For Darkness Shows the Stars

Author: Diana Peterfreund

Pages: 402

ISBN: 978-0-06-200615-8

Series: For Darkness Shows the Stars #1

Genre: Fantasy

Set in an alternate universe with a class system the main characters have to overcome the values they have been taught since childhood. In this retelling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion, Elliot North, the daughter of a farmer, is confronted with her feelings when her childhood friend Kai returns. Four years ago, she did not run away with him and now she meets him again though he seems to be nothing like before.

The society is divided after a failed genetic experiment caused the Reduction and the surviving and newly formed upper class renounces the use of technology. The part of the population that received mental damage following the experiment is exploited as workers for the wealthy. Kai was born into this class yet he was as any other child and despised the class system so he ran away.

One day, Elliot’s father destroys the crops that she planted and without the harvest they will need to get money from elsewhere to finance the estate. Therefore, she is forced to rent out land to explorers. One of them is turns out to be the long gone Kai. When Elliot and Kai meet, their relationship is very tense and icy.

Elliot eventually discovers that the explorers keep a secret that has the power to change everything. She again has to choose, this time between keeping their secret and telling on them. Because of the nature of the secret, she either has to abandon everything she was ever taught or take a step into an unknown and possibly fatal future.


I haven’t read the original by Jane Austen yet but I will after reading this retelling. The chances though, that I will not love the original as much as this work are high.

I love the world that Diana Peterfreund created with the society divided by a failed genetic experiment. This raises awareness of the problems that could arise from a failed experiment of any kind. People have to stay critical and weight the good against the bad concerning the outcome.

I also like the main character Elliot as she struggles with what she was told and how it does not necessarily fit into how she sees the world. Through letters she exchange with Kai when they were young the author builds an understanding of Elliot’s thoughts and actions. But also Kai is getting more background and structure.

The interactions between those two now is so intense and cold I literally got goose bumps while reading. I have to say that this one and the second book are the only books I ever had a physical reaction of any sort to. The writing style just captivated me and I felt sorry, happy, and sad and so much more for Elliot during her experiences.

I like how she always has doubts about what she is told to do or think, that she wants to make up her own mind. I feel this is a great message and as a physicist I can especially relate to this kind of behaviour and I would encourage everybody to do so as well. This does not mean that one cannot accept advice, just that stubborn believe in what others tell you is not necessarily a good thing.

Another trait that I particularly like about Elliot is her will to help those she cares about even if it means negative consequences for herself. She oftentimes does things for others, even when she gets hurt in the process by e.g. Kai and his sometimes very wounding words or actions.

And then this quote:

No matter where I went, I always knew my way back to you. You are my compass star.

Well, what can I say, expresses my feelings towards the book…

The Mime Order

Author: Samantha Shannon

Pages: 508

ISBN: 978-1-4088-5742-7

Series: The Bone Season #2

Genre: Fantasy

After escaping from Sheol I with a group of clairvoyants, Paige now returns to London hoping to find allies in the war against the Rephaim. Having left Arcturus (the actual name of Warden) behind, she has to hope that he made it out safely as well as he worked against the others to help her.

Even with their connection, Paige is not able to feel him now and when she hears news that he is a prisoner of another mime-lord, she makes her way to rescue him. She can go do this as she, compared to the others coming back from their prison in Oxford, still has a home in the midst of Jaxon Hall’s gang. On top of finding Warden, the pale dreamer has to find a safe place for her companions to survive.

In this process, she and her newly formed group of allies also want to spread the news about this other race that held them and so many others captive. A side effect of this plan is the discovery of some uncomfortable truths about Scion and its connection with the Rephaim.

As the members of Scion are reluctant to work against the enemy, she has to take matters into her own hands, especially because she is being followed by her own kind and dark creatures from the Rephaim world. In order to accomplish her mission, the pale dreamer also has to ally with a group of Rephaim, the Ranthen, who also want to destroy the rule of the evil Nashira Sargas. But even with their help she might not have another option than to challenge the rulers of Scion to make her voice heard. This could be working in her favour or everything she had to endure was for nothing.


I could not wait for this book to be delivered to me after finishing the first. Thankfully my wait was not that long so I could start only a few days after the first instalment. And my hopes were not disappointed.

Everything that made me love the first book was there again. The challenging language, the elaborate glossary, the detailed world building and description of situations and the chapter names (Somebody put thought into this, sublime!). Sometimes the in depth descriptions where sowing the plot advancement but I knew that from the first book and expected it to be like this here too and to be honest, I did not mind at all.

What I find irritating and inappropriate in some other books I read is that the one moment that the plot and the characters were heading for is handled within one chapter of, let’s say, 20 pages. This is so sad because mostly this point deserves way more attention than so many other redundant passages. But Samantha Shannon spends a great amount of time on her climax, just the time it is worthy of. This gives the impression that much thought has been put into writing and the story is well-conceived.

I also love the way the story goes. Paige does many things right and somehow she always finds a way but there are equally many situations where she has to overcome her fears or issues in order to help her friends. And she would not be able to do all this without her friends and allies, more often than not she would not make it as far as she does. On the other hand, Paige is no saint, she can use her abilities relentlessly against those who hurt her or her friends.

Having started the relationship with Warden in the first book, Paige now tells us more about her feelings. She know that this will not last and she cannot and will not ever forget what Arcturus did to her and others. Yet, she feels somewhat connected to him and enjoys his presence and his touch. I think it is great that we get a perspective on her feelings as the initial concept of this relationship can appear a little bit strange. The way I see it, because Warden helps Paige uncover her true potential more and more and the time together in their respective dreamscapes gives rise to their connection. Yet even though Arcturus and others are always trying to support the pale dreamer, she is struggling the more she learns what she is capable of. She does not discover a new feature of her power and immediately masters it which makes her so much more believable and human.

I am excited for the fact that there will be another 5 books not only because I love the writing style and the story but because this means that fighting against the Rephaim will take more time that just 3 or 4 books in total. Yes, that's more realistic. I can’t wait for the world to be expanded further and the characters having to overcome crisis and I believe there will be a few as Miss Shannon did not recoil from doing so in the first two books.

More from Samantha Shannon


Author: Margaret McHeyzer

Pages: 322

ISBN: 978-0994354747

Series: -

Genre: Contemporary

Lily is introduced as a 12 year old girl getting physically and mentally abused by her father who is raising her after her mother’s suicide. When she is 17, her situation hasn’t changed, she still gets beaten, she hardly has any clothes and she is half starved as her father mostly forgets to buy food. In school she tries to stay under the radar yet still her GPA is almost perfect.

One day at the bus stop she sees a guy smiling at her and she is confused as she was told she is ugly and why would anyone smile at her. In the following days he starts talking to her, walks her home and invites her to the movies. They start holding hands and he provides her with a phone so she can call him if anything happens to her. Then one day, her father is beating her so badly that she actually takes the offer and Trent is rescuing Lily from her hell. At Trent’s house, she is getting cleaned up and fed and she gets a room to sleep and they buy her clothes.

But what seems to be heaven for Lily soon turns out to be maybe even worse than at home. Trent starts controlling Lily, he even sexually abuses her and decides where she should go to college to as they then can be together. He tells her how much he loves her and that he needs her and every bad think he does she excuses with those statements.

When she meets a very nice girl at work (she gets a job to have some money next to her full scholarship), it seems that everything could change for her but then she accepts to marry Trent and it gets even worse. He starts beating her, controls the money that she makes, controls where she goes and tells her to do the housework and his assignments on top of her own work.

After years of living like that, dropping out of college because Trent told her so, he beats her up so badly that she finally has the courage to leave him. From then on, she has people around her who help her and her life is ultimately changing for the better.


This is a very hard review to write because obviously the topic is very delicate and I have some very conflicting thoughts about the book. I don’t want to offend anyone that had to go through anything like that, this is just a personal opinion even though I don’t know anybody who has been the victim of domestic violence.

I feel the book is really more two parts that don’t really connect than one continuous story. The first part, which is to the most part about her life during the abuse and the different situations she is finding herself in due to that, is well done. The second part though where Lily’s life is changing for the better is way too much fairy-tale to be realistic.

There are a few things that might not add up in the first part as well, at least not for me. Lily was abused her whole life, since she was a little kid and still is one of the best students at school and then later does her husband’s assignments in medicine without even studying it herself. I feel like this certainly can happen but I would say this is rather an exception. I would say that 99% of the people no matter their upbringing could not do that. The problem I see is that in some way she seems very childish in her language and actions and then she is supposed to be this incredibly intelligent woman…

On the same note, her abusers always tell her how ugly she is and she believes it, but people she meets just come up to her and tell her how extremely beautiful she is. I don’t think that real life works like that, people in the supermarket don’t just tell you that, even if you are. I at least never witnessed anything like that.

Apart from that, the description of what she has to endure is on the point. It does not colour what happens yet in the same way it does leave nothing out. And I think it gives a great insight in the mind of a person who has to go through something like that. Even as everybody is different and this might just be one example, it can make people think and reflect.

However, the second part of the book where she finds help and gets her live together, feels way too constructed. Her torment goes on for about 20 years yet within a few months her live goes from hell to fairy-tale. Sure, she has help from her best friend, her bosses at work and a therapist, yet I am pretty sure that healing does not work that way. Especially because she only has a few therapist sessions and she trusts another man in her life so extremely fast after everything that happened.

I know the following example is lacking in every way but it makes me disbelieve in the timescale of the book. Suffering from exam anxiety I know how hard it is to get over something small like that compared to being abused for the most part of your life. Exam situations still make me sweat, so how can she, after suffering for so long leave everything behind in just a few months?!

Also, she divorces from Trent and, I get the feeling that there is not really that much time gone by, her new ‘boyfriend’ tells her that he will one day marry her. Yes, it is sweet but honestly, how is she not running away from that after everything she experienced?!

I can see that the author possibly just wants to show that life will get better for all the victims but giving the main protagonist a job and life she gets leaves me with the wrong message. I kept shacking my head, I mean, let her have this job but not in less than a year from her escape. Just because Lily’s life was hell does not mean that the rest of her life has to be a fairy-tale. Everything happening to her is might be plausible so it would have been nice if the setup of the storytelling would agree with it as well.

In general, I think too much about Lily does not fit together. After starting I was so captivated by her story but I just lost the interest, the book just dragged along and I had a hard time finishing it.


Author: Kirk Dougal

Pages: 312

ISBN: 978-1941987896

Series: -

Genre: SciFi

Tar can fix technology that has been broken since the Crash. But this ability is a dangerous one to have under the rule of the Black Shirts. Tar, 13, has to hide his powers, that’s why Uncle Jahn is not allowing him to go to school. Instead, he wanders around to find ‘apps’ that he can fix and sell, especially to Mr. Keisler. Nevertheless, not too many know that he does not repair the broken app with tools but with his mind.

Tar has to be very careful with his gift, as the ruling Black Shirts, led by Father Eli, hunt for everybody with those abilities to purify the world of them. One day, his ability is accidently discovered by some bullies at school and they rat him out. This is when the Black Shirts arrive at school and kill one of Tars friends while he watches from a hiding spot but eventually they see him as well and start their hunt.

He flees together with Toby who warned him of the thread at school but the Black Shirts are already at either boys home so they have to leave. With Uncle Jahn accompanying them, the boys learn about the past, about the Crash that killed so many and made so many others lose their minds.

Tar is determined to find others like him to warn and help them before the Black Shirts get to them. On their journey they come across those who want to help and those who want to keep Tar for their own purpose. But after meeting someone involved in the project that made the Crash happen, there might actually be a chance to overcome the rule of the Black Shirts and restore the world. The Black Shirts don’t give up so easily though.


I received an ARC from Ragnarok via NetGalley to give an honest review and this was an enjoyable read. There are no major faults in the story that I would describe as unrealistic yet I wasn’t totally hooked. And some things in the end weren’t to my taste as the book was build up very nicely and could have done without those elements.

I liked the world building, the descriptions were very detailed and made the atmosphere of the setting nicely clear. Also, the premise of the story was interesting. It took quite a while to understand what is going on in this world, particularly because the reader is left in the dark about what the Crash actually was. Every now and then there is a little piece of information that contributes to the puzzle and this leaves room for one’s own imagination. A little sad though that the story is resolved rather quickly in the end, potentially it would have been better to leave some details out in the beginning to give the climax more attention.

I don’t know if the author attempted to include some social critique in his story, nevertheless I though the topic of technological advancement is provoking some thinking. The result in the story is rather dramatic and unthinkable but it outlines the dangers that can come with the reliance on technology. Sometimes I think people should take a step back and make themselves aware of what is happening or what could be the consequences of a certain advancement. On the other hand though the book also shows that not everything has to be dangerous or catastrophic and technology actually does improve lives.

There are some things though that did not add up for me.

I don’t like that the main character is only 13 years old, I mean sure, in the circumstances he grew up he is probably very capable and can handle situations most 13 years old kids in our society couldn’t. But sometimes Tar seemed too mature for his age, especially when they meet this one other character. Having to fulfil a task, the man lets them lead the way as this is supposedly something Tar and his friend are better at. Even if, the man still is grown up and can aid in this situation. That was just overly ‘Tar is the hero of this story’ for me, it’s OK when the main protagonist is not able to do anything he tries.

Another matter that I rolled my eyes at was the introduction of the girl. She was perfectly all right for the story but we could have done without the warm feeling that overcame Tar when he looked into her eyes. No, this was not necessary at all, everything would have worked exactly the same way without this plotline as the story made sense in itself on its own.

Overall I liked spending my time reading the book because it is SciFi and an at large well-crafted story.

The Sway

Author: Ruby Knight

Pages: 186

ISBN: 978-1-944179-10-6

Series: Classified #1

Genre: Fantasy

Julia Caldwell has been trained by the CIA and worked for them since she was 13 years old. Now, with 19, she gets her first solo mission. Assigned to get close to Cole Thomas, the teenage son of Hank Thomas, a well-known and dangerous weapons dealer. To accomplish her mission, she has to go back to High School in New York to earn Cole’s trust.

What Julia doesn’t know is that Cole himself is part of an organisation with the mission to spy on her. So when Julia believes she has gotten through to Cole after playing teenager for a few months, it is Cole that reveals who he is and introduces her to his agency. They want to convince her to leave the CIA behind and work for them instead.

With a thread from Hank Thomas and his deadly companions, Julia has to find out whom she wants to work for. On this journey she also has to deal with the fact that she develops some unknown power. Having to keep in mind the thread on the lives of millions of people, her decision can be the one that decides the fate of the planet.


I received this book from NetGalley to give an honest review. And I want to say that no matter what I will say, this book could still be something for you. It just was not for me. This is just a personal opinion and should be seen as such.

I don’t even know where to begin. There is hardly anything I liked about this book.

Julia is introduced as this strong, powerful and strong-minded person that does not allow feelings to interfere with her work. Of course, being a teenager, this will soon stop being this way. After one mission, she looks at her long-time friend not as a friend but something more. And this was just the beginning. On her solo mission her target is the most sought after guy in school and she plays hard to get. Though only until she has her first ‘date’ for the sake of the job. She somehow forgets everything she was told in 6 years of CIA training to not let feelings interfere. She swoons over his eyes and his body and Cole apparently likes her as well.

When Julia is in the compound of this other agency, the Sway, Cole acts all protective and crazy in love with her. Well, we get the explanation for why he falls in love with her so fast but honestly, this is happening in less than a week. Really, from being a target for the job to ‘I love you for the rest of my life’ in a few days made this book so hard to read. Especially because almost on every page they lace their hands together or he kisses her on the cheek, the top of her head or on the mouth. As if there is nothing else that should have been developed during the story.

I have to say that I was so glad that the book was so short because I had a hard time finishing it (I have an inner urge to finish all the books I read so I had to). The ‘love of my life’ theme was not the only thing that hat me roll my eyes during the read. Also the fact that all people (or children and teenager to be precise) in the Sway have some special ability. Once Julia remarks the group as X-Men and unfortunately I felt way too many similarities to fell a lot of thought has been put into the abilities.

Apart from this, the timeline of the story really did not feel realistic at all. The plotlines might have worked better for me if, from being introduced to the Sway to potentially rescuing the world, a lot more time than a week had passed. Even with special abilities these protagonists are still teenagers and Julia only discovered hers during that week. She is not able to keep her feelings under control but is perfect in mastering (well, she has some struggles but they are exploited way to less because the time is running out) her powers.

Something that is practically non-existent is the world building. Way too much time is spend on kissing and saying ‘I love you’ in favour of actual plot and description of the surroundings.

Another thing I was really saddened by is the language. I feel that I would have been able to write the story even though English is not my mother tongue. Although it is YA, one can expect a little higher level of language and phrasing.

The only thing I liked about this book is the part of a girl who has to spend her whole teenage years in the service of the CIA and realising that not everything has been right. This should have been something to be exploited more as it would have made the story deeper. Julia starts as a young girl who is strong and determined and she becomes an uneasy and insecure person from time to time. She could have been a nice, lovable heroine but the story was more about the love between Cole and Julia.

I will not continue to read another book of this series…

The Bone Season

Author: Samantha Shannon

Pages: 463

ISBN: 978-1-4088-3643-9

Series: The Bone Season #1

Genre: Fantasy

In an alternate world in the year 2059, Paige Mahoney, working for a criminal mastermind, is thrown into her greatest adventure yet. She is the 19-year old daughter of a scientist who is working for the government. Her problem, she has special abilities and people like her are hunted by people like her father.

Paige’s powers are somewhat special as she is one of a kind so her standing in the organisation she is working for leaves her with more privileges. Among the other clairvoyants she is known as the pale dreamer, mollisher of the mime-lord Jaxon Hall. One night, she believes she has been discovered by the government and flees from her followers. What she does not know that even darker creatures are on her tail and when they finally kidnap and drug her, she wakes up in Oxford.

There, Paige has to face the fact that she might never return home to London. Among other clairvoyants, she has been selected by the Rephaim to be trained as their servant. But clearly, she wants out. Everyone tells her that no one has ever escaped before yet she is determined to try.

Even though not everyone is reluctant to be there, she can make friends that attempt to aid her in her goal. And then there is her trainer, who does not seem to be like the others but well, in a way, he is. Paige has been led to her greatest and most deadly adventure yet where there might not be an escape.


I love different and I definitely got that! In a fabulous way.

I know this book is not perfect and I get that there are some things that might not necessarily add up, especially when your first impression is rather negative. You then find small parts that seem overly constructed, cannot feel any connection with the characters or have a general problem with the way the story goes. I have read books like that and felt this way so I get it.

I started and practically immediately fell in love. The thing that annoyed a lot of people actually drew me in. The amount of information and the glossary, it was great. I felt a refreshing challenge reading the book as English is not my mother tongue and yes, it was hard to get into it at first. But after a few chapters I was captivated and did not want to leave reading for anything (including food or sleep). I also like the fact that it is only told from Paige’s perspective, there are so many books with multiple narrators that don’t necessarily need them. And, oh yeah, there are actual chapter names not just boring numbers!

I truly loved the premise, a totally different world where maybe things don’t work like we are used to. Yet isn’t that the point of a made up world, that not everything makes sense at first because we are lacking information that is hopefully provided later?! It leaves the reader with some thinking to do. Other themes in the book include torture and slavery which are not light-hearted topics to read about. And as such, the characters are put trough some certainly cruel and disgusting situations yet being part of this made up word everything should be seen in this context.

I probably could have done without the romance, especially because of the characters involved and because there was so much potential for it to be not there. It is sad that so little YA books I read can do without this (Yes, I know, it’s YA so what am I expecting but a story does not unavoidably need this…). I see that it could end up being an essential plotline though. Taking all this into consideration, I liked the pace it was developed at so let’s see what the following books will bring.

What else was there for me?

The length, whereby when I think about it, no, it was definitely too short. I did not want it to end and I felt lucky for picking up the first book when the second one was already out so my craving for the second book was not all too long.

The action. And the progression of the story was going at exactly the right pace to give descriptions and feelings and information the room for unfolding.

Just all in all almost everything. Maybe less that there are 7 books planned and I have to wait for so long to know the overall ending. But then that is a good point so I will be able to enjoy so much more of this world and the characters and the language and the action and the scenery and everything.

More from Samantha Shannon


Author: Christina Kilbourne

Pages: 240

ISBN: 978-1-45973-431-9

Series: -

Genre: Contemporary

Anna has always been a daughter probably every mother wants to have: talented, successful, popular and friendly. This is the outside view. From Anna’s point of view, the world looks totally different. Ever since her grandparents died, she is finding less and less things appealing enough to stay alive.

She has friends at school, a loving family and she is an extremely talented artist. Yet, with only 16 years old, she has a hard time to see any happiness in her life. She even has a list of possible ways to end her life. She does not necessarily want to hurt herself, she is just tired of having to live so she tries to find the ‘right’ a method for dying.

The people around her might even get suspicious by her behaviour from time to time but Anna always finds an excuse to cover her moods and actions. With nobody to stop her, she chooses an overdose of painkillers to end her suffering. In order to get her hands on them, she socializes more which keeps the people from looking her way suspiciously. So when one weekend she goes through with her plans, she is confident that this is finally it.

Yet, to her dislike, she gets rescued and is being diagnosed with depressions. On her way to recovery everyone involved has to process what happened and with help from every side Anna can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.


This is one of the books that should find its way on more bookshelves and I am so thankful to have got this ARC from NetGalley. The way Christina Kilbourne approaches the topic is, in my eyes, fantastic. Instead of trying to construct a wild story about a girl, she depicts everyday situations to make the feelings of Anna obvious and realistic.

We also get to see this world from the viewpoint of Anna’s mum and her best friend Aliya. Because of that, the same situations can be experience through different perspectives and they open the eyes that one moment can look so divergent depending on the character’s background and feelings. This is one of the greatest feature of the book as it makes Anna’s condition so absolutely comprehensible.

I also love the way that her thoughts are not black and white, she has doubts about killing herself and even after she gets treated for depression there are not only happy times. I believe that, no sane person can probably imagine any reason there is to not want to live anymore. The book though makes it clear that there is not really a reason for Anna as well but her mind just plays tricks on her and there is actually nothing she can do against it. No matter how much she is having a good time with her friends or the fact that she is having a loving family can keep her from being unwilling to do anything, to breath.

After her latest suicide attempt when they figure everything out and she has to even stay in a mental hospital for some time, another outstanding quality of the book is revealed.

How would you feel, if anybody attempting or committing suicide is actually somebody you know or love? I just know that everything that Christina Kilbourne writes is the absolute truth, at least for me. One boy I went to school with committed suicide last year and even though I did not stay in contact with him after we finished school a few years back, I felt guilty up to a point I could hardly breathe anymore. I could not understand how unfair life is that this person could not find enough reasons to live anymore. I could find myself in the description and there are a lot of days were I have to tell myself what the books tells us: There is no reason for feeling guilty as not anything that happens due to depression is anyone’s fault. It’s an illness that some people sadly have to fight but there is a way to find back to life, back to happiness. All those who suffer should seek help and should not be ashamed of their condition.

That’s what happens to Anna in the end so she gets back on track, not without struggles, but she does it.

I think everyone should read this book because it opens eyes and makes aware of a topic that is very tender. It gives an impression on how either side is feeling when depression hits a person and a family but it also shows that there is a way out. This book tells people suffering that, although it might be the hardest battle yet, there is a way through the dark and back to happiness. And there is no reason to be ashamed for those thoughts, it’s like any other illness, it’s not your fault.

Smash & Grab

Author: Amy Christine Parker

Pages: 352

ISBN: 978-0-553-53382-8

Series: -

Genre: Contemporary

Lexi and Christian come from different worlds, yet they run into each other and have to work together to reach their respective goals. Alexandra is attending a private school and she has a group of friends she is pulling off adventures for the sake of an adrenaline kick. But then her life is shaken up as her farther is arrested for committing fraud at the bank he works for.

On the other hand there is Christian who is doing jobs for the Mexican mafia in LA. Though this is only on the outside as he is interested in literature and tries to get into UCLA. He and his gang, including family and friends, has to do the jobs in order to keep their families safe. The mafia has some kind of leverage over all of them in order to force them to rob banks.

On the latest job Lexi and Christian cross paths as Lexi wants to get money from her account and Christian running her over while escaping the robbery. Later on they discover that they will both need each other. She tries to find dirt on her dad’s co-worker and therefore she is playing an intern as somebody else. Christian needs the insights of the place from Lexi to make this job work which will get his crew out of their old lives. Lexi in return will need the gang to get the evidence she needs if there is any at all.

While planning their heist, they get close and have to make choices that is not just in their own interest and their respective gangs but also about the lives of the other party.


I got this ARC from NetGalley and was super excited to finally start reading it after my other obligations. I did not have too much experience with these kind of stories as this is not normally what I read so there is not much I can compare it with. But I found the description intriguing and this is mostly everything I need to want to read a book.

So under these circumstances, I really much enjoyed this title. It did not make it in the category favourites but it is a great read with lines that made me smile, passages where my eyes where wide open in shock, parts where I felt sorry or happy for the characters, and last but not least entire chapters that got my heart pounding in excitement.

The book is written from both characters perspective alternatively and I like a lot that the different upbringings and lifestyles were reflected in the different writing styles for them. The interactions between Lexi and Christian were nicely crafted but did not feel crafted after all. Their conversations were light when it was appropriate but also deep if needed. We get to see the characters reactions on satiations in the current or following chapters which gives a deeper insight in the protagonist’s inner feelings and struggles.

There is also some background information when it is necessary for the circumstances. We don’t see excessive world building other than the main locations but in my eyes that is not particularly important for the story’s progression. Also, I never had the feeling that anything that is attempted in the book is totally impossible so the reading went very smoothly and without me rolling my eyes.

The ending of the book had some, for me, very welcomed twists which I was not really expecting like this. It is fast passed and I certainly did not want to put the book down for anything within the last third of it.

Overall I really enjoyed the read if nothing else for both Lexi and Christian who both are not perfect but have secret fears and are sometime caught off guard by the situation. They, more than once, need to rely on their friends and family in order for them to take the right decision or at least not rush into something without much of a thought. I loved this fact, and also the general theme and YES, it had some elements reminding me of the terrific Ocean’s Eleven trilogy. It left me with a smile after completion because it was humorous at times, occasionally gave me reasons to think, enthralled me, and had me feel for the characters.

Glass Sword

Author: Victoria Aveyard

Pages: 444

ISBN: 978-1-4091-5935-3

Series: Red Queen #2

Genre: Fantasy

After escaping her execution, Mare is on the run with the Scarlet Guard. With her, the silver prince Cal who has nowhere else to go after being manipulated into killing his father, the king. Being unwanted at the headquarter of the Scarlet Guard because of their abilities, Mare has to find a way how she can save the Reds with Silver abilities on Julian’s list. Together with Farley, Shade, Kilorn and Cal she runs away to rescue them before the new king, Maven, gets to them.

On their mission, they come across people with astonishing abilities, some need more convincing than others to join their cause in destroying the rule of the Silvers. They get ambushed and have to fight their way out of dire situations, sometimes beating Maven, sometimes needing too much time and they only find corpses or no bodies at all.

Coming across the path of a girl who just escaped from a prison where the king and his evil mother Elara keep Reds and Silvers alike, Mare and her crew to everything to rescue them and set an example that the king is not invincible. On this critical mission, some lives are lost but others are won back and the events will pave the way for decisions that can never be taken back.


I have to say that the first book was already only OK, but as I have a hard time leaving things unfinished, I picked up the second book. I was not expecting too much because I did not like the way in which the first book was heading in the end. But still I ended up being slightly disappointed.

I think, this book has a lot good qualities as I like the writing style – written from a third person point of view – and that the characters are developed and we get to see all kinds of facets of the protagonists. And, what I found to be very important for me, the story is quite long so you have enough time to enjoy and don’t feel you just started a few minutes ago.

But – and I fear there is a big BUT for me – there are way more aspects I cannot get into.

  • Characters: I did not particularly like Mare in the first book and yet I kind of ended up hating her. I even felt more for the character that one is supposed to hate – Maven – because there was one sentence from Mare that ruined the whole personality for me.

But there are friends I would trade, lives I would forsake, for my own victories.

Even if that is part of the character development, I would rather do without a sentence like that. It just holds the wrong message for me, especially when it comes from the supposed hero of the story. Sure, she is not perfect, but still…

  • Length: It is good, when you have a connection to the story, but in my eyes it was just dragged along. Some things were explained elaborately and others, like the ending, seemed rushed and in need to be squeezed into 20 pages. It took me about a month to read it, bearing in mind that I head three weeks Easter break and the pace I normally devour books – one every two weeks at least – it is obvious I was not very motivated to go on.

I know that I will read the third book because I hope to be surprised, positively. And the covers are just about the most gorgeous ones I have on my bookshelf. And on every page, the Fleur de Lys appears, nothing more left to say…


Author: Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Pages: 599

ISBN: 978-1-78074-837-5

Series: The Illuminae Files #1

Genre: SciFi

Kady is braking up with her boyfriend Ezra when her planet in being attacked. They are upon just some of the population that makes it to safety on the evacuation ships. But this is not the end as they are being pursued by an enemy warship. On top of that, the artificial intelligence that is supposed to help them is acting in a way nobody can really understand. It does some horrific things that should not be possible according to its programming.

To make the situation even worse, the survivors of the attack are confronted with a plague that has broken out. Kady, who is kind of a computer genius, hacks into the system to find out what is going on as the information she gets from the authorities on the ship does not satisfy her. She discovers some unnerving truths and she realises that she needs the help of Ezra as he is on the other ship in the fleet.

Soon everything gets totally messed up and Kady seems to be the only person able to save hundreds of lives on the ships even when her live seems to hang in the balance.


Yes, I absolutely loved this book and I could not get enough of it. I spent every free second I had on reading more of this fantastic story. This has to be one of my all-time favourite books because:

  1. It is SciFi. I grew up with Science Fiction like Star Trek, Stargate and Andromeda. I love astrophysics, I even studied it at university. I just get lost in space (and its stories).

  2. It is long. Being younger I loathed thick and long books because reading them for school was just taking so awfully long. But now I don’t want the books to end, at least the ones I can’t get enough of, the great ones.

  3. It’s writing style is an absolute delight. Maybe there are other books written in the same style but I don’t know any. So this was my first and I felt sheer joy in reading this piece of literature.

  4. It has a good story. Well, it is young adult so there is certainly some love story to be expected but it was just part of the story and not the only story. And even though it probably was not the most original story, I loved every second of the ride.

  5. The humour. And it is dark humour, so great to read it in a book. Love me some more of that.

  6. The way numbers and letters were used not only for words but zo visualise the story. Just all in all the way that the disparity between black and white is used to design the pages. And yes, it is design.

  7. It tried – and succeeded in being something different.

I am sure, there are so many more reasons for me to adore this book but I am lacking thoughts and words to express myself only by remembering the experience of reading the book.

One word for the book: magnificent

Message for the authors: Thank you!

More from Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff