You Are Mine, Mine 1, Janeal Falor
Genre: Sci-fi and fantasy, teens and YA.
Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews
I enjoy many YA reads and I’m a sucker for all things magic so thought I’d try this read. I did enjoy it but it felt very lightweight, a read that’s for me a good one but just not a great one.
Serena, the main character, who’s voice tells the story. I really liked her, loyal to her family, loving and caring even though she’s brought up in a society which values women only if they have magic in their blood, and then if it’s high enough they’re put out to tender, so to speak, on the marriage market to a warlock, who hopes they’ll breed more warlocks with a good amount of magic. One step out of line and the females are outcast, spurned and labelled Tarnished. Chardonia only values Magic, and those without it are nothing. It’s a cruel, male dominated society and I so felt for her, stuck within it and about to be married off. She’s bought by an awful man, who’s just become a Chancellor. Her father is pleased at the match, and orders Serena to be obedient to Thomas and not to let the family down. Then Thomas is killed in a tournament, and she’s handed over along with the rest of his possessions to a barbarian, Zade. They’ve been brought up on tales of horror about his people and she’s terrified. It turns out though that he’s very different to what she expects, and we get a story of trust, honour and new discoveries, along with a good side of danger and betrayals.
I really enjoyed this story, and the magics used. The horrors of the Warlocks were almost unbelievable, they’d stop at nothing in the pursuit of power and most were totally amoral, caring nothing for anyone except themselves. Thankfully there were a quiet few who loved their families and hated the way the society was run, but what could they do against the more numerous ones who wanted the status quo, so long as they benefitted from it of course.
Its a journey of discovery for Serena, and though she was in many ways older than her years from the suffering she endured at her father’s hands, she was also very naive, and innocent of so much that went on. It was great to see her think for herself, work out how to help others and slowly begin to think of a better life than the one laid out for her.
The way it ends too is good, and fits with the story and magics as we know them – I hate last minute new talents and Janeal avoids them thankfully. I loved Serena, Zade and Katherine, wasn’t sure about Waverly, and as for her father and some of the other warlocks, they were great bad guys. I do like to have someone to dislike!
Its a fun read, but a little too lightweight for me – but again I’m well about the target market so its probably perfect for that.
Stars: Three, a good read – probably a five for the right audience but for me a one off.
ARC provided by Netgalley and publishers.
Death Wish (The Ceruleans: Book 1), Megan Tayte
Genre: YA, Fantasy/paranormal romance.
Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews
I’ve mentioned before how I enjoy YA novels that are at the upper end of the genre, that are really just a good read and suitable for all ages, and this book is on of those. Kept me enthralled, and then when I got to the end it was – What?? No….. I need more now damn it.
So there’s Scarlett, tracing her sister’s footsteps to see if she can understand why she killed herself. She starts by learning to surf – well actually she starts by almost killing herself trying, then gets rescued by hot local, Luke, who steers her towards lessons, given by him! As the lessons progress she meets more people, and her inquiries just really turn up more questions. She was puzzled at first by the whole surfing thing – their mum has always steered them away from the sea. We learn more and more about Scarlett and her family, and can see that for a long while her parents have had a fractured, brittle relationship – their mum is more dependent than supportive, and sometimes Scarlett seems the parent instead.
Its always a shock when I recall she’s only 17 (almost 18) and that Sienna was only 18, as she seems so mature and certainly has an amount of freedom most kids of that age don’t get. Staying at her grandparents house alone for the summer? How many could do that, especially after her sister did the same and then killed herself…Still, it makes for a cracking story and one I want to read more of. You just have to let issues of practically and reality like that go and enjoy the story instead. Sometimes I can’t do it – here though the story is so rich that I can.
There are some great characters, and little clues unfold all the while. I loved Luke right from the start, Cara was a gem, despite her problems – or maybe in-spite of them- sunny, cheerful and always so full of enthusiasm for life. Scarlett’s busy dog walking each day, surfing with Luke, and spending time with Cara when she’s free, and soon she seems to have become part of the community. There are oddities though – strange things happen to her, someone keeps turning up at odd moments and then disappearing and its all very mysterious feeling, and yet its nothing you can pinpoint, put together its one of those scenes where there could always be another explanation. And aren’t those the most frustrating? The ones where you doubt yourself? And that’s how it seems to Scarlett – did that really happen or has she imagined it, was it just something slightly different?
To be honest I got so focussed on her quest and the developing relationship with Luke, I kept forgetting there is a paranormal angle to the story, until small, peculiar happenings occurred that brought my mind back. Then that ending – gah! I hate that sort, Cliff-hangers are a real bane to my reading. I find when I pick up the next book the momentum has gone, and as I read so much very often I need to refresh my memory of the whole story. Still, once all parts are out and the story can be read back to back from start to finish it makes for a dramatic and exciting series. Just got to wait for more books Sad smile I really like series best where there are just hints to next novel and Not A Cliff-hanger, where the story from that episode is wrapped up. Its tough though in a read like this, being the first book and needing to deliver so much, so this time I’ll get over it and not drop rating.
Stars: five, a great story full of intriguing mystery, developing romance, and suitable for anyone who enjoys a good fantasy read. .
ARC provided by author