I was bored or uninterested, and there were plenty of moments where I had to keep reading to know what was going to happen next.

It’s a fast-paced adventure that has mystery an drama, and you’ll be happy you decided to read it!


If you’ve read or want to read The Girl Who Found the Sun, let me know in the comments, or send me a message on social media!
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Book Review: Firefight by Brandon Sanderson

Hello dear readers.

Brandon Sanderson has been my favourite author for a number of years now. I love his diversity of stories, the depth his writing goes to, and the characters he creates before your eyes. He has several series that I enjoy, and the Reckoners Series is one of those.

Steelheart was the first book in the Reckoners Series, and you can find my review of it here.

If you’ve read Firefight, let’s talk about it in the comments, or share your review of it on social media!
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Babylon Restored, formerly Manhattan, may give David answers. Ruled by the mysterious High Epic, Regalia, David is sure Babylon Restored will lead him to what he needs to find. And while entering another city oppressed by a High Epic despot is a gamble, David’s willing to risk it. Because killing Steelheart left a hole in David’s heart. A hole where his thirst for vengeance once lived. Somehow, he filled that hole with another Epic—Firefight. And he’s willing to go on a quest darker, and more dangerous even, than the fight against Steelheart to find her, and to get his answers.

Title: FIrefight
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Rating: ★★★.5☆☆


The Epics

With Steelheart now out of the way, I think Sanderson’s creativity really shines in Firefight. We got to read about quite a number of different Epics in Steelheart, but Firefight gives us some interesting ones, and lets us go more in depth with them.

Here are just a few of my favorites:

  • Regalia – Her powers included the ability to push large amounts of water and sustain the move, along with creating duplicates of herself via water and created tentacles that could be used to attack. Needed a small pool of water, at least 2 inches deep, to ‘see’ through the water.
  • Mitosis – A epic capable of splitting himself to create several clones of him. His weakness was music, and was the only epic that could be killed by his weakness alone.
  • Sourcefield – A epic capable of using electricity to teleport, fire at people and could even use it to destroy bullets coming towards her. Her weakness was koolaid.
  • Newton – Epic capable of force redirection. She was able to deflect anything away from her in any direction she wanted. Basically, if you tried to punch her, she would make the force from your punch hit you instead. In her meeting with Obliteration, he fired multiple bullets at her, which she stopped without rebounding. She had a minor second power of super-speed of up to sixty miles per hour. Her weakness was getting complimented.

There is a bit of ridiculousness to some of the Epics’ weaknesses, but it doesn’t seem out of place. Sanderson makes it so that it makes the Epics more relatable and it helps the reader feel more connected to a world with superheroes everywhere they turn.


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The Characters

Similarly to the Reckoners, we get a lot more depth to our main characters with Firefight, and that was both good and bad to me.

Some of the Epics and the side characters were really interesting, and the depth into their characters were actually a really nice addition to the world. They seemed to fit into it naturally.

It was David that ruined the book for me. In the first book he was interesting because he had a goal in kind: revenge. With that goal now completed, he becomes a lot less interesting, and a lot more annoying.

He comes of too chipper and childish, and he doesn’t seem to fit the world around him. He is a complete outlier, which doesn’t make sense considering the events before Steelheart, and during the book.


The Read

Firefight is a Young Adult book, so if you’re a half decent reader, you’ll get through it no problem. The YA writing style fits the story very well actually. The story of the Reckoners could be written in 800+ pages no problem, and I guarantee it would still be a fantastic read, but the quick writing style of YA fits it much better, because it’s almost exactly how David thinks.

He’s analytical, quick and to the point. He makes smart ass comments, but he doesn’t waste much time. There’s never a dull moment with YA books, and its the same with the Reckoners’ story.