DNF Review: Smith by Sam B. Miller II

37832924Smith by Sam B. Miller II

Goodreads rating: 4.56

Pages: 180

Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy

Date published: December 31st, 2017 (US)

My rating: ★★☆☆☆

Goodreads // Buy this book: Paperback

Synopsis

Jake’s Father is an archeologist who is in Israel to complete a dig on King Solomon’s Temple. As an eighteen-year-old American, Jake is unwelcome by the people in the territory. Defending himself against the townspeople is a constant torment.
Through a map Jake finds on his Father’s desk, he and his friend Avner decide to explore a newly discovered chamber. At the end of a dark and deserted tunnel, Jake uncovers the treasure of King Solomon’s Power ring. He puts it on his finger and feels his life changing.
Jake passes off the ring as a replica, but he starts to hear a voice that belongs to Smith. Smith provides him guidance on how to deal with his newfound powers. Jake wants to learn all he can about his new secret ring. Smith encourages him to sharpen his fighting skills by joining the Army.
Is Smith leading Jake to a newfound life where he can become a hero? Or will the decision to join the military endanger his life? Will Jake find out the ring he wears is good or will it be of evil intent? And who keeps trying to steal the ring?

My review

I was sent a copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review. Big thanks to Sam B. Miller!

Stopped at: 47%

Unfortunately, and I hate to bring you a negative review, I did not enjoy this book. I won’t be finishing it, as I see no point in forcing myself to read something I don’t like.

The premise was cool, and since I’m a history student – and obsessed with ancient history -, I thought this book would be right up my alley. It takes place in Israel, where our American main character, Jake, is currently living. He accidentally finds King Solomon’s ring, named Smith, and later realizes that the ring speaks to him. Then, he starts making decisions based on what Smith tells him to do – such as joining the Army.

It kind of reminded me of Rick Riordan’s books, which I also didn’t finish 😅 I had read the synopsis before going into this book, in which we are told that Jake is 18 years old. However, the whole time I felt like this was a middle-grade novel narrated by a 13 or 14-year-old. I only realized that wasn’t the case when I eventually thought “Wait, how old is he if he is joining the Army?”. So I really didn’t enjoy that, the main character is rather childish for his age.

I wasn’t a fan of the cast of characters either, which sucks because I usually read books for the characters. If a book has a terrible plot but it features characters that I like, I’ll probably still enjoy it. If it’s the other way around, it’s much harder for me to like it…

Unlike I had expected, the whole plot was not of my liking either, so I started losing interest as I read and, eventually, gave up. I think it’s a matter of age. Maybe I’m too old for this shit? We have to recognize it when a book is not right for us, right?

Well, that’s about it regarding what I actually read. I’m really bummed that I didn’t like this book, but such is life. Apparently, a lot of people give it 4 and 5-star ratings on Goodreads, so it can’t be a terrible book – it just wasn’t to my liking!

★★☆☆☆ 2/5 stars


Have you read Smith? Did you like it? Let me know in the comments! ♡

I hope you enjoyed reading my thoughts on Smith and if you’d like, check out my other book reviews!


Thank you so much for reading,
I’ll see you in my next post ♡

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From the Earth to the Shadows | Amanda Hocking

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Image result for from the earth to the shadows amanda hockingFrom the Earth to the Shadows by Amanda Hocking

Goodreads rating: 3.52

Pages: 336

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Romance

Date published: April 24th, 2018 (USA)

My rating: ★★★☆☆

Goodreads // Buy this book: Paperback

Synopsis

The epic conclusion to the thrilling Valkyrie duology by New York Times bestselling YA author Amanda Hocking, From the Earth to the Shadows.

While dealing with dark revelations about her life and her world, Malin finds herself with new allies–and new enemies. Her quest for the truth leads her to places she never thought possible, and she’s never been one to shy away from a fight. But for all her strength and determination, will it be enough to save the world before it’s too late?

About the author

Image result for amanda hockingAmanda Hocking is the author of over twenty young adult novels, including the New York Times bestselling Trylle Trilogy and Kanin Chronicles. Her love of pop culture and all things paranormal influence her writing. She spends her time in Minnesota, taking care of her menagerie of pets and working on her next book.

Social Links:

Author Website: http://www.worldofamandahocking.com/
Twitter: @Amanda_Hocking
Facebook: @AmandaHockingFans
Author Blog

My review

Firstly, I’d like to thank St. Martin’s Press for providing me with an eARC of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Since From the Earth to the Shadows is a sequel, I can’t tell you much about the story. I reviewed the first book in the duology a couple months ago, so if you’d like to get a sense of what this is about, you can read that review here.

This second book is more of a heist and quest book. Our characters have to steal objects, as they were chosen for this mission by a Vanir god. In order to do this, they have to go to Kurgunia, the Underworld, where all immortals live after their time on Earth is done. 💀

Valeska nodded once. “At noon, we go to hell.”

We have way more action in this book than we did in the first one. There are more fighting scenes – and an uprising -, so almost every chapter is action-packed, which makes the book a fast read. ⚡️

I read it in two days, and although I enjoyed it, there was something missing. I can’t put my finger on it, but I liked the first book a bit more. Maybe it’s all the heartbreak this one caused… ☹️

Our main characters are back, and now there are so many new ones!! I really enjoyed meeting Valeska, for one, she’s badass. I mean, any girl that can fly is automatically badass, amirite? But my favorite new character was probably Lyra, she was very sweet and just wanted to do whatever she could for her daughter! 😢

“I don’t want to overwhelm him or scare him off.”
“Overwhelm him?” he asked once I’d closed the door behind him. “This guy alleges to have dated your mother. If she didn’t overwhelm him, nothing will.”
“Fair enough.”

There are LGBT characters in this book, as well as the first one, which I always appreciate. And it’s girls!! Usually, the LGBT books I read are about boys, so I really enjoyed this, it’s a breath of fresh air ☺️ The main romance in this book is very cute, and I loved every second of it! Asher is the sweetest 😍

His voice was low and husky as he stared into my eyes and said, “When they brought me here, they showed me the unimaginable enchantment of the world outside these walls. I have seen beauty beyond anything I could’ve dreamed, the full breadth and majesty of everything their heavens have to offer.” He smiled softly and cradled my face in his hand. “And still, I’ve never seen anything as wonderful and beautiful as you walking through that door in the dungeon.”

As for the plot, I thought it was well-thought-out and -executed, so that is definitely a strong point of this book. I loved seeing Hocking’s interpretation of the Underworld, as it’s something I think about a lot. When you think about the Underworld, what do you imagine it’s like?

Once again, this book was filled with mythology. In this world, all the different mythology from different cultures is mashed together, so you have gods like Bastet, Tsukiyomi, Prometheus, all in the same book. Additionally, there are creatures from many different cultures like a chupacabra, kalanoro, alkonost and wolpertinger. I love how the author combines all of this in one story, it’s very cool!

Along with mythology, there is also magic, as one of the main characters works with thaumaturgy and alchemy. Here are some of the spells she uses:

“Omnium visibilium et invisibilium omnium manemus”

“Lux splendida!”

Overall, it was an enjoyable read, and a nice conclusion to the duology. I am not a fan of urban fantasy, but I like these two books, so if you’re a reader of the genre, definitely give these a try!

★★★☆☆ 3.5/5 stars


Have you read this duology? What did you think about it? Let me know in the comments! ♡

I hope you enjoyed reading my thoughts on From the Earth to the Shadows and if you’d like, check out my other book reviews!


Thank you so much for reading,
I’ll see you in my next post ♡

Between the Blade and the Heart | Blog Tour Review & GIVEAWAY

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between-the-blade-and-the-heart-valkyrie-1-amanda-hockingBetween the Blade and the Heart by Amanda Hocking

Goodreads rating: 3.58

Pages: 319

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Romance

Date published: January 2nd, 2018 (USA)

My rating: ★★★★☆

Goodreads // Buy this book: Paperback

Synopsis

Valkyries have one great responsibility: to return immortals to the afterlife by slaying them. As a Valkyrie, Malin has always known that the balance of the world rests on her ability to carry out orders. But when Malin discovers that her mother spared the life of an immortal who was destined to die, her world is thrown into chaos.

Malin not only wrestles with the knowledge that her mother might not be who she thought—she’s also thrust into the path of a gorgeous blue eyed guy named Asher who needs her help slaying the rogue immortal who destroyed his family. The balance of the world is at stake. And, as Asher competes with Malin’s ex for her love and loyalty, so is her heart.

My review

Firstly, I’d like to thank St. Martin’s Press for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest opinion, as well as a paperback copy to give away to one lucky winner.

Between the Blade and the Heart is a sort-of urban fantasy story, set in a very polluted and doomed world. Our main character, Malin, is a Valkyrie, meaning her job is to kill immortals when their time is up. The four central characters throughout the story are Malin, her best friend Oona, Asher, a guy who is thrust in her path, and her ex-girlfriend, Quinn. Oh yeah, we have a bisexual main character!! All of these characters are now near and dear to my heart, and I can’t believe I’ll have to wait for like a year for the second book to come out 😦

Every booth was overflowing with exotic and strange wares, like dragon’s breath in a bottle, bones that allegedly belonged to Hercules, and the quills of a thunderbird.

Without going into plot details, I must say this story totally captivated me. I read about 30% of this book over the course of a few days, but when I finally had time, I flew through the rest of the book. It’s such a great, fast-paced story that I couldn’t put down.

The pictures changed to a depiction of men bent forward, worshipping feline-headed Bastet; then to the multi-armed Vishnu, adorned in gold and jewels…

There is a mix of a lot of different mythological creatures, from various ancient cultures, and I am ALL about it. If you don’t know by now, Egypt is kind of my thing, so I was very excited to see some of my favorite gods mentioned, even if they barely come into play ♡

I’d offer you something to drink, but I don’t want you here, so…

“I’m leaving the money here for you.”

“Damn, Malin, you really know how to make a guy feel like a prostitute,” Jude said with his rumbling laughter

The dialogue in this book was great, and I laughed out loud a few times. The wit is absolutely on point. The creatures Hocking features in this story are pretty damn awesome. I do have to mention my personal favorite – Bowie, who is Malin’s wolpertinger, meaning she is a bunny with WINGS AND ANTLERS. How freaking cute is that, seriously!? Also, can we appreciate this piece of information about Bowie:

Some wolpertingers could fly, but Bowie had always been too fat and preferred doing as little as possible

Yeah… I need twenty of them in my house 😀 I should advise you that there is a love triangle in this story, but not exactly a silly one – at least in my opinion, it is rather justified. Just letting you know, since a lot of people don’t like love triangles.

There is a cliffhanger at the end of this book that is totally eating up at me, so I REALLY need to know what happens. Brilliant ending, by the way! I can’t stop thinking about this book now hahaha it’s gonna be a struggle until the second book comes out!

★★★★☆ 4/5 stars


GIVEAWAY

As the winner, you will receive a copy of Between the Blade and the Heart. This giveaway is open for U.S. residents only – sorry about that, but there will surely be more opportunities for international readers! Here’s how to enter to win in four easy steps:

  1. Follow my blog
  2. Follow me on Instagram
  3. Check out my Youtube channel
  4. Leave a comment in one of my Instagram or blog posts

For an extra entry, tag a friend in the comments of the Instagram post.

And that’s it!! After these steps, you are entered to win the giveaway!

This giveaway will end on January 21st 2018, so you have around two weeks to enter. Good luck to everyone participating! ♡


Have you read Between the Blade and the Heart? What did you think about that love triangle? Let me know in the comments! ♡

I definitely recommend that you give this book a chance, I think it might be one of my favorite books that I’ve received from a publisher. Totally worth it!

I hope you enjoyed reading my thoughts on Between the Blade and the Heart and if you’d like, check out my other book reviews!


Thank you so much for reading,
I’ll see you in my next post ♡