Review: Hunted

Standard

24485589

Goodreads Synopsis:

Beauty knows the Beast’s forest in her bones—and in her blood. Though she grew up with the city’s highest aristocrats, far from her father’s old lodge, she knows that the forest holds secrets and that her father is the only hunter who’s ever come close to discovering them.

So when her father loses his fortune and moves Yeva and her sisters back to the outskirts of town, Yeva is secretly relieved. Out in the wilderness, there’s no pressure to make idle chatter with vapid baronessas…or to submit to marrying a wealthy gentleman. But Yeva’s father’s misfortune may have cost him his mind, and when he goes missing in the woods, Yeva sets her sights on one prey: the creature he’d been obsessively tracking just before his disappearance.

Deaf to her sisters’ protests, Yeva hunts this strange Beast back into his own territory—a cursed valley, a ruined castle, and a world of creatures that Yeva’s only heard about in fairy tales. A world that can bring her ruin or salvation. Who will survive: the Beauty, or the Beast?

The dedication and acknowledgements in this book were so amazing, usually I always notice them, but hardly to they actually make an impact on me.
This is a bit slow to start, but I really love Yeva and her quest to fit in with her family, even though she knows she’s different. And they know, but they all love each other all the more for their differences. It’s so nice to see such a healthy and supportive family depicted, usually we get the jealous sisters, indifferent brothers, uninterested/absent/abusive parents.
The retelling is so original, but still stays true to the core of the traditional story. I really enjoyed how the dynamic between the beast and Yeva develops. And the snippets from Beasts POV. We can see his humanity slowly breaking through the surface as Yeva challenges him and spends time with him. Similarly, she is burdened with the pressure to assimilate to common culture but in her time with him becomes free to discover herself. Once the two separate is when it becomes clear how much of a relationship they’ve actually developed.
I can’t say enough how well don’t the familial relationships are executed. There is a lot of potential for drama on Yeva’s return, but the sisters love for each other overcomes any of that. And the sense of self Yeva developed with the Beast translates into a confidence around her sisters to speak her mind and find a harmony with them and all their new situations. Similarly the Gaston character is nothing like the arrogant bully of the Disney renditions, he’s kind and truly cares for Yeva, and the two are able to establish a solid friendship that both take comfort in.
The ending did fell a little rushed in the development/silidification of the romantic relationship between Beast and Yeva, but one of the things I liked so much about this story was that it wasn’t all about love. I think it made sense the epiphany of Yeva’s feelings, though I did feel I missed out on seeing the two interact more as a couple.
Overall, this was fantastic.

 

Review: Their Fractured Light

Standard

13138736

Goodreads Summary:

A year ago, Flynn Cormac and Jubilee Chase made the now infamous Avon Broadcast, calling on the galaxy to witness for their planet, and protect them from destruction. Some say Flynn’s a madman, others whisper about conspiracies. Nobody knows the truth. A year before that, Tarver Merendsen and Lilac LaRoux were rescued from a terrible shipwreck—now, they live a public life in front of the cameras, and a secret life away from the world’s gaze.

Now, in the center of the universe on the planet of Corinth, all four are about to collide with two new players, who will bring the fight against LaRoux Industries to a head. Gideon Marchant is an eighteen-year-old computer hacker—a whiz kid and an urban warrior. He’ll climb, abseil and worm his way past the best security measures to pull off onsite hacks that others don’t dare touch.

Sofia Quinn has a killer smile, and by the time you’re done noticing it, she’s got you offering up your wallet, your car, and anything else she desires. She holds LaRoux Industries responsible for the mysterious death of her father and is out for revenge at any cost.

When a LaRoux Industries security breach interrupts Gideon and Sofia’s separate attempts to infiltrate their headquarters, they’re forced to work together to escape. Each of them has their own reason for wanting to take down LaRoux Industries, and neither trusts the other. But working together might be the best chance they have to expose the secrets LRI is so desperate to hide.

I’ve really enjoyed these ‘space operas,’ the first was my favorite, but the second one continued to expand on the huge world and built upon the mysteries uncovered in These Broken StarsThis last installment was not a let down. It carried on the great cast of complex characters, resolved the issue with LaRoux Industries, and made a poinant statement on humanity and what it means to be individuals.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that we had already met Sofia, and thought it was very cleaver of the authors to use a character who we already had a taste for since the second half of the book intertwines all six of our main characters from the series. There was also a connection to Gideon that I figured out before it was revealed that I appreciated and also gave us some insight into his characters.

These two MCs were probably the most complex we’ve had so far. All of our characters have had tough pasts, trials, and obstacles to overcome to become the people they want to be and to be with the people they want to be, but these two had a harder go of it than I think our others did. They are so secluded that they have lost a part of themselves, and it takes a long time in this story for them to find out who they are at their cores, and if that’s someone they can be again.

I thought the resolution was complete, and filled all the gaps about what was going on with the whispers’ and leaving us with a look at how all of our main characters were going to live. My favorite couple has always been Lilac and Tarver, and they had a lot of challenges in this on. I was surprised that they were the couple facing the most repercussions, but it all made sense, and if anyone they could get through it. It was really interesting seeing how Jubilee and Flynn had grown together, and I loved their dynamic, they were still such strong individuals who worked even better together. I have to say they went up a few notches for me in this, their book was my least favorite of the series, I also liked how they had formed such a friendship with Lilac and Tarver.

Overall, this was a satisfying conclusion to the series, but the first book will always be my favorite.

This Shattered World

Standard

13138734Goodreads Summary:

The second installment in the epic Starbound trilogy introduces a new pair of star-crossed lovers on two sides of a bloody war.

Jubilee Chase and Flynn Cormac should never have met.

Lee is captain of the forces sent to Avon to crush the terraformed planet’s rebellious colonists, but she has her own reasons for hating the insurgents.

Rebellion is in Flynn’s blood. Terraforming corporations make their fortune by recruiting colonists to make the inhospitable planets livable, with the promise of a better life for their children. But they never fulfilled their promise on Avon, and decades later, Flynn is leading the rebellion.

Desperate for any advantage in a bloody and unrelentingly war, Flynn does the only thing that makes sense when he and Lee cross paths: he returns to base with her as prisoner. But as his fellow rebels prepare to execute this tough-talking girl with nerves of steel, Flynn makes another choice that will change him forever. He and Lee escape the rebel base together, caught between two sides of a senseless war.

I really liked this second installment, but not as much as I liked These Broken Stars, which sidelined me in how awesome it turned out to be. I can’t really put my finger on what’s keeping me from full out loving this (I gave it 3 stars on Goodreads, it’s more of a 3.5, there’s just something about it making me not want to give it the last half a star to even it out with its predecessor). Honestly, I think it’s the fact that Flynn keeps going back got the military base and almost getting caught – though it’s something that keeps the story moving forward, and is needed to keep the characters together, and shows his dedication to the cause; it just seems forced at times.

I really appreciated how Flynn and Jubilee never say they love each other. They are thrown together under very harsh circumstances, their “people” are fighting each other, they both fight internally with their mutual attraction, and it’s hard for them to look past the general term of “enemy” to look at the nuances keeping the groups separated. It’s very complex and a more realistic take on relationships (which was one of the reasons I loved the first book) than you see a lot in YA/NA books (though I feel like intsa-love has been fading recently, maybe I’ve just been choosing good books).

I loved that the authors wove Tarver and Lilac into the story! Jubilee had been giving hints throughout the story, but it didn’t hit me until Tarver’s name was actually said, and it made me so happy! It’s really fun to see how the other characters you fell in love with are doing down the road when reading series like this that don’t follow the same protagonists (and it was really fun to see how Lilac is still so awesome at playing parts and making people see her in different lights). The way the whispers were incorporated was also great, and I expected it, but it was interesting to see another side of them and how far-reaching LaRoux Industries is, I have no idea what is going to happen in the last book, but I can’t wait to see.

Overall, I quite enjoyed this; the civil war going on the planet seems kind of forced (only as a way to move the story along and the characters together) until the end when we see just how much of it was caused by LRI. I think I’ll like it more the second go around.