Review: Finding Eden, by K.R.S. McEntire

Finding Eden is the second book in The Eden Saga, but can be read as a standalone. The story is set in a post-apocalyptic US, where some people have mutations in their DNA due to the Bio Wars. Because of the potential danger they pose according to the government, extra Wardens are hired to kill mutants on sight.

Lilah is one of those mutants. Being able to hide her mutation, she was able to live a relatively normal life until a few boys were coming after her. Using her power for her own protection, she exposes herself as a mutant and has to flee from Chicago to Eden, a safe haven for mutants.

Adam is a newly hired Warden who is tasked with finding Eden and killing mutants. After searching the woods for a week, he meets Lilah and found the perfect way to find Eden and reveal its location to the Government. But as Adam starts spending time with Lilah, he learns that things aren’t always as they seem.

The book is engaging, I had trouble putting it down. It’s a light read that doesn’t require too much thinking. It’s a fun read, but I wouldn’t exactly call it good. The pacing is quite irregular and there are time jumps in inconvenient places. Some pretty important events were skipped. I would have loved to read how Lilah says goodbye to her family before leaving for Eden.

If Finding Eden was longer, it could have been a really good book. The writing style was easy to read but still descriptive and I liked that. With more information about the Bio Wars and a more regular pacing without as many time skips, it could easily earn 4.5 stars.

I highly recommend reading Finding Eden if you enjoyed the Shatter Me series! K.R.S. McEntire has a lot of potential as an author and I’m looking forward to reading more of her work!

PS I am IN LOVE with that cover

Review: The King’s 100, by Karin Biggs

Princess Piper Parish has always struggled with following the rules of Capalon, her kingdom. Love is seen as an unnecessary distraction in Capalon and things like singing, dancing, wearing dresses and eating sugary foods are prohibited. Knowing she is seen as a disappointment in Capalon, Piper leaves on a quest to bring back her mother after she received an anonymous note stating that her mother is still alive and being held in Mondaria, the enemy kingdom.

To enter the Mondarian king’s Mansion, Piper joins a group of performers. She meets singers, drummers and magicians and learns what it’s like to live in a world where people express their emotions. She experiences friendship, love, hot chocolate and many other things that aren’t allowed in Capalon, but will these things distract her from her quest to find her mother?

I loved this book. If circumstances allowed me to read it in one sitting, I would have. It takes some time getting used to the way of things in Capalon, but everything eventually clicked. Karin showed in her book that different countries develop in different ways. Capalons are more intelligent when it comes to new inventions and technology because they chose to ignore and suppress emotions, but Mondarians are more intelligent in the social aspect.

There are two things that stand out in The King’s 100:

1 – The characters are flawed. They aren’t portrayed as perfect people. They are 17 years old and they act like it. The characters make mistakes and sometimes they own up to it and other times they don’t. It’s a good break from the “The main character’s actions are always excused” trope, because Piper makes mistakes and she apologizes for them. I honestly think she rocks as a main character because of that.

2 – There is no real villain. Problems are all caused by cultural differences and stereotypes. Once characters got to know each other without prejudices, they were able to look past it and I think that’s a beautiful message.

Okay maybe I’ll add a third point that stands out in this book: the side characters, I loved them all (I’ll admit, all except one). I grew really attached to them and I can’t wait to read more about them in this series!

If you love The Selection or Grace and Fury, I highly recommend The King’s 100. You will definitely enjoy it!


Review: Red Moon, by Sein Ares

I received a free copy of Red Moon from the author, but this doesn’t affect my review.

Red Moon by Sein Ares follows several characters who each have their own journey to make. It mainly follows Elizabeth Raven, Mia Yuuki and Leo Aquarius, but it has some other pov’s as well. The story is set in an elaborate world with its own history, hierarchy and magic system. I have a lot of respect for Sein Ares, as he is one of the few authors who takes the effort to explain everything behind the magic system. Instead of the usual “This is his power and he has to keep in mind this and this or it will drain him”, it also explained how it works.

As I already mentioned, it’s a very elaborate world. The way Sein Ares handled the world building in the book, wasn’t the best way to give information to the reader. In Red Moon, information about the world was mainly given when characters explained things to other characters. While this is a good method to use in urban fantasy, the world in Red Moon is just way too elaborate to do this.

At first, I struggled with Red Moon. It was hard to follow everything because of the writing style. In the first half of the book, almost everything consisted out of characters speaking to each other. This made the book a bit amateuristic for me, especially because the characters always speak to each other in fighting scenes. An example is:

“This? Just an equalizer, to level the playing field.”
Jenny planted her left foot forward and cleared the right leg out of the way. Her right hand arched back.
Tanya’s lips curled into a smile. “A Zeor dash? Interesting!”
She lifted her katana to the skies with both hands while putting her right leg forward. “I will knock you down before your wings reach me.”

After getting used to the writing style, it became harder and harder to put it down. I was able to see past the writing mistakes and really started to enjoy the story. I especially liked Leo, because he was an incredibly weak character in contrast to the rest. It was refreshing to read about a character with flaws that didn’t just disappear halfway through the book.

Red Moon is unique in every way. I haven’t been able to compare the world and the magic system with anything else. The book has its flaws, but I’m sure Sein Ares will write a good sequel with a little more practice. Red Moon is definitely worth the read!

Innocent Queen, by R.J. Vickers

Innocent Queen is the sequel of Forbidden Queen, by R.J. Vickers. I’m grateful to be given an e-arc of this book. This has not affected my review. THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS IF YOU HAVEN’T READ THE FIRST BOOK

In this sequel, queen Kalleah just started her reign after winning the vote from Leoth. Her current task is to win the trust of her people, but the anti-magic group called the Truthbringers is gathering more and more followers. And now, instead of just promoting discrimination against the magic races, they’re also framing Kalleah for murder. So instead of winning her people’s trust, Kalleah has to prove her innocence.

R.J. Vickers has done a fantastic job with Innocent Queen. It was an amazing ride from start to finish, I couldn’t put the book (or in this case, my phone) down. You could see how much Kalleah wanted to do what was right for her people, but she experienced so many setbacks. Thankfully, Kalleah finally received some support from newly introduced characters inside the palace, in contrast to the first book.

Even though I loved the book, I disliked how the plot was solely made of setbacks. Kalleah does something -> Kalleah has to take 2 steps back -> Kalleah does something new -> Kalleah is framed. It’s a constant pattern throughout the book. I would have loved to see Kalleah really accomplish something, but I expect that will happen in the next book: Regenerade Queen.

I highly recommend this series if you’re looking for a short fantasy read with a quick pace. It includes problems such as discrimination, (media) framing and broken trust, so be prepared for the ride!

Review: Wolf of Choice, by Shay Laurent

Woops it’s been a while since I posted! Due to the Corona virus I have been volunteering almost non-stop in a supermarket, with unfortunately no time to read. Now that I have a week off, I’ll finally be able to catch up on all my reading!

I hope everybody is safe and well. Even though this post won’t be read by a lot of people, I just want to remind you to please stay home.

Elita White is a wolf shifter of almost 16 years old. She lives among humans with her father, separated from the wolf packs. Because wolf shifters make their first shift when they turn 16, all shifter kids go to the Academy in the year they turn 16. Elita has been begging her father to let her go to the Academy, but he wouldn’t budge. But with help from Miss Stone, Elita finally managed to convince her father to let her go. However, almost immediately after Elita arrives at the Lupine Academy, she discovers a truth about her life and leaves the Academy to go on an other adventure.

Okay. Let’s start with the positive things about Wolf of Choice. First of all, it somehow managed to grip me at about 2/3 of the book. I don’t know how, because I often thought of DNF’ing this book. I just had to know how it would end.

Second of all, THAT CLIFFHANGER. It was very well written and unexpected. That’s all I can and will say, I don’t want to spoil it.

And finally, the cover. It is absolutely STUNNING. I think it’s one of the best covers I’ve ever seen.

And now we’re on to the things that weren’t so good in Wolf of Choice.

Let’s start with the world building. It was practically non-existent and left me with so many questions. At first I thought I was reading an urban fantasy. The only ‘special’ thing in the world was the existence of shifters and sorceresses and their own world. But there was no mention of phones and the characters travelled by foot or horse. Neither was there background information about the world they were living in. So even now, after finishing the book, I still don’t know what world I have to picture when reading it.

Okay, the next thing that bothered me throughout this book was: Why do the sorceresses and shifters hate each other that much? Okay, the Crones made one big pack into three by causing distress and several deaths, but what about the sorceresses created by the Ladies of the Light? They work with the shifters to keep peace, but they are still considered enemies. Why?

And now the characters. Elita seems OBSESSED with what people think of her. It influences the way she acts and reacts to everything. In a contemporary book, I wouldn’t make such a big deal about this. But COME ON Elita, you have bigger issues here!

Elita made a friend at the Academy: Dom. Dom seems like a nice kid. He’s the son of the Beta, which means that his father has quite a lot of responsibility. He helps and supports Elita during her first weeks at the Academy as the nice kid he is. But when Elita leaves the Academy, he comes along with barely any hesitation, even though it’s the worst timing possible. Seriously dude, what are you thinking?

I believe there are quite a lot of people who will enjoy reading Wolf of Choice. It’s a short, easy read with a fast pace. It just wasn’t my cup of tea. According to me, the story could have been much better with 150 extra pages to lower the pace and give some extra information about the world. I truly hope Shay Laurent will do this in the next book of the trilogy, which I will definitely read because of that DAMN CLIFFHANGER

Next read: Red Moon, by Sein Ares